Restaurants/Eating Out

Pod Meeting Demonstrations in SW Florida

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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

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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.

The Pioneering Providence Pod

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June 15, 2018

Over 70,000 people across the globe are members of independent local groups (aka Pods) which are connected to the PlantPure Communities Pod Network — all working to promote the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle and growing the PlantPure Communities (PPC) grassroots movement. The Providence, Rhode Island-based group, Powered By Plants RI, is an active, highly effective part of the Pod Network. Under the leadership of Christie Jeffries, Kim Anderson and Judy Harff, the Powered by Plants RI Pod is pioneering local initiatives for Pod engagement in the PPC Oasis Program, accelerating Pod Engagement via their 600+-member Pod, and they are fast becoming a leader in the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign. In addition, Pod co-Leader Kim Anderson serves on the PPC Advocacy Council. Beyond sharing her insights and expertise on national advocacy issues, this also ensures that the on-the-ground experience of this Rhode Island Pod gets applied to PPC’s national advocacy agenda.

Powered By Plants RI has consistently stepped up to undertake innovative community-centered projects, paving the way for others to creatively implement PPC initiatives in their neighborhoods. Most recently, in recognition of this groundbreaking work, the Powered By Plants RI Pod received the prize for ‘most creative effort’ with the Restaurant Campaign Wave Challenge on April 12th. The goal of the Restaurant Campaign is for every restaurant around the country and the globe to offer at least one plant-based, oil-free meal on their menu. The Powered By Plants RI Pod has pioneered a new approach to advance the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign. Working with local restaurant owners the leaders of the Pod  convinced two restaurants in Providence, RI, to host private events with specially designed plant-based menus.

The first event, which took place at the Bluewater Grill on January 29th, sold out nearly 48 hours after posting on Facebook. This showed the restaurant owners the growing demand for plant-based, oil-free dishes, and helped them understand that it isn’t hard to make tasty, healthy, oil-free meals. Bluewater Grill’s vegan chef, Chef Cara, designed a buffet featuring vegetable crudites with beet hummus; arugula salad with an oil-free dressing; roasted butternut squash, kale and brussel sprout medley with curried almonds and chickpeas; spaghetti squash pad thai; and stuffed sweet potatoes with black beans, spinach and avocado topped in a pepita “parmesan.” Pod Co-Leader Kim, who was overwhelmed by the level of interest, expressed her appreciation for the event, “The buffet dinner prepared by Bluewater Grill for our Rhode Island PlantPure Pod was a massive success. The event was such a success that Bluewater hosted another event for us 4 weeks later for those who missed out on the first event, and once again we filled every seat. The restaurant looks forward to hosting us again soon, and our members do as well! The food was fantastic. The ability to sit and eat a chef-prepared plant-based meal with no worries of sodium and oil, was a gift!”

Healthy eating is a growing trend in America. A 2018 report identified plant-based dining is 2018’s trend of the year.(1) Indeed, according to the National Restaurant Association, in 2017, 70% of adults said the availability of healthy menu options would make them choose one restaurant over another.(2) In addition, according to a recent Top Trends in Prepared Foods report, six percent of the U.S. population now identifies as vegan, compared to one percent in 2014!(3) 

Since the January 29th event, Bluewater Grill has adjusted their menu to reflect availability of  plant-based, oil-free meals, and they have earned a Certificate of Participation in the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign. “Bluewater Grill was happy to put an asterisk next to several plant-based options on their menu, indicating that various  items can be made oil-free,” said Kim. The Certificate was presented to Bluewater on March 5th.

The success at Bluewater Grill has inspired the Powered By Plants RI Pod to host another ‘Restaurant Takeover’ event, this time at the India Restaurant in Providence. The demand was so great that Kim and Judy needed to work with the restaurant to organize two separate seatings. The event was held Monday, April 9th.

The PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign, is now ramping up, and prizes are being awarded each month for creativity and achievement via fun and replicable challenges. The Campaign is supported by a virtual Toolkit, and a new Action Sheet describing the process of hosting a private event at a restaurant is being crafted and will be added to the Toolkit this summer.  PPC expects it will inspire other Pods to follow in the footsteps of the Powered By Plants RI Pod.




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2017

Contact: Jessie Arnold, PlantPure Communities

(704) 412-4506, ext. 110,




PlantPure Communities (PPC) today announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign. In collaboration with Vitamix, the campaign will support the PPC Oasis Program which is bringing whole, plant-based food to underserved communities. Donors who participate in the campaign will be supporting a great cause.

PPC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works to share the health and empowerment message contained in important scientific research conducted by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, as detailed in his book, The China Study. Dr. Campbell, who serves on the PPC Advisory Board said, “I am delighted by the interest shown by Vitamix to participate in PPC’s programs.” Through the PPC Oasis Program, people in underserved neighborhoods who are struggling with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other food borne illnesses are provided food and nutrition education and the opportunity to learn about the benefits of eating more whole, plant-based foods, enabling them to experience the health benefits firsthand. At the same time, over 45,000 people in independent groups located across the globe (known as Pods) are connected to the PPC Pod Network which supports a grassroots movement of people working to promote the benefits of nutrition. Participation in the Pod Network is free and offers a wide range of support and networking opportunities. Visit the PPC website for more information about the Pod Network:

For this crowdfunding campaign, PPC is collaborating with Vitamix, a company that designs, develops and produces the world’s best performing and most reliable blending solutions. Many people who have transitioned to eating whole plant foods find the need for a high quality, high speed blender as they discover the exciting new tastes and recipes. “Our collaboration with Vitamix is synergistic–every day more people are taking control of their health and joining the Pod Network for support in their wellness journey. The transition to eating more plants is greatly enhanced with the use of a high-quality blender. Since adopting a plant-based lifestyle three years ago, I use my Vitamix several times a day,” said Jody Kass, executive director at PlantPure Communities.  John Barnard, Executive Chairman from Vitamix stated, “we have been strong supporters of the scientific nutrition research conducted by T. Colin Campbell, so we are very pleased to be partnering with PPC in their efforts to spread the health message of eating more plant-based food.”

PPC is utilizing the Generosity crowdfunding platform, which is built on Indiegogo’s powerful global fundraising engine, and was specifically created for socially minded fundraising causes. Donations of $100 or more will receive an exclusive offer coupon towards any household Vitamix premium blender. Donors who want to take advantage of the great Vitamix offer have the option to donate through the link below. For a $100 donation you have the choice of a 15% coupon (includes free shipping and free copy of 101 Blender Drinks Book) for a New Vitamix Blender, or for Vitamix owners, a $100 trade in offer on the purchase of a new or certified reconditioned Vitamix package.  Of course donations of any amount will be gladly accepted!

The campaign runs until January 31, 2018 – just in time for the holiday giving season, with the objective of raising $10,000 towards PPC’s $40,000 end-of-the-year goal.

Link to the Generosity page to make a donation:

Link for more information about the Vitamix Trade-In Program:



Nonprofit Brings Change to the Table with National Restaurant Campaign

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2017

For Information, contact: Jessie Arnold, (704) 412-4506 x110 or 

Nonprofit Brings Change to the Table with National Restaurant Campaign



According to the Center for Disease Control, chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems, and more than half of all American adults have at least one of these conditions. These chronic conditions have been shown to improve and even to be reversible by adoption of a whole, plant-based diet. With 6% of the U.S. population now identifying as vegan (up from 1% in 2014), and 30% leaving meat off their plates altogether and seeking out plant-based alternatives, the announcement today of the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign is not surprising, nor is it surprising that over a dozen restaurants across the country have already signed up to participate.

The goal of the PlantPure Communities (PPC) Restaurant Campaign is for every restaurant across the nation and across the globe to offer on their menu at least one plant-based meal with no oil. The Campaign is part of PPC’s larger initiative to share the health and empowerment message contained in scientific nutrition research, much of which was led by T. Colin Campbell, PhD., as detailed in his book, The China Study. According to Dr. Campbell, “The scientific evidence is now clear and convincing – the standard American diet, which is low in whole plant-based foods and high in animal based foods, added fats and refined carbohydrates (sugar, refined flour) is the single largest contributor to America’s healthcare crisis. As more doctors are now prescribing no meat/no added fat dietary prescriptions for their heart disease and diabetic patients, the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign is aligning with mainstream Americans who wish to adopt healthy eating while dining out.”

The Restaurant Campaign is supported by a virtual Toolkit on PPC’s website which offers resources for restaurant owners and managers, as well as local residents who are inspired by the Campaign to promote change in their neighborhoods by going restaurant-to-restaurant. Nelson Campbell, who is Dr. Campbell’s son, produced the PlantPure Nation film, and founded the nonprofit PlantPure Communities, said, “If we are going to transform the world around this health message, we need to work in a grassroots way, which is what this restaurant campaign is all about.” The Toolkit includes documents tailored to restaurant owners/managers, explaining the difference between vegan and vegetarian options, and tips on how to add healthy, delicious meals to their menu. It also includes a roadmap to help local residents approach restaurants, and strategies to get the word out about new healthy offerings – via HappyCow and other apps. Participation in the Campaign and access to the Toolkit are free.

Restaurants who achieve the meal standard are eligible to receive a Certificate of Participation from PlantPure Communities that they may display on the premises. John Salley, the four-time NBA Champion who flew in from LA to join PPC for the Press Conference said: “As more restaurants begin offering plant-based options with no oil, we will all have a greater chance of improving our health, the health of the planet, and the welfare of animals. I’m so glad to be part of this Campaign with PPC. Growing the access to healthy food is literally changing the game for athletes–with NBA players on the road all the time, increasing the healthy plant-based options means that players will be more likely to find healthy options to support their health and wellness goals!”

Pointing to the National Restaurant Association’s report that “70% of adults say the availability of healthy menu options would make them choose one restaurant over another,” PPC Executive Director Jody Kass, said: “there is strong and growing momentum — now is the right time to launch this national & global change campaign.” “The PlantPure Communities (PPC) Restaurant Campaign is an exciting project,” said, Robert Ostfeld, MD, MSc, and Director of Preventive Cardiology at Montefiore. “As a preventive cardiologist, I witness the profound health benefits of a plant-based diet on a daily basis. This innovative campaign increases dining options for those in the plant-based community, and will hopefully introduce thousands, if not millions, of people to delicious and healthy plant-based meals.”

Already, restaurants in California, New York, Florida and Virginia have made changes to their menu and are participating in the Campaign.  To find out more, visit  

WHO: PlantPure Communities (PPC)

WHAT: PPC Restaurant Campaign Launch – In-person Press Conference

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 30 from 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

WHERE: P.S. Kitchen, 2nd floor, 246 W. 48th St, NYC

The PlantPure Communities Pod Network supports and empowers a grassroots movement of more than 45,000 people in over 460 independent groups (“Pods”) and people working to promote the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle by sharing nutrition information, offering support and leading project and policy initiatives. As the Restaurant Campaign ramps up in early 2018, the Pods are leading the way, working hand-in-hand with restaurant owners and managers in their neighborhoods to help them grow their business by understanding and capturing the pent-up demand for healthier meals.

In New York, Mitchell Castell, the Group Leader of the Long Island Pod, said “I was privileged to be part of the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign Pilot. The Long Island Pod had several Pod meetings where the Campaign was discussed and it was well received. Many ideas were shared and some of us took the initiative to go out and seek restaurants to qualify for the Restaurant Certificate. With over 150 members in our Pod, we are always looking for places to eat that will accommodate our food choices. Some of us don’t go out too often or skip dining out altogether as we don’t want to always be asking the waiter if they can make this or that. The PPC Restaurant Campaign will help us to have more food choices so we can frequent more restaurants not only ourselves, but with family and friends as well.”

According to Jeanne Schumacher – Starch Queens and Group Leader of the Westchester Pod: “PPC is on a roll! So glad they are helping to get restaurants on board as it is so important to offer healthy choices!  The Westchester Pod, with over 1,100 members, is all over this!  We just had Eda’s Garden open in Yorktown Heights, NY, which is almost 100% plant based and we are expecting many restaurants in our community to earn their Restaurant Campaign participation certificate.  So exciting! Keep up the great job!”

Natasha Spearman-Isip, the Pod leader in Staten Island who has had great success with several Staten Island restaurants, said, “I’m thrilled to take part in the Restaurant Campaign to assist others in my community determined to maintain a healthy, compassionate diet. It’s good for the community and good for business. The best outcome for both parties! It is so nice to be able to order without going through a list of requirements for a healthy meal. I look forward to more restaurants taking this initiative to please a growing customer base.” Speaking as the Pod leader, Natasha said, “Staten Island Sprouts is so happy to be given the opportunity to showcase this community spot for its commitment to community and health.”

Massimo Felici, Executive Chef and Owner of Vinum in Staten Island, which received the first PlantPure Communities Restaurant Certificate, stated “More and more patrons are looking for healthy options. Happy I can be of service.”

According to the owners of the Everything Goes Book Cafe, in Staten Island, which has also earned the Certificate,  “We are very happy to be able to offer some truly healthy food choices to people eating out in our neighborhood.   We have always had a few vegan items on our menu (that did not have any added oil), but 2 years ago we expanded our menu to include more choices, such as our ITIJI Bowl, which is built around warm brown rice and chopped raw veggies and a tahini lemon dressing. Simple! We are also happy about this initiative!”

“The PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign has been a solid initiative with plentiful resources that has helped our group gain momentum in reaching out to local restaurants. Our goal is to create greater access to healthy, WFPB menu items for locals and tourists when dining out in the Vail Valley,” said Katie Costa, Group Leader of the 26 member Vail Valley Plant Based Living Pod, in Edwards, CO.

“This campaign will offer restaurants a greater population of health-conscious eaters. Many of us really want to eat out more,” said Sharme Ridley, aka Atlanta Creole of the Plant-based, Whole food Living Pod in Fayetteville, GA.

“We were pleased to assist in updating the Restaurant Campaign Toolkit and we were fortunate to bring all 6 of Leland Neal’s Taco Rico Tex Mex restaurants on board,” said Chef Estela WindWalker and Jeff ‘VeganMan’ Tucker, Group Leaders of the 5,000 member EarthSave Pod in South Florida

“We have over 620 members in our two groups alone who wish to dine at restaurants which support their health promoting lifestyle. We are delighted to encourage and reward (with this certificate and our patronage) restaurants offering vegan menu items (no animal products) which are not cooked with oil,” said Amy Tasetano, Group Leader of the SW Florida Healthy Eating Pods in Venice and Port Charlotte, Fl.

“More and more Americans are making healthy eating a habit, but they can get sidetracked when dining out. Having a plant-based, oil-free option on the menu will make it much easier for health-conscious people to maintain their momentum every day,” said Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan author and radio host.

As a member of the PlantPure Communities Advocacy Council, and a founding member of the 550+ member Powered by Plants Pod, in Providence RI, I am delighted to see PPC reach this important milestone today. This grassroots/Pod-led effort to create change in local restaurants is what, ultimately, will result in real change,” said Kimberly Anderson.

Darlene Yanakos, member of the PPC Advocacy Council said, “The PPC Restaurant Campaign is an important milestone in PPC’s grassroots advocacy. It will give advocates, servers and restaurant owners the tools to make whole food, plant based healthy choices a reality for everyone.”

Kyle Ash, Director of Government Affairs at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said “It is such an honor to serve on the Advocacy Council for PlantPure Communities. I’m excited to see this innovative network of advocates focused on increasing plant-based options in restaurants across the country.”

According to Jim Courage, who serves on the PPC Board of Directors, “PlantPure Communities is so excited to launch our national Restaurant Campaign. Thanks to PS Kitchen here in NY for leading the way demonstrating all the health benefits of a whole food, plant based low oil diet. We look forward to thousands of restaurants ensuring healthy meals are on their menu!”

Jenny Miller, Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) said, “PPC’s Restaurant Campaign has the potential to have a huge impact on the American dining landscape. Since it is grounded in Dr. Campbell’s nutritional research, it will truly help people struggling with food-borne illness, and ultimately save lives.”



The Power of Film | Greater Cincinnati Group, Cincinnati, OH

By | Advocacy, Cooking, Group Leader Articles, Leadership, Nutrition, Pod News, Restaurants/Eating Out, Sharing the Message | No Comments

June 13, 2016

Greater Cincinnati Group:

After a PlantPure Nation showing at the UC Medical Center, the Greater Cincinnati Pod group was one of the first Pod groups formed. Shortly after the showing, group leader Chris Christenson signed up immediately to become a group leader, along with her co-leader Preeti Bansal Kshirsagar. Together, Preeti and Chris went on to organize the first group meeting to discuss goals and plans for the group. Going forward, they organized a table at the University of Cincinnati “Resolve to Get Healthy” event, a talk and interview by 94-year-old plant-based marathon runner Mike Fremont, and three free PlantPure Nation screenings. Their most recent event, a talk given by Dr. Rekha Chaudhary on nutrition and cancer, was a grand success with a turnout of over 100.  

Mike Fremont’s interview:

Rekha Chaudhary’s talk:

Richard Brown helped to record the interview and presentation.

Through her work in health care, and a longtime interest in health, Chris was drawn to the PlantPure message from the beginning. When her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years ago, and chose to forego chemotherapy and radiation, he researched all of the foods that feed cancer, and all of the foods that fight cancer. This inevitably led her parents to go on a plant-based diet, leading her father to recovery. Combined with her interest in health, her dad’s success gave Chris the motivation to jump into a plant-based diet.

Dr. Pam Popper’s book, Food Over Medicine, was one of her earliest inspirations to become plant-based. From there, she learned about The China Study, going on to read all of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s books. This made her a true believer in a WFPB lifestyle, and opened her eyes to a wealth of plant-based information. Before the Pod group, she was inspired to start a Meetup group for plant-based eaters. We asked her for advice for other individuals looking to create change in their communities.  

Chris emphasized the importance of free film showings, adding that anything free will always attract people. She also offered some valuable, often overlooked advice when it comes to being a group leader, saying, “It’s been really helpful for Preeti and I to have each other as co-leaders, because we have complementary skills, and it’s nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off of, and get these things organized, which can be a lot of work sometimes.”

Chris and Preeti have also gotten some of the vegan restaurants in town to donate food for some of the potlucks, which she says works both ways, as it’s a marketing tool for restaurants.  Chris also mentioned that many people coming to their meetings are just getting started, so it’s important to remember that any sort of interest is valuable, and transitioning to a plant-based diet is a process—being welcoming and supportive is especially important.