As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from

Stay Chat: Plant-Based mostly Consuming Feeds Resilience, with Rhonda Spencer-Hwang

Sharon joins Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, Loma Linda College professor and epidemiologist, in a stay video chat as they speak about how plant-based diets may help feed resilience in well being and longevity. Be taught all the things you have to know in regards to the Loma Linda Blue Zones, and the analysis exhibiting the secrets and techniques that furnish longevity and vibrance by means of weight-reduction plan.

I’m so excited to have vitamin skilled Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, DrPH, MPH, CWP, Affiliate Professor and Epidemiologist within the Faculty of Public Well being at Loma Linda College and a advisor with the San Bernardino County Public Well being Division, on my stay chat right now! Rhonda has been conducting groundbreaking analysis over the previous eight years finding out the habits of centenarians and is the primary to establish a complete group of resilient members, regardless of their super burden of hardships and challenges. She has studied and printed extensively on resiliency and well being promotion, has quite a few peer reviewed publications, given shows around the globe, and is the recipient of hundreds of thousands in funding from numerous authorities businesses to conduct analysis and supply service for 1000’s of youngsters and their households.

Issues You Will Be taught in This Episode:

  • Analysis on how plant-based vitamin can enhance resilience in well being and longevity.
  • The dietary patterns of centenarians.
  • How plant-based consuming has helped centenarians overcome hardship, adversity, and sickness.
  • Modifications in cultural practices that affect well being.
  • Learn how to develop resilience in your individual well being.

Rhonda’s Sources:

It was so fabulous to speak with Rhonda on my Stay Chat. We had an enchanting dialog on the varied components which are associated to diets and existence which were discovered to advertise longer lifespans. You may discover some shocking nuggets of knowledge in our dialogue. Pay attention to the Stay Chat right here.


Right here’s a written transcript of our stay chat.

Stay Chat: Plant-Based mostly Consuming Feeds Resilience, with Rhonda Spencer-Hwang

Q Inform us a bit bit about your journey, and what led you to this work in public well being and vitamin?

A My journey is considerably an uncommon one. I’m an epidemiologist and professor and I’ve additionally had quite a lot of grants from the federal government and First 5, doing well being promotions packages for youngsters and their households. Properly in the meantime my very own life was very hectic, a profession mother, and I’ve 3 children and my youngest on the time was 1. Right here I’m working round. My purse was a buffet of snack meals gadgets and each digital machine below the solar, you identify it I had it. I simply had this heap of stress and guilt due to the alternatives we had been making. My husband had been recognized with hypertension and excessive ldl cholesterol, although we exercised day-after-day just about and we tried to eat properly, however our decisions weren’t nice. My son’s pediatrician stated that his weight was creeping up. My very own ldl cholesterol was beginning to present indicators of not being so wholesome. So I believed that I actually needed to do one thing totally different. We now have individuals coming all around the world to see us right here in Loma Linda, the place we’ve got this fountain of youth, this group of longevity, and so individuals are coming right here. A movie crew calls me up asks me if they’ll come and see what my pantry seems like. It might take me a superb week to organize in order that we’d have this look. A part of me knew, I wanted to do higher. So then I made a decision to interview centenaries and see what recommendation they’ve for households and youngsters and about how ought to we be dwelling otherwise. I by no means knew I’d be working round monitoring people who find themselves over 100. And I by no means imagined on the time, 8 years in the past, that the pandemic could be a factor. Physicians had been questioning, why are you interviewing centenarians and what potential recommendation have they got for us, they lived a 100 years in the past? In my intestine, I had a sense that divine intervention was calling me to do that analysis. Mothers had been calling me to make a ebook and so I did. I made a ebook about my analysis and journey. My journey was life-changing, a unique perspective and a unique way of life, higher well being and numbers are lowering. I’ve to say happiness and pleasure general in my family. We nonetheless have fights with the youngsters, nevertheless it’s a extra peaceable time now that I’ve made the change and stay otherwise.

Strive one among my favourite plant-based household meal recipes, Sesame Tempeh Grain Bowl.

Q In a nutshell, what did your analysis on public well being divulge to you?

A So I made a decision to work on a full qualitative analysis examine. I had a group of volunteers be a part of me to trace down centenaries. With a developed survey, we went out to trace down centenarians. From my earlier job, I used to be an epidemiologist that tracks infectious illnesses, so I’ve no drawback discovering individuals, particularly people who don’t wish to be discovered, I understand how to trace them down. We began with my husband’s aunt, she’s the oldest in Loma Linda. On the time she was 101, now she’s 108. At 101, she was nonetheless dwelling independently. At 100, she was nonetheless driving her personal automobile. It has been an incredible journey assembly these guys. They’re all the things possible from a coronary heart surgeon to at least one in pathology. The pathologist graduated medical faculty at a time when girls weren’t graduating medical faculty. We’ve had people who find themselves world document setters to even simply typical housewives and farmers, all the things in between. We had tape recorders and interviewed them. We transcribed the interviews, then coded them and had been on the lookout for themes. What are these themes which are going to come back out that appear like what I name resiliency components? That factor that will seemingly would offset something of their life?

To get consuming extra plant-based, try this recipe for Vegan Rainbow Veggie Pizza on Cornmeal Crust.

Q Did something about your analysis shock you?

A The massive shock to me was the trauma, I wasn’t anticipating that. I wasn’t anticipating the asymptomatic degree of trauma. I needed to make a survey so I might see what their life seems like after which I can evaluate my very own life to what a centenarian would appear like. That was actually eye-opening. I encourage individuals to take the survey in the event that they wish to see what resiliency seems like while you evaluate it with these individuals who have it probably the most. That’s form of like a humbling expertise, particularly when you’re in a public well being occupation the place you’re a registered dietitian to see the place you might be stellar at and the place you possibly can use a bit assist out. And in order that’s what I did and it was actually eye-opening, and you recognize in fact one among mine was meals. One of many ideas of the centenarians below the straightforward meals habits was no meals on the fly. In case you seemed in my automobile, it’s stocked as a cellular meals unit, I’ve obtained napkins, straws, you recognize it. That was that was once I actually needed to start taking it to coronary heart and slowing down and I do know it’s laborious however even beginning 1 day per week the place you collect across the desk. I’ve a saying that I say to my children is that “starvation shouldn’t be a requirement to come back to the desk”. You don’t should be hungry to come back as a result of there’s extra happening than simply the feeding of the physique, there’s the feeding of the thoughts and soul and connecting with the household.

Q What did you be taught in regards to the dietary habits of the centenarians which makes them so resilient?

A One of many issues that makes meals style a lot better is starvation. I do know there’s a good intention, however within the sport actions that my children are concerned in, there’s at all times a snack. I used to be pondering after sports activities, you don’t have to provide them a bag of chips. By the best way, the one possibility that centenarians needed to drink was water. There wasn’t Gatorade, coconut water, or infused water. I’ve seen a number of the faculties within the pandemic that supply chocolate milk or apple juice. Why don’t they offer out water? The centenarians had been poor, so it’s what they grew that they ate. Now we’ve got many choices. It’s actually the consciousness of the mother and father. We now have a plethora of choices, greater than what the centenarians had. In one of many research that I checked out, amongst youngsters who’re abused, there’s this degree of irritation that’s creeping up. One of many keys to offsetting that injury of irritation is attacking that degree of irritation. The irritation comes from in every single place, not simply stress. It begins in childhood, so the earlier you eat plant primarily based, the higher you’re ready offset the irritation.

Rhonda together with her new ebook!

Q Why do you assume consuming this manner helped them overcome hardship, adversity, sicknesses and a lot extra?

A There’s a examine within the British Medical Journal that discovered that healthcare staff who eat a plant-based weight-reduction plan have much less and reasonably extreme covid instances. For me, one of many issues that I’m inquisitive about is the overlap. I say the convenience and overlap of powers is the synergy. They’ve research that present your stress and cortisol ranges drop inside 10 minutes of simply being open air. Your hydration can also be linked to your immune system. All of this stuff are constructing a form of life preserver and layers and layers to offset the trauma. Getting again to the best way that centenarians labored the soil to develop their meals and consuming it collectively; I feel all of that magnifies the profit. There’s what we name impact modification the place this stuff work together and the place they’ve much more safety than when you all you probably did was simply a type of issues, it’s nice however I feel that it magnifies advantages. So I feel that’s the subsequent step is wanting on the holistic.

Q Why do you assume our cultural practices have modified a lot from what the centenarians follow? And the way do we discover our approach to reconnect?

A The keystone behavior that actually influences a number of the others after they had been children is that point in nature. Time in nature from rising their very own meals to strolling in every single place. To get to highschool it could take them an hour. The whole lot took twice as lengthy. We consider rising a backyard, ordering the seeds, they’d none of that. It was very demanding and totally different. I consider using our personal toes. Considering again, and saying, okay how can we simplify our life? The keystone behavior was time and nature and it was very a lot open air and serving to each other. I feel we form of misplaced that method. Right now could be very hectic and fast-paced. There may be this sense amongst mother and father from helicopter parenting, bubblewrap parenting to orange jumpsuit parenting. One of many issues I encourage mother and father, if you wish to make a change first do a examine of your life. First take the time to do a examine of your life, write down what you’re doing, what you’re consuming, and who you’re with. Then name in at some point, take a contented day from work, a sick day. Most of us actually are sick, we simply can’t see it. Begin to consider your time diary. Is it the way you think about your life to be? Does this carry you pleasure? Does it make you cheerful to see you or your loved ones on this method? Is that this what you needed? If the reply isn’t any I wish to make adjustments properly then you need to begin proper then and there. A part of me, I prayed and requested God for steering to assist me make my household stronger. Then take the survey within the ebook and see which resiliency issue you recognize you’re form of blowing; then walked by means of the step-by-step program to see which belongings you’re going to do properly in. Some belongings you’re going to get that aren’t an issue, after which others you’ll want assist in. So I say use your energy to bolster up the areas that want it. In case you don’t prefer to backyard, perhaps you prefer to stroll. Then you’ll be able to stroll to the shop to get the meals that rots. Choose up the meals your great-grandma would acknowledge, if not don’t fill your cart with these issues.

Put extra crops on the desk, beginning with this simple recipe for Ginger Lotus Root Stir-Fry with Red Rice.

Q What has been the toughest centenarian behavior so that you can follow with your individual household and why?

A I had a concern of the kitchen, that was form of my background. I didn’t develop up cooking. I jumped in and I used to be going to do that. I used to burn all of the meals I cooked. So I began ordering these meal kits corresponding to Blue Apron and Howdy Contemporary. After doing that for a few 12 months, I actually be ok with the abilities that I’m studying, in order that was form of from the field. I complement as a result of I’ve youngsters now. We picked the plant-based or the fish. It’s actually helped me to realize expertise of what issues are known as and for the totally different spices. It’s given me a number of confidence to exit and store and check out new recipes. In order that’s what I like to recommend.

Q What recommendation would you give listeners on methods to develop resilience of their household throughout crises such because the pandemic, pure disasters, financial downturn…and so on, particularly round meals and meals habits?

A One is across the meals and about the way you inventory your pantry. I realized this early on and earlier than my pantry was a large number. Additionally connecting with household and associates. In case you’re at all times buying issues which are good, you’re going to should work extra to pay for these issues. In order that they actually taught me the worth of less complicated and slower. Defend your schedule, it shouldn’t be jam packed. When you could have some free time, that’s when the perfect reminiscences are made.

Rhonda shares one among her favourite plant-based recipes, Butternut Squash Enchiladas.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and reduce into ¼-inch x 3-inch sticks
  • 1 medium white onion, reduce into lengthy slivers, ¼ inch thick
  • 1 purple bell pepper, seeded and reduce into ¼-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to style
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 12 ounces purple enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • Cilantro, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Toss the squash, onion, and bell pepper in 3 tablespoons oil to coat. Then sprinkle on salt and pepper to style.
  • Roast greens in sizzling oven for 20 minutes till they’re delicate and starting to brown.
  • Warmth ½ cup oil in a small skillet on medium or medium low. When the oil is prepared, dip every tortilla within the sizzling oil for 10 seconds per aspect.
  • Fill every tortilla with squash, onion, and bell pepper, then roll and align in a casserole dish.
  • Pour the purple sauce over the enchiladas, being certain to cowl/soak all the sides.
  • Bake 20–25 minutes till heated by means of.
  • Garnish with queso fresco and chopped cilantro.


About Rhonda:

Rhonda has over 20 years of labor expertise as a public well being skilled participating and educating the general public in well being promotion actions and now could be a debut creator together with her ebook (Elevating Resilient Youngsters by Tyndale Publishing Home). By way of the lens of an epidemiologist and as a mother or father, she shares the knowledge of the centenarians, together with step-by-step steering, strategically equipping households for thriving within the face of no matter life throws your method. Along with her instructing, analysis, and repair work, Dr. S-H enjoys spending time together with her husband and their three youngsters (Jayden 16 yrs., Joelle 13 yrs., and Julia 6 yrs.) at their residence in Loma Linda, CA. Her husband’s nice aunt is without doubt one of the centenarians interviewed, and lately celebrated her 108th birthday—an excellent centenarian. Finally, Dr. S-H’s work is impressed by her household and want to advertise a tradition of well being for our nation.  

For different Stay Chats with Sharon, try the next:

Live Chat: Biodynamics with Thea Maria Carlson
Plant-Based Eating for Kids with Alex Caspero and Whitney English
Learning About Cultural Humility In The Food System With Denine Rogers

To be taught extra in regards to the Blue Zones, try this blog.

To be taught extra about plant-based consuming, try my ideas:

6 Tips for Boosting Protein on a Plant-Based Diet
Top 15 Tips for Powering Up on Vegetables
10 Essential Plant-Based Cooking Tips

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Stay Fit
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart