OKLAHOMA CITY - Doctor Jimmy Conway woke up one morning with pain in his left arm.
Considering his family history of heart disease, he was concerned.
According to Conway's cardiologist, his cholesterol was nearly 500, and his triglycerides were over 3,200.
"I had 85 percent blockage of my anterior descending artery, the widow maker, 80 percent further downstream and 70 percent in my right coronary," Conway said.
Within a week, Conway was on the operating table.
Then, five days before his scheduled open heart triple-bypass surgery, Conway decided to he was going to reverse his own heart disease with food.
Conway made a major adjustment.
He and his wife, Andrea Conway, switched to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
The Conways have cut out all meat, including fish and chicken.
"Animal protein is held up as the ultimate nutrient," Conway said. "Athletes worship protein, but your risk of disease is more closely correlated with your intake of animal protein than any single nutrient."
Within six months, Conway eliminated his own heart disease.
Conway is an orthopedic surgeon at OSSO with a specialty in shoulder repair.
He believes most of his patients' pain is caused by food.
Conway and experts around the world believe animal protein contributes to inflammation and disease.
"I can look inside a body and basically tell what kind of diet they've been eating. Inflammation is readily evident," Conway said. "The standard American diet is so inflammatory. Eating plant-based is so anti-inflammatory. You can turn off the pain based on what you eat."
LeAnn Keester-Moran had already had two back surgeries by late last year.
She was facing a third major, spinal fusion surgery when she found the plant-based diet.
"I had signed the consent paperwork and was about three weeks away from having a lumbar fusion," Keester-Moran remembered.
She switched from a daily diet of prescription painkillers, which she took around the clock, to a whole food, plant-based diet.
"So, we started and, within two weeks, my back pain literally was gone. I completely stopped taking pain medications, and I'm still not taking pain medications," Keester-Moran said.
She erased her pain with fruit and nut.
"I have such a strong motivation to never feel that pain again. I tell everybody, if i had to eat leaves out of the front yard to keep from feeling that pain, I would do it!"
Health coach, Andrea Conway has organized free plant-based diet seminars all around town.
Tumeric root, ginger and flax seed have replaced Ibuprofen, Prilosec and statins for the Conways.
"We don't take anything now. Nothing," Andrea Conway said.
"What food is associated with disease? Almost across the board, plants are healthy, animals are unhealthy," Conway said. "The science is very clear on that. The reason you haven't heard it is there is no money in healthy people."
If you're interested in trying a plant-based diet, but overwhelmed with how to start, Andrea Conway invited us into her kitchen to talk about eating plant-based.