2.08 Reflect on Your Current Diet

Take a moment to stop and think about what you eat every day. Think about your breakfast, lunch, dinner and the things that you snack on. How has your upbringing and culture affected what you chose to eat? How has convenience, advertising, the food industry, government policies and advice from your doctor influenced what you eat? We will explore these topics in the healthy eating section.

While you have not yet dug into the details of heart healthy nutrition in the Healthy Eating section, this is a good time to start to think about how you may make some positive changes.

Think about all the processed foods that you eat and those that you have in your refrigerator, cabinets and pantry. Eventually you will want to replace these with healthier options. Think about the foods that have cholesterol, saturated fat, sugar and oils in your house. We want to eventually dramatically reduce or eliminate these items.

At this point in your journey to optimal heart health, it is a good time to look at another resource about using nutrition to promote heart health and even prevent other deadly disease such as cancer. A documentary called “Forks Over Knives” rocked the world in 2011 and is available on Netflix or www.ForksOverKnives.com. Now is a great time to watch this documentary.


Forks Over Knives follows the journey of a few people trying to improve their health through lifestyle changes. Throughout the documentary, the life story of two renown researchers, Caldwell Esselstyn M.D. and T. Colin Campbell Ph.D are shown including detailed interviews with these pioneers in the field of nutrition and health.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn was raised on a dairy farm. Heart disease ran in his family. His father died from a heart attack at age 43. This set Caldwell on an amazing life journey. He won an Olympic gold medal in rowing. He earned his M.D. degree from Case Western University, then completed his internship and residency at the famous Cleveland Clinic. He then served in the Vietnam War as an army surgeon winning a “Bronze Star”. He went on to a career in surgery at Cleveland Clinic serving as president of the medical staff and a member of its Board of Governors.

He had an epiphany one day and just did not want to keep removing cancer from patients or promoting coronary artery bypass surgeries that do not address the underlying cause of the illness, America’s poor diet and lifestyle. He started an amazing heart disease prevention program at Cleveland Clinic showing the power of a whole foods plant based diet to “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”, which is the title of his best selling book.

Dr. T Colin Campbell has a similar impressive story. Also raised on a dairy farm, Dr. Campbell was a nutritional biochemist at Cornell University. His life research led him to the conclusion that a whole food plant based diet is ideal for optimal health for both cancer prevention and heart disease prevention. He is the author of the best selling book “The China Study.”

Take the time at this point in your HeartStrong.com program to watch the documentary “Forks Over Knives”. This is a great way to take in a large amount of information and see the power of nutrition in keeping you healthy.

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