June 13, 2016
Greater Cincinnati Group: http://www.plantpurepods.com/podsdirect/cincinnati-oh-greater-cincinnati-group/
After a PlantPure Nation showing at the UC Medical Center, the Greater Cincinnati Pod group was one of the first Pod groups formed. Shortly after the showing, group leader Chris Christenson signed up immediately to become a group leader, along with her co-leader Preeti Bansal Kshirsagar. Together, Preeti and Chris went on to organize the first group meeting to discuss goals and plans for the group. Going forward, they organized a table at the University of Cincinnati “Resolve to Get Healthy” event, a talk and interview by 94-year-old plant-based marathon runner Mike Fremont, and three free PlantPure Nation screenings. Their most recent event, a talk given by Dr. Rekha Chaudhary on nutrition and cancer, was a grand success with a turnout of over 100.
Mike Fremont’s interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfo__YrWxrg
Rekha Chaudhary’s talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woxRvewIy7g
Richard Brown helped to record the interview and presentation.
Through her work in health care, and a longtime interest in health, Chris was drawn to the PlantPure message from the beginning. When her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years ago, and chose to forego chemotherapy and radiation, he researched all of the foods that feed cancer, and all of the foods that fight cancer. This inevitably led her parents to go on a plant-based diet, leading her father to recovery. Combined with her interest in health, her dad’s success gave Chris the motivation to jump into a plant-based diet.
Dr. Pam Popper’s book, Food Over Medicine, was one of her earliest inspirations to become plant-based. From there, she learned about The China Study, going on to read all of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s books. This made her a true believer in a WFPB lifestyle, and opened her eyes to a wealth of plant-based information. Before the Pod group, she was inspired to start a Meetup group for plant-based eaters. We asked her for advice for other individuals looking to create change in their communities.
Chris emphasized the importance of free film showings, adding that anything free will always attract people. She also offered some valuable, often overlooked advice when it comes to being a group leader, saying, “It’s been really helpful for Preeti and I to have each other as co-leaders, because we have complementary skills, and it’s nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off of, and get these things organized, which can be a lot of work sometimes.”
Chris and Preeti have also gotten some of the vegan restaurants in town to donate food for some of the potlucks, which she says works both ways, as it’s a marketing tool for restaurants. Chris also mentioned that many people coming to their meetings are just getting started, so it’s important to remember that any sort of interest is valuable, and transitioning to a plant-based diet is a process—being welcoming and supportive is especially important.