Monthly Archives

July 2016

A Lifesaving Journey | Heartbeats for Life, Savannah, GA

By | Group Leader Articles, Leadership, Nutrition, Pod News, Sharing the Message | No Comments

July 21, 2016

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Jeff Adams is the group leader of the pod group, “Heartbeats for Life” in Savannah, GA.  Jeff’s story begins in upstate North Tonawanda NY, where he grew up watching his Father run a small business, and after learning the tools of the trade, set off to begin his own wholesale tire business in Rochester NY at the young age of 19.  Shortly after starting his franchise, Jeff found a local YMCA, and discovered that he could use squash courts for free, which led him to become an avid player. His hobby led him to cross paths with many doctors in the community, who eventually became close friends. During this time he also got married and had his first child.  Life with his family in Rochester was good, and Jeff continued to play squash, and maintain seemingly good health into his 50’s.

In the end, you could say it was the game of squash that inadvertently led Jeff to the life he’s living today. It all began when he went to the doctor, who happened to be a fellow squash player, for his yearly physical.  His doctor suggested that having some extra tests run, due to Jeff being in his mid 50’s, wasn’t a bad idea. So Jeff agreed, and when the doctor called several days later and said a few more tests were necessary, Jeff began to feel uneasy. A few more days later, the doctor called again, this time asking him to come in to talk.

Jeff recalls the atmosphere as he walked into the office that day, the same office he’d visited often, as both a friend and a patient. He noticed his doctor’s formal demeanor right away, and was told that there was something very important to discuss, but first, he wanted Jeff to know that he’d checked with all the other doctors he knew (all squash players as well) in order to make sure he was accurate in his assessment. The doctor went on to tell him that, unfortunately, he had a heart condition that no stint or bypass could fix. Jeff laughed, and said he must be kidding him, because he’d had no symptoms, other than a bit of chest compression, which he passed off as indigestion. It became clear that this wasn’t an interaction among friends, as the doctor continued in a formal manner, to tell him that the only solution was a heart transplant, and the waiting list for this was over a year long.  Finally, he told Jeff that a heart transplant wouldn’t be an option, as his heart condition would give him four, maybe six months to live. Jeff recalls the doctor’s advice to “contact your accountants and lawyers and get things arranged now, because you don’t want to wait until you’re sick, and laying in this hospital with tubes sticking out of you, trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your business. You want to do that now, while you still can.”  Afterwards, Jeff remembers sitting in the car for over an hour and coming to several conclusions.

Given the evidence, he decided to take the doctor’s advice, and contact his lawyers and accountants, to make sure his death wouldn’t be a burden to his wife. Next, he decided he’d get a second opinion, and last, he decided he wouldn’t tell any of this to his wife. He reasoned that having her worry one day less was one day less worry she would have.

Jeff had retired from the tire business years ago, and at this time, ran his own wholesale and retail book business, which included five stores in Rochester. After making these initial decisions, he took advantage of his resources, and began scouring the shelves for books on heart disease. He quickly happened upon Dean Ornish’s book, “Program for Reversing Heart Disease” went home, called everyone at his business, and let them know he’d be at home for a few days.  After finishing the book, when his wife came home from work one day, he announced to her that he was making some changes in his diet, and would be doing all the cooking from now on. He figured if he did all the cooking, she wouldn’t have a choice, and his wife, still not knowing what had happened, agreed. Jeff says she “probably figured this would only last a day or two.”

Shortly after Jeff happened upon Dean Ornish’s book, he went to the second doctor group as planned, where, after taking the tests again, they told him his first doctor was optimistic, and they felt he really had between 2 and 4 months left to live.  Despite this, he continued to change his diet, and within a few weeks, began feeling better, which was when he bumped into his doctor in the squash gym. When he told his doctor he’d changed his diet and was feeling better, the doctor shrugged it off, and assured him this was serious, and diet wouldn’t do anything, but that he could come in for a few more tests to assess the situation.

Once more, Jeff walked into the doctor’s office, and found his doctor with the tests spread out, but this time he could see he was nervous. Jeff, not knowing what this meant, became nervous himself.  He recalled the moment, saying “I watched him sit there, just looking and looking, and then he hung his head and I started to cry. So I figured this is it, I’m done.  But then he (his doctor) says to me, “there must have been something wrong with the machines.” I was bewildered, and still confused – it made no sense. He said, “there must have been something wrong with the machines when we did the tests for the first time, because these tests show that you’re getting better, and I know that it’s medically impossible.” He now knew that this diet wasn’t improving his health by some sort of placebo affect, as he’d worried before, but was making him better. Although Jeff had already told his two children about his diagnosis, he could now safely tell his wife, knowing that he’d found a solution.

15 years later, Jeff attributes his continued success to Ornish’s book and the work of other plant-based doctors and scientists. He went on to read The China Study, Whole, and Dr. John McDougall’s work among others (his group has even had Dr. McDougall do several skype sessions with his pod group). Jeff initially found support at the Dean Ornish support group in Rochester, but today, he tells his story at Heartbeats for Life group meetings in Savannah.  Jeff described the transformation that takes place not only health wise when curing a terminal diagnosis, but also the newfound appreciation you have for health and life, telling group members, “if I should keel over now and die, nobody should feel bad for me whatsoever, because when someone convinces you – when you’re absolutely positively convinced that you’re about to die – and you don’t die, every day you wake up, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, it’s absolutely something you never expected to have.”

Despite the fact that Jeff has received mixed responses from speaking engagements at hospitals, he’s taken things into his own hands and developed a class series in Savannah. The seven and nine week class series was developed for those that want information on a WFPB lifestyle at an accelerated pace. The classes meet for 3-4 hours per week, and consist of taste testings, cooking demos, and trips to the supermarket, learning about labels, ingredients, and shopping.  Jeff says, “by the time they’re done with the sessions, they know why they should do it, and they know how they should do it.”  Over the course of these classes, Jeff has seen people reverse diabetes and other chronic diseases, lose weight, and experience countless benefits. He says “it’s a hell of a bunch of work, but it’s so worth it when you see these people.”

In Savannah, an area rooted in barbecue and pork, Jeff says things are slowly changing, and “one step at a time is all you can do.”

** If you’re in, or nearby the Savannah area, check out Heartbeats for Life on the PlantPure Pod page: http://www.plantpurepods.com/podsdirect/savannah-ga-jeffheartbeatsforlife-ga-org-group/

** You can also contact Jeff at:

    jeff@heartbeatsforlife-ga.org

(585)-370-3374 (Cell)

(912)-598-8457 (Home)

** Heartbeats for Life for Life will be hosting Dr. Michael Greger on July 20th.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Release of National Open Invitation For Oasis Jumpstart Program

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2016

RELEASE OF NATIONAL OPEN INVITATION FOR OASIS JUMPSTART PROGRAM
Communities Encouraged to Participate in “Let’s Get Healthier” Initiative

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF

The nonprofit organization PlantPure Communities released an Open Invitation today, inviting community groups across the country to participate in the launch of the Oasis Jumpstart Program. Organizations that want to lead a community-wide “Let’s get healthier” initiative are encouraged to apply to become 2016 PlantPure Oasis Pilot Partners.

The Oasis Program brings the 10-day Jumpstart seen in the 2015 PlantPure Nation film to people who otherwise would not have access and/or could not afford it. Nelson Campbell, the founder and executive director of PlantPure Communities (PPC), made the PlantPure Nation film to show the powerful benefits of a plant-based diet, and to underscore the importance of the nutrition research conducted by his father, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study—the bestselling book that former President Bill Clinton cited in his recovery from debilitating heart disease in 2010.

Despite spending more money on healthcare than any other country in the world, the U.S. has failed to stem the rising tide of chronic disease. Its primary weapons, a plethora of pharmaceuticals, mostly focus on symptoms and do not address root causes. Nearly half of all Americans are on some form of prescribed medication. “As bad as the problem is in the general population, it is even worse in low-income communities. That is why our program is focusing on low-income neighborhoods and food deserts,” said Nelson Campbell. Studies show that children from lower income households are twice as likely to be obese as children from higher income households. Exacerbating the problem, 11.5 million Americans live in food deserts. (The federal government defines food deserts as areas “in the U.S. with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities.”)

The Oasis program offers participants the opportunity to learn about the health benefits of a plant-based diet while enabling them to experience these benefits firsthand. Participants will have their biomarker data taken at the beginning and end of the 10-day Jumpstart period. Each person will receive twenty nutritious, whole-food, plant-based frozen meals and extensive community and technical support, including a ticket to watch the film PlantPure Nation at a local church, community center or online; a welcome packet; Jumpstart education; access to PlantPure Nation recipes and other educational and support information; and local support meetings and other events. As shown in the PlantPure Nation film, the Jumpstart program has been fully validated—the majority of participants in the Mebane Jumpstart on prescription drugs were able to reduce or discontinue those medications after just 10 days, and many people with diabetes, high lipids, arthritis and other chronic conditions found relief by the end of the program.

PPC is providing significant staff support, reduced pricing, and long-term support to the Pilot communities. Approximately five (5) nonprofit groups will be selected to participate as 2016 Oasis Pilot Partners.

There is no cost to apply and the online application, at www.plantpurecommunities.org, is simple. Applications are due August 15. Selected communities will be announced at the PlantPure Communities official Launch Event in New York City on November 16.

“The Oasis program is important not only because it will bring these health benefits to low-income communities sorely in need, but it will also continue to increase the growing body of evidence that shows the powerful ability of diet to reverse serious diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases. Nelson’s group is literally ‘jump-starting’ the application of what my 30+ years of research plainly documented: a whole-food, plant based diet can prevent and reverse the diseases that kill most Americans,” said T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

“Most people who grew up eating the standard American diet (aka SAD) are confused about what constitutes a healthy diet. People know they need to eat healthier, but they don’t know where to turn,” said PPC Associate Director Jody Kass. “The Oasis Jumpstart program builds a bridge between people who have tried over and over again to eat healthier, but find they don’t have the knowledge, time or resources to make lasting change.”

The Oasis Open Invitation and Application are posted on the PlantPure Communities website.

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