If you're like us, you're the only one at the Thanksgiving Day table who doesn't eat turkey, ham and forget the pigtails and sauerkraut (it's a Baltimore thing). To make matters even more complicated, we recently stopped eating dairy and sugar products (goodbye mac and cheese and pecan pie).
But thanks to the new cookbook, 28-Day Plant Powered Health Reboot: Reset Your Body, Lose Weight, Gain Energy & Feel Great (out January 3, 2017), by registered dieticians and social media superstars Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez, vegans and vegetarians like us can prepare and bring our own yummy, plant-based recipes to the Turkey Day grub-fest. With any luck we might even inspire our families to eat healthier all year long.
Everything She Wants: How can we give Turkey Day a "plant power" boost?
Jessica and Wendy: Holidays and healthy don't have to be mutually exclusive. We are big proponents of adding vegetables to every holiday dinner, or any meal. In fact, we recommend that our clients make about half of their plates vegetables. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to experiment with things like greens (think collards and kale), roasted sweet potatoes, winter vegetables like squash (this roasted acorn squash recipe almost melts in your mouth) and Brussels sprouts (you'll love our blackened parmesan Brussels sprouts recipe).
ESW: What is the hardest thing about doing the 28-Day Plant Powered Health Reboot?
Jessica and Wendy: We have worked with hundreds of patients and clients in the form of nutrition education and one-on-one counseling. This opportunity has given us a good understanding of what the challenges are when it comes to healthy eating. At the end of the day, if it's too complicated, expensive, and bland, people aren't going to do it. This is the reason why we made our health reboot super simple and customizable. The recipes are also full of flavor and don't require countless expensive ingredients. Everything has been paired down to the absolute essential flavors and ingredients. The only way someone wouldn't succeed in this meal plan, is if they didn't spend the time actually preparing and cooking the recipes (which is minimal).
ESW: How do you help people overcome preconceived notions about eating healthfully?
Jessica and Wendy: One aspect is perception. In our experience, many people see healthy eating as a foreign concept that doesn’t include foods that are culturally relevant to them. Through our work, we aim to show people all of the fun and creative ways whole foods can be prepared, and make it a point to consider culture, cost, flavor, and nutritional quality.
*This interview originally appeared on Codeblack Report.