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The Shock of My Abnormal Stress Test: I’m An Athlete. How Can This Be?

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This can’t be happening. I can’t leave my son because of heart disease.
Todd Kurland

Todd Kurland is an engineer who, when faced with a challenge, delves into researching the subject in order to guide his actions. As an active and fit bicyclist in his early 50s, he thought he was healthy. He scheduled a cardiac stress test because his father had had a heart attack early in life. Todd was shocked to find that his stress test was abnormal.

He immediately looked at the role his diet was playing.

[Heart disease] was not a problem that came out of the blue. My problems came out of the things that I ate.
Todd Kurland

Seven years ago, a friend sent him Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Todd immediately implemented Esselstyn’s recommendations and has felt tremendous peace of mind ever since.

Eating healthfully isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s one thing to make healthy meals. It’s another to make every meal healthy.
Todd Kurland

Todd drew upon his engineering training as he learned to take this diet “on the road.” He also developed routines and tricks to make eating healthfully easier and more able to fit into a busy schedule.

I call it a diet, but it’s really a lifestyle choice, changing the way that we live.
Todd Kurland

A key ingredient to Todd’s success is getting support from others. Forgoing the treats he grew up with was really challenging for him. His wife, Amy, was instrumental, adapting their nightly meals to accommodate his new diet requirements. The family had always eaten healthy meals, but the Esselstyn diet requirements presented a new challenge. He was also fortunate to find a support group comprised of people who were also using their diet to address health concerns.

It’s so nice to have people that understand what you’re going through, that appreciate why you’re doing it, that know your story, that are there backing you and you’re backing them, whether it’s in person or over a zoom call.
Todd Kurland

Kathryn and Todd’s conversation discusses these themes that will engage you as you listen to their podcast:

  • How did adopting his nine-year-old son affect Todd’s health decisions?
  • What gives Todd peace of mind about cancer as well as heart disease?
  • How has Todd’s son been influenced by Todd’s food choices?
  • Todd’s son goes to the University of New Hampshire. What is special about their food program?
  • How does Todd use his engineering training to get to the root of a health problem?

The biggest challenge is the social aspect – getting together with friends. Another challenge is helping people understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Todd Kurland

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