When it came to losing weight and regaining her health through diet, for Angela Savini Hill the third – and final – plant-based time was definitely the charm.
Hill, a 66-year-old Nike apparel technical fit manager from Greensboro, North Carolina, just refused to give up. She and her husband Larry tried intermittent fasting followed by the keto diet, but nothing worked.
“I just felt like I didn’t want to be barrel-shaped as I get older because I was getting thick around the middle, but we just didn’t know what to do,” Angela said. Hill, like her parents before her, had heart disease and was taking prescription medications to treat her elevated cholesterol and blood pressure.
It was while watching the plant-based documentary “Forks Over Knives” with Larry that Angela suddenly realized she just happened to have some plant-based resources on hand.
“I remembered that years ago I had started printing and copying some of Diane’s recipes and put them in a binder. I might have made one or two recipes but then I just stopped and started eating meat again. But for some reason, I didn’t throw it out. I just kept it, just put it in a shelf,” Angela said. “I took out that binder and made a couple of her recipes.”
“At that point, we were still eating meat and egg white omelets. Then we gradually lost the taste for meat and eggs and switched to plant-based eating. That was the end of August. In early September we eliminated the red meat and sugar from our diet altogether,” she said.
Angela and Larry eventually went completely whole food plant-based, eating a diet of beans, whole grains and whole-grain products, nutritional yeast, tofu, and “everything in Diane’s recipes.”
Finally, something worked!
Hill, a petite 5’1”, shed 20 pounds over four months, dropping from 152 to 132 lbs. between July and November. Her cholesterol dropped from 244 to 189. Angela took a statin blood thinner to lower cholesterol and a diuretic to lower blood pressure for 16 years and has been able to go off of both. (She is, however, taking a different type of blood pressure medication, a calcium channel blocker, that’s easier on her body.)
“My doctor was really impressed with the way I was eating. She said just keep exercising and eating the way you are,” Angela said.
“I’m hoping to just stay off the statin. I’m hoping, you know my parents both had heart disease, that by eating this way the rest of my life that I can get off the blood pressure medicine and not take any prescription drugs at all,” she said.
For the Hills, the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet have gone way beyond what they ever could have hoped for.
“I’ve had so much energy from eating plant-based. At this point, the thought of an egg or meat revolts me, I just can’t stand the smell of it anymore. I feel like a reformed smoker, even though I’ve never smoked! I’m so grateful,” Angela said. “I’m just really blessed that I’m 66 and I’m feeling like I’m 32 again.”
“For years, we didn’t think that it was possible to age and get healthier. We were thinking that you’re just kind of stuck with the gaining weight as you get older thing. It was really plant-based that helped us realize that as you get older, you can get healthier anytime just by doing the diet,” Larry said.
And as for plant-based food? The Hills are eating plenty good.
“Instead of eating parmesan cheese I make raw cashews, nutritional yeast, onion, and garlic powder, grind all that up and sprinkle that on. I make this really good tofu eggs benedict with vegan hollandaise sauce. “We’re not suffering at all. When we eat a meal, we don’t feel stuffed and fat. We just feel satisfied and light. It’s fantastic,” Angela said.
Life is good and things just keep getting better for this plant-based North Carolina couple.