How I transformed my life from being a former college football player with a broken back to losing 100 pounds with a plant based diet!
You could say that my journey into a plant based lifestyle was anything but ordinary.
Growing up my family was always extremely overweight, but that didn't seem to register with me as I was obese and all I could see around me was obesity.
Looking back I now understand the incredible toll the standard American diet placed on myself and my loved ones.
As a larger individual I gravitated towards football the sport my father had played all the way through college. I dedicated my youth to the sport that eventually led me to player in the Big 10 for the University of Nebraska. At the University as the proud and fat carnivore that I was, I began studying Livestock Production.
All seemed to be going as planned... a starting football player for one of the most storied programs in the country, traveling the country to play in some of the largest stadiums in the world, excelling in my classes, & living the life that I had dreamed about growing up in small town Indiana.
During an offseason workout with the football team I suffered what would become a career ending back injury. In a matter of seconds the life and dreams that I had been working towards were shattered.
In the days and weeks that past I found myself putting on even more weight as I was unable to walk let alone exercise. My back injury eventually led me to the operating table, where I spent 6 and a half hours under the knife trying to restore my chances of living and functioning at a normal capacity again.
After my surgery I was faced with a long road of recovery.... And that is where you could say my journey towards a plant based diet began. After leaving the hospital and with the prodding of my surgeon I began looking into ways that I would be able to lose the fat and excess weight that I had put on over the years of being a football player. And as a livestock production major I gravitated towards animal based ways of dieting and trying to lose weight. Over the course of a few years I found myself frustrated from trying the various animal based diets (keto, low carb, etc) and still being just as heavy as when I left the hospital.
And this is when I decided that I would start asking some tough questions of my professors, whom I had been leaning on for advise as I was trying to lose the weight.
And the first real "Ah Ha" moment was when I walked into my senior level nutrition class and realized what a mistake I had made by taking nutrition advise from my 300 pound professor! After that moment I realized that I was going to have to go out and do the research and exploring into diet and lifestyle myself if I was every truly going to lose the weight and change the outlook of my life.
That moment and realization led me on a journey that would not only change my way of thinking about nutrition, but also how I look at the world around me. I began reading everything I could from every author I could find that had any advise to give about weight loss. And that is when I found out that there were doctors that had spent their whole lives researching and implementing the ideas that the healthiest diet on the planet is based one eating whole plant foods. After seeing this I decided to spend every spare second reading and researching everything I could find about a plant based diet.
I decided that I had done more than enough research to make the switch in my own diet from a animal product centered diet to a completely plant based vegan diet. And to my surprise I began to lose the excess weight that I had been working to lose for years without even breaking a sweat. I noticed that my skin began to clear up, my stomach problems disappeared, my mood changed for the better & with that I was convinced that this was the way that I would eat and live for the rest of my life.
Over the course of the next few years I had to relearn everything I knew about eating and what I thought was healthy. As someone who didn't eat many fruits and vegetables growing up, the idea of eating only fruits and vegetables was somewhat daunting. I was jumping into a completely foreign way of eating I was forced to find ways to prepare vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits that were appealing to me. I found myself in the kitchen more than I had ever been, and I loved it! Over time I became much more experienced in the kitchen with preparing easy, delicious and healthy plant based meals.
After finding the foods that I loved to prepare, all that was left to do was eat. And by eating these whole food plant based meals I was able to lose over 100 pounds and gain the flexibility, and agility back that I had lost with by back injury! I knew that I shouldn't be the only one to experience the amazing powers of a whole food plant based diet.
With my new found health and knowledge I began helping my parents and sister make the transition to a plant based diet too! And this is why I began filming my recipe videos, to better help my family make the transition to this way of eating with easy to follow, step by step, healthy plant based recipes. By eating these meals my family has lost an incredible amount of weight, but more importantly we have gained our health back that was taken from us for many years.
I truly hope that you find these recipes and information helpful as you begin, continue and excel in your own plant based journey!
More plants = More Power
Former College Football Player With a Broken Back Losing 100 Pounds With a Plant Based Diet
My Families Life Changing Transformation
Bubbles & Bella
my Vegan Bulldogs!