Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Speaking about Veganism and Heart Disease

Last night, I gave a talk to our local Ornish group, Heartbeats For Life. They're a bunch of folks who have heart disease or an interest in heart disease and prevention through following Dean Ornish's Lifestyle Program, which includes a lowfat vegetarian diet.

My topic was the importance of diet and exercise in women's heart health. I spoke to about 45 people, and as this was my first speaking engagement of this type, I was quite nervous. However, I got a lot of great questions and comments from the audience, and I've even been asked to give the same talk to a different group, which is a terrific complement.

A lot of my talk was devoted to explaining the benefits and misconceptions of a vegetarian/vegan diet. I talked about the deceptions of the dairy industry, which I think surprised people. My take-home message for the audience was, as I've said on this blog, that heart disease isn't all pre-determined, that WE have the power to change our destiny through diet and exercise.

I'm looking forward to doing it again.

7 comments:

lonna said...

What a great experience. I wish that you could give my dad your talk. I originally started down this path by doing the Ornish program. I have really tried to emphasize that to my parents, but of course, they know better. They have a friend who has had multiple heart attacks and really watches what he eats. I think he's had something like 6 heart attacks. It's truly amazing that he's still here in his 70s. He was on Ornish and it wasn't doing enough to control his cholesterol so they switched him to another diet. Because of this one example my parents are convinced that Ornish is wrong. Yeah because peer reviewed research is always so flawed. What do I know about that? Sorry about the tangent. I really hope that you changed some people's lives.

Isil S. said...

That's a great job and a great experience! As a doctor they will listen to your words with respect.
I am so happy that I met you, a vegan cardiologist. Because, you know most of the doctors think that a vegan is unhealthy.
I have been vegan for about 2 years and a few months ago I had a blood test, just to check if I have anemia or not.I learnt that my results were quite well, yet the doctor still told me to take some vitamin supplements. I try to eat a balanced diet and I eat lots of fruits and vegs,so I guess I don't need any extra vitamins.If I lived smwh where I couldn't find a variety of fruits & vegs it was okey. What do you think about this issue? Do you take some extra supplements?

lisa stone hardt said...

I'm so glad it went well! But I can't say I'm surprised. You're bound to present well when you're speaking on a topic you're passionate about.

I hope the next talk is just as successful!

Chick Pea said...

glad your talk went well :) and hope your vday went well too..

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying your site:) It is so nice to know a physcian is a Vegan. I just converted to Veganism and have a question since I do not want to ask my own doctor. Ever since I have been a vegan I have had a horrible problen with gas:( I am not sure of the correct medical term. Is this common? How can I prevent it? Is there some medical expalnation for it? Maybe you could comment about this on your excellent site. Again I am realy enjoying your blog!

Dreena said...

Congrats to you and what wonderful work you are doing to educate others on a healthier lifestyle. As I mentioned once before, my father-in-law followed the Dr. Dean Ornish program with great success.

Good luck to you on future talks, and well done spreading the word of healthier eating!

Danielle said...

Congratulations. I hope the people you spoke to take your words to heart and make some positive change.

anonymous, if you're eating more beans than you used to before going veg, you may have a little more flatulence (a nice way of saying farting). Also, because vegan diets tend to be high in fiber, well, it rushes things along your digestive tract. This is according to some books I've read.