Monthly Archives

February 2017

New Pod Gaining Ground | Plant Based Chico, Chico, CA

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

February 28, 2017

Plant Based Chico Nancy MathewsOnce a sufferer of hypothyroid disease, fatty liver syndrome, high cholesterol, eczema and joint pain, Nancy Mathews has witnessed firsthand the healing abilities of a plant-based lifestyle. In the five years since making the switch, all of Nancy’s health issues have disappeared—her numbers have dropped, her pain is gone, and she’s 100 pounds lighter.

Now, Nancy is on a mission to help others find success: she recently created the PlantPure Pod group, Plant Based Chico, and has committed herself to educating as many people as she can in her local community of Chico, California, about plant-based nutrition. In the mere weeks since starting her group, membership has skyrocketed—and Nancy and her husband Nick intend to keep the momentum going.

In January, the group held its first meeting with 24 in attendance. Nancy brought her library of plant-based books along to share with the group, and Nick prepared Kim Campbell’s minestrone soup, which everyone devoured. The couple also baked corn tortilla chips in their air fryer and prepared a hummus from the Engine 2 Diet.

“I think having food at the meeting relaxed people,” she says. “It’s communal to share a meal. People were asking about the recipe, and I showed them Kim’s new book.”

Nancy was determined to introduce the group to healthier options they could easily make from ingredients found at their local grocery store. After sharing her weight loss and health journey, she discussed the importance of a plant-based lifestyle and is looking forward to delving more into the science behind it at future meetings.

“My goal for Plant Based Chico is to be a resource where people know they can attend consistent monthly meetings and expand their knowledge of nutrition,” Nancy explains. “I want them to bring their family and friends and feel confident that the information provided through the group is backed by science and research.”

Plant Based Chico Nancy MathewsNancy has a lot of big dreams for the group. Next month, Plant Based Chico will hold a viewing of PlantPure Nation, and in March, Lani Muelrath, M.A., an award-winning teacher, author and Certified Specialist in Behavior Change and Plant-Based Nutrition, will be guest speaking. April’s meeting will include a viewing of Forks Over Knives, and Nancy is also in the midst of scheduling field trips to Whole Foods for guided grocery tours, as well as to Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center and to True North, both in Santa Rosa, CA.

“So many people in our community have no clue that a plant-based lifestyle exists, and that there are hundreds of experts, resources, doctors, restaurants and an entire economy devoted to vegan living,” Nancy says. “Several members at our meeting were amazed by the amount of resources out there!”

In the meantime, Nancy and Nick are doing their best to keep the group engaged online between meetings. They’ve created a Facebook group where they share recipes, articles from PlantPure Nation, Forks Over Knives, and Dr. Greger, and photos of what they’re cooking up at home. They encourage group members to ask questions and offer answers for beginners making the transition. Only in their second month, the group has already expanded to 152 members. We are inspired by Plant Based Chico’s success in their community!

If you live in or near Chico, CA, and would like to join this group or find out about an upcoming event, you can do so by visiting either the Plant Based Chico Pod page or Facebook group.

We love seeing the ways you are creating PlantPure communities in your area! Send an email to if you would like to share news, updates and events.

By Kristyn Pankiw Helm, Social Media Manager, PlantPure Communities

Dinner with the Doctor | Long Island PlantPure™, Long Island, NY

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

February 16, 2017

The Long Island PlantPure™ Pod hosted a fun and interactive Dinner with the Doctor event at the home of Caroline Hartridge, Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), on December 15, 2016.
The event, organized with the help of Pod leaders Mitchell Castell and Bobby Nagelberg, was a huge success, with 26 people in attendance.

Dr. Hartridge and her wife Elaine Danoff created a delicious taco bar for the Pod to indulge in, which featured everything from rice, beans and guacamole to homemade salsa, hot sauce, and nut cheeses. There were also roasted potatoes, cumin roasted cauliflower, purple cabbage with lime, corn and flour tortillas, and dates with dried black olives and almonds for members to munch on.

After the dinner, Dr. Hartridge spoke about her personal journey to wellness from osteopathic medicine to whole foods, plant-based medicine, explaining that, “these modalities combined helped me heal myself from two chronic health conditions.”

With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Education, Dr. Hartridge has created a practice that acknowledges the connection between the environment and our health. She calls this practice ‘sustainable medicine.’

Dr. Hartridge also held a question and answer session, which gave those attending a chance to hear directly from a professional. In fact, thanks to the connections made at the December event, Dr. Hartridge has since been able to help several people on their plant-based journey.

The Long Island PlantPure™ Pod is active and growing. Mitch says members are quickly spreading the word about the Pod to the local community. Many are from local vegan meetup groups, which provides an opportunity for the Pod to connect the issues of animal and environmental welfare with the health benefits of eating plant-based.

“Providing a support group is just one of the many services our Pod offers,” Mitch remarks. “Many of the people who attend love the comfortable atmosphere to talk all things plant-based with likeminded others—something they really don’t have an opportunity to do at home, work or with friends.”

“It was a wonderful evening, everyone was actively engaged, including those well into their journey, and those new to plant-based eating,” says PPC’s Executive Director, Jody Kass, who is a member of this Pod and attended the event with her husband, Arthur Finkel. “What was especially wonderful was to see all the young people who enthusiastically participated,” she added.

So, what’s next for Long Island PlantPure™?

We are in the preliminary stages of putting together a VegFest on Long Island,” Mitch explains.

Mitch says they are working on a resource paper to hand out, which would provide basic information and help beginners on their plant-based journey; there is also the potential for another event at the Cinema Arts Center where local WFPB doctors can host presentations.

If you live in or near Long Island, NY, and would like to join this group or find out about an upcoming event, you can do so by visiting either the Long Island PlantPure™ Pod group page or Facebook page, or contact Mitch Castell:

To find out more about her practice, visit Dr. Hartridge’s website.

We love seeing the ways you are creating PlantPure communities in your area! Send an email to if you would like to share news, updates and events.

By Kristyn Pankiw Helm, Social Media Manager, PlantPure Communities

Cruelty-Free Feast | South Shore Herbivores, Duxbury, MA

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

February 1, 2017

South Shore Herbivores, a PlantPure Pod group in Duxbury, MA, held a delicious Cruelty-Free Feast on November 5, 2016, as a plant-based alternative to turkey-centered Thanksgivings.

After hearing many people express their difficulties going plant-based, group leader and holistic health counselor Andrea Liddell came up with the idea for the Cruelty-Free Feast. Her goal was to show that those following a WFPB lifestyle can easily indulge in their favorite comfort foods.

“I wanted to show they could still enjoy a holiday without missing out on anything,” she explains. “Being plant-based is about progress, not perfection.”

For the feast, the group switched out a traditional turkey for Gardein’s Holiday Roast. They also had vegan mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, veggie sides, gelatin-free cranberry sauce, salad, oil-free cheeses, crackers, and fruits, plus a few decadent desserts—including pumpkin pie, cupcakes, and Kim Campbell’s brownies from the PPN cookbook.

“We had about fifteen people for the feast—even a plant-based vegan baby, who couldn’t get enough of everything!” Liddell exclaims.

Her group serves as a learning tool for many people in the local area. Liddell and other members work to clear up major health and diet misconceptions by holding interactive monthly events. Many people have made the switch to plant-based vegan or vegetarian since the group’s creation, and many who were already plant-based have decided to give up oil, as well.

“They see that plant-based doesn’t have to be boring,” Liddell says.

She believes the best thing about the Pods is the ability for others to see firsthand the immense benefits and abundance that come with being plant-based, without sacrificing their favorite foods or compromising taste. Liddell always makes sure the events are centered around not just food, but education.

“Delicious food grabs your attention,” she explains, “but at the same time being able to teach about the impact on your health, the environment and animal welfare—you walk away with a better connection to your choices.”

Liddell is currently brainstorming the theme for their next meet up in February. We can’t wait to see what creative event she and her group host next!

If you live in or near the Duxbury/Plymouth area and would like to join this group, you can do so by visiting the South Shore Herbivore Pod group page.

Have exciting news to share about your PlantPure Communities Pod group? Send an email to for a chance to be featured on our social media and profiled in our newsletter each month.

By Kristyn Pankiw Helm, Social Media Manager, PlantPure Communities