Healthy Lifestyle Expo Day 2 Morning Session

I woke up bright and early to begin the day with a short meditation, yoga and a five mile run. It was rather dark until almost 7am so I stuck to well-lit main roads, safe but boring. I stopped for a kale, peach, lemon and ginger smoothie.

I had a full day of lectures ahead, but I will try to summarize the key points from each talk. 

James Bennie, MD

Plant Based Changes in Real World Medicine

Dr. Bennie specializes in nutrition and was hired by Whole Foods years ago as their physician in Los Angeles. He later returned to his practice at Redding Family Medical Group in Redding, CA and now works at the Redding Rancheria Tribal Health Center. The Tribal Health Center has a full time plant based dietitian on staff.

· Health is the state of being free from disease.
· Most people do the diet they want to be on rather than eat the way they should eat for optimal health.
· Dr. Bennie had no nutrition studies in medical school.
· Our current medical system in not healthcare it’s sick care. I say frequently one day I hope to work in wellness as opposed to sickness.
· A whole food plant based (WFPB) diet has been shown to reverse autoimmune disorders like lupus, RA, fibromyalgia and MS. It has also been shown to prevent and stop early dementia.
· No medication for chronic disease has ever been shown to stop or revere the disease. It only slows the progression at best and suppresses the symptoms.
· To change your health you must be an active participant in your healthcare.
· Lab work may show “healthy” numbers, but the results may not be indicative of health status. If someone is overweight and has pre-existing cardiac issues a normal LDL and total cholesterol does not signify that person is healthy.

What diet does Kaiser Permanente, the largest health care organization, recommend for its employees? A WFPB diet because it yields:

1. Less sick days
2. Increased productivity
3. Better overall mood
4. Healthier employees ultimately yield more profit and that is the bottom line

7 habits of highly healthy people

1. Don’t smoke
2. Eat a WFPB diet and eat 3 meals including breakfast – the brain needs carbohydrates to function
3. Include 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and 20-30 minutes of resistance training to maintain strong muscles and bones
4. Drink water not soda, juice or other sugary drinks
5. Limit alcohol to no more than 2 beers, 1 glass of wine or 1.5oz of hard liquor
6. Get 7-9 hours of sleep
7. Be present in the moment – seek emotional support, meditate, pray and do yoga

One theme that seems to be running through the first couple of lectures is that it is really important to meet people where they are at.

This was a great presentation by Dr. Bennie. He was very animated, knowledgeable and clearly very passionate about what he does.

Dr. James Weiss of Ethos Health

The World of the Physician Farmer

· Dr. Weiss’ father was diagnosed with end stage cancer with metastatic tumors all over the abdomen which prompted Dr. Weiss to return home and start seeking other options of treatment for his father. He discovered a book about macrobiotics and brought his father to Boston to meet with Michio Kushi, a renowned leader in the study of macrobiotics. 

Within 3 weeks his father was running 2 miles daily. 90 days later Mr. Weiss had a CT scan which showed a 30% reduction of tumors. In 9 months there was a 50% reduction of tumors. Mr. Weiss lived another 18 months instead of the 3 months he was initially given and he continued working and enjoying a good quality of life until 2 weeks before he passed away.

· Dr. Weiss has a degree in botany as well as a medical degree

· Feeling disillusioned with healthcare Dr. Weiss sold his assets, left his practice and bought a farm. He said, “Today I practice medicine right from the middle of this farm.”

· Epigenetics – Researcher Michael Skinner said, “There is not a type of genetic mutation known that’s not potentially influenced by environmental epigenetic effects.”

· Plant secondary components aka flavonoids or phytochemicals lend flavor and color to plant foods.

· Without angiogenesis a tumor will only grow to the size of the tip of a ball point pen.

· The most powerful anti-angiogenesis factors are plant secondary compounds

· There is a proven increase in survival rates for breast cancer survivors who drink one glass of soy milk daily. Genistein the phytoestrogen from soy empowers the BRCA gene. BRCA gene suppresses and kills off breast cancer cells. You want to have the BRCA gene.

· Whole foods act through a symphony of mechanisms to thwart a constellation of human illness.

Final thought of the lecture – “Plants just fix us.”

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