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Plant-Based Nutrition and Cooking Classes


Food for Life is an award-winning nutrition education and cooking class program designed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to promote disease prevention and survival through nutrition. In these classes, individuals are helped to better understand the connection between healthful nutrition and disease prevention, while teaching how to prepare a number of

delicious and nutritious meals.

Quinoa Dish in Jar

Course Topics:

  • Kickstart Your Health: Discusses which foods are optimal for weight management and the prevention of various health complications including high blood pressure and poor digestion.

  • Cancer Project: Covers a variety of cancer-related nutrition topics and demonstrates how to prepare several meals loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber.

  • Diabetes Initiative: Empowers people concerned about diabetes with a new dietary approach to prevent, reverse, and manage the disease.

  • Spanish Diabetes Initiative (Comer para Vivir: Iniciativa diabetes): Delivers the widely successful Diabetes Initiative curriculum in a format translated for Spanish speakers.

  • Nutrition Essentials: Presents topics ranging from planning meals to reading food labels in an interactive, lecture-style series. (Cooking demos are not a regular partof this series.)

  • Kids Health: Highlights the positives of the four food groups (whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables) in the Power Plate. Children ages 9-12 are exposed to the great taste and health benefits of eating plants.

  • Employee Wellness Program: Improves employees' health and productivity through evidence-based nutrition education.

  • Healthy Basics: Helps class participants understand the value of choosing economical, plant-based foods-fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans--that can reduce the costs of grocery and medical bills.

Health Benefits

The Physicians Committee’s Power Plate recommends consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Plant-based diets lower the risk for many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. The Power Plate supplies all of your daily nutritional requirements, including substantial amounts of fiber, protein, and calcium.


Most Americans are consuming too much animal protein and not enough fiber. Fiber is important for human health for various reasons. Fiber is great for heart health, cancer prevention, and weight loss. Soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation. Fiber only comes from plant foods, which means that there is no fiber in meat, dairy, and eggs.


Plenty of protein is found in plant foods. Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas are great protein sources. Other protein-rich foods include tofu, tempeh, quinoa, chia seeds, and peanuts. Animal protein comes with saturated fat and cholesterol, which may contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Animal protein alone, such as egg whites, may not be beneficial for human health. According to Dr. Neal Barnard, high amounts of animal protein is “linked with kidney disease, kidney stones, some types of cancer, and overall higher risk of mortality.” It is best to consume protein from plant foods, which are safter and environmentally friendly.

“Dairy products are the number #1 source of saturated fat in the American diet” (PCRM). Health risks to consider include heart disease, cancers of the reproductive organs, digestive problems and diabetes. Dairy products contain hormones naturally and some with additional artificial hormones so that mother cows can produce more milk than what nature intended. Udder infections (mastitis) is a common problem in lactating cows therefore, antibiotics is given routinely.

Colorful Fruits

Aside from saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics in dairy, several other contaminants are found in these products, including pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins (PCRM). Calcium is best obtained from plant sources. Besides, our bodies need more than just calcium for bone health. Our bodies need calcium along with Vitamin K and calcium along with Vitamin D. Greens, such as Kale is an excellent source of both calcium and Vitamin K. Beans and lentils are other excellent sources of calcium. 

Food and Fitness  

Upcoming Class
December 9

FFL Food and Fitness Logo Vertical.jpg

For centuries, athletes have been following plant-based diets to achieve a competitive advantage. Recently, plant-based diets are gaining popularity in a variety of sports. Perhaps that’s because vegan athletes are leading in endurance sports, weightlifting, and even Formula One racing. However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from a plant-based diet. A low-fat vegan diet comprising whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables provides the ideal fuel for any physical activity. It also demonstrates qualities for enhanced recovery over high-fat and animal-based diets. The Food for Life: Food for Fitness class aims to empower attendees with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare simple, nutritious meals that fuel optimal fitness and recovery.

Each two-hour class features a video, a discussion, and a cooking demonstration. 

In this class, we will be making the following recipes:

1. Enchanted Smoothie Bowl

2. Ten-minute Mixed Veggie Stir-Fry

3. No-Bake Brownie Bites

Attendees are welcomed to cook-along!

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