A Plant-based Diet Changed My Life | Pat McAuley | TEDxBabsonCollege

A Plant-based Diet Changed My Life | Pat McAuley | TEDxBabsonCollege

I picked up my girlfriend at the train station on an average weekday night in December of 2015 the second she got in the car I could tell something was bothering her sure enough a few minutes later she started complaining about a situation at work we got home ate some dinner and sat on the couch to do a little work on our laptops I thought for her second I was off the hook but shortly thereafter the venting resumed now to that point in my life and to that point in my relationship anytime situations like that arose let's just say I didn't handle them gracefully they usually ended with me saying something like don't bring that negative energy figure it out and I proceeded to storm out of the room not my best quality I know but that was my way of dealing with it but something was different about that night for some unexplainable reason I had this strange sense of calm and ease within me instead of my blood pressure rising I sat there and actually listened to what she had to say for the first time in my life I felt someone else's pain and feelings as if they were my own I reassured her who was all going to work out and in the end it'd be okay I waited for her to respond but no response came instead she just leaned over and hugged me I'll never forget that hug in the months leading up to that night I was 25 years old waking up with pain in my hand so bad I struggled to tie my shoes my ankles knees and hips would crack like fireworks as I made my way up the stairs to the kitchen I'd fire by for eggs no toast didn't want the carbs and I'd be out the door to the gym I was an absolute machine yet despite my military like discipline to this high protein diet and spending hours a day in the gym and I mean hours beneath the surface I was battling arthritis allergies asthma skin issues and a number of other bodily problems I won't scare you with many of which I blamed on years of sports in four years of college football I figured it was just part of getting older I got to a point where I knew spending more time in the gym could not be the answer I couldn't possibly work out more than I already was I knew I had to change something on the diet side of things so despite what everybody had told me coaches doctors alike that a high-protein diet was best for both my my health and fitness I decided to try something new I don't quite recall where the idea came from but I remember thinking nobody ever told me fruits and vegetables or a bad thing that's one thing we can all agree on the problem was I didn't really like fruits and vegetables there are always the side to my hunk of meat that I would choke down or not touch at all so I figured the most painless way to get them in was to fill the blender with some greens any fruit and vegetables I had lying around blend it up and drink it down I just started by replacing my four eggs in the morning with this green smoothie that green smoothie gave me a taste of energy and mental clarity and a taste of feel good that I had never before experienced so over the next few weeks I started experimenting if I eat something that made me feel as good as I knew how I was getting from that green smoothie I kept it in play if I ate something that didn't make me feel as good I gave it a Gronk like stiff-arm in US New Englanders no there's no coming back from a garlic stiff-arm when I step back after those few weeks and looked at the new foods I was eating versus the ones I had eliminated it was very clear to me that on one side was plant foods that I kept in play and on the other side was animal foods I didn't quite know it at the time but I had stumbled into what is commonly referred to today as a plant-based diet over the next six months of falling a primarily whole food plant-based diet not only did I continue to experience crazy amounts of energy and mental clarity not only did I effortlessly lose that football weight and get down to the weight I always desired not only did I get stronger in the gym not only did they get faster on my runs but every single health issue I had battled since I was three years old went away the allergies the asthma the arthritis all of it gone I couldn't help but wonder why at no point in my life did any doctor nutritionists parent teacher coach friend anybody give me that information when I went to the doctor whenever I had a problem they tell me what was wrong then they give me the pill the inhaler the EpiPen the cream we live in a system where say if you're walking around with a splinter in your foot and you're limping around and you're in pain in most cases you go to the doctor they say you have a splinter in your foot here's an orthotic for your shoe here's a cane to help you walk here's a pill the numb the pain wouldn't it make more sense to just reach down and pull the splinter out why wasn't I given that option because I would have chosen it years I realized my health issues may seem trivial to some of you but I didn't like bringing my inhaler to football practice in front of my buddies I didn't like bringing the EpiPen to my girlfriend's house it was embarrassing so when all these things went away it was a profound experience for me I felt like I had been lied to my whole life I decided to quit my job and seek answers what I found in what I learned shocked me I learned that over 2 million Americans will die from disease related causes this year I learned that over half of those are from our top two killers heart disease and cancer I learned that heart disease is preventable and reversible that's the only diet on the planet that has been proven time and time again to not only stop in its tracks but reverse our number one killer is a plant-based diet dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated this way back in 1990 coincidentally the year I was born I learned that according to the American Cancer Institute just 5 to 10 percent of all cancers come from purely genetic factors that means that 90 plus percent of the deaths from our top two killers are actually a result of our diet in lifestyle that means that whatever health situation you're in right now it's not a result for nine out of ten of us maybe more it's not a result of a bad genetic draw for that it runs in the family but rather it's a direct result of what we choose to eat and do on a daily basis so to rephrase that top number nearly 2 million Americans will die this year from their very own diet in lifestyle I learned that in 2015 the World Health Organization declared processed meats a class 1 carcinogen in all red meats a probable carcinogen meaning that we know without a doubt these foods promote the growth of cancer in the human body another widely used class 1 carcinogen is cigarettes I learned that not just processed meats in red meats are the only problem that according to the American Association of cancer research all animal protein including fish dairy and eggs raises the level of cancer growth hormone igf-1 in the human body I could go on and on about the benefits of eating more plants in less animals but there are many more experts out there that can do a better job than I can but the evidence is so overwhelming that states like California have been fighting to remove processed meats from public schools in that the country of Canada has removed dairy as a food group from their 2018 food pyramid and no longer advises their citizens to consume it a number of doctors that I encourage you all to check out that have spent a lifetime studying this dr. Dean Ornish that I mentioned dr. Colin T Campbell dr. Caldwell Esselstyn dr. Neal Barnard and dr. Michael Greger and I highly encourage you familiarize yourself with their work now back to that night in December of 2015 what was going on there I've sat across from and interviewed nearly a hundred people on my podcast that have transitioned from a predominantly animal-based diet or a standard American diet to a plant-based diet and almost all of them speak of some similar experience some newfound sense of calm and ease within them I've come to believe that when you align your daily actions with the human values you already have inside of you this phenomenon occurs what I mean by human values is that deep down all of us are loving and compassionate beings for example if you left this auditorium today and on your way out to the car you saw a pig hot in the fence this little cute pig here and his legs bleeding and he's whining not one of us would go over there and kill and eat that pig instead would feel bad for him would go help him out we might even take him to the vet but then we'd get back in our car and without a second thought we'd go home and fire up a BLT or a ham sandwich we're here now eating that same animal that we just showed love and kindness toward I realize not many people make that connection but I believe at a subconscious level our bodies know furthermore I believe that when you eat an animal a once living breathing feeling creature that you take on its energy there's a scientific theory dating back to the 1940s that has been popularized by the likes of Deepak Chopra and others called cellular memory and that our memories and experiences exist at a cellular level not just in the brain and are able to live beyond the life of a being so when you eat a cow for example when you eat a burger a steak you are in fact eating a cow that's life looks something like when it was Borton rips from her mother she was then fed so much until she got so fat she could barely move she was raped and impregnated her baby her calf wasn't ripped from her at first she was milked for all she was worth and the process repeats over and over and over she spends her entire life in an enclosure no bigger than this circle I'm standing on ultimately when she's no longer of value she's hung upside down by her hind legs and slit of the throat we then eat that animal and to think that that fear that anxiety that stress that pain that anger that dis-ease has no impact on our health and how we treat others is simply ludicrous if you told me four years ago I'd be standing up here talking with you about things like love and compassion not only for myself in my health but for other humans and even animals I would have laughed you out of the damn room yeah Here I am and it started with a change I decided to make to my plate and I stand here today a better man in every sense of the word a better friend a better family member better boyfriend so the next time you sit down to a meal I encourage you all to just take a minute and think about what you're taking from the outside world and putting inside of your body because it is a single greatest decision we make daily and know that what you're about to eat not only impacts your health but it has a profound impact on your ability to love and care for the people in your life thank you you

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25 thoughts on “A Plant-based Diet Changed My Life | Pat McAuley | TEDxBabsonCollege

  1. It took you that long to realize that doctors are not interested in health and wellness. They are very interested in sickness and misery.

  2. PAT, you are so brave <3. God bless you and may your message be far reaching and last generations! IJN, Amen

  3. Excellent speech!!!! I wholly agree with almost everything he has to say. I will say though, just because 90% of cancers are not purely based in genetics doesn't mean they're therefore purely based in lifestyle choices. The majority of cancers have causing factors in both areas. Yes, living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce how at-risk we are for certain cancers—including healthy eating, using sunscreen, avoiding radiation, etc—but that doesn't meant that simply having a plant-based diet will prevent these cancers from occurring. It can still happen to anyone, no matter how healthy you are. That's why screenings are important for certain cancers: prostate exams, mammograms, having your moles checked, etc.

  4. I chose vegan for lent a few years ago and it healed my body completely from an issue I had for years,,, I'm now thinking I'd like to go plant based for good,,, my health is at play again

  5. I remember I took a vegan diet in 2014. It was just for around 2 months. I did not think about it back then but a lot of people would tell me I look 'blooming'. I noticed that some people got attracted to me because of how I looked. I did vegan diet with frequent drinking of water and a cup of green tea everyday. But after some time, I preferred what's convenient and cheap over my vegan diet. Now I look stressed and far from the pleasant-looking guy I was before. Could that be really the diet I had before? Anyone who noticed they looked better after adapting vegan diet?

  6. I loved this video. Currently in the process of becoming vegan but at the stage of pescatarian as I continue to educate myself in the benefits of it but mostly how to do it in a healthy way for myself and family.
    I would like to mention what he said about dairy cows is not all together true. My grandparents owned a dairy farm and I used to work there in the summers.
    The cows were very well taken care of let out to pasture every day and loved until the day they died.
    When it did come to eating them they were killed humanly not allowed to suffer. Their meat went to keeping my grandparents and their large family alive.
    I am not against the consumption of dairy when it comes from farmers like them.
    The same goes to eggs as well. I get my eggs from chickens I have personally met and know their living conditions. They are valued and live a good life in my dear friends backyard with plenty of room to range.
    I won't eat the meat of these chickens but I do love their eggs. They are happy and I promise it is almost like you can taste the difference.

  7. About 8 years at, I went from the standard American diet (SAD) to a whole food plant based diet. I went from a high of 228 lbs. to 161 lbs. in well under a year and maintained that weight for several years. About 2 years ago I stated getting lazy and to justify adding back in so,e animal products and my weight began to rise. Now I eat pretty much the SAD again and my weight is currently 215 and increasing gradually. Coincidence?

    I watched this video because I know it is time to start eating healthy again.

  8. Plant based dropped me from 102kg to 84kg and a BP of 150/100 to 117/74.. Dr’s said I was silly for not taking meds for the BP and one Dr even said diet will not fix it. Wow, Dr’s have a place, but it is not for the healthy, but those seeking a bandaid.

  9. I wish many people in my life would even try a green smoothie every morning for three days. It would change everything for them.

  10. The information has always been out there. The science has been there and more studies come out every day. I’ve been at this over forty years. But only one doctor I’ve met has taken what I do seriously. Oh – and check out Dr. John McDougall. He taught me the most. If you’re serious about saving your health and saving the planet this is the only choice.

  11. Peeps! Check out my "Food" playlist for inspiration. It's easy to eat plant-based. It's NOT just salad 😅

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