“Vibrant health” via the simple, positive “80-20,” 4Leaf Program


539 copies of our book will arrive at my house today — 16 days before our launch party at the Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT

On my way to dinner last night, I encountered a friend out walking his dog on the sidewalk. Michael stopped to tell me that he and Sarah had seen the recent Sanjay Gupta special (The Last Heart Attack), and had decided to adopt our 4Leaf Program for seeking vibrant health.

Leveraging the simple, yet powerful concept of maximizing the percent of your calories from whole plant foods — still in nature’s package

He reported that things were going very well and that he had “already lost a lot of weight (in less than two weeks) with the simple and flexible 80-20 approach.” He then added that he still didn’t want to give up the “half & half” that he enjoys in his coffee; so that’s part of the 20% of his calories that are not whole plants.

This morning I sent Michael an email right after arriving at Starbucks at 0600. I wanted to reach out to him and reinforce the “vibrant health” focus of our 4-Leaf Program. While many people enjoy the effortless weight-loss that accompanies a dramatic increase in their consumption of whole plants, we always want to warn them against making weight-loss their primary goal. The emphasis should always be on achieving and keeping vibrant health — and that means making a permanent lifestyle change; not just adopting an improved diet-style for awhile to lose some weight.

Wanting to remind Michael of these thoughts, my email to him included links to a few recent blogs on 4-Leaf eating that might be helpful for him. Here they are for your convenience:

To clarify. Some people mistakenly assume that we’re only recommending 80% of calories from plant-based foods. Let’s be real clear; while we have never recommended the consumption of ANY animal foods, we recognize that many people are simply turned off by any program that is “all or nothing.” So we placed the 4Leaf emphasis on achieving over 80% of your calories from whole plants, still in nature’s package. We also hope that you will choose plant-based foods for the other 20% as well.

The 3-Leaf level is a pretty healthy diet-style; but please don’t stop here. Remember, vibrant health is the goal.

A word about the 2-Leaf or 3-Leaf levels. We know that the average American derives far less than ten percent of their calories from whole plant-based foods and that a move to the 2-Leaf level (over 40%) means at least quadrupling your consumption of these powerful, health-promoting foods.

At the 3-Leaf level (over 60%), you’re increasing whole plant consumption by at least six fold. That’s no doubt going to make a big difference in your overall level of health and will probably help you lose some weight. But, we don’t want you to stop there. We want to help you make sure that you will NEVER have your “first heart attack” and that you will enjoy vibrant health all of your years on this Earth.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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