Beat Diabetes, Cancer & Heart Disease

Here are a collection of five short videos from celebrated doctors and scientists that clearly and concisely explain how you can prevent, arrest and even reverse three of the most devastating chronic diseases plaguing our society today.  Take the time to watch them and pass them along to those for whom you care……..

God bless

 

Lower Your Healthcare Costs…..Forever!

Putting aside all the mounting clinical evidence that points to a plant-based diet as being the answer to obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases, I just love these anecdotal testimonies!

Together, We Lost 200 Pounds in 2 Years!

By Ashely Chong

weight loss

I recently celebrated my two-year anniversary of being 100% plant based. My journey began in March of 2012. I was determined to lose weight and get healthy, so I began researching about nutrition and overall health. I stumbled across information about vegan diets, and how animal protein and dairy really distort the body. After more research and watching a lot of documentaries, including Forks Over Knives, I decided to give plant-based eating a try.

On April 1st of 2012, I went 100% vegan overnight. About ten days in, I felt amazing, my skin was clearer, and I had lost a good amount of weight. I could not return to my previous diet and feel sick again, so this experiment became a lifestyle change―one that I fell in love with! I fell in love with how I felt, how I started to look, and how I started to think.

My fiancé Andrew started his journey not long after I did, and we continued this beautiful lifestyle together. Over the course of two years, I have lost 125 lbs., and Andrew has lost about 75. We are living examples of the havoc that an animal-rich diet full of processed, chemical-ridden, genetically modified foods can wreak on a body. This super lifestyle has benefited us not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. We have truly experienced nothing but positive results!

God bless

Multiple Sclerosis? Fork You!

MS, multiple sclerosis, a frightening diagnosis.  What would you do?  Read this remarkable testimony about the power of your fork!

“Life can change in a moment. It did for me”

Saray 570x299 My Journey from Doctor to MS Patient … and Back – Thanks to Plant Based Eating!

October 11, 1995 started out like any other grueling 24-hour shift at the hospital. I was a young, energetic physician living what I considered to be an extraordinary life. But this night was more exhausting than any I could remember. Deeply fatigued, I finally made it to bed around 3 am. Within the hour, I was awakened by a call from the emergency room. As I leapt out of bed, I experienced something so foreign that it simply took my breath away. During this brief nap I had lost feeling in my lower extremities. Something was terribly wrong. I was emergently rushed off to an MRI that revealed multiple plaques in my brain and spinal cord, confirming a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

I was no longer Dr. Stancic, making early morning rounds on her patients. I was now the newly admitted MS patient, lying in a bed as a flock of medical students and doctors took turns assessing my deteriorating neurological status. Soon thereafter came a parade of drugs with their numerous side effects, all intended to mitigate the frightening progression and symptoms of MS. I had become a drug-dependent, sick young woman struggling to accept her fate. MS had swiftly swept away my dreams and aspirations, and left behind a shadow of my former self.

In the fall of 2003, after nearly a decade of a life compromised by chronic illness, a pivotal and enlightening event occurred. I came across an article in a medical journal touting the benefits of blueberries in MS patients. The article summarized findings suggesting that MS patients who ate blueberries had improved symptoms compared with those who did not. The investigators attributed these results to the berries’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The scientist in me was skeptical, but this publication had the effect of igniting my curiosity. Could food play a role in ameliorating or even preventing chronic illness?I was consumed by this idea, and driven to explore existing medical literature in search of answers. What I found was both illuminating and transformative. There was ample evidence in respectable peer-reviewed medical journals that our diets do play a key role in the development of chronic illness!

I wondered how this topic had escaped our medical school curriculum. The power of healing that lies in a whole-food, plant-based diet is incalculable and unquestionable. I was inspired by what I had discovered and felt compelled to personally adopt this lifestyle. I discontinued all my medications and focused on optimizing my diet.

Over the years that followed, I felt stronger and energized. Remarkably, after years of difficulty walking unassisted, my neurological deficits gradually improved. I felt renewed and infused with a great sense of hope. I decided to take up jogging, which evolved to running. In the spring of 2010 I ran a marathon. It was truly an extraordinary experience.

As a physician observing unnecessary suffering and loss, I felt compelled to spread the word of this seemingly untapped therapeutic resource with whomever was willing to listen. Regrettably, in speaking to colleagues, I found many did not share my level of enthusiasm or acceptance that this approach was valid.

My sense of alienation lifted after watching Forks Over Knives. I was reinvigorated by witnessing other like-minded physicians practice medicine with this philosophy. Today, my focus is educating patients on the value of a whole-food, plant-based diet, with an eye toward reducing prescription drug dependence.

Patients need to learn that they do have control of their individual health outcomes. For my patients, watching this film is a mandatory part of their care plan. The film effectively reinforces all that we discuss, and its impactful style is both educational and entertaining.

We can, as a society, shift and make the necessary changes to improve our health and well-being.  Life can change in a moment … and that can be a very wonderful thing.

God bless

True Health

Forks Over KnivesFor most of my life, I was under the delusion that it really didn’t matter what I ate.  Because I was always so active swimming, surfing, skiing or playing football, lacrosse or tennis, I never gained weight and was always in pretty good shape.  It wasn’t until I went totally plant-based that I discovered just how naive and uninformed I really was.  There are a lot of other measures, besides weight, that I have now come to appreciate as indicators of true health.  The increased energy levels, absence of colds, increased endurance, less muscle and joint pain, quicker recovery times, better moods, in addition to an even leaner body, can all be traced back to going plant-based.  So, if you haven’t made the switch to a plant-based diet because you don’t need to lose weight or out of compassion for the treatment of animals, as the following testimony confirms, there are a whole host of additional benefits that hopefully will convince you to do so.

Running for “Health” Wasn’t Enough … Eating Plants Made All the Difference!

By  
 Alina 570x299 Running for “Health” Wasn’t Enough … Eating Plants Made All the Difference!I immigrated to the United States seven years ago from Russia. Right away the pleasures of American cuisine turned out to be irresistible to me. Going out to eat two to three times a week with my new American friends? Sure! All of the temptations at supermarkets and fast food places? Bring them on!

 To compensate for all that fattening food, I took up running for the first time in my life and immediately fell in love with it. Running helped me avoid packing on weight, and I found myself in the trap a lot of active people fall into: “I exercise, so I can eat whatever I want, right?”

Over the course of three years, I ran seven half-marathons, one full marathon, and a few 5k and 10k races. As much as I loved running and exercise, I had a growing concern: my body was almost constantly sore, my joints ached … and I was only in my 20s! I was worried that the activity I loved so much was undermining my health. Plus, I kind of stalled in my fitness because of all that soreness. I knew that if I wanted to get stronger without ruining myself, I would have to look into what other athletes who were much better than me were doing.

This is how I discovered that a lot of really good endurance athletes were on a plant-based diet! I became curious and went on to do some research. I learned that eating animal products and junk food do a lot of harm to us, no matter how hard we exercise. One night, my husband and I watched the amazing documentary Forks Over Knives, and it blew my mind!

At first, I was afraid that adopting the plant-based lifestyle would be too hard: there are too many temptations out there … going out to eat could be a challenge … and what about the opinions of family and friends? I kept on reading wonderful books about plant-based athletes (like Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run) as well as articles by T. Colin Campbell, John McDougall, and others. Eventually, after watching Forks Over Knives — The Extended Interviews, I was completely convinced that a plant-based diet is the healthiest for us, and all my previous fears and excuses fell by the wayside.

The first couple weeks were all it took for me to believe that I was on the right track: my energy levels skyrocketed and stayed high throughout the day; I started waking up early with no problem, even though I considered myself an owl before; all the skin blemishes that had plagued me since adolescence cleared up; I was finally able to exercise harder and recover quicker; and my muscles and joints were no longer sore.

Leaving my old eating habits behind turned out to be no problem: I found a lot of delicious plant-based vegan recipes through Pinterest and bought a couple great cookbooks. My husband was a little skeptical at first, but after I showed him all the scientific information about plant-based eating and started cooking delicious vegan meals, he was convinced.

On November 10, I ran my first plant-fueled marathon in 4:08:18. I fully credit my plant-based diet for making me stronger than ever. I am living proof that plant foods alone can fuel a physically demanding lifestyle perfectly … and what could be more convincing than learning through my own experience!

It’s been six months since I became plant-strong, and I am proud to say that this way of life has not only made me healthier and assured me of my inner strength, it also gave me confidence to find my voice and inspire others — by sharing my story through my new blog!

Thank you, Forks Over Knives, for encouraging me to embrace this healthy lifestyle!

God bless

Get The Message Yet?

The Plant-Based Lifestyle Is the Best Medicine I’ve Ever Prescribed

RobertOstfeld 570x299 The Plant Based Lifestyle Is the Best Medicine Ive Ever PrescribedAs a cardiologist, I am delighted to share the many ways Forks Over Knives has been an incredible resource for my patients, my students, and for me. I recommend the movie multiple times each day when explaining to patients how they can dramatically improve their health by embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Outside of an emergency medical condition that requires an urgent intervention, I have never seen anything come close to providing the breadth and depth of benefits that this lifestyle offers.

However, ten years ago I would not have been writing this post or otherwise extolling the benefits of a plant-based diet. During my training at Yale and Harvard with many outstanding physicians and scientists, I learned little about this approach. For years after my training, I applied evidence-based medicine, recommended a “healthier” lifestyle, which typically included a Mediterranean-style diet, and watched as my patients’ diseases often progressed. I became frustrated. There had to be something more.

Fortunately, I was introduced to the work of Drs. Campbell and Esselstyn. Based on their research, I started a Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, where we encourage patients to embrace a whole-foods, plant-based diet. The results have been amazing. My patients’ chest pain and shortness of breath have dramatically improved. Their cholesterol has plummeted, they have lost weight, and they are able to eliminate or reduce the need for multiple medications for problems such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and chronic pain.

I’d like to share a real-life example: A patient in his late 50s began to develop chest discomfort. It progressed to the point where he would feel it even as he sat still. Cholesterol blockages in his heart were the cause. He did not want any cardiac procedures, and he was started on all of the appropriate medications. However, he continued to have discomfort even walking a block or two. He then changed his lifestyle, embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. His cholesterol fell dramatically, he lost weight, and after just a few months he could walk over a mile. Now, two years and no procedures later, he is jogging over two miles and says he feels 30 years younger!*

Patients also describe benefits they may not have originally expected, such as more energy, improved complexion, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer colds, improved erectile function, increased stamina, and more! In fact, patients have cried tears of joy from the results they have achieved. Frankly, I have fallen in love with being a physician all over again.

I am grateful that you are reading this, as the need for this type of lifestyle change is only growing. Heart and blood vessel disease is the number one killer of adult men and women in the United States,(1, 2) and approximately two out of every three twelve-year- olds in the US has early signs of cholesterol disease in the blood vessels that feed their hearts with blood.(3) We are literally killing ourselves from diet-driven disease.

Each of you influences many people in your family and community. Please join the Forks Over Knives team in helping to spread awareness about the benefits of the whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

In my years of practice I have learned that it is never too early to make this change, and it is never too late. When we are born, our bodies are like turbo engines. A few decades of animal products and processed foods later, we turn those bodies into clunkers. Let’s turn back the clock … because we can!

*Patient identifiers have been changed.

1  American Heart Association. Heart disease and stroke statistics–2004 update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association, 2003.

2  Heart disease and stroke statistics–2010 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2010;121:e46-e215.

3  Stary HC. Evolution and progression of atherosclerotic lesions in coronary arteries of children and young adults. Arteriosclerosis. 1989 Jan-Feb;9(1 Suppl):I19-32.

– S Castle and A Goodman. Rethink Food: 100+ Doctors Can’t Be Wrong. Two Skirts Productions, Houston, TX, 2014.

Robert Ostfeld, M.D., M.Sc.

Robert Ostfeld, M.D., M.Sc.

Cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, M.D., M.Sc. is the founder and director of theCardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, where he encourages patients to embrace a whole-foods, plant-based diet. He earned his M.D. at Yale and his M.Sc. in epidemiology at Harvard, and he is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Spread The Word!

spreadthewordI just love these stories!  The sad thing is that it takes a near-death experience for people to really hear the wakeup call.  Don’t be one of those statistics!  Start making the changes in your life now that will keep you healthy and appreciating life for years to come. And don’t be shy about spreading the word, it could save somebody’s life.

Two Heart Attacks at Age 29: A Story That Ends Well

By 
 Ivan 570x2991 Two Heart Attacks at Age 29: A Story That Ends WellOn July 9th of this year, I had a heart attack at age 29. It hit me at the Walgreens pharmacy, after a couple of bouts of intense anxiety had plagued me over the prior week. BAM!!! The pain was excruciating. My only thought was that I was going to die in Walgreens. The pharmacy clerk called 911, and an ambulance took me to Banner Estrella Hospital in Phoenix.

 I arrived with an IV in my left arm, oxygen in my nose, and meds that had put me into a really weird state of mind. After several hours a nurse delivered the news: “Your enzymes are up, and we have confirmed that you had a heart attack. You’re not going anywhere for a while.”

Once again, anxiety overwhelmed me. I kept thinking how my life was going to change and how I was never going to see my 50th birthday or watch my boys grow up. People asked me lots of questions, because I was so young and not obese or a drug addict … Why had this happened? I just answered their questions and prayed they would go away so I could go back to sleep. I had crazy nightmares as my body was adjusting to the meds.

After several days, I was released from the hospital. Each day at home I felt trepidation, always expecting the worst. My anxiety had taken over, and I felt I could roll over and die of a heart attack any minute. The world was scary, and I didn’t want to leave my house. I had become a prisoner in my own home.

Fast-forward to July 19th. As I was filling out some paperwork, it happened again: I felt that strong familiar jaw pain. Rather than calling 911, I got in my car and drove to the ER. Sure enough, I was having another heart attack. So back to the surgery room and the ICU, where the whole saga repeated itself.

Who would have guessed the direction my life would head next? Today, just shy of four months since my second heart attack, my health prognosis has taken a 180-degree turn for the better! This would never have occurred if it weren’t for Nathaly, my nurse, who introduced me to Forks Over Knives. “Watch it. I was meant to be your nurse, so I could show you this,” she said. What an awesome person!

The film was a life-changer. I had never been obese, but I was overweight, ate out daily, and consumed very little water. Now I eat nothing but plants, and only minimal processed foods. In less than four months, I have lost 63 lbs., reaching my goal weight of 170, and my cholesterol has dropped 177 points. I attend cardiac rehab three times a week, and I am already off of Lisinopril, because my heart is getting stronger.

Yeah, its been a challenge. But exploring new avenues, shopping for veggies that I have never tasted before, putting new recipes together, and watching my energy rise has been fun and rewarding. Going vegan was the best choice I ever made. It’s definitely a lifestyle change, and I am loving every minute of my life!!!

God Bless

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Don’t Wait For The Wake-up Call

alarm-clockThe answer to so many health issues faced by the majority of adults in this country is becoming unavoidably clear, but it continues to be a mystery to me why there is such resistance to making the necessary lifestyle changes.  I get the fact that the food and pharmaceutical industries, along with our healthcare system and the regulatory agencies, have produced a pill-popping, chronically ill society addicted to salt, sugar and fat, but with the growing evidence from sophisticated, scientifically-based clinical trials, in connection with a plethora of anecdotal stories like the one below, screaming for a plant-based, whole food, organic nutrition regimen, why such widespread, dogged resistance?  I suspect it’s a combination of apathy, lack of education, stubbornness in letting go of what used to be pillars of good nutrition and the successful commercial efforts to get people “hooked” on junk.  Are you ready to take responsibility and control of your health, or is it going to take a wake-up call like this:

Heart Attack at 67 Led to Diet Changes … Now Off Multiple Meds and Feeling Better Each Day!

Patrick 570x299 Heart Attack at 67 Led to Diet Changes … Now Off Multiple Meds and Feeling Better Each Day!In 2008, at 67, I had a heart attack and two stents were inserted.

Although I appeared in good health, fit, and not overweight, in hindsight I’m not surprised by the heart attack. My uncle and a nephew died from heart disease in their 40s; my younger brother died suddenly in his late 50s; and my youngest brother recently had a heart attack with six bypasses, which resulted in congestive heart failure, poor kidney function, and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.

I thought I was doing quite well following the DASH diet, recommended by most “experts.” It allowed me to get my symptoms under control, with the use of three blood-pressure medications (Coreg, novo hydrazide and Micardis), as well as Plavix, Warfarin, Crestor, nitroglycerin patches, nitroglycerin spray, and antidepressants.

Then I watched Forks Over Knives with my wife, in September of 2011. I gradually started moving toward a vegetarian diet after watching the film.

Now, after a year of eating entirely the plant-strong way, my blood tests show very low cholesterol, and my blood pressure is optimal. My doctor took me off eight of my nine medications! He said my bad cholesterol is the lowest he’s ever seen, even after being off Crestor for three months. All I’m taking now is one pill for blood pressure (Micardis), which I’m hoping might eventually be stopped.

Here in Canada, my procedures, including all ambulance use, cost nothing: no co-pay, no limits — except for drugs. I used to pay 25% of the drug cost, which amounted to about $3,000 a year. So, on top of the health benefits I’ve experienced, our household cash flow has improved. In addition, our food costs are greatly reduced: plant-based eating is far less costly than the SAD diet.

I’m never turning back!

God bless

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