Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a plant-based warrior named Teri Guilarte.
Teri is a 70 year-old woman who experienced remarkable changes to her own health and that of her 74 year-old husband, Walter, after adopting a whole-foods, plant-based diet.
The Guilartes have adhered to a 100 percent vegan diet for the past four years and it has changed their lives and health for the better in a multitude of ways.
They Watched Forks Over Knives And Went Vegan Cold Turkey
According to Teri, she and Walter went vegan “cold turkey” after watching the popular documentary, Forks Over Knives (full film available for free on Netflix) and learning about the connection between animal foods and disease.
The couple chose a plant-based lifestyle with the goal of enjoying life as they grew older, and as a way to extend their healthy years. They were also hoping that it might improve Walter’s life-altering bladder issues which he had been suffering with for quite a while.
Seventeen Pounds Lost In The First Ten Days On A Plant-Based Diet
Within the first ten days on their new diet Walter had lost ten pounds and Teri lost seven.
They could not be happier with their newfound health and how great they both feel. Teri states, “We just feel good all the time. We have the feeling of well-being and our clothes fit us well. We don’t count calories and we eat whenever we’re hungry. At every meal we’re satisfied but we never feel stuffed anymore. We believe we’re on target to living healthy into our nineties. This is our ace in the hole.”
They have stuck with their vegan diet and say that they’ll never go back to eating animal foods due to the profound health changes they’ve experienced.
Chronic Bladder Issues And Cardiovascular Disease Risks Vanished On A Plant-Based Diet
The switch to a plant-based diet not only resolved Walter’s chronic bladder issues, it also improved his heart health and reduced his risk of a cardiovascular incident dramatically.
Within a short period of time Walter’s cardiologist took him off of Lipitor – a popular heart medication with unwanted side-effects – because Walter’s cholesterol was “too low.” In fact, the doctor suggested that Walter add more salt to his diet – music to any heart patient’s ears after years of hearing the exact opposite.
And Teri – who has a family history of high cholesterol – has experienced a dramatic improvement in her own cholesterol levels and has been taken off all medications, including those for heart disease. She has also managed to maintain her healthy, 112 pound figure for the past four years, without making any changes to her activity level.
Teri’s Advice For Plant-Based Newbies And The Vegan-Curious
When asked for advice and feedback for plant-based newbies and the vegan-curious, Teri said the following:
- “Cook with vegetables you like. If you find a recipe that sounds good but you don’t care for the vegetables they recommend, change it. As long as you’re eating whole, plant foods, you’ll reap the rewards.”
- “You have to have a reason to do it. You have to have a motivation that runs deep. If your health isn’t motivation enough, then do it for your family. Do it for your kids.”
- “People think that it costs more money to eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet, but it’s the complete opposite. When you’re not buying animal foods and all the oils, your grocery costs go down. And when you figure in all of the medications that you don’t have to buy, that’s another savings. Your food budget does take a dip.”
- “Use Braggs in meals. It adds some seasoning and salty flavor for people who are used to eating salt.” (Braggs is a brand that offers various no-salt seasoning products and a wheat-free, soy sauce alternative that’s great for those who must avoid gluten.)