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Foggy Forest

About Dr. Klaper

Dr. Klaper Smilin

"Proper nutrition, through a whole food, plant-based diet, & a balanced lifestyle is essential for health & can be the difference between healing an illness or treating its symptoms." - Dr Klaper

Dr Klaper is a gifted clinician, internationally-recognized teacher & speaker on diet & health. In addition to his clinical practice & private consultations with patients, he's a passionate & devoted educator of physicians & other healthcare professionals about the importance of nutrition in clinical practice & integrative medicine. 


He's also the author of Vegan Nutrition; Pure & Simple & has produced numerous videos, webinars & dozens of articles for both scientific journals & the popular press. As a source of inspiration advocating plant-based diets & the end of animal cruelty worldwide, Dr Klaper contributed to the making of 2 PBS television programs, Food for Thought & the award-winning movie, Diet for a New America. He teaches that “Health Comes From Healthy Living” & is dedicated to the healing & flourishing of all living beings & our planet. 

“Health Comes From Healthy Living” & is dedicated to the healing & flourishing of all living beings & our planet.

“Health is having a body that moves without pain, breathes without distress & allows us to perform the activities of life with complete presence & focused energy. Then, we can love fully & enjoy our lives to the fullest.”

Dr Klaper graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1972. He served a medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, received training in surgery, anesthesiology & orthopedics at the University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver & trained in obstetrics at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco.

As his medical career progressed, he began to realize that many of the diseases his patients presented – clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult-onset diabetes & even some forms of arthritis, asthma & other significant illnesses – were made worse or actually caused by the high sugar, high fat, high salt, overly processed, animal products, Standard American Diet.

Clinical experience in recent decades has made it joyfully clear that these very same lethal maladies can usually be arrested and even reversed by a whole-food, plant-predominant diet and appropriate lifestyle practices.

Dr. Klaper served as a Director of the Institute of Nutrition Education & Research from 1992-2015, where he conducted a survey that focused on people who ate a completely plant-based or vegan diet. He practiced acute care medicine in New Zealand for 3 years & from 2009-2018 served on staff at the True North Health Center, North America’s premier nutritionally-based medical clinic that specializes in therapeutic fasting & health improvement through a whole food, plant-based diet. He was also a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine & of the American Medical Student Association’s Nutrition Task Force & currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Plantrician Project & the "International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention."

For over 10 years, Dr Klaper hosted a popular medical information radio program “Sounds of Healing” on WPFW in Washington & KAOI in Maui, Hawaii. Dr Klaper is licensed to practice medicine in California & Hawaii.

Dr. Klaper Costa Rica
Dr. Klaper seated

Dr. Klaper’s Philosophy

"Practicing primary care medicine has taught me many things, but chief among them is that health & disease are not a matter of chance." - Dr Klaper

A wise professor told me in medical school, “People do not get chronic diseases, they earn them!” (He was referring to the common degenerative diseases that stem from health-damaging diet and lifestyle choices - not the diseases of unknown origin, like multiple sclerosis, ALS, hemophilia, chromosomal disorders or other chronic conditions where diet and lifestyle do not seem to play a major role in their etiology.) 

Our daily choices, the foods we eat, the activities we do, the thoughts we harbor (or release), & the actions we take are major factors in creating the body we reside in & determine if it is healthy or diseased.

Our body has an innate drive to be healthy; it doesn’t want to be inflamed, infected or in pain. In fact, it knows how to promote healing in every one of its tissues & organs & is constantly repairing the daily damage from the athletic event we call “life.”

It's important to note that the vast majority of inflammations & various organ dysfunctions don't require high-tech interventions or expensive therapies. Successful healing requires discovering & ameliorating the true cause of these problems.

My medical school professor told us... “If you just be quiet & listen to the patient, 90% of the time, they are telling you the diagnosis & if you keep listening, they will often tell you what treatment they need!”


His words have proven to be true, & for the sake of making the proper diagnosis, & more importantly, showing my respect for & acknowledgement of the patient, my interactions with people begin with me becoming quiet & opening my ears & heart to listen to my patient. That first, powerful act opens the door for the patient to reveal their health issues and, ultimately, their medical diagnosis.

My professor also said, “Medicine is 10% science & 90% common sense!” I enjoy explaining to my patients how their body works & what's been happening to interfere with their normal function. Then, I tell them how & what they can do to optimize their healing, starting with wiser food choices.


As a young boy growing up on my uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin, I wanted everything to be “OK” with all living things around me. When an animal on the farm or a wild creature became injured, I would splint its fracture or dress its wounds.

Through this, I discovered that, beyond applying basic, sound medical treatments, LOVE is the most important ingredient to health & healing. Love of the person in need of healing. Love for healing Itself.  The harmony & happiness of all beings continue to be vital to me & I see my work as the art of creating & maintaining this harmony. I gain my inspiration from the grace & perfection of the human body, the infinite, powerful & stunningly beautiful natural world around & within me, the powerful, elegant truth of science, the indomitable human spirit & the beauty & order of this magical universe.

The merging of all these aspects forms the foundation of my medical practice.

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