IN GOOD HEALTH: Journey to Health


By Dr. Charles Ross

I would encourage you to consider taking a trip to a new place….one that you have never been to before. It is a destination that can provide you with challenges and experiences that you will always remember. Along the way, you may find mountains to climb, oceans to cross, and many unexpected adventures. Arriving at your destination, you will feel healthier; perhaps more energy, quicker recovery from injuries, enhanced performance, and improved mood. If you are taking prescription pills for your health, you may discover that upon arrival you no longer need to take those. If you are overweight at the beginning of the trip, you will likely discover that you weigh less than before without ever feeling hungry. And when you spend some time in this new place, you may wish to invite others to come along and experience a similar journey.

I am not talking about journeying to an alien planet….although your first response might be….this journey is beyond my comprehension, how could it be healthy or safe? Perhaps you would rather travel to Hawaii?
So….let me tell you a bit more about this journey…..
I did not want to do it! My life was good. But Sanjay Gupta MD changed my life. Watching his special on CNN called “The Last Heart Attack” changed my thoughts on lifestyle choices. Nine years ago I had been a practicing physician for about 34 years. Nowhere in my training and CME (continuing medical education) did I come to understand food as medicine. I used to laugh at my friends who just ate plants; how could they get enough protein?
I took the leap into the whole food plant-based lifestyle for my wife’s sake. Her dad had died at age 41 of his first heart attack. Her mom and younger brother both had cardiac bypasses. And my wife was next in line. I thought that for one month I could give it a go and if changing our diet helped my wife, then she could continue… and I would go back to eating what I liked.
That first month I was never hungry for one day and I lost 10 pounds. My cholesterol dropped from 240 to 148 and is now down to 135. My wife who is now 71 has no heart disease and I love what I eat and take no pills at age 71.
I began telling everyone I knew about the benefits of WFPB (whole-food plant-based) eating. And over the next year, 4 people I knew lost weight or got off meds… like high blood pressure meds, cholesterol-lowering agents, or diabetic meds. With those successes, I quit emergency medicine and started a practice in Lifestyle Medicine in Roseburg, Oregon. Three people came to my first class, then 20, then 40, then 80, then 135. Over the last 7 years several thousand people in the Roseburg, Eugene, Lebanon, and Oakridge areas have attended these free community education classes. For those embracing the journey, the testimonials have been so inspiring!
If we want to improve the health of our population, we need to do something different from the way traditional medicine has been practiced. And that is what these classes are about. We show the participants the science of healthy nutrition using resources from Michael Greger MD and Neil Barnard MD websites and some inspiring TED talks. We encourage our patients to look at the science and make their own choices. We are not policemen telling our people what to do. We are like coaches that encourage and help those interested to find a path to health that works for them. We teach people about food choices and cooking methods. We discuss the root causes of disease. What we eat, how we move, the chemicals we choose, and how we react to stress. Those arriving at the destination are happier and healthier. The journey may have at times been a bit rocky, but the rewards have outweighed the disadvantages.
If you are only willing to watch one 20 minute video extolling the virtues of this destination, view this: Michael Klaper MD “The Most Powerful Strategy for Healing People and the Planet” (you can find this on YouTube). If you are willing to invest more of our time and effort, then check out www.nutritionfacts.org and www.pcrm.org and www.drmcdougall.com, and www.forksoverknives.com. There are online classes that can provide helpful tips for your journey….check out Zoom Room sessions every Tuesday 2-330pm or 7-830pm with Zoom Room link ID# 8425055399. If you would rather read one good book, get Michael Greger’s How Not To Die. If you just want to ask a few questions, then contact Charlie Ross DO at cataniaross@msn.com. He will call you back is you include your phone number and the best time to contact.

I currently reside at the destination I am encouraging you to check out. My wife and I have found the journey to this place a life-enhancing experience. It has brought us health, happiness, and joy that we are very grateful for. I wish the same for each of you.

The Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation is a public charity committed to Advancing Wellness through the Osteopathic Approach. As a charity, we do not represent any medical school, medical association, medical practice, or individual physician.
This blog should not be considered to be medical advice. Your personal health is best discussed one-on-one with your personal physician. Rather, this blog is intended to highlight the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine as expressed by the author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation, or other Osteopathic physicians. The information and opinions are solely those of the author. For more information, go to www.nwosteo.org.