Writer David Black on Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet

Submitted by David Black.

My daughter Hadley introduced me to the idea of eating whole foods for both health and enjoyment.  

I have been a lifelong carnivore. Or rather omnivore. I ate a typical 20th–21st century American diet, high in sugar, oils, and fats—all the things my palate had been trained to associate with pleasure. The more deep fried, the more delicious. Or so I thought.  

Breaking bad habits is not easy. But it is necessary. A few years ago, I had three heart attacks in seven weeks, followed by half a dozen more hospital visits over the next three years. Gall bladder operation. Blood infection. Kidney cancer. I survived all. But it’s clear my body is not functioning at its best. And I have no doubt it’s because of my diet. 

For nearly a year, I have been trying to wean myself off foods that have been proved to be unhealthy. More salads. More whole foods. Avoiding foods with faces. I have lost some weight, though not enough. And I feel better. I have not been successful in a complete transition to a whole-food diet, but as the saying goes, “progress not perfection.”  

And every day I am struggling to eat a 100-percent healthy diet. It’s not easy, but the benefits are clear. I keep trying, and I am getting closer to my goal.

David Black is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. He has published eleven books and over 150 articles in magazines, including The AtlanticThe New York Times MagazineHarper’s, and Rolling Stone. His most recent novel, Fast Shuffle, published in July 2015, was chosen by Amazon as one of the Best Books of the Month; it comes out in paperback in May.


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