My Plantcentric Journey


Never Say Never!

I never thought I’d be a vegetarian, let alone completely plant based; and I also never thought I’d write a blog.  I’ve lost 95 lbs. in a year and a half, my husband has lost over 100 lbs., and we’ve kept it off for a year now.  So many people have asked how we did it, how we’re keeping it off, what we eat, etc.  Some have said they wish they could become vegetarian or vegan, they wish they could lose weight, they wish they could be healthier.  We’ve had people go through our grocery cart to see what our secret is, and grocery store cashiers never fail to comment about what we’re buying–or should I say NOT buying!  (“Where’s the meat?”)

Laura’s After
Christmas 2011

Laura’s Before
My new great nephew, Easter 2010. The only reason I allowed a picture to be taken of me was because I thought I looked good that day!

On May 1, 2010, I made a decision.  Due to a dreaded upcoming 30th high school reunion, I joined Weight Watchers.  The goal was to just be able to get my wedding ring on.  It wasn’t easy to change my eating habits.  I was addicted to fat, sugar and Diet Coke.  My favorite food was Mr. Hero’s Romanburgers.  Every day, I’d get up and have to make the decision:  Am I going to stay on track or quit.  At first, it was a decision meal by meal; sometimes it was even minute by minute.  By the time the reunion came around in July, I had lost about 30 lbs.,  and my wedding ring fit.  Awesome!  I wondered if I would stay on plan even after the reunion.

I made the decision to keep going.

As I continued learning and losing, I kept “tightening up” my diet all while still keeping track of Weight Watcher Points Plus values.    I read You On a Diet by Michael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, Md, and started adding the Rule of 5’s to our diet.  Simply put: no simple sugars, white flours, high fructose corn syrup, saturated fat or trans fat.  I DVR’d The Dr. Oz Show faithfully every day (still do)  and started learning why eating meat was not as healthy as I thought.  We watched the documentaries Forks Over Knives,  Food, Inc., Super Size Me, Food Matters, etc. and subscribed to countless blogs.

Bill’s Before

Christmas 2011

A family member had a quadruple bypass, and he started following Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease plant based diet.  Dr. Esselstyn is Bill Clinton’s heart doctor, and we knew him from the Forks Over Knives movie.  We went to hear Dr. Esselstyn speak, bought his book and his son, Rip Esselstyn’s book, The Engine 2 Diet.  I also bought The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., CPT, The Forks Over Knives  companion book, The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester and we tightened our diet again Dr. Esselstyn’s way.  No meat, dairy, added oil, and very little nuts.  We watched The Bitter Truth About Sugar by Dr. Lustig.  Now we are whole food, no meat, no dairy, no added oils and no added sugar vegans!  We watched Genetic Roulette by Jeffery Smith and are also trying to figure out which foods have GMOs (Genetically Modified ingredients) in them and we’re avoiding those.  We have never felt better!

This blog is a collection of information for my personal benefit and yours.  We don’t preach this lifestyle.  What a turnoff that would be!  Our motto is:  We only speak about it when asked about it.  I spend at least 28 hours a week researching the health/diet connection.  The information I publish here is for whomever is interested.

I have had two friends pass away due to cancer before their 50th birthday and have seen so many others that have/had cancer or heart disease.  It has had a profound effect on me.  Why is there so much cancer now?  There is irrefutable evidence that shows a lot of it can be attributed to the Standard American Diet (SAD).   I will post the latest studies on how you can make the decision to tweak something in your diet and hopefully live a full, active, healthy life.  Maybe you’ll see something you’ll want to pass on to someone you love.  Maybe you’ll want to just adopt a meatless day once a week.  Maybe you’ll want to “tighten up” your diet due to health reasons or even just the dreaded reunion.  You can use this as your one place to get info or as a branching off point.  Just remember, every day:  It’s a Decision.


“Where the Mind Goes, the Body Will Follow.”  Laura Arnold

Comments on: "About" (5)

  1. veganadian said:

    Congratulations on your journey! I absolutely love your blog and follow it very closely! oxo


  2. Where are you located? I Googled Santa Cruz (where I am) to find others following the Esselstyn diet and this came up, however, you do not mention the area. I am trying to do this alone and it’s hard alone to do it. You can contact me at my WordPress blog if you are in the Santa Cruz area. I’m trying to find a small group of others (preferably over 50 – I’m 65) to join together to try menus, have lunch, potlucks, etc. I just feel alone on this, and it seems more difficult that way. Thank you!


  3. Hey,

    This is Gary from

    I’m emailing you today because we just updated our article on uses for Neem oil in the garden.

    While researching the topic of natural pest control, I noticed you linked to:

    in your post here:

    Did you know that safe, all natural neem oil is banned in the UK!

    The article might make a nice addition and resource to your page. What do you think?

    Review the article at:

    If you have any suggestions to improve the article please let me know.

    All The Best,



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