Dan Kerry is on a mission to teach people how to liberate themselves from food-related disability and disease by eliminating animal protein from their plates and replacing it with whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It has become clear over decades of scientific research that many diseases are life-style related and can be improved and even reversed by simple changes in one’s diet. Simple changes in the way you eat can literally save your life!
Dan is a recent graduate of Food For Life, a teaching program designed to promote a healthy plant-based lifestyle. Food For Life is the brainchild of Dr. Neal Barnard, President of Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine based in Washington, DC. Accepting only a handful of applicants each year, the program is designed to teach people suffering with Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity and other food related diseases how to improve or even reverse health outcomes by simple changes in their diets.
Dan has jumped into this activity with both feet. He is currently teaching a 21-day quick-start weight loss classes in his community in Manhattan, NYC. Using the curriculum of Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for the series which targets the lifestyle of western civilization, Dan seeks to demonstrate how these classes can enable students to take control of their health by making better food decisions. The classes are a combination of cooking classes of easy, tasty meals that compose a plant-based diet. It is accompanied by a video of the founder of PCRM, Dr. Neal Barnard, who explains the nutrition and science behind a plant-based lifestyle. Each class is designed to focus on a particular food and each series is designed to focus on a particular issue whether it be diabetes, cancer, weight-loss, etc. Each class is designed to show how clients can make the most of that information.
For the last five years, Dan has worked as a life coach, helping people to live happier and healthier lives. Something felt missing to him and he began to look into expanding his practice. Serendipitously, his younger brother introduced him to the film, Earthlings, which is more about the ethical side of a plant-based diet. The film had a profound effect on Dan. “It changed my heart,” he said simply. “It changed my heart.” He could no longer participate in the cruelty connected with consuming animals. He didn’t know how to go about it, but he knew it was something he had to do. Then Dan discovered that he just felt better and he wanted to continue to feel better. This led him to look at the nutritional aspects of being a vegan. He took Cornell’s e-program on plant-based nutrition, started following Michael Greger’s NutritionFacts.org, and was eventually introduced to PCRM through an email communication with Dr. Greger.
Dan became plant-based Feb 2, 2014. “It is always interesting to me that the change to a plant-based lifestyle is often so profound that people remember the exact date they made the switch,” Dan recalls. He discovered that he felt better, more energetic and the arthritis issues he had been dealing with completely disappeared. “It is all the things that one can expect when switching to a plant-based lifestyle.”
Dan is teaching classes out of his home in Manhattan, is partnering with a local yoga studio to teach classes. When I asked Dan about the responses he’s receiving from his students, his response was surprising. “It’s interesting. I thought the biggest challenge would be the purely plant-based approach, but what I actually found was that the students understood some of the issues with the animal products. They were really more shocked about the issue of cutting out or minimizing the oil in their diet. They had not looked at cooking from this perspective. They were actually shocked at how tasty the vegetables were that we produced without oil; it still had its flavor, it was still moist, and all these things.”
Dan is creating a plant-based eating guide for his students to assist them in choosing restaurants that will support their goals. “One of the things I got to think about in my own journey and in talking with New Yorkers, because it is very common to eat out in New York. People eat out about 30% of the time, it’s the lifestyle of the city. It’s good to have these recipes but most of the people eat out about 30-40% of the time. So how would that work if they want to have a social life with their friends. I started to look at the restaurants in my neighborhood and I started to reach out to them. I was surprised that in my neighborhood there were at least twenty restaurants that were able to provide two or thee main courses and then sides that were totally vegan. We reached out to these restaurants for information. Some of them responded, some didn’t, some are vegan so we know what they will provide. We just want to give people that extra boost for going plant-based and dealing with the social challenges of going plant-based can really get in the way of going all the way in this lifestyle. No one wants to be the troublesome person who asks the waiter too many questions or sends the food back when it has animal protein in it. So I wanted to cut out that barrier to their transition. We have already asked the questions of the chefs and the managers. I really wanted to make it easy for each person who attends our classes.”
Dan and his wife, Angie, are looking for their first child in March. They are excited to raise a vegan child, giving him or her a healthy foundation on which to build its life.
You can learn more about Dan Kerry’s plant-based Food For Life classes at his website: theplantstrongproject.com.
I am happy to announce the launching of our new website Time For Change Kitchen.
This focus of this site is on learning to prepare whole plant-based cuisine. The amazing colors and flavors of these dishes will show you how adding healthy foods to your diet can be so delicious and hearty you won’t give artery clogging meat and cheese another thought. So, join me at my new site Time For Change Kitchen and let’s start cooking!
Certified PCRM Food For Life Cooking Instructor & eCornell graduate in Plant-Based Nutrition, Leslie Hass, talks about the upcoming Plant Based Cooking Summit to be held in Lake Lure, North Carolina this October. As a cofounder of The Eat Smart Live Longer Club, her community’s interest in a plant-based lifestyle grew from 60 to 600 participants.
Leslie says that people understand the value of a plant based lifestyle and the the interest is there. What she feels is needed is hands on experience in plant-based cooking and that’s what people will be getting at the Plant Based Cooking Summit.
In this last segment Leslie explains what she likes about plant based cooking and what you will be able to learn from her.
Vegan Super-Middleweight Boxing Champion, Omowale Adewale, will discuss his new book, An Introduction to Veganism & Agricultural Globalism. Come and enjoy great food at VSpot Organic in the East Village and be a part of the conversation. Omowale will be available to answer questions and to sign your copy!
Canadian artist, Chantal Poulin, is on a mission. Driven by her passionate love for animals, Chantal creates huge, in-your-face paintings she hopes will not only fill the room with her evocative images but will fill your heart with empathy for the vulnerable animals she depicts.
My paintings are large because I want to give them the space they deserve. If I paint small it is just another animal painting. But when confronted with my paintings, they are so big you don’t have any choice but to look in their faces and feel something. When people come to my studio, they look at my paintings and at first they say, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” but when then they notice there is a tag in the cow’s ear or that the pig is in a truck going to the slaughterhouse, or they see the title “Please Don’t Kill My Friend,” then they begin to become uncomfortable. (more…)
VEGGIE FEST CHICAGO TO CELEBRATE
THIS COMING WEEKEND
IN LISLE, IL
Aug 15-16, 2015
Veggie Fest, one of the largest vegetarian food festivals in North America, will celebrate its 10th Anniversary this summer with another incredible weekend of family fun on August 15 & 16, 2015. The two-day festival, which drew record-breaking crowds of over 30,000 people from around the world last year, will be held in a new location this summer: Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd., Lisle, IL 60532.
“We’re really excited for the new venue this year,” said event organizer Jonathan Kruger, “It’ll give us even more room to make our 10th Annual Veggie Fest bigger and better than ever.”