Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Be Still My 'PlantStrong' Heart!

Move over Hugh Jackman. There's a new 'fantasy man' for women who probably is the object of many a 'bromance' for men as well. Rip Esselstyn is his name and he is a true American hero.

What qualifies him for this distinction in my eyes?  Rip is a solid family man who recognizes the value of his wife Jill's love and support so that's a start. Firefighters (like flight attendants) share the designation of first responders. I always make a mental note of where a firefighter is seated on my plane and they often will identify themselves to us so we can quickly call on them if we need helpers in an evacuation or to help 'take down' a bad guy/gal in this new age of travel after 911.

Physical fitness is important in their profession as it is in mine and Rip is a buff triathlete who helped change the eating habits of his own firehouse and has written his book "Engine 2 Diet".  Coining the term "plantstrong", he is helping change the image of vegetarian food. He has recently retired from firefighting and his influence is 'on the road' to saving many more lives than he ever could back in the Austin Fire Dept.

Last night I went to the San Diego premiere of "Forks Over Knives" and was pleased to meet Rip and briefly talk to him. Told him he's going to have to start wearing a disguise as more people become aware of the huge impact possible with a plant based diet coupled with exercise.

Traveling brings special challenges to remaining healthy. Confinement, food availability, TSA guidelines and biorhythm disruption are all things frequent fliers must deal with and it is my intention to share how I am incorporating plants into my lifestyle in the friendly skies.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Flying Treehugger's Latest Passion

Plants are my current obsession. Not being eaten by plants but eating only plants! Recently completed a certificate program in Plant Based Nutrition offered through Cornell University. It is entirely online and is an excellent series of courses put together by T. Colin Campbell PhD Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry. His book based on  decades long research is called "The China Study". The New York Times has called it the "Grand Prix of Epidemiology. 

The attendees of his courses are mostly from the health field; physicians, dietitians and an occasional flight attendant ;) There are excellent lectures, interactive discussions, written assignments and scheduled live chats. What was really refreshing is that students are encouraged to use creativity in their own approach to the subject matter. Lewis Freedman was my instructor/moderator for "Diseases of Affluence" and "Principles in Practice." Rebecca Michaelides did my first course of "Nutrition Fundamentals". There is sometimes spirited debate between the online egos which makes it all the more interesting. Thank you Dr. Campbell for allowing people outside the medical community to partake of your outstanding program!