Drs. Diana Rebman and Barry Schenker are role models for their patients and students, enticing them with irresistible vegan food and spreading PCRM’s message.
Dr. Rebman is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She completed her anesthesiology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and has practiced at a local hospital since 1986.
She is concerned about the epidemic obesity she sees in her patients, and she encourages them to adopt more healthful diets. But Dr. Rebman has also led by example. After switching to a vegan diet and adding exercise, she burned off 30 pounds. In addition, she has called for healthier federal food policies, supporting PCRM’s campaign to remove cancer-causing processed meats from the National School Lunch Program. In a letter published in the San Jose Mercury News, she wrote, “Teaching kids to eat foods that have been linked to colorectal cancer—a disease that kills 50,000 Americans every year—is just unacceptable.”
Dr. Rebman’s husband, Dr. Barry Schenker, practiced chiropractic for 17 years. For many of his patients, unhealthy diets had led to obesity, causing back problems and even contributing to serious structural damage of their bodies. Dr. Schenker encouraged them to consider how good nutrition could bring them back into shape.
Dr. Schenker learned about PCRM 20 years ago and has been a devoted supporter ever since. He and Dr. Rebman hosted a PCRM reception at their home in 2007, inviting members to enjoy his signature vegan cooking and to receive an update on PCRM’s campaigns.
Dr. Schenker has followed a vegan diet for 10 years. Recently, he has combined his interest in good nutrition with his love of fine dining by teaching gourmet vegan cooking at a monthly Marketplace Dinner at Berkeley’s Hillside Club (HillsideClub.org). The all-organic, seven-course dinners—which feature such mouthwatering options as farro risotto with roasted red pepper cashew sauce—attract everyone from longtime local vegans to visiting professors teaching at the University of California.
Dr. Rebman says attendees at these hands-on cooking lessons are “uniformly in awe of the incredible food.” These memorable dinners show that adopting a vegan diet not only means good health but it also means discovering new foods and exploring new tastes.