I first met Marlene and Eric in February of 2014 when they came to my home for our first meet up for an Engine 2 diet 28 day challenge to hear about the health benefits of a plant based diet. They listened patiently to my information and watched a video from Rip Esselstyn welcoming them to the 28 day challenge. They were very receptive and went home to give it a try for a week. Marlene had already been immersed in healthy eating since her breast cancer diagnosis 21 years ago. She went to a physician who specialized in alternative medicine who believed that if one built up his or her immune system with organic plant based eating that the body would heal itself. Marlene ate a plant based diet on the advice of her physician, adding chicken, fish, and dairy after a few years. Eric was very supportive, but didn’t change his diet. He is the co-owner of The Refill Station, a local business servicing and selling computers, and ink refills and security systems In Clarks Summit, PA. He often ate on the go with his busy schedule. Marlene has recently joined the family business and despite their long work days, they made a commitment to make their health a priority.
They came back to our second meet up after only a week and told me they were planning to continue eating a plant based diet! Eric said he had no aches and pains after only a few days of changing his diet, was already losing weight, and had more energy. Marlene was cooking great food that they were really enjoying and neither of them felt deprived. They have now been enjoying this lifestyle for 9 months and Eric has lost over 60 lbs and has lowered his blood pressure and cholesterol and still feels great. Marlene shies away from the scale, but it is quite obvious that the pounds are melting away. She looks great and has gone down 2-3 sizes in her clothing and had to have the dress for her son’s wedding altered many times because she kept shrinking! Their son was married on November 1st and they thought they might run into trouble with the wedding meal, but they made good choices and were not intimidated by the variety of foods served.
They had a great marriage before changing their lifestyle, but they have had a lot of fun learning new things together and trying new foods. They have also learned how to navigate eating out and speaking up and asking the waiter for exactly what they need when they order. I love hearing Eric tell people that everything Marlene makes is delicious. When we asked our group this past Spring and summer what convinced them to try this way of eating, Eric told us that the food was great and that improving his health played an important part. Marlene told us that it wasn’t difficult for her to give up dairy, chicken, and fish. This was just the next step for her to improve her health and prevent any future health problems.
It has been a privilege to get to know Eric and Marlene and they have been a great help to our group by hosting several of our meet ups at their home. They now talk to people they meet wherever they go about their new lifestyle and I’m positive that the example they are setting will influence others to make healthy changes to their diet. They really do have the plant based glow! Here’s to many more happy plantstrong years together for this great couple!