About Me

Hi, I’m Jeff. I’m a 30 year old living in Santa Monica, CA.

I’ve loved eating meat my entire life.  From my mother’s flank steak to BBQ-soaked trips to Memphis and Kansas City, I’ve always considered myself a carnivore.  I’ve done crave case challenges at White Castle – I even brought a friend there for Valentine’s Day one year (classy I know). The “Rib America” festival I went to a few years ago in St. Louis was one of the greatest days of my life – the best BBQ from around the country all on one street, not to mention George Thorogood playing on stage in the background. My how things have changed.

When I first decided to eat a plant-based diet, the majority of my friends thought to themselves:

“This is just a weird phase he’s going through, he’ll miss the meat too much.”
“What in the heck is he thinking?”
“What’s the point?”

Let me go ahead and answer those questions for you to save you the trouble. You’re welcome.  I’m in it for the longhaul – this isn’t a phase or some crazy fad I’ve decided to try; it’s a complete lifestyle change and I’m fully committed to it. I’d been doing some casual reading about nutrition and learned a few things about organic foods (like Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food,”) but I didn’t really end up making any drastic dietary changes.  I tried a lot of the popular diets and followed the “Men’s Health” recommended way of eating, started working out more aggressively, but nothing was happening. I was beginning to think I was destined to be somewhat pudgy with bad skin my whole life…I was just a “big framed” guy.

All that changed after I read Dr. T Colin Campbell’s incredible book “The China Study” and started focusing on consuming as many micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber) in their natural form and stopped worrying about the macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) and trying to adjust the ratios to achieve some sort of beneficial result. In other words, I started focusing on preserving my long term health rather than trying to cheat the system to achieve immediate results, and to that end, I’ve switched to a plant-based diet.  Basically, I’m a vegan, but I really don’t like to use that word, “vegan.” It calls to mind Birkenstock-wearing hippies living up in trees in Berkeley, and I am certainly not one of those.  My switch to a plants-only diet is supported by a tremendous amount of evidence that suggests eating animal-based and processed foods is highly correlated to chronic diseases such as certain cancers (liver, prostate, breast, and colon, among others), diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and a mess of other unsavory ailments I’d rather not have to deal with.  In other words, a Western diet begets Western diseases.  What’s even more, I’ve learned about the amazing power of a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet to correct the damage done by animal products, processed foods, and stimulants.  Not only can we prevent the biggest causes of death in this country, we can actually treat them effectively with nutrition.

The incredible thing about focusing on long-term health by eating a nutrient dense, plant-based diet is the incredible short-term and immediate results that become a byproduct of your long-term focus. After struggling to lose weight, clear up my skin, and get leaner and stronger, excess pounds absolutely melted off almost effortlessly when I switched to a plant-based diet. My skin cleared up, my mental clarity improved so much it felt as if I was emerging from a dense fog, and my energy levels and performance in the gym skyrocketed.

before and after

Before (2007) and After (2012)

I started this blog to serve as a public diary of sorts to show others that while there may be some difficulties to getting rid of the animal-based foods in your diet, its not that tough.  In fact, there are so many delicious plant-based foods to eat its somewhat overwhelming.  I explore different kinds of foods to eat and drink, both raw and cooked, and I hope that readers will contribute suggestions for recipes and food items I’m missing out on.  America is the world’s best fed yet most undernourished country, and it’s all due to the fact that we don’t eat enough unprocessed fruits and vegetables, especially in their raw state.  That’s why I’ve become a plant eater, and I hope you’ll join me, or at least read this blog and start thinking about the food you’re putting in your body.

I’m now a certified Nutritional Education Trainer, helping to improve the eating habits of individuals and families.  I also give group talks, grocery store tours, and cooking demos.  Eating this way has drastically changed my life for the better and I feel strongly compelled to pay it forward.  I’ve also completed a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the eCornell’s T. Colin Campbell-designed program, and I’m a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and board certified from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  If you’d like to set up a consultation appointment, email me at theplanteater@gmail.com.  You don’t have to be in LA to work with me, I’m happy to speak with you via Skype or another form of video chat.  Learning how to change your eating style to lose weight, prevent disease, and clear your mind takes practice, and I’m here to help you make the transition.  It took me a long while to hone my eating habits and make it a routine, and while I’m grateful to have had an incredible support system by way of my family to help me out, I only wish that I had been fortunate enough to have someone to guide me through the process and lead me in the right direction.  That’s what I’m here to do for you.

On another note: Since my purpose in life is to help as many people as possible improve their health through lifestyle changes, I want to mention another project I’m involved with and on the board of: Groceryships. Our mission at Groceryships is to help low-income families struggling with obesity, diabetes, food addiction and/or malnourishment by awarding “groceryships”: a comprehensive program of financial assistance, nutrition, cooking & practical food strategies, fitness, and psychosocial support. Through this program we leverage the power of social capital to empower families to adopt healthier lifestyles, and to foster organic change on a community level through mentorship and train-the-trainer models. If you’re interested in this project, please support us in any way you can. This problem is incredibly huge and the cards are stacked against us, but with your support, we’ll be able to make a major impact.