This blog was contributed by Lee Crosby, RD from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an organization that is on a mission to educate everyone about the good news of plant forward eating.
There’s no silver bullet that can stop chronic disease, but a plant based diet is perhaps the tastiest, cheapest, and most effective way to lower your chances of developing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. That is the power of food.
“We want to inject a dose of nutrition into a clinical world where it’s been ignored for too long,” says Lee Crosby, a registered dietitian with the Physicians Committee and author of Veggie Quest, a food and nutrition blog packed with tips, recipes, and other information about enjoying a plant based diet. “The key is making it easy and fun to make a big change.”
“I know firsthand that eating more veggies and whole plant foods can be tough at times,” she continues. “Especially when it seems like the world is conspiring against you!”
It’s worth the trouble, however, and PCRM has the data to prove it. That’s why they are working to teach the world how they can achieve better health with a plant based diet.
Educating the Experts
It isn’t just patients who struggle to understand and practice plant based nutrition. Most doctors don’t know where to begin.
In a 2018 survey, 94 percent of internal medicine residents said they recognize the importance of diet in healing. But only 39 percent report receiving any training in nutrition, and a mere 14 percent feel qualified to discuss it with patients.
“Everyone needs help when they start something new,” explains Crosby. “If you’re a doctor or nurse, you probably had one or two nutrition courses throughout your training, if that. So it makes sense that many healthcare professionals still resist the idea that nutrition can effectively reverse certain disease states. They might not realize how much evidence there is, compared to pharmacology. Part of the challenge is winning them over to thinking about plant based nutrition as a tool in their clinical toolbox.”
It Takes A Village
Community can be undervalued in our culture, but if you’re planning to make a big change like embracing a plant based diet, reach out. Lee Crosby believes that the single most important variable in your successful transition is whether you have a partner or support system that will have your back.
“Taking the plunge and ‘going public’ can make your new habit—and sticking with it—so much easier.” Sign up now for the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, which sends meal plans, recipes, and daily videos your way, along with plenty of support. You’ll never be alone.
How do you create a new routine when your old environment seems to be working against it? That’s a multifaceted endeavor, and part of it is creating a new environment. That’s what PCRM is planning to do, one doctor, one hospital, and one community at a time.
Find the full blog post on the Morrison Healthcare blog