I had the honor of kicking off the SW Florida Vegfest this past Sunday with a talk on extending health span and life span through plant based nutrition. It was a beautiful sunny day in Florida with temperatures reaching the mid eighties. There were about 20,000 people visiting Riverside Park in Bonita springs which was the site of the Vegfest. There were vendors promoting health and wellness, ending cruelty towards animals, environmental awareness, and healthy eating. There were games and activites for children, and the diversity of age and ethniticity was apparent and celebrated. It was a Vegfest celebration with an emphasis on healhty and cruelty free living. We brought our new rescue canine, and there were many other happy vegan dogs walking around. It was great to see big vendors like Costco and Whole Foods promoting healthy foods. People were walking around eating fruit, and carrying coconuts of water and vegetable wraps. The vendors and attendees were all very welcoming. The staff and volunteers were all very happy and helpful making the event a great day.
As a physician, I am an observer. I obeserve people’s general health by the way they look and move. I love to listen to their stories of stuggle and triumph. We had a lot of people stop by our tent to chat and see what it was that we were promoting. We had samples of Cowboy Caviar and Carrot Cake cookies. We were promoting our membership wellness practice as well as our upcoming conference. We shared a message of hope to many people looking to take back their health. While many of the people attending the Vegfest were vegan, not all were and certainly not all were healthy. It was a great first step for many to attend such an event and learn about what veganism and plant based nutrition is all about. I like to think of the two as being a continuum both ways. Some people are looking to become healthy, and I am certain of the health benefits of eating a whole foods plant based diet. It is such a simple secret to reversing lifestyle diseases that would do so much to improve our nations health and wellbeing. Adopting a vegan lifestyle is a wonderful way to improve our environment and the wellbing of all animals. I cannot think of a more peaceful way of living. If those eating plant based, realize the benefits they are having on the environment and the animals, they are more likely to continue to eat plant based. On the other hand, eating vegan is great for the environment and animals, but it is not necessarily healthy. I have seen cholesterol levels and lifestyle diseases in those eating an unhealthy vegan diet. Of course, people are quick to say the vegan diet was the cause but never link the Standard American Diet to lifestyle diseases. If people that are vegan can eat more plant based they will be more healthy and set a great example for those eating the Standard American Diet. Let’s face it, people want what they like in others. If you look healthy and are energetic as well as support a cruelty free healthy environment, more people are likely to want the same things you are enjoying.
I still believe the big white elephant in the room is the connection between what we eat and our health. Lifestyle diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases are the result of the metabolic waste we accumulate largely through diet. By choosing frutis, vegetables and whole grains we are making it much easier for our bodies to utilize the energy of the food without the need of detoxifying chemicals and byproducts that distroy our bodies over time.
If you would like to see my Vegfest talk click on the YouTube link below. If you would like to hear more good news in person, please join me at my 4th Annual Charlotte County Plant Based Nutrition Conference March 30, 2019 at the Twin Isles Country Club. Tickets can be purchased on the link at http://doctordulaney.com