Jonathan: Hey, everyone! Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, Smarter Science of Slim Podcast. Today’s show is going to be a wonderful one. We have an incredibly passionate and inspirational woman with us. She is a cancer survivor. She is a vegan activist. She is a philanthropist. She has started the Real Organization, which is responsible eating and living. Which is an official 501s C3, which is no easy feat. So props to her for that. She’s got her own personal website at CarynHartglass.com. As you could tell by that URL, her name Caryn Hartglass. Caryn, welcome to the show.
Caryn: Thank you. That’s C-A-R-Y-N.
Jonathan: C-A-R-Y-N. My preferred way of spelling, Caryn.
Caryn: Oh, well. I didn’t have much of a choice. But I’ve gotten grown accustomed to it.
Jonathan: Caryn, I really, really appreciate you coming on the show. Just to get started, will you mind telling us about your very inspirational story? Let’s for a second not focus on the fact that the specific how but rather that you used just the food you’re eating and how that related to just the profound change in your life?
Caryn: Well, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 15 years old. It was something that I did when I realized there were animals involved and I didn’t want to kill them. It’s been a long journey since then. When I was about 30, I decided to eliminate all animal foods in my diet and all animal products in my life. I became a vegan. Then, I thought I was always on a healthy path. I was very involved in the number of different alternative vegetarian organizations learning about food.
Then, when I was 48 years old I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. I had gone in… I was trying to avoid surgery and I thought I had accelerated growing fibroids. I woke up after surgery and found out it was something completely different. I have all kinds of theories about how it happened, why it happened. I’m actually writing a book about it right now. What I do know is that I had a problem since I was about a teenager. Maybe, even earlier.
It was something I was living with all my life. My food was what helped me minimize symptoms and live through something. Then somehow, when I was 48 years old, things got a little out of balance. But I went through 3 major surgeries during my treatment and 8 months of advanced chemotherapy, aggressive chemotherapy. The only way I survived all of that because there’s a 10-20% survival rate for this type of cancer, is my diet.
My diet kept my immune system strong. It kept me strong while all of this toxic chemotherapy was going through my body. I used a lot of nutraceuticals and a lot of green food. My doctors always kept saying I was sailing through the treatment. I even performed in a musical one weekend during my treatment. I’m not saying I’m glad I went through this experience but I can’t say enough about the power of food.
Jonathan: Well, I love that you mentioned a lot of green food. Because certainly I’ve never been through something to the extent that you have. But just the… I, too, have been so amazed by the power of… it almost like green means go for life in general. The more green vegetables you eat, the better life is all around. It seems like it is such… because Caryn, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show aside from the fact you have such an inspirational story. You’re such a passionate woman doing so much good for the world.
For example, in the story you just mentioned, like all that green goodness, why don’t we just hear more about… for example, eat more green vegetables. We hear a lot about don’t eat meat. Do eat meat. It’s all about meat people arguing about meat. But why isn’t there are more just focus on… regardless of whether or not you’re eating meat, eating a bunch of processed garbage is bad so why not eat more green vegetables?
Caryn: There are a lot of things that I don’t understand in this world. Yeah, I simply don’t understand why we don’t do what we do. All I know is I can just speak for my own experience because I am certain person. I know I’m very hard working. I know I’m very disciplined. I know I’m kind of a digital on-off, yes-no, black-white person. When I learn that something is good for me, I go for it. When it isn’t good, I don’t.
I know that a lot of people live in that gray area and they don’t have the discipline. I can’t speak for them because I don’t understand. I try and empathize. I try and be sympathetic and give suggestions to people. But I don’t know why we do what we do. I don’t know why our government does what it does. I know that there’s greed and profit motive. But I don’t get that. Why don’t we want to do the best that we can for ourselves and for everyone else around us.
I just believe that if we did, it would be just an incredible world. But we don’t. So I can’t answer that question. I do know that when you put marketing dollars behind a product, most of the time the product sells. I remember there was a study in Canada where they were trying compare the difference between the marketing impact of television and internet. One of the products they used to promote was broccoli.
One of the things that they’ve found was when they promoted broccoli, people ate more broccoli. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter how you do it. One media technique versus another. These foods need to be promoted. But the way our system is designed, it’s designed for small amount of people to profit from foods where they keep processing and quote ‘adding value’ to it. That’s where meat and dairy and junk foods come in, unfortunately.
Jonathan: Caryn, there’s certainly so much wrong with, let’s call it the “Big Players”. The government, big food, all that kind of fun stuff. Let’s bring it down to an internet individual level. It seems for example two of the most passionate and vocal nutrition communities out there agree that we need to eat more vegetables. I’m talking about, of course, the vegan vegetarian community and the more Paleo, hunter gatherer type community.
Even to your point of that which we focus on is what we intend to do, right? If we just heard… I believe that if we heard more about eat more green vegetables and here’s the miraculous health benefits you could get from green vegetables that people would eat more green vegetables. But that’s not what we hear about. In fact, we hear about everything other than that. Why do you think for example those two communities may not work together to celebrate that message?
Caryn: That’s a good question. I always talk about aligning on the same issues with different organizations. So there are people that are supporting the organic movement. There are people that are supporting the non-manipulation of food through genetic engineering. Then, there are people that are promoting eating whole foods and not junk foods. So let’s not talk about the animal issue. Let’s take that out of the equation. There are lot of things that vegans and Paleos and organic and non-GMO people can align with together.
I really would like to see us work together on those issues. But there are some fear factors in every group, unfortunately. I know that when I talk to people that support a Paleo diet, they get… their hair get raises. They get kind of an attitude and say, “I don’t promote a vegan diet.” They get all nervous. I don’t support a Paleo diet but there are some things in it that are good. Those are the things we can talk about and share it together and promote.
Jonathan: What I think getting down to that core it’s almost a… I don’t want to get too philosophical here. But it’s like the ends versus means. For example, one of the things that you and your organization, Real Responsible Eating and Living seem… it represent so well. It’s just having… your anti-abusive relationships. I mean, anti-abusive relationships with the earth.
Jonathan: I think with the all agree that we shouldn’t abuse each other as people. It seems we all kind of agree. Let’s… obviously, the mass inhumane slaughter of animals, I think most people are against that. At the same time, all these mono-crop just destroying the earth. One is animal, one is plant. But they are both abusing nature. Can’t we agree on not abusing nature through plants or through animals?
Caryn: I can agree on it.
Jonathan: Alright. Well, next.
Caryn: It’s very easy. One of the people who believe that the only positive change that can happen is through love. Love is the answer for everything. I don’t care how cliché that sounds. But when we don’t agree with people, the only way to get to a point where we can understand each other is to surround ourselves with love.
Jonathan: I love that coming up of… we just… Caryn, well, I personally, am not a vegan or vegetarian. Two points. One, I better eat more vegetables than 90% of the vegans or vegetarians out there. I probably eat a couple of pounds. I’m not joking. The vegetables are pretty. I love vegetables. The other that I think vegans and vegetarians represent that every one, everyone can learn from is if you try to change what you’re eating, for example, based on a number on the scale.
They knew, no, it ain’t going to work. But if you can something that you love and something you can commit yourself to an almost a spiritual level. It seems to become a heck of a lot of easier to eat in a way that is far from traditional. What do you think?
Caryn: I don’t believe in calories. Well, I believe they exist but I don’t believe the diets that are based on calories. We know so little about nutrition. We’re learning more and more. Then, you hear these awful sound bites it’s on the television when science discovers something and everybody manipulates it and distorts it so you don’t know what they are talking about. But calories, we are discovering so many different things. For example, resistance starch. The calories that we think are in beans. We actually don’t use all of them.
They end up going all the way down to the lower intestines and colon before they’re completely digested. We don’t get the full caloric value. We get full. We get the nutrition. But we don’t get the calories we think we’re getting. I think we’re going to be learning more and more about calories and energy. But it’s kind of meaningless when it comes to losing weight or obtaining our ideal weight. The idea is to eat the right foods. Don’t think about how much you’re eating. As long as you’re choosing from a wide, vast, delicious variety of whole plant foods, you can eat as much as you want. That’s the way it should be.
Jonathan: I completely, completely agree. Caryn, what has been your experience with… it seems there’s two very different and probably more than two. But two very different… let’s call them “streams of consciousness”. It’s probably not the right term but it’s all I can think of right now. One is let’s talk about animal rights. That is a moral issue. It has nothing to do with biology. It has nothing to do with nutrition. It’s just animal rights. Think of it that way. Then, there’s nutrition. So which is hard core.
Look at the cellular level. Let’s talk about nutrition. How often do you think those two issues get conflated? Because I think sometimes, people’s hair standing up might be because they think someone is making a nutritional argument, when in reality they’re making a moral argument. Or someone might think they’re making a moral argument when in reality they’re making nutrition argument. What do you think?
Caryn: Well, I think a lot of things. I also don’t think they’re two distinct categories, nutrition and animal rights. So clearly I come from a perspective of not exploiting to the greatest ability I possibly can. I don’t believe in killing animals. But I do know that we don’t know what the ideal diet is. That means what is the vegan diet ideal is a Paleo diet ideal. What we do know is that human beings need to consume lots of plants. Whether 10% of our calories need to come from animals or not, we don’t know that.
But we do know we need to eat a lot of plants. Now, I personally believe that we can thrive without eating animals. So for me, I don’t have to exploit or kill or abuse in any form, factory farm or quote ‘humane raise’. I’m quite at peace with that. I don’t think… factory farms, they should be outlawed. It’s the cruelest, most obscene creation in humanity has ever done on the planet and it continues.
It’s just horrific. It doesn’t only treat animals horribly but the workers that are involved in running those factory farms are horribly abused as well. They’re typically people, either illegal immigrants or people who have a hard time finding a job, and they’re treated horribly. The conditions are horrible. It’s just horrific. So I don’t understand how anybody could purchase food from these businesses.
Jonathan: Caryn, how do we… it seems like this inhumane. Because feeding people food that is genetically modified and saturated with pesticides and just all of these unnatural from soil that has been completely depleted that will probably be useless 30 years from now. How do we… there’s a lot of inhumanity across the food supply in general. Do you think there’s any hope for addressing that across board? Not just with respect to animals.
Because I think sometimes… the only reason I bring this up is because I think sometimes people might throw the baby out with the bath water in the sense that there’s people who would be happy to rally around anti-abusive relationships with nature. But they may not be willing to rally around never eating an animal product ever again. So what do you think about doing anything like that?
Caryn: Well, I want to eliminate as much cruelty as possible. Period. So if people want to work together to eliminate factory farming, that’s great. I will acknowledge that quote ‘humane farming’. I always have to put it in quote because of my perspective of it. It’s definitely a better alternative to factory farming. But the thing people have to realize is if we’re going to get rid of factory farms and people are still going to eat animal foods, they’re going to have to eat a lot less.
Because there’s not enough land mass on the planet to feed animals to people. Unless, people are eating less of them without confining animals to produce them. People have to eat less. I say, “Don’t eat any.” Because you’re going to feel better. You don’t know how good you can feel.
Jonathan: Well, Caryn, it just seems like it’s such a… it does seem to be such a challenge because you’re hitting on so many truths which is just the way we are currently eating. Be it from plants or from animals is unsustainable on many levels, not only from… obviously, if we all become diabetic someday the healthcare system will collapse. That doesn’t work.
Also, if we keep producing, again, these mono-crop agricultural complexes in addition to factory farms, we’re just depleting the earth. It’s not sustainable. We’re depleting the oceans. So if we were to say just all up, is there a solution? Could we realistically have enough sustainably produce plant and animal foods or even just plant foods to feed 7 billion people?
Caryn: Absolutely. Absolutely. Everything I’ve read from the sources that I respect say that we can.
Jonathan: Do you have any insights into the nature of that system?
Caryn: Well, I don’t…. I know that we benefitted quite a bit from these giant agribusinesses because there’s a lot of efficiency involved. But I want to take the knowledge that we have obtained from this system. The technology that’s been created to speed things up. Then, use that to not step backwards. I always want to think we’re stepping forward. We can’t go backward.
It’s a romantic thinking that we’re going to live like life was like in the Paleolithic Era. We don’t even know what that was like. There were wooly mammoths running around so it’s kind of a whole another thing. But I would like to see that agriculture becomes smaller, more local and spreaded around a lot more. Make it more affordable or more encouraging for people to farm. Some say that small farms just don’t make it and we need these medium to large farms. Maybe, not this giant ones. Okay.
But I think we can do that with the technology that we have. But we have to use our knowledge about sustainability and letting certain parts of the land rest. Using the right crops and balance where some add nutrients to the earth that other plants are going to use and back and forth. Not using pesticides and herbicides. I really believe we are at a point where we can do it efficiently and grow enough food for everyone. But it’s going to take people. It’s going to take government. It’s going to take investors. Everybody’s got to be together in this.
Jonathan: Caryn, do you have any recommendations? You dedicate your life to causing meaningful change and hopefully causing betterment for all living organisms on the planet which is certainly a noble motive. I sometimes… I love that. I think, yes, we can all agree on that. I struggle so much because it seems like the reason people disagree is not actually necessarily the right things to disagree on. For example, we agree that sustainable agriculture is incredibly important.
People will often… so, yes. Then, people like you said hair will stand up and they’ll say, “Well, that means no animals so that means only animals and…” Wait, we’ve gone off the plantation a little bit because when you look at the actual world food production, some ridiculous amounts of total world calories come from mono-plant crops. Which are these totally destructive things, which again just saying the delineation is plant versus animals just seems it causes more harm than good on some level.
Caryn: Those mono crops for the most part are used to feed animals. They are not even used to feed people. Most of the cereal crops grown in the United States are for feeding animals. Most of the soy, people go all kind of nutty about soy and genetically modified soy. Most of the soy is grown to feed animals. It’s not even for people. So let’s stop eating the animals or eating a lot less of them. We won’t need to go mono-crop all that crap. Then we can start growing better food for all of us.
Jonathan: So it seems again, you will pull it back to the issue underlying out. If people were to just stop eating animals you would argue that…
Caryn: Or eat less, a lot less.
Jonathan: In place… the sheer amount of, let’s call it “non…or starchy plant substances” would be so dramatically less that it would be easier to avoid the mono-crop like culture. If I…
Caryn: Yes. Yeah, people don’t want to acknowledge this. But if you look at what plant food we’re growing and where they are going, you see the crazy imbalance in our system. Then of course, there is a lot of corn grown for sugar. So there is the junk foods as well. If we stop putting our energy in calories into growing foods for junk foods and growing foods to feed animals, then that leaves a lot of room for kale.
Jonathan: Oh, no, I love… the cornerstone of what has personally helped me so dramatically in what I hoped to help a lot of people with is backbone is on these green vegetables and seafood because I also think seafood seems to get a little bit less air time than it deserves. Certainly, wild caught seafood seems quite lovely from a nutrition perspective and a bit more humane than what we see in terms of factory farming. But again, the focus seems to not be there. It seems to be on always focused on meat.
When we talk about creating mono-crop to feed animals, things like wheat, for example, certainly a giant mono-crop which is going to these edible products which are not like kale either. So again, it just gets back to, how… if we could just get people to eat so much good, that good is like those green non-starchy vegetable, nutrient dense fruits and focusing on nutrient density in general because factory farmed animals are not nutrient dense. They’re nutrient poor. They’re garbage. So what do you think about it we were to focus on eating the most nutrient dense foods?
Caryn: Sure. Well, it’s funny that you say that you think that people focus more on eating meat than fish. But when I am reading recommendation for healthy diets, I am always seeing the recommendation for fish and not red meat. Sometimes, they include the feathered vegetables in their chicken. But I see a little too much focus on fish and it drives me nutty because people don’t realize that they can get high quality omega 3 fatty acids from flax seeds and hemp and from the beloved darkly figurine vegetable.
People don’t even get the whole picture when it comes to omega 3 fatty acids. They don’t realize that we need a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. When we are eating a lot of junk food, we are getting way more omega 6 fatty acids and so we need to eat more omega 3 fatty acids. If we backed off on the junk food, we wouldn’t get as much omega 6 fatty acids. We wouldn’t need as much omega 3 fatty acid. I know that’s a mouthful. I know people are looking at me with the deer in headlights look right now from what I just said.
But the bottom line is when you are eating a healthier diet based on whole foods things get back into balance and you don’t have to think about what you are getting anything. I still would like to see a focus on plant foods. If you choose to eat fish, that’s entirely your choice. Unfortunately, our oceans are cesspools. They’re filled with toxic chemicals and the thing about animal foods including fish is that they accumulate all of the toxins whereas plants don’t accumulate them as much.
So you get a greater dose of toxicity when you are eating any kind of animal food, including fish. Sure, the wilder forms are better than the farmed forms of fish. Farmed fish is another disaster. I know that there are some technology being built in nowadays, in some places where they are filtering the water that these fish get to see while living in their little tanks and that helps. But I just don’t think that’s the way to go.
Jonathan: Caryn it seems like there is a… what you talked about here is a global paradigm, which has served you really well. Certainly, served a lot of people very well and that’s… If there was a dramatic reduction in the consumption of animal foods, a lot of problems would, in many ways, address themselves because supply and demand would take care of them. Is that fair?
Caryn: Yeah. There are these restaurants that have served these all you can eat shrimp bars, for example. These shrimp… these places where they are farming shrimp, they are totally destroying coral reefs. It’s just this abuse and exploitation that we need to somehow get away from. Sure, I’m not… People can eat what they want to eat. I am just suggesting that if you want to live a really healthy, happy, long life, whole plant foods are the way to go.
Eat as much as you can and focus on dark leafy green vegetables. If you want to add small amount of animal foods, that’s definitely your choice. It’s not where I am coming from because I think they are all sensitive and have feelings. They should… they have a right just as we do to live a long, happy, healthy life and raise their families and do their thing. But I know we all don’t agree.
Jonathan: Caryn, this was just… I, in many ways, dedicated my life, like you, to finding a lifestyle in which individuals can maximize not only their own glory but also the glory of every other organism on the planet. For me, I have seen that a focus on nutrient density and a version of toxicity is also a very good. I am curious what you think core principle. Because when you start to do that, you start to see things like industrialized anything is nutrient poor and high in toxins.
So you start to move away. It also protects people from, what Joel Fuhrman calls a “Junkaterian”, which are vegetarians who eat nothing but processed garbage plant products. Which if one use the paradigm of just don’t eat animals, one would certainly could still do all kinds of irreparable damage to the planet by facilitating the corporations that are producing these non-edible or barely edible products which seems so catastrophic and unsustainable. What do you think about that paradigm?
Caryn: Yeah. Well, I think the nutrient dense concept is brilliant. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is my favorite doctor. He is a good friend. He is one of the wonderful people on this planet. I wish we could clone him.
Jonathan: Just one. Just one. We had Joel on the show. He was awesome.
Caryn: Yeah, he is super awesome. I just can’t say enough about him and enough good about him. I am so glad that his Eat to Live book has been on New York Times Best Seller List for over 90 weeks. Even though, they changed the format of counting the number of weeks on the Best Seller List recently, which I am annoyed about because it looks like it’s been on the Best Seller List for 5 weeks but it’s been over 90. Now, his other book is now on the same Best Seller list. So he’s just super awesome.
Okay. Nutrient dense is a very excellent concept. It’s taking some decades to get the focus away from the way of food and the volume of food and get it focused on nutrients and not just calories, too. Because we talked about the confusion in calories before but nutrients is very important. I think there is definitely two issues here that you’ve spoken of. So there are vegetarians and vegans. We come to the plate with different motivations. There are some that just don’t want to kill. I certainly respect that but they are not thinking about what’s best for them. They’ll just put anything in their mouth.
I think I like to combine best nutrition and best compassion in my point of view. Least exploitation and best nutrition, etc. That’s where the plant foods come in, whole plant foods. So we have people like Dr. T. Colin Campbell now with his new book Whole. His acronym WFP, Whole Foods Plant Based, WFPB, Whole Foods Plant Based. I like to combine it all. I am kind of a big picture, broad strokes person. I know people have their different issues. They want to focus on a certain disease like cancer or heart-disease. They want to support charities that will do away with those diseases.
They might put their focus on genetically modified food and fighting against it or organic. I am like big picture. Can we all just move to what we know is a better place together and not have to take these baby steps? But that’s what we do. We take baby steps. We learn things slowly. Nutrient dense is the way to go in terms of diet and minimizing the toxins that we take in. I wish that more of my fellow vegetarians and vegans were focused on healthy nutrition. Because I think we could sell our non-exploitation mission if we look the hottest and sexiest and youngest we possibly could.
Jonathan: I love it. The ultimate realist. Caryn, [indiscernible 32:35] tells truth. Caryn here is just dropping truth bombs. I love it.
Caryn: Yeah, it’s true.
Jonathan: It sounds like up with nutrition, down with toxins, down with industrialized damnation of other ecosystems and environmental issues. It seems there’s also compassion issue which… it seems there might be what we may have hit on. Certainly, correct me if I am wrong is that there is a discussion of compassion to living creatures and of course, plant are living creatures but let’s separate them out.
Then, there is a discussion of how we maximize the nutrients and minimize the toxins from that which we put in our mouth. It seems when we phrase it in that sense those do become a bit less overlapping because certainly when we talk in those more refined terms, it seems they are separate. What do you think?
Caryn: I think I missed what you just said. What is separate?
Jonathan: So for example, when we are talking about nutrient density, minimization of toxicity and maximizing sustainability. Those are goals which could be accomplished via responsible production and responsible consumption of both animal foods and plant based foods separately, if one’s goal was to not kill an animal. Certainly, that cannot be accomplished through any consumption of animal products.
Jonathan: So there’s a bit of a… There’s a…
Caryn: Okay. So here is my non-answer answer. We all need to get to a place where there is no factory farming of anything. Let’s get that out of the equation. That’s the big biggest issue. All these other discussion are kind of distractions. So let’s get the factory farming off the table. Let’s get rid of it. Let’s have people realize they have to consume less animal products because there is no way to get rid of factory farming unless we are consuming less animal foods. Because, as I mentioned before, there’s not enough land mass on the planet to humanely raise these animals. They have to be in confined horrific conditions to do that.
So we need to consume less animal foods and get rid of factory farming. When we do that then we can go the next step. Look at “Okay. How can we be even better? How can we be even gentler on the planet? What can we do to nourish our body even more?” Then, we can have all these other conversations. But I say, let’s not get distracted. Let’s focus on the biggest, biggest issues. Get rid of factory farming. Let’s stop using pesticides and herbicides. Let’s at least get our genetically modified food labelled. That would be pretty good.
Jonathan: I love it, Caryn. I think we are quite close to joining hands and walking down the street of progress together. Because I think that was an eloquent expression. Mine would be only slightly different and it would be… maybe a slightly broader. Which is instead of saying step one is to remove the factory farms, it would be step one is to remove the bastardized production of either plants or animals. So just a little bit broader but certainly within reaching distance of one another.
Jonathan: I love it, Caryn. Well, can you tell us a little bit and add more of light note, you just started a “Swinging Gourmets”. Can tell us a little bit about this?
Caryn: Right. Well, my message has always been that I believed the choices I make are the best because they make me happy. They make me feel good. I look good. I feel good. I’m really at peace with what I am doing. I just want to spread joy. I think we are here on this planet to experience joy. Most people are depressed and miserable for one reason or another and they don’t need to be. So I like to share my message and make it fun. So my recipes are delicious. They are fun.
Now, we are taking it a step further and my partner, Gary and I are creating a vegan cabaret musical act. We premiered a workshop version of it in California in April on Earth Day, which was my birthday. Now, we are looking to do it early in December in Manhattan. We might make it to Florida later this year. I am not quite sure. We are making ourselves available to anyone who might want to have an entertaining program of music that also has a healthy message.
Jonathan: Well, Caryn, certainly just another example of what your profound example of living a joyous life in the pursuit of facilitating joy in others’ lives, which I have to salute you for and I think is wonderful. Folks, I hope you will also applaud Caryn because I think she is a great representation of how we can focus on the bigger picture.
We can focus on making progress. We can focus on the similarities that we share and our shared passion for enabling life to thrive on all levels rather than bickering about almost like a high school like, ‘Well, the way I do that is better than the way you do that.’ So Caryn, that is awesome. I really appreciate you doing that.
Caryn: Thank you. Thank you for what you are doing.
Jonathan: Yeah. Well, Caryn thank you.
Caryn: Thank you, too. [Indiscernible 38:39].
Jonathan: Caryn, I really appreciate it. Folks, again, please… vegan, non-vegan if you care about yourself and you care about other people and you care about sustainability of planet, please do check out Caryn’s’ work. Again, her name is Caryn Hartglass. Her personal website is CarynHartglass.com. Her non-profit’s website is ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com. Her Swinging Gourmets website is SwingingGourmets.com. Caryn, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I do really appreciate your insights and all your efforts to help people live better.
Caryn: Thank you, Jonathan. Pleasure is all mine. Have a delicious day.
Jonathan. You, too. Folks, again her name is Caryn Hartglass. Thank you for joining us. Please remember this week and every week after. Eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Talk with you soon.
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This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Caryn Hartglass. In her own words:
“A native New Yorker, Caryn Hartglass was born in Bronxville, NY. Her parents, Lois and Hal Hartglass, courted each other singing standards made famous by singers like Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn. (Listen to Caryn’s father Harold Hartglass singing All The Things You Are.) When Caryn was three the growing Hartglass family moved to a home on Long Island. Caryn and her older sister Lori learned to sing from her parents.
Caryn was mentored early in activism by her sister. Lori directed musical shows in their backyard that they would perform in together for the neighbors and raise money for cancer research and muscular distrophy. (Lori Hartglass, now a lawyer, has been raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 1989.)
A few years later Caryn’s brother Barry was born which completes the musical family of five. (Check out Barry Hartglass’ work at BarryHartglass.com.)
Caryn went to Half Hollow Hills High School and when she was about 15 years old she announced to her family that she wanted to be a vegetarian. There was little information available about vegetarian nutrition at the time and her parents were very concerned for her health. Caryn’s mother took her to the family physician. The physician’s arrogant and patronizing demeanor catapulted Caryn further into the world of vegetarianism. The part of the doctor’s diagnosis that was the most illogical was when he insisted that eating meat was beneficial for animals, because more were given the chance to live. He also said it was healthy to eat meat. Interestingly, Caryn’s persistent stomach ailments, anemia and the premenstrual moodiness she was experiencing at the time all disappeared with the plant-based diet.
While attending Bucknell University in Lewisberg Pennsylvania and majoring in chemical engineering, Caryn was the lead singer in two rock bands and played the local club circuit. After graduating from Bucknell with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in chemical engineering, Caryn pursued a career spanning 20 years in Photomaskmaking, a specialized area of the semiconductor industry, primarily in California. She had her own consulting business with clients around the globe. While employed as an engineer, Caryn continued to actively pursue her passion for singing delving deeper into the performing arts by performing on the legitimate stage. She began her career in amateur theater while in elementary school and quickly worked her way up to semi-professional theater and finally found herself starring nationally in musical theater and internationally singing opera in Europe.
While living in France she studied with Mady Mesplé, France’s most famed lyric coloratura while studying French and German. An incredibly driven multi-tasker, Caryn continued her chemical engineering consulting and also gave concerts and participated in vocal competitions. During this time she won two international vocal competitions, one in France and one in South Africa, and recorded a CD with the French company, Ligia Digital.
With a passion for helping people understand the affects of food choices on health and environment, she ran the nonprofit EarthSave International as Executive Director for over 8 years. An ovarian cancer survivor, Caryn combines science with practical knowledge from real life experiences lecturing around the world about the powerful, healing benefits of a plant-based diet, juicing and meditation. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, Geraldo At Large, 20-20 and CNN and hosts two weekly Internet radio shows on the Progressive Radio Network, It’s All About Food and Ask A Vegan. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization Responsible Eating And Living(REAL) which delivers easy to use, factual information and services, providing inspiration to take responsibility to nourish, protect and support ourselves, our families and the Earth with whole, plant-based foods and planet-friendly products. She resides in New York City with her partner, Gary De Mattei.”