By: Lauren Lockey
Every so often we are honored to highlight people within the Utah community who have made changes in their lifestyle, see the benefits, and seek to share it with others.
A few weeks ago I had the great opportunity to interview Andy Krumel who not only lost 15 pounds from reducing his consumption of animal products, but also feels happier and has more energy! Read below to find out more!
Sage Mountain: First, tell us a little about yourself.. Your name, age, where you are from, what you do, why you reside in Park City.
Andy Krumel: My name is Andy Krumel and I am 53 years old. I have lived in Park City for three years. Before that I lived in the San Francisco bay area where I worked in the software industry. We now live full time in Park City for the great life is provides: clean air, great outdoor activities, and a vibrant community.
SM: When and why did you decide to reduce your consumption of animal products?
AK: 5/1/2016 – That is the date I heard Dr. Joel Fuhrman speak at the Park City library. He made a compelling case for changing my diet in so many ways that seemed easy and made scientific sense. One of his main points was to reduce animal product consumption to no more than 10% of ones diet to greatly reduce the risk of cancer.
SM: Wow that statement is quite compelling so what was the process like? Was it difficult for you to make these changes?
AK: My wife and I went to the grocery store that night, we needed to make a trip anyway, and loaded up on beans, walnuts, and vegetables. Meat and cheese were central to my eating habits before changing my diet. Now, I go many days in a row without eating any meat without conscious effort.
SM: How did your family/friends respond to you making these changes?
AK: No real reaction. This is not surprising given how many dietary restrictions people have these days.
SM: That’s true. What changes have you noticed mentally and physically since reducing your animal product consumption?
AK: Changing to Dr. Fuhrman’s diet resulted in increased energy and I have lost 15 pounds. The decreased weight is strictly the result of the diet, for if anything I have increased the amount I eat and have not altered my exercise regimen. Oh, and my sense of smell seems to have improved which is nice since it has never been very good – really makes life more enjoyable.
SM: 15 pounds without altering your exercise?! I guess the statement is true that it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise huh? What do you eat on a typical day then?
AK: Breakfast: fruit smoothie (reduced amount due to diet), paleo granola, fruit, and nuts. Occasionally have an egg or cheese.
Lunch and dinner: some combination of vegetable soup, beans, and salads. Might have some meat when we go out to eat which is not very often. Surprisingly, we have found meal prep times are greatly reduced on the new diet. We make sure to include chia and flax seeds, raw onions, and cooked mushrooms daily.
SM: Do you exercise? Is it more often than before since you have more energy?
AK: For exercise I lift weights and run three miles 3x per week. During the summer I will go on several mountain bike rides in the mountains several times a week. During the winter we vigorously walk to the Park City Mountain resort on powder days!
SM: Have you visited a doctor since you have made these dietary changes? What are their thoughts?
AK: No doctor visits.
SM: How long did it take you to really “settle in” to this way of eating? Do you ever think about going back to how you ate before?
AK: Settled in from day one. Crazy considering how different the Fuhrman diet is from my previous eating habits. In my version, so as not to speak for what Dr. Fuhrman intended, I do not count calories or engage in any portion control. If I am hungry then I eat.
SM: Love that! It makes sense to eat when you are actually hungry! Do you plan to stick with it now that you have witnessed the benefits?
AK: Of course. There is no going back.
SM: What is your advice to those seeking to make changes in their diet?
AK: Go hear Dr. Fuhrman speak or read one of his books. He has a long history of working with patients with severe heart disease and has worked with premier medical research institutions to perform scientific studies concerning the effects of diet on heart disease and cancer rates. The results are simply stunning and eye opening.
SM: I agree! I was able to hear him speak last winter and he is super knowledgeable! Is there anything else you would like to add before we close?
AK: I have always been one of those people that could not fathom making dietary changes if I looked and felt healthy. Well, we should never stop striving for improvement and why shouldn’t diet be in that mix? The change was easy, I feel better, love the taste of our food, and I have increased confidence our lives will be active for longer.
SM: Thanks so much for your time Andy! Have fun mountain biking this summer!
Inspiring stories like Andy’s are happening around us all the time. Do you have a story? We enjoy sharing and spreading the love whether it be for your health, the environment, or the animals. We would love to hear from you! Never hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns in transitioning to a plant based lifestyle. We are here and excited to help in any way possible!