FEATURE: Darrell D. West


In 2011, I started the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Denver Inc. to help African American people lead an active lifestyle. I was already pretty healthy - or so I thought. The combination of eating anything and everything, along with a few unhealthy lifestyle habits, began to slowly me down significantly.

I initially began my plant based journey in hopes of getting off of the prescription medication I was taking for high blood pressure and cholesterol. After months of feeling run down, having headaches, foggy headed, just not feeling good in general and watching folks my age dropping dead from preventable diseases, I made the commitment to do anything in my power to get off the medication I was being prescribed. I was suffering from all the typical signs of your body being flooded with toxins.

My older brother and one of my childhood friends had already been living a plant based lifestyle. They never went overboard promoting a vegan lifestyle and didn't really say much about it other than turning down any thing with meat saying "no I don't eat that". I fired off text after text picking their minds about recipes and started doing my own research on the food we eat and how it's processed. Along the way I learned about how leading a plant based lifestyle is proven to reverse heart disease and diabetes. After years of taking my health for granted I made the commitment to myself to do everything possible to remain healthy for the long run.

Transitioning to a plant based lifestyle has lowered my blood pressure/ cholesterol and I no longer suffer from any of the symptoms I was previously experiencing. The best thing about a plant based lifestyle is the acceptance of the power you have within yourself, the ability to rely on oneself instead of always seeking help out of a situation. I have learned to embrace the uncomfortable moments and in those times dig deep inside and figure out what really matters in each situation. Meditation and exercise have been a huge help for me during the transition to a plant based lifestyle. I can truly say that I have regained control of every aspect of my life.

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Instagram: @hillside_herbivore