How many of your clients or students say they follow a vegetarian or plant-based eating pattern – and think they’re eating healthfully – when in reality, they’re just consuming lots of non-meat processed foods?
Healthy plant-based and vegetarian eating patterns are about more than opting for the Impossible Burger with fries. To be healthy, this way of eating has to be centered on a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
Americans do not have a good relationship with vegetables.
Almost 90 percent of us don’t meet intake recommendations for vegetables (2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines). And even more of us fail to eat enough from the five vegetable subgroups: dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other.
Yet, plant-based eating is a hot topic. There’s something wrong here!
How can we help our clients or students learn to love vegetables? It starts with the basics – how to select, store, and prepare different veggies.
This DVD offers an unbelievable amount of material – everything from the nutrients and health benefits of different veggies to their flavor profiles and culinary uses. But my favorite parts are the cooking demos that show kitchen hacks for preparing all types of vegetables to perfection.
You can use the cooking demos on this DVD all year long to show your clients or students how to prepare what’s in season. One demo shows how to use roasted tomatoes, onions, and peppers to make a marinara sauce that’s served over zucchini noodles – perfect for the summer farmers market season. Other demos show how to prepare veggies like artichokes, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and more.
Even the best home cooks (and the most seasoned registered dietitians!) will learn something new from these fun segments that show how to use every part of plants and learn to love vegetables.
“Plant Slant,” a new category in our store, provides tools to help you educate your clients about a plant-based eating style. Plant Slant is a hot topic these days, because eating more plant foods (and less animal products) is good for your health and good for the environment. It doesn’t take a vegetarian or vegan diet to reap the benefits, making a Plant Slant an easy goal for everyone! MyPlate is based on 3/4 plants or more and a plant based eating pattern is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and it is the base of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet. By teaching the idea of a “plant slant” you open a whole new world to your clients as well as a different way of seeing and appreciating healthful foods.
Our colorful Plant Slant poster shows these fun lessons that you can use with this poster or to plan any class on your own:
Foods that make up a plant-based eating pattern include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds as well as foods made from these like vegetarian milk or vegetarian meat substitutes.
How eating more plant foods benefits your whole body, from the brain to bones, and helps prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes. A plant based diet that is high in fiber and low in added solid fat, sugar, and sodium is healthier for your heart and helps you control your weight because you feel full on fewer calories.
The environmentalimpact of eating more plant foods and less animal products is one of the most important changes anyone can make to have a smaller carbon footprint.
How eating more plant foods is for everyone who wants to be healthier, not just vegetarians or vegans.
How do you go about implementing a more plant based diet into your own routine right now?
What are easy switches? Meal ideas?
What are whole foods? (Whole foods are foods in their near natural state and do not include highly processed foods like white flour, sugar, or processed meats to mention just a few)
What is plant based? (Plant based means foods that are made from plants versus items from animals like meat)
MyPlate is 3/4 plants!
While vegan excludes all animals, plant based is mostly plants and a little more flexible. It is healthy and easy!
Our eye-catching Freedom From Chronic Disease banners feature a veggie-filled Statue of Liberty raising her “torch” of fruits and vegetables. What better way to show the benefits of eating with a Plant Slant?
Use a plant slant theme for any class, wellness fair, classroom, cafeteria, or event!
The Plant Slant Poster is new! The idea is to show the benefits of a more plant-based diet so everyone can think about how their diet can help them achieve a more optimal health status. You do not have to be on a diet or be vegetarian or vegan to slant your eating towards plants!
And plans benefit 9 different health points from vision to digestion to weight control to the avoidance of chronic diseases.
This colorful poster proclaims the benefits of eating a plant-based dietary pattern with MORE vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds and LESS animal-based and processed foods. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this eating pattern is more health promoting and has a lower impact on the environment.
The image of two positive, active bodies made up of brightly colored plant foods catches the eye. Just a quick glance at the poster shows how a plant-based eating pattern is better for the whole body (bones, brain, heart, eyes, digestive system) and influences body weight and the risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.
The vibrant graphics encourage individuals to linger long enough to read that eating more plant-based foods is better for the environment. From vegans to lactovegetarians and flexitarians, there are different ways to enjoy a plant-based eating pattern.
The Food Navigator has a great list of food trends for 2018. One thing is for sure. There are more choices for plant-based milks, dairy products, and meat alternatives than ever before in the store. This trend is predicted to continue. Sales of plant-based foods are estimated to be around $3.1 billion dollars.
“Plant Based” is a great educational message for the new year, too.
Plant-based is just a new way to present most of the lessons from the US Dietary Guidelines. After all, MyPlate is 3/4 plants with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And legumes are listed as both a vegetable and a protein.
Here is a handy glossary:
Plant based – A diet higher in plant–based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Whole foods – foods that are nearly in their original, whole state and have little processing; specifically they are not primarily filled with added sugar or fat or refined flour. For example, whole wheat cream of wheat is more whole than corn flakes or fruit charms. Whole wheat bread is more whole than muffins. Potatoes are more whole than potato chips. Apples are more whole than apple pop tarts. Whole foods have more fiber, fewer calories, less salt, sugar, and fat. So you get more nutrients and fiber, and fewer calories or fewer grams of artery-clogging fat or blood pressure-rising sodium. Unfortunately the trade off is that you get less convenience. But planning ahead and cooking at home and planning leftovers is a simple workaround that is better for your pocketbook and your health.
Non-dairy milk – a “milk-like beverage” made from a plant-based ingredient(s). Examples include almond milk, flax milk, and soy milk. There are also many others in this category with the newest being from peas (Rippl). The advantage to this type of milk is that it is not regulated by the FDA the same way dairy milk is and thus it can contain many beneficial additives such as more calcium or omega-3 fatty acids. You should still read the label to make sure that it is not a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, or sugar. Coconut milk often contains a lot of saturated fat and flavored milk may contain a lot of sugar. Some of these milks do not contain any calcium so that is another item to check, too. Regular milk always contains about 30% of the daily value for calcium so try to stay close to that amount since dairy products are usually the most significant source of calcium in the modern diet. The benefits of this plant-based milk are that it is plant based, sweetly flavored, thicker than skim milk, and easier on the digestive system for most people. It is also an option for people who choose to be vegan or vegetarian.
Dietary Guidelines – a set of guidelines mandated by US law that provides an academic committee to review the most recent nutrition research and provide guidelines to Americans and their health care providers every five years.
MyPlate – the icon for a balanced diet from the USDA. It is based on the dietary guidelines and helps people balance their meals by providing a plate graphic with 5 proportional food group sections that include dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Vegan – a person who does not consume any animal products or foods that contain them and who does not use any products that are the byproducts of animal slaughter
Vegetarian – a person who chooses not to eat any meat but who may or may not consume eggs or dairy
Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian – a person who is vegetarian but who might eat fish or poultry on occasion
Grains – the seeds of grasses that are produced for food; examples include oats, wheat, rice, barley, quinoa, teff, amaranth, and many more
Vegetables – The parts of herbaceous plants eaten as food by humans, whole or in part, are generally considered vegetables. This includes leaves, seeds, bulbs, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits.
Fruits – in botany, fruits are the seed-bearing structures of plants. In the culinary world they tend to be the sweet ones like oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwis, melons, berries, peaches, pears, and more. The more savory fruits like tomatoes and avocados are used as vegetables in a kitchen.
Beans – seeds from a legume pod also called dried beans, legumes, or pulses are from flowering plants in the Leguminosae family. This includes the soybean, chickpea, bean, and pea, among others (Morris 365). Other lesser known members of the legume family include clover, licorice, lentils, and the peanut.
Aquafaba – the cooking liquid of beans and other legumes like chickpeas, which can be used to replace egg whites since it can be whipped. It is a mix of protein, starches, and other substances which leach into the water during the cooking process. FMI see aquafaba.com
Organic – food that is free of certain pesticides and fertilizers; using organic processes for sustainable farming.
Local – food that is grown and sold locally; retains biodiversity of food and diversity of local land plus keeps money in local economy
Conventional – food that is grown without organic certification
Meatless – meals made without meat, poultry, or fish
Meatless Monday – a tradition among vegetarians where Mondays feature meatless meals
Meat as flavoring component or garnish – a topic and general tenet of plant-based diets where meat becomes a flavoring agent or garnish instead of being the main entree on the plate.