At the age of seven, I was a competitive gymnast, and body image and the effects of food were ingrained in me. When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called Chiari Malformation and had to have immediate brain surgery – my life as a competitive gymnast was over. After my long road to recovery, I dived into unhealthy fad diets and disordered eating to maintain my athletic build without gymnastics. My unhealthy eating habits spiraled in every direction and became a part of my life for more than 10 years.
After feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and doing everything I thought was “healthy” but getting nowhere, I invested in my first nutrition program: The Institution of Integrative Nutrition. This is where I first learned about a whole-food, plant-based diet. It got my attention and sparked my interest.
During the program, I was introduced to Dr. John McDougall. For the first time, the information I was reading made sense. It wasn’t a fad diet, but pure science. This was how human beings were designed to eat and live sustainably. I learned how to cook and eat a whole-food, plant-based diet. I saw immediate benefits – my stomach issues decreased, my acne cleared up, and I lost weight effortlessly, all while eating an abundance of food.
I asked my dad to read The Starch Solution and to be my first “client” to make sure this wasn’t just a “fluke.” I wanted to see if I could help him with his high cholesterol and blood pressure, skin issues, and weight. To my surprise, he agreed. Within five months of following Dr. McDougall’s dietary theory, he was off all medications. He no longer had high cholesterol. He had lost 55 pounds almost effortlessly, just by changing his food, no exercise.
After studying the McDougall Program and reading every one of Dr. McDougall’s books, I was elated when the 12-Day McDougall Program became an online program. Without hesitation, I signed up and was ready to learn from the doctor himself. This has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. This program gave me the tools on how to eat while maintaining my health and weight goals for the rest of my life. The best part is that I can eat large portions and I don’t have to count calories or macros; I can freely and abundantly eat the most satiating foods on the planet.
The whole McDougall team has one of the most special places in my heart. They have changed my relationship with food and my mental health which goes along with body image for the rest of my life. The year-long support from them after the program is unlike anything you will get from any other program. This team really cares that you get better and get results!!
There is nothing more I wholeheartedly believe in than this lifestyle. If I could yell from the top of a mountain about this lifestyle and program, I would. Shoot, I even started a business and my career around Dr. McDougall’s teachings! That speaks volumes on just how much this has and will forever change not only my life, but also my dad’s, my family’s, and my clients’ lives.