Keeping things simple—after 737 consecutive days

After two years and two days of blogging—my priorities are shifting.

For my 737th consecutive daily blog, I am featuring the Boeing 737.

For my 737th consecutive daily blog, I am featuring the Boeing 737.

But make no mistake, the blog will continue, albeit at a more modest pace of five or ten blogs per month. I will also continue to add pages, tools, and helpful information to this site indefinitely. Want to find something I have written on a particular topic? Visit a recent blogpost explaining how.   

Simplicity is the key. That is the primary topic in my streak-ending 737th daily blog. In our book, our objective was to take a look at the “big picture” regarding the consequences of our food choices—and to make it real simple for the average 8th grader to understand exactly what we should be eating and why. Our goal was that the mainstream reader would experience her own blinding flash of the obvious moment—and conclude like I did, “Oh my goodness, we’re eating the wrong food.”

All about improving the health of humans while preserving nature's ability to sustain our species

All about improving the health of humans while preserving nature’s ability to sustain our species

As for the “saving the planet” message in our book, I have changed my thinking a bit. Rather than saving the planet, we should do all that that we can to to preserve her ability to sustain our species and all the other elements of our interconnected ecosystem.

We must strive to repair the damage to that fragile harmony of nature that is so crucial to our longterm sustainability as a species. The planet is going to be just fine; she has experienced a number of mass extinctions in the past four billion years—and she will be just fine. It is our future as a species that is in jeopardy.

A blink of history. Another discovery that I made recently is just how insignificant we humans truly are—when compared to the history of the planet. While preparing last month for a presentation to a 6th grade class in New London, CT, I did a little math on that topic.

  • The planet has supported life for about four billion years.
  • Human beings have been around for about 200,000 years.
  • So we’ve been here for about 5/1000th of one percent of the time that the planet has been in the business of supporting life.

But that number is hard for a 6th grader to get their arms around—to be sure, it’s hard for almost anyone to get their arms around. So, I continued running the numbers until I came up with an analogy that makes it crystal clear for us adults—and for the 6th graders.

World population for the past few thousand years

World population for the past few thousand years

My analogy. Imagine that the four billion years the Earth has been supporting life was shrunk to just one year. Guess how much of that hypothetical single year we humans have been here? Would you believe the last 26 minutes of that year? But that’s not all.

According to, the human population at the time of Christ was 200 million, less than 3% of today’s population of seven billion. Let’s summarize this big picture using the one year analogy:

Five Points:

1. The Earth has supported life for one year.

2. Humans have been here just the last 26 minutes of that year.

3. Since the time of Christ, the human population has grown from 200 million to seven billion in just twenty seconds

4. In just the most recent two seconds (200 years), we added the last six billion of our current population of seven billion.

5. Finally, in the last one-half of one second (50 years), we humans have inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of nature than all humans combined for the last 200,000 years (26 minutes).

How do we get back on the right track?  For the human species to survive indefinitely, we must quickly start moving much closer to living in harmony with nature. And our food choices are the key to everything—along with stabilizing our population.

Since what we choose to eat determines how the entire Earth is used, the answer to a giant step in the direction of harmony with nature—is incredibly simple. It boils down to just two words—whole plants. We’ve got to start eating much more whole plants—and far less animal products and processed foods. In so doing, we’ll use 90% less land, 90% less water and 90% less energy to produce the same number of calories. We’ll eliminate world hunger forever and we’ll get on track to start repairing the ecological damage that we’ve inflicted over the past few hundred years.

Back to the overall theme of today’s blog—simplicity. From the dictionary:

Simplicity—the quality of being easy to understand or do

What could be easier to understand than Whole Plants as the solution? And what could be more important? I said in the Introduction to our book that “nothing has ever been more important in the history of the world.” Dr. Campbell agrees, stating in his new book, WHOLE, “No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance.”

Unfortunately, learning to stabilize our exploding population is not quite so simple. Nevertheless, it must also be done.

Dr. Benjamin Carson with W

Dr. Benjamin Carson with W

On a related topic, I wish to share one more super-simple idea with you today. The solution to our cost of healthcare in the United States. It was presented at a congressional prayer breakfast last week by the legendary Baltimore neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, who stated:

Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything. You’re happy to pass it on and there’s nobody talking about death panels.

In my opinion, this is an excellent example of employing simplicity to solve our biggest problems. Although it will take a long time to implement the above, the simplicity  of his proposed solution is beautiful. Of course, a far better solution to the cost of healthcare (“disease care”) is to eliminate most diseases with a near optimal, whole foods, plant-based diet for humans. Perhaps the Carson Plan and the Hicks 4Leaf Plan can become companion solutions to take care of taming that healthcare monster once and for all.

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

Leveraging the simple concept of maximizing the percent of our calories from whole plants

As for those shifting priorities mentioned earlier, my efforts will be channeled more into health-promotion consulting, public speaking and a new 4Leaf business model that is currently in development. As with with our book and this blog, all of our efforts will continue to be aimed at promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth:

  • Health for the people
  • Hope for the future of our species, which is dependent on…
  • Harmony for all living things that share our HOME

A few more blogs on my favorite new topic—the longterm sustainability of the human race.

My daily streak ends today with this 737th consecutive daily blog. But don’t worry— is NOT going dark. My plan is that it will be around for a very long time—hopefully long after I am gone. In the meantime, I will continue blogging, updating and adding pages that will focus on my mission of promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Want to help support our mission? Click here for a few ideas

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

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

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 Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…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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7 Responses to Keeping things simple—after 737 consecutive days

  1. Denise Welsh says:

    Simply: THANK YOU!
    Best Wishes, Denise

  2. Jim, Many thanks for your blog, which I have read daily with great interest and often passed on. It’s too bad that it took my husband’s 2011 bypass surgery to get us on the right nutritional track, but perhaps your outreach will prevent others from experiencing that dread outcome. Your constant reminders and encouragement have been a godsend. May God supernaturally bless your continued efforts on our behalf!

  3. billkranker says:


    You have had an incredible streak. I really appreciate what you have done and the wisdom you have shown. Keep up the good work and good luck in your continuing endevours.


  4. km says:

    I had dinner at Ravens’ Restaurant (vegan) inside of the Stanford Inn by the Sea this weekend in Mendocino, CA. There is a collection of ~150 vegan / plant-based books in the lobby of the inn adjacent to the restaurant entrance. I was happy to see your book displayed in one of the more prominent spots. Thank you for your blog over the years & I’m looking fwd to the continued education a few times a month.

  5. Joanne Irwin says:

    Words of Wisdom from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
    “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”
    That’s what you and so many of us are trying to do, Jim. We spread the message, plant the seeds, then leave folks to make the necessary nutritional choices that heal, rejuvenate, and restore.

  6. Jim, Thanks for the blog. I discovered it about a year ago at Then I read your book and started reading you blog most days. You ideas have led me to reflect on my own. Good luck in persuading leaders to get on board. I think a lot is getting done, slowly, at the grassroots level. I look forward to new posts and insights.

    Mike R

  7. Leo S. says:

    Thanks for the past two years and the information, may your efforts continue as the years go by. Here is a will that can be passed on to as many as have the time and interest.

    At some point in life one considers the possibility of the need for making a will. A will usually makes note of what assets, if any, might be passed on to certain individuals. Usually money and material possessions are the “valuables” passed on. Money, like time, once spent, is gone forever. Material possessions such as autos, furniture, appliances, electronics, tools, etc. may also be affected by time and lose value.

    Worthwhile knowledge may be passed on and still retained, so it can be passed on again and again, as long as memory allows. This knowledge may be passed on to as many individuals as possible who will take advantage of it. The value will therefore increase when used and as it is shared with others. It is hoped you find value in these words. Many changes have been made in the raising and production of food which are detrimental to the health of individuals.

    Thirty or forty years ago there were only a few doctors who tried to teach lifestyle changes to individuals and encouraged using foods rather than medications to treat various conditions. Doctors such as Gerson, Shelton, Tilden, McDougall, Walker, Jensen, and Ornish and health advocates Bragg, LaLanne, Pritikin and others were familiar to some.
    More recently other doctors have shown what changes people may experience when making lifestyle and dietary changes. Included are doctors such as Barnard, Burzynski, Buttar, Cousens, Rudy and Jeanie Davis, Diehl, Esselstyn, Fuhrman, Greger, Hyman, Mercola, Pinckney, Oz, Lustig, Blaylock, Heidrich, Spock, Swank, Campbell, Veith and Weil, to name a few.

    Today many books are available, and there are DVDs and websites which show how people have improved their health and reduced or eliminated medications that were needed to manage but not get rid of a particular condition. It is helpful to make notes of the topic and the time it occurs when viewing videos so that it can be referred to at a later date or passed on to others who might be interested in certain conditions. The same applies to books which are read. It’s surprising how a subject comes up which is discussed in a book or video–many years later. People will always have problems.

    Wishing you and all you touch the very best in health and happiness.

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