Restaurant Owner Turns Entire Menu Vegan After Suffering A Heart Attack

This restaurant owner and his wife adopted vegan diets and, shortly after, transitioned the restaurant they run to be 100% plant-based.

Credit: El Palote

Credit: El Palote

Cheese, meat, and sour creme might seem like necessary staples for good Mexican food, but restaurant owners Lily and Aurelio Arias are proving that these ingredients aren’t essential for cuisine to be delicious. After eschewing all animal products, the duo transitioned the menu of their restaurant, El Palote, to be 100% vegan. Located in Dallas, Texas, it’s worth flocking to if you’re in the area and crave healthy Mexican fare.

The couple’s transition to plant-based eating began nine years ago, shortly after Aurelio suffered a heart attack. According to Dallas News, Aurelio “found an old book his wife had bought from kids who were selling them for a fundraiser. The book’s first chapter talked about the harmful effects of an animal-product-based diet.”

After learning more about the benefits of a plant-based diet, the restaurant owner decided to adopt the lifestyle wholeheartedly.

“Immediately — from there — I made the decision to not eat animal products,” Aurelio said.

His wife, Lily, began making vegan versions of his favorite foods, including enchiladas, flautas, tortas, and tamales. Within days of suffering from a heart attack, Aurelio began to feel much better. It’s because of this, we suspect, he’s continued on with the lifestyle.

Credit: Vogue Vegetarian

Credit: Vogue Vegetarian

Not long after Aurelio excluded all animal products – including dairy, cheese, fish, and meat – from his diet, Lily went vegan to support her husband. She said, “I became vegan out of love for him.”

Because they were both eating vegan and because they want to support a thriving populace, they soon after switched their restaurant’s menu to a plant-based one. Lily said they informed their customers “we love you as clients, but we want to take care of you.” She also told them “that [non-vegan] food is not good for your health.’”

The vegan and vegetarian lifestyle might still be stigmatized in areas like the U.S. and U.K., but the movement is growing at an incredible rate. According to TheRawFoodWorld, 16 million people are now vegan or vegetarian in the U.S. alone. And in Britain, the number of vegans has risen by 360% in ten years.

Credit: El Palote

Credit: El Palote

Though there is much dispute on the necessity to exclude all animal products from one’s diet, there is plenty of research and anecdotal evidence suggesting that limiting one’s meat, dairy, and cheese intake and consuming more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes can be incredibly beneficial for one’s health. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet (or are interested in free resources), click here.

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