Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Plants?

About five years ago, I stopped eating meat and processed foods. I lost weight but that was not my motivation. 

When I visited my Doctor for my annual checkup in 2011, she warned me about my fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, the strange nodules by my thyroid and noted that my gall bladder would have to come out because I had gallstones. 

She wrote prescriptions for three different medications that I would have to take for the rest of my life and made appointments for me to see two specialists. She was also concerned about my blood sugar since I was now a borderline diabetic. 

The flat shoes I wore that day didn't help. My feet still hurt a lot from inflammation because of arthritis. Just walking into her office was painful. I had seven sinus infections that year. At least two migraines per week (sometimes more) were normal for me during that time.

I read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman while I was recovering from the gall bladder surgery. Within a week, I started to lose weight and feel better. When I went back to my surgeon for my six-week checkup, I had lost twenty pounds. He was thrilled with my progress!

Later that day I ran two miles on the path around that same hospital where the gall bladder surgery had been performed just a few weeks before. I must say; I felt a little like Rocky when I did that!

Processed foods are deadly for me. I will not buy them. The only things you will find in my pantry and refrigerator are plant-based foods in the most natural and organic state. The changes I made in my choices of food made a major difference in my health and the way I feel every day. I no longer take any medications and my lab results are similar to those of a teenager. My doctors are amazed and motivated by the changes I have made and maintained over the years.

If we eat in a restaurant, as we sometimes do, I will order a salad, a side order of broccoli or some other steamed vegetable and a glass of wine. I mostly skip the bread and share an occasional dessert when Mr. Mickey wants to have one. Three small bites are enough to fully enjoy it.

This is normally my breakfast.

The photo above shows what my breakfast looks like about 95% of the time. I use fresh fruit that is always changing with the seasons. 

One of my lovely followers shared this with me recently. Emily wrote: "I have suffered from chronic constipation (IBS) for years and this recipe seems to have reversed this disease. I am very regular with no stomach cramps!!!! PTL!!! Thank you so very much for this wonderful recipe!!!!"

You will find the recipe for the porridge here when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

This is normally my late in the day lunch.

A typical late lunch might be steamed veggies over a salad with a baked sweet potato. I often make a meatless chili or vegetable soup for lunch in winter. I use frozen vegetables without any preservatives or salt in my soup. Two meals per day are enough for me. If I feel hungry later in the day I may have a piece of fruit or some hot tea. I sleep much better with an empty stomach.

This might be a different late in the day wintertime lunch.

I drink lots of filtered water with lemon every day. Many digestive issues are a result of not being adequately hydrated. I never drink sodas!

Eating highly nutritious plants, seeds, nuts, dried beans, and grains has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight for several years. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to do that. I have struggled with my chubbiness since I was a child. The best part of all this is that my immune system is very strong. I have not had a cold in years!

The many letters I get from readers who thank me for turning them on to a plant-based diet are so special to me. This one came just this week. 

Susan, when I found you on FB, I decided to follow you because you look so fabulous in skinny jeans. I am 64 and since menopause, I have gained a tremendous amount of weight. Anyhow, I wanted to tell you that I too found "Eat to Live" and started a new life on November 16. I have lost 25 pounds and have 75 more to go. I will continue to be inspired by you. We are both prolonging our lives. But I have to say what I want to do most right now is look as good as you do in your clothes. You are lovely, and I think you ought to talk more about your plant based diet. It would be a great service. I have inspired two male friends of mine to adopt this way of eating, and they cannot thank me enough! They have lost more weight than I have, and now they think I'm the greatest.

Sharing fashion tips and style inspiration with you is fun, but the most important thing I hope to accomplish with this blog is to encourage you to eat for your best health. Never underestimate the power of plants to help you regain your health.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

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Lady of Style said...

Congratulations on maintaining your healthy lifestyle and nutrition, Susan.
I don't eat any processed food, stopped eating meat more than 2 years ago now and love my vegetables (I do eat fish and dairy products). Just ordered the recommended book since I would like to learn a bit more about nutrition. Thank you!

Annette | Lady of Style

Summer H. said...

As much as I love your fashion blogs I too am grateful for the healthy lifestyle info you've shared. I'm 57 and began transitioning this time last year to a whole foods diet and eliminated sugar and wheat. I still do lean meat once or twice a week but it's not a staple. At 5'6" and nearly 175 lbs I was also pre-diabetic, had a fatty liver and high cholesterol along with a strong family history of heart disease. All those predisposing health issues are gone now since changing my diet and losing nearly 40 lbs. Yes, it's great wearing smaller sizes and skinny jeans but the best part is FEELING great again. Being the near-60 parents of a 10 year old makes it essential for my husband and I to stay as healthy as we can for as long as we can. No longer looking like my son's grandma (even though I'm plenty old enough) is just a fun bonus!

VColeman said...

Susan, I have recently turned to the Eat to Live diet based on your suggestion and have roped my husband into it as well since he has a lot of inflammation issues. We have been on the diet for 2 weeks, I've dropped 7 lbs and like you only like to eat 2 meals per day. I was struck by your phenomenal physical transformation and enjoyed hearing how your medical conditions have disappeared. I read your blog every day, I'm hoping to start more exercise and continue to watch my health improve. Thank you for being an inspiration, I'm 57 and we are a similar height so I can relate to your fashion choices which I really like.

Jan Maier said...

With inspiration from you and participation in a Lean Machine program at my Y, I have lost 17 pounds since October and many inches...mostly around my post-menopausal stomach. Most important to me was the fact that I had a high body fat percentage..higher than one would think for someone who was just about 10 pounds over a decent weight. That percentage is also going down. Our trainers said that 80% of weight loss happens in the very true....although we also work hard in the gym. Now my problem is that clothes purchased in the last 18 months are too big..especially the pants. I'll have to have a lot altered..they are newish, classic and weren't cheap. The tops just swallow me because the boobs shrunk and back fat disappeared. When I first learned about Covered Perfectly I got size Large because of my mid I look like an orphan in them. I went down to Medium and they're a little loose too. I have the same top as you are wearing but it doesn't fit me as well. I may now need a small. Yikes. I'm 5'4" and now weigh 135ish. Despite the clothing issue, I wouldn't change a thing that I've done. Also I'm moving into a smaller apartment with not so good closet space so Dress for Success may be getting some good things from me. Onward and Upward and keep the good word coming!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this book. I'll look for it! I stopped eating meat 9 years ago and can't imagine ever eating it again.

Unknown said...

What a great thing you've done to take care of yourself! It's wonderful to find what works for your optimal health! I stumbled across Potatoes not Prozac a few years ago and found some helpful guidelines for living with sugar addiction. As I concentrated on feeling better, my excess weight came off as a side effect! Another side effect was writing a book! I called it The I'm Possible Journey. And it's being published soon. Best wishes to you!

Unknown said...

Love your blog! I am so glad to learn that you live and promote a plant-based diet!You have a great platform to educate others, and your example shines. I went completely plant-based in 2010- my catalyst was The Engine 2 Diet.

I cannot imagine how I would be doing now if I had continued my vegetarian (dairy, eggs) diet- I had the usual problems of overweight and high cholesterol, even though I had not eaten meat in 15 years.

Thank you for leading the way, in fashion and in health.