8 Great Plant-based Diet Success Stories

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8 Great Plant-based Diet Success Stories

For a lot of people, inspiration comes from people like them. These 8 great plant-based diet success stories that I’m going to talk about will surely inspire many readers. 

successful hiker

I’ve long been an ardent follower of Forks Over Knives. The movie really changed my perspective and motivated me to strive for a healthier lifestyle. But what I was even more impressed by was the dozens of success stories shared on FOK. 

In this post, I am going to share and talk about the stories that were truly awe-inspiring. It’s incredible how your diet transforms every aspect of your life, giving you the opportunity to live better, especially if you have a medical condition. 

8 Great Plant-based Diet Success Stories from Forks Over Knives

From deadly diseases to tens of extra pounds, there are people who have fought every kind of health problem with a whole-food plant-based diet. While there are scientific studies and data that also supports the benefits of a plant-based diet, real-life examples go a step further. 

Here are some of those stories from people just like you and me. So if you’re struggling with disease, a chronic condition, or just need to shed a few pounds, read on and be inspired.

1. Brooklyn Borough President Reverses Diabetes 

Diabetes is a serious problem in our country. It’s one of the top five causes of death. More importantly, diabetes can be very expensive to treat, given the healthcare situation. However, lifestyle changes seem to be an effective way of reversing it or at least controlling it. 

brooklyn president

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adam’s story is a living example of how a plant-based diet can reverse type II diabetes. What I find really promising in his account is that he was diagnosed with type II diabetes pretty late, when it had gotten to the insulin-requiring stage. The tingling in the arms and feet, paired with vision loss, indicated he needed insulin. 

It’s not surprising that he made this massive change when you read that he met Dr. Caldwell Esseltyn, one of the most prominent plant-based doctors and researchers. Long story short, the President of the most populated borough in New York City took control of his diabetes through a plant-based diet and exercise and avoided insulin injections altogether. 

One of the most important takeaways from his story is that a plant-based diet requires effort and commitment. You can tell by his designation that he’s a very busy man. He writes that he had never cooked before embarking on this plant-based journey. But with this new lifestyle, he was making most of his meals himself. Click here to read Eric’s inspiring story.

2. Couple Loses 195 Pounds with Plant-based Diet

One of the best ways to make a positive change in your life is to do it with someone. And what better way to get healthy than to do it with your partner? This couple’s story is truly inspirational for all those people struggling with obesity. 

Stephen and Sonia collectively lost a whopping 195 pounds. Their story is particularly interesting because of Stephen’s background. He comes from a vegetarian family that relied mostly on processed foods. 

This story will help you understand the difference between going vegetarian and going whole-food plant-based. The difference is that the latter is healthier. 

Stephen’s mostly processed vegetarian diet pushed him to adopt the low-carb lifestyle to lose weight, which is super unhealthy. His wife also followed him and adopted this unhealthy lifestyle. However, that only resulted in more weight. He reached 340 pounds. 

Like many other plant-based enthusiasts, it was the Forks Over Knives movie that made them rethink their lifestyle. What I find really interesting is that he mentions that they thought such a diet would be bland and boring. On the contrary, they found it tasteful and nutritious.

He lost 150 pounds, and his wife lost 45 pounds. You should really check out their tips for losing weight together as a couple. Doing it together really enforces the idea of getting healthy, and if one person is down, the other can motivate them. Next thing you know, you have a whole system. 

Oh, and I absolutely love their recreation of an old photograph to show their amazing transformation! Click here to learn more about Stephen and Sonia’s journey- amazing!

3. Dialysis-Free Comeback from Kidney Disease

This success story is nothing short of a miracle. Don Davis was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney disease and was looking at death in the face in a short time. His doctors didn’t give him any hopes, neither did the dialysis center. 

fruit basket

I cannot even begin to imagine what emotions he must be going through. It was his wife Kimberly that made him change his lifestyle completely as a last resort to save his life. They took a very stringent approach, logging everything he consumed. And he started to get better. 

It took a few months, but he saw gradual changes, and even the medical team started paying attention. Given the severity of his condition, it’s understandable that they followed such a strict pattern. But all that effort and attention to detail paid off, as eventually, he got off dialysis. 

According to the National Kidney Foundation data, nearly 500,000 people got dialysis at least three times a week. Imagine how many people can benefit from making healthy lifestyle changes like Don. Kidney disease can be life-threatening and drastically reduce the quality of life. 

Don and his wife even have a Facebook group to promote plant-based living for patients with kidney disease. More power to them! You can read all about his story here, if you’d like.

4. Of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Marathons

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that can affect more than just your joints. This chronic inflammatory condition can affect many other systems of the body. Such was the case Theresa Dojaquez. 

At 37, she was diagnosed with the condition and prescribed a bunch of medications. According to her, the doctor even warned that she might be immobilized within a year. However, she was determined to find an alternative. 

Like many other people, she also didn’t want to rely on medications. So she found Forks Over Knives and decided to give that a try. Luckily for her, she has the support of her husband who also went plant-based with her.  

Many scientific studies have proven that plant-based diets have anti-inflammatory effects. So it’s no surprise that Theresa saw her pain reduce after just two months of the WFPB diet. On the other hand, her husband lost weight, who was previously overweight. 

The improvements were so significant that she even ran her very first marathon after just a few months. She went from having a severely inflamed body to running in a marathon. That alone should be convincing for anyone to realize the immense benefits of plant-based diets in treating arthritis. Read more about Theresa’s story here, she’s incredible. 

5. Avoiding Bypass Surgery with Plants

It’s no secret that a plant-based diet has been hailed as one of the best cures for heart disease, the number one reason for death in the US. Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Esseltyn’s work has shown time and again that lifestyle changes are the ultimate medicine for this life-threatening disease. 

If you want to see real-life examples of this proven fact, here’s a courageous story. I personally found this particular FOK success story to be extremely promising and inspiring. Ken Stone’s story shows that heart disease can get pretty bad really fast.

For the most part, he didn’t even know he had it until things got really bad and the doctors told him that he had to get bypass surgery. Basically, he narrowly escaped death the day he was diagnosed. 

It’s important to note that he mentions that his family had a history of heart disease. Even though he didn’t show any symptoms, he had developed severe heart disease. But months away from the surgery, he decided to give the plant-based diet a try. 

When he went plant-based, he immediately started losing weight, as much as two pounds in a single day. He was also exercising as prescribed by his doctor. 

If we’ve learned anything from the successful heart disease reversal programs, it’s that exercise is just as important as diet. 

Just after four months, he showed considerable improvement in his blood work and didn’t need a bypass surgery anymore. That’s how powerful plant-based foods are! Learn more about Ken’s story, here!

6. Extending Last Moments

This is a heart-warming and incredibly emotional story of a couple fighting brain cancer. Margarita Restrepo’s boyfriend, Tom was diagnosed with very aggressive brain cancer at the age of 48. It was at a stage from which there was no coming back. 

sunset couple

The doctors gave Tom only a month to live. However, during that very difficult time, they came across the FOK movie and decided they would try it. Obviously, she wanted him to get better and live longer, at least a little longer. 

They both started following a plant-based diet, and Tom went on to live for another eight months. Doctors had given him only a month, and with this change, he was able to spend eight more months. 

What’s more surprising is that this kind of cancer only gets worse, and even the harshest of treatments don’t work, but his tumor shrank by 25 percent. His was a case point for doctors, and it was all due to the lifestyle change they had made together. 

After Tom’s death, Margarita fell into a deep depression. Had it not been for her new healthier lifestyle, she could have lost control completely. Fortunately, she managed to overcome her emotional paralysis and started feeling motivated once again.

She eventually started a magazine dedicated to health through nutrition, called Naked Food Magazine and is continuing to inspire others through Tom’s example.

I, for one, find Tom and Margarita’s story incredibly moving, but at the same time, inspiring and motivating. Get the full story here.

7. Fitness Guru’s Own Fitness Redemption

James Cuilty’s fitness and health story has many takeaways. It’s high time we ended the misconception that athletes, bodybuilders, and basically anyone trying to get fit needs animal protein. A plant-based diet with its sole plant-based foods is sufficient to increase muscle mass and lose fat. His story goes one step ahead and shows why it’s even more efficient. 

As a boot camp instructor, James made a living through fitness. But his was a traditional approach that relied on lean animal protein. But despite eating what was supposed to keep him lean and fit, he was actually gaining fat. Not just that, his energy levels and stamina were also suffering. 

It wasn’t until he came across the FOK movie that he learned how incredible a plant-based diet could be for someone whose livelihood depends on being fit. He and his wife embarked on the plant-based journey, albeit very slowly (which, by the way, is the most sustainable way to do it). 

After getting on a plant-based diet, he and his wife saw amazing transformations. He gained lean muscle mass and lost all the extra fat. Now, he just had 8 percent body fat.

This story breaks so many stereotypes that animal protein is necessary for muscle mass and that plant-based foods are low on protein. There are tons of athletes and fitness gurus who are totally vegan and busting the plant-based myths. Learn more about how James got shredded with plants here.

8. 400 Pounds to Ultramarathoner

Josh LaJaunie’s story is the ultimate definition of nothing is impossible. The guy went from weighing 400 pounds to being on the cover of Runner’s World magazine. He did so through running and adopting a fully WFPB lifestyle. 

iron and veggies

His transformation is a great example for all those struggling with weight. A plant-based diet is known for causing weight loss and helping keep a healthy weight. 

He also shares all the history of his family dealing with diseases caused by unhealthy life choices. His story is one many people can relate to. It’s easier to fall down the stairs than to climb them. 

He says running was a big part of his massive transformation. So it’s important to understand that physical activity goes hand in hand with diet. And, you don’t have to run an ultramarathon to see the results. Even developing a daily walking ritual can have dramatic effects. Get inspired by Josh and learn more about his journey by clicking here, if you’d like.

Wrap Up

The point of sharing these eight great plant-based success stories is to spread them to as many people as possible. I wanted others to be just as inspired and touched as I was. 

We all can use a little nudge and a little support from time to time to remind ourselves of the bigger picture. That said, everyone creates their own story, and you can too. Do it at your own pace and at your own capacity.  If you’re willing to make small changes you, too, will see results.

tomato and basil