My name is Francisco Polizzi…
Before going into who I am and my history, I wanted to thank my beautiful wife for all the support on my lifestyle change. Without her creativity and willingness to learn plant-based cooking, I don’t know where we would be today. Together is the only way to succeed in anything. Also would like to thank my family for their support and respecting my lifestyle
I have been plant-based/plant-strong for 3 years. It started when my doctor noticed my high cholesterol and acid reflux in 2007, she wanted to monitor me with blood tests every four months. Every visit the doctor would prescribe me more and more meds.
Medication would show small incremental improvements on LDL cholesterol while still struggling with raising HDL and no improvements on triglycerides. By this time I am on three cholesterol meds and a prescription acid reflux pill. The acid reflux would still attack me at least once a week and heartburn was still there everyday. Also took on constipation due to the medications.
Having been married for only one year my wife and I thought we were eating healthy by eating home cooked meals and leftovers for lunch at work. Rarely hitting the fast foods, maybe once a week. Both of us were gaining weight at a constant rate. Both of us being frustrated as to why my cholesterol was so high and the weight gain.
Enough is enough, I was on a mission to figure out myself what was wrong. I watched constant documentaries, read books, and surfed the web for a cure. Nothing really grabbed my attention until a friend saw my frustration and mentioned Forks Over Knives on Netflix. That night my wife and I watched it and did it blow our minds. We both made a decision to start the next day.
The next day we watched The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue which showed us the basics on what foods to throw away, how to read labels and how to shop for food.
So starts our plant-based lifestyle. Eating nothing that has eyes or has a mother as the documentaries say.
Being Plant-strong eliminates all animal products which are beef, pork, chicken, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, refined or processed foods (including white rice, white sugar, white flour), and all oils.
Within two weeks, I have felt better and some weight started melting off. One month into my new lifestyle without the doctor’s knowledge I stopped taking my acid reflux and cholesterol medications as a test for my next blood test.
My next visit to the doctor 4 months later my acid reflux had been eliminated and my LDL and triglycerides were reduced and my HDL surprisingly went up! After my doctor told me the meds must be working, I explained to her my lifestyle change and I was not taking the meds. Being shocked as to my improvements, the doctor mentioned to keep doing what I am doing. My skin cleared up, hair and nails grow faster, my constipation completely went away.
One year later, my doctor said I now only need annual blood tests and she added a check for my liver, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and protein levels.
By this time I had lost a total of 40 pounds and feel as my ideal weight.
An additional two years later, have not felt better, not one attack of acid reflux and still at the same weight.
Here are my blood test results from 2012/2015:
Total Cholesterol 241/160 (-81 pts)
LDL 155/57 (-98 pts)
HDL 33/54 (+21 pts)
Triglycerides 409/162 (-247 pts)
Weight 180/140 (-40 pts)
Only negative to eating plant-based is you need to buy all new clothes.
My passion now it to spread the great news to help others. If you have any doubts on what type of food or want ideas please follow us on instagram/twitter @panchitosgrub
1. How long have you been plant-strong?
I have been Plant-strong now for 3 years. It was life changing. Never going back to the SAD (Standard American Diet).
2. What kind of meal really turns you on?
Most meals we eat I enjoy so much. What really gets me are Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts! I can live off of them.
3. Name one condiment you can’t live without:
LIME! If you can call it a condiment. Ask anyone who knows me and they will say I add lemon to most of my foods, water, desserts. I live the sour taste and the neutralizing benefits of acidity. Yes, like counteracts your body’s acid environment.
4. What do you love about your kitchen?
I absolutely love watching my wife create the wonderful full flavor dishes. The kitchen is what brings us closer together because we know how we are taking care of each others health and future.
5. When did your plant-strong “ah-ha” moment come?
There are two “ah-ha” moments
The first was about two weeks after I started plant-based eating. I started feeling better. My bloating after eating, burping, heartburn, acid reflux were gone. My bowel movements became much better. My waste line started shrinking because my intestines were being cleaned out of all the build up of fiber-less animal products.
My second moment was when I saw how easy it was to eliminate the animal products. It easily outweighs saying no to bad eating because I won’t suffer feeling sick later. Today I don’t miss any cheeses or steaks which used to be my absolute favorite.
6. If stranded on a deserted island, what one food and beverage would you have with you?
Potatoes and my daily morning smoothie (apple, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, spirulina powder raw rolled oats, six almonds, and water)
7. Who is the one person you’d like to see plant-strong and why?
Can’t pick just one. I would like everyone I know to at least try plant-strong for at least 28 days so they can feel and see for themselves how beneficial this lifestyle is and how great they will feel. Aside from alleviate many ailments most people suffer from.
8. Curly or Lacinato?
Love both, but we use Curly more. Kale-Yeah!