“In order to be the best doctor I can be, I follow a plant-based diet”

Ernest SevernBy: Dr. Ernest Severn

I switched to a plant-based diet so long ago, and I have so many reasons, it is hard to know where to start so I will just jump in. I would have to say for me there are seven main reasons I follow a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet, but there are really even more than that. It’s more like seven categories of reasons.

I was a missionary for the Church in the early eighties. I served in New York City among the Greek immigrants there. I walked every day, usually over 10 miles a day. When I returned from my mission, I gained 10-15 lbs. so I decided to lose it. I started running and doing some other exercises. I was exposed to Dr. John McDougall, I think on a radio program. I got his book, The McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health and read it. I decided to follow it, and I lost the weight I had gained in a month pretty easily. In his book, Dr. McDougall talked about all the other benefits of this way of eating so I learned about that as well. Initially, I used the diet to control my weight so I went back and forth, sometimes being strict and sometimes not.

In 1987 my father died suddenly. He was 54 years old and had a history of high blood pressure. He died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm. I also had an uncle die while I was on my mission of a heart attack. He was only 45 years old. I decided to have my cholesterol checked and found that it was high, so I went back to following the WFPB diet strictly, and it went down. So then I had two health reasons to follow that diet. As I stayed on the diet longer, I found that other health problems improved or went away. My allergies got better, my energy improved, my stomach cramps and constipation were gone. I had less oily skin and less acne. This is when I decided to make this a long-term lifestyle choice and not just a temporary diet to lose weight. Over the years my extended family has continued to have numerous health problems, but I have not. These health problems include heart disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and stroke. I’m 54 years old now and still going strong. I still run and have a normal weight and enjoy lots of activities. So my first “category” of reasons I follow this diet is for better health.

My second category of reasons are spiritual. I have loved the scriptures since junior high. The Word of Wisdom talks of how it is pleasing to God if we not eat meat, only in times of famine, etc. Although there is no specific mention of eggs or dairy, they are much more like meat than the plant foods that are advocated as the “staff of life” and for our “constitution” so it made more sense to me to lump those foods in with meat. Other scriptures include the story of Daniel refusing the “King’s meat,” Adam and Eve in the garden, and the description of the millennium where there will be no eating of animals, etc. In addition, our modern prophets have also encouraged us to eat very little meat. So I decided that it is good for a true disciple of Jesus Christ to break from my family tradition and to submit my will to God’s even in terms of what I eat. The promised blessings are so great, and I really want those blessings. As you will see, there are many other spiritual principles involved, but this is my second category of reasons. As I have followed this path, I have found that most of my categories of reasons have a spiritual component. For example, my reason of better health ties in with being a steward of my body and treating my body as a temple. It helps me to do greater works of service to others, and it keeps my mind clear and helps me feel and understand the promptings of the Spirit much better. I have found many reasons it is pleasing to God.

My third category is the ethical and more compassionate treatment of animals. Some years ago I read JST Genesis 9:11, and I did a double take. I reread the last part, “and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” When I read that it just hit me that all life is sacred. Since reading that I have come across numerous other scriptures and talks given by the prophets that indicate as much. I have come to know that taking animal life needlessly is sin. For me there is no question. For some reason people have a “disconnect” on this when they buy meat in the grocery store, and they don’t relate it to taking a life. In some ways this is a “hidden treasure of knowledge.” This is so because our traditions and habits have blinded us to the truth. Seeing we see not and hearing we hear not. It’s one of those things that’s right in front of us, but our natural man rationalizes it away to satisfy our passions. In addition, I have learned more about how most animals that are raised for our tables are treated, and it just gives me a bad feeling to know that in the vast majority of cases they are treated very poorly and live in very bad conditions. I have always enjoyed and rejoiced in the beauty of the earth and in God’s creations, especially animal life. Following the Word of Wisdom to the fullest has helped me reverence God’s creations all the more and develop a deeper appreciation of the sanctity of life.

My next reason is somewhat related and even more important. It is that if we eat lots of animal products there really isn’t enough food for everyone. Currently about half of the arable land in the world is being used to grow food to feed animals. The animals eat a lot more food than they provide, therefore, eating lots of animal products literally contributes to the hunger and starvation of other people around the world. The Lord says that animals are ordained for the use of man and that we are not forbidden to eat meat, but “it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin” (D&C 49:18-21). He also goes further in Section 104 and says that we are accountable as stewards over earthly blessings, that He has provided for all and the earth is full and there is enough and to spare. He says that He has done this and that it has to be done according to His own way. He says that His way is “that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low” (D&C 104:17). This is the way there is enough for all, but sadly, the rich are not seeing to the needs of the poor when they eat lots of animal products and in so doing cause a food shortage for the poor. Now check out verse 18:

Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

For me this is a tremendously strong reason to follow a plant-based diet unless there is a famine, because to do so helps follow the will of the Lord in being a good steward over earthly blessings, thus providing more food for others which can literally save human life.

Continuing with the idea of being a good steward over earthly blessing, brings me to my next reason. A plant-based diet is environmentally friendly. It’s much better for the earth. The animal product rich Western diet actually harms the environment. The Western diet contributes to deforestation, desertification, destruction of natural habits, extinction, pollution from animal waste, increased greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, and increased use of fresh water and other resources. It isn’t just a little bit worse either. The estimated one billion tons of feces and urine from animals raised for food per year in America is one of the most serious pollution threats we face. Raising animals for food also uses 100 times the amount of water compared to raising plant foods. Plant foods literally take carbon dioxide out of the air and produce oxygen while animals consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide and methane which leads to global warming. I have seen several sources reporting that animals contribute more to global warming than cars. Since I care about the planet and want to do my part to be a good steward as the Lord requires, I choose a plant-based diet.

By profession, I am a family doctor. I advocate a plant-based diet to my patients repeatedly throughout most of my day with a majority of the patients I see. Approximately 80% of chronic diseases are caused by poor lifestyle that includes, poor diet, use of tobacco, lack of exercise, etc. Not only can a healthy lifestyle help prevent these diseases, it can help reverse them. This has been shown by countless studies. This is powerful! I think of the promise in the Word of Wisdom that says “the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” In order to be the best doctor I can be, I follow a plant-based diet myself which helps me be a better influence on my patients. I also think of the admonition of Paul to Timothy to, “be thou an example of the believers” (1 Timothy 4:12). Following the Word of Wisdom, including the counsel on the best foods to eat, is another way I can do this. Would not a true believer try to please God? Being a good example by following the Word of Wisdom in full can bless the lives of others around us. The more people change their diet and eat this way, the easier it will be for those that still eat the Western diet to change.

Finally, I will give one more reason I follow a plant-based diet. I save money. I save money on the food. I save money on my dentist bill. I save money on my doctor bill. I save money on medicine because I don’t get sick often, and I have no chronic illness that I need medicine for. I also make more money because I don’t have to take as many days off due to illness. I save money on life insurance. I save money on medical insurance. This has also been a blessing.

On the flip side I can’t really think of any reason to follow an animal-based diet. There really is no benefit in doing so except because it tastes good, and I was raised doing it so it’s easy. In the end, eating an animal-based diet feels to me like a selfish thing as it benefits no one else. Luckily, eating a plant-based diet can also taste good, so it really isn’t that much of a sacrifice to gain so many good things.

On a side note, it has been a thrill for me to help my patients learn how they can regain their health simply through lifestyle changes. I love it when they really catch on and start putting these principles into practice because when they do, they get better. I do prescribe medications just like other doctors when necessary, but I would much rather be able to take them off medicines they no longer need. I have seen patients with a wide range of health problems get better when they follow a low fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. Treating patients this way goes perfectly with my training as an osteopathic physician to treat the cause and not just the symptoms. When we stop eating things that hurt us and instead eat foods that give us clean energy with the right nutrients to repair and protect our bodies, we look and feel our best. The right food is powerful medicine.

Ernest Severn and FamilyErnest Severn (54) lives in Farmington, Utah and works in Saratoga Springs, Utah at the Zenith Family Health where he is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He is married to his beloved Kathryn and together they have 7 children and 7 grandchildren. Dr. Severn did his Residency in Family Medicine and is a Family Practice Physician. He enjoys running, hiking, camping in and visiting the national parks, genealogy, church service, reading, movies, spending time with family.

Comments

  1. I love finding people who not only experience the joy of living this lifestyle but are also in a position to share it with others. Dr. Severn is a powerful voice for truth here in Utah. I hope many more people will have the opportunity to hear his message and give this lifestyle a try. Thanks, Dr. Severn, for sharing this important message that blesses us and our world in so many ways!

    • Jane, It’s my pleasure. It is nice to have this opportunity to share my story. As you know I also read your book and really enjoyed it. I have many books on this subject that I recommend and I have added your book to that list. Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do.
      Ernest Severn

  2. What a wonderful article! Sure wish you practice medicine closer to Farmington. You’re the first Whole Food plant-based diet doctor that I’ve heard of in Utah. Yay! We need more just like you. You’re doing a tremendous service.

    • Michelle,
      Thanks for your kind comments. With some luck and the help of people like you things will keep getting better and more doctors will become aware of this important area for improving our health. The change we need in this area is not likely to come from our government, medical schools, dietitian schools, etc. They will be late to come to the party. They have conflicting interests in the form of corporate sponsors and lobbyists. It is more likely to come from concerned and intelligent people that care about themselves, their loved ones, their fellow man, and their world. Just as our society has finally grasped the idea that smoking is bad and causes cancer, they will eventually wake up and see that an animal product and processed food based diet is unhealthy and unsustainable. I agree with you that we need our doctors to understand this message, especially. I will suggest that people give their doctor some help learning about these issues by actually giving him/her a copy of “Forks Over Knives” or the new documentary “Eating You Alive”, and a copy of the book from the physician’s committee for responsible medicine (PCRM), “Nutrition Guide for Clinicians”. In 2007 PCRM started giving this guide to all medical students, but most doctors in practice have never seen it. It should be easier for this message to catch on among the LDS community because the Lord has shown us the way with the Word of Wisdom.
      Ernest Severn

  3. We are blessed to have Dr. Severn as our family doctor. It is a beautiful thing to have a doctor who Is so knowledgeable sbout nutrition and lifestyle issues. Thanks Dr. Severn for sharing your story.

    • Orva, It is a pleasure to know you and your family. Thank you for your kind words. You guys are great examples. Keep up the great work.
      Ernest Severn

  4. I recommend checking out “The Do’s in the Word of Wisdom” by Lora Beth Larson, published in the 1977 April Ensign, and “The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises”, an April 1996 address given by President Boyd K. Packer. I would also recommend being careful when publicly expressing your personal interpretation of the word of wisdom, the gospel, and what you consider to be a sin.

    • Thank you for your comment, Kenna. I believe Dr. Severn means that he has come to know that certain things for him are a sin. These are only sin to those who feel they are wrong to do and do them anyway.

      In answer to the question “Is it a sin to kill animals wantonly?” Joseph Fielding Smith said, “although there was no sin in the shedding of their blood when required for food . . . there is no inference in the scriptures that it is the privilege of men to slay birds or beasts or to catch fish wantonly. The Lord gave life to every creature, both the birds in the heavens, beasts on the earth, and the fishes in the streams or seas . . . It was intended that all creatures should be happy in their several elements. Therefore to take the life of these creatures wantonly is a sin before the Lord.” [Joseph Fielding Smith, “Is It a Sin to Kill Animals Wantonly?” Improvement Era (August 1961): 568-569.]

      You may enjoy this short video compilation of words of LDS prophets on respect for animals. It helps us better understand why the Lord is pleased when we do not kill and consume His animal creatures, except when needed: Return to Sparingly.

    • Kenna,

      Thanks for your comments. I understand your concern. Many of us are very sensitive and uncomfortable about thinking of things as sin. Jane, thanks for your comments too. I may have been a bit clumsy in my post, but it looks like Joseph Fielding Smith summed it up much better than I could. I also recommend the chapter in Jane’s book about what our prophets and the general authorities have said on the matter. I really enjoyed that section. For me, that one chapter made Jane’s book a great resource. I recommend all LDS members read at least that chapter. As for the articles you recommend, I enjoyed Elder Packer’s talk. I also enjoyed much of Lora Beth Larson’s article, however, I take exception with several of her comments regarding nutrition. There are actually several inaccurate and misleading claims. I do believe she has the best of intentions and I commend her on her efforts. She probably did the best she could on researching the subject and there are many other authors that will make the same statements in particular about protein which are not quite true. Over the years we have come to learn more and found out that what we used to think about protein in particular wasn’t accurate. If anyone is interested in learning more on this issue, I good place to go is the chapter on protein in Dr. John McDougall’s book, “The Starch Solution”. If you want you can watch his lecture with the same title on youtube. One of the reasons I like Dr. McDougall is because he backs everything up with actual research. All I can suggest is that people keep an open mind and an open heart and listen to the spirit.

  5. I was deeply impressed by all that you shared with those of us who who were privileged to read a doctor’s view of the importance of eating a plant based diet. and especially when you told us the following:

    “Following the Word of Wisdom to the fullest has helped me reverence God’s creations all the more and develop a deeper appreciation of the sanctity of life.”

    I’m sure that you have more ability to really help your patients to be healthy than most other doctors! May the Lord continue to bless you in all that you do!

    • Neil,
      It is a pleasure to discuss these things that are so important to me with others like yourself that can appreciate these principles. Ultimately, I thank God for revealing the Word of Wisdom to his prophet. The more we understand it, the more we appreciate the “wisdom” contained therein and it is another testament that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet!
      Ernest Severn

  6. Probably the best personal story I’ve read about why it “just makes sense” to eat this way. Like you, I try to eat this way to do what I can to help our environment. I am going to have my husband read this in hopes that he will understand that we can serve our fellow men just by changing our diet. Thank you for the time you spent writing this. I hope it gets read a thousand times on Facebook!

  7. I would like to know how to start this. Is there a book I can buy? I only eat chicken on the meat side and am happy to give that up but I need more knowledge ideas for meals to have a good healthy balanced diet . I love the word of wisdom and really want to return to my childhood diet of good natural foods in the season. Thank you Dr Severn. For sharing this and inspiring people like me to ACTUALLY do what we have previously only thought or dreamed of doing

    • Fi,
      How wonderful that you want to get started. You are absolutely on the right track. Education is the first step. It is a learning process and how funny you should ask if there is a book. Jane Birch wrote a wonderful book on the Word of Wisdom with lots of recommendations for other books to help folks get started. Check out the rest of this website for help. I typically recommend people watch “Forks Over Knives” ASAP because it is so easy to do and so powerful and motivating. You can stream it on Netflix if you have access. Most of the doctors they interview in the movie have great books to help people learn about a whole foods plant based diet. Start collecting recipes you like as you continue to try new ones and very soon you will have your new favorites. You can fine tune them over time. You will have to go through a process of trying new healthy recipes and working to find the ones you will want to keep making in the future. Take a look at the 21 day vegan kickstart program from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine on the internet. Connected with that program there is the NutritionMD website with over 1000 recipes. I also like Dr John McDougall’s website and his books. He has put up what he calls his free program on the website that has all the basics. I like his book, “The Starch Solution”. His website also has a forum where you can get lots of answers to questions. I also recommend you sign up for the free McDougall Newsletter. Finally, I love Dr. Michael Gregor’s website Nutritionfacts.org. Subscribe to his site too and check out the many informational videos he creates. His book, “How Not to Die” is a good book and I really like the chapter he calls the daily dozen where he talks about his recommendations for what to include in your daily diet to have the best health. He has a companion phone app you can download to help track your progress each day which I also recommend. Best of luck to you on your Word of Wisdom journey. Remember there are lots of people who will help you on this path. You can do this and you will be blessed as the Lord promises.
      Ernest Severn

  8. You put into words so many things that I’ve thought but could never articulate. Obedience to God, compassion for animals and humans, stewardship of the planet, our bodies, and our finances, and being a good example to others are all good reasons to avoid eating animals. May I offer one more? Once we remove overstimulation found in salt, sugar, and fats of all types including those of animal origin, the diverse and subtle flavors offered through plant foods are far superior to the monotony of SAD. Just yesterday, I ate a small plain baked potato alongside my bowl of vegetable bean soup. The flavor of the potato was sweet and reminded me of my old favorite plain cake donut without the resulting feeling of concrete in my stomach, the oily coating in my mouth, or the gunk stuck to my teeth. How is that possible? Without SOS, I could differentiate each vegetable, herb, and bean. Therefore, I’d like to offer you an eighth reason to eat this way. The food is simply much, much more enjoyable. Aren’t we here on earth to have joy?

    • Ginger,
      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you. Our taste buds literally change eating this way and we can appreciate flavors better.
      Ernest Severn

    • Hi Ginger,
      I loved and identified so perfectly with your comment – especially, as you explained what happens when we are able to eliminate the disruptions (salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, processed ingredients) in our diets. Food should be delicious! Preparing food should be an experience that brings joy – the vast arrays of colors, textures & tastes – the countless ways of combining Whole Foods (including nuts, seeds, herbs & spices) are akin to experiencing a divine source of joy – because we are using sources given to us by our Creator. We are sustaining LIFE! I believe what we eat should leave us saying “This tastes divine”! Even if it’s the purity of a single stand alone food – i.e. 1 organic apple 🍎- each bite should be a delight!! And, of course, leave us FEELing very good, energized and excited to LIVE the fullest measure of our time here 🙂 Nonny

  9. And Jane, I thank you so much for finding another wonderful resource with an articulate voice. These stories buoy me up. Even though they’ve grown fewer and farther between, I read them eagerly each time they are posted. Please, don’t stop publishing them. Thank you, again and again.

  10. Fi, you don’t have to buy anything to start this WFPB (whole food, plant based) way of eating. There are TONS of recipes online. A good place to start is the Forks Over Knives website….forksoverknives.com. Check it out. If you subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll receive weekly recipes.

  11. Thank you so much for this article! Dr. Severn is such an articulate voice. I like what the previous person, Debi Reynolds commented, you don’t have to buy anything extra to start eating this way. By that I mean, you don’t have to buy pills to reduce your appetite or increase your metabolism or build your muscle mass. You don’t have to buy shakes or nutrition bars. You don’t have to buy supplements of any kind, not even vitamins. People spend so much money on artificial products for their health. I know because that was me before I went to a WFPB diet. Over the past 50 years I’ve spent thousands of dollars of weight-loss products, now I just eat the WFPB diet and I’ve never been healthier. I lost 35 lbs just eating naturally. I love it! I eat whatever I want of whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables with no added oils. It’s almost impossible to overeat because those foods are so filling.

    • Bonnie,
      Congratulations to you on your success! You have found the knowledge that many are searching for and have had the wisdom and courage to put it into practice. Great work!
      Ernest Severn

  12. Jane, you are ever more amazing in your efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle on your website. God has so richly blessed you with insight and ability to help others seeking to improve their life.

  13. Dr. Severn, I really appreciate that there are trained and skilled and caring physicians like you who do so much to help those of us who haven’t yet found out that when we live in full accordance with what the Lord tells us in verses 10 through 20 of Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the promise given in verse 21 of that section of the Doctrine and Covenants: (“And I the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, not slay them. Amen.”) really applies to us so that we can remain alive and healthy!

    However, I fully believe that skilled physicians like you are very much needed throughout the world. I was significantly helped by one of them as I was growing up in Northern California. While being treated for T.B. of my left knee when I was just six years of age. I contracted that disease by drinking milk from a local dairy where some of their cows had T.B. I had to suffer the challenge of having my very skilled physician way back then, make my left knee stiff in his efforts to stop the effects of that tuberculosis.

    Later in my life medical science brought about the replacing of body joints and two very skilled doctors, working together, provided me with a new left knee. I am now able to exercise very vigorously on a machine (Precore Adaptive Motion Trainer) located at our city’s Recreation Center, going one (calculated) mile six days of each week. I have been doing that for almost five years now. That doesn’t take much time, but it has sure made a difference in my energy level. I am five feet and nine inches tall and weigh one hundred and forty pounds.

    Previously I had suffered several serious diseases, however, I had been helped very significantly by my daughter, Jane when I was just turning eighty years of age to begin eating in full accordance with verses 10 through 20 of Section 89 of the D. & C. which I have continued doing very faithfully since then, so that when I turn eighty five years of age in just eight days I can truthfully say, “the only time I need to see a doctor is during my annual check up.”

    Actually,last year’s check up with my very skilled and caring doctor lasted only about two minutes. He just looked at me for a few minutes and patted some of my muscles. He didn’t even see a need to have me step on a nearby scale.

    • Neil,
      Happy Birthday. In lifestyle medicine we like to say following a healthy lifestyle such as you are doing with a whole foods, plant based diet, regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, etc. adds years to your life AND life to your years. You are a great example. Keep up the good work and I wish you many happy and healthy years to come.
      Ernest Severn

  14. Dear Dr. Severn,
    Honestly, what are you doing living in Farmington and practicing in Saratoga Springs? How about you split the difference and set up practice here in downtown Salt Lake City? I have looked and looked for a primary care physician here who believes as you (and I) do, but as far as I can tell, there aren’t any. If you know of one in Salt Lake City, please let me know! I would love to have a doctor that is totally on board with this (instead of merely indulging my lifestyle….)

    Thanks for a great treatise! You say it well.

    • Barbara,
      When I first moved to Utah, I worked in Layton and lived in Farmington. The commute was nice and short. Unfortunately, the group I joined had to close operations in Layton and I had to find a new job. I found my job in Saratoga Springs. I didn’t move because I have a daughter in who goes to high school in Bountiful. She will be finished soon and I will likely move to Utah county. Then I will not have to continue that long drive. As far as other doctors in Salt Lake, I’m afraid you are right. There really aren’t many like me in Utah. See my reply to Michelle above. You may be able to help your current doctor learn more about this.
      Ernest Severn

      • Barbara,
        I recently found two professionals at the Health Plus Clinic in Springville, Utah who live a WFPB lifestyle. The physician assistant helped me tremendously. They also have an office in Lehi which is a little bit closer to Salt Lake Valley. Last month I had a health crisis and I needed professionals’ assistance who lived a WFPB lifestyle in order to help me reverse my health condition by gradually lowering the medication while Iiving a WFPB lifestyle. Prior to my crisis, I wasn’t fully on board with WFPB lifestyle. The crisis was a HUGE wake-up call for me to completely change my lifestyle to WFPB.
        Helen

  15. Dr. Severn, Thanks for the Happy Birthday wish you sent me in one of your messages above. It is so good to know that there is a strong LDS doctor like you in Utah and that you really see the benefits that come to all of us who eat in accordance with the Word of Wisdom which is of course in accordance with the Whole Food Plants Based Way of Eating. I’m so deeply grateful that my dear oldest of nine children, Jane, took the time to teach her father how to eat the Word of Wisdom Way five years ago.

    I’m sure you have a good number of patients whose lives you are helping to be more healthy and in accordance with the Lord’s Word of Wisdom even though you may not describe what you do in those terms for perhaps most of your patients! Best wishes to you and your family!

  16. Dr. Severn, I absolutely love these reasons for following a plant-based diet. I am very interested in nutrition. I have been pondering whether or not I should adapt the diet for a LONG time. I was wondering if I could get some advice.

    I want to serve an LDS mission, and I will be turning 19 in June, so I will be able to do so then. However, I also keep feeling as though I am supposed to follow this plant-based diet. It seems SO right. I keep getting led back to the diet. This would be incredibly hard on a mission though, because I would not be in control of my food. I don’t want to offend people feeding me in the mission field by refusing their food.

    Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I know it’s complicated, so if you do not, then it’s totally fine. I guess I could simply go plant-based after my mission. I’m just not sure. Thanks for reading this! 🙂

    • Hi Samantha. So excited for you to be feeling WFPB. Let me share our family mission experiences with you. We have 3 sons who served missions. They were able to eat their preferences in their apartments and then be flexible when in social settings.
      One went to Thailand where there were abundant, inexpensive WFPB foods-rice, fruits and veggies.
      Another was in Finland and even he and his companions would get soy milk and set goals to eat plant based for specific months for fun and health.
      Our son victor is our most committed plant-based and has eaten this way since high school. He served in Argentina where meat is very plentiful. He bought a blender and had a big spinach smoothie every day. He ate only WFPB in his apartment but didn’t sweat it too much otherwise. His companions were always interested and respectful and usually joined him in his healthy eating. He is passionate about plant-based eating but somehow non-threatening to others. He was blessed to just focus on his missionary work and not worry about having to eat flexibly. I’m sure he was grateful he had been so healthy before his mission and he immediately went 100% upon his return home. (He has a spot in Jane’s video Discovering the WoW so you can see how much he lives and loves The Wird of Wisdom).
      I’m confident you will figure out what is best for you. You can be a wonderful missionary with a plant-strong attitude but more importantly a strong testimony of the gospel. Best wishes.

  17. You certainly have many good reasons for a plant-based diet. It seems the ice caps on Mars have been melting and our temperatures not reflecting the so called global warming. Here again is a design of conspiring men to not populate the planet and allow peoples to advance technologically; not my opinion only but backed by science, if you please.

  18. Thanks so much Dr Severn! Love everything you shared. I live in Sydney Australia and accidentally stumbled across this website while looking for inspirational stories on WFPB diets. I’ve been following a vegan/ vegetarian diet for the past 9 months and have decided to kick it up a notch and go WFPB. Being an overweight Polynesian woman with type 2 diabetes, it’s been a massive learning experience for me and I feel like my eyes have been opened. I’m 47 yrs old and want a better quality of life….this is definitely the answer I’ve been searching for. So grateful for your insight.

  19. Hi Dr Severn! I have read your bio on this site about 20 different times and sent it to many people. It’s FABULOUS. Your views so parallel with my own. How REFRESHING!
    I’m interested in meeting with you.
    I’m really interested in having my dad meet you. I’ve found a program from a Dr. Dale Bredesen that claims to actually reverse Alzheimer’s and he trains Dr’s to help. Currently there is only one MD in all of Utah who can help and she is not taking further patients. I’d be so interested in your thoughts on https://www.recodereport.com/ and if its something you would be interested in learning about. You’re exactly who I would like to go to for this.

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