When deciding what we put into our bodies, we trust the experts. Get to know our respected team of dietitians, doctors, and scientists who all agree that we can achieve peak performance and sustained wellness by ditching dairy in favor of plant-based fuel.
Dr. Milton Mills
Dr. Milton Mills is the Associate Director of Preventive Medicine with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and co-author of PCRM’s report on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Dr. Mills serves as the Race & Nutrition Specialist and Board Adviser for A Well Fed World. Whether internist Dr. Mills is practicing at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia or at free clinics in Washington, D.C., his prescription for patients is likely to include some dietary advice: go vegetarian. “Medical research shows conclusively that a plant-based diet reduces chronic disease risk, so that’s something I absolutely encourage my patients to move toward,” says Dr. Mills, a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Mills doesn’t limit his message to his patients. He takes it to audiences around the country as well, speaking at hospitals, churches, and community centers.
Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD
Cynthia Speaks About Dairy:
Humans do not need cow’s milk. The human body requires nutrients that happen to be found in cow’s milk; but those same nutrients are also found in whole, plant-based foods, and can be adequately obtained from plants at any stage of the life cycle. Teaching Americans how to obtain key nutrients from plant-based foods rather than dairy has the potential to improve health and lower disease risk. Numerous studies show that a plant-based diet is associated with reductions in body mass index, blood glucose levels, death from heart disease, and total cancer incidence. In addition, cow’s milk is one of the top eight allergens, and 65% of the human population suffers from lactose intolerance. We must stop positioning dairy as an essential or necessary food group. Doing so perpetuates misinformation, and can interfere with fostering eating habits that improve public health.
Cynthia Sass is a plant-based performance nutritionist with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. One of the first registered dietitians to become a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, she has consulted for five professional sports teams in the NBA, NHL, and MLB. In her private practice Sass counsels a wide range of clients. She has worked one-on-one with Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy winners, and professional athletes in numerous sports.
A three-time New York Times best selling author, Sass is also a frequent writer, plant-based recipe developer, and media guest. She has appeared on numerous national TV shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Rachael Ray Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz. Show, Nightline, and many others. She has also conducted over 3,000 print, radio, and podcast interviews, and has been an invited speaker at corporations, health professional association conferences, and community organizations across the country.
Sass is summa cum laude graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and a master’s degree in nutrition science. She completed a second master’s degree in public health at the University of South Florida with a focus on community and family health education.
Sass also has formal training in plant-based organic culinary arts and mindfulness meditation. She owns Sass Consulting Services, Inc. based in Los Angeles, and specializes in sports and performance nutrition, plant-based eating, and nutrition for optimal health and longevity.
Dr. James F. Loomis
James F. Loomis Jr., M.D. is the medical director of the Physicians Committee’s Barnard Medical Center, where nutrition is just one of the tools he and his team use to help patients get healthy and stay healthy. Dr. Loomis used Physicians Committee nutrition resources during his transition to a plant-based diet in 2011. Now—after losing more than 60 pounds and improving his cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure—he advocates for others to do the same!
Formerly the director of prevention and wellness at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Loomis was also the team internist for the St. Louis Rams football team, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and the tour physician for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Loomis received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and graduated with honors. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He is board certified in internal medicine and was on the clinical faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Loomis also received an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Angie Sadeghi
“My passion is to provide healing through an integrative approach to keep patients healthy and youthful,” says Dr. Angie.
Dr. Angie’s personal journey fueled her desire to help patients. Having previously suffered from health problems such as severe eczema, elevated cholesterol, fatigue, and being overweight, she started eating a whole food, plant-based diet, adopted regular fitness into her life, and ultimately transformed her health and body.
Understanding that no single approach is right for every individual, Dr. Angie offers a complete range of services to help individuals with gut problems, obesity, anti-aging, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and overall disease prevention. Combining evidence-based medicine, her expertise in the digestive system, and her passion for physical fitness and plant-based nutrition, Dr. Angie has developed a comprehensive approach to helping patients recover from illness and live a healthy life.
“I want to leave a legacy of a doctor who prevented disease in her patients using the mastery of combining integrative medicine, western and eastern medicine, rather than simply using pharmaceuticals.”
Dr. Angie is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a diplomate of the American Board of Gastroenterology. She has extensive training from the University of Southern California (USC) and demonstrates exceptional commitment to excellence in treating diseases of digestive tract. She is featured in three documentaries as a leader in the field of plant-based fitness for health and weight loss and was recently published on the cover of Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine.
Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD
Matt Speaks About Dairy:
“There is no nutritional need for cow’s milk; humans are the only mammals to drink milk as adults or from another species. The only reason milk is touted as a health food is because the dairy industry has been intertwined with the nutrition field since its inception and the price is kept artificially low by the federal government. The nutrients in milk, namely calcium and protein, can easily be found in plant foods that are lower in saturated fat and significantly richer in phytochemicals and antioxidants- compounds associated with a lower risk for chronic diseases.
When you give up dairy your digestion and sinuses might clear up as a significant number of people have low-level intolerances or allergies to dairy and may not even realize it.”
Matt Ruscigno is a vegan of 20 years and a leading expert in nutrition. He has a Nutritional Science degree from Pennsylvania State University, a Public Health Nutrition masters degree from Loma Linda University, and certification as a Registered Dietitian—one of the only professional nutrition credentials. In addition to working with vegetarian clients and athletes, Matt is the Past-Chair of the Vegetarian Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a co-author of the No Meat Athlete book with Matt Frazier and Appetite for Reduction with Isa Moskowitz.
In his spare time, Matt is an endurance athlete, having accomplished numerous marathons, iron-man triathlons, 200+ mile cycling events, and 24-hour races. For Matt, fun, adventure and good health go hand-in-hand. His motto? “Demand the impossible! Of yourself and the world.”
Dr. Vivian Chen
Dr. Chen Speaks About Dairy:
“The trouble with a dairy allergy, is that it often causes a wide array of delayed symptoms, for which there are currently no accurate tests. Therefore, this type of delayed allergy (Non-IgE mediated) can easily go misdiagnosed for years,” says Dr. Chen. Despite being told the contrary by several doctors, she has since helped her children overcome their allergies, by not only removing dairy but also all animal products from their diets. “Even though my kids have outgrown their dairy allergies, as a mom, I could never feed my kids a food laden with hormones and persistent inorganic pollutants, such as DDT, PCB, or dioxins, which are neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. They can wreak havoc on our children’s developing brains, our hormonal balance (affecting future fertility), and they have even been linked to cancer. Organic animal products have been found to contain just as much pollutants as those that are conventionally farmed and therefore pose the same cancer risks. What we feed our kids today have a far-reaching effect on their health 10-20 years down the line. In order to stop the exploding epidemic of chronic diseases, we need to make sure we are feeding them foods that do not come with huge toxic burdens on their bodies”
Dr. Chen’s Bio:
Dr. Chen is a U.K. physician who now lives and works in California. She is double board-certified in internal and family medicine and practiced in the U.K 14 years where she saw many patients improve their IBS, joint problems, skin issues, asthma, and seasonal allergies when they stopped consuming dairy. She is passionate about using food as medicine to achieve optimal wellness with a whole food plant-based approach.
Dr. Eric Sternlicht
Dr. Eric Sternlicht Speaks About Dairy:
Diet and lifestyle play critical roles in health and disease. Over thirty years of research has proven a direct link between dairy protein, casein, and tumor promotion. In addition, numerous studies have found a link between dairy intake and reduced phytonutrient bioavailability from coffee, tea, berries, and other foods. A shift away from the typical Western diet to a whole-foods, plant-based diet (WFPD) has the potential to eradicate many of the leading causes of death in our society, drastically reduce health care costs, and significantly reduce our burden on the environment by decreasing our water use, as well as, greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. My goal as an educator is to bring awareness to the research that is (and has been for decades) out there, bring understanding into the mechanisms an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle play in disease development, and demonstrate how a WFPD and our choices can be involved in disease treatment and disease prevention. I am blessed to be able to play a small role in the dissemination of the science, research, and facts involving diet, exercise & health.
Dr. Sternlicht’s Bio:
Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Health Sciences in Crean College at Chapman University in Orange, California and president of Simply Fit, Inc., a nutrition and exercise consulting firm whose clients have included Disney, ESPN, Reebok, SONY, UCLA’s athletic department, and actor/director Clint Eastwood. As an educator for over thirty years, Dr. Sternlicht has been teaching classes that focus on the roles diet and lifestyle play in both disease development and progression, as well as disease treatment and prevention. Dr. Sternlicht and his mentor, R. James Barnard, Ph.D., have developed a course to introduce students to the research on the benefits of a WFPD. He teaches undergraduate pre-allied health care students that personal lifestyle choices play a role in chronic disease development and how a switch to a WFPD can improve health, functional capacity, and longevity and reduce morbidity and mortality.
TJ Long, Personal Trainer and Health Coach
TJ Speaks About Dairy:
Dairy is one of the most mucus-forming substances that humans regularly ingest. While mucus formation in the body is a natural response to help eliminate toxins, excessive amounts of mucus in the body is a cause of some of the most common illnesses that our society currently faces. Many respiratory and circulatory diseases like COPD, hypertension, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke are linked to diet and lifestyle choices, dairy being included amongst the major contributors. Dairy is also linked to causing asthma as well as ear, nose, and throat allergies. We don’t want to clog up our bodies, but that can easily happen if we’re consuming dairy. Arterial plaque buildup and stagnant lymphatic systems are slowly killing far too many people, and this can be avoided through simple lifestyle and diet choices. Dairy is toxic to the human body and not meant for us to consume.
Not only is dairy detrimental to human health, it is also an extremely abusive industry that exploits the reproductive systems of male and female cows, forcibly separates newborn calves from their mothers, and slaughters animals that are rendered useless to milk production. Eliminating dairy from the human diet can save a lot of lives, both human and non-human alike.
TJ Long’s Bio:
TJ is an ACE certified personal trainer and athletic nutrition specialist, a natural health coach, and a fruit-based raw vegan living in Minneapolis. He became interested in health and fitness a few years after college, initially intrigued by plant-based nutrition as well as orthopedic exercise and recovery. Seeking ways to advance physical recovery methods, he later opened up to exploring yoga, calisthenics, plyometrics, and natural hygiene.
TJ stays busy researching principles of natural health, coaching youth ice hockey athletes, attending outreach and community events with local animal rights organizations, hiking, snowboarding, and creating raw plant-based meals in the kitchen. He lives with his best friend, a rescued companion-dog named Brooks who came into his care in 2012.
Always having a strong connection to animals, TJ first acknowledged the impacts of industrial farming practices as a teenager and later made the steps toward a morally-focused vegan lifestyle near the end of college. He believes that all animals deserve to be respected and cared for. Rescue, sanctuary, outreach, and education makes a positive impact for everyone in our community, human and non-human individuals alike.
Karla Moreno-Bryce MDA, RD, LD
Karla Speaks about Dairy:
Cow’s milk has long been established as the primary source of calcium for bone health. We have continuously been told by many health organizations of the importance of drinking cow’s milk to maintain healthy bones and teeth. While obtaining calcium for good bone health is important, what these organizations fail to tell us is that there are other ways of obtaining calcium that have more superior health benefits than cow’s milk. Plant foods such as broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and fortified plant beverages provide calcium and offer more nutritional advantages. They provide Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium which are all important for bone health. Additionally, these plant foods are better absorbed in our gut over cow’s milk. The nutrients bioavailability of cow’s milk (or how well it is absorbed) is roughly 30% and that of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables – for the exception of spinach – is about 50-60%. So that’s twice as much calcium that our body absorbs from plant foods! Lastly, green leafy vegetables have no cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat – all which are present in cow’s milk and have been shown to contribute to many chronic diseases.
Karla Moreno-Bryce, MDA, RD, LD is a bilingual Registered and Licensed Dietitian, based in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in vegan nutrition for all ages. In her blog, Nutritious Vida, she shares practical vegan recipes and nutrition-related articles. She enjoys educating the public on the health and nutritional advantages of following a plant-based lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys going to coffee shops and trying out new plant-based restaurants with her husband and baby girl, who are both vegan as well.
Lori Stevens, RD
Lori Stevens Speaks About Dairy:
As a young child growing up, I was told I needed to eat dairy for strong bones. This was later reinforced by my education, which I didn’t question. I never liked dairy products, other than cheese and ice cream. I also never liked how it made me feel—bloated and uncomfortable. Once I became a dietitian, I started seeing research suggesting dairy was implicated in allergies, asthma, eczema and even certain cancers. For the first time, I thought about dairy objectively. Why would we drink the milk of another species? Why would we need it? What about areas where there were no cows? If dairy is good for us, why are so many people intolerant to lactose? I watched Forks Over Knives and gave up dairy for good. For the majority of my patients and clients with GI concerns, asthma, eczema, and constipation, giving up dairy has made a huge difference.
Lori Stevens’ Bio:
Lori Stevens is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. Practicing since 2006, she has worked in acute care hospitals, private practice, eating disorder programs, long-term care, sports nutrition, and behavioral health. She currently works as a contract dietitian and gives private consultations for people interested in improving their health and moving toward a plant-based diet. Lori has given nutrition talks to several local sports teams including cross country, swimming, hockey, and volleyball. Lori also volunteers with Triangle Vegfest and Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge. Originally from New Jersey, Lori now lives in Apex, NC with her husband, three children, and three dogs. She is a recreational runner who competes several times a year and also enjoys hiking, yoga, biking and swimming.
Lauren Plunkett, RD
Lauren speaks about Dairy:
The dairy industry is not in the business of promising healthy outcomes, so long as we continue to consume the products. Dairy became a food group to help people consume adequate amounts of calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamin D, which is a necessary supplement for many people whether choosing to eat dairy or not. All the dairy industry has to do is stand behind essential nutritional recommendations and instill fear that without their products we might not do well in life.
The dairy industry may claim milk is a “superfood” that is solely responsible for a child’s growth, strong bones, and an athlete’s success, but the fact is, none of these sweeping statements are true.
Actually, exercise alone will do more for your bones than a glass of milk ever could. Dairy is not a means to a healthy body. Humans do not need to drink animal milk to have healthy bones. Children can mentally and physically thrive without cow’s milk, and athletes will recover better on whole plant foods.
Lauren is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old. She struggled with her health until making the decision to eat plant-based in hopes that it would improve her glucose control. Within weeks, her insulin needs decreased by nearly 50%, she had more energy than ever before, and she was convinced that this choice had saved her life.
In pursuit of an education in dietetics, she vowed to never forget what it felt like to be the patient. While learning the complex science of nutrition she found that her diabetes management was consistently improving and regular exercise made an enormous impact.
Today, she is the owner of LP Nutrition Consulting, a public speaker, writer, and fitness instructor. Her personal experiences coupled with her expertise as a nutrition educator bridges the gap between patient and professional. She takes personal responsibility in her role and hopes to inspire people living with chronic disease to create healthy habits, achieve their goals, and believe they can seize the day just as well as anybody.
Dr. Christian Gonzalez
Dr. Gonzalez Speaks About Dairy:
My biggest problem with dairy is that through powerful lobbying it has been seen as a healthy food. A food which we have been convinced is one of the only ones that contains calcium. A food in which the industry has tricked our dietitians and pediatricians into believing it should be prescribed to everyone from children to adults. And most of all, a food which is exacerbating numerous symptoms that can be greatly improved when dairy is removed from one’s diet. The dairy industry is suffering for a reason, and it is because people are awakening to its harmful properties. My passion is not only in educating but empowering people to make healthier choices.
Dr. Gonzalez’s Bio:
Dr. Christian Gonzalez, N.D., completed his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2014. His doctorate work includes a thesis reviewing the current and complementary treatments for bladder cancer. He has also completed a two-year residency position at the competitive Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here, he became proficient in Integrative Oncology through exposure to various disciplines and modalities. He provides optimal patient care by incorporating Naturopathic modalities, such as botanicals, homeopathy, and nutritional support, as well as various other therapeutics. He integrates the latest understanding of Naturopathic therapeutics into all types of medical conditions. Dr. Gonzalez applies the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself when given favorable conditions to thrive.
Outside of Natural Start Medical Clinic, Dr. Gonzalez enjoys yoga, meditation, painting, travel, and writing.
“Switch4Good for me initially meant healthier bodies, a healthier family, but as I switched, I realized that Switch4Good also means switching for a better planet, a better environment, a more compassionate life.”