My story is really
about how life events and one particular event can lead to enlightenment and how
seemingly unrelated events can be related and show the power of one.
Just over a year ago my position at the university where I was working was made redundant. This was huge blow to me as I had put my heart and soul into my role and had been there for 14 years. As a consequence I had a lot to process and wanted to put myself into a pleasant state of mind I began walking at the beach.
Sometimes my husband would come with me to the Cottesloe Beach. This is quite a well known beach here in Perth and it was hot and we felt like a walk and a swim as it was a hot summers day. We walked, then swam. I got out and Martin stayed in. I could see him catching waves, I watched and thought don’t body surf on that one as you are 3 seconds ahead of the wave. Too late, I saw him do a 360 over.
I thought he might never get up. I went to help him get up, he had a head wound and he had very painful shoulders so I took him up to the life savers. One was a doctor and advised him to see his GP since he had hit his head and to watch out for concussion. This prompted a visit to the GP the next day, a scan on his shoulder and a follow-up appointment.
Being the loving wife I went with him to the follow-up but he asked me to wait outside. I have drilled it into him to ask for a copy of the test results so when we were in the car I asked him for the results and read the report. I asked him “Did you discuss this?” He said, “What”. I said, ” the significant calcification of the left coronary artery”. He said “No”. They hadn’t talked about it as the scan showed his shoulder was ok.
Lucky for him he had me so we made a follow-up appointment at the doctors. He referred him to a cardiologist but the appointment was a few months away. He also found that he had high blood pressure. His cholesterol was 6.5 mmo/l (251.35 mg/dl).
Having a science based academic background this sent me into research overdrive. I spoke to my sister who lives in Colorado Springs as I knew her husband had had some problem in the past. This is when we were introduced to Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Junior’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
We were vegetarians, I was brought up a vegetarian but in the last couple of year had been eating more cheese – which is an easy trap for vegetarians. As soon as I read it I felt so angry, like I had been lied to for so many years, being told we should drink milk, eat cheese and eggs.
We immediately went on to a plant based whole food diet and waited to see the cardiologist. I also found Rip Esselstyn’s Engine – 2 Seven Day Rescue Facebook group and we joined that wonderful community. I went crazy reading and buying books. I bought Dr Neal Barnard, Dr Greger and more of Rip’s books. I took T Colin Campbell’s Plant Based Nutrition Course. I loved all the amazing people who taught in this course. It was very inspiring and wonderful. We totally embraced this way of eating strictly staying to Dr Esselstyn’s guidelines because of Martins health problems. I didn’t want to have anything that might tempt him. He was wonderful though and immediately embraced it. He is a kind and loving person.
In the three months that it took to see the cardiologist Martin lost a lot of excess fat, his BP improved and his cholesterol went down to 4.2 mmo/l (162.40 mg/dl). My 90 year old mother started eating this way. I also lost weight, which if you ask me is an amazingly fabulous side-effect. Also, everyone else around us noticed first our skin, then the whites of our eyes, then later the weight loss. Also energy levels went up and are sky high.
The Power of One
One of my very good friends who had eaten meat her whole life noticed the weight loss and asked us what we were doing. I told her and suggested she ask to joined Engine 2 – seven day challenge Facebook group. I phoned her regularly to provide encouragement and support. She told me later than she thought she would just do it for the seven days for some weight loss but after she had done seven days she felt so good she did not want to go back to her old ways of eating.
Then, another friend now living in the UK who used to work for me and was a keen cyclist. We used to cycled 40Kg a day to work and back while she lived here and we kept in touch when she left. I knew she had been diagnosed a type II diabetic while she was here and had significantly changed her eating and exercise to improve her life. I told her about this way of eating, sent her many resources, recommended books and she transitioned to Whole Food Plant Based eating. We are in contact and she is still eating this way and feeling great, and has run her first triathlon just last week and didn’t come last in her age group.
Then, another friend whom I used to work with and I met up. She saw how much weight I had lost and how well I looked and enquired about it. I told her about this way of eating and gave her a copy of Dr Caldwell Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book and she has made the transition. She has 3 children so they are also getting more healthy food.
Other friends of ours just LOVE their cheese. I sent them Dr Barnard’s Book, The Cheese Trap, at least they have reduced their cheese intake significantly. I spread the message everywhere because it is amazing, the body’s ability to heal itself, the easiness of it. I could never stay quiet. If people don’t want to know that’s fine, but some people do. I recently started a new job and people are noticing what I eat in the lunch room. It’s a great opportunity to explain to interested folk how wonderful this is.
I am now offering my services for Whole Food Plant Based transition support. My business is called Plantelicious and is based in Perth, Australia. I know the first three months of eating this way seem to be the most difficult for people. If they can lose their taste for fat in that time cravings reduce.
Anyway, just one person becoming educated about
this Way Of Eating and the health benefits can lead to the most amazing ripple effect. I
can’t wait for the next ripple, love to help others and this way of life. All
of this because I lost my job. I feel like the luckiest person in the world
that I didn’t lose my husband and I have been able to help my family and
others. Never under-estimate power and effect of