Chris Brewer Interview Part 4: Where are you now?
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 Chris Brewer, a middle school teacher and coach, who previously did the MamaSezz Guaranteed Weight Loss Program, and went plant based. This resulted in his ability to lose 35 pounds, and reverse his gout symptoms.
It's been a year since Chris began his plant-based journey and we were curious as to how he was doing with his health and his life. Lifestyle changes can be tricky to stick to, but this teacher understood the assignment and has kept up the good work!
Has Chris been able to stick to a predominately plant based diet?
"I’m super psyched about it"
Chris has been 80%-90% plant based, and 100% vegetarian. He said that now and again he will have some cheese, or a baked good with egg cooked in it, but for the most part he sticks to whole foods, and plant foods. This mindset is good for the body, and the mind.
"I call myself a 80% plant-based vegan" Chris explains, noting that he has not touched meat in over a year.
Being a middle school teacher is stressful enough, but adding multi-sport coaching on top of it and you have someone who barley has time to sleep let alone cook three plant-based meals a day. Chris often works from 7:30am-7:30pm during Jan-August.
"When soccer season hits, I get really busy. I was able to maintain my plant-based diet, it's just harder to cook and meal plan. Let's just say, I wasn't eating the best type of plant-based."
But Chris was able to get back on track. Much of which he attributes to having some vegan allies.
How is Chris feeling now, after a year of plant-based eating?
"Heath-wise, I feel awesome" Chris states. "My ankles have not acted up one time since last year."
Before going plant-based, Chris suffered from painful gout that caused swelling in his ankles, making it unbearably painful to walk, and impossible to play soccer. He noticed just days after going plant-based that the swelling decreased significantly, and has not had a flair since.
"...Everything else, too. I've sustained my weight. Originally, after starting I was down 40 and fluctuate 8 pounds or so here and there. I've been maintaining good energy."
Chris claims that having consistent energy is very helpful when working his 12 hour days, and coaching multiple team. He notes that here and there he will have tired moments or spots, but he always bounces back quickly.
"I feel great all day!"
What’s been the hardest part for Chris?
"Meal planing. When am I gonna make it? When am I going to do it? It's difficult with so little time." Chris states, referring to his endless work days.
"I'm just so go-go-go all the time."
Chris is not alone. For many people with hectic schedules who have entered the plant based world, it's easy to feel like chopping and sautéing takes up most of your day. Heck, that's why MamaSezz was founded! If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor and have ready-made meals delivered once a month, just so you have a few grab-and-go options. But I digress.
What is Chris' favorite go-to meal?
"I've been making vegan lasagna. No boil-noodles are a game changer!" Chris states. Every Sunday night, he gets together with his friend, a vegan trainer at the school he works for, to have a Harry Potter Marathon and Vegan Food Night. That's the dream. Well, every millennial's dream that is...
Sounds like Harry Potter nights and vegan lasagna for the win!
Here's Chris' advice for plant-based beginners:
Chris recommends the buddy system. Having a community of like-minded people makes making change and sticking to it much easier.
"Find someone going through situation as you, or a similar situation and use them as resource. Talk to them all the time. Find another vegan and talk and get excited about meals. If work together you have each others back for events."
If you don't have a community, join the MamaSezz HeartBeetGang on Facebook! Use this as a place to share recipes, ideas, struggles and inspiration.
Thanks Chris! See you next year.