Program stresses diet over medications

Nov. 23, 2013 @ 08:14 AM

Patricia Jones’ doctors told her “There is nothing you can do.”  They continued to prescribe medications and watch her diabetes worsen until, finally, they told her there was nothing more they could do except put her on insulin.  “There is no cure for diabetes,” they said.

That night Patricia picked up a piece of cake at church and asked herself,  “Why not?  There’s no hope, so why not?” 

But she put the cake down a few minutes later when church guest Nelson Campbell began to speak about JumpStart, the Wholevana healthy eating program that provides not just a plan, but prepared food -- 10 days’ worth of lunches and dinners -- to help participants make the leap to the healing lifestyle that Campbell calls PlantPure.  (  “This has got to be my answer,” Jones said.  “I was trying to raise my hand before he could finish talking.”

By day nine of the 10-day Wholevana JumpStart program Patricia Jones’ diabetes numbers had fallen by 1/3 and today, a few weeks later, they are approaching normal.  Her cholesterol count went down by 60 points as well, a relief to a woman who lost both parents to heart disease.  Her grocery bill has decreased as well.

Western medicine tends to remove any agency we have over our own health, urging us to trust pills and procedures over any positive steps we can take to insure our own well-being.  Patricia Jones had given up in the face of hopelessness until an alternative was presented to her that night at church -- an alternative that put her in the driver’s seat of her own health.

So far about 100 people in the Mebane area have participated in JumpStart, which begins and ends with tests to measure each person’s biometrics.

 The 10-day results are staggering:

-- A 15 - 25% drop in cholesterol levels.
-- An average weight loss of 5 - 8 pounds.
-- Diabetics see such a significant drop in blood sugar that JumpStart requires that diabetic participants be closely monitored by their physicians.

-- High blood pressure decreases.

-- Energy increases.
Additionally, those with heart problems will likely experience a lessening of symptoms and case studies show that actual repair can begin to take place within a few weeks. 

Nelson Campbell is the son of Dr. T. Colin Campbell who authored The China Study.  Cited as “The Grand Prix of Epidemiological Studies” by the New York Times, Colin Campbell’s work demonstrates that a plant-based lifestyle can not only protect us from cancer, but can halt its ravages within our bodies.

Dr. Katherine Bliss is an MD in Mebane who prescribes JumpStart for patients who can benefit.  “Diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol are the big three as far as being able to cut down on meds, or stop them.”  She said.  “I feel like I finally have something to offer my patients.  I'd certainly rather have people eating well and taking care of themselves that way than me prescribing yet another medication. “

Bliss participated in the JumpStart program and dropped her own cholesterol by 40 points.  She said that watching the movie “Forks Over Knives,” helped her adolescent sons improve their eating habits.

In his new book, “Whole,” Colin Campbell writes, “The foods you consume can heal you faster and more profoundly than the most expensive prescription drugs, and more dramatically than the most extreme surgical interventions, with only positive side effects.”

The next JumpStart will begin on December 7th, (information session on the 9th) with food pick-up sites at Weaver Street Markets in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough and at Respite Café in Durham.  The food costs $100 for 20 meals, and the two biometric tests are $38 total, and their mission is to make the program affordable.  You can get information, read great newsletters, and sign up at

 “I’m with this body every day,” Patricia Jones said when asked about taking charge of her own health.   She is looking forward to taking her new numbers to her old doctors.  “I’ll be saying, ‘I used to be a diabetic, but I’m not anymore and I don’t take any medications, thanks to the Wholevana Plant-Based Diet.’”

A CHH columnist since 1998, Susan Gladin is a freelance writer, United Methodist minister, and curriculum coordinator at the Johnson Intern Program in Chapel Hill. She has been a plant-based eater for 2 years and tends horses and a home business on the farm she shares with her husband. Their two grown daughters live nearby. You may e-mail her at, or write c/o The Chapel Hill Herald, 2828 Pickett Road, Durham, NC 27705.