The current pandemic has made us all pause, think and re-set. Whether the coronavirus is a result of our overconsumption or not, it’s made us reconsider our lifestyles and the ways we can slow down and be more sustainable. Part of living a more balanced life depends on us evaluating our eating choices. What we eat matters and even the most conservative of estimates puts the carbon contribution of meat at par with the entire global transportation industry.
We spoke with Molly Patrick, founder of Clean Food Dirty Girl and a vocal advocate of a plant based diet, on growing up in a teepee, how to incorporate more whole plant foods into your diet and her all time favorite salad dressing recipe.
KAYU: Yourself in three sentences.
1) I take my business seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously.
2) I’m an Anthony Bourdain loving life-long vegetarian.
3) I practice radical compassion while taking no shit.
KAYU: What was your A-Ha! moment?
I’ve had MANY. The biggest A-Ha that changed the trajectory of my life was in 2015 when I realized that I had to quit drinking. It was the scariest and best thing I’ve ever done. I realized that I had two choices; I could keep drinking or I could quit. If I kept drinking, I would never be able to reach my goals. If I quit drinking, I could have whatever life I wanted. I knew I had so much potential that would never be actualized if I kept drinking. And because I had that awareness, it became super obvious that if I continued drinking I would never be able to complain about my life ever again. I could never wish for something more, or get mad that my business wasn’t successful, or be upset that I didn’t live where I really wanted to live. Or complain that I was hungover. If I kept drinking then I had to accept my life for exactly how it was. Because I chose that shit! So I decided to quit drinking and unleash my potential on the world. It was the best thing I have ever done.
KAYU:What are some of the health benefits of eating more plants and less of everything else?
There are countless health benefits from eating a plant based diet.
I’m not a doctor or a nutrition expert, but I can tell you the most frequent things we see from our community after ditching meat and dairy and following our Whole Food Plant Based Meal Plans are the following:
- Drop in A1C numbers, allowing people to get off their type 2 diabetes medication
- Drop in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight
- Less PMS and menopause symptoms
- Higher sex drive
- An overall feeling of happiness and zest for life
- Glowing skin
- More fertile
- Less anxiety and depression
The list goes on and on. The human body wants to work and once we feed it the right fuel and get out of its way, it can do its job brilliantly.
KAYU:Any tips for somebody looking to move towards a more plant based diet?
Yes! Find some good recipes and start playing in your kitchen! This isn’t about eating vegan junk food that you can pop in your microwave. This is about cooking and eating whole plant foods; beans and legumes, whole grains, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds. These are the foods you want to focus on for the best results. These are also the foods that you have to prepare yourself. Think of it as experimenting and playing. If you have good recipes, and you’re willing to spend some time in your kitchen then you will be blown away by how yummy the food is and how awesome you feel.
KAYU: On eating less meat and global warming.
What we eat matters and the food choices that we make on a daily basis have a huge impact on our environment. From nutrient pollution of water and coastal dead zones, overfishing, bycatch, and aquaculture, to greenhouse gas emissions from cow farts and burps (seriously, it’s a huge problem!), soil loss and clearing of forests. There are many issues regarding the production of animals for food. It takes 1.75 acres to produce 375 pounds of meat, but it takes only half an acre to produce 37,000 pounds of plant based food!
This beautiful planet cannot sustain us if we keep going in this direction. Even switching to one plant based meal a week makes a difference. I challenge anyone who is passionate about the environment to educate themselves on the impact that animal based foods have on our planet. The best thing we can do for the environment is to skip the animals and support our local organic farmers.
KAYU: 3 books on your night stand?
How did you know that I have exactly three books on my nightstand!? Here they are:
- Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron (this is the third time I’ve read this book)
- Picture Bride by Mike Malaghan (not great writing but I like the history aspect)
- I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder (a must-read for comedy nerds)
KAYU: Some things you are loving right now?
- I’m doing a lot of random dancing in my house right now. I’m definitely loving that. I have a daily movement practice that involves a lot of rolling around on balls to release tension.
- My Dad Wrote A Porno was the best podcast maybe ever. Hilarious!
- I recently watched the Bruce Springsteen special on Netflix. That was soul balm for sure.
KAYU: What keeps you sane (especially during this crazy time)?
My work, my wife, my cats, my movement practice, my daily walks, my plant based diet, my sobriety.
KAYU: We love your Saturday emails! Can you share a bit about your writing process?
Thank you! I usually write my Saturday email / blog post on the Wednesday before it comes out. I need tight deadlines for my writing because it doesn’t come natural to me. If I have too much time to fuck around with it it starts to get weird. When I write I write to one person, not my whole email list. This makes it easier for me to connect my thoughts to the page. I never thought writing would be part of my career because I used to be rubbish at it. Turns out, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you do something on a consistent basis you will get better at it. That’s how it’s been with my writing. I’ve sent out an email and a blog post every Saturday since January 2014. I wasn’t excited about doing it, but I knew it was part of the deal of having an online presence. The process has grown on me and now I quite like writing. It’s so good to challenge yourself and surprise yourself along the way!
Can you share a favorite recipe with our readers?
This is my all time favorite Salad Dressing recipe. It’s super fast to make and is ridiculously yummy. This dressing makes me crave salads.
Makes about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes (65 g)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons kalamata olive brine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and left whole (1 teaspoon minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- 1/3 cup water (80 ml)
Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Place the cashews into your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until super creamy and smooth.
Store in your fridge.
Recipe Notes: This dressing thickens in the fridge.