Eat plants and prosper.  

Judging by the response resulting from my recent social media post on plant-based eating, you’re into it.

That post is the seed I planted in order to sprout the growing idea I had of changing the direction of Eating Clean from meat based to more plant based.

You said, “Yes please!”

I don’t have anything against meat, as long as you ensure you’ve chosen grass fed, free range, ethically raised and slaughtered animals.  The need to eat protein to flourish in optimal wellness is real. No civilization on earth has ever thrived on plants alone.  Most ancient peoples depended on some form of animal protein – bone broth, pemmican, jerky, insects, eggs, fish, dairy – to further the species.

It isn’t a political thing for me.  

What is becoming clear to me is that I enjoy eating more heavily plant-based because I can readily synch with the seasons – Nature dictates what’s on the menu – and when I eat loads of plants I feel more energized.  I also noticed that my stamina has improved. It has become so great I could work alongside moving men for an entire day when this past summer I helped to move the households of 4 of my loved ones. 

“Damn!” I thought. “I feel freakin’ strong!”  And I am.

The plant-based thing happened by accident. After my husband’s passing in 2012, I was no longer facing the task of having to cook a meaty roast for him.  Bob was a big fan of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, a nod to his Britishness. Personally, I could easily leave the stuff behind! Facing a plate smeared with bloody flesh was not nearly as enjoyable for me.

By default, after his passing, I began to eat more vegetables and bone broth based dishes.  I found it easier to eat this way as a single person because it was easier to control portions, eat in season and make single serving meals or “sittables” as I like to call intended leftovers.  I had little interest in cooking a whopper of a steak for myself. 

I also have a thing for meals in bowls.  Everything in a bowl tastes so good!

Also, there’s something friendlier about saying I eat “plant-based” versus saying “I’m a vegetarian,” or “I’m a vegan.”  These last two always sound so political, so judgy! Plant-based eating gives me room to progress in my plant eating journey.

I’m a plant-based eater.  That’s my new handle.  

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What is a Plant-Based Diet?

What does it mean to eat plant-based?  It’s as simple as basing your daily food intake more heavily on anything that comes from a plant.  

Plant-based eating includes everything from the coconut oil or mashed avocado you spread on your sourdough to the oat/almond/soy milk you drink.  Have you ever tried macadamia nut milk? Or Brazil nut/almond milk? Rich fats in the nuts make a frothy, creamy, sensuous latte that I enjoyed recently in Hawaii. Of course, I will share the recipes!

I realized I was consuming more and more plants when I reviewed my eating for a few days.  I often ask my private clients to journal everything they eat for 3-5 days. It gives me a view into their eating habits.  What they are eating. When they eat and how they feel. When I looked at my own food intake I noticed that virtually every meal in a 5 day period except 2 or 3, were based on plants.  And without fail, I was feeling amazing!

Breakfast was Overnight Oats with chia, flax, and berries.  All plants! 

Mid-morning snack was 3 dates spread with natural nut butter.  All plants!

Lunch was a chopped salad with loads of colourful leaves and crunchy stuff, all plant-based. Even the Tempeh I chose for my protein source was based on plants.

Mid-afternoon snack included a handful of raw carrots and cucumbers with 2 tablespoons of hummus.  All plants!

Dinner was Brown Rice Pilaf with roasted squash, chickpeas, toasted pine nuts, and parsley.  Again, the meal was all plant based.

I surprised myself when I saw this.  This was plant-based eating and I didn’t even know I was doing it!

I will add that I do eat eggs.  But only specific kinds. I am picky about eggs.  They need to be as fresh as possible and hopefully with the bloom still on them.  (More on bloom in a later blog). Whole eggs raised in humane and even idyllic conditions give me loads of necessary protein to rebuild my immune system and do all the other tasks that proteins do.  It’s a long list!

I also eat Bone Broth by the Mason Jar!  It’s my addiction, to be honest. There is something so wholesome about Bone Broth that I can’t stop making it. It feeds my soul in an honest way – deeply nourishing, energizing and readily digestible, bone broth is the answer to much of what ails.  I make sure to get my bones from organic sources, either the carcass of a roasted organic chicken or from my friend who farms his animals in the friendliest way.

In short, I spend much of my eating time chewing on plants and am loving it! 🌿

What are the Benefits of a Plant-based Diet?

Today the benefits of eating plant-based are greater and more poignant than ever.  Many would say you can heal the planet by eating plants instead of animals. This idea touches me deeply.  I want to do better for my planet.  

In his groundbreaking book Drawdown, author Paul Hawken ranks 100’s of daily living habits according to how much they can help reduce carbon emissions. Raising animals for human consumption is a costly endeavor when you consider the long list of resources that go into the process.  Thus eating a plant rich diet ranks as #4 among the most powerful ways you can help to reduce climate change. 

“Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs.”  ~ Drawdown by Paul Hawken

This does not take into account the money that would be saved in health care costs – an estimated $1 trillion!!  Eating poor meat, rancid oils, refined foods, trans fats, low nutrient foods, highly processed foods and empty calories has cost trillions in dollars and even more in unnecessary heartache. 

If some of this pain could be alleviated and even avoided by eating more plants, isn’t that a no brainer?  Wouldn’t you do it?

Here’s Hawken’s ranking for the top 10 ways you can help reduce carbon emissions.  You can see the full list here. 

Where do I get started with Plant-based eating?

Success with making any kind of dietary change best happens when you take it slow and make small, incremental changes.  I think you wouldn’t fare well if I told you to go cold turkey – pun intended.

Consider breakfast.  Plants can factor into your first meal of the day through greens or grains.  Saute spinach in a little coconut oil, transfer to a slice of toasted sourdough bread and top with sliced avocado and tomato. Dust with a little salt and that’s breakfast.  Grains, when properly prepared through soaking, are also a plant based food. Soak oats overnight in warm water with a dash of Himalayan salt. Add plant based milk, yogurt or kefir in the morning with sprinkles of chia and flax and top with berries or chopped fresh fruit.  

It’s all about planning for success by thinking ahead and having the plant foods you need on hand.  Plant rich pilafs, soups and stews work beautifully as lunches and dinners and the leftovers are lifesavers the next day. 

Fruits and vegetables, leafy greens and grains can power you through an entire day so it’s easy to go clean and green.

The Quick View On How To Eat Clean™

Uncomplicate your eating with this easy guide to Eating Clean ~ packed with 51 food laws to help you simplify how to eat in the modern world.

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What can I eat on a Plant-Based Diet?

Simply put, a diet rich in plants is all about eating more plants.  But even this needs to be done with mindfulness since there are many plants grown in poor conditions that offer little or no nutrition.  Always choose plant foods that are thoughtfully grown, and contain the genetic information you need to thrive.

Consider that many seeds today are not the seeds of yesterday.  They are often filled with gluten to appear bigger, are genetically modified so as to interfere with your wellness and showered in unnamable toxins that poison you.  That means that right from the start your produce isn’t safe to consume. 

Here’s some help. Choose your plants using the S I L O H  acronym:

Seasonal – eat foods in season to access their highest nutritional quality.

Indigenous – Indigenous seeds preserve their original genetic code.  Indigenous seeds are those produced, growing or living naturally in a particular country or climate. They are seeds that have been selected and managed by local people in the local growing environment. 

Local – Locally grown foods benefit the farmer and you.  These foods are generally pesticide free, preservative free, not gassed for transport and deliver higher nutritional value. You are also more apt to understand how the farmer has grown this food, therefore you have a greater connection to it.

Organic – Organic foods refer to the growing process whereby foods are grown without pesticides, herbicides, toxins, and preservatives in organic soil.

Heirloom – Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that pass on similar characteristics and traits from parent to child plant. But heirloom refers to the heritage of a plant while organic refers to the growing practice. 

What foods do I need to avoid on a plant-based diet?

As in an Eat Clean based diet, I would encourage avoiding all refined and processed foods, alcohol, trans fats, rancid oils, and other questionable substances in a plant-based diet.  It’s the same thing. Plants or not, refined food has harmed the planet in uncountable ways. Keeping it clean and green is the answer and always has been.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master, quotes “making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.”

That is what makes me feel so good about plant-based eating. As one little person on this multi billion strong planet, what I eat on a daily basis powerfully contributes to the overall condition of my planet.  I will do my part. And I will do it this way.

 

Plant-based Eating in the News

I happen to be privy to an amazing bit of cutting edge, plant-based news.  A company in the USA is taking farming to entirely new levels through indoor organic farming. 

Groviv is actively and responsibly nourishing the world with technology that ensures organic results in a controlled environment where light, temperature, water, soil are managed to produce the highest quality, gluten free, organic food.  The company is even using music to produce stronger, more nutritious plants. It’s unheard of!

Most seeds today are pumped full of “stuff” and even gluten to be bigger and better.  Groviv is gluten free from untouched seeds. And most of these are heirloom seeds. The plight of heirloom seeds is real. Many of them can’t even be grown in today’s lacking soil conditions. Yet Groviv can grow such seeds, many not seen for multiple decades.  

There is no soil used in this Groviv operation.  Instead, a soil mat saturated with nutrients and water is used.  Water is our most precious resource. Wrap your head around the 75% versus 3% difference.  An average farm uses 75% water to grow a crop. Groviv only uses 3%. The soil mats are also recycled back into the nutrient cycle when they are spent. It is a highly efficient system.

A small 25’ x 25’ pod can produce the same as 1000’s of acres of farmland using a patented spiral system to grow plants UP.  No fossil fuels are being used because there is no need for tractors or other fuel operated equipment. This means that no CO2 is being emitted.  Instead, after 6 days of growth when the seed/plant is at its prime, 3000 litres of clean O2 is being produced.

You can see how powerful it is to opt for plants.  Eating Clean really is Eating Green and that’s good for you and for your planet.

Wishing you happy salad days.

With great love,
Tosca

The Quick View On How To Eat Clean™

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Mac Nut Latte

Mac Nut Latte

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted, plain, whole macadamia nuts
  • 3-4 cups water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk // more water for thinner milk)
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

How to make macadamia nut milk

Soak macadamia nuts in cool or room temperature water for 2 hours. Rinse and drain.

Combine nuts, water and salt in a Vitamix or high-speed blender. 

Cover and blend for 5 minutes or until the mixture is uniform.

Pour nut mixture over a large mixing bowl or pitcher through a nut milk bag.  

Save pulp for baked goods or to add to oatmeal, smoothies, or Powerballs.

Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days (sometimes more). 

Shake well before use.

How to make the Latte

Brew strong cup of coffee or espresso.

Add desired amount of Mac Nut Milk and pour into Vitamix or high-speed blender.

Add ½ tsp coconut oil.

Blend until frothy.

Transfer to a mug and drink hot.

Notes

Keeps 5 Days in refrigerator

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
ToscaReno.com, occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutriotion information comes from online calculators. While toscareno.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate it with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. Under no circumstances will toscareno.com or its owners be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information given by this site. By using toscareno.com and its content, you agree to these terms.
 

Brazil Nut Almond Milk Latte

Brazil Nut Almond Milk Latte

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted, plain, whole almonds
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted, plain, whole Brazil nuts
  • 3-4 cups water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk // more water for thinner milk)
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

How to make the nut milk

Soak almonds and Brazil nuts in cool or room temperature water for 2 hours. Rinse and drain.

Combine nuts, water and salt in a Vitamix or high-speed blender. 

Cover and blend for 5 minutes or until the mixture is uniform.

Pour nut mixture over a large mixing bowl or pitcher through a nut milk bag.  

Save pulp for baked goods or to add to oatmeal, smoothies, or Powerballs.

Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days (sometimes more). 

Shake well before use.

How to make the Latte

Brew strong cup of coffee or espresso.

Add desired amount of  Brazil nut/Almond milk and pour into Vitamix or high-speed blender.

Add ½ tsp coconut oil.

Blend until frothy.

Transfer to a mug and drink hot.

Notes

Keeps 5 Days in refrigerator

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g
ToscaReno.com, occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutriotion information comes from online calculators. While toscareno.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate it with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. Under no circumstances will toscareno.com or its owners be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information given by this site. By using toscareno.com and its content, you agree to these terms.

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