137 – He Changed His Life
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Highlights from today’s show…
- We have a special guest. Welcome Andre to today’s show.
- Andre gives his life changing advice for a healthier you!
Welcome to episode #137 of The David Madow Lifestyle Show. This is the show where I help you live stronger, thinner, healthier, and happier. Fasten your seatbelt! This is going to be an incredible episode.
Be sure to follow my LIVE daily broadcasts on Periscope at www.periscope.tv/davidmadow.
Here’s what happened…I ran into an old friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. And he was telling me a story about how his life changed. And I said, “oh Andre, I have got to get you as a guest on my show because you will inspire so many people.” So he agreed to do it and here we are. Listening to this will change your life!
Dr. Dave: “So, I’ve got my old friend Andre on the show with me today. Thanks so much for being here.”
Andre: “It is an honor. It’s great to speak with you Dr. Dave.”
Dr. Dave: “It’s great to have you on the line. I apologize to my listeners for the sound quality. It’s usually pristine studio quality sound but I am doing this over phone line so just bear with me. The content is going to be so worth it that you will forget about the sound quality. It’s not bad but it’s not as good as my studio quality. Andre listen, it was great catching up with you the other night. We hadn’t really talked in years. We’re old friends and we got on the phone a few nights ago and you told me an amazing story. So just to recap that story a little bit for my listeners. You told me the other night that you cut something out of your diet because of migraine headaches. So tell me a little bit about why you did it and how you did it?”
Andre: “Sure, I gotta tell you the process started over a year ago. I’ve been suffering from migraines and I’ve tried everything to get rid of my migraines. But the one thing that made sense was changing my diet. I cut out meat and within weeks the difference was incredible. I was getting migraines twice a month. And I am not sure if you have ever suffered from migraines but it’s just the most awful feeling in the world. I can’t describe it. Long story short, I cut out meat (and eventually alcohol) and it’s made all the difference in the world. And I was supported by my physician who happens to be a 70 year old vegan in better shape than I was. It was a common sense issue at that point.
Dr. Dave: “Wow! That’s very interesting. You didn’t tell me about your physician the other night. We will have to go into that in a little bit. But Andre, how long have you been suffering from migraines? Has it been a lifelong thing or were they more recent?”
Andre: “Oh man! Late high school. So 20+ years. I am 40 years old now and it started in my late teens. But in my late teens I didn’t really chalk it up as a migraine. I just, I didn’t know what it was. It was these awful headaches. I would lose 2 to 3 days of school and I wasn’t really sure why. Looking back, now that I have changed my diet and I am a lot more careful with what I put into my body. I ate like crap and it definitely didn’t help the fact that I was getting migraines. I was put on many different types of medication and I don’t want to knock medication but it didn’t help. All it did was suppress the pain but I was trying to get rid of the migraines. It’s been close to 70 weeks that I have been doing this to try to get these migraines and in those 70 weeks the reason why I have changed my diet has transformed. It’s so much more than that. I don’t want to oversimplify it but it’s just a common sense issue. And I think one of the things I said was that ingesting suffering just didn’t sit well with me anymore.”
Dr. Dave: “Hold off on that because we are going to get into that in one second. Getting back to the migraines, you decided to cut out meat from your diet. At first it was only meat. Is this something that you researched online or did your 70 year old vegan physician recommend it? How did you actually determine that you were going to cut out meat from your diet to try to get rid of these migraines?”
Andre: “So, the doctor I went to suggested it. He didn’t tell me this is the reason and he didn’t tell me this is not the reason. He suggested it. And he described certain enzymes and reactions in my brain that could have triggered by meat – especially processed meats like bacon and hot dogs for example. When I started listening to him, I realized that everything on his list was something I was eating on a regular basis. Not once or twice a week. I was eating it every single day. That’s bad for my health to begin with, you know?”
Dr. Dave: “Once you cut out the meat, how long before the migraines totally subsided?”
Andre: “My migraines almost had a schedule at this point. It was like twice a month and I was just waiting for them to return and they didn’t. They didn’t. In the past year, I would say I had 2 migraines.”
Dr. Dave: “Wow. Then you decided that cutting out meat is not enough. At some point you decided to go completely vegan. What made you actually do that? The migraines were already gone pretty much then you decided ok, I am going to go completely vegan.”
Andre: “Right, so it started off as, ok this is going to be a challenge. This is going to be a lifestyle change. This is going to be a personal “Can I do this?” challenge. At first it was a challenge and the peer pressure around me was worse than my cravings which to be honest with you I never had. So I started off being vegetarian and then the vegan change for me was more like, look I can do this! It became my lifestyle not just my diet. It became an act of kindness. I was understanding my surroundings. I became a part of something better. It made all the difference in the world. It changed my mood. Which is something that I am not sure your listeners would agree with or have experienced but my mood changed for the better. I felt better about myself. I felt better about my conversion. That change to veganism was one of the biggest and most proud moments in my life. I know that sounds dorky to a lot of people but to me it was a huge accomplishment. I am really really proud of it.”
Dr. Dave: “Actually it doesn’t sound dorky. It’s funny that you said that your mood because I have been doing this show for 2 1/2 years now and I do my daily Periscope broadcast as well so I have a lot of people following me and asking questions. And one of the most common questions these days is; hey Dr. Dave, what do I do if I am sad? What do I do if I am feeling down or depressed? So tell me about your mood. How bad was it before you went vegan? Describe some of your moods that were not good.”
Andre: “The first thing that comes to mind is that I had a short temper. I was aggressive. I always thought I was a nice guy but in lots of ways, looking back, I had no patience at all compared to now. I consider myself a lot more patient and a lot more understanding. It changed my outlook. I think once you make that change and you see every living being as an equal instead of having a sense of entitlement like God put this animal on the Earth so that I can eat it. It really truly does. And I don’t have any scientific background to back up what I am saying. I can only talk about the experience that I had. And I really hope that my friends are listening to this or the friends that I have never met that are listening to this podcast because it’s absolutely awesome! It’s just something I am really proud of. It made sense for me.”
Dr. Dave: “You should be proud. You should definitely be proud. Was it difficult at first? You made the decision to go vegan and I know a lot of people say that they get a lot of flack from friends and from social pressure. You hear things like I need my cheese and I need my yogurt. How long did it take you once you made the decision to do it?”
Andre: “When I first started I thought it was necessary for me to have to explain myself. At BBQ’s especially. I started my journey on Cinco de Mayo. And there were a lot of BBQs and outdoor grilling. At first I was hesitant to even go to these events and be social because I thought I wasn’t going to be accepted or I would have to explain myself for three or four hours at a time. But I went and heard what they had to say and let them get it off of their chest. I thought it sounded ridiculous but I had a good time. I am not here to tell somebody else what they should eat, I am here to tell them why I am not eating it. They may ask me where I get my protein. But I think that is the dumbest question that you can ask someone who has stopped eating meat. Honestly, why do I keep getting asked that question?!” (chuckles)
Dr. Dave: “It is the most commonly asked question. I just look at people right in the eye and say from plants. That’s all I say. I used to go into this tremendous detail but now I just say I get it from plants. The same place the animals get it from. It’s not difficult.”
Andre: “You know, I couldn’t agree more. A plant based diet offers you everything and more than a non plant based diet. Shopping for myself when I was a single male, I was throwing away about $50 in groceries every single week. I thought going vegan or going vegetarian was going to cost me more because I thought organic food was very expensive but that wasn’t the case at all. I saved money every week, none of my groceries went bad, and I ate fresh fruit every single day. the food that I was putting into my body, I knew where it was coming from and I knew how to pronounce and spell all the ingredients. That was major for me. The resources available online for anyone thinking of starting a plant based diet was incredible and the support online and in the community was incredible. I am still learning. I don’t see a such thing as a perfect first year. We trip, we fall, we make mistakes but we learn and we don’t make those mistakes again. It helps us to coach our friends to make the same decision that we have if they ever choose to do so. I hear a lot of excuses like going vegan is super expensive and I don’t have the budget for it. When in reality, you’re saving money and eating fresh every day. It’s a no brainer.”
Dr. Dave: “You gotta love it. I think you said it beautifully. That’s another common question that I get. People think it’s so expensive and that they can’t afford it. That’s just crazy. You said it. You had meats that you had to throw out. They spoil and they go bad then you can’t eat them. So that was a great point. Andre, tell me a little bit about your 70 year old vegan physician? What does he look like? Does he look healthy? Does he look young?”
Andre: “I will tell you this, I would have never guessed that he was 70 years old. He is in much better shape than I am. He tells me that he runs every morning, 5 miles per day. He enjoys biking. He is healthy and happy. His mood is something I was shooting for. Here I am 39 years old at the time and I was in a bad mood, I was chubby, I was eating crap, smoking, and drinking. And then here’s this guy who is not supposed to look better or thinner than I do and he did! Instead of pressuring me or making me feel bad about my diet, he just told me some facts. He told me, look this has been going on for 20 years and yes medication suppresses the pain but I think your goal is to get rid of the migraines, isn’t it? I said absolutely. And he said just try it. Just try it and let me know what you think. And that’s exactly what happened. He was right…again.”
Dr. Dave: “And if he would have pressured you and said Andre you are crazy for eating this way, you better start eating vegan. If you had felt pressure what would you have done?”
Andre: “I think I would have been more afraid than inspired or motivated. When someone pressures me to do something, more often than not, I don’t. That was what used to be. He really motivated me more. When someone that looks better than you, that’s happier than you, and it’s not a financial thing by any means. I just mean that he wakes up and he has a goal and he is kind and he rescues animals. He’s just a good guy. We never talked about money but he was just like look I suggest this and I think what he really suggested was a lifestyle change. And it changed my mood, it changed my weight, it changed my outlook, it changed the way that I speak to people, and my relationships. Just to give you a quick example, I just had lunch with a veterinarian friend of mine. At first I was nervous. She chose the restaurant and I was nervous that because I didn’t want to make someone else feel uncomfortable. But she sat down in front of me and said, I hope you don’t mind but I don’t normally eat meat but you can order anything you want. And right there I knew it was going to be a great lunch date. It was really cool.”
Dr. Dave: “That’s great! That’s a cool story. If you had to give one bit of advice or wisdom to someone listening to the show right now that is eating animal products? They are listening carefully but they are not sure what to do and they think they don’t really want to change. Just one little piece of advice from Andre. What would your advice be?”
Andre: “I will repeat the one piece of advice I got from the physician I visited. It’s that you have nothing to lose. Honestly, give it a shot! See how you feel at the end of the week. Let it be a personal challenge and see how you feel, see how much money you saved, see how you feel about yourself that you are not a part of this cruelty that’s going on. You know where your food is coming from and you know you’re not hurting anybody. You’re only bettering yourself in every single aspect. Every part of my life has gotten better. I personally guarantee that if I can do it so can you.”
Dr. Dave: “Since we have a couple more minutes, why don’t you talk about another aspect of your life that changed once you went vegan. I’d love to hear that I know you had several.”
Andre: “Sure, my relationship with my family is one. To me that’s number one. How I speak to my mom, how I interact with my family who by the way are not vegan and we had our first vegan Thanksgiving. In the beginning they didn’t understand. They asked a lot of questions. And they expected the old Andre, the no patience for explaining things Andre. The old Andre that would have blown up maybe. But I didn’t. I just sat down and said let me prepare you a vegan meal and see what you think and how you feel. I wish I had scientific proof behind the things I am telling you but it’s just my experience. I just became a happier individual.”
Dr. Dave: “Well that’s ok, like I told you before we went on the air today, I don’t need scientific evidence from you. There is plenty out there. If people do the research, there’s plenty. I wanted to hear it like I am sitting down on the couch next to my friend Andre and hear your exact personal experience. So we don’t even need to go into scientific evidence. What happened to you was incredible. And let me tell you that you are not the only one that I have heard this from. I heave heard it many times from other people that go vegan. It’s a lifechanger. I really want to thank you for your time today Andre and I would really like to have you back another time because I think we have a lot more to talk about. I have one more question that I want to ask you. And that is, you said you just turned 40 right? And you have just celebrated your one year vegan anniversary. The way you look at it now, is there any chance that you would ever go back the other way to being an omnivore and eating animal products? Any chance whatsoever?”
Andre: “No chance, no chance. I will not sacrifice all the good in my life that I gained just to go back to the way things were. And I gotta tell you Dr. Dave there isn’t a day that goes by that I crave animal products. That’s garbage. People will say well don’t you miss this and don’t you miss that? And no I absolutely do not. I would not go back.”
Dr. Dave: “Andre, I don’t know if you realize this or not but you just inspired many many people. And I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to spend time with me on The David Madow Lifestyle Show. You are welcome to come back anytime. I have a feeling we just touched the tip of the iceberg here. So Andre thank you so much.”
Andre: “Oh man! I can’t wait. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me Dr. Dave.”
Dr. Dave: “Great having you Andre.”
Hey, it’s Dr. Dave and I hope you enjoyed that interview. Andre is a really great guy as well as an inspirational person. And he totally changed his life. I hope you enjoyed the episode today. I will see you back next time. Remember, I love ya and keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job!
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