"big medicine hat"

last updated 11.28.16
Who should do this chart?

If you want to be stronger, more grounded, and feel lighter, if you are a yogi, an athlete, or a shaman preparing for a ceremony, if you have cancer, diabetes, or any of the early signs of heart disease, if you aspire to live beyond 100 years with excellent health and, meanwhile, want to leave only a shallow footprint, and/or if you have an adventurous spirit and like a challenge, do this chart!

Why is it called "The Big Medicine Hat?"

You can cure yourself and the world (the two are ultimately the same) from all illness, like a shaman, by turning to ancient practices: Being kind, exercising, being connected to spiritual energies, and eating whole plant foods.

What if I live far away?

Here's the chart in .pdf format. You can download and print it.

Who else is doing it?

Join our Facebook group and find out. This is a great way to ask more questions, share ideas, learn some hacks, and generally support each other in transforming. As a rule, our yoga teacher trainees chart throughout their program.

Chart rules: Record the day's behaviors at the end of each day. In special cases, you can do so first thing the next morning. If you miss/forget, then no points are awarded for that day, although note that there may be a few extra days in a charting period, depending on when the game begins and ends. Don't score an action twice, even if it fits in two categories.

Every now and then we change the chart. It is a work in progress. Here's how it will look in October and beyond.

October 2015
and beyond
per day
Comments and explanations
1 point per act

The idea is "random acts of kindness." The emphasis is on caring for strangers moreso than friends, family, and pets (although there is no hard and fast rule on this). You have to decide actively and consciously to do the act of kindness, prior to the act, to get this point. Volunteering, helping, advocating for those without a political voice (including animals and the environment), donations, gifts, striking up a conversation with a stranger, picking up trash.

see comments
Gain one point for drinking 16 oz of water first thing in the morning.
Then gain a second point for drinking 6 cups of water, 8 oz each, during the rest of the day. You might keep a 48 oz water bottle on hand... or 2 smaller ones.
Clean/fix 1 per act
The goal is to make one's surroundings more orderly. Cleaning while at work doesn't count (since that is assumed).
Make bed. Sweep the house. Work on something in the yard. File a pile of papers. Bathe a pet or child. Fix a household item or vehicle. Attend to some aspect of bodily hygene (other than brushing teeth or taking a shower, which are assumed). Do dishes if they have piled up (regular dishwashing is assumed).
1 per 10 minutes
You can earn a negative points here.
All yoga would count here as well as other modes of stretching such as massage therapy.

Subtract 3 points for not doing any yoga.(So the score range here is 9 points for 90 minutes of yoga or lesser points for lesser times... or -3 points for not doing at least 10 minutes. There is no zero. You can get 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, -3.)
1 per 20 minutes

You can earn a negative point here.
Walking, running, stair climbers, swimming, tennis, cycling, dancing... Weight lifting can count here too.

Subtract 1 point for not doing any exercise lasting 20 consecutive minutes. (So the score range here is 2 points for 40 minutes of exercise, 1 point for 20 minutes, or -1 point for not doing at least 20 minutes. There is no zero.
1 per 10 minutes
Sitting meditation, chanting, prayer, pranayama (breathing exercises), and spiritual contemplation.
Cognitive Skills
1 per 10 minutes
Cognitive skills increase mental functionality and prevent mental decliine. The activity must be done for its own sake, not as a means to another end. Examples include crossword puzzles, card games, musical instruments, juggling, and unicycling. Of these, playing a musical instrument may be the most effective (here's why). If you are in Adventure Club, then the only way to earn points in this category is by playing the horn (once it has been checked out to you) and/or juggling.
Nature bonus
This is a bonus category, which means that you can score it while doing other things that also earn points.
2 or 5
You earn one point for being outside for a half hour. Two points for a full hour (continuously). Note that being outside while driving doesn't count. But you can be outside doing other things that also score points (like running) because this is a bonus category. To earn 5 points, you must "go on vacation" into nature. For example: One day you drive to North Carolina to go camping. Well, driving doesn't count as being outside but still you've gone camping and so you get 5 points.

If you weren't outside during the day, then you may earn one point by taking a vitamin D supplement. D2 is best, since D3 is has to be scrapped off of lamb's wool.
see comments
1 point: Floss teeth.
Whole foods
for entire day.

You can have a negative score here.

Special exception: 5 points are awarded for fasting all day.

Another special exception: When going out into nature (and going out of town to get there), you receive 5 whole foods points, even if you eat processed food. This is to encourage everyone to get out into the wild.

A final special exception: If you're in Adventure Club, you can prepare and eat anything from our approved cookbooks and not lose points.
Earn 5 points for eating all real food, all day. Real food is recognizable as something that exists in nature, with minimal to zero processing done by a corporation.


1 point for each processed food item, which includes anything made out of flour (including bread, boxed cold cereal, added fats and oils, sugar, and processed vegan meats, and cheeses. When counting off, just count one per food item.  For example, if you had the Chocolate Vegan Death Cake at the Grit, you would lose 5 points (because you would not have eaten whole foods all day) and then an additional one point (not one point for the flour, one for the sugar, one for the chocolate). So the score range here is 5 points for an entire day of no processed foods, -1 for one item, -2 for two items, etc. In other words, one cannot score a 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0.

Tofu is ok in its basic form, but not vegan bologna, etc. Oatmeal and cooked whole grains are allowed as is sprouted bread. Juicing (but not juices) is fine, as are smoothies (made fresh), and dehydrated foods such as raisins or prunes.
Nut butters are ok if they don't contain hydrogenated vegetable oil. Condiments are allowed (and other really small servings).

Not a whole food
Sugar (more than about 5g), pasta, white flour, other flours, fruit juices, large amounts of oil and anything fried.
The grey area (you may allow)
Agave Nectar, molassus, maple syrup, almond milk, fruit spread (in small amounts), sprouted grain breads, coffee. 100% whole wheat flour, 100% whole wheat pasta. A small amount of oil is permitted, although for cooking onions (at the beginning of making a soup) water works just as well. 
Whole foods
Spaghetti squash (a good pasta replacement), zucchini (another pasta replacement), yams, potatoes, corn, tofu, oatmeal, whole grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, couscous... and of course, fruits and vegetables.

Plant foods
1 per serving (about 1 cup)

If you went to The Grit and ordered the 3 vegetable plate, that would be 3 vegetables, or 3 points.

To maximimze points in this category, try eating vegetables for breakfast.

Special exception: 20 points are awarded for fasting all day. (This could be using any fasting programs... like a juice fast, etc.)

This is the medicine in the Medicine Hat (click here to see why). One point per fruit or vegetable. Beans also count as a vegetables (since they are packed with antioxidants, plant protein, and fiber.) The two healthiest foods on the planet are greens and beans. Actively juicing vegetables counts as 3 servings per cup (8 fluid oz) since so many vegetables go into it but store bought juice doesn't count as a vegetable or fruit. Wheatgrass shots count as 1 serving per 2 fluid oz. Green and herbal teas count 1 point per 3 servings. White potatoes count (but not when made into french fries or tatter tots) as does corn (but not when made into corn chips). Eating starchy vegetables is a good idea; Dr. McDougall explains why.


10 points are awarded for a day of eating no animal products. Click here for the health benefits of eating plants. Also there are incredible environmental benefits, which Dr. Oppenlander discusses in this talk. Honey is considered an animal product and here's why it is better avoided. Obviously, there are many benefits to farmed animals when we don't eat them. Note: In the rare case that you eat something and then later learn that it has an animal product somewhere deep in the list of ingredients, then you may keep your points.
Points are for one new recipe. Making two new recipes in one day doesn't add extra points.
1 point for making a home cooked vegan meal in which family and/or friends sit down and eat together.

3 points for making a brand-new-to-you vegan recipe. If you're currently in Adventure Club, then this recipe must come from "Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen" or "Oh, She Glows." 2 points for making it the second time.

Add a point for posting a photo of the results of your recipe on the Big Medicine Hat Facebook page or anywhere you like; or if you're in Adventure Club, the Adventure Club Facebook Group. Give helpful hints: Where did you find certain ingredients?  Was there a confusing aspect of the instructions?
Nutrition Facts
see comments
1 point: Watch one video. Often Dr. Michael Greger puts out one video a day. They are only a few minutes long and focused on new findings in the scientific research of nutrition and disease. You can always watch more... or ones from the past... His website is www.nutritionfacts.org.

It is recommended to take a B12 supplement. We are not scoring that, however.
see comments

You can have a negative score here.
4 points: Avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for the day.

Subtract: One point for every drug, drink, or cigarette.
(So the score range is 4, -1, -2, -3, etc.)
1 point per 30 minutes
If you are in Adventure Club, then the reading is from the book list.  If you are not and/or if you've already read the Adventure Club book, then the reading is from the Rubber Soul Book list.  (There is possibly overlap of lists because the Adventure Club list is often changing.)

Happy Yoga by Steve Ross
Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
True Meditation by Adyashanti
Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe
Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? by Sherry Colb
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
Healthy at 100 by John Robbins
Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff

Once you've read all these, then any book you choose may count as "reading."
Blank rows
(no points)
There are spaces at the bottom for you to use however you like. You might chart your energy level, your overall happiness, your weight, or how much time you spent with someone.

In the "Total" row, tally up the total points for the day. In the box below the total, place a mark based on your score.

Daily Score



Adventure Club Losses and Gains
An off-day. Take charge of your health one day at a time! Eat more vegetables!
Place 4 dots in the box, surrounded by a circle--or if not charting, put a square in the box.
Minus 1% if not charting, minus .5% between 1 and 9.
Pretty good. This is a hard chart. Consider how the day went and what you can do to improve in at least one category.
Place 3 dots in the box, surrounded by a circle.
Minus .4%
Nice work. Are you feeling the immediate benefits?
Place 2 dots in the box, surorunded by a circle.
Minus .3%
Very good.  Try adding more meditation to bring you over the top.
Place 1 dot in the box, surrounded by a circle.
Minus .2%
Excellent. At this rate, you are greatly reducing your chance of disease and definitely wearing the BIG MEDICINE HAT. Leave the box blank.
No loss.
Above and beyond! You're really working the chart!
Leave the box blank.
60 and above
Abolutely amazing. Incredible. You are healing your body from the inside out and hopefully preventing or reversing all diseases. Leave the box blank.