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Ever since March 18, 2019 I have changed my lifestyle.

I eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Beans and greens, predominantly. I do not eat sugar, oil, or salt. Nor do I eat any animal products and that includes dairy. No milk, butter or cheese. I used to be a cheese head, essentially. If it was cheese I ate it. It’s amazing how much cheese I consumed.

Most people would probably label my lifestyle change as a vegan diet. I don’t use the V words, either vegan or vegetarian, because they seem to carry an almost political overtone.

In other words, I eat a whole food, plant-based diet because I believe that it’s the healthiest thing for me. Plus, it’s the only diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease. If I have high blood pressure, which I do, then I have heart disease. So that’s mainly why I’ve gone to that diet, plus all the research and scientific articles I’ve read and studied indicate that it’s the best diet for me. (I’ve gotten rid of three medications and lost 50 pounds, so yay!!)

However, as much as I believe that this is the right diet for human beings, I’m not about to tell other people how to eat. The scientific literature is out there. I would hope that people I care about would adopt this kind of eating plan, but who am I to push it onto other people? My son is the only exception and I have convinced him to follow in my footsteps. By the way, he’s gotten rid of two of his medications and has lost 30 pounds. The most important thing for me, however, is knowing that he is protecting his health in the long run.

I get a little upset about people on YouTube or Instagram or Twitter or any social media, frankly, being militant about what they eat. I see two main groups fighting each other: the low-carb high-fat group and the vegan group. Frankly, never the twain shall meet. There isn’t much commonality between them, but what good does it do to assail someone because of their choice?

We live in the greatest country in the world. We are allowed to make choices. We are free to do so. Why should someone criticize our choice because it isn’t theirs? Why do they care? Is it that their choice has no validity unless everyone agrees with them?

I will continue to eat the way I choose to eat. I will try to influence my son because I care deeply about him. But as far as anyone else, they are free to choose what they wish. I salute and applaud whatever choice they make because they are my fellow Americans and they have the right to make that choice.

That’s just one of the benefits of being an American, frankly.