create an account

Create an account to track orders, manage your meal plan, and update your delivery preferences.

Already have an account with us?

pinterest Save

Leaders in plant-based nutrition

This past weekend I was with my tribe. Every so often, you are lucky to be surrounded by people who are entirely on the same page as you, sharing the same vision to change both themselves and the world. Sound a little overstated? I think not! If you've ever been lucky enough to be in the company of the Esselstyns, then you know what I mean. It is their mission to help others turn around their health. Jane, a registered nurse and sex educator (who I wish could teach in our kids' schools!), created the recent conference I attended to engage women in reversing their number one killer, heart disease. The conference entitled, Health Care Is Self Care, focussed on how to prevent and reverse heart disease in women. Jane's focus was on women, because women are most often the caretakers of the family. They are the ones who are likely doing the shopping, the cooking, and the care giving. It only makes sense then, to focus the attention upon them as ambassadors of good health. Jane jokingly stated, she could have called the conference How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease In Men, and the same group of women would have shown up!

The lineup of speakers was outstanding. Jane brought her father, the esteemed Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., and author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, to present how we can prevent and reverse heart disease through nutrition.

Following him, we heard from cardiologist Dr. Robert Ostfeld, the Director of Preventative Cardiology and founder/director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Hospital. Dr. Ostfeld is working to transform nutrition education for medical students. Little to no time is set aside for nutrition in medical school curricula across our country. This is unconscionable, given that 80% of premature heart disease, stroke and diabetes can be prevented, and 40% of all cancers by changing ones' diet (Source WHO and AHA). Chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. As of 2012, about half of all adults, 17 million people had one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases heart disease and cancer together accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths. Eighty-six percent of all health care spending in 2010 was for people with one or more chronic medical conditions (source: CDC). How can we expect our physicians to provide information in the prevention of disease to their patients, if they themselves receive little to no nutrition education? Dr. Ostfeld reinforced the need to make changes in patient hospital meals, which he's doing at Montefiore Hospital in NYC, as well as changes to the medical school curriculum, as he is helping to do at Einstein Medical School.

Dr. Anne Bingham, an OBGYN in Middlesex County, discussed the need for weight control during pregnancy, and the complications obese women have both during and after pregnancy. She also discussed the physical issues children of obese mom's are faced with as they grow and develop. One eye opener for me, babies being born hypoglycemic due to their sudden withdrawal of sugar out of the womb. Just like we must treat babies of drug addicted moms for withdrawal, we are now treating for sugar withdrawal. Newborns become hypoglycemic after birth because their steady intake of sugar from their mom is withdrawn out of the womb. They are feed glucose solutions after birth to compensate further blood sugar drops. Not the kind of holistic breast milk that comes to mind.

We heard from Dr. Michael Macknin, Professor of Pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Dr. Macknin lead a study on pediatric obesity in Cleveland, OH, published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Dr. Macknin was interested in studying obesity, as it is the most common issue affecting children today. Together with a team of researchers, and their dynamic food educator, Jane Esselstyn, R.N., they were able to make statistically significant change in all of the children who participated. Their study compared a whole food, low-fat, plant-based diet to that of the the American Heart Association diet. They demonstrated statistically significant improvements in 9 biomarkers, as compared to 4 in that of the American Heart Association diet. This small study demonstrated the need for replication on a larger scale. The issue is finding the funding to do so.

Jane Esselstyn, R.N., spoke on the importance of heart disease above and below the belt. She covered how men who have significant heart disease often have erectile dysfunction. Women are a bit more complicated. While a women's sexual dysfunction isn't as obvious, Jane spoke about the inability to produce lubrication during sexual arousal is due to improper blood flow, and should be seen as a warning sign of women's heart disease. Later, she and her mother, Ann, demoed a few plant-based recipes, from their cookbook The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. Jane and Ann, are a dynamic duo. Spend 2 minutes with either of them, and you'll be convinced to come to the plant-side! These women have more energy that a 2 year old! They conveyed the point that creating plant-based meals doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. They prepared a delicious kale and bok choy salad (which we ate for lunch), a savory oatmeal (which I will be trying soon), how to saut? onions without oil (my fav!), and their hilarious stripping routine, of kale I mean!!! Their good humor and energy really engages the crowd!

I also got to hear Dr. Michael Gregor speak this weekend in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Gregor, with humor and substantial research, makes the case for plant-based nutrition undoubtable. Dr. Gregor's work looks at all the latest nutrition research and creates informative videos, for quick and easy viewing. It is remarkable, with the weight of evidence from the scientific community that we have yet to recommend whole food, low-fat, plant-based nutrition to patients, as well as educating our medical students and future dietitians on the topic. He spoke about how most physicians don't give their patients enough credit to "handle the truth". Watch a version of the talk about scientifically proven foods that prevent and reverse disease. While you won't be able to see all of the slides, most of the stats he quotes, and research cited, can be found in his new book, How Not To Die. Food as Medicine Dr. Gregor provides all of his information FOR FREE! The proceeds from his book go back to the foundation, to further his mission to educate the public on nutrition and disease. If you haven't visited his site, you must!

I highly encourage you to seek these speakers out when they come to a town near you!

Dr. Macknin stated, "If this (health benefits of plant-based nutrition) was a drug, everyone would want to buy it". Some day, we will look back and think of poor nutrition in the same light as we now view smoking in its cause of disease. I hope that day is soon. At the end of the Health Care Is Self Care conference, Jane showed the Outward Bound nautical flag symbol. It is used to symbolise the journey starting. If you have yet to begin your journey towards health, I hope I can encourage you to begin today. You are worth it!

Now let's dance!

Read more on Jane Esselstyn on Women's Heart Health.

Related Blog Posts

5 veggies you didn’t know had protein

the best ways to stick to your resolutions

5 winter superfoods for more energy

5 tips for plant-based eating while traveling

plant foods that boost your energy

what difference can one person make by going vegan?

5 plant-based foods to ease anxiety

snacks: eat this, not that!

4 reasons plants are the true superfood

how long do vegetables last?

5 ways plants power us in 2021

4 reasons why a plant-based diet will give you healthy, vibrant skin

what are food deserts and food justice?

the surprising benefits of chocolate for health and well-being

here’s why eating vegan isn’t just good for you, it’s good for the environment

here’s how a plant-based diet may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes 

6 reasons why veestro is the best vegan meal delivery service

5 plant-based foods for better sleep

5 foods for beautiful skin

breakfast: eat this, not that

how can eating more plants help your heart? 3 benefits

here’s why the body thrives on carbs

how to boost your immune system for the cold and flu season

what you eat can impact climate change

an easy approach to reducing your risk of breast cancer

3 simple tips for losing weight starting today

your second brain - tips for a healthier gut

5 vegetables that should be on your thanksgiving table

what's the deal with intermittent fasting?

5 foods to avoid

why plant protein is better for you

your sugar detox guide

3 tips to lose weight on a plant-based diet

are you vitamin d deficient?

here’s what happens to your body on a juice cleanse

don't like what you see in the mirror? these 3 things are ruining your skin.

bad diets are responsible for more deaths than smoking

10 facts you didn't know about climate change

5 ways you save the world by eating vegan for lent

what happens to your body when you go vegan?

how easily can the pope go vegan?

supercharge your sex life

is it possible to prevent and reverse disease?

detox your body

eating your way through diabetes

eating healthy doesn’t have to be scary - 5 simple tips

5 kid-approved lunches

5 best summer drinks

breaking up with caffeine

the most unusual facts about berries

debunked: 5 myths about veganism

5 foods you should never eat

memorial day barbecuing - veggies worthy of the grill

spotlight on: activated charcoal

5 superfoods for women's health

ancient remedies we use today

how to make the most of earth day

why detox?

5 surprising benefits of coconut oil

high fiber foods you can snack on

mushrooms—the vegetable that never was

myth vs fact: 5 things you didn't know about vitamin c

plant-based aphrodisiacs that work

5 heart-healthy foods

8 underrated veggies & why you should be eating them

#yeswecan challenge - setting yourself up for fitness success

probiotics - your best friend around the holidays

5 easy ways to detox after overindulging

holiday spotlight: pumpkin

how to trick your kids out of treats

the key benefits of juicing

mindful eating

5 organic oils for health and beauty

frozen vs. fresh: know your veggies

why participate in meatless monday?

5 summer foods to keep you hydrated

american classics redux

3 plant-based bbq tips for july 4th

men's health month: five plant-based benefits for men

protect our planet: plant-based goes mainstream

5 protein-packed veggies

5 tips for a plant-based memorial day bbq

7 tips for eating less meat

10 foods that boost your brain

5 ways to care for the planet

vitamin d: essential like the sun

10 tips for going plant-based

is soy good or bad for men?

12 foods to keep your heart happy

the sweet truth about sugar: myths and facts

5 things to eat for a strong immune system

sodium's effects on health and weight

how to: make winter eating your healthiest

best of 2016: meals

four reasons to go organic

5 winter squashes you need for better health right now

how to have a mindful and happy thanksgiving with 7 easy tips

5 simple ways to cut out dairy

halloween inspired veggies to help you live longer

easy halloween treats

why eating less meat is better for the environment

5 reasons to fall in love with kale all over again

21 days with kathy patalsky: the full review

5 easy ways to dip your foot in the (vegetarian) pool, without jumping in head first

5 things you might not know about meatless monday, but should.

five reasons to get your calcium from plants

this september, let yourself go nuts!

top reasons to have an apple a day

meeting your nutritional needs with veestro

can you can?

star-spangled weekend

celebrate strawberry season

food facts: watermelon

how to get dad to put down the meat

massage that kale

rockin the rhubarb

this memorial day rock the meatless bbq

iodine on a vegan diet

the truth behind antioxidants and food

eat your greens

do you get enough energy from your food?

celebrating mom

8 weeks to summer: kickstart your weight loss

healthy snacking tips for you & your kiddos

5 easy greens to add to your diet

how to manage your allergies

earth day & passover-a day for celebration

attention all humans

meal replacement replacement meal

dining out on a plant-based diet

maple season-yum!

springtime holidays

leaders in plant-based nutrition

be uniquely green this st. patrick's day

6 foods that help reduce inflammation

noodles, pasta, spaghetti, hoorah!

celebrating national frozen food month

why be meatless?

jane esselstyn on women's heart health

healthy superbowl ideas


how to survive the super bowl binge

5 ways to eat less and feel full

pulses - the superfood that always has bean

did you know these 5 things affect your weight?

new usda nutrition guidelines

2016 resolution for health

cooking without oil

pass around the pumpkin pie

it's all about the pomegranate

8 crazy nights-lighten up chanukah treats

how to have a healthy holiday

how to eat smart at the office

grains to protect your immune system this winter

plant-based thanksgiving

movember, prostate cancer, and your diet

meet the esselstyns-they're a plant-based family

linking breast cancer and diet

pumpkin seeds and their health benefits

turmeric and it's powerful benefits

growing edamame & health benefits of soy

pumped for peppers!

tips for busy back to school time

preserving the harvest

zucchini love

what's sugar doing to us?

benefits of basil

plant-based nutrition and obesity in children

benefits of raw foods

junk food day?

lower your cholesterol the easy way. eat more fiber.

red, white, & blue can be healthy for you!

nih guide: how to lower blood pressure with a dash eating plan

happy father's day - how's that prostate?

vitamin b-12 in the vegan diet

asparagus season

how to survive the summer bbq

pea it out!

it's cinco de mayo-get your bean on

earth day every day-for the planet and your tummy

stop the madness! treat heart disease with a healthy diet -- not drugs!

world health day & connection to vegan diet

maple sugaring

cabbage - it's history, use, and nutritional benefit

want to lower your cholesterol? a pill is not a magic bullet!

are you at risk for heart disease?

my thanksgiving secret...

losing your mind? try these memory boosting superfoods!

can eating more veggies save your eyesight?