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December 08, 2011



Dr. Esselstyn did a great job with his presentation and kept the whole audience engaged; very informative and inspiring. I was there with my husband, cousins, aunt and uncle, sister-in-law, other friends. My running partner was part of the over-flow crowd watching in the cafeteria. Ann Esselstyn also was just amazing with her energy and practical ideas; I couldn't jot them down fast enough. We were talking with friends at the rec center this morning who heard the message for the first time and are thinking of going plant strong in 2012. That's exciting!

Michele @VeganFork

Great local story and I love how you started the post off with a quote from one of my favorite movies. Ann and Dr Essy sure are the perfect example of touching so many lives.
Through my change has come four other family members change to his diet. So it is the gift from Ann and Dr. Essy that keeps giving. So proud to have them both in Cleveland.

lisa f.

please keep in mind how incredibly motivating & knowledgeable you are to all of us!
your favorite sil

The Healthy Librarian

Bonnie: It sounds like a fantastic evening! Thanks for sharing your first-hand report. How exciting to be apart of this community effort--Incredible that they had an overflow audience listening in the cafeteria.

Michele: So well said! A & E are pretty incredible. Role models for all of us.

Lisa F: Now you're the one with the inspiring & motivating story! And now all the great recipes. Looking forward to trying some of them this weekend. Love you!


Deb, your Blog led me to Dr Essy, the CNN report, Rip, their books, HeartChek scary results, plant based diet with super results within 4 months, and a sister on the program who is having similar, if I can get my 3 adult children, another sister, and 3 brothers to pay attention (and keep my foot out of my mouth ...) Above all, I think I've learned to just DO IT! and to WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO ASK what I'm doing rather than volunteer my advice...and my doctor is with me all the way - Yay!


Thanks a lot for this inspiring story.
I love your blog! Please keep on informing us.
Stories like these give so much hope and I start to hope for something similar to happen in Europe!
I am really, really impressed and happy that this kind of change is possible!
Faithful and thankful reader, Silvia

Patt Hagge

This is the most fun change I have done in my life in years! I came upon your blog through ravelry, a knitting community. Through reading your comments and suggested books I have completely changed my food, and because of my results so has my WHOLE family.
I am your age and have 4 married kids, and 5 grandchildren, so that amounts to 15 people whose lives will forever be better because of your work. Thank you Deb. You don't even know the kinship I feel for you even though we have never met.
I now weigh what I did in high school! YES, but it doesn't look the same:) BP, and cholesterol, are down, the allergies which were off the charts, and I took three medications for are nearly gone, arthritis aches gone, and so many positive benefits I can't even begin to tell you. On top of it, I am starting a group at church on plant based eating at the first od the year! Keep up the very good work. As the Father said, " I am well pleased, my good and faithful servant."

Cherie Perkins

I was a disaster waiting to happen. Migrating joint and tissue pain - sometimes even requiring me to move around the house with a walker. Pinching angina - some breathlessness when walking uphill or up stairs. Serious GERD. Then I watched a video of Dr.Esselstyn at the Vegsource Expo and I got it. It clicked. It was not the first time I heard the message but it was the first time I saw and understood all the science. I'm an engineer so Dr.Esselstyn's message really made an impact. My husband was out of town on a business trip and when he got home I told him I'd like to watch a video with him - it could mean big changes for us. It clicked with him too. He's an engineer and Dr.Esselstyn's evidence is so compelling it can't be argued. Well that was it. We went 100% plant based cold turkey. I cleaned out the kitchen of all the offending products and read labels on everything. That was 2 years ago this month. Now 50 pounds lighter, very little autoimmune inflammatory symptoms as long as I don't cheat, no angina - that went away almost instantly - and no problem climbing hills or stairs - no GERD - no drugs. My husband lost 25 pounds and is much healthier too. We both love the food - we love to eat more than we ever did before. We love a clean kitchen - no grease. I love cooking in a way I never did before - I'm not just mimicking my mom's meals I am creating works of art. Love your blog since you've gone plant based. Please keep it up.

The Healthy Librarian


I'm speechless! Thanks so much for sharing this story--I can't believe how many in our boomer age group are having the same experience as you when they go on this diet. It's almost magical how much food affects our health. May you continue to influence everyone who meets you. Yay for the Ravelry Knitting Community. I would see visits from that group--but never knew what the discussion was about, or who they were. I now I know.


Another WOW! Another amazing story--I'm sharing this one with my rheumatologist friend--fascinating to hear that the diet helped the autoimmune symptoms. I know exactly what you mean about feel empowered in the kitchen--and finally creating your own culinary works of art--not that old stuff our mom's made. Go Gherie & your husband, too!

Andrea Westmoreland

My husband and I heard about the plant-based, no oil diet when we watched The Last Heart Attack on CNN. We looked Dr. Esselstyn up online and immediately ordered a copy of his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease as well as the dvd. We went through our kitchen and pantry removing absolutely everything that doesn't comply with the plant-based no oil diet and, after just a month and a half we are absolutely amazed! I am 61 and my husband is 69. We now have a renewed surge of energy, sharper memory and an unexpected drop of excess weight! In just a month and a half I went from 162 lbs. to 148. Wow!! No matter how I tried before I couldn't get that fat to budge. We love the food!! I'm having so much fun exploring new recipes from collard wraps and seitan to pumpkin oatmeal casserole. My husband loves the 'Easy Blueberry Muffins' I make from Ann Crile Esselstyn's recipe in the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book. I bought a 2nd copy of the book to keep at home while lending out the other to all interested friends and family. We also bought the Forks Over Knives book and dvd. I just can't say enough about how thrilled and thankful we are to the Esselstyn's and others that have prepared the way for whosoever will to pivot from the destructive western diet to a life and energy promoting path of nutrition.


Thank you so much for continuing to update this blog. My husband and I moved to a plant based oil free diet in September of this year. My 52 year old (younger) brother had a near fatal heart attack in August which prompted us to watch the CNN broadcast of The Last Heart Attack. No one would have described us as heavy people but my husband has lost 20 lbs and I've lost 8 lbs. We are really enjoying the food and have tried many of the recipes you recommend on your blog. We have also noticed that our changes are starting to have an impact on the rest of our family. Our hope is that they will join us in eating this way and everyone's health will benefit. Further to that, I hope this becomes the mainstream way of eating in the future. Keep up the great work!


You are an inspiration!

Right now, my colleagues and I are planning a conference. (Note, we're academics, but we don't study food.) We're asking everyone for food preferences. About 30% of the respondents are vegetarian and a handful are vegan.

You can bet we'll be talking more about food and the choices at the conference. Lots of people said they wanted "healthy" food at the conference; our snacks will be mostly fruit and nut. I'm so thankful my colleagues were on board with taking into consideration food and working to make it good. So often, at a conference, it's crappy, processed food with too much sugar. I'll let you know (after the January event) how it turns out and what we learned about healthy food at a conference!

Happy Rehab Doc

Ok I LOVED this story!!! What a fantastic post---just made me smile. It reminds me that all it takes is ONE person to start a local movement! Thank you SO much for posting on this--as always, love the blog! By the way, hubby made that delicious Sweet Potato-Roasted Tomato-Peanut-Spinach soup of yours again last night---SOOO good that I'm having it for breakfast!:-)

Cherie, Andrea, Julie, Patt & Rosemary--I don't know if you'll see this but thank you for sharing your inspiring Esselstyn stories--so needed! I'm going to do a week-long Dr. Esselstyn series on my blog in mid-January having Esselstyn program folks share about their health journey and their new lease on life because of their dietary changes. Would any of you all be interested in contributing? If so will you email me at [email protected]. Thanks!! :-)

Gael in Vermont

I have just spent the last few minutes thoroughly reading the above comments and I'm so impressed and awed by the results. I expect to see you and the Esselstyne family on Dr. Oz in the near future! You have been the driving force for change in so many lives with your no-nonsense, practical, evidence-based, lab-rat willingness to get healthy, and to show us how easy it is! Your work is so important and has such far-reaching effects. You are only hearing a smattering here. But what a smattering it is! A quick "Thank You" will never be enough

Sue in Denver

Hi there!
I am a 50 year old woman and I feel like I should add my story to the list! On May 4th of this year, I had my cholesterol checked: Total=200, Triglycerides=242, LDL=94. My numbers have been as high as 259/250/154. I decided to get a carotid artery scan to see if there was evidence of plaque build-up. I felt like the results would not be too bad--I actually ate better than most people I knew and had followed a vegan diet for a year during 2008-2009. On June 18, I received the test results: I had the arteries of a 71-year-old woman! I was shocked! My doctor wanted to put me on statins immediately. I knew I did not want to do that. I went onto Amazon and started looking. I had heard of Dr. Dean Ornish and immediately downloaded his book "Reversing Heart Disease." I also found Dr. Esselstyn's "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease." I read Dr. Ornish's book, but knew I did not want to eat any animal products. I read Dr. Esselstyn's book in one day and knew I had found my answer. On June 20, I started eating the Esselstyn way! ONE MONTH LATER, on July 19th, I went back in to get my lipids checked again. Total=163, Triglycerides=111, LDL=91 AND I had lost 10 pounds. I am currently at a 38-lb weight loss, (12 more lbs to go) and am scheduled for Dec 19th--the six-month mark--to get my blood tested again. I fully expect to be at or close to the optimum levels (<100/,<60, <70)--I can't wait to find out! It was after adopting the diet that I found your blog and I am SO grateful to have found a community that believes in this way of eating. It can be a little "difficult" to explain to people why I can't have the "good fats!" So THANK YOU for your wonderful blog and the continued validation and support I feel when I read it!

Sue in Denver

One more thing! I am going to see Dr. Esselstyn and Colin Campbell speak at a weekend retreat at Kripalu in February. I couldn't be any more excited if I was going to Paris for a week!

Denise Sullivan

I love your blog - have been following it for over a year, and find it very inspirational and informative! My husband and I (in our 50's) attended the E2 Immersion in Austin in September, and found it gave us the last push to push oils out of our diet! We had been eating reasonably healthy vegan for 5 or 6 years, but still had the vegan junk food. I felt 10 years younger a few weeks after giving up the oils and my husband no longer wants a post lunch nap! He is the slimmest he has been since we met over 25 years ago - 150 lbs. at 5'9', and while I was slim, I lost about 3 or 4 lbs, and no longer have to 'watch' what I eat. Thanks to you so much for your blog, and of course thanks to all the plant based doctors out there - Dr.'s Esselstyn, Mcdougall, Barnard, Fuhrman, Grieger, and any others I missed. Also thanks to Jeff Novick RD, and of course their spouses.

Leslie Ciammaichella

I was in the audience the evening that DR Esselstyn spoke in Medina. That talk has changed my life. I am a 54 year old woman who was always active and also has fought my weight all my life. I don't ever remember not being on a diet, even as a child. The last few years have been the worse. I have been on a low carb, low fat, low calorie diet for the last three years. I was Dr suppervised on two different programs. These programs had very expensive high protein food supplements and replacements that I had to have every day. AT first, on both diets, I lost about 40 lbs., and then I would gain it all back plus some. I was pretty good about staying on the diet most of this time, but gained anyway. I was always hungry, and always felt deprived. I missed whole grains and fruit, which were not a part of the diet. I was extremely obese and felt horrible, tired all the time, and was starting to panic about my weight and health. Not to mention that I am embarassed by being this heavy. People can be very mean, and some feel it is their right to tell me I am very fat. After seeing DR. Esselstyn speak, I felt he was on the right path. I know this is more correct than any fad diet and feel this is what will make me healthy. I have been doing this since the talk, and even though I had a few bad days at Christmas and another day when I ate stuff that was not on the diet. I feel more energetic and clear thinking than I have in years. I also found that vegetarian food is very delicious and more flavorful than anything I have been eating. I don't miss meat at all and am having fun cooking again and being creative in the kitchen. I can't remember the last time I thought cooking was fun. My thanks go out to Dr Esselstyn and Pat Berraducci, the police cheif in Medina. What he did chandged people not only here, but much more far reaching. I was at the Mustard seed the other day and around every corner someone was talking about the plant based eating and that either they, or a friend or family member had heard Dr Esselstyn speak that evening. I was talking to an old high school friend on facebook who was feeling lousy and posted a link to a tv channel with guess who speaking on it? Yes, Dr Esselstyn. And this woman lives in Scottsdale Arizona. I told her about my experience and she started a group the other day where we can talk daily on facebook and help each other out, be a comfort to each other and post recipies and results. It in a few days now has 6 members. We keep inviting more people. I don't know if this helps anyone, but if it does I will be grateful. If I could help a quarter of the people that Chief Baraducci helped, I would be happy.

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