11 Sep Being Young and Plant-Strong : The College Greens
We want to introduce you to three wonderful plant-strong people! The College Greens, Tara, Jenna and Craig will be guest blogging for Engine 2! They are all in college. Tara is a junior at Bucknell University, currently majoring in Education and minoring in Creative Writing, and planning to do a nutrition program upon graduation. Jenna is a sophomore attending Duquesne University, and she is studying to become a Physician Assistant. Both Tara and Jenna are certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Dr.Campbell’s eCornell program. Craig is a senior at Bucknell University. He is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in English, and is planning to go to medical school to become a pediatrician, where he hopes to incorporate lifestyle medicine in his practice.
Please give them a warm welcome! We are excited that they are advocating plant-strong nutrition and hope they can help to change the way younger people look at nutrition!
Being Young and Plant-Strong
Two weeks ago, we attended the Farms 2 Forks Immersion in Hudson, New York where some 400 people gathered to learn about plant-based nutrition from the experts. Of these 400 people, we were the only college students. The only people younger than us were a few children who had been dragged along by their parents. We, on the other hand, had been the ones to drag our parents.
As college students, we are in the years typically characterized by late night pizza and beer, an atmosphere where people live by the adage “eat it while you can”. So as you can imagine, eating a whole food, plant-based diet puts us in the extreme minority. Not only for what we eat, but also for the way we think about what we eat.
So why do we care? As Dr. Esselstyn put it, we are “still under warranty”, not seeing any negative health effects yet. But in our minds, why wait? Why wait until something is wrong and needs to be fixed? Why not prevent anything from going wrong in the first place?
We care about our health. And even now, we see benefits. Eating plant-strong has a positive effect on our mood, clarity of mind, workout recovery, and digestion, to name a few. And in general we just feel SO GOOD! Also, even though young people don’t usually see any negative health effects, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. In autopsies done on Vietnam and Korean war soldiers, even the soldiers who were in their late teens and early twenties had visible signs of atherosclerosis in their arteries.
And not only do we feel great now, we’re setting ourselves up for a healthy future! In firefighter terms, we’re preventing the fire instead of having to put it out later. We’re practicing healthy habits that we can carry with us into the future for ourselves and for our future families.
We also care about improving the health of others. Each of us hopes to incorporate plant-based nutrition into our future career, and we practice what we will preach. We want to be living role models for what we believe in so that we can positively influence others and improve public health.
And, last but definitely not least, THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS. We eat better than we ever have before in our lives! We don’t miss the pizza. We don’t miss the french fries. We crave mangoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa salad. We eat colorful meals that are bursting with flavor. When you’re eating the rainbow, it really does feel like you’ve found the pot of gold.
So yes, we’re young. But we’re plant-strong and proud of it! We’re excited to become more involved with the Engine 2 community, and we hope to be bringing lots of fun and helpful plant-based posts this year. -The College Greens
Sources: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health