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I'm a long time member of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM- I was certified though their program waaaaaaay back in 2011) and continue to implement my education into my curriculum. As a big fan of the Exam Room Podcast, it was a thrill to be a guest!

In three separate blog posts, complete with recipes, links to research studies, and television segments to boot, below are links on how easily get enough protein (promise!), iron and calcium on your plant-based diet.

“Where do you get your protein?” That’s the question I get asked most often when talking about a whole-food plant-based diet. But guess what…plants have protein! If you watch a special on mountain gorillas or elephants, do you worry about where they get their protein? Probably not, but just in case, they get their protein from the plants they eat, as they are herbivores. Therefore, the protein you get when you consume animal-based foods, like steak or chicken, ultimately comes from the plants those animals ate.

Calcium is a soil derived nutrient and is important in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, a healthy blood pressure, and a healthy nervous system. It also plays a role in muscle function and blood clotting. The daily recommendation for calcium intake for adults aged 19-50 years and men 51-70 years is 1000 mg per day. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for women over 51 years and for men over 70 1 . The dairy industry has a done a great job promoting milk/diary as the best source of calcium.

You may have heard that our body has a difficult time absorbing iron from plants, thus people following a vegan / plant-based diet might be more susceptible to an iron deficiency. This is easily overcome by simply combining foods with vitamin C to foods that have iron and voila! we have super absorption, folks!

Sulforaphane - a big name with big health benefits! In fact, it is one of the most potent food-derived anticarcinogens known at this time. Studies on sulforaphane show that it can prevent and even reverse some of our most feared health outcomes are plentiful, and this is so exciting! There is still a lot to learn about sulforaphane, and it can be a tricky little science project, but if you spend a some time diving in, learning, and then practice adding this to your diet, wow; it can be a real game changer.

Wouldn’t you love to know a few years in advance if you or someone you knew was going to have a heart attack? In many cases you can, however, the symptoms are a little taboo, but I promise there is a way to very possibly reverse both the symptom AND the incidence of a heart attack and keep your man card.

Volumetrics, as coined by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. at Penn State, is essentially the act of eating low calorie density foods to achieve and maintain weight loss. What we have learned is the stomach has stretch receptors and when they are activated by adding volume to the stomach, they send a signal to the brain indicating satiation.

A few blog posts back we talked about about oil and many people are surprised at the amount of calories and fat it has in just ONE TABLESPOON! Weighing in at 126 calories and 14 grams of fat per tiny little tablespoon, can you imagine how many calories you are adding to your pan while sauteeing, adding to your vegetables before they go to roast, or how much you add while making a salad dressing?! Kudos to you for bypassing the store bought stuff that is packed with added sugars, sodium and all kinds of funky ingredients that help it last longer on store shelves. Remember - Shelf life in foods decrease your shelf life.

Have you ever thought about the oil you pour in your pan before you add the vegetables? What about the amount of oil you add to make your favorite salad dressing, or marinara sauce? We are so engrained to use oil liberally in all types of cooking and in cuisines, but we never really think about its nutritional make up.

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