Camp Plant-Stock was held this past August in Ashville, North Carolina and it brought more than just plant-strong amazing food and fun. It changed and saved lives. Mike and Susan Septer attended Plant-Stock for the first time and believe it has led Mike from a life of heart disease and stroke to a life free of any medication.
Here is their story in their own words:
My husband, Mike, and I came to Plant Stock 2018 from Minnesota. As soon as the registration opened up for the event a year ago I signed us up. I was nervous that he might not want to attend so I decided to wait to broach the idea as long as possible and still be able to get the full refund if I needed to cancel. Little did I know at the time that he would suffer a stroke just five months later in January 2018 and three days before he was scheduled to have back surgery. The door was open for me to suggest Plant Stock but certainly not in the way I ever dreamed.
We had been trying to follow the Engine 2 diet after he had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease two years ago when he failed a stress test and was rushed to the emergency room. During an angiogram, blockages were found in the area of his heart known as the “widow-maker” and he received two stents in the procedure. This experience was enough of a scare that Mike was willing to modify his diet — but not yet completely.
We had watched Forks over Knives together when I participated in the Engine2 “28 Day Challenge” at the Whole Foods Market in Minnetonka, MN several years ago. The store offered four weekly classes and a booklet of recipes and guidelines from Rip Esselstyne.
His father, (our hero), Dr. Esselstyn, and the other experts in the film made a huge impression on us and it remained lodged in the back of our minds. After the stent experience we wanted to keep the stent devices from becoming clogged, but, ranch dressing, shredded cheese and skinless chicken breasts were still too hard to give up (yes, we were snared by “The Pleasure Trap”.) Our rationalization was “everything in moderation.” We thought we were doing great at 50-75% plant-based.
After the stroke, the doctors found that Mike had blockages and narrowing in his brain vessels. The stroke was mild (maybe because of our half-way measures?) so his vision and speech deficiencies were only temporary but the neurologist’s dire warnings that there was the greatest risk of more strokes happening in the following 90 days terrified us as we watched other stroke survivors struggling to recover in his hospital unit. It was important to be able to have the back surgery to alleviate the constant pain but that had to be on hold until he was off the 90 days of blood thinners.
Since the stroke we have been following the E2 Seven Day Rescue Diet. The Facebook group was enormously helpful to keep us on track and Mike was eager to attend Plant Stock. He even successfully had his back surgery in May after the neurologists noted in the new MRI that the area of his stroke had shrunk and there was no increase in any blockages. We absolutely credit the diet for preventing any new strokes, especially during the surgery.
A few days before Plant Stock, Mike took himself off all cholesterol medications telling me it was his way of ensuring that he would never be tempted to cheat on the diet. We immersed ourselves in the program that weekend, tasted new recipes and learned from all of the presenters as well as the great people we met all weekend. Several days after Plant Stock and for the first time without the medications, Mike wanted to have his blood work tested. The results are the best he has ever had even when he was on the medication!
Words can’t describe how appreciative we are for our experience at Plant Stock. The best part is that I am no longer the one relaying second-hand information that I glean from the E2 Seven Day FaceBook group, Instagram or Jane and Anne’s You Tube videos because Mike learned it all in person. Thank you!