Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers, plant-based doctor

by | Nov 2, 2022

Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers–who runs a medical practice in Chattanooga, Tenn. called The Essence of Health Wellness Clinic—describes growing up in the South (Atlanta), where dishes like fried chicken and mac and cheese were common to family meals and larger celebrations. About 20 years ago, Toombs-Withers recalls, when she was experiencing stomach pain, the doctor recommended eliminating items, one at a time, from her diet. Dairy turned out to be the culprit, which she eliminated permanently, a major step toward embracing the plant-based diet that’s become central to her life—and her concierge-style medical practice. Indeed, The Essence of Health Wellness Clinic reflects Toombs-Withers holistic philosophy, which combines her extensive medical training (including in Obesity Medicine), her nutritional ideology that revolves around following a plant-based diet, and recommending regular exercise, if not athletic training. She also contrasts the way patient care works in her concierge-style practice versus a conventional practice, starting with the length of appointments (60-90 minutes, on average), with particularly extensive examination and exploration offered in the initial consultation. Toombs-Withers explains the distinction she makes–professionally, if not personally—between “plant-based” and “vegan,” acknowledging that some of her patients, while urged to embrace a plant-based diet, sometimes will consume meat or another variant. She hints at the sorts of subjects she’ll addresses in the talk, entitled “Food as Medicine,” she’ll be delivering at the Tampa Bay Veg Fest, this Saturday, Nov. 5, at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, in Tampa. (https://www.essenceofhealthwellnessclinic.com/, https://www.facebook.com/Essenceofhealthwellnessclinic/, http://www.tampabayvegfest.com/)


ALSO: I spoke briefly with H. H. German, founder of Sigma Comics, and the writer-creator of “Calico,” the first comic-book hero dedicated to fighting animal abuse. “Calico” is an eight-issue series, and I initially spoke with him around the publication of the first issue, and then again a bit deeper into the series. This time, we reviewed his original impetus for launching “Calico,” the challenges he faced in aiming to incorporate this type of crusader into the comic book world. He said the response to “Calico” has been overwhelmingly positive, including enthusiastic support of their Kickstarter (each issue is crowdfunded, including the forthcoming issue #6 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sigmacomics/here-comes-calico-6), big turnouts at various ComicCons across the country, and so on.  (https://sigmacomics.com/, https://www.facebook.com/sigmacomicsgroup, https://www.instagram.com/sigma_comics/)

COMEDY CORNER: Chris Porter’s “Vegan Date” (DS edit) (https://chrisportercomedy.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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