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
>>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 —
>>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
>>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 —
>>Marc: — my first half Ironman in Lake Placid two months ago.
>>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 —
>>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.
>>Dee: Recently, I — well, last month was my birthday month. I
indulged in lots of vegan processed food. My body let me know.
>>Dee: You know what, Dee, I actually prefer the whole food
>>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
>>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,
>>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.
>>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.
>>Marc: The taste, the memory
>>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
>>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.
>>Dee: And you show them how to get started in the kitchen with this plant-based meal planning.
So Marc —
>>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 —
>>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.
>>Marc: You know, this is where our micro, macro nutrients come from. From food, not from supplements. You know, our body recognizes the nutrients —
>>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.
>>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.
>>Marc: You know, I lost my father to heart disease and my family has that predisposition to it.
>>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.
>>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.
>>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.
>>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 —
>>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
>>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 —
>>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.
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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.
>>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 —
>>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.
>>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.
>>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
>>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.
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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 —
>>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.
>>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
>>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 —
>>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.
>>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
>>Dee: I’ll talk to you soon.
>>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