Today, people in 192 countries are banding together in peaceful demonstration to celebrate Earth Day. Founded in the twilight of the hippie movement, the first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 and is now the largest secular holiday in the world. Due in part to events like Earth Day, we’ve learned a lot about our environment and what we need to change to keep the blue marble spinning a while longer.
The word “green”— now an adjective, noun, and verb—is synonymous in our culture for expansive and minute efforts in environmental sustainability. Not surprisingly, there are a number of “green” diets. In celebration of Earth Day 2013, we’ve compiled nine eco-friendly diets that will help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals while reducing your carbon footprint.
The Kind Diet is a book by actress and vegan Alicia Silverstone that illustrates the benefits of a plant-based diet. Silverstone uses the book to show that a vegan diet can not only help your body, but help animals and the planet, too. The diet is beneficial because it allows you to progress in stages and preserves animal life on Earth. However, the drastic change to a plant-based diet may be too extreme for some, as no meat, dairy, or animal products are allowed. Read Full Post >
Since 2011, US News and World Report has been releasing an annual list of the best diets and this year is no different. That goes for the rankings, not just the perpetuity of the list. It seems the analysis by US News done in 2012 matches identically to the “new” list they released for this year as the top spots in each category are exactly the same as they were last year. While four new diets were added to the top rankings in each category overall, the top two diets for each category remained the same. It certainly speaks to the longevity and consistency of the diets they review.
They look at only 29 diets in eight categories (with the addition ofplant-based diets this year) and work with an expert panel of nearly two dozen leaders in the industry, including David Katz, MD, Robert Kushner, MD, and Lisa Sasson, RD. As well, they “mine” medical journals, government research, and other sources to create not only in-depth profiles for each diet but to accurately rank each diet.
According to their announcement, “Every diet received robust scrutiny, and we converted the experts’ ratings to scores and stars from 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest) to construct eight sets of Best Diets rankings.” This year, those rankings are as follows:
You’ve seen online diets before, but have you seen one on Facebook? The social network is quickly becoming the hub for people’s social lives, so why wouldn’t you make it the point of entry for yourweight loss program? That is exactly what Dawn Jackson Blatner has done in partnership with Florida Grapefruit. They’re calling it the Grapefruit Active Lifestyle Meal Plan and, as you can probably guess, the diet centers around grapefruits, be it whole fruit or 100% juice.
By visiting their page at Facebook.com/JuicyScoop you can download a free eBook, a 62-page PDF that outlines the program with daily meal plans, tips and recipes. Blatner, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics, has organized a balanced, healthful eating plan that will lend followers about 1600 calories each day. There are three meal plans to choose from:
Standard with dairy, meat, fish, and eggs
Vegetarian with dairy and eggs
Vegan with no animal by-products
We spoke with Blatner about the new program, which she said is plant-based with the option for chicken or steak (this is fitting as she is the author of The Flexitarian Diet). As for building a weight loss plan around the grapefruit, she says the fruit has “a bold, invigorating flavor… that provides natural energy.” It can be an acquired taste for some, but Blatner says they’ve incorporated the flavor subtly and won’t often have you eating it straight from the peel.
Tune in to Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Tuesday, May 3 for recipes that are part of a flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet is an approach to eating that cuts back on meat consumption, but doesn’t eliminate it completely. This diet particularly appeals to people who would like to be vegetarian for environmental reasons, but find going completely meatless too big a challenge.
Over the past month I’ve tried something new: vegetarianism. I’ve read much about a vegetarian diet, including how it can reduce your saturated fat intake (if you choose the right foods), help reduce your footprint on the Earth and help you increase how many fruits and vegetables you eat. Plus, I just wanted to see if I could do it- and how, or if, it would affect my desire to eat meat. Well, I’m 20 days and counting as being meat-free in my diet, and while I haven’t craved any meat yet, I have noticed a few benefits I didn’t expect.
3 Unique Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
1. More energy. Within just a few days of going meatless in my meals I noticed that I had more energy. This could be to my increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans, but I found that even though I was eating the same amount of physical food at meals and snacks, that the food felt lighter in my stomach and I didn’t have that heavy after-lunch or after-dinner feeling that you can get. Instead I had the energy to go for a walk or even squeeze in an extra 10 minutes of exercise!