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The Science + Art of Nutrition

There's one thing I know for sure: a large navel orange has approximately 87 calories, 1.7 grams protein, .2 grams fat, 4.4 grams fiber, 17.2 grams sugar, 22.1 grams carbs, and 95.8 milligrams vitamin C, which is 160% of the daily recommendation. If I eat an orange in the morning on an empty stomach versus in the evening after supper, my bio-chemistry and metabolism react a bit differently. 

This is science.

Another thing I know for sure: even the doctors and experts on the Resources page disagree with each other... 


  • One says eat lots of starches, one says not so much. 

  • Some say eat carbs primarily in the form of fruit.

  • Others say eat carbs primarily in the form of beans, whole grains, and starches. 

  • Chewing or blending? 

  • Snacking or no snacking? 

  • Nuts, limited nuts, or no nuts? 

  • Iodized salt, natural sea salt, miso, or salt-free? 

  • Full-on, limited, or no supplements at all? 

  • Exercise for 60 or 90 minutes a day? 

  • Move for 30 or 60 minutes, five times a week?


You’re going to get slightly different answers even from experts who are in the same boat sailing towards the same horizon. But wait... hold on before you throw in the tea towel!

Advocates agree that a WPF diet and lifestyle can prevent and reverse chronic diseases - they just don’t quite see eye to eye on how to go about it.

There are research outcomes that can be trusted in regards to bio-chemistry, dietary fat, protein, calories, calcium, carbs, micro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and supplements. Our challenge is sifting through the data while gaining practical knowledge, which has a deeply personal connection to our health. Not all nutrition studies have been funded by pharma or food lobbies, not all doctors are legal drug dealers, and not all resources are biased towards a hidden agenda. In the plant world, the primary agenda I've observed is the burning desire to educate and fundamentally HEAL people at their core. Moreover, what works for me may not jive with your body. Beware of food and fitness gurus, snake-oil peddlers, and pill pushers claiming otherwise. 

Dr T Colin Campbell, founder of the Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University and world-renowned expert on protein and nutrition, talks about the scientific community’s obsession with a particular, laser-focused element of research. Scientists and researchers tend to only look at one molecule, one gene, one tiny aspect of nutrition. This approach feeds their interests and gains attention for more funding and the chance to continue their work. Although microscopic realizations are highly beneficial, they're missing the Big Picture. 

Dr Campbell teaches that nutrition and bio-chemistry are like a 'food symphony' which include all aspects of health, not just one or two silos. 


Heart rate, blood pressure, skin tone, eye health, amino acids, macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, lipid panel results, primary causes of lifestyle diseases, phytochemicals, geography, fitness, stress, sleep, relationships, sex, addiction, and food and beverage choices all play a role. This list is endless, and we need to connect the dots and embrace the bird's eye view of what creates health and longevity. Hint: it's primarily planted on our plates. The study and practice of nutrition is a rigorously researched, symphonic series of creative adventures. 

This is art. 

Know that there's useful and evidence-based information from meta-analyses, which show fundamental cause and effect correlations between our health and plant nutrition. Food education demands that we listen to our instincts, observe what happens when we eat (and pee and poop and sleep and think), and absorb as much information and evidence-based research as possible. Then, we need to experiment with what works best for us. Above all, wisdom dictates keeping an open mind and taking in new knowledge with a skeptical but not too skeptical approach. Otherwise, we might refuse a fact that can positively change our life and the lives of people we love.


YOU are in the driver's seat of your health. Your physicians, friends, family, mentors, coaches, and others are passengers who can support YOUR decisions. My best advice? Tell your confused and possibly food-addicted brain to take a holiday on Mars while you figure this stuff out. Mine is already there, so it'll have company. 

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