Lighten up challenge – Day 3


I slept like a log. I never even heard Orlando come to bed. I tried so hard to get up at 4, but my body wasn’t ready yet so I slept until 5:30 and woke feeling refreshed. 

7:45 Pink lady apple on the way to bring Carlos to school. 

8:30 a small handful of grapes 

9 coffee and almond milk 

All bedding washed and dried already. I am hoping the bedmaking fairy will come over while I’m out to make the beds.

10-12:15 two home visits with patients 

12:40 a carrot and hummus; spinach salad with a sweet potato, sauerkraut (addicted!) and lemon juice 

Afternoon treat and a break from the absolute insane nonsense that is my job right now. 

3:30 It’s my homemade dole whip. Frozen mango, pineapple and a fresh banana with a squeeze of lime juice. 

Super busy afternoon. Too many unplanned work issues made it difficult to get any of my patient visit paperwork done. Before I knew it, it was time to make the beds (damn fairy never came) and dinner. I managed to make dinner without nibbling on anything. 

8:30 I just finished interviewing babysitter #3. She was lovely. She’s working on her teaching certification and is currently in a special Ed classroom. She’s also a girls high school track coach. 

I am ready for dinner after a successful afternoon of no picking and grazing. I wore a cute new summer dress all day which made me more inspired than ever to stay away from snacks and eat food that makes me feel good. 

Dinner: Broccoli slaw, mushrooms, peas and edamame sautéed and a side of zucchini noodles with tomato sauce. 
Work was ridiculous today. I have a mountain of it awaiting me now, but I haven’t done any exercise so maybe a walk or short run first before getting back to it. We’ll see. 

10:45 What a gorgeous cool night. No run, I walked around the neighborhood near my house while catching up with my mom. I got a few more things done for work while loosely watching an episode of the West Wing.  No PM snacks!! I’m going to bed because I am meeting a friend for a 5:15 run. 

Lighten up challenge – Day 1

During my nearly 21 miles of solo hiking, walking and running in New Hampshire this weekend I had a lot of time to think. I came to the conclusion that I am not so much bothered by the number on the scale as much as how I feel in my body. I feel heavy and weighed down. I know that I have been turning to comfort foods that while they taste amazing they don’t make me feel so great afterwards. They also seem to make me want more like a little is never enough. 

So I conjured up my own challenge with myself to eat light to feel light. I’m not restricting or dieting. I’m not fasting or trying to starve myself. I just want to see if I can commit to thinking about what goes into my mouth and eating foods and portions that result in a feeling of nourishment rather than fullness. 

This isn’t about weight loss although the goal is to feel lighter so I’m assuming that feeling lighter would mean I’ve lost weight. I begin marathon training next month and I want my body to be as ready as my mind is about this endeavor. The Chicago Marathon itself is expensive and there will be the added cost of flights and accommodations for me and my family. I want to go feeling well prepared and I want to run a sub-4:30 marathon again. 

My lighten up challenge begins today. I’m hoping to capture daily snapshots of my food, jot down a bit about my fitness, and maybe a few thoughts about how I’m feeling. 


Around 8:30 – Coffee and almond milk 

10:30 pineapple

Pre-run banana at 11:30 shown with Carlos’ school art work aptly entitled Bananas. 

Ran 4.14 miles with a friend. Then had a nice big unsweetened mango iced tea.

2:20 Bowl of kale with 1 teaspoon hemp oil, a shredded carrot and a half cup of steam peas with fresh lemon juice. No photo, I was too hungry! Actually I completely forgot to take a picture.

I interviewed a babysitter candidate at 4. We hit it off and ended up talking until 5:45 when it was time to take Carlos to soccer. Orlando discovered her friend sitting in the car and sent her inside.  I am using the online site Sitter City and the potential babysitter brought her friend along just in case I was a lunatic axe murderer. Ok she didn’t say that exactly, but her friend and sister encouraged her to bring someone for safety, but she left her friend in the car because she didn’t want to make a bad first impression. I totally get it. It is a crazy world. It worked out just fine and the three of us had a nice time talking. Then they chatted with Carlos while I made his dinner. 

I went for another short 3 mile run while Carlos practiced. Then I tried to get some computer work done. Did you ever have one of those super busy days when you feel like you accomplished absolutely nothing? Me too! Today was one of them. 

7:30 I shared a Granny Smith apple with Carlos while I prepared dinner. 

8 Dinner was half a cup of brown rice and half of this bag steamed:

Busy day calls for quick and easy meal. I put a little balsamic and a spoon of hummus and called it a meal. 

8:45 For dessert I whipped up frozen berries and a few pieces of fresh pineapple into a homemade sorbet. It was delicious. 

Now it’s time for a nap before going into the hospital for what will hopefully be an uneventful  night shift. Please please fingers crossed!!  

Honestly I feel really good right now. Not full or stuffed but satisfied. The fruit blend left me with a light sweetness on the tongue. It was a perfect way to end the day. 

Plattsburgh Half Marathon Relay 2016

My first introduction to Plattsburgh, NY was in August 1996 when I attended The Clifford Ball, a weekend long Phish festival at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. I went with my cousin and her boyfriend at the time. I remember the lovely drive up route 87. As we neared Plattsburgh we sat stuck in traffic for miles. I don’t think we realized that 70,000 people would be attending the weekend festivities. I didn’t see much of Plattsburgh that weekend because once we made it to the base we never let the concert. If you had told me then that in the future I would become very well acquainted with Plattsburgh on foot I would have thought you were insane. I also probably would have choked on my diet coke after blowing a puff of smoke your way.

The next time I visited Plattsburgh was in September 2010 for the the beautiful wedding of my dear friend and former Peace Corps site mate Amelia and her husband Scott.

I’m going to back up a bit to explain how running figures into this story. For that I have to return to 2008. In the fall of 2008 Amelia and I signed up for a 5K in Binghamton, NY where she was living at the time. I trained for months and was so proud of the fact that I could finally run 3 miles without stopping. Plans changed and Orlando was unable to join me. Carlos came with me, but I had no one to watch him during the race. I was unable to run the race. I was incredibly disappointed and I’m embarrassed to say that I was not a very supportive spectator for my friend that day. Amelia ran the race on a cold, rainy day and did a fantastic job for her first 5K.

I was in the throes of negativity at this time in my life and whenever I got that way it was typically because of how I felt about my body. Yet the negativity was all consuming and spilled into the world around me. Amelia is a very positive person and she very kindly told me that I had to stop being so negative. It stung me at first because no one has ever called me out on my behavior like that, but I knew she was right. She didn’t stop being my friend, but I knew that if I didn’t change something I would lose our friendship and others as well. Her honesty changed the trajectory of my life. I started taking better care of myself, finally ran my first 5K in the fall of 2009 and set a goal to run a half marathon in the fall of 2010, I switched jobs at the hospital, I began to exercise daily, changed my diet, I smiled more, and stopped saying negative things about myself to others.

Back to Plattsburgh…Amelia had moved there prior to getting married. On the day of her wedding I felt as though the fragile bond between us had strengthened. I was so happy for her happiness that day and so grateful that she hadn’t given up on me or our friendship. Between 2010 and 2013 Orlando, Carlos, and I visited Amelia and her family in Plattsburgh. In early 2013 Amelia found out she was pregnant with her second child and at the same time was told that she had stage 3 breast cancer.

Things happened quickly in the spring of 2013, surgery, treatment, prenatal appointments, tests, etc. I felt helpless. The 4 hour distance between us seemed so vast. I wanted to be able to bring dinner to her and her family or scoop up her son for an afternoon so she could rest. I just wanted to see Amelia and be there if she needed anything. I already had plans to run the Plattsburgh Half Marathon in April 2013. I planned another weekend over the course of the summer to be with Amelia. During my time in Plattsburgh I continued with my training schedule for the Montreal Marathon in September 2013. I enjoyed running new routes around Plattsburgh and beyond. There are some really beautiful stretches along Lake Champlain. During my summer visit I completed a 20 mile training run around the town.

In the fall of 2013 Amelia delivered a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Over the course of the last few years Amelia’s strength, positivity, faith, and determination has inspired me to push through anything that feels even the slightest bit difficult. She is a survivor!

When she asked me to participate in the Plattsburgh Half Marathon Relay on May 1st, I was immediately on board. Amelia and her husband have caught the running bug in the last year. I have been waiting for an opportunity to finally run an event with Amelia. Although we weren’t going to be running side by side this experience would bring our running story full circle. I insisted that she run the second half of the race because running through the finish line is the most exciting part! Although there was an actual finish line and medals for the relay participants at the halfway mark which I thought was awesome.

I really love this race. The starting line is at the City Recreational Center which provides a warm dry place for runners and spectators throughout the race.  The race benefits Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research. The course is pleasant, no major elevation or challenging areas. For a small race the swag is generous – nice medals, tech tees, and a beer glass.

I lined up at the start with Amelia’s husband who was running the entire half marathon. It was a cool grey day, but the rain wasn’t coming down yet. Ideal for running. Despite running about 7 miles the day before with a friend and literally running head first into a tree, I was feeling great right from the get go. Seriously, my legs were moving and my mind was in the right place. I had no clue what my pace was, but I knew instinctively that I would hit my goal of running the 6.5 miles in under 1:05. I am not known for running particularly hard during races nor am I good at pushing myself during the final miles, but I felt better and better as the miles ticked by. Mile 5 presented the first and only hill for me. I ran it strong and then careened to solid finish.


I was so energized as I turned over the bracelet to Amelia. I wanted to keep going!! I waited to watch her husband run through the halfway point. He looked great and was still smiling. Then I hopped on the school bus to take me back to the finish. The bus ride was a blast from the past. A few of us in the back recounted old memories of riding the big yellow bus back in the day. It was hysterical. Does anyone remember bus patrol? We had a designated bus patrol who got to wear a bright orange vest on the bus and had to let everyone off seat by seat when we arrived at school. I wanted that job so badly, but it went to Lisa Simpson instead. By the time I reached the finish line the rain was coming down lightly. It was great to watch Amelia’s husband make a strong finish. He is going to run his first full marathon in the fall. I am really excited for him.

The rain was picking up and as soon as I saw Amelia I jumped out onto the course to join her for the last stretch. Amelia is always smiling and she looked amazing despite the cold rainy weather. This was the longest and farthest she had ever run. I felt such pride and joy as I ran by her side over the finish line.

Running has brought such goodness to my life. It has provided me with an outlet during stressful times. It makes me feel great physically and mentally. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and forced me to realize that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. It has brought me to new places. It has given me and my family an excuse to travel and spend time together. It has introduced me to some truly wonderful people. It has inspired others to join me. Running makes me happy and it is such an honor to share that with others.

Amelia’s running journey has only just begun. I look forward to our next race together – To Be Decided! We did it girl!!



I won the lottery

Not the powerball. 

Chicago here I come!! 

I woke up to an email announcing I got into the 2016 Chicago Marathon. I have been waiting until today to make any definitive fall marathon plans. I found out last month that I didn’t get into New York and I forgot to submit my entry for the Marine Corps Marathon. I have been thinking a lot about Chicago and out of the three marathons it is my number one choice. I’d love to do them all someday, but I’m so excited to be heading to Chicago in October. 

This is a game changer for me. I will not go into this race feeling anything but amazing. I finally put my foot down about the very obvious fact that I gained back some weight over the last two years. About a month ago I recommitted myself to losing the weight slowly, healthily, and steadily. I am not interested in a quick fix. I am trying to identify habits and food choices that inhibit successful weight loss while maintaining a plant based diet. So far I have lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. I feel better and I want to continue the momentum. 

I am running with goals in mind. I am building up my endurance again. I’ve developed a daily yoga practice even if only 10-15 minutes a day, but it makes a difference in how my body feels. The daily habits are leading me in the right direction and now with Chicago on the horizon I am even more motivated. 
I visited Chicago once years ago for a weekend. I am really looking forward to returning with my family. I can’t wait to plan our trip!!

Orlando called me a little after 6am. It was snowing. A late April Fool’s by Mother Nature perhaps. I assumed he was calling to tell me he was on his way home. He’s currently working on a building project at Yale University which is about 75-90 minutes from our house depending on the day. Traffic in Connecticut is thick at times and days like today make for an even more unpredictable commute. 

His voice was soft and shaky. Something was wrong. He seemed to be gasping for air and then he said “oh Aim, I just got into a bad accident!” My heart sank into my stomach. His car started sliding and he swerved to avoid sliding into a tractor trailer truck. Instead he kept sliding and slammed head on into the concrete median to the left of the commuter lane. I have no idea how no one hit him as his truck remained undriveable cockeyed in the commuter lane.  He said people kept driving around him. No one stopped. 

I kept him talking while I planned. I’m incredibly calm in these situations which you might not think if you know me. Orlando had called 911 but nothing. The accident happened around 5:40am and it was nearly 6:20. I called 911. Finally over an hour after the accident a state trooper came. He was given a $130 citation for speeding in poor weather conditions and then the trooper left while Orlando waited for the tow truck to come. Yes cited! Even if Orlando had a lead foot like me sometimes he would not have been using it on a snowy, slick morning like today. Besides that no police officer was at the scene so how could the trooper have made such an assessment?

I had to pick him up about 45 minutes away from our house. By the time I got there he was cold, tired and very shaken up. I took him to the ER. The airbag had deployed thankfully and he appeared uninjured, but you don’t know for sure. He’s doing well. Resting and taking ibuprofen. 

Orlando was remorseful about losing the 2008 Toyota Tacoma he purchased back in February and played the woulda shoulda coulda game a lot today. I should have turned around. I could have stayed home. The truck is mangled and most likely totaled, but the truck saved his life. Had it been his old smaller pickup truck with a gazillion miles and the high probability of no airbags he would have been badly injured or worse.  


Instead he is right here next to me. 

We get so darn busy with work and other obligations, mostly work though, and we forget what’s truly important. Orlando and I are such dedicated employees and we are also dedicated to preparing responsibly for our futures so we work hard ensure that one day we might live a comfortable retirement. We lose sight sometimes of how none of it matters if one of us doesn’t make it to retirement. Trucks can be replaced and so can jobs, but people can’t. 

I’m off to enjoy some quiet time with my husband. The rest of the work will get done eventually. 

Holiday in Mozambique – Layover in Istanbul

Our flight from JFK to Istanbul was uneventful. I relaxed and enjoyed three movies and did some reading. We landed on time around 12:20pm and had a smooth transition through immigration and customs. After checking into our hotel we set off like participants on the Amazing Race to see as much of Istanbul’s Old Town as we could in the time we had.

View from our hotel room

We made our way to the Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia originated as a church and has been built three times on the same site. The third construction was completed around 537, but it wasn’t until 1453 when Istanbul was conquered by Sultan Mehmet II that the Sophia was converted into a mosque. It was stunning inside. It’s so difficult to imagine such an immense project being completed at the time it was done. The connection between eastern and western civilizations was strongly present in the murals, design and history of the Sophia as was the interwoven stories of Christianity and Islam.

My photos do not do any part of our trip justice. They are all iPhone photos and I am clearly not a budding photographer.


We walked through the courtyard to the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built in the early 1600s. Women are not allowed to enter without a head scarf. If you don’t have one you can borrow one. Also you must take your shoes off to enter and carry them in a plastic bag. Inside you are treated to a spectacular show of breathtaking architecture and artwork.

On our way to the Grand Bazaar we were told to check out the Basilica Cistern and it was worth the detour. It was constructed in 532 to serve as water storage for the Great Palace of Byzantine. There was something so mysterious and old about the water filled cavern below ground. The water shimmered under the dark yellow lanterns hanging above. A closer look into the water uncovered large fish swirling around. We walked along the rustic walkway until we came to the famous Medusa columns. Two columns were adorned with carvings of Medusa heads. This drew attention to the interesting blend of mythology in a country rich with religious history.

We emerged to find the air had cooled quite a bit outside and dusk was setting in so we kept moving towards the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul in this area surrounding the bazaar is a blur of movement, cars zipping along narrow cobblestone streets, and a mass of locals and tourists scurrying in every direction. The Grand Bazaar was as I expected, a large center of goods, particularly a beautiful array of colorful scarves and displays of tasty Turkish delights. If we were not traveling to Mozambique with limited space in our luggage I would have been very tempted to shop. Instead I settled on window shopping with plans to return someday.

I was a bit disappointed that in our race around Istanbul I did not succeed in sitting down for a Turkish meal. Another reason to return one day. As we strolled back towards the taxi stand we stopped to take a few photos with the softly lit Blue Mosque behind and some with the Hagia Sophia.

Our taxi ride back to the hotel proved to be the most eventful part of the day. Despite showing the driver the hotel’s address on a business card he decided to take us on a very long adventure through the city to “avoid” traffic although we seemed to get stuck in it at every turn. It was a bit frustrating to watch the time tick by not knowing where we were or how to communicate with our driver. Finally after what seemed to be hours though was probably only about an hour we arrived safely at the hotel. We settled in for the evening, FaceTimed my sister, indulged in WiFi, napped, showered and packed our things again. We left for the airport around 11pm and our flight was scheduled to depart at 1:25am.

This is where things took a turn for the unexpected. We passed through security in two areas with no problem. We already had our boarding passes so we went directly to our gate. It was full, but we managed to find a few seats. I noticed on our boarding passes that our seats were not together. Orlando took the boarding passes to see if that could be changed before boarding. He came back and asked for Carlos’ birth certificate. I dug through my well organized multi-pocket folder, but it wasn’t there. How was that possible? I began to panic. After all the research we had done prior to our trip due to changes in South African immigration laws which were difficult to decipher, I at least knew I needed to bring a copy of Carlos’ birth certificate. It wasn’t there no matter how many times we checked. Orlando went back to tell the ticket agent. We were summoned to the desk and told to wait patiently.

Carlos was sobbing, fearful that we would somehow have to stay in Turkey forever. I held him tight and assured him everything would be ok. However, inside I wasn’t sure how this could be resolved in time to get on our flight. My stomach sank into a pit. Orlando was frustrated and although it wasn’t necessarily my fault I felt as though the blame was all mine. I encouraged Orlando to get on the flight and I would figure things out even if it meant returning to the US with Carlos. He shouldn’t miss the opportunity to spend the holidays with his family, but of course he refused.

The airline agent insisted that in order to enter South Africa we needed to get ahold of at least a copy of the birth certificate. Turkish Airlines offered to put us up in a hotel for the night, provide transportation to and from the airport, pay for three meals, and allow us to take the same flight to Johannesburg the following night. We accepted. Upon arrival to the hotel I connected to WiFi and FaceTimed my amazing friend Kate. She lives nearby and drove immediately to our house. She found the original birth certificate in my filing cabinet and texted me a photo of it. I will never forget what she did for us. Without her help we would not have made it to Mozambique.

The hotel front desk allowed me to email the photo to the hotel and they printed it for me. We went to bed around 3 in the morning and did our best to sleep despite feeling very unnerved by the situation. I called the US consulate at 8am only to find it wasn’t open yet. Orlando got information from the South African embassy in Ankara that we needed to get the copy of the birth certificate notarized at the US Consulate. We still couldn’t reach anyone at the US Consulate so I emailed the consulate using their online form requesting an immediate appointment if possible. Rather than wait for a response we took a taxi to the consulate office.

Once there, our taxi driver discovered the road was closed due to what we could only gather had been a bomb threat earlier in the day. We were allowed to walk to the gate of the embassy and present our issue. A kind security guard went inside to presumably plead our case and we were told to return at 1:30. Since I had no access to wifi I was unaware that the consulate had replied to my online plea and offered to see us at 1:30. We sat patiently and nervously at a cafe directly across the street for an hour and a half until we were summoned back by another guard who knew we were waiting.

Inside the consulate we were treated kindly and respectfully. Unable to notarize the copy without the original birth certificate present they offered to notarize an affidavit indicating we were the parents of Carlos. Fifty dollars and 30 minutes later we were in a taxi back to the hotel. Feeling more relieved at this point the ride seemed shorter and we were all in better spirits. We returned to the hotel with plenty of time to relax before our flight. Carlos and I passed the time working out in the gym. Well I worked out while he tested the equipment and played with the balance balls. After showers we went to the lobby to play a game. We ate dinner and rested a bit before catching the 9pm shuttle back to the airport.

We obtained our boarding passes and made it through security without a problem. We knew the last hurdle would be at the gate which wasn’t assigned yet so Orlando hung out at Starbucks and Carlos and I did laps around the terminal. We were feeling much better about our prospects of boarding the plane as planned. Finally they announced our gate, but it still took a while before confirming that we would be allowed on the plane. As soon as we were cleared to go we all took a collective sigh of relief before boarding the bus that drove us to the plane.

This time our seats were all together and we settled down for the nearly 10 hour flight ahead. I have never been more happy to be on a plane.

Despite the drama I wouldn’t change anything that happened. Carlos was incredible through it all. He was quiet and patient. We were so proud of him. He didn’t complain or whine. He watched, listened, and hopefully learned a little bit about problem solving and teamwork.

Next stop – South Africa.

Healthy Lifestyle Expo Day 2 Afternoon Session

Irminne Van Dyken, MD

Biohacking the Immune System

Dr. Van Dyken is sharp. If you ever have the opportunity to see her speak I would highly recommend going. She is young, bright, sharp and very articulate. 

Some key points from her talk:

  • Healthy immunity comes from good nutrition.
  • The immune system is overly complex
  • Chronic inflammation compromises the immune system. Acute inflammation is good. It means the immune system is working.
  • Diseases are the consequences of inflammation- Cancer, Inflammatory bowel disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Atherosclerosis, etc. 

Whole foods that decrease inflammation

    o Circumin – the most active ingredient in turmeric
    o Chili and Capsaicin
    o Ginger
    o Black pepper
    o Cinnamon
    o Green Tea (ECCG)
    o Berry Polyphenols
    o Pomegranate
    o Grapeseed extract
    o Glucosinolates (broccoli spouts, cruciferous veg)
    o Milk Thistle

    Factors negatively influencing the microbiome

    o Medications – NSAIDs, Antibiotics, chemotherapy
    o Food
    o Stress
    o Soap, things we put on our skin
    o Infections

    • Hygiene hypothesis: less exposure to bacteria and parasites increase risk for illness.
    • You are only as healthy as your gut bacteria

    To create a healthy microbiome:

    o Eat a diet high in fiber
    o Eat fermented foods like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, rejuvelac
    o Shower less and avoid antibacterial soaps and products with laurel sulfate
    o Avoid antibiotics
    o Get a pet
    o Open the windows in your home as often as possible
    o Use probiotics – if you buy over the counter probiotics be sure to get one that is enteric coated, has 7 different strains and 50 billion CFU of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium
    o Prebiotics – non-soluble fiber in dandelion greens, garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, lentils, beans, chicory, flax

    • Cardioviva is a probiotic that has been prescribed in Canada and has been proven to lower LDL by 11.6%.
    • Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Every time our cells divide we lose a little at the end of the cell. Telomere shortening is linked with inflammation and aging

    Avoid things that speed up telomere shortening:

    o Smoking
    o Obesity
    o Environmental pollution
    o Stress
    o Fatty diet

    How to biohack telomere shortening

    • Increase fiber
    • Decrease waist circumference
    • Decrease protein type and consider changing the type of protein you eat
    • Omega 3
    • Antioxidants
    • Dietary restrictions, fasting
    • Exercise

    Through telomere maintenance we can change the rate at which we age

    Key point = decrease inflammation in the body

    Jane Esselstyn, RN
    Health Care is Self-Care

    Jane is the daughter of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, best known for his cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Jane is an accomplished educator as well as co-author of the book The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.

    Jane is a natural speaker. Her lecture was interactive and visual. She started by getting us all up and out of our seats for a little moving and grooving. I’m not shy, I shook my booty!

    Jane spokeabout a research study she assisted with published in the Journal of Pediatrics – Plant-Based, No Added Fat or AHA Diets: Impact on cardiovascular Risk in Obese Children with Hypercholesterolemia and Their Parents.

    The Plant Based diet resulted in more positive effects though both did demonstrate weight loss for the participants.

    Jane references 3 influential names in the WFPB movement:

    1. Dr. Neil Barnard – runs the PCRM and his research on Type 2 Diabetes has shown that a WFPB diet can reverse the disease.
    2. T. Colin Campbell – author of the China Study proved through his research that cancer is preventable. Read Chapter 3. 
    3. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn – His research on heart disease led him to begin treating the cause to prevent and reverse heart disease.

    Dr. John McDougall
    The eat more starch challenge…

    Dr. McDougall suffered a stroke at the age of 18 with resulting paralysis of his left side for 2 weeks. He still walks with a limp. After medical school he began practicing medicine in Hawaii. He grew frustrated with the lack of healing amongst his patients. His work on a sugar plantation brought him in contact with elderly immigrants from Asia where rice was a staple of the diet. He noted that as the generations progressed the diet became more westernized opting for meat, dairy and junk food rather than rice and vegetables. The third generation was obese and sick. This experience led Dr. McDougall to treating the modern day illnesses with nutrition and a return the diets of our ancestors. He can demonstrate that throughout time diets were based on starches – potatoes, rice, oats, etc. People were never as sick or as obese as they are today.

    What changed? Our food changed.

    Dr. McDougall advocates more starch in the diet for optimal health. Starches are low in calories (calorie dilute), low in fat and highly satisfying.

    He has been advocating a WFPB diet with emphasis on eating starch for more than 30 years. He has proof that his methods work through research, his patients, and the many people who have participated in his program.

    Dr. McDougall is cantankerous and sometimes downright rude in his response to questions. It was a bit of a turn off, but in talking to others who had seen him before he was apparently in a good mood at this conference. I’d hate to see him in a bad mood. His talk more than the others really got under my skin and after pondering it I realize it was because of his attitude. He speaks the truth. All of the speakers do. Their research and the research they reference proves what I know deep down, but sometimes don’t want to admit to myself because it would require me to make more changes. The way we eat is wrong. Food is not supposed to come from a package. We are not meant to ingest chemically produced food. We are supposed to eat carbohydrates in the form of whole grains. We need them to survive. We eat too much, way too much and we don’t move enough. Dr. McDougall is simply telling the truth, but I can imagine it gets exhausting repeating yourself over and over knowing most of it falls on deaf ears. 

    Bottom line for Dr. McDougall is “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.”

    I think this video says it all with very little words.