Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Reversing the Damage
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Reversing the Damage

Ross Boissoneau - January 9th, 2012  

Heart attack leads to lifestyle change

For some people, moving to a plant-based diet might seem difficult.

Even for those who are vegetarians, dropping all dairy, nuts and oils could be considered a bit much.

But after suffering a heart attack despite what was considered an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, Gary Myles embraced that extreme.

“I was fairly active, two or three times a week in the gym, walking regularly,” said the 66-year-old Myles. “I was fairly careful about my diet. I ate mostly fish, some chicken, rarely red meat.”

Then a year ago, after his regular morning workout, Myles began experiencing stomach pain. A trip to emergency brought the stunning news: he had suffered a heart attack.

Despite the diet and exercise and no family history of cardiac disease, he was told he had two arteries with a 90% blockage and one with 100%.

LIFESTYLE REINVENTION

Seven stents later, Myles was determined to regain his health. That ultimately led to what might be seen by some as a radical lifestyle change: he would eschew any animal-based foods, nuts or seeds, and even olive oil or other supposedly healthy oils.

The decision stemmed from a rather offhand remark made by his cardiologist, after he examined Myles following his heart attack.

“Dr. Varner said, almost as an aside, ‘You know, our bodies are designed to eat a plant-based diet,’” recounted Myles.

That led Myles to books by Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., both of which recommended vegetarian diets.

“Both touted plant-based diets and moderate exercise,” he said. “Both cited studies. They said, to get fit, get less than ten percent of your calories from fat. They said you can reverse the buildup of cholesterol and placque.”

That was enough for Myles. He figured the best way to regain and maintain his health was to go all in.

And so far, so good. “I just got back from a visit from my cardiologist, and he said I don’t have anything to worry about.”

EATING OUT A CHALLENGE

While Myles doesn’t visit any fast-food places, he can and does still go out to eat. It just takes a little more planning.

“New Year’s Eve we went to Funistrada. We called in advance and I said, ‘I have a challenge for you.’ The chef prepared a stir-fry. It was really good. He came out and talked to me while we were having dinner and said if you like it we may keep it on the menu.”

Myles said most of the locally-owned restaurants are able to accommodate him, it’s just the franchise restaurants where that is difficult.

At home, Myles and his wife Rosemary are able to create a host of meals without any of the forbidden ingredients.

“The artisan breads at most bakeries usually have no fat. You get some raspberryflavored vinegars like at Fustini’s and it’s like dessert.

“It isn’t that hard. I kind of play at it.

I make a hummus with no oil. It’s really good,” he said.

But Myles admits that sometimes he does experience a longing for those days gone by.

“On New Year’s Day, my wife cooked prime rib. It smelled really good to me.

“The food I eat, the rice, beans, stir-fry, has no odor. That (scent of food) adds to the effect.”

In addition to his diet, Myles has upped his exercise regimen. He works out three times a week and walks three or four days a week as well, either on the treadmill or outside if the weather permits.

And so far, the results have been encouraging.

“My heart is strong, the arteries are staying open. Cholesterol levels are good.

“Dr. Varner said, ‘Just keep doing what you are doing.’ He says your body will tell you if something’s wrong.”

 
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