From Polo to Plant Food…and a whole new career

The inspiration behind this blog was a request by Victoria Moran (Main Street Vegan) to write an article about how I became plant-based and what changes I had noticed in my life. See my note beneath her picture at the end of this blog, where you may also listen to our radio discussion from March 12, 2014. Here’s my article:

Former Ralph Laruen executive’s shift to plant-based eating leads to new career as author, speaker, blogger, consultant and activist.

In the autumn of 2002, I became curious about the optimal diet for humans. No medical issues. Not fat. Just curious.

So I began with a search for the author of a health book that I’d read a dozen years earlier. When I found his new book, Amazon suggested three others for me to consider. One thing led to another and by mid 2003—after reading 30 or 40 books—I had concluded that a whole food, plant-based diet was the optimal diet for human health.

Ralph Lauren -- and his relaxed "style" that has changed the way the world thinks about clothes, home and life in general

From 1987 to 1994, I didn’t learn much about diet, health or sustainability from Ralph, but I did learn a lot about vision, integrity and leadership.

Then, I read two more books that focused on how our food choices affect the environment, world hunger, and the suffering of animals. Suddenly, I had what I called my “blinding flash of the obvious” saying loudly to myself, “Oh my God, we’re eating the wrong food!”

How about making a living with my new knowledge? Having learned that most chronic disease could be easily prevented or even reversed with an optimal diet, I decided to leverage my consulting and executive background to assist large corporations in lowering their out-of-control cost of healthcare. Although that particular business idea has yet to bear much fruit, many other things have.

During the past ten years, I have made it my business to get to know the leaders of the plant-based movement. And, when I published my book in 2011, all three experts who influenced Bill Clinton to go “plant-based” in 2010—provided endorsements: T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn and Dean Ornish. Also, in 2012, I had the honor of being invited to join the board of directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

There’s more. Since starting a blog in February of 2011, I have posted well over 800 articles—all still here at And as the book and blog picked up steam, I began to get paid speaking engagements and have had opportunities to meet with powerful world leaders like James Cameron, Ted Turner and Biz Stone. When well-known leaders start making enough noise, more people will learn what we must do to preserve Mother Nature’s ability to sustain us as a species. What could be more important than that?

Plantrician_seed_packet_finLast but not least, in early 2014, I was part of a small group that launched The Plantrician Project — a not-for-profit with a powerful mission: to educate, equip and empower medical practitioners to embrace true “health reform.”

That means actually promoting health instead of just managing disease—bringing back the ancient wisdom of Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ( debuts in April, 2014.)

Bottom Line. My new way of eating has exceeded my wildest dreams. I have found my major definite purpose in life, launched a brand new career and have never been happier.

Bonus Time. I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t sick or fat before changing my diet, but maybe I was sicker than I thought. Within a year of shifting to the WFPB diet, I lost about twenty pounds, got sick less often, began to sleep much better and noticed an improvement in my performance in the bedroom — to name just a few.

Victoria Moran of Main Street Vegan

Victoria Moran of Main Street Vegan

Thank You Main Street Vegan. Part of this article may someday appear in a new book that Victoria is currently writing. She made this request after I had appeared on her weekly radio show on March 12, 2014. Click here if you’d like to listen (slightly less than one hour in total).

For more details about background, career, Ralph Lauren, etc., click here: From Polo to Plant Food — My Story

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 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

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

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

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from 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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—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

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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