The Food=Medicine conference is a weekend-long event with panels, classes, and screenings where you can learn more about the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet.
When we think about food trends, we usually picture the hot new superfood or trendy dish. But there’s another exciting food trend that I hope never goes out of fashion. More and more people are recognizing the power of diet to prevent disease.
If you’re a regular reader here, that idea is probably a no-brainer to you, but for a lot of folks it’s a revelation. It makes sense, right? We live in a place where medical students learning nutrition is big news, and we tend to reach for a pill to cure our health woes rather than look at possible lifestyle causes.
The power of a healthy, plant-based diet is something that Benji Kurtz knows about first-hand. He lost more than 100 pounds and 19 pants sizes just by switching to a whole food, plant-based diet. He yo-yo dieted for years until 2013 when he watched the food documentary Forks Over Knives. If you’re not familiar with the film, you can stream it for free on Netflix.
Kurtz switched to a vegan diet and has never looked back. His journey from severe obesity to plant-based health inspired him to organize the Food=Medicine Conference here in Atlanta with a stellar line-up of 16 nutritional pros talking about the whys and hows of a plant-based lifestyle.
Food=Medicine Conference: Speakers, Events, and FOOD!
There will also be optional morning bootcamp workouts with personal trainer John Pierre. On Saturday night, the conference is hosting a showing of the new film PlantPure Nation. You can check out the trailer for that right here:
The Saturday night event is a dinner-and-a-movie situation. The conference organizers are providing free vegan buffets on Friday night; for breakfast, lunch, and supper on Saturday; and for breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
Food=Medicine is More than Just Hype
The idea of food as medicine is especially personal to me. Ten years ago, at age 26, I had extremely high cholesterol. My LDL cholesterol was 240, and my doctor wanted to put me on Lipitor. At 26. No, thank you. Instead, I asked for a few months to change my diet. I was pescatarian at the time, and cutting out animal products reduced my numbers to a healthy range in just three months. I’ve been vegan with normal cholesterol levels ever since.
Kurtz’s and my stories aren’t anomalies when it comes to fixing health problems with a plant-based diet. There are numerous studies showing that a whole food, plant-based diet helps prevent disease. The most famous is Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s China Study, which looked at the links between diet and disease. Dr. Campbell lectures all over the country about how food=medicine, and you can read about one of those lectures right here.
The health benefits of a plant-based diet are so well-documented that insurance giant Kaiser Permanente is asking its doctors to recommend plant-based eating to all of their patients.
Whether you are vegan now or just veg-curious, this conference is a great place to learn more about plant-based eating and vegan nutrition. I’m going to be covering the conference for Eat Drink Better, so if you do attend, I hope that you’ll come say hello! You can register for the conference right here.