After moving from California to Texas nearly five years ago, I became a patient of Dr. Carney and soon thereafter changed my diet and lifestyle with significant results. I had no idea that she was vegan and was looking for a new doctor that was close by to me. Many doctors that I have had in the past did not provide me with too much information to make the right choices for myself. I felt that I didn't really have the "true" information from my past physicians and Dr. Carney has taught me so much. She was providing me with something that I didn't even know I was looking for at the time.
When I was living in California, my doctor told me that I had high cholesterol. I was shocked, because I had never been told that before in my entire life! Previously I had been an avid runner, but after getting married and having kids, I wasn't exercising as much and would dine out for meals instead of packing a healthy lunch. Since I was already predisposed to high cholesterol, I was told to either go on medication or do something about it. I attended a cholesterol class where they taught us it was healthier to eat turkey bacon instead of pork bacon and egg whites instead of whole eggs, but they never mentioned the option of a plant-based diet! After seeing Dr. Carney and learning from her, she's made an impact on the vast amount of knowledge that I have gained from each visit with her.
Many of my relatives have also been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Since I am predisposed to this disease, Dr. Carney said I had a loaded gun and that it was up to me to pull the trigger. Although veganism is a daily struggle for me, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the foods that I'm eating and how they will make me feel. Before seeing Dr. Carney, I didn't really think about that too much. Since I have started seeing her, it has been easier, but it's still hard to say no sometimes to the foods I was used to eating. When I am eating vegan meals, I feel so much better physically and I really feel the difference. I have noticed an increase of energy, no longer experience acid reflux, lost weight, feel younger, and healthier. My clothes are now fitting better and I noticed my skin has even improved.
After suffering from allergies, Dr. Carney told me that eating the wrong foods can cause inflammation and since changing my diet, I have seen an improvement in my allergies. I finally feel like I have the power to change how I feel by following a vegan diet. Each time I see Dr. Carney, she gives me the information that I need and makes sure that I can go home and put the information to use. She has given me the tools to do my own research and help me change. No matter what I'm doing or how well I am following my diet, Dr. Carney won't judge me for falling off the wagon, but will pick me up again and help me get back on track.
Besides the physical results, I can feel the difference. Once you reach the age of 40, it is harder to get the weight off. With my family history of Type 2 Diabetes and high cholesterol, I didn't want to get sick when I could have prevented it in the first place. Now I'm more active and I feel lighter when I am eating vegan. I used to eat fast food and I could feel it in my chest and esophagus. When I eat healthy, that feeling is gone, my stomach is full, and for much longer. I crave less and it's been a great change that's led to a lighter life and I feel like a weight has literally lifted off my shoulders.
Being an American has been a huge challenge with the wide variety of unhealthy food choices and it can be detrimental to our health with high rates of heart attacks, high cholesterol, and diabetes. There are so many temptations around surrounding us and I want to make the right dietary choices so I can avoid these diseases. Although my family isn't vegan, I have passed the information along from Dr. Carney and have given them the tools to make better choices.
Dr. Carney took the time to educate me about how my diet affected the way I was feeling. She really made me aware of why my body was doing the things that it was. I feel that I have been given the ability to prevent and change how I feel. She provides me with undivided attention, I never feel rushed during my appointments, and she takes the time to answer my questions, all of which I love!
When looking to move into a healthy direction, I don't feel like it's about giving up things so much as replacing things in your diet. Most people say they can't give up cheese. After watching Forks Over Knives, I realized I would rather give up cheese than risk needing a stent. It takes a while for any habit to form, whether good or bad. It's easier to move towards this lifestyle one meal at a time, but I jumped right in. It's not like that for everybody, but once you learn how good it feels, that will convince you and the transition won't be difficult. I just think of the small changes that I can make today and how those decisions will affect me in the future!