Healthfest Comes to Marshall Texas April 1-3

Healthfest Comes to Marshall Texas April 1-3

Be sure to mark your calendars for the weekend of April 1-3 for the upcoming Healthfest held in Marshall, Texas! This festival is designed to transform lives through educational presentations, materials, work-out sessions, and cooking demonstrations. Healthfest continues to grow each year, drawing thousands of health-conscious visitors from all parts of the world. Attendees will hear from many of our world-renowned plant-based nutrition experts like Doctors Neal Barnard, Michael Greger, Garth Davis, and Joel Kahn, as well as champion athletes and celebrity chefs. Speakers will demonstrate how whole, natural plant foods offer a highly effective, risk- and cost-free approach in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Increasing your energy, preventing cancer, achieving optimal health and fitness, and showing how a plant-based lifestyle is compassionate and sustainable will also be topics of discussion. I was very honored when I was asked to give two presentations this year -- Friday afternoon and Sunday at noon, speaking on women's health issues. The inspirational weekend will also offer opportunities for attendees to participate in a variety of optional fitness activities, including yoga, Zumba, and a 5k race.

Marshall, Texas is a small town of 25,000 people, located in the beautiful Piney Woods of Northeast Texas, forty miles West of Shreveport or about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Dallas. Several lodging facilities are available at a discounted rate. Healthy breakfast options will also be available. Registering before March 15 qualifies for an early bird discount. For more information, FAQs, and the event schedule, see the Healthfest webpage.

Marshall Healthfest was created by Mayor Ed Smith and his wife Amanda Smith and is just one of many endeavors they pursue after Mayor Smith received a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2008. After researching all of his options, Smith decided to forgo conventional methods of treatment that involved powerful drugs, chemotherapy, and surgery. Under his doctor's supervision, he decided to treat his cancer using an aggressive dietary approach which eschews all meat and dairy products and refined foods and oils while focusing on whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and some nuts/seeds. Subsequent scans show that his prostate cancer has disappeared. Since then, Mayor Smith and Amanda have dedicated their lives to helping others learn that the key to preventing, arresting, and reversing many diseases can be accomplished simply by choosing foods that support optimal health and avoiding those that promote disease.

The Smiths' enthusiasm has influenced their small East Texas city (where barbecue and chicken-fried steak are the usual dietary fare) into one where residents can now enjoy many plant-based options in local restaurants. Immersing themselves in educating others, the Smiths started a grassroots, nonprofit group called Get Healthy Marshall, Texas, which is an active and growing group where residents meet once a month for delicious plant-based, potluck dinners. The group also offers support, encouragement, educational presentations, and even local grocery store tours. Visit the Get Healthy Marshall Facebook page if you're interested in learning more. The popularity of this group has sparked interest in other towns throughout Texas and neighboring states. Currently, there are thirteen other towns that have started Get Healthy groups with the help from the Smiths. They are...

  1. Get Healthy Arlington
  2. Get Healthy Bandera
  3. Get Healthy Clear Lake
  4. Get Healthy Comal County
  5. Get Healthy Frisco-Plano-Allen-McKinney
  6. Get Healthy Little Rock
  7. Be Lean Longview
  8. Get Healthy Marshall
  9. Get Healthy New Hampshire
  10. Get Healthy Rockwall
  11. Get Healthy Shawnee
  12. Eat Healthy Tyler

Mayor Smith and Amanda have been interviewed by the media numerous times. For example, see their interview by News6 Oklahoma or their New York Times article. Their most recent venture has been VegWorld Magazine where the Smiths gave me an opportunity to write a column entitled Well Woman Way.

We live in a toxic food environment. The typical American diet promotes lifelong chronic disease and food addictions. The medical community continues to search for new advances in surgical procedures and drug therapies while ignoring what Hippocrates recommended: the best cure for disease is at the end of our forks. The evidence is more compelling than ever. Studies from around the world reveal that eating a diet rich in whole natural plant foods can prevent the majority of chronic illnesses that plague our nation today, while animal products and refined foods are detrimental to our health. Chronic illnesses such as many types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, and heart disease are just a few of the many conditions that have been linked to a rich, Westernized diet. With groups like Get Healthy Marshall, it’s never been easier to embrace a whole-food, plant-based diet! What's been preventing you from achieving optimal health? Why not give a starch-based, whole plant food diet a try today!

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