When I began my plant based journey almost two years ago, I entered into unfamiliar territory, alone. I had the books of Anthony William to guide me as I made changes. And soon Greg and my mom joined me by shifting their diets as well. We were a tiny band of plant based eaters.
Dr. Mark Hyman wrote, “The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital.”
I’ve learned these past 23 months just how crucial it is to be surrounded by a group of like minded people, who are headed in the same general direction. I’ve found an amazing online health-minded community, on Instagram. We encourage each other every day, posting photos of our glasses of celery juice and the latest healthy recipe we’ve tried. We ask each other questions and reach out for help if the day is rough. I greatly value the input of each person and make sure I communicate frequently with as many people as I can. Although we are scattered around the world, we have figuratively locked arms and we are walking each other home.
I thought that online health community might be the only one I could find. How beautiful it has been to be led to others in the Joplin area who are on a similar journey.
I met Robin Jeep several months ago, when she invited me to join a group of people and watch the documentary Eating You Alive at the local movie theater. I was excited about the invitation. I wanted to see the film, but I was even more excited to connect with others in my area who have embraced a plant based lifestyle. It turned out I knew several people who attended the documentary that night.
Robin, who is a plant based chef and founder of the Vibrant Living Society, has been great to offer classes, educating people on the difference a change in diet can make in improving health. This evening she hosted a plant based potluck dinner. Everyone contributed to the meal. I cut up a watermelon, one of my favorite summertime meals, and shared it. Robin demonstrated making a plant based lasagna that we sampled. It was delicious!
We had planned to watch the film Forks Over Knives together. That didn’t happen tonight. Instead, we got to know each other. Some in the room have been plant based for several years or more. Some switched two months ago. Two have completed three weeks so far, eating more fruits and veggies. And some have not yet made the full commitment, but they are curious and open.
And we shared stories. They ranged from wanting to heal to in the process of healing to full healing. I appreciated the earnestness and sincerity of everyone there. I held those who are just beginning their healing journeys, or who stand on the edge of taking that leap, with great compassion. And I applauded, literally, those who have turned their lives around.
I look forward to being part of this growing, healing, questing community, in my own hometown. We are strengthening each other.