In honor of Craig’s dad (Roy)’s one year “plantiversary”, we are sharing his story. He’s come a long way in the past year and is an inspiration to all of us. We are so proud of him!!
“I owe my current state of health to The College Greens. This is my note of thanks as I approach my one year anniversary of being plant based.
As a very busy vitreoretinal surgeon, my days are often long and stressful. I never know exactly what my day will entail. I don’t know if it be straight forward or filled with emergencies where I could be in the operating room at night. As the years have gone by, I continued exercising to some extent, yet my weight continued to climb. I thought that if I am exercising I can get away with eating all the junk food I craved. Why not? After a stressful day I deserved to eat what I wanted.
Last year, in December 2011, at 53 years old and 5’ 11”, I hit an all time high of 240 lbs. I had constant knee pain. As a runner most of my life, I thought the time had finally come where I just couldn’t run anymore. I started biking as my new form of exercise to take the stress off my knees. Fatigue would set in each afternoon around 3 or 4 o’clock. I could feel myself falling asleep while talking to patients. By 5 or 6 o’clock I would routinely get a headache. This was a daily occurrence that I could count on with my hectic schedule. My total cholesterol was routinely around 260 mg/dL (below 200 is desirable). I had a fasting blood glucose of 148 mg/dL (normal 74-100). That’s diabetes! I was of the mindset that I would keep pushing as hard as I could until my 1st cardiac event, which at some point was inevitable; a wonderful mindset for a physician to have. After all, I’m a physician, that makes me invincible.
Tara came into Craig’s life and subsequently into mine. They introduced me to the benefits of a plant based lifestyle. After a week or two of research and watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and reading Rip Esselstyn’s “Engine 2 Diet”, I was sold. January 10, 2012 was the last day I knowingly had any animal products or processed foods. I have not looked back for a second.
As I write this I am 4 days away from my one year anniversary of being plant based. The changes in my health are nothing short of amazing. First off, I am down to 195 lbs. Thankfully I saw the light before my 1st cardiac event. After reading Caldwell Esselstyn’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”, I now realize that heart disease is not inevitable. I can control my destiny by controlling what I eat. I have not had a headache in months. I no longer feel drowsy in the afternoons. My knee pain is gone and I am back to running again. In fact, I just registered for my 1st marathon; a life long dream which I thought unobtainable is now in my reach. My total cholesterol, taken 2 months ago, was 140 mg/dL and glucose was 92 mg/dL. I am taking no medicines.
I feel my immune system is stronger. Each winter I could count on at least one or two upper respiratory infections. I have not been sick since adopting a plant strong diet. My office and surgery days are no less stressful, but I seem to be handling them much better. My staff has commented on how much calmer I seem.
And the list goes on: I had joint pain in my fingers which is gone. Certainly a concern as a surgeon. I had trouble running in cold weather as this would cause an exercise induced asthma and I would wheeze for a day or two. I just completed a 6 mile run outdoors with a temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit; no wheeze what so ever! Just amazing. I had occasional hesitancy with urination indicating some degree of prostate enlargement. This is no longer present. Finally, I’ve had tinnitus or ringing in my ears for years. You guessed it – almost completely gone. And then there is the trickle down effect. I am a positive role model for my patients. A few of them are now plant based and reaping the benefits. Unfortunately, too few.
Thank you, College Greens, for changing my life.”