This weekend I had the unique pleasure of attending The Remedy River Gorge Retreat in Stevenson, WA to meet, listen, and talk to some of the biggest icons in the plant-based world. Celebrities we have all heard of, read about, or seen on TV. Our heroes, our icons, our gurus.
Or as I like to call them, The Titans of Healthy Eating.
I spent 3 days and 3 nights not only listening to each and every speaker but also getting to actually meet and chat with them.
Picture yourself eating breakfast with your new group of friends when Dr. Alan Goldhamer of The True North Health Center sits down to join you....
Ot eating dinner at the same table as Chef AJ and Brenda Davis, RD when all of a sudden AJ makes room for Dr. John McDougall and his wife Mary to join us...
Or having your photo taken with Dotsie Bausch from The Game Changers, or Dr. Milton Mills of What The Health.
To say it was surreal is an understatement!
So many of the icons we look up to and learn from in this plant-based lifestyle, all together in one room sharing their message.
And what message was that you may ask?
WHY EATING A PLANT_BASED DIET IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE OUR HEALTH AND SAVE OUR PLANET!
Dr. Kim Williams spoke about the benefits from a cardiologist's point of view while Dr. Milton Mills dug into the science of how it improves our gut health and microbiome.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer then spoke about the benefits of water fasting while Dr. Doug Lisle gave us suggestions on how to get along with those who may not quite be on board yet.
Olympic Cyclist Dotsie Bausch spoke about how Dairy does NOT... "Do a Body Good" ... while Brenda Davis and Dr. Steve Lawenda taught us how to unleash the power of a plant-based diet by eating from "The Magical Buffet".
Meanwhile, Chef AJ, Chef Jason Wrobel, and Chef Doug McNish gave us cooking demos to teach us how easy it is to cook plant-based (and you can better believe THIS food blogger was taking some notes!)
To wrap up our weekend, Dr. John McDougall gave us a somber look at what will happen to our planet via climate change, if we don't do everything in our power NOW, to spread this message and change our diets.
For those of you who may not be aware, Dr. McDougall's family lost everything they owned in the Santa Rosa Wildfires of 2017.
Finally, as we headed into what Chef Jason Wrobel hilariously dubbed our "Final Countdown", we got to watch an Iron Chef Competition between Team AJ and Team McNish to make 2 dishes, a sweet and a savory, each with 3 secret ingredients, and with only 20 minutes allotted for each recipe.
It was the most entertaining final event ever thanks in part to Chef AJ and Chef Jason and their comedic stand-up, but I can also tell you it was also absolutely delicious, as I was asked to be a judge along with Dr. Milton Mills himself.
OMG, what those chefs came up with, in only 20 minutes...... seriously some of the absolute BEST food I have ever tasted in my life, hands down.
We all know how powerful a plant-based diet can be, but until you actually experience an event like this for yourself.....well as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Guys, I ate and I mean I ate good.
Because they only gave us 3 meals a day, I literally stuffed myself to make sure I would not be hungry between meals.
I didn't have my favorite peanut butter & jelly sandwich if I decided I wanted a snack. I didn't have a choice of 'just going to my favorite Vegan restaurant', like I sometimes do when I don't feel like cooking. I didn't have the choice of toast and hummus like I sometimes do when I'm on the go and want a quick and easy breakfast.
I ate what they provided and ONLY what they provided. And it was a LOT.
But it was WHOLE FOODS. No refined products, no bread, no salt, no sugar, and no oil.
- I ate potatoes every morning for breakfast with fresh fruit and salsa.
- I ate tons of rice and beans every day for lunch, always with a salad, steamed greens, and oftentimes with a bowl of soup as well.
- I ate even more potatoes, rice, and whole grains for dinner, with more beans, grilled tofu strips, sauteed mushrooms, salad, and steamed greens.
- And always a fruit crisp for dessert too.
I drank a little coffee every morning in my room, and water throughout the day. There was always fresh fruit like apples, oranges, and bananas for snacking, and I was NEVER hungry. Not once.
And can you guess what happened when I got home?
I lost 5 pounds.
I stuffed myself three times a day and still LOST 5 POUNDS!
THAT is the message every single one of those speakers gave this weekend.
Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet is the absolutely BEST way to improve our health and get us back into the slim, trim, healthy bodies we all deserve.
Whole foods, plant-based, no oils, no refined grains, no processed crap foods, no salt, no sugar. Just real food.
Each day began at 6 am for me and ended around 10 pm - and I was never once too tired or too exhausted to go on. I was alert, energetic, and spent whatever time I could walking the hallways and grounds of the beautiful Skamania Lodge we were staying in.
It was healthy, it was delicious, I was never hungry, and I know it was providing me all the energy, vitamins and nutrients I needed.
Isn't that what food is supposed to do?
Thank you, Benji and the Remedy Team for putting on an amazing event. Thank you, Skamania Lodge, for all your hospitality. And thank you to all our amazing speakers for your warmth, friendship, and your life-changing message.
Can't wait 'till next year.