The Daily Beet

27 Jan Michele’s doctor said she had never seen anything so dramatic.

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I am a 40 year old, mother of 2 sweet little girls.  I have always been on the healthy side of eating, or so I thought!  I watched the Forks Over Knives movie and it changed me in an instant.  I have shopped at Whole Foods for several years, so I thought I was eating healthy with chicken, fish and dairy.  I then had my check up and routine blood work at my Md’s office.  I was shocked when received the results.  My triglycerides were off the chart at 427, cholesterol was 175 and my cardiac risk was a 6 (which is knocking at the door for heart disease and hypertension).  My bone density was a level 26 (knocking on the door of osteoporosis) and my blood pressure was 130/85.  I had been walking 2-3 miles a day, but still kept gaining weight.  So, I decided that if I wanted to be around to meet my grandchildren, I had better make some drastic changes.

I jumped in feet first and eliminated ALL dairy, eggs and meat.  I spent hours over at Whole Foods talking to the Vegan folks!  They were so very helpful by giving me tips and suggestions.  They had recommended to start with being vegetarian.  I am the type of person that when I do something, I am all in.  I decided this was the lifestyle that was right for me.

I had my last bite of meat, dairy and eggs on September 23, 2011.  I went back to the MD for a repeat blood panel.  My physician, Colleen Walker, said she had never seen anything so dramatic!   My triglycerides were 171, cholesterol was 131, blood pressure was 110/76, and my bone density went up to 37!!!!! And my my cardiac risk went down to a 4 (very low risk).  Oh, and I lost 18 pounds!  I felt like a little child at Christmas when I left her office!  This was all in a period of less than 4 months!

I have to say this probably the easiest change that I have ever made.  I have people ask me where do I get my protein, what about calcium, etc.  I recite my blood results and share with them what I eat.  I am not sure that everyone believes me!  I am so excited about my future and to hopefully spread the word to whoever will listen!  The folks at Engine 2, Whole Foods, The Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and many others have saved my life!!  I am perfectly happy with eating an ALL plant based diet.  I do not miss the other choices.  My eyes are WIDE OPEN now, and I think I like it!!!


We are so glad your eyes are wide open Michele! Not just for you, but for your beautiful daughters!

Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? Send us an e-mail: 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!

  • Cindy Jewell
    Posted at 08:13h, 27 January

    Wow, that is so great! What a happy story– thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning.

  • Bonnie Romney
    Posted at 09:27h, 27 January

    Wow! Michelle, your story is so inspirational for me. I have been eating what I thought was a healthy diet as well and my numbers are awful just like yours were. I am so glad that I read this because I can see that I was just eating a healthier version of the S.A.D. diet. If I want “real changes” I have to make” real changes.” Thanks.

  • Meridith Larson
    Posted at 11:24h, 27 January

    Way to go Michele! Another great example of the healing power of food. Fantastic!

  • Dwain
    Posted at 11:35h, 27 January

    Congratulations Michele! Well Done. I cut out meat and dairy on 3/8/2011 for similar health reasons but didn’t find out about Dr. Esselstyn’s work until this past August. I’ve been following his guidelines ever since, with great results. Keep up the excercise as well, it is an important part of the formula.

  • Barbara
    Posted at 11:38h, 27 January

    That is wonderful! Congratulations for jumping in with both feet. Looks like someone from E2 needs to go over the basics with the people supposedly promoting plant-strong at Whole Foods. I can’t believe they first tried to get you to go vegetarian, rather than vegan. I guess they still have a ton of dairy items to sell.

  • Melissa Michael
    Posted at 11:43h, 27 January

    Way to go Michele! Your story and mine are very similar… even in timing. After an entire summer in and out of the endocrinologist’s office and multiple rounds of blood work to determine why I was so very tired, healing slow from simple sicknesses, and these strange bouts of psoriosis on and off for over a year. After not getting the answers I was searching for, I came across Forks over Knives and jumped in with both feet. Fortunately, I had two very good girlfriends making the jump with me, and both were a wonderful support! I started on September 15th and within two weeks felt relief from almost all my symptoms. And as of today I’ve lost 15 pounds (my “baby weight”… and my little girl going to be Four this week!)
    So many people comment on the weight loss, and I find it’s my chance to talk with them about eliminating dairy and meat from their diets. Some look at me like I’m crazy, but a few of come back and asked more questions. I call it “planting the seed”… eventually it grows into the awareness that I’m lucky enough to be a part of now… Eating and living Plant-Strong!

  • Meg Wolff
    Posted at 15:50h, 27 January

    Wow, What an amazing story!! Thank you for sharing this.

  • diane k
    Posted at 15:59h, 27 January

    Terrific! Thanks for sharing. It’s always amazing how rapidly things can change. It’s not WHERE you shop – it’s WHAT you buy!

  • Betty McEnaney
    Posted at 16:00h, 27 January

    Awesome. Just awesome. Your family must be thrilled! I share your new found happiness with this lifestyle change. Thank you Dr Esselstyn’s , Rip, Jeff, Forks over Knives, and Fatfreevegan.com.

  • Wendy (Healthy GIrl's Kitchen)
    Posted at 11:33h, 28 January

    What an absolutely beautiful story! I am thrilled for you Michele!!!!

  • sandy
    Posted at 15:12h, 28 January

    I am on the same path and have lost over 20lbs since August, so happy for you!!

  • Jo
    Posted at 19:21h, 28 January

    Same here! I am very motivated by this. I started eating vegan in July 2011 — no easing into it, just straight vegan — after reading Engine2. Nine weeks later, my cholesterol was down 26 points! I can’t wait for my annual appointment in March to see the results!

  • Laura
    Posted at 14:07h, 29 January

    Congrats!! I’ve had similar success – isn’t it great? I’d love to know who it’s going with your girls. My kids are about the same age and really giving me a hard time about the change to vegan. Try as I might, cooking up a storm, I’m still weathering complaints daily. It doesn’t wear down my resolve, but it is discouraging.

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