After heart attack, Brighton man encourages thousands to eat plant-based diet

Extraordinary People

A Brighton man says his love of baked good, fine cheeses and meat eventually caught up with him.

Doug Schmidt says he’ll never forget the day he had a heart attack. He says, “It was terrible. I was 49. It was back in 2008…… what was it going to be like…..research shows that if you don’t change what you’re doing, you’re going to have another heart attack in five years, and with heart attacks you may only have that one shot. I didn’t want to be another statistic.”

So he did some research and came across this book “Seven-Day Rescue Diet” by Rip Esselstyn. It outlines the benefits of a high-fiber, plant-based diet and eliminating food made in a factory. Doug says, “Most things are high sugar, fat, or sodium…especially the processed foods.”

Doug’s been following this diet for years now and he says he feels better than ever. “I was able to get off of all heart medications. I ran my first marathon at age 58.”

Over the years, and with the help of social media, he’s convinced more than 3,000 people to follow the same diet. He teaches at the Victor Central School District where’s he’s convinced hundreds of colleagues to go plant-based. Doug works with Chef Jeffrey Clark to help prepare healthy meals for them.

The chef explained one of the items on the menu. “This is what I call my Shannon express. It’s got pineapple in it, southwest salsa, Napa cabbage, cucumbers and a carrot hummus.”

All natural ingrediets that Doug says saved his life, “I just turned 60 this past year, no medications, 60 pounds lighter and I feel like I’m 30.”

He hopes by telling his story, he can help save others. While doctors say there is evidence that a plant-based diet can improve your health and help you lose weight, you should check with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise routine.

More info on Doug Schmidt

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