What inspires you everyday? Do you think about your dreams and your future? Do you ever think about how your health can ultimately play a huge role in your future and your dreams?
Growing up, many of us dreamed of getting married, starting a family, securing that great job, going on a nice vacation and a purchasing a home. As time marches on, many of those dreams are either realized or they change. Maybe you dream about the corner office, or purchasing a home on the beach or in the mountains. And then one day it hits you. You start to dream about retirement. We know what you are thinking? This is Plant Slant Journey. What does our tag line of “Path to a Healthier Lifestyle” have to do with your dreams. Let’s get into that.
When Doug turned the big 5-0, he was inspired to think about the future. Children were either out of college or finishing up and it was just the two of us. Retirement was on the horizon and we wanted to break free of the stressful corporate world, although we lived it and loved it immensely. Money is the 1st issue. Will we have enough to retire? But more important was our health. If you are not healthy, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. We didn’t have any health issues, but like most of the population, We could stand to lose a few pounds. OK, maybe more than a few. We did not want health to hold us back from anything we might want to experience in retirement and more important, we wanted to enjoy retirement for a very long time. We wanted to start the next phase of our lives in good health. Keep in mind, Plant Slant Journey was still 9 years away from being created. The PS Journey had begun, even though we had no idea we were even on a Journey.
At this point in time, we thought we could be eating healthier and try to lose a few pounds. We read that a serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards. Prior to that knowledge, the meat generally filled half of our plate. We added a salad to our dinner as well. Doug joined a gym and also started riding a bicycle. Within a couple of months, he could see and feel the difference. That’s all the incentive he needed to continue this journey. He started running as well and got a couple of co-workers to run with him at lunch twice a week. Fast forward 6 months and many of his friends and colleagues started noticing the difference as well. At this point in time, we were still eating pretty much the Standard American Diet (acronym SAD), just a healthier version reducing the meat on our plates and adding plenty of veggies. We started making daily smoothies to add additional fruits and veggies into our diets. Being vegetarian or vegan were not part of our vocabulary at all. If you would have asked us back then if we would give up meat, the answer would have been a very quick NO!
Fast forward another 5 years or so and we are living our dream. Doug was able to retire and we moved to Florida. In December 2015 (after about a year in Florida), we stumbled across Blue Zones and the Forks over Knives documentary. Click here to read more about our Journey. That was all the inspiration we needed. We ditched the land meat (beef, chicken and pork) in January 2016 and eliminated milk and yogurt in early 2017. Doug continued to watch many of the other popular documentaries (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of the documentaries) and do a lot of research on-line. We were still eating seafood, eggs and cheese at this point. By April of 2017, Doug was ready to eliminate seafood, eggs and cheese and embrace the vegan lifestyle. We both feel great and look great for our ages. Over the years, Doug has lost approximately 55 pounds and has kept it off.
Doug can say that he is truly living a dream, retiring early, being healthy and able to continue running, biking and golfing. When we tell people that we don’t eat meat and dairy, they 1st look at you like you have 2 heads. Eventually, they see how our faces light up and how inspired we are when we discuss our plant-slant lifestyle and tell us that we should be helping others. In June/July of 2017 Plant Slant Journey was born as we are inspired everyday to help others.
What should you take away from this to be healthy into retirement?
What worked for us in addition to Blue Zones and watching the Forks over Knives documentary was to think of our health in different terms. We thought about it more as an investment in ourselves much like investing your money for retirement. Eating healthy can certainly be an investment in your future. Let’s say you deposit $100 a week into an account. You wouldn’t expect to be a millionaire in 6 months to a year. You have to keep at it every week and when you see your money start to grow, you realize that you are in better shape financially then when you started. It’s the same with your health. You wouldn’t expect your health to drastically improve just because you start eating a salad everyday, but it is a start. It gives you something to build upon. As we mentioned earlier, our journey started with reducing the portion size of the meat on our plates and filling the space with a salad. If you make a series of small changes, you will be able to look back 6 months or so from now and be amazed at how far you have come. Then you too will realize that your Journey has begun!
Your inspiration may come from something entirely different. For instance, some people have health issues that they are trying to overcome, or maybe there is a big family reunion on the horizon or grandkids that you want to play with. It could be as simple as a dress or bathing suit you want to fit into. Where ever you get your inspiration from, make sure it is something that you acknowledge everyday to help you make better decisions about your own Journey.
We hope you are inspired by our Journey and are ready to start your own. We love our lifestyle and we do not feel deprived of anything. We eat very well and it has become our passion to help others become the best versions of themselves as possible.
Enjoy the Journey!
Barbara and Doug
P.S. Please don’t forget to check with your doctor prior to making any dietary changes or taking on new physical activities. Be safe!