World’s first 4Leaf Potluck Dinner Party–January 28, 2012

At the home of Jason and Lisa Hicks in Holden, MA.

Cookbooks and recipes were shared with all the 4Leaf party people.

One of the biggest challenges for most families after choosing to embrace the 4Leaf lifestyle is the process of figuring out what they ARE going to eat to maximize the percent of their calories from whole plants. You see, most new vegans or vegetarians are most concerned about what they’re NOT eating. But not us 4Leaf-ers.

As such, many of us need the help of other 4Leaf-ers to get started. We have found that many of the typical vegan or vegetarian cookbooks are not much help, since they feature the typical “fake meat and cheeses” that are nowhere close to a 4Leaf meal. In an earlier blog a few weeks ago, I wrote:

The Hicks family has formed a 4Leaf potluck dinner club and will host the first event later this month. Their goal is for people to get together and share their 4Leaf lifestyle, challenges, successes, recipes, questions, etc. The idea is that they will decide on a location and the “host house” will provide the salad, utensils, plates, bowls, etc… The “guests” will each bring a 3 or 4 leaf dish to sample, including copies of the recipes to share. For the first dinner, they’re planning to have 2 or 3 entrees, 2 appetizers and a dessert.

And the dessert could just simply be vegan. They are promoting a 4Leaf lifestyle so there is room for dessert! They are thinking about meeting once a month on Saturday night? They also encourage their guests to bring two things:  cookbooks for people to share and BYOB! Maybe you can make this great idea work for you.

So, how was that first 4Leaf Potluck? In a word, it was fantastic. For me, it was a rare treat to have so many healthy options; and since I am not much of a cook myself, my son asked me to bring along some wine to share. The first event took place on a chilly evening in January and featured fourteen hungry guests, a cracking fire, engaging conversation, a glass of wine, lots of sharing and a vegan dessert that was not 4Leaf but it was mighty tasty.

Salad fix ins by Lisa Hicks---at the kitchen table

More importantly, even though the dessert may have been at the one-leaf level, I am confident that everyone in attendance achieved a 4Leaf score for their entire meal that evening. In my case, even if I had a 3Leaf score for that dinner, I am positive that I had a 4Leaf score for the entire day.

No calorie counting, a reminder. As I have written many times, after you get started on the 4Leaf road, there’s not much need to count calories anymore. With a whole-plant seeking 4Leaf mentality, you will soon be consuming over ten times the amount of whole, plant-based calories than the average American—and that’s just for a daily 3Leaf score. At the 4Leaf level (80% of calories), you’ll be consuming even more.

Among the guests were Dr. Brian Hurley of the Gardner Area Animal Care Clinic that is currently conducting a 4Leaf Challenge for 18 of his co-workers. And by virtue of that challenge, we also had one of his pharmaceutical reps, Drew and his wife, in attendance.

A little wine, a lot of sharing and some VERY healthy 4Leaf dining. That's Lisa in the foreground and Dr Hurley in red.

Two weeks from today, I will be speaking in a classroom at Holy Cross College, where our book is required reading for all the students. The professor who is organizing that event was also in attendance on Saturday night. Professor John and his wife Marty Beth ( a judge) are in the first month of their family’s 4Leaf Challenge so were very happy to be visiting and learning from friends who were further along in their journey.

Yesterday, while skiing in Vermont, I was telling one of my Stonington friends about Jason and Lisa’s 4Leaf Potluck; and she insisted that we start a similar group in Stonington. So stay tuned. Hopefully, today’s blog will inspire our readers around the world to form their own 4Leaf Potluck sometime soon. Also watch for more great 4Leaf recipes from Lisa as their party produced a few sure-fire winners.

Want to receive some occasional special news from us? 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.

J. Morris Hicks, author and activist. Working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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

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.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

SHARE and rate this post below…One more thing, occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard.

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.
This entry was posted in 4Leaf for Life. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to World’s first 4Leaf Potluck Dinner Party–January 28, 2012

  1. Stephen says:

    I concurred with this entire post until you mentioned wine because alcohol is just another legalized addiction that custom hooks the masses to. It is an excellent example of empty calories that offers nothing that cannot be gotten better by eating unprocessed grapes. According to the World Health Organization alcohol consumption KILLS over two million people every year and ruins the lives of many others. This is more fatalities than AIDS!

    Our goal should be to live an addiction-free life on healthy natural plant foods.

  2. huracan says:


    The last time the CDC collected the data on your question was 2008, but go here to take a look….
    It is quite telling……..


  3. jmorrishicks says:

    Sal, I was telling someone just the other day, “People like Paula Deen give us Southerners a bad name.” Having said that, my home state of Mississippi is the most obese in the country, and few other places I’ve lived are not far behind—Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. I doubt that Paula Deen will accept the McDougall Challenge bet, but wouldn’t it be great if she did.

    Thanks for your comment. Best, J. Morris Hicks

  4. Jim,

    McDougall’s February newsletter features an article on Paula Dean, the diabetic southern style cook. I wonder what the diabetes rate is for southerners?

    Sal Liggieri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s