Suzy Amis Cameron Releases Plant-Based Diet Book + Shares How She Convinced Husband James Cameron To Go Green

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SuzyCameron authorphoto credit Harry A'CourtPhoto Credit: Harry ACourt

As a noted environmental advocate, founder of the MUSE School (with her sister Rebecca Amis), as well as a number of environmental organizations, including Cameron Family Farms (together with her husband, director James Cameron), Plant Power Task Force, Food Forest Organics and Red Carpet Green Dress, Suzy Amis Cameron is absolutely changing the world one step at a time. And now, she’s doing so once again, this time by sharing the knowledge she’s learned over a lifetime dedicated to health, wellness and sustainability. Through Atria Books, Amis Cameron has just released “OMD: Change the World by Changing One Meal a Day – The Simple Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet.”

In her book, the mother of five explains how we can boost energy, feel better, live healthier, and heal the earth, starting with just one meal a day. Developed at MUSE School, the first plant-based school in the country, “OMD” makes it possible for anyone and everyone to reverse climate change while they embrace a healthier lifestyle by swapping just one meat-based meal for a plant-based meal every day. Featuring fifty delicious recipes and complete with inspiring success stories, shopping lists, meal plans, and pantry tips, “OMD” is an all-in-one resource for anyone who wants to take care of their body and our beautiful planet at the same time.

We chatted with this environmental warrior to discuss the field-tested plan she outlines in her new book—where she outlines the latest science and research on why a plant-based diet is better for one’s health and the environment—as well as how she managed to convince her Oscar-winning husband to eat a plant-based diet. It’s been said that it ain’t easy being green, but eating that way—according to Amis Cameron—well, that’s another matter entirely.

Suzy Renegade Collection by Graeme Murray 100 (1)Photo Credit: Graeme Murray

How did health and wellness come to be such a priority for you?

My mom was my role model. She was busy raising six kids, and would wake before all of us to go out and run a mile, long before jogging became popular. I became aware of my body early on through ballet, gymnastics, and horseback riding. At the Paris modeling agency, the agent really taught us how to nourish ourselves by drinking enough water and eating properly; he focused on vegetables and fruit. When I became an actress, I continued to exercise, eat well, and walk everywhere. Then, when our family went plant-based, I started feeling better and better. I’ve found the secret, the way to nourish my physical body and my spirit, knowing my food choices can move the dial on climate change.

What is something most people don’t realize about eating green?

Eating plant-based cuts your carbon and water “foodprint” in half. By eating green, you are doing more for the planet than driving a hybrid car, because the industrial animal agriculture that provides our meat is the second leading cause of climate change, right after fossil fuels––contributing more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. And, eating green is not just carrot sticks and celery. I don’t think many people realize all the comfort food you can have—lasagna, cheesy pizza, burgers, burritos.

SuzyACameronMUSEGarden-15 copy (1)Photo Credit: MUSE

Your MUSE school is going global! Tell us, in your opinion, how it’s managed to become such a success since you opened it.

My sister Rebecca Amis and I have talked about going global since we opened MUSE with 11 students in a one-room schoolhouse 13 years ago. In Fall 2015, we went 100% plant-based for one meal a day at the school. We now have more than 220 families and students aged two to 18, benefitting from rigorous educational experiences that nurture their passions and celebrate them as individuals on a sustainable campus. People move from all over the U.S. and Europe to join the school’s strong environmental core, and we are thrilled to have active interest in our franchise model from Singapore, China, France, the UK, and India, as well as quite a few places in U.S.

You own Cameron Family Farms with your husband. Why did you decide to open in New Zealand?

That’s where it all started. We bought a farm that had 2 dairy operations on it before we went plant-based. After we began eating green, we closed the dairy operations down and turned the property into an organic veggie farm, growing walnuts, olives, hemp, and flax, so we have walnut butter, linseed oils, and much more, plus several varieties of honey from our beehives. We then invested in farms in Saskatchewan, so we could provide healthy plant-based proteins for products like ginger beef, pulled pork, and cheeses.

FinalCover_OMD_ (2) (1)Photo Credit: Copyright © 2018 by Editorial Holding, LLC from OMD: THE SIMPLE, PLANT-BASED PROGRAM TO SAVE YOUR HEALTH, SAVE YOUR WAISTLINE, AND SAVE THE PLANET by Suzy Amis Cameron published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Was it you that influenced James to become plant-based or vice versa? How did the transition happen, or were you both already eating a plant-based diet?

I influenced Jim. I watched “Forks over Knives,” a groundbreaking documentary that shares what a meat and dairy-heavy diet does to our health, in early May 2012. It was such a wake-up call to me, I talked him into watching it the next day. He turned to me and said, “No more animal products in the house,” and 24 hours later, we had cleaned out our kitchen. Both of us have heart disease and cancer in our families—so we took it very seriously. I know only a small percentage of people blow up their kitchens one day and go cold turkey, but that’s how we roll. “OMD” is the perfect way to ease in. You can keep your eggs and bacon and burger, start with one meal, and feel so great. We were lucky because we did it together. Find an “OMD” buddy. It’s exciting and you want to talk about it because you have so much more energy.

By choosing to eat green, you can call yourself a “solutionary.” My personal message is about making the world a better place for our children to grow up for generations to come. Especially on the tails of the UN climate change report, we have to make a stand to do what we can. Eating plant-based is a win-win-win—for your health, the planet, and animals; it is all upside; there is no downside.

James Cameron and Suzy Amis
James Cameron and Suzy Amis

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

How do you and your husband implement green eating and green practices at home?

Green living at home started way before green eating, and now you cannot find animal products or a plastic water bottle or bag in our house. My fridge is all plants—vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, grains—all the time! We grow 70% of the produce that we eat. Interactive meals like making individual pizzas, or spring rolls, or tacos, are really fun. For tacos, each person prepares a plate, like soft and hard taco shells filled with grilled vegetables, Beyond Meat chicken strips, and guacamole. All our lifestyle and cleaning products are nontoxic and biodegradable; our paper products are created from recycled paper products, and when we get takeout, we use our own glass containers. I’m grateful we are able to have electric or hybrid cars for the family, and 100% solar power at our ranch and the school.

Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?

This chili recipe is super fast, super easy, and everybody loves it.

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