October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, and there have been interesting developments in the news lately regarding healthy diet, most notably former President Bill Clinton's interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, in which Clinton related that he turned to a (mostly) plant based diet in recent months to find out if it will help his cardiac condition. Typical of the media, it initially (and sensationally) reported on his weight loss ("Clinton's Weight Loss Secret--Plants"), which was merely a side effect (a good one) of his new eating habits.
Now, you know this man has had access to the best physicians over the years (and daughter Chelsea has been a vegetarian for years), but it took the fact that his stent, unfortunately, started to clog up again for him to consider eating a plant based regimen. (Apparently, the reclogging of arteries after a stent has been implanted is not uncommon.) He mentioned a few physicians and scientists by name, notably Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, and T. Colin Campbell (epidemiologist and author of the eye-opening book, The China Study) whose studies persuaded him to give (more) plants a try.
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To help others give (more) plants a chance, the North American Vegetarian Society, sponsor of World Vegetarian Day, has a contest: if meat-eating folk pledge to give up eating animals for a period of time--day, week, or month--they can enter a drawing to win cash. The bigger the pledge, the bigger the prize if you are a winner, up to $1,000! No matter what, that's a win-win situation, whether or not you win any money. (And don't let anti-soy scaremongers deter you from taking the challenge.) Bon appetit!