Sue Strasenburgh struggled with high blood pressure, despite her active lifestyle and what she thought was a healthy diet. After seeing her mother's drastic heart health transformation with a plant-based diet, Sue decided to make to the switch to plants, too.
In just three months of following a whole food plant-based diet, Sue got her blood pressure under control and its continued to stay in the healthy normal range for the last two years! MamaSezz caught up with Sue to hear her story firsthand.
What was your life like before you changed your diet? What was your struggle?
I am a competitive tennis player (USTA 4.0 ranking), and I love to hike, swim, and play golf. And I am the owner CEO of a large commercial Painting, Wallcovering and Design company. My life is full and exciting!
Three years ago, if you looked at me you would think I was very fit…even I thought so. I ate what I thought was a decent diet, I wasn’t overweight, and I was pretty energetic.
What happened? Was there a defining moment that triggered change or did you have a gradual journey?
There were days when I could feel my blood pressure rising. A pounding in my chest and head. Usually I brushed it off as “just a stressful day” but it started happening more often. I went to my doctor to get it checked out. I discovered I had stroke-level high blood pressure and my doctor convinced me to start medication to get my hypertension under control. All the exercise I did and the “healthy diet” I was eating with lean meat and low-fat dairy wasn’t helping. I still needed medication, and it bothered me. Why? Was it just my genetic destiny?
Then my sister (the co-founder of MamaSezz!) recommended that I try eating a whole food plant-based diet. She already had our mother eating this way and we were all shocked that it had reversed her heart disease, surprising her cardiologist. I thought I should at least give it a try.
How were you able to stick with such a dramatic diet change?
I did what MamaSezz recommends! I started by adding more vegetables to my plate and eventually crowded out the unhealthy foods.
I never thought, “I won’t eat meat or dairy.” I think that would have been too hard. Instead I focused on adding more good food.
The large amount of research that suggested a plant-rich diet could help lower my blood pressure also inspired me.
What is your life like now? How did a plant-based diet impact your health and life?
Within three months of changing to this way of eating, and working with my doctor to taper my medication, my high blood pressure was back into the normal range and has stayed normal for two years…even with the stress of running a small business and selling our house and moving.