The Daily Beet

04 May Plant-Strong Parenting. Lisa’s story.

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Last week we asked for plant-strong parents to write in and tell us abou their plant-strong families. The response was huge! We decided to start a weekly plant-strong parenting series. Each week we will feature an E2 parent! This week we are starting out with a truly inspiring story from Lisa about how a plant-strong life helped change the health of her family.
My Plant Strong Journey
People ask me all the time how did you lose 40 lbs? When I tell them I went “plant-strong” they turn their head to the side? and look confused. Then I tell them my son was diagnosed with ADHD and that he no longer needs to take medicine. How is this possible they all ask? I have more energy and focus. My son has less behavior and attention problems in school. My son is 6. We started this lifestyle change this January 2012.
The reason I started to look into plant strong living was I was diagnosed in my late 20’s with lupus and I was tired and sick all the time. I had a health coach recommend… a 7-day detox.When I began to reintroduce foods like eggs, milk and gluten I began getting sick, I was told I had food sensitivities and after not having caffeine, milk and cheese, oils, and refined sugar.. someone recommended I read The Engine 2 diet.( incidentally the lupus blood tests came back and it shows I no longer have lupus)
I had many fears about changing my son and husband’s diet. My fears were would we argue, would they be hungry, resistant or crying? The first few weeks were hard to get them believing it would taste good because it looked different or that it would fill them up without meat. My son  had many challenges in the beginning because he only ate eggs and chicken to begin with, now he eats, sloppy  Joe’s from the book, pancakes from the book and many more.
My husbands’ favorite is the sweet potato lasagna my favorite is a breakfast I make with cauliflower, raisins or dates and cinnamon. The company we had visiting enjoyed and asked for the recipe for the black beans and rice. My son’s favorite is a BBQ “meatball” that we make with no sugars and no meat products.
My son misses things he sees other children eat at parties or in the cafeteria’s.It is still a battle to try to overcome the challenges we have in the school and cafeteria I send in food that I want my son to eat, and they always say, We have no documentation that he is allergic, why can’t he have cheese and crackers at snack or colored cupcakes or Hawaiian punch. I have to send notes and reminders very often.
I have made many substitute things for my son to eat. The first thing we changed in my husband and son’s diet was the milk and cheese. We use almond milk now. We were met with much criticism from friends and family. They all want to know how my son getshis protein or calcium if he is not eating milk, cheese, oil or meat. I have explained till I am blue in the face that so many green’s have fiber, calcium and much more. I try to tell them your diet can be your undoing or your own salvation but they don’t believe me or are afraid of change. Many people tell me my skin looks great or my hair looks so healthy and I tell them it’s from my plant strong journey.If someone asked me for advice on how to get their family or child plant strong I would tell them it’s a bit of extra research and work in the beginning but then it its smooth sailing. When you get ready to go on a vacation you don’t just hop on the first plane you see and go anywhere, you research the prices, the best places for your family’s needs and that is much the same when going plant strong. It has been a great journey, and we continue to enjoy the ride.
Thank you,

Do you have a parenting story you would like to share? Please e-mail info@engine2.com

And please leave some plant-strong love in the comments for Lisa!

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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!

  • Erin
    Posted at 12:24h, 04 May

    Great job Lisa!

  • Kate
    Posted at 12:37h, 04 May

    Very nice post! It is hard to be different, but your son will thank you for sticking to your guns someday.

  • Annette
    Posted at 12:42h, 04 May

    That is such a great story! Not suffering from Lupus, or ADHD is such a blessing! Spread the word!!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 12:50h, 04 May

    What an inspiring story Lisa!
    Just continue with what you are doing for yourself & your family….share your new lifestyle when anyone asks – and just remember that the American food system has for many years had so many of us trained to think that only calcium & protein come from milk & animal meats…I have a feeling your extended family & friends will see the great results your family is experiencing and will want you to share with them when they are ready.
    * YOU are doing a wonderful service for your family & I congratulate you!

  • Martha
    Posted at 12:52h, 04 May

    Oh Lisa! You are awesome! Congratulations on being Plant Strong and being so motivated by your positive results. Keep in touch and continue to get support. You know you’re doing the right thing!

  • Carol Loftus
    Posted at 13:20h, 04 May

    That is so awesome Lisa!!!!!!!! I get the same questions about the protein! Keep up the great work!!!!! My son had to do a project for school about starting a restaurant. he named it the plant strong cafe and had all plant strong foods. can’t wait to hear how that went. 😉 hope he enlightened someone!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 13:37h, 04 May

    Thank you for sharing! I think it’s absolutely horrible that you have to fight so hard to keep them from feeding your son cupcakes and sugar drinks. But I am really hoping that I can be like you, transition over, and be strong about the choices you have made. Way to go!

  • Joyness Sparkles
    Posted at 15:58h, 04 May

    “I have explained till I am blue in the face that so many green’s have fiber, calcium and much more.”

    I feel the same way…it is such a challenge to be different, very rewarding, but mentally and sometimes emotionally a challenge. Way to go…keep it up, our children and grandchildren will thank us one day! 🙂

  • Anita Wattier
    Posted at 16:18h, 04 May

    Thank you for giving me hope! I am really struggling with my 6 year old. He practically gags himself when he “trys” the new food that we make. Your story gives me hope that we will get there! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Pam
    Posted at 18:43h, 04 May

    Lisa, your results regarding the Lupus and ADHD are just awesome. The Dairy industry sends so much marketing material to the schools many don’t realize they are being brainwashed by them. Keep up the good work! You are doing a terrific job!

  • Erica Clements
    Posted at 10:19h, 05 May

    Lisa your story gives me hope too. My son has some major food sensitivities and intolerances so we had to cut out processed food and dairy. He’s also a very picky eater but getting a little better. I’ll try some of your son’s favorite recipes with my son. Keep up the healthy lifestyle!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 10:54h, 08 May

    I can believe everything you wrote! The body can heal itself given the right foods. Our family went plant strong 4 weeks ago. While my children don’t have ADHD, they have less mood swings and are generally happier. My husband lost 10 lbs and has more energy.
    I feel the same way about how people react about no meat. That is usually their first comment “i couldn’t go with out my meat”
    Keep it up! Very inspiring! We are learning right along with you!

  • Jen
    Posted at 13:02h, 08 May

    This is an inspiring story. I’d appreciate it if the the Engine 2 team would edit for grammar and spelling before posting on the website.

  • Jamie
    Posted at 14:21h, 08 May

    Great job Lisa! It is so hard to go against what everyone else believes is right but we all do what we believe is best for our families. Keep up the great work. Your family will thank you!

  • Rebekah
    Posted at 00:54h, 16 September

    I’m just getting started going plant-strong. I’ve been talking to my own 6 year old, telling her about what it takes out but that we’d make all kinds of yummy things. I told her about cheese and milk, she care until I told her no more goldfish. Then she started crying. I’m trying to find a recipe for oil-free crackers. Tonight we had spaghetti with meat sauce, which I had b/c I was doing south beach and didn’t want to toss it, and afterwards both six-year-old’s and my tummies weren’t terribly happy. It makes such a difference. Hopefully changing up pizzas and burgers won’t be too bad.

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