Special Event Nov 12--Surviving the Holidays—See Our EVENTS Page!
Special Event Nov 12--Surviving the Holidays—See Our EVENTS Page!

What is Powered by Plants, Thriving on Plant-Based Food?

Founders of our plant-based eating encouragement group:

Mitch Zigler, PT, DPT


Associate Professor Clinical Dir. of Physical Therapy Spring Arbor University


Mitch Zigler is a Professor at Spring Arbor University (SAU) and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He Teaches in the Health and Human Performance and Recreation Department at SAU. He is also the Clinical Director of Physical Therapy at SAU. Dr. Zigler has been in the physical therapy profession of 30 years working in patient care, management, and teaching.

Zigler has been a vegan for over 2 ½ years. He started his journey as a vegan because he wanted to improve cognitive abilities. Since being a vegan, Dr. Zigler has discovered multiple physical and psychological benefits. He started the “Powered by Plants” encouragement group over a year ago with Rebecca Barnery because of the amazing changes that he noticed from the diet with his body. 

Dr. Zigler is married and has 4 children. His is involved in martial arts, meditation, guitar, exercise, kayaking, camping, and boating.


Rebecca "Red" Barney 


Horticulturist, community volunteer, and full time Guest Relations Specialist


She currently oversees a 5800 sq. ft. community garden and grows vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers at home. Red and her husband live with two dogs and two cats in rural Michigan.   

In 2006 Red was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and by 2012 was sidelined from her job, her hobbies and most of her joys in life. After three years of searching for ways to eleviate her RA symptoms with no success, a cousin contacted her suggesting that she research and try a plant based diet. The cousin, a patient of Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, had recovered his own health by eating only plant based foods. Red took this advice and after one year of plant based eating her energy had bounced back to a better-than-ever level, she had lost 55 pounds and her pain and inflammation symptoms were reduced by 70%!

Finding success after feeling so hopeless has compelled Red to share the news and the benefits of plant based eating to others interested in improving their health and preserving the natural environment.

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