Our Mission: TO EMPOWER OTHERS IN THEIR JOURNEY TOWARD OPTIMUM HEALTH AND HAPPINESS BY LIVING A WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED LIFESTYLE THAT PREVENTS DISEASE, SUPPORTS WELLNESS AND LONGEVITY, AND NOURISHES THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT.
At Whole Living Nutrition, we are committed to taking the mystery out living a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. We do this by educating people who are looking for real answers about how to lose weight, prevent diet-induced illness, boost energy, and create a brand new, healthy relationship with food.
We are teachers, authors, speakers, and plant-based nutrition experts. Our Certification through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies through E-Cornell University, has prepared us to help you succeed. A second book about sharing food, fun, and family time in the kitchen is coming soon! Join our mailing to receive helpful information and publishing updates.
With a wild passion to help others thrive, the Putnam family has developed a simple nutrition program and fun kitchen strategies to introduce delicious healthy foods in whole new way.
Scott’s Journey to a Whole food, Plant-based Lifestyle!
I suppose my journey toward a plant-based life began when my father passed away of cancer at the young age of 53. It happened 10 days after I graduated from college, and my entire world was turned upside down. It was my first face-to-face experience with serious disease and death. At the time, I was not aware of the direct link between diet and health. I relived the experience when my wife’s father suddenly became ill and quickly passed away of a similar type of non-smoking related lung cancer at the young age of 66. My world, once again, was thrown topsy-turvy due to serious illness. After my father-in-law’s death, we moved our family from Hangzhou, China (where we were teaching) into my in-laws home to become full time caretakers for her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. My own mother is fighting a long-term battle with crippling rheumatoid arthritis and pays the price with the effects of heavy medications to treat chronic pain.
While living and working in China, we witnessed first-hand how the “Great American Lifestyle” is changing the human landscape in that part of the world. The health gap is clear between older Chinese people who are lean and healthy, versus the growing obesity crises among the younger generation. As they are quickly adopting our Western lifestyle, which comes pre-packaged with all the dangerous food-like products we call “food,” they are now experiencing all the side affects of an animal-based diet. These include but are not limited to increasing cancer rates, obesity, diabetes, and most other chronic degenerative diseases created for ourselves by our own hand as a direct byproduct of what we eat.
Beth and I decided to do some serious soul searching, and in the process learned as much as possible about health and disease prevention. It turns out preventing most diseases that many would consider inevitable, has more to do with what we’re putting in our mouths than any other single factor including genetics. My research included reading several of Dr. Neal Barnard’s books, and among others, Dr. Campbell’s book, “The China Study,” and the works of Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Greger, Dr. McDougall, John Robbins, and Dr. Doug Lisle. I learned about the undeniable link between diet and health. As I reflected on my own health, I realized I was in that collective group of people who know they are a bit overweight but can easily justify it because, well, “at least I’m not as big as THAT guy!” It’s a little bit like saying “at least our ship isn’t sinking as far as theirs (yet).” It was time to seriously address my unhealthy relationship with food. I had to ask myself one simple question: “How healthy do I want to be?” It was a hard question to answer honestly. It was hard because I knew the logical follow up question is, “Am I willing to do what it takes?” I decided to find out. Wondering what a 10 out of 10 on the “healthy-scale” would feel like, I commenced my journey into the unknown world of whole food, plant-based eating.
What are the benefits of a Whole food, Plant-based Diet?
The benefits of adopting this type of diet are numerous. First they showed up for me in the form of many positive side effects. The first was that I actually felt full AND good after eating. What was going on? I was not tired nor did I have that typical nightly cramping feeling in my belly. The next side effect was this new and unfamiliar feeling of sleeping well through the night, not to be trumped by a brand new sense of energy I had not felt in, well, since I can remember. At 44 years old, I assumed feeling tired was just going to be par for the course forever, since it’s been like an old friend for so many years. Feeling like a sloth was quickly replaced with a new buzzing sensation in my body, which I can only describe as energy surging through me. It actually felt like an electric current flowing through me! This new sense of energy provided a small dose of motivation to begin moving my body more. I began biking for fun, and started a “Couch to 5K” running program, which was a big deal since I’m not a runner. I mean really not a runner. I’ve hated running my whole life and sincerely wondered why anybody did it at all. My size 13 feet are as flat as a pancake, and to me the simple equation was: Running = Pain. Slowly I embraced the idea that maybe I can become a runner if I just keep it up a little longer. Within the first five months of full immersion into whole food, plant-based eating and beginning my “light” exercise regime, I shed 50 pounds. Over the course of the next 2-3 months, 15 more pounds fell off for a total loss of 65 pounds. My cholesterol dropped 75 points and blood pressure dropped like a rock. What was going on? In a nutshell, “A new relationship with food,” and a lifestyle shift in the right direction.
What motivated you to change your diet?
Beth and I soon began exploring resources from a host of respected websites. In addition we dove headfirst into all of the nutrition books, medical journals, documentaries, and wellness sites we could possibly find. All roads seemed to lead to the same destination: a whole food, plant-based diet. The landmark documentary for me was, “Forks over Knives,” which hit me on the head like a hammer. Something shifted inside me and I knew this was the answer I had unknowingly been seeking. In the process I gained some new favorite superheroes: Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. McDougall. These pioneers provided a clear focus and a direction I could now point my compass to find true north. As a family, we made the “dramatic” shift to a whole food, plant-based journey and have never looked back.
At first I wondered, “How in the world can you call a meal a ‘MEAL’ without any meat on the plate?” I was finding out the easy way…by just having an open mind and doing it. It was a very real and fundamental shift in my relationship with food. I now have a new way of eating without “dieting” that I can depend on for the rest of my life. No more wondering about what the next new “wonder-diet” or amazing weight loss pill is going to be. It’s fruits, veggies, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds from here on out, and the plethora of delicious plant-based meals continues to grow. What an amazing feeling knowing I’m doing something wonderful for my body, mind, and the planet.
The resources we discovered provided a solid foundation in truth on which we could stand. The answer to this apocalyptic health epidemic is so clear and so simple. In fact, it’s right under our noses. Although changing eating habits can be a challenge for many, I believe the much harder task is changing mindsets and habits of thinking surrounding food. I am committed to providing the tools and support for others to successfully adopt this new lifestyle, which is my passion and mission in life. I would like to be an advocate and walking proof that with a little education, a pinch of ambition, and a dash of determination, anything is possible. Please don’t take my word for it…just give it a try!
On our site, you’ll find tons of great information, including wonderful resources, articles, links, and recipes worth exploring. I am strongly committed to spreading the word about its benefits, far and wide, and have joined PlantPure Nation to create a “POD” for a grass-roots movement in our community.
How did you get your whole family to go Plant-based?
Our family transitioned well and is totally plant-based now. The education of our kids was easier than I thought. They were naturally interested in learning about being healthy, taking care of animals, and helping the planet. This was the answer. Beth and I are both certified in whole food, plant-based nutrition through the Center of Nutrition Studies & eCornell University. Our oldest daughter, has just completed the certification as well, making her the youngest to ever complete the course to date. She will set the world on fire by helping other kids learn about nutrition and eating plant-based foods. I’m so grateful for what this powerful information has done for our family.
What have you done with this information?
I became a wellness coach with the mission to help others on their journey to health and wellness. Since beginning this new way of eating and becoming a plant-strong family, I lost 65 pounds, participated in the “Triple By-Pass” 120 mile bike ride in Colorado over three mountain passes, and ran a full marathon. In addition, Beth and the kids ran a 5k and absolutely loved it.
What’s your “Big Picture” of all of this?
We’re committed to spreading the word far and wide about all the amazing benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and going against the heavy current of the standard American diet. We continue making impacts in our local community and with our programs, and workshops. We enjoy speaking in schools and community events about the benefits of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle changes. Young people seem especially responsive to learning about eating new and healthy plant foods that not only save animals’ lives but our environment at large. On a larger scale, we are committed to helping people through our books, coaching, programs/courses, and webinars. People are gaining a new sense of hope about their own health, and seem to be naturally drawn to this new way of eating, and about making positive lifestyle changes. It’s exhilarating to act as a support network for others interested in making a change, and then watch their exciting transformation. My vision is to use the nutrition knowledge and expertise I’ve gained to continue a strong grass-roots effort to help heal a sick world of people “eating the way everyone else does.” Collectively, we can make a large impact by sharing the benefits of building a new and healthy relationship with food with future generations. Sharing knowledge and passion means truly inspiring and empowering people to take charge of their own lives and health, literally one bite at a time.