Article The Power of a Plant-Based Diet

Kathy Smith on how plant-based nutrition supports health

March 01, 2016

Article by

Kathy Smith

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in health. After a severe stroke in 2002 at the age of 40, I was forced to take a more serious look at my approach to healthy living. In the days and weeks prior to the stroke, I was running fast. I had a hectic schedule of being a mother, caring for aging parents, helping manage a business and fighting a terrible flu. This led to shortcuts in my eating habits and inconsistencies in other areas of my well-being. My body gave me warning signs, which I ignored. The stroke left me totally paralyzed on the right side of my body, unable to write or speak.

Following the stroke, doctors predicted that I would have permanent damage and only time would tell what the extent of the long-term impairment would be. They didn’t give me a lot of hope or even explain why this would happen. The road to recovery looked bleak and overwhelming.

Refusing to give up, I followed the rehabilitation program my doctors prescribed but was also determined to do everything in my power to facilitate healing. So I began researching best healthy-living practices to boost my recovery. My family and I created our own rehab. We worked 24 hours a day to get back what I had lost.

During my research, I discovered the many significant, research-backed benefits of following a whole food, plant-based diet. I had always been a vegetarian, but these findings prompted me to integrate a very simple, whole food plant-based diet into my recovery treatment. We started juicing, drinking lots of water and eating a very plain nutrient dense diet. I listened to my body and gave it what it needed.

Amazingly, I regained all of the motor use on my right side over time and was able to relearn how to write and speak. Many factors contributed to my healing, including my faith in God as well as excellent medical care and support from family and friends, but I also believe adopting a whole food plant-based diet contributed significantly.

The book, The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, M.D., especially influenced my dietary shifts and, today, I can honestly say that sticking to a whole food plant-based is one of the best health-related decisions I’ve ever made. The health benefits of this lifestyle are continually reinforced by new scientific research.

Through this experience, I discovered that healthy living truly is a holistic approach and is essential to enjoying life, maintaining optimal health and preventing future ailments. For me, this includes sufficient sleep, drinking lots of water, keeping a balanced schedule, regular exercise and adhering to a whole food plant-based diet.

As part of the Silver Hills ownership team, I’m thankful for the opportunity to apply my dietary beliefs in helping create a line of wholesome, great tasting sprouted breads and bagels that are all vegan-friendly. I’m committed to continuous learning and expanding my knowledge on healthy living and the benefits of a plant-based diet, which I love to share with readers like you. I truly believe that healthy, balanced living is one of the most effective preventative health measures and I encourage you to integrate more plant-based options into your diet by checking out the recipes and articles on our blog.

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