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About ten months ago, when my cable company overcharged me and it was impossible to get anyone on the phone because the phone menu was designed to prevent human-to-human contact, I drove to the office of my cable company. There I presented my complaint to a sympathetic employee named Skylar who helped me out by lowering my bill.

I can’t remember now how it happened—maybe he asked me what I do for a living?—but at some point I mentioned that I write books advocating the plant-based diet. Skylar had a good deal of weight to lose, and he asked me about the diet. In probably less than five minutes, I explained to him that what he was eating wasn’t really human food, that humans are not designed to eat flesh foods or dairy, and that if he wanted to get healthy he should try going vegan, at least for a few weeks to see how it worked for him. He should abstain from all animal foods, and do his best to avoid oil and sugar. He should try to eat nothing but whole plant foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and a little bit of nuts and seeds, though he should go easy on the nuts and seeds because he had a lot of weight to lose.

To my surprise, he told me he’d do it.

I stopped by again a couple of months later when the cable company overcharged me again. Skylar had lost fifty pounds and was feeling great; his blood pressure had normalized to the point that he got off his blood pressure meds, and his doctor was reducing his Metformin. He told me that his wife was so impressed with his results that she was joining him on the low-fat vegan diet.

Well, leave it to the cable company to jack up my bill again, so I stopped by again, now about eight months after I first met Skylar. He and his wife have each lost about one hundred pounds, and he’s considering going off his Metformin for good.

Now think about this. I spent no more than five minutes talking to the man about diet. And the result is that his health has improved drastically—and so has that of his wife. I didn’t say anything remarkable or that any other advocate of the low-fat, whole food vegan diet wouldn’t say. But clearly I managed in a few minutes’ time to help him and, indirectly, his wife more than any of their doctors have been able to do over many years. You would think their doctors would be embarrassed about that, but they’re probably not.

This brings me to the subject of the good doctor who is trying to change the way medicine is practiced in this country: Dr. Michael Klaper, an icon of the plant-based food movement. He has been advocating for decades that doctors should study nutrition and should learn the power of food therapy. Thanks to the work of the early pioneers in the movement such as Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Klaper, today the College of Lifestyle Medicine and the Plantrician Project are helping to lead the way in growing the number of doctors and other health professionals who do their job correctly and explain to patients that it is the food they are eating that is bringing on their disease states. There are literally thousands of such health professionals today.

Dr. Klaper has founded a non-profit, Moving Medicine Forward, that seeks to bring this lesson into medical schools. He lectures around the country in medical schools, where he invariably generates excitement, because it turns out that most young people who aspire to become doctors want to help their patients. Please consider making a contribution. And you can watch my interview with the good doctor here.



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