By Edwin and Jareli Jimenez
I was diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease at the age of 23. At the time of diagnosis, I learned that the only way to reverse the disease was by changing my diet. So I went home from the doctor’s office and began throwing out everything in my fridge that was not a vegetable, fruit or legume, and I purchased plant-based protein. My wife supported me; we immediately became primarily plant-based.
I never thought I’d be satisfied without animal protein. But to our surprise, it was not as difficult as we thought it would be! We put a lot of effort into making creative, colorful meals and focused on the seasoning and flavors. When we craved authentic Mexican dishes, we used substitutes to make them plant-based and include more veggies. We made enchiladas with thin slices of zucchini instead of tortillas; we used vegetable broth in pozole. Our cooking satisfied our craving.
But it wasn’t always easy. Restaurants and family gatherings did not always have plant-based items on the menu. Our solution was to cook plant-based dishes and bring them to family events and we accepted that our restaurant selection was simply smaller.
But the trade-offs and inconveniences of eating plant-based were worth it. By eating plants, I reversed my diagnosis of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in nine months. My wife’s eczema went away and we both lost weight. We felt more energized and did not feel bloated. We were happy with ourselves and our bodies.
Now, we have a son and, while we have re-introduced some animal products, we focus our meals on plants. We definitely see and feel the effects of reintroducing animal products into our diet. My wife’s Eczema has returned and our energy levels have fallen. Our goal is to go back to a primarily plant-based diet.
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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