If you follow me on IG then you know that the recent climate change report released from the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change – take a look here) has left me more than just a little alarmed. According to scientists we have only a decade or so left to reverse our ever-growing negative impact on the environment (greenhouse gases, water usage, carbon emissions, etc.) before it’s too late. In fact, they’re now predicting that we will see the catastrophic effects of our behaviour as early as 2040, with droughts, super storms and food shortages affecting billions of people on this planet. The key message – this isn’t some problem that exists in some distant future. It’s here, it’s now, and we need to do something.
As I’ve said many times before one of biggest (if not THE biggest) changes we can make is either removing or at least greatly reducing animal products in our diet – beef and dairy in particular. Raising animals for consumption negatively impacts our planet in s many ways. For one, their waste (aka poop) released huge amount of methane gas and often ends up in our water where it wreaks havoc and spreads disease. But the land and fresh water needed to grow the food to feed and house these animals is an enormously impactful, leading to problems like deforestation, drought and, of course, not growing enough food for humans to eat.
So what can you do? Easy – embrace a more plant-based diet. We have become so entrenched in our animal consuming ways that we can’t seem to fathom a diet without it. “What would I eat?” is a phrase I hear often. My answer – SO MANY DELICOUS THINGS! Starting with today’s amazing, plant-protein powered dish –Warming Red Lentil Soup.
Lentils are an amazing source of protein and a grillion other nutrients. I also love their amazing ability to control blood sugar spikes, something that is extremely beneficial to everyone but especially those suffering from diabetes or general dysglycemia (imbalanced blood sugar). They’re also cheap, easy to make and incredibly versatile, making delicious additions to salads, soups, stews, pasta dishes and so many other places I’d be here all day naming them.
I always suggest people start by simply cutting back their meat/animal product consumption to only one meal a day, then only a few days a week, and so on; and choosing plant-based meals the rest of the time (we are lucky to live in a time when there are SO many options and resources out there to make this delicious and easy). And when you do buy meat commit to buying only sustainably sourced, organic and grass-fed varieties (the price tag on these meats will have you turning to cheaper plant-based foods in no time! Lol).
Change starts with us; and since I’ll only be 57 in 2040 I personally want to make sure I’m enjoying my retirement on a beautiful planet earth. Are you in??
The Natural Blonde
Warming Red Lentil Soup
A delicious, rich and hearty plant-based dinner or lunch that's easy to prepare and can be easily frozen for meal prep ease!
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (can sub other oil)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- coconut yogurt, for garnish optional
In a soup pot, heat the avocado or olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic and salt, and stir to combine and coat all the veggies in the spices.
Let cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant, and then add the vegetable broth, water, tomatoes, and red lentils. Stir and bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the red lentils are soft. Taste, and add more salt to your tastes if desired.
If desired, puree half the soup to help make it creamier. You can also just leave it as is if you prefer a more broth-y soup. I pureed some of mine with an immersion blender.
Serve with a dollop of plain coconut yogurt for added creaminess if desired. Enjoy!
Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 2 months.