R. Giddings: Audience, we have Mayor Adams here on The Reset Talk Show with his monthly updates good morning. Welcome back to the Reset Talk Show, Mayor Adams, and how are you?
Mayor Eric Adams: Good, good, brother. And I’m a fan of Dr. Abner. She just really laid it out and you don’t even need me to talk about that area of plant-based. Her common sense approach. And what I think, I know we have a series of topics, but I wanted to just touch on that plant-based part. And what I think is the disconnect is that people really need a mind shift, and they need real examples. I don’t know if we know the power of food because we have never been really taught the power of food. Our ancestors understood that, but we’ve become so Europeanized that we embraced the diets that also came with the colonizers. And although we come from regions where the most healthy food is grown and produced, we have been given the colonizers’ food, and they have taken our food and we’ve shipped it out. You go to South, Central America, the Caribbean, a lot of the produce, a lot of the products are being shipped out of the country, and McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried and fast food are coming in. And we really, really think of it.
And some people know my journey. Woke up, doctor told me I was going to be blind in a year. I had tingling in my hands and feet. They said I had permanent nerve damage. I was going to lose some fingers and toes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Just really the Black package, the Black American medical package. My mother died from heart disease, diabetes, from all sorts of arthritis. And it wasn’t until I stumbled onto plant-based eating, stumbled onto it. They gave me a pamphlet that said ‘How to Live With Diabetes.’ I went to Google and I put in one word different how to reverse diabetes instead of how to live with diabetes. And all this information came up. I dug into it. I stayed up that whole night, J.R. I was so blown away about that there was a way of reversing my diabetes.
And I met this doctor down in Ohio, Dr. Esselstyn, who said, “Listen, it’s not your DNA. It’s your dinner.” And so I changed my dinner, brother. In three weeks, my vision came back. Three months later, my nerve damage went away. I had an ulcer at the time that also went away. No medicine, only food. And those who believe that they are imprisoned with taking medicine every day, that’s just not true. Many of the ailments we are feeling, if you just change your diet… Or let’s just say modify your diet. If you modify your diet, you are going to see an unbelievable improvement in your health.
And those doctors that tell you that you could treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause. I always say we have a mop, mop, health sick care system. You have a hole in your pipe. Instead of the plumber coming in and fixing the hole, they give you a mop every week to wipe up the water. You don’t want to wipe up the water. You want to fix the hole. Stop that medicine every day, all day. You are hooked. You are hooked on life.
The real drug dealer is not the cat standing on the corner. It’s the three piece suit pharmaceutical industry that has our families hooked on drugs for life. For life. Every day, all day. This is the best hustle going in life. Your diabetes, you start off with metformin, you go to insulin, injecting yourself. Then you go to your limb amputation, then you go to kidney failure, then you go to heart disease. And all the way along the track, people are making more and more and more and more and more and more money.
And so Dr. Abner just, she laid it out. And just a modification. Just a modification. Just do one week, plant-based. And let me finish with this, on this topic. Food is like crack. That first week that I went plant-based, man, I went through withdrawals. I was dreaming about fried food, man. I was having cold sweats. I would smell food. I mean, I went through withdrawal. You have to get the withdrawal. So anyone who looks down on someone who’s addicted to drugs, darn it, you’re addicted to food. Taking a dangerous substance that you know is no good to you and you can’t stop taking it is no different than if the dangerous substance is alcohol, heroin, crack cocaine, fentanyl, or fried food. I know people don’t like to hear it, but brother, it is real. Addiction is addiction.
Giddings: You know, Mayor Adams, I got to say this. Keeping it real is keeping it real. And you just laid out the facts. And to call out the pharmaceutical companies, that is major. I’m more impressed now, you being the mayor of New York City and the leader of New York City. What I want to do quickly, we cannot be long here, Dr. Giddings, I’m sure you want to ask Mayor Adams a question about this plant-based rollout, but very, very, very short.
Dr. Shelleyanne Giddings: Good morning, Mayor. It was great…
Mayor Adams: How are you, doctor?
Dr. Giddings: I’m great. At the rewards. It was a treat. So I come from the pediatric perspective, and I agree with you wholeheartedly because my motto is preventative medicine is key. And basically, I hear what you’re saying about the doctors, but I think a healthy child brings a healthy adult. And so that’s what I preach in my practice.
And so, in my practice, I get two patients. I not only get the child, but I get the mother or the father. So I’m hitting it from both perspectives. And a lot of the times, as Dr. Abner said, I don’t say plant-based, et cetera, just healthy diet. And we give them options. And I’m known as that type of a physician because if they hear it, then they’ll think about it. And some parents will come back, “Oh, they didn’t want to come in for their physical because they didn’t follow some of your instructions.” I say, “That’s fine. That means they’re listening to it and they’re hearing it.” Right?
So I actually went through your comprehensive program, was super impressed. And I know you offer it in schools and jails, et cetera, but one of my questions was, do you go all the way down to preschool and daycare and all of that? Because the diets there are horrible. And I know you mentioned schools, so I didn’t know where it began.
Mayor Adams: Great. That is a great question. And first of all, I tell people all the time, “So what if you stumble? So what if you didn’t follow all the rules?” Listen, let’s not beat ourselves up. We are perfectly imperfect. That is who we are as human beings. And we have been inundated. Everywhere you go, you are constantly being reminded of bad food, bad things, and you know what? You’re not going to be perfect. There are days that I say to myself, “Eric, you know weren’t supposed to eat that.” So, you know better. But you just keep trying. That’s all.
And so what we’ve done, doctor, is that we are now, we started out… Because you have to start out, you know, you can’t force people and beat folks up. We started out with meatless Mondays, when we wanted to introduce people to good-tasting food that is meatless on Mondays and healthy. Because food has to look good, it has to be good, but darn it, it has to taste good. Nobody’s going to eat bad tasting food. And that is what we are exploring.
Then we went into Plant-Powered Fridays where we encourage… So two days a week, our children are receiving good, healthy, good-tasting food. And we’re having them come in and examine, taste the food, come up with different recipes. And so we are starting down to the earliest child that comes into school. We are introducing this also into our day cares, pre-Ks. Because this is a slow moving change because we’re changing cultural norms that people are so used to, but we want to show people you can get the taste you are used to by doing it in a healthier way. And that is our goal.
And then partnering with… We tell people all the time, you got to partner with your doctors. This is not about self-medicating yourself. Don’t just say, “Well, listen, I’m throwing out all my medicine. I’m not taking…” No. You need to partner with a doctor that believes in disease reversal, first of all. If the doctors say… Like my mom’s first doctor, he said, “If you tried to get off your medicine by going plant-based, I’m releasing you as a patient. I’m no longer going to have you as my patient.” And I had to give her another doctor who slowly looked at her medication, and slowly, as her ailment improved, he was able to wean her off. So it’s a partnership with a doctor that believes in healthy food and not just medicine. Until you get to where you can get to. You have to listen to the prescription, take your medicine and do it the right way, not just try to do it all on your own. But we are starting early as we do this and we’re really excited about what we’re doing. Default menus in hospital plant-based, our schools, what we’re doing, our good food purchases, using our buying power to buy more healthy foods and all of our agencies where we feed people. We’re really excited about what we’re doing to take upon this challenge.
Dr. Giddings: Thank you. And kudos to you for collaborating with the London mayor. That was huge. And also the program for continuing education to all the providers. I mean, I think you’re making such a huge impact and I’m really, really excited about what you’re putting out there. So thank you.
Mayor Adams: Thank you. Thank you……
Dr. Armstead: One minute. Here we go. CINQCARE evolved out of the opportunity that we saw with health disparity, particularly in New York. Let me see, we anchored in New York, particularly [inaudible] Brooklyn. The bottom line is changing the way healthcare is delivered through a community-based delivery system where you fundamentally provide the care closest to people and that’s in the community that they live in, and ideally in the home. With a set of support services that really helps the providers to be able to provide the kind of care. So virtual visits, telephonic, in-home nursing, in-home nurse practitioner, coordinated care plans, working with payers and directly with the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid, to assist folks, really with chronic illness in the very ways that you are basically trying to do with your food-based program. That’s what CINQ is about.
Mayor Adams: I would love to learn more about this and we need to be honest with ourselves. I remember when I was a police officer, people would criticize the Police Department and some of my fellow members would get upset. I said, “Listen, they’re not talking about you individually. They’re talking about a system, they’re talking about a culture. This is not about you.” And I tell folks when I go visit hospitals, other places, and I’m critiquing the institution of medicine in America. It’s not about the doctors who are dedicated to saving the lives of people, the nurses, the orderlies. No, we are talking about a system. The American healthcare system is a sick care system that’s profit generated. The goal is not wellness and we got to be honest about that. The goal is a profit generated system. And until we move it, and shift the mindset to wellness, like the doctor was saying, what she does with her young children that she sees, the system must make a shift. And this is one of the largest Health + Hospitals systems in the country.
So my edict to Health + Hospitals is that we need to shift this system’s [inaudible]. And when we do that, it’s going to cascade throughout the entire country. Our medical schools have to teach differently, who lobbies our medical schools to address what is being taught is the meat and dairy industry. Those lobbyists are pushing back against plant-based. We don’t teach disease reversal. You ask these doctors and ask, they get pain management instructions, they get all of these hours on how to manage pain and health, but in their medical school, they got to go out on their own to learn about these different plant-based, the different methods of healing. This is not being taught in our institutions. They stumbled onto them. So we need a cultural revolutionary shift from how we treat medicine, and the role of health and wellness in our country.
And check this out. J.R., there was a report too, when I ran to be mayor and I started talking about the connectivity between food and mental health issues, you should have seen how they wrote about me. They said, “This guy is a nut. How’s he going to be the mayor of this city, and he’s talking about what we eat deals with our mental, how we feel, depression, bipolar disorders and others?” Now they just came out with a major study that says food is connected to all of these disorders, these mental health disorders that people are dealing with. Because if food can mess up your heart, your lungs, and your kidneys, then why are we so naïve to believe… Your brain is in your body. It’s in your body. So if it can mess up every other body organ, it can mess with your brain.
And so, I know there’s a lot on this topic, but we are moving in the right direction and we are going to push people into uncomfortable conversations. Because our grannies, our aunties, our brothers and our sisters cannot continue to be in their lives by operations and surgeries. Every one of my siblings are going through a major medical issue. My sister is dealing with her cancer, my other sister is dealing with mental decline, my other brother is dealing with his cancer issues. I mean, all of us. You sit around the table and we are praying for Aunt Mary in the hospital who’s dealing with a major crisis on Thanksgiving, and then we dig in to eat the food that caused Aunt Mary to get in the hospital in the first place. Come on. You know what I’m saying?
Giddings: Mayor Adams, you are spot on and we are resetting. And this is why we have this platform because we know you could come here and always speak directly to the people. I am sure what just came from you today has piqued the interest of the average listener on this platform. Mayor Adams…
Mayor Adams: Oh, let me say this J.R., let me tell you this. We got to figure it out… I do a lot of interviews and I do a lot of discussions. I do a lot of radios, I do a lot of podcasts, I do a lot of that. This is the most powerful communication network we have right now with the qualities, the professionals you bring on, the information. We got to figure out… I know you got a million folks right now, brother, you got to get loud, we got to get you your own national talk show. The people you have on here, I mean this is real talk. When Jordan was born for the first three months he had to eat liquid food because his digestive system was not prepared to handle solid food. This is a solid food conversation. There’s too many liquid food feeders that are on the various networks and publications. Man, they’re feeding people junk food, brother. You giving people solid food and this got to grow, your powerful reset show needs to… It is time for you to go beyond, brother, because you got some powerful people on here, real talk, for real people, during real times to deal with real crises that we are facing. We’re not getting this anywhere else. Where else are we getting it?
Giddings: We have some of the best minds in the country on this platform. I say it every week. We have some of the best minds. Mayor Adams, so we have to pivot because this is a very important conversation we’re about to have before we bring in the pastor. The asylum seeker crisis, where we are right now.
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Giddings: Could you speak to that? And there’s a part B. Okay? There’s a lot of pushback coming not only from the Caribbean, but all the other cultures that are seeing the opportunities that are given to the asylum seekers. Go ahead, Mayor Adams.
Mayor Adams: Right. Okay. First we need to dispel the myths from realities. And the myths is that, “Okay, hey, the asylum seekers are getting everything that we don’t get.” I met a brother the other day, I was visiting a homeless shelter on Randall’s Island. He stopped me and said, “Asylum seekers are able to have all these things that I’m not able to get here in my shelter.” I said, “Brother, you can go in the same shelter they’re in. Wherever the asylum seekers are, it’s not only for the asylum seekers. Anyone could go there, anyone can go there.” We need to be clear on that. And whatever an asylum seeker is getting, every other shelter is getting. There’s nothing asylum seekers are getting that any other person who was here beforehand can’t get and anyone who’s a new arrival can get.
So this whole myth that is coming from various different sources that are just want to create chaos in our city is given the appearance that, okay, asylum and migrant seekers come to the city and they’re getting something special. No, they’re getting the same thing any other New Yorker wants. And in fact, they are not getting what other New Yorkers get. The asylum seekers are not getting access to FHEPS vouchers that allow our everyday New Yorkers who are homeless to get apartments. They’re not getting all those other resources that everyday New Yorkers are getting. We are meeting the minimum requirements that every person who comes to this city, we give to. It doesn’t matter who it is. So the myth out there that… You know, people who are in pain find creative ways to displace their pain and some of that pain is to say, okay, we’re treating asylum seekers special. No, I treat New Yorkers special. I’m focused on the residents of the city, and I’m living up to my legal responsibilities that is in our constitution that I have to live up to at the same time. And so don’t let anyone kid you that long-term New Yorkers can’t have access. They could go live in any of those HERRCs that the asylum seekers are in.
They could go to any of the other shelters that asylum seekers are in. They could go anytime they want and live there and be a part of the asylum seeker population and see exactly what they’re getting. And trust me, they’re going to run back to where they are because they’re going to realize it is nowhere anything special than what we’re given any other New Yorker.
Giddings: Thank you, Mayor Adams. Moving quickly, go ahead, pastor, your question for the mayor…..
The full interview is on the official NYC Mayor’s News page at NYC.gov
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