Shocked and Frightened  

In September 2011, it was officially confirmed that I had heart disease. Results of tests conducted indicated that I had an ejection fraction of 25%, indicative of blockages being present in my cardiovascular system. All of a sudden it seemed as if I was facing death, because the end seemed near. As a Christian my faith was challenged. I cried out to God.

I did not expect such results. All my life I had been active athletically, and in my latter years I had taken up bicycle riding and walked regularly with my wife. Furthermore, my body weight was 140 pounds, a reasonable weight for someone 5 feet eight inches tall.

I thought I was eating in a fairly healthy way. I ate mostly chicken, and to a lesser extent fish. All my meals at home were prepared with olive oil, when cooked with oil, but I often preferred to have meat that had been grilled or barbequed. However, I had an insatiable appetite for sweets. This included juices, cakes, chocolates, and other deserts, a      lifestyle that was encouraged by the fact that I did not easily put on weight.

Medical Solutions not very positive

Medical options, such as stents and bypass surgery did not offer much hope. They were very expensive and represented temporary solutions, as they did not guarantee that these procedures would not need to be repeated in the future. My research findings suggested that unless there was a radical change in lifestyle, heart disease would continue to develop with catastrophic consequences.

Lifestyle Change   

My wife brought my attention to a CNN documentary, in which President Bill Clinton was sharing his experience of having undergone quadruple bypass surgery, because of blockages which developed in his heart due to his previous diet which included an insatiable appetite for hot dogs. He further shared that he had since adopted a vegetarian diet in which he followed the recommendations of Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., who wrote the book; “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”.

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Book on Amazon

I quickly purchased a copy of this book, and as I read it, I was greatly encouraged to read that lifestyle dietary changes, can actually stop and in some cases reverse heart disease. By eating vegetables, beans and starchy vegetables in pursuance of a fat free diet, one could stop the development of heart disease, and in many cases reverse it. It required my total abstinence from meat, fish and dairy products. Candidly put, anything that came from anything having a face was to be avoided.

Psychological Challenges   

During my first three weeks of having embarked on a “Fat Free” vegetarian diet, I felt like a cow learning to eat grass after having eaten meat all its life. My wife decided to join me in this new diet, although she was not diagnosed with “Heart Disease”, a gesture which encourageded me on a journey which I had found to be very lonely.

There were moments when I felt psychologically terrified at the thought that I would never again be able to eat chicken or to have dairy ice cream again. However I also found that the more I read and understood my condition, and how my diet can contribute positively to my healing and restoration, the more encouraged I was to sacrifice the lifestyle I once lived. To me, it became more important to live, and to live a quality life, than to “enjoy” food that was eroding my health and would eventually destroy my life.

Currently, I am four months into my new diet. I am still visiting my Cardiologist, who while monitoring my condition and prescribing medications, is very supportive of my new diet, and is optimistic of the changes which it can bring. By changing to a “Fat Free” diet my LDL was reduced from 3.9 to 2.8 in two months, without taking Statins.

Since changing to this new diet, I have found that my body has more energy, I am less sleepy during the days and in general I am feeling much healthier. In the Bible, Psalm 103:5 tells us of God’s provision of healing through good food: “who satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. With God’s help and a resolve to eat right, I believe I will overcome.


Next: Is a Vegan an Alien?

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  1. Metz says:

    This is a bold and awesome move to let us peek into your world as you continue this journey to health and wellness. Thank you for sharing your own candid emotions and real life experiences. I believe that through this medium many persons will be encouraged and strengthened to choose life and live!

  2. Barbara Comrie-Hall says:

    I feel so inspired to join you uncle Ian . Keep up the great work!

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