Wellness is defined as the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. A key component of wellness is nutrition, our diet. Today, we have lots of information about diet and nutrition (Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, Keto, Plant-Based, etc.) at our finger tips, and our decision on how to process all of this information is personal and subject to change as research continues to develop or the desired results are not obtained. We are all unique, and our bodies have different needs based on age, gender, health, and other medical concerns. The following is our personal story of how we have elected to navigate decisions that impact our nutrition with the goal of improving our wellness. 

On November 1, my husband, Marcus, underwent a 360° spinal fusion, and while I was sitting in the waiting room, I had no idea that his recovery would serve to change the way we approach our health and nutrition. As he was home convalescing and given his love for documentaries, he re-watched Forks Over Knives, a 2011 documentary, that highlights the value of a plant-based diet. Of course, Netflix recommended Game Changers and What the Health as additional documentaries that may be of interest given his recent viewing history. 

I recall walking in from work and seeing his excitement to provide an overview of the documentaries. His willingness to transition to a plant-based diet to see if he could experience similar results to lower his cholesterol, triglycerides, and/or blood pressure to a point that would allow him to come off medication was infectious. 

I was on board, given his excitement, and we watched each of the documentaries starting with What the Health. After watching it, I was 100% sold and watching the remaining two documentaries was additional evidence/information to support my commitment to giving a plant-based diet a try. 

As of December 2, we transitioned to a plant-based diet with the knowledge that Marcus would be tested to renew his prescriptions before Christmas, and we wanted to “pressure test” the benefits of our transition with real results. 

I am pleased to report the results are in, and we are fully committed with just a little over two weeks after the transition to a plant-based diet. It may seem weird, but we are both looking forward to his next test scheduled in June. We are expecting continued success and remain hopeful that he can open a dialogue with his physician to come off some (or all) of the medications needed to manage/control his condition.

Good nutrition gives us the energy we need to be productive at work and at home. As for me, I feel great both mentally and physically following the transition to a plant-based diet. My energy level has remained constant (maybe a little higher 😊). It helps me do my job better and supports all activities (running, biking, working around the house, etc.) that I enjoy. What I did not expect was my interest in helping Marcus prepare our meals, as well as the fun I am having exploring new ways to prepare favorite “old” recipes we want to continue to enjoy on a plant-based diet. 

Our health is our greatest asset, and what we eat seems to play a bigger role than either of us anticipated.  

Marcus and Rhonda
Veggie pizza (I am not a fan of the cheese replacement on pizza, but Marcus is, so cheese on half.)
Breakfast burrito (“Eggs” made using tofu and “chorizo.”) – tastes great.  Our air fryer is a good addition to our kitchen, and the frozen hash browns are a nice side.)