In the Spotlight

Russ Richards


Russ has worked for a number of years at the Better Living Center in Farmington. He has studied as a lay person for many years, diseases and the causes of these diseases and has shared his knowledge at the BLC. He has had a couple of great mentors, Dr. Agatha Thrash and Dr. Calvin Thrash.

1. How Long have you been eating plant-based? I have been vegan for the last 40 years.

2. What made you decide to go plant-based? I went vegan for my own personal health. I didn’t have any health problems at the time but I just want more overall better health.

3. What are the benefits that going plant-based have done for you? I lost a bunch of weight and had more stamina. My wife Linda’s blood pressure plummeted after eating this way.

4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of becoming plant-based? The biggest initial challenge was working through the protein myth. We are still bombarded with outdated info regarding adequate protein intake. I worked through this issue over a period of a few months, and moved to a simpler dietary of grains and veggies and fruits, with beans and some oils.
When our son came along the next year, we had only one family to model a vegan diet for us. It worked. We found it necessary to look at dietary concepts, and not listen so much to the naysayers.

5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner? For breakfast I will eat cooked greens, pinto beans, fruit and some sort of fat usually in the form of tahini. For lunch I will have vegetables with grains or bread and for dinner I eat light and will usually have fruit and toast.

6. Do you have a favorite recipe, cookbook, tip or recipe to share? Here is a recipe I have shared a lot of the years for Starr Stew

28 Oz can of tomatoes
1 3/4 cup water
5 medium potatoes
3 large carrots
2 stalks of celery
1/2 lb kale
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1 Tbl seaweed-dulse flakes or strips
Italian Seasoning to taste
4 Tbls nutritional yeast

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot
Cook until Potatoes are tender.


Add greed or red peppers, onions and/or leeks

Other greens to substitute:
broccoli, beet greens, collards, spinach, swiss chard

Basil, oregano, sage, celery flakes, etc.

This stew is very high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants.