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Next Monthly Meeting

All are invited to our next monthly meeting for Plant-Based CLE.  Monthly meeting locations vary!

Thursday, July 28th 2016 at 6:30 PM

Mentor Heisley Racquet & Fitness Club – 6000 Heisley Road in Mentor, OH 44060

This month’s agenda:

Wendy Solganik of Healthy Girl’s Kitchen will share “When Food is More than Nourishment: Taking the Stress out of Plant-Based Living – 8 Lessons Learned”

Theresa Cary, retired Clinical Nurse Specialist at Cleveland Clinic, will share “Food Preparation to Enhance Nutrient Absorption”.  What methods of cooking provide the highest calorie density?

Laurie Kortowich of Engine 2 will share information on the Cleveland program, Engine 2: Seven Day Rescue.

Free event!  All are welcome – bring a friend.


Just Announced! PBCLE to host Engine 2: Seven Day Rescue Info Night!

miller nature


Last fall, through a grant provided by North Ridgeville Heart & Sole, Plant-Based CLE hosted an exciting plant-based pilot program, led by #1 NY Times best-selling author, Rip Esselstyn.  60 people signed up to test the premise of Rip’s new book, Engine 2: Seven Day Rescue Diet where he coached the group on the seven principles of plant-based eating, provided a super-simple eating plan, daily feedback by Engine 2 coaches, and staggering before & after biometric results demonstrating the power of plants in affecting radical health improvement.

On average, participants experienced a 32 point drop in their total cholesterol.  On average!

At each of the following info nights, we’ll show a short film from the 2015 pilot programs, and share the news of how this program will be available beginning in June 2016.  Join us at Miller Nature Preserve in Avon at 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 26th to see if this program is the kick-start you need.

Engine 2: Seven Day Rescue is for people who want to:

  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Lose Weight
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Lower Blood Sugar
  • See Real, Measured Results

Visit our facebook event page for additional details or email us at to save a seat.


7-Day Rescue: Plant Based Pilot Programs



October 2015 – Very exciting!  120 people are embarking on a 7 Day, all-in experiment.

What kind of improvement will they see with just one dedicated week of whole foods, plant-based, no oil eating?

Could the changes be, well, Life Changing?

We can’t share many details yet, but there are some amazing success stories in the works!

What’s the deal?

Plant-Based Cleveland works to provide educational opportunities for people to connect with leading experts on plant-based living.  We partnered recently with #1 NY Times Bestselling author, Rip Esselstyn, founder of Engine 2, to host two 7-Day Rescue: Plant Based Pilot Programs, for two very different groups in Cleveland.  Together with Jane Esselsty, R.N. , Rip, who flew in from his home in Austin, Texas, lit a plant-fueled fire under the participants during the launch.  Arming them with an arsenal of information on the exciting 7 days before them, even those who originally scoffed at the idea of “becoming plant-based” were eager to dive in.

This comprehensive project aims to demonstrate how just one week of lifestyle changes can have a profound, measurable impact on one’s health.

There is an incredible amount of buzz surrounding this work – 7 Days with measured results?  How are we doing this?  Stay tuned.  We aim to answer all these and more (big reveal is due 10/15/2015).



 For more information, please email Laurie Kortowich at


Plant-Based Party a Success! What’s Next?

If there was any doubt that people are interested in plant-based nutrition, it was blown away on July 8th when more than 400 people turned out for a night of education, food sampling, and fun!  The photos below are from the recent “Plant-Based 101” event featuring Jane Esselstyn.

Plant-Based Cleveland has been formed as a non-profit organization designed to provide a wide variety of educational events, giving people access to information, increasing awareness of the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based, no oil lifestyle, and providing opportunities for a sense of community and support.  We are off to a strong start!

This free community event was made possible by North Ridgeville Heart and Sole, which is facilitated by the Lorain County General Health District and is funded by United Way of Lorain County.

Keynote speaker, Jane Esselstyn, R.N. packed a powerful presentation into just over an hour on the benefits one can achieve from plant-based eating, and how our health is impacted by the standard American diet (SAD) both above and below the belt.

Hosted at the North Ridgeville Education Center, guests were greeted by local businesses who are committed to making plant-based living a little easier.

Cleveland Vegan, a delightful restaurant and catering company from Lakewood, Ohio, expertly prepared free samples of plant-based foods from Jane’s book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.

Samples enjoyed at the event were Smokey Little Devils (page 132)

Eat Loaf (page 184)

Gorgeous Black Rice Salad (page 154)

Adonnis Cake was also served – from the book My Beef with Meat by Rip Esselstyn (Jane’s recipes – find this amazing cake on page 260)

University Hospital – Elyria Medical Center was proud to partner with us for this event.

Heinen’s of Avon  has been working diligently to accommodate plant-based shoppers, stocking their shelves with a wide variety of items that folks can pick up easily.  Click HERE for a list of inventory items they carry.  Don’t see something you need?  Stop at Customer Service and make a request!

North Ridgeville Family Dentistry is lead by Dr. Ankur Gupta and Dr. Nisha Punjabi who are both enthusiastic plant-based practitioners!

The Yonanas Machine was a big hit – offering samples of their frozen banana nice cream.  One lucky winner went home with a machine!

The Olive Tap of Medina brought a full selection of their gourmet vinegars for guests to try – this store is a local favorite of the Esselstyn family and often mentioned in their cookbooks.

Red Lotus Foods is a local company creating gourmet alternatives to dairy using nut based products.  Their full selection is available online.

A survey was sent to all attendees to help us plan for future events!  Check our Upcoming Events tab for information on Plant Pure Nation and a plant-perfect dinner at Cleveland Vegan!




Jane EsselstynWednesday, July 8th at 7 p.m. – FREE!

North Ridgeville Education Center                                     5490 Mills Creek Ln, North Ridgeville, OH                           (20 minutes west of Cleveland)

Register via email HERE

Sponsored by:

1404846567-vegan_kitchen Heart  Sole Logo small

What are the principles of a plant-based diet and why is it important for families to start now to incorporate these types of foods? Where do you begin? How can you stop the progression of Type II Diabetes and halt Heart Disease in its tracks? How can you be stronger for your summer 10k? Want to avoid “E.D.”? What kind of results can you expect from this lifestyle and how quickly will benefits happen?

Come learn from Jane Esselstyn, R.N., national presenter, entertaining educator, and co-author of the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, as she shares an information-packed plan on how you can transition your family, young and old, to eating strong foods.

Following the diet outlined in the film, Forks Over Knives, Jane, daughter of the famous Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., tours the country sharing life-saving tips on everything from diabetes prevention to sexual health. Her recent work in a Journal of Pediatrics study demonstrated the powerful effects of plant-based nutrition on obese children, in just four weeks’ time.

Come hear the stories behind the headlines, sample delicious recipes, and be inspired to make changes.   This event has been made possible by the North Ridgeville Heart & Sole Challenge.

Free to attend – register here or via email with your name and number of seats requested to

Limited copies of Jane’s book, Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, will be available for purchase at the event.

Cooking Demo @ Heinen’s

heinens 1

In the Cafe at Heinen’s in Avon Commons – Nicole from the Wellness Team prepares a dish using seitan and tofu. This was presented as an option for those who are just beginning to transition away from the Standard American Diet (SAD).

On Tuesday, May 5th 2015, Heinen’s in Avon Commons rolled out the green carpet to welcome our group for a casual morning meet & greet.  Their staff provided a cooking demo with food samples followed by a store tour to highlight their plant-based products.

Heinen’s has bent over backwards to accommodate us, to learn as much as possible about our lifestyle, and to try to improve their on-hand inventory of items like oil-free hummus, nutritional yeast, oil-free salad dressings, and more.  I’m told they will be carrying miso very soon!

heinens 2

More than 40 guests attended and sampled a variety of products including oil-free hummus and cashew “cheese”.


Watch our Upcoming Events tab for our next event – then bring a friend and join in!


Kale, Yeah!

Plant-Based Event Draws a Crowd!

On April 14th, 2015, there was a huge turnout to hear the powerful plant-based success story from Pat Humphrey coupled with “What You Need to Know” by Dr. Polly Dengel, M.D. of the Cleveland Clinic.

A great turnout in support of plant-based nutrition!

About to introduce our speaker, to share “How Plant-Based Eating Saved My Life” to a huge crowd at the North Ridgeville Education Center.

Pat Humphrey & Dr. Polly Dengel, M.D. spoke for 90 minutes on the powerful benefits to be reaped from following a whole foods, plant-based, no oil diet free of any animal proteins.

Pat Humphrey & Dr. Polly Dengel, M.D. spoke for 90 minutes on the powerful benefits of following a whole foods, plant-based, no oil diet, free of any animal proteins.

Pop-Up Testimonials were shared from local residents who have experienced weight loss and lowered cholesterol in as little as 4 weeks!

Pop-Up Testimonials were shared from local residents who have experienced weight loss, lowered cholesterol and blood sugar, and increased overall health in as little as 4 weeks!  You CAN do this!

But what can I eat?  In addition to distributing lots of recipes, pantry items were on display for participants to now read labels and put their new knowledge to the test.  Remember - whole ingredients, no dairy or oil, and less than 10% of total calories from fat.

But what can I eat? In addition to distributing lots of recipes, pantry items from local stores were on display for participants to read labels and put their new knowledge to the test. Remember – only whole ingredients, no dairy or oil, and less than 10% of total calories from fat.

Volunteers served up oil-free hummus, with toasted whole wheat pita chips, homemade salsa, "cream" of potato soup, and chili.

Volunteers served up oil-free hummus with toasted whole wheat pita chips, homemade salsa, cowboy caviar, cinnamon raisin bread, “cream” of potato soup, and Pat’s famous chili.

Our welcoming committee - so grateful for our volunteers!

Our welcoming committee – so grateful for our volunteers!

Many thanks to the North Ridgeville Heart & Sole Challenge for making this event possible!  Check our Upcoming Events tab for information on other opportunities to meet and greet or join our ongoing discussion in our facebook group by clicking HERE.


A Plant-Based Project

plant based shopping

A little about where this all began…..

My name is Laurie Kortowich and I’m a plant strong wife, and mom of 3.  I am a kale-loving, cost-conscious cook who embraces the opportunity to demonstrate the joy that may be found in the kitchen, taking control of one’s health.

I work full-time as “Lifestyle Director” for Pioneer Ridge, a Del Webb community on Cleveland’s west side in North Ridgeville.  This vibrant neighborhood is comprised of nearly 600 homes, serving active, independent adults who seek to “Love Life to the Fullest”.   I, like most Del Webb Lifestyle Directors, am often compared to Julie from the Love Boat – striving to create this cruise-ship-on-land experience.  It is, quite possibly, the most fun job on earth.

Because of my role, I was invited to join a collaborative team called North Ridgeville Heart and Sole Challenge.  We are tasked with improving cardiovascular health for residents of North Ridgeville by increasing opportunities for physical fitness and providing access to better nutrition.  There are many channels that this team will work to fulfill this mission.

My channel is Plant-Based Nutrition.

Our core team consists of Pat Humphrey, a man who has successfully (remarkably!) reversed his heart disease plus a score of other ailments by following a whole foods, plant-based, no-oil diet.  His presentations have inspired so many to make the transition – and he’s an accomplished cook!!  Come to one of our events to see why (and take the taste test yourself).

We also have Dr. Polly Dengel, M.D. – a Cleveland Clinic physician of internal medicine who serves as medical advisor to our program.  Dr. Dengel truly walks the walk, and talks the talk. She presents the facts in a manner that is warm and inviting and is incredibly patient in helping all of us to understand the evidence that points us to plant-based eating.

And there are many others in the trenches, making great strides, who will share their personal journeys very soon.  Many talents.  Many success stories in the making.

So here we are!  On February 3rd, we held our first public talk entitled “How Plant Based Eating Saved My Life”  (next event, April 14th 2015!).  We threw a Hail Mary press release announcing the event, and in less than 10 days, we gathered up 80 people.

"How Plant Based Eating Saved My Life" featuring Pat Humphrey

“How Plant Based Eating Saved My Life” featuring testimonial by Pat Humphrey

Many who attended had seen the documentary “Forks Over Knives” or had heard of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his profound work, but hearing testimonial from Pat Humphrey, the crowd was energized.  In addition to his poignant and sometimes funny story, there was a plentiful buffet of foods for everyone to sample at the end.  This is the key.

You can watch a documentary or be inspired by a success story, but after the buzz wears off, you’re left with questions: Where do I begin?  What the heck can I eat?  It can be overwhelming.

It was at this event that the idea for Plant-Based Cleveland began.

By forming an organization that’s bigger than one community or even one city, we allow ourselves to reach farther, to have greater impact, to make improvements.

Plant-Based CLE will aim to raise awareness and community support for those who follow whole food, plant-based, no-oil eating.   We will do this work at eye level – there is no room for elitism in our quest to community health.  This circle is inclusive, not exclusive.  We will work to provide a network of peer counselors and health advocates willing to help others and to be an example.  We will empower volunteers to build our community and to take ownership.  We will establish small-group discussions and large inviting educational events.  We will work to convince restaurants how easy and profitable it really is to provide meals that are WFPBNO, and to show we will support them if they do.  And we will be champions for grocery stores who stock their shelves with whole food products!

There is much to do.  Won’t you join in?  We welcome you!

To quote Charles Darwin, “In the long history of mankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”  Let’s, shall we?




Plant-Based CLE has taken root!

In a ten-day whirlwind, Plant-Based CLE has officially grown legs and taken root in the Cleveland scene, dedicated to providing education, raising awareness and community support for those who follow a plant-based way of eating in an effort to achieve optimal health.

After sharing our mad enthusiasm with Rib Esselstyn at a recent Meet & Greet at Whole Foods...

After sharing our raving enthusiasm with Rip Esselstyn at a recent Meet & Greet at Whole Foods…

We are incredibly excited to be here.  To begin.