Plant-based nutritionist and nutrition educator Kathryn Pollard has been an advocate of plant-based nutrition for years, and now the State College woman is writing a book that connects nutrition, climate change and ... party planning?
While the topics may seem unrelated, Pollard assures readers that it’s not difficult to blend smart choices for both our bodies and the planet with having a great time with friends, as she shows in her upcoming book, “The Sustainable Diet Party Plan.”
Pollard’s book idea came about thanks to her long relationship with plant-based nutrition and her observation of her husband’s career in climatology.
“The nexus between human health and the health of the planet is not obvious to most people ... I realized our habits are playing into greenhouse gas emission and the reason is inefficiency,” she said. “Eating animal foods is the most inefficient way to nourish our bodies. It takes the most resources, uses the most land, creates the most degradation and creates water pollution more than any other way of eating. This connection is actually really empowering, because if we understand that, then we realize we have control over climate change.”
“The Sustainable Diet Party Plan” addresses this nexus and is “mostly written.” Pollard and her agent are aiming for a 2019 publication.
“It’s a little sassy party guide written mainly toward the younger generations, toward millennials, on how to eat great food and spread the news through fun and partying,” she said. “So really it is a party planning book.”
Each chapter will take the reader to a region of the world affected by climate change, with Pollard covering recipes, party decor, trivia questions and more.
“In the process, readers learn about elements of climate science that explain the changes in our planet, as well as great fun, great food and a way to spread this very important empowering information, that we have control over greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.
Pollard says the book is geared toward readers with any level of familiarity with plant-based diets.
“You don’t have to be in a certain place in life or in your diet to change your habits,” she said. “The point of the book is, wherever you are in life, however old you are, it doesn’t matter. What we know is, what’s better for you and what’s better for the planet is (to) take in more whole plant foods. The more you take in, the less you’re eating of the other stuff and the better it is for your body and for your planet. The book is accessible to anybody, it’s highlighting regions of the world and information about food and climate that applies to all humans.”
You don’t have to wait until “The Sustainable Diet Party Plan” comes out to take advantage of Pollard’s wisdom from years in the field, though. She shared her four sustainable planet food rules for those who, while possibly not looking to switch to an entirely plant-based diet, are looking to better their health and lessen their negative impact on the environment.
1. Eat more whole plants
“The more the better,” Pollard said. She specifies that we should search out whole plant foods with fiber left intact, so, for example, passing over white rice that has all the fibrous husks removed and instead opting for whole-grain varieties.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
“You go to a party, you have a cupcake, you’re not going to affect your overall health. You just need to continue to eat as much whole plant food you can,” Pollard said.
3. Eat the rainbow
Pollard encourages a colorful diet, noting that the different colors in produce represent different antioxidants, which remove toxins from the bloodstream and fight viruses, bacteria and disease.
4. Eat as much as you want
“The fourth and final rule is to eat as much as you want as long as the food has intact fiber. It’s the fiber that holds water and bulk that fills us up and doesn’t have calories. You find fiber in whole plant foods. There is essentially no fiber in animal foods,” Pollard said. The only caveat, she said, is that there are exceptions for those trying to lose weight or those with a chronic disease, like cardiovascular disease.