How Not To Die By Michael Greger
In early 2013, Dr. Michael Greger endured the worst time of his life. Describing the ordeal in his book How Not to Die, he recalls how — after battling Parkinson’s disease for 16 years — his dad suffered a painful, prolonged death on a ventilator.
In the book’s poignantly named chapter “How Not to Die from Parkinson’s Disease,” Greger sums the experience up with heartwrenching clarity:“Trust me when I say that no family should have to endure the tragedy of Parkinson’s.”
But How Not to Die goes much further. With remarkable care and precision, it addresses all the major diseases we face as a society.
Its simple dedication, “To my grandma, Frances Greger,” is a tribute to the first person who showed him the healing power of a whole food, plant-based diet.
Frances Greger lived over thirty years after a doctor sent her home to die of end-stage heart disease. How did a wheelchair-bound patient who’d survived multiple bypass surgeries and experienced regular, crushing chest pain manage to live to 96?
Her grandson knew her story, but he thought it was a fluke. That is, until as an insatiably curious high-school student, he discovered Dr. Dean Ornish’s findings that plant-based foods can reverse heart disease.
Having seen for himself what plant-based eating had done for his grandmother, Michael found the bacon cheeseburgers, chicken-fried stack, donuts and soda he usually craved losing their appeal.
So much so, that by the time he reached college, he was known as the guy with warm sweet potatoes in his pockets and the pungent aroma of durian fruit wafting from his locker!
Still driven by the same scientific curiosity that led to his high-school discovery, Dr. Greger now heads a team of researchers at NutritionFacts.org. As he describes it, the scope of their undertaking borders on heroic:
“Every year, my team and I read through every issue of every English-language nutritional journal in the world… compile all the most interesting, groundbreaking, and practical findings.”
That amounts to about 500 articles per week, or 25 thousand per year, covering every aspect of the science of nutrition.
While the most intriguing of his team’s findings are posted daily at the Nutrition Facts website, How Not to Die has compiled hundreds of the studies in a breathtakingly thorough review. All are backed by 130 pages of notes.
While visiting one of my Fruitive locations today, I noticed some customers looking over our bookshelf’s copy of How Not to Die. I asked if they were enjoying it.
They responded that, having been plant-based for only two months, they were eager to learn more about what they’d gotten themselves into. I have so much faith in How Not to Die’s potential to help them persevere that I told them to keep it as a gift.
And I’d love to be able to do the same for every aspiring vegan–it’s THAT good!