Today’s Spotlight, Emilie Rembert, is near and dear to my heart. I went to highschool with Emilie, and was always inspired by her fervent attitude of “I can do anything – and I don’t care what people think about it.” She was always experimenting with diet – not in the way that everyone else was experimenting with diet.
Most of us, including myself, were changing eating habits on the basis of hoping for weight loss flat stomachs, while Emilie was truly paying attention to health. Emilie was one of the first people I knew that was on the Plant-Based train before the train even began to become a buzz word in today’s diet culture – and she truly has been a big part of the inspiration for my current path.
As a life-long athlete, an employee at the Physicians Committee (They have an excellent podcast I listen to all the time about Plant Based Diet Tips – check them out here), and a genuinely hard working individual who is off to med school in the fall, I am so honored to have her share her story with us. From family chronic disease, to personal ethics and morals – Emilie’s story is truly an inspiring one:
I was first inspired to eat plant-based when I was a sophomore in college. During this time, my grandma, on my mom’s side of the family, was suffering from mental decline. Her doctors didn’t quite know what to diagnose her with. She didn’t have Alzheimer’s, but her symptoms looked similar to the ones you see in people who have Alzheimer’s.
“I remember the morning when my “plant-based-epiphany” came to me. I was running sprints on the Hopkins baseball field for my workout, feeling sad about the state of my grandma’s health. I began thinking to myself about the capabilities of the human body. Specifically, I told myself that ideally, the human body should not get sick. If we treat it well though nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management, we should be well. It felt like an epiphany. And that’s when I decided to invest a lot of my time and energy into exploring nutrition and the effects that it has on our well-being.
Little did I know, there was already a ton of information on the internet showing the health benefits that come from eating plant-based. I began independent research on this topic with my academic advisor at Johns Hopkins and continued to do so throughout the rest of my undergraduate studies. I joined Food as Medicine, a student-run group at Johns Hopkins to teach the importance of eating healthily and physical activity to elementary school children in an underserved area of Baltimore. I wrote blog posts, in which I reviewed literature on the effects of nutrition on the development, progression, and reversal of diseases.
Immediately after graduating, I began an internship with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit health organization founded by Dr. Neal Barnard. After a 3-month internship, I was hired and joined their Clinical Research team, which is where I have worked for the past year and a half helping with studies, writing papers, educating participants, and conducting assessments.
My interest in plant-based nutrition has ultimately shaped the direction of my future career. I am starting medical school in the fall, and I look forward to incorporating all of the information that I have learned about plant-based diets into my future practice.”
During Emilie’s time at her current position, she has worked on several papers that have been published about Plant-Based and Vegan diets and the benefits on human health.