I received this email from Andrea a few months ago and wanted to share it as part of our Herbies of the Week series. It's a little different than what we normally have on this column each week — not just that Andrea wrote me a letter (as opposed to me interviewing her) — but I loved her honest perspective about her personal journey.
[Editorial note: Andrea has since married, hence her beautiful wedding "after" picture]
"Just wanted to drop you a note to tell you what a big fan I am! My husband-to-be had a routine check-up and clean bill of health in April 2012. He wasn't overweight, his blood pressure normal, and his cholesterol was around 160, which we believe was very good and he exercised regularly. He took no medications. The doctor had him take a stress test based on his family history of heart disease and his age of 51. The treadmill test came back negative showing he had no blockages. All was right in our world.
Until he started having chest pains, which turned out to be angina — which led to the heart cath that found two blockages. One in his right coronary artery, which was 80% blocked and a second on a vessel off of that one which was 100% blocked. He now has 2 stents. With that shock and the fact I have my own awful family history of heart disease (my dad had his triple bypass at 42; I am on the verge of 44); we knew something had to change.
He is a writer and I am an attorney, and neither one of us believed that there was nothing we could do to change our destiny of pain, suffering, and dying of heart disease (cancer, diabetes, or dementia). We refused to accept that and started looking around for a solution. A friend led us to FOK. And we have not looked back.
Without your books and blog, I don't think we could do this. I had gotten out of the habit of cooking everyday and was dreading it. I opened my own law firm with a partner back in February, and I had been so tired every night when I made it home that I couldn't imagine cooking. (He has offered to cook, but because I am so picky, and obviously being an attorney have a control issue, I took it on — but he cleans up. Whew!) I use one or more of your recipes every day. Last night was Cajun Chickpea Cakes. Everything is easy, fast, and TASTES GREAT. Crazy!
I feel 100% better, I have lost 20 lbs. and am never hungry. I am now perfectly in my BMI range. My bad cholesterol dropped from 108 to 75. I have never been able to get those results, even with medication. My blood pressure is normal and I am off the blood pressure meds. My cholesterol medicine has been reduced to such a small dose that I have to cut a pill in half, as there isn't one made for my dosage level. My HTB has lost 15 lbs. and can't wait to have his numbers checked again in the next few weeks. He is feeling great and living his life rather than waiting for another pain to hit him.
You have kept us from feeling deprived and getting into a rut, which is a huge part of this battle. I can pass up all the drive-throughs knowing I am going to have something much better, both health-wise and taste-wise ,when I get home.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!"