I am proud to share one of my fellow PBJ sister’s story with you all today. In my opinion, and I am sure you will agree after reading her journey thus far, that she is inspiring to us ALL.
I am thrilled to call her my friend, and I always look forward to her famous Bucheli Bowls. Speaking of which, CLICK HERE to check out some of her Bucheli Bowl pictures, and also sample her Falling For Fall soup….YUMalicious!!
Meet Jennifer Bucheli:
My New Life! ~by Jennifer Bucheli
In December of 2010 my family and I went to Illinois for Christmas to my hometown to see part of my side of the family. At that time I was the heaviest I have ever been, I am petite and was not really overweight until after high school.
Then started the constant struggle to lose weight and the feelings of never being thin enough. I tried many diets and some exercise, in 2004 after my second daughter was born I did weight watchers and lost 35 pounds and looked and felt great. It was so fun to go and buy clothes from normal stores and not feel ashamed and self-conscious.
Once I lost the weight of course I got comfortable and started eating the old way again and not exercising. Within about a year or year and a half I gained back the 35 pounds. I had a son in 2010 and then gained about 20 more pounds. At my heaviest I was 185 pounds. It hurts to even write that down.
So back to the Christmas vacation. I knew at that point that I needed to do something to lose weight and get healthy. During the vacation my brother and sister-in-law were telling us about eating the Paleo way. It sounded interesting so when we returned home my husband and I started talking about trying SOMETHING. I had seen a friend of mine on Facebook posting these amazing transformation photos of himself (none other than Frank Black),
I was thinking what in the world is he doing to make that kind of transformation? I wanted to drink that kool-aid! I saw that he talked about Forks Over Knives so my husband and I sat down one evening and decided to watch it. That movie forever changed us!
One of the reasons that this movie affected me so much was that my Dad had a massive widow maker heart attack at age 55 and almost died, should have died, even the doctors couldn’t explain why he didn’t. He was never overweight, never drank, didn’t smoke and seemed to be healthy.
I learned that didn’t matter. Also both of my grandmothers had colon cancer, my maternal grandmother died after having surgery for it (she had a heart arrhythmia in the hospital) and my paternal grandmother had colon cancer and breast cancer that was recurring and eventually died from complications.
So it really hit home and woke me up after watching Forks Over Knives. That night we decided that we were going to do this. It was so overwhelming at first. I had eaten animal products my whole life and at 40 years old it was a daunting task to figure out how to stop eating them. It is just so engrained in our lives and every meal to eat meat, eggs, milk, butter etc.
I decided to start by cutting out meat a couple of times a week and see if we could phase it out. By the end of the first month I was done. I decided it would just be easier all around to just stop buying it and stop cooking it. I went through my cabinets and tossed everything that contained animal products. I even gave away *gasp* my olive oil.
I felt so free!
I felt liberated!
I felt clean!
I felt clear!
I felt happy!
I felt relieved!
I never expected to feel any of these things from restricting my diet in such a way.
Now the results
The first month to 3 months were mind-blowing! You can’t even explain the mental clarity, peace, inspiration, high, amazing feelings you have at the beginning. It is like your brain is wrapped in plastic wrap and finally unwrapped. Enlightenment is the closest word to how you feel.
Wow! My headaches went away (I used to take ibuprofen almost daily), my skin cleared up, my joints didn’t ache anymore, I didn’t get angry or depressed at the drop of a hat, I had so much energy! I was constantly cleaning out drawers, organizing things, doing projects, creating, feeling so inspired all the time.
The weight started coming off without doing anything except eating a whole foods plant-based diet. In the first 6-7 months I lost 35 pounds. I kept going down sizes (through all my previous sizes stashed away in a drawer). My body changed more than it ever had before when I lost weight. I got into my smallest size jeans when I was still 10 pounds heavier than when I lost weight with Weight Watchers.
My husband lost 35 pounds and had many of the same benefits that I did. His biggest success was that he had gum disease pretty bad before we started. The specialists told him there was no cure and that he would eventually need surgery after surgery to remove teeth and gums and he would need super expensive reconstructive work. After eating whole, plant-based foods for over a year the dentist asked what he was doing and to keep doing it because he had never seen that kind of infection/damage reversed. So basically he has reversed his gum disease. If he hadn’t we would be paying $1000’s of dollars in medical bills about now, not to mention he would most likely be missing some teeth.
I have never enjoyed cooking so much as since going plant-based. I love finding new recipes and trying my hand at creating my own. I love passing up the dairy and meat sections at the grocery store. I love creating amazing, healthy food for my family and knowing that I’m providing them with the nutrition that will nourish their bodies and minds for life.
I do not force my children to eat this way (only at home because that is how I cook and buy food at home), when we go out or at others homes I let them make their own decisions. I’m trying to teach them as we go along why it’s important to eat this way. I want them to understand and come to the decision on their own so that they can be successful for life with this way of eating.
We are doing great and I cannot imagine ever going back to the Standard American Diet. I don’t miss it, don’t want to feel that way again, and don’t want to gain back all that weight. Going plant-based didn’t just change the way we eat. It changed the way we think, the way we learn, the way we enjoy our time, and how we plan for our future. I have learned so much since going plant-based.
At the beginning it was so different, like learning a foreign language. We were basically pioneers. We had to learn how to buy food, what to eat and not to eat, how to read labels, what to feed our kids (my son was 1-year-old and drinking cow’s milk from a bottle still when we started). It felt scary and exciting at the same time.
We worried so much about the repercussions of what it would do to our children, how we would get by with family not understanding what we were doing, and living in a world that for the most part has never heard of being plant-based. I immersed myself day after day in reading information from the internet, plant-based blogs and facebook pages, watching programs on Netflix that taught and inspired.
I still have that same passion almost 2 years later, but it has gotten so much easier to live this life. I truly enjoy it, and love the wonderful people I have met and learned with ,and been motivated by in the past 2 years.
I feel like I could go on and on about what this lifestyle has done for us. I would have to say that it is one of the best decisions of my life!
Is that not exciting??
Jennifer is truly an inspiration!!
Feel free to leave comments/questions below for Jennifer, and share your thoughts…
If you would care to share YOUR PBJ story, please CLICK HERE to contact us. We would LOVE to be included in your journey!!
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