Meet our Herbie of the Week: Stevi!
Facing the need to be put on statins for high cholesterol, Stevi made the decision to transition to a plant-based diet.
Fast forward almost two years later, and the results are incredible! In addition to lowering her cholesterol (by nearly 100 pts! without the use of statins), Stevi's almost off her blood pressure meds and feels great!
Here's Stevi's story in her own words...
In 2012, I realized that I had been experiencing some changes to my health. I had been battling high blood pressure for a few years, and facing the need to start taking statin drugs due to my cholesterol being at 290 in May of 2012. After some thought, and watching documentaries on health, particularly "Forks Over Knives", and reading blogs like Happy Herbivore, I made the decision in December of 2012 to start changing to a plant-based diet.
In May of 2013 I went to my doctor get blood work done, my cholesterol had dropped to 202, without taking statin drugs. My doctor used the word "phenomenal". He also said I could begin weaning off of my blood pressure meds. I was able to cut the dosage in half successfully.
It was easy for me to give up meat, eggs, cow's milk, and many dairy-based foods such as mayonnaise, sour cream, and salad dressings with those types of ingredients. I have not been able to completely let go of cheese yet, but I have cut way down on my cheese intake. I mostly make my own food at home, and it's completely plant-based when I do. I have also cut back on the processed foods, but do sometimes reach for them when I am crunched for time; however I look for plant-based processed foods with few ingredients. I also sometimes have desserts that may contain eggs and milk, but I am not much of a sweet-eater so that is not too often. Still working on it. Progress, right? :)
My friends and family have been completely supportive of me, and I am grateful for it. They even partake in the plant-based meals I make, make meals for me, or go to vegetarian/vegan restaurants with me. My husband is a die-hard meat eater, which means we eat two separate dishes for meals, but he respects and supports my dietary choices because he wants me healthy and happy.
In August of 2014 I went for my checkup and had a clean bill of health. My cholesterol is even better (below 200 now!), the good cholesterol is up a bit (which is what the doc wanted to see), vitamin D levels are up, and all of the rest of the numbers from my blood test look super. He was a bit concerned that because I was mostly plant-based that I may be eating too many carbs, but he said based on my blood work I am doing a great job with my diet and to keep it up. I need to exercise a bit more, but I knew that and will try to focus on it. Other than that...all is great! And once I have a regular exercise routine going, my doctor said I can begin to wean off of my blood pressure medication completely!
These positive changes in my health happened when I made a conscious effort to change my diet. In 2012, I was looking down the barrel of having to start taking statin drugs, and there was no possibility at that time to get off of my blood pressure meds. Now that has changed because of my (mostly) plant-based eating. I highly recommend looking into Happy Herbivore's ideas for health and eating. It helped me change my view of food, how to prepare food, and to become healthier and feel great.
Thank you Stevi for sharing your story with us!