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Adventures with Ami: Finding Your Fuel

Finding your fuel can be a long slow process or as sudden as a heart attack.  Most of us don’t start out eating whole foods plant-based.  At some point from our teen years through our golden years, we make a choice to eat better, get healthy, change our ways.  Many of us have been through several phases of ‘get healthy’ over the years.  Some of us have tried it all.  If you are reading this, chances are, you know something about whole foods plant-based lifestyles.  Some of you might be pros having taken the plunge and changed your life for the better already. If so, good for you!

If you haven’t started yet, what is stopping you?

As a food coach, I meet a lot of people who want to know more about being plant-based.  Sometimes it is a casual inquiry, other times it’s an official meeting with a prospective client.  One of the questions I always ask is: “What’s fueling your desire to learn more about whole foods plant-based living?”

Often weight loss is the focus.  For some it’s a health situation that spurs the need for change.  Whether it is a major life upheaval like a divorce, surviving a heart attack, being diagnosed as pre-diabetic or watching your overweight child struggle.   For others, it is simply a desire to do better, now that you know better.  From documentaries to the nightly news, whole foods plant-based lifestyles have been getting a lot of air time.  I had purchased a few books, watched a couple of documentaries and viewed an hour long segment on the news before I was ready to take the plunge.

Finding the fuel to make the changes that you desire, is as personal as what we find attractive in a partner.  I was seeking better health and longevity as a newlywed nearing 40 years old when I first learned about plant-based diets.  It still took me awhile to get there.  I just wasn’t sure I could sustain it.  How will I live without…X…Y…Z? I had a long list of foods I was sure I couldn’t live without. I read as much as I could and decided that I didn’t have to worry about sustaining it, if I never started it.  I had stalled long enough.  I decided I just needed to get started!

How much change are you seeking? What are your goals?  Are you trying to prevent poor health or reverse it?  What will it take for you to see better cholesterol scores? How will you find the level of progress you are striving for?  Only you can answer these questions.  An honest assessment of where you are and where you need to be is important.  For most, 80% effort will rarely get us 100% results.  I say, give it 100% for 28 days and see what happens!

Whether you decide to make small changes a little at a time or immerse yourself in plant-based living, giving up all animal products/oils/sugars/processed foods in one step, just try it.  Each change you make is a step in the right direction.  Keep an open mind and be open to the possibilities. Experience the adventure of creating exciting new meals or modifying old favorites.  Striving for better health is an endeavor worthy of the time and attention it takes to learn new habits, explore new cooking methods and make better choices.  You are worth the effort.  Find the fuel you need to change your life for the better.

About the author

Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

7 Responses to “Adventures with Ami: Finding Your Fuel”

  1. JenO says:

    Great words of wisdom. It has been 1 month since I became plant strong. Some days are better than others, but I have stuck to it…with only a minimal slip of oils into the diet. Down 15 pounds and I feel so much better. Certainly plan to continue the journey. I realize after 40 years of eating bad it will take some time to stop missing all the “bad” stuff, but like you, this time is different and I’m up for the challenge to be healthier. Please keep the inspiration coming..

  2. Elana says:

    Great article, Ami! It just drives the point that it doesn’t matter when you start- as long as you make up your mind to just start! It took me a transition period to start because I was so worried I would miss cheese- but then I thought- it’s just cheese- why am I going to let that stop me from being healthy? Do I really want to be having heart surgery because I couldn’t say no to cheese? Over time, the want subsides, and the feelings of deprivation are replaced with new feelings of all life has to offer. Before becoming plant strong, I was just depriving myself of living longer.

    • Ami Mackey says:

      I like that…”Before becoming plant strong, I was just depriving myself of living longer.” It’s true. For me, plain greek yogurt was my stumbling block. LOVED it, by the bucket full. almost 9 months without it!

  3. Lisa says:

    Very well put. It has been a slow, steady process to get where I am and am so thankful I took the plunge!

  4. vdarrell says:

    I really don’t know where to start I am in the process of reading the Engine 2 diet and have the Forks over Knives on reserve at the library to read. Where do we ask questions and is there a support forum?

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