First can someone explain how it got to be September 1 already?!?!
It seems like just a minute ago I was flipping the calendar over to June and thinking, “Wow, summer is almost here!” And now… well, we are officially hopping on the Harvest Wagon.
Don’t get me wrong – I love autumn. Bring on the crispy days, the sweaters, the fall colours, the yummy nourishing soups, stews, and one-dish-in-the-oven meals. Not to mention, I have a fall birthday so what’s not to like when there’s presents and cake on the horizon? Hoo-ray!
Anyway – I doubly love the harvest season this year because I’m taking on an awesome challenge – and maybe you’ll join me?
I’m going to become a Plant Powered Promoter (P3) for 30 days.
Starting September 6th (yes, that’s post Labour Day – so we all have time to plan, shop, prepare) and running until October 6th, I’ll be switching out the meat, poultry, fish for plant choices. And I’ll be sharing my experiences every day on my Facebook page as well as writing a few epic blogs about the transition.
Why are you giving up meat?
I’ve got 7 (at least) good reasons for taking on this challenge:
1. I’ve seen some of my better dietary habits slip over the summer and it’s time to right the ship.
Summer’s been a combo of busy and lazy. And that means I have relied heavily on meals that entail a piece of meat, fish or poultry being flipped onto the BBQ or jammed between two pieces of bread or plopped onto a salad.
Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with that. I’m a believer in meat as a nourishing food for some people. But I feel like I have allowed a serving of animal protein to become the star of my meal show and since I teach my clients that the world does not have to revolve around the conventional “meat and two veg” plate, this feels kind of lazy. And tedious – which brings me to reason #2.
2. I am bored with what I am eating. Even though I possibly cook more than the average bear, like all busy people I have my half dozen standards that I make over and over and over again. Fast. Tasty. No brainer. However, this repetitive menu has run it’s course and I need new flavour sensations and culinary trials.
What better way to revamp a dreary meal plan than by taking on a voluptuous veggie challenge, right?
3. This is, bar none, the best time of year to celebrate plants. Leaves, flowers, tubers, pods, roots, grains, seeds, nuts – they are all available and are all plentiful at this time of year. Whether you shop at a farmers’ market, in a conventional grocery store, or grow your own deliciousness – now is the time to gorge on the local vegetables and fruits available. They are fresh, affordable and they pay someone’s wages. And in some parts, with the record temperatures and/or other natural disasters that plagues the agricultural industry, supporting the growers is the least we can do.
Health benefits of a plant-based diet
4. Cold and flu season will be upon us before we know it, so the time to boost your immune system naturally is now! Plants are antioxidant powerhouses which help to reduce systemic inflammation in the body and protect your cells from the damage of free-radical oxidization. This provides protection not just from the common cold and flu but also from chronic diseases like certain cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, among others.
5. Fibre! For balancing your blood sugar, for keeping your digestion moving, for lowering cholesterol, reducing some forms of cancer and helping with weight management, dietary fibre is critical. Sadly, most people get less than 1/3 the number of grams they need each day (15 g versus 40 g) for optimal health. And I admit – recently when I have been eating on the run, that’s me. Number one way to boost your fibre? Plants!
Is this an ethical or an economic decision?
6. I’m always interested in spending wisely. And a plant-based diet – made up of whole foods that are purchased as locally as possible – is very economical. You just have to compare what a pound of legumes or a pound of broccoli or a pound or brown rice costs as compared to a pound of cheddar or a pound of chicken. I’m looking forward to some bulk shopping and bulk cooking this month and seeing what bargains I can grab!
7. Finally – I think about the planet and the resources we have at our disposal for food. I want to do right by the earth and by those creatures we share the earth with, so conventional factory farms – especially those raising animals – give me pause. Don’t get me wrong – I support farmers who raise animals for food providing they do it with kindness and ethics that ensure the animals are humanely raised and humanely treated throughout their lives. I am not making this switch to a plant-based diet for purely ethical reasons but it does factor into my decision to try to reduce my consumption overall and to choose my sources wisely.
I’m pretty sure there will be some amazing creations and recipes and tips that might help your own journey as the month rolls on – and some spectacular failures too. But as I muddle through, I’m going to try to keep Henry Ford’s philosophy in mind: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
Healthfully yours –