Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dr. Neal Barnard is Adorable, I Mean, Comes to Cleveland, Part I

Last night I had the privilege of attending a lecture at John Carroll University. Sponsored by Whole Foods Markets, the speaker was Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( In case you don't know him, he is one of the leaders in the fight against the obesity epidemic and guess what? His views are right in line with Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. McDougall, ie he recommends a low fat vegan diet as a healthy long term solution to our national weight and disease problem.

If you live in Cleveland and are interested in participating in a 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart, which is based off of Dr. Barnard's new book by the same name, there is one starting on Monday at Whole Foods!

Monday, April 25th - Monday, May 16th
Dr. Neal Barnard's 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart Immersion
7:00 p.m. (optional walk at 6:30) Free

Fresh off Dr. Barnard's Cleveland visit, Whole Foods Market Cedar Center is offering a 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart Immersion program, based on Dr. Barnard's recent book, conducted by our healthy eating specialist Ellen Darby. Immersions are conducted as a group with support, tips, and advice from Ellen. Four scheduled meet-ups will include educational and inspirational topics. This can be a great way to start a life-changing journey to improve your health! Sign up at the Health Starts Here Hub area (behind the bananas) on a form provided, or email to get registered!

I'm ashamed to say that I own a copy of Dr. Barnard's low fat vegan cookbook and I haven't had the time to explore anything in it yet! With the explosion of publishing of healthy vegan cookbooks of late, I've got my hands full! But seeing him live and in person last night will surely be the thing to get me to start testing his recipes and telling you about them.
Dr. Neal Barnard at John Carroll University 4/19/11
He's really, really funny.
It's a little hard to tell from this photo, but here is an example of a couple who participated in one of Dr. Barnard's test groups. Hillary and Bruce went from looking puffy and unfortunately very average (this is the sad state here in the US) to appearing lean and gorgeous. Their transformation was astounding. 
Dr. Barnard really geared his talk towards people who know nothing about the possibilities of a low fat vegan diet. He had some great advice for people just beginning to consider this way of eating. Clearly, Dr. Barnard knows that this diet seems radical to many people and that even the thought of making changes like this can be overwhelming enough that many people check out immediately.

His advice? Divide your "plate" or diet into four equal pieces. He calls it "The Power Plate."

Consume vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes in roughly the same volume and eat fats (nuts, seeds, oils, avocado) sparingly.

How does a newbie go about making the switch without hitting the off button?

Step one, explore the possibilities. Do you like pancakes made with eggs and white flour cooked in butter in the morning? Try a whole grain vegan pancake recipe and skip the butter. Write down what you normally eat and take the time to find low fat vegan recipes for the same or similar foods.

Step two, do a three week (21 day) test drive. Forget about what is going to happen twenty years or even one year from now. Don't think about growing a long hippie beard or wearing tie dye t-shirts! Just commit for 21 days. You will feel so differently after that period and you can make a decision whether or not to continue with a low fat vegan diet at that time. You do not need to look at this as forever or never! Chances are extremely high that you will lose weight and feel so much energy that something inside of you will shift, at least toward eating a lot more beans, vegetables, fruits and grains that even if you don't choose to become a Vegan you will fundamentally change the way you view food and nourish your body.

And lastly, as an option, certainly not a must do, use transition foods to get you through in the beginning. Basically, transition foods are fake meat products that are made from grains and highly processed to resemble animal protein. There are a lot on the market now--from sausage substitutes to "chicken" nuggets, "hot dogs," "hamburgers," and "cold cuts." It's not the preferred way of eating, but certainly purchase these products if it is the make or break thing from getting you to give low fat vegan a try!

Chefs Nichole and Eric from Whole Foods gave a speedy cooking demo of three Dr. Barnard recipes.
Low fat vegan cooking can be fast, easy and delicious!

Stay tuned for Part II of Dr. Barnard's lecture which I will post tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment