Over the last dozen years, my husband Max, various dogs, and I have driven from Cambridge, MA to California four times. Last year in California, we felt as if we’d been dropped into a dystopian movie, Climate Change Ground Zero. 

rainy view from car during a roadtrip

During our two months in Berkeley, we were battered by multiple “atmospheric rivers,” record-setting downpours that flooded stone-dry creeks, and 60-mph wind gusts that knocked out our power and internet for days-long stretches. When it stopped raining, we drove north to Sonoma for the sun. There, we talked with wine-makers whose vines had been wiped out by fires.

Next we headed west to Sea Ranch, on the Sonoma coast, where intense storms had felled old-growth redwoods and decimated state parks, which remained closed. We drove south to L.A. to visit friends, stopping for two nights in Big Sur, where portions of the breath-taking coastal highway were closed. Mudslides.

From Observations to Action: My Path to Sustainable Eating

Our California experience shook me to my core. I knew climate change was real. But experiencing it first-hand, so intensely, (Rain! Floods! Wind! Fire!), finally jolted me to action. As any former marketing professor-turned investigative journalist-turned NGO founder-turned food blogger would do, I started by investigating how our food impacts the environment. 

Because I loved animals, I’d stopped eating meat decades earlier. Fast forward to COVID lockdown, when my husband Max surprised me and took the next step; he’d decided to eliminate dairy from his diet. By now, I was a pro at vegetarian cooking, and simply viewed Max’s new dietary restrictions as a culinary challenge. Good for you! I told him. I agreed to cook without dairy (I’m the chef, he’s the cleaner-upper), but I did not intend to give up cheese on my pizza or cream in my morning coffee. Within a year, I’d given up both. Surprisingly, I didn’t miss cheese nearly as much as I thought I would (pizza-making got even more fun, coming up with creative toppings), and reading a beautiful essay in Best American Food Writing sealed the deal.

I’m proud to report: Eliminating all animal products from my diet has made cooking and eating even more fun, varied, exciting, and delicious than ever. At the beginning it was tough, because I had to learn new tricks (i.e., how to make a creamy sauce without cream), but more on that later.

I’m embarrassed to report: How long it took me to connect the dots between food and the environment. Not once during the decades I was vegetarian did I answer “climate change,” when asked why I didn’t eat beef. I should have.

Last winter’s Climate Change Ground Zero trip forced the question: How does what we eat affect the climate? Once back home, I started to dig for answers.

What I learned shocked me, and I guarantee will shock you too.

That’s where my new Greener Plate Challenge comes in. I’ve created an engaging, low-lift, 14-day challenge that will open your eyes to how our food choices affect climate change. I did the investigative work, so that you don’t have to. Collectively, small changes can make a big difference. My goal is for you to figure out which small changes will work for you.

Take the Challenge: 14 Days to a Healthier Planet + You

You’ll pick up useful tips on how to cook, order out, and eat more sustainably, whether you are:

  • an omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, reducetarian, or anything in between,
  • a working parent who has 20-minutes to throw together dinner after an exhausting day at work,
  • a home chef who takes pride in creating show-stopping meals that take an hour or more to prepare,
  • someone who relies heavily on Uber Eats, or the offerings of a school cafeteria.
Save the Date!
The Greener Plate Challenge

Join me and other like-minded eaters between February 9-23 to learn how to eat more healthy, sustainable meals. You owe it to yourself, your children, grandchildren, and the planet.