Raise Vegan September 2018 Raise Vegan (2) - Page 35

person.” After his miraculous transfor- mation, he knew he had to spread the word and inspire the community to join the plant-based movement. There is now an entire page of vegan and plant-based resources on the Brook- lyn Hall website after an incredible response from the residents. Throughout the borough, Adams has implemented a “Meatless Mon- day” lunch program at 15 different public schools. Teaching children about proper plant-based nutrition and giving them the resources and outlets they need to explore a vegan, plant-based lifestyle is important to Adams. “It’s crucial that we change the social norms so that [children] have an understanding of the relationship between chronic disease and food,” said Adams. “The more information we can share with society, the better we can educate and make changes to the traditional diets our families have been consuming.” The initiative has been successful so far and Adams hopes to expand the program. ERIC ADAMS 18TH BOROUGH PRESIDENT OF BROOKLYN This month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Eric Adams, the Borough President of Brooklyn, NY, who has been an advocate for change throughout the city. Over the past three decades, Adams has worked to inspire progressive change in all levels of government and has co-founded initiatives, such as 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, that help strengthen relations between the police department and the community. Most recently, Adams has found a new passion that he has been incorporating into his work for the city: promoting a vegan lifestyle and integrating plant-based eating into schools. Even though one would expect push- back from the community after such a controversial implementation, Adams said the residents have been extremely receptive. “When you have the facts and share them with people, they are earnestly interested in changing themselves for the better,” said Adams. “No one wants to cause themselves or their family harm, so when they have the resources and knowledge, there is an incredible potential for change.” For those looking to get their local schools involved in vegan outreach and education, Adams says it’s a long process that begins with the parents. “Starting from the PTA at the schools, I would advise parents to share the knowledge with their fellow parents,” said Adams. “Try to organize a view- ing of “Forks Over Knives” or “What the Health,” when parents have the resources and see that this is serious, that’s when the initiatives really take off.” For parents who have decided to make the switch but don’t know where to start, Adams recommends educating oneself first. “Use resources like the book “How Not to Die” by Dr. Mc- Gregor, or documentaries that teach you about how your food choices affect your body and the incredible improvements that come from a plant- based diet,” said Adams. “I reversed my diabetes with a vegan lifestyle and when people hear things like that, they become more interested in improving the health of their families.” In addition to inspiring change in the community, Adams preaches his message at home, too. After seeing his amazing transformation and weight loss, his mother jumped on the band- wagon. “My mother had been diabetic for years and had many ailments similar to what I was experiencing,” said Adams. “I introduced her to a whole foods, plant-based diet. At 80 years old, she was able to come off of insulin and feels healthier than she has in decades.” The borough of Brooklyn is a health- ier, more compassionate place thanks to Adams’ plant-based food initiatives. We can’t wait to see what he does next to spread the message! Photo Credit: Erica Sherman Brooklyn BP’s Office Adams found his own way to a plant-based diet following a medical scare. After experiencing terrible stomach pains, he went in for a colonoscopy/endoscopy fearing the worst: colon cancer. Luckily, there was no cancer, but the test results came back showing an ulcer and a diagnosis of diabetes. The diabetes caused him to completely lose eyesight in his left eye and it was beginning to affect his right as well. He also experienced nerve damage in his hands and feet. “I was told by the doctors that the damage was irreversible, the drugs they could give me would slow down the spread of the damage but nothing could be done to fix what had already been affected,” said Adams. After his diagnosis, he left NYC to consult with five different experts and one of them recommended starting an entirely whole food, plant-based diet. “Three weeks later, my eyesight cleared up. Three months later, the nerve damage was reversed, as was my diabetic conditions,” said Adams. “My blood pressure normal- ized, the ulcer went away, and I felt like a completely different RAISEVEGAN.COM Raise Vegan 35