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Fix Your Plate | Tara Reeves

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The popularity of plant-based food has been steadily growing for years now. In fact, the number of people in North America who eat plant-based, increased by 600 percent in just three years between 2014 and 2017. And, while this rate is dropping slightly as veganism and plant-based lifestyles become less of a novelty, the number of plant-based folks who stick with their lifestyle continues to increase. If you don’t include dairy and eggs as part of a healthy diet, then you’re already halfway there!

Even if you haven’t gone completely vegan or vegetarian yet, many people have already taken steps to move away from traditional animal products—or they may be considering it soon. This is because we have more access to affordable plant-based foods than ever before. Think about all the new options on restaurant menus or grocery store shelves: plant burgers are now next to beef patties; you can find dairy alternatives like coconut yogurt and almond milk; even your protein shakes might add pea-based protein powder instead of whey.

Did you know that one in three people are choosing to eat more plant-based foods?

Maybe you haven’t seen the data, but you’ve definitely noticed something: veganism is now a mainstream trend. Whether it’s a product launch from Ben & Jerry’s or companies like Beyond Meat going public on the stock market, the conversation is everywhere and it is growing exponentially.

This demand for plant-based foods is due in part to recent studies finding that plant-based foods are often healthier than meat, dairy and eggs. But people are also beginning to understand how animal agriculture negatively affects our planet—by clear-cutting millions of acres of land every year and generating 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (more than the combined exhaust from all transportation).

You might be surprised to know that a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you will always be eating salads! Most people think of vegan or plant-based meals as being boring and lacking in taste, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can get all the nutrients your body needs for functioning properly (and more!) on a purely plant-based diet, while eating amazingly delicious meals!

Eating well is so easy when you are cooking with fresh, whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Not only does eating more plants lead to a variety of health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, it also helps save animals and reduce your carbon footprint. If you follow a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, you are making an impact on the environment by reducing your consumption of animal products.

Regardless of where you’re at in your journey towards better health, I invite you to join us. It doesn’t have to be a radical change—it could be as simple as substituting one meal per week, or swapping particular ingredients in your recipes. Whatever works for you is the perfect place to start. Take the leap. The rewards await you; I promise! So… will you join us?

Fix Your PlateTara Reeves
Tara Reeves

Tara Reeves is a classically trained Chef and Holistic Nutritionist. A graduate from the Culinary Institute of Canada, she teaches people who want to transition to a plant-based lifestyle how to plan and prepare flavourful, nutritious, plant-based meals that keep them feeling full & satisfied. Tara is the co-founder and editor of The Black Media Collective—PEI’s first and only Black media outlet—and can also be found spinning records as DJ Jane Blaze.