About Sharon Palmer, RDN
Thanks to Sharon, The Plant-Powered Dietitian, for guest blogging.

Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™, is an award-winning food and nutrition expert, journalist, and editor. She is author of The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, 2012) and Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes (The Experiment, 2014). Sharon also is editor of Environmental Nutrition, nutrition editor of Today’s Dietitian, blogger for The Plant-Powered Blog, and publisher of her monthly The Plant-Powered Newsletter. Living in the chaparral hills overlooking Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, Sharon enjoys visiting her local farmers market, gardening, and cooking for friends and family.

Eating a Plant-Based Diet Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

There are so many reasons people put off eating a more healthful plant-based diet: time, motivation, and cooking skills, to name a few. But one of the main reasons people are not eating a cancer and disease protective diet, filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, boils down to one simple factor: cost. In fact, a new AICR survey found that 35% of Americans who said their diets were not very healthy cited cost as being the most important factor getting in the way.SharonP_blog

It’s easy to see why people might think healthy, plant-filled eating is synonymous with high cost. Tiny packages of “superfoods”, like blueberries, walnuts, and spices seem to carry a hefty price tag for such small containers, especially compared to fast food drive-throughs boasting dollar menus. Indeed, it’s true that many less healthful foods carry discount prices, such as liters of soda, giant bags of chips, and high fat ground beef, giving the impression that healthy foods will break your food budget. But you have to dig a little bit deeper.

Many plant-based foods are amazingly easy on the pocket book. Take dried beans, a bag of brown rice, and a jar of peanut butter, for example, which all contribute a wealth of important nutrients for a tiny price. In contrast, generally the animal proteins—steak, chicken, pork—are the most costly contributions to the meal. In fact, a recent study found that people who adopt a more plant-based diet, such as a vegetarian diet, save an average of $750 per year on groceries, compared to those who eat meat-heavy diets.

The bottom line: You can have your healthy, plant-fueled diet without breaking the bank, and here are my top 6 tips for doing just that: Continue reading

Three Tips to Start Powering Your Diet with Plants

It’s Cancer Prevention Month—time to think about what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.  An estimated one-third of the most common cancer cases can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, and a healthy weight. Your daily food choices can create a cancer-promoting environment, or a cancer-fighting one.

Shanghai Stir Fry with Forbidden Rice, from Sharon's new book, Plant-Powered for Life.

Shanghai Stir Fry with Forbidden Rice, from Sharon’s new book, Plant-Powered for Life.

So, what’s the picture perfect diet for cancer protection? It’s a plant-based diet—a diet rich in whole, minimally processed plant foods, such as legumes (beans, lentils, peas), whole grains, vegetable, fruits, nuts and seeds. You should pile your plate at least two-thirds full of these foods at every meal. That’s because whole plant foods contain a symphony of health-protective nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that can fight oxidative stress and inflammation—roots of cancer and other chronic diseases—and boost your immune function.

If you’re new to plant-based eating, it may seem challenging: there are vegetables to chop, beans to soak, whole grains to cook, and new food ingredients, such as tofu, to discover.  But it doesn’t have to be complicated!

Here are my top three tips to get started: Continue reading