When my wife, Hae, and I travel, everyday we feel a sense of urgency with respect to shelter and food, i.e. where will we stay and where will we find plant-based whole food. When you are traveling, do you ever wonder where you are going to stay and what you are going to eat? What if you could eat plant-based whole food at the place you stay? My wife and I have been offering a plant-based whole food dinner and breakfast at our Holistic Health Retreat Airbnb in Colorado Springs (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7348030?) since 2015. It has been an amazing and rewarding experience for us, meeting travelers who are vegan, raw vegan, experiencing long term health issues, and those just interested in a healthy lifestyle. I am writing this article to give other plant-based whole food Airbnb hosts an idea for sharing their knowledge and experiences. And also to invite the plant-based whole food traveler to stay with us in Colorado Springs.
Our plant-based whole food journey began in 2014 after reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book titled “The China Study.” A few years earlier, during the time I was training for and running five marathons a year, my doctor convinced me to take a “small” dose of a statin drug to lower my 214 mg/dl cholesterol. The neuromuscular damage side effect, after five months of taking the drug, prevented me from running the LA marathon. I was in so much pain from my sciatica nerve I could barely get out of bed that morning. I stopped taking the drug and I’ve never had a recurrence of sciatica pain. Around the same time, I refused the advice of my doctor to take a thyroid medication for hypothyroidism. In 2014, Hae’s red blood cell count was so low her doctor was concerned about her survival and didn’t even mention Hae’s high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Hae attempted unsuccessfully to cure her anemia by periodically eating liver, beef, and taking iron supplements. One month after Hae and I adopted a plant-based whole food lifestyle we both had physical examinations. My cholesterol was 149 mg/dl (and went down to 140 mg/dl the following year) and my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), the indicator of thyroid performance, was normal. Hae’s red blood cell count, blood pressure, and cholesterol were all normal. We became wholly convinced, ardent supporters, and educators of what we had learned about a plant-based whole food lifestyle.
In the fall of 2015, we opened our Holistic Health Retreat Airbnb, offering an included whole food plant-based dinner and breakfast. Our Airbnb guests are attracted to our Airbnb because of what we offer, as viewed through the lens of our previous guests’ reviews. For example:
“If you are struggling with a chronic health condition, or are just looking for a Zen place to get away for a night or two, I highly recommend staying with Craig and Hae. I have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease, and a severe case of PCOS, and have spent over a decade with little to no relief from my conditions from the medical system. While looking for a room for a small vacation, I saw Craig and Hae’s listing and was interested to learn about their lifestyle. My time with this couple was so much more helpful to me then almost any doctor visit I’ve ever had. They are health and wellness coaches clearly very passionate about their lifestyle. They are both minimalists, which means their home is an immaculate and serene place to stay, and they eat a “whole-foods, plant-based” diet, which means they prepare fresh and delicious dishes without any animal products, added sugars, or oils. Over dinner, my boyfriend and I spent several hours with Craig and Hae talking about my medical challenges. They showed us videos about how certain foods affect people with my diseases. They truly went above and beyond our expectations. We started off as strangers and we left with new friends! Overall wonderful stay.” Jenny October 2018
We have overnight plant-based whole food lifestyle converts. We had a guest who had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for over 30 years, and whose IBS symptoms disappeared within two weeks after adopting a plant-based whole food diet. We had a young man with a family history of Crohn’s disease whose own mild Crohn’s disease symptoms disappeared during his plant-based whole food visit with us. We’ve had guests with cancer who learned the power of plant-based whole food in their healing process. Many of our guests take the newly gained knowledge home with them and begin their healthful plant-based whole food journey, some with copies of Michael Greger’s “How Not to Die” and “How Not to Die Cookbook” books which we stock up on and pass along at cost.
We are leaders of the Health for Life PlantPure Pod in Colorado Springs, a program initiated by Nelson Campbell. We hold monthly “PodLucks” and help encourage families with young children to start a healthy plant-based whole food lifestyle. Our monthly meeting includes sharing successes, challenges, and videos from nutritionfacts.org on audience selected topics. Questions are answered and 30-day challenges are submitted from attendees. We have had many Airbnb guests join us for our monthly PodLuck. Hae and I are forever grateful of our plant-based whole food path in life and all of our amazing and beautiful new friends we’ve met through our Airbnb.