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    Family history prompts doctor to go vegan yetFamily history prompts Petoskey doctor to go vegan by Rachel Brougham rbrougham@petoskeynews.com (231) 439-9348
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1 8:44 PM
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      Family history prompts doctor to go vegan

       yetFamily history prompts Petoskey doctor to go vegan
      by Rachel Brougham
      rbrougham@petoskeyn ews.com
      (231) 439-9348
      August 30, 2011

      http://www.petoskey news.com/ health/pnr- family-history- prompts-petoskey -doctor-to- go-vegan- 20110830, 0,960880. story

      When Dr. Charles Huebner, a rheumatologist in Petoskey looked at his family history, he knew change was necessary to live a long, healthy life.

      Both his parents have suffered heart attacks, along with several aunts, uncles and grandparents. Then his brother died of a heart attack at the age of 50.

      “It really made me start to look at what my lifestyle was,” Huebner said. “It was worrisome.”

      Around the same time of his brother’s heart attack, Huebner read an article by Michael Ozner, a cardiologist who, for the last several years, has educated people on how to prevent heart disease, not just treat it. Ozner has written several books and articles emphasizing how lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, are the most powerful tools in battling the number one killer in America.

      Reading Ozner’s article motivated Huebner to do more research and study the various effects food and diet have on the body.

      He was eventually led to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who promotes a plant based, no oil diet to protect the body from heart disease and other diseases.

      Since January 2010, Huebner has followed a vegan, no oil diet, and has since led seminars following Esselstyn’s heart-healthy plan to those in the area.

      “I feel much more lighter afoot now,” Huebner said. “I’ve lost 30 pounds, am much more energetic and am much sharper mentally. My energy level has definitely improved and my exercise endurance has increased dramatically.”

      Huebner admits that adapting to a vegan lifestyle was moderately difficult. He did have to overcome some eating habits and cravings at first, but after about a month, it became much easier.

      “You really have to have a plan on how to enact this type of lifestyle,” he said. “You have to know how to, in a practical fashion, eat this way and be able to make enough recipes and have flavorful and enjoyable food on a regular basis. It is a learning curve, definitely.”

      Having a support system in place is also beneficial, he added.

      “If you’re the only one doing it, that can make it difficult. “My wife is not entirely eating the way I am, but she’s very supportive and we make a lot of dishes together. Once you learn the basics of different foods and how to prepare them, it does become easier. I’m now really enjoying the flavors of natural foods.”

      While there is a level of uncertainty involved with starting and following a vegan lifestyle, Huebner believes that education regarding the role of diet in relation to heart disease can be a lifesaver, and he hopes others in the medical profession will begin to turn more to prevention rather than treatment.

      And it’s not just heart disease that can benefit from a plant-based diet. Huebner has seen radical changes in some of his patients with inflammatory diseases such as lupus and arthritis.

      “When you realize the role food plays, it becomes crystal clear that what many people eat just makes them sick. To heal blood vessels and the heart takes nourishing food,” he said. “Once you start, you don’t want to go back because you really do feel better. For me, there is no going back.”

      Live Simply So That
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