A Physician’s Guide to Plant-Based Diets

I am thrilled to announce that my article, A Physician’s Guide to Plant-Based Diets, was just published in Kaiser Permanente’s summer issue of their medical journal, The Permanente Journal.

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Kaiser is leading the way in preventive medicine, increasingly incorporating plant-based nutrition on the front lines with their patients and employees. This guide was designed as a way to provide healthcare practitioners with the information about the benefits of eating plant-based diets, the details of the nutrition, and methods of implementing these ideas into their patient care plan. Please feel free to print this out as material to offer your own healthcare providers, friends, family, and colleagues if they have questions about your diet. Or use it as a reference for yourself. My goal is to make plant-based nutrition as accessible and easy as possible for everyone, which is why I am excited to offer this necessary new tool.

Here is the link to the online version: http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/…/2016/s…/6192-diet.html Print versions are also available for purchase here.

 

What Vegans Eat…Sample Meal Plans Made Simple + Hundreds of Recipes

Eating vegan can absolutely be easy, affordable, and most definitely delicious. On the gradient between super simple and grandly gourmet, there is a ton of wiggle room to make eating plants an everyday, enjoyable experience for everyone. You definitely aren’t limited to munching on lettuce and carrot sticks all day because there is a universe of possibility out there.

what vegans actually eat

Because there are innumerable benefits (and even more) of a vegan diet for humans, our planet, and the billions of animals that can be saved annually, it is an extraordinary investment to accept the learning curve necessitated by facing up to the process of redefining your plate. Most of us were raised eating a standard western diet. That is how we were taught to prepare food and how we simply look at our food. Thus, taking meat out of the center of the dish and reworking the culinary repertoire (or meal ordering know-how) you have hardwired in your brain from years of experience requires a reset. I liken it to learning a new language. You begin by trying out a few new ingredients such as nutritional yeast or quinoa (as in learning the fist few words on a new language). Then you try some recipes out (like learning some phrases). Then you start connecting those meals and stringing them into days (initiating some conversational sentences). Before you know it, with plenty of practice under your belt, you become fluent in how to eat a plant-based diet.

Flexibility is key in making the transition simple. Allow yourself to experiment with an open mind. Explore and find recipes online, via friends and family, or in books and bookmark the ones you love. I print or write out my favorites and collect them in my cookbook cabinet in my kitchen so they are always there for me to refer to when I need some inspiration.

VS Simple

 

Aim to follow the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate, emphasizing The 6 Daily 3’s, and pick your preferences. Mix and match any of your favorite foods that fit into your lifestyle.

6 Daily 3's Web Sized

Here are hundreds of delicious, healthful, simple, creative, and absolutely practical meals you can use to build your repertoire:

Breakfast Options:

What vegans eat via The Vegan RD via UnCruel EatsLunch and Dinner Options:

What vegans eat_Vegan Sidekick

Snack and Dessert Options:

  • Hummus with crudite, whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, corn thins, rice cakes, whole grain tortillas, nori paper, rice paper
  • Air-popped popcorn with optional spices and nutritional yeast
  • Fresh fruit
  • Trail mix with your favorite combination of nuts, seeds, and fruits
  • Baked potato, sweet potato, or yam
  • Seaweed snacks
  • Steamed edamame
  • 25 Savory Snacks
  • 40 Whole Food (Sugar-Free, Oil-Free) Vegan Delicious Desserts

And this is only a small sampling….what is YOUR favorite meal plan or meal planning tip?

simplereminders.com-eat-plants-hever-withtext-displayres

30 Bountiful Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For

Eat Breakfast Like a KingNo meal carries more controversy than breakfast. Skip it or prioritize it? Breakfast as a king or light and breezy? Grain-free or a hearty bowl? Smoothies and juices detoxifying or harmful? With so many questions, this one simple meal can be confusing.

Well, what if you threw all the rules out the door and brought breakfast back to the table under your own terms? After 20 plus years in the health and fitness industry, working with clients and researching the science, here is what I recommend when it comes to breakfast:

  • Eat your first meal when you are truly physically hungry. Never force it, rush it, or hold off based on a preconceived notion of when you are “supposed” to eat. There is research recommending (daily) fasting which would encourage waiting as long as possible between your last meal the day before and your first meal of the next day. On the flip side, there is also science to support eating smaller meals every few hours. Yet, only you know you. So honor your body and eat when your body wants to eat. So long as it is not “toxic hunger,” your body will be your perfect guide for when and how much to eat.
  • Whether you want just fruit for breakfast, dinner for breakfast, or anything in between, go for it! There is no perfect food or magic meal makeup that is ideal for everyone. Again, hone in on your instincts for what you prefer. Some mornings may feel like a smoothie morning while others may inspire a heartier dish.
  • PBD Food Guide PyramidLook at your overall diet to balance your meals. Focus on getting your 6 Daily 3’s and the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate and simply structure your meals around that.
  • Eat mindfullyTuning into hunger and satiety signals and also noticing how your body feels after you eat specific foods will give you all the answers you seek about what you need. Also, chew well, eat with the fewest distractions possible, and taste your food. These are practices that improve with time, but they are gifts that will support your health over a lifetime.

Breakfast Pic

With the rules removed, there are infinite options available for your fave first meal-of-the-day.  If you are a smoothie person, you can enjoy one of these 20 scrumptious smoothies. Here are a few grain-free options. Or, you can explore one of these 30 game-changing (oil-free, sugar-free) choices:

1. Vegan Salmon Bagel by Green Evi

Breakfast Salmon Bagel

2. Magnificent Maple Granola by The Jazzy Vegetarian

Breakfast Maple Granola

3. Chickpea Flour Scramble (*Swap vegetable broth or water for oil*) by Vegan Richa

Breakfast Chickpea Scramble

4. Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Porridge by Rainbow Nourishments

Breakfast PBJ Porridge

5. Creamy Rice Pudding by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Rice Pudding

6. Spicy Tofu Scramble by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Breakfast Spicy Tofu

7. Red Pesto and Kale Porridge by Green Evi

Breakfast Savoury Porridge

8. Vegan Superfood Breakfast Bars by Contentedness Cooking

Breakfast Superfood Bars

9. Chocolate Waffle Fruit Pizza by Feasting on Fruit

Breakfast Chocolate Waffles

10. Mango Lime Chia Pudding by Get Inspired Everyday

Breakfast Mango Lime Chia

11. Cinnamon French Toast and Potato Shallot Frittata (Double Whammy!) by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Potato Fritata

12. Vegan Chickpea Flour Omelette by Strength & Sunshine

Breakfast Chickpea Omelette

13. Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seeds by The Jazzy Vegetarian

Breakfast Apple Muffins

14. Chocolate Pudding Breakfast Bowl by A Dash of Compassion

Breakfast Pudding Bowl

15. Green Chia Pudding by Veggies Save the Day

Breakfast Green Chia

16. Turmeric Steel Cut Oats by Vegan Richa

Breakfast Turmeric Oats

17. Carrot and Coconut Breakfast Bowl by Green Evi

Breakfast Carrot Coconut

18. Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Bars

19. Cranberry Apple Spice Overnight Oatmeal by A Dash Of Compassion

Breakfast Cranberry Oats

20. Vegan German Chocolate Pancakes by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Breakfast German Chocolate Pancakes

21. Blueberry Swirl Buckwheat, Amaranth + Walnut Porridge by Eggplant & Olive

Breakfast Amaranth Blueberry

22. Everyday Quinoa Breakfast Bowl by Contentedness Cooking

Breakfast Quinoa Bowl

23. Breakfast Tacos by My Plant-Based Family

Breakfast Tacos

24. Fluffy Vegan Pancakes by Feasting on Fruit

Breakfast Pancakes

25. Vegan Chocolate Zoats ( *Omit Agave*) by Vegan Heaven

Breakfast Zoats

26. Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal Bites with Chocolate Chips by Veggie Inspired

Breakfast Strawberry Oatmeal

27. Snickerdoodle Energy Bars by Get Inspired Everyday

Breakfast Snickerdoodle Bars

28. Chickpea Pancakes with Dried Tomato Sauce by Green Evi

Breakfast Chickpea Tomato

29. No Bake Brownie Energy Bites by Jessica in the Kitchen

Breakfast Brownie Bites

30. Black Forest Overnight Oats by A Virtual Vegan

Breakfast Black Forest Oats

How to Optimize the “Whole” in a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet

Food can feel complicated. But it really doesn’t need to be. Keeping it simple and as close to nature as possible is all that is necessary. An optimal diet that reduces risk for disease is based on whole plant foods which are recognizable and enjoyed in their most intact form, avoiding animal products and processed foods. But what is a processed food, exactly? Clearly, Twinkies, Skittles, and fluorescent colored energy drinks would fit the bill of being highly processed. But what about something less obvious…such as a green smoothie, pasta, or plant-based yogurt?

From a diced onion and juiced carrot to refined sugar and artificially-colored corn chip, there is a whole lot of gray area in between when defining processed foods. Especially when you consider that processing includes all sorts of transformations that can be done on food, including grating, mincing, chopping, blending, boiling, baking, blanching, chargrilling, canning, pickling, extracting, changing the chemical or physical structure, etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

With many–but not all–of these alterations, there may be implications, such as these:

  • Nutrients can become lost. From the moment a plant is plucked from the Earth, nutrients start to degrade. Even from the time between when food is harvested to the time it ends up in your kitchen–let alone on your plate–significant losses occur. Cooking foods causes further leaching of certain nutrients and refining a whole grain significantly reduces fiber, protein, and other key nutrients.
  • Unhealthy or potentially harmful substances can be added in. On most food production lines, preservatives, artificial colors, (artificial) sweeteners, artificial flavors, stabilizers, thickeners, and other ingredients are added into the original food for myriad survival reasons. Even using high temperatures to cook potato or grain products can promote byproducts such as acrylamide formation.
  • Olives versus Olive OilNutrients can be concentrated. There is an increase in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals when blending and juicing fruits and vegetables (however, this may also reduce fiber and satiety). Further, a dramatic enhancement of fat and calories is found in olive oil as compared to whole olives or carbohydrates from sugar beets as compared to table sugar when refined (however, this reduces fiber and most other nutrients).
  • Satiety can decrease. When fiber is reduced, many health benefits are minimized and satiety is often also slighted.
  • Caloric densityCalories can increase. Taking out fiber or water leaves room for more calories. Highly processed foods such as sugars and oil contain the most calorically dense foods of all. But even dried fruit increases caloric density as water is removed.
  • Enzymes can become activated. Certain foods are best eaten raw or even sprouted, to protect their disease-fighting phytochemicals and to enhance nutrient absorption. For example, allicin in garlic protects against cancer and is only activated when cut or crushed based on the enzyme allinase. Similarly, sprouting seeds significantly improves their nutritional benefits.
  • Cravings may be enhanced. Highly processed foods have been shown to provoke  physiological responses similar to addictive drugs.

Here is a graphic to help illustrate the journey foods can take from its original state to a more processed version of itself: 

Calorie Nutrient Density

Here are 5 ways to optimize the “whole” in your whole food, plant-based diet:

  1. Fill at least half of your plate (or bowl) with raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fruits.
    • Include at least half of your diet from raw foods to benefit from their original nutritional profile.
    • Include cooked foods as well to incorporate the benefits that take place with cooking certain nutrients, such as carotenoids.
    • Drink soups and stews to make sure you retain any nutrients lost in the cooking broth.
  2. Minimize or avoid oils and refined sweeteners.
  3. Choose whole grains over refined grains as often as possible.
  4. When purchasing food with a label:
    • Focus exclusively on the ingredient list.
    • Aim for the fewest ingredients possible.
    • Completely recognizable and pronounceable ingredients.
    • ignore misleading marketing on the front of the package;
    • Avoid artificial flavors/sweeteners/colors, preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners.
  5. Prioritize The 6 Daily 3’s: 3 servings of legumes, leafy green vegetables, other-colored vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and exercise.

6 Daily 3's Web Sized

Ultimately, it all lies on a spectrum…

Spectrum

 

30 Recipes That Prove Hummus Should Be A Food Group

Hummus

Hummus should be a food group. Why? Because it is perhaps the most versatile vessel of nutritious deliciousness possible. Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, and soy foods) are one of the most important food groups, offering ample fiber and protein (including lysine, an amino acid that may otherwise fall short in a vegan diet). Because I recommend aiming for three servings of legumes a day (one serving equals half a cup), hummus offers an excellent and delicious way to fit it in.

Here are 30 recipes that illustrate how insanely creative a simple bean can be become with a little imagination…

1.  Green Chickpea Hummus by Dreena Burton

Hummus Green Chickpea

2. White Bean and Rosemary Dip from The Vegiterranean Diet via Veg Kitchen

Snacks White Bean Rosemary

3. Cauliflower Hummus by Feasting on Fruit

Hummus Cauliflower

4. Mini Sweet Peppers with Hummus by Jazzy Vegetarian

Hummus Sweet Peppers

5. Carrot Hummus and Quinoa Cumin Crackers (*Omit Oil*) by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Hummus Carrot

6. Baba Ghanoush Hummus by Strength & Sunshine

Hummus Baba Ghanoush

7. Artichoke and White Bean Hummus by Dreena Burton

Hummus Artichoke Bean

8. Oil-Free Barbecue White Bean Hummus by The Vegan 8

Hummus BBQ

9. Jalapeno Hummus by My Plant-Based Family

Hummus Jalapeno

10.  Spicy “Refried” Lentil Dip by Veggies Don’t Bite

Hummus Spicy Refried

11. Vegan Caesar Dressing Dip by Healthy Helper

Hummus Caesar

12. Pumpkin Hummus by VegAnnie

Hummus Pumpkin

13. Quick and Easy Black Bean Dip by The Taste Space

Hummus Black Bean

14. Roasted Carrot White Bean Spread by Veggie Inspired

Hummus Roasted Carrot

15. Cucumber Hummus Dip (Hummus-Tzatziki Fusion) by The Taste Space

Hummus Cucumber

16. Spicy Jalapeno Mint Hummus by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Hummus Spicy Jalapeno

17. Balsamic Roasted Red Pepper Basil Hummus by Strength & Sunshine

Hummus Balsamic Red Pepper

18. White Bean Cashew Dip by Jazzy Vegetarian

Hummus Cashew White Bean

19. Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus by Dreena Burton

Hummus Spiced Sweet Potato

20. Yellow Split Pea Dip (Greek Fava) by Veggies Don’t Bite

Hummus Split Yellow Pea

21. Roasted Parsnip Hummus Dip by Contentedness Cooking

Hummus Roasted Parsnip

22. Edamame Hummus (*Omit Oil*) by Fried Dandelions

Hummus Edamame

23. Bright Beet Bean Dip (*Omit Oil*) by Two City Vegans

Hummus Beet

24. Avocado Hummus with Whole Grain Chipotle Chips by Fit Cakes

Hummus Avocado

 

25. Moroccan Sweet Potato Hummus by Delicious Everyday

Hummus Moroccan Sweet Potato

26. Spicy Hummus by Veggie Inspired

Hummus Spicy

27. Quick Vegan Portobello [Hummus] Pizza by Veggie Primer

Hummus Portobello Pizza

28. Pistachio Hummus with Pomegranate by Contentedness Cooking

Hummus Pistachio

29. Mom’s Famous Whipped Hummus by Veggies Don’t Bite

Hummus Whipped

30. Deep Dish Pizza with Hummus Pizza Sauce and a Kale Crust by Rainbow Nourishments

Hummus Deep Dish Pizza

40 Super Simple, Scrumptious Vegan Dishes in 30 Minutes or Less

SSS Pic

Eating an exclusively plant-based diet is the most health-promoting, sustainable, and compassionate way of eating. Yet, it comes along with certain stigmas, such as it being expensive, difficult, or boring. Alas, these myths couldn’t be further from the truth! There are infinite delicious combinations of legumes, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices to satisfy any palate. It can easily be done on a budget and full meals can be whipped up in a mere few minutes. Allow me to debunk these delusions and illustrate just how inexpensive, easy, and exciting eating vegan really is…

Here are 40 cost-effective, magnificent main meals you can whip up in 30 minutes or less:

1. Summer Chickpea Salad by Dreena Burton

SSS Summer Chickpeas

2. Broccoli-Potato White Bean Soup by Healthy Happy Life

SSS Broccoli Potato

3. Easy Vegan Salad Rolls by Eat Within Your Means

SSS Salad Rolls

4. Simple Black Bean Soup by Veggie Inspired

SSS Black Bean Soup

5. One Pot Peanut Sauce Noodles by Vegan Richa

SSS Peanut Noodles Pot

6. Quinoa and Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad from The Vegiterranean Diet

Vegiterranean Quinoa Taboulleh

7. Go Vegan Kale Salad with Lentil Meatballs by Contentedness Cooking

SSS Kale with Lentil Balls

8. 20 Minute Vegan Alfredo by The Vegan 8

SSS Alfredo

9. Bell Pepper & Chickpea Tacos with Avocado Green Chili Sauce by Veggie Inspired

SSS Bell Pepper Chickpea Tacos

10. Mediterranean Pinwheels by Contentedness Cooking

SSS Mediterranean Pinwheels

11. Sweet Potato Quesadillas by Win-Win Food

SSS Sweet Potato Quesadillas

12. Smashed White Bean, Basil, and Avocado Sandwich by Pumpkin & Peanut Butter

SSS Smashed Sandwich

13. Udon Noodle Salad Jars by Vie de la Vegan

SSS Udon Jars

14. Spicy Bean Balls by Green Evi

SSS Bean Balls

15. 30 Minute One Pot Mexican Chili by The Vegan 8

SSS Mexican Chili

16. One Pot Pasta Puttanesca with Chickpeas & Artichoke (*Omit Oil*) by Yup, It’s Vegan

SSS Pasta Puttanesca

17. High Protein Salad by Contentedness Cooking

SSS High Protein Salad

18. Miso Udon Soup by Earth Powered Family

SSS Miso Udon

19. Indian-Spiced Chickpeas by Strength & Sunshine

SSS Spiced Chickpeas

20. Fregola Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil by Veggie Inspired

SSS Fregola Pasta

21. Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread Pizza (Gluten-Free) by Pumpkin & Peanut Butter

SSS Med Pizza

22. One Pot Spaghetti with Vegetables by Vegan Heaven

SSS Spaghetti Veggies

23. Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce by Jazzy Vegetarian

SSS Asparagus Hollandaise

24. One Pot Chickpea Sweet Potato Spinach Curry (*Omit Oil*) by Vegan Richa

SSS Chickpea Curry

25. Simple Spaghetti Squash by VegAnnie

SSS Spaghetti Squash

26. Easy Yamadillas by Plant Eaters’ Manifesto

SSS Yamadillas

27. BBQ Baked Tofu Rainbow Bowls (*Omit Oil*) by Yummy Mummy Kitchen

SSS Rainbow Bowl

28. Vegan “Egg” Fried Rice by Wallflower Kitchen

SSS Egg Rice

29. Greek Baked Ziti by Contentedness Cooking

SSS Greek Ziti

30. Vegan Sunflower Wrap (*Use Oil-Free Hummus*) by Trial and Eater

SSS Sunflower Wrap

31. The Easiest Bean Burgers Ever by Plant Eaters’ Manifesto

SSS Bean Burgers

32. Italian Orzo Salad by Veggies Don’t Bite

SSS Orzo

33. Chickpea Noodle Soup by Plant Eaters’ Manifesto

SSS Chickpea Noodle

34. Spicy Sweet Potato Pizza (*Use Oil-Free Crust or Tortilla*) by Contentedness Cooking

SSS Spicy Pizza

35. Quickie Balsamic Miso Chickpeas and Baby Bok Choy (*Swap Oil for Water or Vegetable Broth* by The Taste Space

SSS Balsamic Bok Choy

36. Couscous and Hazelnut Balls by Green Evi

SSS Couscous Balls

37. Raw Strawberry Mango Avocado Tacos by Veggies Save the Day

SSS Fruit Tacos

38. Philly Portobello Steak Sandwich by Veggies Don’t Bite

SSS Portobello Cheesesteak

39. Spicy Mexican Burgers by Vie de la Vegan

SSS Spicy Burger

40. Orange Cauliflower by Veggie Inspired

SSS Orange Cauliflower

20 Scrumptiously Salubrious Smoothies

Smoothies Pic

There is something super special about smoothies…the unrivaled convenience, the opportunity to pack in a huge nutritional power punch, the vibrant versatility of flavor potential (as you will see below), and also just the sheer deliciousness of it all…

What’s not to love?

simplereminders.com-greens-medicine-hever-withtext-displayresMy recommended basic formula includes using a lot of leafy greens, less than half of the smoothie from fruit, some seeds and/or nuts, and an unsweetened plant milk, coconut water, or plain water as the base. But there are infinite combinations of this skeletal structure that you can personalize to meet your preferences… For more on the science behind the benefits of green smoothies, visit nutritionfacts.org’s video series on the subject here.

Here are 20 seriously inspiring ways to blend together a nutritious, delicious meal in a glass:

1. How to Make a Smoothie Bowl + 8 Tips by Healthy Happy Life

Smoothies How To Bowl

2. Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl by Blueberries & Basil

Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

3. Healthy Chocolate Smoothie by A Virtual Vegan

GF Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

4. Red Velvet Cake Smoothie by Two City Vegans

GF Red Velvet

5. Tropical Greens Smoothie from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking

Tropical Greens Smoothie

6. Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl by Beaming Baker

GF Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

7. Going Green Smoothie with Rawnola by A Virtual Vegan

Smoothies Going Green

8. Sicila Smoothie by Lands & Flavors

Smoothies Sicilia

9. Mango Chia Seed Smoothie by Beaming Baker

Smoothies Mang Chia

10. Greener Colada Smoothie by Vie de la Vegan

Smoothies Pina Colada

11. Spring Cleaning Green Smoothie by Two City Vegans

Smoothies Spring Cleaning

12. Strawberry Chia Seed Smoothie by Beaming Baker

Smoothies Strawberry Chia

13. Easy Spinach Smoothie by Blueberry & Basil

Easy Spinach Smoothie

14. German Chocolate Cake Smoothie Bowl by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Smoothoes German Chocolate Bowl

15. Bangkok Smoothie by Lands & Flavors

Smoothies Bangkok

16. Fat Green Smoothie by Plant Eaters’ Manifesto

Smoothies Fat Green

17. Bright Skin Smoothie by Pickled Plum

Smoothies Bright Skin

18. Golden Turmeric Smoothie by Two City Vegans

Smoothies Turmeric

19. Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (Plus 9 Other Dessert Smoothies that Are Secretly Healthy) by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Smoothies Mint Chip

20. Vegan Chocolate Smoothie Bowl by Blueberries & Basil

Vegan Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

 

 

Plant-Based Kid Nutrition Plus a Book Giveaway

Eating plants is not only incredibly beneficial for adults, it is also perfectly safe and advantageous for kids, too. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain dis- eases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Ruby BookTragically, it is well known that children do not tend to eat the healthiest diets, with one in three kids eating fast food each day, overweight and obesity on the rise, and increasing pediatric diabetes rates. However, there is ample hope in the air for our future generations with the growing revolution of plant-based eaters, an abundance of healthy initiatives in certain trailblazing schools such as this one, and creative tools and resources such as Ruby Roth’s brand new gorgeously inspiring The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids

 

Here are 6 helpful nutrition facts for kids, made beautiful by Ruby Roth (plus see below for details on how you can win a FREE copy of her magnificent new book): 

Ruby Kids Nutrition

Note: Because exact nutrient requirements change according to age, it is always recommended that you ask your registered dietitian for details on how best to feed your child(ren) a well-balanced diet.

One of the best gifts you can give to your child(ren) is to encourage them to eat and live healthfully. Research shows that the most effective ways to teach your little one(s) is by role modeling healthy behaviors and also empowering them by inspiring their involvement in the process. Ruby Roth’s super fun and kid-friendly cookbook is a perfect place to start.

For more information on vegan nutrition for children, here is an excellent article by Physicians Guide To Responsible Medicine and another one by The Vegetarian Resource Group. For even more information, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition has a chapter on Phyto Kids and The Vegiterranean Diet elaborates on the details as well.

Enter HERE to win a FREE copy of Ruby Roth’s The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Quinoa and Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad

Vegi Quinoa & Chickpea Tabbouleh SaladQuinoa and Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad from The Vegiterranean Diet

Makes 4 servings

Light and herb-infused, this salad is refreshing and extremely nutritious. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, this gluten-free version boasts similar flavors, but it’s friendly for those eschewing gluten and more sub- stantial because of the added chickpeas.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice with zest

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 large unpeeled cucumber, seeded and diced

3⁄4 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

3⁄4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

3⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1⁄4 cup chopped finely scallions

Instructions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, pepper, salt, and garlic. Fold in the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, pars- ley, mint, and scallions, and combine well.

2. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Vegiterranean Quinoa Taboulleh

Everything You Need to Know About A Vegan Diet in Less Than 500 Words

Without a doubt, veganism is steadily on the rise, growing daily with news of its vast advantages for human health, for the struggling and depleted planet, for the billions of animals that are needlessly tortured and slaughtered every year for food, as well as for many other remarkable reasons. In response to this growing demand is a delicious, inspiring, and rapidly expanding supply of vegan foods, restaurants, educational opportunities, cooking courses, meal kit delivery programs, support groups, books, documentaries, travel tours, and everything in between! As exciting as the momentum of this movement is, it is also noteworthy that learning an entirely new way of eating (and lifestyle) can be intimidating, overwhelming, and/or confusing for newbies. But, it doesn’t have to be. It is like learning a new language–challenging at first, but progressively easier and easier until it becomes natural, effortless, and fluent.

Eating vegan in the healthiest way possible is truly simple and fabulous and can be summed up in just these five overarching principles:

1. Follow the Plant-Based Food Pyramid or Plate to ensure a well-rounded diet based on vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables…note they have their own category), fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
PBD Food Guide Pyramid
PBD Food Plate
2. Keep it simple with The 6 Daily 3’s, a companion perspective to the pyramid and plate. Prioritize three servings of each of the following everyday: leafy green vegetables (one serving equals one cup raw or half cup cooked), other-colored vegetables (one serving is one half cup), fruits (one serving is one medium piece or 1 cup), legumes (one serving is one half cup cooked lentils, beans, peas, or soyfoods), nuts and seeds (one serving is one tablespoon seeds or one half ounce or 15 grams nuts), and exercise (one serving is 20 minutes of any activity).

6 Daily 3finalweb
3. Mind your B12. The safest, most effective, and cheapest way of avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is to simply take a supplement. According to Jack Norris’ guidelines, make sure to take in at least 2,000 micrograms of cyanocobalamin every week (for adults).

VS 3 Things To Know About Vitamin B12
4. Note notable nutrients without being overly concerned with them. Instead of worrying about where you will get your [protein, omega-3’s, iron, vitamin D, etc.] from, be mindful about where these essential nutrients are found so you can be at ease and select your overall diet conscientiously. Use this chart as an easy reminder.

Notablenutrients_Edited_FB
5. Have fun! Nutrition need not be so serious. One of the greatest gifts of redefining your plate by transitioning to a vegan diet is that you are motivated to look beyond the typical meat-in-the-center-of-the-plate philosophy most of us were raised with. Experiment with new ingredients and new combinations, find what you absolutely love, and build your new repertoire of favorite recipes. Try playing with international recipes, tantalizing bowls, super fun salads, sensational soups/stews/chilis, comfort food, gluten-free vegan dishes, savory snacks, hummus, quick and easy main dishes, and even wholesome desserts.

Overall, keep it simple and just….
simplereminders.com-eat-plants-hever-withtext-displayres