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2018 Sedona Health and Nutrition Conference

Fine Fettle Wellness was between the participants at the 2018 Health and Nutrition Conference, held this year on January 18-19 at the magnificent L'Auberge de Sedona resort, located in the heart of the mystical Red Rocks landscape. What a perfect setting for a Health Conference! Beneath the endless beauty beats a healing heart. Sedona has long been regarded as a place both sacred and powerful. It is a cathedral without walls. People travel from all across the globe to experience the mysterious cosmic forces that are said to emanate from the red rocks.

Even more impressive was the lineup of speakers in the program! Plant-Based Nutrition pioneers and scientists such as Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD and his daughter Jane Esselstyn, RN and Michael Klaper, MD, captured the attention of the audience with groundbreaking presentations about the value of a whole food plant-based nutrition in maintaining health, preventing disease and even reversing diseases currently considered incurable. Brenda David, RD had a stunning presentation about whole food plant-based diets in then prevention and treatment of disease and the NAU/NAH Research Team (Jay Sutliffe, Phd, RD; Michelle Gorman, RD; Wendy Wetzel, RN, MSN, NP) presented the results of their 12-week pilot study that evaluated the health benefits of a plant-based diet in then workforce.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn ,Jr., MD received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

His scientific publications number over 150, “The Best Doctors in America” 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn’s surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995 he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. In July of 2014 he reported the experience of 198 participants seriously ill with cardiovascular disease. During 3.7 years of follow up of the 89% adherent to the program, 99.4% avoided further major cardiac events.

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet since 1984. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

Michael Klaper, MD is a graduate or the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and has practiced acute care medicine in Hawaii, Canada, California, Florida, and New Zealand.

Far more fulfilling to him is his current practice, focusing on health-promoting foods and lifestyle choices to help people stay out of hospitals and off of operating tables. He has authored numerous articles on plant-based nutrition and is authoring a book on using plant-based medicine to arrest and reverse disease.

A long-time radio-host and a pilot, he has served as nutrition advisor to NASA's programs for space colonists on the Moon and Mars and on the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Students association.

Dr. Klaper adopted a plan-based diet in 1981. He currently practices nutritionally-baserd medicine at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California. He makes the latest information on heath and nutrition available through his website,, where visitors can find the numerous videos and DVDs he has produced, as well as subscribe to his newsletter, "Medicine Capsule".

Key take-aways from the Conference:

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. In fact, cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Most medications and treatment plans today only treat the symptoms of cardiovascular disease (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, myocardial infarction), but do little to reverse the main reason these disease symptoms develop in the first place.

Numerous studies have proven that a Plant-Based Nutrition program, if followed appropriately, is effective even in advanced cases of cardiovascular disease. It can radically lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and it can reverse obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) so effectively that it obliterates the need for angioplasty and bypass surgery.

Following this nutritional plan, will

  • lower and normalize blood pressure

  • lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL)

  • lower weight, body fat, and waist measurements

  • lower fasting blood glucose levels and hemoglobin A1C levels in diabetics

  • restore normal bowel functions

  • improve immune function

  • maintain youthful vigor and slows down aging process

As Dr Klaper summarized it in one sentence: "Every meal changes us on a molecular and genetic level."

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