MACON, Ga. — Thinking about going to a completely plant-based diet? No meat. No dairy. That's what volunteers at the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia (RMMG) are doing for 10 days.
Leah Whitby is taking part in the plant-based diet project by Macon Beets, a vegan food group.
Staff from the Macon Volunteer Clinic will be monitoring participants' cholesterol and providing resources for healthy food alternatives.
"I'm missing some sodas and energy drinks that we don't need anyway, so it's a transition," said Whitby.
A total of 30 residents and four staff members are taking part in the study. Their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains ranging from oatmeal to brown rice.
While the diet doesn't consist of the high protein foods like meat and fish, Macon Beets volunteer Carol Kimsey says the diet has all the nutrients they need.
"This is as much or more protein than people get normally," said Kimsey.
According to the United Health Foundation, in 2019, about 32.4% of adults in Georgia "reported having their cholesterol checked and being told by a health professional that it was high."
Whitby said she has high cholesterol, high blood pressure and is borderline diabetic. When the project was introduced, one of the nurse practitioners at the Macon Volunteer Clinic was excited Whitby was participating in the study.
"He was like, 'I'm so excited you signed up for this because I believe it will help take her off some medicine,'" said Whitby.
Kimsey said people who are looking to start the plant-based diet but don't where to start can look online for tips to slowly ease into the diet.
"Look up plant-based kickstarts and things like that because it will give them some assistance," said Kimsey.
She wants the plan to be given to physicians because she believes it will better assist them in treating people with health problems.
If you or someone you know if looking for ways to eat healthier, you can visit nutrition.gov.