Eat Right as a Vegetarian or Vegan

For yourself and our environment

jackson_blog-phot_tpHeather Jackson, Certified Herbalist

I would like to invite you to come and learn more about the accessible and realistic lifestyle of living and thriving on a plant-based diet. We will cover topics of nutrition as well as environmental sustainability and Mother Earth-human connection. I will also be providing some easy vegan/vegetarian recipes and links that are of use when choosing a plant-based diet. Whether you already eat a plant-based diet, are aspiring to, are curious, or just want to go vegetarian/vegan one day a week, come learn the essentials in making this habit a reality. I’m going to fit as much as I can into our 2 hours together.

We will be going through the basics of nutritional health when eating a plant-based diet, including protein, mineral and vitamin rich herbs, as well as good ‘ole food sources that are accessible and essential.

We will cover circulating memes like:

  • We have to get our calcium from milk or dairy products … right? Actually, Sesame seeds (6 Tbsp. of Tahini) or 1 cup of dried Figs have about the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk(4) And along with calcium they both contain many other essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber!
  • Are you aware that only 3% of the American population gets the recommended amount of fiber in their diet per day (3)? We will look at the importance of soluble and insoluble fibers in our diet to slow transit rates through GI, thereby increasing absorption and healthy bacterial colonization.

In a fast-moving world dominated by corporate agriculture and media influence everywhere you look, it is hard to know what is being fed to us and what are truly our nutritional/environmental needs. Is raising and eating animals sustainable on the world’s current scale? I will attempt to clear up these questions as best I can and to provide you with the education necessary to make your own knowledge-based decision. Here are a few examples of the environmental impacts of consuming a conventional meat-based diet, as well as statistics.

  • For every hamburger you eat, you would have to abstain from showering for about 102 days, or 3.5 months to offset the water usage (that’s not including the cheese)!
  • Bovine skin (leather) uses more water than meat consumption, weighing in at about 201 gallons more per pound of leather produced (1)(2).
  • Rice production: cow production still uses more then 6x the water it takes to grow, manufacture and supply rice (2).
  • An estimated 60% of adults are lactose intolerant (LI) (6)
  • Enteric (animal waste pollution) emissions are the leading cause for green house gases (5).

In the end, this topic matter ties into our unique, beautiful, connected selves. Any lifestyle choice we make truly is a spiritual journey of self-reflection, discipline, dedication, inspiration, healing and the like. Wherever you stand in the environmental situation and your personal diet choices I encourage you, most of all, to follow your intuition and heal thy self knowing that you are not separate from everything else!

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Albert Einstein

Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.” Henry David Thoreau – American author, naturalist (1812-1862)

If a man earnestly seeks a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from animal food.” Count Leo Tolstoy – Russian novelist & philosopher, (1829-1910)

Sources:

(1) https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/docs/ws_shower_better_learning_resource_508.pdf

  1. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/activity-watercontent.php
  2. Fiber: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/05/28/jn.112.160176.full.pd
  3. milk: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/calcium_content_of_selected_foods/
  4. http://faostat3.fao.org/browse/G1/*/E, Livestock longshadow report UN: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772#.V9mw_3g-CfQ
  5. http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/6712-study-links-ethnicity–lactose-intolerance


CSCH does not endorse any particular diet as the way all people should eat.


The information contained in this article is not a substitute for the medical care of a licensed healthcare professional, any health concerns should be discussed with your primary care provider.