My path to plant based eating was accidental.

For most of my life nutrition didn’t register as something I had to pay too much attention to. Being fit, mobile and what I thought was healthy, didn’t make me question my food choices. It was so obvious to me that fast food and too much junk is what caused obesity. Heart disease and cancer was just a luck-of-the-draw-card, which I couldn’t do anything about. How naïve I was.

Watching the 2008 coverage of Occupy Wall St, I noticed a man standing behind the news anchor. He was wearing a crazy gasmask getup with a large sign “Max Gerson developed the cure to cancer in the 1950’s.” This had to be a joke, but it was provocative enough to make me ask, who was this Max Gerson character and did he really discover the cure???

A quick visit to Amazon, I found The Gerson Therapy and a few additional book suggestions, one being The China Study. I devoured these two books. This was my “red-pill” moment of awaking to my dismal eating habits. At every meal there was some sort of health robbing ingredient(s). I finally understood how and which foods determine our future. My eyes became open to the broken food system in America. Starting from childhood food pyramid education, to all the conveniently prepared foods in the frozen isle, we are slowly killing ourselves. 

If I didn’t make a change, it was only a matter of time before my body would retaliate against me. I learned my long term health was in my control. I was done playing Russian Roulette with my DNA.

But how was I going to make the switch? I couldn’t stand the idea of having to eat cardboard for the rest of my life. Isn’t that what most vegetarian and vegan dishes taste like? My taste buds grew up on mayonnaise drenched Russian cuisine mixed in with pizza and Chinese all-you-can-eat buffets. Intensive exercising must have been the saving grace. Plus, I was just getting comfortable in the kitchen. A life-long hatred of doing the “woman’s job” kept me far away from the stove. 

It was time to grow up though. I was mid-pregnancy with my first child, and the responsibility of nourishing my family weighed heavily on my shoulders. My fear of cooking had to be conquered. What was the alternative? Ignore the volumes of research that landed on my lap, and simply hope for the best? No. Once you know, you can’t un-know. 

I read every health-promoting medical book I could get my hands on. Watched documentaries, researched studies, and read news articles.

My husband and I decided to take on a one month challenge to see if this whole food plant based lifestyle is doable. I armed myself with new recipes. The food had to be delicious, otherwise, despite our best efforts it would end in failure.

Over three years later, I am happy to report making the switch was one of the best moves we’ve made. Both of our recent blood work tests came back dramatically improved. We’ve lost weight. Have a lot of energy. Well, as much as one can have with an active toddler to chase after. We quickly bounce back from any signs of a cold without medicines (allopathic or herbal). And, my weekly headaches are a thing of the past. 

The process has been full of self-discovery, and I have a new appreciation for cooking from the heart. I’ve reconciled with my old nemesis…and have become a close-friend with my kitchen. 

I look forward to sharing what I have learned through this journey. As Winston Churchill once stated “healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” One meal at a time, we can collectively turn around the depressing health statics. Make each bite count.

Sophia Dubrovsky