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The Health Science Podcast | Episode 076. | April 18, 2024
076: The Green Prescription: Plant-Based Eating is at the Root of Healing with Dr. Jeffrey Pierce
076: The Green Prescription: Plant-Based Eating is at the Root of Healing with Dr. Jeffrey Pierce

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In the realm of health and wellness, the convergence of plant-based nutrition, lifestyle medicine, and the healing power of nature is a natural evolution of things to come.

In this episode of the NHA Health Science Podcast, we welcome Dr. Jeffrey Pierce, a distinguished medical physician with an intense commitment to promoting holistic health.

Plant-Based Living: A Journey of Discovery

Dr. Pierce’s journey into the realm of plant-based living traces back to the early 2000s when a documentary on factory farming sparked a profound shift in his dietary choices.

As a passionate advocate for animal welfare, his transition to veganism marked the inception of a transformative journey toward embracing the vitality of plant-centered nutrition.

Unveiling the Power of Plant-Based Healthcare

In a pivotal moment during his medical career, Dr. Pierce’s immersion in teaching high-risk obstetrics unraveled the profound impact of plant-based healthcare. Witnessing the transformative potential of lifestyle interventions in mitigating chronic illnesses, he embarked on a quest to integrate evidence-based science into clinical practice.

Nurturing Health Across Continents: A Global Perspective

Hailing from South Texas, Dr. Pierce’s dedication to global health led him to diverse corners of the world, from Kenya to Sudan, where he championed healthcare initiatives amidst formidable challenges. His experiences underscore the universal significance of equitable access to healthcare and the imperative of addressing health disparities on a global scale.

Love Life Telehealth: Empowering Health Transformation

Joining Love.Life/Telehealth, Dr. Pierce found a platform to amplify his advocacy for holistic healthcare. Through extended consultations and collaborative care, he harnesses the synergistic potential of lifestyle medicine to address the root causes of illness, empowering individuals to reclaim agency over their health journey.

Bridging Communities Through Plant-Based Nutrition

Navigating the cultural tapestry of diverse communities, Dr. Pierce pioneered innovative programs that integrate nutrition education with culinary arts. From community-based initiatives to interactive cooking workshops, he continually fosters a holistic approach to health that resonates with individuals from all walks of life.

Cultivating Wellness: The Intersection of Gardening and Lifestyle Medicine

In Dr. Pierce’s holistic paradigm, gardening emerges as a conduit for nurturing vitality and fostering connection with nature. Embracing the six pillars of lifestyle medicine—nutrition, movement, sleep, stress management, social connection, and purpose—he illuminates the symbiotic relationship between cultivating wholesome foods and cultivating well-being.

Embracing a Flourishing Future

Dr. Pierce’s passion for empowering individuals to thrive resonates with timeless wisdom. From the verdant fields of his garden to the corridors of telehealth, his journey epitomizes the transformative potential of embracing plant-based living and holistic wellness.

A Journey into Gardening: Cultivating Wellness

Gardening has emerged as more than just a hobby or pastime; it’s become a means for nurturing wellness on multiple levels. While Dr. Jeffrey Pierce initially embarked on this journey motivated by his wife’s encouragement, over the past decade, he’s discovered the profound benefits of cultivating his own garden.

Discovering the Multi-faceted Benefits of Gardening

Beyond merely providing access to fresh produce, gardening offers a holistic approach to wellness, aligning with the principles of lifestyle medicine. From physical activity to stress reduction and community engagement, the benefits of gardening extend far beyond the garden bed.

Starting Small: Making Gardening Accessible

For those interested in starting their gardening journey, Dr. Pierce emphasizes the importance of starting small. Whether it’s a few herbs on a windowsill or a modest vegetable patch, the key is to begin with manageable projects that lay the foundation for a rewarding gardening experience.

Looking to the Future: Advocating for Health and Gardening

As Dr. Pierce continues to explore the intersection of health and gardening, his goal is to raise awareness of the numerous health benefits associated with this activity. Through education, community engagement, and advocacy, he aims to empower individuals to embrace gardening as a pathway to better health and well-being.

Empowering Health and Wellness

Dr. Pierce underscores the power individuals hold in shaping their health and well-being through activities like gardening. By embracing the transformative potential of gardening, individuals can take proactive steps towards achieving optimal health for themselves, their communities, and the planet as a whole.

Episode Highlights

[00:00]            Introduction.

[01:30]             Factory farm documentary is the catalyst for going vegan in 2000.

[05:45]             Time in Peru opens global healthcare insights.

[08:00]             Shaping a patient’s future with lifestyle medicine.

[10:15]             Easier labor and delivery for high-risk pregnancies with plants.

[13:00]             Teach a man, woman, and child how to cook to give them more choice.

[21:15]             The Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine combined with gardening.

[25:30]             The pull of gardening for a healthy lifestyle.

[29:00]             Start small with your first garden.

[35:30]             What’s on the horizon for Dr. Jeffrey Pierce.  

About Dr. Jeffrey Pierce

Dr. Jeffrey Pierce is a dedicated board-certified family medicine physician with over 18 years of experience, focusing on empowering patients to take control of their health through informed choices and lifestyle adjustments. Licensed to see non-Medicare patients in California, Florida, and Texas, Dr. Pierce brings a wealth of expertise and compassion to his practice.

Having completed his medical education at Baylor College of Medicine and residency at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, Dr. Pierce further honed his skills through a fellowship in Global Health Leadership at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is particularly passionate about leveraging lifestyle medicine to address a wide range of health concerns, firmly believing that with the right tools, patients can achieve remarkable outcomes.

Dr. Pierce’s clinical expertise spans diverse areas including weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cholesterol management, cancer prevention, hormonal health, plant-based nutrition, autoimmune disorders, mental health, digestive health, and dementia prevention. His holistic approach emphasizes understanding the root cause of illnesses and empowering patients to make sustainable changes to improve their well-being.

Outside of his medical practice, Dr. Pierce leads a rich and varied life. He finds joy in growing the majority of his family’s food, which reflects his commitment to healthy living. Additionally, he enjoys staying active through running, indulging in literature, and expressing his creativity by playing saxophone in a jazz trio.

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Pierce strives to provide comprehensive and personalized care to patients from diverse backgrounds, fostering strong doctor-patient relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Through his dedication to education, motivation, and support, Dr. Pierce inspires his patients to embark on a journey towards optimal health and vitality.

About Dr. Frank Sabatino

As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.

Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation and stress management.

About NHA

The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.

The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health: personal, environmental, and social.

The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.

More information:


A unique benefit of the NHA Conference is the selection of two medical students who receive a full scholarship to the conference.

Contact Wanda Huberman for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.  [email protected]

NHA membership

For a very nominal investment, you can enjoy incredible benefits of the NHA membership.

Members of the NHA enjoy a subscription to the award-winning quarterly health journal, Health Science, access to the “Members Only” section of the NHA Website (which contains all 43 years of back issues of the magazine),  the ability to download for free many classic out of print eBooks on the history of the Natural Hygiene Movement, including Fasting Can Save Your Life and The Greatest Health Discovery, discounts on books, and early notice of the NHA events.

Only $35 a year for basic membership within the United States.

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