I did not choose a plant based lifestyle, it chose me. My journey began six years ago after a heart attack (widowmaker). I had 3 blockages in my LAD artery. After receiving four stents, I was encouraged by my wife who at the time was working as a CNA on the cardiac ﬂoor of Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn IL, to look into Dr. Dean Ornish Program to Reverse Heart Disease, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. She knew from my lifestyle and poor choices that I most likely wouldn’t follow a traditional cardiac rehab program. I’m still not sure why she thought I would adhere to this one, but that’s another story. I reluctantly began my rehab. I was crushed at the prospect of giving up my beloved meat, dairy and eggs. I come from a family of deer hunters, so that also was a struggle for me. After several weeks my health and overall well being began to improve drastically.
I began to lose weight, feel better, gain mental clarity and started mountain biking- something that I loved when I was younger. However, due to a hectic life and weight gain, I stopped biking for years. Fast forward six years and I now run regular 5k’s, I practice yoga and meditation, I average 1500+ miles a year on my mountain bike. This lifestyle change is possible because of the energy and health beneﬁts of a plant based lifestyle. I have learned so much being a part of the plant based community, I have learned of the ethical treatment of animals and no longer hunt because I no longer consume animal products. There is also a sustainability factor that I’m learning about and agree that plant based living is not only good for your health, but good for the planet!