Sunday, February 2, 2014


I'd love to report about my awesome cycling, but there hasn't been any; not only no awesome cycling, hardly any cycling at all.  But this is training season, and we work on strength, stretching, and health.  I just received an update on my health, so will pass it on.

For the past 14 months I've been on a plant-based diet: no meat, no dairy, no fish, and restricted oil.  This because in 2013 I had a Heart-Saver CT scan done, to detect the amount of plaque build-up in my arteries.  The statin I'd been taking for the last 8 years didn't seem to be getting the job done.  Rather than continue to up the dosage, I turned to a radical change of diet.  This is outlined in the book by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn,  Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. A similar book by Dr. Dean Ornish, The Spectrum, has similar information.  Basically, the food we eat is what causes most of our health problems.  They don't like meat and dairy, refined grains, and especially don't like processed foods.  The rest of their arguments I leave for you to read about.

Here is my short report.  In a year, my Calcium Score (plaque build-up, not the same as when you get a blood test) dropped from 305 to 208.  So, thanks to Dr. Esselstyn, I have reversed the plaque build-up.  Had I been really strict in following his instructions (I stuck to no meat, fish or dairy, it was the various sugars and refined grains where I slipped), I suspect my score would be even lower.  Additionally, after only a few months on the diet, my endurance in my long bike rides was much improved (I wasn't any faster, just didn't come home wrung out).  Oh, and I lost ten pounds quickly, and my cholesterol dropped from 180 to 126.

If you haven't had a CT Heart Saver scan, and are over 60, I suggest you see where you stand.  If the results are not favorable, give some thought to your diet.  

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