The Daily Beet

09 Jan A plant-strong generation?

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I graduated HS in 1996, which seems forever ago now. I’m in this generation in which we all seem to really get angry about the wrongs that have been committed by various establishments. Be it the government or companies or private industry.  We’ve seen a lot of wrong happen since that first time we voted in an election, but at the same time it seems that my generation has become angry. I do not think this is a bad thing necessarily, but I for one, am all about action.

One of the greatest tragedies of our generation is our health. Every day at Engine 2 we get e-mails from people who graduated the same year as I did who have heart disease, T2 diabetes, who are obese or who already have other preventable diseases. Diseases that we once thought were only things that our grandparents got, we are now suffering with. Worse yet, many of us have gone through the tragedy of losing a parent or grandparent far too young because of a preventable disease.

Our generation is in a unique position to truly change the course this country is headed in regards to health. We are now a young generation of doctors, nurses, health care providers, we are young politicians, business owners, writers, artists, teachers and more. We are at the starting line of actually being able to make changes, rather than hope that other people make changes for us.

When I was diagnosed with t2 diabetes at the age of 25 I was angry. I was angry that I had this disease that my grandmother died from, angry that there was not an answer, that no doctor seemed to have an answer for me. Thankfully I found the answer to my health issues and was able to take control of my health through plant strong nutrition.

My dream is that no one ever has to go through what I had to go through, and that when someone sits down at a doctors office they are told the truth, that their is hope. It is up to that person what they do with the information, but I believe that every one has the right to that information and to make an educated decision about their health.

We now have so much information, so much evidence telling us that a plant-strong diet is the way to prevent and reverse most of our common diseases. We are in a health-care crisis that will (if continued) bankrupt our generation, not only financially but of our lives.

I think it’s time that my generation stepped up. Instead of getting angry, let’s make changes. If you are not at the head of the corporate ladder now, go talk to your managers about an idea to save the company millions in health care costs by encouraging plant-strong education (Engine 2 has corporate Immersions if you are interested in spreading the word.) If you are a nurse or doctor, start suggesting that your patients read plant-strong books, hold a book club, have a pot-luck, get your co-workers involved. Whatever your profession, start talking about being plant-strong. The direction that we are headed is not going to change unless enough of us start moving forward together, a plant-strong united front if you will. We are all going to have to work together in order to accomplish real change.

Host a movie screening of Forks Over Knives, start a potluck in your community, give out plant-strong cookbooks to your friends, get a group together to go to a plant-strong conference or immersion. It’s time to start somewhere. If you are angry, don’t sit in that anger, use it to start a movement in your community.

We here at Engine 2 are just a small part of all of this, a blip on the radar screen. This is about YOU and what you can do to change things. We cannot do it alone, we need you along side of us. You have the tools, the education, the resources, so we’re asking you to get out there, to spread the word, to act rather than react.

So, what are you going to do? How are YOU going to encourage change? No matter what generation you are in, how are you going to inspire others to become plant-strong? We want to hear from you in the comments.


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Natala Constantine
  • Mary
    Posted at 13:53h, 09 January

    This is EXCELLENT! WTG Natala and E2!!

  • Jen
    Posted at 13:54h, 09 January

    This is what I needed today. I keep going to everyone else for advice/wisdom, truth is I know that a plantstrong diet is best, I need to spread the word, not except everyone else to. Thanks E2.

  • Dana
    Posted at 13:56h, 09 January

    PERFECTION. Natala needs a book, I love her.

  • Kelly
    Posted at 13:58h, 09 January

    You are 100% right. I’m an occupy protester and I see this kind of thing everyday, we’re all trying to do right not let wrong keep happening to us. If we want this country to change and our health to change, we need to change.

  • David
    Posted at 14:08h, 09 January

    I’m a little older than your generation, but I still think this applies to my generation. I see all of my friends (in our fifties) getting sick every day. It’s time we stop complaining and starting doing something. It’s pathetic. You are wise to write this, we need a voice in the younger generation.

    • Lani Muelrath
      Posted at 14:26h, 09 January

      I agree with David. This applies to every generation. I see the same thing with Baby Boomers on up.

      We are voices for change. We lead by example, modeling, sharing information – and embodying the qualities that we cherish and champion.

      Inspiring others needn’t be grandiose. It can be in as simple an act as being joyful about your choices and letting others see that. Plant-strong is not plant-wimpy! Show your true colors and by example inspire others.

      And thanks everyone who is coming in to comment and multiply the energy – this is one more way you inspire with action!

      Lani Muelrath

  • Patti
    Posted at 14:38h, 09 January

    Got to see Natala speak a while back, she definitely inspires, really glad you have her on the team. Somone who really “Gets it” not a lot of people like that. I kept complaining that we didn’t have any Engine 2 potlucks near us and finally my husband said “stop complaining and start one”. That’s what I did! Just for neighbors, once a month a vegan plant-strong potluck! It’s been great, even got a few converts!

  • Michelle
    Posted at 14:40h, 09 January

    You are totally right. Kudos for this and your health! I’m in my 30’s and often find myself getting angry and not doing anything about it. Guess it’s time I did, huh?

  • Karen
    Posted at 14:42h, 09 January

    This is why I also love Happy Herbivore. She’s young, she could have been a lawyer but instead she decided to help change lives, how cool is that? I admire you ladies and what you are doing. We need more and more voices!

  • Ricia
    Posted at 14:43h, 09 January

    AMEN from the CHOIR!!!!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 14:49h, 09 January

    So needed this today! I am 23, healthy and plant-strong. I just graduated college and I’m in the medical industry right now. I really want to make a difference. I think I’ll start with a 30 day challenge for my team. No more sitting around and moping that no one else is plant-strong!

  • Missy
    Posted at 14:57h, 09 January

    There is definitely a lack of young people in our movement, and we need some more! I’m also a Lindsay Nixon fan. Maybe we can all work to get colleges on board? I’m a senior at UT! LONGHORNS!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 15:08h, 09 January

    I’m 19 and I love all the docs and all but there is a serious lack of young people doing this! All my friends eat pizza, drink pop and smoke! WTF. And I always feel talked down to by some of the other authors, I know they mean well, but I’d just like some friends or something. I’d love Rip or Natala to come to my school! I also love HH! Her burgers are something I can make in my dorm kitchen!

  • Brad
    Posted at 15:15h, 09 January

    Finally someone who gets it.

  • Dawnb
    Posted at 15:18h, 09 January

    You guys rock. Seriously. I love everyone else, but they really don’t seem to get our generation, especially how they market or spread their word. E2 and HH are great examples of how it supposed to work. Love your FB and twitter and how you are not pushy, and teach! It’s awesome. You guys are awesome.

  • Rob Bullas
    Posted at 13:32h, 10 January

    Dear Engine 2 and Rip Esselstyn,
    I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to save my own life. In short, I was 42 yrs. young when I was on my treadmill at home and my 2 yr old daughter climbed out of her crib. She proceeded to our bedroom where I was going pretty good on the treadmill. She sat down beside me and said the words, “I Love You”. This event had me curious about the condition of my heart as the week prior we were discussing at work, the heart attacks of 2 wild land fire fighters during a big fire in California. This led me to ask my Physician for a treadmill test. His reply was , what do you want that for? You’re as healthy as a horse. I persisted and 2 weeks later I had my test. The cardiologist saw something on the EKG that warranted more test. The Angiogram was next which revealed 80 percent of my main coronary arteries were occluded. The only option given to me was open heart surgery. Thus two days later I had a CABGx6 ( a six way bypass). At 42, I was one of the youngest to have that many bypasses. A life changing event, one would think. I set my mind to it and shortly thereafter became a full blown vegetarian with the exception of fish. This lasted for a couple of years until I started eating meat again. This voracious desire to consume meat again was back to eating it 3 to 4 times a week. I felt horrible after going back to this way of eating and mild depression did not help. Weight gain, lack of exercise, and just going downhill in general.
    9 days ago on New Year’s Eve day, one of our close friends told us about this incredible thing she saw on Net Flicks and knowing my condition she told me to watch it. This was the beginning of my Plant Strong Life. Forks over Knives was aw-inspiring and the most incredible truth of this country’s poor health.

    I’m spreading the Plant Strong way of life to all. I would like to share my story on your website and sometime in 2012, it would be an honor to meet Rip and his fire buddies at Engine 2. I hope to thank you in person for giving me the tools to live a Plant Strong life and live as healthy and happy as I can be.

    Sincerely Plant Strong,
    Rob Bullas
    707 Timber Trail
    Pacific Grove, CA. 93950
    831-394-4401 Home
    831-238-3934 Cell

  • Dimitri Deharak
    Posted at 12:18h, 11 January

    Yes I am In EMS. As responders we Eat some of the most Garbage food known to man kind. This is mainly because of out hetic Life on the Fire truck and Ambulace. I have seen first hand that in our line of work, Our fellow responders Fall victum to the Very Poor diests we consume! The engine 2 Diet sounds great!

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