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Tuesdays With Jeff: Insights Into Your Health: How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor

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How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor

©Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD

©Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Introduction

©Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Over the last few years, I have been honored and privileged to work with and speak to literally 10′s of 1000′s of people who were looking to change to a plant based diet and lifestyle.  As a result of this work, one of the questions that comes up very frequently is how does someone find a plant based doctor to work with.

While there are several ways to respond to this question, one of the greatest responses I ever heard was from Dr Caldwell Esselstyn during our Q & A sessions at an immersion.   After hearing it, I asked him if we could work together on expanding and drafting his response into a formal article.   What follows is our first draft, which we may update and amend over time, but because of the importance of this, we wanted to put it out now.

Here we go…

How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor

Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Jeff Novick, MS, RD

People often despair that they lack a local physician with a plant based focus. It is a common concern we hear often. While ideally it would be best if there were a plant based doctor for everyone who wants one,this is rarely the case.

However, do not despair. Working together we can bring you and your current doctor fully up to speed with knowledge about plant based nutrition. Therefore the first thing that will be important for you to do is to get yourself up to speed on the basics of plant-based nutrition.

One way to do this is by visiting one of the residential or immersion programs** run by one of the recommend doctors. Other ways that can also be of value include reading the recommended books**, watching the recommended DVD’s** or taking the E-Cornell plant based nutrition course**. Of course, nothing can take the place of a live interaction with a knowledgeable plant based doctor.

It is important to continue to work with your doctor and let them realize we are not taking away his/her patient; we are merely focusing on a very important dimension of care -the causation of their illness, which local physicians 1. don’t have the time for 2. don’t have the passion for or 3. lack the training or skill set for.

Also, in the beginning, you do not have to get into the specific details of your diet.  Just let them know you have decided to start eating better and going to make some changes (eat a few more fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans and less junk food and fried foods) and see how things go and that you would like them to keep an eye on your numbers. Even ask them if they have any recommendations.

Then, just keeping following the program. This way, working together with your local physician, he/she will be able to reduce 1. blood pressure meds as the patient’s hypertension resolves 2. reduce cholesterol meds as cholesterol lowers 3. reduce diabetic meds as glucose is reduced.

In addition, once you being to have success and your doctor sees these positive changes, he/she may initiate the conversation with you about what you have done and be far more willing to have the conversation from a more open perspective having witnessed the improvements. And, by doing it this way, you will have helped to educate your doctor about the power of plant based, no oil way of living without having any confrontational interactions.

When we approach it this way, the local MD’s will recognize that those of us in lifestyle medicine are working synergistically in the spirit of cooperative endeavor to have their patients have the full benefit of plant based nutrition to halt and reverse their disease.

**Here is the beginning of the recommended resource list in alphabetical order by last name.

Books

Neal Barnard MD

- Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

- Breaking the Food Seduction

- 21 Day Weight-loss Kick start

Colin Campbell

- The China Study

-Whole

Caldwell Esselstyn

- Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn

- The Engine 2 Diet

Doug Lisle

- The Pleasure Trap

John McDougall MD

- Dr. McDougall’s Digestive Tune‐Up 

- The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook 

- Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century DVD

- The McDougall Program: Twelve Days to Dynamic Health

- The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

- The New McDougall Cookbook

- The Starch Solution

DVDs

Neal Barnard MD

- Tackling Diabetes DVD

- Kick Start Your Health DVD

Caldwell Esselstyn

- Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn

- Forks Over Knives Presents The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue 

Michael Klaper

  1. -Digestion Made Easy

Douglas Lisle

- The Continuum of Evil

- Losing weight without losing your mind

- The Pleasure Trap

John McDougall MD

- Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century DVD

- McDougall Made Easy & Irresistible

- Dr. McDougall’s Money-Saving Medical Advice

- Dr. McDougall’s Common Sense Nutrition

- McDougall Made Irresistible

- Dr. McDougall Disputes Major Medical Treatments

- McDougall Made Easy

- McDougall’s Medicine

Jeff Novick

- Lighten Up

- Calorie Density

- Should I Eat That

- From Oil To Nuts

- Nuts & Health

- Fast Food Vol 1 The Basics

- Fast Food Vol 2 Burgers & Fries

Movies/Documentaries

- Forks Over Knives

- Processed People

Immersions and Programs

- The McDougall 3, 5 & 10 Day Programs

- Dr Esselstyn – 5-hour intensive counseling seminar at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

- Farms To Forks Weekend Immersions

Online Course

- E Cornel Plant Based Nutrition Course

Additional Material

BOOKS

John Abramson MD

- Overdosed America

Gilbert H. Welch MD

- Should I be tested for Cancer?

- Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health

- Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

Nortin Hadler MD

- Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America

About the author

Jeff Novick
Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN is truly a unique dietitian and nutritionist. With over 24 years of experience in nutrition, health, fitness and natural living, he offers expert health advice distilled into powerful, easy-to-understand language on a variety of current topics.Novick’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition, with a minor in exercise science.Novick serves as Vice President for Executive Health Exams International and lectures at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California and at the Engine 2 Immersion program in Austin, Texas. He is also the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health program, which is helping empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.For almost a decade, Novick served as the Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Aventura, Florida, and as Vice President of the Board of the Directors for the National Health Association (NHA). He also served as the Director of Health Education for the NHA and as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences for Kaplan University.Novick has taught nutrition classes at Indiana State University, Indiana University Medical School, the University of Miami Medical School and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. He regularly lectures at medical conferences across the country. While in Indiana, he created and taught the Nutrition Education Initiative, a preventive medicine curriculum for medical doctors, residents and medical students. In recognition of this groundbreaking project, Indiana’s governor awarded Novick the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award and Indiana State University awarded him the Graduate-of-the-Last-Decade Award.He has been interviewed by Newsday, Parade, Men’s Health, Shape, Women’s World and has appeared on Fox News, Discovery Health, the Today Show and other media outlets nationwide. He recently appeared in the documentary Processed People and the movie Fatboy, which won the Best Documentary award at the Fort Lauderdale and Queens Film Festivals.

One Response to “Tuesdays With Jeff: Insights Into Your Health: How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor”

  1. Michele says:

    I’m curious to know why Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books are not included in your book list.

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