Week 1 - May 8/9: Introduction

For the introduction to the 14-week course called, "Total Health Improvement Program (THIP)," either watch the video, "Eating You Alive" or "Forks Over Knives".  Featuring leading medical experts and researchers, Eating You Alive takes a scientific look at the reasons we’re so sick, who’s responsible for feeding us the wrong information and how we can use whole-food, plant-based nutrition to take control of our health—one bite at a time.   "Forks Over Knives" looks at the China study and interviews Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr. T. Colin Campbell.  Additionally, the book "How Not To Die" by Michael Greger, M.D. is used as the text book for the course. Participants are encouraged to obtain their own copy, available for purchase in class for $18 or online.

  1. Class Presentation

  2. How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

  3. Eating You Alive Trailer

  4. Eating You Alive Short Excerpts

  5. Forks Over Knives Trailer

Week 2 May 15/16 - Lifestyle Medicine

Week 2 is a discussion about lifestyle medicine.  The course follows the revolutionary book "How Not to Die" written by Dr. Michael Greger, where foods are used to prevent and reverse disease. Learn about how a plant-based diet can treat chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We will also be introduced to what types of food to incorporate into our daily diet. We will debunk myths regarding protein-rich foods and other common sources of confusion.

Helpful Handouts

  1. Chef AJ Calorie Density Chart

  2. Greger's Daily Diet Guide or download the app available on Google Play for Android and iTunes for iOS.

  3. Starter Kit

  4. The Plant Based Diet Booklet by Kaiser Permanente

Below are video links shown in Week 2:

Week 3 May 22/23 - The SAD and Addictive Foods

The "Standard American Diet", also known as SAD, is high in fat content and low in nutrient rich foods. This focus of week 3 is the addictive nature of the SAD and strategies to avoid that pleasure trap.

Helpful Handouts

  1. The Nutrition Rainbow-PCRM

Below are video links shown in Week 3: 

Week 4 May 29/30 - What foods are healthy?

Now that we've reviewed foods that should be avoided, we focus on the many foods that are great for your health. We focus on how to plan your diet using resources like "Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen", as well as recipes inspired by Dr. Greger. We also will learn how to replace dairy and meat with healthier choices. 

Helpful Handouts:


Below are video links shown in Week 4:

Week 6 June 12/13 - Fiber & Digestive Health

Week 5 highlights the importance of fiber for your digestive health. We learn about how much fiber should be incorporated into your diet and the many health benefits of fiber.  We also discuss gut bacteria and how to develop a healthy gut ecosystem. We also encourage trying the lifestyle 100% for the next 21 days.  Sign up at PCRM for the 21 Day Kickstart for recipe ideas or check our recipe page.

Helpful Handouts

Below are video links shown in Week 5: 

Week 7 June 19-20 - Obesity & Weight Loss

Plant-based diets may help prevent weight gain, promote weight loss, and maintain desired weight by increasing resting energy expenditure, lowering energy gain, up-regulating metabolism, improving satiety, preventing fat cells from taking up fat, and improving plasma adiponectin levels (a hormone that helps control weight).

Helpful Handouts:

Below are the video links shown in Week 6:

Week 8 June 26/27 - Mindfulness and Vulnerability

Week 7 focuses on how health is multi-faceted and mental health is a vital component of overall health. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for more resources regarding mental health, including meditation and relaxation, managing stress and forgiveness (see bottom of page for videos we didn't have time for).

Helpful Handouts:

Below are links to videos shown in Week 7: 

Week 9 Jul 3/4 - Diabetes

By eating plant-based and living a healthy lifestyle, 90%-95% of type 2 diabetes is avoidable.

Helpful Handouts:

Below are video links shown in Week 8: 

Week 10 Jul 10/11 - Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Find out how to prevent and reverse heart disease and how not to die from hypertension or heart disease with teachings from Dr. Esseltyn and Dr. Greger. This week your cardiac health is our focus and with a plant-based diet our goal is to have your heart in optimal shape.  

Helpful Handouts

  1. My Lunch with Bill Clinton

  2. Cholesterol and Heart Disease

  3. What is High Blood Pressure

Below are video links shown in Week 9:

Week 11 Jul 17-18 - Cancer

Cancer is the #2 killer in the United States, and diet may be the #1 cause of cancer. The balance of evidence suggests that a whole food, plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, slow, and even reverse cancer progression. It’s never too late to start eating healthier, as cancer risk may drop after starting a plant-based diet at any age.

Helpful Handouts

Below are video links shown in Week 10:

Week 12 - Jul 24/25 Brain Health and Preventing Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, which kills nearly 85,000 Americans each year, is one of the most physically and emotionally burdensome diseases, for both sufferers and caregivers. The good news is that diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This new class will discuss how we can help prevent dementia through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Helpful Handouts

Below are video links shown in Week 10:

Week 13 Jul 31-Aug 1 - Environmental Impact of a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet is good for your body and the environment. This week we learn about how what we eat affects the world around us and how we can make a positive impact.  We discuss the importance of thinking about our future self and switching to a plant-based diet helps us live a life that involves delicious food and drink, delivers better health, leaves a smaller carbon footprint and avoids killing other creatures.

Helpful Handouts:

Below are video links shown in Week 11:

Week 14 Aug 8/9 - Living your best life!

In our final class, we will complete our journey talking about how to eat a plant based diet and improving your health, longevity, and well-being.

Below are video links shown in Week 12:


BONUS: Additional Resources We Didn't Have Time For

Dining Out

Grocery Shopping

Cooking Ideas

Leaders in the Field

Kick Start for Your Health by Dr. Barnard

Prescription Nutrition

Plant-based for the Environment and the Animals

Hypertension and Heart Disease



Obesity and Weight Loss

Calcium and Bone health

Multiple Sclerosis



Meditation and Relaxation




Managing Depression and Anxiety