As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. For some, a WFPB diet can reverse heart disease. Then, for others, healthy vegan meals can lower cholesterol. 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 healthy vegan meals are an essential part of their journey.
Today we talked with Wendie Pett, a Naturopathic Health Coach who struggled with baffling high cholesterol. She was physically active, ate what she thought was a "healthy" diet, and participated in sports. Yet, her cholesterol was through the roof. After reading The China Study for a second time, Wendie was able to achieve nutritional clarity and switched over to a plant-based diet. She was able to lower her cholesterol with diet changes. Today, she helps others reverse diseases and lose weight. Here's her story.
What was life like before starting your plant-based journey?
I have always been "healthy," or so I thought until I learned I had high cholesterol as a young adult. As someone that was active with dance and multiple sports, later to teach step aerobics and to become a personal trainer, having high cholesterol never made sense. I ate pretty healthy but was always trying to master the cholesterol game.
Years went by and in 2006 I read The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. It opened my eyes to a greater understanding and awareness of certain foods and certain food-related industries. Having an understanding is one thing, but actively putting that knowledge into practice is a game-changer. With that said, I didn't fully convert to a plant-based lifestyle until 2012 after I read the book again.
Reading The China Study for a second time inspired me to not only get on a whole-food plant-based lifestyle myself, but to also dive in and get more education to assist my clients in a greater way along their health and wellness journey. I have found that as a Naturopath, I'm able to put even more of the puzzle pieces together for my clients so they can live optimally.
What happened when you discovered healthy vegan meals? How did you lower cholesterol with diet?
It was definitely a defining moment when I read The China Study, for the second time. And then a year later, all that I learned and was practicing was reinforced when joining the Total Health Immersion team with Dr. Scott Stoll. He's a great friend and a great teacher. It's been an honor to share my Visibly Fit exercises and techniques for over 9 years at the immersions.
How were you able to stick with such a dramatic diet change?
Well, results don't lie. My cholesterol is normal, and I see life-changing results with my clients, so it's easy to stick with the lifestyle. In fact, it doesn't seem dramatic at all, at least not any longer. The first few months it felt a little dramatic and people gave me a hard time, but that soon passed and now many of them are on board too. It's a beautiful thing when you take care of yourself, and others see your results.
Often, people begin to ask questions and change their diet habits as well when you model good health. I always like to say that more is caught than taught. This is true with the children in our lives, but also those you spend time with on a regular basis. The ripple effect of healthy living is powerful. It can change a family, community, and beyond.
What is your life like now, and were you able to lower cholesterol with diet and healthy vegan meals?
It normalized my cholesterol. I have incredible energy. Menopause was a breeze, with only a few hot flashes along the way. That alone is worth sticking with a plant-based lifestyle. I truly consider my life to be grand because of my lifestyle, not just because of my experienced health benefits, but because I get to help others level up with their health. To help people overcome debilitating health issues and get off medications is so rewarding, but it's also rewarding to see people love themselves again and show up in this world operating at their best.
What is your favorite MamaSezz dish?
I have a few favorites, but I'm a big fan of the Veggie Loaf. Mainly because it's incredibly hardy and it's great to add on top of a salad. This meal is simple and gives my body all it needs and deserves on a nutritional level.
What are you most proud of?
My faith, husband, son, business (which seems more like fun than work), my Visibly Fit podcast, and more. Okay, you didn't say to just pick one thing I'm proud of to date. As you can tell, I'm proud and grateful for my life. God is good.
If you could meet and have lunch with one person (alive or dead) who would it be?
Ah, okay. This question says "one" person. So, my one person to have lunch with would be Jesus. Not to get all "spiritual" or anything, but there isn't anyone greater. I will say, I have lots of questions, so it might be a long lunch. Ha!
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