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I think long and hard about how to convince people to consider adopting a plant-based lifestyle. The best motivator is pain (injury, chronic disease) but that’s what I’m aiming to help prevent! People who have suffered from years of obesity, diabetes 2, cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders make for great “before & after” testimonials yet wouldn’t it be wonderful to prevent the “before” tragedy?

I often share data illustrating just how damaging it is to the body and to the planet to eat meat, dairy, and eggs. But those who deny climate change or are not particularly interested in environmental conservation or preventive medicine rarely show interest. They want their beef, chicken, or fish now and will worry about the repercussions later.

When I bring up the treatment of animals on large and small farms, I get cut off. No one wants to “go there”…because they already know how awful it is. Even if an animal was raised kindly, it still gets killed in the same awful slaughterhouses that kill factory farmed animals. If we already know how awful the situation is for animals and if we don’t want to look at it, why are we still eating animals? To be unwilling to look at what animals endure for our tastes, preferences, and habits (not our nutritional needs) then we probably ought not be eating them.

For example, because the movie poster above has the image of a cow on it, people don’t want to see the movie because they assume it’s a slaughterhouse movie. They see a cow, they don’t want to know, then they eat a burger. These mental gymnastics are creating peril to our health, planetary health, and animal abuse. Cowspiracy is an environmental film, not a slaughterhouse film. See it.

So really the only way to get someone to even consider a plant-based lifestyle when personal health, the environment, and animal rights are not valued is taste. If the food tastes good, people will eat it…even if it is good for them, good for the planet, and kind toward animals.

Even if I could feed you through this computer, you probably wouldn’t want me to. Though I love my simple food life and I keep my family happy enough, the kitchen is not my creative space. That room is not where I find my joy in life. I could feed you but you probably wouldn’t be impressed and I’d be a nervous wreck.

So the only way to prove to yourself that plant-based eating is tasty is to cook it for yourself. All vegan cookbooks are not created equal. If you want therapeutic effects from your diet, you must cook in a low fat, whole food, plant-based way. Not all vegan recipes are low fat or use whole, unprocessed food. Yes, vegan recipes are always plant-based.

Here’s the cookbook for you to try:

I’m not going to link the book. Just Google it and purchase it wherever you purchase books. Get a used copy if you can find one.

Cookbook author Kim Campbell is the wife of PlantPure Nation Executive Producer and Director Nelson Campbell and daughter-in-law of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, coauthor of The China Study and father of the modern plant-based nutrition movement. She is also a culinary contributor, recipe developer, and cooking instructor at Campbell Wellness, a health and wellness business. In PlantPure Nation Cookbook, she shares more than 150 extensively tested, 100% plant-based recipes that she has created and cultivated over 25 years of vegan cooking, such as:

• Buffalo Beans and Greens
• No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
• Spinach Lasagna
• Green Pepper Tofu Scramble
• Reuben Casserole

With a foreword by Dr. Campbell, The PlantPure Nation Cookbook is also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet. And with intimate background and behind-the-scenes details from PlantPure Nation film, this companion cookbook is a must-have for stimulating healthful eating in your home.

One of my favorite features about the cookbook is all the photos. I prefer to know how what I’m making is “supposed” to look. The chapters are broken down into:

1. Getting Started
2. Breakfast and Brunch
3. Breads
4. Snacks and Appetizers
5. Dips and Spreads
6. Salads
7. Sauces, Marinades, and Dressings
8. Spices and Toppings
9. Sandwiches, Burgers, and Wraps
10. Entrees
11. Side Dishes
12. Soups
13. Desserts and Sweets
14. Appendix

One recipe that we use almost daily now since getting this cookbook is the one for oil-free Italian dressing which we use on salads and sometimes baked potatoes. It is shown above on green leaf lettuce with an Omega 3 seed/nut mix sprinkle. Delish!

Yields: 6 servings (I double the batch and store it in a jar since we use it so often.)
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (sometimes I mixed white wine and/or balsamic vinegars)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar (I only use organic raw, dark agave)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (I buy the pre-mixed spice jars.)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum, plus more as needed

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 5-10 seconds.

2. Add more xanthan gum slowly if you like your dressing thicker. Be careful with xanthan gum; it only requires a pinch to thicken the dressing.

Hint: If you don’t have xanthan gum on hand, you also can use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to thicken the dressing.

Give this recipe a try then buy the cookbook. Show yourself how delicious healthful eating can be. See how you feel afterward. Let your body be your guiding inspiration. Nothing, I tell you nothing, tastes better than feeling good feels. Liberate yourself from a body full of aches, pains, disease, and frustration. You don’t have to live that way. Your fork is the key to setting yourself free and only you can do it for yourself.

Additional Resources

Johns Hopkins on Health & Environmental Implications of Animal Consumption

Getting Started on a Low Fat, Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet

6 Health-Preserving Reasons to Stop Consuming Oil

Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based vegan diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose. Join Carla in person at a Palmetto Plant Eaters Club meeting!

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