Monday, April 23, 2012

Unexpected directions

Image via the U.S. Department of Agriculture

As some of you know, last week I discovered a Certificate program in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell, a subsidiary of Cornell University which provides online professional development opportunities. The moment I discovered the course, I felt a tiny surge of energy - that pinprick of excitement which floods your body instinctually before you process anything else. We've all been trained to recognize those moments - where you feel instantly alive - but not what to do with the uncertainty that follows.

Can I spend the money on a class right now when I'm supposed to be saving? Where is this path leading me? Will I know enough to do well? Is this indulgent? 

When you're trying to save money, investing in yourself always feels indulgent. I rarely go on vacations or pamper myself as it is, beyond the new lifestyle changes I've been making lately. What convinced me to try the course, beyond the advice of my boyfriend / family, was that tiny pinprick I'd felt in my gut. It was as if my body was saying, "okay Elizabeth - I don't know where this is going any more than your brain does. Maybe nowhere. But will you just try for all our sakes?"

Point taken. Anything that makes your body wake up and pay attention is worth pursuing.

So, there are 3 courses as part of this program (each one is a few weeks long). The classes are designed to help you learn about the following:
  • A solution to the crisis in America's healthcare system
  • The largest study ever done on diet and disease
  • The scientific basis for plant-based nutrition
  • The depth and breadth of scientific evidence implicating diet in the development of a wide variety of diseases (from subtle to fatal)
  • The diet and lifestyle solutions that could improve public health
  • Why using this information to improve your health is complicated by biological conditioning
  • How the same plant-based diet benefits kids, the environment, athletes, medical care, businesses, individual health, and public policy
  • Some key social institutional, and practical obstacles to wide-spread acceptance of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine
  • Common diet and health care misconceptions
  • Practical skills, such as understanding labels and food production  
Reviews from past participants have been uniformly positive, which is encouraging. The first class begins at the beginning of June, so I have a little bit of time to continue experimenting in the meantime.

1 comment: