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T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies
Student Spotlight: Mike Garcia

My Food & Sustainability Journey

About 15 years ago, I attended a Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” event, and on the last day of the event, Tony challenged the audience to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I took him up on his challenge, and after only a week, my energy levels went through the roof! I lost the extra weight around my midriff, and once I found out a plant-based lifestyle is also better for the environment than the standard American diet, I never looked back. As a horticulturist, I have expertise in growing plants, so I began developing a program on how to design aesthetically pleasing landscaping with native gardens, fruit trees, and veggies instead of traditional ornamental bushes. Drip irrigation and sustainable rainwater harvesting are a part of the plan.

Why I Enrolled in the Center for Nutrition Studies Courses

After reading The China Study, I became a fan of author Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and when I found out he built a course on plant-based nutrition, I knew this was a course I had to take. As a vegan, I had always been sensitive to the plight of animals, but I lacked the science to back up my beliefs. Taking the course gave my existing beliefs a solid foundation. A few years later, I found out about the Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) courses on food systems and sustainability, and naturally this was the next step in my evolution as a difference maker. I was not disappointed with these additional courses. They filled in what missing pieces to the puzzle I was lacking. The courses answered such questions as “How has our current food evolved into what it is today?” and “How much difference can adopting a plant-based lifestyle have on our planet?” If you care for our planet and all life upon it, this is a course you must take. One credo I live by is, we cannot change the world if we don’t know how we got here.

My Advice for Newbies to the Sustainability Movement

My advice to those who are new to the sustainability movement is to take CNS’s certificate program in Plant-Based Nutrition with the additional courses regarding the food system and realize you can make profound changes in the world with the choices you make regarding what you put on your plate. Adopting a plant-based lifestyle will increase your quality of life and save the planet.

Why I Recommend CNS Courses to Others

These online courses are a must for anyone who wants a clear path on how to make a difference and contribute to a better world. A path to a better, more sustainable world starts with decisions we make at home. I often say, “Success leaves clues,” and modeling what successful people do will often yield good results! This course gives an honest perspective on how we got to where we are in the world and provides examples of how people are changing our world for the better.

As a horticulturist, I leave you with one final thought: Healthy bodies can only come from healthy food, and healthy food can only come from healthy soil!

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