Episode 037: Plant-Powered Nutrition w/ Sharon Palmer

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In this tasty episode, I interview Sharon Palmer, the Plant-Powered Dietitian, about plant-based nutrition. Growing up in a primarily vegetarian household helped Sharon understand from a young age just how important plant-based nutrition is. She later attended a university where the entire campus was vegetarian and became an RDN. Today, we cover a wide variety of topics including just what plant-based nutrition is, how it differs from vegan or vegetarian diets, why plant-based foods are healthier than animal-based foods, vegan cheese, Sharon’s popular blog and recent book, and her cookbook recommendations.

Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

Sharon has created an award-winning career based on combining her two great loves: food and writing. As a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience, she channels her experience into writing features covering health, wellness, nutrition, and cooking. Sharon is also a passionate writer about food and environmental issues, having published a number of features on plant-based diets, hunger, agriculture, local and organic foods, eco-friendly culinary practices, sustainability, food safety, humane animal practices, and food security. In particular, Sharon has expertise in plant-based nutrition.

Over 950 of Sharon’s features have been published in a variety of publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Prevention, Oxygen, LA Times, Cooking Smart, Delicious Living, Food Product Design, Today’s Dietitian, and CULINOLOGY. She has contributed to several books, including Food & Cultural Issues for the Culinary, Hospitality and Nutrition Professions (Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. 2009). Sharon is also the editor of the acclaimed health newsletter, Environmental Nutrition. Her book The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, July 2012) was a critical success, and was followed by her second book Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes in July 2014. Sharon blogs every day for her Plant-Powered Blog, which won Top 50 Health Blog and Top 100 Nutrition Blog awards for 2015.

Sharon also shines in culinary arts, focusing on globally inspired recipes featuring whole plant foods. She enjoys hosting culinary demonstrations and farm to table cooking classes. In addition, Sharon regularly appears in the media as a nutrition expert, and presents on food and nutrition at national venues, including California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, and Supermarket Symposium. She also serves as a nutrition advisor to Oldways Vegetarian Network and nutrition editor for Today’s Dietitian. Sharon is a judge for the prestigious James Beard Journalism Awards and Books for a Better Life Awards.


2:00 Sharon talks about how she ended up as the “Plant-Powered Dietitian”

“So, meat almost becomes a condiment if you do choose to consume it.” – Annette Hottenstein

3:25 Sharon discusses what a “Blue Zone” is and how it applied to her college town

5:05 Sharon explains what plant-based nutrition is and how it differs from a vegetarian diet

6:27 Sharon talks about why she believes plant foods are healthier than animal-based foods

“And, overall, they found that the more plant-based the diet was, the better the outcome for many things; even carbon footprint.” – Sharon Palmer

9:00 Sharon provides guidance on the supplements you’ll need to take if you’re following a vegan diet

12:16 Annette and Sharon discuss why being a vegetarian doesn’t always mean you have a healthy diet

13:17 Sharon explains how someone can find a dietitian whose skills are specifically related to plant-based nutrition

15:03 Sharon talks about her top-rated blog and what her goals are with it

“Hopefully I provide inspiration and a helpful tool to get you inspired to healthy based diet no matter what kind of eating style you have.” – Sharon Palmer

16:51 Annette and Sharon discuss vegan cheese

18:41 Sharon talks about a few of her most popular recipes on her blog

22:35 Sharon explains why her latest book, Plant-Powered for Life, could actually be considered a handbook, as well as, a recipe book

25:45 Sharon discusses the Go Plant-Powered! Challenge

27:33 Sharon’s cookbook recommendations

28:53 Annette and Sharon discuss why vegetarianism is on the rise

“I love the fact that there are 40,000 species of edible plants on the planet.” – Sharon Palmer


Click here to learn more about Sharon and to sign-up for her email list.

If you’re interested in checking out either of Sharon’s books, just click this link.

If you’re curious about “Blue Zones” and want to learn more, you can do so here.

If you want to read up on the studies Sharon mentioned, you’ll find more information on the EPIC study here and more information on the Adventist Study 2 here.

To find a practicing plant-based dietitian, just search on this website.

If you happen to be in New York and want to visit Candle 79, you should check out their website.

If you’re like me and can never seem to remember how to pronounce Pho, here is a fun article that might help.

If you want to check out the recipes mentioned in today’s episode, click the links below:

Clicks the links below to learn more about Sharon’s recommendations

Click here (or on the image below) to take advantage of Wine Insiders’ expertly selected wine that will be delivered right to your door for just $5.99 a bottle.*

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*If you make a purchase using the Wine Insiders link above, I will receive a small percentage of the sale which helps keep this podcast going. I use the service myself and wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it. Don’t worry, it’s at no additional cost to you.


Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Until next time!


  • Delish
    October 21, 2016 by Duffash from United States

    Loving the interview about water! Yes, water can taste amazing! Great info!

  • Must listen to to this show!
    September 19, 2016 by Erin Peisach from United States

    Packed with easy to understand and entertaining nutrition content!

  • My food inspiration!
    September 18, 2016 by SkippyJohnJones145 from United States

    I'm so glad I found this podcast as it provides a deeper level of food appreciation than other I've listened too. I'm now more able to eat mindfully and fully enjoy the food I'm eating.

  • Love of a foodi!
    April 24, 2016 by MattB4SBB from Australia

    It's awesome. Just awesome! All about food. My ideal place of relaxation!

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    March 28, 2016 by BrandonTBM from United States

    The perfect podcast for any food lover looking to rediscover a new type of relationship with food.

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    March 27, 2016 by Animartrom12 from United States

    Helpful, informative, encouraging, honest, reasonable... I just love how she delivers her information.. Not scary, like helping you take baby steps to a better you;-)

  • Instant Obsession
    March 24, 2016 by jlwolf from United States

    As a dietetics student, I was Immediately HOOKED on the Food Sommelier. Annette is a true inspiration for me in a fascinating field. The diversity of her guests are all equally as intersting and knowledgable in nutrition and the science surrounding it. I really enjoy the food reviews.They offer insight into the healthier menu options chain restautants offer but most of us overlook.

  • Making Food Fun & Simple
    March 9, 2016 by NutritionGenius1 from United States

    Annette has such a good outlook on food and brings on some of the top experts and movers and shakers in the food/nutrition world. There is so much to learn from all of her guests and even her own experience! You will gobble this up and learn new tips and tricks to incorporate into your every day life.

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    February 5, 2016 by DCulve from United States

    I LOVE this podcast! I love all things food and this podcast delivers. The interviews and topics are super interesting. I especially loved the podcast with the nutrition diva. Annette does a great job hosting!

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    November 16, 2015 by Jmccracken01 from Australia

    This podcast is about more than just 'food'. It's about understanding the value that great food can bring to your life, your relationship, your vitality and your energy. While only new, I'm finding it insightful and interesting. Thanks.

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    November 14, 2015 by Nehemiah7483 from United States

    Annette's expertise about nutrition and food is awesome. Lots of practical and insightful information about all things food.

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    November 14, 2015 by Britany Felix from United States

    I LOVE that she reviews normal restaurants instead of the fancy places in New York that I'll never eat at. This information is something I can actually use to help me choose the best place to eat healthy when the hubby and I feel like going out to dinner.

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    November 14, 2015 by ItsMeRD from United States

    Such great food info in here, just listening makes me hungry!

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    Love this podcast and learning so much!

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    Your interviews are great and are perfect for someone like me who isn't a foodie, but wants to eat healthier.

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    November 13, 2015 by HGCIII from United States

    Annette brings practical information to us on what and how we eat. The resturant reviews will save us time and money when eating out - and allow for great food. Eating wholesome and healty food at home or when eating out is so important for all of us. Well done - keep moving forward.

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    November 13, 2015 by vwdieselnet from United States

    I really enjoy ways to eat better especially with my new exercise routine.

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    November 10, 2015 by Alexandra B-P from United States

    Fun and lively show that makes food fun! The host goes in depth into food giving you a whole new insight to this exciting world. Love the nutritional touches. Overall - A+!

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    November 8, 2015 by Aditya of My Seven Chakras from Canada

    Warning- don't listen to this show on an empty stomach! Loved the episode about Olive Garden. Brought back fond memories of the classic spaghetti nepolitana that i always used to order! I look forward to more 🙂

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    November 8, 2015 by Gene_HPLN from United States

    Awesome topics! Food is very important.. we are what we eat. If we don’t take care of our body, nobody else will. Good job!

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    November 7, 2015 by Joel Boggess from United States

    We all need fresh ideas, relevant information, and steps for what to do next.
    Way to take action and make this show happen Annette!

    Joel and Dr Pei
    Husband and wife hosts of ReLaunch

  • Annette makes food FUN!!!
    November 6, 2015 by JeffStuart from United States

    This is not just some food critic. The Food Sommelier is on a whole other level. With her expertise and engaging interview style, Annette you will teach you to appreciate healthy food in ways you never new existed. Whether it's a simple mango, or an entire lunch at your local Olive Garden, you will learn that a meal is not just a means to fill our bellies, but can also be a nutritional experience to be thoroughly enjoyed with every bite. And despite the fact that she's highly-educated, and a long-time registered professional, this podcast is hardly clinical. Annette has done an amazing job at making sure this podcast is not only enlightening, but entertaining. Trust me, if you eat, and care about what you eat, you MUST check it out for yourself!!!

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    November 6, 2015 by Danny Johnson -Flipping Junkie from United States

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    I like the podcast and the reviews of restaurants. Nice episode 002 and the content you provided. Never knew that about the Olive Garden. Keep them coming.

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    November 6, 2015 by Gisele_Oliveira from United States

    This podcast is a MUST listen. I love the topic and as a busy person who is trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle this podcast is exactly what I was looking for.

The post Episode 037: Plant-Powered Nutrition w/ Sharon Palmer appeared first on Food Sommelier.

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