PlantPure Magazine August 2016

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Volume 1, Issue 5

plantpure M A G A Z I N E

Animal Agriculture and

Global Warming A Life Inspired Summertime Pet Care

~what we eat matters~

from the editor in chief

Season’s Greetings!


is the season for sharing home-grown or wildpicked summer treats. August is high season for so many whole foods—peaches, raspberries, melons, green beans, cucumbers, tender summer squashes, sweet and hot peppers, and tomatoes, glorious tomatoes! The first peaches of the season are a much-awaited treat. I usually purchase several half-bushels, but there is nothing like the first bite of ripe peach each summer. My favorite part of the high-season produce bounty is the exchanges and gifts of home-grown foods. When friends or family visit, I always try to send them home with something from my garden. We had friends over for supper recently, and our text conversation starting two days before the event went like this … Mark: “Sounds GREAT! What should we bring?” Me: “What are you harvesting?” Mark: “The garden is not as productive this year. Lots of bugs and such. May have some string beans and Zucetta [squash] by Tuesday. If so, I’ll make something ….” “Bringing all the fixings for ‘MATER sandwiches, featuring Cherokee Purple!” They then swept in about an hour later with the most beautiful, perfectly ripe, fresh tomatoes. These were sliced thickly and piled onto fresh bread with basil and salt and thoroughly enjoyed as our appetizer.

Photo by Amy Joy Lanou

Purchases and exchanges of harvest bounty are welcome opportunities to get creative with ripe, flavorful produce. This year, my first big purchase of peaches was turned into peach rhubarb crisp, a topping for breakfast oats, peach watermelon juice, and a surprisingly tasty peach, tomato, watermelon, and jalapeño salad with cilantro and lime juice. See Kim’s Kitchen on page 18 for healthy recipes for enjoying summer fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a minute to think about why else it is good to eat the bulk of your produce in season. First of all, as in the example above, the nutrient content of produce tends to vary with the nutritional needs for the season, making summer fruits and vegetables exactly what you need to thrive in the summer. See Whitney’s infographic on water in this issue (page 17). Secondly, eating food in season where you live is better for the environment. Your favorite foods grown nearby, in season, have a much lower ecological footprint—the weather and the soil are right for the plants, and the food doesn’t have to travel far, saving on energy use and pollution production. In this issue, Lee Fulkerson reminds us why producing food from plant sources, rather than from animal sources, is so much better for the planet. Eating seasonally helps the environment that much more. Finally, seasonal eating means eating congruently with the climate, soil, and water availability of the place that you live. If you find yourself traveling in late summer, as many people do, apply the same principle of local seasonal eating to your location. Susan Neulist, in “Destinations Unknown,” gives her expert advice on whole-food, plantbased eating wherever you find yourself this August. Happy harvest days,

Amy Joy Lanou Editor in Chief

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table of contents 6 Animal Agriculture and Global Warming

Lee Fulkerson explores how raising animals for food affects our planet, from deforestation to methane production to freshwater use.

8 Destinations Unknown

Avid traveler Susan Neulist talks about ways to stay plantbased while exploring new countries and cultures.

10 Grit and a PlantPure Nation

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, group leader Sally Lipsky talks about why some people don’t stick with a plant-based diet and how Pod groups can help.

14 A Desire to Give Back

Publisher Nelson Campbell Editor in Chief Amy Joy Lanou Editor Whitney Campbell Food Editor Kim Campbell Copy Editor/Designer Amy E. Bissinger

Detroit’s Paul Chatlin creates a sprawling support network.

on our cover

August is National Peach Month. Peaches (and other stone fruits) have been shown to help prevent obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Photo: iStock/Sarsmis

4 A Life Inspired

Brian Dobyns uses the power of a plant-based diet to reverse a rapidly growing brain tumor.

12 Summertime Pet Care

Staying cool and hydrated is just as important for pets during hot summer months.

16 Kim’s Kitchen

This month’s installment of greattasting plant-based recipes

The information presented in PlantPure Magazine is meant to be informational, educational, and inspirational, and is not intended as a substitute for personal advice or instruction by your health care professionals. Do not ignore advice from your health care professionals because of something you have read in this magazine. All opinions expressed are solely those of the writer(s), submitter(s), or quoted source(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine, its staff, its sponsors, its advertisers, and/or PlantPure Inc. PlantPure Magazine is not responsible for unsubstantiated claims made by recognized authorities, nor is it responsible for any claims made by advertisers in ads. Although the information within is carefully checked for accuracy, PlantPure Magazine, PlantPure Inc., the writers, contributors, advisors, sponsors, and any agents otherwise attached to the publication shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies, either written or implied, for any reason whatsoever, including negligence. Unless otherwise stated, all information included is the property of PlantPure Magazine and cannot be used, copied, or reprinted without express written permission. PlantPure Magazine is a publication of PlantPure Inc. and is published monthly, for distribution in the United States only. PlantPure Magazine, 101 E. Clay St., Mebane, NC 27302 USA. ©2016 PlantPure Inc.

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my PlantPure story

A Life Inspired

by Laura Dietrich

Brian Dobyns uses the power of a plant-based diet to reverse a rapidly growing brain tumor.


ometimes in life we come across someone whose story truly inspires us. Brian Dobyns’ life journey is both inspiring and thoughtprovoking. His story begins in 1999, when he was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor. At that time, his doctors told him that at any moment the tumor could begin to grow at a faster rate, and he should expect that to occur within five to 10 years. Brian describes his eating at that time as “terrible, with lots of fast food and quick foods—anything to get through the day.” Fast forward to 2010, when Bryan’s son decided to become a vegetarian after watching a deer die. This decision affected the whole family in a positive way. For the first time they started to become aware of what they were eating and slowly started to add more fruits and vegetables and decrease their meat consumption. But they were still eating pizza and ice cream, and the link between nutrition and health had

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not been made, although a gradual shift had begun. In 2012, the family’s home burned down, and they decided to move to Mebane, North Carolina, while they rebuilt. This ultimately proved to be a pivotal decision, as Mebane happened to be the small town where Nelson Campbell lived. During this move they did not have cable, so the family watched a lot of movies on Netflix and came across Forks Over Knives. Brian thought the movie was really interesting, but he had no further thoughts of changing his diet. Unfortunately, during this time Brian’s symptoms from the brain tumor started to become stronger and more apparent. In July 2013, Brian’s wife found out about the PlantPure Jumpstarts that Nelson was starting in Mebane. She encouraged Brian to participate, and they decided to do the program together. They found that they liked the food and the program was easy to follow.

Photo by Brian Dobyns

By October, Brian’s diagnosis had changed to a grade 3 rapidly growing tumor. As a result, Brian started a yearlong regimen of chemotherapy. He told his doctors about the PlantPure Jumpstart, but they did not seem impressed. Brian felt great throughout the chemotherapy treatments. One friend even commented that he looked better on chemo than he had years before. All of Brian’s doctors were very pleased at how well Brian did during his treatments, but again when he mentioned his plant-based diet, they were dismissive. Each time he went to a doctor’s appointment, he had to fill out a survey asking him whether he was eating—but never what he was eating. And with each follow-up visit, the doctors determined that the tumor was shrinking to the point that now the scar tissue was starting to disappear as well. Brian’s doctors have told him that this is the very best outcome they could have possibly imagined.

When Brian brings up how great he feels and the adoption of a plant-based diet, they nod their heads and murmur “that’s great” and move on to the next topic. Brian is not bitter about their dismissive attitude; rather, he wonders why this isn’t being investigated. Why isn’t the medical community looking into how diet can help people, along with drugs, to cure their cancers? The good news is that we are seeing some physicians asking these same questions and becoming aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet. The tide is beginning to turn as more and more people are hearing about the science behind plant-based eating and its positive effects on disease. Brian’s parting comments to me as we ended the interview were that oftentimes people think they are helpless to create change, but really the most important thing we can do is to simply change what we are putting into our bodies.

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Animal Agriculture and Global Warming

Photo and graphic: Pixabay

by Lee Fulkerson

Lee Fulkerson explores how raising animals for food affects our planet, from deforestation to methane production to freshwater use.


y now, it’s old news that global warming is not a figment of some scientist’s imagination, or that of a few fringe neo-hippies and fanatical environmental activists. It’s a chilling (forgive me) reality. For years, it was believed that carbon dioxide emissions from the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal were the major culprit. But more recently, the focus has shifted to animal agriculture. In 2006, a landmark report called Livestock’s Long Shadow, from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, pegged the amount at 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s higher than the 13 percent of emissions the FAO estimated for the world’s entire transportation sector (planes, trains, automobiles, etc.) combined. However, in 2009 a report by environmental advisors to the World Bank raised that number to a staggering 51 percent! Why the discrepancy? According to the World Bank experts, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s report severely underestimated the global warming effects of animal agriculture

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in three major areas: land use (mainly deforestation), methane emissions (a gas that—according to NASA— is 33 times more potent than carbon dioxide), and respiration (whodathunk that all those critters just breathing could be a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions?) According to the report, that amount is 8.7 billion tons, which is 3.7 percent of total worldwide emissions. Just how many critters are we raising for food? The UN report put the figure at 21.7 billion, while World Bank experts said it’s more like 50 billion. A more recent estimate says the number has now risen to 70 billion. No matter how you view it, that’s a lot of critters. But there could be a silver lining in this noxious cloud. Though far more potent than carbon dioxide, methane dissipates far more quickly. According to one of the World Bank experts, “Replacing livestock products with better [plant-based] alternatives would be the best strategy for slowing climate change …. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on greenhouse gas emissions

and their atmospheric concentrations than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.” Additionally, 20 percent of the Amazon’s rainforest has been destroyed since the 1970s. That’s an area the size of California. Eighty percent of this cleared land is now occupied by livestock. The World Bank report estimates that returning this, and other acreage around the world currently employed for raising and grazing livestock, to natural vegetation would scrub 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s 4.2 percent of global greenhouse gases. That’s saying a lot, but it’s not the end of the story. According to the FAO, between 1980 and 2004, global meat production nearly doubled. And it takes over 10 times the amount of energy from fossil fuels to produce a calorie of animal-based food than it does to produce a calorie of plant food, which also contributes significantly to global warming. Shifting weather patterns related to global warming have also contributed to a shortage of the world’s freshwater resources: Our lakes, rivers, glaciers, and aquifers are becoming severely depleted. According to a report from Ecosystems in 2012, “Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times higher than for cereals and starchy roots.” Producing 1 pound of meat requires more than 2,400 gallons of water, while one pound of wheat takes only 25 gallons. In 2005, the Water Science School of the United States Geological Survey estimated that livestock production used a total of more than 2 billion gallons of fresh water per day in the U.S. alone; livestock being defined as “dairy cows and heifers, beef cattle and calves, sheep and lambs, goats, hogs and pigs, horses, and poultry. Other livestock water uses include cooling of facilities for the animals and animal products such as milk, dairy sanitation and wash-down of facilities, animal waste-disposal

Sources 2009 World Bank Annual Report. AR09_Complete.pdf Kenny, J.F., Barber, N.L., Hutson, S.S., Linsey, K.S., Lovelace, J.K., and Maupin, M.A. Estimated use of water in the United States in 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1344, 52 p. 2005. 2009. Livestock’s Long Shadow: environmental issues and options. 2006. Mekonnen, Mesfin M. and Hoekstra, Arjen Y. “A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products.” Ecosystems, April 2012.

systems, and incidental water losses.” Globally, animal agriculture guzzles between 34 trillion and 76 trillion gallons of water per year. And not to be forgotten are all the starving people around the world. Cattle alone eat enough grain to feed 8.7 billion people—nearly 2 billion more than the population on Earth. With almost a billion malnourished people across the globe, redirecting even a portion of the grain used to fatten cattle could feed every hungry mouth on the planet. Sadly, things are getting worse. Between 1990 and 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from all sources grew by 60 percent. Experts contend that unless significant reductions in emissions are made within the next few years, by 2020 global warming will become irreversible. The clock is ticking, and it’s getting uncomfortably close to midnight. All this puts plant-based nutrition in a different light. It means that switching to a plant-based diet would not only have a beneficial impact on your own health, but that of the entire planet as well. That it would improve the lot of all the animals we wouldn’t need to slaughter for food, well, almost goes without saying. More reasons why going plant-based is a good thing—a very good thing.

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Destinations Unknown by Susan Neulist


am often questioned about whole-food, plant-based eating while traveling in this wide world. Can it be done and how easy is it? With a little bit of planning, it can be simple, fun, and part of the adventure at the same time. Different types of trips warrant different types of planning. I’ll not address business travel that often includes catered meals and convention-type situations other than to say for this type of travel you will have to make your preferences known in advance and likely will still have less control about what ultimately will be on your plate. For many trips, it is easier if you stay with friends or in an apartment, hotel suite, or home with your own kitchen. If long-term stays are included and you can have access to cooking facilities, your meal planning will be more like being at home. Perhaps your trip will be a combination trip, including lodgings with kitchens and those without. This is how my husband, Richard, and I travel ... if there is an option for a few days in one place, we try to find a hostel or apartment or room that includes kitchen use. Of course, there are numerous situations when that is not possible. Let’s talk about travels to places new to you and perhaps in cultures that are different than your home country. The first thing that I would recommend is to look online for restaurants and stores that cater

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to those of us who are eating our veggies. It is getting easier and easier to find these with reviews and details that make it easier when you arrive. In my case, if I know where I will be staying, I often look for one or two that are in close proximity for the first or second day. In fact, it is one of my favorite things about travel—to search out these spots and find them. Trying them out usually leads to making new friends or learning new information about where I am. It is a great way to take in a new city, especially with modern technology giving us the ability to walk or take transportation with live maps right in our hands. Embracing the food search as part of the adventure makes it just as important as other travel activities. We have recently traveled through the Andalusia region of Spain, well known for its ham culture, yet we encountered so many special restaurants that worked for us to eat. As I am writing, I am reminded of delicious plant-based paella with tofu in the tiny town of Aracena. The standard was set at that moment. Wherever we went from there, we indeed hoped to find another paella with tofu. Thankfully we found many veggie paellas, but no others made with tofu! Next on my list is searching for the farmers’ markets or other markets where the locals shop. I cannot imagine places in the world that do not have local

markets filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. They are a treat to the senses, with colorful produce selections and a myriad of smells and sounds, and they are great places to people watch and see how the locals live. We have enjoyed indigenous markets in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. If you will be traveling to places that do not share your language(s), make sure to spend some time learning specific basic food words. Even common English words and phrases like vegetarian, vegan, non-dairy, plant-based, etc., do not translate perfectly to other languages. What you might think is probably entirely plant-based in the U.S. might not necessarily be so in another country. For example, many recipes in some parts of Asia include fish sauces, but it is not necessarily mentioned on the menu or verbal descriptions of the dish. Learning to explain your wishes in the language of the country you are visiting will go a long way. If possible, try to find out the local foods of a country before you go so that you will know what to ask for and what to avoid. When we were in northern Spain walking the Camino de Santiago several years ago, it took only two mistakes to realize that when I ordered a salad that listed its ingredients on a menu (and I could understand the Spanish!) that it always included a hard-boiled egg, even when not written on the menu. I quickly learned to ask for my salad “sin huevos”! Lastly, make sure to plan well for your transit days. Nowadays, there is no predicting for flight delays, longer layovers, and situations when you will not be able to get your hands on a meal. Even requesting special meals on airlines is no guarantee that you will be able to eat well. I always travel with a variety of snacks that will suffice if there are no food options for hours. It makes the travel much less stressful. Some ideas for snacks are rice cakes with almond butter or peanut butter prepared in advance and wrapped separately; nuts or seeds with dried fruit; one or two fresh fruits that you can always eat before arriving in another country; plant-based meal bars; and, of course, some cut-up veggies. These are just a few ideas for your future travels … remember to enjoy the adventure and stay true to yourselves and your plant-pure choices. Susan Neulist is an artist, traveler, cooking instructor, activist for compassionate living, and blogger. She resides most of the year in San Miguel, Mexico. If you’d like to read more from Susan Neulist, check out her travel blog about food adventures she writes with Amy Joy Lanou:

Top: Market in Seville, Spain. Middle: Delicious camote (sweet potato)—street food at its best! Seville, Spain. Bottom: Paella with tofu in Aracena, Spain, at Restaurante Los Angeles. photos by Susan Neulist

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Grit and a PlantPure Nation by Sally Lipsky

Photo by Sally Lipsky


2014 study by the Humane Research Council indicated that 2% of U.S. adults (aged 17 and over) are vegetarians or vegans and 10% are former vegetarians or vegans—that’s 24 million people who have abandoned plant-based eating.1 The primary reasons for no longer eating a vegan/vegetarian diet are that they felt out of place in a crowd and had little interaction with likeminded people; 84% were not involved in a vegan or vegetarian group or organization. Importantly, with health being the main motivator, 37% of these people reported that they wanted to re-adopt a vegan/vegetarian diet. I thought about these numbers recently as I listened to two podcasts. The first was with Angela Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has done extensive research on the role of “grit” in achieving long-term goals.2 Duckworth describes grit as a character trait combining perseverance with personal passion, saying that “everybody knows that effort matters. What was revelatory to me was how much it matters.” Given the pervasiveness of the standard American diet, grit is essential to maintaining a whole-food, plantbased (WFPB) diet. Duckworth breaks down the concept of grit into four elements: interest, practice, purpose, and hope. Based on these, I offer suggestions for how those of us who fully embrace a WFPB lifestyle can assist others in adopting and sustaining plant-based eating.

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Interest The question of how we can develop and maintain the interest of others leads me to the second podcast, an interview with surgeon, professor, and author Atul Gawande.3 Gawande noted that ideas that provide immediate results and rewards spread faster than do ideas that require more effort and with gradual results. He also stated that personal interaction is crucial to the dissemination of new ideas. Face-to-face conversations are much more powerful in creating interest and promoting change than are evidence or facts. Knowing this, I suggest that Pod members consider ways to create personal conversations within your home community, such as forming a local support group or “mini-Pod.” Reserve a gathering space in your local library, community building, church, supermarket, or home. Then, set a regular day and time to meet (I’ve found that a weekday evening tends to work best). Since you are vying for people’s limited time and energy, it is important to give people a reason to attend. As leader of a local plant-based nutrition support group, I advertise a relevant topic for each monthly meeting, such as healthy eating when traveling, summer salads, favorite cookbooks, recipe roundtable, reading food labels, holiday meals, and Q & A sessions. I bring information or resources about the topic but also ask participants to share ideas and

materials. Publicize the meetings via Facebook, meet-up sites, flyers, e-invites, word-of-mouth, and the like. For each meeting, be mindful of how to make people feel comfortable and part of an inclusive, trusting group. For example, I start each month’s meeting with name cards, introductions, and sharing of experiences, recipes, or upcoming events. Since people tend to maintain interest if they feel some level of ownership within a group, find out what people expect and want from the group, as well as what they can contribute. Potluck events in which people are encouraged to bring a friend or family member are a great way to develop cohesiveness and ongoing interest. As people cannot always attend face-to-face meetings, an online presence helps to provide continuity. Consider sharing contact information and email addresses, or set up a page on Facebook. I created a monthly e-newsletter that includes a review of topics discussed in the previous meeting, agendas for the next meeting, nearby events and classes, current information or resources, and the like.

as the Culinary Rx course through Rouxbe Cooking School. Purpose Given that personal health is the primary reason that people try plant-based diets, regularly emphasize how a WFPB diet optimizes physical and mental health. Help others to instill a sense of purpose by sharing personal stories within your group, as well as reading personal testimonials from online resources (PlantPure Nation, Center for Nutrition Studies, Forks Over Knives, Happy Herbivore, McDougall newsletter). Encourage group members to write their own testimonials. Also, try instilling a mindset of continual learning within the group. Share current books, research findings, news, online resources, educational conferences, and the like. Furthermore, highlighting the other benefits of WFPB diets (animal welfare, environment) likely will deepen a sense of purposefulness and immediacy.

Help to strengthen people’s confidence in their abilities to improve and effect change—in themselves, their families and friends, and society at large.

Practice A key part of practice is trying out new dishes. So I recommend encouraging each person in your group to share recipes, books, and meal plans. I include recipes and links to online recipes in the monthly newsletters. Furthermore, organize potluck events so that people can taste a variety of dishes while swapping recipes. The moderatelypriced PlantPure Jumpstart meals offer an opportune way for people to try a range of meals. Cooking demonstrations and field trips to grocery stores and restaurants are other avenues for meaningful practice. Also, promote online plant-based cooking courses, such 1. Study of current and former vegetarians and vegans, Humane Research Council, 2014. 2. The power and problem of grit, National Public Radio, April 5, 2016. 3. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, retrieved June 11, 2016. http://

Hope We have reason to be optimistic in the plant-based world: Films and organizations are being created, medical establishments are becoming more aware, and numbers of adopters are rising. Besides sharing general good news with your group, be sure to build on members’ own successes, no matter how small the steps. At each meeting ask: What is one thing you have done this month to bolster your knowledge, experiences, and/or commitment to plant-based eating? Help to strengthen people’s confidence in their abilities to improve and effect change—in themselves, their families and friends, and society at large. Finally, I encourage you to continue your leadership efforts, even when you’re feeling disheartened. Accept that people will come and go within the group (I’ve had between two and 15 people attend meetings). However, know that your steadfastness toward creating a PlantPure Nation will strengthen the hopefulness and overall “grit” of others. Sally Lipsky leads the Pittsburgh East-Suburban Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group. She has a Ph.D. in education, a certificate in plant-based nutrition, and is founder of Food for Health, a nonprofit service providing workshops and information on topics related to healthy, plant-centered eating.

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Summertime Pet Care by Whitney Campbell


on’t forget to keep your pet cool and hydrated this summer! Remember that the average dog’s body temperature is 101–102.5 degrees F. While humans sweat in order to regulate body temperature, cats and dogs Can only cool themselves down by panting and releasing sweat on their paws. While cats are known to be more tolerant to heat, it’s still important to keep a fan running in your home and water bowls both inside and outside the house. Here are some things to remember and some tips to keep your pet healthy and happy this summer.


Did you know that even in seemingly cool, 70-degree weather, the inside of your car can heat up to 90 degrees F in just 10 minutes, and 100 degrees F in 20 minutes? Leaving the windows cracked has been shown to have no significant effect on temperature inside the car. Leaving your pets in a parked car during these months isn’t an option. If you do plan on

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traveling any distance with a pet, make sure you have your vehicle’s AC checked out beforehand.


Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paw pads, so testing this out with the back of your hand first is a good way to assess whether the pavement will be painful for your dog. If you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement for more than five seconds, then it’s too hot for your pet (courtesy of Moon Valley Canine Training). If the pavement is too hot, walk your dog in the grass during peak hours of the day, or in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler.


Keep water bowls in several places in the house and outside as well, if your pet is both in and outdoors. If you don’t have air conditioning or don’t run it, make sure you have a few fans running, and keep one near your pets’ beds or places where they typically hang out.


If you have a long-haired dog, keep its hair short and groomed, as longer, matted fur can attract flies and be uncomfortable in the hot weather. Similarly, regular brushing of thick- or long-haired cats can make your cats more comfortable in hot weather and, as an added bonus, will reduce hairballs.

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Going on a summer hike with your dog, or traveling with your pets? Try a portable pet water bottle. If you are leaving your pets in a fenced-in yard, make sure they have a shady place

Above photo by Amy Joy Lanou; all other photos from Pixabay

with water to cool off. For your dog, you can even keep a small kiddie pool in a fenced-in area.

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Be sure to keep your companion’s flea and tick prevention up to date, as summer is peak flea and tick season.

If your feline has white ears or a white face and spends time outside, limit his or her time in the sun during peak hours (roughly 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) each day. Cats with white ears or faces are especially prone to skin cancers; applying sunscreen is unlikely to be effective (and may be toxic) as felines are such meticulous groomers.

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A Desire to

Give Back

Detroit’s Paul Chatlin creates a sprawling support network by Whitney Campbell


aul Chatlin is the founder of the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG), a nonprofit organization designed to help educate and support those interested in a plant-based diet. With more than 2,400 members in southeastern Michigan in just over two years, his group started with humble beginnings, a simple mission, and a promise Paul made to himself when he was very sick. He decided then, if he made it out of this, he wanted to give back the message that saved his life. Paul is 58, and says at the age of 50, he considered himself a foodie, saying, “I ate anything and everything, worked out like crazy and figured as long as I work out, then I’m OK.” When he turned 50 he announced to his family that he was going to give up meat other than fish, switch from whole milk to half percent, and swap bad oils for what he thought was the good oil—olive oil. In the midst of a seemingly healthy lifestyle, however, he began waking up with chest pains. He passed the chest pains off as something minor and continued on with his daily life, believing they would pass. Within a few months, as the pain continued to worsen, he found himself at the point of simply not wanting to wake up in the mornings. After months of this, a doctor’s visit only brought

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on the fear he’d been avoiding. The doctor said, among other things, that he may need a heart transplant, but couldn’t pinpoint the cause of Paul’s chest pains. It was around this time that someone in his wife’s office with a connection to the Cleveland Clinic suggested Paul get a second opinion. Paul called the Cleveland Clinic and got an appointment in a short amount of time. This was Paul’s “first miracle,” as he calls it, as he was extremely lucky to have gotten an appointment so quickly. The “second miracle” happened when he was assigned to a cardiologist whose mentor was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. After tests showed complete blockage in his right artery and partial blockage in the others, his doctor then gave him the option of either triple bypass surgery or plant-based nutrition. Having seen the effects of heart disease in his family, he decided right away that he would try the nutrition approach. During this time, Paul couldn’t get enough to read, and after reading just the beginning of The China Study, he says it all begin to make sense for him. A line from How Not to Die—“we’re not living longer, we’re dying slower”— has stuck with him ever since. After a month on a plant-based diet, Paul’s symptoms disappeared, his cholesterol dropped from 347 to 127, and he lost 43 pounds, which he’s kept off

Whether you’re making subtle changes or jumping in, Paul advises giving these changes enough time so you can really see and feel the difference. ever since. Paul decided after his recovery to start a support group, hoping to make the transition process easier for those recovering from chronic illness. At that first meeting, which he co-hosted with Dr. Joel Kahn and planned for 20 attendees in a hospital classroom, 123 people interested in utilizing plantbased nutrition against heart disease showed up. As the group continued to grow, Paul realized the meeting place at the hospital wasn’t big enough and decided to move to a local high school. As membership continued to grow over 500, PBNSG became a 501(c)(3) and brought Dr. Kerrie Saunders on as executive director to assist with the goals and initiatives he had for the organization. Along with the main monthly speaker meetings, PBNSG offers members the chance to volunteer to host small groups in homes scattered across the state. This volunteer support gives individuals the opportunity to connect with others in a smaller setting,

closer to their homes. PBNSG currently has 16 small group hosts, with approximately 10 people in attendance each month. The newest group is for those using American Sign Language. These meetings are regularly held 10 times per year in each community and are structured with three components: sharing a meal, discussing an educational topic, and having some fun. The small group host opportunity helps foster connection both within communities and among neighboring communities. The result is more communication and relationships between people of all ages learning about plant-based nutrition. Paul attributes the fast growth of these groups largely to the connections made at main meetings, which typically consist of 200–800 people. But there was still something missing within the network. So PBNSG came up with the idea of Transition 101 classes for the “plant-curious,” or those new to the idea of plant-based nutrition. These classes

Facing page: Paul in front of his home in Detroit, Michigan. Above: Paul with Angie Sullivan and Caldwell and Anne Esselstyn. Photos courtesy of Paul Chatlin

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are offered free to anyone once. The Transition 101 classes help bridge the informational gap and offer a flow between the monthly main speaker meetings and the small groups. Eventually, advanced food demonstration classes will also be offered. By offering different types of volunteer team opportunities, education, and support systems, PBNSG has continued to grow exponentially. When asked about his own difficulties making the transition, as well as those of group members, he makes the analogy of jumping into cold water. Some people just jump in, and some like to ease their way in. The important thing, he says, is to figure out which person you are. Whether you’re making subtle changes, or jumping in, he advises giving these changes enough time so you can really see and feel the difference. After experiencing his own cholesterol

going to tell people what I know, and tell them the truth.” There may be many different voices in this movement, and they may not agree on every detail, but they all have one thing in common, which is WFPB eating styles. In the end, he says, “We don’t have to agree on this specific point or that point. There’s a greater good, and that’s the mission that embodies PBNSG and needs to be shared right there, which is to get the message out and change lives. There’s ignorance in labels. We have to check our egos at the door and be humble about it. The fact is, we have to be honest. We don’t have a huge groundswell and millions of people. No, we’ve got a small groundswell and more people. But we’ve got more than we had two years ago, and we just have to keep on educating, and then make sure that we have a common voice.”

Small group meeting in Rochester, Michigan (one of 16 groups in the Detroit area). drop from 347 initially to a record low of 127 today, he says that often, you can’t always see dramatic changes within a few days or a week, but given more time, this way of eating can change your life. Paul sees PBNSG as a way to give back to the world, to his family, and to future generations. But his main message, and one that’s often overlooked, is the importance of having one collective voice in the plantbased community and standing together as one. He says, “If we don’t get more people on board and have one common voice, then it’s not going to succeed.” When talking about this strategy of uniting behind a common purpose, Paul says, “I left my ego when I got heart disease and was told I may need a heart transplant. So I said from now on I don’t care, I’m

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Stay up to date on PBNSG via its website at Also, check out PBNSG’s Facebook page for more information on upcoming events. You can support the nonprofit 501(c)(3) by donating or volunteering to help with the initiatives Paul hopes will “provide hope for a better tomorrow and future generations.”

Kim’s kitchen Watermelon Salsa

Submitted by Kim Campbell Prep time: 15 minutes Ingredients 3 C seeded watermelon, small diced 1/2 red pepper, small diced 1/2 cucumber, peeled and small diced 1 mango, peeled and small diced

Serves: 6–8 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced 1/2 red onion, small diced 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 C fresh lime juice (about 3 limes) 2 T balsamic vinegar (optional) 1/2 t salt

Place the watermelon, red pepper, cucumber, mango, jalapeños, red onion, and cilantro into a large bowl and toss. Add the lime juice, vinegar (if using), and salt and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve with your favorite baked tortilla chips or whole grain toast.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Submitted by Kim Campbell Prep time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Yield: 6 servings Ingredients 2 C blueberries, frozen or fresh 4 C peaches, sliced 1 T maple syrup 2 t lemon juice 2 1/2 T cornstarch 1/4 C water

1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour 2 t baking powder 1/4 t sea salt 1/4 t nutmeg 3/4 C plant-based milk 2 t maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the blueberries, peaches, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Combine the cornstarch and water, making a slurry. Pour the slurry over the blueberries and peaches and cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes bubbly and thickened. In an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan, spread the blueberry and peach mixture evenly. Set aside. In a mediumsized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sea salt, and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well. Add the milk and maple syrup, stirring just until moistened.

Kim Campbell is the author of The PlantPure Nation Cookbook, which features over 150 of her whole plant food recipes. Kim has been a plant-based cook for 25 years and is gifted at creating dishes with flavors from traditional American cuisine. Kim has a bachelor’s degree in human service studies, with a concentration in nutrition and child development, from Cornell University. She has taught cooking classes in her community and through PlantPure Nation, and is the director of culinary education and head of recipe development at PlantPure Inc. Her educational videos are online at Kim is creating a second cookbook to be published this year.

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Photo: iStock/Romariolen

Drop the dough mixture by the tablespoon over the blueberries. You should be able to cover most of the fruit mixture with the dough. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.