I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Steiner recently. She was recently featured in an article in Forks Over Knives and it was an inspirational story, one that I could definitely relate to.
Karen was a yo-you dieter, something I had to deal with for years as well. I wasn’t yo-yo dieting as long as her, as she was dealing with dieting issues since her teenage years. But I know how frustrating it can be going from one diet to another. That's basically what I did throughout my twenties and part of my thirties. It wasn’t until I was closer to 40 that I woke up and stopped dieting.
What changed for me was discovering a whole food plant based lifestyle. Karen also discovered this way of eating, but she also had to deal with food addition before beginning a WFPB journey. She had a huge cheese addiction that she needed to break. Cheese in many ways is like a drug. People have no idea how addictive it is until they stop eating it. That was the toughest food for Karen to give up. It seems most people have that one food that is just near impossible to give up. For many people, it’s processed sugary foods. For others, it might be meat. It was really interesting to hear how Karen broke the addiction during the podcast.
Karen ended up losing 90 pounds, but at her height, that was a lot of weight. As a result of her weight loss, Karen reversed the depression that she had struggled with since childhood. She also “cured” her knee pain, as she has osteoarthritis... but she’s not going to let that stop her! This is something else I have in common with her... the determination to succeed despite what others say. Her doctor told her she would never run again. Guess what, she’s back to running! I have this same attitude inside of me. Doctors don’t know all that a plant based diet can do. If my doctor told me that I could never run again, I would completely ignore his advice.
Like Karen, my knee recovered (I had a knee injury that came back from when I was in college). I had no pain but dealth with chronic swelling. Karen’s pain went away. It’s the anti inflammatory diet that stopped the pain. Because we have low inflammation, it causes the body (in our case, the knees) to heal. Karen also spoke of a time when she broke her wrist. The doctors thought she should be in a lot of pain. But because she had the anti inflammatory diet, she didn’t have to deal with too much pain.
I hope you will find her interview inspiring as I did. We keep hearing over and over again how whole food plant based diets heal, and for good reason. It’s incredible how many success stories are out there after one adapts a whole food plant based lifestyle. I say lifestyle because remember, it’s not a diet. A diet is a temporary fix, usually resulting in weight gain once the diet ends. A lifestyle is sustainable, keeping the person on a path to health without ever worrying about weight gain!