Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial or social gain "to benefit another person, group or organization".
Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life.
Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer, as well as for the person or community served.
These are 3 descriptions of the word volunteerism.
The Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG) is a 501C3 organization. We run on the healthy backs of volunteers. Each of the descriptions above describe our volunteer organization. Growing up my mother would have me volunteer from time to time. Each time was a struggle. She would always say “the world is bigger than you” or “other people need our help”, yet it was always a struggle. Afterall I would rather play, watch TV, or anything else. Over the years after she passed away at a very early age, I would always help others but volunteering for an organization or spending a day helping others stopped.
Her teachings of what it was like to give to others have come full circle to me in a very personal way. 5 years ago, I started the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. I initially thought I would volunteer my time to 20 people a month and share with them how I overcame emanate heart surgery by a Diet/Lifestyle change. I knew that heart disease was the leading cause of death in the United States and I witnessed it personally within my family. However, it did not hit home until I was given a miracle of not having to have bypass surgery. I was able to heal myself naturally with the food that I ate. Sharing this with other people in my community became my obsession. I know my mom was watching over me!
I opening up my house to people I never met before and explained to them how I was able to reclaim my life with the food that I ate. This continued to the point I felt we needed a bigger venue. As the organization grew people would offer to help me. Today, we have the largest Plant Based Group on earth. This would not happen without our volunteers. So many people who come to our meeting always say ‘You have the nicest and best volunteers!” THEY ARE SO RIGHT!
I LOVE our volunteers! They are always willing to help, never say no, and care so much! What would we be without them? Thank you mom for making me help others. Thank you PBNSG volunteers for showing me what is good about this world.
Together as One!
“The natural healing force in each one of us is the greatest force in getting well!”
I made a change to a plant-based lifestyle over five years ago and in that time I have been learning, listening and thinking about Plant-Based Nutrition. I would like to share some of my thoughts with you.
1. It is NOT easy! Sure I know it’s the food that saved me from having bypass surgery. I think about that every day. Yet, even knowing that, temptation and social pressures are everywhere. It is so easy to eat the foods that caused my ill health. They are everywhere. But when it comes down to it, it is a choice I make every day, every hour and sometimes every minute. Free will is what separates us as well as challenges us. What drives me though is how I feel every day. I feel GREAT. And that is how I resist temptation. That thought has given me great peace of mind about crossing the food line. But while it gets me through the day, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
2. The world is not set up for universal health change. I think, “What would we have to do to tip the scales?” Human health improvement? Compassion toward animals? Environmental change? Each one by themselves is worthy. Each one by themselves should be enough for change but even as a collective, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
3. Our Plant Based leaders and researchers have the science and they share the message that clearly proves Plant-Based Nutrition is the best choice for us. I deeply love each one of them! Yet, for the majority, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
4. Hospitals - places of healing - put profits ahead of health. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? We are all thankful for the pills and procedures that can help us. After all, Plant-Based Nutrition can’t set a broken leg. But why not try nutrition as the first line of defense for improved health before ingesting a pill or having surgery? Sounds simple, but there is no profit in it. Change is so slow and while I respect those institutions for slowly acknowledging the benefits of healthier eating, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
5. Doctors - I have so much respect to those committed to healing. I have seen firsthand the workload needed to become a doctor. It overwhelmed me! Yet, they are part a system that cares more about profit than people. Not every doctor, or course, but many. Really how is it possible for a doctor to help a patient in less than 10 minutes? How many times have I heard, “I wasn’t taught that in medical school.” Enough already! We all want to think that the major reason doctors became doctors is to help us improve our health. If that is so, then they must be our voice to the world. Nutrition must be their first choice. Take a class, learn, ask questions. IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
6. Schools - what is wrong with teaching our future generations about proper nutrition? Give them the responsibility and enjoyment that comes from growing a garden. We must protect our planet! It is the only one we have. If we give students the right message early it will never be forgotten. But even if we do this, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
7. Who will be the next Dr. Campbell or Dr. Esselstyn? We must continue to show scientifically that this is the way we were meant to eat. To sustain our message, we need a new generation of young leaders. So far, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
8. Let’s start to look inside ourselves - It’s interesting that I start every discussion with, “Please raise your hand if you love or know someone who is obese, has heart disease or diabetes.” Everyone raises their hand. The system is broken. What will it take to fix? There are many great movies and books written about our health. Yet, more and more people are getting sick. Our efforts should be concentrated in building sustainable support groups throughout our nation. Perhaps then, our voices would be heard. Always remember that you must meet people where they are. Encourage small changes if that’s what is needed– big changes if they are up to it. No Judgment! But still, IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
What is needed to stimulate global health improvement?
1. Global funding. The great majority of advocates for nutrition before pills or procedures have said to me, “With more funding, so much more could be accomplished.” Why should scientists be held back from proving what is the optimal health plan? We should never accept that we are dying slower. What is bad about feeling great every day?
2. We speak with One voice- let’s spend our time sharing our similarities and not our differences? A backbone organization - duplication of organizations and resources is slowing advancements. It takes time to post educational information. It takes time to coordinate schedules for speakers (live streaming should be our solution.) It takes time to view websites. I can go on and on but a central location is the solution.
3. One area that MUST be acknowledged and discussed much deeper is behavior. I know this first hand. Why I am still tempted to eat chocolate? Why do I still yearn for pizza? I understand that fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains make me healthy, reduce pain, and keep my weight down, but temptation has never left me. Not for one moment. We must change our behavior.
I dream of a day when all who are committed to a global health change are working together. I will not stop until everyone understands the benefits of nutritional health. TOGETHER AS ONE! WE CHOOSE HEALTH!
_ Paul Chatlin, Founder PBNSG
My name is Paul Chatlin. I was born in Detroit, Michigan and have lived in West Bloomfield, Michigan since 1971. I am 60 years old. In May of 2013, I was diagnosed with Heart Disease. One artery was 100% blocked and two others were 65% blocked. Add to that leaky valves, an enlarged heart, the thickening of the right side of my heart, a left bundled branch block and heart murmur, and I was in seriously bad shape. I could not walk more than 10 steps without excruciating pain in my chest. They did not know if I needed a heart transplant or bypass surgery. I kept praying that this was not happening to me!
I promised that if I could find a way to not have this surgery, I would give back to others. I called it my “gurney promise”. After the heart catheter procedure, a heart transplant was ruled out. I needed triple bypass surgery. My cardiologist gave me two options: bypass surgery or try “Plant Based Nutrition” (PBN). When I said I would try anything other than surgery, he picked up his cell phone while I was being wheeled toward surgery. He called Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who picked up the phone at 11 p.m. to talk to my doctor. I never knew that Dr. Esselstyn was his mentor in medical school. I was handed the phone and heard Dr. Esselstyn say “go on home and I will call you in the morning”. As I look back I realized that this was the first time I met my cardiologist or Dr. Esselstyn. Quite a leap of faith!
At 8:00 the next morning, Dr. Esselstyn called me and we spoke for an hour. Thus began my Plant Based Nutrition transition. After just 3 weeks my angina disappeared. My cholesterol levels dropped from 347 to 127 in just one year. Today, it is at 100. I have lost 65 pounds, have kept it off and I feel great! I was given 3 miracles. 1) getting into the Cleveland Clinic in just 3 weeks. 2) being assigned to a doctor (it could have been so many other doctors) whose mentor was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. I still can’t call him Essy even though he has given me permission to! 3) Dr. Esselstyn picking up the phone so late that night.
IT WAS TIME TO GIVE BACK!
I attended a Plant Based Cooking Class hosted by the Esselstyns. After all, I was not a cook and did not have a clue about this lifestyle change. The cost was $975.00. I tried to have Blue Cross/Blue Shield reimburse me but was denied. So I thought, “Hey, this is what I can do to give back!” So for the next 3 months I tried to work with BC/BS with no luck. After escalating to the highest level I was denied because they did not have a pay code assigned for cooking classes, and they suggested I work with the legislature for any hope of future change. I pointed out the absurdity of their being willing to cut a check for $125,000 for bypass surgery rather than reimburse me $975.00 so I can learn how to cook Plant Based and insure I never need surgery. It was then I realized the system is broke and I needed a bigger voice. Plant Based Nutrition Support Group was born.
I was still not well. My doctor told me I needed 60-90 days of bed rest to help shrink my enlarged heart and he believed this would stop my valves from leaking. During my bed rest depression started to creep into my life. I am a dreamer so depression and negative thoughts where very new to me. I felt as though I was all alone! So I decided to put a small ad in the local paper, inviting anyone who was interested to hear my story, see my cupboards and be connected to me. The ad looked something like this:
I would like to share my experience with any person in our community who may be considering a nutritional change before pills or procedures. Who should consider this type of nutritional change? Any person who has had bypass surgery and hopes that a change in eating habits may prevent additional surgery. Any person who is in need of bypass surgery but would like to change their diet to Whole Food Plant Based in hopes of not needing surgery (like me). Any person whose family has a history of Heart Disease and wishes to alter their current diet to possibly avoid health issues down the road. Any person with Type 2 Diabetes. Any person who would like to try a weight loss program that does not starve you and is sustainable
In just 2 days 20+ people contacted me and I invited them to my house. What a wonderful evening we had. Some of these wonderful people are still PBNSG members today. Each person attended felt just like me. Alone but hopeful. I did this the following month and another 20 people attended. I thought we must start a Whole Food Plant Based support group to help others. I contacted all of the current Chiefs of Cardiology in our area. I asked them to give me 3 names of cardiologist that may be interested in educating our community on the benefits of Whole Food/ Plant Based Nutrition. They gave me 3 names. Dr. Joel Kahn was the only one that was repeated by all 3. So I called him and we met. It was like at first site. That day Dr. Kahn agreed to assist me on this journey.
In February of 2014, we held our first PBN Support Group meeting. I thought that 20-40 people would be a great showing. 123 people attended! 23 people signed up as volunteers. The meeting was held at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. On March 24th, we held our second meeting. I thought there would be a significant drop off of participants, but I was wrong! We again had over 110 people attend. What was interesting is that of the 110 people, 44 of them were new faces. This means that we now had over 220 people in our support group and 40 volunteers. In both April and May we continued to grow and today we have over 5100 members and over 70 volunteers. We also needed a larger auditorium, so we alternated between two Birmingham High School auditoriums, and we built a web page (www.pbnsg.org). We currently have a presence on Facebook , Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
We have started various outreach programs. One of them is our Medical Course curriculum, which we have just presented to Wayne State University Medical School. The authors were 1st and 2nd year medical students from Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Oakland University, Michigan State Universities and the University of Michigan medical schools. The information is available. Please contact me directly if interested.
PBNSG has relationships with the owners of 30 local restaurants with special plant compliant menus for our members. In 2018, we will conduct over 46 educational classes. Half of these will be cooking classes. We have 30 Small Groups statewide for members who are new to a plant based diet, and want a safe place to discuss their journey. We have created a Plant Based Manual called Healthier Together, which is an 80+ page document on how to start a Plant Based group in your city. This came from my personal diary over a 2 year period. With special thanks to Stephanie Vail we have completed the manual and will make it available by emailing me directly (email@example.com).
I have had the honor and privilege to speak to over 5000 medical students over the past 4 years. I think about what world changes could occur if just 10% of those future doctors use nutrition as the first line of health improvement before pills or procedures. Lives affected could be in the billions since most doctors practice for 30+ years and see 20+ patients a day. Each success will be talked about and shared. By default the beneficiaries would be our planet and animals.
PBNSG also conducts nutritional tours at grocery stores, runs a walking club, and was selected to host the National Pre-release of “Eating You Alive”. In 2017 we started a new initiative called Doctors teaching Doctors. Four local doctors have offered to teach any doctor, nurse or health professional the benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. With the leadership of Dr. Robert Breakey, 73 doctors have attended and we still have 35 on the waiting list. With more resources, this program could be reproduced in every city and state in the nation.
No more excuses about not learning nutrition in school, Let PBNSG teach you! Over the past 2 years, I have spoken at 14 General Motors locations and 20 Beaumont Hospital locations, one of the largest health care complexes in the state. You see I am a dreamer! It was my sincere hope that if one hospital or one big company would adopt an awareness of the benefits of WFPB, not only would their productivity improve, but so would their bottom line. By the way last year my wife and I paid close to $2000 in medical insurance and I only spent $188 in medical bills. Why? WFPB!
Please help me help others. Join our group, make a positive life change yourself and then help others by supporting PBNSG. The group meets once a month. The volunteers meet once a month. If you would like more information on our group, please see our web site www.pbnsg.org
We offer education, events, nutritional tours, exercise , fun, and much more. Though no one can go backward and start over, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending!
Hospitals are a place of healing. So why aren’t there any WFPB meal options at most hospitals? Take a look at the cafeteria, walk the halls and see the health of the employees. Something is really wrong and changes must be made. Why are politics and the bottom line getting in the way of human health? When people are healthy, their productivity improves. Take that, bottom line!
No doctor should ever say that they don’t know the benefits of nutrition before pills or procedures. They are our healers. The world holds them at the highest regard. And they get paid very well! They owe it to us, their customers, to know the best health options available as alternatives to pills or procedures. It is up to us to challenge our doctors to learn the health benefits of nutrition.
Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition is truly a lifestyle change. Sounds almost funny to say that you must be committed to your health. This should the #1 goal of every human!
For all the good we try to do every day, PBNSG still does not have sufficient funds to grow the message wider. With that said, we are looking for sponsors, donations and in-kind financial commitments to help share this message. Please contact me anytime. firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.pbnsg.org to donate. We need your help!
Why isn’t nutrition taught at Medical Schools? I thought our Medical Course Material would be accepted worldwide. We tailored it so that it could be added to any medical school curriculum. It is 4-6 nutritional items for the 9 systems of the body. It is available upon request. Everything should be on the table and learned if it helps heal people.
The greatest Plant Based minds (you know who they are) agree on the health benefits of WFPB. So why can’t we all figure a way to have a single voice. Let’s link all of our sites together and be Together as One! Our voices will be heard a little louder.
Who will be the next Dr. Campbell or Dr. Esselstyn? We must continue to show scientifically that this is the way we were meant to eat.
I start every presentation with “ Please raise your hand if you love or know someone who has heart disease, diabetes or is obese.” Everyone raises their hands. The system is broken. What will it take to fix it?
There are many great movies and books written about our health. Yet, more people are getting sick. Our efforts should be focused on building sustainable support groups throughout our nation. Our voices would then be heard.
You must always meet people where they are. Encourage small changes if that is what is needed. Big changes if they are up to it. No Judgement!
As the holidays draws near. I wanted to take a moment and share some personal thoughts. I am so grateful!
I want to start by saying that thanks to a miracle, the stars lining up at the perfect moment, getting into the Cleveland Clinic sooner than I had time to wait, my cardiologist who saw something in me that he had only seen in one other patient or to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who answered a call at 9:30 p.m. the night of my heart catheter which showed 100% block in my right artery and 70 % in two others I would not be writing this open letter. I would have had the triple by-pass surgery and still be eating a Standard American Diet which would have put me on a path for additional by-pass surgeries in the future along with the pain and suffering that goes with it. PBNSG would never be, I would not have met some of most amazing speakers that have graced our stage, I would not have met the most incredible, kind and caring volunteers and members, I would not have spoken to over 2500 1st and 2nd year medical students, Doctors Teaching Doctors would not have happened, I am the luckiest man in the world!
I am still troubled! Our Plant Based message has spread quickly in under 4 years. Still there are so many who have never heard about it. Doctors are still prescribing pills or procedures when nutrition in many cases would be the solution. PBNSG completed a Medical Course Material designed to educate medical students about the benefits of Plant Based Nutrition. Yet as of this date no medical schools have incorporated it into their classes. School lunch programs have improved but have a long way to go. The Plant Based organizations and leaders still need to be Together as One! We all agree on so much but we need to have one voice when it comes to issues that questions the benefits of this Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. Traveling is still a lot of work with little or no food options throughout our great nation. Hospitals which is place of healing still offers dietary instruction that do not promote healthy. Businesses have yet to adopt Nutritional Education as they see their medical cost climb.
So what do we do? Give back! Start a plant based group in your town. If there already is one join and volunteer. If anyone is interested PBNSG is 99.5% done with a manual (80 pages) called “Healthier Together” that we will give to anyone who request it. If you don’t have the time then donate. Talk to your doctors and ask them kindly to learn about the benefits of Plant Based Nutrition. If you work at a hospital request plant based foods be offered in the cafeteria. Continue to ask your grocery stores to offer more plant based options When you go to any restaurant take a look at their menu and see what items they have and ask them to make you a plant based meal then ask them if they would be willing to offer it by putting it on their menu. If you are a medical student ask your teachers to include more plant based educational material in the classroom. Consider talking to your bosses at work and come up with a health bonus to those employees who are plant based. Be willing to talk to anyone about plant based nutrition. Read books or watch movies so you can learn more about the benefits of a Plant Based Lifestyle.
I am a dreamer. I hope one day everyone will know about Plant Based Nutrition. What anyone person does will be up to them. You see I never knew about it 4 years ago. But once I did, it helped change my life for the better. I feel great, I try to be a kinder person and I still chase dreams!
To all Members of PBNSG,
Thank you all for being part of PBNSG and supporting our hope for improved health through nutritional education. Many years ago when I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol, my cholesterol level was 347and my doctor suggested I improve my diet with skim milk, egg whites, fish, olive oil and more fiber. He also prescribed Zocor as my first cholesterol lowering drug.
After a few months, I woke up one day and could barely walk. This turned out to be one of the many side effects of taking statins. He had me go to a MS doctor who told me to stop taking Zocor and within a few days I was able to walk without pain. Even with taking statins and the change in diet, my cholesterol level was still over 280. I then was prescribed Lipitor. Six months later, I experienced the same side effect. I was still eating the diet he recommended and my number did not change. He then prescribed Pravastatin which was the weakest statin at that time. I was taking 80 mg a day and still my cholesterol level was between 230 and 300. This is the number and the diet change I lived with for the next 15+ years.
This all changed in May of 2013 when I was diagnosed with Heart Disease. One artery was 100% blocked and two others were 65% blocked. Add to that leaky valves, an enlarged heart, thickening of the right side of my heart, a left bundled branch block and a heart murmur. I was in seriously bad shape. My cardiologist gave me two options: bypass surgery or try a plant-based diet. When I said I would try anything other than by-pass surgery, he picked up his cell phone while I was right there, on a gurney, after
just having a heart catheterization to diagnose cardiovascular conditions. My cardiologist called Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who personally picked up the phone at 11p.m. that night. I never knew that Dr. Esselstyn was his mentor in medical school. I was handed the phone and Dr. Esselstyn told me to go home and he would call me in the morning. At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, he called and spoke to me for an hour. Thus began my plant-based nutrition transition. After just three weeks my angina disappeared. In just one year my cholesterol level dropped from 347 to 127 and now is at 117. I have lost 50 pounds, have kept it off and I feel great! Even to this day my local doctor does not support my lifestyle change. I have asked him numerous times to learn about plant-based nutrition. His reply is always the same, THEY DID NOT TEACH ME IT IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. Sound familiar?
Here is your chance to make a difference in the future of health care. On December 7, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Seaholm High School, PBNSG will host the first ever PBNSG Doctors Teaching Doctors Professional Development Seminar, CME credits pending. You can make a difference in the health of our community just by asking your doctor to attend. For more information, go to www.pbnsg.org/doctors-teaching-doctors/ All I need is your doctor’s name, phone number and e-mail address sent to me at email@example.com. We currently have 22 doctors signed up but have room for many more. It is up to you! Together as One!
Ok, so word is getting out that whole food plant based eating made up of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains is a healthier diet than the Standard American Diet made up of processed foods, meats, eggs, dairy, fish, unrefined plant foods and whole grains. So why hasn’t our community, state, country or world fully embraced this healthy alternative? Or at least moved faster toward it?
It took way too long for our nation to admit to the damage caused by smoking tobacco. Did we not learn? And if we did learn then the world must know about nutrition. Do the Meat and Dairy industries have a stronger or equal power in mind control controlling the public perception than the Tobacco industry did?
I was taught at an early age that wrong is wrong. Science has proven that consuming processed foods, meat, dairy and oil is not as healthy. So why aren’t schools offering the best possible food to our children – our future? Why aren’t hospitals offering the best possible food to our sick? It may be better than 5 or 10 years ago but why is being right so slow?
This point is vital to our future. I believe it should start at our Schools of Medicine. Future doctors must learn about the benefits of whole food plant based nutrition. They are our current, past and future healers. Just as doctors ask you how you are feeling, couldn’t they also ask you about your progress to better nutrition? This may mean extended time with their patients, or learning more about the benefits of nutrition, but the beneficiaries are us the patients.
You can‘t just keep putting a band aid on a cut then keep cutting yourself and expect rapid healing. Instead, if certain foods are slowly making us sick then share that information and let the world decide. If certain foods help us heal then share that information and let the world decide. Nothing should be forced. Just tell the truth and let us all make our health decisions based on education - not marketing or special interests.
"How it all Started"
So you are just told you have a choice, bypass surgery or a nutritional change. Here I am on a gurney and that is what options my cardiologist gave me. I knew all about bypass surgery first hand. My father had a quadruple bypass and I saw him cry for 3 days straight. All three of my uncles had it and one of them died and the other was never the same. I also have 3 sons and this heart disease in my family had to stop! So I thought it would be easy just to eat a little differently. Little did I know how different my life was about to go. You see I was very sick with the heart disease and needed 3 months of bed rest. During that time I learned how to cool Whole Food Plant Based. But mostly I steamed a lot of kale and eat a lot of brown rice and beans. Soon I started feeling better and started to realize I was NOT a good cook. So I went to Dr. and Ann Esselstyn ½ day cooking class. The cost was under $1000.00 and I learned so much. I sent the receipt for payment to Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) and got denied. I thought this is so wrong that they would pay $130,000+ for bypass surgery but not reimburse me for $1000.00. I thought this was my giveback to Michigan. So I started to go up the chain of command at BC/BS and with each level I got rejected. I finally got to the last level for consideration. Please keep in mind I had one of the best medical coverages they offered. Their reply most important point was “The seminar may have been of value to the Petitioner in his effort to improve his cardiovascular health with a better diet. However, the director can find nothing in the certificate that would require BCBSM to cover it based on record here”. They went on to say that they would need a diagnostic code and CPT code for repayment and to receive those code you would have to work with BC/BS and the Michigan legislature. PBNSG was born that day in my mind. I thought that if we got big enough we could one day help make that change. I hope that day will come soon!
I grew up knowing that if I got sick I would go to my doctor and he/she would help me get better. I went they listened, they prescribed medication, I took it. I got better. Sometimes they would need to change the medication but I always got better. So in my head I felt that the pills with the help of my doctor were the perfect prescription for health. I never once questioned it.
Today questioning is all I do! Who would have thought that you can get better without a procedure or pills? NOT ME! That was until I found out I had severe heart disease. You may know my story. I was on a gurney headed to bypass surgery when my doctor asked if I would consider a nutritional change instead of triple by-pass surgery. I said yes and without any pills or procedures I made the change from meat, dairy, and oil to fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and I am well.
I wanted to thank someone or something for the miracle I was given. I started by wanting to have Blue Cross/Blue Shield approve a whole food plant-based cooking class so I could learn how to make different foods taste better. You see I was more of a dairy and meat guy than a vegetable, fruit and bean person. After 2-3 months of not getting any place, I was told that I would have to work with the Michigan legislature to make a billing code change happen. I realized just how tough it would be. While I like challenges, I also realized that so many people would suffer while I was trying to make this change.
Instead, I started the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG). Today we have 3100+ members, created Medical Course Material for 1st and 2nd year medical students to learn about nutrition before pills or procedures, and worked with one very large company to help educate their employees the importance of health. This should be enough for anyone right? Not me! When I first started PBNSG, I called or emailed 100+ doctors around the city and asked them if they would be interested in learning about nutrition. I received one call and swore I was done with doctors. That was PBNSG’s motivation to help create Medical Course Material for future doctors.
So what am I doing? At our January 10th meeting I talked about empowering ourselves to go ask our doctors to learn about nutritional health. PBNSG would provide a peer doctor instructor and all we are asking from all of our doctors is one hour of time maybe twice a year. After all the doctors did sign a Hippocratic Oath. Here is the line from the Hippocratic Oath that stops me in my tracks every time I read it. “…I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure…” Every time I read this it takes my breath away. So what am I doing? Is providing the doctors with a peer doctor instructor right? Rosa Parks once said “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right!” Doctors teaching doctors is right.
Running PBNSG for the past 3 years has been a real whole food plant based treat! Most of the time. Never having run an organization of any kind in the past, PBNSG is getting close 3000 members. So much has been learned. About me, the people around me, community both locally and nationally. This experience all started because of a promise of giving back to anyone who would listen. To this day I am still angry that it truly took a series of miracles for me to even think that I could fulfill that promise. I still ask myself and others these questions. Why didn’t my doctor know about the healing powers of Whole Food Plant Based? Why do the doctors say they never learned it in school? Why do we hear that and ever think that response is acceptable. I am truly not as smart as doctors are but I seek knowledge every day. I want to learn! I am inquisitive. If I hear about anything interesting I read about it. While I was slow about transitioning from a flip phone to a smart phone. OMG! I am glad I did. I now can learn so much more and faster. I can relate to younger people. (all you have to do is talk to them while you are looking up something on your smart phone) I never am upset about being in long lines, I can make purchases. Take pictures on and on…. Enough about benefits of a smart phone. So, if a doctor heard about the benefits of WFPB why didn’t learn about it? After all they signed a Hippocratic Oath. Here are lines that every doctor should remember and practice. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. When was that lost? Are most doctors adhering to their promise? This is when I say we all need Understanding. This year ask your doctor to join you, his patient, customer and sometimes friend to come to a PBNSG meeting. When possible PBNSG will go to them so we never again have to hear “They did not teach it in school” As a community it is time for change. A Whole Food Plant Based Diet will stop and reverse heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and is the best sustaining weight loss program around. Everyone should know it then make their own choice. Every doctor should know about it and should always whenever possible offer a nutrition change before pills or procedures. PERIOD!
I have had the honor of meeting so many kind and thoughtful people. The volunteers and hosts of PBNSG are the ones that get most of my APPRECIATION. Our volunteers open their homes for those in need, our volunteers work for the love of helping. Together as One! Has been our theme and we will continue using it because everyone involved has the same belief. Educating as many people about the health benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. My personal goal is to talk about the benefits every day to someone new. If I miss a day I double up the next. When I am real lucky PBNSG gets to talk to a large group of medical students, people in the community or people from other states. WFPB saved my life, changed my life and for that I will never stop helping others. Could you image what our world would be like if everyone reading this would consider adopting this and shared the message of health with others. If you ever would consider it. All animals and the environment will thank you! I take pause when I say thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers.
To see PBNSG grow. Educate 1000+ medical students this year. Be the group that other speakers want to speak at. To host the pre-release of Eating You Alive. Have people tell their own person success story of health salvation. To see restaurants be willing to offer WFPB options. To help in creating medical course material. To work with organizations who want to learn about the benefits of a WFPB diet so they can improve the health of their workers. To see one of my sons become vegan and another become vegetarian. To wake up every day feeling great. Join us on this health voyage you will get Satisfaction. You see we all have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for all of you!
WE CHOOSE HEALTH!
To all my friends,
PBNSG has been selected to host the national pre-release of the new documentary Eating You Alive on October 4th. I would like to personally invite you to join me for this once in a lifetime event. Eating You Alive offers a compelling look at our nation’s health woes and reveals the truth behind why more Americans are disabled and dying from chronic conditions than ever before, and especially how one specific lifestyle change – choosing whole, plant-based foods over animal products -- could be the solution. Well-known physicians Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Dean Ornish are interviewed, along with many others including Academy Award-winning filmmaker and deep sea explorer James Cameron, environmental advocate and actress Suzy Cameron, magician Penn Jillette, and the “hardest working actor in Hollywood,” Samuel L. Jackson.
On October 3, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. we will have a dinner the night before at Taste of Ethiopia 29702 Southfield Rd, Southfield, MI 48076. Seats are limited to the first 35 people. You will get the chance to meet the co-directors and producers of Eating You Alive and other special guests.
On October 4, 2016 at p.m. PBNSG will host a dinner catered by Amber Poupore of The Clean Plate and Cacao Tree. This will be the “BIGGEST PLANT BASED DINNER” ever held in Michigan. You will get the chance to meet the co-directors and producers of Eating You Alive and other special guests. We hope to sell out with room for 350 people. After dinner all of us will just walk down the hall to the theater and not worry about rush hour traffic!
The movie will start at 6:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion. Seaholm High School is located at 2436 W Lincoln St, Birmingham, MI 48009
I am so honored that PBNSG was chosen for these incredible prerelease festivities. All three events are pre-paid only. I can’t wait to see you all there.
Founder, Plant Based Nutrition Support Group
We Chose Heath!
Click to purchase tickets:
October 3rd Dinner at Taste of Ethiopia
October 4th Dinner at Seaholm
October 4th Eating You Alive Movie Tickets
People often ask me, “What do you eat?” Let me tell you it is VERY boring! It wasn’t always that way. When I first found out I had severe coronary heart disease, I needed time to heal. My doctor had me on bed rest for 6 months. When I was not sleeping I was cooking. I started to realize just how good plant based food consumption was. I would make a big batch of soup and while it was cooking I would try a recipe from one of the many plant based cook books that are available to us all. Go to www.pbnsg.org for a list of great cookbooks.
Fast forward 2 ½ years. PBNSG has grown so big that I just don’t have the time like I did before. I knew I needed to make it simpler. So about a year ago I started eating the same simple delicious meal every day. So in answer to your question, and as a public service to all PBNSG’ers out there, here is what I eat.
For breakfast I have oatmeal of any kind. I like soy milk, but you can use any non-moo product (no coconut or cashew milk though). I put oatmeal on the bottom of a big soup bowl, then a handful of raisins or any dried fruit. Then more oatmeal. I then cut up some fruit, like bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Then I heat up one cup of soy milk by microwaving it for about 2 ½ minutes (it may vary so keep an eye on it). I pour it over the oatmeal and cover for 10 minutes. I take off the cover, add cinnamon, apples, pumpkin and nutmeg on the top and mix it up. Mmmmmm.
For lunch I have a BIG kale salad with arugula, spinach and any other green that I like. I put some lemon over the greens and break up the kale with my hands, kind of massaging the greens together. I then leave it on the counter, ready to eat when I am ready. I put 1 tablespoon of NO-Oil dressing and mix it all up. I also have 1-2 cans of beans (any bean is a good bean) and add some tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and onions. I sprinkle on some pepper, mix it up and Mmmmmm!
For dinner I cut up a wide assortment of vegetables. I like the following: radishes, onions (I use 3 kinds) carrots, celery, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes. I add one cup of whole wheat noodles and 1 tablespoon of lite soy or Braggs amino. Mix it up and Mmmmmm!
Late night- once in a while I will have a bowl of shredded wheat or flax cereal with some raisins and fruit- my guilty pleasure. So now you know what Paul eats every day. For those who read this, please share with PBNSG what you like to eat often.
The song Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney has meant a lot to me over the years. I cannot say I love the melody, but the lyrics have always held a deeper meaning with me. I know the song is about a man letting his woman know how much he loves her – how lost he would be without her. Hope, love and fear are also a part of the song.
I feel that way about Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. I’m amazed at the growth of PBNSG. Over 2300 members in just over 2 years. People come up and congratulate me, yet it really saddens me that so many kind and caring people are so unhappy with their health. This message of health improvement must be shouted across the country by every doctor who ever practiced, yet we hear just a whisper.
I do feel afraid of the way I love PBNSG back. But I still do it with hard work, nutritional dedication, and financial investment, knowing that without your love, your time and your financial assistance, this great and much needed group and message may take a different direction – which would make me feel like a lonely man, a man who’s in the middle of something that he doesn’t really understand. Why don’t more people get it?
I personally ask myself, how did I get so lucky to get into the Cleveland Clinic and be assigned to a doctor whose mentor was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn? Had this not happened, I would have a 10-inch scar on my chest and more, still be on the same diet that got me sick in the first place. There would be no PBNSG and I would not have met all of the amazing people I have so far. I am amazed at the way I really need you. All of you!
We can all improve our health and save the planet at the same time. Future doctors, nurses, dentists, dietitians and nutritionists can all learn the absolute benefits of Plant Based Nutrition during their 1st and 2nd years in medical school and college. New doctors and medical professionals will be able to help people with nutritional options before resorting to pills and procedures.
You see I need everyone to help me sing this song. To right me when I am wrong. Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.
Please help PBNSG continue their mission by donating, volunteering and spreading our message. Together we must be ONE. Continue to amaze me.
- Paul Chatlin
I recently had the honor of spending 2 full days with Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The moments and conversations we shared over those two days have provided memories that will last a lifetime. These are truly the pioneers of Plant Based Nutrition in the modern era. They have saved so many lives, educated so many people, are tireless workers, and so darn smart and kind! They are very different from each other, yet both have a passion for truth and healing. They approach life scientifically. Both men have a deep affection for their wives and family and they both hope to see a day when the world understands the benefits of plant based nutrition. I was so fortunate to be among them and I hope they felt the same with our Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. Each one spent time with students in two different medical schools. Combined they reached over 350 future doctors. Their message was similar. Educate your patients on the benefits of a Plant Based Diet. Both Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn spoke to PBNSG from a scientific standpoint and they received many standing ovations because everyone in the attendance understands who they are, what they have accomplished and that they are both treasures in our movement.
PBNSG’s mission is to educate our nation, and beyond, on the benefits of a plant based lifestyle. It is an uphill battle worth fighting. Recently at a PBNSG meeting, we asked the audience to stand if they or someone they knew had heart disease, diabetes or obesity. The entire audience stood up. This must stop! I think the only way to do it is to change our current model. I believe it should start with all future doctors, then our children. Upon sharing this hope for change with both Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn, they both smiled and agreed that this approach could be the answer for humans, as well as animals and the environment. It will take time. We all must work together. Put aside our petty differences and work for a common goal. Many leading nutritionists say “I am hoping physicians include education before pills and procedures”!
I hope to be among these giants again. I am lucky to have had heart disease! It has been 3 years of plant based eating. No surgery and I feel great. I promised our Lord that if I got better I would give back. You all know those type of promises we make. I have made some in the past but did not always hold up my end of the bargain. This time I did. How about you?
“If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.”
― Isaac Newton
You are on a gurney at Cleveland Clinic, awaiting surgery. You have just completed a heart catherization. Your doctor asks you, “Would you consider an option other than surgery?”
That was me, only 2 years ago. He didn’t have to ask twice. I decided right then NOT to undergo triple bypass surgery. After all, why would my cardiologist even suggest it if it would hurt me? That decision put me on a path of learning everything I could about Plant Based Nutrition. I started by buying Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and purchased the movie Forks over Knives. I now understood the science behind plant based nutrition.
My next move was to take most of the food I had in the pantry and give it to charity. Next, I made a list from Ann Esselstyn’s safe food list and went to my local grocery store. I had never read labels before, but here I was, reading every ingredient I was consuming. I could not believe how many names there are for oil and how much oil there is in the foods I had been eating. Before I changed my eating habits, a normal grocery store trip would take about one hour – this one took me three. My plant based life had started.
I learned over time to spend more time on the perimeter of grocery stores and skip the middle aisles. I continued to learn more about label reading. I tried to buy the canned goods that had the lowest amount of fat. No salt or sugar whenever possible. It took me about 5 trips to the grocery store to feel comfortable about my food choices.
One of my goals was to pick a grocery store, introduce myself to the store manager, and share my story to enlist their help to make the store a one stop shop for my Plant Based Needs. I also suggest you find out what days the produce arrives in your local store so you can make sure to get the freshest fruits and vegetables. Soon I would start buying Plant Based Cookbooks and try cooking meals that appealed to me.
My next goal was to find a breakfast that I could enjoy every day and a big salad to graze on during the day. In my next article I will share with you the ingredients of both my breakfast and lunch. I have also started playing around with spices. This has taken a long time but it’s so worth it. Today we have so many great recipes on www.pbnsg.org. Take the time to check out our Plant Based website for great culinary ideas. This is how it started for me. How about YOU?
There are many reasons why Dr. Michael Greger is so important to PBNSG and me. Here are a few:
1) He is brilliant, funny and a great speaker
2) I have listened more to him than all other Plant Based Nutrition speakers combined
3) Dr. Greger will be the first in a long series of Plant Based Speakers to grace our stage in 2015-2016
4) He does his homework and is always prepared.
There is more I can say about this wonderful man. I get a sense of kindness about him yet have not met him
What I do know is that in 21 days Dr. Michael Greger will be on stage talking to our Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. I do not, no I will not miss this opportunity and hope all of us feel that way. When a speaker like Dr. Greger is willing to travel to talk to us then I feel we should thank him with a sellout of seats. I hope that every year he will come to talk to PBNSG. I hope his words change lives make people take pause and start thinking of their own health. We all hope for a healthier family, friends, and others we care for. This is how life changing Dr. Michael Greger is and you are all invited. Click HERE to find out more and to reserve your seats now. Thank you for reading this and I hope so see all of you on December 15, 2015 6:30 p.m. Birmingham Groves High School.
Happiest of Plantsgiving to all PBNSG members!
Please say no to oil and give everyone you love hugs!
Over the past 1 ½ years there have been so many “Unsung Heroes” at Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. We all know about Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Trapp, and Dr. Kahn. They are our Heroes. Our Unsung Heroes are people that few know about but who have helped make PBNSG the best plant nutrition support group in the nation. People like Loren B., Adwenia R., Sean S., Jean M., Kathy K., Liz H., and Pat S. planted the seeds in the beginning and have watched us grow. Today’s Unsung Hero’s list is very long. It will always start with our committed volunteers; without their commitment and work ethic we would not be the (group that we have become). This not only includes our membership, but also our national and international speakers. Birmingham School district opened their arms and hearts and welcomed us when others did not. Whole Foods Market sponsored us when others would not. There is a reason why people are talking about us. There is a reason why the best known speakers are coming to Michigan to talk to us. There is a reason why change is in the air. Could it be our outreach programs? Our involvement with Wayne State Medical School? Our work with the Michigan legislature? High School Juniors and Seniors? Small Groups? The American Heart Association? And so much more? The answer is all of these. Who will be our future “Unsung Hero’s’? Consider making that YOU! Please “Say no to oil” and yes to PBNSG!
I just discovered your website.
I am 63 and started the plant based diet on 12-01-2014. I am very grateful for it and to the doctors that have most influenced me, Esselstyn, Greger, McDougall, Ornish, and Barnard. I learned nearly all of it from YouTube videos and Dr. Greger’s website, nutritionfacts.org.
I am mystified as to why it is not more readily accepted.
I came across a website that promoted high protein and was appalled.
Do you or anyone else ever challenge this stuff?
I just can’t understand why the mainstream media is not picking up on it.
I have all I can do to keep myself from trying to persuade anyone I meet to adopt the diet.
Mystified, thank you for finding us. We are up against some real giants. Hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, meat and dairy industries just to name a few. We have science and proof they have the funding. We will challenge anything that is not truthful regarding Plant-Based Nutrition. The goal of our site is to be the nations Plant-Based Nutrition site for those who wish to learn, transition and feel healthier. I hope we get to meet someday. Check out our list of speakers that will be coming to our meetings to talk. Maybe you should make the trip? My best to you. Reach out anytime. Paul
Paul Chatlin was recently interviewed by Sharon Palmer, RDN. Here is a synopsis of the interview.
Sharon: Who is Paul Chatlin?
Paul: Paul Chatlin is the founder of the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Paul currently is the principal and owner of a telecommunications consulting company. Part of his mission in life is spreading the word of the benefits of plant-based nutrition.
Sharon: What is your Favorite Plant-Based Recipe and would you share it with us?
Paul: Its Oatmeal. Sometimes I have it several times a day. Here's the Recipe:
Old Mother's oats
Handful of raisins or other dried fruit (make sure the dried fruit does not oil as an ingredient)
More Mother's Oats on top
Any fruit of your choice, I like bananas, blueberries, and strawberries
1 cup of soy milk almost to boiling
Steep 10-15 mins
Cinnamon and nutmeg on top
Sharon: So tell us about your personal journey toward a plant-based diet.
Paul: In May of 2013, I was diagnosed with Heart Disease. One artery was 100% blocked and two others were 65% blocked, plus leaky valves and an enlarged heart, the hardening of the right side of my heart, left bundled block, and heart murmur. My cardiologist gave me two options: bypass surgery, or try “Plant Based Nutrition” (PBN). I met with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who wrote the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. After our meeting I decided to try “Plant-Based Nutrition”. After just 3 weeks my heart pain (angina) went away. My cholesterol levels dropped from 309 to 122 in just one year. I have lost 43 pounds and I feel great.
Sharon: What is the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group?
Paul: PBNSG shares whole food, plant-based resources with those interested in making lifestyle changes to help prevent or reverse chronic disease and achieve optimal health.
Sharon: Who are the key people involved with the PBNSG?
Paul: Dr. Joel Kahn (Founding Medical Director and America’s Holistic Heart Doc
Dr.Caroline Trapp (Director Diabetes Education)
Our brilliant web designer, and all of our Directors and contributors,
Also of course our wonderful volunteers
Sharon: What do you hope the Plant-based Nutrition Support Group will accomplish in the next few years?
Paul: To become the nation’s first choice in plant based education, information, and transition, and to continue to grow our outreach programs.
Sharon: What are your top three resources that you recommend to people interested in more information on plant-based nutrition?
Sharon: What is your advice for someone who is interested in transitioning closer to a plant-based diet?
Paul: Just do it for 60 days. Be honest about how you feel. Get your benchmark bloodwork ahead of time and after. Don’t be upset if you have a weak moment, but don’t have too many weak moments or you’re not going to make a change.
Sharon: What is your favorite recipe to impress any skeptics?
Paul: I have 2 answers for that. For home cooking It’s the same as my favorite recipe, Amazing Oatmeal.
For dining out, try any plant based meals from 14 local restaurants that offer our special oil free plant based menus.
I just returned from watching the movie PlantPure Nation which documents Nelson Campbell’s efforts to change the health of cities in Kentucky. So much hope only to be rejected by people who had other financial interests. Sound familiar? So much success for those who were willing to try a whole food plant-based diet. Sound familiar? I left the movie more determined than ever to continue spreading the message of hope to those who are suffering with heart disease, type 2 , obesity, and more. I believe that a grassroots movement is necessary because we just do not have the deep pockets that other interest groups have to protect industries that promote the SAD diet and keep the United States riddled with poor health. But why is the truth still taking so long to resonate with people? When something is right, tell the world!
We all agree that doctors, big business, hospitals, big pharma, farmers who raise animals for human consumption and certain chemical companies continue to fight against the truth. Is financial gain more important than one’s health? So each day passes by, the rich get richer, and the ones we love and others we know continue to suffer as they take pills to get by each day or have procedures that may or may not end their suffering. When something is right, tell the world!
So, what can we do? Here is my list.
- Don’t wait until it is too late, become plant-based now
- Tell everyone you know. Recommend that they watch Forks Over Knives.
- Ask your doctor what he or she knows about plant-based Nutrition. If very little or not at all, try to find a health care provider who supports plant-based eating. Try here or here.
- Join a plant-based nutrition support group
- Become a plant-based nutrition support group volunteer
- Donate to your local plant-based nutrition group
When something is right, tell the world! It is about health. It is about making sure our loved ones have a future.
We need you more than ever.
Yours in health,