News from Plant Powered Omaha

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Group Leader Laurie Foral of Plant Powered Omaha held her 4th monthly event on July 23, 2019, on the Nebraska Methodist College campus. 45 members attended to hear Dr. William Schleifer (who is also a member of the Pod) give a fantastic presentation on behavior change. He also shared some of his personal experiences and transition to WFPB. The group was really captivated! He made the presentation informative, relevant, and humorous.

Dr. Schleifer is a cardiologist at Nebraska Medicine where he treats heart rhythm disorders. He said this was his “very first presentation on plant-based nutrition”, which gave rise to thunderous applause! An engaging Q&A session was held afterwards and could have easily continued well beyond the allotted time. Dr. Schleifer and his wife Mary then offered their home as a location for the first Pod potluck, which Laurie plans to organize for some time in September.

The meeting also included a short presentation on the Restaurant Campaign given by Laurie. Several members volunteered to help get it started in their community. Finally, Laurie shared a reminder about the upcoming Healthy for a Lifetime Conference happening in Omaha on October 19th where Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn will be the keynote speakers. So exciting!

Original Submission received from Laurie Foral, Group Leader of Plant Powered Omaha Pod in Omaha, Nebraska on August 14, 2019.

Impact Of Plant Based Diet on a Rural Indian Artisan – A True Account

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The Virsā Pod strives to bring the whole food, plant-based nutrition health message through the empathically persuasive means of wellness coaching and motivational interviewing to artisan women and their families in Punjab, India.
Group Leaders and mother-daughter team, Nivi Jaswal (Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach, NBC-HWC and ACLM certified Lifestyle Medicine Coach based in Boston MA) and Dr Sushma Jaswal (retired Anthropologist and Researcher based in Punjab, India), are passionate and motivated to educate women in the rural areas of Punjab, their homestate in India, about the benefits of lifestyle change, eliminating animal products and eating a low-fat, plant-based diet.
The short-film shared here showcases a true account of the impact of Plant Based Diet Intervention (Sept 2018) and Wellness Coaching (April 2019) has had on an elderly Rural Handicraft Artisan that the Virsā Pod serves.
Read the September 2018 Pod News Story about the Virsā Pod here!

Inspiration in Israel!

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November 10, 2018

The Path to Health Pod in Israel regularly hosts events where participants learn about the benefits of healthy whole food, plant-based eating. The Group Leader, David Goldstein, teaches about nutrition, ethics, sustainability, economics, and compassion to people who are completely new to this way of eating. During these events, participants are offered delicious food, which they later learn to be free from animal products, oil, salt, and sugar. The participants have an “immediate epiphany” when they realize how delicious this food is, inspiring them to adjust their diets and be part of the change. David reports that unanimously the participants find the food “good to the last drop” and “finger licking good” – there is never any food left behind!

To date, the Pod has reached over 2,000 people directly through these events, and many more indirectly through word-of-mouth and online information. David has big plans to launch a campaign to end world hunger, where he will work with hotels, catering halls, and community organizations to provide healthy, WFPB meals to local people who cannot afford to buy their own food. Learn more about the Path to Health Pod and the inspiring projects and plans here:

Original Submission received from David Goldstein, Group Leader of the Path to Health Pod in Israel.

Networking Event & Plant-Based Science Talk

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September 13, 2018

The Plant Powered Manhattan Pod hosted its monthly networking event for the whole food, plant-based community, featuring Dr. Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, cardiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine. He presented recent scientific findings such as how important fiber is in reducing all-cause mortality, how unhealthy plant-based diets are just as bad as omnivorous diets in contributing to cardiovascular disease, and some fascinating studies on the microbiome and what happens when we change our diets. Dr. Yaghoobzadeh also spoke about applying WFPB nutrition in his practice and the results he was seeing with his patients, which are truly remarkable. 


The Pod also made time for personal connection, story sharing, and troubleshooting (especially how to live WFPB in a non-WFPB world). The attendees contributed a delicious potluck dinner. Another local plant-based doctor attended who was so amazed by the food, she said it was the best meal she’d had all week.

Original Submission received from Lianna Levine Reisner, Group Leader of the Plant Powered Manhattan Pod in Manhattan, New York.

Dentist Advocates Systemic Health | Plant Empowered Redding, Redding, CA

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May 9, 2017 

The PlantPure Pod group, Plant Empowered Redding, held a screening of the new documentary film, What The Health, on March 21st this year. The event was attended by 55 members and is just one example of how the Pod is leading the way in their community of Redding, CA, in a movement group leader Dr. Mike Nelson, DDS, calls, “systemic health.”

Dr. Nelson is a local dentist who began his journey into the whole food, plant-based lifestyle after watching Forks Over Knives and reading The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, recommended to him by a friend, Dr. James Bennie. After experiencing the immense benefits of the lifestyle and witnessing its ability to help his patients suffering from oral health issues, Dr. Nelson started a group called McDougall Mondays with Dr. Nelson in 2012.

“My purpose is to empower people to own their oral health and it has grown to become a mission of empowering people to own their total health,” Dr. Nelson says. “Through dentistry and an understanding of the consequences, the oral connection to systemic health, we have an opportunity to see, diagnose, teach, and ultimately change people’s lives.”

Now, Dr. Nelson offers an evening extension of the group through the Pod, Plant Empowered Redding. The group is very active, hosting a variety of fun and informative events biweekly. In the past, the group has held potlucks, visited a local grocery store, screened PlantPure Nation, and even Skyped with Dr. Klaper.

Both Dr. Nelson and Dr. Shanhong Lu, an internist practicing in Mt. Shasta, spoke at the March 21st event. Dr. Lu, who leads the Mt. Shasta Integrative Medicine Pod, shared her personal journey from China 25 years ago to the U.S. Both doctors were available for a question and answer period for those attending.

Plant Empowered Redding benefits and supports many local residents dealing with chronic health conditions by providing information and resources through the Pod meetings.

“We have people with MS who have benefited from referrals to the McDougall 10 day program,” Dr. Nelson explains. “Others with RA, GERD, cancer, high cholesterol, and afib attend, as well.”

Dr. Nelson says participants are seeing improvements in their health. He is adamant about providing people with proper nutrition education.

Since the movie screening in March, Plant Empowered Redding has hosted a Taco Tuesday potluck and a presentation of Dr. McDougall’s book, The Starch Solution.

If you live in or near Redding, CA, and would like to join this group or find out about an upcoming event, you can do so by visiting the Plant Empowered Redding Facebook page or contacting Dr. Mike Nelson:

To find out more about Dr. Nelson’s practice, visit his 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 Helm, Digital Marketing & Communications Manager

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

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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