Monday, December 7, 2009
After my cardiac "event" last summer (more on that in a subsequent post), I investigated what I could do to improve my lot. My search led to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, http://www.heartattackproof.com, a Cleveland Clinic surgeon who resolved to find a way to prevent disease rather than default to surgery and/or heavy medications. He emperically proved that a vegan diet not only prevents heart disease but reverses existing pathology.
Many people have asked me about the tradeoffs resulting from such a strict approach to diet. Other than the inconvenience of having to explain special requests when eating out, I don't consider any of the effects a negative. My weight has stabilized near what it was during my college years, and I have the same strength measured by resistance training that I had on my formerly omnivorous diet. My wife and I have discovered and invented dozens of new recipes and our meals at home have more variety than ever. The foods have also had a miraculous effect on my blood lipid and glucose levels.
Check out Dr. Esselstyn's website. His son, Rip, an Austin, Texas firefighter and former national swim and triathlon champ, also has a book out, The Engine 2 Diet, that explains how he transformed the health of several of his workmates with a vegetarian approach to their firehouse meals.