For decades, people have been fascinated by all things Oprah, including any diet she follows and recommends. The latest is called The OMD Plan, in which OMD stands for One Meal a Day. This doesn’t mean limiting yourself to a single daily meal, but rather making a commitment to eat one plant based meal per day—a change that can improve your health and positively impact on the planet.
The OMD Plan was created by Suzy Amis Cameron, environmentalist and co-founder of MUSE, a private school in Calabasas, California with an entirely plant-based kitchen that just won the Greenest Restaurant in the World award.
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Suzy recently appeared on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday to talk about the plan and her corresponding book, which includes dozens of her family’s plant-based recipes. Oprah, who is on board, started a 30-day OMD challenge, and she's filmed a kitchen video with Suzy that features the book’s veggie spring rolls.
According to Cameron, simply making one of your daily meals plant-based helps save water and trees, reduce greenhouse gases, and even protect endangered animals. At the same time, the switch improves overall health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
The book includes a 14-day meal plan and dozens of recipes, like chia pudding, smoothies, sweet potato hummus, homemade falafel, spaghetti Bolognese (made with Beyond Meat), and even desserts, like vegan carrot cake and chocolate mousse.
It also contains helpful info and resources. One stat that really stuck with me is this: When just one person chooses to make one of their daily meals plant-based, it saves approximately 200,000 gallons of water, and it saves the carbon equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York City over one year's time.
Kitchen tips include how to make your own nut milk, soak beans, and pickle vegetables. The book also offers grab-and-go options and explains how to shop for and store a number of plant foods.
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After she and her husband (director James Cameron) went vegan, Cameron became somewhat of an evangelist for plant-based eating. But she found that many people were overwhelmed by the idea of becoming entirely plant-based overnight. Making just one meal a day plant-based, however, was doable.
Oprah calls the plan “graspable.” Cameron refers to it as “the simple, elegant solution,” and believes that this one small shift can help you lose weight, improve energy, support glowing skin and hair, improve health, save money, enhance your sex life, and simultaneously help save the planet. The book is peppered with stories of people who have adopted the plan, with results that include substantial weight loss, better mental focus, decreased bloating, clearer skin, and improved health markers, like lower blood pressure.
I believe that OMD is smart, empowering, and sustainable. And if you choose healthy, whole-food, plant-based meals, you will instantly boost your intake of health-protective vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. It’s also important, because the climate crisis is a public health emergency, with implications that include food insecurity, water safety risks, air pollution, and diseases carried by insects. According to scientists, the food we eat plays a major role in climate conditions, including the production of one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
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Bottom line: The OMD Plan is in line with current nutrition recommendations, such as The Planetary Diet, which calls for drastically reducing animal-based foods and eating more plants. But OMD is simpler, more straightforward, and easy to put into action. I love Oprah’s word, “graspable,” and Oprah herself—for spreading the word about this simple approach to improve your future health, and support the home we all share: Earth.
Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams.
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