'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me
August 19th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was lying in my hospital bed anxiously waiting for another unwanted heart catheterization. I was questioning how this could be happening to me again.

After all, I was only 41 years old. I was in pretty good shape. I didn’t smoke. I ate pretty well. Bad luck, bad genes, what was causing me to need a fifth heart procedure? It was easy to start feeling sorry for myself.

Then I thought about the book that I just finished reading for the second time since my last heart procedure that was sadly and inexplicably preformed just five months prior. It inspired me to pick up my iPad and search for the book’s author Dr. Esselstyn.

Esselstyn's  'heart attack proof' diet

Within seconds I was watching a CNN video on YouTube with Wolf Blitzer interviewing President Bill Clinton, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish on how one might prevent and even reverse heart disease through diet and exercise. Motivated to go further, I then found Dr.Esselstyn’s office number on the internet and called without having any reasonable expectation that he could be reached.

Will you have a heart attack? These tests can tell

To my surprise, his assistant Jackie answered the phone and told me that she would have Dr. Esselstyn return my call as soon as possible. As I hung up the phone, I had to scratch my head and question whether a famous doctor and author in Cleveland who I had just watched on CNN, who didn’t know me from Adam, would return my call as I lay there helplessly in my hospital bed.

To my surprise he did.

I had been rolled into the waiting/recovery room for the catheterization lab when my cell phone rang, that I am pretty sure I was not supposed to be using in the hospital, with Dr. Esselstyn calling. He caringly asked about my health history, blood work results and current symptoms that had led me back to the hospital again that day.

Sadly, he admitted that there was only so much he could do as I was literally minutes from being rolled into the next room to have the catheterization performed, but he did promise that he was convinced there was a way that I could prevent this hospital visit from ever happening again and that I would be hearing from him soon.

Moments later, my heart catheterization had begun and three hours later I was back in my hospital room in tears realizing that I just had three more stents placed around my heart.

In the nine years that preceded that day, I had progressively lost hope. After my first of eight stents were placed at the age of 31, a friend had given me a book called  "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease." After reading it I was inspired and confident that I could prevent this from ever happening again.

I then reached out to those that I thought I could trust - doctors, cardiologists, even a nutritionist to validate what I had read. It is safe to say that my confidence quickly turned to confusion. I remember stating, “If eating tree bark and water would keep me out of the hospital, then that is what I would do." Sadly, rather than confirmation, I instead was told that it was not necessary or even realistic that I commit to the lifestyle changes recommend by the book.

Nine years and eight stents later, I can’t help but think that the advice I received was well intentioned but nonetheless wrong.

After my fourth catheterization last June, I decided enough was enough and that there had to be a better way to go. I switched to a doctor that was part of the MDVIP program (focusing on  preventive, personalized health care) that had a nutritionist on staff. During my visit with the nutritionist, she recommended strongly that I read Dr. Esselstyn’s book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease." After immediately reading the book cover to cover, I once again visited with my doctor and cardiologist who were clearly more supportive than my experience from years before, but there still was a suggestion that what I had read was too extreme, unrealistic, and even unnecessary.

Still confused, I did eat much better and exercised regularly. However, I did not follow what was recommended in the book to the letter. I found myself back in the hospital again that November.

Since that day in the hospital, I have not allowed any professional’s opinion or excuse to deter me from implementing what Dr. Esselstyn recommends. I attended his one day program at the Cleveland Clinic in December. My diet has consisted exclusively of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans with no added oils, nuts, seeds or avocado.

What your cholesterol numbers really mean

I have lost 48 pounds. My blood work has gone from total cholesterol of 208, LDL of 93, HDL of 41, and triglycerides of 368 last June to most recent results of total cholesterol of 89, LDL of 19, HDL of 53, and triglycerides of 83. That transformation is nothing short of amazing.

My next challenge is where to go next with my heart medications, which would seem to be unnecessary based on the miraculous change in my blood work.

I don’t blame my doctors, my cardiologists or nutritionists over the years. I believe they had my best interest at heart. I do believe, however, that the world deserves better advice on how to live a long and happy life, free of heart and other diseases.

I know there are no guarantees in life, but I am convinced beyond belief that I am on the right track. If I can do it, I know that anyone else can. They just need to be given a chance by being pointed in the right direction. Hopefully those hearing about my life experiences will help them avoid taking nine years to figure it out as it did with me.

soundoff (1,261 Responses)
  1. FqbbEncox

    first payday loans fairview heights il payday loans check cashing near me milwaukee payday loan stores

    February 12, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. KvaxMile

    loans instant cash today direct funding payday loans payday loans granite city illinois

    February 12, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. frolep rotrem

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.


    February 13, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FbsgZisse

    cialis canada online cialis online fast cialis no prescription uk

    February 13, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. bitnet

    It іs actually a nice and useful piece of info. I'm happy
    tһat yoᥙ just shared this useful information with us. Please
    staʏ us informed liҝe this. Thank you foг sharing.

    February 13, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. AhbzEncox

    cash advance with no teletrack from a direct lender cash advance limit nab cash advance 27909

    February 13, 2021 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. https://www.oilseed.ir/product/روغن-زنجفیل

    Greetings from Ohio! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your
    site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the
    information you present here and can't wait to take a look when I get home.
    I'm amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile
    .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

    February 14, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. agen judi online

    What's up every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of knowledge,
    so it's nice to read this web site, and I used to visit this
    blog everyday.

    February 14, 2021 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. https://www.alef.ir/news/3991114078.html

    Thanks for sharing such a good idea, paragraph is
    good, thats why i have read it fully

    February 14, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. CT course

    I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.

    I don't know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous
    blogger if you aren't already 😉 Cheers!

    February 14, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LabxEncox

    hipertension y cialis taking cialis past expiration date 10mg cialis daily

    February 14, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. frolep rotrem

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of WordPress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.


    February 14, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. emini futures trading

    magnificent put up, very informative. I'm wondering
    why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this.

    You must continue your writing. I'm sure, you have a huge readers' base already!

    February 14, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. order tadalafil

    raven penis tadalafil pills 20mg megalis 20 mg

    February 14, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. flooring professionals Pittsburgh, PA

    Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629


    February 14, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. situs judi online terpercaya

    What's Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely
    useful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist different
    users like its aided me. Great job.

    February 15, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. https://www.rotbegardon.com/product/آموزش-دینی-دهم-سعید-بدلی/

    Hi there everyone, it's my first pay a visit at this web
    site, and paragraph is genuinely fruitful for me,
    keep up posting these types of articles or reviews.

    February 15, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Belleville, MI Roofing

    Very interesting,good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it.You’re doing a great job.Keep it up. R 5 Roofing and Construction, 45041 Ecorse Rd, Belleville, MI 48111, (734) 215-6189


    February 15, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JbnvCrulk

    fast instant cash loans cape town quick and easy online payday loans south africa andrea fappani custom cash advance

    February 16, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. High-Do-Follow Forum-Backlinks

    500000 Scrapebox Blast Live SEO blog Comment Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842132/500000-Scrapebox-Blast-Live-SEO-blog-Comment-Backlinks


    February 16, 2021 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Chrystal Mcclendon

    Hi! I really need some help and ideas for my creative writing assignment. We have to mimic the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. We have to have 5 diverse characters (so far I have a brunette young woman who is a musician from NJ) and they are going on a pilgrimage to NYC. They have to be diverse based on gender, class, race, and occupation and where they are coming from. Then they have to each tell a story. I am having a lot of problems being creative with them. I really have no idea where to start. I would really appreciate any ideas. Thanks!.


    February 17, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. NbnhZisse

    cheapest uk sildenafil http://vigedon.com/ price of sildenafil 100mg

    February 17, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sticker box for planner

    Hi there to every body, it's my first pay a visit of this web
    site; this blog consists of remarkable and actually good information for readers.

    Look into my site – sticker box for planner

    February 18, 2021 at 04:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. SocialMedia Services2021

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more. Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/


    February 19, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. doctors for hydroxychloroquine

    what is in hydroxychloroquine coronavirus treatment lupus usmle

    February 21, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. remote pc assistance

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks


    February 21, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. plaquenil sleep

    erectile growing foods side effects for plaquenil erectile stimulation treatment

    February 21, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. brujos

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …


    February 21, 2021 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. didier raoult

    hydroxychloroquine medication generic hydroxychloroquine hydroxychloroquine sulfate tabs 200mg

    February 22, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. betflix

    บาคาร่า เกมไพ่ที่ได้รับความนิยมาอย่างนาน กระทั่งในปัจจุบันผู้เล่นสามารถร่วมเล่นเกมอันเลื่องลือนี้ได้ไม่ว่าจะหนทางคาสิโน หรือ คาสิโนออนไลน์ ที่สะดวกไม่เสียเวล่ำเวลาเดินทางไกล แถมยังได้อัตราการจ่ายที่สูงและโบนัสอีกมากมาย ให้ผลประโชน์กับผู้เล่นสูงสุด

    February 24, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. sms

    I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. sms


    February 25, 2021 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. altruist

    Great delivery. Sound argumentѕ. Keep up the amazing spirit.

    February 26, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. KndnMile

    plant viagra viagra vs. cialis free viagra samples

    February 28, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. backlink jasa

    It's nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you're talking about!

    February 28, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. backlink jual

    I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog's posts all
    the time along with a mug of coffee.

    February 28, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

    February 28, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. judi qq

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I'm quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    February 28, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. poker online

    Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your website, how can i
    subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant clear idea

    February 28, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. FjjuZisse

    para que sirve el viagra http://viagraonlinejc.com/ cialis viagra online

    February 28, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. http://esri.handong.edu/english/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=208145

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thanks for sharing!

    March 1, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. http://observatoriotie.unisabana.edu.co/congreso/community/profile/macanpc40/

    I'm impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that's both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you,
    you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt
    for something relating to this.

    March 1, 2021 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. https://www.4shared.com/u/nMFWcueR/MissyMora25.html

    This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger.
    I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.

    Also, I've shared your website in my social networks!

    March 1, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. http://ufotech.com.vn/members/halimmcnei1.683528/

    Thanks for finally writing about >'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me – The Chart – CNN.com Blogs
    <Liked it!

    March 1, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. ClarkTauts

    w99tu 7do3m gmtz

    March 1, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ClarkTauts

    s9bge e4xpg 0mfo

    March 2, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. credit card holder insert

    Whoa! This web site looks exactly like my old one!
    It's on the completely different subject but it has just about the same
    layout and design. Wonderful selection of colors!

    Take a look at my blog credit card holder insert

    March 3, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. wiki.psxdigital.com

    You've made some decent points there. I checked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; download kiss918 –

    March 3, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jonah Fingar

    I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.


    March 4, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. chic sparrow

    Great site you may have here.. It's difficult to get high-quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I seriously appreciate people such as you!
    Be cautious!!

    Here is my web-site – chic sparrow

    March 6, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. https://praha-dnes.cz/bydleni/

    Thanks , I have just been searching for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now.
    But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain about the supply?

    March 6, 2021 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Leave a Reply to Warner Seiters


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.