The Daily Beet

12 Oct Young and Plant-Strong – Changing the World

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We wanted to feature some of the messages/comments we have recently recieved about young people getting plant-strong. We hope that these stories encourage and motivate you to continue or to start your plant-strong journey!

Alex: “I’m 13 & I decided to become plant-strong all on my own, after watching Kitchen Rescue and Forks Over Knives on netflix. I didn’t even get the book yet, I used the website. My parents and friends think I’m crazy, but I was sure that this was the right thing to do. I play sports and saw that Rip was an athlete and I wanted to be the healthiest I could be. I make all my own meals, I shop for my own food, I have a budget of 35 dollars per week for my food. I really like Jeff Novick and his fast food movies that you sent to me. I don’t care what people think of me, I’m doing it for me, they don’t have my body. I think it is easy, I don’t know what the big deal is when people change their diets, you feel better, it is really good food and you don’t have to worry about getting really bad health problems. If I can do it being 13 and make all my own food and do all my own shopping and just read stuff online, I think anyone else can. Give it a try, it’s not as hard as you think!!!” Alex, 13.

Katherine shares her family and how her 11 year old got her family plant-strong! 


“Inspired by Alex’s post this morning I thought I’d share my family story. My 11 year old has a friend at Church who has a family who eats this way. She goes to her house a couple times a week and always comes home and talks about how good the food is. We were a frozen pizza and chicken nuggets family. My 11 year old was the one who wanted us to watch Forks Over Knives and it was my 11 year old who picked up a few cookbooks with her allowance at the book store. It was also her who started to look up recipes and even started reading things on Engine 2! She became very passionate about all of us going plant-strong. So we told her we would do it but only for 28 days. She would look up recipes and plan meals for the entire family. We are now 8 months into this, our entire family of 6! I am a SAHM, we have a very limited budget we live in a very small community with no fancy stores and we have found tons of savings in eating this way, so long as we don’t complicate things a lot. We also like Jeff Novick, MS, RD a lot. The kids are healthier than ever. My youngest had chronic sinus infections, asthma and earaches and those have all gone away. My oldest (teenager) had really bad acne, that is gone. My 11 year old could not be happier, and she already knows that she wants to help others get healthy. I am proud of her, and I’m proud of my family! We just made the change, the other kids eat what is in the house, and that is it, they fussed for about 2 days and then they realized that is the way it was going to be. It is not a hard program if you don’t want it to be hard, we make really yummy meals that the entire family loves. A typical day looks like this:

Breakfast: Oatmeal or cereal with fruit and walnuts
snacks: cut up apples, raisins, carrot/celery sticks with hummus or nut butter, rice cakes with hummus or nut butter, grapes.
lunch and dinner: pasta, sandwiches, wraps, whatever we have for leftovers, english muffin “pizza” on Ezekiel bread, Jeff Novick Burgers, any Jeff Novick Fast Food meal, hummus and veggie sandwiches/wraps, soup, chili.
dessert: blueberry dumpster cobbler or just fruit!
We bring our own food out and instead of going out to dinner for treats we now do things like save money for movies, games, and even short family trips!
We don’t have any fancy kitchen appliances, just a few pots and a pan. We make it work, our family and the future our family is very important to us. My advice is if you want to get healthy and plant-strong, do it, and make it work, it’s not as hard as you imagine it to be! Thanks to my little girl who pushed us until we got it, she’s going to change the world!” – Katharine
Sarah:  “I’m 19 and in college. I have to pay my own way, food included. I have a meal plan at school that helps, but our cafeteria is not the best. I have a hotplate, microwave and mini fridge/freezer in my room. I have been 100% plant-strong for a year now. I make all my own meals with one pot. I spend about 15 dollars a week on groceries, and then what I can get in my dining hall. It is very easy to make it all work. My doctor at my last check up said I was very healthy and some of the trouble I used to have with asthma has gone away. When I go out with my friends I always can find something that is plant-strong, if I can’t, I just hang out with them and eat when I get home, it’s not a big deal.” – Sarah
Dillon: “When I decided to go plant-strong I was 15 and my parents were NOT on board, even though my Dad had a heart attack. I begged him to give it a try, but he refused for months. I even bought him Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Esselstyn for his birthday. I did not want to go through my life without him, and I was sad that he would choose food over being around for me graduating High School, or college or getting married or even having kids. Finally one day I told him that I really didn’t want to be around him anymore, not because I don’t love my Dad, but because I hated thinking that I was just going to watch him eat himself into another heart attack. I said some really mean things that day to him, like that I just wish he’d have another heart attack and get it over with so I didn’t have to worry every single day of my life if he was going to be dead one day. He has finally decided to change the way he eats. I cook all the meals for my family now, I am also responsible for the shopping. I’m amazed that people find it hard to do, I’m 15 and I don’t have much free time, but it all works out really good. My message to parents is this, don’t let your teens have to go through you having a heart attack, we might not act like it all the time, but we love you and want you around for a long time. Please take care of yourself and your family, it is really easy to do.” Dillon in AL
Rachael “I’m 16 and I am overweight. I found Forks Over Knives on Netflix one evening and decided to watch it. I decided that I wanted to become plant-strong. I have lost 30 pounds all on my own now. My parents do not support my decision to be plant-strong, so I buy my own groceries for about 25 dollars per week, with my own money. I make all of my own food. I feel better than ever, and I think it was very easy to make the switch, even though I didn’t have the support at home or a lot of money. I want to be healthy for life!” – Rachael
At Engine 2 we support people of all ages who want to get plant-strong! Check out “The College Greens” for weekly inspiration. You can also read Michelle’s story and Carson’s story!
We are proud of all of our plant-strong teens and kids!
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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erika.mendenhall Erika Mendenhall

    I am moved to tears at the courage these young people are displaying and their motivation to take hold of the best gift they’ve been given: their health. Shame on their parents for not supporting them.

  • Lynnette

    These stories are WONDERFUL. I am really touched to hear how committed these young people are. It is very inspirational. They have long healthy lives ahead of them in which they will shine.

  • Ginger

    I miss having kids at home. Are any of these up for adoption?

  • JenO

    So proud of all you kids!! Stay strong – your examples speak louder than any words!

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