A healthy Adam Leeper gives his testimonial. Insert photo on the right is before WFPB.
Adam’s Cardiologist told him to “go on disability and relax”….. Instead, now with whole foods plant based eating, he’s back to competitive swimming!!
Hear Adam’s story of recovery from life limiting congestive heart failure (CHF). Adams story begins in January 2013 when he found he could hardly do anything without shortness of breath; he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure from cardiomyopathy. Even with maximal medical management, he still couldn’t walk 1/2 a block without stopping to catch his breath. His cardiologist had suggested he retire and go on disability.
Several months later his family convinced him to join our Healthy Eating Adventure at Wilson College. Within 3 weeks his well being had improved dramatically. He had lost 9 pounds and was walking further without feeling short of breath; his energy was back! (And his reflux was gone!!) Within 6 weeks he was back to swimming laps and within 9 months he was back to top shape and invited to swim in the Senior Olympics.
Fast forward, 4 years after starting whole foods plant based, he was still going strong and provided an update at an HEA graduation. He had had a follow up echocardiogram – to his cardiologist’s surprise his ejection fraction was up from 34 % to 55% – better than the average active person in his age group!
Back to Competitive Swimming with WFPB
There’s good reason why this improvement in cardiac function and energy can happen.
A whole food plant based diet gets rid of the foods that cause endothelial inflammation (the arterial lining that promotes blood vessel dilation and prevents clotting) Getting rid of animal products eliminates production of the inflammatory molecule TMAO. AND WFPB provides the minerals and nutrients, vitamins and anti inflammatory molecules that were missing. Read about your endothelium. Healing the endothelium and reducing inflammation allowed improvement in circulation to the heart, and thus, improved function. It also improves circulation to your muscles, your lungs, your brain …. a healthy endothelium is crucial throughout your body. It certainly made a difference for Adam.
In Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Caldwell Esselstyn MD describes his research with whole foods plant based and treatment of patients with severe cardiac disease, including congestive heart failure. He reports on patients who had been told to “sit out the rest of their lives” with their CHF, who regained their vigor and health, just like Adam did with this healthy eating lifestyle.
Shelby R. No More Acid Reflux!!
Nick L. – Reversal of Fatty Liver! “HEA was a Lifesaver for Me”
Chef Nick Lula
"My name is Nick and the Healthy Eating Adventure Program has saved my life. Before starting HEA, my body was plagued with the following:
Weight approached 300 pounds
Cholesterol exceeded 260
Triglycerides exceeded 800
Blood pressure – out of control!
Who knows what else ?????
“After 19 months of strict adherence to a Plant based diet emphasizing low fat, low salt, low sugar and the avoidance of processed foods; I can boast a complete absence of the aforementioned problems. My Total Cholesterol is now below 170, Triglycerides 160, BP averages 118/74, today’s weight 221 pounds and all the other conditions have disappeared completely – including my liver is back to normal on ultrasound!”
“For decades, I treated my problems with both prescription and over the shelf medications, strict adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, and a wide variety of supplements including wild caught salmon oil, vitamins, and natural herbs, nothing worked. What was I doing wrong?”
“The Healthy Eating Adventure was introduced to me July 22, 2013. That night, I enjoyed my first Low Fat, Low Salt, Natural Plant Based Meal. It was delicious! Within one week of adhering to this new diet, my Acid Reflux had disappeared. It was like a miracle. After consuming more than 15,000 Tums in my life, I no longer needed them! A few weeks later, the Sleep Apnea disappeared, and within a 6-month period I was void of Arthritis, Gout, sugar was regularly testing around 96 and body weight was dropping an average of 3 pounds per week (along with Blood Pressure). Even my attitude and energy level had improved. I no longer require any medication! Zippo – the goose egg!”
Nick’s athletic son also discovered the benefits:
“Just last week, my 24 year old body builder son (Raffaele) made the decision to follow this lifestyle, inspired solely on first hand observations of his Dad’s metamorphic changes. That’s a bid deal, considering, his normal diet generally included more than a pound of animal protein/fat per day.
Seven days into his new diet, I am convinced his skin tone looks rosier and he just seems to be happier. Raff says he is amazed at how much better he feels in the morning. Please Note – Raff is a young athletic man enjoying remarkable health and sculptured physique. Even in his fine tuned condition, he has been able to feel an improvement in his energy level, after barely a week of practicing his new eating style.”
Marguerite F. – Improved Retinal Blood Vessels!!
And Reversal of Congestive Heart Failure
Marguerite has good reason to stick with whole foods plant based eating. In 2011 she had her first MI and a stent placed in a 99% occluded LAD. That gave her the push to take on healthier eating …..for a while, but old habits soon took over. In March of 2017 she was back in the hospital with a 2nd MI and the previous stented artery was again 99% occluded! This time she underwent a triple bypass; her ejection fraction was down to 33%.
Marguerite discovered the support of Healthy Eating Adventure and whole foods plant based eating (though her old habits were still screaming “no, we want the golden arches!”
Within 2 weeks she had lowered her 70/30 insulin from 50 units twice daily to 20 units twice daily. Her old eating habits had caused type 2 diabetes. Now, leaving out animal products and processed foods reverses the “lipo-toxicity” that contributes to diabetes. Saturated fat in cells “jams up” the normal energy functions of the microsomes and also changes the cell membrane function – making the cells not respond well to insulin, and not use glucose effectively. Whole foods plant based reverses that lipo-toxicity. And of course choosing whole foods without added sugars helps also!! She’s also added exercise.
When she went to her cardiologist for her 1 year echocardiogram follow up, she had been told that if her ejection fraction was less than 30% she would need a defibrillator implanting. But her ejection fraction results were remarkable – 55%!!!! How does plant based diet produce that much improvement? Read here about your endothelium And she notes that her strength, exercise tolerance and energy continue to improve.
A recent visit to her retinal ophthalmologist showed that her retinal blood vessels have improved and are good now. This is remarkable good news since diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and whole foods plant based eating has reversed this risk for Marguerite!
How does Marguerite deal with that tough bunch of old habits that call to her? “Reminding myself what my previous eating habits did to my arteries, and how they blocked the stent in such a short time helps keep me on track with WFPB. I think about the food I eat and what it does to my body. I certainly do not want to go thru another bypass or experience a stroke because of unhealthy choices. I am committing to making healthy choices so that I can function fully (physically and mentally); I don’t want to depend on medications or mechanical aids for daily activities and life.”
Group Results from An Adventure!
Larry starts his amazing story “It’s a great day to be Alive” ……. Because there was a day in 2007 when he wasn’t!!!
Larry was active, following a “Mediterranean Diet” and having a good day in summer 2007 until…… and the next thing he remembers was waking up to bright lights, with monitors pinging, and a nurse at his bedside. He found out that it was 3 weeks later, and he was in an ICU after cardiac resuscitation and placement of 4 stents. He read and explored to see what he could do, worried the stents would block; and then he heard about Caldwell Esselstyn’s research and his visit to Mercersburg in 2011.
Larry came to our next Healthy Eating Adventure in January 2012, and has been a strong whole foods plant based advocate and ever since.
8 years later he’s had no recurrent symptoms and is full of energy, and an outstanding HEA coach. He had this picture taken on his bike trip summer 2018 through the high peaks of the Andes!!!
After WFPB – feeling like a kid!!
Well, I paid strict attention to my sodium intake, exercised more and drank less, and my BP readings are now normal.
Do I feel better being on a WFPB diet? I never used to think I felt bad, but looking back, being retired I had the luxury of taking 2 naps a day, which I needed due to tiredness. Now, I wake naturally between 5:00 and 6:00, and never feel like laying down for a nap, so yeah, I do feel much better.
My goal in changing my diet and lifestyle was to improve my health, not to lose weight. But I did lose weight, 34 lbs., and went from a 39” waist to a 35”. I am not afraid of dying, and don’t wish to live forever, but I figure that while I am still on this earth, I may as well have good health. I continue to educate myself, looking to doctors like Neal Barnard and Michael Greger for information. I try to nudge my kids and their families toward healthy eating, but so far none have even read the books I bought for them. I hope that some day (soon) they see the light.”
This isn’t a “diet”. This is a way of life that people can live with!! It’s not counting calories; your weight normalizes because you’re eating deliciously nutritious whole foods, and feeling fully satisfied.
Other Amazing HEA Results. Whole foods plant based eating also benefits the environment, and can feed many more people than an animal based diet.
Shelby was thrilled to share her photos showing the significant changes she experienced from when she started the Adventure in June 2017, 2nd photo in September and then January 2018! This June, Shelby writes, “Since starting with the HEA program a year ago, I have learned so much about food and nutrition. As a result of changing to a whole foods plant based lifestyle, I no longer need to use medication for acid reflux and have been able to stop 1 of my blood pressure pills. I have lost over 30 pounds, my cholesterol has been lowered by more than 30 points, and triglycerides by more than 85. Not only do I feel better, I have less cravings and my body is learning to eat for nutrition.”
Nick Lula happily hosted Adventures at Shippensburg University because “This saved my life!!” Nick jokes – “I used to think night time acid reflux was normal, and kept Tums at my bedside. ” He once calculated he had taken 15,000 Tums in the 20 years before changing to whole foods plant based eating completely vanished the reflux problem!
“For decades, my sister has eaten a vegetarian/vegan diet. I always thought that was pretty extreme, and envisioned her trying to live on sawdust for breakfast. (Note – his sister Jean has been an HEA coach since 2011 and loves sharing the “how to’s” and science of WFPB)
We got to talking about diet 18 months ago, and she encouraged me to watch the movie Forks Over Knives. I did watch the movie, and found the information so compelling that I haven’t eaten any meat or dairy products since.
Right around that time, my Dr. was really pushing to me to start taking statins for high cholesterol. I told him I wanted to see if my new diet would provide the needed improvement. 3 months later, not only were my cholesterol numbers “excellent,” but my blood sugar level was also
back to normal.
Recently, my blood pressure readings were high enough that my Dr. wanted me to go on meds for that. I told him I wanted to fix the problem thru diet and lifestyle improvements. He cautioned me that these problems are “in my genes,” and there’s no fighting that. I told him taking BP meds is like having your house catch on fire, so the homeowner takes a pill to silence the smoke alarm. The house is still burning!