Tag Archives: Plant-Based diet

Myths and Misconceptions about Plant-Based Diets


Good morning and Happy Saturday, Vegalicious Ones!

The following article is written by Shauna Schultz, RD. I’ve gotten her permission to share it with you all. Next week, I’m working as a substitute for Shauna as she is moving to California – so I will be speaking and doing a cooking demo promoting a plant-based diet!



Plant-based diets are gaining momentum and for good reason: they’re easy on the environment, kind to animals and help prevent and manage chronic disease. According to the most recent Harris Interactive survey through the Vegetarian Resource Group, 5% (16 million) Americans are vegetarian, with half identifying as vegan. This number has nearly doubled since their last poll in 2009, and 33% state they are eating vegetarian and vegan meals more often. However, even with the increase in plant-based diets and meals, myths still persist over nutritional adequacy (or inadequacy). Below are five common concerns and how you can meet your needs through whole, plant-based foods.

How do you get enough protein?

Gone are the days of protein combining to make “complete” proteins. Eating adequately with a variety of protein-rich plant foods throughout the day will ensure you meet your needs. Protein is abundant in plant foods and most people are surprised to learn they are getting much more protein than required (a 150 pound person needs 61 grams/day). This is equivalent to one cup cooked oatmeal, one cup soymilk, one cup lentils, three ounces tempeh and two tablespoons peanut butter. Include at least three servings of legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy, peanuts) as part of your daily protein intake to ensure adequate lysine.

Surely you aren’t getting enough calcium!

Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. In fact, plants provide plenty of calcium and promote good bone health overall. Plant-based milks provide a convenient 300 mg or more per cup and plenty of whole foods provide calcium as well. You’ll find 179 mg in one cup cooked kale, 111 mg in two tablespoons almond butter, 88 mg in one tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds, 126 mg in one cup navy beans and 200-400 mg in four ounces of calcium-set tofu.

Don’t you worry about iron?

Iron deficiency isn’t more common among vegans and vegetarians than non-vegetarians. However, the Institute of Medicine has set the recommended intake almost two times higher for vegetarians and vegans because the iron in plant foods isn’t as readily absorbed. Don’t let this deter you though–iron is easily found in plants and consuming vitamin C-rich foods at the same time can enhance absorption by up to four times! Sprouting and fermenting also increase bioavailability. Excellent sources of iron include: pumpkin seeds (5.2 mg per ¼ cup); chickpeas (4.7 mg per one cup); blackstrap molasses (3.6 mg per one tablespoon); and iron-fortified cereal can have up to 18 mg per serving.

What about heart healthy Omega-3s?

Adequate intake is easy with concentrated sources of Omega- 3s like chia seeds (four grams per two tablespoons), ground flaxseeds (3.2 grams per two tablespoons), hempseeds (1.7g per two tablespoons) and walnuts (2.6 grams per ¼ cup). Add them to smoothies, cereals, muffins or salads. Vegan supplements with DHA and EPA are also available.

Plant-based eating is too expensive!

Any type of eating plan can be expensive! Pound for pound, plant proteins are far less expensive than animal protein and provide more nutrient-density. Beyond protein, there are many ways to save money, such as buying foods that are local and in-season, meal planning and cooking at home, buying in bulk (dry beans, grains, oats), reducing the use of convenience and processed foods and growing your own food.

Shauna Schultz is a registered dietitian and owner of Catch Your Veggies, where she currently offers nutrition counseling, consulting and plant-based cooking classes. She can be reached at rdshauna@gmail.com.

Thank you, Shauna and Happy Moving! 

Watch PlantPure Nation!


Hello Vegalicious Ones,

This week, I went to see PlantPure Nation in Seattle with two vegan gal pals that I got to go along with me!  After the film I got to meet my #1 hero, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as his son, Nelson Campbell who produced the film, plus Dr. Campbell’s wife and Nelson’s wife, Kim. It was extremely exciting to get to meet this “true living legend”, as one of my friends wrote. I was truly honored to meet this man who has had such a huge influence and impact on my life! As some of you know, I’ve read his book “The China Study” twice, taken his eCornell plant-based course, as well as read his other book, “Whole”. I have no real celebrity crushes…you may call me weird, but Brad Pitt or George Clooney could have walked right by and my focus would have been right there on this incredible human! Why do I admire this man so much? Because not only is he absolutely brilliant, but he’s someone who truly cares about other people! He’s a “mover and shaker” in his field when it comes to diet and health! He speaks the truth about meat and dairy – and has worked tirelessly to improve the health care crisis in this country despite great opposition. And he continues to travel around the country, delivering his empowering message of why a plant-based diet!


He was so incredibly kind and listened!


I even got a hug from him…


My friends and I greatly enjoyed watching PlantPure Nation! The film supported what we all believe in about diet and health, as well as the survival of our species. We really must start a grassroots movement! The government isn’t going to support this! So we were all saying, “Bring on the pods!” after seeing film…


There was a Q&A after the film. Here’s Dr. T. Colin Campbell answering questions from the audience! The film is coming out this summer, I believe in July, so look for it or find out about when they might be screening the film in your State by clicking on the link below:


What an amazing evening it was! My friends and I were all smiles when we left the theater…


…and that’s The China Study, that I’m holding out in front, which he signed for me!

Have you read it yet? Again, it’s my #1 favorite book out there!

A Must Read for any intelligent human who cares about their health! As I often ask people, “Why would you or anyone else go into old age feeling crappy?”

Let me know what you think about the film after you see it or after you have read the book!

I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s a Big Cheers to One Big Happy Plantpure Nation! 

PlantPure Nation

Plant-Based Vegan Interviews


Happy Friday,

I’m honored to be featured on PCRM’s Food for Life News for May 2015, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight some AMAZING AMAZING people whom I’ve had the privilege of interviewing my first two years on a whole foods plant-based vegan diet! These incredible people not only shared their personal stories of transformation with changing their diets, but adopting this lifestyle! You don’t want to miss out! Simply follow the link below: 

You can Heal Your Life

Two Years Of Plant-Based Vegan Interviews

Happy Vegalicious Reading!

PS. I get to hang out with this lovely woman, Ms. Kayle, this weekend!

Link to PCRM’s Food for Life May 2015: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/newsletter/food-for-life-in-the-news-may-2015

PlantPure Nation Kickstarter Campaign


Good morning Plant-Based Lovers,


I wanted to alert you to this VERY important Kickstarter campaign for the new documentary, PlantPure Nation. If you, like myself, thought that Forks Over Knives was an extremely important documentary in educating the public to turn to a plant-based diet for their health, then I know that this one will be just as significant! I am SO excited about this film, so please check out the trailer for it and learn about why they’re doing this Kickstarter campaign! I truly believe that this is going to be the most significant film you will be seeing on the big screen in 2015, so let’s all show our support so they can reach a wider audience!

FILM is a POWERFUL medium!

Thank YOU for YOUR support!!!

Nina, Urban Vegan Chic




What Your Doctor May Not Know


The following is a conversation between a lawyer and his expert witness, a cardiothoracic surgeon. My close friend is the lawyer, so he relayed this story to me yesterday that he’d had after taking the doctors deposition for the case he’s working on. Here is a recording of the conversation that came up after their meeting. This is what he told me.


two-men-talkingTwo men talking

The conversation started with me asking him, since he’s from California, if he’d heard that Kaiser Permanente is now recommending a Plant-Based diet as a nutritional approach to health care. He rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, another diet!” I said, not trying to p.. this guy off since he’s my expert witness and a very smart man, “It seems like a pretty compelling approach to health.” He said, “All these diets have fairly serious health consequences when you eliminate certain proteins and minerals out of your regular consumption.” I said, “Well, I’ve started a whole foods plant-based diet six months ago and I’ve been reading quite a bit of information and studies about this diet approach to health.” I asked him, “Have you ever read “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell? He said, “No!” I briefly explained it to him, the scope of it. “The study doesn’t reach any specific opinions, but the findings paint a pretty compelling picture of diet impact on primarily cancer. However, the author of The China Study, utilizing that study as the foundation, draws on a number of other peer reviewed studies and articles, as well as overwhelming anecdotal information from a multitude of physicians to reach opinions and conclusions regarding diet. Not only cancer and heart disease, but diabetes, osteoporosis and a variety of other serious health maladies. Clearly, the only significant vitamin that may be lacking from a strict plant-based diet is vitamin B12.”


The-China-StudyThe China Study 


He said, “Really? You’re telling me that this study documents that you don’t need meat or dairy for adequate protein?” I said, “Yes, clearly! There is without question more and better protein found in various beans and vegetables than in meat and dairy without the serious medical health effects from meat and dairy!” I then told him that I was seeing you and about your involvement with PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and how you had introduced me to this diet, plus had made all of these delicious meals for me, making it somewhat easier for me to make this switch to a whole foods plant-based vegan diet! 


BeefFatSpillPCRM600Go Vegan!


Then he said, “It’s frightening! Here I am a cardiothoracic surgeon and I have literally no education or training in nutrition. We get nothing in medical school about nutrition and you’re a lawyer who has read some important nutritional studies and who’s smart enough to understand the body’s nutritional needs and how it can be accommodated with diet and you’re telling me something I’ve never heard before after 30 years of cardiothoracic surgery, which is pretty much at the top of the food chain in medicine!” Then I (lawyer) discussed with him the documentary, Forks Over Knives and brought up Dr. Esselstyn, whom he’d never heard of, but he was certainly familiar with the Cleveland Clinic. He made notes about both and said he would watch and read.

preventandreverseDr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.


He said that, “In medicine we tend to address all of these issues with medications. High blood pressure pills, cholesterol pills, Beta blockers, Ace inhibitors, etc.” He did say that in his personal life his wife had been cutting him back to one serving of meat per week. However, he didn’t see chicken and pork as serious as red meat. I said, “Well, that’s not really so! They are just, if not more problematic! They are still animal protein and also high in saturated fat and cholesterol.” Further, I told him that in America, 78% of antibiotics are being given to farm animals, so we are screwing up our ability to respond to serious infections down the line.” He agreed.

On a final note, from me: The next time you see a medical doctor, before putting your life and trust into their hands, you might want to keep this conversation in mind. It certainly is compelling and food for thought! I hope that you will share it! Here’s to hoping that more doctors will educate themselves further on nutrition and health!