IT IS MY HOPE THAT BY SHARING MY MOST VULNERABLE MOMENTS, I CAN HELP OTHERS.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: In June of 2013, my wife Iris and I decided to take our six-year-old son Nigel to the Universal Orlando theme park for the trip of a lifetime. My son requested only one thing repeatedly — to ride the Harry Potter ride with me, which he felt would be the “most epic ride” of the week.
As we approached the platform, a ride operator asked me to try the sample seating to see if I’d fit. He couldn’t get me into the harness, so he asked a coworker to help him. As the two men practically broke my ribs trying to close the harness, I realized I was not going to be able to ride with my son. As I stepped out of line to the waiting area, my son immediately started to cry. He begged the ride operators: “Please let my dad ride with me! It’s my birthday!” I was devastated. As the tears began to flow freely down my face, I promised myself this would be the last time I would let my son down because of my size.
OCTOBER 2013, MY IMMERSION: While working for Whole Foods Market, I had heard about an “immersion” program offered as a health benefit to all full-time employees. Even though I didn’t fully understand what it was, I applied and was accepted into the Dr. Stoll Immersion Program. Excited to go on an all-expense-paid tropical ‘vacation,’ I made myself one vow: If I saw any results from the week, I’d commit to the program they taught me.
During this powerful, life-changing week, I was introduced to a plant-based diet for the first time. Although the first couple days of detox from caffeine, oil, salt, sugar and animal products were rough, it was an empowering experience. By the end of the week, I had lost 33 pounds and a full six inches off my waist! For the first time I realized that there was a way out of the HELL I had been living in for nearly two decades.
Within 3 months, I was down over seventy pounds and off all meds.
LIVING FULLY & FREELY TODAY
Less than two years after Dr. Stoll’s immersion, I lost 225 pounds and am down to 190 pounds. I look 15 years younger, my skin looks great, and I no longer need allergy medicine. When I first came home from the immersion program, I could barely bike the 2.5 hilly miles to Whole Foods in three hours. Now, I do it in 7 minutes… in traffic! I still eat a lot, but I now really enjoy what I’m eating and actually feel good afterward.
MY HEALTH AFFECTS MORE THAN JUST ME
The average person doesn’t understand what it’s like to be very obese — grounded from life, forced to live on the sidelines. It is my hope that by sharing my most vulnerable moments, I can help others. I’ve made it my life’s mission to help as many people as I can make it out of their struggle with obesity. I experienced a powerful Change and want to help you do the same.
”Doctor Stoll please help me, I’m falling apart!“
Early in my medical practice I was awakened through a cry for help when a patient said, “Doctor Stoll please help me, I’m falling apart!” Her words were spoken with a half smile and a nervous laugh but the distressed and hopeless look in her eyes betrayed her true emotions. I stopped her and asked her to define “falling apart” because they are words that I hear every day in my practice, but in that moment I realized that I did not truly understand the full scope of their meaning.
Expecting to hear first about her back pain, then knees, followed by high blood pressure and diabetes, I was taken back when, with tears in her eyes, she began, “my marriage is falling apart because the strain of my poor health has put incredible pressure on my husband. I haven’t been able to travel to see my grandchildren in three years because I can’t make it through an airport. I haven’t been able to attend church in years, we are on the edge of bankruptcy because of the cost of my healthcare and medications, I don’t have a social life, and many of my friends rarely call anymore.” Up until this point, she had been staring downward at the floor when she spoke. Then her eyes turned to me and she asked me a question that left me speechless, feeling very exposed and powerless, “What can you do to help me put my life back together again?”
All my years of studying and training did not prepare me to answer her question. I was confident and fully equipped to write a prescription, order a test, and perform a procedure, but I had no idea where to begin offering guidance to the woman sitting on the exam table. After a long and uncomfortable pause, while my mind grasped for some kind of hopeful answer, I gave her all that I had that day which was an awkward promise that I would try to help her. I am sure that the lack of confidence in my eyes did not offer her much hope. I left the room shaken by the experience and plagued by my feeble answer and I asked myself, “Scott, what are you going to do for the next patient that asks you that question?” Thus began a several year research project to find solutions that would help people gain victory and overcome the bondage of degenerative disease.
I began by reading most of the popular diet books from Atkins to Zone thinking that someone must have answer to the problem of “falling apart.” The books had compelling information and research to support their position but something was missing, they did not appear to have a comprehensive solution to the collateral damage of lifestyle diseases and the diseases themselves. In many cases, the primary goal of the diet book was weight loss and I learned from the research that the best-case scenario for long-term weight management from a diet was 15% at 5 years. I knew then that I could not recommend a diet book as the solution for my patients, so next I turned my attention back to the academic research, looking for answers. Over the course of 2 years I reviewed thousands of research studies and found a common golden thread-or perhaps it should be green. The body of research consistently showed that the higher the intake of plant based foods (vegetables, fruits, beans etc), the healthier the body and more disease resistant over time. Wow, could it be that easy? So we began first at home, changing our mindsets and our meals and noticed that our health and vitality improved and that our children rarely got sick. No more runs to the doctor, no more ear infections, no more antibiotics, and only a very rare passing cold.
Next, I began to use my prescription pad in my medical practice to write recipes for smoothies, lunch, and dinner. I began to see amazing results like the reversal of high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes and the discontinuation of medications. For the first time many of my patients reported resolution of pain and significant long-term weight loss without feelings of deprivation or sacrifice. One patient even lost 350 pounds without exercising and reported that she was never hungry — she literally ate her way to a healthy weight. With all of this success my wife and I then decided to host our first one-day immersion at Desales University that included lectures about the science of health, exercise session, culinary education from my wife Kristen and a delicious lunch. It was a seed planted in the fertile soil of vision and faith.
BY MILAN ROSS & SCOTT STOLL, MD
The Change is the story of how Milan Ross lost two hundred and twenty-five pounds of excess weight and found the passion his life had been missing. Unlike weight-loss books that offer quick fixes to lose the pounds, The Change is designed to look within each individual and see what is driving him or her to eat food that is known to be unhealthy. Based on science and inner strength, the true seed of change, this book is meant to have its readers lose weight and be healthy — not for just a month or a year, but for a lifetime.
By adapting a whole food plant-based lifestyle, Milan transformed not only his physical health but his entire outlook on life. Co-authored by Scott Stoll, MD, the creator of the program that helped to change Milan’s life, The Change proudly shares Milan’s revolutionary journey as an inspiration for all.
THE CHANGE Cookbook
BY MILAN ROSS & SCOTT STOLL, MD
From the best-selling authors of The Change comes a new cookbook based on Dr. Stoll’s Immersion program for weight loss and better health. Imagine dishes that can reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, and decrease your odds of getting cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and a host of other all-too-common health problems. Now imagine that the dishes are also delicious and easy to make. Here, in this new book, are over 175 recipes that can truly change your life for the better.
The book begins by explaining why a diet that emphasizes whole plant-based foods is central to a healthy lifestyle. You then learn how to go about stocking your pantry and equipping your kitchen for success. Following this, the authors guide you in using a handful of simple cooking techniques that will enable you to prepare the dishes presented in the book. Along the way, they provide valuable tips that will smooth your transition from your current way of eating to a diet that will please your palate as it improves your well-being.
The next eleven chapters of The Change Cookbook presents over 175 kitchen-tested recipes. Included are satisfying breakfast choices, nutrient-packed juices and smoothies, creamy dips and spreads, taste-tempting sauces and condiments, sensational salads, delectable sandwiches and burgers, fabulous main dishes, hearty one-bowl meals, steaming soups and stews, and creative side dishes. Finally, the authors provide a collection of fantastic desserts, including cookies, pies, fruit crisps and squares, puddings, and much more. Each recipe offers easy-to-follow directions that ensure success, and each dish is as nourishing as it is scrumptious.
Everyone has the power to restore and maintain good health through a whole food plant-based diet. The Change Cookbook guides the reader in doing so, one satisfying meal at a time.