Welcome to Plant Positive where my intention is to share with you how simple, sustainable and of course DELICIOUS a #plantstrong lifestyle can be.
Now I’ve had a little feedback from a very important listener! My dear mum, shared with me that I’ve sold this show as the more fun, less heavy version to my interview podcast Healthification and I need to be more light hearted!
How to do that?!! More cat stories? Embarrassing Kate anecdotes? I have plenty however I’ll try to only include them where they’re at least slightly relevant!
I’m going to start today’s show with a value and an attitude that I recognise is likely more challenging than ever in the year that has been 2020.
I’d argue, this is exactly the time that, Gratitude is even more valuable.
Because of course gratitude will let you see the best in every situation and conversely a lack of gratitude will mean you focus on the worst in any situation.
There is a secret super benefit to gratitude and it got me through the most UN-fun ever period of my life.
It’ll help you through any UN-fun period too. That benefit?
It’s that whenever you focus on what you’re feeling grateful for you cannot feel fear.
Let’s take this notion for a spin, first off I’d like you to think of something that makes you totally fearful. For me it was haemorrhaging money each month to the gym franchise I was part of… fearing that I wouldn’t have enough money to pay my team or the facilities rent or vast number of other ever increasing expenses. I feared the whole business failing – and I feared that meaning I was a failure. (I promise we will get more uplifting!)
Now, of course I now know that you are never a failure so long as you never give up on yourself… that’s a whole show in itself. So back to that fear of YOURS, whatever it is.
I’d like you to picture yourself in the midst of that fearful situation. What are you feeling? What is your self talk like. Really imagine you are right there in that situation that truly makes you feel fearful.
And now, I’d like to to think of someone or something that you are truly grateful for. Someone or something that you are just so grateful to have as a part of your life. As you think about that person, or that thing, and exactly how you feel when you’re with them… Where has the fear gone?
It’s disappeared right?
It’s a fact that your brain cannot process both fear and gratitude at the same time.
So the more you make gratitude a part of your life, in fact a part of your daily routine, the less fear you will experience.
Let’s run through some common daily examples:
- Getting out of your cosy warm bed to do your exercise first thing is not something to feel resentful about. It’s a chance to feel gratitude for that safe, cosy bed and that you have the physical ability to get up and exercise.
- How about that first meal of the day and even the water you have with it. If you don’t feel grateful for your first meal, it’s a good chance to either up the deliciousness of that meal or lower the bar for which you feel gratitude. Both are within your control!
- What about the fact that we now live in a society with 24/7 access to support and information to help you achieve almost any goal. Often for free!
Once you cultivate this attitude of gratitude you’ll find feeling appreciation for even the tiny things becomes natural.
Even if you’re in the middle of a hugely challenging and highly UN-fun time the ability to feel gratitude at this most testing of times will mean that when it is a more enjoyable time of your life again you’ll feel even that much more aware of everything you have to feel grateful for.
As I discovered when I eventually sold that nightmare of a business… even the tiny little things like my first coffee of the day, that fav podcast that just added a new episode, that first laugh of the day with a colleague is just so much more enjoyable.
Just quickly, in the interest of including a (hopefully!) amusing cat story, I think we all could learn a lesson from the simple joy and easy gratitude our furry feline friends (and dogs too) enjoy in the tiniest of things.
If you’re a Healthification listener (thank you) you’ll likely know if my lil bro sir Thomas the golden boy. A beautiful little black and white rescue moggie who sadly went to cat heaven a couple of months ago and happily lived a long and love filled life.
There’s a new man in the fam, and although I’m not yet ready to call “Pango” the pop up panther who now lives with mum and dad my “little bro” I am sure it’ll be love at first sight when I meet him later this month.
So far I’m hearing Pango is supremely grateful for small pleasures such as popping up onto the kitchen bench to supervise anything, destroying mums prized yet highly paw worthy indoor plants and carrying his fav toy upstairs to bed each night with whichever parent he chooses to grace with his presence.
I like to get actionable in every show and today’s it’s super simple: Each night before bed, write down 3 things you feel grateful for.
Onwards, and let’s cover a couple of fabulous Good News Stories:
First from Veg News: Vegan Cactus Leather Handbag Meets Crowdfunding Goal In Two Hours.
A new luxury vegan handbag the WEEK/END recently launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and successfully met its fundraising goal in under two hours. That’s amazing and I must say the bag is super cute!
Created by the founders of vegan accessories brand Frida Rome, the compact crossbody handbag comes in midnight black with gold stud detail and has an exterior made from cactus leather from Mexican startup Desserto and Italian vegan eco-suede lining.
“When we came across cactus leather, we couldn’t believe how good the texture and appearance were,” Frida Rome co-founder Rebecca Joy said. “When we realized it has a far lower impact on the environment as well, we were completely sold.”
The unique feature of the handbag is that it packs flat into a custom-made dust bag to make storing it easier. Handmade by artisans in Manchester, England, the WEEK/END raised £33,139 (US $45,000), more than 3 times its initial goal by the time its campaign ended.
Frida Rome’s first release of the WEEK/END is expected to begin in February 2021. Customers can still purchase the handbag through the brand’s Indiegogo InDemand campaign. The handbag is currently priced at £185 (US $240) with worldwide shipping.
Ok so it’d want to be super cute at that price, however like cultivated meat and everything innovation, the price will only come down.
Next this from Plant Based News: New York Hospitals Include Plant-Based Option In All Meals As Law Comes Into Effect Tomorrow.
I’m guessing this started with the amazing initiative of Brooklyn Borough president, vegan activist and previous Healthification podcast guest Eric Adams. Now, all hospitals in the U.S state of New York must make a vegan option available in every meal they serve, thanks to a new law that came into effect on December 6.
The Bill S1471A/A4072 ensures all meals and snacks must include an option that is completely free from animal products. The plant-based options must also come at no extra cost.
California passed a similar law last year in the hopes of not only improving patient health but to save on costs as well.
Can you even imagine how much good could come if Eric gets elected to be New York mayor in 2021?
Let’s move onto plant based deliciousness and continuing with my 10 Tips To Make Adopting A Vegan Lifestyle Easy (we covered tips one and two in Plant Positive 001 and 002 and the complete 10 are available as a free PDF via the show notes). Today let’s dig in with tip three.
Two: Prioritise One Ingredient Whole Foods.
Three: Buy Quality Produce and give it the same cooking, seasoning, marinating respect you gave meat. So the goal is to treat your veg the opposite of those boiled to death brussels we forced down (or just moved around the plate!) as kids.
Action step: Invest in a few specialty condiments to pimp the flavour of your meals while you’re finding your plant strong feet!
Some easy options are: Nutritional yeast. Sriracha hot sauce. Veganaise, which I’ve learnt will be available in Aus again possibly by mid December and certainly in 2021 (so jealous of my US friends!) Tofutti cream cheese. Tamari. Liquid smoke. Caramelised balsamic glaze.
To dig a little deeper beyond the “buy quality produce” bit because I know we can’t all buy organic berries and all the fancy mushies like lions mane and morel, here are a few of my fav simple techniques to make plant food taste amazing.
- The Bag
- Marinate then heavy weight.
- More than (see what I did there?!)
The Bag Shake: is a great way to get a heap of flavour all perfectly distributed with either zero or minimal oil. It works well with kale and brussel crisps. Also crispy chickpeas – my fav snack right now – and home made potato or sweet potato chips.
Simply dump your washed / sliced produce in a bag (I reuse my bags way to many times to share!) and shake with the flavours you love. Try salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast with Brussels. Salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika with chickpeas.
Marinate then heavy weight: I couldn’t resist the rhyme however the marinate is great on it’s own too. I love this with tofu. Huge shout out to the team at onegreenplanet for the following tips on marinating.
There are no strict rules about marinades, but there are guidelines. Marinades need to have liquids and at least one of those liquids should be acidic or enzymatic such as vinegar, citrus juice, pineapple or papaya juice, beer, vegan buttermilk or wine.
Other liquids that are added for flavour may include soy sauce or tamari, vegan Worcestershire sauce, fruit juices, vegetable broth, oils and water.
Some kind of fat such as oil or non-dairy yogurt can add succulence to the flavours. Combine liquids and taste the marinade.
Add aromatics such as chili peppers and fresh grated ginger and garlic. Add roughly chopped fresh or dried herbs such as basil, parsley, coriander, mint, or thyme. If you want heat, add red pepper flakes, hot sauce, harissa, chilli oil, mustard or Sriracha. If you want sweet, add brown sugar, agave, molasses, or maple syrup. Add salt according to your own tastes.
As a non-cook, I find marinades are more forgiving than salad dressings – as in easy to get right, or right enough! Just experiment! My current Go2 tofu marinade is: 1 tablespoon Tamari, 1 tablespoon Mirin, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup plus a generous shake each of garlic powder and chilli flakes.
Now the heavy weight part is thanks to Chad and Derek, the gents at Wicked Healthy. It involves using a heavy implement such as a second pot or pan to apply pressure to your lovely marinated food while its cooking. Press down on your food with the pan to get a gorgeous charring and caramelising effect. This is perfect with tofu and mushrooms.
More than Grate: Refers to texture, consistency and visual appeal more than taste. It’s a perfect time to forget any rules you’re used to with veg prep. Spiralise your zucchini and carrot. Take a veggie peeler to your asparagus for long glamorous peels. And, use a micro grater like a microplane to create “macadamia snow”.
Let me ruin my rhyming with one last tip…
Dry fry: I love this to enhance the flavour and texture of nuts, seeds and stone fruit. Dry fried (just think non-stick frypan, medium heat, no oil) pumpkins seeds, crushed almonds and sliced white nectarine make any simple salad awesome.
Let’s talk and Exercise and: Why ‘Struggle-Street’ Is Your Most Important Training Session This Week.
Struggle-street is that day when you could very easily reason yourself OUT of exercise. It might occur regularly for you, it reared it’s ugly head yesterday for me! When you’re tempted to skip a scheduled exercise session instead consider:
- How you’ll feel after the session. Or after the non-session. Yesterday I future paced to how I’d feel after I filled a 45 minute gap between clients with coffee, nuts and program writing. In truth: I would have felt like I’d let ME down. So I trained.
- (Also consider) How much easier it’ll be to repeat today’s decision, whether that’s a skip or a commit!
- How much more efficient and effective you are when you prioritise your Big Rocks like exercise. More on that in the self care section next.
Struggle-Street happens to us all however it’s also an amazing opportunity to prove to you just how important your health is.
To round out todays show, let’s chat Self Care and to be honest I don’t know why I didn’t cover this in episode 001!
My tip this week is a big one however it’s absolutely vital, especially as the end of year draws near and we’re all feeling that little (large!) bit extra tired, stressed and prone to overwhelm!
Lock and load the big rocks that keep you happy and healthy.
Your “big rocks” are those non-negotiables that you schedule into your week first and then fit everything else around. Specifically the big rocks that keep you happy and healthy will vary for each of us however very likely they will include keystone habits that other healthy habits more easily form around. I’ll dig in with keystone habits in a later show. For now, let’s start with just 3 big rocks that you know keep YOU happy and healthy.
Step one: Brainstorm YOUR 3 big rocks.
If it’s not obvious, try thinking back to the time in your life when you were most happy, healthy, calm – efficient! For me it’s daily exercise and meditation. (Ok I cheated with 2!) Twice weekly time in nature. (I’m a grumpy bum without it!) Weekly meal prep. (Helps me feel in control and ensures I enjoy both delicious AND nutritious meals every single day).
Step two: Schedule YOUR 3 big rocks.
Make them a non-negotiable appointment with you. These are the things that have proven to be good for you, mentally and physically. They deserve your time and they will have a huge positive compounding effect well into the future beyond the initial time invested.
That’s it for today in Plant Positive. As always I’d super love to hear from you if you have any feedback. How can I make this show more valuable to you? You can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @strongbodygreenplanet across the socials.
If you found value in this episode then share the love with a friend or family member that needs to hear it. To make my day (my week!) rate, review, and subscribe – it helps out BIG time in getting this little show seen by a wider audience – and would mean so much to me. I’ve included an article (with pictures) on how to leave an iTunes review to make it easy for you.
Finally, please stay tuned for a quick snippet from a super inspiring episode of the Healthification podcast – that’s my interview style show where I have conversations with amazing athletes, activists, authors and generally passionate and compassionate individuals! Today my chat in E552 with a legit hero of mine, Dr Melanie Joy. Dr Joy’s thoughtful, unique and articulate insights have given me such a sense of relief, hope and understanding despite the unavoidable, horrific truth and scale of animal exploitation globally.
Dr Melanie Joy is a Harvard educated social psychologist and vegan activist, perhaps best known for coining the term carnism: Dr Melanie Joy, Carnism and Creating Effective Communication Between Vegans and Non-vegans.
Plant Positive was proudly bought to you by: BiOptimizers, a nutritional supplement company with the mission to help humans shift from a sick unhealthy condition into a peak biologically optimized state. You’ll get a 10% discount for all BiOptimizers products by using the “Healthification10” code.
My personal fav is their Magnesium Breakthrough to help reduce your stress levels, feel relaxed and at peace PLUS sleep faster and deeper. Who doesn’t need more peace and great sleep right now?
With love and compassion plant friends.
If you liked “Simple Techniques To Make Plant Food Taste Amazing and A Secret Super Benefit To Gratitude” you’ll also like 170: Friday FAQ, Keystone Habits (daily and weekly most effective actions).
If you liked “Simple Techniques To Make Plant Food Taste Amazing and A Secret Super Benefit To Gratitude” you’ll also like E657: Dr Melanie Joy and Getting Relationships Right: How to Build Resilience and Thrive in Life, Love, and Work.
If you liked “Simple Techniques To Make Plant Food Taste Amazing and A Secret Super Benefit To Gratitude” you’ll also like [E651 Encore Episode] Dr Melanie Joy, Carnism and Creating Effective Communication Between Vegans and Non vegans.
If you liked “Simple Techniques To Make Plant Food Taste Amazing and A Secret Super Benefit To Gratitude” you’ll also like E586: Vegan Comfort Food Classics with Lauren Toyota.