Eco eating: Food for your health and the Earth’s
In this episode of the rEATsearch podcast, Lindsay and I talk about a recent systematic review on eco eating; that is climate change mitigation through dietary change. Yes, what we eat—and what we advise our clients and patients to eat—can make a bigger difference than I realized before I dove into the research!
The study discussed in this podcast episode was a systematic review that looked at 18 other studies. The researchers found a link between a climate-friendly diet (“eco eating”) and a human-healthy diet. Hint: they’re pretty close to being one in the same!
Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to this episode:
- What percent of greenhouse gases are from agriculture and food production (with and without processing/transportation) and what single aspect of food makes the most difference
- The best diets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Which diets use more water
- What percent of human water use goes toward food production
- Compared with baseline diets, shifts towards ‘sustainable diets’ or ‘eco eating’ were reported to improve health in the majority of measurements
- Which diets reduce risk of diabetes by more than 17%
- Which diets reduce risk of cancer by ~10-12%
Of course, the show notes linked below contain links to the study and other resources we mention in the episode, including the latest done-for-you article on sustainable food so you can share some plant-based and food waste reduction inspo with your audience.
The lightly-edited transcript is right below that if you prefer to read (as I do).
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to include them at the bottom of this post.
Listen to the rEATsearch podcast episode
(Give it 16 seconds to start up—we’re still kinda new at podcasting.) 🙏
Resources and links (notes for eco eating episode)
- REVIEW STUDY: Jarmul, S., Dangour, A. D., Green, R., Liew, Z., Haines, A., & Scheelbeek, P. F. (2020). Climate change mitigation through dietary change: a systematic review of empirical and modelling studies on the environmental footprints and health effects of ‘sustainable diets’. Environmental research letters : ERL [Web site], 15, 123014. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abc2f7
- STUDY PROTOCOL: Jarmul, S., Liew, Z., Haines, A., & Scheelbeek, P. (2019). Climate change mitigation in food systems: the environmental and health impacts of shifting towards sustainable diets, a systematic review protocol. Wellcome open research, 4, 205. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15618.1
- rEATsearch episode 2 “Getting to the meat of veganism (inflammation and veganism)”: https://podcasts.bcast.fm/e/rn7zz5x8
- TED talk by William Li: https://www.ted.com/talks/william_li_can_we_eat_to_starve_cancer?language=en
- RECIPE: Spicy peanut tofu bowls: https://pinchofyum.com/spicy-peanut-tofu-bowls
- HOW TO DETERMINE STRENGTH OF STUDIES INFOGRAPHIC by Compound Chem Rough guide to types of scientific evidence: https://www.compoundchem.com/2015/04/09/scientific-evidence/
- DONE-FOR-YOU SCIENCE-BASED ARTICLE FOR HEALTH PROS ON SUSTAINABLE FOODS: https://leesaklich.com/downloads/sustainable-food/
The fully customizable done-for-you article references this study, plus 27 others to give a good overview of the topic and tons of tips to help your clients and patients eat more sustainably.
Transcript for the eco eating episode (lightly edited)
[00:00:29.310] – Leesa
Hi everyone, for the next episode of the rEATsearch podcast, I’m Leesa.
[00:00:34.860] – Lindsay
I’m Lindsay. Welcome back.
[00:00:37.200] – Leesa
Welcome. Today we’re going to be talking about sustainable food (or “eco eating”) because honestly, I was totally inspired by this topic because it’s spring and because farmers markets are opening, and I’m actually trying to grow herbs. I have a very non-green thumb and I’m trying really hard to get some parsley going in my pot–it’s sort of working. But this is a topic that totally inspires me, because also at this point in time, like right now, we’re in May 2021. So it really feels like we are on an exit ramp out of the pandemic, which is so good. The thing is, there’s still an existential crisis that we need to deal with after the pandemic is settled, which may not be for another couple of months or a year or more–hopefully sooner rather than later. That’s climate change.
[00:01:35.520] – Lindsay
[00:01:35.520] – Leesa
And that’s something that is totally on my agenda. What can I do to help and how can we get the word out? So I was totally inspired by this topic on sustainable food because I created my latest done-for-you article, which is in the credible health workshop about sustainable food (eco eating). And of course, I found such cool studies to talk about. So here’s one of them.
[00:01:59.220] – Lindsay
I love that we’re talking about this. I think this is such a critical topic to be talking about right now. Climate change is definitely a big issue. We need to start taking more action. So I’m glad that you’re sharing this information. Thank you.
[00:02:13.230] – Leesa
Yes, thank you. You know what that reminds me of? When I was in. I don’t know if anybody else remembers OACs in Ontario.
[00:02:20.550] – Lindsay
Yes, I do.
[00:02:21.540] – Leesa
You remember OAC’s, yeah. If you don’t know, OAC was that kind of fifth year of high school before you go to university, which no longer exists. But that was called Ontario Academic Credit.
[00:02:36.570] – Lindsay
Yeah, I was the last year and so I,
[00:02:39.780] – Leesa
[00:02:39.780] – Lindsay
Yeah, I was the last year that had to do that. And so when I graduated it was like a double graduation year because the following year the grade twelves didn’t have to go through OAC. So there were big concerns with all of the students because now we had this double wave trying to get into post-secondary.
[00:03:00.690] – Lindsay
Yeah. So thank God students don’t have to do that anymore because that was not fun. I hated having to do that fifth year, it was annoying.
[00:03:08.430] – Leesa
Yeah that fifth year, and you only needed six OAC credits and you only need three per semester. So you didn’t even fill up your schedule anyway.
[00:03:15.690] – Leesa
One of the courses I loved the most in my OACs was–it was a geography course–it was called World Issues.
[00:03:25.350] – Lindsay
Oh, that would be a good one.
[00:03:26.550] – Leesa
Yeah, it was interesting. And I can’t remember the exact year, I think it was 1990 when I was graduating. I did this project back in 1990 on climate change. Back then the science was still kind of new-ish. And I was so nervous getting in front of the class and presenting this new-ish concept that didn’t have a ton of people on board. Ninety-nine percent of the scientists were not in agreement–at all–at that time. And yet here we are in 2021 and we gotta get going with this in a much bigger way than we are right now.
[00:04:08.250] – Lindsay
There’s definitely a lot of pushback from some industry, which is why I think there’s been quite a lag in progression. But really, the science is indisputable at this point. We are very quickly approaching an apex point where we have to make some big changes or we’re in serious trouble. This is one of the ways to do it. What we eat is such a huge contributor. So tell us, what does the research say?
[00:04:35.460] – Leesa
That was a perfect segue because I have a question. Can you guess how much–of all of the greenhouse gases humans release–how much of that is only from agriculture alone? Just from food production? Do you have a wild idea? We’re talking transportation, mining, plastics creation, like all of those things. How much do you think is just agriculture?
[00:05:05.040] – Lindsay
I’m going to say, 35-40 percent, would be my guess.
[00:05:10.090] – Leesa
You are so close. Yeah, amazing! So, food production alone–just the farming–and this includes plants and animals, accounts for about 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. And when you add on processing and transportation of food, you’re up to 37 percent.
[00:05:34.070] – Lindsay
That’s really high. That’s a lot.
[00:05:36.640] – Leesa
It’s big. And there’s a lot of opportunity here to make food choices that are more sustainable (“eco eating”).
[00:05:42.760] – Lindsay
So, can I ask the question then?
[00:05:45.160] – Leesa
[00:05:45.160] – Lindsay
Does that include deforestation down in South America? Because they’re clearing so much forest to make land for cattle grazing.
[00:05:56.860] – Leesa
Yes, right. This study looks at a bunch of different things. So one is the greenhouse gas emissions. One is land use, which is exactly what you’re talking about. As well as water use, and even nitrogen use. So we’ll look at all four of those and the impacts agriculture has. Agriculture can make such a big difference, especially in the production of food. So if the production of food is at 25 percent and if you add everything else and it’s 37 percent, we have the most bang for our buck just in choosing what types of foods we decide to farm (eco eating).
[00:06:30.760] – Lindsay
Yeah, I totally agree.
[00:06:32.950] – Leesa
This study is called and I quote–we’ve got to get into the nerdiness–“Climate Change Mitigation Through Dietary Change: A Systematic Review and Empirical Modeling Studies on the Environmental Footprint and Health Effects of Sustainable Diets.” So, of course, that’s going to be linked in the notes below.
[00:06:55.060] – Leesa
And before we dive in. The researchers are all from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the U.K. This was published in 2020 and it is a systematic review.
[00:07:05.950] – Leesa
So we know that is a seven out of seven on our “How Strong the Studies Are” chart that we love to reference from CompoundChem. It is one of the best types of studies because it’s a study that includes multiple other studies, it’s not just a one-off. So, let’s get to the key points. In general. And again, there are some exceptions, but in general, a sustainable diet is a diet that is higher in plants and lower in animals.
[00:07:37.150] – Leesa
This particular study looked at 18 different studies that met all of its pre-set criteria before they did their searches. And they actually published their systematic review protocol as a separate study online. So I’ll link to that as well so you can actually go in and see all of the search criteria they used and all of their criteria that would have excluded a lot of other studies from being included in this one.
[00:08:05.480] – Leesa
As I mentioned, we’re going to look at greenhouse gases, water use, land use and nitrogen use. And overall, they found consistent evidence–consistent with positive health effects and reduced environmental footprints. Eco eating is a Win-Win.
[00:08:23.620] – Lindsay
Yeah, I was going to say it’s as you said, the more sustainability means more plants and less animals, I was going to say that is one of the best diets that we’ve been able to ascertain from all the research, because you don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian.
[00:08:41.260] – Leesa
[00:08:41.850] – Lindsay
But what you have to do is cut back on your animal consumption and start filling your plate with more plants. And that is, again, better for the environment. It’s better for the climate. It’s better for your health. You’re right it’s win-win across the board.
[00:08:56.650] – Leesa
Win-win, yes. Again, this study is not specifically advocating for any one particular diet, but as you reduce your animal intake and increase your plant intake, you are getting those double benefits.
So, for greenhouse gas emission, they looked at all different diets. And there are a couple of diets that consistently came up to help with health and greenhouse gases, more specifically. So for greenhouse gas emissions, specifically, a vegan diet reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 80 percent.
[00:09:33.850] – Lindsay
Wow, that’s huge.
[00:09:35.760] – Leesa
Crazy. It’s huge. Vegan diets win specifically when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions by a long shot. And vegetarian is right behind them at 74.6 percent reduction.
[00:09:49.670] – Lindsay
Wow. Yeah, those are big numbers.
[00:09:52.300] – Leesa
Huge. You can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases by 75-80 percent by cutting out meat. And again, personally, I’m not going to be cutting out all meat because I do love some meats. But this is good news because I know, maybe instead of having it once every while, I’ll have it once every ‘bigger’ while.
[00:10:15.500] – Lindsay
Have you heard of the pegan diet?
[00:10:18.020] – Leesa
Is that like pescatarian? With fish?
[00:10:23.000] – Lindsay
From my understanding, it was kind of a fluke definition that was created, I think loosely associated with Mark Hyman. But he was basically suggesting a hybrid between a vegan and a paleo diet is the best way to go. So you have so much plant-based, but then you get enough meat on your plate to make sure you’re getting all the essential proteins. You’re getting a lot of the micronutrients that are harder to get in a vegan diet. So Iron, B12, some of the EFAs like lots of fish, but just enough to help keep your health up, but not enough to have a huge impact on climate and other health issues that are often associated with it. Yeah, I just want to add that that sounds like this is exactly what we’re talking about.
[00:11:18.610] – Leesa
Yeah, no. That’s interesting. So the “p” in that case is paleo, not “p” for a pescetarian as in fish.
[00:11:24.950] – Lindsay
[00:11:25.580] – Leesa
So that’s interesting.
[00:11:27.220] – Leesa
Cool, so that’s specifically on greenhouse gas emissions. We have clear winners in greenhouse gas emissions.
[00:11:34.490] – Leesa
When it comes to land use and nitrogen use. Those sustainable diets in general do reduce the amount of land needed and the amount of nitrogen (which is in fertilizer) needed by smaller amounts, we’re talking like 8.93 or 11.2 percent. In general, all of these sustainable diets put together.
Do you know one area that the plant-based diet did not win? That’s water use.
[00:12:05.180] – Lindsay
Oh, interesting, I did not see that coming. I thought you were going to say corn or soy because they’re so monoculture and they require so much fertilizer, that makes sense.
[00:12:18.080] – Leesa
Right, the water use was actually higher in these diets that are more plant-based rather than animals.
Oh, you know what I didn’t tell you at the beginning? Do you know how much–out of all the freshwater that people consume every year–the percentage that goes to agriculture, to actually producing food? Like 80 percent.
[00:12:41.240] – Lindsay
[00:12:41.960] – Leesa
Most of the water that we take from the earth, 80 percent, goes to agriculture to feeding or watering crops and animals.
[00:12:52.400] – Lindsay
There seems to be more of a growth towards greenhouse growth in terms of these hydroponic growth systems. I’m wondering if that–I’ve heard that reduces a lot of water consumption because everything is so contained? I wonder if there’s going to be more research coming out talking about the benefits of that?
[00:13:12.830] – Leesa
That would be interesting. I have no idea. That would be interesting to know.
[00:13:16.400] – Lindsay
I don’t know either. Okay, cool.
[00:13:18.830] – Leesa
Okay. So now let’s talk about health effects, because we have four environmental effects. We know that a plant-based diet wins over animal in greenhouse gases, nitrogen use, and land use, but not water use. So what about the health effects of these diets, which we know fruits and vegetables are so good for everybody, right?
[00:13:37.720] – Lindsay
[00:13:38.750] – Leesa
So they looked at a bunch of risks, they compared it with a baseline diet. So these sustainable diets reduced risk of diabetes.
[00:13:50.180] – Lindsay
[00:13:50.690] – Leesa
Specifically, a vegan diet reduces risk of diabetes by 19 percent.
[00:13:55.910] – Lindsay
Wow, that’s big.
[00:13:57.890] – Leesa
It’s big. And I want to put this in context as well, because nobody’s risk of diabetes is going to be 100 percent. So whatever your risk of diabetes would have been, it is reduced by 19.3 percent for a vegan diet and–again, closely behind–17.8 percent for a vegetarian diet.
[00:14:20.450] – Lindsay
Wow, that’s impressive. And it goes like I keep thinking about that one episode we did where we were comparing a vegan diet to an omnivore diet. And really it didn’t come down to whether you eat meat or not. But the more plants you add into your diet, typically, the less overall calories you’re eating, which reduces your waist circumference, which improves your health outcome. If you want to go back and check it out.
[00:14:42.600] – Leesa
There’s a lot of intersection.
[00:14:44.750] – Lindsay
[00:14:45.950] – Leesa
And I wanted to do the top three for diabetes. And again, this is based on this one particular systematic review. And we are not advocating that everybody drops all animal foods. This is for context and to understand how it works and you make the best decision for yourself.
[00:15:05.840] – Lindsay
I totally agree.
[00:15:06.770] – Leesa
Diabetes risk reduction is 19.3 percent for vegan, 17.8 percent vegetarian, and almost 10 percent just by reducing animal foods (for diabetes).
[00:15:20.060] – Lindsay
[00:15:20.690] – Leesa
We also looked at cancer, I pulled out cancer as another one. They have a cool table and chart that you can look at where you can see all of these numbers. Again, it’s linked in the study. Didn’t want to bore everyone with all the details, but I want to throw cancer out here as well. So the cancer risk reduction was, again, highest for a vegan diet, so 11.7 percent reduction. Vegetarian is right behind again at 10.1 percent reduction. And then reducing animal source foods was almost a 10 percent reduction, 9.95.
[00:15:53.150] – Lindsay
[00:15:53.960] – Leesa
So the evidence of all of these studies put together in this particular systematic review, all point to improvements in health by having more plants in your diet.
[00:16:07.710] – Lindsay
Do you know who Dr. William Li is?
[00:16:09.740] – Leesa
I don’t think so.
[00:16:10.730] – Lindsay
Yeah. He does a lot of research on cancer and how to reduce your risk by consuming more vegetables. Because when you develop cancer, you have to have something happening called angiogenesis, which is, the growth of new blood vessels. But what happens in cancer is the growth happens differently than it does normally. So basically it’s sloppily put together because cancer grows so fast, they’re just like ‘just get some blood supply.’ So, William Li talks about how you can consume this anti-angiogenic diet, which basically means you’re eating plant-based foods that inhibit the growth of this type of blood vessel formation. So basically, you’re starving cancer before it has the chance to develop. And this is what he’s focused his research on. He’s got a TED talk and then you can go look up a whole bunch of his papers. We’ll see if we can link to it in the show notes if you want to check it out. But this directly relates to what you’re talking about. You eat more plants and there are all these multifactorial ways that you’re reducing your risk of cancer actually taking root and developing into a bigger health risk.
[00:17:20.490] – Leesa
Right. Angiogenesis is one of those multiple ways.
[00:17:23.840] – Lindsay
Yeah, one of them. So just when you were talking about that, it just made me think of that because he has some really interesting research out.
[00:17:29.900] – Leesa
Right, right. It’s his research clinical or is it on cells? Is it lab work?
[00:17:34.560] – Lindsay
You know, I can’t remember, but I’ll look it up and we can post information in the show notes so people can go look into it themselves.
[00:17:42.990] – Leesa
[00:17:42.990] – Lindsay
And like I said, he’s done a good TED talk, so I’ll make sure to add the link to that too.
[00:17:47.630] – Leesa
[00:17:48.230] – Lindsay
So, yeah, that’s really neat that there are multi studies showing how we can reduce our risk of health outcomes.
[00:17:56.510] – Leesa
Right. And that’s kind of the same thing for climate change. There are glaciologists, and there are entomologists, and there are atmospheric scientists–people from all different disciplines are seeing the same thing where they are. And cancer research is no different. There are so many researchers looking at all of these little details. And when you start seeing the big picture putting it all together, it gets clearer and clearer as we get more and more study. That’s really interesting.
[00:18:26.180] – Lindsay
There’s so much overlap and there’s just so many different ways of approaching all these different topics that it’s really interesting to see all the perspectives. So I love that you’re adding this sustainability aspect to the health of the planet and the health of people because they’re so intertwined.
[00:18:42.650] – Leesa
Right, yes. More intertwined than I even knew before I started doing the research for this latest article, because you dive in and you’re like, ‘oh my gosh, this is so interesting.’ What else is there to learn about this topic?
[00:18:56.180] – Lindsay
So I think the episode should be called: When in Doubt, Eat More Plants. (Or, “eco eating.”)
[00:19:00.860] – Leesa
Oh, yes, I think that’s the whole topic.
[00:19:03.020] – Lindsay
Well, because. Yeah, I mean, really, it’s just, I guess water conservation would be the downside, but overall, I think that all the other benefits outweigh. But now I’m curious to see as we integrate more of this hydroponic farming, how that’s going to impact water conservation.
[00:19:23.300] – Leesa
Right, right. I was going to say, another thing I was thinking too is in terms of where we can actually do that kind of agriculture, because all of these numbers I’m showing are global.
[00:19:33.650] – Lindsay
[00:19:34.940] – Leesa
These are studies from all over the world where there’s different nutritional needs, and different nutritional deficiencies, and different food scarcity issues, and food distribution issues, and different food industries or companies doing things differently in different countries. That looking at it globally is also such a different perspective than looking at what’s local. Like. I literally live twenty minutes from the largest year long farmer’s market in Canada.
[00:20:02.930] – Lindsay
[00:20:03.680] – Leesa
So it’s so different here, I’m sure. And when I lived in Newfoundland, agriculture was always a challenge because it’s so cloudy and so windy, so, even in one country, things can be so different when it comes to agriculture.
[00:20:18.240] – Lindsay
I think Canada–and I know the US–presents a lot of unique challenges just because we have such different climates from one side to the other. Like you look at BC you’re looking at quite overcast, a lot of precipitation here in the mountains, which means there’s a lot more unpredictability in terms of weather systems. But it’s beautiful there. And there are pockets like in, I’m not sure if you’ve been, but in the Okanogan area, they have really, really rich soil. Their agriculture is fantastic. But yeah, the Okanogan produces tons of fabulous produce. But irrigation is a big problem there because technically that area is a desert. And so you have great soil but difficult access to water. Whereas I’m in Edmonton, Alberta, and it’s just so dry here. We have a lot of wheat here and there’s a lot of rapeseed, so canola, is another big one. But again, we’re really restricted with what we can grow here just because we have this weather unpredictability. So we’re recording, May 20th today and right before the long weekend, we just got -3C and snow.
[00:21:32.520] – Leesa
Oh, my gosh. I did see that.
[00:21:35.190] – Lindsay
Yeah, I woke up the other day to an inch of snow and everybody on every social media platform was like, ‘what the?’
[00:21:44.620] – Leesa
[00:21:45.600] – Leesa
Welcome to Alberta, where this is just what happens. So big challenges here. And then I know Ontario has fabulous produce. We have great soil there.
[00:21:54.000] – Leesa
[00:21:54.000] – Lindsay
I say ‘we’ because that’s where I’m from, born and raised. But I think irrigation tends to be a big problem, right? You get all this good soil, but how do you water everything so that it can grow?
[00:22:04.410] – Leesa
Yeah. It’s interesting here. And we even have the two wine-producing areas of Canada are in BC where they grow a lot of fruit and in southern Ontario where we have all of the VQA vineyards. So yeah, it’s very different even across one giant nation with agriculture. Right.
[00:22:26.160] – Leesa
So overall, those are kind of the nuts and bolts of the study. Overall, the diets that are vegan, and vegetarian, and generally lower in meat do tend to be healthier, reduce your risks of many chronic diseases that are big problems and very common in North America for sure. And they also generally tend to be more sustainable, specifically on greenhouse gases, in a big way. A little bit better in land use and fertilizer use, but it’s actually a little bit more water-intensive. So there isn’t one big Holy Grail diet for all diets, all people. Thou shall do all of these because it will solve all of your problems. That doesn’t exist because we are, of course, very complex humans. People and physiology and biochemistry are very complex, let alone the complexity of an entire diet and all of the food that we eat. And then the entire ecosystems of the world where we’re talking greenhouse gas, land, water use impacts. So there isn’t one giant takeaway other than: have more plants. Have less meat and enjoy.
[00:23:41.910] – Lindsay
You want to hear something funny?
[00:23:43.830] – Leesa
[00:23:44.340] – Lindsay
A lot of the issues around greenhouse gases with cattle like one of them is what I talked about before . . . how we clear forests, but do you want to know the other way that they contribute to greenhouse gases?
[00:23:56.100] – Leesa
I know what you’re going to say.
[00:23:57.360] – Lindsay
It’s not what you think. It’s not cow farts. It’s cow burps.
[00:24:01.620] – Leesa
Yes, cow burps. Yeah, the methane in their stomach. I know.
[00:24:03.870] – Lindsay
Because methane is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. It’s one of the worst culprits. And cows because they’re ruminants, the bacteria in their gut just produces a lot of methane. And so they’re constantly burping up methane.
[00:24:20.280] – Leesa
Yes. I totally went to a seminar at the University of Guelph a couple of years ago, and it was all on food and agriculture. You know, it’s like, ‘Moo U,’ the agricultural school. And yeah, it was totally like ‘people think it’s farts, but it’s really burps. The cows just burp too much.’
[00:24:36.190] – Lindsay
Well I think it’s funny because people find farts just really funny. Everybody, even adults.
[00:24:40.760] – Leesa
They are funny.
[00:24:41.850] – Lindsay
They’re funny. Cows farts, in a way, makes everybody laugh. But no, it’s the burps. So just reducing our demand for beef will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So because there are going to be less cows out in fields burping–which sounds really funny–but it’s true.
[00:25:03.450] – Leesa
I know, the sad thing about methane is it’s 25 times more of a greenhouse gas than even carbon dioxide. So, for every one kilogram or ton, you can reduce the methane, it’s like 25 times carbon dioxide. So it’s such a big impact. And it’s hard on the environment, but it does taste good.
[00:25:27.950] – Lindsay
I know we definitely work at reducing our consumption. I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet.
[00:25:35.850] – Leesa
Do you have any favourite recipes?
[00:25:38.910] – Lindsay
Yes. So I love curry, especially, a coconut curry flavour. That’s, oh my gosh, I just love the taste of it. So I make a, technically I think it would be considered a dahl, but it’s like a coconut curry lentil, saucy dish over rice. I’m sure there’s a real definition for it, but I just kind of wing it, so I don’t really follow any one thing. I just throw lots of curry powder and the garam masala. I just love the flavour of garam masala and then I make it really creamy with some coconut milk or some coconut cream and put it over some basmati. Typically I’m really into Brussels sprouts right now, so I’ll do seared Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze on the side. So that’s my go-to when we’re trying to do vegetarian meals. But I’m pushing myself to do more. So I think I’m going to start making homemade black bean burgers.
[00:26:32.760] – Leesa
Oh, very ambitious. I don’t even venture that far. I just buy the veggie burgers already made.
[00:26:38.940] – Lindsay
Yeah. We try and do that too. But actually, we’ve been ordering from Hello Fresh and trying to get the kids cooking more so trying to get just more plant-based in our diet as much as possible. What about you with your go-to?
[00:26:54.160] – Leesa
Oh my gosh, I have the best go-to recipe that I found. It is–and I can’t even remember the name, but I’ve made it so many times–it’s a sheet pan. And you cut up tofu and broccoli and red peppers and you bake those, you grill. Those are . . . what is it called in the oven?
[00:27:15.540] – Lindsay
[00:27:16.200] – Leesa
Broil them. And then you make your rice. But the brilliance of this is in the sauce. It’s a peanut butter and soy sauce with some ginger and garlic and honey all mixed in.
[00:27:28.680] – Lindsay
Oh my gosh, those are so good.
[00:27:31.230] – Leesa
So good. I will put that link to that recipe in here. It is a go-to, but I’ve always been a meat eater and so when I have a plant-based meal, it has to be pretty hearty.
[00:27:45.000] – Lindsay
[00:27:45.000] – Leesa
Having a peanut sauce that’s nice and thick, with the tofu and a ton of vegetables and rice. It’s actually pretty delicious. I think it’s totally vegan actually and it wasn’t even an objective to get vegan, but it’s so good. I’m going to share that one.
[00:28:00.360] – Lindsay
But it’s important to keep in mind, too, you want meals to be satiating, and I think that’s one of the challenges because plants typically aren’t as filling as animal-based protein. So you have to make sure you’re getting lots of fiber in, which is easy with plants. But you want to make sure you’re getting good amounts of protein and you want to make sure you’re getting a bit of the good fats in there, as well. And those three, I refer to them as the ‘holy trifecta.’ You could do that with vegetarian or vegan meals, but you have to put a little bit more thought and intention into it to make sure you’re covering all those other bases.
[00:28:34.980] – Leesa
Right. Awesome. Any last thoughts?
[00:28:40.080] – Lindsay
No, just when in doubt, eat more plants. If you want to get healthier and you want to try and do your part to improve climate change and work towards climate change, just find any way to start adding more plants to your plate. That’s really the take home.
[00:28:56.640] – Leesa
Yes, and it reduces your risk of a lot of chronic diseases as well.
[00:29:00.060] – Lindsay
Yeah, it just helps with everything. Just feels like you’re taking action and doing your part.
[00:29:04.560] – Leesa
[00:29:04.890] – Lindsay
That’s great. Thank you so much for sharing this article. That was fantastic.
[00:29:07.890] – Leesa
Awesome. Your welcome. I was so excited to find something that’s right up our alley with food and nutrition and a little bit of environmental science thrown in as well, so it’s awesome.
[00:29:17.400] – Lindsay
Yeah. It’s definitely a big concern, a big issue we all need to be talking about. All right.
[00:29:21.540] – Lindsay
Well, thank you for joining us today. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can email us reatsearchll at gmail.com if you have any suggestions or any feedback, anything else. We need to add?
[00:29:35.040] – Leesa
And we would love if you wanted to subscribe or leave us a review on our podcast, that would be great. And again, as Lindsay said, we’re open to suggestions. So if you have a particular area of interest or a recent really well done study that you’d like reviewed, then send it our way. Thank you.
[00:29:52.620] – Lindsay
Have a wonderful day.
[00:29:54.030] – Leesa
The fully customizable done-for-you article references this study, plus 27 others to give a good overview of the topic and tons of tips to help your clients and patients eat more sustainably.
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