What does 'plant powered' mean?
As pretentious as it sounds (and really it isn't meant to) I do love the term 'plant powered'. Whilst I have been vegetarian since I was a stubborn teenager - resolutely vowing I would not be eating the baby lambs in the field behind our school - I find labelling and pigeon holing diets rather unhelpful. I was pescatarian for a long while - now there is a really pretentious sounding term! And after giving up dairy three years ago I probably classed myself as vegan, even though many vegans would have disputed that as I still ate ethically sourced eggs and honey. These days I most definitely don't eat meat or fish and very rarely consume any other animal derived produce. But this is personal choice. Ethically and healthwise it just suits me.
I use the term 'plant powered' because rather than focus on what my diet excludes, it refers to the things I focus on. And that's the point. If transitioning to this new and super healthy way of eating feels a little bit daunting, it's not always about diving in all at once and feeling completely overwhelmed. Transition slowly and focus on the incredible array of plant powered ingredients you can enjoy, rather than instantly excluding all the things you feel you can't.
Why plant powered?
Switching to a vegan diet is not going to offer instant health - but I absolutely believe that a plant powered diet will! Whilst the two don't sound dramatically different, they are actually miles apart in terms of their focus. Eating a vegan diet for ethical reasons still means you can include a great deal of processed rubbish, sweets, crisps and junk food in your diet. There are lots of incredibly unhealthy foods that are vegan. Switching to a diet abundant in plants - we're talking fresh vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds and legumes - is truly healthy.
Vegetables and plant-based proteins are low in sodium and calories, loaded with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and free of - or very low in - saturated fat. Animal proteins often contain high amounts of saturated fat, which is associated with boosting "bad" LDL cholesterol and increasing the risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, has classified processed meats as carcinogenic (something that causes cancer). It has also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen. A diet rich in plant based foods is healthy for the mind, body and soul.
HOW MEAT CONSUMPTION AFFECTS US & THE WORLD AROUND US
The Impact of Meat on Health & Skin
I am often asked if I think eating meat will have a positive or negative effect on problem skin. In truth, relinquishing meat to heal my skin was never an issue, because I haven’t eaten it for twenty five years! I stopped eating lamb as a teenager due to the cute, fluffy new borns in the field behind our school and, aside from eating fish, became fully vegetarian by the end of that same year. For me it was always a matter of ethics as oppose to health, now it’s very much both. Meat, especially red meat, is highly acidic on the PH scale and our body’s have to work incredibly hard to process it. Fresh fish is much less acidic but there are the potentially high levels of mercury to consider, which can negatively affect our brain and kidneys. Tinned fish and seafood are definitely best avoided as they’re at the highly acidic end of the spectrum. In fact seafood creatures such as shrimp are known as ‘bottom feeders’ because they live on the sea bed feeding on parasites and skin that they pick off dead animals. Definitely not the sort of food we want to nourish our own body’s with.
You Can Make a Difference
For me, eating a plant rich diet full of colour and healthy, live greens radiates life. Vegetables graciously drop to the earth when they’re ripe. Conversely, the horrific treatment of animals bred for human consumption denotes negativity, fear, anxiety and aggression. Meat is no longer the occasional wild beast caught by our hunter gatherer ancestors. These days it’s become a highly consumed staple of the Western diet. Over 53 billion land animals are farmed and killed every year by humans, many loaded with chemicals, antibiotics and disease. These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are measured in tonnes. Global fish stocks are depleting at alarming rates, our oceans are in big trouble. 90% of the big fish are gone. Tuna, swordfish, halibut, cod, and flounder populations have been devastated by overfishing. We are at a serious tipping point, oceanographers suggest our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years. And that's a frightening statistic. We have the power to change it.
OUR PACKAGING IS RECYCLABLE
The plastic containers in which your food is delivered are both dishwasher and microwave safe. They're a thick, crack resistant plastic which makes them suitable for repeated use. Whether that's as little picnic pots, handy for the kids school lunch or for storing dry goods such as nuts, seeds, flours etc. They're super useful and once you're done they can be added to your plastic recycling.
OUTER CARDBOARD BOX
A well-know recyclable item, our cardboard boxes are also great for moving house, storing stuff or as your cats new favourite hiding place! When they're done, add them to the recycling bin so they can disappear and be remade into something else.
OUR FOIL INNER BAGS
Reuse these if you're packing up delicate items to store in the loft, and Great Aunt Margot's china tea set should be safe for another year or two. This type of packaging is also great for posting fragile items if you're selling on eBay, either use the boxes as is, or break them up into smaller bits and give your postal items a bit of extra protection.
EASI-CHILL GEL PACKS
You can recycle the plastic from these packs, but the gel does have to go into the bin once it's done its job. Don't try to pour the gel down the sink, as it could block your drains. Before you think about disposing of it, there are lots of things you can do to reuse gel packs.
1. ICE BATHS
If you're in to sports or exercise of any kind, an ice bath can be a great idea if you've been pushing yourself quite hard. Drop the frozen ice packs into cold water as a whole pack, without removing the plastic, and if you close your eyes, you can pretend you're Andy Murray holding that Wimbledon trophy!
2. ICE PACKS
If you've really overdone it, use one of our packs to ease tight muscles and swelling. Make sure you wrap the pack in a clean towel or similar material so it doesn't burn your skin.
3. COOLING YOUR SHOPPING / PICNIC
If you've run out of our cooling bags, use the ice packs or sheets in ordinary plastic bags and place them amongst your shopping or inside your picnic basket to keep it all cool.
If you prefer taking it easy in the garden, rather than rushing around doing all that exercise, open the plastic pack and mix the gel contents in with the soil around your plants. It's a very efficient water retainer to keep plants thriving if they've been without rain for a while, and the gel will absorb both water and nutrients in the soil or your compost, so the plants can take them up as needed.