How Alishea Lost 85 Pounds By Switching To A Plant-Based Diet

If you're interested in learning more about plant-based diets and how they can help you lose weight, then check out this podcast interview with Alishea Basson. In the interview, Alishea discusses how she was able to lose over 85 pounds by switching to a plant-based diet and shares some tips for making lasting changes to your health. She also talks about how to deal with your family if they aren't on board with being plant-based and how to efficiently cook plant-based foods. So if you're looking for some motivation to make a change in your diet, be sure to give this interview a listen!
Hosted by
Laurie Marbas
Last updated
September 30, 2022


00:01:36 Introduction
00:02:06 What caused Alishea's health problems
00:06:49 The reason why Alishea decided to improve her health
00:09:49 When Alishea started exercising
00:12:34 When Alishea decided to go plant-based
00:25:18 Alishea becoming a fitness trainer
00:33:38 How Alishea's kids reacted to her transformation
00:35:13 Advice to those beginning their health transformation

Podcast Transcript

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Welcome to the podcast. I'm Dr. Laurie Marbas. And today I'm excited to really share a really amazing transformational story with Alishea Basson. How are you today?

Alishea Basson: I'm well, thank you.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Thank you. Well, it's exciting to hear your story, cuz these really encourage people to really take on the big task of, you know, getting their health under control and losing the excess weight. So why don't we start back to your journey? What led to the excess weight or where were you before you made that transition?

Alishea Basson: Okay. So I had a, I grew up in Southern Virginia with a very Southern typical cuisine all the time. And unbeknownst to me, I had, I was learning some dysfunctional behaviors in youth about around food, food, and celebratory ways, food and morning food. When you're sad, when you're bored and those habits, I just picked them up and I kept them into adulthood and they became my coping mechanism because that's what I was taught when you're sad. You eat when you're happy, you eat and you don't eat things that are good for you. You eat lots of comfort food. So I ate lots of comfort food. Hey wow. Okay.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Jo

Alishea Basson: Joly,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Let's go pick back up where you had learned some unhealthy behaviors around eating and take that into adulthood. And that's where we were.

Alishea Basson: Yes. So I had a teen pregnancy. I got pregnant at 17 and I did not know how to gain weight healthy. I only knew how to gain weight poorly. And I was taught that when you're pregnant, you're supposed to eat, you're eating for two. I was eating for like 20, but you know, I was just going with that old adage. So with my first pregnancy at 17, I gained, I gained 60 pounds and I never lost it because it never correlated in my mind that you were supposed to lose the weight after you had the baby. It was just understood that once you started having kids, you were gonna gain weight. And that was the end of the story. So I had one at 17, I had another one at 22 and it just kept going. And each time I would gain and I wouldn't lose it.

Alishea Basson: So I got to 30 years old with four kids and I was 277 pounds. I had high cholesterol, I had high blood pressure. I had my hair was falling out. The doctors were really pushing me to be on medication. And that scared me because my mother had had open heart surgery probably about three times at this point. And I had saw how that worked out and I didn't want that at such a young age. But I, it didn't, I didn't pick it up in my mind that it, I could control it with like, I thought weight loss wasn't possible. It just didn't seem attainable. But then I started watching documentaries. Oh, I drank the Kool-Aid and watched what the hell on Netflix scared me to death, but it didn't scare me enough not to go to McDonald's and get a double cheeseburger. I still did it, but the seed was planted and I started to do research. And after walking out of my, my home and falling down from the, from the weight of me, like I literally, my legs gave out I was desperate and I just was like, I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I can't keep doing what I've always done. Mm

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm. So that was how long ago, what year was that?

Alishea Basson: That was in 2017.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Okay. So about five years ago. So the body just said enough is enough in your, like, this is, this is it. They have to make a choice. There literally was your fork on, in the road. And so what did you do?

Alishea Basson: So well here's the thing

Alishea Basson: That in particular day, I, when I went to bed that night for dinner that night, I had had the typical conversation with my husband. We like what's for, and you know, we're going back and forth and he's like, okay, let's do Popeye's. And I'm like, oh great. Popeye's that sounds good. So he's like, what do you want me to get? And I was like, I don't know. But then we looked online. We saw coupon where you buy 11 pieces and you get 11 pieces. So I was like, Ooh, that's good. It's a good deal. Mind you, there was only two adults and four small children. So that was way that was too much food. But I remember he brought the food in and I, he got biscuits. I love biscuits. I'm a real Southern woman. I love a biscuit. He got 12 biscuits. So I ate seven pieces of chicken and not little pieces.

Alishea Basson: I'm talking full on breasts and thighs, like big hos. And I think I ate six B biscuits and a pint of Hogan dogs. Wow. And I laid it now, first of all, I chose on it because I was eating it so fast. I chose my husband, tried to perform behind, look on me, but he couldn't do it cuz I had such a large midsection. So I literally had to reach down in my own throat and go get it to stop myself from choking. So I laid down that night and I felt, I felt like, okay, this is outta control. I'm outta control. This is bad. And I felt shame, but I woke up in the morning and I laid there and I was like, I can't do that again. Like that was my singular thought. I cannot do that again. I don't wanna feel that ever again.

Alishea Basson: So I said today, I'm just gonna choose breakfast. Different. I don't know what a healthy breakfast is, but I know what a not health healthy breakfast is. So I just chose not to do what I typically did. So I just woke up and I had, I said, I'm gonna have oatmeal and eggs. I think that's what I had the first day. And maybe some fruit, which was totally different than what I normally would've had. Normally I would've had two croissants, couple scrambled eggs with cheese, two, three big, huge cups of coffee that were really just creamer and sugar with a touch of coffee. So I just, I just started the first day with the first meal.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Awesome. So that's how you started one step mm-hmm <affirmative> at a time. And then how did your knowledge grow? How did your actions grow? Like how did you do this with little kids? There's so much to your story.

Alishea Basson: Oh yes. So with me I started out just kind of deconstructing everything that I had already in place in my life, knowing that what I was doing wasn't right. So I just slowly started backing away from that. Not really knowing what I was gonna replace it with, but just knowing that I had to stop doing that stuff. And as I was going through, I was really listening to my body. I was very, very intuitive to how I was starting to feel. And the moment where I started to feel like life bubbling up in me, energy, I was chasing that cause I was like, whoa. And it would always come in like little, like little spurts and I'm like, I want more of that. And I started educating myself, reading books watching more documentaries about health. And I was like, oh, that's what that is.

Alishea Basson: And I just slow, it was a slow build, but the information, it was like information overload in the beginning, but it was so much where I knew. I was like, okay, I can't do all of this today, but I can take little bits and pieces and just apply it where it's feasible in my life. Now, as I was doing this with me, I was still preparing the food for my family as I normally would. And that was fine. I was resolved that that was gonna be the case. I wasn't gonna force my choice on everyone. And then I started exercising, which meant that I was gonna have to get up at like 5:00 AM to get to the gym. As soon as they opened work out for an hour and then be home. By the time my husband had to leave to go to work and then start the day with all the children.

Alishea Basson: But I was okay with that because I remember being a couch mom and the, the guilt of literally just like screaming at my kids to please stay in the living room because I can't chase you up the stairs. Please don't go outside the door. Like literally corralling them in, in gates because I physically couldn't chase them. So the fact that I had to be up and I was moving around and I was active and I could be, I didn't mind it. I actually, I loved it. I loved being able to, so it took about, I'll say seven to eight months within seven, eight months, I lost about 60 pounds. It was fast. Like people were like, what is happening? Because I literally was just, I, I made a complete turn. Like there was no hesitation, it was just complete turn. So I lost that big chunk of weight.

Alishea Basson: And then I watched forks over knives. That was my like precipice vegan documentary. And I was like, that's it I'm gonna do it. But I was still kind of hesitant. But then I watched dominion and then I was sold. I was like, if athletes can do it, I can do it. So, but I knew it had to be gradual. Cause everything I had done up to this point had been gradual. So that was in August. So I said, okay, I'm gonna make a new year's resolution January 1st. Not gonna eat anymore. I'm just, I'm gonna be totally plant based. So from August to January, I just slowly started taking away things as I'm still preparing it for my family <laugh> so I just took out the stuff that I knew I wasn't fond of. I was like, oh I can kick out pork. Never been my jam.

Alishea Basson: I can kick out beef. It's fine. But I held on the chicken and cheese until the very end I chicken and cheese, myself to death to the point where I I'm totally fine. Never eating that again. Cause I ate it so much for like two months. And that was just how it went. I, I stopped, I made that announcement at my in-law's house on, on Thanksgiving. I don't, I don't encourage anyone to ever do that. Especially if your in-laws live in Tennessee, don't don't do that. It's not a good idea to announce it in front of the whole family that you're gonna go vegan on Thanksgiving when there's a on yeah. When there's a big old Turkey on the table <laugh> so they had all the questions and I didn't have answers, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. And I didn't let their questions stop me or hinder me or the fact that my husband was like, I don't understand. Because his lack of understanding, it just complimented the fact that I didn't understand, but I just felt led to do it. So I did it. So everyone else's lack of understanding didn't mean a thing. Cause I didn't even know why I just knew I wanted to try. So that's what I did. And it was literally the one new year's resolution in all of my 36 years that actually stuck.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm that's fantastic. So this was new year's of 2018?

Alishea Basson: Yes.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Okay. And then you went on to lose how much more additional weight.

Alishea Basson: Oh my gosh. That was so at that point then it just really started to come off and that was 85 pounds more after that. Wow. And I was just like, it was like, I, I couldn't, it was effortless and I'm like, man, why didn't I know about this years ago, like this, like why didn't someone give me the secret when I was 17, 18 years old? Because it was so quick and so fast and the reward, I didn't care that the scale was going down. I just felt so incredibly good. I felt like I could run. I slept better. I stopped having, I didn't have any more seizures. I went to see my doctor and I never knew he was vegan until I announced that I was vegan. And he was like, oh good for you. And I was like, do I gotta come back next year?

Alishea Basson: He's like, not really, if you know, if everything's, if you're feeling good and you keep doing everything that you're doing, I don't need to see you. And normally I go to the doctor and they're like, oh yes, we need to see you back next month. We need to check this and check that. But that was the first time where he was just like, yeah, you're good. You're fine. I don't no. So yeah, it just was a quick for me it was the first, but this wasn't my first time trying to lose weight. I had tried in the past in very, very unhealthy ways. But this was the one time where it stayed because I, I wasn't chasing a number. I was chasing a feeling.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm. Yes. And so that feeling is alive, right? It's the, the energy, the, the like, oh, I've been missing this my whole life. It's amazing. Yeah, absolutely. So now tell me a little bit about that is how's the family over cause now you have five babies. So you've had another one since. So what are the ages and your husband and who's on board. Who's not and how's that going?

Alishea Basson: Okay. So my husband's 46 now. Wait, is he 46? He's 46. He's 45. I'm 36. He's 45. He's 45. He's a carnivore and that's fine. I have an 18 year old. I have an 11 year old. I have a soon to be nine year old, a six year old and a two year old. The two year old is the only one who is plant based with me because he was plant based in utero. So he just came out and he's been my little plant based buddy. But as far as the other ones, they're always very, very intrigued by what I eat because it smells so good. And it's so colorful, which is fun sometimes. But sometimes I'm like, I really had made this with the intention of eating it all <laugh> and not sharing, but yeah, they they're, they're interested and that the bare minimum that's totally fine for me because I believe in the law of exposure, once you're exposed to something, you can't be unexposed. So since they see everything at some point in life, bless you <laugh> they will they may or may not come back to it.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm yeah.

Alishea Basson: Get away.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: They're peeking in on mom again. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> no, absolutely. So I have three, not five, but they're older, but they were teenagers 10 years ago when we went on a plant-based diet and they were 18 see Jonathan was 15 and 13. And so now they're 28, 26, almost 24 and all plant-based. So the encouraging thing to do, and I'll just share with my experience was at home, we all stayed plant-based and my husband actually, he went plant-based as well and spent 10 years. My daughter's actually a physician and a residency was we, what we did was at home, we ate plant-based at, outside the home. They did what they wanted and what was nice about that. They had some independence, but at home, at least I was not being a short order or cook and cooking multiple things. If my husband would've wanted something, he had I'd have been said, well, there's the kitchen. <Laugh>, that's how I, cause I was, you know, working and doing all these different things. I, I didn't seem to, I just couldn't find the time or energy, but that worked out well. Some others, you know, have chosen a different path and it worked out fine too. But yeah, it's just so important that like you said, the exposure because their health really like, you want them to learn the healthy behaviors that you didn't, cuz it can have such a profound effect. So is your husband shown any interest at all in joining you?

Alishea Basson: No, my husband, I really wish he would, but he just has going plant based would be such an extreme because he is such an animal based eater. He does not, it's not even an afterthought. It's never on the plates. It's just not there. I have tried with him in the past, but it is an uphill battle. Mm. So gotcha. Rather than fight that if I, I just feel like I gotta fight my own myself and let people live their life. Yeah.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I love it. And your little one, so it's interesting. So is has the little one shown an interest in eating other stuff that maybe the other kids are, or are there is

Alishea Basson: Absolutely not

Dr. Laurie Marbas: The two year. Old's happy to eat whatever mom's eating.

Alishea Basson: Oh, all the time. And then, and very forcefully and he's like give it all to me. So he has no interest even like when we tried to give him a cake for his birthday, he's like pushing it on the floor. He's like, where's the pineapple. I'm not. Yeah. So, oh, that's good. It's good to see that, you know, when, when you start him on that, that that's what they, what they go for, what you put him on is what they go for. So mm-hmm,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: <Affirmative> exactly others too that have raised babies since plant-based and then they go out, when they're in school age, what they've said is they allow to make choices at the school price, but then they don't feel good. So they eat the cake and they're like, well, that didn't go well. And they had the bad feeling. Right. So they were trying to, they like, I don't want that bad feeling versus you were chasing the good, they already feel good and then they feel bad. So that's kind of a, that's an intriguing thing that happens as well. So. Awesome. And then as far as, what have you done on a regular day to day basis? Like how do you prep your food? All of the, all of the things that are going on in your household, tell us, like, what are your secrets to being successful, staying plant based in this situation.

Alishea Basson: Okay. So I bulk cook everything for myself and I I used to try to do it for like the whole week, but I eat a lot. Like I eat a massive amount of food, so now I just do it for like every three days or so. So I'll make a big batch of quinoa. I'll make a big pot of lentils or chickpeas. I use my air fryer religiously for like Tempe and tofu. I make stews soups, anything that I can eat on for long, like over a few days is what I do. I love overnight oats. That's one of my, it's like my go-to breakfast. And I, I like to get my produce home, wash it and chop it up, get it all ready, like right. Then I just invest the time right there. And I'm not trying to make it look cute.

Alishea Basson: Just trying to get it bite size so that I can eat it. <Laugh> so that I just do simple things like a little, a little bit of prep. Work goes a long way for me. Yeah. And I've gotten, because I do this daily, I'm fast. So what would normally take someone a little time? I can, like, I can do multiple things and do this for cooking and get it all done. I also I have windows for when I eat, so I don't eat until 11 and I stop eating at seven. I do intermittent fasting just because it works with how I, I intuitively eat. So because I only eat within an eight hour window, I don't really gotta worry about, you know, cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm pretty much like if I can just get two big meals in I'm good.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: <Laugh> that's awesome. So then the kids, do they come in and see that? Cuz I, I know <laugh>, there are times in my house when the, especially the boys, they would, I would blueberries love. There's like my favorite food on earth, but they would get down to the last carton. And if you put it in there, if I didn't put a note, this is moms don't touch or there will be <laugh> someone's paying the price. What do you do with their fresh? I'm sure you encourage it, but do they come in and SWOP it up? I'm just so curious about that.

Alishea Basson: So because there are so many of us in this house and even if you wanna note on something in here, yeah. That's not gonna deter the crazy. So in the winter, around here in Virginia, that gets a little, gets a little tight, but right now, because there are so many farmer's markets right now.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yeah.

Alishea Basson: I, I I'm at farmer's markets every day or two. And because right now peaches are really big. The peaches are right now are like, awe. They're amazing. So I buy a massive amount. <Laugh> knowing that everyone is going to devour them <laugh> and then I'll like, I can't, I don't want them to hear me. So I'll take, I'll take like one or two and put 'em up underneath like the mangoes, because nobody wants mangoes, but me and, and the little one <laugh> and I'm just like, okay, there we go. And like, sometimes it works. Sometimes they're like super inquisitive and they like pick through everything, but I just hit my farmer's markets very, very frequently. Mm.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And the reason they don't like me want me does, is it too much work to, yes.

Alishea Basson: They don't wanna cut it. Yeah. They, they're not gonna cut it. They're like, if it's cut up in the fridge, it's fair game. But if it's in the fruit, but nah, they're like, no, it's too much.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Work's funny. And then as far as your kids are any of them in sports or activities and those type of things. So

Alishea Basson: Prior to the pandemic, we did have them in softball, girl Scouts and all sorts of different kinds of things. But unfortunately those types of things are just now starting to come back like fully around here. And as soon as everything opened up, we live in a highly populated metropolitan area. It like the slots filled up super fast. So we're just gonna, we're just waiting to see we're like waitlist and seeing like different things. But since they don't really have the opportunity to do like organized sports, we've spent a lot of time outside expLaurieng our hiking trails and all of the historic areas around us because this is Virginia. So you see a lot of historic stuff around here. So we've just taken the time to do educational nature stuff that way. And they have fallen in love with it.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Hmm. Virginia's beautiful. I was stationed at Langley. I was active duty, the air force. And where, where do you live in Virginia?

Alishea Basson: We live right outside of DC. We live in prince William county wood bridge. Okay. So we're like right in the middle to where we can get to like literally so many things.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Oh my gosh, the history I loved living in Virginia, it just, the kids exposing them to all up and down the east coast was just really cool. I mean, that was really cool. Awesome. So the kids like hiking and all that stuff, that's fantastic. That's such a beautiful thing cuz they're, they'll continue to love that even as they become adults, it's such a, it's a beautiful thing. Awesome. So have you I noticed also on your, on Facebook you had started some other things, some, you know, sharing with people and how is that going? Has anyone reached out to you and said, wow, look at this amazing result. Can you help me? Or what is your advice for folks like that? That's pretty cool.

Alishea Basson: Wow. So when I first started sharing things on social media, in any capacity, like it just randomly, I guess my story resonated with so many women that they were just like, help me, help me, help me. And I'm like, okay. So I started doing like online coaching health and fitness coaching. And that was great. I loved it, the interaction hearing people's stories and giving them ideas of how to do this. And when it just seems like everything is stacked against you, when your family's against you, when your community, when you're literally like standing somewhere and you wanna change, but nobody around you wants to change. So it was very, it's been very rewarding to to be a light to people and share like, Hey, you can do this. It's it's not easy. It's the harder road, but it is a road that I have walked and I know you can too. <Laugh> and that's been great, but as I've grown with my wellness side, my fitness side increased too, because I became like super, like, I love working out now. I don't know where that came from. Well actually I know where it came from. I had so much energy. I had to put it somewhere <laugh> so I, I, I started, I fell in love with fitness and actually just yesterday I passed my my certified personal trainer exam. Oh,

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Okay. Congratulations.

Alishea Basson: Thank you. So I'm gonna be starting I'm accepting clients. And like, I, that it just, everything has been like going so fast. So many people are reaching out and I'm like, oh, I've got five kids. Slow down, slow down.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: <Laugh> yes, absolutely. Well, one kid isn't up with five, especially with the range of ages. My goodness. Yes <laugh>. And so what is your goals with the fitness training?

Alishea Basson: You know since I started this thing, I didn't, I didn't think, but I've, I've just kind of been led in this direction is I know know that there are a lot of people like me who just couldn't do better because they didn't know better. And I really want to reach out to the version of me that I was when I didn't know. I wanna find those people who just honestly didn't know who had no hope, who had no idea who just didn't know. And just, I wanna educate about wellness, about healing, our bodies, through what we put in our bodies and how we move our bodies. That's my goal to just get out here and motivate, influence, and inspire people to literally be the change they wanna see.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that's fantastic. I love that. Be the change you wanna be. So when you're first, let's say you let's say you were meeting someone who was just like, you were five, six years ago. What's that first interaction look like? What are you, what are you telling that person? Cuz you know, the pains and the struggles that they're going through, what's gonna be your words to them.

Alishea Basson: So the first thing that I like to do I like to talk, I like to listen cuz I wanna hear their story. Because I could, I could assume the pain, but you know, when you come out of things, sometimes you're so far away from it that it's you remember that it hurt, but you don't remember the pain of it. Like you like, you know what I'm saying? Like mm-hmm <affirmative> so I like to hear the person's story and after I've heard and the first thing I wanna say I ask, or I say to them is you can get out of this because I always hear, I can't get out. This is so hopeless. I've tried so many times you can, but we just gotta take it slow because I feel like the biggest problem that so many people have is they feel like they've gotta do it all in a very short timeframe.

Alishea Basson: When I took off the lens of I've gotta get this weight off in three months, it literally came off in three months when I stopped thinking about the time. So I always encourage people stop thinking about the time, just do the habits every single day, don't focus on anything else. And then, and then I'm like one day you're gonna get on a scale. It's gonna shock you, but don't get wrapped up in that. Just keep doing the things, keep doing the things, but it never fails. I always, I encourage people to start habits and literally within a week they jump on the scale and they call me, they're like, oh my God, I lost 10 pounds. This is so amazing. I'm like, yes, keep going. And then they're like, and then it's just, they get wrapped up in the scale and I'm like pulling 'em back, like, come on, I'm gonna have to come to your house and take your scale if you keep getting on it. And it's just habits. I'm like just do small habits every single day.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm. And that's a, that's absolutely true. Tell me about your workouts. Cause people are gonna definitely be interested in what you do on a day to day basis.

Alishea Basson: So what I do now is sort of, kind of advanced, but it's taken years to build up to this. I started out with just walking those literally five, 10 minutes and I've built on that over the years now. I I strength train, like I split strength train about six days a week and then I have one active recovery day, but I do lots of endurance endurance strength training in cardio body weight cardio, because I feel like it's very, very important for us to be able to lift and hold our body weight since we are carrying it around. So I do that a couple days a week and I do a lot of mobility work and stability work because there's been a lot of joint replacements in my family and I'm not really interested in having to have knee or a hip or rotator cuff, you know, manipulated with surgery. So I do that quite a bit.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Awesome. So what does it mean to be when you're describing body weight and cardios together? What or weight training with cardio? What does that look like for people who aren't familiar?

Alishea Basson: So it's like I'll do Pilates. I don't know if people are familiar with that where you're doing a lot of lengthening with your body weight and holding yourself up. I do plyometric work, which is jumping kind of like bouncing, hopping on your own weight. And then like a lot of proprial receptor work where you're kind of falling with your weight, but catching yourself and then pulling yourself back and controlling the speed. So it's kind of hard to explain, but if you were to see it, you'd be like, oh, I know what that is. So if you were thinking like someone doing aerobic step a aerobics, little things like that, that's probably the best way to explain it.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Cool. And did, when you learned that, was that part of your personal training experience or did you learn that from someone else?

Alishea Basson: It was just over the years. I have worked with, I've been fortunate enough to work with some very, very good trainers. And when you're working with personal trainers, you learn a lot. If you go in with the mindset to learn and I am a forever learner. So when people talk, I'm listening. So I learned that over the years because I just, by nature, I have a very inquisitive nature. So when a trainer is telling me to do something, my first, why <laugh>, I wanna know why. So I've just been fortunate enough that I've been with people who have been more than willing to explain to me why they have me do things for like frequency for the purposes, like how this is gonna help in my day to day life. I've just been very, very fortunate to be around people who were willing to.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And that's very good. I love that you learned cuz curiosity is a superpower for sure. As far as the kids, I love cause there's so many moms out here and you know, that's gonna come back that five kids. It just, it's a great piece of your story. Have any of them saw the transition in you, especially your older ones and what did they see? I mean, they must be so proud of you.

Alishea Basson: So they were just like, mom, what happened? You just changed so much. And like they've literally had a front seat. They've had the moments where it was not pretty. They've seen it all. I've been very, very open so that they could see someone literally pulling themselves up. And with them, seeing that they've seen a level of strength that they know is possible. And they say that all the time, they're like, mom, you're so strong. And like you can do anything and your mind is so strong and they say that about me. But the funny thing is I see that in them as they're interacting with one another and even as they went through an entire year, virtual learning, they were literally so tenacious in everything that they did. They attacked everything that came at them with the same tools that they saw me using. They used their words. They were okay to say, you know what, today I'm not okay. And another day I'm feeling good and you know what, right now I can't do this and I need a break, but I can come back. They literally were modeling everything they saw me do. And that was just, that was a full circle moment.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Yeah. That must have been a really awesome moment when you see those things over and over again. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah.

Alishea Basson: Wow.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: So we're coming up and around 40 minutes. Try to keep these around 45 to be respectful of time, especially cuz I know your kids wanna go hiking and all that stuff. Tell me a little bit you know, I always like to ask, what bit of advice would you give someone who's maybe teetering on making a decision to do something like this? What advice do you give to someone to just kind of pull 'em and nudge 'em in this direction? What, what would you suggest?

Alishea Basson: I would suggest just try it for seven days or 30 days. Cuz that's what I did. I did it for 30 days and felt so good that it just was like, yeah, cause that was the whole new year's resolution thing. I was like, I'm just gonna do it for 30 days cuz you know, you gotta give yourself a parachute when you jumping outta airplanes <laugh> so I was like just 30 days and one thing I always encourage people when they're going down. The journey of being plant based is it is a journey. Please don't look at people like me or people who have been in, been in this way of eating for years and assume that that's where you gotta be. It's not. When I started out, I was eating all the foam meats. Oh I was replacing it with all the cheeses until I learned that I just didn't like that stuff. And that's okay. That was a part of the process. I don't want anyone to come into this and be like, I gotta be an alkaline raw vegan straight out the gate. No you don't. <Laugh> you don't <laugh> you start wherever you start. And I promise you just like with the standard American diet, it adjusts, it will adjust. All you gotta do is start and don't don't criticize yourself and be too critical or feel like you have to compare where you are in the beginning to where someone is decades down the road.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: Mm the, the comparison. And it's so hard do in this society cuz social media, all the, you know, with patients, especially they're like, well I just read this story and they were able to reverse their diabetes. And so quickly I was like, you know what, what you're reading is a couple of paragraphs of years of their story. You don't know what that journey was like. So be kind to yourself. Absolutely. So thank you for your time Alishea. And how can we find you? We'll put the, the links also in the description below, but where could someone find you?

Alishea Basson: So the best place to find me, I do have a Facebook, but I rarely go on there. But if you search me up on Instagram, Alishea Basson, I'm right there.

Dr. Laurie Marbas: And that's where they can look for you. If they were interested in getting these personal.

Alishea Basson: Yes. At the moment I'm working on getting a website up, but I didn't think I needed to do this stuff this fast, but I'm working on it. Like I don't have a team. So I'm doing all this stuff by myself. <Laugh>

Dr. Laurie Marbas: I feel your pain. I totally understand. <Laugh> so I totally get it so well thank you again for your time. And everyone take a listen, share this with someone who needs to be encouraged and have a great story and, and inspiration. So you were definitely that. So thank you again for your time!

Laurie Marbas
Laurie is our Chief Medical Officer, double board certified family and lifestyle medicine physician, licensed in all 50 states and DC.

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