Terry and Angel Grier
We are excited to share our journey with all of you around a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle and how the WFPB lifestyle literally changed and saved our lives!
Our journey to a WFPB lifestyle began twenty years ago. Terry began taking high blood pressure medication when he was diagnosed with extreme high blood pressure and was immediately placed on two blood pressure meds, of which he was told he would never come off of. He continued to eat well (or what we thought was well) and worked out 6 days a week. This hard work and dedication led Terry to a cardiologist who put him on cholesterol medication in January of 2020. This recommendation for additional meds, on top of the two BP meds, was prompted by blood work, as well as a coronary heart scan which placed Terry in the 90th percentile of people in his age group who had a buildup of plaque in their arteries, this is called, atherosclerosis. At this time, he was officially diagnosed with coronary heart disease by a cardiologist, as well as a lipid specialist, and placed on cholesterol meds. Also, Terry’s total cholesterol rose to 248 with an LDL of 160.
During this same time period, Angel was also working hard watching what she ate and exercising regularly. Angel always had to follow a strict diet and rigorous work out schedule in order to maintain a healthy weight, which was an uphill battle for the past 40+ years. It was a battle she was winning but it took amazing effort and a great deal of deprivation from food to maintain. In addition, she started having heart palpitations and not feeling the greatest. She visited a cardiologist who put her on a heart monitor. The monitor showed she had some arrhythmia and extra heart beats and was told it was something she could live with. This was a concern given all the heart disease in Angel’s family, as well as her blood work, which resulted in a total cholesterol of 236 and LDL of 121. We started to believe illness was upon us both regardless of our routine of eating well, depriving ourselves, and never missing a workout!
Over the years, we researched and read about many diets, which we tried in order to attempt to manage Terry’s high blood pressure and our high cholesterol, however none of them worked, in fact our blood results worsened. Terry is a former track and field standout; he was All Ohio in his junior and senior year of college and he has maintained a rigorous workout regimen, as outlined above, since he was in the 9th grade. Coming to realization he was going to be on medication for the rest of his life was hard to accept. In addition, the mediation started taking over, Terry became weaker in the gym and started to slow down quite rapidly during his cardio workouts. A few days after being placed on cholesterol mediation Terry had an adverse event on the treadmill and we thought we were going to have to call a medic as it started to become an emergency. After several minutes of rest, Terry was able to shake the issue, but it was the first time since the 9th grade he was faced with this reality. This is when we knew something had to give because Terry was in quicksand with no way out and Angel was not far behind!
After searching a researching for a long time, Angel came across WFPB and watched several documentaries and read many books. She knew this time it was going to be different and felt encouraged she may be able to get Terry out of the quicksand and his rapid road to a major cardiac event. Our mission to save our lives was alive and well!