Start Eating Plants

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Eating plants is part of any healthy diet.

Fruit, vegetables, beans, grains and nuts are your go-to plant foods.

Including plants in your diet adds nutrients, vitamins, fiber, water and a huge variety of color, textures and flavors. You’ll feel light and glowing with plant energy.
Eating more plants can help with weight loss and be part of managing chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.
If eating a more plant centered diet hasn’t been in your lifestyle, add plants slowly to adjust to more fiber that all plant foods contain.

The only nutrition advice you’ll really need:

Eat more plants.

I have 2 degrees in nutrition. Before I became a Science teacher, I worked as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, counseling and teaching nutrition for women and children, dialysis and transplant patients, nursing home residents, and people with eating disorders, diabetes, heart disease, and athletes.

Though there were fine details and specifics for each population, a unifying guide was to eat plants.
Eat more fruits and vegetables! Eat more grains.

Low carbon carrots from Farmers Markets

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Check out Farmers Markets near you and talk to the local growers.

Find your local Farmers Market with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Food can mean more when you get to know the growers.
The farm products you buy at Farmers Markets grow close to you, and travel less. Less travel means less fuel burned, less fuel burned means less carbon dioxide produced which means less global warming.

 

Eat Vegan: Plants only, please

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Veganism eschews animal exploitation in any form and promotes a plants only diet.

Plants alone are used for food and clothing.

People eat vegan to support animal rights, health, political and environmental concerns.

Personally, I’m a flexitarian, eating vegan frequently but eating non-vegan foods as well. I learned I’ve been eating the plant-forward diet of the Culinary Institute of America which promotes delicious plant dishes that don’t exclude animal products with a philosophy of “…deliciousness and sustainability”.

Vegan cookbooks

Oh, there are so many. But here’s a few to start with -

Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe. In 1971 this was the first book that considered meat production in the light of environmental sustainability.

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. 
Kitchen tested and in its 10th year, this cookbook is well loved.

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Spiced with expletives, this cookbook is written by Los Angeles team that makes vegan cooking fun, edgy, and accessible.

But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Reccipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner, by Kristy Turner. The title says it all.

Plants Go Global Recipes

Submit your favorite vegan and plant forward recipes to be featured on Plants Go Global on the Get Involved page. 

Plant Lady Vegan Guacamole

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I swear by it. People inhale it. Serve with corn chips. Slather it on your favorite Mexican dish.

Keep the 3 avocado: 1 lime ratio, but otherwise vary the other ingredients for your taste or whatever you have available.

Photo from thesarahh.

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
1 – 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or minced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
¼ cup tomatoes, diced or salsa
¼ cup diced fresh cilantro
Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

Mash the avocados.
Stir in everything else according to your taste or availability.
Make 15 minutes to an hour before serving so the ingredients “marry”.
Keep chilled.

Plant Lady Vegan Granola

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This is for all you Granola Girls and Guys out there...

This makes for a super filling breakfast that'll keep you from getting hangry.

Ingredients

5 – 7 cups of rolled whole oats (these are the larger flakes)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon or more cinnamon, to taste
1 teaspoon or more vanilla, to taste
1 – 2 cups nuts – walnut, pecan, almonds, macadamia, etc.
1 – 2 cups dried fruit – raisins, dried cranberries (Craisens), chopped dates, chopped apricots, cherries, etc.
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the oats into a bowl.
Add nuts to the oats.
Measure the vegetable oil and pour into another bowl.
Measure the honey or maple syrup in the same measuring cup used for the oil (this makes clean up really easy – the honey won’t stick to the cup)
Mix the oil and honey together.  Add cinnamon and/or vanilla.
Pour over the oat/nut mixture.  Mix thoroughly. Don’t add the fruit yet!
Spread granola evenly onto shallow metal trays.
Place in oven.  Every 10 minutes, stir and turn the granola so it bakes evenly.
Bake for about 40 minutes till it’s uniformly brown.
Let cool, then add the fruit.

Plant Lady Mushroom Stew

Mushrooms aren’t animals either. So, this is a fungi-forward recipe that contains plants, dairy and chicken broth. Filling and fantastic.

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Alright. Mushrooms aren’t plants
but belong to Biology’s Fungi Kingdom.

They blend well with other plants and can work as a meat substitute.

Ingredients

2 – 3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup leeks or shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons white flour
1 lb. chopped mushrooms, any variety, any combination
1 – 2 cups chicken broth
1 – 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
¼ - ½ teaspoon salt
½ - 1 teaspoon thyme, dried or fresh
Pepper to taste
Fresh greens to garnish – dill, thyme, or parsley

Instructions

Melt butter in large pot.
Sauté leeks or shallots until translucent.
Add the mushrooms.
Cook and stir the mushrooms until they shrink and add their mushroom juice to the mix.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir.
Cook for one minute as the mixture thickens.
Pour in a few tablespoons of the chicken broth.
Add the sherry.
Keep stirring to thicken.
Add more chicken broth to keep thickening the stew.
Slowly add the milk to the creaminess you love.
Warm slowly.
Ladle into bowls.
Garnish with greens.

Plants, Meat, Sustainability and Land Use

Is a meat based diet sustainable? Livestock grown for food produces carbon dioxide and methane (yep, cow farts), both warming greenhouse gases. This worries many people.

Many animals that people eat also eat plants. The grain, grass or feed grown has to be harvested and transported by gas or diesel powered vehicles to the animal farms. The animals eat the grain, grow and are harvested for the meat market. 

Once the meat is processed it’s refrigerated to stay fresh. Refrigeration relies on fossil fuel – gas or diesel - then refrigerated trucks transports the meat to stores, burning even more fuel, adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and adding to the warming Earth. Once sold, the meat travels in carbon dioxide producing vehicles to homes and restaurants. Meat gets cooked using gas or electricity energy, which releases carbon dioxide again.

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Free Range animals forage
on grasses and low lying plants called forbs.

Yet overgrazed land can be a problem for plants and soil.

Plants can't grow fast enough to regenerate; soil gets too compacted for plant growth.

Feedlots cramp animals into small spaces to minimize calorie burning and enhance weight gain so the meat can be brought quickly to market. Feedlots pollute because waste urine and manure are produced. The waste can pollute soil and water.

Eating Plants: Scientific research and opinions

Connecting your diet with health and Earth’s sustainability
Compelling reasons to reduce warming greenhouse gases by going vegan
Which diets can feed the world?
Can food plants grow on all types of land?
Which diet feeds the most people and uses land most sustainably?