The Daily Beet

25 Nov Good news from Heather and Lee!

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Every Friday we share some good news from the Engine 2 community. Today we hear from Heather and Lee about their plant-strong journey.

Hey E2 Family!!!

My name is Heather  along with my husband, Lee, we have been on a plant-based diet for just over 2 months now. Here is our story!

My husband (34) and I (33) have always been slim and active, seemingly healthy. My husband’s cholesterol, however, was always in the 200’s throughout his twenties. At one point it reached 270. Adamantly opposed to cholesterol medicine, he kicked exercise into full gear only to see his total cholesterol drop to around 220. My cholesterol, while not horrible, has always hovered around 200 despite my consistent exercising. This past summer was certainly quite a shock when Lee’s cholesterol reached 311, and my cholesterol jumped to 233! Still uninterested in medication, I searched for an alternative.

I stumbled upon the community of researchers and clinicians that provide that data to support a whole foods, plant based diet. I never thought that veganism would be necessary, or that a reason to switch would be for one other than animal ethics. However, my husband and I were on board for what we thought would be a 6 week experiment.

The six weeks were filled with reading many books (Engine 2 diet, Preventing & Reversing Heart Disease, The China Study, The pleasure trap, & Whitewash), watching several movies (Forks over knives, Chow Down, Planeat, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead), discovering new foods, creating new meals (some more successful than others), and weight loss. We never felt sick or tired, much less experienced any chest pain, prior to this diet. So we maintained our energy yet noticed decent weight loss. My 5’10 husband went from ~170 lbs. to 155 lbs., and I (5’5”) went from ~120 lbs. to 110 lbs!

Fast-forward 6 weeks later and the results were pretty amazing, especially for my husband


Total Cholesterol: 311 to 232
LDL: 189 to 152
Tri’s: 305 to 103 (wowza!)


Total Cholesterol: 233 to 212
LDL: 125 to 127 (? Not sure why)  *note from E2 – some people have this happen, but we see it go down with no problem.
Tri’s: 187 to 148

Obviously we are a work in progress!!! We are, however, forever changed by what we have learned in 2 short months. We are so grateful to have found out about the significance of a plant-based diet before we became a statistic! No more waiting for the other shoe to drop or worrying if our parents’ health has any say in ours!

Plant Strong,

Heather & Lee

Thanks for sharing Heather and Lee!

If you have a story to share, please send us an email: engine2family@gmail.com

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 10:04h, 25 November

    Heather and Lee,

    I love your story and your enthusiasm and the “it’s-not-that-hard!” energy ring through. Plus, you’ve detailed an all-star reading list that anyone can snag as a starting place or a go-to for reinforcements.

    It’s important to point out, as you do so well, that just because you are active and even trim, it doesn’t mean your health is being optimized.

    Thanks for letting us in on your journey. You have no idea how many others you may have inspired today!

    plant-strong right back at ya,


  • Heather
    Posted at 10:12h, 28 November

    Just a quick update:
    My 11week results came back and still moving in the right direction.
    Total Cholesterol: 190
    LDL: 118
    Tri’s: 121

    Thanks again!

  • Christina
    Posted at 13:54h, 28 November

    That is amazing. Congratulations. Have you seen ‘The Last Heart Attack’ yet? It was on CNN just the other day and a couple of months ago. It is available on the internet. About one hour long documentary. It talks about the LDL particle size being important (small particles stick to the artery walls and create blockage while large particles do not stick to the walls). If you have high cholesterol, this might be interesting to watch/explore. I asked my doctor for that test though and she said the health insurance would not be likely to cover it and the test runs around $500. So I opted against it as I am already eating the best I can. I would like to have that test done in the future though along with an ultrasound of the carotid arteries.
    Wishing you all the best!
    Christina 🙂

    • Heather
      Posted at 17:41h, 02 December

      Hi Christina,

      Thanks so much! I did see the last heartattack and it was great! I thought about that fancy test as well, but I figure we’ll work with the diet first to see what kind of progress we can make with our cholesterol numbers. We haven’t worked out as much as usual over the last 3 months, so time to kick that in gear too!

      Good luck,

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