Gratituesday: Abundance

We have been eating leftovers since Friday, and we love it. I made a huge feast for us and some friends and I even sent home some of the leftovers with them. Truth be told, if there leftovers weren’t as tasty we may not be as grateful, but we should be. 

If we go hungry it is because of choice, not because of means. We have been blessed. We can’t afford everything we want but we can usually buy everything we need. 

We have made the choice to invest in good, healthy, whole food. This doesn’t have to be as expensive as some say it is but it isn’t super cheap either. We don’t always buy organic but sometimes do. The food we buy rarely comes in boxes, it is often not on sale, and there are no coupons.

My family eats healthy food everyday. There are some days where we eat too many animal crackers or make poor choices based on poor planning or junk food cravings but on the whole what we eat nourishes our bodies.

I’m so thankful that we have the means to feed our family well. We don’t have the latest gadgets, we don’t have cable, and if we are up on the latest trends it is by accident BUT we have our health! Our health is fueled by our food!

To read about how I overcame multiple health problems including reoccurring UTIs, bladder spasms, and a possible interstitial cystitis diagnosis read my story here.

I’m happy to say I’m still symptom free which is another thing to be thankful for!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

My Weight Loss Story: A Health Revival

I’ve never been overweight, I’m closer to average. I know I weighed more than I needed to but I felt pretty comfortable with the way I looked. I wasn’t planning on strutting my stuff in a bikini anytime soon but whatever. My normal was about 150 lbs and I was (mostly) OK with that. 

Pre-Plant-Based Diet with my amazing Husband

I had a baby in 2009 and lost all of the baby weight within 6 months. In 2010 I decided to work out, get in shape and lose a little weight. I worked out hard for a few months and only gained weight. I started trying to eat “healthy” along with working out and finally lost a few pounds just in time for vacation. Two months later I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant. I should have known. I lost weight when I got pregnant with my first son too. I gained about 25 to 30 pounds with this pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy in January.

I was plagued with bladder problems throughout the year; repeated UTI’s and bladder spasms were making leaving the house next to impossible. After a ton of doctors appointments, invasive testing, and mucho frustration I’d had enough. In an act of desperation I sent an email out to about a dozen of my friends telling them about my symptoms, a possible interstitial cystitis diagnosis, and all of the fear and isolation I was feeling. I pleaded for any help anyone could give me and for all of the prayer they could muster.

One friend put me in touch with a family member who had similar symptoms. My long conversations with her gave me hope and pointed me in the direction of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.

Another friend introduced me to her mother, Eileen, who is a Whole Food Educator. We communicated primarily through email with a few phone calls. I had to fill out a ton of paperwork and a food diary so she could get a full picture of my health and life style. Eileen started me on a path of Dietary Excellence™ in October of 2011. She also recommended some products to help resolve the chronic infections and improve my digestion. She had faith that I would be symptom free by Christmas. I prayed, I hoped, I made the change.

I watched Forks Over Knives and was encouraged that this would not only help my bladder problems but prevent diseases for the rest of my life. My husband got on board almost immediately and experienced great health benefits as well. He has also lost quite a bit of weight, but I’ll share about that another time.

As I followed this new path I noticed changes right away. Aches and pains that had become an everyday occurrence were gone. I felt more clarity, kind of like the Claritn commercials. Also, weight was almost falling off. I lost 16 pounds in the first 6 weeks. Most of that was in the first two weeks. Even after I stopped losing pounds my shape was definitely improving. 

I had some bladder flare up’s during the first few months and some infections that just didn’t want to clear up. I got discouraged on more than a few occasions but Eileen was there to encourage me. I was a believer in the plant-based diet. By Christmas I was symptom free. Praise the Lord!!!

We had family visiting during Christmas 2011 so we got a little off track, but not much. We decided to participate in the Physicians  Committee for Responsible Medicine‘s 21 Day Vegan Kickstart. This was the first time we were eating completely vegan as a household. I loved it and I felt great. I was creating delicious recipes every week, with a few duds now and then. I lost another 3.5 pounds bringing the total to 19.5 pounds, I started in a size 14 and now I’m in a size 6!!!

Christmas 2011 with my oldest son 

Suddenly all I could talk about was our plant-based diet. A lot of people were interested. I decided to blog about this journey, what works for us and what doesn’t. I found myself helping friends and encouraging them. 

Eileen has given me permission to share her email address. If you are interested in contacting Eileen she can be reached at You can also check out her website for more information.

Do you have an encouraging story you’d like to share? Leave a comment with your story or a link to your blog, let us encourage one another.