I have known Caity Wiese for quite a while now as I was her Colorguard Director her Freshmen year of high school in 2004! I can’t believe it’s been over 15 years… I’ve kept up with her on Facebook and was so happy for her when she married her high school sweetheart, Chris Wiese, who was also in my husband’s high school band at the same time.
Caity and Chris have had many adventures including spending time in Thailand! Recently, as I begin posting about my nutritarian lifestyle I got a Facebook message from her that she was ALSO a nutritarian!! I had no idea!
Then she posted her picture on Facebook of her weight loss transformation and I knew I wanted to interview her to inspire others. She even inspires me and has some great advice for others!
Caity did have gastric sleeve surgery, but found that her weight loss had stalled and she was also concerned about getting enough nutrient dense foods in her now smaller stomach.
1. When & how did you first learn about Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live?
I first stumbled upon Dr. Fuhrman’s website while researching nutrition information on vegetarian foods. I was looking for a healthier way to eat and had no idea what a nutritarian was!
2. Why were you interested in becoming a Nutritarian?
I had gastric sleeve surgery in May 2018; this surgery removes 80% of your stomach for forced portion control. I was concerned that with my tiny tummy, I wouldn’t be able to get all of the nutrients my body needs every day. I began doing research on nutrient dense foods, and found the nutritarian lifestyle and immediately knew it was for me.
3. What do you like most about eating a whole food plant based diet?
While I love being able to shed the additional pounds easily, I think the overall the way I feel mentally and physically has impressed me the most. My anxiety has gotten so much better since cutting out processed foods! My family all has history of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. and I’ve dramatically reduced my chances of getting these diseases by switching to whole foods.
4. What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
My biggest challenge is being on-the-go and finding something healthy to eat. I’ve started listening to my body better and learning to identify hunger vs thirst signals. If I feel like I’m hungry but don’t feel my tummy rumbling, I drink a bottle of water first. I always carry a refillable water bottle with me! If I’m still hungry after drinking my water, I have several bags of nuts and seeds to snack on that will hold me over until I get home.
5. How long have you been a Nutritarian?
I’ve been nutritarian for 4 months now 🙂
6. How has your life improved after eating to live?
Since changing my lifestyle, I’m finding I have more energy and a natural desire to be more physically active. My weightloss from surgery was stalled for several weeks until I made the switch. I’ve now lost 21 lbs since I became nutritarian!
7. Is there anything you wish you knew in the beginning of eating to live that you know now?
I only wish I’d known about it sooner. If I’d known I could still eat all of my favorite foods but with healthier ingredients, I probably wouldn’t have needed to have sleeve surgery in the first place.
8. Do you still have cravings & temptations for junk food or animal products?
If so, how do you handle that? The first week or two was difficult, but once your body has had time to get the processed foods out of your system you will rarely feel like you want them anymore. I pushed through, and very rarely have cravings for processed foods/meats anymore. When I do, I love finding new ways to make my favorite foods healthier by experimenting or finding recipes online!
9. How do you handle social situations and/or eating out at restaurants?
I do allow myself to drink socially once a week, but when I do I am still strict with what I drink. Absolutely no mixers, no beer, and a maximum of 3 drinks. I stick to pure vodka or wine only. Eating wise, I’ve found it’s best to get a combination of side veggies. Most restaurants soak their lettuce in sugar water to keep it fresh so even that isn’t a healthy option. I’ll also add some seeds/nuts that I carry in my bag to add extra protein to keep me full longer.
10. I know you have spent a lot of time in Thailand. How is their culture and lifestyle different than the American way of eating?
Eating whole foods in Thailand is so much easier. They have a lot of vegetarian/vegan restaurants, definitely more than the US. Not only that, but on every street you can find vendors with fresh cut fruits and grilled veggie skewers you can easily grab on-the-go. Although, we have noticed that the Western fast foods are making their way into the culture. We have noticed more overweight locals in Thailand than there were a few years ago, and I have no doubt it’s because of Western influence.
11. What is one of your favorite WFPB foods or dishes?
I love making stir fry! My favorite right now is my kale, spinach, tofu, asparagus, tomato, green onion, and red cabbage mix. I cook it up with a little bit of either coconut or avocado oil, and finish it with a squeeze of lemon and lime for some zest.
12. What are your tips for meal prepping or saving time?
I always have healthy snacks in my bag in case I’m hungry on the go. But when I’m home, I like to chop up all of my veggies as I buy them, it makes it a lot easier to grab them out of the fridge when they’re ready for you to eat!
13. What ways do you save money or do you find that eating whole food plant based is less expensive than the Standard American Diet?
I’ve found that I can spend about $10-$15 on fruits and veggies that will last me a week. That’s the same price as about 3 fast food meals- basically one day worth of food! I definitely save more money eating whole foods and can stretch my meals out a lot further.
14. What advice do you have for others contemplating starting a whole foods plant based diet?
You don’t have to go cold turkey! I started out by cutting out just meats, then slowly started cutting back dairy. A lot of diets/lifestyle habits want you to drop everything right away, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Take your time and be patient with your body. Definitely take progress pics once a week! There will be times where the scale doesn’t budge, but you’re still losing inches. Even after losing a grand total of 130 lbs, there are some days I still don’t see any change in the mirror until I look back on my old pictures!
Like she said, if she had known about eating to live sooner she would probably have never had to have a gastric sleeve in the first place. Also, there are so many out there who gain the weight back after gastric surgery because their stomachs stretch and they go back to eating the same unhealthy diet that got them there. For those who are contemplating gastric surgery or who have had it, the nutritarian diet can help you get more nutrients, lose the weight faster, and keep it off for good! It could even help you avoid it completely if you are considering it.
I’m so super proud of Caity and her amazing transformation and how far she has come in such a short time! I know that she’s gained so much more health back from eating nutrient dense food even beyond just the weight loss. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and inspiring others!