Fort Myers CHIP

Healthy by choice NOT by chance

Welcome to my blog.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Lloyd Hartman. I'm webmaster, newsletter publisher, store manager, Healthy Beginnings Facilitator, CHIP class presenter, food revolutionary and organizer of the monthly Popcorn & a Movie Night alumni activity here at Fort Myers CHIP. (Thanks to Marcum and Kathy Randall for the photo.) 

First, I need to disclose that I am not a registered dietician nor am I a medical professional, so I don't give nutritional or medical advice. That said, I have faithfully lived the CHIP lifestyle (99% vegan, not perfect) since February, 2009, attended Fort Myers CHIP Class 4 and graduated in April, 2009. Since then, I have worked as a volunteer and health educator with each class since and earned the Dr. T. Colin Campbell Foundation's Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University's eCornell subsidiary.

This blog is devoted to the exploration of all things plant-based, so if you've got any issues you'd like to see discussed or you've got questions, drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note that the opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own and not necessarily those of CHIP, Lifestyle Management Institute or Sanitarium Health and Wellness.

Seriously? I got this ad in my mail several days ago from a national pizza chain whose name is the same as a popular game played using tiles with varying numbers of spots on them.

If there's one thing that isn't happening in this country it's that people are not eating enough cheese. Consider this graph of yearly cheese consumption from 1985 to 2010 with a projection through 2020.

The only encouraging thing I can see in this chart is its optimistic belief that in eight more years we'll only be eating an additional 1.6 pounds per person per year. The trend seems to be that every 5 years we add between 1.5 (2005-2010) and 2.9 (1995-2000) pounds of cheese per person to our diet. The bad news is that overall cheese consumption has increased 10.8 pounds (48%) per person from 1985-2010. While that may be good for the dairy industry, the effects on our nation's health appear to be disasterous.

Consider this data from the Centers for Disease Control's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the same period. and it becomes pretty clear that as cheese consumption has increased so has obesity.



Of the 45 states participating in the BRFSS in 1990, 10 states had a prevalence of obesity less than 10% and no state had a prevalence equal to or greater than 15%. By 2010, this had changed dramatically and now there is no state that has a prevalence of obesity as low as 20% with 36 states having a prevalence greater than or equal to 25% and 12 states with obesity rates of 30% or more.

And the situation may be far worse. Data for the BRFSS is collected through telephone interviews with U.S. adults where height and weight data are self-reported. How many of us are likely to be brutally honest about our weight with a total stranger on the telephone?

In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. And that's higher than the increased medical costs for smokers versus non-smokers!

Now, I know that correlation and causation are different things. All I'm saying is there's good reason to think that none of us is being "undercheesed".

As promised to those of you who were at the alumni meeting last night and want to watch the rest Dr. Doug Lisle's lecture The Pleasure Trap, here it is. And to those of you who weren't there, we missed you. Enjoy the video and please join us August 23 for Popcorn & A Movie Night where we'll feature another of Dr. Lisle's talks, How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind.

Click here for more information about Popcorn & A Movie Night.

And, if you are looking for the Vegetarian Quinoa Chili recipe I talked about last night, click here.

Watch this excellent 18-minute talk given by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., nutritional researcher for over 40 years and author of the bestseller The China Study, at TEDxEast in New York City on May 12, 2012.

Please share this video with your friends and family, especially those with health issues (i.e., anyone who has grown up eating the Standard American Diet.)

Click here to buy a copy of The China Study at

For more information about The T. Colin Campbell Foundation and their Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, click here.