Tag Archives: Education

FOOD FOR LIFE TRAINING (PCRM)

After my last post, my life  jumped into a whirlwind of excitement that had me flying across the country, meeting medical and nutritional idols and being away from my family for FIVE days!

So do you remember back in March, I posted about the fact that I was headed to Washington D.C. to attend the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM) Food for Life Certification program?Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 8.35.58 PMWell folks, it’s official!! I am a Certified Food for Life Instructor!!! Certificate of Completion

The Tuesday after I finished Canyons, I hopped on a plane and flew to D.C. for my training. The plane ride left me with time to sit and recap the race in my head with the intentions of blogging while I was there. It happened, eventually (read my race report here).

Most of my time in D.C. however was spent soaking up SO MUCH information and meeting 25 of the loveliest attendees ever. Over 90 people had applied and 26 were selected. We had someone from Ireland and someone from China! It was amazing and to sit in a room with that many like-mined, empowered and energized people was unbelievable. Everyone was eager to learn and our instructors were hands-down some of the most intelligent and kindhearted people on Earth.

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Every morning, I would leave my hotel and walk the .4 of a mile to PCRM and the Barnard Medical Center. The weather was gorgeous and the walk was easy. Each morning they provided us with a plant-based breakfast! It was delicious.

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PCRM is the only nonprofit organization in the country that provides nutrition and cooking classes that focus on disease prevention and survival. It is 100% evidence based. It was founded in 1985 by Dr. Neal Barnard and has been growing and educating ever since.

Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Neal Barnard

Dr. Barnard spoke on our very first day. He truly has a heart of gold and a passion for animal rights and health.

In addition to his talk, we had some lectures on administrative stuff, a full-on cooking demonstration and a panel discussion where we were free to ask four PCRM dietitians anything we wanted! The last class of the first day however, was one of my most favorite!

The last class was called, Teaching for Understanding: What to say and how to say it so that your students truly learn. It was phenomenal! By full admission, I am a terrible public speaker so I am always looking for ways to improve. This class gave us plenty to think about and  techniques to implement when we are conducting classes. I loved it.

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The second day started even earlier than the first and once again, a full breakfast was provided.

The second day of the training consisted of an introduction into the many different classes we will be allowed to teach.

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There is a curriculum for Cancer (Food for Life: Cancer Project – Acquire knowledge about the link between diet and cancer) and one for Diabetes (Food for Life: Diabetes Initiative – Learn more about the benefits of a plant-based nutrition approach for diabetes and prevention) in addition to so many more!

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Lead the way in facilitating an office culture of health and wellness that employees can carry into their lives at home.
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Realize the savings incurred with healthful eating are not only by dollars but also in quality of life.
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Establish in children knowledge and skills necessary to form healthful habits they can carry well into adulthood.
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Discover the world of health through general topics ranging from digestion to blood pressure.
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Discover how simple qualitative dietary choices can lead to a healthy weight.

You get the idea … the possibilities and topics to teach are plentiful and best of all life saving.

We also had to perform our very own cooking demonstration in front of the group and our instructors. Afterwards, we were critiqued and given ways to improve or enhance our class.

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Not going to lie, that was a little nerve wracking but I think it was imperative to give us a sense of what we will be doing when we return home.

The group at PCRM thought of everything. They answered our questions and they helped us navigate the endless opportunities we might be able to find using our new found skills and tools.

PCRM gets nothing in return mind you. Their only hope is that we, as Food for Life instructors go forth and teach! The more people we can reach across the world, the better.

With over one million people being diagnosed with cancer and 25 million people being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the United States each year – The Food for Life program is an innovative approach to a medical challenge.

So what is my plan? What is my agenda now that I am a Food for Life Instructor? Well for starters, I still have to study all the books, curriculum and information we received while at the training. I do have some ideas rolling around in my head though. I think to start, I’ll do a pilot program with a small group just so that I can get my “feet wet” and my materials ready.

The mighty 26 who are ready to TEACH!
The mighty 26 who are ready to TEACH!

Regardless, the fire has been lit and I am eager to get teaching! There is so much power behind food. There is no denying that it directly correlates to our health and well being. I think everyone knows and understands this but I also think, they could use a friend … a helping hand … a TEACHER to help them traverse what may seem like a difficult road ahead. I hope to be that person.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

 

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HEADED TO WASHINGTON!!!

How can it be March already? Time sure does fly when you are having fun and boy am I having FUN! I am not even sure where to begin my excitement is so over the top right now. 

So let’s start at the beginning shall we? 

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Depending on how long you have known me, you might not know that I have been plant-based for almost 23 years. Maybe not entirely 100% whole foods and oil-free plant-based for ALL of those 23 years, but definitely sans meat in anyway shape or form. 

With that said, despite my long history of being plant-based, I still seek out information. I don’t have a degree in nutrition. I am not a doctor. If I could do things over in life, I might have gone in a different career route but I don’t regret one single day of my college education. 

So despite knowing what I know, I always feel better when I can fully educate myself on the latest science behind the benefits of a plant-based diet. That’s why more often then not, you’ll find my nose in the latest book (just finished The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal Barnard – a MUST read)…

Photo from www.pcrm.org
Photo from www.pcrm.org

 … as well as attending a conference or taking some kind of certification to further bolster what I know deep down inside is right for the human body. I just feel more confident explaining and advising others, when I can tell them that I know what I know not just from experience, but from thoroughly studying and educating myself on the topic.  

To date, I have taken T. Colin Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program, graduated from Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course as well has having attended countless lectures and seminars by some of the most respected physicians in the plant-based world.

Dr. Michael Greger's lecture in 2016
Dr. Michael Greger’s lecture in 2016

Just last month I attended The Healthy Taste of Sacramento and heard Dr. John McDougall speak as well as Dr. Garth Davis and countless others. 

Healthy Taste of Sacramento Conference
Healthy Taste of Sacramento Conference

In my spare time, I’ve gone and visited places like True North, attended cooking demos and let us not forget Plant-Stock, the Mecca of plant-based education!! 

Plant-Stock 2016 with Dr. Garth Davis
Plant-Stock 2016 with Dr. Garth Davis
Plant-Stock 2015 with Rip Esselstyn
Plant-Stock 2015 with Rip Esselstyn

I do this because I love it. I do this because I live it. But more importantly, I do this because I want OTHERS to live it and love it too and I want them to have faith in what I am teaching them. Am I an expert? No, of course not but I am living proof that one can fully function as an ultra endurance athlete, a full-time working mom and basically a real person eating a 100% plant-based oil-free diet. I am not weak. I am not wasting away from a protein deficiency. 

I look sickly and totally unhappy don't I?
I look sickly and totally unhappy don’t I?

So it is with great excitement that I share with you, that I have been selected to go to Washington D.C. to become a Food For Life Instructor as taught by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), Dr. Neal Barnard’s organization. 

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Photo from www.pcrm.org

Way back in September I started the grueling application process. Application, resume, references, videos … followed by phone interviews and back ground checks etc. PCRM only selects 25-30 people a year (globally) to attend (100 or so apply) and this year, I am one of few selected!

This May, I will fly to Washington D.C. for an intensive 3 day training at PCRM. They will teach us everything that we need to know (8 different kinds of curriculum) so that we can come back and in turn, educate others. 🙂

Photo from here.
Photo from here.

You may wonder, “What does she do for a living? This must be part of her job then.” Well, the answer to that is no and now, yes … stay with me here. 

My full-time job is not in wellness. Not one bit. I do all this plant-based stuff (like my cooking demos) because I like to do it and want to do it.

Fast forward to early February wherein my employer’s CEO gave a speech in which he stressed that he wanted to focus on his wellness and the wellness of our company.

His message had great intentions and excited a lot of people but they didn’t sit well with me. So I opened my big plant-based mouth and sent him a long email. Long story short, we had lunch at his request. Just the two of us, in his office and we discussed his wellness, the wellness of our company and the wellness of our country. It was a long lunch.

Just in that discussion alone, he saw my passion. He saw it and he told me, he wanted to utilize it.

So I am going to Washington, D.C. to get certified even further in Plant-Based Nutrition and Education. When I return, I can use my new certification to teach all kinds of classes AND best of all, I can use my certification to help motivate my fellow employees!

I love my company, I do, but for a very long time I have been frustrated by just how unhealthy we really are (in varying degrees). I am excited to be able to share my passion at work with those I interact with on a daily basis.

Of course I have a full plate between now and early May. Races, birthdays, swim team among other things (like further developing my YouTube Channel). Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. This is who I am.  I love being busy and I love helping others heal.

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Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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