How Not to Die…

I love this title….which is actually the title of a great book by Dr. Michael Gregor. So excited was I to read this book that I actually purchased it months before it was released, promptly forgot about it, and then discovered it on my Kindle earlier this month…just around the time I re-embarked on my plant-based experiment:


The book is very readable and each chapter is full of reasons to follow a plant-based diet, and each reason is backed by scientific studies. Dr. Gregor also includes specifics on what the various plants we eat can do for us, and all of this is based on sound research.

His book is what has me now scooping a quarter teaspoon of turmeric into my morning green drink. Sure, I’d read about the benefits of turmeric many times–primarily that it can help reverse free radical damage–but I never really believed it because the earlier claims I read did not include references to research proving its efficacy.

This book is my new bible: at least once a day, I’ll be searching the index to learn the health benefits of beet greens…or lentils…or even my beloved sprouted lentils. Indeed, the only green he condemns is (sadly) alfalfa sprouts, not because they are bad for you, but because of the sprouts’ structure, which has a tendency to hold onto dangerous bacteria and can cause food poisoning. I guess that bag of alfalfa seeds in my pantry is not going in my sprouter!

What surprises me most is that with all the reading I’ve done on plant-based eating over the last eight years, until I bought this book, I had never heard of Dr. Gregor! Meanwhile, the man has a great website and blog and publishes very good, very short daily videos.

What particularly impresses me is that the top banner of his website does not include the word “Shop.” Yes, you got that right: he does not sell products related to his message, as so many others do (a practice that, in my opinion, invariably detracts from the message). His longer videos are available for sale on Amazon, but profits go to charity, AND he offers these videos freely on his website for anyone who simply wants to stream them.

I love this guy: he’s my new guru.

In this incredibly informative (and oddly watchable)  video, Dr. Gregor explains how eating a plant-based diet can prevent and often reverse fifteen of the top sixteen causes of death in North America. I highly recommend a watch or two:

And I unreservedly recommend his book, How Not to Die. It’s a bit more than I’ll usually pay for a Kindle book, but, who knows, it might just save your life!

Oh, and by the way, the fourth leading cause of death in Canada and the US is adverse drug reaction (ADR). From a 2012 article in Common Ground:

Prescription drugs taken as prescribed in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death in the US and Canada, after cancer, heart disease and strokes. They cause about 10,000 deaths a year in Canada and about 106,000 deaths a year and over two million serious injuries in the US. As many as another 10,000 deaths a year in Canada are thought to occur outside hospitals due to the wrong drug, dosage errors and adverse reactions. One out of four admissions to internal medicine in Canadian hospitals is related to prescription drugs, of which 70% are preventable. Canadians now spend more on prescription drugs ($24 billion) than we do on doctors ($18 billion).

What blows me away about the above-mentioned factoid is that we’re not even talking about wrongly prescribed drugs or incorrect dosages. This statistic refers to deaths related to correctly prescribed drugs that are taken “as prescribed.” The statistic is based on side-effects from these drugs. My next post is going to be about my other current reading material: Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine.

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