My name is Katherine and I am thrilled to tell you that I am one of the new college interns for Engine 2! I am 19 years old and currently studying Business at The Ohio State University. Adopting a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and becoming plant-strong has completely changed my life. I went from dreading any physical activity to becoming a personal trainer, and a convenience food eater to finding my rightful place in the kitchen. I’d like to share my personal journey to becoming plant-strong.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies including dairy and eggs. On top of this, I had horrible environmental and seasonal allergies. This led to 16 years of taking a multitude of daily medications. I constantly felt horrible, and rarely, if ever, felt good. I missed so much school and I visited the doctor at least once a month. For the longest time, no one could find out what was wrong with me. If the solution wasn’t another doctor, it was another test. I ended up being on a minimum of 5-6 antibiotics a year. At age 16, I weighed well over 220 pounds.
Shortly after my 16th birthday, after biting into a raw piece of chicken at a popular Asian restaurant, I made the choice to become a vegetarian. I had always played with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, but never thought I could fully commit. Not even 3 months later, I became vegan, but a very unhealthy vegan. I remember walking the isles at Whole Foods Market and filling the cart with “healthy” vegan junk. The following New Years Eve, my family and I brought in the New Year by watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. Even before the credits rolled, we immediately knew that we were going to change our diets forever. The next day, my parents and I switched to a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle.
Having grown up in the kitchen with my grandmother, I was immediately drawn to the cooking aspect. I loved how creative I could be in the kitchen! My journey to becoming a healthier person just kept rolling. A desire grew within me to learn all I could about being plant-strong. I thoroughly researched any information I could get my hands on. I immersed myself in books, DVDs, blogs, newsletters, and documentaries. The summer before my senior year in high school, I successfully completed T. Colin Campbell’s certification course in Plant-Based Nutrition. My interest simply kept growing. In the spring of my senior year, I became a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. One month later, I successfully completed a NASM Weight Loss Specialist certification course. Currently, I am in the process of becoming a Registered Vinyasa Yoga Instructor.
Thus far, my personal triumphs include losing over 100 pounds, eliminating 90% of my medication and most importantly feeling fantastic! I have also helped my mother lose nearly 100 pounds, my father has eliminated his blood pressure medication and is no longer pre-diabetic, and my grandparents have taken on the plant-strong lifestyle.
I am elated to have the opportunity to be an Engine 2 intern! I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and bringing new ideas to the table!