As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. Some try a whole food plant based diet for a weight loss transformation, others for disease reversal. In this series, we talk with some of the world’s most soulful, dedicated (and often funny) individuals. We get to hear their stories of suffering, transformation, and service — and we learn how food is an essential part of their journey.
This week, we're talking with Pegine Echevarria, an enthusiastic and powerful keynote speaker on topics such as leadership and business. After watching her father-in-law and mother's health decline rapidly, Pegine started to notice that her health was starting to fail. She was gaining weight,, her blood pressure was high, her A1C was off the charts, and she was diagnosed with diabetes. She came to the realization that she suffered from food addiction, and luckily, with the support of a vegan doctor, took back the reins of her life. Today, she is healthy, happy, and has her own system for monitoring her health using an SOS-Free, whole food plant-based diet.
Learn more: MamaSezz Guaranteed Weight Loss Program.
"Known as a maverick leader Pegine is pioneering, irreverent, and entrepreneurial. As a Keynote speaker on leadership and business in a diverse world, she is motivational, inspirational, hilarious, authentic, and relevant.
Pegine believes in the power of people. The power to change themselves and become the leaders they want to be. Pegine knows that the power to change, to grow and go after their dreams is inside. She knows because she found her power, she shares her power with you."
Pegine's Health Struggles & Compulsive Overeating
Pegine was a compulsive over eater. She ate large quantities of food, especially chicken, and usually in secret. Hiding her addiction from others, but not herself. Once she began binging she couldn't stop, even though she knew she was destroying her health.
At her heaviest, she weighed over 250 pounds, had an A1C of over 13.5, and her blood pressure was off the charts.
As a motivational speaker, Pegine wanted to prove that she could be successful no matter her body size. She powered through obstacles and hid her food addiction, while creating a very successful career. But when the emotional strain and physical damage of food addiction became too much, she realized that her goal to be any size and successful, wasn't fully honest and became for her, an excuse to avoid change. Pegine's instincts were correct, the problem wasn't the size of her body, it was her underlying food addiction. She resolved to take an honest look at her behaviors and life and it made all the difference.
Pegine's Family History
Pegine watched her father-in-law's diabetes take both of his feet. Her mother, a great adventurer for most of her life, gained a lot of weight in her 50's and suffered severe health issues and had triple bypass surgery. She had a spinal stroke and a brain stroke after her triple bypass surgery. The strokes left her paralyzed.
Pegine witnessed this suffering, and believed she was destined by genetics and environment to endure the same health problems once she hit 50. A doctor even told her at one point, "You're fat, over forty, and female, you're a perfect candidate for gallbladder removal!" Pegine felt as though she was in a box, and her future was set in stone.
It wasn't until later that she realized that she held the power to control her own destiny.
Pegine's "Aha" Moment That Lead To A Whole Food Plant Based Diet
Pegine's health declined and her doctor recommended a number of medications. Pegine had limited experience with plant-based nutrition but decided to do some research and find a way to get healthy. She asked her doctor to, "just give me some time. I'm going to do something about this". She bought Dr. Barnard's book on reversing diabetes. After that she bought all of the books listed in the resources section.
Pegine went home that night a got Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease by Doctor Esselstyn, Reversing Diabetes by Doctor Barnard, The End of Diabetes by Doctor Fuhrman, books by Doctor Dean Ornish, and she listened to nutritional videos by Dr. Greger. If she was going to do this, she was going to do it right.
How Pegine's Health Changed On A Whole Food Plant Based Diet
Since going whole food plant based, and SOS-Free (salt, oil, sugar), Pegine has lost weight, stabilized her blood pressure, lowered her A1C's and feels incredible. Aches, pains, chest pressure, mucus buildup, trouble breathing, and uncomfortably were struggles that she had never thought were abnormal, until they were gone. Today, Pegine feels incredible and recognizes the journey it took to get where she is today.
Pegine participates in a 12-step program for food addiction that helps her regulate her serving sizes. She treats her food triggers like an allergy because they elicit a bodily reaction when consumed. She drinks water during the day, and checks in with her sponsor and support group. In the end, Pegine notes that all of this extra effort is worth it. She is happy, healthy, and feels incredible.
Check out Pegine's interview about her transition to a whole food plant based diet, and how she manages food addiction:
Lose weight on a WFPB in just 4 weeks- guaranteed.
Try the MamaSezz Guaranteed Weight Loss Program. Enjoy whole-food, plant-based, oil-free, meals delivered. No B.S. (you know, bad stuff).