Hello! I am the plant based eater. Well, to be clear, I’m one of many. Since I have been asked many times how I came to the plant based diet, I thought I’d use this space to tell my story.
I was born in St. Louis and moved to the Twin Cities in the early 1980s. I went to college in the Twin Cities and then to medical school at the University of Minnesota. After medical school I did my training in General Surgery at the University of Minnesota. After that I did a fellowship for burn care at the Harborview Hospital/University of Washington. I returned to the Twin Cities and worked as a General Surgeon for 18 years, also earning a MBA from University of St. Thomas.
I am a distance runner, not that you could tell by looking. I have completed 9 half marathons (13.1 miles for you non-runners). In 2013 I ran the Flying Pig Half-Marathon in Cincinnati. It was my worst race, by far. (For those of you who are resolute fact checkers, Rock-N-Roll DC 2012 was my slowest race, but I waited at 6 miles for Kathy to catch up and then ran with her until the half/full split around mile 11, so that doesn’t really count the same). At any rate, around mile 11 of the Flying Pig, going up the last big hill, I got passed by someone wearing a “Powered By Plants” t-shirt. And when I say passed, I mean in the way that when someone passes you at mile 11 and they’re running like this person your first reaction is “fuck you!” and the second is “where the hell have you been for the last 11 miles?”. I finished, but felt miserable about my performance. Later that day, after slogging through the rain back to the hotel, then going back out into the rain for the marathon finish, I settled in for some post-race R&R and ended up watching “Forks Over Knives”. To be fair, it had been recommended to me and, although I knew it was generally about eating less meat, I did not know much about the movie. Perhaps it was the post-race euphoria, the being passed at mile 11, or just the phase of the moon, but I found that the movie really connected with me and I resolved to give plant based eating a try. Again, in the interest of fairness, I understand that the movie is somewhat propaganda-ish and it is manipulative in it’s message, but did not detract from the message. I decided, that day, to give plant based eating a try. To give it an honest effort, I decided that a 4 month trial would be good. I did some research and menu planning. I bought the Forks Over Knives cookbook and Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 books and went to work. Now it’s almost 3 years later and I have not looked back. More importantly, now that I have a bit more time and inclination to do so, I’m working on spreading the word.