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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

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