Sharon's new book California Vegan is available for pre-order now!

Join the Food Day Movement!

Sharon Palmer

I’m so excited to celebrate Food Day this year with the Utah State University Dietetics students, who will present their 4th Annual Food Day campus‐wide celebration with a focus on plant‐based eating. Information booth topics will include: Palate‐Pleasing Protein from Plants, Lego My Legumes, Smoothies on the Run, and more. In collaboration with USU Dining Services, activities and events on October 22 will include interactive displays, prizes, chef demonstrations and plenty of food samples.

This event will follow my plant‐powered talk and book‐signing on October 22! And what’s more, my recipes will be featured at the celebration and at several campus dining operations. It’s a great way to celebrate Food Day, as shifting to plant-based eating is one way to lighten your footprint on Mother Earth.

It will be wonderful participating in this college event, as I have been a huge supporter of Food Day for the past few years. The goal of Food Day is to inspire Americans to change their diets and the nation’s food policies. Every October 24, thousands of events take part around the country to celebrate real, wholesome, sustainable food. For more information about Food Day head over to the website here.

Most nutrition experts today agree on one thing: including more whole plant foods in your diet is an optimal eating style for good health. By making plant foods the star of your meals, you can cut calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar; and boost all of the “good” stuff, like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Research indicates that veggie-centric diets reduce the risk of hypertension, heart disease, overall cancer, and type 2 diabetes; and lower LDL cholesterol levels and body mass index. And that’s not all — you can even cut your carbon footprint by swapping out animal foods for more plant foods. If you’ve been thinking of trying a plant-based diet — no matter what your eating style — this is a good month to get started, because it’s National Vegetarian Awareness Month.

So how can you get started on the path to plant-based eating? It’s easy — and delicious — with my  5 simple plant-powered diet tips. Why not plunge in? It’s a perfect way to celebrate National Vegetarian Month, whether your vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore.

1. Make a plant-powered goal. Whether you’re an omnivore or a vegetarian, you can make your own plant-powered goal to eat more whole plant foods at every meal. For starters, try out    Meatless Monday by enjoying one entirely plant-based meal per week as a great entry into plant-based eating. Or if you’re vegetarian, you might want to try a month of vegan eating.

2. Have a meat-free morning. Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to skip the meat. With so many delicious breakfast foods, such as whole grain cereals and breads, fruit, and even vegetables, there’s little reason to rely on meat for your first meal of the day.

3. Plants for protein. It’s a widespread misconception that it’s difficult to get enough protein from plant foods. Evidence indicates that it’s simple to achieve an adequate intake of protein from plant-based sources. Legumes, soy, nuts and seeds are your best bets, but whole grains and veggies have protein, too!

4. Change the center of your plate.   When planning your meals, start with the vegetable or plant protein component to get your creative juices flowing. Meat or “faux meat” doesn’t need to be the “center of the plate”.  If kale and cauliflower are calling to you, plan your meal around those veggies, with perhaps some simmered savory lentils and a quinoa pilaf on the side. Yum!

5. Try a new veggie recipe each week.   It’s easy to get in a rut! But why not dish up some new fabulous foods to celebrate National Vegetarian Month. Just try out a new plant-based recipe on your easiest day of the week. My website and books can get you started. And invite over your friends and family to share them. Spread the plant-powered love!

Here’s an infographic provided by FoodDay.org which features 5 ways to eat on a budget.

Here’s an infographic provided by FoodDay.org which features the cost of growing our food in the US.

Here’s an infographic provided by FoodDay.org which describes the American diet.

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