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News & Events for Health Empowerment // May 1, 2024


Vivian Lee, PPMNY Culinary Empowerment Coordinator, celebrates a multi-generational history of plant-based food traditions. She shares:

In the United States, May is recognized as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, but growing up in a Korean household, it felt like every day was a celebration of our culture. For the few personal belongings my immigrant parents packed with them, they brought far more valuable assets that would outlast any material thing: their language, cultural knowledge, and food traditions. My mother’s food knowledge comes from growing up in a rural village post-Korean War, harvesting crops on the farmland, and demonstrating filial piety by ensuring a hot meal is always placed on the table.

Vivian's-Family.jpgBaby Vivian with her parents enjoying a family meal


I have countless memories associated with my mother’s home cooking in the US. My lunchbox of rice and Korean side dishes that she packed for me in grade school. The box of napa cabbage she brought from Han Ah Reum (now known as H-Mart) in Flushing, Queens, to make kimchi. The scallion pancakes she proudly served my high school friend who just couldn’t get enough! Whenever I call home, it’s not unusual for me to hear what edible plants she foraged that day: ramps, berries, chestnuts, mugwort, fiddleheads, etc. To this day, my palate is only accustomed to my mother’s prepared kimchi. 

Her food story is a part of my food story, which I’m happy to share with you. This month, PPMNY invites you to celebrate plant-based food traditions of Asia by tuning into our weekly cooking demo that will be streamed on our YouTube channel on Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET, starting May 9. 

We’ll feature four unique dishes that are rooted in Asian culture and are prepared with whole plant foods. Next Thursday, we’ll kick off with a Quick Cucumber Kimchi, perfectly refreshing for the season. Stay tuned each week to find out which Asian cuisine will be featured next!


Mini Cooking Demos: Asian American Heritage
Thursdays in May at 12:00 PM ET, starting May 9
Subscribe to PPMNY on YouTube for reminders to join us live.

There are also opportunities to join us in-person to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!


Chinese Dinner Social in Highland Park, NJ
Thursday, May 9, 6:30 - 8:30 PM – Highland Park, NJ
Chef Tan Chinese Restaurant, 441 Raritan Avenue
$38 includes tax + gratuity – register here by May 3


Shop With the Doc
Saturday, May 18, 2:00 - 3:00 PM – Little Neck
Jmart Little Neck, 249-26 Northern Blvd
Featuring Michelle Loy, MD
Suggested donation – register here


Are you curious to learn more about the intersection of the food industry and our health? Do you have a friend or loved one who would like to learn about plant-based nutrition but doesn’t know where to start? Join Plant Powered Metro New York for a community screening of What The Health at Ginjan Cafe in Harlem, followed by a talkback with board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, Lillie Rosenthal, DO.


Harlem Movie Night: What The Health
Wednesday, May 22, 5:30 - 8:15 PM – Harlem
Ginjan Cafe, 85 East 125th Street
Talkback with Lillie Rosenthal, DO
$15 entrance fee includes light refreshments – register here



Lifestyle Interventions for Diabetes and Prediabetes
Friday, May 10, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM – Flatbush
SUNY Downstate Alumni Auditorium, 395 Lenox Road
$44 general access; other rates for healthcare professionals and students


Cooking With Chef Carole
Sunday, May 19, 5:00 - 6:15 PM – Live on Facebook & YouTube
Suggested donation – sign up here for a reminder and advance recipes


Plant Powered Potluck in Downtown Brooklyn
Monday, May 20, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
81 Fleet Place
FREE – register here


Plant Powered Book Club: The Proof Is In the Plants
Monday, May 20, 7:00 - 7:50 PM – Online
Suggested donation register here for a reminder


Nourish Your Mind: Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease
Wednesday, May 22, 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET – Live on Facebook & YouTube
Featuring Dean Ornish, MD
Suggested donation – register here

Check out what’s coming up this spring:





In the second session of our Nourish Your Mind brain health series, health coach Laurie Courage demonstrated easy recipes for overnight oats, tofu-veggie scrambles, and a lentil and grain soup, all while answering questions from viewers in real-time. Watch the replay


On Monday, dozens of eager participants got to virtually meet author and biochemist T. Colin Campbell, PhD, who joined our live book club discussion of The China Study, after a presentation about the book by Leah Stolar, PPMNY Lifestyle Mentor, and a discussion facilitated by Lynn Diamond, PPMNY’s Associate Network Director.” Finish that with a link to “Join our May book club!


Young mothers at Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park learned about heart health in Monday’s Food for Life class with instructor Danielle Medina and her daughter Maya. Participants learned how to manage their blood pressure through plant-based nutrition and were introduced to various heart-healthy recipes.




NYC to Launch Plant-Based Culinary Program at Rikers and Juvenile Justice Centers

New York City is providing plant-based culinary training for foodservice workers at Rikers Island and two juvenile justice centers. This initiative, in partnership with Hot Bread Kitchen, will improve meal quality by teaching staff how to prepare plant-based meals with a focus on whole foods. The training program aligns with the city’s efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions through shifting towards sustainable, plant-based food services. Learn more



National Health Association To Host Virtual Conference on Plant-Based Nutrition

Discover the latest research and evidence-based practices in whole food, plant-based nutrition, presented by the top experts in the field through the National Health Association’s annual conference. Access the conference virtually from June 27 - 30 for $97 which includes a fantastic line-up of speakers, cooking demonstrations, fitness sessions, and other interactive activities online. Register here (Please note that PPMNY receives a portion of your ticket fee.)




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