Cowspiracy and Plant Based Diet Q&A

cowspiracy

There is a growing interest in plant-based nutrition and over the past three days alone, we have participated in a panel discussion following the showing of the movie Cowspiracy and presented a webinar on the Plant-Based Diet to employees of The Ohio State University. Here is a short compilation of a some common questions posed and our answers:

Q: I’m considering a vegan/vegetarian/plant-based diet but I am concerned – how will I get enough protein?

A: Some argue that Americans are getting too much protein in the typical diet. The plant-based diet includes other sources of protein, including beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Working with a nutritionist can assist you in finding out how much protein as well as the best protein sources for your individual needs.

Q: Which restaurants can I go to for a healthy plant-based meal?

A: Some obvious choices include restaurants that advertise such meals, such as Portia’s in Clintonville. Certain ethnic restaurants may have more vegetarian choices because of cuisines typical in regions such as South India. However, most restaurants and their chefs are more than accommodating in this aspect- even Hyde Park has or will make a vegetable-based dish upon request! You don’t only have to eat out at select restaurants. Explore new options!

Q: Does being plant-based mean I need to be a vegetarian or vegan?

A: No. Meat and dairy do not have to be excluded; however, rather than building a meal around the meat source,
the meal is based on whole, plant-based foods. Planning your meal this way means there is less need to add meat and dairy to the dish and ensures it is full of nutrients.

Q: How do I get others to be on-board with my new diet?

A: At the end of the day, a person has to want to make a change. Instead of the ‘hell-fire and brimstone’ approach of harping on someone about potential health issues associated with the consumption of animal products or about the suffering of animals, it is often easier to inspire. When one can see that plant-based food is appealing, delicious, helps them feel better, and is associated with less cruelty to animals and our plant, it can be a motivating force for behavior change.

Q: What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?

A: There are many health benefits associated with a plant-based diet including: weight loss, lower blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, better control of blood sugar levels, and some report having more energy. The diet is low in saturated fat, salt, and cholesterol (which can benefit the circulatory system), it has more more vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber which can all assist in disease prevention. Because it’s low in refined grains and sugar, it can help prevent the onset of diabetes. It’s also a diet that is more sustainable for our environment.

Working On Wellness: Meditation

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Image from PsychologyToday.com

From the moment we wake until we crawl into bed, exhausted, at night – we’re always doing something. Although we try to run faster and be more efficient, it usually feels as though we’re falling further behind. Information overwhelm, expectations, and rarely a moment to ourselves can cause a negative impact on our health. This kind of stress can deeply and negatively impact the body. For some examples, look at this infographic from the HeartMath Institute:

Can you relate? If so, don’t just do something – sit there!

Meditation is used with sports professionals to develop focus. Hospitals often offer classes to help deal with pain and to lower blood pressure.

Make this a powerful way of recharging your mental, emotional, and physical batteries a part of your daily routine. You’ll be able to increase your efficiency, expand your capacity to enjoy life, and reduce job stress and tension by taking a few minutes each day to meditate.

Here’s a great place to start if you’ve never tried meditation before:

MindBodyGreen’s 12 Starting Steps For Meditation

Read more about the science behind mediation from Emma Seppälä, Ph.D is Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.