Hi, I’m Clara Welch, a recently converted plant-based cook. I am a wife, mom of three incredible kids and Nonny of two amazing grandchildren. I started really cooking 15 years ago, before that I cooked from boxes. I started watching Food Network and realized I could cook like that too. So I got my kitchen ready with some essentials needed to make cooking easier and dove in. I fell in love with cooking. About 7 years ago I realized I needed to start cooking healthier and getting in better shape. Which ultimately led to plant based cooking. Since I began this healthier cooking I have lost about 60 pounds. I am self-taught; I am not a nutritionist or a chef. But anyone can learn how to eat better and cook delicious meals for yourself and your loved ones.
I am grateful for the people God has put around me. Including my loving family and friends that make me a better person. Grateful for a more sustainable and kinder way to eat. From this gratefulness Table of Gratitude was born. Everyone’s welcome at the table.
I’ll never forget the night of July 2, 2017. My wife Clara and I were in bed and I had just dozed off when Clara said to me, “I think we’re going to have to become vegans.” When I opened my eyes, I saw that she was watching a food documentary, What the Health? on her iPad. I told her “Please don’t tell me something that major as I’m about to go to sleep!” I never thought I would hear those words come out of her mouth and I never thought that I would be a person who would transform from being a proud carnivore into a vegan.
The next night after work I sat down with her and watched What the Health? and a couple of other food documentaries and I told her “I’m in.”
There were many parts of the films that were convincing but what helped me make the switch was the concept of the quote originally by Socrates, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine by thy food”.
I have struggled with my weight all of my adult life and have found the most success in losing weight through the Atkins Diet. The first time I went on it I lost 40 pounds! This diet seemed perfect to me, I loved eating meat, it was my favorite food other than ice cream. Whenever I wanted to lose weight I would go back on it. I would guess that over the years I’ve probably lost more than 200 lbs. through eating a high protein diet, but I always gained it back.
My “Before” Picture
The day after watching the documentaries was the 4th of July. We went over to my daughter’s house for the day and my wife and sister-in-law prepared some vegan dishes that were incredible. My wife made black bean hamburger patties and my sister-in-law made a vegan southwest potato salad. I was delighted at how tasty and filling the food was. I knew that I could do it.
It was hot outside and I stayed inside the air-conditioned house most of the day. The TV was set to ESPN and they were showing The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Championship. If you are not familiar with it, the contestants are given 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs as they can. The winner, Joey Chestnut, ate 72 hot dogs in 10 minutes! I was totally disgusted. To make things worse, as ESPN ran Sports Center the rest of the day they showed a recap about every 15 minutes. I wanted nothing to do with eating a hot dog, or meat for that matter, ever again.
As of this writing (November, 2017) it has been five months. I haven’t craved meat, cheese or eggs and I am loving eating plant-based. I must say that my wife has made the change much easier for me. She has always been an incredible cook and she relentlessly looks for quality plant-based food ideas that provide the taste we crave with the health we need. We welcome you to follow us on this journey, we will provide periodic updates to our progress and changes we are experiencing. We welcome you to the Table of Gratitude.