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Just like a dog who finds a bone, he licks one, he licks the other, he goes in circles until he drops dead”. – Devo

The Standard American Diet has caused our cholesterol to increase as well as our weight; this increase has also caused us to have high blood pressure and increased blood sugar. The medical industry suggests we take statins to control our cholesterol, but they can cause diabetes by increasing our blood sugars, they also cause us muscle soreness and give us heartburn. So we take weight loss pills but they increase our blood pressure and give us insomnia. To offset that we take blood pressure medicine and a sleeping pill but a side effect is depression and impotence. Fortunately, the erectile dysfunction medicine and antidepressant relieve that issue but the antidepressant causes weight gain and gives us heartburn. We started taking an antacid but it gives us a headache and makes us moody. The fish oil should increase our good cholesterol so potentially we can stop taking the statin, but it gives us irregular heartbeats. We would love to have a scotch but our liver’s are toxic from all the drugs and our kidneys are failing. So rather than commit suicide.

Start Eating a Plant-Based diet.

I made a decision recently regarding my own medicine regime and am willing to accept the consequences.

I had bypass surgery in 2011 at the age of 40. I had 90% blockage of the “widow” maker and significant blockages in the other three.

I left the hospital with a fistful of prescriptions. Blood Pressure, Statins, Pain Killers, and Anti-Depression medications. About a week into my discharge I was a mess. Insomnia & a very real sense of depression coming on. I threw out the Pain Killers and committed to clearing up my brain. I believe that decision alone set me on a successful path to recovery. I read a lot of very depressing post-operation stories that don’t work out so well.

I also committed, 100%, to a Plant Based diet, based on Dr. Esselstyn & Dr. Campbell’s books. I dropped animal protein and oil. I read everything I could get my hands on; Kathy Freston, Dr. McDougall, Kris Carr, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Barnard. I watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dad and Forks Over Knives.

The numbers started working in my favor very quickly. Avoiding oil is not an easy task, it is everywhere; but it a huge catalyst for weight loss and watching my belt size decrease one hole at a time was all I needed for motivation. A Carotid Artery sonogram showed my plaque was reversing, after 8 months of eating a Plant Based. Now a year and half into my new lifestyle my energy levels are very high and I feel great. I have run several ultra-marathons and recently completed 30 days in a row of Bikram Yoga; I just don’t see any reason to stop going.

My life is better than it was prior to surgery. I am now a different person, with a clarity that is difficult to explain. I survived a very dangerous situation and I am proud of myself. I am going to beat heart disease and in the process drastically reduce my risk of having cancer, diabetes, arthritis or Alzheimer’s.

I am not going to put in a long disclaimer here about the obvious. I am not encouraging anyone to drop medicine or completely disregard billions of dollars worth of research. I am simply sharing what seems to be working for me. Time will tell of course; but honestly…

I would rather give 100 percent to a life based on exercise, nutrition and well-being than 100 percent to a bathroom cabinet full of pills.

Non Prescription Pain Medication: liver toxicity, high blood pressure, stomach lining damage, reduce effects of antidepressants, diabetes risk, insomnia, heart rate increase

Heartburn / Acid Reflux: moodiness, headaches, kidney failure, dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, cardiovascular issues, pain urinating, neurological complications

Sleeping Pills: depression, headaches, suicide, heartburn, reduce effects of antidepressants, stomach pain, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness

Antidepressants: suicide, mood swings, muscle spasms, depression, nightmares, insomnia, aggression, nausea, impotence, headaches, weight gain

Obesity Drugs: increase blood pressure & heart rate, insomnia, dizziness, cramps, liver damage, kidney failure

Erectile Dysfunction: vision loss and hearing, muscle aches, acid reflux and heartburn, dizziness, severe back pain, flushing, headache, migraine

Omega 3 Supplements: back pain, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, headache, upset stomach, dizziness, tightness chest, vision changes, severe stomach pain, irregular heart beat

Blood Pressure Medicine: depression, fast heart rate, headache, palpitations, asthma, liver damage, cough, impotence, constipation, digestive problems, acid reflux, dizziness

Statins / Cholesterol Drugs: muscle pain, soreness, tiredness, weakness, liver damage, digestive problems, nausea, gas acid reflux, heartburn, memory loss-Lou Gehrig’s disease, rash, flushing, kidney failure, Type II diabetes, increased blood sugar.

 Image Source: Chuck Grimmett/Flickr