EP014 Marc S. Wood: The Power of Plant-Based Living

Here’s my chat with Marc S. Wood who is a Certified Plant-Based Nutritionist. Marc studied at Cornell University (taking the  T. Colin Campbell nutrition course). He earned his Family Health Coaching Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. This was a delightful chat. You may find Marc at http://marcswood.com/    

 Duration: 20:11 Minutes

Here’s my chat with Marc S. Wood who is a Certified Plant-Based Nutritionist.

Marc studied at Cornell University taking the T. Colin Campbell nutrition course. He earned his Family Health Coaching Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. This was a delightful chat.

You may find Marc at http://marcswood.com/

Full Transcript by Rita Meyer (owner of All Good Reporters)

>>Dee: Hello. Welcome to my podcast. My name is Dee and I am

the Introverted Advocate. The mission of my podcast is simply

this: To create a kinder, more compassionate world through


>>I began advocating back in 2014 and I have a few stories I’d

like to share. Advocating is like an adventure and it can be

done from the comfort of your keyboard at home or it could be

an adventure of meeting new people, learning new skills or

finding out that the world is full of caring individuals who

are ready to lend a hand or their heart when they see a need.

>> I invite you to look around in your world and see who might

need a little support and kindness. It could be one

individual, it could be a group or a cause, it could be a community.

>>Dee: Are you ready? All right. Let’s get to it.


>>Dee: Hello. When I turned 50 years old, my focus shifted to

self-care. To my health. I wanted to devote time and effort

to stay healthy and energetic and to live a vital lifestyle. It’s

been seven years now and I’ve learned so much.

But as an advocate now, self-care is crucial. Often, advocates push a

little bit too hard and burn the candle at both ends, so this

podcast is a way to be mindful that self-care is very important.

And nutrition is a key component of that big picture.

>>Dee: My guest today will share his knowledge and insights on

nutrition. Specifically, the power of plants.

>>Marc Wood is a certified plant-based nutritionist. Marc

studied plant-based nutrition at Cornell and he received his

family health coaching certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

I think you’ll find this talk very interesting and here we go.

>>Dee: Welcome, Marc. Thank you for joining me this morning.

>>Marc: Thanks, Dee. Well, thank you for having me and good

morning to yourself.

>>Dee: You put forth such enthusiastic and happy messages about being plant

based. I’m going to jump right into you being a plant-based athlete. Can

we just talk about that for a minute?

>>Marc: You can talk about whatever you want.

>>Dee: Just so folks know, Marc is a certified plant-based

nutritionist. He is also an athlete and he runs triathlons

and that, to me, is a wonderful story, Marc, because so many

folks don’t believe or can’t understand how someone can be an

athlete and be physically fit like you are and run these

endurance events base — you’re, you’re fueled by the power of


>>Marc: Hmm.

>>Dee: And you also raise money for nonprofits.

>>Marc: Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, some of the world’s top

endurance atheletes are plant based and myself, Dee, I only

started doing triathlons last year when Farm Sanctuary —

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: — Farm Sanctuary wanted to put together a team.

so a friend, who’s closer to Farm Sanctuary, asked me. Now, I’ve

always enjoyed the gym and lifting weights and I’ve been

more muscular the last two years. When I started doing the

triathlons, it was a totally different sort of training and

endurance training really tests your true fitness. So that was a

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — It was great way to take on for my own challenge at

what, 48 years old, to start doing triathlons. And I just finished —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — my first half Ironman in Lake Placid two months ago.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: So again, the power of plants. It’s actually, you know,

when you’re young, you can get away with anything in your 20’s

and 30’s, but everything really shows up in our 40’s and our 50’s

and, you know, I’ll be —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — 50 soon and you can’t get away with stuff. So when you

exercise, your body lets you know. So it’s the same with

eating as well. We don’t get away with it.

We got away with it all those years — well, we didn’t because it catches up

with you so, yeah.

>>Dee: Oh, that is so true. So you’re right. You bring up two

good points. Exercise; the proper nutrition.

>>Marc: Mm-hmm.

>>Dee: Recently, I — well, last month was my birthday month. I

indulged in lots of vegan processed food. My body let me know.

>>Marc: Hmm.

>>Dee: You know what, Dee, I actually prefer the whole food

plant based.

>>Marc: Yeah.

>>Dee: The good quality food that mother nature presents to

us, without all the process and the chemicals and all of that.

So currently, I have hit the reset button on my meal planning

and all of that because you’re so right. It just — our bodies

let us know and I feel so much more energized this month after

going back to whole foods plant-based. Energized, my brain is


>>Marc: Mm-hmm.

>>Dee: I’m having great ideas. Um, just highly motivated to keep

eating in this way. So —

>>Marc: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a no brainer really. I mean, once we

eat this way, our body doesn’t want anything else and if it

does, you know, I like my vegan comfort food now and again.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm. Right.

>>Marc: But it’s usually heartburn within a half an hour,

you know.

>>Dee: Yes, Marc, I get it. 

>>Marc: I rarely only get heartburn really if I havesomething like a processed —

>>Dee: Yeah, it’s sugar for me.

>>Marc: Yeah.

>>Dee: I don’t have a sweet tooth anymore, but when I do eat

something with sugar, my stomach’s like no, thank you,

no, thank you. Not again please,you know.

>>Marc: But these, but these products like B eyod Meat burgers

is phenomenal. It’s so good. I mean, it’s, it’s a processed food

but 20 grams of protein, 30 grams of your daily iron. All the

money they put into making this, you know, it’s — this will help

people because, you know, as humans, that sense of taste

really is linked to memory and I think that’s why a lot of people

find it hard to shift their diets even though they know they’re

harming themselves and why we see they have their health, you know.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: The taste, the memory

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — is like smell and memory, you know. Your grandmother’s cake or your

grandmother’s chicken, you know, so it’s not so easy. But the benefits are, we now know the immense benefits of a whole food plant-based diet and, you , its

ability to cure, reverse most cases of heart disease, Type II diabetes and obesity. So this is, you know, this is going to be groundbreaking for all those

people out there that struggled with their health and their diets, and, and think that they

>>Dee: Yes.

>>Marc: — think that they have to suffer from these diseases that they think run in their family when, you know, we can reverse and cure these diseases

just by learning how to eat a whole food plant-based diet. 

>>Dee: That’s a good seque. I know that you have clients, families that invite you to their homes.

>>Marc: Yes.

>>Dee: And you show them how to get started in the kitchen with this plant-based meal planning.

So Marc —

>>Marc: Mm-hmm.

>>Dee: — what would be three small steps for someone who has

never even researched this much at all, someone’s listening and they’re like, I’m interested but I have no clue how to start. What would you say are three

small steps to get someone kind of grounded in getting their  footing just a little bit in

plant-based meal planning?

>>Marc: Good question. I mean, I always advise people to read up on, maybe watch Fox Overnight or something. Get some sort of idea of the benefits of why you want

to eat this way because it’s important, it’s important to kno why we eat what we eat because we  spend most of our upbringing —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — just learning about, oh, that’s the food that we like to eat because of its taste. But when we start to look at food as fuel for the mind, body and spirit.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: You know, this is where our micro, macro nutrients come from. From food, not from supplements. You know, our body recognizes the nutrients —

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: — takes them out and processes them in our, into our blood.

>>Don’t set yourself big goals if it’s a challenge. Some people can just change overnight. If you want to take small steps.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: Maybe introduce one or two meals a week that don’t have

any animal products or sugar or oils or don’t get ahead of

yourself and maybe when you make that dish, don’t just make a

little portion. Make it is so that, you know, you can eat

three, four, five, six portions of it over two, three days.

>>This is a secret to cooking because in a busy life, we need

to bulk cook. So this is what I teach. We cook for three days,

so we make a breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days and this is

what I do twice a week. It saves you so much time, it saves you so

much money and, of course, you’re taking control over your health,

which I’ve found is a lost, forgotten act of self-love and

probably one of the most important, forgotten acts of

self-love which is learning how to cook for yourself or fuel

yourself. Yourself. Not putting it into the hands of somebody else.

>>We’re really teaching people that is a profound experience

because most people think they don’t have the time or the money

or this and it actually saves you time and it saves you money and,

of course, in the big picture, your health, well, what price is that?

>>Dee: We’re actually making decisions for ourselves. We’re

not just following the cultural habits that are, that are out there in society.

>>Marc: Yes. That’s for sure. Like I said, it’s — that’s — we tend to follow each other.

People are like that. But as individuals, we can stop, think, so much information out there. Like I say, people are going to have the opportunity to make a choice really to benefit themselves and that choice will be to eat more whole food plant based if not 100%, and all the benefits that come from that.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: You know, I lost my father to heart disease and my family has that predisposition to it.

>>Dee: Wow.

>>Marc: But all we have to do is stop lifestyle habits which cause that which is lots of fatty foods, probably lots of sodium.

>>Yeah, so I say, you know, take a day or even one day like a Monday, say, I’m not going to have a meat animal-based meal on Monday night or a whole day

without it. And also refined sugars.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: Take the refined sugars, take the oils, take the meat, dairy and eggs out. Try that for one day and see how you feel.

>>Dee: Right. Little things like that. You mentioned your grandmother’s delicious foods.

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, my sister lives across town and she surprised me, Marc, with a plant- based version of our grandmother’s cornbread dressing

that the whole family just is crazy for. When I arrived that day for Thanksgiving, she had two pans, one said plant-based vegan and the other one was traditional

way. And I told her, you scored lots of bonus points for this. She figured it out. 

>>It’s coming up on the holidays. It is possible. There are so many recipes out there to convert our traditional family recipes into one that is plant-based.

>>Marc: Oh, yes. I mean, and that’s, and that’s just the special holidays. When people

think about plant-based foods, I think most people that are omnivore are thinking veggie burgers. Like I say, plant-based chicken tenders and things like this. Really, you

know, we’re talking beans and lentils. Beans are my beef; lentils are my chicken.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: People say you eat the same food every day. I say, well,

most people do eat the same food. You know, chickens are the most

eaten animal in America by far and so it really, you know —

somebody mentioned yesterday in an article about animal protein

being more nutrient dense and that couldn’t be more wrong a

statement because meat doesn’t contain all the five micro

nutrients which are carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, healthy proteins,

healthy fats, fiber and water. Of course, it doesn’t contain any fiber and it doesn’t contain any healthy fats, so it’s not a complete micro nutrient whereas

beans and lentils are.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: It’s just really information. It’s not that difficult. People are just used

to having that piece of, you know, that lump of meat on their plate. It’s really, it’s really a lot of psychology because what I found is one weekend of working

with myself or doing the program, people forget everything. They can’t believe that they don’t miss this, they’re not craving that or they made a big deal of

and, you know, I understand that we’ve had —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — decades. This is the

first thing we were given by our

parents was food to eat and so it

goes, it’s really deeply

entrenched in our subconscious

and our psyche, eating animal


>>Slow steps for some, super

tasty food and obviously, that’s

the key, you know. Super

healthy, tasty foods that makes

you thrive.

>>Dee: I found it comforting,

back when — now, I went

vegetarian back in 1990. I had

no friends, no family members

that were vegetarian. I was all

alone. That was okay. I mean, I

was fully committed to

vegetarian. I was very proud

that I could make that shift in

my, my behavior and my attitude

towards my eating.

>>And then in 2012, I decided I

wanted to meet some other

vegetarians in this community.

That was the best move that I

could have made, Marc, because —

>>Marc: Mm-hmm.

>>Dee: — well, I’m an

introvert, so going out to pot

luck dinner is a little bit

daunting for me, but this shows

you how much I wanted to meet

other like-minded people.

>>Marc: Yeah.

>>Dee: Going to a few of these

vegetarians potlucks and meeting

folks of all ages, of all ethnic

groups and hearing their stories

about either being vegetarian or

going vegan and then they shared

how much better they felt, how

they got off their medication

when they went, you know, plant

based —

>>Marc: Yes.

>>Dee: — to vegan. And so for

me, going to these meetups was

just dynamic as far as getting me

out of my rut of what I was

eating and I learned so much and

I, I made friends. And it’s just

been this incredible ride ever


>>I mean, I went to the Super

Veg Fest yesterday and, Marc, as

you know, it’s an electric

feeling when you’re at a Veg Fest

because you have folks who are

attending this because they’re

vegan, they are plant-based,

they’re vegetarian, different

stages of it and yet you have

also —

>>Marc: Yeah.

>>Dee: — the general public who

is, they are veg-curious. They’re

like, I’m just so stoked over it.

I’m just really optimistic now

for the plant-based community

because I saw so many people

yesterday asking good questions

and they, they were not plant

based yet.

>>Marc: No. I mean, yeah. It’s

— we live in exciting times when

it comes to, you know, health and

food and all the veg fests are

hot and getting bigger every

year. Like you said, they offer

an opportunity for people to come

along in an environment that’s

friendly and safe and educational

and that’s what it’s about.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: It’s a great opportunity

for people to be, to get some

knowledge and that’s what people

are lacking. There’s been so

much misinformation, so much BS

put out there by the big

industries, you know, that try

and mess around with science and

misinformation’s a powerful tool.

>>But really, we know. I mean,

the science is in. You know,

heart disease kills more people,

kills more of our loved ones than

any other disease in the western

world. Yet we now know we can

reverse and cure most cases of

this disease, just by diet.

>>Now, I used to have people

calling me an extremist —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — as a vegan, and

there’s nothing, there’s nothing

extreme about eating plants and

being kind and thinking about the

environment. But I tell you

what is extreme, Dee.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: What is extreme is what

happened to my dad. They sawed,

they sawed open his chest plate.

Took an artery from his leg and

used it in his heart. All that

from clogged arteries.

>>Dee: Wow.

>>Marc: Now, how do arteries

clog? Arteries clog from

plaque, which is bad fat build up

from bad cholesterol, you know.

>>So it’s not rocket science


>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: Don’t eat the foods that

have the unhealthy lifestyle

habits that cause the blockages

in your heart. We now know what

those are. This is not simple.

And people are, people are going

to see a huge shift in perception

towards plant-based diets like

we’ve never seen in the future.

Especially a hospital like

Belleview has just started their

program to offer whole food

plant-based diet as an option

other than surgery or

pharmaceuticals for heart

disease, Type II diabetes and

obesity. So this is —

>>Dee: Really, oh. I would

love, yeah, I would love to hear

more about that.

>>Marc: Well, this is the

beginning of it. This is the,

this is going to get the word

out. This will make peoples’

ears prick up. And think, holy

moly, I don’t have to take all

these pharmaceuticals. I don’t

have to get sawed open.

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: I just have to change my

diet. All I need to know is

learn how to do that. And these

programs, these Veg Fests, what I

do for a living, this is, this is

what it’s all about. Education.

Educating — knowledge is power.

>>Dee: Um, and speaking of what

you do, Marc, could you share

your website so that folks could

find you?

>>Marc: Yes. It’s M-A-R-C-S

Wood, W-O-O-D.com. So that’s

marcswood.com. And it’s the same

with Facebook.

>>Dee: Okay. Is there anything

else you’d like to share, um —

>>Marc: Well, if the audience —

>>Dee: Go ahead.

>>Marc: You know, hopefully, the

audience out there that’s going

to be listening to this is

probably like once what we were,

you know, we used to eat animal

products. We were brought up

with these things. I certainly

was in Scotland all those years

ago, you know. But it was about

26 years ago I gave up eating

meat. I was eating eggs for a

long time.

>>Dee: Wow.

>>Marc: So it’s about seven

years I’ve been fully a vegan and

whole food plant based. And it’s

funny, I just had somebody reach

out to me from Scotland saying

about how I look always vibrant

and energy and they were asking,

they were asking me —

>>Dee: Right.

>>Marc: — is that because your

diet? So I’m just about to reply

to her after this and say 100%

yeah. I mean, I’ve always been

full of beans and my body type is

fast metabolism. I’m coming on

50 now and like I said earlier,

this is when our bodies usually

show, all right, here’s what,

here’s, you know, this is what

you’ve done the first 30 years,

40 years of your life and this is

the results of it.

>>So, you know, it’s either

going to be the heart disease,

the obesity, all the unhealthy

stuff or your body is going to

keep on thriving.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: So it doesn’t matter

whether you’re 30, 40, 50, 60,

70, 80 years old, you can, you

can do this and you can improve

your life by the simple process

of just adopting a more whole

food plant-based diet and I

highly recommend it to anybody

listening out there. It’s not so

hard. It’s really simple. It’s

cost-effective. And the price,

well, it’s priceless. How can

you put a price on not having

these diseases that are causing

havoc in our families and our


>>Dee: Yes, yes.

>>Marc: We have a

responsibility. So love yourself

enough to say, you know, today

I’m going to eat a little bit


>>Dee: This has been delightful,

Marc. Well, you inspire me and I

know that you’re going to inspire

folks that are listening to this


>>Marc: Great.

>>Dee: What a great story to end

on with, with your friend from

Scotland reaching out to you.

That’s, that’s just a huge


>>Marc: Well, that’s, that’s a

stranger. I don’t know this

person. I thought —

>>Dee: Oh.

>>Marc: Even better, yeah, yeah.

>>Dee: Well, better, okay.

>>Marc: People respond. And food

is energy. And we’ve been eating

food that’s not really, that sort

of tires us, tires us and makes

us slower. I mean, that’s what

meat, dairy, eggs does. It sort

of slows us down, whereas real

plant food —

>>Dee: Right, right.

>>Marc: — which is medicine and

obviously, complex carbohydrates,

which are pure energy. I mean,

it’s really not rocket science.

It’s just that we’ve been brought

up not really to think. It’s

just been this habit that we’ve

learned and we’ve not really

thought about it. But when we

think about it, we then know and

see the benefits.

>>Dee: Mm-hmm.

>>Marc: We see the harm and we

see the benefits. So it’s

stopping, thinking, learning and

moving forward. And we all

deserve it. We deserve our own

health and we each can be the

best possible version of

ourselves if we take the steps to

love ourselves a little bit more.

>>Dee: Wow, Marc. That is so

well said. So well said. I’m

not going to add anything to

that. That’s a great way to

conclude this episode.

>>Well, thank you so much, Marc.

>>Marc: Thank you, Dee. Have a

great day.

>>Dee: I’ll talk to you soon.

>>Marc: Bye-bye.

>>Dee: You, too, Marc.

>>Dee: So thank you for

listening to my podcast, where

kindness is the theme and

advocacy is the action. Until

next time, this is Dee, the

Introverted Advocate.