At the age of 28, Somer McCowan’s life became a series of medications, side effects, and weight gain, after she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The autoimmune disease caused her to have severe abdominal pain and bloody stools caused by tiny sores in the colon. She also often had to use the bathroom up to 30 times each day. The medications she was put on likely caused everything else.
A high dose of steroids and other drugs aimed to control but not cure the disease caused Somer to gain 75 pounds in less than a year, develop a bad case of acne, even grow facial hair.
“I felt crazy and was not a nice person to be around. I would cry when I looked in the mirror,” she writes in her testimonial on ForksoverKnives.com.
Just as she managed to get the weight off by working out 2 hours daily and running a half marathon, she would have another flare, be put on the same medications, and the weight was back. It was a vicious, unforgiving cycle, and she was tired of going through it.
Four years after her diagnosis, she had just returned from a trip to Disneyland, which was filled with fast food. She felt horrible with no energy, and incredibly sluggish.
That’s when she remembered what she learned in the movie “Forks over Knives”about healing the body with a whole-foods plant-based diet, and everything finally clicked. Digging deeper, she found a wealth of research showing that such diets are capable of reversing autoimmune diseases.
She decided she was going to give a whole foods, plant-based diet a try.
A Road to Healing Lies Through Food
“I am completely off prescription drugs and my Ulcerative Colitis is in full remission. I’ve never felt better, and I know all of this is a direct result of my diet.”
Simply by following a whole foods, plant-based diet, Somer lost all the weight, and she didn’t have to work extra hard anymore in order to maintain her weight.
After her success, she wrote a book about her variation of the diet, which she called The Abundance Diet, and a 28-day step program to follow aimed at giving the body back the power to heal itself.
In “The Abundance Diet: The 28-day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods,” Somer shares more of her story, explains how to change your relationship with food, and many unique recipes, which will make the diet switch less of a chore and more of a lifestyle. Desserts are also included in the plan, which is based on her own experience of getting off her meds and regaining her health.
Some of the recipes include:
Cheesy-Smoky-Spicy Black Bean Soup
Tropical Colada Green Smoothie
Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna
Bananas Foster Pancakes
Blueberry Peach Tart with Apricot Crumble
On her blog, Vedged Out, McCowan also posts a wide variety of recipes ranging from meals like avocado-based sandwiches to breakfast foods like french toast, salads, desserts, smoothies, vegan cheese recipes, and everything in between.
Her approach is to create vibrant, unique, restaurant quality foods using only whole-food, nutritious, vegan ingredients, much like a seasoned chef, but with the health conscious eater in mind. And as you can see by the before and after pictures above, it’s been working quite well for Somer.
Sampling the Recipes
In the book, all recipes are vegan and gluten-free.
One YouTube cook tried two of her recipes, Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (cashew-based) and Vegan Chocolate Cookiesand came away impressed.
You can see her process and results in the videos below.
This recipe for Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is made with raw cashews, water, lemon, garlic, sea salt, and tapioca flour. Enjoy:
And these are the vegan chocolate cookies:
Of course, these two recipes are just a small part of the diet, which is packed with nutrient, mineral and antioxidant-rich whole foods.
But when it comes to comfort foods like these, eating healthier while still being able to enjoy your favorite foods is a huge bonus that makes following such a diet feel anything but restrictive — a huge plus when making the kind of life-changing, sudden shift like McCowan did.