Shane & Simple
Hi, I’m Shane and this is my story! I love to eat, I love to cook, and I love to talk about what I eat and cook. So I decided to start a blog. Actually, there’s a little more to it than that.
In the beginning…
Growing up, I was like any other small-town Mississippi kid. I played baseball and football, built forts in the woods, loved to fish and most of all, I loved to eat! Family gatherings were my favorite because of all the deep fried, butter filled, bacon seasoned casseroles, meats, and vegetables cooked and covered with processed cheese. Sweet tea or the king of carbonation accompanied nearly every meal. My snacks were greasy potato chips and sugar filled candy bars. And, my love for the convenience and reward of fast food grew, along with my cravings for food products in every bag or box on the grocery store shelf. My childhood diet was a cornucopia of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes all rolled into one! You’ve heard of the “Standard American Diet”? Well, I grew up on the “Southern American Diet”.
Wake Up Call!
A couple of months before my 40th birthday in 2013, and topping the scale at over 280 pounds, I realized something had to change. I had become the poster boy for diabetes, high blood pressure, a fatty liver, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and I couldn’t walk more than 10 yards without breathing heavy. I sat around all day feeling lethargic and useless. Playing with my children was out of the question and life in general was just mundane and painful. It was apparent if I didn’t do something soon, I wouldn’t be around to see 41 and my wife and five children would be left without a husband and a father. And, forget life insurance to take care of them in my absence, we couldn’t afford any coverage because of my health.
Have I depressed you, yet? It does get better.
Fortunately, this story does have a happy ending, or should we call it a “happy continuing”? Yes, I like that much better.
Diet vs. Lifestyle
What to do? What to do? I had tried dieting in the past and I just couldn’t do it again. Sure, I would lose 15 or 20 pounds, but only to gain it back plus some. And, let’s face it, DIETS SUCK! Diets and programs are all about deprivation, constantly telling you what you can’t eat, and the endless counting of calories, carbs and fat grams. It was confusing and exhausting and I had tried every diet know to man. But, there was one thing I had not yet tried and that was changing my lifestyle.
Two weeks before I turned 40, this friend suggested I watch Forks Over Knives, a documentary about eating a whole foods, plant-based diet and all its benefits. I obliged and by the end of the movie decided I would try this whole foods, plant-based thing. How bad could it be? Nothing else had worked. The first couple of weeks were a bit rough as I mostly ate oatmeal, salads and plain tofu. Blah! But, I persisted and threw myself in 100%. You see, I’m an “all or nothing” person, I don’t fair well when I try to do things in moderation. I knew from past experiences if I ever gave myself permission to “ease” my way into this lifestyle, or “cheat” just a little, I was done. Realizing my days on earth were growing shorter with my current condition I pressed forward.
Long story short, in three months I dropped 55 pounds; completely reversed my diabetes; eliminated my high blood pressure; my cholesterol dropped from almost 400 to 199 and sleep apnea was a thing of the past. I could not believe it! I looked and felt better, I was more active, and most of all, my wife and children felt secure. HUGE WIN! It was a turning point, a new chapter, a new me and I never looked back.
I am the epitome of “If I can do it, you can do it” and as trite as it may sound, it’s true! There were many, including family, who had given up on me and were convinced I’d never change and they had every right to believe it. To be honest, I was right there with them most days.
To date, I’ve dropped close to 100 lbs.; I train for marathons; my wife gets some sweet lovin’; I can keep up with my kids; I food blog for you; and, I reversed every ailment I had. I’m not special and it wasn’t in my genes. You can do it and set a new course trajectory for your life.
If you made it this far you must really be serious about this site. Thanks so much for stopping by and checking everything out. If you have any questions, comments, or want advice concerning recipes, please reach out and connect. If you really want to help and be a part of this community, you can go HERE and SUBSCRIBE. I’ll also send you a free copy of my eBook, 7 Tips To Succeed On A Plant-Based Diet, as a “Thank You.” I’d love to help anyway I can.