Fitness starts at home. What you eat is what you will look, just as what you sow is what you reap. Eat good food: eat fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and don’t go for sweet and trite food.Rakul Preet Singh
There’s a lot of noise about vegetarianism and veganism these days, and while there’s much good coming out of these movements, it can be tricky fully eliminating certain food groups from your diet. Plant Power Day is the perfect solution for those trying to include more foliage in their meals and move towards a more plant-rich diet, as this day is all about prioritizing plant-based foods.
History of Plant Power Day
Although there has been a recent upsurge in diets that avoid animal products, plant powered eating has been around for thousands of years for both practical and ethical reasons. Early proponents of vegetarianism, for example, include the Buddha and the Greek philosopher Pythagoras.
The plant-based industry has really taken off over the past couple of decades or so, with vegetarian and vegan restaurants popping up all over the place and supermarkets adding plenty of plant-based items and ‘free from’ sections to their ranges. During 2018-19, the US market for plant-based foods grew by over 30%, an increase eight times larger than the growth rate of the food market overall, demonstrating the boom in plant powered choices among consumers.
Plant Power Day was launched in 2018 by the European company Alpro, which specializes in plant-based products, in collaboration with the vegan recipe business BOSH!. It was established to encourage people to eat more vegetables and other plant-based foods as part of their daily meals and beverages.
It’s not necessarily about cutting out animal products entirely, but rather about making plants the centerpiece of your diet and considering plant-based options first, either just for the day itself or longer term! Trade out milk for orange juice, hamburgers for eggplant, ice cream for sorbet! These kinds of choices are not only healthier for you, but they’ll also help ensure your eating habits are more conscientious.
The benefits of going plant powered
Generally speaking, people tend to prioritize plant powered consumption for one or a combination of three main reasons: health, ethics and the environment.
Plant-based foods such as tofu, lentils, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables tend to be high in fiber and rich in various nutrients, and well-planned plant-based diets have been deemed healthy at every stage of life by dietary organizations such as the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the British Dietetic Association. Well-planned is the key word here, as relying solely on plants can put people more at risk of certain deficiencies such as iron and Vitamin B12. However, it is perfectly possible to get all necessary nutrients through a well-managed plant powered diet.
Many people focus on the ethical implications of going plant-based, which helps to reduce the consumption and exploitation of animals and the prevalence of factory farming. There are also various environmental advantages, such as decreased water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and land usage. And by freeing up land usually used to grow crops for feeding livestock, plant powered products contribute to increasing worldwide food production and protecting biodiversity.
Do take care when choosing your plant-rich foods, however, especially if your focus isn’t on health but on making less of an impact on animals and the planet. Carefully research where your food is grown and how it makes it to the table. After all, it doesn’t help the earth if your dinner is transported halfway across the world from fields that are the result of destroying animal habitat and eradicating rainforests.
How to celebrate Plant Power Day
The best way to celebrate Plant Power Day is to have an entire set of meals that are completely plant-based. Also take the time to find out where the plants you’ll be using are sourced from. This allows you to not only have a healthier meal but to make sure it’s good for the planet as well.
One easy way to get started with plant-based eating is to swap and substitute. Pick one of your favorite recipes, identify the ingredients that come from animals and simply swap these out for plant-based alternatives. Usually love a chicken curry? Give tofu, tempeh or seitan a whirl instead. Big on baking? Try baking powder, flaxseed or aquafaba (chickpea water) in place of eggs. Dependent on your morning coffee? Swap out your regular diary milk and substitute it with oat, almond or soy milk.
There are also countless vegetarian and vegan recipes, cookbooks and cooking channels available so you can try your hand at something completely new. As Alpro did when the day first launched, you could even go so far as to turn your traditional repast into a ‘planquet’! What’s a planquet you ask? It’s a banquet featuring all kinds of plant powered products. These spreads can be shared with family, friends and colleagues to help get everyone involved in Plant Power Day.
Even if rustling something up in the kitchen isn’t your forte, there are sure to be plant-based options on the menu at your local restaurant as well as nearby establishments dedicated exclusively to plant powered dining. Street food markets and fairs tend to be other great places for finding delicious products made by the experts.
When it comes to plant power, every little helps! Even small steps can make a big difference, so get your family and friends involved and sow the seeds for a healthier and more sustainable future this Plant Power Day.