Peña: The results make up for the struggles of sticking to a plant-based diet

Fast forward a year and two months, and my dad set up an appointment with his doctor. His weight went from 298 pounds to 220 pounds, his A1C levels had dropped from 11 to 7 percent, and he was advised to get off two diabetic medications that he had been taking for years.

His doctor was stunned. More importantly, my father was happy.

To be able to see all of his stress early in the year melt away, made it all worth the struggle.

My advice to anyone who is considering going plant-based is to get started! You can’t steer a parked car, so make an achievable goal for yourself and stick to it. Don’t waste any time getting discouraged when you fall off the path — just learn from the situation.

As long as you are willing to make a change in your life, you will see results. Remember, the hardest part is often making the decision. Then, it just becomes how to get this done, and the possibilities just might start flooding in.

OK, I should get back to helping my dad with the garden!

Timaree Hagenburger is a registered dietitian, certified exercise physiologist with a master’s degree in public health and nutrition professor at Cosumnes River College. She is excited about the new Plant-Based Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture certificate program there, and can’t wait for former students like Elias to come back and take her hands-on cooking class. She might even be able to get his dad to take it with him! Timaree also conducts local events and corporate wellness work, has a regular segment on California Bountiful TV and published her first cookbook “The Foodie Bar Way: One meal. Lots of options. Everyone’s happy.” available at — where you will also find details about her upcoming events.

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