February 16, 2017 1:43 PM

STLVegGirl's Official Forks Over Knives Community Program wrap up

Coming off the heels of another successful and sold out Forks Over Knives Community Program, I couldn't be more proud of this group. It's with great admiration that I smile when I think about each and every one of our members in this second run.

Many like to hit the reset button after the first of the year, so we scheduled this to begin on January 4. Running 6 consecutive weeks gave us ample time to address many of the hurdles people meet when changing their lifestyle. I've read time and time again most people allow their resolutions to slide after about 5 weeks, and with all of our competing priorities, it's a wonder they last that long.

Switching to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle can no doubt be challenging initially, and although it is a simple thing to do, one must not confuse that with it being easy. Riding a bike is simple, climbing steps is simple, driving a car is simple, but each one of these simple actions all included a learning curve full of challenges and frustrations that we had to overcome and continually work until the actions became easy. That is what this program is designed to do, to continually work toward eating a plant-based diet by addressing the questions, concerns and criticisms and following up with education in a well-thought out and entertaining manner that everyone was able to not only absorb, but also process and then speak with others in a confident and eloquent manner. Confidence was instilled because control over health was learned.

 

Getting to know you              Binders filled every       Falafel and veg wraps

                                               week with new info        on movie night

FOK_nametags.JPG    FOK_group_binders.JPG    FOK_movie_night.JPG

People learn in different ways, so it is important to present the materials in different ways. Here are some methods in which the information of the how's and why's to adopt a plant-based diet were delivered:

  • Reading our textbook, The Forks Over Knives PLAN book
  • Sitting around our farm table and going over the weekly summary provided
  • Sharing what works for others
  • Watching plant-based healthcare provider pioneers present evidence-based science via video
  • Inviting in a plant-based dietician to class
  • Watching the movie, Forks Over Knives
  • Engaging in an Ask The Doc session with a PCRM physician
  • Providing brief cooking tips
  • Offering full meals each week to enjoy
  • Remaining engaged through a secret Facebook group page

 

Creamy Alfredo pasta using white beans       Avocado, black bean and pepper pizza

FOK_pasta_and_broccoli.JPG   FOK_Food_Pizza.JPG

 

Some of the topics we covered included:

  • The protein myth
  • Where to find calcium and why to ditch dairy
  • Calorie density v nutrient density
  • Supplements
  • The science behind a plant-based diet
  • Why heart disease and type II diabetes are a food borne illness
  • Why and how changing your eating habits can REVERSE many chronic illnesses
  • Do genes play a part?
  • What exactly is fiber and why is it so important?
  • How to EXACTLY read a label
  • What's up with sugar?
  • Meal planning
  • Grocery store navigation
  • How to talk with your friends and family when you make the change
  • Restaurant menu navigation
  • Traveling
  • Integrating this way of eating into every day life (including the holidays!)

and so much more!

 

Chocolate chip oat cookies                  Vegetable and bean hash      Chickpea chili over sweet potatoes

FOK_Food_Snackles.JPG     FOK_food_beans.JPG      FOK_Food_potato.JPG

 

So what happened?

There was a lot of improvement in health outcomes, here are two that I will share:

One woman was dealing with severe inflammation and elevated liver enzymes for about 5 years. She bounced around from specialist to specialist to no avail. The meds she was prescribed gave her little relief as they never addressed the root of the problem. She was at the end of her rope when she discovered a plant-based diet. Soon, her inflammation calmed down (her rings were loose again) and her lever enzymes returned to a normal level. Her physician was so stumped he actually looked back to her medical records from years past just to make sure there was not a mistake. Baffled, he informed her of the great news. He asked what she was doing differently and she said nothing, other than adopting a whole food, plant-based diet. Unsure of what that exactly meant, he encouraged her to keep doing it. He ended by saying there was nothing else left to treat. And she lost 10 pounds...

Another woman was able to bring her A1C level down even further than her medication was able.

If you would like to join us, we will be running another program in May for 6 weeks at Dierbergs in Des Peres. Please sign up for the STLVeggirl Newsletter for the latest information or check Facebook.

If you'd like to read more on the program, you can read the blog post on our pilot program held last summer.

Finally, thank you to Dierbergs for offering us a home. It's been a joy to work in a beautiful space with such a wonderful support staff. And, thank you, Brian Wendel! Without your vision to write and produce Forks Over Knives, this true HEALTHcare movement would not exist. I've said it before and it still rings true, you have save the lives of millions.

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