When Doug Schmidt suffered a near-fatal heart attack at only 49-years-old, he had a big wake up call and resulting in some major changes to his lifestyle; primarily through the adoption of a vegan diet. Now, Schmidt is living a healthy life as a wellness coordinator for New York’s Rochester School District where he leads an annual “10-Day Jumpstart Your Health Challenge”. People from New York in 35 school districts and one community college have already signed up for 2018’s challenge.

The challenge will be the third led by Schmidt. The first challenge had 30 participants followed by a 4233% increase in only three years, there are currently 1,300 participants set to take part this year. Inspired by his life-threatening heart attack, Schmidt now uses this challenge as a means to help others and show just how easy it is to eat a plant-based diet.

Participants experience a multitude of positive health benefits from the challenge, even in such a short space of time. Many continue eating vegan food more frequently and reverse their own health issues with their newfound disease-preventing diet.

Those doing the 10-day challenge are given resources to help them along the way. This includes a supportive Facebook group, and a vegan food plan designed by plant-based ex-firefighter Rip Esselstyn:The Engine 2 Diet.”

With health becoming an increased concern for millions of people across the globe, Schmidt is one of many people guiding others to make decisions that change the food system for the better.


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