4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Helps Save the Planet

By Ali Donahue
on April 22, 2017

4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Helps Save the Planet

Did you know what we put on our plates has a major impact on our planet's health?

Yep, it's true. The kinds of foods we grow, produce, and eat have the biggest environmental impact of any human activity. So, in honor of Earth Day, what can we add to our plates to help our planet thrive?

Plant-based foods!

Hey, don't just take our word for it. Let's have a look at the science...

1. Reduces Carbon Footprint

Did you know that the meat industry is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? That's more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Crazy, right? The average American's annual beef consumption creates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car over 1,800 miles

How eating plants could help: Producing one calorie of meat requires nearly twenty times the amount of energy as one plant calorie! Switching to a plant-based diet saves 50 percent more carbon emissions than driving a Prius

2. Conserves Water

The United States uses a lot of water - 355,000 million gallons per day! And more than half of our water usage goes towards animal agriculture. The recent California drought is a great example of excessive water usage. Experts found a surprising culprit: alfalfa. And if you're thinking "Wait, wait! that's a plant!" You're right...except this plant, which is grown on over a million acres in California and uses more water than any other crop in the state, is grown specifically for "grass-fed" cattle.

How eating plants could help: Predictions show if we ate plant foods half the time we could reduce our individual food-related water footprint by 30 percent. If we ate a totally plant-based diet, that water footprint goes down by almost 60 percent

3. Cuts down on water pollution


Livestock creates 500 million tons of manure a year! As runoff from this manure often makes its way to streams, lakes, and the ocean, it also has the potential to pass on over 40 diseases to humans! Even more, this animal waste is loaded with excess nitrogen and phosphorous. These two pollutants have been identified as the main threat to US Coastal Waters because they're responsible for the algal blooms that deplete oxygen in the water and ultimately kill marine life.

How eating plants could help:  Plants don't poop (obvious one, but had to be said...) and if we eat organically grown plants, we can reduce fertilizer runoff

4. Reduces deforestation

Our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year...that's 56 acres of forest every minute. And food is the number one reason for deforestation. More specifically, animal-based foods. Nearly 80% of land deforested in the Amazon is now used as a cattle pasture

How eating plants could help: If everyone were plant-based in 2050, we would need less cropland that we did in 2000. This means we could "reforest" an area about the size of the whole Amazon forest.

Celebrate Earth Day with MamaSezz

plant-based-quinoa

Whether you're already eating plant-based or a need a little help getting started, we're here to make it easier.

Our ready-made and plant-based meals are made with 100% organic ingredients, sourced from local farms here in New Hampshire and Vermont, and each delivery arrives in eco-friendly and reusable coolers to reduce waste.

Here's to making a positive change this Earth Day!

 

Greetings from the Sarasota Open!

By Ali Donahue
on April 18, 2017

Greetings from the Sarasota Open!

We're thrilled to be a sponsor at the 2017 Elizabeth Moore Sarasota Open this week! AND to provide healthy plant-based snacks to both attendees and some of the greatest athletes in the world.

There's a reason more and more professional athletes are turning to a plant-based diet to enhance performance. From Venus and Serena Williams, to Tom Brady, to David Carter, to Rich Roll, to Torre Washington...the list goes on and on. These pros know eating this way gives them an advantage over their competitors: a plant-based diet is chock full of magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, complex carbs, and vitamins C and E to boost energy and reduce inflammation.

Here's to helping athletes recover faster and player better, naturally!

Why This Cardiologist Prescribes Plants: An Interview with Dr. Jami Dulaney

By Meg Donahue
on April 14, 2017

Why This Cardiologist Prescribes Plants: An Interview with Dr. Jami Dulaney

Cardiologist Dr. Jaimela (Jami) Dulaney used to think hypertension or diabetes couldn't be reversed, only managed. Her own grandparents struggled with diabetes and heart disease - both passing in their late forties and early fifties. As far as her own genetic risk, she believed exercise and portion control could delay the onset of these chronic illnesses and that was pretty much as good as anyone could do.

After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, things changed for Dr. Dulaney. Her eyes were opened to the benefits of plant-based eating. She and her family drastically shifted their lifestyle - adding more whole and plant-based foods to their plates and eliminating meat, fish, dairy, and oil. In the process, she's also been able to shed her need for cholesterol and acid reflux medication. 

Today, Dr. Dulaney has made it her mission to educate patients on the benefits of plant based nutrition. And today Dr. Dulaney says she and her cardiac team have had more success in reversing high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease with a plant-based diet than she ever had with solely medications. 

This week, we had the chance to talk with Dr. Dulaney to hear all about her plant-based evolution and get her advice on getting started with this lifestyle change.

dr jaimela dulaney

Tell us  why you first started to consider changing your diet. What inspired the change?

My first introduction the concept of being vegan was after stumbling across John Robbins’ book A Diet for a New America. I was amazed and appalled.  I went vegan for the first time when I completed the book. Unfortunately, my family did not share my enthusiasm. I plodded along eating tofu and veggie burgers, along with salads and vegetables that my family ate, until I heard about Forks Over Knives while listening to a podcast while running. When I heard Dr. Esselstyn reversed heart disease by running education classes for his patients, the light went on. That was what I wanted to do. My mother had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and was about to begin chemotherapy.  My father was also suffering from dementia. My family became ground zero for my plant-based revolution.  

A number of our customers struggle with a transition to a plant-based diet - what advice do you have for them?

The more you transition to a plant-based diet, the better you will feel. Keep it simple and find the “go to meals” you enjoy the most.  Sometimes it can be beans, greens and a potato.  Learn to change your usual meals to plant-based versions. Start with the vegetables you like and try a new recipe each week and perhaps a new fruit.  

What surprised you the most after you started eating this way?

I was always a vegetable eater so I really enjoyed adding color to my plate.  The best part for me was the elimination of chronic indigestion when I eliminated all the oil.  I had been taking a proton pump inhibitor for years and for so long had chocked it up to genetics.  

What challenges did you have to overcome to change your diet?

The biggest challenge was socializing with friends.  Ordering sides when we went out would lead to questions and I had trouble “gently” explaining my new nutrition without preaching. 

What is your biggest fear? 

 Perhaps it is losing respect as a Cardiologist that traditionally steps in and fixes things.  But that is small compared to how educating patients on plant-based nutrition has helped revitalize my passion for medicine.  It is a great feeling to be able to take people off of medications or eliminate their pain with nutrition vs. procedures.

Do you have a philosophy by which you live?

Treat patients like I would like my family treated and don’t do anything that does not help people to live longer or better.  It has served me well.  

Need help getting started?

Our Get Me Started bundle has over 20 servings of fresh, organic, plant-based meals. And we'll deliver them to your door already cooked! All you have to do is heat, eat, and enjoy. 

MamaSezz Plant-Based Get Me Started Bundle

Looking for more plant-based nutrition advice from Dr. Dulaney? 

Watch this video interview from the Plant-Based Cyclist

4 Simple Steps to a Happier, Unplugged Life

By Meg Donahue
on April 03, 2017

4 Simple Steps to a Happier, Unplugged Life

Ever been water skiing? 

Remember the first time you actually made it out of the water? That magical moment when you are defying physics. Suddenly you are no longer bobbing in the shallows trying not to cross the two fat boards attached to your feet. Man, you are up! Skimming across the water, one shaky hand wave to your mom on shore. You have arrived. 8-years-old and queen of the lake.

via GIPHY

 

Then another boat passes yours, the waves from their wake hit your skis - you struggle, terrified. Oh, crud. You’re going down. You see everyone in the boat waving their arms, yelling something but you’re too scared to take it in…

 “…Let goooooo! Let goooooo of the rope…let goooooo.”

You hit the water hard, one ski flies off, you hang onto that rope for all you’ve got, the boat is still moving, you’re swallowing water, still determined to get back up. Finally, mercifully, the boat slows. You’re in the middle of the lake. You swim in your big orange life vest through the oily rainbow of gas that’s pooled near the motor and grab the side of the boat, too tired to try again.

Why didn’t you just let go?

Because it’s counterintuitive. It makes no sense to let go when you’re just trying to hang on. 

Nobody wants to unplug (Let Go) when you are convinced being plugged in (Holding On) is what keeps you going.

 

Maybe you can relate.

Ever have those days when you just can’t even…

Hold your temper. Restrain tongue or pen. Be nice. Forgive.
Read one more Facebook post that asks you to cut, paste, and type amen.
Read another inspirational anything.
Buck up.
Worry another second if you are spending too much time on your phone. (You are.)
Fret about how many stupid carbs, protein, or calories you’re eating. (You’re most likely not a nutritionist/scientist, so stop. You’re making most of it up anyway.)

inspirational quote

Even though our troubles may not be exactly the same, some of the best advice I ever got to steer me towards feeling grateful for my life again is actually really, really simple. So simple I was tempted to discount it.

The simple fix.

It’s easy, works like a chaaahhm, as my Boston friends say, and doesn’t cost a thing.

When you notice, (or someone points it out to you) that you’re feeling grouchy, dispirited, and spiraling downward into existential despair...try this bait-and-switch move on your mind.

Get some sleep.
Eat a decent meal.
Call a friend who makes you laugh.
Help someone.


It’s like pressing the little red reset button on your Wi-Fi router.

There’s a boatload of scientific and spiritual literature on why this simple distraction technique works to re-center us. The good news is you don’t need to read all of it to get the benefits.  You can test it out next time you’re feeling out of sorts.

To unplug from the crazy and get back to loving your life, remember to:

Get some solid rest, eat a little something (plant-based is a good idea), play with a friend who lifts you up, help someone out. 

Told you, it’s almost too simple. But it works.

Need some help in the "decent meal" department?

Let us take something off your plate by putting something healthy on your plate. Get 20+ servings of fully prepared and plant-based meals with our Get Me Started bundle.

MamaSezz Get Me Started bundle

 

How You're Speeding Up The Aging Process

By Meg Donahue
on March 27, 2017

How You're Speeding Up The Aging Process

So this is 40+?

I was talking with my friend Chuck the other day. He’s an amazing guy. In his 40s, smart (like you want him figuring out the re-entry math logistics on Apollo 13 smart), funny, and self-aware. He’s also worried about his health.

His health isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. He has a few issues that he manages with medication. He “tries to eat right.” And he feels bad that he doesn’t get enough exercise.

I said, “you know, Chuck, you get to be 40+ and all of a sudden you realize your health is heading in a different direction and you just don’t bounce back in the same way. You can see the future and you realize that if nothing changes…well, you’re just going to keep sliding down.”

“Stop!” He said (half joking). “I know, I know!”

And it’s not just Chuck. Everywhere I go I talk with people experiencing at least one of these 10 health concerns:

  1. Loss of flexibility or the beginnings of arthritis
  2. Weight gain (particularly the mid-section)
  3. High cholesterol and blood pressure
  4. Heart conditions
  5. Type 2 Diabetes
  6. Impotence
  7. Fatigue
  8. Stress over their family history of Alzheimer’s
  9. Cancer
  10. Depression

A Game of Whac-A-Mole

Everyone I speak with KNOWS they should eat better and exercise to feel better.  But for some reason it doesn’t happen consistently and they end up feeling like they are playing a game of “Whac-A-Mole” with their health. Remember that game? Little moles pop up on a board randomly and the object is to whack them back down as fast as you can. 

But here’s the rub: each time you “whac” one thing down, a new mole pops right up.

whac-a-mole

Whac! I got my cholesterol down.
Up pops my blood pressure mole.
Whac! Whac! Phew, got my blood pressure down.
Up pops that pesky fatigue mole.
And so it goes.

There is a solution

Aging is inevitable...but feeling like crap doesn't have to be. So what's the solution? Here goes:

Eat real food (no chemicals or preservatives). Eat more plant-based foods. Lay off foods that make you sick or sicker.

Eating a primarily plant-based diet can give you a fantastic baseline of health. And look, I’m not talking about ditching prescriptions altogether. I’m not anti-medicine, as in many cases it is necessary! But I do know that changing your diet is the #1 thing you can do today to impact the future of your health…and stop the After-40 slide. 

(Under 40? Yeah, you’re actually not off the hook, either. The truth is we just start to notice it after 40. The slide starts much younger, in your 20s actually…)

Want to quit playing Whac-A-Mole with your health?

And bust the myth that some health issues “just come with age?”

We can help. Eating plant-based consistently can be hard. That’s why we created bundles of food for you. We’ve got your back. 

Don’t know what to cook tonight? We are there.
Don’t have energy to make something? We are there.
Tired of grocery shopping? We are there.

It's just like having a personal chef - except better because you don't have to make awkward small talk with us. You just place your order online, enjoy, feel good, and get on with your healthy life.

Get-me-started-bundle

Our 7 Favorite Ways to Enjoy MamaSezz Veggie Loaf

By Ali Donahue
on March 22, 2017

Our 7 Favorite Ways to Enjoy MamaSezz Veggie Loaf

While we love our Veggie Loaf straight from the pan, just like mom used to serve it, variety is the spice of life. If you're looking to mix it up at meal time, may we suggest a few of our favorites:

1. Pan-fried 

Cut the veggie loaf into 1-inch slices and fry in a little veggie broth. Top with stir-fried mushrooms, green peppers, sweet onions - and enjoy!

2. In a Sandwich

Slice and build your favorite sandwich on whole grain bread. Use a bit of Dijon mustard of your favorite vegan BBQ sauce to change it up.

3. Added to Pasta Sauce

Break up the loaf, add to your favorite pasta sauce, then serve over brown rice pasta

4. With Gravy

Make our mushroom gravy recipe. Then heat slices of veggie loaf and steam up some cauliflower. Mash the cauliflower, put it next to the hot veggie loaf slices, and cover everything with the gravy. Yum!

MamaSezz Veggie Loaf Burger

5. As a Burger 

Shape a thick slice of veggie loaf into burger patties. Heat in a frying pan and serve with whole grain burger. 

6. Made into Taco Filling 

Make it a taco night! Chop up a few slices of veggie loaf and put them in a sauce pan. Add a teaspoon each of garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and tamari/soy sauce. Mix it well and heat thoroughly. Use a brown rice tortilla, add the filling, black beans, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and salsa. 

7. Stir-Fried

Add to your favorite stir-fried veggies and serve over rice noodles, brown rice, or quinoa.

Is this post making you hungry?

Get your plant-based noshing on with our Get Me Started bundle. This bundle comes chock-full of enough delicious and fully prepared plant-based meals to feed two people for a week (or one for two weeks). And yes, the Veggie Loaf's included. 

MamaSezz Get Me Started Bundle

Dieting Doesn't Work...But This Does

By Meg Donahue
on March 14, 2017

Dieting Doesn't Work...But This Does

Fun fact: I hate diets. 

I’ve never been on a diet that worked long term. I don’t have the patience to measure food, count points and calories, or think about my macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) intake. And I don’t want to wear a watch that tracks what I eat because it feels like an obsessive behavior that sucks the joy out of food.

Food is a lot of things: fun, social, fuel for your body, sensual, enjoyable, satisfying. But it should never be the enemy and it definitely shouldn’t be a part-time job.

So why are we obsessing over our food intake?

It’s not our fault that just trying to eat well is riddled with guilt, frustration, and confusion. We’re constantly bombarded with terrible advice. Our parents, friends, blog posts, magazine articles, and TV pundits all preach “watch what you eat!” and “cut back!”

We've got calorie charts, carb charts, and fitness apps that calculate the nutritional or caloric value of everything we eat. 

Dieting is exhausting and it doesn't work.

It’s time to graduate from diets. Pounds may drop temporarily, but many of us regain the weight – then feel bad about it. And it’s not because we’re all unmotivated or lazy. It’s because diets are deeply flawed.

Here’s how:

1. We have to make this choice EVERY SINGLE TIME WE PUT FOOD INTO OUR MOUTHS. Whether we’re busy, stressed, tired, or cranky, diets tell us we HAVE to use our limited willpower first thing in the morning, every day, every meal, every snack...forever.

The results look something like this:

motivation chart

Graph: motivation declines over time with effort. (Thank you Ramit Sethi for the graph and Big Win inspiration!)

2. Even if we’re “successful,” we're never really free from “focusing on food.” Congrats! You’ve counted every calorie and macronutrient for 365 days. You have really enjoyed yourself and loved eating right? Probably not. All that work, and at the end of the day even if you look and physically feel pretty good, it’s still complicated, a lot of effort, and really no fun...which isn't sustainable.

How to eat healthy and feel good WITHOUT dieting

Big wins are the 3-5 actions that can significantly impact your diet, health, and life – such as transitioning to whole, plant-based foods, getting fully-prepared plant-based meals delivered, and stocking your pantry with healthy choices.

The beautiful part about Big Wins is you do the work up front — and they pay rewards for the rest of your life. One decision to eat plant-based whole foods means you never have to count calories again. Imagine that! (Not to mention you are doing more to improve your health than any amount of calorie counting and exercise ever could.)

Next time you hear the same old tired advice on dieting — track macronutrients or count calories — ask yourself: Has that really worked for the millions of people who’ve tried it? Are they really not “trying hard enough?” Or is there perhaps a systemic problem urging people to waste their limited willpower on near-meaningless tasks with little reward? Should we instead focus on high-leverage areas that will result in massive payoffs?

Put another way — how can we focus on using Big Wins so we can enjoy eating (and life) again?

Take the minutiae decisions out of your day

For any easy Big Win, we've put together a Get Me Started bundle filled with prepared and delicious plant-based meals.

get me started bundle

 

Have your own diet stories? Tell us about them in the comments! 

 

Advice from a Pharmacist: Eat Plants, Not Pills

By Ali Donahue
on March 10, 2017

Advice from a Pharmacist: Eat Plants, Not Pills

We recently spoke with Dustin Rudolph, AKA The Plant-Based Pharmacist. A board certified pharmacist, you may be surprised to hear Dustin believes the key to health comes “in the form of a grocery list and not a prescription.”

That’s right: a pharmacist telling you ditch the pills. Is he trying to put himself out of business? Kind of. In his book The Empty Medicine Cabinet: The Pharmacist’s Guide to the Hidden Danger of Drugs and the Healing Powers of Food, Dustin explains how he became a pharmacist to help people, but "in spite of all the well-meaning intentions of both doctors and patients” modern medicine didn’t seem to work.

Let’s have a look at the numbers from the book. “Over four billion prescriptions were filled in the US alone in 2011. And as a nation, we spent over $2.7 trillion in healthcare in the US in that same year (nearly double per person what other developed nations spend on their citizens).” Yet, despite these figures, Americans continue to get fatter and sicker

But it’s not all gloom and doom. Dustin’s message to the reader (and his patients) is optimistic: “You are in charge and can take control of your own life. You don’t need to feel doomed. This is a hopeful, empowering message and a promise only you can fulfill.” Enter a whole foods, plant-based diet.

In our interview, Dustin explains how nutrition science led him to question the power of the prescription pad. He also offers advice for those looking to embrace lifestyle medicine as a safer, cheaper, more effective way to address, treat, and even reverse chronic illness. 

dustin rudolph

 Q: What made you decide to become a pharmacist? 

A: Believe it or not, I made the career decision of wanting to become a pharmacist in the fourth grade. Yes, I was just a little squirt when I decided I wanted to be like Todd. I grew up in a small town in Southeast Montana called Baker. We had a total of one doctor and two pharmacists in the whole town. Todd was my family's pharmacist. I loved Todd. He was always smiling and very friendly when we came to visit, plus he wore that pristine white lab coat behind the counter when doing his work helping people. Everyone who went to see Todd loved him, so I aspired to be like him when I grew up.

As luck would have it, I just so happened to enjoy math and science as I got into junior high, high school, and later, college. I was intrigued by the human body and loved helping people. This made pharmacy a perfect fit for me, at least as I saw things at that time in my young academic career. Since graduating, I've found out that the more pills people take the more miserable and sick they are. I find this disheartening, and it's not what I set out to do in my career as a healthcare practitioner. During pharmacy school, I learned nothing about health and nutrition. It wasn't until eight years into my pharmacy career that I found out about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. When I found out that food could be used as medicine AND was more effective, safer, and less costly than medication to combat the majority of chronic illnesses I was instantly hooked on this new concept. Now, I still practice as a full-time clinical hospital pharmacist, but I do a lot of work to help educate people outside my pharmacy career to use food as their medicine and leave the pills as a last resort.

Q: What are some of the most common complaints/illnesses that you see in your work? Are many of the illnesses avoidable or curable by eating a plant-based diet? 

I work full time in hospital pharmacy. I see the healthcare crisis as it hits the front door of the hospital. This includes everything from heart attacks, stroke, seizures, autoimmune disease flare-ups (Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.), diabetic comas, broken bones due to accidents and/or osteoporosis, diverticulitis, cancer, infections like pneumonia or cellulitis, dementia, acid reflux, constipation, and the list goes on and on.

Most all chronic illnesses are avoidable, and can even be halted or reversed using a whole foods, plant-based diet and lifestyle. I would say at least 70%-80% of these chronic medical conditions would fit into this category. Don't get me wrong; there will always be a need for modern medicine. A few conditions above like seizures and broken bones fit this description. For the most part though, we would avoid a lot of heartache and pain in this country if everyone would be open to eating a healthy, plant-based diet and incorporate a few other healthy lifestyle changes into their daily routine like exercise and smoking cessation.

Q: A number of our customers struggle with a transition to a plant-based diet - what advice do you have for them?

Take one small step at a time in this case. I understand many people cannot go from years or decades of eating a Standard American Diet to eating a plant-based diet overnight. It took me a year to transition completely to this lifestyle.

A great place to start transitioning is to find alternatives to dairy products. There are many plant-based milks out there to replace cow's milk. These include almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc. There are quite a few plant-based cheeses becoming available too that can be used as transition foods until you don't miss the taste of cheese. Based on the scientific data, I consider dairy the most harmful food group on the face of the planet. It should be the first to go in anyone's diet. This is what I recommend doing out of the gate.

Q: Why did you start eating a plant-based diet? 

I adopted a plant-based diet after reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. This book discusses the positive health impact of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. I'm naturally interested in health and science since I'm a medical professional. After reading the evidence provided in this book and then going on to read several other similar books, I couldn't help but adopt this life-saving diet.

I didn't have any major health problems being in my early 30s at the time, but I also didn't want to end up with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer as many of my family members had. I did benefit health wise in that my migraine headaches decreased in frequency. I’ve been getting migraines since I was 10 years old. I went from three to four per month to one every month or two. My cholesterol numbers also improved, with my total cholesterol dropping approximately 20-30 points into the low 100s. Overall, I have more energy and feel fantastic on this diet!

Q: Do you have any suggestions for parents who are trying to encourage their kids to eat a plant-based diet?

Start kids as early as possible on this diet. Children naturally move towards plant foods once they are weaned off of breastfeeding (or formula feeding) onto pureed veggies and fruits. Remember the pureed peas and sweet potatoes in those tiny little baby jars you ate when you were a kid? You don't start a 6-month old on steak and lobster right after giving up their bottle. You start them on pureed fruits and veggies. So just keep going with this and continue them on healthy, plant-based foods.

Children's taste buds will prefer healthy fruits and veggies the more they eat them, and the sooner you start them down this path. If they are already on a typical Standard American Diet of chicken nuggets and French fries then you may have to shake their routine up a bit and work through the "no's" of serving them fruits and veggies for the first time. But it will be worth it in the end because you could literally be saving their life years down the road.

I suggest two wonderful resources to parents who want to help their kids adopt a plant-based diet. They are the following websites that are run by mothers who have been there, done that with their children - My Plant-Based Family and Vegalicious.

 Q: What is your greatest fear?

Losing the people I love the most prematurely in life due to an unforeseeable accident or event, whether it's because they die prematurely or I die prematurely. We are all given only so much time on this Earth. Spending that time with those we love is so precious and having this taken away prematurely is a fear that I think many people share with me. Taking care of yourself with your health by leading a healthy lifestyle can go a long ways in preventing unnecessary medical tragedies, but even if you do this tomorrow is never promised. I try to make the most of my time spent with loved ones when I get these opportunities. I've learned to do this the older and wiser I get. You can always replace material things in life, but you can never replace your time.

Q: Do you have a philosophy of life by which you live?

Yes! My father always preached to us three boys to "be a good person" as we make our way through this world. He said that goes no matter what we do or how successful we become in life. He still reminds us of this all the time today. It resonates with me every time I hear him say it. So I do my best to live by this philosophy. Do unto others as you would like have done unto you. Be generous and kind. Be compassionate and caring. Never let greed, fame, or power dictate how you behave and act in this world. Remember to stay humble and be gracious in everything you do in life. And spend your life serving others. These are the things I strive to do every single day. I'm not a perfect human being, but I always go back to what my father asked of his three sons, which is to "be a good person" in life.

Ready to get started with a plant-based diet?

Join the MamaSezz 4-Week Plant-Based Challenge to get support, tips, tricks, menus, recipes, shopping lists, discounts on MamaSezz food, and more!
4-Week Plant-Based Challenge

A Meat Lover's Guide to Starting a Plant-Based Diet

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley
on March 07, 2017

A Meat Lover's Guide to Starting a Plant-Based Diet

I first tried lamb chops when I was five years old. I watched my dad hand select each one at the butcher shop, coat them in a Dijon garlic rub, and place them side-by-side on the grill. I remember the satisfying sizzle they made as they hit the iron rods. The second I sank my teeth into that tender, medium rare chop - juice running down my chin and dripping off my elbows – that was the moment my love for meat and my passion for food began.

By the time I was 15, I’d graduated from pork chops, moving on to more exotic cuts: boiled calf brain, Rocky Mountain oysters, haggis, fish eyes, frog legs. There was nothing I wouldn’t try. At 17, I was eating about a pound of bacon a week. In college, it was burgers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And before my 20th birthday, I was a proud Buffalo Wild Wings Challenge Survivor. As a fit, college athlete, I didn’t think twice about my eating habits, and had even trashed the idea of veganism to friends.

Today, I am 100% plant-based and have no regrets. While I changed my diet mostly for philosophical reasons, I’ve reaped the health benefits as well, from fewer allergies to more energy.

The most common thing people say about changing their diet is it’s too hard to give up their favorite foods. And they’re right – it is hard (at first). But from one meat lover to another, it’s doable. You’ll need a little willpower to start, but the good news is: those cravings dissipate, sooner than you expect.

OK, OK…how do you get to that point? A few insider tips:

 1. Try it for a month

You can do anything for a month, right? Challenge yourself to go four weeks without animal products or processed foods.

In just one month, you may find your energy levels increase, your sleep patterns improve, and your body fat decrease. And you may come out of it with some new favorite meals and snacks. Above all else, you’ll gain the confidence needed to break through your self-doubt. It’s like jumping into a cold pool. Sometimes it’s easier to take the leap if you know you can get right out, but once you’re in you find it’s not so unbearable after all, and you might even enjoy yourself.

2. Stock your fridge!

Be prepared! Look up a few simple, go-to recipes online, Try these easy plant-based swaps. Stock up on plant-based foods you like (there will be time for experimentation later). Fill the kitchen with snack foods like trail mix, veggies and hummus, apples and peanut butter, and granola so you don’t give up when cravings hit. And never grocery shop while hungry!

3. One day at a time

If making the transition gradually is a better choice for you, first cut out meat. Give yourself time to learn a few recipes featuring your favorite vegetables. Discover new spices! Teach yourself how to cook vegetables well (I promise – they’re delicious).

After you’re confident with your new recipes, cut back on something else – like eggs or cheese. Make a savory tofu scramble for Sunday morning brunch. Experiment with a few plant-based mac and cheese recipes online (spoiler alert: soaked, blended cashews are creamier than you ever could have imagined). Eventually, you’ll have so many new skills and meal ideas, you can stop purchasing animal products all together. The easiest way to avoid eating cheese is to not have it accessible.

4. Cut yourself some slack

This isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle! It’s not about counting calories or losing points. Never beat yourself up over how you eat. Enjoy a mostly plant-based diet, but if you down half a cheese plate at your friend’s dinner party (speaking from experience), don’t think of it as “cheating.” Think of it as being flexible. Eating plant-based is not a contest or a game; you don’t drop out if you “cheat. Instead, thank yourself for how far you’ve come!

 Whichever approach you take, remember to never deprive yourself. The overall goal is eat, feel, and be healthier by eating more whole and plant-based foods. And with each plant-based day, think about how much better you feel, how you’re taking steps to save the planet, and how you’ve uncovered a whole new style of cooking. It’s simple: eat your fruits and veggies, now go out and play!

Want to eat plant-based but don't know where to start?

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Can't Poop? Try Eating Plant-Based

By Meg Donahue
on March 06, 2017

Can't Poop? Try Eating Plant-Based

It’s a tough topic. 

Nobody wants to talk about it but it’s hands down the #1 thing people whisper to me once they’ve switched to a plant-based diet.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of cool things that happen to your body when you start eating this way: weight loss, clear skin, improved heart health, improved vascular health (another whispered benefit but I’ll save that for later...).  

But this one benefit, in particular, has people ready to scream it from the rooftops...if it weren't for polite society. Instead, it's usually a hushed, albeit excited:

"I can poop!"

i-can-poop-at-last

I know…it’s a little TMI, but bear with me.

People are so excited, blown away even (pun intended), by how quickly their body responds to eating a plant-based diet that they can’t wait to tell me about their morning BM. That’s pretty incredible!

So take a minute here to think. Do you:

Feel bloated?
Have trouble going regularly?
Experience a heavy feeling in your midsection?
Have low energy?
Strain to go?


You’re not alone! Nearly 42 million Americans are persistently stopped up.

So what can you do?

Eat plant-based for a week.

You can try anything for a week!

you-can-eat-plant-based 

And if you do, I guarantee you’ll notice a significant change in your bowel movements - and feel a whole lot better!

So many of us get used to our bodies chugging along with sluggish intestines…but here’s how the body is intended to work: you eat, that food gets broken down and metabolized by your body and used for energy, and what you don’t need (waste or poop) is eliminated effortlessly.

So why is this normal process of just “doing your business” so difficult for so many of us? And what about therapies like colonics, cleanses, fasts, the billion dollar laxative industry, which were all created to get us to do one simple, totally natural thing: poop. Well, they're popular for a reason: they work. But only temporarily.

Ditch Short-Term Fixes.

These “fixes” aren’t long-term because it’s not (usually) that something is wrong with how your body eliminates waste. The problem isn’t what’s coming out of your body, but what’s going into your body. When given the right fuel, our bodies don't need a cleanse to detox because there are no toxins to eliminate. 

A Suggestion

OK, not really a suggestion. More like a knock on your noggin from your loving Mama…

Quit your gritchin...

About your crummy bowel movements.
About a bloated, uncomfortable gut.
About your belly roll that pinches against your pants.
About barely having enough energy to watch Netflix and go to bed after work.

Instead...try eating plant-based for a week!


Your poop will move.
You will feel better.
You will be less bloated and your jeans will fit all day long.
You will have the energy you need to live a fulfilling, healthier life. 

How to Get Your Body Back with Plant-Based Food

Get started with quick, easy, and FREE recipes here

Don't feel like cooking? We hear you. Get your start on a more energized, less bloated, meaningful life with MamaSezz ready-made meals. Our Get Me Started Bundle comes with 22 servings of plant-based comfort foods, fully prepared, so all you have to do is heat and eat. 

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Our Guarantee

Don't feel better after eating plant-based for a week? Let us know and we'll refund your money, no questions asked.

 

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4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Helps Save the Planet

4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet Helps Save the Planet

April 22, 2017

Did you know what we put on our plates has a major impact on our planet's health? Yep, it's true....

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