In honor of St. Valentine’s Day I am talking about heart health – because if our hearts are healthy we have more time to share with the ones we love. In this article I share with you a small sample of my collection of testimonies from people (and gorillas) who healed heart disease by simply changing their diet.
Most of us likely know someone today who suffers from heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of humans on Earth today, responsible for 1 out of every 3 deaths around the world. Every year an estimated 17 million people lose their lives to this completely preventable disease. These stories illustrate just how easy it is to reverse this disease and heal the heart simply by switching to a whole foods plant-based diet.
♥️ 1. Karen Hauserman ♥️
Karen Hauserman had spent most of her life either overweight or obese. In 2010 she had three children, was in a failing marriage, and weighed in at over 400 pounds. That’s when she experienced a minor heart attack that she considers her wakeup call. She enrolled in a gym and began to research diet eventually giving up processed foods and adding green smoothies to her diet. She had lost 80 pounds before she became vegetarian then vegan after watching Forks Over Knives. She says that once she became vegan: “This is when I lost the most weight in the shortest amount of time.”
By 2013 she had lost 260 pounds without surgery, drugs, or a support system. She says,
“I also reversed my high blood pressure and heart disease, stopped my prediabetes in its tracks, eliminated my constant joint pain, and even improved my eyesight. I felt simply amazing, and had more energy than my kids who were in their teens and early 20s! I was, for the first time in over 25 years, able to shop off the rack. I wore jeans for the first time since I was a teenager. Oh what a feeling! But what really blew my mind was stepping my entire body into one leg of my old elastic-waist knit pants. Yes, that’s right…one leg! I cried and cried! They were happy tears. I was healthy and thin, and for the first time in my entire life, I felt beautiful.” Read more of Karen’s story here.
♥️2. Dr. Rajiv Misquitta ♥️
When Dr. Rajiv Misquitta experienced his first heart attack he had just turned forty and said his life was going extremely well. His medical practice was thriving, he had two young sons, and he had just been elected to the board of a prestigious national group of physicians. But despite being a doctor charged with helping other people achieve wellness Dr. Misquitta says that, “Nutrition and lifestyle were not really on my radar.”
Fortunately, Misquitta discovered the peer reviewed research, published by Drs. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn, which showed how lifestyle changes could prevent and reverse heart disease. He began eating a whole food plant-based diet, became trained as a yoga teacher, and took other steps to reduce stress in his life. The changes worked. He lost 25 pounds and says he never felt better. Dr. Misquitta has now written a book about his diet with his wife and has also spearheaded a new holistic healing programs at Kaiser Permanente. Read more of the story and Dr. Misquitta’s new outlook on life.
♥️3. Ken Stone♥️
Ken Stone had shown no signs of heart disease before his heart attack at age 53. Stone was on a camping and fishing trip with his son when the heart attack occurred and after driving to one hospital and being flown by helicopter to another, doctors put three stents in his arteries in an effort to save his life. He was told he needed quadruple bypass surgery as soon as possible. A year before his heart attack Stone says a doctor friend had told him about Dr. Esselstyn’s book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Stone’s father and grandfather had died from heart disease — his grandfather died at 78-years-old of a heart attack and his father died at age 68 while undergoing open heart surgery. His father had been on Crestor since age 40. Stone’s doctor friend, who is a cardiovascular surgeon, sent him the film Forks Over Knives when he learned of his heart disease diagnosis. The doctor encouraged Stone to try a whole foods plant-based lifestyle. Stone gave the diet a try and immediately began shedding extra pounds and healing his heart. His cardiologist declared he had “rock star” bloodwork after just a few months on his new diet. Read more of Ken’s healing heart story here.
♥️4. Adam Blaney♥️
Adam Blaney was just 26-years-old in 2009 when chest pains landed him in the emergency room one night. Blaney was diagnosed with high blood pressure and later acid reflux. At the time he exercised four times a week and his sodium levels were low so the high-blood pressure confused him and his doctor. At 27-years-old Blaney was on blood pressure medication and overweight. In 2011 he says he weighed of 200 pounds when he began watching documentaries on the food system. When he found the documentary Forks Over Knives he says he was motivated to do something.
“I bought Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Esselstyn the next day.”
Blaney decided to give the diet prescription recommended by Dr. Eselsytn a try. At the time Blaney says he weighted 196 lbs with a resting blood pressure of 132/89 on the medication. Just six weeks after going on the whole foods plant-based diet Blaney wrote,
“I have lost 30 lbs. and my blood pressure is 116/66 without medications. The acid reflux has disappeared and I feel great.”
At the time Blaney was 29-years old and a minister living in Lewisburg, WV. Blaney shared his story hoping to inspire others to find the simple solution for healing heart disease. Read more of his healing testimony here.
♥️5. Evelyn Oswick♥️
After being told to go home and die, she lived another 40 years. An angioplasty and triple bypass surgery had failed to heal Evelyn Oswick’s troubled heart. Oswick suffered two heart attacks in her fifties and when her heart disease returned after her multiple operations, her doctor told her there was nothing more he could do for her and that she should, “go home and wait to die.” But Dr. Esselsytn visited Oswick in her hospital room and told her she’d be a great candidate for his trials using a whole foods plant-based diet to heal patients with heart disease. Oswick eventually got on board deciding she wasn’t ready to die. She healed her heart on her new diet and went on to live more than 40 years more, working for her community, spending time with her family, and sharing her healing story to help inspire others seeking a natural and effective cure for heart disease. Read more of Evelyn’s story here.
♥️6. Jeffrey Douchette♥️
On September 19th, 2016 Jeffrey Doucette’s heart stopped beating. He was driving when he had a massive heart attack which caused him to cross 4 lanes of traffic during rush hour. Luckily he didn’t hit any other vehicles, but when he hit a curb, he says his heart miraculously started again. When he arrived at the hospital the news was grim: “[I was] diagnosed with severe Congestive Heart Failure, operating at only 25% capacity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. My heart failure was a result of 15 years of uncontrolled sleep apnea. Testing revealed I was having 122 (one hundred and twenty-two) apnea episodes per hour. My blood oxygen level was decreasing to 72% during each episode.” Luckily Jeffrey found a vegan cardiologist who put him on the plant-based diet prescription and just seven months later his heart has recovered 100%. Read the full story including pictures of Jeffrey’s transformation and plant-based creations here.
♥️7. President Bill Clinton♥️
Heart disease struck former U.S. President Bill Clinton during his residency at the White House. Clinton called himself a “fat band boy” at age 13 when he weighed 185 pounds. He put himself on his first diet in his teens which was a calorie-restrictive low-carb plan where he ate just once a day and lost twenty pounds in a month. Not surprisingly, the diet didn’t stick, but his quest to figure out how to eat right had just begun. Read more about how the former president healed heart disease with a plant-based diet here.
♥️8. Bebec and Mokolo ♥️
Two gorillas offer perspective about the easy natural cure for heart disease. In 2008 two Western lowland gorillas, Mokolo and Bebec, were in captivity at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and didn’t seem to be doing well. Bebac was 24 years old and Mokolo was 21—both still young considering gorillas can live up to 54 years in captivity. Despite their youth though, both males were overweight and were displaying behaviors not typical of gorillas in the wild. The two had developed a habit of pulling out and eating their hair and also vomiting and then reingesting their food. When the zoo performed a cardiac ultrasound on Bebac and Mokolo, they discovered both males suffered from heart disease. Heart disease is the most common killer in humans today, but is unknown in populations of wild gorillas. According to Animal Planet, for gorillas held in zoos though, heart disease is the leading cause of death. Bebac and Mokolo’s diagnosis prompted a closer look at their diet. The Cleveland Zoo fed the gorillas something called “nutritional cookies”—and they certainly did not grow on trees. While wild gorillas dine on copious amounts of fresh leaves and plant parts, zoo gorillas were eating processed foods made in human factories. These cookies were full of processed starch and sugar and were calorie-dense, just like the processed foods making people sick today. In an attempt to save the gorillas lives the zoo switched them to a diet that more closely resembled what wild gorillas eat. The zoo ditched the calorically-dense processed cookies and instead gave the gorillas wheelbarrows of lettuce, endive, dandelion, and green beans—10 pounds of veggies each every day. Fruits and flaxseeds were also scattered about their enclosure so that they ended up spending 75% of their day foraging. According to the story reported by ScienceDaily the gorillas took in twice as many calories on their new diet but after a year they made a dramatic recovery. Both Bebac and Mokolo lost 65 pounds each, stopped vomiting and reingesting their food, and improved the health of their hearts. Read more of their story here.
♥️9. Anthony Yen♥️
When Anthony Yen was diagnosed with heart disease, he went back to the diet of his Chinese parents to save his heart. Yen came to the United States in 1949 and began to eat the way Americans eat. Yen was a businessman who owned several oversees manufacturing plants and he ate a diet typical of other businessmen. Yen enjoyed fatty foods like fried chicken, pork chops, roast beef, and chocolate mouse. The fat-rich diet caught up to him in his 50s when he experienced chest tightening and unusual sweating while dancing with his wife on New Year’s Eve. After learning he had experienced angina and that the arteries to his heart where blocked, he had open heart surgery. Still, Yen recognized the surgery was a temporary solution and he sought Dr. Esselstyn’s experimental dietary approach. Yen was one of Dr. Esselstyn’s original patients who cured his heart disease by adopting a whole food plant based diet. This was essentially the diet of Yen’s Chinese parents who lived to be 95 and 98 years old with healthy hearts. After switching to a plant-based diet, Yen said that at age 73 he had the blood pressure of an athlete. Read more of his inspiring story here.
♥️10. Edna Roseberry♥️
92-year-young Edna Roseberry says she’s growing younger every day thanks to her whole foods plant-based diet. Her husband and her had lived a life farming their own garden as well as cows, pigs, and chickens where they derived meat, eggs, and milk. She said they thought this diet was healthy during these times. Her husband died of heart failure at age 88. Edna had been having angina pain during the nights for many years that became increasingly severe. Her doctors put her on numerous medications and she had a pacemaker implanted, but she says her doctors never discussed diet with her. When her 68-year-old son found the McDougall diet she jumped on board with him saying it made so much sense.
“Within a month, the angina attacks were gone. I cannot express the tremendous relief this has given me. I no longer dread falling asleep at night. I have eliminated two of my heart medications and halved the dosage on a third one. My energy level has soared. My blood pressure was quite high, but has now fallen into a very acceptable range. I also lost twenty pounds during the first year.”
Edna adds, “You may also be interested in hearing about my experience with my cardiologist. When I told him early on that I had adopted this way of eating, he expressed no interest and shrugged it off with barely a comment. During a recent visit to have my pacemaker checked, however, he reviewed my data and said, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.’ I think he should be telling his patients about the McDougall Plan, don’t you? Now I think all doctors should encourage their patients to try a lifestyle of eating vegetables, fruits, and grains and no animal products. In fact, I think it is an outrage that they don’t.”
I couldn’t agree with Edna more. That’s why I’ll continue to share inspiring stories like these from real people who have regained their health and healed their hearts by simply eating more plants. ♥️♥️♥️
February is Heart Health Month in America. Heart Disease is the leading cause of preventable deaths today. Many people have regained their heart health simply by eating more plants and at Healing With Plants we are spreading the good news! Follow Healing With Plants on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more healing whole foods plant-based recipes and inspiring stories that testify for the amazing healing power of plants.