In March of 2010 we were privileged to have had Dr. Carney invited to act as the Medical Director for a series of corporate live-in lifestyle education programs. Dr. Carney, her husband Sean, and Dr. Carney's staff from her medical practice, AllMedPhysicians, assisted with this first such event which was conducted for employees of Whole Foods Market under the leadership of Rip Esselstyn and his Engine 2 Diet Immersions team. Dr. Carney, and team have subsequently been hired by them for six other week long live-in programs.
This first retreat was unique from the retreats that would follow in two pretty significant ways:
First there were many people in the group who were Whole Foods Market Healthy Eating Specialists. Many were quite slender and quite a few actually gained weight during the retreat. The Healthy Eating Specialists were attending mostly out of curiosity and to learn more about the program that was being rolled out throughout their stores for the benefit of their customers and fellow employees.
The second uniqueness was that this was a new experience to the employees of Whole Foods and so nobody really knew what to expect. They had not heard from previous participants in order to know what they were about to experience. As a result many of the people were quite anxious about what they would experience and not at all sure they were even interested in making any lifestyle changes. By the end of the week we were elated to see so many of the participants firmly convinced and convicted regarding the power of the plant based diet. Experiencing is always believing!
The first few programs followed a very repeatable pattern of people arriving leary and not really interested in making changes but eventually opening up and then wholeheartedly embracing the new lifestyle. After the first couple programs we began to see participants arriving with a good expectation of what they were about to experience and an eagerness to learn and make changes!
At this program the participants were introduced personally to such plant-based celebrities as Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., MD, Dr. Pam Popper, Jeff Novick, MS, RD, Rip Esselstyn. The food preparation oversight and demonstrations were led by Chef AJ who we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know!