Jeff, once a fat BBQ restaurant owner sold his restaurant, went vegan, and lost over 145 pounds.
Jeff had been in the restaurant business up to age 27. So, in 2011 when Jeff couldn’t find a job in his field of Information Technology (IT) he took over a small restaurant in his town and shortly after turned it into a BBQ joint.
“I was offered a position with a small restaurant so that is how I got back into this business. Then I heard about a small restaurant that was struggling in my community so I offered to take it over and bail them out. Everyone that I talked to in my community suggested that I open in the evenings for BBQ, so I did,” Jeff said.
He said being a restaurant owner was grueling, hard work – and very greasy.
“It is a chore to haul hundreds of pounds of meat every day back and forth to the outdoor smoker,” Jeff said.
Over the course of 5 years, he gained almost 150 pounds (68kg). He weighed a whopping total of 348 pounds (158kg). He also developed severe joint pain and was taking 21 (4,200mg) ibuprofen daily.
But that wasn’t all - Jeff had horrible sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was eventually pre-diabetic.
“In 2016, I developed severe edema. My hands, feet and legs were always swollen. I saw my doctor many times and the answer was always to throw pills at me. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory, a pain killer, and a muscle relaxer. They seemed to help a little, but never fixed the issues and the edema persisted. I even had a deep vein thrombosis scan and a couple of EKG’s,” Jeff said.
Unfortunately, the doctors never mentioned one thing about diet to Jeff.
“In September 2016, I began having severe gastrointestinal pain. On October 3rd, 2016 I was hospitalized for it. They ran many tests, gave me NO answers, did not address my diet, and prescribed MORE medications,” Jeff said.
Upon release from the hospital, Jeff had a conversation with his 68 year old extremely healthy, mostly plant-based mom.
Her words to Jeff were “Don’t fill those prescriptions, FOOD IS MEDICINE! Do the research!”
So sure enough, that’s what he did. Being an avid research junkie he searched through the internet and medical journals for an anti-inflammatory diet.
“Beginning Oct 5th, 2016, I stopped eating beef, pork, and chicken, and limited my dairy consumption to less than half of what I was eating, and stopped drinking soda. I included turmeric into my diet and started hydrating with lemon and lime in my water. I also limited my refined carbohydrate intake,” Jeff said.
In a little over 2 weeks, his edema was gone and his blood pressure stabilized into the normal range. In 100 days, he lost 80 pounds (36kg).
On Jan 1st, 2017 Jeff signed his restaurant over to his partner for a number of different reasons, but mainly to take care of his health and because he just could not do it anymore.
“In February 2017, I watched the documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’ and immediately stopped consuming cheese due to the Casein, Casomorphins, and IGF-1 in dairy,” Jeff said.
(More info on that in Jeff’s post “Giving Up Cheese & Going Vegan“)
“Within 3 weeks of ditching dairy, my lifelong struggle of daily anxiety magically disappeared. As I continued to research, I then gave up eggs and fish realizing that I had no need for this protein source in my diet, nor did I need the additional cholesterol,” Jeff said.
A few months later in March Jeff went vegan.
“Ironically, my restaurant partner had a fire at the end of April and the place burned down! I did not care about the income any longer, my health was more important," Jeff said.
He said if he realized that animals are sentient beings while owning the restaurant he would have shut it down and walked away.
“No amount of money is worth killing other innocent beings,” Jeff said.
Jeff has slowly regained his health and continues to see the great effects of a vegan diet. He was so inspired, he developed a line of vegan food that he sells locally at farmers markets and a couple of organic stores.
“I also got a grant from the county that I live in to be able to do plant based cooking demos at the farmers market. The grant was part of a 'healthy community initiative' that I spearheaded, so I also get to do nutrition education at the farmers market, and senior center,” Jeff said.
Jeff said a lot of things changed when he switched to a vegan diet.
“I have made a lot of new friends that are very positive. My #RightTribe I like to call it. I have always been a compassionate and empathetic person, but I think my level of both have gone through the roof. I can't ever imagine harming an innocent animal ever again. I am so much stronger physically and have a TON of energy. I have so much more mental clarity than I have had in my entire life,” Jeff said.
Being vegan has not been a struggle for Jeff, at all.
“I LOVE being vegan. I love how food tastes and has come alive. I am a chef and have really enjoyed trying and creating new recipes. I am vegan for life, for the animals, for the better of other humans and the planet, and for my health,” Jeff said.
His only challenge of becoming vegan was not doing it sooner.
“I wish I would have known sooner what I know now. The challenge was misconceptions and conditioning that I grew up with. For example, we need meat for protein (we don't) and we need dairy for calcium (not true),” Jeff said.
Jeff wants to educate people on all of the myths and misconceptions about veganism, including the biggest one: protein.
“Vegans are not protein deficient! There are 41g of protein in 1 cup of beans. Elephants and gorillas eat PLANTS and aren't protein deficient. NEVER worry about protein!,” Jeff said. “Also, there is more calcium in broccoli and greens than there is in milk. Eating those instead of dairy products give you fiber, all sorts of micro-nutrients, and does not contain saturated fat, casein, casomorphins, IGF-1 and cholesterol!”
Based on Jeff’s experiences, he said anyone can go vegan and they won’t regret it.
“It is best for your health and for everyone else on this planet, and you NEVER have to worry about becoming protein deficient!” Jeff said.
"If a fat BBQ guy can go vegan, anyone can go vegan!" Jeff
For Jeff’s future plans, he is thinking about building a vegan taco trailer and traveling the country with it. For now, he is very busy running a Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group and with his vegan snack line and infused vinegars (which will be available online later this year).
To follow Jeff and his journey, as well as learning yummy plant-based recipes, head over to Jeff’s social media.
Jeff featured in Veganuary
Needed for the crust
½ cup raw pecans
½ cup almond flour
2 pitted dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Needed for the cheesecake
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in cold for at least four hours or preferably overnight (see Notes)
½ cup canned coconut milk, shaken
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (use refined coconut oil if you want no coconut flavor)
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
¼ cup freeze-dried blueberries
For the blueberry layer
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed, if frozen)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Original recipe and notes of recipe visit: No-Bake Layered Blueberry Cheesecake (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan) @ bakerita.com
THIS is by far the best soup I have ever had, in my life. No this is not an exaggeration. Sorry mom, your soups are amazing, but this one can't be beat.
I made it for my husband and he couldn't believe how good it was either. He said it could be in restaurants, which is the first time he's said that about any of my food.
It is so delicious and flavorful but most importantly healthy! It is packed with nutrients and protein from lentils, cauliflower, turmeric, garlic and more!
If you are reading this, stop everything you are doing and make this soup. You won't regret it!
Feel free to spice it up to your liking.
There are many different ways to help the environment, animals, plants and the planet by changing everyday habits.
While helping to reduce your carbon footprint, many of these simple steps will also help you to save money and live a healthier lifestyle.
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, adding to the grand total of about 254 million tons of trash the United States accumulates per year.
Discover how your trash can get another life and learn how to recycle in your area.
To reduce waste, bring bags to the grocery store instead of using their plastic bags.
You can also reduce your environmental impact by using less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Decreasing the amount of water usage means big savings not only in energy bills, but also in carbon dioxide emissions. Using cold water for your wash saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Also, you can make simple changes to your house and appliances. Switching to a low-flow shower head can reduce 350 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Adjust your thermostat. Keeping a thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 78 F in summer not only helps to reduce energy bills, but it can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Adjusting the temperature setting could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 2,000 pounds a year.
Reuse materials instead of throwing them away or pass those materials on to others who could use them too. Wash and reuse disposables like plastic cups, plates, utensils and plastic food storage bags.
Limiting your waste by reusing and recycling can make a big impact on the environment. Reducing trash by 10 percent reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 pounds.
Noise and carbon dioxide emissions are known to have direct harmful effects, so make wise transportation choices. Instead of driving everywhere, walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit instead. All of these things can help reduce gas consumption as well as reduce 1 pound of carbon dioxide emission for each mile you do not drive.
Eating less meat and eating less in general can also help you to become more environmentally friendly. A 2011 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization found that one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. That’s roughly 1.3 billion tons of food per year.
A study by the journal Climatic Change shows switching to a diet free of meat, dairy and eggs saves more carbon emissions than driving a Prius. The meat industry alone is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
Factory farming reduced the amount of land needed for meat production; however, these farms are a source for air and water pollution.
Increasingly, the food Americans eat comes from far away. Shipping our food long distances and processing it not only contributes to air and water pollution but also depletes the food of nutrients.
You can help fight this problem by choosing locally-produced food at farmers' markets as well as choosing organic over non-organic food. Organic food produced without the use of chemicals dramatically reduces water, soil and air pollution. Organic food production reduces the pressure on ecosystems by avoiding the use of the toxic agricultural chemicals.
To help give the planet and its ecosystems a better chance of surviving the effects of climate change, you can support environmental groups. Pick from organizations like Ocean Reef Group and Coral Reef Alliance working to protect coral reefs or help nature by donating to Conservation International, Environmental Working Group, Rainforest Alliance, Earth Justice, The Nature Conservancy and Ocean Conservancy.
Contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish. Make sure to send money to a reputable charity.
To find a charity, visit Charity Navigator then check if the charity is trustworthy by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.
Protect animal habitats by giving time and treating the Earth’s delicate ecosystems with care.
Plant a tree, since a single tree can absorb a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Arbor Day Foundation plants trees to help combat climate change, produce oxygen, reduce pollution caused by water runoff, clean pollutants from the air, prevent soil erosion, provide vital wildlife habitats and more.
People can also volunteer their time to groups like Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy and Surfers Against Sewage, which work to protect plants, animals and the ocean. Projects Abroad lets people travel and volunteer all over the world in beautiful places.
To find more organizations to volunteer for, visit volunteer match.
"Just because you can't do everything all the time does not mean it is not worthwhile to do a little," professor for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona John Wiens said.
January 2017 vs. June 2017
The brushes above are synthetic, vegan friendly hair with managed reformed wood! They are made in the United States and have soft bristles for sensitive skin.
Rejuva Minerals Multi Task powder shown below can be used for many things, hints the name! It can be used as a primer to help your makeup go on evenly and it can be used as a dry shampoo.
You can't forget about the finishing touch, the lips! These lip colors are very soft and natural looking, perfect for an everyday look or going somewhere casual.
Harmful pollutants, which are not confined to outdoor spaces, can be found in homes and offices. However, plants can help to improve indoor air quality and clean the air that you and your family breathe.
As reported in a clean air study by NASA, plants can play a major role in removal of organic chemicals from indoor air, which is crucial for optimalhealth.
Plants absorb particles from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis.
Stephanie Huckestein, instructor of indoor plants at the Hahn Horticulture Garden of Virginia Tech, said plants remove pollutants from the air by absorbing gases through the pores on their leaves.
Many of the plants proven to clean the air can be grown indoors, even with limited sunshine. Huckestien said all plants need light to photosynthesize, but many are tolerant of lower light levels. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into food.
1. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
This is the perfect beginner plant because it doesn't require a lot of work or maintenance. The snake plant is number one for its ability to stay alive with little water, sun and humidity.
The most common type of snake plant, which is easily found in most gardening stores, is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue. The plant does not require grooming because it is a grows slowly. However, fertilizer can be used to stimulate faster plant growth.
2. Spider Plant
If you have a bright, sunny room, the spider plant will easily grow in no time. The plant loves indirect light and doesn't require much attention.
The plant is a very adaptable houseplant and is considered to be one of the easiest to grow because it can thrive in a wide variety of conditions. The spider plant is named after its spider-like features, also known as spiderettes, which dangle down from the plant.
It is easy taken care of because the plant prefers to dry out between watering times.
3. Garden Mum
As one of the top-performing air-purifying plants, it removes formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
This plant works well indoors. Set the potted mums indoors near a window that receives bright, indirect sunlight all day.
It is time to water them when the top 1 inch of soil is dry.
However, it is best to plant mums outdoors after they bloom, because indoor conditions do not allow them to re-bloom after the initial flowers last three to four weeks. When planting mums outdoors, look for a spot that receives a few hours of sunlight in the early morning or evening.
4. Boston fern
Boston ferns are a little more high maintenance because they need a cool place with a high level of humidity and indirect light. However, experts say they are well worth the maintenance because of their air-purifying abilities.
Boston fern's remove more formaldehyde than any other plant. They also remove pollutants from car exhaust that might enter a home from an attached garage.
When growing a Boston fern indoors, it's a good idea to provide additional humidity for them, especially during winter. You can create higher humidity by running an air humidifier or by placing a tray with water and stones nearby.
5. Peace lily
Peace lilies are a great indoor or office plant because of their beautiful flower. Blooms will be plentiful from peace lilies when there is more light. Make sure you can plant them in an area that gets direct sunlight.
If the plant starts to wilt, its roots show or it drinks up all of its water within a couple of days, re-plant it in a bigger pot. Keep in mind, these plants produce pollen and may make the space dirty, unlike some of the other plants featured here.
If you would like your peace lily to bloom more, use an organic fertilizer. Peace lilies are very sensitive to chemical fertilizers.
"The good thing about this group of plants is while they need light for photosynthesis they will thrive in medium to low light conditions from indirect window sunlight and indoor lighting systems found in many office and work environments," said Dr. Gary Bachman, GRP, CPH extension/research professor of horticulture for Mississippi State University.
Indoor plants have also been shown to have positive psychological effects such as reducing feelings of fatigue and stress, Bachman said.
"Studies in hospitals have shown having plants in rooms have helped improve patient attitudes and [have helped patients to] recover faster. Also, plants in classrooms have contributed to increasing student alertness," Bachman said.
It feels like my birthday every time I get a box in the mail because I love all of the different eco-friendly vegan products.
Skin is our biggest organ and unfortunately it is exposed to so many chemicals and toxins in our daily lives. Making sure the products you put on your skin are vegan and organic is essential.
I must say, the Lagoon Drizzle smells AMAZING. I don't wear a lot of nail polish because of all of the chemicals, but this one is way better than most polishes.
Vegans eat anything and everything except for products that have animal products, byproducts, been tested on animals or have used the labor or animals.
More Than 150 Billion Animals Slaughtered Every Year
Rice, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, nuts, fruits, veggies and more!!!
Now is a great time to go vegan because theres so many new products like almond milk, plant-based "meats" and more.
THERE IS A REPLACEMENT FOR EVERYTHING.
Meat, Pork, Chicken – Beans, lentils, mushrooms, organic tofu, tempeh, seitan brand, beyond meat brand, Field Roast brand
Eggs – Organic firm tofu with turmeric, 'vegan eggs' from Follow Your Heart
Sweets – Maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates, agave nectar
Milk – nut milks (almond, soy, oat, rice, hemp, cashew)
Cheese – Dairy-free cheese Daiya
Ice-cream- so-delicious brand
Usually its hard to find the vegan stuff because once again the food corporations have all the money so they buy all the shelf space and they pay the grocery stores to hide the vegan stuff.
So if u try to find vegan hamburgers, they are not with the real meat. You will have to spend some time in the grocery and ask someone that works there where it all is.
The plant-based meat is usually in the produce section or someone near the frozen section. The packaging looks like real meat so you have to look for the "V"!!!
You can usually find something on the menu to veganize at restaurants. Just take the meat/chicken on (add tofu if they have it) and tell them no cheese. If they don't have anything then go to the sides section and order a bunch of sides.
Indian restaurants, mexican restaurants, hibachi places... and any other culture has great options that are easily made vegan. Going to american restaurants like long horn, red lobster, apple bees are a little harder to find or make vegan options.
In need of a quick meal?
Chipotle has sofritas which taste like meat so we usually get a sofrita bowl with beans, rice, veggies and everything except sour cream and cheese.
Taco bell is great for vegan options, just replace meat with beans and tell them "fresco" it means no cheese.
1. Milk increases risk for prostate cancer.
2. Italy’s University of Florence linked vegetarian and vegan diets to significantly lower rates of ischemic heart disease and cancer.
3. A study published in health journal Fertility & Sterility found that men who avoided sausage, bacon, and canned meat had a 28 percent higher fertility success rate than those eating meat.
4. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men.
5. Study linking diet to acne... this doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out.
6. The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection
7. Female Vegans Report Lower Severity of Menopausal Symptoms than Omnivores
8. Large vegan sample reports less anxiety and stress than omnivores
9. We have a long intestine (like other plant-eaters) to break up plants and absorb the nutrients. Carnivores like lions have very short intestines to get the decaying meat out as soon as possible.
We are Vegetacouple! After opening our eyes and learning about what we were putting into our bodies, we had to make a change.
It's important to look at the process and not only the final product on the plate.
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