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How one woman's family tragedy inspired her passion for nutrition

Written by Caroline DiNicola Fawley
How one woman's family tragedy inspired her passion for nutrition

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're talking with Tiffany Wilkerson, a "Plant-Based Gardener" whose zeal is to plant as many seeds of nutritional health and awareness as possible. She states: "With some rooted knowledge watered with life application, I believe everyone can grow and blossom into a better quality of life through food." Like many plant-based dieters, she had a wake-up call about her lifestyle, after a dear family member passed away and watching many in her family struggle with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and more. She used to think the chronic illnesses that ran in her family were unavoidable. Then she learned the truth...

 

What prompted your interest in a plant-based diet?

My transition in 2010 upon losing one of the most important people in my life, my grandmother, Dorothy. She was the “icing on the cake” in my life, and always a constant comfort of love and wisdom.  I’ll always be grateful for the years we had together. After her passing, it was when I immediately knew that my life must change, nutritionally.  And thus from there, first starting as a Pescatarian and then transitioning, my whole food plant based life was born. Committed to this very new way of living, I immersed herself (and continue to do so) in plant-based learning. 

What happened?

The plant journey for me started at ground zero. I knew nothing about the lifestyle, nor did I know anyone who followed this lifestyle. Little by little, knowledge was gained everywhere I could find it…and it became my life. The more I discovered information, the more I knew I had a job to do…change lives through nutrition. 

So, I dug in, studied, and attended every meeting/conference/class you could think of so I could try to be as effective as possible to anyone I could help.

How were you able to stick with such a dramatic diet change?

Proudly, I am a Licensed Food For Life Instructor with the Physicians For Responsible Medicine and a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies from eCornell University earning a Plant-Based Certification.  Another part of my journey was receiving a Culinary Plant Based Certification from Rouxbe Forks Over Knives Culinary School, and also obtaining a Certified Health/Wellness Coach Certification with an emphasis on Lifestyle Medicine from WellCoaches. My most recent accomplishment was as completing my Culinary Coaching Certification Program from Harvard University.

 

What is your life like now?

To have seen a glimpse of my life how it started to how it’s going now is night and day. I like to think my grandmother saved my life before her life ended; I’ll forever cherish her for many reasons.

I am grateful that I have been able to transition my family to this lifestyle and fortunate enough to see amazing changes in their lives by simply what I choose to place in my grocery cart. It really is that simple to me. If I can give my children/family and communities the tools to live lives full of vitality and health through knowledge of nutrition, my smile is complete.

Check out Tiffany's website, Invite Plants to Every Meal, and be sure to follow her on Instagram @inviteplantstoeverymeal. While you're at it, don't forget to follow @MamaSezz!

What inspired you to become a part of Food Is Climate

Being able to be apart of Food is Climate, written by Glen Merzer, is an honor to me. The truth is that what we eat matters not only physically, but matters for the earth. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. This powerful book does that, and can make a difference.

"...This book is an extraordinary antidote to the hopelessness that many of us feel. But more importantly, it may very well present us with the heretofore missing key to solving what is probably the greatest problem ever to confront humanity."—John Robbins, best-selling author and President, Food Revolution Network

 

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