My grandparents died before I was born, my dad died at the age of 54 and my mom at 59. Even my mom’s sister died in her early 50’s. Then to add the final blow, my wonderful brother died at 34. They were all overweight, and my mom and brother died of cancer (lymphoma). It was a shock to me, and I realized that I needed to try and be as healthy as I could to live into my sixties and beyond. So I began to eat healthy, or what I thought was healthy at the time. I did eat lots of vegetables and fruits, while still eating meats and dairy, and getting a bit of exercise. I guess I was close to being a vegetarian for many years, but I ate sweets and I was becoming overweight as I got older.
Over three years ago, I decided it was time to go vegetarian. Jean and Arnell at work were eating this way, and they gave me suggestions on many books to read. The first book I read was Dr. Esselstyn’s book on heart disease. When I heard about his research and test group of people with serious heart conditions, and how he turned them completely around, I realized that this was what my dad needed. He actually didn’t have a diseased heart, but he had been eating wrong his entire life and had let his arteries get clogged with cholesterol and he was very overweight. He needed a bypass to save his life. It was a relief for me to think that diet might actually be the entire answer for me.
At that time, I was taking Lipitor, Ramapril, Boniva, Nexium, and Metamucil. Many years before, when I found out I had a cholesterol problem, my total number was 295. That’s when I began taking the Lipitor. By the time I became a vegetarian my total number was down to 195.
After two years vegetarian, I went to the Engine2 Immersion program in Marshall, Texas. This weekend was life-changing. The 7 delicious vegan meals and the weekend full of important information from experts were inspiring. My daughter came with me and we ate so much, that we were sure we would gain 4 or 5 pounds. It turned out that we lost weight!
So from the last weekend in August until my doctor’s visit the end of October, I had already lost 10 pounds, and my total cholesterol dropped from 195 to 151. I had been struggling to lose weight and couldn’t seem to do it, but this time the weight came off easily. On my next 6 month doctor’s visit, I had lost another 10 pounds and he took me off Lipitor, Boniva, Metamucil and Nexium. I have lost all cravings for meats, dairy, chocolates and cookies (I was a chocoholic). I would never have believed that my food could taste so flavorful once I removed the butter and cheese.
As an extra bonus, my daughter came with me to the Immersion Program, just for a weekend away. During that weekend, she decided to become a vegetarian, and has lost a lot of weight and has started running.
If my dad had only known this information, he may have lived long enough to know his wonderful granddaughter, grandson and 6 beautiful great-grandchildren.