Amanda Smith is a vegan. She didn’t start that way. She started out just like any other child growing up in Houston, Texas. She ate beef, chicken, and hotdogs, like any other red-blooded American kid.
“I grew up eating pork chops and Jack in the Box tacos. I was overweight as a kid. I struggled with my weight since I was eight or nine,” said Smith.
During a summer vacation young Amada stayed with her vegetarian aunt and uncle for a few weeks in Fredericksburg, Texas.
“I didn’t know it is in option,” said Smith. They gave her a book to read on her bus ride home, “The Vegetarian Alternative: A guide to a Helpful and Humane Diet” by Vic Sussman.
At 14, Smith went home and announced that she was now a vegetarian. Her parents wondered how long that would last.
Being a teenager with peer pressure regarding body image, Smith was determined and she lost weight.
She went off to college a vegetarian but she admitted that she was a “junk food vegetarian.”
“I was eating eggs, cheese, donuts and chips. Oil, white sugar, white flour is all vegetarian but it is still unhealthy,” said Smith whose weight started to creep back up.
She admitted she was addicted to cheese. On a trip to France, she packed an extra bag to bring back some of the countries finest cheeses.
Her son, Benjamin, had horrible bouts of asthma and Smith was concerned that nothing was working for his condition as well as other health conditions of her own.
She read Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s “China Study” in 2005 and it opened her eyes. She became a Vegan. Her son, Benjamin’s asthma cleared up. Smith who suffered from severe endometriosis no longer experienced debilitating pain that had left her bedridden for days.
“I feel better at 45 than I did at 20. I was struggling with my weight, had medical problems and felt horrible with loss of concentration and poor sleep,” said Smith.
While dating her future husband, (Ed Smith) she gave him a copy of the “China Study.” Ed Smith got two-thirds through the book and started to make major changes in his diet and lifestyle. Prompted by visits to Washington, D.C. and major improvements in their health, the Smiths started working to find ways to help their city benefit from the healthful whole foods, plant-based diet.
They started “Get Healthy Marshall” as a way to get community members interested in a healthier way of life. Many people in Marshall have reversed heart disease, Type II Diabetes, conquered obesity and other chronic debilitating diseases through adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.
From “Get Healthy Marshall” the “New Year, New You” extended weekend events started which have brought people from all over the country to learn how to incorporate a whole foods, plant-based diet.
It all came full circle when Amanda Smith went back to visit her aunt and uncle and shared with them her vegan lifestyle. Now, they are vegans too.
Copyright © 2012 Robin D. Everson. All rights reserved.