Holly’s heart disease reversal story
When she was in her 50s, Holly’s doctor told her she was a “high risk” candidate for a heart attack. Her cardiologist said this because a scan of her heart revealed hardened, calcified plaque (atherosclerosis) in her arteries, and high levels of both blood cholesterol (over 200 mg/dl) and “bad” LDL cholesterol (over 130mg/dl).
After careful consideration, Holly decided to advocate for her heart-health by choosing to make comprehensive lifestyle changes. To accomplish this, she would follow Dr. Dean Ornish’s evidence- and lifestyle-based program (diet, exercise, stress management, and social support) for reversing heart disease. And to ensure she did the program optimally and got the results she wanted, we agreed she would participate in the “cardiac coaching” services I provide. (I’m especially knowledgeable about this program because for more than 15 years, I was Dr. Ornish’s Director of Research; my wife, Deborah Kesten, MPH, was the Nutritionist on Dr. Ornish’s first clinical trial.)
After one year of practicing the program and coaching, Holly reversed her heart disease. As she optimized her diet, exercise activities, a personalized formula for de-stressing, and meaningful relationships, her blood flow and cholesterol levels improved. Today, Holly lives with a new sense of well-being that allows her to savor and enjoy her life…and heart health. “It is as if I have opened the window and fresh air is coming and going,” she says, reflecting on her transformation.
* Name changed to keep confidentiality
Larry Scherwitz, PhD, and Deborah Kesten, MPH, are certified wellness and cardiac coaches, who specialize in preventing, halting, and reversing heart disease and overeating, overweight, and obesity. They are also international lifestyle and nutrition researchers and award-winning authors. Visit them at www.Enlightened-Diet.com to learn more about them and their Coaching and Optimal Eating programs.