Lentil collard wraps
Lentil collard wraps with salsa

Photo credit: The China Study Cookbook

Chances are, you have heard of the China Study. Back when it was first published in January of 2005, it was met with immediate praise and a warm welcome by the health community. Today, it has sold over two million copies worldwide and will forever be one of the classics of nutrition-based literature. In a nutshell, The China Study examines the relationship between consuming animal products and the occurrence of chronic, long-term disease, including heart disease, diabetes and a number of different types of cancer.

If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at this ground-breaking book by T. Colin Campbell, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy the next time you are browsing around your local bookstore. Almost twenty years later, The China Study is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published and will arm you with a ton of great information to inspire you to live in optimum health.

In this new edition of the accompanying cookbook, written by the author’s daughter, you get a healthy dose of the science behind the China Study right on your dinner plate. The China Study Cookbook includes a number of new recipes (175 in total) that follow core China Study principles, are easy to prepare and use minimal sugar and salt.

Some of the awesome, new recipes include:

  • Almond-Topped Blueberry Coffee Cake
  • Ensalada Azteca
  • Green Banana Cassava Soup
  • Peanut Butter Bars
  • Cassava (Yuca) con Cebollas
  • Black Bean Chipotle Burgers
  • Sweet Potato Enchiladas
  • Passion Fruit Bliss Cheese(less) Cake Delight

This revised and expanded edition includes some truly mouth-watering photos to go along with the recipes. It was so hard to choose just one recipe to use for this post because they all looked so good! The book also takes you behind-the-scenes into author LeAnne Campbell’s garden in the Dominican Republic and inside the work of her organization, Global Roots.

To celebrate the launch of her new book, LeAnn gave us permission to share a recipe that we think is perfect for those serious about living in peak health. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Lentil Collard Wraps with Salsa

Makes: 4 wraps

Lentil collard wraps with salsa

Photo credit: The China Study Cookbook

Created by LeeAnn Campbell, this light and filling wrap recipe is perfect for a light lunch or easy-to-prep dinner. Not many people are familiar with how to use collard greens and I think this is a great way to start.

Collard leaves make a great substitute for bread and tortillas. For those who are gluten-free or for those who are just looking to eat more green veggies, this recipe is for you. The collard greens just need a quick blanch in boiling water to soften them and make them a bit more palatable for the wraps.

To assemble the wraps, pile all the ingredients in the middle of each leaf and then fold over as you would a burrito. Feel free to get as creative as you would like with this recipe – the possibilities are endless with a veggie wrap! 

Lentil Collard Wraps with Salsa


  • 6 collard leaves
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • ⅔ cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • ⅔ cup Roasted Tomato Salsa (see below)
  • 1 cup Guacamole (see below)
  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Tomato Salsa (see above)
  • Lemon juice and salt, to taste


  1. Prepare the collard leaves by first trimming the middle stem to the same thickness as the rest of the leaf. Place each leaf in a large saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds and then transfer to cool water for 1 minute. Remove the leaves from the water and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until onion browns.
  4. Add lentils, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and hot sauce; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Add remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25–30 minutes.
  6. Uncover and continue cooking until mixture is slightly thickened, 6–8 minutes. Stir in salsa.
  7. Prepare the collard wraps by first spooning 2–3 tablespoons of rice on top of each leaf. Then spoon about 2–3 tablespoons lentil mixture on top of the rice, and finish by adding 2 heaping tablespoons guacamole.
  8. Fold the collard leaf like a burrito, by first folding the bottom up, then the sides in. Enjoy!
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 45–50 minutes.
  2. Place tomatoes, garlic, and remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse 5–6 times, until blended but still chunky.
  3. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  1. Scoop avocado flesh into a medium-size bowl and mash with a fork.
  2. Stir in salsa or tomatillo sauce. Season with lemon juice and salt. Mix well.

Enter To Win A Free Copy of The China Study Cookbook

The China Study Cookbook

Learn more about The China Study Cookbook

LeeAnn and BenBella Books Publishing has been kind enough to provide a copy of The China Study Cookbook to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on August 24th, 2018.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: What is one small change you would like to make to start improving your health? What’s the biggest barrier that prevents you from following through?

*Note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. From The China Study Cookbook by LeAnne Campbell, Phd; BenBella Books, 2018.


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Everyday Green Smoothie

Photo credit: Carolyn Vinnicombe


It’s no surprise that smoothies are such a health food staple. They’re the perfect combination of easy-to-digest fruits with dark leafy greens, which everyone knows are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. They leave you feeling full, clear-headed and energized, which means that they’re really great for breakfast. Eating a heavy breakfast (like oatmeal) in the spring or summer will make some people feel heavy and sleepy, which is exactly what you don’t need before a big day of work or a Saturday on the trail.

Carolyn’s everyday green smoothie recipe is super-tasty, easy to prepare, and is filling enough to get you all the way through the morning. It’s sweet, creamy, and has a little bit of bite thanks to the addition of ginger, which warms up the digestive system and makes it even easier to absorb and assimilate.

Everyday Green Smoothie

Photo credit: Carolyn Vinnicombe

Easy Everyday Green Smoothie

I really hope you enjoy our Easy Everyday Green smoothie recipe, excerpted from Carolyn’s Pantry and perfect for anyone who wants a high-energy, easy-to-digest breakfast that’s sure to put a little extra spring in your step.

As far as preparation goes, this recipe is as easy as it gets. Just throw everything together in a blender and viola, it’s done! If you’d like to get a few extra calories, feel free to throw some granola or nuts/seeds on top. Just be careful, as not everyone digests nuts/seeds and fruit very well when combined.

Preparation time is around 5 minutes and this recipe will make one big smoothie. If you don’t want to finish it all in one sitting, feel free to refrigerate what’s left for later. To avoid the fiber separating from the water/nut milk, it’s best to drink your green smoothie on the same day you make it.

This is the perfect time of year to start incorporating lighter, more energizing foods back into your diet. Thanks to Carolyn for sharing this recipe!

Easy Everyday Green Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 banana
  • 1 large handful fresh green kale
  • 1 large handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh organic ginger (peeled)
  • Toppings
  • Granola
  • Fresh blueberries
  • A sprinkle of hemp seeds


  1. Blend everything up and serve!

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Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Many of us choose to eat a plant-based diet out of compassion and respect for animals, but choosing to fill our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables does more than just protect the natural environment and the animals who call it home. Even if it’s not our primary motivation, eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet has been proven to be a powerful aid in preventing and reversing chronic disease. Each time we sit down to eat in a way that supports the health of the planet, we support our own health in the process.

Eating a diet that’s centered around plants has a natural healing and cleansing effect on the body, especially as we introduce more raw foods, but many of us feel called to take a more active approach in our cleansing and detoxifying process. And now just happens to be the perfect time to do that!

As we move into spring, the days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting warmer. Life is reawakening all over the planet and we start to feel a shift in our own bodies and minds. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is thought that the cycles and rhythms of the human body are closely intertwined with nature. During the cold, winter months, our bodies gravitate towards semi-hibernation. We slow down, crave heavier, more comforting foods, and spend more time in leisurely activities like reading and watching movies.

In the spring, as new life emerges and regenerates itself, we feel naturally drawn towards being more active, spending more time outdoors, and eating lighter, more energizing foods. This presents a great opportunity to shed a little excess weight and clean out the toxins that have been accumulated and stored over the course of our winter dormancy.

Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Photo credit: Ingrid DeHart

We recently found a recipe on the Eat Well, Enjoy Life blog that we thought would be perfect for early spring when we’re slowly waking from our winter slumber. It’s a recipe that’s hearty and fulfilling, but light and full of detoxifying ingredients at the same time.

Ingrid DeHart’s vegetable turmeric soup is full of flavorful ingredients and healing spices that will please your palate and give your digestive system the boost it needs to cleanse from the inside out. The turmeric fights inflammation and reduces gas and bloating, while the ginger and garlic stimulate the digestive tract to shed excess mucous and re-balance the intestinal wall. The other ingredients in this recipe, like coconut oil, carrots and kale all have well-known health benefits and healing properties of their own.

No special tools or kitchen skills are required to make this warming, healing soup. Just a knife, a cutting board and a pot to throw everything together in will suffice. If you’re looking to shed a few excess pounds or just want a little more spring in your step as we move into spring, we hope you’ll give our spring-cleansing vegetable turmeric soup a try!

Preparation time is around 20 minutes and the soup will take an additional 30 minutes to cook. One big pot will easily serve a family of 4. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Note: You could alter this recipe in a number of ways. We love the combination of flavors that Ingrid has created in this recipe, but the vegetables used are merely suggestions. Feel free to use whatever you have lying around the house or really love. The ginger and garlic do most of the cleansing work in this recipe, but if you’re choosing to avoid hot, stimulating spices and herbs, feel free to omit them. Turmeric is incredibly purifying on it’s own. For those eating a paleo diet, feel free to omit the beans.

This is the perfect time of year to start incorporating lighter, more cleansing foods back into your diet. Thanks to Ingrid DeHart and Eat Well, Enjoy Life for sharing this recipe!

Spring-cleansing Vegetable Turmeric Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free)


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric root or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ of 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed or 1/2 cup of dried white beans, cooked (optional)
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium-low.
  2. Add onion and stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.
  3. Add carrots and celery, cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add turmeric, garlic and ginger; stir until the vegetables are coated.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  6. Add broth or water, salt, and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add cauliflower. Cover and reduce heat.
  8. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  9. When the cauliflower is fork tender, add beans and kale.
  10. Cook until the kale is slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  11. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.

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Have you ever experienced difficulty in adopting a healthy vegan diet? Have you ever struggled with psychological food issues such as compulsive eating, overeating, or gratuitous snacking?

In her new book, The Mindful Vegan: A 30-Day Plan for Finding Health, Balance, Peace, and Happiness, our friend and certified mindfulness meditation facilitator, award winning health educator, and longtime vegan advocate Lani Muelrath teaches us how to overcome these dietary issues and embrace a long-lasting and healthy plant-based diet through mindfulness meditation.

The book offers practical advice on the following topics and more:

  • How mindfulness can create a more resilient vegan lifestyle.
  • How the convictions of veganism reduce stress and increase happiness.
  • How to navigate conversations with others about eating—and living—vegan.
  • Tried and true mindfulness meditation tactics that lead to a happier, healthier life.

In addition to the above, Lani shared a few recipes from her new book, including one of our own personal favorites, Indian kitchari. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Indian Kitchari

Makes: 4+ servings

Created by Lani Muelrath, our fragrant Indian kitchari recipe is a perfect recipe for the fall and winter seasons when heavier, warmer foods go a long way towards keeping us grounded and balanced. Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic healing food and has been used for thousands of years in India to aid in the practice of yoga, meditation and other mindfulness exercises. Lani’s recipe is simple, authentic and tastes great!

Kitchari is one of our favorite go-to dinner recipes and we eat it regularly throughout the cold season. It uses simple, whole ingredients, a handful of digestive spices, requires very little preparation and just about everyone I know loves it. This is a great dish for when you’re feeling stressed and need something comforting to help bring you back into balance.

A few notes: If your spices are ground and not whole, that works well, too. You can also replace the rice with another ½ cup of dal if you prefer or if you plan to serve over rice instead of mixing it in. Lastly, you can find most, if not all, of the ingredients for this recipe at your local Asian or international food market.

Fragrant and Warming Indian Kitchari (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup mung dal
  • ½ cup brown basmati or other brown rice (see note)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. In a nonstick pot over medium heat, roast mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and turmeric powder until the aromas start to mix and the seeds start to crackle and pop.
  2. Add mung dal and brown basmati rice, and roast lightly with the spices.
  3. Add water, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for roughly 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dal and rice are cooked.
  4. Before serving, add lemon juice and salt.
  5. Serve in a bowl or plate over brown rice or other whole grain, with a few sprinkles of fresh chopped cilantro on top and lemon wedges on the side.

Enter To Win A Free Copy of The Mindful Vegan

The Mindful Vegan

Learn more about The Mindful Vegan

Lani has been kind enough to provide a copy of The Mindful Vegan to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on November 30th, 2017.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: What is one small change you make to start improving your health? What’s the biggest barrier that prevents you from following through?

*Note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada


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Stop Shaming

Stop ShamingOver time, I’ve become better and better at navigating social situations while making food choices that align with my values. I get better at the dance of going out to eat with friends, going to parties, and traveling while enjoying myself without falling off track or feeling like an outsider.

But last week I was at a conference in Baltimore for my work as a web developer, and the food issue was especially challenging. Take a look at this group text from last week as our team was deciding where to eat.

Two things to consider:

  1. I mentioned that I was going to slip away to a vegan, soul food restaurant I had heard about, but didn’t mean to suggest that the whole group should go (someone else texted that to the group).
  2. I’m close friends with the guy who sent this text and talk openly about these things with him. I didn’t take it personally, as the text might suggest.

But still, it’s a good representation of the kind of social pressures that many of us have to deal with on a nearly constant basis.

The more I look, the more I see this kind of health shaming everywhere

And it’s not just limited to conversations between friends and family. Blatant examples of health shaming can be found in the media and in pop culture at large.

As an example, take a look at this article about a new juicer that has been making headlines recently, entitled,“As Juicero gets publicly shamed, let us not forget that juice itself is a lie.

This quote, taken from the article, is especially troubling:

“Juice is one of the pillars of the modern wellness movement, right up there with yoga, healing crystals, Korean sheet masks, and whatever else Goop is hawking this week. And wellness is the ultimate 21st-century status symbol. Forget about designer labels and expensive vacations. There’s nothing more difficult to attain, or more enviable, than a natural glow from within. To that point, whether we’re forking over $400 for a Silicon Valley-approved juicer or $10 for a local shop’s kale-ginger-cucumber-apple blend, we’re not just paying for puréed produce. We’re buying into a vision of ourselves at our radiant, virtuous, energized best. Buying cold-pressed juice has always been a way to signal to ourselves, and the world, that we’re enlightened enough to prioritize our health—and financially secure enough to invest in it.”

There is no doubt that wellness services and products are largely available only to those of a certain socio-economic class. We need to do more to make healthful food available and affordable to everyone.

And as wellness has become trendier, it HAS become a certain kind of status symbol. But frankly, I find it seriously awesome that people may be more interested in buying organic produce, taking a yoga or meditation class, or sipping a green juice instead of buying hummers and huge houses.

TV shows love to make fun of plant-based eaters and talk about how gross raw food is. Journalists love to publish stories about how there isn’t any evidence to support claims made about the benefits of supplements and detoxification.

I’m not saying that we should ignore the science. It is true that certain supplements can do more harm than good. We need to do our due diligence by consulting with qualified medical professionals and pay close attention to the data being released by independent quality-control companies like Labdoor that test supplements for their safety and purity.

There may not be many scientific studies that show how certain foods aid in the detoxification process, but I’ve personally been witness to some incredible health transformations over the years. When I worked at the Tree of Life, many of the guests arriving with Type 2 diabetes were off all medication and had a normal fasting blood sugar level by the time they left – and that was after just three weeks on a plant-based, low-glycemic diet.

I don’t know if they were “detoxing” or not, but I can tell you that they made life-changing improvements to their health and well-being.

I’ve been doing a lot of outreach for our new, big project lately, fueled by some truly shocking facts.

According to the CDC, 7 out of 10 people in the US die from chronic diseases that are largely preventable.1

1 out of 4 people continue to die from heart disease.2 As many as 1 in 3 adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.3 More than 2 out of 3 Americans are considered overweight or obese.4 These chronic conditions are epidemic.

Yet we already have a solution to this crisis.

Through diet and lifestyle changes alone, we can reduce heart disease by 90%5,6, type 2 diabetes by 92%7, stroke by 80%8 and cancer risk by up to 60%9. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States, noted that despite the strong body of evidence in support of a plant-based diet as a first-line treatment for chronic disease, physicians often ignore the facts in favor of quickly prescribing medications. The medical community is not giving patients a chance to manage their disease through healthy eating and active living.10

The hard truth is that so many of our loved-ones will experience a significant decline in their quality of life and eventually die, in part, because of what they choose to eat.

As Americans, we pay more for health care than other nations and yet as much as 86% of our healthcare costs could be avoided through simple changes in diet and lifestyle.1

And for that reason, I’m super-grateful for the fact that people have discovered juicing and yoga, even if it has become a trendy status symbol. I don’t give a damn what’s motivating people to eat more veggies, when just 2.5 servings per day can reduce early mortality by over 13%.11

The Real Cost of Health Shaming

The Standard American Diet is literally killing us, has a huge environmental impact and costs us over a trillion dollars each year in medical bills. It’s making the people that we love sick.

This is too important for me to not speak up. This isn’t a trend. This is a movement that must grow, because we have no other option than to radically change our current food culture if we want to live happy, healthy lives and do better for our planet.

So how about we stop shaming people who choose to buy $10 juices, and instead focus on making real, organic, plant-based food more available to everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Let’s stop making fun of people who are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo or whatever else they are because they choose to take on the difficult task of standing in opposition to the cultural norm in order to create better health for themselves and their families.

Let’s stop fighting about what diet is best, and celebrate each and every small victory that moves people towards eating more veggies and less processed food.

We need to shift the cultural conversation and stop alienating those of us who have the courage to make personal changes in a society that continues to marginalize and shame them. You might feel like an outsider in your community, but our movement is growing. Our strength and numbers are growing. We are in this together, and the more that we create acceptance, the more the tides will turn.


  1. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Chronic Disease Overview.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  2. CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.
  3. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Oct. 2010. Web. 03 May 2017.
  4. “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.
  5. Chiuve, S. E., M. L. McCullough, F. M. Sacks, and E. B. Rimm. “Healthy Lifestyle Factors in the Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease among Men: Benefits among Users and Nonusers of Lipid-lowering and Antihypertensive Medications.” Circulation. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 July 2006. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  6. Akesson, A., C. Weismayer, P. K. Newby, and A. Wolk. “Combined Effect of Low-risk Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviors in Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Women.”Archives of Internal Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 22 Oct. 2007. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  7. Hu, F. B., J. E. Manson, M. J. Stampfer, G. Colditz, S. Liu, C. G. Solomon, and W. C. Willett. “Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women.” The New England Journal of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 Sept. 2001. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.
  8. Chiuve, Stephanie E., Kathryn M. Rexrode, Donna Spiegelman, Giancarlo Logroscino, JoAnn E. Manson, and Eric B. Rimm. “Primary Prevention of Stroke by Healthy Lifestyle.”Circulation. American Heart Association, Inc., 26 Aug. 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  9. Katz, David L. “Facing The Facelessness Of Public Health: What’s The Public Got To Do With It?”. American Journal of Health Promotion 25.6 (2011): p361. Print.
  10. Tuso, Philip. “Nutritional Update For Physicians: Plant-Based Diets”. The Permanente Journal 17.2 (2013): 61-66. Web.
  11. Boseley, Sarah. “Forget Five a Day, Eat 10 Portions of Fruit and Veg to Cut Risk of Early Death.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.

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Easy Matcha Chia Pudding

Easy Matcha Chia Pudding
Spring is on the way, and while many of us are still craving hearty, filling breakfasts to get us through cold mornings, soon enough, we’ll probably feel more pulled towards sweeter, lighter foods that better compliment the season. When recently scouring the internet for hearty spring breakfasts, we came across this awesome recipe from Carolyn’s Pantry, which seemed like the perfect fit for the upcoming transition into warmer weather.

Most all of us enjoy a big bowl of hot oatmeal, especially in the dead of winter, but not many of you have probably tried the quicker, fully raw and nutritionally superior version of morning porridge using…chia seeds!

Chia pudding is easy to prepare, super nutritious, and most importantly, will get you out the door on time every morning. It’s loaded with Omega 3’s, contains a healthy chunk of your daily recommended value of fiber, and comes bundled with a number of other key vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. And, as some of you know, chia seeds expand to many times their original size, and so a little bit goes a long way.

Legend has it that Aztec warriors and Native American tribes relied heavily on the use of chia seeds for the strength and endurance they provide, especially when traveling long distances and when going into battle. They’re lightweight, easy to transport, and very easily consumed. Even today, chia seeds are often cited as a key component in the diet of many endurance athletes and plant-based body builders.

To compliment the chia seeds, Carolyn added matcha green tea, which has been used in Japan for more than a thousand years, and is a really great alternative for those who are looking to kick their reliance on morning coffee. It’s moderate level of caffeine is generally well-tolerated by the body, it’s chock-full of antioxidants, it boosts the immune system and has a unique effect in the world of caffeinated teas; regular users have described it as nothing less than euphoric.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

I really hope you enjoy our Matcha Chia Pudding recipe, excerpted from Carolyn’s Pantry and perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the time to cook in the morning but still needs a healthy, filling, high-energy breakfast to get them out the door. Check out more of Carolyn’s awesome recipes here.

Matcha Chia PuddingMatcha Chia Pudding

Makes: 1 large serving

This is a great recipe for use during the work-week, as it’s both quick to put together, super-energizing and filling, and can easily serve as a substitute for your everyday winter oatmeal.

To add to the base recipe, feel free to serve chia pudding with your favorite toppings, such as fresh berries, sliced bananas, slivered almonds or any of the additional ingredients listed below.

Note: If you’re really pressed for time in the morning, you can soak your chia seeds the night before, which makes putting this recipe together completely possible in just a few minutes.

Easy Matcha Chia Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon ground
  • Optional toppings:
  • Tangerine slices
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Cacao nibs


  1. This recipe is super easy. Just mix the almond milk, matcha tea powder, maple syrup and ground cinnamon together in a mug or bowl. Whisk together until blended, then add the chia seeds. Leave the chia seeds to soak for about 10 minutes, then add your favorite toppings and enjoy! You can also prep the chia seeds the night before and let them soak overnight.



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Photo credit: Giuseppe Chirico

I am a master at justifying my bad habits.

Like when it’s 10pm and I really don’t need to be eating a bowl of coconut bliss ice cream.

Give me 30 seconds and I can convince myself that it’s been a tough week and I’ve earned this small reward — after all, there are much worse things I could be eating.

Or that it’s really no big deal because it only has 13 grams of sugar per serving.

Or that I haven’t had any sweets at all for nearly two weeks, and I had a super healthy lunch. Surely a little ice cream before bed can’t hurt.

Any of this sound familiar?

It’s amazing how, in an instant, we can talk ourselves out of our big picture goals — what we TRULY want for our lives, for a few seconds of pleasure that we’ll instantly regret.

Yes we want to lose weight, to be healthy, to look and feel our best and be an example of health for our loved ones.

But in the moment, we decide that we’d rather have the ice cream!

Instead of saying no, instead of taking a stand for our radiant health and our goal weight, we take a step in the other direction, promising to do better tomorrow.

Now, I’m a big fan of the “crowding-out” strategy.

The idea is that you focus on adding good habits and good foods to your life. These good choices eventually “crowd-out” the bad and the bad falls away on its own.

But sometimes crowding out isn’t enough. Sometimes we get stuck and it becomes clear that there is a craving or habit that is standing in our way that we must let go of.

Especially when months or years pass and we still aren’t making progress.

How can we breakthrough so that in 3 or 6 months we can look back and see how far we have come?

How can we begin to make real progress towards our goals?

At a certain point, true transformation means you have to get serious. You have to make a commitment to yourself and stick to it. You have to learn how to say no.

But what we sometimes miss is that saying no is also something that we can learn. It is something that we can practice.

If it’s time for you to take the next step to take your health, weight-loss and well-being to the next level, here’s how to get started.

1) Draw a bright line

One of the most effective ways to create change is to make a single rule and commit to it 100%. Start with a meaningful commitment, but something that doesn’t terrify you.

For example you might commit to attending a single party without eating anything with sugar, a week of eating 100% vegan, no animal products, or a month of starting each day with a green smoothie.

This is called drawing a bright line — making a clearly defined rule that comes with a 100% commitment.

Yes, we all love freedom. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is to make a 100% commitment to never enjoying my favorite chocolate treat ever again. In fact, the idea of letting go of something forever can prevent us from ever getting started (more on that on the next point.)

But drawing a bright line removes the in-the-moment decision of whether you are going to make a good choice or a bad choice. It removes that possibility of justification.

As we’ve already covered, and I’m sure you’ve seen in your own life, we are all masters at justifying the choices we make that are not in our best interest.

Trick the justifier. Get the upper hand on your psychology. Draw a bright line.

2) Set a start and end date

Bright lines work best when you set both a start date and an end date.

A start date also helps you to formalize the commitment. It allows you to prepare yourself mentally and makes it more likely that the commitment will stick.

Most of us make 100% commitments after a particularly brutal fall off the wagon, but it becomes all too easy to throw that commitment out of the window when presented with the temptation again.

Give yourself at least a couple days to let the commitment marinate. Mondays, the first of the month or the new moon are also good dates to pick.

Setting an end date, on the other hand, removes the fear that you are never going to be able to enjoy a (insert your favorite vice here) ever again.

Again, make the commitment meaningful but not terrifying. A week or a month is a good length of time to start with.

Finally, mark both the start date and the end date in your calendar. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.

3) Start with one thing at a time

Making big change is awesome.

I love it when people go 100% plant-based, or quit sugar cold turkey. When you make a drastic change, it doesn’t take long to experience the benefits, and getting quick results is a powerful motivator to keep you moving forward.

But making big changes that last is difficult for most of us. If your personality is better suited to making small changes or you’ve tried to make big changes before that haven’t stuck, then taking a step-by-step is the way to go.

The behavior change literature supports small steps as the more effective way to make life-changes that are sustainable.

Again it really comes down to knowing yourself and your personality, but I recommend making just one single commitment at a time.

Pick something realistic that you know you can accomplish. Engineer a win for yourself. A small success now can cascade into bigger wins down the line.

4) Eliminate decisions

Bright lines work so well because they eliminate the in-the-moment decision of will we stay on track or will we indulge?

If you haven’t drawn a bright line then every time you are faced with temptation you have to make that choice.

Do we decide to grab the candy when it’s there? Do we order the healthy option at a restaurant or the old favorite? Do we give in to that afternoon sugar craving?

Long-term success on any diet or health plan really comes down to consistently winning these small daily battles.

If you have to make this decision every time you place an order at your favorite restaurant, or every time you walk past the candy bowl at the office, it is almost guaranteed that eventually you will give in.

The amazing power of bright lines is that eventually the decision becomes automatic. Once saying no becomes habitual you no longer even consider reaching for the candy bowl.

The golden rule here is to make your decisions in advance, and eliminate as many decisions as possible.

For example, try planning your meals and snacks the day before, or deciding what you’ll order at the restaurant before you go.

5) Practice accountability

Let’s get real. Nobody wants to be held accountable, because deep down we don’t want to give up our indiscretions.

As much as I want to put my health first, I don’t want to have to give up my afternoon Miracle Tart. And when I’m sneaking my afternoon chocolate, I surely don’t want anybody looking over my shoulder!

That’s why accountability is so often talked about, but so rarely put into practice.

But in the same way that we can begin to practice saying no, we can also begin to practice accountability.

When you draw your bright line, make the commitment to mention it to someone. Make your commitment public in whatever way pushes you out of your comfort zone just a little bit.

You can ask your friend or significant other to help you keep the commitment or post it on facebook.

Just take that small step to let someone else know what you’ve committed to.

Do this now

You can get started right away. Decide on your commitment, pick a start date and an end date and mark it on your calendar.

There will never a perfect time to get started. There will always be something coming up or some excuse about why this can wait another week.

But I care most about what is best for you. Honor yourself enough to make this top priority. Care about yourself enough to set a higher standard. This is game time.

Let us know your commitment and start and end date in the comments below, and we’ll follow up and help hold you accountable.

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We are giving away a free copy of Dr. Greger’s book! To enter, fill out our 2015 reader survey.

I was shocked when I found out that the leading cause of death in the United States could be eliminated by changing what’s on our plates.

One out of every four Americans currently dies of heart disease — a condition that can be not only prevented, but REVERSED with a whole-food, plant-based diet.

If that was the only benefit of the plant-powered path, it would still be a strong argument for making veggies the main course.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood-pressure and other chronic conditions can all be improved by simple changes in diet and lifestyle.

And sometimes these kinds of lifestyle interventions are more effective than prescription pills and surgeries.

These powerful statistics carry a personal touch. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been affected by one of these diseases, whether personally or through a close friend or family member.

It’s absolutely heart breaking. But we can do better.

How Not To Die

Today, I’m thrilled to share an interview with Michael Greger, MD,  internationally-renowned nutrition expert and founder of what I consider to be the best evidence-based nutrition site on the web,

Dr. Greger released his latest book last week which is taking this life-saving message to the mainstream.

In How Not To Die, Dr. Greger reviews an incredible amount of medical literature in order to find the best nutrition and lifestyle interventions for the fifteen leading causes of death — diseases that claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans each year.

The book is a great reference if you are looking for specific recommendations, such as the best foods for treating hypertension.

Greger also provides actionable advice on how to make lifestyle changes stick, and a daily dozen checklist of foods to add to your diet to get the biggest benefit.

I hope you enjoy the interview. But most importantly, please help get this critical message out.

Together we can begin to fix a broken food system, a broken healthcare system, and literally save a million lives. Share this with someone that could benefit from the information.

Watch the interview and learn:

  • (3:50) The 3 biggest killers that can be reversed by changing your diet
  • (10:20) The two guidelines to radically simplify conflicting health information
  • (16:10) The biggest deficiency in modern diets, and how it makes us fat
  • (26:11) The shocking reason why we may choose medication and surgery over lifestyle
  • (28:31) The single most important foods that should be added to every diet

Show notes:

If you like this video, please subscribe to our youtube channel!

Enter To Win A Free Copy Of The Book!

Dr. Greger has been gracious enough to provide a copy of How Not To Die to our community, and you can enter to win!

To enter, fill out our 2015 reader surveyWe’ll be randomly selecting a recipient from the entires and notifying the winner on Tuesday, December 29th.

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. Congrats to Karen R!

*Note: Only open to residents of the continental US.

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We have a special interview and book giveaway to share with you today.

But first we wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to send us travel questions and well wishes on our move! We made it safe and sound and are enjoying getting settled here in the DC area.

Next time, we’ll go behind the scenes and share all the tips and tricks we use to eat well on the road.

But for now, on to the feature du jour…

If you are at all interested in nutrition, you’ve likely heard of The China Study.

This landmark book has sold over a million copies and the New York Times called it the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”

The China Study was co-authored by legendary nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and when it was time to write the book he asked that his son Tom move back home to help out.

This supposed one year project ended up taking four years to complete, and during the process Tom developed such a passion for the subject that he went on to become a physician.

The Campbell Plan

Fast forward to the present, and the now Thomas Campbell, MD has released a new book that offers a practical follow-up based on The China Study principles.

His book The Campbell Plan explores the science behind recent dietary confusion, feeding kids as well as what to stock in your kitchen, how to read labels and shop, and what to watch for in social and eating out situations.

And of course recipes! 55 delicious and easy recipes to be exact.

You already know how nerdy I get about behavioral psychology, so I was especially excited to see that the book addresses some of the behavior change principles behind making and sustaining healthy eating habits.

If you liked this video, subscribe to our youtube channel.

Show Notes:

  • (1:35) How strong is the evidence showing the correlation between the consumption of animal products and chronic disease?
  • (5:57) Why is there so much dietary confusion and how do we navigate it?
  • (14:50) Why information alone is not enough to change our behavior, and the three most important factors that help us change.
  • (19:00) The surprising reason why making a 100% commitment is sometimes easier than making gradual changes.
  • (22:30) What Dr. Campbell thinks is the most important thing to eliminate from the Standard American Diet and why.

Enter to win a copy of The Campbell Plan

Dr. Campbell has been gracious enough to provide a copy of his book to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll be randomly selecting one recipient (see entry details below) and notifying the winner on Monday April 6th, 2015.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to Tracy C! We’ll be in touch to send you a free copy of The Campbell Plan.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: How has your decision to eat healthy impacted your relationships with friends and family? Give an example and be specific.

*Note: Only open to residents of the Continental U.S.

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Image Attribution: Quotes Everlasting

Note: As a complement to this post, I’ve asked Regan to offer a few free 30-minute coaching sessions. I expect these to go fast, so make sure to fill out the application, asap!

Last time we talked about one way to create a breakthrough — how baby building blocks can remove the barrier to getting started and lead to significant change.

Today, we are taking a very different approach to breaking through. Hail Mary, hallelujah, let’s go big!

The year is still new and shiny, and I want to talk about how you can reach your health and weight loss goals before the next holiday season rolls around.

I recently asked what inspires you to eat more plants on your path to better health, and I LOVED reading these comments.

You have such compelling and important reasons to make these changes. Here are some of my favorites:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 8.57.27 AM


Screen_Shot_2015-01-19_at_8_56_09_AM (1)

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 8.55.52 AM

These are FANTASTIC goals.

Inspire Others: We want to be around, energized and healthy for our children and grandchildren, and provide an example of good health.

Solve A Health Issue: Some of us struggle with diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol or some other chronic condition preventing us from living life to the fullest.

Look And Feel Our Best: We want to have energy and confidence for whatever life throws at us, knowing that we are looking and feeling our very best.

Now, fast forward exactly one year in your mind’s eye and imagine where you could be

A LOT of transformation can happen in a year. Think about what life will be like when you’ve met your goal.

Imagine waking up and instantly feeling at home in your body. Full of energy, you hop out of bed, ready for anything that the day throws at you.

Imagine being off your diabetes, blood pressure, or cholesterol meds. Not only do you get to say goodbye to a major monthly expense, but you no longer feel off from the side effects.

Imagine being totally happy with the way that you look. You get compliments when you go out for your walk around the neighborhood, and don’t have to shy away from pictures.

Imagine losing 20, 30, or even 100 pounds and the ease, freedom, and additional self-confidence that it would bring.

These are all completely life-changing benefits, and YES, you can make major progress in a year.

Not overnight. Not with some magic bullet or diet pill. Not without some real effort.

No, this only happens by committing to yourself, your health, your future, and making steady and consistent progress. Day in and day out.

But if you just keep at it, you can absolutely revolutionize your health and reach your goal weight (or at least make significant progress) in a year. Totally achievable.

Now let’s get honest with ourselves.

What is it REALLY going to take to reach your goal in the next year?

It’s easy to dream, but what does it actually take to get from point A to point B?

As we well know, there are quite a few pitfalls along the way. Ok, fine since you asked so nicely, I’ll share my favorite cartoon with you one more time.

Your-Plan-In-Life-Vs.-The-Universes-Plan-For-You-In-Dog-House-Diaries-Comic (1)

True for life, and especially true for health. Here are a few of the biggest roadblocks that we all face when it comes to taking charge of our health:

Time: One of the best thing we can do for our health is to prepare our meals at home, but it’s so hard to find the time amidst the demands of modern life.

Cravings and emotional eating: We all sabotage ourselves at some point. We make progress only to find ourselves thrown off track with cravings or emotional eating.

Over-complication: Instead of focusing on the big wins, we get lost in the details, overthinking and over-complicating everything. Finally we burn out.

Conflicting information: Are fats good? Bad? What about carbs? Is coconut oil saving your life or killing you?

Negative self-talk: Those little voices in our heads that tell us that we aren’t good enough, that we can’t do this, that we don’t have what it takes.

Social pressure: Your dear significant other, best friend, or mother-in-law is not exactly on your team. Then there is navigating parties, eating out, holidays, and more.

Life: Sometimes the things beyond our control have the biggest impact on our health. A stressful job, problems with relationships, having to take care of others.

Not exactly a walk in the park!

I bring this up not to discourage you, but because if this is to be the year that we change our lives, we need to step back and look at the landscape.

For this to really work, we have to embrace reality and make the necessary changes.

Maybe you are intimately familiar with the challenges you face and know where you get off track.

Maybe you are starting out and all this is completely new.

In either case, how can we overcome these barriers?  Is there a way to ensure that we will follow through — even if we have tried and failed many times before?

Making Failure Impossible

Having the right information is important. And with all the conflicting health information out there, it’s become increasingly difficult to know what to do.

But the bigger challenge always comes back to the follow through.

When we look at what is holding us back, we often know deep down that another recipe, book, or kitchen hack isn’t going to produce the monumental sea change that we are looking for.

So for this year to be different, for this to be THE transformative year, I want you to think big. How can we engineer success? How can we ensure follow through?

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Thomas Jefferson:


Note: We have a tendency to always jump to reasons why the solutions won’t work. Suspend your inner skeptic just for a minute. What if anything was possible?

Brainstorm with me for a minute. What haven’t you done that could make all the difference? What’s a “big win” that would put you well on your way to success?

Is there a barrier that you haven’t addressed? An elephant in the room that you’ve preferred not to look at?

Get creative, think big, and DON’T limit yourself just yet. You can sort through the ideas later.

Let me give you some examples:


None of these are easy. They either require a big investment, a large life change, or having the courage to look at a deep issue.

They all require you to step out of your comfort zone.

But they are all extremely powerful. In one fell swoop you could eliminate a major obstacle and be so much closer to reaching your goals.

Imagine how much easier it would be to follow through if you could come home to meals waiting for you.

Imagine what a difference it would make to have a group of friends that support your healthy choices.

How less likely would you be to cheat if you were investing in a coach or a chef. You’d know you’ve made this top priority, and would be taking it that much more seriously.

This is the difference between buying a gym membership vs investing in a personal trainer.

It might be hard to muster the willpower to go to the gym, but if you are paying for a trainer, there is no way you are ever going to miss a session.

You’ve almost guaranteed that you will follow through.

Or buying some books to read versus enrolling to get a college education. The chance that you’ll read the books and get the same education? Pretty minimal.

Enrolling in college? This is a huge life-changing investment that provides a quantum leap in your skill set.

These are the “big win” solutions that can almost guarantee a major life change.

Maybe these particular examples aren’t right for you at this point in time. We all have our constraints. Believe me, I know not everyone can hire a chef.

But there are always creative solutions to the challenges you face, and the point I’m making is that sometimes to meet your goals you have to REALLY go for it.

How can you engineer success? How can you ensure that you will follow through?

Get A Head Start With A Free 30-Minute Coaching Session

Apply for a free session with Regan
A year from now you could still be reading blogs about health and weight loss or you could be well on your way to having your life back.

You could still be dreaming of the far off day when you’re favorite jeans will fit again, when you’ll have lost enough weight to begin exercising, or go on vacation, or enjoy a day at the beach.

Or you could be free to enjoy your time with family and friends without having to worry about medications, not having enough energy, or feeling self-conscious.

Make this the year. Be willing to try the big things that you’ve never tried before, to step out of your comfort zone, and know that the solutions are always there if you just keep at it.

Unless you have some special super power, odds are your journey won’t be perfect. No matter. I have total confidence that if you just keep at it, you will arrive sooner or later.

And Regan has been kind enough to offer some of her personal time to help you get started towards your goals this year.

She is offering a limited number of free 30-minute coaching sessions.

If you are interested in some additional guidance and accountability, this is a great way to get started, put together a clear path forward,  and create some added accountability.

Space is limited and I expect these to go fast! If you are interested, go ahead and fill out the application here.

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