Breaking A Curse: Making a Change to a Plant-Based Diet

Jan 19, 2021 | Eat This Way, Wellness

Now more than three years into her diet that is almost 100% plant-based, Wende Cosby feels the difference and won’t go back to her old way of eating.

Sometimes events in life prompt you to pause and look at your own life and the choices you make.

This happened to Wende Cosby after she lost her dad to cancer in 2017. In the final months of his life, the doctors told Wende’s family that there was nothing more that could be done. Unsatisfied with this answer, they began researching ways to help. “We looked into holistic approaches and learned about herbs and vegetables that could help cancer patients,” Wende says.

They began feeding him fresh, whole foods and saw positive changes despite his diagnosis. Wende was convinced the food he was consuming was making the difference. After seeing the effect, she decided that it was time to take control of her own health and embrace a different eating style. Not just for her, but also for her husband and young daughter. “You know what, it’s time to break generational curses,” Wende says about her motivation to move to a plant-based diet.

Now, more than three years into her diet that is almost 100% plant-based, Wende feels the difference and won’t go back to her old way of eating. “I look vibrant, I feel vibrant,” Wende says.

As she made the transition to her new way of eating, she saw immediate benefits. “I noticed I had way more clarity and energy,” she says. As she kept feeding her body the right way, she noticed even more benefits including clearer skin, thicker hair, more stamina, and improved dental health. “I have the right fuel in my body.”

While the switch can seem overwhelming, Wende says education is the key. “We have been conditioned to eat the standard American diet. You have to unlearn and relearn,” she says. Education can come in many forms including books, advice from holistic doctors, and tapping into the vast resources on social media. “Follow like-minded individuals on social media,” Wende says. She shares her own plant-based eating journey on Instagram (@chefwenslayz_plantbasedmeals).

It takes time to learn how to prepare satisfying meals. One great strategy Wende suggests is to “load up on your seasoning and spices. Don’t be shy.” And, be patient. “You have to give your taste buds a chance to reset,” she says.

It took Wende about six months to really get into the rhythm of plant-based eating. “After a short time, you just know what your staple foods are,” she says. Today, some of her staples include kale, quinoa, and avocado. “Avocado is a great replacement for cheese,” she says.

Louisville has several options for finding the fresh ingredients one needs for a plant-based diet. Wende loves hitting the local farmer’s markets, and other stores she frequents include Rainbow Blossom and the Highlands Kroger. “Rainbow Blossom is one of Louisville’s hidden gems, and the Highlands Kroger has a variety of great options,” she says.

When eating out or attending social events, Wende plans ahead. She prepares dinners with enough for that night and to have for lunch the next day for her and her daughter. Most events offer a vegetarian option, but “I make it a point to eat very well before, so I won’t be tempted by the mac and cheese,” Wende says.

Ready to make a switch to plant-based eating? Before you jump in, Wende encourages you to get clear about why you want to eat this way. “You have to have a ‘why,’” Wende says. “I love, love, love eggs. I had to educate myself to break that desire to consume,” she says. Know why you want to fuel your body the right way, and why it will make a difference. Your “why” will be your motivation when you are tempted to eat foods that will contradict your eating goals.

• Juice from 2 lemons
• Juice from 2 limes
• 4 small cuties (tangerines/manderine oranges), peeled and separated
• 1-2” peeled fresh ginger root
• Dash of cayenne pepper
• 1 T dark agave syrup

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. There will be some pulp from the oranges. If less pulp is desired, then squeeze the juice from the oranges instead of just peeling them. Wende takes a shot of this daily (about 2 Ts). She recommends taking about 3 ounces daily when one starts to feel sick.

• Whole wheat/grain bread of choice (6 slices)
• 2 avocados
• 1/4 of a red onion
• Fresh cilantro
• 1 can of organic garbanzo beans
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp sea salt or to your liking
• Dash of ground red cayenne pepper
• 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil

Peel avocados and mash the flesh (toss the pit and skin). Set to the side. Heat grapeseed oil in small skillet and add garbanzo beans, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Allow to cook 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender. While that is cooking, chop your onion and when finished start toasting your bread in a toaster. Remove toast from toaster and spread the avocado kind of thick. Top with the onions, garbanzo beans, and cilantro.

P.S. Check out recipes from women in our 2021 Best Bodies section, including Honeycrisp Apple Delight from Chajuana Rene Mayes.


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