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Wendell Fowler is in constant evolution.
At 40 years old, Fowler was suffering the consequences of decades of indulging in unhealthy, self-destructive lifestyle habits. The then 300-pound Hoosier was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, essentially an incurable infection of the heart and doctors told him death was certain. He should call his family.
“It was my wakeup call,” Fowler says. “I was rudderless living a debauched life. Clueless in Indianapolis.”
As he laid in a hospital bed in deep contemplation, he says something took place.
“One night, I remember a puff of wind on my cheek, but didn’t recognize until years later, it was divine intervention, an angel visitation, cleaning me up for my life’s mission.”
What some would describe as an epiphany, or even a miracle, set Fowler on a journey of holistic health fueled by a compassionate drive to help others reach their optimal health through plant food by reconnecting with nature, and disconnecting from man’s food-like substances.
Two weeks after his admission, Fowler walked out of the hospital a grateful, healed man.
Fowler was recognizing the significance of how the food one puts into one’s body is directly tied to one’s health. And it became his mission to share not only his experience, but to offer others the tools to make positive change in their overall mental, physical and spiritual health.
It is a marathon, not a sprint evolving into a healthy, plant-based eater” Fowler stresses.
In Ayurveda, the original medical model, food is the foundation of mind, body and spirit, he says. In America, food is meh. Eating is something to do; social entertainment, and there is little thought given to the outcome. If health or obesity consequences arise, medicine will fix it. And that’s an unfortunate mindset, Fowler says.
“Peace on Earth begins at the dinner table,” he says. “Health and subsequent happiness come from the dinner table.”
For years Fowler had worked as a chef in the Indianapolis area and ran Fowler Catering with his wife, Sandi. But years of cooking for dollars turned to cooking for the greater good.
“I started putting unprocessed, fresher local ingredients in my food, and people started noticing,” the 71-year-old Fountain Square resident says. “It was the beginning of my Hypocritarian journey to teach the power of plant-food as medicine and help heal our world.”
He noticed as he made healthier changes in his life, he started feeling better than he ever. The more he learned, the more he applied to his life. As the pounds fell off, he was amazed at how much better he felt physically, mentally and spiritually.
Fowler knew the changes he was experiencing were directly tied to the fact that he was now doing what he was meant to do; following his intended path.
“I knew this was the next phase of my journey and I accepted it willingly and doors started opening,” he says.
Before long, Fowler was flying around the country giving talks. Then he began making appearances on local TV news stations where he would share his miraculous experience.
Soon Fowler began writing for local publications and authored five books that are a compilation of his columns offering recipes, humor, and science-based research he’d gathered during his 20 years on local television.
“Mostly I love writing, that is my passion today,” he says. “My cooking demo days are pretty much over. I lost my passion for that because now I am more into public education and helping people realize what an amazing vehicle this human body is and how what we put into it definitely affects us mentally, physically and spiritually.”
Today, Fowler hits the gym five days each week, he says. And, though he doesn’t care for the label of vegan, he says he strictly adheres to a plant-based diet. However, Fowler admits he’s faced some ire from people over the years, but the end goal certainly outweighs the bad.
“Eventually people find out that what I am preaching is true and they come along,” he says.
Fowler quickly learned that educating the public about the value of eating healthy food and taking care of one’s body is something not everyone is readily receptive to, he says. Someone has to go out there and poke the beast and let people know they have total control over their health destiny.
“I build people up without finger waving,” Fowler says. “I had to learn that people don’t want you in their face.
You must be loving, kind, empathetic and accept people where they are.”
Making significant dietary lifestyle changes, is not easy, he urges. “It basically comes down to a single question, ‘Do I love myself enough to end the suffering?’”
People don’t realize how much power they have and what they have to gain, he explains.
“I don’t really blame people,” he says. “I blame societal programming. For a lifetime, we’ve been told what to buy, drink, wear, and think. We are obedient in our servitude to Big Food and Pharma.”
In an era of instant gratification, Fowler says it is essential to slow down, take deep breaths, be mindful, and take charge of one’s life.
If there is one message Fowler would like people to know, it is this: You are a unique, beautiful, sacred miracle of creation.
“Wake up from sleepwalking through life and realize your power,” he says. “Seize it. But it has to come through what you choose to fuel your ‘Earth suit’: the vessel that gets you through this life.
To become the highest version of yourself, during out short time on the third rock from the sun, we must steward our Earth suit because it is the only one you’ll get this time around.”
Natural Awakenings, Indianapolis Edition, Indy/August 2019
Connect with Chef Wendell Fowler at ChefWendell.com or on Facebook.com/WendellFowler.16.
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