Enjoy these testimonials from people living in the Umpqua Valley of Oregon, who have participated in UC-VEG programs and activities.

If you have a positive health experience you'd like to share, we would love to hear from you!
Share Your Testimony

Janice Bartholomew

January 2019, I attended the Lifestyle & Nutrition Course (THIP) for the first time. I was skeptical, but hoped to learn how to eat better and to get healthier. At the time, I had been my parents’ full time caregiver for 13 years. My father had a heart attack and a triple bypass in his 50’s. No one ever talked to us about how a healthier diet may help. His doctors told him to stop smoking, and he did. He went through an awful experience with esophageal and gastric cancer. Again, no one talked about diet. My Mom developed Alzheimer’s at the same time of my father’s cancer journey. You guessed it, no one talked about how diet may cause her decline. 


As you can imagine, I neglected myself during this time. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels were very concerning for my doctor and for myself. I did not want to follow in my parent’s health footsteps. I was prescribed blood pressure meds in my early 30s, while raising two boys and managing our own business. I was told it was hereditary. She never asked about my Dad’s lifestyle that preceded his heart disease. He chain smoked and was way overweight. No nutrition education, just pills and lower sodium!  I accepted that medical advice, but it didn’t settle well with me. I held off being prescribed statins, promising I’d up my exercise and “cut back” on red meat and cheese. As hard as I tried, it never worked. 


I am now in my 60s. So, I attended the Lifestyle & Nutrition Course and opened my mind to learn all I could, to find ways to take these health problems into my own hands and do what I could to change the results. I ended up taking the Course five times. After a year, I was eating plant-based, but I fell into the “vegan junk food” trap and was still in the diet mind frame, thinking I needed to eat less. I eliminated all animal products but ate vegan processed foods and some fast vegan food, not whole foods. I was hungry all the time. Once I stopped all that and started a true WFPB (Whole Food Plant-Based) lifestyle, like is taught in the Course, I was able to get off all blood pressure meds for the first time in 30 years. My cholesterol reached a normal level. No statins! 


Another positive was healthy weight loss. I have so much more energy and sleep well. I do daily yoga, meditate, EFT (emotional freedom technique), and journaling. My husband and new puppy and I walk every day. Several people who are on this journey attain a healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol easily. I had to work at it a bit more. I don’t mind the work it took. I learned so much about a healthy lifestyle and about my body, for the first time in my life. 


Although I went into this lifestyle for my health, I love being a part of helping others with their health journey, being kinder to the environment, and treating animals in a humane way. I have joined the fabulous UC-VEG volunteer team. I hope to spread the word through action and sharing. I enjoy WFPB cooking for me and my family. Give it a try, take these classes, get to know YOUR body, and do what you can to live longer, not die longer. Never give up.

Becky Garino

Testimony relating to the virtual Lifestyle & Nutrition Course: “Ordinarily, I am not big on distance learning. However, with the excellent formatting, participating in the online classes is very engaging. The local presenters and videos of special speakers provide a good overview of the topics. Breakout groups allow you to interact with others in the class, discuss topics, and share how we are practicing the principles. There is no hard sell or pressure. The supportive atmosphere allows each participant to implement the nutrition and lifestyle information in a way they are comfortable. There is a range, from fully plant-based to “meatless Monday” as a first step. I loved it.”

Ezgi credits reversing her brain lesions, cysts, and vertigo to her healthy diet.

Going from confinement to her wheel chair to going for a 1 hour walk; a triple bypass to reversing heart disease. This couple completed the Lifestyle & Nutrition Course and want to share their story of transformation with you. 

After receiving a recipe prescription from his doctor, he attended the Lifestyle & Nutrition Course. Forty-four pounds later, he said it changed his life.

I started attending the class at the request of my wife and immediately started loosing weight.  Within 60 days I had dropped to 165 pounds from 193 pounds.  I had seen my Family Care Physician, Dr. John Powell from Evergreen Clinic just before starting on the whole-food plant-based lifestyle.  Ninety days later I had another blood test, and Dr. Powell suggested that I cut my cholesterol and blood pressure medication in half. Within ninety more days, he suggested that I drop the medication entirely, and check back in thirty days.  My cholesterol had dropped from 242 to 178, and my blood pressure was now 121/73.  Almost two years later, my cholesterol is 182 and my blood pressure is still in 120/70 range, totally un-medicated.


The most shocking thing to me was that I had sleep-apnea and was wearing a c-pap mask, and had been doing so for about 20 years. My specialist doctor, who practices in Bend, Oregon, had given me a long term prognosis, that I had sleep apnea, and would likely have sleep apnea the rest of my life. Dr. Powell informed me that I no longer had sleep apnea after about one year after my Lifestyle & Nutrition Course-inspired lifestyle change.

Chuck Brummel

“One of the best classes in 74 years!”

“Truly a TOTAL health improvement program!”

“No more blood pressure pills!…depression improved”

Darlene Mason

When I first found out about the Lifestyle & Nutrition Course at Shaw Heart, I was sick and depressed and looking for a big life change. At the time I thought the answer was to leave Douglas County. I saw one of the program flyers sitting on a table and took it home. I read it and then did some research. Earlier that day I had an appointment with Dr. Kumar, a kidney and hypertension specialist, I was told my kidney function was down to 29% and to take a class next door which taught about dialysis and what to expect. I had already told Dr. Kumar I would not do dialysis, but I would go to this class. This was the push I needed to give the Course a chance. I figured it was going to be just another fad diet that would fade. Boy was I ever wrong! When I first walked into the class, I had chronic kidney disease, heart issues, peripheral artery disease, high cholesterol, chronic pain so bad that I walk with a limp. I listened intently , took a lot of notes, did more research and decided to give it a chance. The first blood test I took with the class, thirty days after a blood draw ordered by Dr. Kumar my kidney function went up to 44% but my cholesterol was still high. The second test with the Course my kidney function went to 47% and my bad cholesterol went from 197 to 90. At this point, as far as I was concerned, John, Juliete, Dr. Beery and the rest of the UC-VEG volunteers saved my life. After a few weeks into class and feeling better, we were told about a free Purpose Workshop. I decided to attend. Going through the workshop helped look at all that had changed, that I felt like a new person, that I no longer felt like I need to move from my home, and that I have hope for the future. Here I am now, almost a year later, kidney function still on the rise. Every test shows improvement, with the most recent blood draw through UC-VEG’s Lifestyle & Nutrition Course showing my kidney function at 60%! My cholesterol is still normal, heart disease is, for all intent and purposes, reversed. The peripheral artery disease is on the mend, my limp is gone, and for the first time in 30 years I have energy and the health to do the things I love. Darlene A. Mason

Reversing Type 2 diabetes.

Amanda Rodriguez-Miner goes from almost 350 pounds to 285 and not using wheel chair!

As a family, Sharon, Jessie and Frank Rambaum move toward greater health.

I took this class almost four years ago, three times. Initially it felt difficult, and I wasn’t sure I could change my entire nutritional plan. I was very doubtful. I decided I could commit to improving my lifestyle for 12 weeks, and stuck with it. That is summer camp, right? We had lab done at the beginning and at the end. My cholesterol was 350 at the beginning and 150 at the end! I had diabetes at the beginning and it was gone 12 weeks later! That spoke volumes to me! I am forty pounds lighter today! This Course completely transformed my life and continues to transform my life and the lives of my patients. I hope you are ready to take a firm grasp of your health and belief in yourself!

This is POWERFUL and it is in your hands! This 12 weeks, I plan to focus on no oil/fat, walking 100 K per month – even if it is raining, embracing the joy in my life, and handing this power of knowledge to my patients every day I am in clinic! The last 20 pounds is coming off. I will be in the best shape of my life by my next birthday! Celebrate yourself! You deserve it!

Kelly Clayton