Michelle Pfeiffer revealed in an interview on CNN on June 4, 2012 (video and transcript below) that she became vegan after learning about former President Bill Clinton’s embrace of the vegan, or whole-foods plant-based diet to reverse his heart disease.
The actress — who rose to fame with her roles in such iconic 1980s movies as Married to the Mob and The Fabulous Baker Boys — shared her experience in detail during her appearance on CNN’S Piers Morgan Tonight, with guest host Sanjay Gupta, M.D. In fact, it was Dr. Gupta’s documentary, The Last Heart Attack (in which Clinton is interviewed) which reveals the effectiveness of the whole-foods plant-based diet of Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.
UPDATE: You can see the full documentary video below.
The well documented evidence and clinical studies that show how the diet reverses heart disease and realizing, in her words, that Clinton is a “foodie” she became convinced she needed to explore further. Michelle Pfeiffer said, “Bill Clinton loves food, so there must be something to it that’s making him stick to it. And also, he’s smart, so he’s not going to, you know, do something unless he really thinks there’s some science behind it.”
Indeed there is. She read Dr. Esselstyn’s groundbreaking book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. She was solidly convinced.
You can watch the full video replay below. Highlights from the transcript follow, along with a link to the text in its entirety.
Michelle Pfeiffer told Dr. Gupta:
.”I mean, it was sort of like there — I couldn’t not listen to it. And I — you know, and I — think that — you know, my father died from cancer. And you know, the older you get, the — you know, there’s a lot of disease around you…and you see people struggling with chronic disease. You see people dying with terminal illnesses. And if — you know, if in any way — and you know, science is always changing, you know? I mean, but if in any way this is true, then you kind of have to listen to it.
Noting that the two of them had had a vegan lunch, Dr. Gupta asked her if making the transition had been difficult. She replied candidly, saying:
“Well, I actually really love the vegan diet because I love carbs…I’ve never really loved animal protein, I mean, in terms of animal meat. I ate it because I thought it was good for me, you know, and I thought I needed to eat the protein and vegetables to stay lean.
Really, it was all about vanity, really, honestly.
He asked her if she had seen any health benefits since making the change. She revealed that in just two months her high cholesterol had gone down 83 points.
Click here to see the full transcript of Michelle Pfeiffer’s interview on CNN. The discussion is wide ranging; along with the vegan diet, she talks about her many years as an A-list actress and some of the earlier iconic roles and recent roles she has had in films as well as her thoughts on aging in Hollywood and the challenges actresses confront.
As always I am happy when celebrities, movie stars and public figures come forward and speak of their embrace of the vegan diet, or whole foods plant-based diet and how they have benefited. With Michelle Pfeiffer as the latest of many, this mainstream attention is quite welcome to me. Having been vegetarian since age 14 and vegan for the last several years and having been called a “health nut” and much worse in the early days, this is quite a shift in public consciousness that we long-term vegetarians and vegans are witnessing. Moving away from fad diets and the rationalization of continuing to eat the standard American diet that has caused so much disease as well as contributed to the obesity epidemic, it seems many are realizing enough is enough. This is just not working, not to stay alive, stay healthy, become healthy, let alone to lose weight.
The solid evidence, going back decades, of the diets of such pioneering M.D.s such as the aforementioned Esselstyn, as well as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Neal Barnard, as well as Dr. John McDougall, whose diet plan I follow (outlined in his new book The Starch Solution.
Having had many of family members succumb to — and in some cases die from — various chronic illnesses, I am so grateful for this shift in public perception and this growing urgency to take charge of our lives and future with what we eat and — urgently — what we don’t eat. Surviving and thriving is well worth the sort of negativity and backlash I occasionally experience. And as put so clearly in the documentary Forks over Knives — which has also changed lives — we can survive with our forks; eating the foods we were meant, as humans to eat, or we can continue to go under the knife, the surgeon’s scalpel, and take our chances.
Let us know what you think of Michelle Pfeiffer and her vegan diet success!
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