Pod News


By | Leadership, Pod News, Press | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2019

For Information, contact: Kera Linn, PPC Pod Operations Manager: (704) 412-4506 X 116


The PPC Pod Network Adds Almost a Pod a Day in August! 


The nonprofit organization PlantPure Communities (PPC) today announced the achievement of ambitious growth milestones in the PPC Pod Network – the backbone of the worldwide grassroots whole food, plant-based (WFPB) movement. In the month of August alone, 29 new Pods joined the Network (the average in 2018 was approximately 10 new Pods/month). With the addition of Pods in Australia, Singapore, and Mexico, the PPC Pod Network now has Pods sharing the benefits of plant-based nutrition in 22 countries.  

The PPC Pod Network emerged out of the call-to-action in the 2015 film PlantPure Nation. Through the Pod Network, PPC supports a grassroots movement of people leading and participating in independent local groups (called “Pods”), empowering them to promote the benefits of a WFPB lifestyle. People from all walks of life and at different stages in their wellness or plant-based journeys join the Pod Network every day. 

“Pods provide a place where people can connect for support and friendship. Members meet through potlucks, seminars, cooking classes, movie nights, and other social events. Pods are also encouraged to develop local advocacy strategies to communicate the important health and environmental benefits of plant-based nutrition,” said Nelson Campbell, PPC Board Chair and Founder.  

“To date, more than 220,000 people are connected to the PlantPure Communities Pod Network in over 22 countries. It’s inspiring to meet so many leaders and support them in their commitment to making an impact in their communities.” said Kera Linn, PPC Pod Operations Manager. 

“Our July 31st free ‘Welcome to the Pod Network’ webinar created a lot of buzz,” she added. Hundreds of people registered, participated live, or watched the recording to learn how they can create Pods in their communities.  

“July’s webinar was a huge success,” said Caroline Dyar, PPC Vice President. “It featured the PPC Pod Support team (myself, Ella Stephens, Kera Linn, Heather Patrick, and Josh Wayne) and two Pod Leaders, Haley Vasuki of Plant Empowered Florence, SC (U.S.) and Michelle Tree of Plant-Based Living Winnipeg (Canada). We are grateful to our speakers for sharing their insights about creating and running a Pod, and even more important – how impactful and satisfying it is. Leading or participating in a Pod can be a fun, rewarding way to share your passion for plant-based nutrition!”  

Beyond the health benefits of eating more plants, reducing the consumption of animal-based foods also helps address our climate crisis. An important report issued by the UN in October 2018 recommends that everyone reduce their consumption of animal products by 30% to avoid irreversible damage to the planet. There is growing momentum to push plant-centric menus for public health and the health of the planet. For those interested in shifting how they eat, creating or joining a Pod is a great place to start!  

For more about the PlantPure Communities Pod Network, visit this webpage and check out the Pod Locator Map to find a Pod in your community. 


Uganda District Governor recognizes Plant Powered Uganda

By | Children, Farms/Gardening, Leadership, Pod News | No Comments

Group Leader Badru Muzidalifah, and his Pod, Plant Powered Uganda, received a letter of appreciation from the District Governor in Uganda for their work in the community. Badru is a native of Kalisizo, Uganda, and left his university to take care of several orphaned children from his village, all of whom he is raising to be vegan. 

Badru is very passionate about educating community members about a whole food, plant-based diet and providing them with healthy food from his community garden. 

Plant Powered Uganda has grown to over 600 Pod Members. This past spring, the Pod received a generous gift of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a seed company who contacted PlantPure Communities with the offer to donate seeds to Pods. Badru stated, “Our garden has truly grown so fast and our crops are so beautiful. Our 38 acres of pineapple looks good as well as our bananas, maize, beans, and passion fruits.”

Original Submission received from Badru Muzidalifah, Group Leader of Plant Powered Uganda in Kalisizo, Uganda on September 16, 2019.

News from Plant Powered Omaha

By | Doctors, Pod News | No Comments

Group Leader Laurie Foral of Plant Powered Omaha held her 4th monthly event on July 23, 2019, on the Nebraska Methodist College campus. 45 members attended to hear Dr. William Schleifer (who is also a member of the Pod) give a fantastic presentation on behavior change. He also shared some of his personal experiences and transition to WFPB. The group was really captivated! He made the presentation informative, relevant, and humorous.

Dr. Schleifer is a cardiologist at Nebraska Medicine where he treats heart rhythm disorders. He said this was his “very first presentation on plant-based nutrition”, which gave rise to thunderous applause! An engaging Q&A session was held afterwards and could have easily continued well beyond the allotted time. Dr. Schleifer and his wife Mary then offered their home as a location for the first Pod potluck, which Laurie plans to organize for some time in September.

The meeting also included a short presentation on the Restaurant Campaign given by Laurie. Several members volunteered to help get it started in their community. Finally, Laurie shared a reminder about the upcoming Healthy for a Lifetime Conference happening in Omaha on October 19th where Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn will be the keynote speakers. So exciting!

Original Submission received from Laurie Foral, Group Leader of Plant Powered Omaha Pod in Omaha, Nebraska on August 14, 2019.

Pod Knife Skills Demonstration

By | Cooking, Pod News | No Comments

Group Leader, Kaiti Schwartz, hosted a knife skills demonstration as part of her Pod meeting on January 26, 2019. Since July 2018, Kaiti’s Pod has grown from 4 members to 17. One member volunteered to lead this meeting and to share what they learned at the Culinary Program at Diablo Valley College. Each member brought knives, a cutting board, and an onion. After the onion, they practiced cutting up other vegetables like peppers, red cabbage, carrots, cilantro and scallions, and then made Thai veggie rolls. Everyone enjoyed making new friends, practicing their knife skills, and learning how to roll a rice paper filled with yummy vegetables.

Original Submission received from Kaiti Schwartz, Group Leader of Planted in Walnut Creek, California on February 2, 2019.


Sprouting New Pods – Boston-Based Potluck

By | Leadership, Pod News, Potlucks | No Comments

The reactivated Boston Plant-Based Pod held its second event since the new Group Leader, Adriana Gambino, took over leadership. The Pod, previously called ‘Boston Plant-Based Millennials’, adopted a new name to welcome plant-curious folks of all ages. Attendees shared a potluck meal and discussed plant-based diets, minimalism, and the best new cafes in the area. PlantPure Communities’ Pod Support Programs Manager and Boston-local, Ella Stephens, attended the meeting and was invited to present information about the global Pod Network. The youngest attendee, baby Vada, was thrilled to join the adults and even wanted to try the food herself!

This event was also attended by the Group Leader of the nearby Cambridge Pod. This area has the good fortune of two Pods in close proximity to each other which has allowed for lots of collaboration when planning events, sharing information, and connecting like-minded people. PPC highly recommends joining forces with another Pod if there is one close by!

As the Pod Network changes, develops, and grows, PPC welcomes new Group Leaders with open arms, ready to support them every step of the way. It’s great to see these two Group Leaders working together to create a strong, healthy, sustainable plant-based scene in the Boston area.

Original Submission written by Ella Stephens, PPC Pod Support Programs Manager, on 6/19/19.


Impact Of Plant Based Diet on a Rural Indian Artisan – A True Account

By | Doctors, Group Leader Articles, Leadership, Nutrition, Pod News, Sharing the Message | No Comments

The Virsā Pod strives to bring the whole food, plant-based nutrition health message through the empathically persuasive means of wellness coaching and motivational interviewing to artisan women and their families in Punjab, India.
Group Leaders and mother-daughter team, Nivi Jaswal (Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach, NBC-HWC and ACLM certified Lifestyle Medicine Coach based in Boston MA) and Dr Sushma Jaswal (retired Anthropologist and Researcher based in Punjab, India), are passionate and motivated to educate women in the rural areas of Punjab, their homestate in India, about the benefits of lifestyle change, eliminating animal products and eating a low-fat, plant-based diet.
The short-film shared here showcases a true account of the impact of Plant Based Diet Intervention (Sept 2018) and Wellness Coaching (April 2019) has had on an elderly Rural Handicraft Artisan that the Virsā Pod serves.
Read the September 2018 Pod News Story about the Virsā Pod here!

Show Me Plants Pod First Get-Together – A Success!

By | Cooking, Pod News, Potlucks | No Comments

Show Me Plants had 18 plant-curious folks attend their first Pod meeting, with leaders Kara, Elaine, and Kurt. Kara and Elaine shared their personal stories of how they came to a whole food, plant-based, no oil lifestyle and what the power of a plant-based diet had done for each of them. After reviewing the PlantPure Communities Culinary Philosophy and talking about what it means to eat a WFPBNO diet, Kara demonstrated how easy it is to prepare this food by making a vegetable lentil stew in front of everyone while describing some of the tips and tricks for easy food prep. Next Elaine and Kara shared a dozen strategies for successfully implementing a WFPBNO diet, and Kara shared some advice aimed at those who had significant weight to lose or who were battling type 2 diabetes. Finally, Pod members had a question and answer session and sampled several recipes including Chickpea “No Tuna” Salad, Mexican Quinoa Salad, and Chocolate Mousse.

One man who heard Kara speak about her health transformation at a local bookstore began to implement the changes into his diet right away under the supervision of his doctor. He had such great success that he has been able to discontinue insulin in just a few short weeks of eating a WFPB diet. When he shared his success with the Pod, Kara couldn’t hold back the tears because this is just what she had hoped for. “To think that Elaine reaching out to me on an Engine 2 Facebook group a couple of years ago when I was at my lowest point ever and then me eventually following through and beginning this lifestyle could lead to me completely transforming my health through a complete lifestyle change is amazing,” Kara said. “But what is even more amazing is that because all of those pieces fell the way they did and I am now able to share my story, others are getting the message and transforming their health as well. I hope the ripple effect continues because food is powerful medicine.”

Original Submission received from Kara Bell, Group Leader of  The Show Me Plants Pod in Washington, Missouri on 4/519.


Plant Based Living Winnipeg Potluck

By | Cooking, Pod News, Potlucks | No Comments

The Plant Based Living Winnipeg (PBLW) Pod hosted their 9th potluck on March 16, 2019. Less than one year after hosting their first event, they already have need for a larger venue! Only 4 hours after announcing the potluck, it was full (max capacity of the room) with more than a dozen people on the waitlist. At this event, they gave members a sneak peek at the new website for PBLW ( and talked about their plans for the year ahead. Several people from the animal rights community joined the meeting to begin learning about WFPB for health. They talked about how they are all in this together “whether you have come because of the animals, your health, or the environment, it’s important that we form a unified position to influence government policies on food and normalize this way of eating for the public.” Everyone left the meeting very inspired to do more for the cause and also feeling proud to be part of such a forward-thinking organization as PlantPure Communities.

Original Submission received from Michelle Tree, Group Leader of  The Plant Based Winnipeg Pod in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on 3/28/19.


Pod Meeting Demonstrations in SW Florida

By | College Campus, Pod News, Restaurants/Eating Out | No Comments

The SW Florida Healthy Eating Group offers amazing monthly demonstrations for Pod Members organized by Group Leader Amy. December’s meeting focused on showing participants how to make their own spring rolls!

November’s taught attendees how to plant and grow their own microgreens at home in only a week! 

And in October, Pod Members got to sample different flavors of balsamic vinegar, which can be used for marinades, salad dressings, and stir fry’s. These demonstrations introduce Pod Members to creative ways they can incorporate living plant-based into their lives.

Original Submission received from Amy Tasetano, Group Leader of the SW Florida Healthy Eating Group in, Venice, FL.


Pure Sprouts Pod Participates in Restaurant Campaign

By | College Campus, Pod News, Restaurants/Eating Out | No Comments

More than ten people joined the Pure Sprouts Pod in Athens, GA, on June 30, 2018, at Cali N Titos for an oil-free meal in an attempt to encourage the restaurant to participate in the Restaurant Campaign. About half of the attendees were newcomers – friends of the Pod Members. One person was especially surprised by how good the restaurant food tasted without oil, saying “While I generally eat oil-free [at home], I don’t always order this food when I go out to eat. After trying it today, it’s actually really good, and I would definitely get it again.”

The Pod’s Group Leader, Josh Wayne shared that he enjoyed “explaining to the waitstaff why we think this is so important to us, to spread oil-free options around Athens GA. Not all people who attended knew exactly what the WFPB diet was, so I took the time to explain to them why we eat this way, and about the health benefits. For me, it seems like the perfect mixture of public health and social work.”

Original Submission received from Josh Wayne, Group Leader of the Pure Sprouts Pod, in Athens, GA on August 10, 2018.