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Published on May 28, 2021

Health Makeover Saves Life

Numbers tell the story—and they were all bad.

 

In September 2020, Sabrina Howard’s physician was so alarmed with her lab results, he could not believe she was still standing. Thanks to their collaboration on a plant-based diet, she looks and feels like a new person. 

Sabrina Howard Before

Howard Before

“During the pandemic, I had begun to eat my feelings,” recalls Sabrina, an administrative assistant at the Cone Health Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital. “Dr. Gosrani told me the hard truth…my triglycerides and cholesterol were the worst he had ever seen. Nobody walks around with these numbers.”

“The severe aspect of Sabrina’s condition and bloodwork shocked me,” emotionally affirms Dr. Nimish Gosrani, a Reidsville-based Cone Health physician who formed a strong relationship with Sabrina over the years. “She could have died already. We cried together. We had a very hard discussion.”

“Without Dr. Gosrani I do not believe I would be here today,” shares Sabrina, who has previously experienced major health issues. “I was really scared. I knew this was serious.” 

Sabrina Howard After

Howard After

“All the things I recommend to my patients, I’ve been through them myself,” adds Gosrani, who approaches wellness holistically by carefully considering mind, body and spirit. “For Sabrina’s sake, she needed to know a line was drawn…her life was at stake.” 

“In the past, Sabrina had been through fits and starts with eating healthy and losing weight,” continues Gosrani. “Fortunately, she trusted me enough to commit to a plant-based diet, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiac disease and is associated with longer, healthier lives.”

“I could not return to yo-yo dieting,” adds Sabrina, who had been a fan of bacon, eggs and biscuits for breakfast. “I wanted to live more than to give in to the temptation of how something tastes.”

To get healthy, Sabrina began carefully shopping for fresh produce and replaced meat with black bean burgers. She created flavorful recipes like red pepper boats, vegetarian chili and stuffed sweet potatoes. She brought lunch to work, found creative substitutions at favorite restaurants, and benefitted from supportive family members. Gosrani encouraged her to check-in with him every day.

“With today’s focus on disease care, many patients expect you to fix them. My practice is all about supporting self-accountability,” says Gosrani. “As Sabrina knows, it takes courage, willpower and hard work to change. If you don’t do it yourself, it’s not going to happen.”

“You have to stick to a plan and be committed,” agrees Sabrina. “You can’t cheat on the weekends.”

After 6 months, Sabrina’s lab work shows significant improvement. She has lost nearly 40 pounds. Most importantly, she feels better and has more energy.

Sabrina sums up her journey to wellness best: “Nothing tastes as good as thin…and being healthy.”