Tag Archives: vegan

Prince Harry’s baby to be vegan?

Meghan pregnant with Harry

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the near future, and it seems that Meghan, who eats a mostly plant-based diet herself although she is not a strict vegan, hopes to raise the baby as a vegan.  She has encouraged Prince Harry to reduce his consumption of animal products and eat more fruits and veggies, and to cut back on participating in some of the traditional hunting activities of the royal family.  Now we hear that the couple are discussing how best to raise their baby, and whether or not it can be a vegan child.

They would be in good company. Recent British-based research has found that one in 12 families in Britain are raising their kids as vegan, mainly for health reasons, since animal products in the diet are linked to a wide range of health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, while plant-based diets are linked to optimal health outcomes.  In addition, many people are starting to recognize that eating lower on the food chain by reducing animal products is much better for the environment, and it saves countless animals from suffering and death.

There’s plenty of evidence that raising a child vegan is a very wise thing to do. Here in the US, it is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.”  All the evidence points to children who are raised vegetarian being much healthier than their meat-eating peers, and even gaining some specific advantages.  Children raised vegetarian are found on average to grow an inch taller and to have 5 more points on their IQ.

We hope that Meghan and Harry are able to set a good example for families throughout the world by raising their child vegan.

The Meatless Whopper

Impossible whopper

Burger King, known for meaty excess like its Bacon King sandwich, is now selling a plant based burger. Burger King announced a test run for the burger in 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area. Burger King says the sandwich will use patties from Impossible Foods. Burger King is taking its signature sandwich, the Whopper, and creating a vegan version.

The Impossible Whopper is flame grilled like the regular Whopper, and comes with the standard tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise (vegans hold the mayo), ketchup, pickles and onion.

The move underscores how chains are looking for new ways to gain an edge over rivals as competition heats up — and the rapid growth in demand for meat alternatives.

Impossible Burgers are designed to mimic meat using the company’s novel “magic” ingredient, heme, produced with a special kind of yeast. Impossible Foods, part of a growing crop of meat substitute producers, has sold its burgers at restaurants since 2016, starting with trendy eateries like David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in New York and Jardiniere in San Francisco, and now served at over 5000 restaurants across the US.

Meatless Mondays in New York Schools

Children eat healthy school lunchNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that starting next school year, all schools in the city will have vegetarian meals on Mondays.

According to the mayor, the Meatless Mondays program is aimed at improving student health and the city’s environmental impact, “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.” the mayor said.

“Meatless Mondays” are good for the environment, said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives.”

Food such as lentil Sloppy Joes, pasta fagioli, Mexicali chili, braised black beans with plantains, and teriyaki crunchy tofu will now be served in New York City’s public schools!

This progress comes on the heels of three New York City schools that have become completely all vegetarian every day of the week-and the kids love it. Parents have also become very supportive of the change as they see improvements in their children.

For years we’ve heard every excuse from many of Washington’s public schools. But, if a city as big and diverse as New York can do it, we’re sure Seattle can as well. Let’s hope New York City will set an example for Seattle and other cities to follow.

 

Vegan Chocolates, anyone?

Chocolate bon bonsOn Valentines Day, many of us dream of being given a box of delicious luxury chocolates by someone close to us. They’re seen as a special indulgence that we may save for a treat on just such special occasions, but we also want to stay true to our values, so we hope for vegan chocolates, fairly-traded if possible.

Many dark chocolate bars readily available in the grocery stores are naturally vegan, and there are several brands which use fair-trade chocolate. But it can be harder to find luxury vegan chocolates.  Local fancy chocolate suppliers still don’t offer any vegan options, but fortunately new companies are springing up online to fill the gap, and some may even be found in local grocery stores.

  • Enjoy Life Foods has a selection of dairy-free chocolate minis, including some made with rice milk to give that milk chocolate sensation.
  • Rawkin Raw Chocolate offers special organic truffles packed with antioxidants, and sweetened with dates and spices to provide the best nutrition.
  • No Whey Foods offers luxury vegan chocolate boxes, such as their signature truffles, with many fancy flavors to entice every taste bud.
  • Rose City Chocolates also offers a good selection of vegan luxury chocolates.
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates has dark chocolate hearts in a gift bag.
  • Lärabar also offers several flavors of chocolate truffles in a resealable pouch.

Look out for some of these and other vegan chocolate companies at Vegfest on March 30 & 31.

Learn more about the health benefits of chocolate.

Chronic Kidney Disease treated by plant-based diet

Kidneys cartoonHere’s the big news: a plant-based diet helps prevent and treat Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). This is a big deal because CKD is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States and sucks up 20% of the Medicare budget.

Vegans and vegetarians have a greatly decreased risk of kidney disease. One study showed that vegan have better kidney function than meat eaters. This only makes sense since vegetarians and vegans have much lower rates high blood pressure and diabetes two of the leading risk factors for kidney disease. While this is news to many people and patients, the medical researchers have known this for a long time.

Other studies show that a plant-based diet slows the rate of decline for those who already have kidney disease. This means holding off the need for kidney dialysis.

Now protein in the diet causes extra work in the kidneys of kidney disease patients, but only when the protein source comes from meat, fish, poultry dairy and eggs. Plant proteins don’t cause stress and this is one of the key advantages of a plant-based diet.

The kidneys have a vital role in keeping us healthy. They filter wastes products from the blood, keep our fluids in balance and help control our blood pressure. A plant-based diet gives the kidneys what they need to stay healthy all throughout our lives. As a bonus it also reduces the risk and treats other diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and prostate cancer just to mention a few.

Prescribing a plant-based diet to patients at risk of or already suffering from chronic kidney disease seems like a simple solution which would lower the costs and the suffering that so many patients experience. Unfortunately, most doctors are not yet aware of the power of a plant-based diet to prevent and treat kidney disease and so don’t know to prescribe it to their patients. To help make doctors aware of this dietary option for preventing and treating chronic kidney disease, we wrote a detailed article addressing much of the research that has been done on this topic.  We’re pleased to say that this article was recently published in the medical journal, JOJ Urology and Nephrology.

Christie Brinkley – a “flexible vegan”

christie brinkley

Supermodel Christie Brinkley was first discovered as a model in the early ’70s and went on to be the only model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated three times — in a row. Since then, she’s walked thousands of runways, launched a skin care line, starred on Broadway and is now writing a book on health and wellness.

So how does she manage, now that she’s into her 60s, to still look so young and healthy? Here’s how she explains it: “I tried some pretty weird diets in the beginning. I did everything from juice fasting to eating one kind of food at a time, to eating a grapefruit first before everything. The only thing that really lasts is a well-balanced diet.”

Christie has been largely plant-based for years.  In fact she became a vegetarian when she was only 13, out of love for the animals.  She aims to eat a rainbow of different colored plant foods every day. “For many, many, many years I’ve always said I go for as many colors as possible in a day,” Brinkley said.

She starts her day with whole grains topped with fruit and walnuts. Lunch is always a salad of leafy greens, with various fruits and vegetables topped with nuts. For dinner, pasta and veggies are the most popular option. She has found some vegan dairy alternatives she really likes, such as a soy hazelnut coffee creamer and various vegan desserts.

Brinkley believes in being as kind as possible to your body and exercising to feel good and look good. She said, “Feeling good is looking good, and that can translate to an energy you exude.” She’s a huge fan of avocado toast, raw oatmeal, brown rice with lentils, and sweet potato.

While we hope she gives up eating the occasional animal products in her diet, we’re glad that she’s such a good role model for healthy plant-based eating.

Vegan burgers at McDonald’s

mcdonalds-vegan-burger-chicagoVegan burger at McDonalds!  Yes, you heard me right. We said “Vegan burger at McDonald’s.”  Some of us thought we’d never see the day when McDonald’s would serve up a vegan burger. But, the fact that that day has come shows just how much the plant-based diet is catching on.

The new vegan burger is debuting at their headquarters in Chicago Illinois. They’ve put it front and center. The new burger is called the McAloo Tikki and consists of a toasted bun filled with a veggie patty made with potatoes, pea, and seasoning reminiscent of samosas; topped with fresh red onions, tomato slices, and an eggless creamy tomato mayo (this still has some dairy though). Read more

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