My name is Susannah Dickman, I am an early childhood educator and have taught young children for years, currently I teach child development at the community college and university level. I was born in Chicago IL and currently live in Evansville IN.
I have always been interested in healthy eating and when my sons were born, I made sure that I fed them a lot of fruits and vegetables. Nine years ago we became vegetarian because giving up cheese was ‘too hard’. After watching family members being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes doctors told me that these diseases were genetic and I should expect to have them as I aged. I knew that I did not want to have to take medication and began to research how to improve your health without medication. That is when I learned about the movie Forks over Knives. I watched the movie with my sons the next week when my husband was out of town. When my husband returned home the next day, I told him I gave away the last of our cheese and junk food and we were going to begin a low-fat plant-based lifestyle.
Did you notice any changes when going plant-based?
Going plant-based was the best decision my family has ever made. All of us have seen tremendous benefits, losing weight, no reason for medication for blood pressure or diabetes. I have energy I never had before two years ago I started running (something I said I could never do). I often place 1st and 2nd in 5K’s, 10K’s and will run my first half-marathon in October 2020. I only wish I would have learned about the plant-based lifestyle earlier in my life.
Why do you enjoy being involved with So Many Cooks?
Being involved with So Many Cooks has been awesome. The Food for Life Instructors have so much passion and energy for helping others learn how to improve their health. I have learned so much from each Instructor about cooking techniques, new creative recipes, and more research based information about the benefits of plant-based eating. It warms my heart that there are so many like minded people whose passion and goals are to help others learn how to adopt a plant-based lifestyle. What is your favorite thing to cook?
What is your favorite thing to cook?
My first response to this question is: ‘My favorite thing to cook is everything plant-based’. I am always looking for new recipes to try. My husband is from New Mexico so I have enjoyed changing his favorite recipes to plant-based, enchilada’s, posole, tacos, tamales, and chile relleno pie, are on our weekly meal plans. I grew up eating Polish food and enjoy changing the recipes to plant-based.(pierogies’, plant based polish sausage, etc.)
What tips would you give to other people wanting to get started on plant-based cooking?
The first thing I would say would be to start out simply. Make a list of 2 -3 plant-based meals you can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you are comfortable with making those meals, start to explore other recipes you may like. There are many great resources on line, check out plant-based cookbooks at your local library, ask for help! There are Food for Life Instructors all over the world who would love to help and support you in your journey!