"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food"
- Hippocrates (Father of Modern Medicine)
I am Dr. Arjun Rayapudi, a general surgeon and a plant-based community nutritionist. My wife, Dr. Shobha Rayapudi, is a physician, researcher and clinical trialist. (Click here to learn more about us.)
We welcome you to Giftofhealth.org
We created this website to help you reach your highest health and decrease unnecessary suffering on our planet. Through this site, we hope to raise awareness about the connection between food/lifestyle choices and health.
During our training, clinical practice, and research work, we discovered, that most of the diseases that many patients suffer are due to their diet and lifestyle choices. In our medical school education and residency training, there was an enormous emphasis on taking care of sick patients with pills and procedures. We observed that there was greater emphasis on managing the symptoms rather than focusing on the cause of the problem. Medications and surgeries work well for most of the acute diseases and some chronic diseases. However, they are not the best options for managements of several chronic medical problems when compared to the power of food and lifestyle choices. There is evidence in the medical literature that almost 80% of chronic diseases are potentially avoidable if one follows optimal nutrition, stays active, manages stress healthfully and doesn’t smoke.
I would like to share my dad's health story to put things in perspective. His story is a testament to the healing power of the human body.
My Dad is 67, he was a diabetic for about twenty-six years. He was also on medications for high blood pressure for over two decades. He was diagnosed with Heart disease (coronary artery disease) in March of 2015. He had symptoms of shortness of breath with mild strenuous activities. His angiogram (dye test/ special X-Ray test to check blood flow in heart vessels) showed greater than 90% blockages in two of the three main blood vessels that supply the heart. One cardiologist recommended to have stents, and another cardiologist recommended considering bypass surgery. Our education in plant-based nutrition and awareness regarding work of Dr. Esselstyn helped us to guide my dad making the right choice. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish have shown that stable heart disease can be reversed/arrested with whole foods plant based diet. I consulted Dr. Esselstyn and my friend Dr. Shane Williams (www.williamscardiology.com). Both of them said that if my dad wants to live longer, healthier and happier opt for plant-based diet (oil free), and there is no need for stents and bypass. My father embraced Whole food plant based lifestyle in March of 2015 as the per their advice. My Mom and our family agreed to create a healthy environment around him to help with the transition. My Mom created tasty plant-based recipes as per Dr. Esselstyn's guidelines.
In the beginning, my dad was skeptical about the power of nutrition and the fact that he was doing something against the recommendation of his cardiologist, but he soon noticed having more energy and better mental clarity with the new way of eating. Within 15 days of starting plant-based journey, his diabetic medications dose was reduced by half. He was overjoyed with the reduction of medications which motivated him to learn more about plant-based eating. He read Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes and Dr. Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and used the material in those books in his daily life. I am jubilant to let you know that, in the last four and half months he has not had any shortness of breath or chest pain, and he lost 12 kilograms (twenty-five pounds). He is quite happy to be off his diabetic medications and blood pressure drugs that he took for 26 years. He was on two medications for diabetes and two medications for high blood pressure before he started plant-based diet and within three months of new lifestyle he is off of them. His cholesterol level also became normal, dropped from 165 to 110. Our family is very excited about our dad's health journey. Thanks to healing plant-based foods and works of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Neal Barnard.
The evidence for whole food-plant based lifestyle is so overwhelming. Visit www.nutritionfacts.org, www.heartattackproof.com, www.nutritionstudies.org, www.drmcdougall.com, or other websites listed in the resources section for research/evidence favoring plant-based nutrition.
Plant-based lifestyle also helped me to take back my health. I lost close to 50 pounds; reached healthier weight seven years ago and sustained it. No calorie counting. No portion control. Lifestyle centered on eating plenty of the fiber rich, nutrient rich and delicious whole/minimally processed plant-based foods.
Based on our clinical experience and review of medical literature on nutrition and health, whole foods plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle seems to be the most prudent way to enjoy being healthy at any given age. Apart from health benefits, plant-based lifestyle is less taxing on our planet's resources and much easier on our animal friends.
For summary of benefits of Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle see the following infographic.
Whether you are trying to eat healthier or would like to lose weight or would like to reverse/better manage chronic disease, the information on this site could help. We invite you to explore the delicious and nutritious oil-free whole food plant-based recipes and the information pages. We will be adding to our recipe collection on regular basis. Check back frequently for updates.
Our energetic, intelligent 11-year-old son, Shakthi, would also like to contribute to this site along with our three-year golden retriever pup, Maithri, who loves to be part of the action pack with her wagging tail.
This website is a Gift from our family to you and your family.
Thank you for taking the time to visit this site and giving us the opportunity to serve you.
Wish you the best of health,
Arjun, Shobha, Shakthi, and Maithri