Learning from Clinton’s Veganism

It’s no secret that I am a little obsessed with American presidents. That might even be an understatement.

I have two shelves on my bookcase devoted to presidential biographies.

I used to quiz myself nightly on presidential trivia.

I was even “pen pals” with Bill Clinton back in the ’90s. By that, I mean, I wrote letters to him saying I would “vote for him.” In return, I got generic White House thank-you notes. It was special.

Once I got older, however, I realized that Clinton didn’t always make the best choices… And I’m not even referring to a certain Ms. Lewinsky incident.

Rather, Clinton was not a very good role model for healthy living.

Predictably, after years of campaigning at fast food restaurants and snacking on hamburgers, the saturated fat caught up to him in a bad way: In 2004, Clinton underwent a quadruple-bypass to clear deadly blockages in his heart.

After the near-death experience, Clinton began making some serious changes to his diet. He cut back on calories and fat. He became more aware of healthy and unhealthy foods. He lowered cholesterol in his diet.

Yet, it didn’t seem to be enough. Last year, Clinton had to undergo another heart procedure.

While recovering, Clinton was hit with some more hard news from his friend and heart specialist, Dean Ornish. Ornish said that because of a family history of heart disease, the changes that Clinton had made to his diet may not be enough to prevent the progression of heart problems. Instead, Ornish proposed making even more intense changes to Clinton’s diet.

In Clinton’s words, “That’s when I made a decision to really change.”

Out went the meat, dairy, eggs and most oils. In came more vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.

In essence, it is a vegan diet. But, the real point is on improving his personal health. And, in just one year, the changes are already paying off for Clinton.

“All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy,” Clinton said. Now, Clinton is directing his increased energy to the cause of improving health and nutritional knowledge among children through the Clinton Foundation.

In my eyes, that’s good enough reason for redemption.

Similar to Clinton and millions of other Americans, I have heart disease a little too close for comfort in my family history. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I decided to become a vegetarian. Although I know that may not be the right idea for everyone, Clinton’s example now goes to show that diet does play a large role in overall health. It also shows that it’s never too late to change personal diets and improve health. That’s something worth talking about…

Questions: What do you think? Do you think there are real benefits to Clinton’s diet?


  • Learn more about Clinton’s experience here.
  • Be sure to enter my Somersault Snack Co. giveaway!

2 responses to “Learning from Clinton’s Veganism

  • jessgobananas

    Hiya! I just discovered your blog and you’re so interesting!
    I may not love presidents but I sure do loooovvveeee history!
    Great post! I think that there can be real benefits to Clinton’s vegetarian diet – he is obviousely still eating fats (as we all should be doing) but they are no longer TRANS which makes a tremedous difference in my opinion. Diet is a major factor for respiratory issues.
    My dad had knee surgery and someone told him that if he ate better then his knee would heal quicker – what is your take on that?

    • pursuitofhealthfulness

      I don’t know about changes in diet after knee surgery helping. That’s an interesting comment for someone to make! I think that if you eat well before major surgeries, your immune system will be stronger and aid in quicker recovery. Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: