For years, through Pastor John Jenson’s leadership, South Bay church has been instrumental in providing its community and members with practical tools and knowledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Passionate about this mission, lay members work together to plan numerous health events throughout the year: health lectures and seminars, plant-based cooking schools, discussions on nutrition and spirituality, and more.
People from the South Bay and beyond flock to South Bay church. One such visitor is Culver City resident Diana Ryan, who discovered these events in the summer of 2018 by searching online for whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) events.
“I’ve been eating a whole-food, plant-based diet since March 2017,” said Ryan. “It is so encouraging to be in a room full of people who are trying it and find benefits in it! I’ve brought a few friends, and one of them has switched to a WFPB diet after attending just one evening lecture.”
South Bay church hosts The Best of Nature Health Classes, which take place January-September, every third Saturday of the month. In August, Steve Lawenda, M.D., presented a health lecture entitled “The Magical Buffet.” The meaning of a magical buffet is that there is a way of eating, namely a WFPB diet, in which a person could eat until full, without counting calories or restricting portion size, to reverse chronic diseases and even lose weight.
“You don’t see this advertised on TV,” Lawenda said during his lecture, “because there’s no money in it.”
He shared stories of how a WFPB diet impacted the lives of many of his patients who dealt with type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, angina, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and many other diseases. Toward the end, he shared two personal stories with attendees: Patient A was a heart attack and coronary artery bypass surgery survivor, who later underwent bilateral leg amputations below the knees as a result of his type 2 diabetes and subsequently fell into a deep depression. Patient B was obese and pre-diabetic and had fatty liver, acid reflux, and symptoms of sleep apnea.
As Lawenda concluded, he revealed that Patient A was his father, who unfortunately did not live to experience the benefits of a WFPB diet. Patient B was Lawenda himself, who, after changing his diet and seeing the positive results, was moved to implement this transformative knowledge with his patients.
Following the health lecture, Susan Jenson, Plant-Based Certified R.D., presented a cooking demonstration. She showed attendees how to prepare a sushi salad, taco soup, and chocolate-peanut butter cookies, all using WFPB ingredients. Everyone in attendance sampled the food afterward and received recipes to make these dishes at home.
“Pastor John keeps a nice balance between hospitality, health information, encouragement, and Bible teaching,” added Ryan. “It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it will require some focused attention until it becomes second nature.”