The beginning of plant-based…

It was just like any other Thursday. I had taken my boys to a local bounce around gym and watched them play and followed it up with a typical meat and cheese filled lunch. I had no idea that seeing an old friend would be the beginning of an entirely new lifestyle. As I lugged my kids out of the restaurant and to the car, there stood a beautiful blonde woman, in amazing shape, putting her own children into their car seats right next to us. I didn’t really think much of it at first but then something inside me said, “Take a closer look…” and that’s when I realized that it was, we’ll call her, “Jay”. A friend I hadn’t seen in only a few short months. A friend who DID NOT look this amazing the last time I saw her. My mind raced with questions…

Had it been longer? 

What was her son’s name again? 

What day was it today anyway? 
I immediately called out to her! “Jay!” and she turned to look at me in slow motion, almost the way Heather Locklear turns and looks at Garth in Wayne’s World.

* Que the “Dreamweaver” song here*
“Reyna!” she exclaimed. 
Thank God she remembered me. 
I blurted out, “You look amazing!” and she politely said, “Thank you”. I stood there with my toddler pulling at my clothing and my six month old screaming bloody murder, wanting and needing to know what she had done but there was just no time. I vaguely remember her posting something on Facebook about living to eat…or loving to eat…I couldn’t remember. I ended the awkward moment by saying, “We should get together soon!” and she agreed. We both finished putting our children in the car… mine were screaming, hers were calm and we went our separate ways.

Driving home I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 

Why was this bugging me so much? 
It had been six months since I had Ryder and I was only 5 pounds away from my goal weight with Weight Watchers. Something that I had worked SO very hard for. What’s the big deal? I couldn’t stop obsessing. I HAD to know what she had posted. Miraculously I came home, got the kids settled and began to surf for the posting she’d made. 
There… Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman was the book she was reading and the lifestyle she was choosing. Hmm…couldn’t be THAT hard right? After all, I’m the Queen of living the Weight Watchers lifestyle. Surely a few tweaks here and there could bring amazing results. It did for Jay. 
So, I got my hands on this book and read it in a day. I couldn’t put it down. It was like a curtain had been lifted from my eyes. I thought I knew everything there was to know about diet and weight loss. Not only had I underwent gastric bypass surgery 11 years ago and lost 100 pounds but I had regained almost all of it and lost it again ON MY OWN with Weight Watchers! All the while I had never really learned anything about health and wellness. I knew that eating less and moving more were the keys to weight loss success. Calories in and calories out. If I indulged, that was another mile I’d have to run…

I wonder how many miles I had to run THAT day!

My focus had always been on WEIGHT LOSS, not my health. Who cares if your healthy? I wanted to be thin! Skinny! I wanted to eat the occasional crap, poison myself basically, and still feel good and be thin. Oh, the damage that I had done to my body with that kind of mindset… 
I decided right then and there that I was going to be what Dr. Fuhrman called a Nutritarian. A person who strives for more micronutrients per calorie in their diet-style. I wanted to tell the world, so I let all my friends know on Facebook. The comments immediately flowed in. One friend in particular recommended that I watch the documentary called FORKS OVER KNIVES as well as Food Inc. So that very night my husband and I sat down and watched the documentaries that would change our lives forever. We were both so moved by what we saw that we purchased both DVDs and had my parents and close friends watch them. I even bought a shirt, kids!

Quite a different mindset then in the previous photo don’t you think?

It’s like once you know this information, you want everyone ELSE to know it too! Nothing is the same. You look at everything and everyone differently. That moment marked the beginning of something HUGE. Our journey to Vegan-ism and striving to live a whole foods plant-based diet. Something neither of us ever dreamed we would do in a million years!

I know what your thinking. 
“But you had a gastric bypass! You could never get enough protein on a Vegan diet!”
And I say, “Watch me!”

I am creating this blog to share my journey. To inspire and show others that it IS possible to be a Vegan, take your family with you and consume enough protein even AFTER having a Gastric Bypass. Hope you’ll stay tuned and join me as I share recipes, experiences, triumphs and failures.   

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Renae says:

    I want one of those t-shirts LOL! Loved your story! Similar to mine 🙂


  2. Hi Renae! I read your blog! Congrats on your new journey into Veganism. Don't give up! It gets easier and you'll only feel better. Your doing an amazing thing for yourself, your family and your environment. 🙂


  3. Hi Renae! I read your blog! Congrats on your new journey into Veganism. Don't give up! It gets easier and you'll only feel better. Your doing an amazing thing for yourself, your family and your environment. 🙂


  4. Unknown says:

    My hubby and I watched Forks Over Knives a couple of weeks ago. We started following the Engine Two Diet 11 days ago and I have read the book. I had GB surgery almost 5 years ago. I lost about 75 lbs. and have kept it off within 5-10 lb. fluctuation at times. I wanted to see if you found out any info. in your journey about vitamin and mineral absorption and the need for supplements? I have been on supplements since surgery and struggle with anemia and low potassium at times. I am wondering if supplements will still be necessary. I'd be interested in hearing if you had any information on this subject. Thanks.


  5. Hi! Yes, I too have struggled immensly with my iron and electrolyte levels. I buy my supplements from Bariatric Advantage. I get their high a,d,e,k multi and their iron. Since we are missing half of our small intestine the rules of no supplements don't apply. I know…stinks! But its worth it to me! Taking these two make me feel really good. I also take spirulina powder in my smoothies. Its a complete food. Its blue algae. It acts like a filler of nutrients…if your lacking any, it replaces them. Its very strong though so a teaspoon in your smoothie is necessary. I also take aloe vera, bee pollen and chia seeds for omega-3 fatty acids. Hope this helps! 🙂


  6. Anonymous says:

    hello reyna, my name is mandy. I am 3 weeks post-gastric bypass. I went to the library yesterday looking for someway to find something about becoming vegan, but was concerned because of having the surgury. I too had watched food-inc, fork over knives, as well as super-size me and it changed my life! the lord works in mystirious ways 🙂 the librarian helped me on the web, and here I am. I cant thank that librarian enough! or the lord for guiding me here. I know no one who has had this procedure done, i just wanted to say “thank you” so much for sharing your story. I look foreward to following this blog, good- luck and God Bless!


  7. Rota* says:

    I really needed to find someone like you!! thanks for this post :p Im a post VSG only a month in, im doing a vegan diet 😛 but is hard to find good examples.


  8. Noel Weibel says:

    Hi I know this was posted years ago but I had gastric bypass June 10 2015 and now Im seriously considering going vegetarian for a wide array of reasons I would like to have some guideance from someone who has been there if its possible.


  9. Anonymous says:

    My wife had gastric bypass surgery and is resistant to the whole food lifestyle. I think she fears not getting enough nutrients as well. Right now she falls asleep after ANY carbs…any suggestions?


  10. Patty Huckabee says:

    Man, I sure wish you’d keep blogging since we are just starting FOK. I’m a roux en y patient (2003) and want to know if you still have to take 2 multi vitamins. I hope to hear back. Thank you. Patty


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s