I met Cyd at a new church I attended in 2013 and we connected right off the bat. She invited me to spend a week or two with her in Florida just after a few weeks of meeting her. Since I’m retired, I jumped at the chance to leave Chicago weather to swim and sun in Florida.
Cyd was very open about how she chose to follow a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet and asked if I had a problem with that. In my mind I’m saying, of course not, just invite me to Florida and I’ll eat whatever you’re making. So I jumped at the chance to spend time with my new friend and experience WFPB eating.
It was an education for me because I had never been introduced to this way of cooking. Cyd made so many varieties of food and delicious desserts that I wanted to take a stab at cooking this way when I got home.
It was a process to give up what I had been accustomed to eating, but I saw the value in changing my eating habits to live a healthy life heading into my senior years. You see, my Mom had dementia for nineteen years which was a grueling experience to live through. After the amazing library of articles and independent studies Cyd shared with me, I was committed to taking the plunge. I read somewhere that “The shifting mind set shifts your decisions” and that’s exactly what it took for me to stick with a WFPB diet.
I didn’t have to lose weight, but I knew after researching how fat intake affects the brain that I wanted to do everything in my power to follow a WFPB diet to possibly fend off the development of dementia which runs in my family. However, I am encouraged because I’ve heard that only about 20 percent of our DNA contributes to the development of serious diseases. As Dr. Scott Stoll said during a presentation at a Florida Veggie Fest event, “You can change your genes in real time by eating a WFPB diet.”
I’ve always been an energetic woman, but even at 71 years of age I am able to do everything I want to do (except zip lining) and keep up with my grandkids. I work out three times and week and walk at least two or three miles four days a week. My blood work is stellar, and I’ve noticed an improvement in my cognitive functioning. I strive to leave a WFPB legacy.
(Cyd’s Note: Thank you, Olga! You’re taking great care of your health and I applaud you for being proactive in the prevention of dementia. You are a model septuagenarian (a person in their 70’s)!