Friday, December 20, 2019

Community Board #9 in the Bronx and #WFPB

The other day, we had our "last meeting of the year" for Community Board #9 at the ShopRite on Bruckner Commons and I did my usual 2 minute upate on our activities in this district.

It is some five years ago, when I was an active board member of CB#9, that I began to try and change the tone of our "health fairs" to emphasize prevention over treatment, and eventually it all led to my becoming more active in the Plant-Based community and eventually resigning from the Community Board completely.

First, I hooked up with PlantPure Communities, and then later that evolved into an association with PlantPowered Metro NY, which has emerged as sort of the "on the ground" presence underneath PPC.

NY State Sen Luis Sepulveda
One of the high points of the evening was Senator Luis Sepulveda speaking for the season, and praising my activities related to the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, and emphasizing that he himself had lost 43 Lbs (about 20% reduction in weight) and his cholesterol was normal again and his pre-diabetic condition was completely reversed. Hearing those kinds of results is really very powerful. He strongly endorses the diet.
He and his family had already switched to a plant-based diet before they learned about the things I am doing, but the point is, word is getting around.
Bronx Assemblyman Francesco Cabrera is another prominent Bronx Politician who is on the diet, and his experience has been very nearly as dramatic as that of Eric Adams.

I am grateful to know that many people are learning more about the diet and that there are a number of politicians actively involved, first and foremost the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, but several others in the Bronx and around town. These are the first signs of what will become a true healthcare revolution. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Lifestyle Medicine Dinner at Neerob

The other day, we had our Lifestyle Medicine dinner at Neerob. Varun Ponmudi, the CEO of Aayas Table gave us a presentation about the six person pilot program they offered in October - a month of WFPB instruction in your own home. Some basic biometrics were reported before and after. The mix of dietary habits was interesting, but on the whole the group averaged out on the healthy side of what is unfortunately normal, nevertheless, the results were significant, including a 4.5 lb weight loss during the period.

Results were good, but there were a few lapses.
Varun Ponmudi presenting results of AayasTable pilot program

  • Total Cholesterol went down for all six participants, with four out of six reporting ending numbers of below 150, Dr. Esselstyn's definition of "heart-attack-proof."
  • Triglycerides were more mixed. Two were up and four were down.
  • LDL at 30 days was down across the board.
A few people lapsed with some oil and processed vegan.

Unfortunately, none of the participants could be attend the dinner at this time, but from personal feedback I know that this program made a critical difference for some people. It is an enormous support to have someone help you out in your own home.
The high point of the evening in many ways was when Md. "Khokon" Rahman, the owner of Neerob, shared his own experiences. In August when he had a heart-attack, he was hospitalized with TC above 180, and his last bloodwork on 10/12/2019 showed TC at 92, prompting his physician to ask him how he did it.

The result is that Khokon is now a leader in his community in this area, along with the Bangladeshi nurse at Elmhurst, Md. Shariful Islam, who spoke at one of our dinners previously. Mr. Islam is always a shining example to me, because he came all the way from Elmhurst to become the patient of Dr. Ostfeld in the Bronx, purely because Dr. Ostfeld is a plant-based cardiologist. Here is a spectacular report on one of Dr. Ostfeld's patients, who googled his way out of bypass surgery to go and use lifestyle medicine instead, becoming a patient in Dr. Ostfeld's Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.

The whole point of the exercise in a way is that at a point when it is critical, an intervention may be unavoidable, e.g. a stent, or whatever, but as long as it is elective, things can be turned around very quickly on a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet.

The Food at Neerob

As per usual, Neerob did an outstanding job on the food. A great fresh green salad, a vegetable spaghetti salad, bean soup, a nice dal, brown rice, chinese style veggies, steamed broccoli.
Neerob will become a destination for #WFPB food in the Bronx. They achieved a Plant Pure Communities Restaurant certification in February 2019 and it is getting better all the time.