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Health Crusader

Are you a Health Crusader?

Do you believe nature makes us healthy and beautiful and want to tap that power?

Do you spend a lot of time in your kitchen?

If so, then you are a health crusader.

Recently, I was honored to be named among Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Gary Taubes, and Marion Nestle as one of the top Health Crusaders in the country.

There are many farmers, bloggers, journalists, and authors who also deserve the title of Health Crusader. In addition to many of Sean Croxton’s Real Food Summit presenters, some of my favorites also include  Sean himself, Low-carb podcaster Jimmy Moore, farmer Michael Schmidt, prolific blogger and recipe creator Kristen Michaelis, and mild-mannered family physician and weight-loss specialist Dr. Eric Westman. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The underground movement of real food enthusiasts is growing momentum daily.

Who would you add to the list? Who has had the most positive influence on your health?

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. I’d say Jonathon Bailor of the Smarter Science of Slim is having a massive impact with his book and podcast. Also, Mark Sisson of The Primal Blueprint.
    I got into all this through Sally Fallon of Weston A Price foundation, then started making it work with help from Shin Ohtake from MAXworkouts who teaches how to exercise effectively and eat a lower carb diet.

  2. DR Cate:

    I had a question about preparing/cooking eggs. As a matter of convenience in the morning I microwave my eggs. Is any significant nutrition lost in preparing this way?


    1. Its all about the total energy applied, and it’s easier to get overdone meats from a microwave. So watch your yolks carefully.

  3. Dr. Cate,
    Can you do an article on IBS, specifically constipation? I’m having serious issues with IBS-C after having 3 children. My doctors want me to do all this testing, and I’m not sure it’s worth it. I have a feeling most of my issues have to do with eating higher carbs while pregnant and nursing, especially sugar in fruits.

  4. Terry Wahls should be mentioned here, too. She carried an important message about the direct impact of drastic dietary changes can have on serious illness.

  5. My “enlightenment” went in this order: Gary Taubes to Mark Sisson to Dr. Cate and then to Sally Fallon Morrell. I read a variety of blogs often (Cheeseslave, Healthy Home Econ, Nourishing Kitchen), but I consider the people above to be the experts and I love that they all offer slightly different perspectives. I first read “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by GT about two years ago and it’s been a rapid evolution ever since.

  6. Mike and Mary Dan Eades should definitely be on the list. They educated me through their books “Protein Power” and “The Protein Power Lifeplan”. Through his blog Dr. Mike introduced me to Gary Taubes, Tom Naughton, Jeff Volek, Stephen Phinney, Denise Minger, and many others.

  7. Sally Fallon Morrell is number one for me. Also Dr. Tom Cowan who is my Dr. and who helped me in fighting Graves Disease. Another would be Nora Gedgaudes.

  8. I forgot one influence. My father and mother. Growing up we grew all of our vegetables. We bought beef and pork from local farmers. We spent the whole summer canning and freezing food for the upcoming year. My mother was an outstanding, old school, southern cook that scratch made 90% of the food we ate. When I left for college I bought into the SAD and quickly degraded my health. I just wish I had learned how to do these things when I had them here to teach me.

  9. I started by following my own gut because it was telling me something was wrong – so Elaine Gottschall, then on to SCD lifestyle guys Jordan Reasoner and Steve Wright -then Sean Croxton, Mark Sisson, Nora G, yourself…

  10. I started on my journey to better health by first going gluten free. I was extremely ill and in trying to find answers, I met some wonderful online people. One of the most influential is a woman who maintains The Gluten File. It is a collection of articles and abstracts about gluten and related conditions and diseases. In reading some of these articles, particularly the ones by Dr. Hadjivassiliou, I decided to give gluten free a trial and the results were miraculous.

    I quickly found that I felt better off all grains and slowly moved to the paleo template. Some of the people who influence me are Chris Kresser, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Jimmy Moore, Dr. Attia, Jenny Ruhl and Tom Naughton.

    I have not yet read your book or blog Dr. Cate, but it is on my to do list.

    1. My situation started in a similar fashion to Anne’s; I became very ill on the typical American, “Food Pyramid” way of eating. After years of digestive problems, stomach pains and dangerously low weight, I finally suspected- via the internet- that I was a celiac. (No doctor was able figure this out, though I saw many doctors; I am still technically “undiagnosed”). I cut gluten out of my diet and felt markedly better, but unfortunately for me, I still continued on the USDA “Food Pyramid” kind of eating, just with gluten free products! Eventually, after several more very serious health problems, I finally decided, on my own, to stop eating all grains. I felt better than I ever had before, but at the same time, I noticed certain withdrawal issues, which surprised me- (low grade headaches, some dizziness, and the fact that all other food tasted much better than before): in short, the same feelings one has when one cuts out sugar. This surprised me, and I looked online to see if there was any reason for this. The first website I saw in relation to my experience was Mark Sisson’s “Mark’s Daily Apple”. I next ordered the book “Life Without Bread”- (thinking the title was literal, but the book is actually about the benefits of a Low-Carb diet). After reading the book, I was inspired to go on a low-carb diet for health, so I would say the authors of that book- Wolfgang Lutz and Christian B. Allan- were 2 people who were most instrumental in my dietary changes. After that, I read all the classics, which just confirmed all this new information: Gary Taubes, the Weston Price people, Barry Groves, and “Dr. Cate”. This is still my favorite subject to read about, by the way!

  11. I found Jonathan Bailor after Gary Taubes, Sally Fallon/Mary Enig, and a few other authors listed earlier.

    Bailor’s book, “The Smarter Science of Slim”, covers all aspects of weight loss including lower carb eating (but not going so far as to include sanction for saturated fat consumption, yet not really condemning it) and exercise. It was from this book that I first learned about the apparent effectiveness of “eccentric” exercise in losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

    Eccentric exerise – weight resistance training through slowly *lowering* heavy weights (I know, I know, how does it get up there in the first place to lower?!) can accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time with regard to losing fat and gaining muscle mass, improving overall metabolic AND cardiovascular conditioning. All of this through no more than 30 minutes of exercise a WEEK, Bailor claims. I tend to do a little more than this (not just eccentric exercise) , but only because it makes me feel better about myself to do so, and I actually enjoy it after 30 years of near couch potato levels of activity.

    I’ve lost 35 lbs since last December, most of it in the first 3 months, and completely reversed a pre-diabetic condition (never advanced to the medication part) following the recommendations of Taubes, Bailor and Fallon/Enig.

  12. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned her yet. This woman put together an entire, original system for healing almost any illness. Amazing.

    She was my first influence, followed by:
    Chris Kresser
    Mark Sisson
    Paul Jaminet – this is where I stopped looking because his take makes complete sense to me and his diet makes me feel better than do any of the others I’ve tried.

    During my journey I’ve been influenced by other people but these are the main ones. I’ve had some negative influences too in the paleo/LC blogosphere. I have learned from them a good bit about what not to do.

    Also a thumbs up to Matt Stone for being an independent thinker, even if I don’t agree with everything he says. Importantly, he challenges assumptions and makes sure we have an alternative to groupthink. This is a major contribution and benefits health crusaders of all stripes.

  13. Dr. Cate- I have recently started a blog because of you and the many other health crusaders out there. I really enjoyed reading your book and all of your posts.

    I hope to also spread the word of health across the world through my blog.

    I wrote one post about GM foods and am currently writing another post about aluminum-free antiperspirant and am going to quote your aluminum post from a few weeks back.

    Thanks again for all that you do.
    Cheers to good health.

  14. My 2 daughters.
    One became vegetarian. Realizing the inhuman conditions that animals were subjected, to just for our consumption, she wanted to be no part of it.
    My other daughter, continuously plagued with vague headaches and stomach cramps. Her usual complaint, ‘when I eat I feel sick’ and she was only 10 years old then.
    This lead to me to do a lot of reading and searching the internet, and finally arrive at your book.
    Now knowing what I am actually feeding my family, cooking has became more pleasurable.
    Thank you.

  15. Trying to learn more about my lipomas is what started it all for me. While not as severe as many others it is frustrating and I began seeking nutritional answers to this problem. While I haven’t found that answer it did lead me on the path of healthier eating. Dr Mercola followed by Dr Robert Lustig’s “The Bitter Truth” were big influences along the way . Deep Nutrition was the first book I read aside from online articles and propelled me even further into reading and learning. As a chiropractor who has been out of school 16 years I remember a few nutrition classes but was the standard “what vitamin is needed and a deficeincy causes this”.

    Today I follow Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Dr Peter Atttai, and yourself as much as possible. Many others should be mentioned. While my practice isn’t nutritionally based I do get questions daily, especially since I’ve lost 20 pounds in the past 6 months, and everyone wants to know how I did it. My staff has noticed more times lately of getting a little behind schedule; almost always now due to me getting into a discussion on nutrition. Thanks for all you do.

  16. Hi Luke. It is junk science. The analysis is hopeless, full of obvious errors. But it has been published in a supposedly peer-reviewed science journal by a famous and distinguished scientist from the University of Sydney, a highly respected institution. One suspects it will eventually be corrected or retracted, but it is a slow process. Here’s the response I got from the Vice-Chancellor, and my return serve: :// – RR

  17. Dana Carpender, Mark Sisson.
    Dr. Weil=never. He is almost as out of touch as Dr. Oz, the scary one.

  18. First contact was Tom Naughton’s “Fat Head” which led to Gary Taubes Good Calories, Bad Calories who was probably the most influential, followed by Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson and Rob Wolf. There are many others now but these had most influence on my changed diet and lifestyle.

  19. My health heroes are Gary Taubes, Dr. Cate and Paul Jaminet. Credit should be given to Dr. Atkins as well for being ahead of the curve yet wrongly vilified. Mary Enig and everyone else featured in Tom Naughton’s “Fat Head” are pretty cool too. You guys can watch it for free here:

  20. Hi Rory. Cate hasn’t had an opportunity to respond, but I know she’s like to know whether or not you found the argument/ scientific rigor of the paper (and associated studies) compelling. If it’s more junk science, I can tell you there’s no shortage of it, and there be no shortage of junk science in the future.

    There was just a 60 Minutes story (a couple months back) about sugar and how some researchers are now, finally, identifying it, at typical consumption levels, as a toxin. So that’s good news. On the other hand, Mayor Bloomberg just made sugar consumption sexier by banning giant sodas. So, one win, one loss. (His ban on soda is entirely different from the earlier bans on restaurant use of TRANS-rich partially hydrogenated veg. oil products, for reasons that are probably obvious. One big difference, of course, is that restaurant patrons KNOW when there’s sugar in the food.)

    Ultimately, as with anything else, individual folks need to examine the available arguments and make whatever decision they feel is best for their own health. If anyone is susceptible influenced by the pro-sugar conclusions of the Aussie scientists, they need only do a little research—starting with or books and then reading those of some of the people mentioned in the comments above—to discover just how bad excess sugar consumption is for their health.

    Think of it this way: If someone can be convinced that sugar, i.e. empty calories, is a good foundation for diet, I’m afraid they’re likely beyond our reach. They’ll just have to live on sugary fruits and lollypops until such time their own bodies convince them to revise their choices.

    So if you explain to someone why sugar damages their metabolism and encrusts the surface of their cell membranes and they argue, “But I’ve been living off Coke and lemon drops for years and I feel peachy!” just say, “Well, golly. Good for you then,” and let them eat cake. —LS

  21. Dr Cate. Hello. Reliable nutrition information obviously is critical in the fight against obesity, diabetes and related maladies, together the biggest public-health issue in the world.

    Disturbingly, the contribution of excess sugar consumption to obesity has been exonerated by high-profile but over-confident Australian scientists. Unusually, the deeply flawed paper was published in a supposedly peer-reviewed science journal.

    Two eminent local scientists have confirmed that the conclusion – “an inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity, the Australian Paradox! – belies the readily available facts.

    I’m arguing near and far for the paper’s retraction. It’s all documented at and .

    Please have a look, and if it looks interesting maybe let me know what you think.

    Best wishes,

  22. Dr. Cate, I recently finished your fantastic book, Deep Nutrition. I can’t stop talking to my family about it. Yes, I think there are more and more health crusaders these days. One person I would love to mention is Pamm Larry. She is not a doctor but she is the person responsible for getting CA Proposition 37 (CA Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) on November ballot. To date this is our best chance to get GMOs labeled. 20 states in the past year have failed to enact a law to label GMOs. A win in CA will be a win for the ENTIRE statement. We have the RIGHT to know what’s in our food and what we are feeding our family. I encourage everyone to LIKE the Also, if you are a business please endorse on their website. They would like to collect a million endorsements before Sept when the opposition party starts their negative ads. We could all be health crusaders by taking back our food supply.

  23. For me it was Stanley Fishman, author of “Tender Grassfed Meat”, and the newsletter put out by John Wood’s crew at US Wellness Meats. I ordered his cookbook from US Wellness early on in my venture to eat better, and soon came to treasure it. He’s strongly influenced by Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price foundation, but also has delved deeply into traditional cooking and its historical roots. You can read his blog at The blog is a great adjunct to his cookbooks since he’s constantly learning and has a lot of detail to share that didn’t make it into the books.

  24. Health Crusaders:
    Wendell Berry (farmer, author, soil-health & non-industrial farm advocate)
    Nina Planck (author of “Real Food: What to Eat and Why”. She first got me on the path back to traditional foods and exposed the anti-fat, anti-cholesterol fallacy)
    Joel Salatin
    Jo Robinson

  25. This was the order of my discovery:
    Gary Taubes, Mark Sisson, Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, Dr. Cate, Dean Dwyer, William Davis, Nora Gedgaudas, Lierre Keith.

  26. My first introduction was a NPR interview with Sally Fallon. Then I stumbled across your books and then Mark Sisson. I’m not where I want to be yet but I am moving in that direction. I wish I could use you as my Dr. or at least find one with an open mind towards a new nutritional concept other than what they have been taught.

  27. I would have to say Jimmy Moore. It’s through his podcasts that I discovered Sean Croxton, then you, Dr. Cate, and many other friends. I have always loved to learn about the magnificent ways our bodies function and how nutrition plays such an enormous role in our wellbeing. I attended Bastyr University to pursue naturopathic medicine, but my course of study turned to pharmcacy, where my goal as a pharmacist is to help those who are in desperate need for loving guidance to get off of unnecessary meds and help their bodies heal through nutrition and lifestyle changes.

  28. Dr. Wallach, ben fuchs, dr cate, dr sherry rogers,dr russel blaylock, healthy home economist.

  29. Luke did the same for me. When I was immobilized with my knee problem he suggested my 1/4 cup of sugar in coffee habit might not be okay and that perhaps I ought to read Andrew Weil’s Spontaneous Healing for insights.

  30. There are many influences now — The most influential currently would probably be a toss-up between Tom Naughton and Jimmy Moore. Followed by more than a dozen of the folks I met on the last two low-carb cruises.

    But the person who is directly responsible for the turnaround in health that I made in 1999 is my wife. When she was diagnosed with diabetes, and was unable to control her blood sugar with the standard disinformation she got from her “doctor,” she did some research on her own, and discovered low-carb. I just went along to be a supportive husband.

    The rest is history.

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