Thanksgiving; being thankful for vibrant health and more.

Like the 4th of July and many of our other holidays, Thanksgiving is all about food — and for 95% of our nation’s population, it’s all about the wrong food. But for the past few years, my family has enjoyed Thanksgiving more than ever, now that we’re eating nothing but plant-based foods at the 4-Leaf level. Now that’s something to truly be thankful about; beginning with vibrant health for ourselves and leading to a celebration of a return to living in harmony with Nature on this planet.

Just got off the phone with my son (co-writer) Jason as we discussed our holiday plans for next week. On Thanksgiving morning, we’ll start out with some fresh fruit over a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and maybe enjoy a crackling fire while enjoying that first meal of the day. Then, we’re planning to take our annual Thanksgiving morning hike on one of the many trails in the Holden – Wachusett Mountain area.

Later, our Thanksgiving feast will feature a wholesome array of fresh vegetables, grains and legumes — and it will be awesomely delicious, thanks to Lisa’s incredible expertise in the kitchen. There’s something special about celebrating with a nutritious meal that also has many healthy implications for the planet and does not require one minute of suffering by any other creature.

As we sit down for our holiday dinner, we can all be thankful that our diet-style enables each of us to reduce our total water consumption by 90%, lower our energy footprint by 30%, and free up three acres of land that can be used for feeding more people or perhaps restoring some of the forests that we humans have so recklessly destroyed over the past 100 years.

Dr. Hurley shown here a few months ago, enjoying vibrant health and effortlessly approaching his body's ideal weight with a BMI in the very low 20's; down from a just a tad below 30.

In addition to the Hicks family of Holden, MA; there are a few other families in the area who will be enjoying a similar holiday experience this Thanksgiving. Recently I received this note from Dr. Brian Hurley, one of our very first 4-Leaf clients:

Good afternoon!  After talking with Jason (your son), I was reminded I made the decision to start eating the 4 Leaf lifestyle at Thanksgiving 2010.  As you have documented on your blog, I started at 208 pounds at that time. I started with the goal of weight loss but learned the change was truly about achieving Vibrant Health. I have more than succeeded in the goal of vibrant health and today my weight is maintaining at 161 lbs.

Last month, my wife Dawn and I were attending a wedding.  Later, when looking at pictures, she told me that she was ready to completely adopt the 4 Leaf lifestyle.  My daughter and she have supported me since day one and made my transition easy.  While their eating habits improved, they were more lax in eating at the 4 Leaf level.  Upon our return from the wedding, Dawn asked me to help her reach the 4 Leaf level and I was ready to help her gain vibrant health. (I have stated before that someone needs to be committed to making a lifestyle change!)

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

Today, she has been eating 4 Leaf for three weeks. She feels great and as a bonus, has lost 8 lbs.  She is well on her way and I am excited to watch her get healthy!! Jason joked by asking, “What is with the Hurley’s choosing the hardest time of the year to start–the HOLIDAYS?”  My reply, if you can do it then, the rest is a walk in the park. The best time to start is when you are committed to improving your health and there is no time like the present!!! Happy Thanksgiving, Brian.

In closing, as I was choosing a “Thanksgiving” picture just now for this post, I simply Googled (images) the word Thanksgiving. And guess what appeared in 99% of the pictures. You got it. That’s when I chose to go the natural route and choose a soothing picture of an autumn hike. Can we ever forget the video of Sarah Palin three years ago with the execution (beheading) of factory farm turkeys taking place right behind her? When does the madness end?

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

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.

And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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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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6 Responses to Thanksgiving; being thankful for vibrant health and more.

  1. Brian Hurley says:

    During Thanksgiving this year, I will be adding one of my favorite recipes to the menu. It is a “Shepard’s Pie” that you can find at I alter the recipe slightly by omitting the coconut oil and adding in some additional veggies (I love to experiment). I will often bring this to dinner parties as my primary meal but it makes for a great side.

    Last Thanksgiving, my entire immediate family, totaling 7 individuals (parents, in-laws, sister, brother in-law and daughter), ate a traditional Western diet. This Thanksgiving, I will once again be spending it will my family. A year later, my wife, daughter, sister, mother in-law, and myself (5 individuals) are 4 Leafers. Over 70% have the goal of achieving and maintaining Vibrant Health.

    I am a co-owner of the Gardner Animal Care Center in Massachusetts. My team has watched my transformation. Three of my employees have the displeasure of riding the roller coaster of fad diets to lose weight only to watch them regain. Today, I am proud of all three of them for asking me about the 4 Leaf lifestyle and they are committed to trying a lifestyle change this time versus staying with the goal of reaching a number!

    Now that it is almost a year since I started, my clients are coming in, seeing me for the first time in a year and they are commenting about the positive changes they see. One client came in with her pet, we finished the examination. She and I talked at length about the changes I made. She is 70+ year old beautiful woman and she is in excellent health. I bought her a copy of “Healthy Eating Healthy World.” She read the book and came back to ask me the best way to get copies of the book because she wants to share the book with her family members that she feels need to become better educated. They are extremely unhealthy and she wants to help them toward the path of Vibrant Health.

    I agree with Salvatore, we may be small in numbers but you can still be mighty. For the most part, people starve for quality information but unfortunately there is a lot of mis-information available. The examples above show that people are willing to listen. As long as we continue to educate and lead by example, the numbers will continue to grow. It most likely will not be in our lifetime but maybe our children’s children’s children may be asking their parents, “What do they mean by Western diet.”

    I am thankful for my family, friends, and finding the 4 Leaf lifestyle. Happy Thanksgiving and here’s to VIBRANT HEALTH!!

  2. salbers12 says:

    I have been giving the Hicks idea of “correcting the protein myth” considerable thought. There is great truth and power in this idea – the result of an incisive review of the literature. It appears to me to be one of those great truths that may be irrelevant.

    Here is my reasoning. Remember, it is the MASSES we are trying to reach, not food-savvy sophisticates. The food educational level of the multitudes is abysmally low. When you fully appreciate the millions that make up the masses the reality sinks in that, en mass, they do not know what “protein” is or any other food component. They know one simple thing: they are hungry. They want appealing food, easily obtainable, cheap and FAST. And that is all they know or want to know. Specifically, they do not know what protein is or how to identify it. They want to solve one problem: how to get fed.

    Therefore, getting healthy food directly into the supply chain, into their faces and under their noses is what is going provide the opportunity for them to eat healthy in volume. A healthy school lunch program has the power to train a generation of healthy food consumers. Convincing the fast food chains to promote some healthy menu selections also has great potential to reach the masses. But healthy food selections must be promoted; not just included in a remote spot on their menu. Over the past week I’ve eaten veggie burgers in two fast food restaurants and the cooks have both told me it was the first veggie burger they had sold. In both cases the veggie burger was the last selection on a carnivorous menu. To catch public attention healthy selections will need to be promoted at least as much as unhealthy ones.

    Added on 12-18-11.

    I like to offer a further comment about my observation that the
    masses cannot be reached by more cookbooks and diets.

    You recall I had made the observation that, over the past fifty years
    popular culture has changed drastically with women leaving the kitchen
    to enter the workforce so that most of the public do not feed
    themselves. Another example of this is the “meals on wheels” program
    which is hugely popular throughout the country. In New York City
    alone 2 million meals are fed to seniors annually who are retired and
    have little else to do but care for themselves and yet they cannot
    feed themselves. The number of such meals delivered to seniors
    nationwide must be gargantuan.

    This brutal truth points out the futility of cookbooks and diet plans
    to people who cannot cook. To get them eating healthy, healthy meals
    will have to be supplied to them. Investigating the meal offerings of
    “meals on wheels” could uncover some interesting possibilities for

  3. Bill Kranker says:


    I am just curious as to what you will be having for T-Day dinner. Look for some suggestions for my meat eating family. They do not much like my Low Fat Raw foods!!!

    Bill K.

  4. cacatua21 says:

    Sarah Palin and the turkey massacre………((((((((((((((SHUDDER))))))))))))))

  5. Last night, I attended a political rally at an Italian restaurant in Queens. And as usual, the food was all Italian, all garbage, not one vegetable other than egg plant parmigiana. Cheese…more cheese…and then more cheese plus all the “Goody” animal body parts, plus the ubiquitous white pasta dishes.

    Question: How many people do you think Dr McDougall has impacted with his starch based diet in the last thirty years? The numbers have to be relatively small as compared to world population.

    We who eat the plant foods can only be considered a fringe group and we will always be small in numbers. We sure have a difficult path to pursue. But I keep preaching the message!


  6. Michelle says:

    Love your blog and book but would really like hearing about your favorite recipes?

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