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Share the love with your body and your mind by eating a plant-based diet.

Eat cheaper and faster while becoming the healthiest version of you

Is it possible to seem healthy and have coronary artery disease (CAD), even while in college? Yes, unfortunately having CAD by the time a person graduates from high school is now common.

In an article on plant-based diets and coronary artery disease, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, M.D., wrote about two studies on young people and CAD. A 1999 autopsy study of American youths who had died from accidents, suicides and homicides showed that CAD was prolific, and another study on casualties during the Korean conflict found that nearly 80% of American soldiers had CAD at an average age of 20.

All hope is not lost, however. Research studies by Esselstyn and Dean Ornish, M.D. show that eating a whole food plant-based diet can reverse heart disease in young people who are not exhibiting symptoms of CAD, as well as people who have experienced cardiac events.

“Although coronary artery disease is the leading killer of men and women in the USA, it is rarely encountered in cultures that base their nutrition primarily on grains, legumes, lentils, vegetables, and fruit,” said Esselstyn on his website.

Many people are making the change to plant-based eating for their own health and the health of their children, hoping to give them a better future.

Toni Clough, associate professor and department chair of business at UCC, has eaten a plant-based diet for seven years. She switched to this way of eating after watching Forks Over Knives and thinking it may help her health.

“My cholesterol normalized and my type 2 diabetes is going away,” said Clough. “In addition, my stomach pains from eating beef went away. Once I gave up dairy, so did my indigestion and puffiness in my face and hands.”

Clough usually begins her days with a big bowl of raspberries, blueberries and a banana, for lunch she often eats soups or vegan chili. For dinner, some of her go-to meals are stews, stir-fried veggies, curry bowls, mushroom walnut tacos, and salads; she tops it all off with a dessert bowl of fruit similar to what she eats for breakfast.

Whole food plant-based meals are good news for everyone, especially students, who don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on food. A simple filling breakfast would be a bowl of old-fashioned oats, with applesauce, blueberries and walnuts. Lunch could be vegetables and hummus plus fruit, and dinner could be as easy as baking a potato in a microwave, dumping a can of drained black beans on top of the potato, then covering it all in raw greens and salsa.

There are many reasons for eating plant-based including the ease of preparation and clean up of meals, the cost, the internal health benefits and simply feeling good.

“I love being plant-based. It can be a challenge when eating out and around the holidays, but there are so many choices out there now compared to when I started,” said Clough. “I have lost weight, look healthier and feel so good. I highly recommend it.” Two great vegan recipes

Two great vegan recipes

Vegetable Noodle Stir-fry with Peanut Lime Sauce

Yield: 3-4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Total Time: 20 min

Ingredients: Stir-fry

6 oz (175 g) dry noodles (chow mein, ramen, brown rice, pad thai, soba – GF if desired)

1 tsp (5 ml) oil

1/4 head of red cabbage, shredded (about 1 cup)

2 bell peppers, julienned (think colorful!)

2 medium carrots, shredded or cut into matchsticks

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, finely chopped

Ingredients: Sauce

3 Tbsp peanut butter (or sub tahini or sunflower seed butter if allergic)

1 lime, juiced

1/2 Tbsp agave syrup

1 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1.5 Tbsp sesame oil

1.5 Tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce (or tamari if GF)

1 Tbsp sriracha (or sub sambal or other mild hot sauce)

Ingredients: Garnish

3/4 cup (95 g) roasted cashews

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro

lime wedges

chilli flakes


•Add all sauce ingredients to a jar, and mix or shake to combine into a creamy sauce.

•Cook noodles in a large pot according to package instructions until al dente. While it cooks, prep the shallots and garlic.

•In a large pan, cook shallots and garlic on medium high heat in oil for about 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Add splashes of water to deglaze the pan if needed. 

•Add the prepared carrots, cabbage, and bell peppers to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes more, until bright and heated up, but still crunchy.  Add more splashes of water as needed.

•When the noodles are cooked, drain and add to the pan of vegetables and pour the sauce mixture on top. Toss to combine. •Serve with the roasted cashews, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and chilli flakes.

Healthy Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Prep Time: 14 mins

Cook Time: 16 mins

Total Time: 30 mins


•1/4 cup warm water

•2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or ground chia

•2 cups quick oats

•3/4 cup mashed banana

•1/2 cup natural nut or seed butter

•1/2 cup chopped nuts

•1/2 cup shelled seeds or more chopped nuts

•1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries, etc.)

•1/4 cup all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten-free all-purpose flour

•1/4 cup maple syrup or agave

•1 teaspoon cinnamon

•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•1/4 teaspoon salt


•Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

•In a large bowl, mix the water and ground flax seed or ground chia seed and let thicken about 10 minutes.

•Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

•The cookies don’t expand or change shape when baked. Take 1/4 cup of cookie dough and form them into cookie shapes, place them on the baking tray a couple of inches apart. Bake 12 – 16 minutes until set and lightly browned on the bottom. Once cool, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature, in the fridge, or freezer.

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