As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. 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 talked with Linda Middlesworth, a vegan activist and a WFPB advocate, and teacher at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Linda tell us she was able to heal her thyroid cancer by changing up her diet. She was also able to drop 50 pounds, and reverse other health conditions. Best of all, she notes she feels better at 77 than she did in her 20s! Like many of us, she made the change for health-related reasons, and then became an animal advocate as she learned more about the meat and dairy industries along the way. Here's her story...
What prompted your interest in a plant-based diet?
First, I heard I might be able to reverse my thyroid cancer and started reading about Dr. John McDougall’s work. After one week, my neighbor told me about how dairy mama cows were raped over and over so they could produce milk for humans. She told me they took the babies right away from their mothers. The mama cow went to slaughter to become hamburgers after living in lactation hell for 4 years. I went from being plant based to a vegan animal rights activist. Trying to help promote an Animal Bill of Rights landed me in the Sacramento County jail for 15 hours last October.
The moment I was diagnosed with cancer, I jumped right in to eating only plants and never went back! The horrifying way we breed and kill animals for food became my top concern.
How were you able to stick with such a dramatic diet change?
I was able to stick to the diet as I was a junk food vegan. I was not eating oil and everything was vegan and oil-free but I ate processed foods, i.e. pumpkin choc chip muffins, etc. Several years later, inspired by my friend, Chef AJ, I moved into a whole foods plant based way of eating.
It was easy for me as I love potatoes and did not have to count calories even though I rarely stopped eating.
What is your life like now?
I am 77 years old now and I am free of cancer, lost 50 unwanted pounds, and I reversed my heart disease and high blood pressure. I feel better now than when I was 20!
I am still teaching aerobics and teach Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking Classes for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Neal Barnard and I am Certified in Plant Nutrition, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Cornell University. I coach individuals under my business, VeganMentor.com.
What motivated you to contribute to Glen Merzer's, Food Is Climate, a book about how our food choices affect global climate change?
As a person who cares deeply about the lies and omissions regarding why we have severe climate change, I was thrilled when author, Glen Merzer, published his new book, Food is Climate. He elaborates on why our penchant for breeding, using, and eating animals is the main reason for climate change. I told Glen Merzer that I would help him any way I could, which includes a social media campaign and finding others who could take the lead to help us promote his book. His book is by far the most important book of our time. We are burning up and until our violent, inhumane, disease making animal agriculture food systems change, we will continue to march towards our sixth mass Mexico Magazine fin
What advice do you have for plant-based beginners?
If you need help transitioning to a whole food plant diet and or becoming vegan, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a favorite MamaSezz recipe?
My favorite MamaSezz recipe on the website are the Cauliflower Buffalo Wings.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my three children and their families. They are amazing people. I am so proud of my late hubby, Dave, who helped me found the healthy, kind dog food, v-dog.com, now almost 16 years ago.
I am proud of my VeganMentor.com clients who reach their goals and heal. I am proud of the events I put on the speakers like Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, etc. with hundreds of attendees – Get Healthy Sacramento, Go Healthy Live, Go Compassionate Live.
I am proud of Peta and DXE who fight for Animal Rights and all the wonderful organizations I work with to educate people about the horrific killing machine that is still going full force.
If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
If I could meet one person, it would be Donald Watson, UK, who coined the word “vegan” in 1944, the year I was born. Vegan is a philosophy to do no harm to animals as far as by possible. It is not a diet.
Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.