Carrie Schill lives a very full life...a family she loves and work she enjoys. But all of that came in jeopardy 5 years ago, when Carrie was diagnosed with a heart disease...

"I was 31 years old at the time, had a variety of symptoms most notably fatigue, and then as things progressed I started to feel nauseousand started to violently throw up. And in the course of all that, a real shortness of breath, sweating profusely.  And then eventually, I think from lack of oxygen, some tingling in my hands and my feet."

The good news: Heart Disease is largely preventable and once found...controllable...

"My husband and I call this the new normal. It has been an adjustment for my entire family, my husband, my kids and it's really about eating better, exercise and reducing stress, and just kind of slowing the pace of life down a little bit."

Dr. Manpreet Kanwar of the Mankato Clinic sees patients like Carrie every day...

"Probably the biggest problem that we have at this point is what we eat, if we figure out eating habits...half our work is done."

Dr. Kanwar says the formula is simple: focus your diet on Plant Based Whole Foods...those are her words, even more simply put...she means focus your grocery shopping in the produce section...

"It's not the same as a vegetarian diet, it's not the same as a vegan diet, it really means it's a plant–based diet and it is minimally processed. That's a very important part of eating healthy; that we have to eat foods which are somewhat like they were when they came out  of earth, if they've changed so much we can no long recognize what they came from, it probably isn't the right kind of food."

"So watching her stress level, getting enough rest each night, moving enough each day, and a real focus on diet has helped Carrie continue to thrive..."

"With four kids I'm a busy mom, trying to get two off to college and get two through elementary school...it's been a big adjustment, but it's been a really good thing for my family."

We should also note that Carrie is five years smoke free now, another key in her victory over heart disease.

--- KEYC News 12