A Tribute to my Grandmother
Welcome to NutritionFacts.org, which all started with my grandma. I was just a kid when my grandmother was diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, and sent home to die. Confined in a wheelchair with crushing chest pain; her life was over at age 65. Then, she heard about Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers, and what happened next is chronicled in Pritikin’s biography. My grandma was one of the “death’s door people.” “Mrs. Greger had heart disease, angina, and claudication; her condition was so bad she could no longer walk without great pain in her chest and legs. Within three weeks [though], she was not only out of her wheelchair…[she] was walking ten miles a day.” That’s why I went into medicine. When Dr. Dean Ornish published his Lifestyle Heart Trial years later, proving that indeed heart disease could be reversed in the majority of patients without drugs, without surgery—just a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors— I assumed this was going to be the game-changer. I mean, my family had seen it with their own eyes. But here it was in black and white, published in one of the most prestigious medical journals. But, nothing happened, leaving me to wonder. Wait a second. If effectively, the cure to our #1 killer could get lost down some rabbit hole and ignored, what else might there be in the medical literature that could help my patients—but just didn’t have a corporate budget driving its promotion? I made it my life’s mission to find out. For those of you unfamiliar with my work, every year, I read through every issue of every English-language nutrition journal in the world—so busy folks like you don’t have to. I then compile all the most interesting, the most groundbreaking, the most practical findings to create new videos and articles every day for my nonprofit site, NutritionFacts.org.