Nov. 14, 2013
Herbie of the Week: Scott C
I was so excited to see this tweet from Scott, "PLANT BASED DIET HAS CURED MY HEART DISEASE (Ventricular Tachycardia) NO MORE BETA BLOCKING MEDS FOR ME!! :)
Of course as soon as I read it, I asked him to interview as HOW :)
HH: Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Scott Conley and I was raised as a carnivore. A trip to Burger King or McDonald's with my dad, who died of heart disease, was a weekly ritual. In my 20's, I once went a year eating practically nothing but takeout and fast food. Coincidentally, I have always had heart problems, and was eventually diagnosed with Ventricular Tachycardia.
HH: After your diagnosis, did your doctor ever talk to you about changing your diet?
He never once inquired about or suggested improving my diet. My doctor prescribed beta blockers, which made me tired and sluggish, and suggested a procedure in which electricity run through a gold wire would be used to damage a valve in my heart thereby breaking the electric feedback cycle causing the tachycardia. Yikes!
Me in my old size 35" jeans. A happy herbivore! The shirt says grass fed :)
HH: Yikes! Was there any other way or alternative to control the ventricular tachycardia?
I sought out ways I could control it without drugs or surgery. I mastered the Valsalva technique. By filling the lungs with air, holding it and bearing down hard, I can squeeze my heart and stop the doubled heart rate (tachycardia). However, this left me weak and incapacitated. Having two young children to chase makes all of it that much more serious.
HH: How did you find your way to a plant-based diet?
On February 7, 2012 at 10pm I saw Forks Over Knives. The next day I began a whole food plant based diet.
HH: In your original tweet you mentioned you've been able to get off your heart medication and you no longer have ventricular tachycardia (amazing!) have you experienced any other positive benefits?
As of today (3/24/12), I've gone down 5 (five!) notches on my belt. My size 35" pants (see photo) fall off. I'm down to almost a 32", which I last wore in high school in 1988. Heart problems, depression, swollen lymph nodes, aches and pains all disappeared.
Yesterday I kicked a soccer ball up and down a hill for almost an hour nonstop with my kids. A year ago I had to abandon a hike with my 7yo when I had a ventricular tachycardia episode that I couldn't stop with Valsalva. Now, no matter how hard I run and exercise I have NO HEART PROBLEMS!
At 42, I feel incredible! Anyone with heart disease or any of the western ailments should try this life changing way of eating.
HH: Has anyone else in your family adopted a plant-based diet?
My mom is a cancer survivor and has made the change. My wife has made the change. My kids have made the change. They all feel incredible. I can't say this enough. I'm actually crying while I write this last line. (HH: now I'm crying too!)
HH: Did your family join with you right away or did you inspire them?
My family made the change gradually after seeing my results.
HH: Was it difficult for your kids to change?
My son never liked meat, but loved milk. He now likes almond milk. My daughter, who usually eats what's offered, loves soy dogs and doesn't notice a difference. They imitate me and snack on the fruits, nuts and veggies we stock in our home.