Last year about this time my husband was suffering from severe blockage in his heart. He had two stints put in to take care of that. His doctor suggested a major change in diet. We began to follow Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” a plant based way of eating. Anyone knowing Jim would never expect that change, but things were serious. His heart efficiency was around 25%. It was hard for him to even get around. He needed a wheelchair at that point and a recliner that would actually push him out of the chair electronically. Shortly after starting this new way of eating, a member of The Noisy Rabbit offered us her basket for a week they were going to be out of town. It was fantastic! We wanted to join, but there were no openings in our area. So we did the next best thing: we volunteered to host a new branch. It seemed easier to have the pick up be at our church, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Easley, than at our home.
It has been almost a year now, and Jim is totally vegan. He has lost 92 pounds and is now able to walk around and lead the choir again at church. His heart efficiency has improved to 55%, which is low normal. His cardiologist had planned to give him an implanted defibrillator, but after the improvement in his heart efficiency, decided that was not necessary.
Having a new batch of fresh vegetables every week has been both a blessing and a challenge. Some of the vegetables are not ones we were accustomed to using. At first we had difficulty using them all. Looking for new dishes to make in order to utilize all of the produce keeps us on our toes. The results have been beyond all of our expectations. I even lost 15 pounds over the past year.
[Cindy is the leader of the Oliver branch that meets in Easley at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30.]