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Penticton Okanagan Health Forum Photos
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Healthy Eating--The Plant-Based Diet
See our Nutrition Bites--News about Diet
The Penticton Healthy Eating Group was started in the
spring of 1994 by Angie McIntosh and her husband Dr. Robert McIntosh,
M.D. They started the group to help teach others how to move to a
totally plant-based diet. This style of diet is called vegan
(vee-gun). They modeled the group on the one being held at the
coast by Canada Earthsave.
We are providing information here to encourage everyone in communities
around the world
to start groups in their towns. This would do much to preserve
and improve the health of their own communities, would help conserve
natural resources of the world, would help reduce world hunger, and
would show tremendous compassion for all living creatures. For
more on these issues please see the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine.
As a family physician, Dr. McIntosh had become aware
of the connection between chronic degenerative and the western diet
based on animal products and far too refined. For more on the
health implications of the western diet please see the work of Dr. John McDougall, MD.
Angie, as vegan for several years, had modified many family
recipes and had created new ones and was often getting inquiries as to
how her family ate a balanced and healthy vegetarian diet that
contained no meat, dairy or fish. Angie also had a strong desire to
teach others about how shifting to a plant-based diet can help oneself,
the planet, the animals, and world hunger. As many people were showing
an interest in making healthy dietary choices, the couple started
monthly vegan potluck suppers that featured educational lectures or
videos. These lasted for five years. Angie also wrote a
completely plant-based cookbook which the couple gives out to patients
and others looking for simple vegan recipes and diet informaton.
We are interested in hearing from others wanting to participate in a
healthy eating group in the Penticton, BC area.
The group met once a month for a vegan potluck supper. Anybody was welcome to come to the group, whether or not they were vegetarians, but they were asked to bring a relatively lowfat dish to share with the group that was entirely made from plant-based products. No meat, dairy, seafood, or even honey was allowed. Folks were asked to bring their recipes and its source if possible, and their own plates, cups, and utensils. The group organizers provide the beverages such as herbal tea, soy drinks, and herbal coffee substitutes. If people were new to this diet and were stuck for recipe ideas, they phoned Angie for help or were encouraged to bring something simple such as a vegetable dish or fruit plate.
Every month diners enjoyed a wonderful array of colorful vegetable dishes, crisp salads, tasty casseroles, and hearty grain dishes. There are even usually a few deserts made entirely without milk, or even eggs.
After sharing a wonderful banquet of vegan food, there was usually a handout with recipes from the previous month and some little tidbit about vegetarian health and nutrition. Then the group usually had an educational presentation which lasted for about an hour. They had speakers who are aware of the health benefits of a plant-based diet, perhaps a cooking demonstration, or a video presentation. There is also often a basket full of goodies; handouts, brochures, books about diet and nutrition, and resource information about the global and environmental impact of our diet.
Generally, the group is a welcoming place that anyone with an interest in learning more about a healthy vegan diet can come.
The group was run by donation based on ability to pay to cover the cost of beverages, handouts, and room rental. People were encouraged to bring their family and friends. There were regularily about 30 people who came to the group. In the 5 years that the group ran, well over 200 people had come to potlucks, many were regulars. The group met every month on the last Wednesday. Initially the group didn't meet at Christmas or in the summer, but there was such a demand that there were even dinners between Christmas and New Years, and each summer in July there was a beach picnic. Sometimes over 75 people attended the picnic.
The group is also worked to educate the community. In
1994 the group sponsered a talk with Dr. Michael Klaper, M.D.
and there was a full house with over 400 people in attendance. Pretty
good for a small town with a population of around 30,000 people. Folks
really enjoyed his talk and learned alot. Angie and Rob also made
arrangements for a few educational sessions with the local medical
community which was met with relative interest. Angie and Rob
especially enjoyed having Dr. Klaper visit as he was the person that
provided excellent nutritional information at the right time which lead
to their complete dietary change and for that they are grateful. Angie
and Rob and their kids were delighted to visit Dr. Klaper at his home
in Maui where he took him to swim with the giant sea turtles at the Red
Sand Beach. It was a thrilling experience to swim with these long
lived vegetarian animals. The Penticton Healthy Eating group also
made arrangements for well known vegetarian spokesperson and Ironwoman Dr. Ruth Heidrich to
speak in Penticton.
She found a way back to health after cancer
by moving to a completely plant based-diet.
The McIntosh's are delighted to see that several
other local groups sprang up after they started their healthy eating
group. Former members started an active vegan potluck group in
Oliver, a major program went in in the north, and in Penticton a very
strong CHIP (Coronary Health
Improvement Project) group was formed.
Dr. Robert and Angie McIntosh are pleased to continue
to act as resources to help people in the community switch to
Anyone wishing to recieve a copy of Angie's simple handout, "Beyond Tofu" which is filled with totally vegetarian recipes
may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are just $5 plus shipping. I would eventually like to have much of the booklet available online.
If you are interested in becoming part of a vegan
potluck group in Penticton please
Health Forum 2005
We are delighted that the
Health Forum happened in the Okanagan
in Penticton and Kelowna on April 9th and 10th, 2005.
Some of the biggest names in healthy nutrition spoke to the general public
and provided education to local health professionals.
A huge crowd of around 500 people in Penticton had a chance to hear from the following experts;
Dr.Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD, was Chairman and Program Director of the 2nd National Conference on Lipids in the Elimination and Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease where he presided at a gathering of over 500 physicians and health care workers. He edited the Proceedings of this International Conference as a Supplement to the American Journal of Cardiology in 1998. He is a former Chairman of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons. His ongoing research at the Cleveland Clinic indicates that a healthy no added oil vegetarian diet must be used to help achieve the profound reduction in cholesterol needed to prevent or reverse heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn's most profound message is that heart disease need never occur and when it does, as he showed in his research, it can be halted and reversed. Health professionals and the public can learn more at Dr. Esselstyn's website www.HeartAttackProof.com.T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, is the author of the landmark China-Cornell-Oxford Project, which the New York Times called "the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease". Dr. Campbell trained at M.I.T. and Cornell in toxicology and nutritional biochemistry and is one of the world's leading experts on the nutritional causes of cancer. His profound research has shown that animal protein is one of the most profound carcinogens in our diets. He has authored over 350 publications, has participated in numerous deliberations on state, national, and international policy matters, and has lectured extensively on consumer nutritional information and food policy. Dr. Campbell's book, The China Study, has just been released in early 2005. See:http://pln.cornell.edu/ChinaProject.html and http://www.thechinastudy.com/authors.html
Vesanto Melina is a registered dietitian and co-author of the nutrition classics The New Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Raising Vegetarian Children, Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer, and most recently the Food Allergy Survival Guide: Surviving and Thriving With Food Allergies and Sensitivities. This internationally known speaker co-authored the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada's Position on Vegetarian Diets (2003) and Manual of Clinical Dietetics, 6th edition, 2000. From her Canadian west coast office, Ms. Melina is a nutrition consultant to major food manufacturers and various levels of government and she helps patients and clients all over North America. You can visit her website at www.nutrispeak.com.
registered dietitian/nutritionist, is a leader in her field and an
internationally acclaimed speaker. She has worked as a public health
nutritionist, clinical nutrition specialist, nutrition consultant,
nutrition instructor, and is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition
Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. Brenda is
five books – the best-sellers, Becoming Vegetarian and Becoming Vegan,
Dairy-free and Delicious, Defeating Diabetes and The New Becoming
She has also had articles published in lay magazines and professional
Brenda has been a featured speaker at many international dietetic
and recently completed an eight month speaking tour covering 42 US
Visit her website at www.brendadavisrd.com.