Marty Malloy-McCoy, MSN, APRN, CRNA, CNP, FNP-C
Nutrition quality has a major impact on preventing disease. It also plays a role in reversing it. That’s one of the life lessons Marty Malloy-McCoy has embraced not just as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (board certified in both anesthesia and family care), but as a human being.
His journey to nutritional wellness began about 4 years ago when he watched the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which explores the interplay between diet and health. The insight Marty gained from this documentary motivated him to pursue a whole food, plant-based, vegan diet. After ditching meat, fish, dairy products, and processed foods, Marty began fueling his body with whole plant foods such as: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, greens, mushrooms, and raw nuts and seeds.
Shortly after making these changes, Marty felt amazing. He effortlessly lost around 40 pounds, his energy levels went through the roof, his mental health and clarity increased, he slept better, his skin was clearer, and he looked and felt healthier than he did in high school.
“Based on my own results, I started studying all I could about plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and I never really stopped, because I’m still learning new things every day,” said Marty.
This life change is what motivated Marty to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. His goal: To help other people prevent, treat, and reverse their chronic diseases and live their healthiest, happiest lives.
“Don't get me wrong, I still love doing anesthesia — I'm more than happy to deliver anesthesia care services to a patient who needs a toe amputation due to diabetes complications,” said Marty. “But I would also like the opportunity to help such people stabilize and reverse their diabetes, so they don't need an amputation in the first place.”
Spreading Healthy Habits
Marty soon opened his own practice, Plant Based NP Lifestyle Care Center, and has been helping his patients create lifestyle habits that are scientifically proven to help prevent 85% of chronic diseases. Those habits include:
- Adopting a plant-based lifestyle
- Becoming more physically active
- Improving their sleep
- Improving mental and emotional well-being
- Avoiding risky substances
- Maintaining positive interpersonal and social connections
“I’ve had great success in helping many of my patients reverse their chronic diseases,” said Marty. “Many of them no longer need their blood pressure medications, statins, or diabetes medications, for example. It’s truly one the most fulfilling journeys I’ve ever been on.”
What motivates Marty to live a healthy lifestyle? His role as an example to his patients. Marty firmly believes that he can’t expect his patients to make healthy choices if he doesn’t follow the same advice. It’s all about practicing what he preaches.
Marty’s knowledge of the health benefits of a plant-based diet keeps him going, too. In westernized countries, the condition most associated with morbidity and mortality is heart disease. A plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, and reverse cardiac disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, autoimmune disease, and more.
“Admittedly, it can feel a little overwhelming at first to learn to cook and eat in a completely different way,” said Marty. “But after a little transition period, it just becomes second nature, and you feel so great that it becomes something you happily do.”
Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the country, and patients care what we say and do. To take better care of yourself, Marty encourages you to:
- Educate yourself: Knowledge is power. If plant-based diets pique your interest, consider watching a documentary like Forks Over Knives, PlantPure Nation, What the Health, or Code Blue. They are a great resource for high quality, evidence-based research on plant-based nutrition and lifestyle modification.
- Go at a pace that works for you: When it comes to long-term health, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Any step you take toward improving your diet and lifestyle has significant long-term effects.
- Put yourself first: As nurses, we often give so much of ourselves to our patients, and it can be difficult to give ourselves the same care, understanding, and compassion. It really is true that you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
Marty Malloy-McCoy, MSN, APRN, CRNA, CNP, FNP-C, is the founder of Plant Based NP Lifestyle Care Center in Columbus, Ohio.
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