Happily, the table filled up quickly with quite a few interesting people. Some were vegan or vegetarian, and others were not but wanted to try to the food. We had a fun lunch and we all shared great stories of food, restaurants, and nutrition. Most interesting of all was the man who sat next to me. He was very kind and told me that he had been suffering from arthritis in his hands for a very long time, so much so, that he had trouble going to work.
After learning that I had been a vegan for a while, he explained that a friend had recommended that he try going vegetarian or vegan to see if that would alleviate his condition. I asked if it worked. With an easy smile, he reached over and picked up my water glass and held it firmly in his hand over my plate. I didn't know what to say until he said that before he switched to a plant-based diet, his hands shook so much that he would have probably spilled the water right onto my food. I re-looked at his hand holding the glass and it was as steady as anyone's. He set the water glass back down and gleamed saying the new diet completely changed his life.
According to this article by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, "...a nutritious vegan diet with...a wide variety of veggies and fruits...can ease arthritis pain and help prevent other inflammatory conditions..." In addition, the diet has benefits for achieving a lower body-mass index which is a good way to "control bodywide inflammation."
After lunch, I returned to the seminar hall and felt very good for the man whose symptoms had been alleviated by changing his diet. It was a nice affirmation of the benefits of vegan ingredients and motivated me to share his story!