I was previously very slim as a child and teenager, blessed with a fast metabolism, so I never really worried myself with "eating healthy." I didn't eat much sugar because I didn't have a sweet tooth (and found it gave me migraines) and I stopped eating meat in high school, but my diet was still awful. It was no surprise that in college, I gained 30 lbs on my diet of heavily processed food, refined carbs, dairy, and almost no fresh vegetables. On my small frame, that was a lot of extra weight.
By the time I graduated college I felt awful, physically and emotionally. I hated how I looked and felt. I knew something had to change. I started trying various "diets." I tried calorie counting and reducing my carb intake. It didn't help my attempts at weight loss or my health. I was still experiencing debilitating migraines several times a week. I started getting random heart palpitations with increasing frequency, which made me very nervous. I was tired, anxious, depressed, suffered from cystic acne...overall it was just an awful point in my life.
I was fed up with feeling like that so I started educating myself on nutrition. I reduced my processed food intake and increased my vegetable intake. With some considerable effort I managed to finally lose the 30 lbs I'd gained, and felt considerably better. I thought I was eating pretty healthy at this point, but my weight still threatened to creep back up constantly, and I was still struggling with some health problems like the migraines and acne.
Then I started having a tickling itching feeling in my throat. Over time it progressed to a wheezing cough. It eventually got to the point where I was coughing every night in bed, to the point where I sometimes felt like I couldn't breathe. All day at work I'd be clearing my throat and having coughing spells. I had no idea what was going on. I saw multiple doctors, had a chest x-ray, was put on acid reflux medication, was tested for asthma, and had a slew of blood tests including an environmental allergy test. Nothing helped and I still had no answers after two years. I had even tried asking my doctor if he thought it might be something diet-related and he assured me that no, I shouldn't need to change my diet because I was already eating healthy.
Last January, I watched Forks Over Knives, and decided to reduce my dairy intake. Shortly after, a bout of food poisoning pushed me to eliminate it completely for about three weeks. And suddenly I noticed my cough was gone! But as soon as I started eating even small amounts of dairy again, it came back. So I experimented. Sure enough, whenever I ate dairy, my cough came back, whenever I stopped, it went away. Just to be sure, I saw an allergist and was diagnosed with a casein allergy almost instantly. To him it was obvious as soon as he heard my symptoms. Something my other doctors had missed for two years.
I have been dairy free now for 4 months, fine-tuning my plant-based eating more and more every week. After a repeat watch of FoK and lots of reading of articles on this site and others, I've dramatically reduced my oil consumption to almost none and now I never feel unwell or get headaches after meals anymore. I have never felt better. After cutting out dairy I actually lost 5 more lbs and have had ZERO problems with weight creeping back up. It stays completely stable. Back in college I never thought I'd be slim like this again! I eat constantly, have so much energy, and always feel satisfied. I've found eating healthy starches like potatoes with lots of veggies keeps me from my old binge chip-snacking habits. My cystic acne is gone. My migraines are gone. All these issues I dealt with for years that I never knew were related were all because of dairy! And most importantly that horrible awful coughing and wheezing is gone.
The whole foods, plant-based way of eating completely changed my life. I was so miserable and scared before, not knowing what was wrong with my body and desperately missing being able to breathe clearly. I so greatly appreciate doctors who look to nutrition as the source of good health. Thank you guys!