Education Portal

Welcome!

Providing diverse & meaningful educational opportunities at Happy Tales is a key pillar of our mission in giving back to our community. We have recently launched our revitalized Education Portal where we have compiled a database of resources, tools, activities, videos and information to allow for accessibility to our content while we remain closed through the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

 

We are embracing the restrictions that COVID-19 has brought to hands-on learning experiences, and as such, we are pushing the boundaries of what a typical learning environment looks and feels like. As we await approval and instructions from the Provincial Government with regards to reopening under COVID-19 guidelines, we are busy restructuring our program and activity offering here at the Sanctuary. 

 

The education portal is a free space for children and adults alike to explore plant-based lifestyles, the humane treatment of animals, environmentally conscious living and more. Our breadth of topics is expanding, and we are excited to be offering a variety of new topics for exploration!   

Plant Based Nutrition

The health benefits of plant-based nutrition of modern day medical research shows a low-fat, plant-based diet can prevent, and in many cases reverse chronic western diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, Type II Diabetes and more, and in the process, you will experience healthy weight loss and the benefits listed below. 

Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

Several studies have shown eating a whole foods, plant-based diet will prevent and reverse heart disease. This is present in a 20-year study by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects.

Avoid or Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is considered as a lifestyle disease. Studies have shown that a low-fat vegan diet treats type 2 diabetes more effectively than a standard diabetes diet and may be more effective than single-agent therapy with oral diabetes drugs.

Cancer Prevention

All the evidence points to a low-fat, high-fiber diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans as being the best for cancer prevention. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Improved blood flow and circulation occurs almost immediately when switching to a plant-based diet. The blood vessels become rid of cholesterol build up and can self repair from the damage of animal-based foods.

Improved Digestion and Bowel Movement

Dietary fiber is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They pass through our digestive system somewhat unchanged because it can’t be digested or absorbed entirely. The fiber helps cleanse or scrub our intestines, keeps the intestines healthy and results in healthy bowel movements

Prevent or Lower Risk of Other Chronic Diseases

Other chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease have been improved or the progression has stopped by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Lower Cholesterol

Intake of your total cholesterol drops because there is no cholesterol or saturated fat in plants like in animal-based foods which cause cholesterol to build up in the blood which can lead to heart disease and blood not being able to flow through your arteries.

Higher Energy Levels

Your energy levels will improve and you will feel more vibrant and have a feeling of well-being, since whole plant-foods are abundant in various nutrients and minerals.

Start Today!

Don't let change scare you! You would be surprised at all of the plant based foods that may already be a apart of your diet. For example Pasta and Oreos!

These are just some of the many benefits to consuming a plant-based diet. To help your body get all the essential and non-essential amino acids, be sure to include a variety of protein sources such as nuts, seeds, legumes, as well as whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet.

True or False!

What about your Nutrients? Here's where to find them! 

PROTEIN

There are many delicious forms of protein that you can include that can be used in limitless ways to get enough amino acids. Many of these foods are higher in protein per ounce than animal sources and include fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These foods support the body’s muscular system and promote an alkaline environment, while animal-based foods promote inflammation and lead to an acidic body. Examples include black beans, hemp hearts, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, etc.

HEALTHY FATS

There are many delicious forms of protein that you can include that can be used in limitless ways to get enough amino acids. Many of these foods are higher in protein per ounce than animal sources and include fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These foods support the body’s muscular system and promote an alkaline environment, while animal-based foods promote inflammation and lead to an acidic body. Examples include black beans, hemp hearts, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, etc.

COMPLEX CARBS

The fear of carbs is a common one in today’s society, but is undoubtedly unnecessary when a whole foods, non-processed food diet is followed.  A plant-based diet full of whole foods, including healthy carbs, has been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, helping stabilize insulin and body weight. It’s also important to avoid refined sugar, and even added sugars whenever possible to benefit your blood sugar the best and avoid unnecessary weight gain.  Emphasize whole, plant-based foods that are naturally sweet instead. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, berries, green peas, and other natural foods.

VITAMIN A

You’ve probably heard of  Vitamin A before, as its also called beta-carotene (an important antioxidant) when obtained through dietary sources (versus supplements). Vitamin A is easy to get in a plant-based diet and is essential for healthy aging, protection of the skin and other major organs, and also aids in the production of healthy blood. Examples include carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens (spinach, kale) sweet peppers, cantelope, etc.

B VITAMINS

 B vitamins are one of our body’s most important needs for energy, brain focus, and a healthy nervous system. They are found in our food supply, but originate from the soil. Due to the farming practices today, careful caution should be observed to get the best sources into our daily diets. A diet rich in B vitamins will produce a healthy body that is energetic, mentally focused, as well as promote a positive mood, and a healthy gut. Examples include seeds (all), fortified plant milks (almond, cashew, coconut, etc.), berries, almonds, dark leafy greens and fortified nutritional yeast (high in B12).

VITAMIN C

 Vitamin C, like Vitamin A, is a natural antioxidant that’s luckily found abundantly in our food supply. It’s important for immunity, healthy skin, and a variety of other bodily functions. A diet rich in fresh produce will supply more than enough of daily Vitamin C needs though there are many other sources as well. For example, oranges, pineapple, mango, all leafy greens, etc.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for bone health, digestive health, and overall metabolic health. It is a fat soluble vitamin present in very few foods, added to some fortified foods, and available as a dietary supplement. It’s most abundant source is from natural sunlight which is the preferred way to get the recommended amounts. Food sources include fortified tofu and plant milks, as well as mushrooms. Supplementation of Vitamin D3 is recommended.

VITAMIN E

 Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It helps protect cell membranes against free radicals that cause damage to your skin and also prevents the oxidation of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) that can lead to heart disease. Sources include avocado, wheat germ, tomatoes, mangoes, asparagus and olives.

VITAMIN K

 Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is most known for its role in essential blood clotting. It is also necessary for growing strong bones, preventing heart disease, and other crucial bodily processes. Vitamin K is even referred to as “the forgotten vitamin” because its most of its benefits are frequently overlooked. Found in kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi) and blueberries.

CALCIUM

 Milk is often glorified as the best source of dietary calcium, but due to the acidic residue dairy leaves in the body and the negative effects it can have, it’s best to choose plant-based sources. Plant-based foods are filled with calcium, and can certainly meet your needs without the need from dairy cows. Considering cows should get their calcium from the grass and soil, so can we! You’d be surprised to know many plant-based sources are also higher in calcium than dairy sources and also come with many other benefits as well. Examples include bok choy, broccoli, tahini, dark leafy greens, oranges, millet, chia seeds and fortified non-dairy milks.

MAGNESIUM

 Magnesium is a crucial mineral that’s responsible for over 400 different reactions in your body. It affects your mood, weight, sleep health, regularity, heart beat, energy, metabolism, how you feel through the day physically, and can even affect PMS and depression. It is obtained through the soil and our food, along with fortified supplements. Sources include leafy greens, cashews/almonds, seeds, beans, grains, legumes, winter squash, seaweed, avocados, bananas, dried figs, dates, cacao and cocoa.

IRON

Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, an erythrocyte protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, needed for healthy red blood cell function and oxygen production. It also supports a healthy metabolism and is necessary for growth and development, as well as the synthesis of hormones and connective tissues. Plant-based foods are loaded with enough iron to sustain your body for the long haul. Even sources that are listed as non-heme sources, can still be absorbed in the body. Examples include; red kidney beans, lentils, oats, hemp seeds and hemp protein, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, cashews, leafy greens, peanuts and peanut butter.