Headline reads: “Followers of plant-based diet reach age 100 and are still going strong!”  …Many people have found excellent quality of life, completely avoiding heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and cancers.  How do they do it??!!


If you could have a significantly lower chance of breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, dementia, and a virtually non-existent chance of stroke, heart disease or type 2 diabetes would you change your eating habits to obtain this reality?


Never before has there been such a mountain of research supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet as the key to optimum human wellness!  Just Google any of these names and you will find loads of testimonials, and abstracts of studies clearly demonstrating a significant correlation between a whole foods diet rich in fruits and vegetables and positive health outcomes…. T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip Esselstyn, John A. McDougall, Julianne Heaver, Joel Fuhrman, Jeff Novick, Doug Lisle, Neal Barnard, Dean Ornish, Brendan Brazier, Scott Jurek, Bill Clinton, Sanjay Gupta, etc.


If we want to have the best possible quality of life and the best chance of being free of disease, not to mention fewer colds and flu, then we need to get serious about food.


Food is all I think about and I want food to be the most important thing that you think about on a daily basis.  It’s a new year, and those of you out there who haven’t 100% committed to a plant-based diet, now is the time to go “ALL IN.” 


When you look at research on human change, the “slow and steady” approach only works for a small percentage of people.  Most of us need to embrace a new lifestyle immediately and with 100% determination in order to succeed at the change we desire.


Here’s your assignment for this first weekend of 2013:
(1)  If you’ve already adopted a plant-based diet lifestyle, then commit to helping one person you love make the transition to healthy eating.
(2)  If you haven’t seen the film Forks Over Knives yet, watch it this weekend via Netflix or Amazon streaming video.  If you have already, watch it again.  Better yet, invite your neighbors over and have a viewing party.
(3)  Remove all the processed and packaged foods from your pantry, cupboards, fridge, freezer, basement, garage, or wherever you have them hiding.  Throw these things out, or donate them.
(4)  If you haven’t already, purchase a plant-based cookbook such as Forks Over Knives and bookmark 3 recipes you’d like to make this weekend.  Or, search a plant-based blog for recipes such as,,, or If you are new to this way of cooking, choose the simplest recipes with ingredients you understand and are readily available.  Set yourself up for success!
(5)  Make a grocery shopping list of the ingredients you need to complete the recipes you’ve chosen.  Add to it the following:


  • 1 of each of these fruits: apple, banana, and citrus fruit of your choice - per person in your household per day (i.e. if you are shopping for food for the next 5 days and there are 3 members in your household you would buy 15 apples, 15 bananas, 15 citrus fruits)  Three is the minimum number of fruits that each person should eat per day.
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) of mixed salad greens or spinach per person per 5 days
  • 1 bunch of kale or swiss chard per person for every 3 days
  • ½ pound of raw or frozen vegetables per person per day
  • 1 garlic bulb (for use with sautéing kale or chard)
  • 2 lemons (squeeze juice over sautéed greens or steamed vegetables)
  • 1 pound of whole oats or Bob’s Red Mill Muesli or similar whole grain cereal per person per 5 days


This will get you started and set up for the next 5 days.  If you still have remaining produce in your house after the 5 days you didn’t eat enough.  The quantities I have listed above are minimum requirements.  The goal is to increase the volume over time as your body and palate adjusts.


I’ve decided I am going to offer free unlimited email support to all Joyful Elephant followers from now through January 15th.  If you have a question, email me and I will provide an answer to you within 24 hours (48 if it’s a weekend.)  I want you to succeed and I’ll do all that I can to make sure that you get a great start in this new year.  …and it would be wonderful if you refer yourself or a friend for my food coaching service, because after all that is how I make my living.  My direct, honest, valuable insight (and recipe consultation) is free to you until January 15, 2013.




In great health,