Earth Day 2013!

Happy Earth Day everybody! You may be wondering why we even need an Earth Day –  we live on Planet Earth, and so every day is Earth Day, right?! Yes, it’s true, each day should be a celebration of our beautiful planet, each day should be about finding new ways to protect and respect Mother Nature, and each day should be about being the best we can be. And if things were so, than perhaps we wouldn’t need an Earth Day to remind us.

Beautiful Bay
We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’                                                                                                Native American Proverb

For many of us, that intimate connection that we have with our life-giving planet is all too often forgotten while we’re trying to pay the bills and check everything off of our never ending to-do list. But, today I have great news for you;

It turns out that if we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we also promote the best health for the planet.[1]

Wow, you mean I can have my Kale and eat it too?! It is in fact true that by reducing your intake of animal products not only do you reduce your carbon footprint, but you dramatically reduce your risk of a variety of diseases and ill health. This means that that nagging voice that’s telling you to be healthier and to be a better person too can be put at ease by implementing one single action: empowering yourself by making the right food choices. How can this be?

The theme for Earth Day 2013 is ‘the face of climate change’ – one face of climate change that deserves more attention is the face that is eating…did you know that what you eat has more of an impact on climate change than the car you drive? Say what!? Yes, the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the transportation industry accounts for 13.5%. Some even more harrowing stats – the livestock sector is responsible for 37% of all methane gas released – a deadly gas with 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and 65% of all nitrous oxide, which has a global warming potential 296 times that of carbon dioxide! These facts appear in a United Nations report[2] and are referred to in ‘Healthy Eating, Healthy World’; a wonderful book written by J. Morris Hicks.

In light of this year’s Earth Day theme I will not delve into how what we eat also relates to issues of land degradation and deforestation or water pollution and water shortages, or the loss of species and God-given biodiversity, but suffice it to say that turning towards a more plant-based diet will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but will reduce the many other harmful effects of factory farming and animal consumption.

‘Patience and perserverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.‘                                                                              John Quincy Adams

Still not convinced? Here are two concrete examples of how what you eat every day makes a difference: 1) cutting out meat from your meals just three days a week can save ½ a tonne (2205 pounds) of CO2 a year[3] and 2) to make just 1kg (2.2 pounds) of beef requires 15000 litres (13210 gallons) of water to produce![4]

And finally, as eluded to above, eating more ‘whole, plant-based foods’ offers an abundance of disease prevention and health promoting properties to your body. Whole, plant-based foods is ‘plant food, still in nature’s package…so it includes all fresh fruit, greens, legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.’[5] There is ample evidence available which shows that in order to maximise health across the board you need only follow one simple diet[6] – a whole, plant based diet.

Let’s celebrate this year’s Earth Day with a shift towards a more whole, plant based diet. Why not visit your local farmers market this week and buy a rainbow of delicious colors?

To make your transition to health easier; all the recipes that appear in our blog are whole, plant based recipes that are delicious and easy to make, and we will continue to support you by providing more of these recipes on our blog. If you’d like to take your health to the next level or you’d like motivational support and practical guidance on how to add more whole, plant, based foods to your diet, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 808-521-IMUA. I work with clients who want to be healthier, and I’d love to guide you in finding bliss within your body, as well as learning to engage and re-connect with the paradise that we call home. At IMUA, our collaborative approach will assist you in realizing your full potential, so that you can share your best self with the world!

[1] T. Colin Campbell, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and The Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health 2005.

[2] Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options (Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization, 2006).

[3] and references listed there. Accessed 22 April 2013.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Hicks, J Morris Healthy Eating Healthy World 2011 at page 169.

[6] T. Colin Campbell, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and The Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health 2005.

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