August 23, 2022
217: From Heart Disease to Healthy and Active with Bill Daniels

Discover how simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve our quality of life as Bill Daniels discusses how adopting an active lifestyle and a plant-based diet improved his heart condition. Stay tuned to learn how he st...

Discover how simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve our quality of life as Bill Daniels discusses how adopting an active lifestyle and a plant-based diet improved his heart condition. Stay tuned to learn how he started a local PlantPure Pod to help others make the exact change! 

In this episode, you will learn: 

  • Bill Daniels changed his life for the better after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives and reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell's book, The China Study 
  • Bill's heart disease prevented him from walking up a steep hill without chest discomfort, but after transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet, he can now do it with ease 
  • Bill's work life has focused on theater, horticulture, environmental health, and safety for over 31 years. Upon retirement, he became the co-leader of Pea (Plant-Based Eating Advocates Pod) in Bloomington, Indiana 

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About Bill Daniels

The lives of Bill and his wife, Nonie, changed dramatically for the better after viewing the documentary, Forks Over Knives, and, shortly thereafter, Bill read Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study. Before being inspired to transition to a whole food, plant-based diet, Bill’s heart disease prevented him from walking up a steep hill without chest discomfort. Now, he can do it with ease! 

Bill holds degrees in Theater, Theology, and Health Science. In addition, he has completed certificates in Plant-Based Nutrition, Native Plant Propagation, and Permaculture Design, and is an Advanced Master Gardener. Upon retirement in 2019, Bill became the co-leader of PEA (Plant-based Eating Advocates) Pod in Bloomington, IN. PEA Pod’s small band of plant-based advocates continued to be active throughout the pandemic, meeting for picnics and Zoom get-togethers. PEA Pod’s current focus is to provide programs, resources, tools, knowledge, and support to group members and the general public regarding living a low-fat, whole food, plant-based life. 

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Bill Daniels: [00:00:00] And I had my little, little CPAP machine with me, and then I was able to replace my C P a P with my, my bullet. I got a neutral bullet, a neutral bullet. And, and so, I carried that all over the world lost I I've 30 pounds right off the bat, and I've kept. Really the 30 off. That’s.

Maya Acosta: [00:00:19]This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast and I'm your host, Maya Acosta. If you're willing to go with me together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life. Let's get started from heart disease to healthy and active lifestyle. After watching the film Forks Over Knives. Bill Daniels made a significant change, improved his quality of life, and became a co-leader of the group.

Plant-based eating advocates also known as PEA POD. Bill is part of the pod advisory committee for Plant Pure Communities and also a member of the event subcommittee for PEA and he's one of the individuals that's helping to organize this online course that we’re featuring on August 27th. So we are designing this course to support pod leaders. If you are a pod leader, please send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I am at Maya underscore HLS, underscore podcasts as always the full bio and the links for each of my guests can be found on the website, healthy lifestyle I hope you enjoy this. 

Bill Daniels: [00:01:26] Well, thank you. It's good to be here. Look forward to the discussion. 

Maya Acosta: [00:01:31] Yay. And it's a pleasure to have you as a member of the Pod Advisory Committee. And you're also part of my subcommittee. Not necessarily mine, but the one I'm part of, but the one I'm part of which is the event subcommittee. And yeah, so we're working behind the scenes on hopefully providing content to support other pod leaders. Yes. So how are you feeling so far about being part of this group? 

Bill Daniels: [00:01:55] Oh, I'm very excited about it. I appreciate the work that was done last year and laying the foundation, and I really look forward to now bringing it to our Pod leaders. And I think it's really going to be neat to be able to do the summit. I really love the idea of bringing in all the other Pod leaders to share their experiences. I think it's going to be a great thing.  

Maya Acosta: [00:02:25] Yes, I do too. So, as you know, this conversation is part of a series that we're doing to introduce Pod members to the entire PlantPure Communities Pod Network. Right? So, people will get to know a little bit more about you, where you're coming from, what your background is, and then just your experience in running a Pod. And as you know, we've been trying to work really hard to encourage Pod leaders, giving them ideas in terms of how they can continue to support their communities. 

So, we'll talk about that, the name of your pod, what kind of work you do with your pod, and how you have pivoted, like many of us, how we've moved virtually. So, let's start off by learning a little bit about you. Where are you from, and how did you learn about plant-based nutrition? Okay. 

Bill Daniels: [00:03:16] I'm actually from Evansville, Indiana. I'm from Indiana, although we have lived from New York City to Los Angeles and several places in between. We just moved a couple of months ago, and this was our 18th move in our 43 years of marriage. We've been around quite a bit.

But yes, I'm from Evansville, and as far as plant-based lifestyle and eating, it actually goes way back. The first time we really heard about it was back in the late 70s, actually, when my wife and I were first dating and everything. And we had read a few books from Norman Walker, and he was a vegetarian, but it was primarily raw food, a vegan lifestyle.  

And but he did allow cottage cheese and Swiss cheese anyway, so we did that for actually not perfectly we were vegetarians, but we did that for about five years. And then we joined the church, and the church said, this isn't going to fly. You can eat meat. It's perfectly okay. 

There was so much social involved, so we stopped and at least being vegetarians, and then many years later down the road, my little brother said, hey, you need to see a video. And it Forks Over Knives. From there, we changed things quite dramatically. That was over ten years ago now. We're not perfect in the least, I've not been perfectly whole food plant-based and all of my travels and everything, but we've been very consistent with that. 

And as a result, I learned that I had pretty advanced heart disease as well as a heart defect and some other issues that went with that defect. At the time we first saw Forks Over Knives, I could barely walk up a hill without chest discomfort and totally taken care of. So, we're very fortunate to have seen Forks Over Knives. And then, of course, PlantPure Nation and then the many other videos and all, but we've embraced the lifestyle very much.

Maya Acosta: [00:05:54] Wonderful. So I have a couple of questions about what you just shared. Sure. One of 'em is in regards to that exposure that you had early on, were you also doing the juices? 

Bill Daniels: [00:05:54] Yes. Yes. Yeah. Norman Walker. It was primarily raw food and in fact, I lost like 60 pounds. I was a pretty bulk kid. And I lost like 60 pounds. Everybody was freaking out because I was also turning yellow from all the carrot juice. And a lot of people thought I had some very serious illness, but. Anyway. Yes. So that's what it was about. He had the Norwalk juicer, which we couldn't afford. We had a champion juicer, but the Norwalk was very, very expensive for us at that time. But anyway, 

Maya Acosta:  [00:06:32] I do ask about the juicing because there was a time when I also got into juicing business before I learned about the whole food plant-based lifestyle, but I was familiar with the gin therapy. Were you as well?

Bill Daniels: [00:06:43] Yes. Yes. Now, I learned about that later on, though I didn't know about it then. Although there were people like Viktor Kulvinskas and a few other names during that period, I think there were some interconnections with some of those folks. 

Maya Acosta: [00:06:59]  So, at that time, when you were sort of a raw foodist, you weren't aware of having had what you currently are dealing with, which is no form of heart disease. Okay. So, when you make that change, don't remember if you said you made it for health reasons. And how did you feel during those five years that you were raw food and how did you feel when you went back to probably the standard American diet?

Bill Daniels: [00:07:25] That's a good point. Yeah, absolutely. At least I didn't notice a dramatic change because we ate a lot of cheese. No milk, never milk. But the cheese was part of that. We weren't eating eggs, but we were getting a lot of animal products. So, one of the things I did find, and this was just a learning experience, is when we were more of the raw food, I just kept losing weight. 

Losing weight, and I wasn't eating enough. And I think that was part of it, but I do remember those experiences. And then we added a little bit more of the cheese in, and then I was able to stabilize. But honestly, it's been a long time ago, but I don't remember a dramatic change because it was fairly gradual, even though at church we ate more meats and everything, like in potlucks and stuff like that. We didn't change our lifestyle hugely but it did as time went on, it's just, you get part of a, a culture, part of a a community and it's, it's easy to, to go that direction.

That's why it's so important to be part of plant pure communities and, you know, to be a part of the C. And the support. 

Maya Acosta: [00:08:50] We become like the people that we surround ourselves by. Right after you watched Forks Over Knives, in the ten years that you have not so perfectly. And I like that sort of disclaimer the way that you put that not so perfectly have adopted and embraced a whole food plant-based lifestyle power. We become like the people that we surround. 

You notice that in terms of your energy and being able to just walk without having sort of like shortness of breath, that has improved. I'm assuming you had an angiogram and other things done to check. Have you had any tests done recently to see if there's been sort of a reversal in your condition?

Bill Daniels: [00:09:26] No. The tests that I have taken don't really show that they're more of just pictures. I've got a very large aneurysm that comes with valve malformity. They take a picture of that to make sure it isn't growing. And I've got just a little bit to go, but so far it has stayed where it is ever since I've learned about it. But I've stayed on the diet pretty well. 

Maya Acosta: [00:09:56] That's great. Yeah. This is very encouraging because at least, you know, physically how you're feeling, usually, these are, we have the symptoms when something is developing and we become very aware. 

Bill Daniels: [00:10:06] Right. Absolutely. Definitely. And I traveled, not nonstop, but 50% of the time, and I had my little CPAP machine with me, and I threw it through the scanner. And then I was able to replace my CPAP with my bullet. I got a NutriBullet. And so, I carried that all over the world. So, anyway, I've had terrible apnea and lost £30 right off the bat. And I've kept really the 30 off that's fluctuated. This winter, I've gained some weight and little too much bread, but it's whole grain, but it's still very concentrated. 

Maya Acosta: [00:10:54] Well, you know, I appreciate what you just said, though, and I repeated it, but we do this lifestyle not so perfectly. I, over the course of the pandemic, I've continued to be an ethical vegan because that's something I will never give up. But I discovered the food delivery service for the first time in the later part of last year, and suddenly I noticed my cholesterol level went up. And so once I started to revisit some of the content related to reading labels and also understanding where you find saturated fat implant foods, it made sense to me. I'm eating curry with coconut milk. I'm eating a lot of cashews. But also donuts. 

Vegan donuts. There you go. That happens. But instead of being very hard on myself, I decided to clean up my diet. And sure enough, my cholesterol went down. 

Like, quickly went down. And I'm so proud of myself, and I'm going to kind of stay like this. But let's mention a little bit about why you do travel. This is related to 31 years you've spent in health and safety, and traveling can be very tricky. How do you travel with all your ingredients, all your spices? So, tell us a little bit more about the previous work that you've done. 

Bill Daniels: [00:12:14] Well, I worked in the field at least the last 30-some-odd years, as you mentioned, in Environmental Health and safety. And then a little over ten of those years, I traveled, rolling out different health and safety and environmental campaigns. And so in doing that, I traveled to a lot of different countries and from the top to the bottom of the Americas. But during that period, for half of that time well, no, nearly almost all that time, I was doing plant-based. Now, I would carry a lot of stuff with me. I always had oatmeal. I always had granola. I always had rice cakes. 

I would have nuts and different things that I traveled with. I learned that even though I would get by with it sometimes, I used to carry potatoes with me. But one time in Mexico, they held me up until two in the morning because I had potatoes in my suitcase. 

At least I was the only one of the team that, oh my God, I didn't get through. And then I had a note that said they took my potatoes anyway. But I had a system. I used to travel with dehydrated soups, even though they're high in salt, but I could put that on a potato. I had a system. I would do my overnight oats. And then a lot of times, especially the last part of my career, I would travel, which I'm retired now. I've been retired for two years. I would try to go to a hotel that had real oatmeal, cooked oats. But yeah, that's kind of how I did it. 

I even had cards and Spanish to help me at some of the restaurants there was a service, a company that would do that for you. And I don't think I have that anymore. And so I had that my wallet and going to India, I did the same thing. Now, one of the challenges though, that many of us find we can do pretty well eating vegan on the road, but oil is just almost impossible. It's almost impossible here. And we live in a very open, kind of liberal community college town with lots of different restaurants. But to get a low-fat type of meal and that's not always easy to that's difficult. So, you learn the tricks of Asparagus and really emphasize no oil, nothing. Most of us that have done this for a while, we learned those tricks and you can do pretty well.

Maya Acosta: [00:15:11] Absolutely you can. But still, I admire you because you are trying to still stay healthy during your travel, but you're also traveling for business. So it's very different than someone who's traveling on vacation and has the time during the day to meal prep, cooks their foods. So very tricky. 

But we try to do the same thing. We try to go to places like use Airbnb or places that have kitchenettes. And then I've been known to travel with my small instant pot. Oh yeah. And so in the past, I would travel with luggage full of dry ingredients. And now things are becoming more easily. There are supermarkets in many places now where you can easily go and do your groceries. Like Walmart is a great place to visit internationally because they have a good selection

Bill Daniels: [00:16:05] Right. Yeah, I used to love it in the big cities. Now, I didn't always travel into big cities, but there'd be a Whole Foods Market or one of the other types of markets I could very often find. And even abroad, many of the markets there was a good selection. I just needed help by somebody locally to take me to a market.

Maya Acosta: [00:16:29] Right. And in Mexico, at least one place that I was at when I asked for Tofu, they actually call it in Spanish, escort soya. So it's more like cheese made out of soy because it's very comparable to fresh cheese queso that is more typical in Mexico that you sprinkle over almost everything. Not yellow cheese, but not cheddar cheese. I don't know, because I don't do a lot of cheese well, I didn't do much cheese most of my life, but I did like the fresh cheese. And so Tofu, when you crumble it, is very similar to some of the fresher cheeses in Mexico. So, now let's move forward to after you watch Forks Over Knives. You did mention that at some point you saw PlantPure Nation. Is that around the time that you became involved in a pod?

Bill Daniels: [00:17:23] Actually, it was probably a few years before. I didn't get involved in the I would say that was maybe four years, three or four years before, maybe. But I was traveling so much, and honestly, I didn't do a lot of extracurricular stuff, especially those last ten years when I was traveling. But as soon as I retired, I remembered PlantPure nation. And then I went looking and I saw that in Bloomington that they had a pod. Bloomington, Indiana, that they had a pod. 

So, I forget if I called or anyway, I got a hold of someone, I found out, yes, there is one, but it's inactive. So, I immediately got it going. And then we had our first meeting. It was only like four people, but we had some people. And then over the next few months, Glen Merzer joined me as the co-leader. And then we started having great potlucks, 20 plus people. Great, we thought, for Aria, because it is a small community, and then the pandemic hit, so we really only got to do it for about five months. 

Maya Acosta: [00:18:44] I didn't realize it was so new in terms of it being active again.

Bill Daniels: [00:18:48]  Yeah. And then from there, we paused for a few months, not for sure what to do. And then we'll we decided, well, let's do Zoom meetings. And one of the people had an account through their church, one of the members, and so we started doing Zooms. And we had people like Glen, the author, Glen Merzer speak. We had a local plant-based nutrition doctor speak. One of our members talked about veganism, and so we were able to really do quite a few presentations, and we've continued to do that. In fact, Lynn is going to talk about do a new presentation appears this coming weekend. 

We've continued to do that. Sometimes we just have a get-together meeting, but our attendance hasn't been as much for our Zoom calls as it was for the potlucks. So, we're really hoping now that we're going into the summer, we're going to start picnics up again and initially bring your own food and then hopefully we'll be able to do potlucks again.

Maya Acosta: [00:19:59] Oh, that sounds wonderful, especially as the weather improved. Picnics. I've never done a picnic, and that's been a dream of mine. It's always interesting. Also, you said before watching Plant Pure Nation, you were sort of already interested in gathering with other like-minded people that's what happens with us when we adopt this way of living is that we want to spend time with people that also have these values. I know we've been limited, but what's been the most pleasant thing about being a pod leader?

Bill Daniels: [00:20:29] I think it's just learning from others. I would say to be able to have community. Whereas my wife and I, we did things really on our own for years. Friends, even though they would put up with us, and some of our friends would do some really nice meals that were whole food plant-based. But it's mainly just us, no family members. Even my little brother who told me about Forks Over Knives, it was just interesting to him. So, it brings community. We've got very good friends that are regulars, and so I think that's really the key for us. There is some recipe sharing, but I have found it's really more the comradery and the community for most of us.

Maya Acosta: [00:21:28] Definitely. And I'm thinking about that as you're saying that because I've said that I stopped eating red meat and pork many years ago and I didn't make a big deal out of it. I would travel to see my mom and she would just say from time to time, what am I going to cook for you? But I would stop at Whole Foods, even back then, and pick up nut milk and pick up alternatives. Rice cakes too. I remember back in the day! used to do that. I haven't done a rice cake in quite a while, so I didn't really make a big deal out of it. I just thought this is the way I'm going to live. 

And so it's interesting that suddenly a lot of us want to connect because it's so much more. It's bigger than our health. It's about animal welfare, it's about contributing to the wellness of our planet. Right. There's just so it's just so much more than that. And there there's so much literature, there's so much evidence and science behind this way of living. And as we talk about the environment, I was hoping that you can share with our listeners, these three goals that you had. as you approach retirement, which you are now in. Yeah. So that way we can get to know you a little bit more. Okay. But what were those three goals of that, those three things that you had on your list?

Bill Daniels: [00:22:43] Yeah,well, since I traveled so much the last part of my career, I wanted to do the plant-based thing, help in some way. I wasn't for sure what that would be as I was looking at retirement. Secondly, I wanted to be able to sing again. I'm a vocalist, and so I've got an undergrad degree in musical theater, and so I just wanted to sing again. And I am I'm singing in the church choir. I've got a rehearsal tonight. And then third thing, my early career, from 14 to 31, I spent in Horticulture. At least that was the consistent theme. I did theater and I did a few other jobs, but it was really the consistent theme.

And so I wanted to get back to growing plants, and specifically, I wanted to get into native plants. And a lot of people don't realize so many of especially our ornamental plants they're brought from Europe, from Asia, and they look pretty. They don't have any bug holes in them, and even some of them are deer resistant. But unfortunately, those plants did not evolve with our native wildlife, in particular our insects, especially our caterpillars. It's very important that we move as much as we can to native plants in that if we want birds, we need insects, we need those caterpillars. And there's been a lot of folks talking about, like, the monarch butterfly and growing milkweeds. Many people that may not understand other things, they do understand that they've heard of that well, pretty well. 

All of those insect plants are nearly all the insects have to they can only eat certain plants or certain types of plants. And if you don't have those plants, then you don't have the insects, and then you don't have the rest of the ecology. Anyway, that was my third thing, and I do that quite a bit. And coordinating a native seed project for the Indiana Native Plant Society. So anyway, I'm doing the things I've really wanted to do, and actually, I'm getting about as busy as I was before anyway, but that's okay. 

Maya Acosta: [00:25:20] It sounds just with the seed society that you're part of, that in itself could be a full-time job. And I'm very fascinated in that topic. And I'm wondering, are there societies like that in every state where they address native plants? 

Bill Daniels: [00:25:37] That they really are. In fact, there's a listing that you can look at, and you can go on to 50 plus. There are a few other organizations, but in every state, there is some type of organization that is involved with native plants. 

Maya Acosta: [00:25:55] That's such an important topic. As a matter of fact, I recently had an individual who has a wonderful YouTube channel, and she teaches people how to care for house plants. And, yeah, I invited her on the show because I love plants and I want to learn more. And I don't necessarily have a green thumb, although some people think that's a myth, whether you have a green thumb or not. 

[00:29:07] She came on the show. And another reason why I really wanted to speak with her is because she talks about the environmental impact of just caring for house plants, just having house plants in general and the carbon footprint, and you sort of just touched on that. We are not always familiar with how the distance that plants and flowers travel just so that we can have them. I know that I was always bothered by buying flowers from a local nursery and having them die within seven to ten minutes or however long. It just kills me to take a beautiful flower that is flourishing in the ground, take it out just to watch it die. I don't know how you feel about that. But in general, she talked to us about the footprint and she was giving us ideas in terms of maybe trading plants or cuttings.

 I think they're cuttings. She talked to us about propagating. She talked to us, yeah, all sorts of things that we do not necessarily know about because we're not gardeners and we were specifically talking about house plans. But I'm sure that if we learned also about native plants in general and how we can support our insects, we would be contributing to helping our planet as well. 

Bill Daniels: [00:27:36] Absolutely. And even when you think from a veganism standpoint, how important that is for our land use, because even though there are a lot of us vegans, it feels like and there's a lot that we're seeing in the news and on the web and everything meat eating is still going up. And when we're eating a lot of meat, we're either cutting down more trees or we're using more public lands for grazing our cattle. And so there was a study not too terribly long ago that said in the United States, vegans use about 10% less land. And so if the whole world went vegan, we could free up the land for something like the size of Africa, and there are studies of doing that. 

So, from actual land use and environmental biodiversity standpoint, the more we can eat plants, and plant-rich diets, the more land we can free up. Another thing from an environmental standpoint is the fact that trees are so important. Especially the right trees. Like an oak. It'll support over 500 different caterpillars.

Whereas a Ginko tree, many people know Jenko. Really. There's research of one or two caterpillars on it not for sure if it's really if it's just part of the study and they happen to be in the wrong place. Really important that we also have plant-rich habitats and we get away from grass. And I know you and I have talked about permaculture and forest gardening. The more that we can do that on our own properties and having this richness of plant life, you're drawing down carbon in the plants themselves. 

You're pulling it down into the soil, into the root structure. So, grass just doesn't do it. It's got roots about, you know, just a few inches long. Really. The more native plants, the more trees and shrubs, and different diverse layers, the better. From our mental standpoint, too. Yeah. 

Maya Acosta: [00:30:03] It's amazing how much we do not know about our own backyard in terms of our own surroundings. I know that Josh Wayne is very much into foraging, and that's another thing that I'd like to explore and learn more about. And I recently was saying that I just bought a recipe book with plant-based vegan or plant-based recipes that are Mexican, and they talk about native plants. Of course, they use the word indigenous, but they talk about indigenous plants that are edible and good for our health. 

Medicinal, in a sense, that are viewed as weed. And so companies like Monsanto go and destroy these plants because for whatever reason, they don't see the value of it. So, I thought, wow, even if they're not in my backyard. I wonder if there are areas within Dallas or in the outskirts of Dallas where certain edible plants are growing that I could benefit from. But also, you just never know. With all the chemicals that I've been sprayed everywhere, it's hard to know what you can actually eat. 

Bill Daniels: [00:31:11] Yeah, there's a company here in the Midwest, it's called Indigenous Landscapes, and they focus on those native plants that were used by the Native Americans and can still be eaten. Now, today, like sunchokes are the Jerusalem artichoke or whatever, and it's a beautiful flower and.

Maya Acosta: [00:31:35] Can we learn just a little bit more about permaculture because that's also a field I'm not very familiar with?

Bill Daniels: [00:31:41] Yeah, permaculture is really looking it's combining of a couple of words, permanent in agriculture, and is thinking about the whole of the landscape and the foodscape from having your trees that produce fruits, shrubs, maybe that produce berries. And you think, again, in this case, a rich habitat, but also just a rich landscape, plant-rich landscape. And then you've got your herbaceous plants, and so you're putting these all in a system, whereas they're all supporting each other. The whole landscape is. Now, it's very common to use animals and in fact, animals in this system. But Heather, for instance, she teaches the vegan, permaculture and vegan agriculture. It's not needed where the animals get the nutrients and everything. They get them from plants.You can compost plants. It doesn't have to go through an animal first. And so so, but it's a very holistic system keeping the water on site in cisterns or just catchments, metal or plastic catchments, and that kind of a system.

Maya Acosta: [00:33:27] Is it becoming more common? 

Bill Daniels: [00:33:19]  I think it is. I know organizations like draw-down talk about the principles quite a bit. So, I know there's a lot of discussion around regenerative agriculture and so forth, a term that means so many different things. There isn't really a good clear definition of that. But regenerating the soils are important, but again, you're led to believe you have to have animals to do that, and you absolutely don't. And in fact, if you really want to, a diverse ecosystem, these invasive species. These cows, which are really a nonnative invasive species, and they do not react the same in our environments as buffalo wood or any of the other native Remnants. Anyway, you don't need cows to be able to have a beautiful, plant-rich, productive garden. . 

Maya Acosta: [00:34:19] And so now these topics permaculture, just horticulture native plants, mm-hmm do you offer lectures for your own pod and or is this something that you're planning on doing?

Bill Daniels: [00:34:31] Well, actually, no, we haven't done that. It's not something that I've purposely said I'm not doing. It's just I do lectures on propagating native plants from seeds and I'm a master gardener, so I hit up a number of the master gardener groups in Indiana. And then also we've got groups that are very engaged in doing invasive species, control plant species. And so I've partnered with them to present how to grow native plants for seed and that kind of thing. But I've not really done it with our group. But it's something I could, I've wondered, okay, I've got these native plants and they're important, and if we're eating a plant-based way, then we're freeing up more land for more native plants and more diversity. But I've not really connected those two things together.

Maya Acosta: [00:35:40] And I'm not necessarily suggesting more work for you because you did say that would be fun. You have a lot on your plane. Yeah. Well, this is great. So coming back to the pod advisory committee and it looks like we're gonna have a lot going on, that's gonna keep us pretty busy this year. Brainstorming [00:36:00] how we can support pod leaders. So do you have any like a message right now for pod leaders that may have sort of given up. Because they have not been able to meet in person.  

Bill Daniels: [00:36:11] Well, I think from just thinking about the pod advisory committee, we are really working hard on a summit, as we already talked about, I believe, right at the very beginning. And in fact, what we're wanting to do is to reach out to our pod leaders and see if they have any topics that would be helpful for team members for other leaders. Maybe it's about cooking a specific thing, or maybe it's about their experiences online or maybe they're an expert at some topic that would benefit the pods. But we're going to be pulling these folks in and then hopefully there will be some usable tools that they'll then be able to take out, take back to their pods. 

And I think that just as far as encouragement. We're already seeing some movement. Hopefully, it continues with the coronavirus and hopefully, we'll be able to do more person-to-person activities. And that will only increase, I think, the energy of our local pods, the whole movement. I think I was listening today to a podcast and somebody was on biodiversity and they were talking about, well, we've lost two years, we're kind of behind, but now we're really starting to be able to kick it in and we're finally seeing movement and I think it's happened to us too. And as long as we can keep the viruses at bay and we can move forward, I think I'm really excited about what the future brings.

 Maya Acosta: [00:38:08]  I'm very excited also about just being part of the Party advisory committee and then, of course, the events of the committee that we're part of. Our goal is to help revive pod leaders to come back and really look at their skills and how they can continue to contribute on a larger scale through a summit, for example. Well, I think another event that we're working on is how to take your pot online. 

Bill Daniels: [00:38:23] Well, I think another event that we're working on is how to take your pot online. And even though we're talking about in-person things, I think our culture is going to keep doing things online. It'll be nice to be able to have those skills to understand for people like you what kind of mics and some of the other advanced stuff, and I'm really looking forward to that for us as well. Here locally. 

Maya Acosta: [00:38:51]  Yes. When I think of, for example, some of the pioneers and how much traveling they used to do a lot of traveling in planes and cars, and so now they can still continue to broaden their reach from their own home, for example. Okay, so now if people are interested in learning more about your pod, and I know that Glen Merzer is on there, we had him on the show as well, and I love how he focuses on the environment. If people are interested in hearing more from both of you and presentations that are going on, how can they learn? 

Bill Daniels: [00:39:29] Well, we've got our pod, our pod is PEA Pod. It's Plant-based Eating Advocates is an acronym, and we do have a small Facebook presence and we communicate what's happening on there. Most our participation has primarily been local and and so that's probably the, the best place. And then through the, the pack and plant pure community, I I'm more and more engaged there.

Maya Acosta: [00:39:47] And also for our listeners in case you have never watched any of these documentaries, you know, bill did mention forks over knives, and it's amazing how many people have watched that documentary. I feel like that's the starting point for a lot of us. It is. We watched that documentary. Yeah. The one that got us to be involved as pod leaders, at least for myself.

Well, I'll take it back. I also started my pod before watching PlantPure Nation again because my husband and I didn't know anyone. I was vegan in our community, and so we wanted to be able to offer and share the message to people that had never heard it. We had watched some other documentaries like Forks Over Knives. Still, once we were already gathering and then I watched PlantPure Nation, I said suddenly I had this profound sense of purpose to get involved because I know that change is going to happen from our level, from the grassroots level, touching one person at a time and helping one person at a time to transition. Do you have a final message for, for our listeners who are either interested in joining a pod or maybe creating a pod of their own?

Bill Daniels: [00:41:09] I think I invite you to do so. If there isn't a pod, the first thing is you can go online on Pure Communities website and you can search your zip code. You can find if there is a pod in your region for us. Just to give an example, there was a pod, although they went kind of inactive during they have gone inactive during the pandemic in Indianapolis. It was about an hour and 15 minutes drive. But my wife Nonie and I, we would go up there and visit them while we were thinking about doing the pod down here. Definitely go online. And if there isn't a pod in your area, you can start one. And it can just be a group of friends in your little town of 1000 people. 

It doesn't have to be some big major group. And in fact, ours isn't huge. It's very small. So, I encourage you to, if you're not already connected to a pod, get connected and start a pod. It doesn't take a lot of effort to do that. It's very much worth it. 

Maya Acosta: [00:42:26]  Thank you for that message. And Bill, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. I love that you have this background as a master gardener because there's so much that we can learn from you. 

Bill Daniels: [00:42:39] Well, Well, thank you. Really appreciate all that you do for the plant-based movement and Plant Pure Communities and also for our events committee. So, you've laid quite a terrific groundwork for us to be able to do a jump from. thank you.

Maya Acosta: [00:42:57] Thank you, Bill. 

Bill Daniels: [00:42:58] Well, have a nice day.

Maya Acosta: [00:43:00] The lives of Bill and his wife Nonie changed dramatically for the better after viewing the documentary Forks Over Knives, and shortly thereafter, Bill read Dr. T. Colin Campbell's book, The China Study, before being inspired to transition to a whole food plant-based diet. 

This new lifestyle has allowed Bill to return to the things that he loves such as singing in the choir, being a member of the Indiana native plant society. He enjoys giving lectures on propagating native plants with seeds, and he's also a master gardener. In a previous episode,Glen Merzer joined us to discuss his book.

Food is climate. It just so happens that Glen is also a member of Bill's group. Make sure that you listen to that episode. That's 157 healthy lifestyle 157, living a plan-based lifestyle gives you the opportunity to restore your house so that you can focus on your passions and life purpose.

I hope that you enjoyed my conversation with Bill Daniels, if you haven't done. So make sure that you watch Fork Over Knives and leave me a message about today's episode, speak H L S is where you can leave a voicemail as always. Thank you for being a listener. You've been listening to the healthy lifestyle solutions podcast with your host Maya Acosta.

If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit. From this episode, feel free to leave in on this review as well. At rate this This helps us to spread our message and as always thank you for being a listener.