WHAT I EAT IN A DAY, AS A PALEO-VEGAN

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY, AS A PALEO-VEGAN

My journey from eating disorder, to high-carb-low-fat, to paleo vegan below unfolds for you below:

At the time, I truly believed that my new diet was the way to recover from years of under-eating, in a healthy way. In hindsight, any diet that celebrates table sugar and eating pounds of fruit probably isn't a smart idea. In November 2017, I tested positive for hormonal imbalances, had extreme fatigue, and developed Perioral Dermatitis on my face. Obviously, something wasn't working.

     Instead of trying to tackle my diet on my own again, I decided to seek the help of an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Herbalist and Nutritionist. With their guidance, I have been eating a plant-based Paleo type diet, that avoids excess sugars and increases my daily fat intake. (phew!) It appears that high-carb, low-fat vegan was actually making me sick, and the key for me is balance! I truly hope that this new diet helps me achieve sustainable health, and is also sustainable for the planet. Only time will tell.

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WHY YOU SHOULD BE EATING LESS MEAT

Photo by Dominic Dreier

Photo by Dominic Dreier

        I became vegan 3 years ago, after 4 years as a vegetarian, because I care deeply for the environment and wildlife. The decision arose from a startling awareness of the need for a drastic change in my consumption habits and society’s as a whole. I realized, in the beginning, that I could make a positive impact by changing the way I consumed each day. I no longer use plastic bags, stopped purchasing products with biologically harmful chemicals, boycott products with palm oil, and gave up fast, unethical fashion. The most important change I made, however, was with food. I realized that, by giving up animal products for good, I could make a positive change, 3 times a day, 365 days a year.

        Despite these personal lifestyle choices, the motivation for environmental progress on a broader scale lags sorrily behind. The little things that we, as individuals, have been doing to help mitigate global warming are simply not enough. Meatless Monday, an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays (1), while commendable for participants, is not enough to neutralize the massive scale of environmental damage already done. According to the UNDP, “The planet's surface temperature has increased an average of 0.85 °C from 1880-2012, and during the past year, measurements taken across the globe during various periods have reported abnormally high temperatures.” July 2016 for example, was the hottest month on record – ever (2).” 

        Carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that usually comes to mind with regard to climate change, is not the greatest gaseous emission causing rising temperatures. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Methane is even worse for global warming than carbon dioxide is. “For example, over a 100-year time horizon, one metric ton of methane and 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide trap an equal amount of heat in the atmosphere (3).” If methane has 21 times more global warming potential (GWP) than carbon dioxide, we need much stricter regulations on animal agricultural industries and innovative approaches, such as permaculture, to make the industry cleaner (4). Industry responds to the demands of the people, therefore, society as a whole must insist on greater change. Giving up meat once a week is not enough. To safely limit the increase in global mean temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we must commit to eating less meat every day.

"According to the IPCC, “Methane is even worse for global warming than carbon dioxide is." / Photo of a cattle farm and its waste lagoon in Dalhart- Texas 2013 by  Mishka Henner  titled "feeder"

"According to the IPCC, “Methane is even worse for global warming than carbon dioxide is." / Photo of a cattle farm and its waste lagoon in Dalhart- Texas 2013 by Mishka Henner titled "feeder"

         Well intended agricultural practices of the past century were designed to enrich people’s lives by ensuring adequate nutrition, warmth, and a dignified living space. Such practices were expanded and widely adopted by developing countries who gladly subsidized their establishment in the name of progress. In the second half of the 20th century, however, scientists concluded that many of these same industries are major contributors to environmental destruction and contamination (5), and not the saving grace once hoped for. Industrialized animal agriculture is a prime example. “Domestic livestock such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels produce large amounts of methane as part of their normal digestive process. Also, when animals' manure is stored or managed in lagoons or holding tanks, methane is produced. Globally, the Agriculture sector is the primary source of methane emissions (6).” 

        Methane output, however, is not the only contributor of animal agriculture to climate change. The practice has negative impacts on our planet in many ways. Producing animal products for human consumption provides fewer calories than if we ate the feed crops ourselves [see table (7)]. Corn and soy production necessary to feed cattle, chicken, and pigs require tremendous input from fossil fuels, as well as substantial quantities of fresh water – itself a scarce commodity in drought stricken areas. “In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress – 10 of which are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on alternative sources. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages (2).” Deforestation is happening on a global scale as oxygen producing, CO2 scouring trees are eradicated from the landscape to make room for crops and pasture land (8).

            Sewage runoff from industrialized animal agriculture is another problem for our environment and global temperature. Leakage from Manure lagoons and holding tanks can enter fresh water systems, creating dead zones around the world, and increase acidification of our oceans. Despite being landlocked they indirectly contribute to the bleaching of our coral reefs and are making our oceans uninhabitable for marine life (9). Oceans are already over-fished. According to the WWF Living Planet Report, “Factory fishing has emptied the seas of 40 percent of sea life, and nine out of 10 fisheries in the world are either overfished or full-fished today (10). The last thing we need to is eat more fish in place of pork or beef.

pHOTO detail OF A CATTLE FARM and ITS WASTE runoff into a manure AGOON -DALHART, TEXAS 2013 / BY  MISHKA HENNER  TITLED "FEEDER"

pHOTO detail OF A CATTLE FARM and ITS WASTE runoff into a manure AGOON -DALHART, TEXAS 2013 / BY MISHKA HENNER TITLED "FEEDER"

        The underlying cause of global warming is complex to say the least. The way our consumption choices affect the ecological balance in one part of the world, they can also affect natural systems across the globe [e.g. Greenland’s Ice Sheets (11)]. Global Warming is the largest threat to humanity and our entire planet, and we created it ourselves by doing too little or nothing at all. Of course, we were not alone. The opportunistic enthusiasm and financial backing of giant corporations operating worldwide are leading us to a future Earth that is uninhabitable for wildlife and humans alike. Our individual decisions do make a difference, and every effort to affect change counts, but we cannot tackle this battle without more far-reaching changes in our daily lives. 

        Meatless Monday, albeit a step in the right direction, is no longer enough. We can move beyond excessive animal product consumption with balanced diets that do not include meat at all. But we also need fast, global action from those in power to support these changes. Global Industry and agriculture must move beyond meat as the source of their profits. Individuals, once educated and driven to demand change, can only do that: demand change. Governments, united to save life as we know it, are the crucial force behind meaningful progress. Together with action from those in power we can stop this planetary disaster.


REFERENCES:

1. “Why Meatless? - Meatless Monday.” Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless/

2. UNDP (2016). “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://www.by.undp.org/content/belarus/en/home/post-2015/sdg-overview/goal-13.html

3. IPCC/WMO/UNEP. "Climate Change 1995: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses." Prepared by IPCC Working Group II. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

4. Holmgren, David (1997). "Weeds or Wild Nature" (PDF). Permaculture International Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2011.

5. Contaminants in the Environment. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/observations/contam/

6. EPA (2010). Methane and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Natural Sources. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA.

7. ASN, J. S. (2014). Sustainability of plant-based diets: Back to the future. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/Supplement_1/476S.full

8. Mongabay. (2016). Amazon Destruction: direct drivers of deforestation in Amazon countries. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/amazon_destruction.html

9. Garling, B. (2015, February 12). What’s the role of factory farming in ocean degradation? Retrieved November 01, 2016, from https://www.mission-blue.org/2015/02/whats-the-role-of-mass-animal-agriculture-in-ocean-degradation/

10. 60 percent of global wildlife species wiped out. (2016, October 28). Retrieved November 01, 2016, from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/60-percent-global-wildlife-species-wiped-161027151043413.html

11. Milman, O. (2016, March 04). Greenland's ice melt accelerating as surface darkens, raising sea levels. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/greenland-ice-sheet-melting-global-warming-feedback-loop

Find out more about Conference of Parties (COPs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) here: LINK ,and more about the work that the UNDP is doing here : LINK

 ***This article is part of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ethical Writers Coalition.

Tascosa Cattle Feed Yard In Bushland, Texas 2013 by  Mishka Henner

Tascosa Cattle Feed Yard In Bushland, Texas 2013 by Mishka Henner

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Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

FALL IN LOVE WITH THE SUPER FOODS OF FALL (PART II)

Ginger

Fresh Ginger_Model4greenliving

     Known to aid in digestion, relieve symptoms of nausea, treat severe menstrual pain, and reduce inflammation, ginger is an amazing food to incorporate in your diet year round.

     Ginger contains both phenols and gingerols. The phenolic compounds in ginger help relieve irritation in the stomach and intestines, and aid in digestion by stimulating saliva and bile production. Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea helps treat nausea naturally, and is commonly used by pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Gingerols, naturally occurring oils in ginger, are potent anti-inflammatories, and fresh ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Recent studies have shown that ginger may help treat more serious inflammatory conditions such as Cancer, although further research is necessary. For women experiencing severe pain with menstruation, ground ginger taken in the form of capsules has been shown reduce the pain's severity.

     Ginger root is typically harvested in then fall and winter months. Freshly cut ginger is a perfect addition to tea, and as temperatures begin to drop hot beverages are more and more appealing.  Lemon-ginger Green Tea is one of my favorite nutrition-packed beverages for fall, and can help boost our immune systems for the "cold and flu season" ahead. 

Kale

fresh kale_model4greenliving.jpg

     Kale is one of my favorite dark, leafy greens. Commonly harvested in the fall, it provides a wide variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating kale into your diet can aid in digestion, improve issues associated with diabetes, help protect again bone fractures, and maintain healthy skin and hair. 

     The high amount of fiber in kale ( g per serving), along with its high water content, helps promote digestive health and prevent constipation. High fiber diets have been proven to reduce blood-glucose levels, and may even improve the lives of Type 2 diabetics by stabilizing blood sugar, insulin, and lipid levels. Kale also contains the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, which has been found to lower glucose levels while also increasing insulin sensitivity. The high amount of vitamin K found in kale (550 micrograms: 680% of our daily requirements) improves calcium absorption and strengthens bone matrix proteins, helping protect against bone fractures. Our skin and hair benefit from eating kale as well. Collagen levels are maintained best when vitamin C is readily available from sources such as kale. Having adequate collagen helps skin stay supple and hair remain strong. Skin also benefits from kale, because it contains high amounts of vitamin A and iron. 

    Eaten cooked (in soups, stews, or stir-fry) or raw (in salads or as a taco-topper), kale incorporated into your diet can benefit health year-round.

Mushrooms

Fresh Mushrooms_Model4greenliving

     Mushrooms aren’t plants so they don’t contain the phytonutrients (nutrients specific to plants such as beta-carotene) associated with my other “Superfoods of Fall”. They do however provide immense nutritional value from the vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients they contain.

     Mushrooms have a higher level of antioxidants than many plants, including green peppers and zucchinis, due to their high levels of polyphenols.  One powerful micronutrient found in high concentrations in mushrooms is the antioxidant ergothioneine. Cooking actually releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells, and increases its anti-inflammatory effects. Mushrooms are a common part of homeopathic medicine and have been used in natural remedies for centuries. Certain compounds in mushrooms are now being studied scientifically by researchers to determine their anti-inflammatory effects. A few of the bioactive compounds discovered include polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, steroids, and lectins. 

     Along with the antioxidants listen above, mushrooms are also a good source of B vitamins (niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin) and contain the minerals iron, and selenium. Mushrooms contain no fat, are low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber. They are a definite “superfood” to include in your diet this Fall.

Rutabagas

Fresh Rutabagas_Model4greenliving

     Rutabaga, first discovered growing wild in Sweden, are cruciferous vegetables related to broccoli, cabbage and kale. They are a root vegetable harvested in the fall and have a similartaste to turnips. They are a great source of potassium and phosphorus, vitamin C and iron, and also the cancer-fighting substance glucosinolate. Rutabaga is wonderful cooked and served warm like mashed potatoes, cooked in soups and stews, or eaten raw as a salad topper to add a bit of crunch.

     Potassium found in rutabaga (8% RDA in one cooked-cup) aids in protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body. Rutabaga also contain 10% of your daily recommendation for phosphorous. Phosphorus aids in the metabolism and synthesis of proteins, and is an important mineral to maintain strong bones. Proper neurotransmitter function and collagen production both require adequate levels of vitamin C. 20-30% of your daily vitamin C requirements can come from eating just one serving of this “super food”. The vitamin C in rutabaga also allows for greater absorption of iron. One rutabaga contains about 5% of your daily needs. 

     Rutabaga has proven beneficial in protecting against cancer-causing carcinogens, and even aids in the reduction of colon and prostate cancers. Cruciferous vegetables, such as rutabagas, are excellent sources of sulfur-containing substances called glucosinolates. These compounds are responsible for the bitter taste and pungent aroma of cruciferous vegetables. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, glucosinolates may help eliminate carcinogens before they can damage DNA or alter certain cell-signaling pathways. In turn, normal cells aren't transformed into cancerous cells.

     Mild and sweet, rutabaga is a great comfort food for fall.

 
Comment

Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

THE BEST BOOKS ON SUSTAINABLE, HEALTHY LIVING

     If you are searching for inspiration on living a more sustainable, clutter-free life; seeking help from experts on how to transform your diet and stick with your goals; are interested in sustainable fashion; or are wanting to build your own health empire; these books are the resource you've been looking for.

      Written by some of the most influential authors of our time, they have provided me with extensive knowledge and inspiration. They continue to influence my drive to take part in the sustainable movement, and are my go-to resources when I am looking for answers. 

     Check out some of my favorite books below. I hope they can inspire you along your journey too.


Frances wrote EcoMind because she believes that solutions to global crises are right in front of our noses, and our real challenge is to free ourselves from self-defeating thought traps that keep us from bringing these solutions to life.

Drawing on the latest research in climate studies, anthropology, and neuroscience, she weaves analysis and stories of real people the world over who, having shifted some basic thought patterns, are shifting the balance of power in our world.

It turns out that gap between the world we long for and the world we thought we were stuck with can be bridged after all—if we can learn to think like an ecosystem. EcoMind shows us the way

Buy Book Here

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.
From places already devoid of humans, Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that doesn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly-readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

Buy Book Here

Bill McKibben insists we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.

Endless economic growth depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer. Our hope depends on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance. 

Buy Book Here

Marie Kondo is a professional cleaning consultant inspired by the Japanese book Throw-Out Skills with a lifelong love of all things house and home.

This book is a comprehensive manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house. She uses easy-to-follow line drawings to illustrate her patented folding method as it applies to clothing, as well as images of properly organized drawers, closets, and cabinets.

Kondo also add in-depth advice on moving, packing, and dealing with necessary objects that may not spark joy. This manual is perfect for anyone who wants a home—and life—that sparks joy, and helps readers live better with less.

Buy Book Here

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

The Story of Stuff explores the threat of overconsumption on the environment, economy, and our health. Leonard examines the “stuff” we use everyday, offering a galvanizing critique and steps for a changed planet.

Annie Leonard transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet. From sneaking into factories and dumps around the world to visiting textile workers in Haiti and children mining coltan for cell phones in the Congo, Leonard highlights each step of the materials economy and its actual effect on the earth and the people who live near sites like these.

Leonard shares concrete steps for taking action at the individual and political level that will bring about sustainability, community health, and economic justice. 

Buy Book Here

MagnifEco by Kate Black

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh—the worst garment industry accident in recorded history— the industry has been forced to undergo a shift, and many of us are questioning our buying habits. Magnifeco is the Fast Food Nation of the fashion world—your guide to making a difference too.

In this guide, author Kate Black examines non-toxic beauty and ethical fashion; recommends a multitude of ways for consumers to make better decisions; introduces the brands and designers leading the way along this socially responsible path With this complete head-to-toe guide covering everything from hair and beauty products to shoes and footwear, you can feel better about everything you put on your body and be—magnifeco!

Buy Book Here

The Sustainability Secret by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

The companion to the groundbreaking 2014 documentary Cowspiracy, this book presents shocking truths about the effects of industrial animal agriculture on the planet. The leading cause of deforestation, rainforest destruction, greenhouse gas production, water consumption and pollution, habitat loss, species extinction, ocean dead-zones, topsoil erosion, and a host of other environmental ills, animal agriculture is the biggest issue facing the planet today and one of the most controversial environmental secrets in the world of conservation.

Filled with anecdotes, statistics, research, interviews with the filmmakers and contributors, and unabridged transcripts from the film, this companion book supplements and expands upon the documentary in every way. 

Buy Book Here

Exercise physiologist Marco Borges is the author and founder of 22 Days Nutrition. He has shared his knowledge with countless celebrities and athletes; most famously Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Huge media coverage following their successful completion of the 22 Day Vegan Challenge inspired people around the world to adopt a plant-based diet. 

Founded on the principle that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, The 22-Day Revolution is a plant-based diet designed to create lifelong habits that will empower you to live a healthier lifestyle, to lose weight, or to reverse serious health concerns. Inside, you’ll find motivating strategies, delicious recipes, and a detailed 22-day meal plan. With this program, you will lead a healthier, more energetic, and more productive life—helping you to live the life you want, not just the one you have.

Buy Book Here

Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Diet is a must for anyone who seeks to be a sexy, confident wellness warrior. Infused with a bit of sass and an advice-from-the-trenches style, it is a beautifully illustrated resource and plant-based, vegan diet plan to put you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!

Kris Carr and experts, lay out the fundamentals of her Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, plant-based diet plan that emphasizes energizing whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks and scrumptious smoothies. She also includes the steps of her own 21-day cleanse and simple, sample recipes.

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Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. 

Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers."

Buy Book Here

What should we have for dinner? The question has confronted us since man discovered fire, but according to Michael Pollan, how we answer it today may well determine our very survival as a species. Should we eat a fast-food hamburger? Something organic? Or perhaps something we hunt, gather, or grow ourselves?

What’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth. Beautifully written and thrillingly argued, The Omnivore’s Dilemma promises to change the way we think about the politics and pleasure of eating. For anyone who reads it, dinner will never again look, or taste, quite the same.

Buy Book Here

Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin

From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal, and in this book he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love.

Salatin understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn't stop there.

Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact. His crucial message and distinctive voice make this a must-read book.

Buy Book Here

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. By urging us to once again eat food, Michael Pollan challenges the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach — what he calls nutritionism — and proposes an alternative way of eating that is informed by the traditions and ecology of real, well-grown, unprocessed food. Our personal health, he argues, cannot be divorced from the health of the food chains of which we are part.

In Defense of Food shows us how we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes. We can relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites, and return eating to its proper context. Pollan shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Buy Book Here

Jason Wachob is the Founder and CEO of MindBodyGreen, the leading independent media brand dedicated to health and happiness with 15 million monthly unique visitors. 

In his first book, Jason redefines successful living and offers readers instead a new life currency. In this prescriptive memoir, he shows us all how to build a life, not a resume, and why it's important to make frequent deposits into our own 'wellth' accounts.

Don't just take his word for it, read exclusive material from popular contributors and see what they have to say about becoming truly wellthy, including: psychologist Sue Johnson, Dr. Frank Lipman, Dr. Aviva Romm, Joe Cross, meditation expert Charlie Knoles, EWG director Heather White, and yoga phenom Kathryn Budig.

Buy Book Here


     Thanks for checking out my favorite books on sustainable living, nutrition, and health for ourselves and the environment. Your continued support inspires more than words can express. Be sure to leave comments below, letting me know what your favorites are, so that I can continue to learn with you. 

WHAT IS THE MACROBIOTIC DIET?

HISTORY OF MACROBIOTIC:

      The Macrobiotic diet goes all the way back to the late 16th century. It was first mentioned in Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland's book The Art of Prolonging Human Life (1797).  It was  expanded in the late 19th century by doctor Sagen Ishizuka. He conducted clinical trials on thousands of Japanese patients and eventually used these overwhelmingly successsful results to help found his association, "Shokuyo" in 1907.

BASIC PRINCIPLES:

      "Japanese macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy and other vegetables, as well as fruits." It is based on the idea of yin and yang. Certain foods are considered more Yin: "expansive, light and cold", and others are considered more Yang: "compact, dense, heavy, and hot" (wikipedia).
 
yin and yang quinoa_macrobiotic
 
 

     The Macrobiotic diet seeks to maintain optimum balance in the body by combining the foods we eat so that there is an equal amount of yin and yang in every meal. It also recognizes that the body needs different types of foods at different times of the year. This is why there is a high emphasis on eating seasonally and locally.

 

THE GUIDELINES TO MACROBIOTIC:

 

PRINCIPLE FOODS

-Whole Grians 30%

-Vegetables 35%

-Beans and Tempeh 10% 

Secondary foods:

-Fruits 10%

-Oils, Nuts, and Seeds 10%

Other foods/beverages:

(herbal teas, vegetable juices, and lots of water, Fermented foods (kim chee, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, etc) and Seaweed) 5%

YIN/YANG and BALANCED FOODS Chart:

*Aim to eat as close to the middle of the chart shown above as possible  (under Mininal Yang and Minimal Ying columns).

FOOD TO AVOID:

     -Dairy (milk, cheese, cream, ghee, whey, yogurt, and ice cream) -   Animal proteins (meat, eggs, gelatin) -White/ brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners -Processed fruit juices from concentrate -Refined oils -Alcohol -White Rice -White Flour -Artificial Chemicals, preservatives, and dyes.

 

SEASONAL MEAL EXAMPLES:

Winter Meal

Vegan Mushroom Risotto .jpg

VEGAN BROWN RICE RISOTTO WITH STEAMED ASPARAGUS

Summer Meal

Macro Salad Slight Yin.jpg

RAW VEGAN SPINACH SALAD WITH ALFALFA SPROUTS, CUCUMBER, CARROT, AND TOMATO

THE TAKEAWAY

     Choose most of your food based up the "Slight Yang" and "Slight Yin" columns (80%). The other colums "Moderate Yang" and "Moderate Yin" should compromise the rest of your diet (20%).

     As a vegan I choose to abstain from the foods in the "Extreme Yang" or "Very Yang" Column as well as the cheese, cream, yogurt, and butter from the "Very Yin" column.The only thing from the "Extreme Yin" column that have chosen to include in my diet is caffeine.

     Thank you for reading,

 

Comment

Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

THE BEST DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTHY LIVING

     Living sustainably and eating a healthy vegan diet were not inherent parts of my life growing up. As a child of America in the 90s, I was first and foremost a consumer. A consumer of fast fashion, fast food, and meat... lots of meat.  The journey to where I am now has been a long one: A journey filled with personal change and progress... a journey of ups and downs... But ultimately a journey to a healthier, happier, and "more sustainable" me.

     The person who I am today has been fueled not only by my travels and the people I have met, but also in large part by my constant seeking of knowledge. I started at first by reading books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan; Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran Foer; Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter D'Adamo; The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; and many more. These books made references to documentaries, peaking my interest to explore further. I have since watched hundreds of documentary films on a wide array of subjects surrounding sustainable living.

     Ranging from diet and health; environmental protection and sustainability; living with less; the fast fashion industry; the way we interact with one another; to the awe and beauty of the world we live in.

Here are my Top Documentaries that Inspire Sustainable, Healthy Living:


Forks Over Knives

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 A film explaining why a plant-based diet, free of processed foods is necessary for optimal health. It focuses on the ethical principles of veganism, but more so on the scientific proof that plant-based diets work best for our bodies. "Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods." - Brian L. Wendel


That Sugar Film

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"One man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves"- Madman Entertainmen


Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret

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"The World's largest environmental organizations are failing to address the single most destructive force facing the planet today. Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability." -Imbd.com


 Racing Extinction 

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"Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets with guerrilla-style tactics or exploring the scientific causes affecting changes to the environment, RACING EXTINCTION will change the way we see the world and our role within it." -Imbd.com


Dirt! The Movie

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 "DIRT! The Movie brings to life the environmental, economic, social, and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil. ...DIRT! The Movie is a call to action. 'The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.' What we've destroyed, we can heal." - Common Ground Media, Inc.


Mission Blue

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"Legendary oceanographer and TED prize winner Dr. Sylvia Earle is on a mission to save our oceans. Mission Blue is part action-adventure, part expose of an Eco-disaster. More than 100 scientists, philanthropists and activists gather in the Galapagos Islands to help fulfill Dr. Earle's lifelong wish: build a global network of marine protected areas, like underwater national parks, to protect the natural systems that keep humans alive. As the expedition ends, Sylvia and an environmental dream team race around the world trying to defend her 'Hope Spots'." -imbd.com


True Cost

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"This is a story about clothing. It's about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?" -Michael Ross


We the Tiny House People

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"TV producer and Internet-video personality Kirsten Dirksen invites us on her journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in tiny spaces." -Imbd.com


Unity 

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 "Despite the advent of science, literature, technology, philosophy, religion, and so on -- none of these has assuaged humankind from killing one another, the animals, and nature. UNITY is a film about why we can't seem to get along, even after thousands and thousands of years." -Nation Earth


Samsara 

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"Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders." -Imbd.com


I hope you are as moved by these documentaries as I have been. And as always thanks for reading.