Hear Ben’s story about going from a biological age of 62 to 42.
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News & Events for Health Empowerment // February 14, 2024
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“After having two heart attacks, I decided it was time to change.”

Inspired by the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., Ben Martens, PPMNY Lifestyle Mentor, took charge of his health by embracing a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet. His regimen included eating greens 5-6 times/day, and he began running and biking daily. After 3-4 months, he lost 60 pounds. His biological age went down from 62 to 42.

“My cardiologist was speechless. He was very happy for me.”



Hear Ben's Story

February is American Heart Month — a great reminder that our food choices play a major role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. As our Jumpstart participants learned on Sunday from local physician, David Dunaief, MD, a nutrient-rich diet of plants that is low in saturated fat reverses the plaques, inflammation, and the stress on our arteries that can cause ruptures. Eating plants leaves our arteries smooth on the inside, allowing blood to flow easily, as they were designed.

If you, a loved one, or a friend is curious about the intersection of heart health with how we eat, PPMNY hosts a monthly virtual series Heart to Healthy Heart, created by Ben and two other PPMNY volunteers impacted by cardiovascular disease. This month PPMNY will be joined by Chiti Parikh, MD, an advocate for holistic wellness as co-founder of Integrative Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and author of the new book Intentional Health.

Join us on Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00 PM, live on Facebook and Instagram — accessible to all, with suggested donation.


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Email-Divider-Line.pngUpcoming Events


Game Changers Movie Night Image

Black History Month Movie Night: The Game Changers
Thursday, February 22, 5:30 - 8:15 PM – Harlem, Manhattan
Ginjan Cafe, 85 East 125th Street
$15 entrance fee includes Plant Powered Snack Pack – register here



Shop With the Doc
Saturday, February 24, 1:00 - 2:00 PM – Little Neck, Queens
Featuring Michelle Loy, MD
J Mart, 249-26 Northern Blvd
Suggested donation – register here


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Heart to Healthy Heart:
Plant-Based Conversations That Could Save Your Life

Wednesday, February 28, 7:00 - 7:30 PM – Live on Facebook & YouTube
Featuring Chiti Parikh, MD
Suggested donation register here


Chef Carole Event Image

Cooking wIth Chef Carole
Sunday, March 3, 5:00 - 6:15 PM – Live on Facebook & YouTube
Suggested donation – sign up here for a reminder and advance recipes


What is the Root Cause? Event Image

What’s The Root Cause? Autoimmune Disease
How to Reverse It & Optimize Your Immune System with Supermarket Foods
Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 - 8:00 PM Live on Facebook & YouTube
Featuring Brooke Goldner, MD
Suggested donation – register here


Email-Divider-Line.pngEat With Us


Shabu Shabu Dinner Image

Lunch Social at Spring Shabu Shabu
Sunday, February 25, 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM – Flushing, Queens
In honor of the Lunar New Year!
136-20 38th Ave, 2nd Floor
$29 all-you-can-eat hot pot meal – register here by February 16



Plant Powered Potluck in Downtown Brooklyn
Monday, February 26, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
81 Fleet Place
FREE – register here


Leap Year Dinner Image

Leap Year Dinner Social in Garwood, NJ
Thursday, February 29, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Magic Grill Mongolian Barbecue, 104 North Ave
$30 registration includes meal, tax and gratuity – register here


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Ethiopian Dinner Social in Montclair, NJ
Wednesday, March 13, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Mesob Restaurant, 515 Bloomfield Ave
$50 fee includes meal, tax, and gratuity – register here by March 9


Email-Divider-Line.pngPPMNY in Action


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We’re educating and inspiring our fellow New Yorkers! On Tuesday, PPMNY organized a webinar for WorkWell NYC that was attended by more than 300 city employees. The webinar featured a presentation by Robert Ostfeld, MD, who leads Montefiore’s Cardiac Wellness Program, and PPMNY’s Jim Spellos who shared how eating whole plant foods transformed his health.   Jacque Salomon (Seeds to Inspire Foundation) and Henry Obispo (ReBORN Farms) joined PPMNY's Rebecca Johnson for a virtual conversation in honor of Black History Month, speaking about their work empowering marginalized communities through nutrition and health sovereignty. Watch the replay.


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Kelly Weichsel-Arya, RN, and Florence Hovy, PPMNY Nutrition Educators, demonstrated a simple tofu scramble and pumpkin spiced oats at the Shames JCC in Tarrytown on Monday, explaining the transformational impact that plant-based nutrition can have on cardiovascular health.   The plant-powered community is growing in New Jersey! Friends of PPMNY gathered at the Clinton Community Center in NJ for a whole food, plant-based potluck, led by Anthony Masiello, PPMNY board member. Join the next monthly event on March 9th!




They're Trying to Kill Us

Community Documentary Night To Discuss They’re Trying to Kill Us

In honor of Black History Month, Community Documentary Night will lead a discussion on Zoom about the film They’re Trying to Kill Us. Produced by vegan celebrities Billie Eilish and Chris Paul, the documentary investigates the ways in which systemic and structural racism lead to negative health outcomes for people of color. Free to attend and open to everyone, the webinar will include a Q&A with Ruby Lathon, PhD, certified holistic nutritionist, health coach, and educator. Join the conversation on Sunday, February 18, at 7:00 PM ET. Register here


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8 Takeaways from You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment

In case you missed it: Netflix recently released a documentary inspired by a Stanford study that followed 22 sets of twins and their dietary habits. If you’re looking for a quick recap, VegNews recently published eight key takeaways from the documentary. The list highlights the benefits of whole food, plant-based nutrition on heart health — with LDL cholesterol lowering within four weeks after changing their diet. Read more


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Better Life Health Summit Will Feature 45 Experts On Weight Loss

Chef AJ — a go-to expert in the field of whole food, plant-based nutrition — is hosting a 9-day virtual event between February 17-25 with 45 experts on weight loss. The Truth About Weight Loss views losing weight not as a vanity goal, but as a necessity in addressing today’s top health concerns around diabetes, aging, and even cancer. The event is completely free with registration. Register here



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