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It’s Meatless Monday! An interview w/ The Plant-Powered Dietitian™

A fun way to start eating less meat and adding more plant-based foods to your diet is through incorporating Meatless Monday logo“Meatless Monday” to your week. In this blog transcript of our third video The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ Sharon Palmer author of The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today and I talk about this fun approach to start eating more plant-based foods to incorporate them in our diet. Eating less meat not only helps improve health but helps decrease our individual food carbon footprint. Here is the transcript. To watch the video, scroll to bottom or click here.

Neily: This is Neily on Nutrition with Sharon Palmer author of the The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today. We’re talking about vegetarian diets and semi-vegetarian diets, flexitarians and you mentioned “Meatless Mondays.” I think that’s a great message that I like people to know. What do you mean by “Meatless Monday?”
Sharon: It is a great program that has a very simple message. All you have to do is go meatless one day a week, so why not just start with the beginning of the week. Monday is a great day for fresh starts. So, have one day that you’re going to have a vegetarian meal, and just by doing that once a week, you can cut meat intake and cut your saturated fat intake as well. Get creative by trying some new meatless ideas. The website for Meatless Monday has amazing recipes, cooking tips, and more.
Neily: Okay. Then, it’s a great place to look for recipes. Do you have a favorite go-to meatless meal?
Sharon: My family loves pasta night. I have a great vegetable lasagna recipe in my book. There are 75 recipes in the book, and the vegetable lasagna is our family favorite. We usually lasagna-w320have a pasta night once a week. A lot of times we’ll do meatless meals that are other ethnic dishes. For instance, we love Indian food, and we do a garbanzo curry or something like that. We also love Mexican food—it’s very easy to do black bean burritos or use vegetarian refried beans and whole grain tortillas with all the vegetables and avocado. There are lots of great plant-based meals that you can do.
Neily: It takes a little bit of planning but it is not that difficult.
Sharon: Exactly, and it’s delicious too!
Neily: Let’s talk a moment about the carbon footprint. Anything about how it would be affected if everyone would go meatless one day a week?
Sharon: Yes, you can make a huge impact on the carbon footprint. A brand new study came out this week and it showed the step-wise approach to the environmental impact of eating a plant-based diet. So, with a non-vegetarian at the top, you could reduce all the way down. By cutting from a non-vegetarian to a semi-vegetarian you could cut around 20% from your carbon footprint and if you went all the way down to a vegan it would be half of your carbon footprint.
Neily Really? So, carbon footprint for those who don’t know, is what?
Sharon It is just the measurement we use to measure the impact of all the activities surrounding something like eating. For instance, when you say the carbon footprint of food is a measurement of the green house gas emission related to that particular food. It is a very complicated assessment. They usually do a life cycle assessment, which measures from the farm to fork, and what the environmental impact of that food would be.
Neily Good. So, we are going meatless on Mondays—it’s just one day a week!
Sharon Exactly!
Neily And it does not have to be Monday, it can be any day of the week.
Sharon Right!
Neily Excellent—thank you! Sharon Palmer author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video! (We’ll be discussing organic foods next.)

Sharon’s book The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today is a great resource for meatless recipes! And very excited for Sharon that her second book Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, due in book stores on June 17, 2014, is now available for pre-order!

Special thanks to Monica Parodi, RDN for transcribing this video when she was my intern last summer!

Make sure to not miss my next transcribed video with Sharon by signing up for my blog postings to the right! →  Or if you just can’t wait, watch on the Neily on Nutrition YouTube channel.

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