As a nation, we are disconnected and distracted from the instincts that can lead us to optimal health and happiness. Our bodies are powerful and designed to be strong—they tell us when they aren’t getting what they need, a.k.a. symptoms. When we are tired, we drink synthetic energy boosters instead of resting. When we have headaches, we pop a pain killer instead if hydrating or thinking about any allergens we may have consumed recently. If we give our body the fuel that nature designed for it, it can heal and thrive. We need to start listening to our bodies again, instead of all the voices on television, and from industries that want to sell us their products. Taking meds like we do in this country, is like taping over the dashboard engine light so you can keep driving. Instincts are there for a reason, we need to tune in again, inform ourselves and become accountable for our health.
Most people hear the words “vegan” or “plant-based” and think “flavorless,” “hippie,” “where will I get my protein” or “what on earth will I eat?” YumUniverse proves that a plant-based diet can be comforting, incredibly delicious, full of quality protein and full of infinite possibilities—and everyone from die-hard herbivores to skeptical omnivores agree. The site provides hundreds of free recipes and inspiring resources, and for folks who want even more help, support and connection, the Lifetime Membership will outfit them with everything they need for success for the long-term. They receive every comprehensive and beautiful eBook from the YU Library now, and all in the future, 3-months worth of inspirational meal plans, access to the exclusive YU Community where they can make other herbie friends, participate in forum discussion and create groups for everything from Organic Gardening to Plant-Based Parenting. Not only will a plant-based diet make you leaner and stronger, but you will sleep better, find more mental clarity/focus and overall your energy will skyrocket. Taking on a plant-based diet can seem a lot like learning a whole new language for most people, and YumUniverse is like a fun, exciting translator—taking the intimidation away so you can be excited about all that you are learning and discovering.
Heather’s recipes are creative, comforting and delicious, and they are presented beautifully, with step-by-step photos and tips for adaptations and substitutions. We try to answer all questions before anyone even has to ask. Heather’s resources also include tips for herbivore/omnivore households so one meal can be created and shared, with only a few modifications to satisfyeveryone at the table. Her recipes are loved by steak-loving Dads and tofu-loving moms. And most importantly, Heather doesn’t perpetuate the negative vegan stereotypes. Her approach is an inclusive, welcoming, approachable and realistic one. She acknowledges that every body is unique with different needs—there is no blanket approach that will heal everyone. But we all can agree—even doctors and nutritionists alike—that more plant-based foods incorporated into our diets will make us happier and healthier. Heather knows how to help folks make this a reality—and fun and scrumptious one at that. Noone does plant-based like YumUniverse.
Creamy Millet (or Quinoa) and Kale Salad (also great tossed with even more sauteed veggies like onion, mushroom, pepper…)
Almond Crunch Pancakes
Buckwheat Soba with Steamed Veggies
Broccoli Mac & Cheese
Cocoa, Kale and Beet Cupcakes (kids love these! I know it’s not a “meal” but I have to include this one)
Take a good look at a gorilla, or feel the muscles of a horse—that’s plant protein in action. This is a serious question though and it should not be dismissed or taken lightly. In the United States, the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To calculate your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. That number is about how many grams you need each day. Approximately 15-25% of your total calories should be from protein sources. Although protein is certainly an essential nutrient, which plays many key roles in the way our bodies function, we do not need huge quantities of it, and it is in all plant-foods, even a bit in fruit—so variety is key. Quinoa, hemp seed, spirulina, chlorella, buckwheat, legumes, sprouts and chia seed are all super protein sources, not to mention gluten-free and YumUniverse has hundreds of free recipes using these ingedients. Animal proteins are full of cholesterol, tax digestion, promote cancer growth and create an acidic body which manifests in all sorts of disease. As T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of The China Study says, “there are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.”Thanks Heather, for sharing your wisdom!