Last night hubby and I headed to Zest Kitchen to be inspired by Marc S. Wood, a plant-based coach from New York City. While waiting for his presentation to begin, we started dinner with Revive Craft Cola Redux Kombucha.
It’s probably my favorite flavor since I gave up soda years ago, but sometimes miss the flavor. This is a fun, lower calorie version that’s much better.
I am a sucker for the chana wrap, it’s loaded with veggies and very satisfying while still being on the lighter side. And this version was loaded with avocado and jalapeno in a rice wrap.
Hubby tried the spicy mushroom burger with added jalapenos and hearty, gluten-free bread that did not disappoint.
Then we got to listen to Marc. I have actually never heard of him until I saw the event in our local vegan groups and he is a happy and passionate force of energy that loves to talk all things plant-based and health.
He started talking about his childhood in a Scottish fishing town and being one of the few that left and had an interesting past moving around the world following his dreams and developing a passion for the vegan lifestyle and drive to become a health coach after volunteering at a hospice center being exposed to people suffering with and dying from cancer and heart disease . That drove him to pursue becoming a certified health coach.
He talked for about an hour covering many topics on avoiding health problems and disease and some interesting points were:
- He is very anti-dairy, salt, and sugar urging people to avoid as much as possible.
- He feels genetics are only a small factor in diseases and health problems and we can control them more through diet and lifestyle.
- Very critical of the paleo diet stating there’s little to no research on it’s effectiveness and the history is very inaccurate.
- Stated chicken should never be considered a health food, it’s absolutely loaded with LDL cholesterol.
- Emphasized that a plant-based lifestyle is a journey and people should not be expected to change overnight.
- He discussed the environmental impact of eating meat and stressed that the biggest step someone can take to reducing climate change is to stop consuming meat and dairy products and referenced the Cowspiracy documentary which is on Netflix.
- Stressed focusing on the positives when coaching others and being a positive influence.
- And he talked a lot about the inaccurate health studies funded by food industries and to always be careful about checking who funded big studies before considering their value.
- He also recommended the What the Health documentary which will also be on Netflix soon..
- And recommended the book The Pleasure Trap which looks very interesting.
- He talked a lot about Americans being dangerously obsessed with protein getting many times more than they actually need daily and from animal products with is bad news for long term health and so many processed meats in the US are loaded with nitrates which are linked to cancer – so much so the World Health Organization has issued warnings.
Overall it was a great talk, I was really inspired by how passionate he is and well versed obviously doing all of his homework. I enjoyed listening to the audience questions, one woman begged and was very emotional on what she needed to do to convince her family who are very critical of her plant-based lifestyle and refuse to consider dairy as a bad thing. He reminded us that you can’t force people to change and quoted Buddhist teachings, and urged her not be miserable worrying about them and be positive influence when possible
A couple of things I didn’t entirely agree with are he is anti-protein powder and I use it frequently in smoothies, though have been considering trying other options. And he’s anti running! He stressed that it ruins joints over time and recommended swimming and elliptical types of low-impact cardio instead. I don’t agree with that after doing a lot of research on both sides.
Overall it was a great evening and I found him to be a passionate and inspirational speaker which I enjoy because I’m always looking for ways to be a better inspiration myself and hearing what others question and value when it comes to a healthy and compassionate lifestyle.