“My sense of creativity has prevented me from ever really struggling on a vegan diet.”
— Evette Eweka
Episode 7 of MedShadow’s Power to the Patient Podcast welcomes Evette Eweka, a recent college graduate on her pre-medical school path. Eweka, born and raised in New York, grew up in a Nigerian immigrant household, where the majority of her food was plant-based. When she would fall ill, her mother, a registered nurse, would often opt for natural, home remedies before turning to a doctor’s visit or prescription medicines. This in-home health culture would come to define her passions much later in life.
A pivotal point in Eweka’s health journey occurred while studying in Spain, where she was introduced in depth to the Mediterranean diet. The diet, plant-based and rich in healthy fats from olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids, has long been touted to improve one’s overall well-being, from cardiovascular to mental health. When comparing it to the typical American diet and lifestyle, Eweka pointed out, “how the widespread development of chronic diseases [has] mirrored the transition from our hunter-and-gatherer ancestors.” The process of wandering to gather food burned significant calories and provided vitamin D from exposure to the sun, while their primarily fruit- and plant-based diet would keep vital systems functioning optimally. Society today exists well beyond such a simplistic forage-and-eat model. Struggles with disease and wellness could be due to our poor, processed diet and sedentary lifestyle.
From a vegan perspective, Evette never truly has to struggle to stay excited about her food. A seemingly normal complaint from those starting a purely plant-based diet, the perception of inflexibility and lackluster vegan meals can cause people to give up. During the podcast with host Lillie Rosenthal, DO, a New York City-based physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, Evette illustrates some of her creative twists on vegan food that stem from the most simple grocery items. She explains, “I am so good at improvising. If there’s no more food in the fridge and I want to make something, in a matter of minutes, I’m able to pull things from different parts of the kitchen to make a meal that ends up being delicious.”
Check out Evette’s vegan instagram page at www.instagram.com/herveganvoice.
Tune in to the full episode of the podcast here.
Power to the Patient explores the challenges, choices, and barriers that influence people to traverse their way toward better health and quality of life. These personal stories have the power to not only inform, but also to bring communities together over shared experiences with health and wellness. The podcast, says host Rosenthal, “not only informs and inspires, it also ignites us to rethink and transform our perceptions of how we can take back our health and live our best lives.”