I was very excited to find out about the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. Not only are they the largest group of its kind in the world, they are also based in the the Detroit Metro Area which is local to me. I met this amazing group in the above picture on January 10th of 2018. This was taken during their 2018 kick-off event featuring Dr. Joel Fuhrman where almost 800 #PlantStrong individuals and seekers attended this seminar.
After joining PBNSG.org, I also started a local group. Out first meeting was 4 people. In a very short time (1 month) we have grown to over 60 people just in Saline, MI. We discuss nutrition, talk about recipes and cooking ideas, and share tips on how to eat healthy, and be healthy. We have seen a lot of people make the decision to start on the plant based journey already. Our local Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161505117811378/. If you are interested in a small group, sign up on the PBNSG website.
There is a lot to be said about aligning yourself with other like minded, supportive people. In the ‘Blue Zones’ where there is a higher ratio of people who live to over 100 years of age, they have supportive social groups. The Blue Zone authors call it the #RightTribe. With that said, I’d encourage you to join the tribe!
Here is a bit more info about PBNSG.org:
Chronic diseases have a huge impact on society causing family stress, loss of productivity and out of control medical costs. Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Half of all American adults have at least one chronic condition, and almost one of three have multiple chronic conditions.”1
Peer reviewed research and leading experts such as Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.; Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D., Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.; Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D.; Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.; Dr. Michael Greger, M.D.; and Dr. John McDougall, M.D., just to name a few, have shown that these conditions can be significantly reduced or eliminated when people adopt a diet comprised of whole food, plant-based nutrition and follow an active healthy lifestyle. The powerful impact of diet on health and wellness is quickly evident among those individuals adopting this way of living. Once they begin eating the recommended fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, excess weight starts coming off, blood pressure improves, cholesterol levels drop, and under their physician’s direction, prescriptions are often reduced or eliminated. Additionally, there is global evidence of this from specific communities or portions of the population around the world dubbed the ‘Blue Zones’, where people that follow this lifestyle live longer, more active and healthy lives. The ‘Blue Zones’ are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece) and Loma Linda, California (USA).2
Paul Chatlin, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease in May of 2013. His three blocked arteries, one at 100% and two at 65%, were causing excruciating angina. He had leaky valves, an enlarged heart, hardening of the right side of his heart, a left bundle branch blockage disrupting the impulses that make the heart beat regularly, and a heart murmur. After being given this grim diagnosis, his cardiologist said something that changed Paul’s life forever. He told Paul he had a choice, either bypass surgery or try plant-based nutrition. After he got out of the cath lab, while lying on a gurney in a recovery room at the Cleveland Clinic, Paul made the decision to transform his life. His journey to health began the next morning with a phone call from Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, (2007). After explaining the scientific basis of a whole food, plant-based diet, he told Paul to read his book and gave him some additional information to get him started. With this new knowledge and a determination to get healthy, Paul proceeded to empty his kitchen of meats, cheese, oils, salty and sugary foods and other processed foods. He learned a new way of eating and cooking. Within three weeks, his chest pains had ceased and his cholesterol levels began dropping dramatically; and over the next several months he regained his health. Given his own miraculous experience, questioning why so many people aren’t aware of the power of plant-based nutrition, and with a desire to give back, Paul started to build the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG); now the largest and fastest growing community-centered plant-based nutrition organization in the country.
The Plant Based Nutrition Support Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group with headquarters in metro Detroit, Michigan. PBNSG is on a mission to help prevent and reverse chronic diseases by advocating lifestyle changes that will disrupt the cycle of epidemic chronic health conditions and will have a long-term impact on the health of our community. Over 120 people attended the first PBNSG meeting at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan in February, 2014. There has been steady growth since that first meeting and currently there are over 4,700 members with 200 to 600 people attending the monthly main events. Best of all, there are many individual health success stories within our PBNSG community. PBNSG connects with the community through online educational content and support services, monthly main events, transition classes, small support groups, and outreach programs.
PBNSG Website (www.pbnsg.org) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) provides ongoing audio or visual posts of evidence-based whole food, plant-based nutrition content, that is also deemed positive, useful and inviting for individuals new to these concepts.
Main Speaker Events are held in Birmingham, Michigan featuring physicians, leading experts and advocates for plant-based nutrition coming from all over the country as well as other large community events.
Transition Classes are scheduled monthly and introduce the “how to” of plant-based nutrition. These one and a half hour classes are welcoming for beginners. Information includes what a whole food, plant-based diet is, cooking demonstrations, recipes, food tasting, label reading, shopping tips, kitchen equipment needs, and other transition topics.
Small Groups of up to 15 people each, meet monthly in homes throughout southeastern Michigan to provide encouragement and support in a more intimate setting. Currently there are 20 small groups in the metropolitan Detroit area with additional new groups forming. There are two, and soon will be three, groups outside the metropolitan area. Hosts provide social support and field questions about plant based foods as well as addressing concerns including recipes, cooking techniques, shopping locally, managing social situations, and dining out with a plant-based nutrition perspective.
- PBNSG Affiliate Physicians and Doctors Teaching Doctors is a program to recruit and provide professional development support to physicians who will be advocates for plant-based nutrition.
- PBNSG Lunch and Learn Events feature physicians and plant-based advocates presenting at Michigan medical schools.
- PBNSG coordinates with local restaurants and institutions to provide delicious healthy meal options that comply with the plant-based nutrition requirements.
- PBNSG identifies food retailers that provide whole food, plant-based products and services that can be utilized by our community.
- PBNSG has over 400 whole food plant-based recipes with no oil and very low fat to please any palate.
- PBNSG speakers provide information about plant-based nutrition at area groups and health fair events organized by others.
- PBNSG is working on partnerships with other plant-based nutrition advocates to enable a strong common voice for our shared advocacy.
So, let’s work together to help improve the quality of life for the people living in Michigan.
For additional reference, please see the following short video (https://vimeo.com/168870485).
1. “CDC’s Chronic Disease Prevention System.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 18 Jan. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/prevention.htm
2. Worrall, Simon. “Here Are the Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 12 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Jan. 2017. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150412-longevity-health-blue-zones-obesity-diet-ngbooktalk/