The Daily Beet

30 Mar Vanessa’s story “I know a plant strong diet gives the body the nutrients to heal and thrive.”

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My name is Vanessa and I graduated from the Engine 2, 28 Day Challenge last fall.  I had a wonderful time, learned many new facts and techniques from Curtis and even had the pleasure of watching Rip lecture and got to meet him.  He took his time to speak to each of us.  He was so inspirational.
My story slowly started a couple of years ago.  I have always had super high cholesterol and it seemed I was bound to visit the doc’s office every six weeks for blood work to check my liver enzymes from the medicines I was on.  I was 40 pounds overweight, drank too much, was inactive and didn’t manage the best diet. I realized after changing cholesterol meds numerous times from cramping and other issues (not to mention my cholesterol never lowered to safe levels) that I needed to find alternative information.  I began reading and watching whatever documentaries I could find.
At that time I read books by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Dr. Joel Furhman and Dean Ornish.  I became a fanatic and insisted on learning as much as I could.  I watched Food, Inc. Supersize Me, King Corn and other documentaries.  Slowly my cooking went from super rich foods to whole foods, but we still ate “happy” meat from Whole Foods moderately.
Then September of 2010 I ended up in the ER with extreme pain and was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.  I was told I could not drink any alcohol for 4 months, no dairy and to watch my fat intake.  I figured, while I was omitting all of that I would omit soda as well.  I lost over 40 pounds.
It wasn’t until my husband I watched Forks Over Knives that I truly awakened.  It was like someone had finally taken those blinders off that I had been accusing everyone else eating the Standard American Diet of wearing, not realizing that I still was not seeing the truth.  I was sold and after seeing that movie my husband and I decided to go plant strong.  I purchased Rip’s book and read it cover to cover in just two days, and loved the easy and helpful recipes.
When I found out about the Challenge going on at Whole Foods, I had to sign up.  So I did, and am so very thankful.  Curtis has amazing passion for health, food and for helping others.  I was able to learn great information and loved that I made some friends.  I also found the facebook page an amazing resource.
The Vanessa today went from having a total cholesterol of over 280 down to 221.  It’s still above where I need it but, it keeps getting lower and lower every time I’m tested.  Something that didn’t happen on meds and I am med free!  My goal is to get it below 180 and I’m confident I’ll reach it.   I have maintained a trim weight, exercise almost daily and feel younger at 39 than I did at 20.  Forks Over Knives and Rip’s Engine 2 diet truly did change my life.  I tell everyone I know, because I see the truth and I know a plant strong diet gives the body the nutrients to heal and thrive.
Thank you so very much and keep up the good work  With each day that passes you save more and more lives!
Vanessa in Zephyrhills, Florida

Thank you for sharing your story Vanessa! Do you have a story to share? Please e-mail us at: engine2family@gmail.com

Have you attended one of our 28 day challenges?

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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!

  • TXVegChick

    What a great story! I can’t wait for the immersion this weekend! I’m mostly excited to meet Natala!

  • Lisa

    Congratulations Vanessa! I was in the class with you. Curtis does have an amazing passion for this and I’m grateful for him too!

  • Tiana Duart

    Wish my Whole Foods in Monterey would do a 28day challenge. Thanks for the great inspirational story!!

  • Lori

    Great story, also wish my Whole Foods would do this kind of challenge. It would help me a lot. I really like these stories every week!
    I’d also love to hear Natala speak sometime, I’ve enjoyed her posts, I am in a similar situation and apprecieate someone who gets it.

  • Curtis Whitwam

    Awesome story Vanessa. You are an inspiration to all of us! Join the E2 Challenge Facebook group for more support http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/250658904983006/
    and join us for a 28 Day Challenge at your local Whole Foods Market. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at curtis.whitwam@wholefoods.com

  • Jill K

    Inspiring, for sure! I needed to read this today. Thank you, Vanessa!!

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