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 the famous Chef AJ, a leader in whole food, plant based, SOS-free cooking. Not only are her recipes delicious, but her plant-based recovery story is an inspiration.
Although this chef has been vegan since she was 17, health was never a priority until she received a diagnosis that changed her life. From there, she did a junk food detox and dove head first into whole food plant based living, which had dramatic results. Today, she is healthy, happy, and loving her whole food plant-based lifestyle. And she's one of the leading chefs in the WFPB space, sharing recipes on her website and YouTube channel to help others make positive changes in their lives.
Watch the video series below to hear Chef AJ's awesome transformation story and to get her secret to weight loss success.
1:00- Growing up overweight and its challenges
1:40- Becoming vegan
2:18- "What was your main motivation to go vegan?"
3:35- How growing up as Jewish Orthodox helped Chef AJ's diet
4:50- Why people go vegan or plant-based
6:00- Chef AJ's transition from junk-food vegan to WFPB
6:35- The diagnosis that changed everything: Pre-colon cancer
7:00- the Optimum Health Institute "All disease is because of inflammation"
7:50- Everything you put in your mouth creates disease or health
8:30- Millie's story: It's never too late
8:50- The challenges of changing your diet: Ups and downs
9:30- Giving up sugar and caffeine
10:00- "I cried a lot"
10:20- "Sugar is a drug, not a food"
10:50- Freedom from addiction
11:26- The physical differences after going WFPB: weight loss
11:50- "The calm, stable brain"
0:10- (continued) Cravings do pass
0:22- "I never ate vegetables for 43 years and now I really do like brussel sprouts and broccoli"
0:37- Chef AJ's favorite aspect of the vegan lifestyle
1:17- "The food is amazing! The food is much more delicious... I like that I get to eat a lot of food"
2:25- The best weight loss tip for someone who is interested in a WFPB diet: Crowding out the bad with the good
4:10- For those who are having trouble sticking to a WFPB diet: GET SUPPORT! Find community. Tune in to Chef AJ Live at 11am pacific time.
5:20- The social contagion: "You are the people you spend time with"
6:40- The Chef AJ Bundle at MamaSezz "Approved by Dr. Alan Goldhamer"
Chef AJ's Interview, Summarized:
Chef AJ speaks about her experience with childhood obesity. Being an overweight child at the time was less common and it influenced her confidence. She never cared for animal products and meat, and grew up in a Jewish Orthodox household so cheeseburgers and bacon were never on the menu, so her transition to a WFPB wasn't as difficult as it could have been.
Chef AJ went vegan at 17 years old, but was addicted to sugar, processed foods, and caffeine for most of her early adulthood. Eventually, she was diagnosed with pre-colon cancer and was given the option of surgery.
The Detox to a WFPB Diet
Because she feared surgery, Chef AJ gave a whole food plant-based diet a try. She went through the Optimum Health Detox and ate primarily raw plant foods for over half a year, which started out rather difficult. This experience was brutal, as she was addicted to sugar and caffeine, but after the painful detox she came out on the other side healthy and happy.
When AJ went back to her doctor, her polyps were gone, and he accused her of having surgery. The truth of the matter was that Chef AJ had simply transformed her health by going WFPB. Today, Chef AJ teaches other people about the health benefits of a plant based diet, coupled with the ethical and environmental benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Chef AJ advises newcomers to this world to start by crowding out their unhealthy food (processed and animal-based) with healthy foods (plant-based foods), so they can take it step by step. Her biggest piece of advice is to get support. "You are who you spend time with" ...and she couldn't be more right. Chef AJ offers support to her viewers by sharing delicious recipes and creating an online community for people who want to look and feel their best.
Last but not least, Chef AJ has created a bundle of ready-made food with MamaSezz, The Chef AJ: Always Prepared Bundle. This bundle is salt, oil and sugar free, whole food, plant-based and absolutely delicious! Chef AJ advises those who don't need to go salt-free to just add their own, so the meals can meet your taste preference. "You can add it, but you can't take it out."