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Practicing what he preaches
Whatever you do, don’t call John McDougall, M.D., a vegetarian. Sure, he’s been spreading the word about the health benefits of a low-fat, vegan diet for decades. And yes, his program and books have helped thousands of people reverse serious health conditions. But, he insists, he is not a vegetarian.
“Every other Thanksgiving, as a ceremony to prove I am not a vegetarian, I have an ounce of sliced turkey,” McDougall says. “I do not want to be thought of as a vegetarian because so many people who call themselves vegetarians are unhealthy.”
John and his wife, Mary, a nurse, have been speaking, writing, cooking, and teaching about the powerful health benefits of a plant-based diet for more than 35 years. Their books, which pair John’s medical and nutritional advice with Mary’s recipes, have sold more than 1.5 million copies.
At Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center in Santa Rosa, California, the couple helps patients transform their health through diet and lifestyle changes. But it wasn’t always like that. Before he could help others, McDougall first had to heal himself.