From not being able to walk without pain, not being able to hold a glass or button a shirt to reversing Rheumatory Arthritis naturally – today’s inspiring story comes from the Founder of Veg Is Life, Anya. We’re hoping this story will motivate you to consider turning to Plant Based/Vegan diet and lifestyle.
1. What made you decide to switch to Plant Based/Vegan diet and lifestyle?
I didn’t really plan on becoming Plant Based/Vegan. To be honest, I knew nothing about it. I used to think that as long as I’m able to run and be active, I can eat and do whatever I want. To my surprise I started having joint pains in 2006, which were progressively getting worse, and in January of 2007 I was diagnosed with full blown Rheumatory Arthritis. Despite being on drugs and pain medications, I was constantly in pain. Doing the most basic things became difficult. I could barely walk, shoes wouldn’t fit my swollen feet, I couldn’t hold a door handle, put socks or stockings on, or change gears in my car. I even began having pain in my neck and jaw joints.
At first, I went through a period of depression and anger. I refused to end up on a wheel chair, therefore I began to research and thus my health journey began.
I found out about Plant Based diet and lifestyle from others who reversed their health problems naturally. This gave me hope. It made me see that it is possible to be pain free again. If others were able to reverse such conditions as cancer, I could definitely do something about my rheumatory arthritis.
Consequently, my disease was my motivation for changing my diet and lifestyle. It may sound strange, but I am grateful for what happened to be. Getting sick was the biggest blessing because without it I would have never discovered a better and healthier way of life.
2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
There were three individuals that inspired me the most. First, I was inspired by Professor Walter Veith and his series of 5 DVDs on health called Life at It’s Best. After watching them I became a vegan on the spot. I did not even bother becoming a vegetarian.
Finally, I have learned about Danny Vierra and his 10 Day Detox Plan. Doing the plan at home was the final step of my recover, which helped me to completely get off painkillers. I have been struggling with this for the last two years of my recovery. I kept lowering and lowering the dose, but I could not stop them completely. Ridding my body of toxins was exactly what my body needed.
3. What is your favorite dish?
That’s simple. I absolutely love potatoes, in every shape and form. I especially love them baked, which I ate a lot of during my recovery time. Potatoes are a staple food in Poland, so maybe that’s where the love came from.
4. What is your favorite Plant Based book, movie or website?
One of the books that helped me with reversing rheumatory arthritis naturally was a book by Dr. Batmanghelidj “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water“. It was such an eye opener for me. It helped me realize how important water (and the right kind of salt) is for our body to function at its best. I looked back at all those years of drinking caffeinated teas and sodas, and decided to not only get the recommended daily amount, but also to redeem the lost years. It was hard to train myself to even like water, but soon I worked up to drinking a gallon a day and loved it. I believe that this alone had a huge positive influence on my health.
5. What is your goal in life?
I want to spread the message that it is possible to heave a healthy, fulfilling life. It is possible to reverse systemic lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer. It is possible to have skin problems clear up, balance out hormones, or restore joints function. You don’t have to live a life full of pain, swelling, and discomfort. I want to share my story, promote what has helped me in my health journey and direct people to the many available health resources.
6. What is your biggest weakness/temptation in your Plant Based journey and how do you overcome it?
A lot of people tend say ‘giving up cheese’. For me, the biggest struggle wasn’t food, but managing stress. I had to learn to not take things in so deeply and learn how to give my stress and struggles to God. That involved letting go and releasing the control of life to Him. We are such control freaks. We desperately hold on to situations, opinions or people, even if they hurt us in the long run. I had to learn to completely let go and let God work His healing miracles in my life.
7. What advice would you give to those wanting to become Plant Based/Vegan?
First, find a strong motivating factor. It has to be strong enough for you to want to make a change in your lifestyle. For me it was my arthritis. I did not want to end up on a wheel chair with gnarly hands, and I didn’t not want to hobble in pain. I refused to believe that I will never be able to run or ride horses again. In essence, I refused to give up.
Second, define your goal. Be very specific. Wether it is going down to specific weight, reversing high blood pressure or clearing psoriasis, you have to have your objective clearly defined.
8. What’s been the one biggest benefit of Plant Based diet and lifestyle for you?
Imagine living 4 years of your life with crippling pain every single day. That’s about 1,460 days of pain. Imagine pain at night preventing you from comfortable sleeping, and pain during the day preventing you from doing the simplest tasks. I remember the joy when I was finally pain free! Every day was a celebration! I went from swollen, stubby fingers to playing guitar, from struggling to walk to playing soccer in all women’s league.
Now that I have lived through the pain and the struggle, I do not want others to have to experience the same. It is possible to live pain free life!
Do you have a story of your own? How did Plant Based lifestyle and diet help you? We would love to hear your story! Drop us a note or comment below!