Plant-Based Family Interviews, Part 3 - Meet My Dad, David!

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Hey everybody, & welcome back for Part 3 of my Plant-based Family Interview Series! You've met my mom & my sister, now it's time to meet my Dad!


I'm super excited to bring you his perspective because it's not too often that you guys get to hear from my dad, and/or men of his age (no offense Dad ;) ), in general, talking about transitioning to plant-based eating.


This is Part 3, Episode 55 of Be Well With Steph the Podcast, featuring my Dad!




Plant-Based Family Interviews, #3 - Dad!


Steph: When I first came to you (after accidentally watching "What the Health") and said, "So I watched this crazy documentary and I think I'm going to try to stop eating animal products", do you remember what you thought?


Dad: I remember thinking I wasn't surprised. And I guess I'm still not surprised that your life has taken you on this journey. Your mother was a vegetarian for 20-something years before we took the leap, and it wasn't a big move to go from vegetarian to plant-based.


I didn't really have an expectation if it would stick or not. I remember you coming up to me and saying "Dad you're NOT going to believe this video!"


Steph: If you had to give the way you eat a label or description, what would it be?


Dad: Healthy! I guess I describe my way of eating as "frequent". I've always eaten that way - I'm a grazer. Even when I'm done eating I'm thinking, "what's there left to eat?" so when I transitioned I needed a LOT of plants. I think of myself more as a rhino, or an elephant as opposed to a bunny rabbit.


My entire life I struggled with wanting to eat, and as I matured in life, I began to have more problems with my blood work and all those things, so for me, it just made sense.


But, if I had to fill out a menu card somewhere I would say I eat a plant-based diet.


Steph: At the beginning of adopting a plant-based diet, did anything feel hard?


Dad: I think the hardest part was not running around and instantly telling everybody "Hey guess what! I'm no longer eating any of those products anymore, and now I'm focused on eating THIS way"


I heard a joke a long time ago about a vegan and a cross-trainer walk into a room and who tells you first? Because you make this leap, and you're so proud, and you feel good and you feel better, and just want to tell everybody! And quite honestly, people don't want to hear it. And, that's kind of hard.


Steph: Would you say it was a big change from the way you were eating before?


Dad: No, I really wouldn't say it was a huge change. We already tried to eat as healthy as possible so your mom & I had really never taken you guys to McDonalds or fast food, we had already made the switch to eating lots of plants & white fish, and those things like pulled pork and stuff like that were really only things we ate when we had guests or holidays.


I think the big thing was being prepared. It was great that we were doing it all together as a family, and we have your mom, who is a great cook and always cooking something up healthy - I'm not saying it's always extravagant, but it was always there to eat.


You know, the fast food restaurants already figured it out. It's about convenience. If you want something quick and fast, and all you have offered to you is a big mac, that's what you're going to grab.


Steph: What tips or advice could you offer people who are interested in being vegan/plant-based?


Dad: I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but yes. At 54 years old, I was on cholesterol medication, I was on blood pressure medication, my weight was up, my joints hurt, and I had all these things. And then, um.... it all went away.


I don't take the medication, I don't have these inflammation problems, I was always complaining about my feet hurting from gout and wondering why my feet hurt, and it was just all from what I was eating, I was eating wrong.


They say you are what you eat, and if I eat foods that are inflaming, I'm going to be inflamed. If I want to eat foods that my body is not gonna process and it's going to build my cholesterol and everything, then I can eat those foods but I don't want that, so I don't eat those foods, and my body is fine.


I think that we watched that video, and all of a sudden it's 5 years later, and all those facts they lay out for you still stick with you. When they talk about the diets that Asian cultures eat, Mediterranean food, the amount of cancer in the US vs. the amount of cancer found in Japan, and where does that come from?


If we want to live in ignorance, we can be surprised by anything that we do. There's a guy at work that sits down at the conference table & eats 3 donuts in 15 minutes. 30 minutes after the meeting he's doubled over in pain saying "oh I can't believe these donuts made me feel like this!" and I'm thinking, "really?"

I'm supposed to be surprised that eating GOOD makes me feel good? And he's supposed to be surprised that eating BAD makes him feel bad? It doesn't work.


Steph: What tips or advice could you offer people who are interested in being vegan/plant-based?


Dad: The number 1 thing that I would say is: DON'T listen to the people at work. Don't listen to the nay-sayers, the people that think tofu is something weird, the people that think steak is life. I think you said it best:


It's no one else's business what's on your plate

It's amazing how people want to judge you for what you put in your face, and they have no clue! They're not even trying. There's a thing like the freshman 15 but I call it "the 40" and it's the 40 lbs. that people put on at work because they're sitting around all day eating junk.


If you go plant-based, you're assuming a lifestyle. It's not a diet plan. We're not subtracting, we're ADDING. You're changing the way you live because you want to live.


Steph: Is there anything else you've learned in the past 5 years that you'd like to share?


Dad: If you switch to a plant-based lifestyle, you can ease into it with starting with the stuff that's boxed, or prepared, but it's important to know that that stuff is not healthy.


The other thing is: FIND. BUTLER. SOY. CURLS. It's a crazy ingredient, it's super easy, it's minimally processed, it's a whole food & we add it to all kinds of things.


Steph: Do you think you'll ever go back to eating meat again?


Dad: Of course I'm going to change. But I'm never going back to meat... We're already trying to transition off of gluten to see if that helps some things that I'm dealing with, so yes I absolutely will change the way I eat. But going back to eating meat is like saying I'm going back to doing drugs after giving them up.


I think that if you miss something, and you're longing to have that back in your life, then you go back to it. Doesn't matter if it's a bad relationship or a steak. I don't miss it, I don't miss any of it. And I ate a lot of it. I don't miss waking up in the morning and limping because my toes are swollen. I don't miss the dizziness because of the cholesterol medicine. I don't miss any of it.


Steph: What are 3 of your current favorite foods?


Dad: Soy curls, tofu, pasta!


 

Whew! That wraps up the Plant-Based Family Interview Series.. Thanks so much for taking on this journey with me & my family. I hope you enjoyed hearing all these different perspectives, I hope you learned something new, & I hope this inspired you to think about trying something new!


Interested in plant-based eating? Here's a free 3-day meal plan, complete with recipes & shopping list! www.bewellwithsteph.com/plantbasedmealplan

 

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Prefer to listen to this topic? You can, here!

(I elaborate a lot more on some of these important, ideas, too.)


You gotta tell me - did you listen to the whole series? And, if so, who was your favorite to listen to? (Besides me, of course) ;) Leave a message in the comments for me! ♡

 

You are worthy of living and capable of creating a healthy lifestyle you love. 🤍

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