“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