“Stay positive. Make a change for yourself. Tell others about your change. Feel good and hopefully, the message will spread.”
Recorded live during our recent Plantpower Italia retreat in Tuscany, I’m delighted to share a fun and highly informative conversation and audience Q&A with the delightful, whip-smart “Plant Power Doctor” herself.
Gemma Newman, MD has worked in medicine for 15 years, the last decade serving as Senior Partner at a family medical practice in the U.K.. She studied at the University of Wales College of Medicine and has worked in many specialities as a doctor including elderly care, endocrinology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, general surgery, urology, vascular surgery, rehabilitation medicine and General Practice.
In recent years she has developed a specialist interest in plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, serving as an advisory board member of Plant Based Health Professionals UK. On the daily, she provides nutrition and lifestyle advice to her patients, who have gained tremendous results using the power of their plate.
As a broadcaster and writer she has been featured on numerous national press outlets including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky News Sunrise. She is a regular contributor Glamour, Zest and Health magazines and has appeared in the feature film Vegan 2018.
Gemma’s journey to plant-based advocacy isn’t rooted in ideology or moral compunction, but rather on hard science matched with self-experimentation.
As a young doctor in a high-pressure environment, like many newly minted physicians she began neglecting her own health. Struggling with her weight, and having bought into the background hum of ‘cut the carbs’, she adopted a low carb diet. Calorie counting ensued, combined with a modest daily exercise routine.
It worked. Sort of. Dropping from a size 18 to a size 8, she was feeling pretty good about herself. Then she checked her blood profile to discover an elevated lipid profile, markers suggesting a tendency to heart disease. She shrugged off to genetics. Both her father and grandfather died relatively young of atherosclerosis. It’s just something I was born with. Something I just have to live with.
Nonetheless, she couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps there was something she could do to alter this seemingly immutable fate.
Meanwhile, Gemma’s husband Richard picked up a little book called Finding Ultra while training for the London Marathon. He decided to give this plant-based diet thing a whirl. Being the skeptical doctor she is, Gemma was less than enthusiastic.
Where would he get his protein? Won’t there be nutritional deficiencies? We will never be invited to friend’s houses for dinner ever again! How would I feed my family?
Undeterred, Richard completed that marathon, slicing an incredible one hour and ten minutes off his personal best.
This got Gemma’s attention.
She had already been passionate about researching lifestyle medicine. How changes in stress, sleep, exercise and diet could improve health for a long time. But nothing was to prepare her for the powerful transformations that were possible when people embraced a whole-food plant-based diet.
Hence ensued a deep dive into medical literature, scientific research, and self-experimentation.
Today we explore the result of Gemma’s journey. How it transformed her life and medical practice wholesale. And the simple changes you can make and sustain to improve your well-being for the long-term.
Note: this podcast is available in audio only. Apologies to all you video/YouTube fans, but we didn’t bring a film crew to Italy.
I’m honored to share Gemma’s wisdom, charm and experience with you today. May you be equal parts entertained and enlightened by her welcoming presence.
Peace + Plants,
Images by Leia Marasovich.
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Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect With Gemma: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
- Plant Based News: ‘The Evidence For A Plant-Based Diet Is Overwhelming’, Says Doctor
- Plant Based News: Keto Diet Is ‘Most Dangerous Fad’ Of 21st Century, Says Leading Doctor
- Health Magazine (UK): ‘WHAT A MESS!’ – Swap self-scrutiny for self-praise!
- Plant Based News: Doctors Cure Their Bodies By Going Vegan
- Plant-Based Health Professionals UK: Dr Gemma Newman speaking on diabetes at London Vegfest October 2018
- Resource: EWG | Environmental Working Group
- Film: The Game Changers Coming Soon! (Watch Trailer Here)
- Book: Finding Ultra* by Rich Roll
- Book: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness* by Scott Jurek
- Book: Thrive, The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life* by Brendan Brazier
Notable People Discussed:
- Stephen & David Flynn (a.k.a. The Happy Pear): authors, entrepreneurs, wellness activists and multiple podcast guests
- Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai: Neurologists and scientists advocating for brain health promotion and disease prevention; podcast guests
- Dr. Zach Bush: triple board-certified physician and multiple podcast guest
- Kim Williams MD: Vegan cardiologist, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, served as its president from 2015 to 2016 and podcast guest
- Dr. Robert Ostfeld: Plant-based cardiologist, Director of Preventive Cardiology at Montefiore NYC and podcast guest
- Valter Longo, PhD: Professor in Gerontology & Biological Science, Director of the USC Longevity Institute and podcast guest
- Brendan Brazier: former endurance athlete, author, & plant-based advocate and podcast guest
- Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: American physician, author and former Olympic rowing champion
- Scott Jurek: One of the greatest ultrarunners of all time, multiple world-record holder and best-selling author
- Dr. Alan Desmond: leads a Gastroenterology clinic in Torbay, South Devon. He actively promotes a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet and advises plant-based dietary treatment for many chronic digestive disorders
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #325: Cardiologist Kim Williams, M.D. Wants To Eradicate Heart Disease
- RRP #140: Robert Ostfeld On Eradicating Lifestyle Disease
- RRP #330: Alzheimer’s Can Be Prevented & Reversed: Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai On Optimizing Brain Health
- RRP #162: Prevent Disease & Thrive: Michelle McMacken, MD
- RRP #349: Plant-Based v. Keto: Joel Kahn, MD
- RRP #150: Our Misplaced Obsession With Protein: Garth Davis, MD
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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