Nearly 50 years ago, Mary McQuirter had a wakeup call and knew her way of eating had to change. She usually regulated the sweets she allowed her three smalldaughters. But one weekend in the early 1970s, she baked them a three-layer German chocolate cake with coconut-pecan frosting.
Her girls, however, didn’t like the cake. So Mary became very sick after eating the entire thing in just two days. That episode prompted her to begin attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings with her sister Ann. She recalls:
“Everyone was surprised I was there because I wasn’t overweight. But just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”
The OA meetings helped Mary realize that stress was responsible for her overeating. Not only was she a single mom; she was among the first black employees at a majority-white Washington DC law firm. Racism came with the job.
With the support of OA, she gave up sugary foods. After a six-month relapse 10 years later, she finally kicked them for good. When her brother Esau and some of her cousins died from heart disease in their 50s, she stopped eating beef and chicken.
By that time, her daughter Tracye was a college student considering vegetarianism. She encouraged Mary to join her. Tracye’s books on the subject taught her mother “… how harmful and polluted fish was,” so that was the next to go.
Only cheese stood between Mary and a vegan diet. When she told her doctor about giving up meat and fish, the response was that “she should have given up cheese first, because it had the most fat.”
Over the next year, Mary conquered her cheese craving. By 1988, at age 50, she and 20-year-old Tracye had become full-fledged vegans!
How successful has the change been?
Stunningly so, if Ageless Vegan’s photos of Mary at 80 and Tracye at 50 are an indication. Both look 10 to 15 years younger! When people remark on it, Mary answers,“Well, how is an eighty-year-old supposed to look? Maybe this is it!
Tracye, now a respected public health nutritionist, says proudly of her mother:
“She has no chronic diseases and takes no medications. In fact, her doctors tell her she has the health markers of someone thirty years younger.”
The beauty of Ageless Vegan isn’t limited to its family photos. This cookbook is also your ticket to a “trip around the world through vegan food,” with 100 of the inspiring ladies’ favorite recipes.
Every one of them looks as incredible as Tracye and Mary — and I’m excited to feature Ageless Vegan in my home kitchen!