Dietary changes are happening in America and I see it continuing to spread slowly but steadily among an American public that is sick of being sick. Everywhere I go, I see the change happening around me. Nowhere is this more apparent than at my local bookstore. Many of the best-selling diet and cookbooks are vegan and plant-based. My dad’s new book, The End of Diabetes, was #10 on Amazon.com’s list of the top 100 bestsellers this past week. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are beginning to educate themselves on what to eat to stay healthy and prevent chronic diseases and we are finally realizing that we can fight feeling ill, sluggish and congested every day simply by changing the foods we eat.
It is one thing to see plant-based books selling like hotcakes, yet it is another experience altogether to directly meet people who have made changes and seen the results of those changes. They tend to be the most happy, positive, and grateful people I’ve met and their success stories are proof that how our bodies feel every day is heavily influenced by our lifestyle choices, primarily our diets. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride that emanates from these people like heat radiating from the sun.
I wanted to report to all of you how inspiring it felt to attend a recent health conference in Marshall, TX where I was able to meet people who have made positive dietary changes in their lives and who were able to break free from the shackles of the standard American diet. The event was called the New Year, New You Health Fest and it was organized by Ed and Amanda (Mandy) Smith, whom live right in the center of “the stroke belt,” where fast food restaurants and steakhouses abound. 324 people from 26 states came together to listen to lectures by renowned nutritional doctors, chefs and fitness gurus such as Michael Greger, Julieanna Hever, Victoria Moran, Robert Cheeke (vegan body builder), Lindsay Nixon (The Happy Herbivore Cookbook), Chef AJ (Unprocessed) and John Pierre (Hollywood fitness guru).
The best part of the conference for me was listening to the touching speeches given by people who were able to lose hundreds of pounds, get off 10+ medications, have asthma problems bite the dust, and acne issues clear up for good. Listening to their success stories was like being a part of something powerful and bigger than oneself. It was change in action. Why was it change? For one, many of the people in the audience had their own health problems or pounds to lose and the success story speeches were exactly what these people needed to hear to get their own healthy lifestyle plans in high gear.
It is a domino effect. The more people who become educated on the health benefits of a natural planet-based lifestyle and get healthier, the more people will see their success stories and (hopefully) will become motivated to make positive changes themselves. The people we surround ourselves with influence our behaviors. The more people who say yes to vegan chili and veggie stews and no to chips and soda, the more this lifestyle will spread to the other people in their lives. Exposure to people who successfully practice healthy lifestyle habits results in greater numbers of people implementing these practices. I saw this principle in motion in Marshall, TX and I could not have felt more excited to witness it. Yes, we are living during an obesity epidemic and disease crisis, but I think we will begin to see more and more people getting healthier and hopefully all of us will live to see the era of a healthy new America.
My trip to Texas provided me with firsthand evidence that people really do want to get healthy. Let’s hope that these feelings will soon catch on in other cities as well.
Peace, love and KALE,