By Daniela Cadavid, DDS
My name is Dr. Daniela Cadavid DDS, and I’m a general dentist at Aloe Dental Wellness, a private practice I operate in Goleta, CA. I was born and raised in Colombia; my family in Colombia owns a cattle farm and I grew up eating a lot of meat. You can imagine what a shock it was for them to learn that I was no longer eating meat.
I was first exposed to the plant-based movement and lexicon when I moved to the United States from Colombia in 2014. Curious about the movement, my husband and I started doing Meatless Mondays at home and we loved it. We found that it was a fun way to start our week and discover new cuisine.
Then in 2016, my husband’s dad got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; he died a year later. This sparked something in my husband; he started researching about how diet can support overall health. Through his research, we came to the conclusion that being plant based was the best option for our family.
We were excited about the whole process. And despite meeting some resistance toward our new lifestyle, we persisted. It was not easy; there were many failed recipes and a lot of missed events that offered no plant-based options. But we finally found our groove and now being plant-based feels easy and natural. It helps that most restaurants now offer plant-based options.
In 2020 I became pregnant with my first child. I was totally plant-based throughout my pregnancy and felt great. Now my daughter is almost two, and we are still a plant forward family and I feel very lucky that we chose this path. It has opened many doors for our family; there are more flavors to explore and so much to learn.
I am a true believer that food is medicine. Our plant-based diet and healthy bodies prove this every day.
A nutritious diet can improve many health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, but this is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your healthcare team when making lifestyle changes, even healthy ones. Your doctor can offer medical guidance, individual support and adjust medications, if needed.
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