Hello, my name is Edwin, I am one of the founders of 1:29 and I would like to share a glimpse of my plant-based journey with you.
Cultures and traditions can be wonderful, but I strongly believe new knowledge should change one’s culture and traditions. Especially if it’s going to help improve you and future generations. We should not let the power and unbreakability of culture and traditions dictate our future.
I was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. As a Puerto Rican I grew up eating mangoes, pineapples, Quenepas, lettuce, tomatoes, white rice, red beans, Gandules (pigeon peas), yam, yuca, a variation of fried foods, and lots of sweets. I also ate an abundance of Lechon asado (roast pork), pork feet stew, chicken, chillo (red snapper), my fathers amazing juicy barbecue ribs/steaks (so yummy you had to suck the bones dry), lobster, and shrimp. It was a diet heavy on white rice, red beans, animal protein, and sweets. Light on fruits and definitely light on vegetables. This was the way I ate for the first 25 years of my life. In fact, by the age of 20 I would eat and drink just about anything. I struggled with hypoglycemia since my teen years and doctors always told me to eat anything except sugary foods, especially fruits. How wrong they were about the fruits.It was in my late 20's that I was introduced to vegetarianism. Into my 30's I continued struggling with minor health issues and my diet. Up and down like a yo-yo I would go, one moment I stuck with vegetarianism and the next I went back to eating animal products. Then in my early 30's I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. Again my diet was not discussed much. Doctors just slapped me with medications to control my MVP. I remember asking “will I have to take this medication forever?” The answer was YES. First toprol and then atenolol. These medications would control my MVP symptoms, but give me side effect symptoms like dizziness, tiredness, and anxiety. Onward I continued as I trusted my doctors, my culture, and my traditions. Thankfully I also started reading and educating myself. By the age of 42 I went 100% vegan. Some years later I acquired the services of a plant-based doctor. I highly recommend this if you go plant based. A non-plant-based doctor will not have the experience and education you’ll need to get through the struggles you’ll encounter. Gradually through my new doctor’s guidance I stopped taking any medications for my MVP, my hypoglycemia symptoms disappeared, and My MVP was now controlled by healthy plant-based foods.
I learned to let food be my medicine. Today, at the age of 52, I follow a whole food plant-based lifestyle. I call it lifestyle because I believe diets don’t work. Diets are for a time. Lifestyles are forever. Now I eat fruits, vegetables, herbs, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and minimally processed foods made from plants. Going forward I will continue to educate myself and learn. Maybe a whole food plant based lifestyle is my final stop and maybe not. I will let science and God‘s wisdom continue to guide me in my journey for optimum health.