Jeff Tritten, former owner and chef of Smoke BBQ, in Saline lost over 100 pounds by turning to a plant-based diet.
Being overweight was causing Tritten a lot of health issues including edema, pre-diabetes, sleep apnea, severe joint pain and high cholesterol. He decided to take matters into his own hands and choose nutrition over medication, he started eating healthier and in May of 2017 he started a plant based whole foods diet.
“After doing research and finding the plant based diet, the weight just fell off, no time at the gym...I dropped 80 pounds in 3 three months” Tritten said. “All of the health issues reversed, all of them.”
For Tritten, this lifestyle change wasn't hard, he is learning to love “real” food and finds it to be incredibly “satiating”.
It wasn't until December 2017 that Jeff discover Plant Based Nutrition Support Group, from there he started the Saline chapter.
“They have been super supportive and encouraged me to start a local chapter.”
Plant Based Nutrition Support Group was founded in 2014 by Paul Chatlin and is headquartered in Detroit. It is a non profit organization dedicated to evidence based education, as well as advocacy of a plant based whole foods nutrition and lifestyle. The group has over 4800 members, mostly local to Detroit and provides classes and support groups all over Michigan and Ohio.
After leaving the BBQ business behind him, Jeff has changed his views on animals. He doesn't see them as food anymore, he sees them as “thinking, feeling and sentient beings.” He also states that “Knowing we don't need meat to be healthy, why subject them to cruel practices?”
Tritten doesn't have plans to open a plant-based restaurant, instead he has “found his passion” developing plant-based snacks, infusing vinegars and sharing what he's learned about plant-based diet.
“I really do love nutrition education and helping people get healthy,” said Tritten.
He said that he really wanted to do cooking demonstrations for the Farmers Market, but funds were limited. In order to give out samples there are requirements from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the county health department for licensing, equipment and sanitation. Then City Manager Todd Campbell heard about a grant through the county and passed it along to the market manager Christine Easley.
“After she and I looked over the grant information, we decided to hook up with the Senior Center and do a healthy community initiative in order to get funding. The initiative entails the demos, nutrition education at both the Senior Center and the Farmers Market,” Tritten said.
At the demos, Jeff cooks healthy meals in order to show people how to use various produce available at the market.
“I do whole food plant based, no oil recipes that are available for people to take home. The most recent demos have been in the Instant Pot, since that is the craze right now.” said Tritten.
You can find Jeff at the Saline Farmers Market selling his products as well as doing cooking demos on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. The group meetings are currently held at the Farmer Market on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m.. The meetings consist of group discussions, support, recipes, meal planning and more.
For more information check out the Saline Area PBNSG Facebook page http://facebook.com/groups/161505117811378