March 29, 2021

105: From Morbidly Obese To Plant-Based Athlete | Richard Hubbard

Richard Hubbard is a webmaster and resides in Con…


Richard Hubbard is a webmaster and resides in Connecticut. He also maintains a health blog http://www.healthylivingct.com and does a podcast. Rich recently published a weight loss book titled “A Plant Based Journey To Health” about his incredible 150 pound weight loss that he managed to keep off. He is 100% vegan and tries to workout 5 days a week, having done two half marathons the past couple years.

In this episode, we learn about Richard’s journey from being diagnosed as hypertensive to becoming a marathoner, an author and now an inspiration to many.

A Plant Based Journey To Health: From Morbidly Obese To Plant-Based Athlete on Amazon.com Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R69ZJD3/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_HV1AG18EKH0GQE4JFY99 

Transcript

Richard Hubbard  00:00

They all motivated me and I did my first half marathon in 2019. I think the reason I was able to do it also is because I had this confidence. I didn't have this and I was very self conscious of oily skin that would be visible under my shirt. The thing is at the gym, I remember a few times, somebody would say, Oh, you must have lost a lot of weight because I see that skin there. And it was embarrassing to me. It held me back from my enjoying outside. And then I did my first half marathon and that was an amazing experience. Just something I never in my life dreamed I could do.

 

Narrator  00:40

Welcome to the Plant Based DFW Podcast weekly show with Dr. Riz and via a show broadcasted from the Dallas Fort Worth area that focuses on lifestyle medicine. This is the use of evidence based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food plant based diet, regular physical exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management to treat, prevent, and oftentimes reverse lifestyle related chronic diseases that are all too prevalent. Every week, They feature a guest who speaks on one of these lifestyle medicine pillars. This show is for you, the person who is seeking to improve your overall wellness and quality of life. So whether you are driving, walking, or relaxing at home, we hope this show will provide you one more tool for your wellness toolbox. Let's meet today's podcast guest.

 

Maya Acosta  01:32

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode before I introduce our guest, Richard Hubbard. There's some information that I like to share with you. And I always find that it's easier if you're part of our newsletter, because that way I can send you details and links and things like that. Sometimes our listeners don't see the show notes because they're either watching on television, or they're listening on their app. And maybe they don't know how to access the show notes. So the best way to know about the summit's that are coming up and about things that were part of is to follow our newsletter which by the way, we are going to be in a summit in May and Dr. Riz and I and there's another summit I want to tell you about in May as well. So please sign up. This is the link bit bi T dot L y forward slash PB DFW newsletter. And when you use that link, you get access to our 2020 recap video where we tell you about last year and how we survived that. Okay, our podcast has a new look, I don't know if some of you have noticed. But we have a new cover with myself and Dr. Riz. We have a new logo, new colors, a new soundtrack with a narrator who does our introduction. So you might have noticed those changes and wondered what is this the same show was listening to before? Well, we have a little bit more energy and excitement about the podcast world. And so we wanted to put more energy and creativity into that. I was recently checking out our stats for the podcast and notice that we have listeners in many other countries aside from the United States, Canada, Australia in the UK, and I sort of just wanted to send you a shout out and say thank you for listening. So people from Ireland, Germany, Russia, Belgium, France, Spain, Mexico, Italy, India, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Romania, Puerto Rico, about three countries in Africa are listening along with other areas of the world that are listening. So I want to say thank you for listening, and we hope that you're finding value in the content. We now are on 14 podcast apps. And that includes Audible, which is really cool. Send us a message and let us know where you're listening from. I've created this link also where you can message us it's a bit bi T dot L y forward slash PB DFW listener. I want to hear from you. I want to know who you are, how this has helped you. And what has your plant based journey been like please send us a message. And like I mentioned we are now on Audible. So yes, you can listen to our podcasts on Audible and so visit that this particular link that I'm giving you bit bi T dot L y Plant Based DFW audible and leave us a review and why would we want anyone to leave us a review? Well, because that helps other people know what the content is about. Tell us what you have gained by listening to our guests. So I was recently invited to be part of the Pod Advisory Committee for the PlantPure Communities organization. And as many of you already know, our organization Plant Based DFW is considered a pod under this organization. Prior to COVID-19. We held monthly in person events at our local library where we held lectures, movie screenings, potlucks, and even panel discussions with a goal of supporting our Dallas community in going plant based and being healthy. Well I am now part of the Pod Advisory Committee which is designed to ignite, transform and enrich the PPC's endeavors to create vibrant global change. I'm providing the link so that you can see if there's a pot in your area. And a pod is meant to support you as an organization that meets in person. But now a lot of us are now online, and we just want to provide resources for you so that you can continue to be successful on a plant based diet. Also shownotes can be viewed in either your computer or your mobile device. I always include a video version of our interviews on our YouTube channel and the link for that is bit Ly so vi T dot L y forward slash Plant Based DFW Podcast. Okay, enough about that. Like I said, you can learn a lot about this information that I share if you follow our newsletter. Let's meet our guest Richard Hubbard is a webmaster and recites in Connecticut. He also maintains a health blog by the name of Healthy Living CT.com and does a podcast which recently published a weight loss book titled A Plant Based Journey to Health about his incredible 150 pound weight loss that he managed to keep off. He's 100% vegan, and tries to work out five days a week, having done two half marathons the past couple of years. In this episode, we learn about Richard's journey from being diagnosed as hypertensive to becoming a marathoner, and author. And now an inspiration to many. As you show I find so much value in sharing testimonials like this because I feel like people can identify with being stuck in a certain place, and then finding motivation through these conversations. So as always, I hope that you enjoy this episode. And thank you for being part of the community. Welcome, Richard.

 

Richard Hubbard  06:50

Thank you for having me as well.

 

Maya Acosta  06:52

Many people struggle with weight issues. And that's kind of what became became part of your journey is to help others. I did a post recently where I asked people how they kind of managing their high blood pressure, and you responded and shared your story. And then I thought, Oh, yes, of course I seen you're on chef AJ. So I'm very excited about talking about how you were able to lose your weight, but also the blood pressure because that's a big issue right now, especially with it being a comorbidity and making people more vulnerable to having more complications if they should get the Coronavirus. So, Richard, tell us a little bit about yourself your upbringing. And I always wonder if people struggle with weight issues early on, or maybe there were some things put in place early on that led to some weight gain?

 

Richard Hubbard  07:40

Oh, definitely. To start off with uh let me uh show you a picture from where I started, you know don't mind. It's always a good starting point. It is. So this is me about maybe 910 years ago, and you can see it.

 

Maya Acosta  07:54

Yeah, that's a good, yes, right there.Wow.

 

Richard Hubbard  07:58

Yeah, it was this big difference. Um, so I never thought I would be able to do this as much as anybody else. But anyway, but let me start at the beginning of where my journey started. This was back in 2012. I, initially, I hadn't gone to a doctor in years. But the state of Connecticut because I work for the state of Connecticut, they change their insurance requirements. At the time, I wasn't happy about it, that is actually was a life changing moment for me. Because they suddenly required the physical to face some cheaper premiums. And I guess I was frugal with my money because I I wanted to do a physical. And it actually surprised me looking back as my background, I always avoid the doctors. And I'm still grateful I got the courage to do it. So I was faced with doing a physical, my doctor that I had when I was a kid he retired shortly after I graduated college, and I had nobody. And so I researched on the internet for local doctors in my area. And I saw somebody with a small practice and I didn't want to go to a big practice and I wanted to go to an old school doctor at the time for some reason. And I came upon this doctor he was almost he was a couple years from retirement. I went to reluctantly went to the physical and he confirmed what I had already known that I was obese, but the way he said it scared me to death because he told me I was morbidly obese and nobody has ever told me and now that kind of language before, so that was one wake up call. And then he told me something that I don't even think about because High Blood Pressure is a silent killer they say. He told me, I was hypertensive. And he also told me that I would need to go on medication if I didn't get it down. But the next appointment he wanted to see was, you know, just an artificial high reading their first appointment. So he gave me a week to come back. And yes, it was still high, this probably, I don't recall the number is probably like 150 over 110 or something. I still remember 110s bomb number anyway. So it was high. And I was scared to death, he told me, I'd have to um lose away. And he also wanted me to go into meds. So I picked up the medication. And I read the side effects. And it was a page long and side effects. And this is coming from somebody who doesn't even like to take Tylenol, it's just the way I am. And I did not want to face that. And I remember I was telling my mom about the meds because she's a nurse, and she gives out medication all the time. And her attitude was, well, everybody's on something, it's really not a big deal. And, you know, she takes meds herself. This is back then. So for some reason, I don't know where it comes from, I had this stubborn attitude inside me that I want to do this on my own. I didn't want to be dependent on meds. And you have to understand my background that my dad also he was on like 10 different meds and my stepmom who he married later on. She's also on a lot of meds. And, you know, they they're probably pretty much gonna be on meds for life because they never made any changes. And I didn't want to be like that. Because I saw my dad he was taking on one medication to cover the side effects of another medication. And I was like you have to pressing that is. And so I called my doctor and told them, I want to try and lose my way first and see if the blood pressure comes down. And I didn't know what I was doing because you know, I was still an amateur at all this and I was shocked he actually agreed. He said if he if he sees the weight starting to come off and this blood pressure comes down in six months. He gave me six months, he would hold off on the meds and if after six months is down, he won't pressure anymore for that. So fast forward to December 2012 not only did I am impress him in that six month visit this was almost 12 months later, I had dropped 120 my first 150 pound weight loss in the first 120 pounds and he could not believe it. My blood pressure was like 110 over 70 and he was just so amazed and he never he never believed in like a lifestyle change he wanted me to do Weight Watchers because at the time they were promoting a weight watchers for men program I remember seeing that on TV as well. And I didn't like that idea. Why because it seemed like a temporary fix and I want something permanent and April 2012 is when I first discovered Dr. Furhman and then that was totally life changing like the physical was he opened my eyes to the G bombs foods he was on an episode of Dr. Oz and they happen to catch one day it was like a fate almost because I don't know how I happen to be home you know from work that one day but it worked out and I've been eating the G BOMBs who's I believe every day and not sure if certain but those are always my go to foods. I follow other plans I do Dr. Greger's plan as well but the G BOMBS food says my basics for every day.

 

Maya Acosta  14:14

I like Dr. Fuhrman I'm familiar with his work as well. Can you explain to our listeners what G bombs are?

 

Richard Hubbard  14:20

No Sure. Yes, those are greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. Those are the basic foods that he recommends people eat every day. And they work.

 

Maya Acosta  14:31

Yes they do. And so what was different? Why Dr. Fuhrman, why did you buy into that because you've said in the past that you did try other diets as well. Where you just finally tired of it all?

 

Richard Hubbard  14:44

Yeah, what happened was, I was doing yo yo dieting for years and I tried everything from high protein diets to low carb and everything in between nothing was working. I never even had a significant weight loss with any of them. It's not like I So we regained it, I was just never having any success. And Dr. Fuhrman came along and his message was different, it wasn't about the weight loss. Yes, they all had weight loss on the program. But his message was about, he mentioned lowering blood pressure is one of the possible outcomes. And that's that was my mission at the time this I was, you know, really trying to improve my health. So, that that really resonated with me. Yeah, when I heard that, I thought, I'm gonna give this a try. Maybe the weight loss will come to us.

 

Maya Acosta  15:35

Yeah. And it worked. Obviously, you were very successful the first year. So you mentioned Dr. Fuhrman, for me, Dr. McDougall, is the person that really kind of I feel like gave me permission to eat those starchy foods that a lot of people are afraid of, right? Once I got on that way of living, I never really felt hungry. As a matter of fact, I realized I have to eat more, in many ways/

 

Richard Hubbard  15:58

You should see the size of my salads. I mean, I eat food.

 

Maya Acosta  16:02

So how did that affect you psychologically, when, in many ways, you know, you've you had the diet, the standard American diet, where you would order in large amounts. And now here you are eating plant based, and you're given permission to eat large amounts of food, how does that affect you psychologically?

 

Richard Hubbard  16:19

It's uh very strange experience. But the thing is, to be honest, I think I was getting sick of my lifestyle, and the way I was eating, I think, really, it was because of the health problems. So psychologically, I was ready, I was tired of, you know, relying on fast food and all the junk food, and I didn't want to get any worse. So I think that psychologically, that that that was the reason why. And I think that's why I kept my cravings in check to I mean, I didn't have these huge cravings for things when I gave them up. And also, I gave up food in stages. I remember the first foods I recall was red meat, because I remember reading an article that read me like was high blood pressure. And also, I had a problem I didn't mention about the high cholesterol, but the doctor wasn't as worried about that. And I also wanted to lower my cholesterol. So um, red meat, obviously, that was a great food to give up for that. And I didn't crave the meat once I gave it up. Because, you know, I like to admit this. Now, they might represent plant based by just leaving, like turkey or chicken, that first year. And so I think that's why was easy to give a red meat. And then I gave up on aspartame, in any food that had aspartame in it. So by doing that, what I was really doing was eliminating processed foods from my diet the first year, I didn't really plan it that way. But that's the way it worked out. Because, you know, when you're looking for all these ingredients that you're trying to eliminate, eventually there's going to be many processes, who's your able to eat.

 

Maya Acosta  18:04

What you're talking about is some transition that's sustainable, right? So you're eliminating slowly while you're adding a lot of more healthy options. And that's we always say that that's really the way you should do it. I my change was overnight, but it wasn't as drastic. And the reason I feel like it wasn't, was because I already had stopped eating red meat and pork in college. But I agree with you, Richard, letting go of the processed foods. Whoo, that was a significant step for me.

 

Richard Hubbard  18:33

Yeah, it really is. That's the tough part, I think for me is I think the toughest part is giving up the cheese as I say this a dairy that really is the toughest. It's addictive. That's right. But other than that, I didn't really have any cravings. Like I said, I think it's just time to with the food go. But I give a lot of credit to people like you and other people I've heard who are able to just do it overnight. I think whatever will get you there, then do it. If you could do it overnight. That's great. If you need to do in steps, that's great, too. Just I think, it's important to just you go down the correct path.

 

Maya Acosta  19:14

What sort of support Did you receive? So you started with Fuhrman, you kind of took initiative on your own? And did you find any other kind of local groups or online groups that also helped you?

 

Richard Hubbard  19:24

I'm glad you mentioned that the first year I was also exercising like a maniac. I probably didn't have to exercise so hard. But um, the thing is, I as you know, being plant based you have all this energy too because my diet was still bad before then. But um, I was doing wellness challenges that first year. I remember the first one was probably in April or so. And it was a weight loss competition we were in teams to four at the local YMCA and my team We really worked hard. And it's teammates, I love wellness challenges, I highly recommend them, you know, we all cheered each other on and I had the most weight loss and the team. And I never imagined I'd be able to do all this. And, you know, here I am running on uh, we did a 5k, which is nothing now. But back then it really was a big deal to me, because I never could run in high school, I couldn't even do the track and be out of breath. And the gym teacher would say, the end of the period and time to go the next class I couldn't even finish. So that that really was a big deal for me to be able to do a 5k. And, you know, to have the teammates cheer me on like that. It really was a great experience.

 

Maya Acosta  20:53

Wow, congratulations on being able to even do a 5k. How soon after your weight loss were you able to do that?

 

Richard Hubbard  20:59

Probably. I think that was this was in the summer. So I didn't even lose all my weight. Yeah, I mean, some of these foods I eliminated prior to even hearing about Dr. Fuhrman, that I mean, I really got healthy the Dr. Fuhrman.

 

Maya Acosta  21:11

So Richard, what I'm curious about growing up or your life, what contributed to your weight gain in the first place?

 

Richard Hubbard  21:20

I had somebody consider their normal childhood. The problem was, I was I wasn't, I would say morbidly obese as a kid, I was probably, you know, mildly overweight, I guess, you know, 30, 40 pounds, I mean, comparison of what I was, as an adult, it wasn't as bad. But, um, I would hear jokes from different kids in the school yard, I would be probably once in a while, and, you know, made me feel bad. And also, I think, because of my diet, and I wasn't as active as other kids. I didn't get to play competitive sports, like I wished I did. Now, looking back, so I think I would have been a great athlete, because because of the way and now that, so that's one of my regrets about a childhood is just, you know, the kids, they didn't think I was in shape to play. And I, you know, as a result of not practicing as much I wasn't as good as the other. So, yeah, I never really did any high school sports as much as I wanted to. And the funny story is, is I have a cousin, who actually became a professional basketball coach for colleges. And here I am I, you know, I was never even competitive in high school or anything. And just kind of funny that, that he was older, and he didn't teach me much either. So I mean, I didn't know I was very active in other ways, I guess as a kid and had friends, but just not active enough. And the thing is, I loved junk food. And my sister, she loved junk food, too. And yet, she was healthy weight. My dad, he's never gained weight. He brags he's the same waist size as when he was in high school. That's never changed. He's still the same way today. And I was, I guess, you could say, My mom's side of the family. You know, there's more obese people on that side. And, and so that's where the obesity came from. But, yeah, I probably overindulged. I know I did. As a kid, we had all the bad foods. You know I ate ice cream and pizza and after school snacks, or nothing was healthy. Interesting note that my mom did like salads. And I think that's why I developed a taste for veggies even though I wasn't enough of them. She always made sure there was a salad before dinner, which I'm grateful for.

 

Maya Acosta  24:01

So um, that's good to know that at least she did value that but she also brought the other foods into the household, right? What you mean like junk food, so she's the one that probably, you know, wanted to reward you guys with ice cream and candy bars and things like that.

 

Richard Hubbard  24:17

A bag of potato chips a day a huge bag in. I mean, she's changed since then thank God. She's actually reversed her on type two diabetes, for the most part is she adapted a plant based lifestyle as well. So 

 

Maya Acosta  24:31

Oh, Wonderful. 

 

Richard Hubbard  24:32

I'm kind of proud of that so

 

Maya Acosta  24:33

Is she off her medications as well?

 

Richard Hubbard  24:36

For the most part, I mean, he has a cheat day. She sounds perfect.

 

Maya Acosta  24:40

Yeah, you know, to add to what you were just saying about foods and things that kind of were very normal in your household. I, during my teaching days, I worked with elementary kids and back in those days, it was okay to give kids candy, right. Like the teacher was having a jar full of candy and that's what we did until one day we were told we will know longer be allowed to do that. And now knowing what I know today, I kind of wish that I had not done that. But you know, we don't know better.

 

Richard Hubbard  25:08

Yeah. And looking back, you're absolutely right. When as a kid, the teachers, will they reward you with some candy. I wish it was fruit back then it would've give us a much better outcome here.

 

Maya Acosta  25:21

That's right. It was just and the dentist. I think dentists tend

 

Richard Hubbard  25:25

Oh I had tons of cavities too. That's the other problems right, my teeth, and I haven't had one cavity since going plant based.

 

Maya Acosta  25:32

Now, when did you notice the most significant weight gain? Was that like after high school, or your

 

Richard Hubbard  25:38

Oh, yeah, I didn't really gain. I mean, I wasn't morbidly obese until after high school. And the reason for that is because in college, for example, I was very active. In fact, I was probably in better shape. I know I was in better shape in college, and in high school. I was walking every day. We, my college, I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and I'm from Connecticut, and suburban area. So that was a big change. And we would go to the Manhattan the city, always, every weekend, we would walk miles and miles. And I was getting in shape. And I remember my weight being I remember one time weighing myself was a 218. And I was so thrilled. I mean, that wasn't an ideal way, which I am now. But so the problem is, when I graduated college, I had a desk job. And I wasn't doing the walking and I wasn't doing any exercising, and sitting all day. And that really took a toll. And I was binge eating. I a co workers, unfortunately, would often push junk food. People would bring in bags of food. And if there was I remember several times, you know, there was food laying around others went away to eat and they'd say, Oh, come on, eat it, what's the big deal? and push the food on me? And as a sister who was anorexic. And yeah, she she would also push food. And so it's like, all these people around me were just, you know, encouraging bad behavior? Just

 

Maya Acosta  27:29

Yes. Well, I mean, so now you have two environments growing up, you know, the family environment and what they're providing. And then you have work, which it just seems like a lot of times for my own experience in the workforce is that it's soothing. I mean, if you can have a doughnut in between, during your break, it kind of helps you to get through the day. And this is kind of why I feel like it seems like rewarding when your peers, your co workers bring a bag of treats. It's like, you know, you want to give them a pat on the back. Thanks for looking out, you know, this is going to help me,

 

Richard Hubbard  28:02

you know, as a excuse for a breach to Yeah, we would joke because none of us are smokers we call the non smoking break. We did our doughnuts or whatever junk food we're eating. And, you know, to say excuse for a break to eat the junk food as well.

 

Maya Acosta  28:18

Again, I can see how rewarding it is and how it helps to kind of manage some of the stress that you go through during the day at work.

 

Richard Hubbard  28:26

Right? I'm glad you brought that up because I like to say when I made the transition, you know, the foods are still there, I have a different job. You know, there's still a lot of food around the differences. I think with the plant based foods, I was feeling more satisfied. So I didn't really create the other foods that the other people were eating. You know, my taste buds shifted.

 

Maya Acosta  28:49

So now you're getting healthy, you're losing weight, you're becoming physically active and making this visual, you know, significant transition. What did your coworker say to you?

 

Richard Hubbard  29:00

That was a really hard adjustment for me because I'm not used to the you know, all this attention is really kind of stressful to me at first. And I remember downplaying, I could never admit that I lost the weight I did at first. So I would say it was only 10 pounds or less only 20 pounds. You know, I was like down 50, 60 pounds. But by the time I got to the end of the year, and everybody keeps commenting and I finally had to own up to it. But once I owned up to the amount of weight loss, I became proud of it and I I owned it I was no longer ashamed of that. It was almost like I was it was something to be ashamed of. And I don't know why. I mean, I guess because I didn't want all that attention at first but now. Now it's a different story because I share because I want to influence other people into a lifestyle change but back then you know about sharing my story.

 

Maya Acosta  30:02

Tell us about your running and who are your heroes that have motivated you motivated you to be physically active and to participate and I think you said either half marathons or marathons?

 

Richard Hubbard  30:15

Yeah before you get to the running because you're talking about the plant these heroes yes because this goes in sequence and i'm 2016 I came across Robert Cheeke. I don't know if you're familiar with him the vegan bodybuilder the reason I stumbled upon him is because for the past few years after losing away I was dealing with a lot of loose skin especially around my belly and I was very embarrassed because of being active at the gym and through kind of embarrassing to hear the noises you know the clapping the stomach and me so i was really embarrassed for that and i was doing everything i could tell you my skin and i thought one way would be to tighten with muscle and i gotta say it did work for my arms and chest and other areas but it never did work in my belly and now i'm going all over the place but i ended up having a tummy tuck five years after my weight loss because that was a promise to me because if it didn't tighten by then i figured it's never going to be a way prior to that i came across Robert Cheeke and in my quest to tighten my skin and he he had a 13 week challenge by his book Shred It  was a journal the Shred It journal as he called it and it was a 13 week thing and i thought i could do vegan for 13 weeks i was already doing like a week long vegan challenge here and there then i actually kind of liked it but i didn't stick with it at the time and so i i read his book and i was doing him for 13 weeks and started September 6, 2016 i'll never forget the day my last meal was chicken marsala at a restaurant i remember is at a party and i thought well 13 weeks i could do this i never went back to any kind of animal products after that after the 13 weeks was the reason not only because ethical reasons i became an ethical vegan after watching the videos during those 30 weeks but muscle as building muscle was seeing better results and when i was having the minimal animal products and no i wasn't having many animal products i was probably 70% and plant these 70% but by just giving up the rest of them i was seeing better results i felt better than ever and Robert Cheeke he was he was my hero i have so many plantbased heroes as you can tell but i like to give him more credit because he really are proud of my journey.

 

Maya Acosta  33:09

Yeah i am a big fan of Robert Cheeke. I learned about him early on and i love following him and you know i finally got to meet him on one of the vegan cruises and it's just very I love his personality and uh..

 

Richard Hubbard  33:23

He's so positive too and

 

Maya Acosta  33:25

Yeses that's the thing the positivity and the energy that he has yes.

 

Richard Hubbard  33:30

yeah so if it weren't for you i mean i would probably have gone vegan eventually anyway but really he gave me the quicker jumpstart to it i guess yeah i'm forever grateful for all these people him and dr furman and your Dr. Greger.

 

Maya Acosta  33:49

A question if i can interject about your tummy tuck because i've often wonder i've heard about that right like with significant weight loss is that something insurance companies can cover?

 

Richard Hubbard  33:59

Unfortunately no but i was saving for five years just in case and i'm glad i did the only way insurance companies will pay for it i guess is if there's other conditions is causing even though i did have skin irritation and you know rashes and things still wasn't covered okay that was that was okay i was saving for it and i did do a number of consultations i'm not one to jump into it and the thing is i had to do some soul searching before doing it because i'm here i did this the whole weight loss journey was all about doing it on my own and i really felt bad that i had to do surgery you know for this scam that wouldn't go away so yeah i really had to think long and hard about it.

 

Maya Acosta  34:52

Sure i can imagine but yeah I've seen other videos of people making that decision too but but It helped probably enhance your performance even more so right?

 

Richard Hubbard  35:04

It did that. That's why I'm glad you asked about the running to because in sequence, because it built my confidence. Eventually I joined a run club. Are you familiar with Josh LaJaunie?

 

Maya Acosta  35:17

Big fan of his too Yes,

 

Richard Hubbard  35:19

Yeah, he has a run club for mostly obese men end up losing the weight is a high success rate. But I'm unique in that I had already possibly before joining the club. But anyway, they are motivated me. And I did my first half marathon in 2019. And I think the reason I was able to do it also is because I had this confidence. I didn't have this, I was very self conscious of the oily skin that would be visible under my shirt. And the thing is at the gym, I remember a few times, somebody would say, Oh, you mean most of us a lot of weight, because I see that the skin there. And it was embarrassing to me. And then treadmill, hearing the noises, it held me back really from my need to run outside. So it was a huge confidence booster. And then I did my first half marathon. And that was an amazing experience. Just something I never lived. dreamed I could do.

 

Maya Acosta  36:27

Congratulations.

 

Richard Hubbard  36:29

And I have since done my second one that was a virtual one last year because of COVID. Eventually, I want to do a full marathon.

 

Maya Acosta  36:38

I have a couple of questions about that about your the club, the running club that Josh LaJaunie has and also about how you did the virtual one. So the that group that running club for men? Missing Chin's Running Club. So is that sort of like a support group where you encourage each other, but you're running in your own area is out what it is? Yeah.

 

Richard Hubbard  37:03

And we're encouraging others to eat healthy too. So I'm playing by based eating.

 

Maya Acosta  37:08

Okay, so it's really lifestyle.

 

Richard Hubbard  37:10

Yeah, they encourage people on the way to, you know, if they make mistakes, fine. Just get right back into it. And, and that's, that's why I think a lot of people need is that encouragement to keep going?

 

Maya Acosta  37:22

Yes. So I don't know if you're aware. But our group and I say our group, but our listeners are people who like to participate in in things that we do. We just completed a virtual Grand Canyon Adventure. And it was put on by Walk With A Doc and people, we form teams, and there were it was all virtually done, right? But we did running or walking or swimming, whatever it may be in our own area, and then each team member logged in their hours or their miles that is and so that we could help each other as a team complete 70 miles along the Grand Canyon. And it was 

 

Richard Hubbard  38:02

a great thing. 

 

Maya Acosta  38:03

Richard, it was so amazing. I felt like a kid, you know, I was so excited. And whenever you logged in your miles, it would show you where along the Grand Canyon rim you were, it would show you photos. So I'd love to hear about your virtual experience of the the one that you recently did.

 

Richard Hubbard  38:20

Yeah, yeah, um, well, actually, that was more of on our own, we have an app and you run it in your own town. But you don't see the other's results until afterwards. But I love the idea that you're just subscribing if you ever do one. And again, let me know because I

 

Maya Acosta  38:38

Yeah, I'm gonna have to I I'll have to include you because and I just today's newsletter, I just put out some of the images of the participants. But because we're living in this time, you know, where we can socialize and come together. What I love most about it is like, people, anybody who hears our content who's interested can participate in a virtual experience. It's a way to kind of create an online community and also encourage each other to stay healthy.

 

Richard Hubbard  39:05

You encourage the plant based eating as well?

 

Maya Acosta  39:08

Yes, yes. As a matter of fact, now, this was not our event, but we we invited people to participate. It was put on by Walk With A Doc, the national organization, you probably heard of Maine, but they partner with another organization to promote nutrition, like healthy fats, like eating avocados, for example. And so I Oh, they're called Loved One Today. The whole point is that you encourage people to stay healthy as well. 

 

Richard Hubbard  39:32

Absolutely. 

 

Maya Acosta  39:33

So now you're training for a full marathon you said?

 

Richard Hubbard  39:37

Yeah. My goal is, I love to do the New York City Marathon in the fall. Only thing is I'm I'm kind of sidetracked now. I had a knee injury in 2019. Because in college, I actually twisted my knee. And I think that that might have contributed to the issues I'm having later on. Anyway, so the problem was swelling after a race in November of that year, I actually had to go the year. And here's the benefit of being plant based, the inflammation was gone within like a day or two. But now a fast forward a year and the knees started to swell. Again, it lasted for a full year of the therapy and physical therapy. The issue is I keep re injuring myself somehow. So I'm going to go to a physical therapist. So try to figure out what I'm doing wrong that I injuring myself. So once I have the swelling under control, I mean, it goes away and then comes back. Once the center control again, I plan to start training again,

 

Maya Acosta  40:46

That's always important to take care of that injury too. I had an injury on my arm, but related to running away from an insect that was trying to come in the house and I did something like this. And I felt this sharp pain go through so I too need to go to a physical therapist, before I can lift weights again.

 

Richard Hubbard  41:02

I highly recommend and especially the first round that I had, the second round wasn't so great. So I'm trying to find another physical therapist. I'm heavy recommend them that also the plant based eating I gotta say though, it's great because when they drain my knee, the first time there is no infection, the swelling stay away. And I think it's because of my healthy eating that the swelling doesn't last. I mean, I'm still Guinea this is the problem, but I know the inflammation is staying away.

 

Maya Acosta  41:38

And not only that, I remember one of the things that drew me to Robert Cheeke initially was when I was learning about what to eat to work out is what to eat to recover after a workout.

 

Richard Hubbard  41:50

I'm glad you mentioned that because another reason I like Robert Cheeke his message. I had a trainer at the time and I've sensitively given out these gym trainers because I already know what I'm doing anyway. But I had this one trainer and he was obsessed with protein. And he would tell me to have 200 grams a day. And I actually tried whey protein at the time because I wasn't 100% vegan and I actually got sick the one time that I tried it I mean sick to my stomach and I was a mess. So I'm so grateful my body rejected but the problem was I was having probably 200 grams of plant based protein yes is gentler, but it wasn't needed. And I my doctor I had another doctor since my first doctor they went to he told me that I could damage my kidney or liver having damaged protein. And so he got me to think about it and then Robert Cheeke he didn't encourage us protein and so I'm so grateful for um you know, his advice.

 

Maya Acosta  43:03

Yeah. Can you actually tell us a little bit about the foods is because you know, you are an athlete now you're you run, what sort of foods do you eat when you want to really build that energy to run and then what do you eat during recovery?

 

Richard Hubbard  43:17

I use a lot of fruit specially you know, prior to a run, you know, banana even said sufficient? I don't like to run a full stomach but so you know, banana orange is fine. After the run, I like to have a brain breakfast then. Which is oatmeal, which I think is great recovery food at least for me. Yeah, I have the oatmeal typical way everybody how plant based eaters salad with flax and chia seeds and nuts and seeds and, you know, berries. When I go to the gym to do weights, they will finish with a smoothie of you know, just a bunch of veggies and fruit that I think will. I don't really count protein. I used to have protein powder to it. But I figured this morning a protein smoothie, just with real foods.

 

Maya Acosta  44:11

I'm so glad you mentioned that because we did a post recently where we shared like the ingredients that that go into our smoothie. And an individual replied, where do you get your protein? And I thought, Oh, it's always that question. My goodness. It's like we always have to, well, most foods have protein, don't they?

 

Richard Hubbard  44:29

Yeah, exactly. No, nobody realizes that. I you know, they have the there's a nutrition professor at the college I work at and she was very ignorant in plant based eating as well. And I actually opened her eyes about a lot of you know how healthy it could be issues under the impression that you know, we're missing something. And yeah, she's one of the people who thought you couldn't get enough protein. And you had a mix of proteins and all that. And I think the more people see our stories, the more they realize that what they were taught isn't right. And I'm kind of proud that she's starting to open her eyes to she told me that that she's, um, she realizes that, you know, being beaten beat can be healthy in the right way.

 

Maya Acosta  45:22

So let's talk about how you guys started with this sharing your story. You know, going on different podcasts and different channels sharing your story. And then also, how did you decide to write a book?

 

Richard Hubbard  45:35

Yeah, um, I decided to share my story on Facebook first, because I saw other people were sharing their stories. And I always found them incredibly inspirational. Whenever I read somebody some weight loss story. It helped me along the way. And I was eventually it got to the point where so many people were saying, How did you do it? You know, people in public? And I thought, why not try try just to share my story, just one scene and see what? See what happens? Sure. So I shared that on a personal Facebook page. And I couldn't believe the amount of comments and people were inspired by it. And I thought, while I'm actually inspiring people, it was an amazing feeling, thinking that I might actually be teaching others something. So the more I got puppies, the more I got 100% vegan. I wanted to get my story out there because I wanted people to know that you can live this way and be healthy and build muscle and everything. And I think when I went vegan, especially, because it should also say when I went vegan at first, I was ashamed to admit I was vegan. And I don't know why. Well, actually, I do know why growing up people, people around me used to thank you can't be the you know, we can be vegan and sustain it. And so I'm because of Robert cheese food journal, his workout journal, I thought, I'm going to tell people, I'm doing it through a 30 day challenge. And if they see a difference, too, then they'll see that being vegan can work. So this system locally, I decided to share it with the people I work out with. And I bought my first vegan T shirt that I wore at the gym was the No Meat No Problem. I still had this shirt today, courtesy of our friend Robert cheek. And so I wear the gym, people would ask questions not meat no problem? What does that mean? And I will share that what I'm doing for 30 weeks. And because people are seeing the results after 13 weeks, and I decided to share the story online. And I started to share my story, you know, plant based groups, and the story will go pretty far. And people would always ask me, How did I do it? And there's a there's only so much you could say the small pose because there's so many answers to how, how I did it, you know, it was because of blood pressure. But then, you know, there's other items that you know, I wanted to include with that. So because there's only so much to say in a post, I decided I really should write a book. And I didn't know what a huge undertaking you would be. But I started the book, I think it was sometime in 2018. Because I looked at the day of when I started. And if you want to find a blessing in disguise for the pandemic, because it's hard to find anything positive about it. I was able to find the time to assign me finish my book during that year by December. I have a copy of it here just to show on the cover. I wrote my first book A Plant Based Journey to Health.

 

Maya Acosta  49:06

Wow, congratulations.

 

Richard Hubbard  49:08

I had to learn how to self publish a you know, I may be a designer by trade. I had no idea what I was doing with publishing. And so I'm self try. You know, I had to teach myself on the web. And I'm a webmaster. And so I knew I could figure out how to publish a book and he you know, figure it out with Amazon and you know, it's gotten a very positive response, which I'm grateful for.

 

Maya Acosta  49:35

When did you release that book? Was it this year?

 

Richard Hubbard  49:37

Well, December of 2020.

 

Maya Acosta  49:40

Oh, yeah. So you like you said you started in 2018. But 2020 gave you the opportunity to finish your book.

 

Richard Hubbard  49:46

When I'm when I started up again in 2020. My promise was to finish by the end of the year and then one thing I didn't know about myself before I started my weight loss journey is I think I mentioned this before. I'm very stubborn and and um i said i finished in 2020 and that's what i forced myself to do so i made sure it was held in December.

 

Maya Acosta  50:07

Yeah you know if there's one thing that i'm learning about you is that you stick to your word. You you are you say you're stubborn but at the same time you're very disciplined so when you make that decided to make that change towards improving your health your high blood pressure you stayed on top of that and then same thing with working out running and now also publishing your book.

 

Richard Hubbard  50:31

And that's something i never knew about myself which i always tell everybody i'm amazed as anybody they kept it off but you're absolutely right it's my determination and that's why i think it's fine to show people i can do it that's why i want to do the marathon eventually just to have the experience of saying i did something less than 1% of the population has ever done.

 

Maya Acosta  50:56

Your book is available on amazon right?

 

Richard Hubbard  50:58

Yes

 

Maya Acosta  50:59

Okay so i'll include a link as well so that people can know how to purchase. Uh reviews help you a lot as well right?

 

Richard Hubbard  51:06

I appreciate that yes yes okay thank you guys  four reviews so far i keep trying to remind people on facebook.

 

Maya Acosta  51:12

I know i don't know why it's so hard for us to remember that's a big thing like i actually like helping people when i buy products on amazon and i have time and i remember i do write reviews so give feedback. So what else would you like our listeners to know about you?

 

Richard Hubbard  51:28

I'd also like to talk about them yeah your supplements. I was thinking of other topics we didn't cover. I do take B12 which is critical and D3 i'd like to mention they just have lab work in a vitamin D was checked in B12 and they were perfect i know some people were low in vitamin D especially because of in the northeast so i do think those are critical on vitamins especially if you're not getting much sun like i'm not this time of year. I also take on DHA after watching Dr. Greger's video a plant based one just because you know i want to protect my brain.

 

Maya Acosta  52:13

That's a big topic the DHA. When was your last visit to the physician and i know that you had the significant improvement with your blood pressure heart things looking overall?

 

Richard Hubbard  52:25

Yeah oh great you know my cholesterol is great, my blood sugar is great yeah i'm very happy when i see your blood sugar in the 80s it just excites me because i'm you know my mom was type two diabetic as i mentioned is under control and she's she's a lot better from that but there's other people in the family that are type two diabetic and my doctor told me a few years ago if i keep on this lifestyle which i'm never going to change because i love it he said i'll never have to worry about diabetes and hearing those words you know that was all the encouragement i need. 

 

Maya Acosta  53:04

That's right.

 

Richard Hubbard  53:06

Just just see i hear my blood pressure's 110 over 70 or 110 over 60 you know i love that because it shows me it reinforces that what i'm doing is working and i recently switched to a plant based doctor mine for telemedicine just just for this one appointment this year he loses his license in Connecticut next year because of COVID but i want i wanted to go to a plant based doctor and that's why i got my B12 and D checked because my current doctor he doesn't believe in checking B12 for some reason.

 

Maya Acosta  53:44

By the way the doctor wouldn't happen to be Dr. Harrington would he? Okay so i've interviewed Dr. Harrington Dr. Scott Harrington twice now and i would love to hear from you your experience when when it comes to telemedicine because there's i've been trying to kind of get the word out and encourage people that if they don't have a plant based primary care physician in their area they can try this online experience where you can speak with your physician and can you tell us a little bit about your experience.

 

Richard Hubbard  54:14

I love it actually next year because he loses his license my goal is to find another plant based doctor who who can continue to see me but i would continue to see him if he still has his license but anyway i love the experience because he he actually spends an hour with you and going over everything he goes line by line on the lab work he's very thorough a lot more thorough than you'd ever get from a doctor visit because typically they have to keep it down to like 10 to 15 minutes is not as personable and as long as you take your stats ahead of time i was prepared i'm gonna check my blood pressure and my vitals i wear my apple watch is able to check my you know heart rate and as long as you have those things ready your temperature the way you know he asked you those things on yeah it's really i think better than.

 

Maya Acosta  55:19

Right i mean if we ever go back to the regular the way that we used to see our physician back in the day i don't know i think i would still enjoy having this converse conversation like this like via zoom where i'm speaking with my physician and telling him what's going on with me he even told me i don't know if you have used the app i forgot the name of it but he told me that there's an app that he asked his patients to use where they can photograph their food you're the compliant patient but for individuals who say well doctor i don't know why my numbers are not changing i'm eating plant based so he can see what you're actually eating and then help you to modify that so you can improve your health a little bit more right?

 

Richard Hubbard  55:57

He actually said to me i probably don't even need a doctor anyway. I went to him like as soon as i wanted certain levels checked and he did it and the thing is his primary care i think is changing will always need you know certain kinds of doctors like plastic surgeons obviously they have to be on say and radiologists there's certain fields that you know you have to see them in person obviously but for primary care where they're they're just looking at your vitals and your lab work i don't see why you can't go to a doctor in Florida if you're from Connecticut like mean just go to a doctor that you want to see a plant based doctor i love the experience and like i said i plan to continue even after my doctor unfortunately loses his license.

 

Maya Acosta  56:49

Right and that being i kind of want to explain a little bit more but what you mean by losing his license is that when 2020 happen in the you know COVID hit there was some sort of a little bit more leeway for physicians to practice telemedicine because of the social distancing and things like that so many of these individuals kind of started to accumulate licenses throughout the country but now it seems like the regulations i don't know if that's what it's called but like the regulations are going to change a little bit and they're going to go back to being strict and probably taken longer to be licensed in every state i haven't really needed any kind of treatment in the last 10 to 15 years but i do want to make it a habit to every every year kind of seeing my physician just check the numbers and maybe even to share on social media that i'm doing well.

 

Richard Hubbard  57:41

Right exactly exactly

 

Maya Acosta  57:43

A couple of things do you have any final words for our listeners and maybe some of our listeners do not have weight issues but are curious about becoming more physically active and challenging themselves to do like a marathon or just a physical challenge and then also can you tell us what's the best way to get ahold of you if we want to follow you on social media do you have a website, etc.?

 

Richard Hubbard  58:06

Yeah let me start with the website i have a blog actually is going to be rebranded soon because i want to have it more nationally branded or internationally branded really but right now is healthylivingct.com is not really focused on connecticut even though that's the name of the website but it has all been my journey since i think i started with a friend of mine back in 2014 or so and he started originally blogging to live he kind of lost interest in blogging but um it really follows me story in how long and how adobe muscle and how i'm preparing for a race and everything and i'm also a i have a youtube channel healthy living in ct and that has my interviews with Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Klapper, Chef AJ and many others hopefully others.

 

Maya Acosta  59:08

Yeah definitely

 

Richard Hubbard  59:11

So that's where you can find me and

 

Maya Acosta  59:13

Yeah if you have any kind of final words of encouragement for our listeners.

 

Richard Hubbard  59:17

I as i said before i don't want people to get discouraged i know it's so easy to get discouraged really stay on course if if you make a mistake i wrote my book a funny story about well not funny but i was having lunch with a co worker after i'd made lifestyle changes this was in 2012 and he had a bag of chips that he that he couldn't finish so he gave them to me and i was already eating healthy at that point and i finished the chips and i had the worst headache for the next day or so and i realized at that moment that i'm Just Just going back to those who was good trigger, you know, anything, they could keep your blood pressure problems again, because all come Come back to me. So um, I would like to say that, you know, there's failures along the way like I had just pick yourself up and never give up, because it's worth it. And I also have to say that I'm, I'm an ethical vegan, and because of that is helped me stay on course, since 2016. I've never wanted to eat animal products after watching the videos. I mean, it's everybody's personal choice, but for me, because it became about the animals too. I now obsessively look at ingredients, because if there's eggs in it, you know, or dairy, I definitely no one. So for me that that really worked being ethical.

 

Maya Acosta  1:00:57

That's thank you for bringing that up because we too are ethical vegans. Now, I mean, I called myself I said, I started vegan. But really, I started with not eating animal products, then I became plant based. And I watched the documentaries. That's when I realized about the cruelty that animals endure. And it's so unnecessary. We can witness because we can find our nutrients that we need in plant based foods. Yeah, I feel like since we've gone plant based that my heart has opened up even more to all sorts of animals, like the compassion is even stronger than ever before.

 

Richard Hubbard  1:01:31

Exactly how I feel, too.

 

Maya Acosta  1:01:32

Yeah, yeah. And so I don't want to contribute to that. And plus, I want to take care of my health, because even if I'm good right now, I'm not going to add to my health by eating eggs again, you know.

 

Richard Hubbard  1:01:43

Exactly for me, you know, it's about the health and the animals and the environment. 

 

Maya Acosta  1:01:48

That's right. Well, thank you so much for all the work that you're doing by sharing your story of inspiration and giving other people hope. It means so much that I was able to chat with you and continue that great work of sharing your story. I'm going to put all your links in the show notes as well.

 

Richard Hubbard  1:02:05

I appreciate that was a great interview. I enjoyed talking with you.

 

Maya Acosta  1:02:10

Thank you Richard Hubbard. Thank you so much. You've been listening to the Plant Based DFW Podcast show. If you like our content, please like, share and leave a review. Our goal is to provide quality episodes to help support the community