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America is Going Vegan, Exponentially

America is Going Vegan, Exponentially

Vegetarian diets have been considered healthy in the past few decades, but studies in recent years have questioned the validity of dairy & egg products being healthy as well. With a constant influx of undercover investigations appearing on facebook, youtube, and Netflix documentaries, more and more Americans are becoming aware of what really goes on in factory farms and food processing plants (and eventually into their food.) With heart disease & cancer being the leading causes of death in the United States, and continuing research by Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (1) and (2), people are making the connection between diet and health.

Poor health is not just an adult problem. What children are fed at a young age will determine their health & eating habits as they grow up. Childhood Type II Diabetes has been on the rise, affecting 208,000 U.S. citizens under age 20 and continues to grow (3). 16 million Americans have gone vegan or vegetarian as of 2009 (8), and 100 million have mentioned they started making healthier choices like switching from cow’s milk to dairy-free products or cutting red meat from their diet. The demand for vegan products is higher than ever in 2014, that even schools & daycares are creating plant-based menus for kids! Oh, and did I mention McDonald’s sales dropped 3.8% this month (9)? Yes, America is Going Vegan!

America is Going Vegan, Really! The nation’s first vegetarian public elementary school was announced in May 2014 at Public School 244 in Queens, NY (4). Today, MUSE School CA near Los Angeles has been announced that they will be the first official VEGAN school in the country in 2015 (5). The 2014 Golden Carrot Award winners via PCRM for the most healthy school menus were MUSE School CA, Lincoln Public School District in Lincoln NE, and Desert Garden Montessori School in Phoenix! Yes, we officially have at least FIVE healthy plant-based schools in the U.S. now. And TWO are local!

In addition to Desert Garden Montessori, you can check out the Little Learner’s Group Daycare in Mesa for a fully plant-based menu. The owner, Clarissa, is a former client of mine who has gone vegan through my Nutrition Coaching services, and she now raises her son vegan and wants to ensure good health of the children in her daycare as well. She put together a fully plant-based menu on her own and after extensive efforts, has gotten it approved! Yes, America is Going Vegan! (Golden Carrot Award was given for the Top Vegan School Lunch program.) America is going vegan one school at a time.

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Personal Trainer in Tempe AZ | Plant-Based Nutrition Coach

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Kelly’s Gluten-Free ThanksLiving Recipe Plans

pumpkin latte

ThanksLiving Is The New Thanksgiving!

Read more for Gluten-Free Thanksliving Recipes


With all the amazing meat-free, vegan options out there today, why settle for Turkey as your main course when you could eat healthier and start a new Gluten-Free ThanksLiving tradition. As a vegan of 4 years, I still love to experiment with new foods!  I picked out a few recipes this year, and look forward to digging right in!

I plan on having a ThanksLiving celebration, with my vegan family and vegetarian friend Erica, with delicious plant-based foods! I also donated some help $$ to Mercy for Animals, who is currently doing a Million Dollar Challenge!! This ThanksLiving, give back!

Main ThanksLiving Course: Vegan Meatloaf made out of Lentils and Gluten-free Bread Crumbs, topped with cranberry sauce. (I’m the only one who has a gluten allergy, so the other three will be eating Tofurky as their main course.)

Delicious Plant-Based Sides:

  1. Mashed Potatoes mixed with Non-GMO Canned Corn and topped with a satsifying gluten-free gravy.
  2. Vegan Stuffing made with Gluten-Free Brown Rice Loaf (instead of wholegrain bread).

Amazing Beverages:

pumpkin latte
Delicious Latte from Pomegranate Cafe, AZ
  1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Vanilla Almond Milk and gelatin-free marshmallows; Hot Cocoa with marshmallows for Vinny 🙂
  2. Reisling for the adults; grape juice for the kid.

For Dessert:

I’m still debating between this Banana Cream Cake and the Chocolate Pumpkin Pie with Almond Meal Crust.  I will have to post pictures of which dessert I end up making!!

Which one would you choose?  I was really eying down that cake… we ended up making both!

Happy Gluten-Free ThanksLiving to all of my vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan friends out there. GO YOU if you are working on reducing meats and introducing new plant-based meals! I would love to help you – just contact me for more info.

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The Signature St Patrick’s Day meal

Corned Beef and Cabbage has become the signature St Patrick’s Day meal. Why?

Corned beef and cabbage isn’t actually the national dish of Ireland. You wouldn’t eat it for a St Patrick’s Day meal in Dublin, nor would you be likely to find it in County Cork. So how did Corned Beef and Cabbage become synonymous with the Irish?


During the time of the Irish immigration to the U.S., the first generation of Irish-Americans were in search of the comforting tastes of their homeland. A St Patrick’s Day meal meant boiled bacon. But the immigrants were too poor to afford the high price of pork and bacon products. Instead, they turned to the cheapest cut of meat available: beef brisket. Given that New York City was a melting pot for immigrants from around the world, rather than boil the beef, the Irish adopted cooking methods from other cultures. Brining was a technique of the Eastern Europeans, which is a way of salt-curing meat.

And the corn? Well, “corned” has nothing to do with corn but instead refers to the corn-sized salt crystals used during the brining process. The corned beef was paired with cabbage, as it was one of the cheapest vegetables available to the Irish immigrants.  So are you really celebrating Irish heritage from the old country or wanting to somehow feel connected to an ancestors’ heritage?

corned beef nutrition facts

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The corned beef and cabbage was an alternative to an already unhealthy meal. It’s also an unhealthy option for you, your family and our planet as it is extremely high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium.  Let new traditions of eating ethical plant-based options start now so future generations can be celebrate your legacy of being compassionate.  Pair your cabbage dinner with a meatless alternative like my delicious Glazed Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf.  Also be sure to visit Kelly’s Meanest Greenest Juice Recipe for breakfast and Derek’s Raw Broccoli Soup Recipe for a healthy St Patrick’s Day meal!
Article written by: John Bergdoll, guest writer from the Vegan Energy blog.
Article edited & posted by: Kelly Gibson, 3-year Vegan Personal Trainer and Plant-Based Nutrition Coach from Kelly Athletics LLC
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