Thousands of people join celebration of plant-based living

People across the world took part in online sessions, organised by ACTAsia and the Compassionate Choices Network (CCN), which featured:

  • Experts on the benefits of a plant-based diet
  • Chefs who demonstrated imaginative and delicious recipe
  • Doctors who dispelled myths about lack of protein and B12.

“The first Plant Forward celebration of plant-based food connected with thousands of people in Asia and around the world,” said ACTAsia’s founder Pei Su. 

“I think this event was just the beginning and shows how we can all join hands to help make the world a more compassionate place.”

If you missed any of the Plant Forward events, the recordings are available on the ACTAsia Plant Forward page. To help you choose which to watch first, here are some of the highlights!

Cooking Show with Chef Nana

“When I’m teaching people about the macrobiotic diet, I recommend trying to consume food that comes from where you live and eating seasonally.”

Chef Nana has been practising macrobiotics for 24 years and has been teaching it – alongside plant-based cooking – in Japan for 15 years. Her motto is: “We are what we eat.” In this lively cooking demonstration, Chef Nana demonstrates how to make a tasty tofu steak, which she recommends as a way of avoiding buying processed ‘fake meat’.

Managing diabetes with Dr Evan Huang

“Nowadays we see the age of people affected by diabetes type 2 is getting younger and younger. 

Dr Evan Huang is qualified in Western medicine and has also studied and practised Chinese medicine for more than 25 years.  He specialises in integrating the two complementary disciplines to manage a wide variety of health conditions. He has eaten a vegetarian diet for more than 30 years and says this decision has brought lots of benefits. In a fascinating discussion, Dr Huang shares his knowledge of managing diabetes with a plant-based diet from the perspective of both Chinese and Western medicine. He says: “The diabetic population is around 370 million and by 2030 there will be 550 million diabetics. 

“We suggest they eat a plant-based diet – but they can be worried about malnutrition. I show them myself as a living example.” “Many people want to try the plant based diet, but they choose processed foods – they want to fake the original meat foods flavour and this causes a lot of other problems. “Even if you’re having a plant-based diet, if you fry or process your food too much it will still cause problems.”

Plant-based cooking show with Chef Sayuri Kitaho

Chef Sayuri Kitaho produces delicious plant-based recipes for Hachidory, which is an ethical vegan website run by the Animal Rights Center in Japan. 

Making plant-based food interesting is Sayuri’s passion and she’s also the instructor of a vegan kimchi cooking class. Here she demonstrates her imaginative ideas for an easy-to-make plant-based sushi recipe, showing that cutting out animal products doesn’t have to limit your choices.

Plant-based cuisine with Chef A-Jun

“Light foods, light digestion, light sports, light mood. Everything is light – it’s not only about a plant-based diet.”

Vegan health food innovator and renowned Chinese chef A-Jun has been cooking for more than 30 years.  For the past 15 years he has pursued his passion for plant-based foods, and five years ago he launched his health food ideology, known as vegan health cuisine. In this demonstration, he shares his recipe for delicious and easy-to-prepare plant-based energy balls. Chef A-Jun says: “I used to weigh 180kg, but after taking up sports, adopting a healthy plant-based diet and changing my lifestyle, everything is different.” “The ‘light vegan health’ concept is what I want to adhere to from now on.

Mental health with Dr Xu

“Inflammatory foods affect the brain and can cause depression and anxiety.”

Dr Jia Xu graduated from Peking University and holds a PhD in Physiology from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book, ‘Not Medicine But A Cure’, which discusses the body’s ability to self-heal with a healthy vegetarian diet. In this informative session, Dr Xu explains how what we eat can have a big effect on our mental health – and that a plant-based diet is not a replacement for other types of food, it’s simply avoiding food that’s bad for us. He says: “Nowadays people have diseases because they’ve been eating food that’s bad for their bodies. “I started eating a plant-based diet 30 years ago. Before I was pretty stubborn – now I’m more open minded, more relaxed.”

“Primates eat fruits and seeds and they are quite similar to us in physiology.” “We want to leave our offspring a better environment. “Industrialisation and animal-based diets are damaging the only home we all have. Let’s protect our common home, Earth. “

Gastrointestinal health with Dr Tateshi Fujiyoshi

“We, as humans, require amino acids to live and these were thought to only exist in animal-based protein. The alternative to this is soy based protein.”

Dr Fujiyoshi is director of the Fujiyoshi Clinic in Kumamoto, a facility specialising in colon and anal diseases. He has written six books on practical medical subjects and provides guidance – including dietary therapy – to patients. In this session, Dr Fujiyoshi gives practical advice on how to improve your health by changing your diet. “Not all plant based diets are the same,” he says.

“Avoiding plants and vegetables grown in greenhouses and very safe, artificial environments is also advisable.” “The third method of living a healthy life is to greatly reduce the amount of animal-based protein you eat, as it’s very rich in nutrients.