iEat Green – Lacey Gaechter- Founder and President of Simple Foods & Center for a Livable Future Fellow at John Hopkins University

Lacey Gaechter is the Development & Communications Manager for Waterkeepers Chesapeake as well as President and founder of Simple Foods, an organization whose mission is to promote a diet that is healthy for people, animals, and the planet. They use education, outreach, and advocacy to encourage action on a personal level, one individual at a time. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Public Health degree in Environmental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – where she is a Center for A Livable Future – Lerner Fellow. Her professional background is primarily with environmental nonprofits, and she most recently worked on renewable energy projects on Native American reservations, especially in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. She has her Master’s in Kinesiology & Health from the University of Wyoming. Her studies focus on the similarities and differences between the tactics used by “Big Tobacco” and “Big Ag,” and the best ways to combat these tactics. She strives to advocate for an ethnical food system.


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Vanilla Chia Pudding


¼ cup chia seeds

1 tbsp pure organic maple syrup

1 cup unsweetened organic coconut milk

(you can substitute your favorite non-dairy milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

a sprinkle of cinnamon

a sprinkle of cardamom

Optional Toppings and Add-On’s

Berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

Nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds

Dried Fruit: raisins, cranberries, blueberries

1 Tbsp Peanut Butter

Sliced Banana

1 Tbsp Cacao


  1. Pour the unsweetened organic coconut milk into a large measuring cup, add the pure organic maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and shake of cinnamon and cardamom.
  2. Blend the mixture together lightly with a hand blender, to make sure the fats from the coconut milk have combined with the other ingredients to make a smooth mixture.
  3. Pour this mixture over the chia seeds in a small mixing bowl. Stir as you go.
  4. Once the mixture has been mixed together well, put a lid or covering on top of the bowl and place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and give it a stir. The chia seeds will have gelled and created a thicker mixture, more like a pudding.
  5. Put it back in the fridge for at least 30 more minutes or overnight, stirring on occasion. After the additional 30 minutes, you can adjust the flavor of the pudding by adding more maple syrup, cinnamon, or cardamom if necessary.
  6. Once the chia pudding has set, you can add your choice of toppings. Add any additional spices to taste.

Optional: If you would like to experiment with other flavors, you can mash some berries in a bowl and add them to the pudding, or cacao, or banana, or peanut butter. Have fun with it!