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Plant-Based Canada Podcast

Author: Plant-Based Canada

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Welcome to the Plant-Based Canada Podcast. Join us as we talk with experts to explore the field of nutritional sciences and how our food choices impact our health and the environment. We sit down with Canadian doctors, dietitians, athletes, climate experts and others/more, to break down the evidence behind a Whole Food Plant-Based diet, and discuss the practical steps you can take in your efforts to shift toward a healthier lifestyle.The Plant-Based Canada Podcast is an initiative of the group Plant-Based Canada, which aims to educate the public and health professionals on the evidence-based benefits of plant-based whole food nutrition for individual and planetary health. To learn more about the show, visit our website and stay up to date by following us on Instagram and Facebook @plantbasedcanadaorg, and our Plant-based Canada YouTube channel. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. PBC is not responsible for any errors, omissions or opinions related to the content stated by the guests interviewed. All information in this podcast is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the conclusions obtained from the use of this information. The podcast should not be considered professional advice. Listeners should seek their own individual healthcare advice as needed.
18 Episodes
In this episode of the Plant-Based Canada Podcast we talk with Canadian Registered Dietician Lauren McNeill. Lauren has a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics and specializes in plant-based nutrition and women’s health. She graduated from the University of Guelph, and completed her dietetic internship with the Nova Scotia Health Authority where she gained experience in acute-care, nutrition education, public health, diabetes, and much more.Lauren runs her own private practice, Tasting to Thrive, where she offers both one-on-one virtual nutrition counselling sessions anywhere in Canada…. and her online program, Thriving on Plant-Based Fundamentals. Her goal is helping people from all walks of life succeed on a healthy, whole foods diet -- whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to incorporate more plant-based foods onto their plate. She also has a dedicated social media following where she shares healthy and affordable recipes, busts nutrition myths, and provides evidence-based nutrition information.In this episode we discuss:Lauren's path to becoming a Registered Dietician with a focus on plant-based diets.How Lauren helps clients make health, sustainable choices for the long-term.How a healthy, whole foods eating pattern can help cut the risk of all-cause mortality.Tackling misinformation about vegan diets, but also in the health and wellness space. How diet and lifestyle can impact women's health issues like PCOS and endometriosis.What Lauren eats in a day and how she takes a plant-based diet on the go. The issue of food insecurity and food justice in Canada. Socials:WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagramTikTokStudies/Articles: The Adventist Health StudyEPIC-Oxford study (iron levels and other nutrient intake among vegans and vegetarians)Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease (iron deficiency is concern for everyone – not just plant-based eaters)Dietary intake and iron status of Australian vegetarian women
Looking for new plant-based recipes to try? In this episode of the Plant-Based Canada Podcast (@plantbasedcanadaorg) we speak with Amy Symington (@ameliaeats). Amy is a nutrition professor, researcher and plant-based chef at George Brown College (@gbcchca @gbcnutrition) in Toronto, Canada. In addition to having a Masters in Applied Human Nutrition with a focus on functional foods and their health benefits, Amy has 20+ years of experience in the food industry including in restaurants, cafes, large quantity and catering, private events and galas and as well as volunteering in community kitchens. Amy is the Culinary Nutrition Program Coordinator at Gilda's Club Greater Toronto (@gildasclubtoronto), a not-for-profit cancer organization, she is the Culinary Specialist for Humane Society International Canada (@hsi_canada), she volunteers with the Toronto Veg Food Bank (@vegfoodbank, check out our interview with Matt Nobel for more on this initiative!) as a chef and nutrition consultant and does recipe development and food writing for various publications in Toronto and worldwide. Amy believes in the evidence-based health and environmental benefits of plant-based diets and is the recent author of The Long Table Cookbook: Plant-based recipes for optimal health (@the_long_table_cookbook). In this episode we discuss: *plant-based from a culinary perspective*Cancer Nutrition Guide & Nutrition Programming at Gilda's Club*The Long-Table Cookbook: Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health*plant-based recipe development #plantbased #health #diet #lifestylemedicine #nutritionforcancer #plantbasedcookbook #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedchefs #GeorgeBrownCollege #GBCChefSchool #evidencedbasedplantbased #evidencebasedhealth #preventativemedicine #vegan #vegetarian #plantbasedlifestyle #podcast #dietetics Amy Symington´s WebsiteAmeliaeats Plant-Based Canada´s Socials Instagram Facebook Website 
In this episode of the Plant-Based Canada Podcasat, we talk with Emma Levez Larocque. Emma is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a Certified Plant-Based Chef, and a Food For Life instructor with the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine. She specializes in working with people who are interested in a plant-based diet as a means to improve their health, lessen their impact on the environment, and reduce the suffering of animals. She runs Plant-Based RHN where she meets people wherever they are on their health journey and finds common ground to build from.In this episode we discuss:Emma’s path to a plant-based diet and what it means to be a Registered Holistic NutritionistHow Emma works with communities through Plant-Based RHNWorking as a Food for Life instructions with the Physicians Committee for Responsible MedicineDebunking common health and nutrition misinformation as a holistic nutritionistTips on sticking with a whole foods plant-based diet for the long-termHow the pandemic has impacted Emma’s community outreach workSocials:Plant-Based RHNFacebookInstagramTwitter
In this episode of the Plant-Based Canada Podcast we speak with Dr. Jennifer Purdy. Dr. Purdy is a medical doctor practicing evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine in Ottawa, Ontario. Additionally, she is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, having served over 23 years.  She attended the Royal Military College of Canada for her undergraduate studies, and the University of Ottawa for her medical degree and family medicine residency. She is also a diplomate of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Purdy has been involved with the Green Party of Canada in the Kanata-Carleton riding and she is the Health Critic in the Green Shadow Cabinet. In this episode hear about...Plant-based nutrition & lifestyle medicine in medical trainingLifestyle Medicine in CanadaOpening a lifestyle medicine practicePerceptions and misconceptionsKey counseling recommendationsBeing a leader in lifestyle medicine and beyondDr. Jennifer Purdy´s SocialsInstagramFacebookTwitterPrivate Practice WebsitePlant-Based Canada´s SocialsInstagramFacebookWebsite
Ever wonder about plant-based practices in different countries? In this episode of the Plant-Based Canada Podcast we speak with Didem Varol. Didem has experience with Plant-Based Practice in both Canada and Turkey. She completed her dietetic training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and is a Registered Dietitian and, as such, is registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario. After spending almost 10 years working at Toronto Public Health, as a Public Health Dietitian in the field of chronic disease prevention, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey and currently runs her own private practice (@plantgevity). She has completed a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies & eCornell. She is also a “Food For Life” Instructor, which is an evidence-based nutrition and cooking program developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. In this episode we discuss:*dietetic practice in Canada & Turkey*plant-based counseling*food culture*culture shocks*vegan communities in Canada & Turkey*plant-based misconceptions*take home messagePlease note, in the beginning of this episode there is some background noise that unfortunately could not be removed. This background noise does not persist throughout the episode. We hope that you enjoy the discussion with Didem.Didem Varol´s SocialsInstagramFacebookPrivate Practice Website, Plantgevity NutritionPlant-Based Canada´s SocialsWebsiteInstagramFacebook
In this episode we talk to Dr. Chana Davis, a scientist and science advocate who loves helping people make healthy choices. She founded Fueled by Science in 2018 to fight health misinformation, share digestible science resources, and teach others how to think like a scientist. Dr. Davis covers a wide range of topics, from food, to sustainability, toxins, public health, disease prevention, COVID-19, and vaccines.Dr. Davis is also passionate about helping others get more plants on their plate. She debunks common myths around plant-based diets, highlights exciting new plant-based alternatives, and even shares some of her family’s favourite recipes.During graduate school, Dr. Davis focused on studying the human gut microbiome. She then spent a decade working in cancer research, diagnostics, and personalized medicine across non-profit and biotech sectors.In this episode we discuss:Dr. Davis' mission to fight misinformation with her website Fueled by ScienceWhat proteins are and how they're utilized in the bodyGetting enough protein on a plant-based dietProtein powdersThe misinformation behind protein combining The claims around collagen and it's 'de-aging' benefits Plant-based protein versus animal-based proteinMeat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Socials:WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitterMediumDear PandemicArticles:What are Proteins and What do They do?From Bite to Bicep: How Proteins are MadeHow Much Protein do You Need? Busting the Myth of Incomplete Plant ProteinsSetting the Record Straight on Soy and HealthDear Pandemic: Engaging with Conspiracy Theorists  Studies: SWAP Meat Study (Crimarco et al, 2020)Plant-Based Diet vs Omnivorous for Strength Training (Hevia-Larrain et al, 2021)Protein Amount vs Source for Strength Training (Morton et al, 2018)Soy vs Animal Protein for Strength Training (Messina et al, 2015)Development of High-Lysine Rice (Liu et al, 2016)Protein Powders and Toxicity (Bandara et al, 2020)
In this episode we talk with Valerie Trew, the Director at the University of Guelph Child Care and Learning Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Valerie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a Master of Arts in Leadership. She also teaches in the Bachelor of Applied Science program at the University of Guelph and Guelph-Humbe applying a lens of social and environmental justice to studies in policy, administration, and leadership.Valerie views teaching from early learning to post-secondary as a political act and does so with a view to provoke radical social transformation towards a post-colonial world. She has spent 20 years working in children’s services through postsecondary education, regional government, early intervention, and early learning and child care.In this episode we discuss:Early childhood educationWhole-food, Plant-based nutrition for childrenValerie’s path to implementing a plant-based menu at the Guelph Child Care and Learning CentreThe importance of teaching children where our food comes fromPutting Indigenous outlooks in perspectiveHow coloniality and our food systems intersectSocials:TwitterLinkedin Studies and Resources:Child Care Food Sustainability Report Family-focused, plant-based recipes and cookbooks Plant-based Pediatrician resources Positive mealtime for child and parent Veganism and Indigenous perspectivesVeganism and Mi’Kmaw teachings Margaret Robinson - Indigenous veganism: YouTube lecture, Article The Honorable Harvest - Robin Kimmerer
Paulina Araujo is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ontario.She counsels clients with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Paulina has a passion for helping people improve their health through better nutrition and other lifestyle therapies… and uses a variety of dietary and behavioural approaches with her clients. She is a strong believer in the power of plants and plant based nutrition to improve overall health and diabetes management.  In this episode we discuss:The role diet plays in diabetes.Energy density vs. nutrient density.The role of energy density and weight loss.Helping clients improve their health through sustainable changes.Fear of carbohydrates in the dieting world.Common sense tips for weight loss. Socials: FacebookTwitterLinkedinStudies and Resources:Paulina's talk: Caloric Density: A Simple and Powerful Concept Barbara Rolls review paper on Energy DensityBROAD StudyKevin Hall’s plant-based vs ketogenic studyNeal Barnard’s Mediterranean vs low-fat vegan diet studyDavid Jenkin’s portfolio diet study Jeff Novick’s talk on calorie density  
Check out our latest podcast with fitness coach, and vegan athlete Luckie Sigouin (@luckiesigouin). Luckie combines his experience and background to help guide the Fit Vegan Community, which helps people lose weight and build lean muscles on a plant-based diet.By focusing on mindset and education, Luckie helps his clients make sustainable changes that lead to successful results for the long-term.In this episode we discuss:Luckie’s long history as an athlete – from power lifter to model to ironman.His transition to a plant-based diet, and what he eats in a day.His journey to helping people lose weight and stay strong through his coaching plans. Common misconceptions around eating plant-based. The biggest challenges in making the shift to a plant-based diet for the long-term.Socials: FacebookFit Vegan AppInstagramPodcast
Dr. David J.A. Jenkins is an University Professor, and Canada Research Chair, in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, at the University of Toronto and Medicine,  and the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, with Unity Health Toronto.  Dr. Jenkins has been a mentor to many researchers and health professionals, including  myself (the host of this episode) and other members of the Plant-Based Canada team.His research area investigates the use of diet in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.  He has over 350 original publications on these and related topics.  His team was the first to define and explore the concept of the glycemic index of foods, as well as develop the cholesterol lowering dietary portfolio ("Portfolio Diet") that has entered guidelines in many jurisdictions (e.g. CCS, Heart UK etc.).He believes in the therapeutic value of plant based diets and that diets have to be environmentally sustainable.For more information on the Dietary Portfolio and the cookbook mentioned in this episode check out the links below:Online Resources:Canadian Cardiovascular Society website: Portfolio Infographic: 
Debbie  Fong, MBA, RD is a clinically-trained registered dietitian who’s passionate about making sustainable and healthy food choices.She promotes whole foods plant-based diets to help her clients lose weight for the long-term without counting calories, as well as to help prevent or manage various lifestyle diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.In this episode we discuss:The impact a plant-based diet can have on common lifestyle diseases.The important role fibre plays in a healthy diet.The recent results from the PURE study linking processed meats to higher risk of cardiovascular disease.Plant-based diets and children.Plant-based ketogenic diets.How to get started on a whole foods plant-based diet.Socials:WebsiteTwitterLinkedin
Adriana Wild is a Vice Principal with the Calgary Catholic School District, who's also a plant-based marathon runner and ultra-athlete in her spare time. She loves sharing her passion for running with her colleagues and students, and has led various Girls Run For It programs and run clubs at schools. Her running accomplishments include winning the 2018 Calgary Marathon 50K, becoming the 2018 ACU National 50K Female Champion, and winning the 2018 Banff Marathon — setting a new women’s course record that year. In 2018, she was also a member of the #TSPYYC Speed Project Team and, along with her team, ran from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in just over 39 hours. Not to mention she holds two Guinness Book of World Records!In this episode we discuss:Adriana Wild's athletic accomplishments, including her Guinness World records.What it means to be an 'ultra-athlete' and how Adriana prepares for intense running events.What a day of training and eating looks like for Adriana, and how to transition to a more plant-based diet as an athlete.Common myths around eating a plant-based diet and training as an athlete.Socials:FacebookTwitterInstagram
In this podcast episode from @Plant-Based Canada we chat with Dr. Nanci Guest, PhD, RD who is a sport focused registered dietitian, personal trainer and a strength and conditioning coach, who completed her doctorate in nutrigenomics and athletic performance and has been working in private practice for over two decades. She has been a global consultant to professional and amateur athletes and teams, including serving as the head dietitian at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Toronto 2015 PanAm games and prepared several athletes for the last four London, Sochi, Rio and PyeongChang Olympics! In this episode we learn about what a plant-based diet looks like for the elite and everyday athlete, including Dr. Guest´s recommendations for high-athletic performance. 
In this episode we talk to Dr. Julie Chan, a plant-based Naturopathic Doctor, Registered Acupuncturist, and Founder of Liberty Wellness Clinic in Markham, Ontario. The focus of her practice is to provide individualized, functional, integrative medicine to her patients. Combining modern medical diagnostics, her extensive knowledge in pharmacology, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, Homeopathy, and Nutrition, she provides evidence-based therapies to help promote optimal wellness and disease prevention.  Julie is also a passionate food, climate and animal activist and spends much of her spare time doing non-profit work as she believes human health is intricately connected to planetary health. We hear about Julie's personal health journey, and explore her evolution to being a plant-based health practitioner. We talk about her passion for education, her on-line course on plant-based nutrition at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and her upcoming talk at our conference, the Canadian Plant-Based Nutrition Conference in May 2021.  We discuss Julie's philosophy on the interconnected of individual health, planetary health and our treatment of non-human animals, and her non-profit Peace Fur Paws. Finally we talk about Julie's love of baking and volunteering at one of our favourites, the Vegan Danish Bakery. Julie's passion , clarity of purpose, and compassion shine through. You can find details of Julie's practice and contact at: and the non-profit Peace for Paws at episode is hosted by Dr. Zahra Kassam, co-founder of Plant-Based Canada
In this episode we talk to Matt Noble, the founder of Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank, a volunteer-powered charity that has served over 250,000 meals worth of whole-food plant-based groceries to people struggling with poverty and food insecurity.   We learn about the importance and operation of a vegetarian food bank and delve into a deeper discussion on social justice, food insecurity and policy. Food security represents a state in which food is available, accessible, and affordable such that there is physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. There is often the concern that a vegetarian or vegan dietary pattern is expensive and out of the price range for those with food insecurity. Matt discusses these concerns, the challenges, the current situation, and what he believes could help potentially address these issues.Matt also shares some news about exciting initiatives, he and his team are working on, such as veganic agriculture and education. Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank will be breaking ground on a new project – The Veg Food Bank Farm – in partnership with Piebird Farm Sanctuary in the Summer of 2021.   You can find details about Matt’s work and the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank on Instagram and Twitter @vegfoodbank and on Facebook at Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank.  The episode is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Nishi and Cassandra Carey, of Plant-Based Canada.
We sit down with Dr. Tushar Mehta to talk about the global impact of animal agriculture. Dr. Mehta is an ER physician working in Brampton and Georgetown, Ontario, and has practiced family and addictions medicine in the past. Over the years he has worked with Project Canoe - a Toronto-based organization serving youth. He's also conducted medical outreach with village schools in India, and works with health education Project Haiti.Along with a small team, Dr. Mehta founded Plant Based Data (, an online database which collects and organizes the most important academic and institutional literature regarding the impact plant diet on health, environment and food security, including the role of animal agriculture in creating pandemics.In this episode we also discuss:How our food choices impact our environment, and how our food systems work.The amount of resources like land use ad fresh water usage that go into raising animals and growing crops.How does animal agriculture stack up to other greenhouse gas emitters and other side-effects like ocean dead zones, water pollution, species extinction, and biodiversity loss.Food insecurity, poverty, and environmental racism.How our treatment of and relationship to animals can lead to zoonotic disease like COVID-19. What we can learn from past zoonotic diseases like SARs and MERs that can help us better understand COVID-19 and potential future
Dr. Matthew Nagra is a Naturopathic Doctor devoted to bringing the most up-to-date evidence-based nutrition information to his patients at his clinic in Vancouver. In 2018 he graduated from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine after completing his bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology at the University of Victoria. He’s certified in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University and has written articles for Dr. T Coln Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies. He also volunteers for – a science-based public service providing free updates in nutrition research through bite-sized videos. Dr. Nagra is known for his social media platforms, where he often tackles misinformation around diet and nutrition, and deep dives into the latest nutrition studies.In this episode we discuss:How he incorporates evidence-based medicine into his practice. The biggest advantages to following a plant-based diet.Myths around the consumption of soy products.Getting enough vitamin K2 on a plant-based diet.The debate over whether vegetables oils are healthy.Recent results from the prospective EPIC-Oxford study suggesting non-meat eaters might be at a higher risk of bone fracture.  The science behind fad diets, like keto, paleo, and carnivore.The importance of tacking misinformation online, including from plant-based circles. Whether a healthy diet can ward off infectious diseases like COVID-19.Socials:Dr. Nagra's websiteFacebookInstagramTwitter
In this inaugural episode of the Plant-Based Canada podcast,  the co-founders of Plant-Based Canada, Dr. Zahra Kassam and Michelle Fedele RD talk about their personal journeys, why they co-founded Plant-Based Canada, and what they hope to achieve.
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