Celebrate Earth Day With A 28-Day Plant-Based Diet

April 9, 2015

eat clean diet

Celebrate Earth Day With a 28-Day Plant-Based Diet for The Planet

On April 22 of each year, people around the world celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is a day for all of us to remember and appreciate our beautiful planet. Some people plant trees, ride a bike to work or pick up trash. I wanted to celebrate Earth Day by challenging everyone to embrace a plant-based diet for 28 days and I am here to help. I know you have heard it before, but animal agriculture is hurting our planet. The U.N. released a report that stated that animal agriculture causes up to 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. To put that in perspective, animal agriculture is responsible for producing more climate change gasses than every boat, car, airplane, truck or bus on this planet.

Now let's discuss water. According to the World Economic Forum, the water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society. Did you know it takes 4,000 – 18,000 gallons of water to create a 1/3 lb hamburger?  Nearly half of the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.

Not only is our water and air being depleted, but also our land. Raising animals for food now uses a staggering 30% of the Earth's land mass.  Why do we need to eat so much meat? Is it worth the cost to the planet and to our health? We don't have to do it overnight. We can take small steps. Like celebrating the Earth by not eating animal protein for 28 days. Maybe when we are done, we will decide we no longer need animal protein every day. Small steps work.

So here is the idea. I read about this game that Jillian Michaels did called DietBet. Basically, it is a game where people bet on their self to lose weight. When I saw it, I thought “wouldn't it be great if this was a plant-based challenge?” Although the game centers around weight loss, it is really about making healthy choices so I decided to give it a try. The plant-based Dietbet starts on Earth Day and lasts for 28 days and I am calling it the 28-day plant-based diet for the planet. I will offer helpful advice, recipes and meal planning. You bet on yourself and if you stick with a plant-based diet and lose 4% of your weight, you split the pot with the other winners. You can read all the details here. Hope you join us even if you are already plant-based.  There is nothing like committing to something with a group of like-minded people and most importantly doing something important for the planet!

Now on to food. I have been addicted to eating clean lately. What I mean by that is absolutely nothing processed. Just whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats like seeds. Food has never tasted more delicious. Last night I put together this vegetable bowl topped with yummy chickpea cakes. You can mix it up with any vegetables you love, but I went with a leafy green (spinach), cruciferous vegetable (broccoli), cucumber, radicchio, tomatoes and blueberries on the side. My only dressing was fresh lemon slices. I topped it off with my favorite chickpea cakes. So clean, so delicious and I wanted to run a marathon after I ate it! Hope you enjoy this plant-based recipe as much as I did. Hope you join us on the 28-day plant-based diet for the planet. By the way, if you have any problem finding the grains, legumes and seeds in your local market for the challenge, try Thrive Market an online store that is sort of a Costco meets Whole Foods.

Chickpea Patties
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Layer these tasty little patties over salad, steamed greens or serve as an appetizer.
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 15-ounce carton of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth for sautéing
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flax eggs (directions below)
  • ¾ cups bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour (or any flour)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium saute pan, heat the vegetable broth. Add the onion and cook until softened. About 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute adding a little more vegetable broth if sticking. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for another minute. Put the onion mixture into a food processor. Add the garbanzo beans, flax eggs and bread crumbs. Pulse until the mixture is blended but not smooth. Add the fresh cilantro and give it another pulse
  4. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings. I like to add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to the mixture and pulse another few seconds.
  5. Place the mixture into a bowl. Add the chickpea powder into another small bowl.
  6. Form the mixture into 6¼-cup patties. Dust each pattie with chickpea powder.
  7. Serve the cakes with vegan sour cream, scallions, lemon or lime wedges or an avocado mash.
  8. You can also serve them on top of a fresh veggie bowl.
  9. Place the chickpea patties on the baking sheet leaving room between each pattie.
  10. Cook for 30 minutes or until brown and crusty on outside.
  11. **To make flax eggs - whisk together 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 5 tablespoons of water. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to thicken


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