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In the vast realm of nutrition, Brenda Davis has emerged as a beacon of wisdom, guiding us towards the transformative power of plant-powered protein. Many moons ago, Brenda’s book “Becoming Vegan” ignited a transformative journey for my husband and me. Now, in a delightful reunion, we dive into Brenda’s latest masterpiece, “Plant-Powered Protein.”

Embarking on a plant-based lifestyle is more than a dietary choice; it’s a profound commitment to personal health, environmental sustainability, and the well-being of all living beings. Brenda and I explore the nuanced realms of aging with vitality, decoding protein quality, and unraveling the mysteries of plant-based protein sources, offering not just dietary guidance but a holistic perspective on well-being.

The Power of Incremental Change: A Small Shift, A Big Impact

Brenda’s commitment to a plant-based lifestyle stems not only from a desire for personal well-being but also from a profound passion for animal welfare. This dedication has been the driving force behind her journey—spanning 13 books and global educational endeavors—inspiring a lifestyle that aligns with her values.

The goal of today? Let’s challenge the conventional definition of protein quality, urging an expansion to include plant-based sources and considerations of ecological consequences. The crux of the matter lay in understanding that adequate protein intake can be achieved through a plant-based diet, provided it encompasses a variety of whole plant foods.

Aging Gracefully: Healthspan and Lifestyle Choices

Inspired by vibrant friends in their 80s and 90s, Brenda envisions climbing mountains at 100—a testament to the vitality that accompanies a plant-powered existence. However, this vision is juxtaposed with a poignant reflection on Brenda’s father, whose unhealthy lifestyle led to various health issues. This stark contrast highlights the pivotal role lifestyle choices play in determining the trajectory of our health.

At the heart of our discussion lies a revelation from recent NIH research about protein and overall health. Replacing a mere 3% of calories from animal protein with plant protein is a game-changer, lowering mortality risk by an impressive 10%. That means there is a potential 54% reduction in mortality risk by substituting the protein from an egg, 2 ounces of meat, and a cup of milk each day with plant-based alternatives.

Plant-Based Protein Choices for All Ages

Introducing whole foods from a young age not only ensures a diverse diet but also lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy choices. Brenda suggests involving children in the kitchen as a means to cultivate a love for nutritious foods.

Brenda championed the accessibility of vegan protein sources. From legumes to tofu, these options not only offer nutritional benefits but also align with a sustainable and compassionate lifestyle. The conversation underscored the importance of making plant-based nutrition accessible, even for the busiest individuals, through strategic meal preparation.

Strength Through Plant-Based Protein

A commitment to a plant-based lifestyle is a commitment to personal well-being, environmental sustainability, and a future where health and freedom coexist. The journey towards a plant-powered life is not a radical leap; it’s a series of intentional steps, each contributing to a tapestry of well-being that extends beyond ourselves.

Whether you’re taking the first step or continuing a lifelong journey, each choice ripples through your well-being, the welfare of animals, and the sustainability of our planet. Here’s to a vibrant, plant-powered life—one that nourishes our bodies, hearts, and the world we call home.

Here are Brenda’s key takeaways:

  • Small Shifts, Big Impact: The groundbreaking NIH study about replacing animal protein with plant proteins
  • Plant-Powered Staples: How to rely on legumes, tofu, tempeh, and veggie meats as top-notch plant-based protein sources
  • Caloric Sufficiency: How to help the body effortlessly receive the protein it needs for optimal function
  • Culinary Convenience: Making the shift to plant-based cooking using batches and staples
  • Health is Freedom: Why our choices now impact how we can live later

Listen to Brenda’s episode about plant-based protein

If you found today’s episode enlightening and want to hear more, make sure to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. Be sure to share this episode!


Episode Chapters

  • Plant-based diet and passion for animal welfare. (0:00)
  • Aging, healthspan, and lifestyle changes. (2:51)
  • Protein intake and its impact on health and the environment. (9:42)
  • Protein needs and how to ensure adequate intake for various groups. (13:28)
  • Vegan protein sources and their convenience. (18:48)
  • Plant-based diets and meal prep for busy people. (25:34)
  • Plant-based nutrition and its impact on health and mortality. (31:48)



Sonya Looney 0:00
Hi, Brenda. I’m not sure how many times you come on the podcast but this is how we met you came to my house when we both lived in Kelowna. I think it was episode one. And we talked about your your book Becoming Vegan, which changed my life and Matt’s life. And it’s still a book I referenced today. So, back to the show. And since then we’ve become very dear friends. So I love it. Yes.

Brenda Davis 0:23
Oh, me, too. We were so I was so excited when I went over to your place for that first interview. And then we just everything just clicked. And we had so much fun together. I’m so sad. We’re so far apart now.

Sonya Looney 0:35
I know. Thanks for having

Brenda Davis 0:37
me on the show again.

Sonya Looney 0:39
So today, we’re gonna talk about protein and your new book, plant powered protein. But I’ve a question that’s unrelated to protein specifically, you’ve been doing this for a very long time you’ve been writing? How many books have you written now? 13 books, you’ve traveled all over the world, educating people? You’ve been doing this since the 1980s?

Brenda Davis 1:00
Correct? Yes, that’s correct.

Sonya Looney 1:02
How do you stay so passionate about this without burning out?

Brenda Davis 1:08
Oh, you know what I have to admit, I do allow time for myself. And I stay passionate about it. Because to me, it’s, it’s everything. It’s what it’s what I’m really passionate about. And that’s never going to change. To me, it’s, it’s, it’s just one of those things, that’s win win win. Going more in a plant based direction, preserves our health, it preserves the environment. And it you know, for me, this is really important. It reduces pain, suffering, and death and billions of animals. And, and so I can’t, you know, when you care deeply, I’ve always cared deeply about animals, and I just, I just so desperately want to, for humanity, to recognize its responsibility for what sits on our plates. And and, and so yeah, so I’ll never tired of it. And I, I do, you know, I do allow myself, my entertainment, to be honest, a lot of it is fitness and family. So I’ll go do some fitness every day, at least an hour are sometimes too. And then, you know, my grandchildren live two blocks away, my mum lives 10 minutes away. And so we spend quite a bit of time with all of the family that’s around my brothers about 20 minutes away. So it’s, I feel very privileged, I have a really quite a wonderful life. And I think I have a reasonable balance in my life, too.

Sonya Looney 2:51
I’m gonna just pause real quick, everybody’s sort of playing the piano right on the other side of this wall. So I’m gonna stop right back, and then I’ll come in on what you said.

Brenda Davis 2:58
Okay, you back?

Sonya Looney 3:14
Yeah, so you’re Yeah, it’s so fortunate that you found something that you’re so passionate about in life, and that you’re able to hold boundaries. Because when people are passionate, so passionate about something, it is hard to hold boundaries, and they will give up lots of other things that are important to them for their passion, which is actually what I just wrote a paper about in school. And when I think about you, Brenda, I think about, you know, you think about the debt, like what are the blue zone, the people in the Blue Zones doing? Or what are the six pillars and the American College of lifestyle medicine, and you actually live all of those things?

Brenda Davis 3:46
I think I do. And I and I think I’m so much better for it. I think that yeah, I’m this in a couple of months, I turned 65. And I don’t feel that much different than I did when I was 35. And I think that’s, that’s the beauty of this lifestyle.

Sonya Looney 4:05
Yeah, I remember, we had a party at my house for your 60th birthday. And I asked you like I repeat this quote all the time, because I think it’s so powerful for how we view this could be a whole other podcast topic, but it’s like how we view aging, how we view how we’re going to spend our later years in life. And I asked you, you know, what does it mean to you to be 60 And you said, I’ve known this forever. But my senior years are the years I’ve always been most excited about. And that was so inspiring to me.

Brenda Davis 4:34
I remember when I was at university, doing a presentation on aging and and how the value of what elders can give to our society. And there was this little voice in my head saying, the years of your life that will be the most important one Be your senior years. And I’m not sure why or how or, but I kind of always felt that inherently and I look at, you know, I was just last weekend in Pennsylvania, with Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn and we were speaking at a at a little event there. And both Colin and, and, and sc we call them will be 90 in the next few months, wow, their wives are both 88 years old. And they are just just set an example of what is possible. They are, you know, so articulate, so active, and it just really very, very engaged in life. And that’s my goal, I want to be climbing a mountain whenever 100. So I think that’s the goal for everybody. It’s just not not just about lifespan, it’s about what we know, called healthspan, which is, you know, still being healthy, like the people in the blue zones. And in you know, there’s a new documentary, but the blue zones on Netflix. And Dan Buettner kind of takes you to all of the different locations and, and there were some stories in there that just will blow your mind. I, I love when he went to the Nicoya Peninsula, and I think that lady was 105 years old, he arrives at her place, and she’s chopping wood. That’s the goal.

Sonya Looney 6:37
And I think that’s a great segue because you don’t just suddenly become have vitality, in old age, that’s something that you have to start doing now. The things that you the choices you make today, no matter what age you are, will impact your future. And I think that a lot of times people will wait for something bad to happen before they decide to implement changes, they’ll just put off, put off doing the things that are going to support them later, because it can’t think about later.

Brenda Davis 7:06
Yeah, and it’s true. I’ve seen so many people, they wait till they get hit over the head with some horrendous disease before. You know, they make changes. And I you know, I often share the story about my own father who, who was really notorious for living an unhealthy lifestyle, he he smoked two packs a day he he ate whatever his heart desired. And it was we always had three kinds of ice cream and poor pepper type Pepperidge Farm, frozen layer cakes in the freezer. It was just, he loved food, and he ate a lot. And he was quite overweight. And he, you know, yeah, diabetes, and high blood pressure and heart disease and everything else. And I can remember having the conversation with him, you know, why are you doing this to yourself. And, and he said, you know, he said, I’d rather live 50 years, being able to do all the things that I enjoy having the freedom to do what I love to do, than to live 75 years having to restrict this and restrict that he said, You know, I could get hit by a truck tomorrow. And I responded, I know that, but it doesn’t mean you have to walk out in front of one, you know, and it took my dad until he got hit over the head when he got diagnosed, he had a stroke and got diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension, and everything else. And I can remember the doctor saying, If you stopped smoking, you might live three years, if you’re lucky, you know, your body is shocked. And I can remember sitting on my dad’s hospital bed with him. And we were both crying. And, and it was at that point that my dad started to understand that without health, there is no freedom. When you’re hooked up to a dialysis machine, there is no freedom. And he was hooked up to a dialysis machine for 11 years. But he did make some changes after that. But you know, people need to recognize also that the degree of change is directly proportional to the you know, the degree of change in your health is directly proportional to the degree of change in your lifestyle. And and so people that make dramatic changes in their lifestyle will see dramatic changes in their health generally. So anyway, it’s it is a sad, it’s very sad that people wait to that point to make healthy choices.

Sonya Looney 9:42
So let’s say I’m sorry to hear that happened with your dad and I’m sure that was so frustrating for you. Because you knew you’re all the pieces you’re all the things you need to do. And then it didn’t happen and that that’s really hard whenever we’re trying to help our family make changes and then they don’t listen to us. Yeah,

Brenda Davis 9:59
That’s for sure. And my dad listen to some extent. And he did, you know, start being more physically active than eating oatmeal and blueberries and flax seeds instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast, he made some changes but and to be fair, he lived another 26 years after he was told he wouldn’t live three. So he definitely made a difference in his life. And I’m still very grateful for that. But you know, when you look at my mom, they they actually, you know, eat the same meals and lived in the same home. And my mom will be 86 in a couple of weeks. And she is a blues LM example. And she, she never overeat, she always exercised. And at ad set at almost 86 She’s She does, you know, fitness classes four times a week, she curls we go for walks together all the time. She she, you know, is in unbelievably good health. So it’s really very possible. She’s

Sonya Looney 11:03
let’s talk about your book, plant powered protein, I had your son, Corey Davis, which will link on the podcast show notes. So wonderful. It was great to talk to him. And it was it was funny because I know you so well, but I’ve never met your son. So I really enjoyed. And and we talked about plant powered protein and the environment and the implications that eating meat has on the environment, which I think is at the top of people’s mind climate change. Absolutely. But for today, we’re going to focus on the nutritional aspect of plant powered protein. And I love that in the book, you’ve divided it into different sections. So like, if you’re pregnant, or you have toddlers, like how do you how do you know how much protein to give them? If you’re a senior, if you’re an athlete, if you’re you know, just kind of like the general, I don’t know what the best way to call it, like, just kind of a normal, normal age and no different conditions for yourselves. So I guess the first question is, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about protein like, oh, high protein diets are bad, you need to eat low protein or you need to fast or do all these things like what is according to the research that you’ve done, what is the best approach to eating protein, how much we need and the type of protein?

Brenda Davis 12:16
Well, you know, one of the things that I think is really very interesting is that we as a sort of medical scientific community, have been defining protein quality based on the the amino acid profile and food and its digestibility. And I think it’s really time that we expanded the definition because what we know now is we know that plant protein sources are very strongly associated with reduced morbidity and mortality or reduce death and disease compared to animal protein sources. And to me that that’s huge. And that’s a big priority. definer, in my view, and also, I think that in this day and age, we need to factor in the ecological consequences of our choices as well. And so I think we just need to expand that definition. But basically in in answer to your question, I think we need to and this is just very simple. We need to meet the RDA for protein. And the RDA, you know, it’s point eight grams per kilogram body weight for adult, it’s a little more for children, it’s around one gram per kilogram for for children and but point point eight five for teens. And and then we, you know, we don’t have separate recommendations for athletes. We don’t have separate recommendations for seniors. But most health authorities would suggest 1.2 to two grams per kilogram for athletes. And for seniors, although North America doesn’t have separate recommendations. There are separate recommendations in many countries. So Australia or the Nordic countries are several several countries that have separate recommendations. And most health authorities now are leaning towards one to 1.2 or even 1.3 grams per kilogram during the senior years. And that’s simply because seniors are less able to to break foods down and absorb essential amino acids. They’re less able to build muscle with the protein that they do absorb. So they their needs are likely higher.

Sonya Looney 14:47
And in the plant based world you’ll hear well just eat enough calories and then you’ll get enough protein. And you and I have talked about this another date about how that isn’t necessarily true. Can you can you talk about that? Yeah.

Brenda Davis 14:59
So generally, there’ll be a couple of factors that that will come into play here. And one is, if you’re eating, your 90% of your calories are coming from whole plant foods. So, so legumes and a range of all plant foods, so you’re eating, not just, you know, not, not just starches, like a lot of people eat a lot of starches, but you’re including sufficient legumes, you’re including sufficient nuts and seeds and fruits and vegetables. And that’s the bulk of your calories, you you, if you get enough calories, you probably will get enough protein. But if your diet is is a fruitarian diet, if your diet is a tea and toast diet, like a lot of seniors, if your diet is a junk food diet, where you’re eating, you know, drinking soda and eating french fries, you’re not going to get enough protein in those dietary patterns. So or is a lot bigger challenge to do so. And then the other thing to consider is the times and in our lives where our needs change. So for most athletes, the caloric intake increases and not to provide sufficient protein, but not always, there are some athletes who are trying to get super lean, and they may be eating fewer calories. So they need to focus more on protein rich foods. There are many seniors as well that need to focus on protein rich foods, because their caloric intake is is very limited. Generally, they eat less food. And so the food that they do eat needs to be more concentrated in protein. So there are there are a number of times and you know, when you look at picky eaters, some children who just want to eat pasta and bread, they may not be getting enough protein by doing that. So even though they’re getting enough calories, so So although that Commonly, people that get enough calories who are eating healthy, whole food plant based diets will typically get enough protein. That’s not always the case.

Sonya Looney 17:21
Thanks for clarifying that. And a follow up question because your last book that I interviewed you about was nourish which is about plant based for pregnancy for childhood for adolescents, how do you get your kid to eat more than just bread and pasta because I think that this is this is rampant and I’ve experienced this, but my kids

Brenda Davis 17:44
it you know, I am, I think that the biggest thing is to not introduce highly processed foods if you can help it. So start out from the get go. It’s much harder for families that have been omnivorous, or who have already exposed children to a lot of highly processed foods. It’s easier if you’re doing what you’re doing Sonya, where you start out with a healthy whole food plant based diet, that children tend to be more willing to include the variety of foods and I can remember with my own children, you know, it, I think it’s important to include children from a pretty early age, in growing food in going to the farmers market and picking food and preparing food, even little children, there are things they can do in the kitchen, and they love to do, they just love having their hands in food. And and so getting them exposed and and introducing them to the widest range of foods and getting excited about those foods yourself. So, you know, whenever I bring a new food home, if it was a star fruit or whatever, a new vegetable, I would get really excited about it and really excited about tasting it. And so you pass that sort of excitement on to your children and and I can remember one time you know, being in a restaurant and it was a an Asian restaurant in the little town we were in and I think my son was you know, maybe not quite two years old and my daughter was probably, you know, four and a half or something like that or, you know, close to five and we had been out shopping and I thought I’m going to treat them we’ll we’ll buy lunch at a restaurant. So I can remember we got you know stir fries and you know what noodle dish and all kinds of things and and they were just beyond themselves with excitement. They were just digging in And they thought that it just, you know, died and gone to heaven. And then there was a family in the table next to us and the kids were eating grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries, off the kids menu. And the lady came over to me and she said, how do you get your kids to start? And, and, I mean, it was all a treat, they even had some white rice, I think they’ve never had white rice before it was, it was just that for them such a treat, because they hadn’t been exposed to all of this highly processed food. And so I think it really matters what, you know, what we’re exposing our children to, and how we enjoy it ourselves. And I was, I was very fortunate, my kids were never really picky, they would eat whatever we were preparing and, and pretty happy to do so. So I think you really need to set boundaries. And and I don’t think children should not be allowed to have traits or, you know, I don’t, I think we need to expose kids to a variety of things, we can generally make healthy traits, we really don’t want to introduce sugar until a child is about two years of age. But it’s hard, especially if they’re over older siblings who are eating, you know, some sweeter foods and so far, but, but yeah, just engage kids and everything. But I’m

Sonya Looney 21:37
just laughing because we were at lots of family weddings this year, and people kept wanting to give my kids lollipops or candy. And I said I don’t, I don’t give them candy. They’re not allowed to have that stuff. And just the looks I was getting like I’m some tyrant for not getting my kids the lollipops, and that’s fine. So I want to ask you about some of the best sources of vegan proteins. Because, like, we know that Whole Foods is probably the best way to get this. But people have Whole Foods people can get these veggie meats, people can look at protein powders. And a lot of times people want to do the easiest thing possible. So you know, what, what’s the easiest, I guess my question is not what is the best source? But my question is, what is the most expedient way to get vegan protein without sacrificing nutrients for your diet?

Brenda Davis 22:27
Yeah, so I would say, you know, to me, I think, looking to the legume group, that’s where, you know, legumes are 20 to 40% of calories from protein. And, and so, you know, but you don’t have to just eat a bowl of beans. You know, tofu is a wonderful source of protein, Tempe is a really good source of protein, all of the soy foods, veggie meats are, are super convenient. And they’re, they’re about the same amount of protein as comparable, you know, animal flesh, meat, so, so they’re, they’re very rich sources of protein. But of course, the healthiest source would be would be less processed foods, so they have less salt, less added fat, and so on. And they have more fiber and more phytochemicals and more antioxidants than what you get from these more highly processed foods. So the way I would suggest, especially if you’re, you know, a family the way that I would do it is to have mostly or plant food so if you’re doing tacos you’re doing you know, black bean filling or, or you’re doing stew you use beans in the stew or you do you know a pesticide to put some red lentils in the pasture sauce, that kind of disappearing to it, you can do those kinds of things. But I don’t think the veggie meats and these kinds of foods are off limits at all, I think they can be a part of a healthy plant based diet and they allow their convenience so if your child is going to some sort of brownies or scouts or Cubs or whatever, and the kids are roasting hotdogs, they can roast a hotdog too. If if you know you’re you’re having a barbecue with with omnivores, it’s nice to have a burger that you know kind of looks like everybody else is burgers so they can be very, very convenient as well. And I think you know, the protein powders and all of these things can be very convenient, especially for people with much higher requirements that has athletes, but they’re not absolutely necessary. And I know I make my husband a smoothie on a regular basis and I don’t use protein powders in the smoothies I use a hemp Since I use frozen peas, and I use soy milk, and I still get the the amount of protein, really quite high in the smoothie by using these whole foods. So that’s another option too.

Sonya Looney 25:13
I think about people that do not want to eat beans, like my mom is somebody, she’s like, I just don’t want to eat beans, therefore, I can’t be plant based. And some people don’t like tofu either. So if someone were to look at their diet and just trade out the, like animal products and and sub in the veggie meats, are they still going to be ahead in their health by doing that? Yes, yes.

Brenda Davis 25:35
And I say that, not just sort of off the top, I say that to because there is evidence that supports that they are going to be ahead in their health, there have been many studies that have pitted plant based proteins against, you know, a similar animal based protein. And, and we see improvements in in a number of indicators. Oh, so you know, we know, first of all, we know that that the plant based options have a lower carbon footprint, they you know, less animal pain, suffering and death. But they also have less saturated fat, they don’t have any cholesterol, they have no new five G c, which is a pro inflammatory molecule, they don’t cause tml production, they don’t have the tml precursors, they have fewer environmental contaminants. And, and, you know, I mean, we will need to recognize they are highly processed, some have a lot of added fat and sodium. And they can be pretty costly. They, they are often fortified those so they make an contain similar amounts of iron and zinc and b 12, and so on, you would need to read the label to check out but in a number of studies that we’ve seen, you know, lower cholesterol levels with people being fed the plant based alternatives, less constipation, better, better CRP levels, which is an indicator of inflammation. So I think it’s pretty clear that they are better. But what I would suggest to people that that say, you know, I don’t like beans, I don’t like lentils or any of those things, is to to try to make an effort to add them in small ways. So for example, you know, hummus is made with chickpeas. And that’s something that may be acceptable for people that otherwise might say I don’t like beans, my mom, I remember when we first moved here was kind of not keen on having beans, but I kept providing her with things like a red lentil soup was made with squash and some really beautiful seasonings. And she loved that soup. And so I was able to get a little bit of legumes in her that way. And then I would make a lentil pancake. So it’s a you know, you basically soak bread, lentils and water and then and then you blend them with water and, and make a crate and make some beautiful fillings for the crate. And that is acceptable for a lot of people. The problem with legumes is they cause GI distress and gas and so on. But if you blend the legumes, or you cook them really, really well, they tend to be less problematic if you consume them in stock smaller amounts. So you sprinkle a few on a salad, you’ve got a few in a soup, they many people are keener to eat them that way. And so there are a lot of ways we can sneak them into the diet without you know, having that big bowl of beans in front of us.

Sonya Looney 29:03
And what about people that don’t like to cook? That’s like one of the number one reasons people say I can’t eat plant based because I don’t like cooking?

Brenda Davis 29:10
Oh, well. You know, I mean, I just can’t imagine because I you know, cooking to me is so therapeutic. I love to cook. And so people who say I don’t like to cook. I wonder if it’s because you know what I look at why is it because they don’t have enough time. If it’s because they don’t have enough time. Maybe they want to look at you know, some of these, you know, companies that provide food that make it easier for them. Maybe they want to look at recipe books that are super, super simple. And there are many of those that just provide you know, five ingredient recipes that are really simple. But maybe it’s because they’re not comfortable in the kitchen and they just don’t have the experience. on how to prepare foods in a healthy way. And for those individuals, I would say take a, you know, a plant based cooking course, there are lots of them, there are lots of them online and get comfortable with with preparing food. And then of course, there are ways you know, there are lots of things you can do one to make it easier. So one of the things that I always have, if you look in my fridge at anytime, you’ll always find a big green salad, that’s undressed. So I’ll prepare them that prepare a big salad that lasts for three days, there’s always a big bowl of grains, and there’s always a bulb, you know, some sort of legume AND, and OR tofu and I love tofu, that’s, that’s just cut in little cubes, the firm tofu and baked with seasonings and you know, tumeric, and a little bit of tamari to make it taste really good. And then and then you’ve got if you’ve got this bowl of tofu, what it can go on the salad, it can go on to a bootable, it can go on, you know, whatever it can go in a stir fry. And part of that, to me is is really thinking ahead and making things in big batches. So that you’ve always got when you have a bowl of grains and a bowl of beans in the fridge, it makes it really easy to make a bowl for dinner because all you have to do is stay in your vegetables. And also I always make a big dressing. You know tahini and lemon dressing or something like that, that will last a week. So it can go on a bowl, it can go on the salad, so that putting together a meal, it really isn’t cumbersome when you’ve got these things pre prepared. Yeah, I think

Sonya Looney 31:48
the main reason is that people don’t have time or they don’t don’t want to make time for cooking. And this is something that happens in our house, frankly, like we’re all very busy. But then I asked myself, What is one of the most important things to me, and health might not be the most important thing to other people. But to me, it’s one of the most important things. And then I asked Well, what behaviors am I supporting so that I can be healthy? And if if we agree that food is one of the most important things that we do and that we eat, and yet we don’t make time to prepare healthy, nutritious vibrant foods, then you’re actually living against your values. So absolutely. And like what are you doing instead of that time, and I also think that we assign that it’s going to be harder than it is or it’s going to be no fun or it’s going to take longer. And we don’t actually do it because of all the excuses we make in our heads. So I like to say motivation follows action. So just start, just say I’m going to cut one bell pepper and just start and see what happens or, or do it in small doses. Maybe you have five minutes, cut a bell pepper, maybe later in the day, you have 10 minutes cube up some tofu, maybe you have you’re watching Netflix, cook your grains while you’re watching Netflix. And suddenly now you have all of these things at your disposal in your fridge.

Brenda Davis 33:00
Yeah, absolutely.

Sonya Looney 33:04
So I guess the last question for you, Brenda? is are there any recent research findings in the development in the field of plant based nutrition or plant based protein that you’ve come across that you want to share?

Brenda Davis 33:15
Well, there are a number so so I guess, you know, there are a number that have looked at comparing animal protein to plant protein and risk of disease. And then there there are also some that have looked at a frailty and seniors that I think are just so interesting. And, and sarcopenia as well. And in many of these studies that are looking at seniors, what we see is we see when the protein comes from plants up, people do better. And they do better, I think because they have less inflammation, they have higher antioxidant levels. And so this supports health in so many ways. But in terms of morbidity and mortality, there are a number of studies and one of the one of the recent studies that I think is is a big NIH study, it’s it’s it’s it’s from 2020 So a couple of years ago, but but they looked at over 400,000 individuals and they found a 10% drop in overall mortality when 3% of calories from animal protein. And to put this into context, in a 2000 calorie diet 3% of calories would be 60 calories. That’s fewer calories than you would get in one large egg or one ounce of meat. Okay, so So 60 km fatty meat, I mean some meat will be as low as 4045 calories for an ounce but but generally, you know, meat is close to the 60 calories and egg would be just a little Over the 60 calories. And so it’s a very small amount of animal protein, you’re swapping for plant protein. And they found that when you do that you drop overall mortality 10%. And then they looked at at and so imagine that’s 60 calories. Imagine if you swapped 240 calories, you would reduce risk of mortality 30%, you would be multiplying it by three times. And so but they look specifically as well, at what about specific types of animal products. So for for eggs, it was 24% risk reduction in mortality for men and 21%. And women, when 3% of calories from eggs were replaced with plant protein, it was around the 15% for for meat. And then for dairy, I think it was 8%. So it you know, if we did some math, and if you would placed one large egg, which is 78 calories, two ounces of meat, which is about 142 calories, and a cup of milk or 2% milk, but 103 calories. You replace those with plant protein each day, you could reduce your risk of mortality by 54%. So that’s, that’s pretty powerful.

Sonya Looney 36:25
Wow. So what you’re saying is that making a very small change in where you get your protein switching to a little bit of plant based protein makes a massive difference in mortality, and that people don’t even necessarily have to be 100% plant based. They just have to start shifting a little bit to make a big difference in their health. Oh,

Brenda Davis 36:46
no question. And, and it’s one step at a time. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about moving in the right direction. And every little step you take in the right direction, I think is worth celebrating. So I love what you said son yet, you know, just move move towards a more plant based diet is a really good way to start.

Sonya Looney 37:10
I have two quotes that I wrote down that were one of the first one give me goosebumps, I just want to repeat before we sign off. So number one you said without health, there is no freedom. Without health, there is no freedom. And every step we take in the right direction is worth celebrating.

Brenda Davis 37:29
Thank you for that. Brenda.

Sonya Looney 37:31
Thank you so fine, fine plant powered protein and your other books. Yeah, so plant

Brenda Davis 37:36
powered protein can be found. I mean, it’s it’s, of course on Amazon or any of the major bookstores. This is what it looks like. And, you know, I was really privileged to be able to write this book with my co author of the central Molina who I’ve written many books with but to bring my son in Corey Davis and with the environmental piece and and it just such a such a joy to do that. But yeah, it’s it’s available online easily and yeah. Oh, and I’m at a Yeah, I You can reach me on Facebook or my email is Brenda Davis at TELUS dotnet Alright, thanks, Brenda. Thank you so much, Sonya. It’s so great to see you

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