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October 13, 2022
235: Peaceful Planet Foundation: A Houston Retreat Recap with Maya Acosta

If you want to improve your mental health, wellness, and sustainability, this episode is for you. Today we’ll discuss the solution in depth to get the most out of your holistic lifestyle, so tune in to learn more! In this epi...

If you want to improve your mental health, wellness, and sustainability, this episode is for you. Today we’ll discuss the solution in depth to get the most out of your holistic lifestyle, so tune in to learn more!

In this episode, we cover the following:

  • Garth Davis' insights on protein consumption
  • Best ways to build resiliency
  • The environmental urgency of our food choices

Get a FREE copy of Maya’s Guide to a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet by clicking the link provided: https://bit.ly/mayaspracticaltips

Other episodes you'll enjoy
228: The Power of Lifestyle Medicine with Drs. Munish & Bandana Chawla

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Friends, Riz and I attended the fourth annual Peace & Wellness  Retreat this past weekend in Houston, Texas. 

We have now attended three one-day events this year. We went to Tulsa, Ok, in May for the Tulsa VegFest. In August, we went to Midland, TX, for the Food is Medicine Conference.  

In today's episode, I will recap the retreat and share what I most liked about it.  

The Peaceful Planet Foundation sponsored the retreat, which fosters peace and wellness in individuals. The organization advocates for a holistic lifestyle focusing on plant-based nutrition, yoga, and meditation. They empower individuals to bring peace, health, and wellness to their own lives and communities.

What did I learn? 

  1. The keynote speaker was Dr. Garth Davis, a board-certified bariatric surgeon and obesity medicine specialist in Houston, Texas. For more than 20 years, Dr. Davis has specialized in bariatric and general Surgery and has performed thousands of weight loss surgeries. He currently works at Houston Methodist West and Houston Methodist Downtown. He serves as the Medical Director for the system's Clinic For Chronic Metabolic Disease. Dr. Davis authored the book Proteinaholic. Too much protein is making us sick, fat, and tired, according to Dr. Davis. If you are getting adequate calories in your diet, there is no such thing as protein deficiency. The healthiest countries in the world eat far less protein than we do, yet we have an entire nation on a protein binge getting sicker by the day. In his lecture, Dr. Davis explores why people struggle with weight loss. Hormones, genes, and the gut microbiome can all affect a person's ability to lose weight. He acknowledges that a whole, plant-based diet is the best food for our health and weight loss. For some patients, Surgery is an effective treatment. Dr. Davis's father once said it would be malpractice not to offer Surgery to patients who need it.  
  2. Mental health- the elements taught in Ayurveda remind us to self-care by doing the following: breathing exercises or nature walks, receiving sunlight regularly, taking salt baths, and walking barefoot to release negative energy. We are encouraged to spend time in nature to recharge our bodies and mind and to support our mental health.  
  3. What is resiliency? It's our ability to recover quickly from difficulties. I enjoyed this lecture so much that I would like to have Danielle Vann on the show to speak with all of us about building resiliency. I think you will enjoy learning about it as well. You build resiliency to bounce back faster when you have future setbacks. We can build resiliency by looking at our mental and emotional patterns, examining our habits, and becoming aware of what we are creating. We take action on building resiliency by recognizing our stress, practicing mindfulness daily, increasing our physical health, countering unhelpful thoughts, and increasing our positive emotions. Building resiliency requires that we do the daily work of managing our thoughts and emotions through these practices. 
  4. Can factors contribute to gut dysbiosis? The Secret To  Your Gut Health by Kristin Kabay was all about gut health, dysbiosis & dysfunction, fiber solution, and plant foods' role. We learned about common digestive issues like chronic constipation, diverticular disease, colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux, irritable bowel, and inflammatory bowel. Dysbiosis of the human microbiota can lead to other issues, including heart disease, skin issues, and metabolic problems like Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity. A high-fat diet, epigenetic and genetic factors, medications and antibiotics, toxins and pollution, age & stress, and lifestyle contribute to gut dysbiosis.  
  5. Finally, we heard from environmentalists Sofia Pineda and Bob Rapfogel on the Environmental Urgency of our Food  Choices. They produced the film ENDGAME2050. Humanity has backed itself into an ecological endgame as we approach 2050. Featuring musician Moby along with leading scientists and created by physician turned environmentalist Sofia Pineda Ochoa, ENDGAME 2050 lays out the existential crises bearing down on the planet and underscores the harsh reality that, unless we take responsibility and act urgently now, we are hastening our destruction and that of virtually all other life on the planet. Regarding climate change, we often consider our transportation systems the biggest culprits. Livestock systems occupy 45% of the global surface area. As our population grows, the production of animal foods has increased. For example, a non-vegan eats 2 1/2 times the carbon footprint than someone eating a  whole food plant-based diet. It takes 1700 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. Replacing one beef patty with a  vegan burger weekly for a year is equivalent to 12 million fewer cars. Of course, our goal is not to eat vegan burgers but whole foods. I've invited Sofia and Bob on the podcast to speak with us in detail about what we can do to help save our planet.  

After the profound discussion on the environmental urgency, we heard from Christoph Wagner, a cellist, researcher, and leadership coach. His music brought healing to our hearts. I  thought about the connections that I made throughout the day. I  thought about the nutrition workshop that I provided. A handful of people came up to me to ask questions or comment on my podcast. I was touched by seeing people experience that sense of inner peace and oneness from the lectures and other sessions.  

I was very pleased with the retreat and felt honored to be a  presenter. Visit Episode 228 to hear my conversation with doctors Munish & Bandana Chawla. They are the founders of the  Peaceful Planet Foundation. They did an incredible job putting the retreat together this year. Of course, thank you to the many volunteers and presenters that were part of a beautiful day of peace. If you attended the retreat, complete the survey to provide honest feedback. You would've received an email.  

If you would like a FREE copy of the guide that I offered at my nutrition workshop, simply go to https://bit.ly/mayaspracticaltips.

I offer practical tips to get you started on a plant-based diet. I also offer easy recipes.