Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fat update

It is difficult to wade through all the fad diets that appear on the Internet. Some promise weight-loss, getting rid of belly fat, weight-gain & more. We spend a lot of time worrying about what to eat. We look for “super foods” to add to our diet. We restrict nutrients by eating foods based on what diets celebrities are using at the time. We also believe what the government recommends each year. Just look at the non-fat diet craze of the 1980’s. When will we learn?

We have discussed fat in our diets several times. We learned that the non-fat diet fad did not help obesity or our health. Actually, it caused problems due to fact that our body needs fat to work properly. The Government’s yearly diet guidelines, 2015-2020, includes the following:

A Healthy Eating Pattern Includes: 

  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds
  • Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.

Then in 2016 the headlines screamed….”Eat Bacon, Butter & Eggs Every Day” This next article is very interesting. They quote my favorite author.

Whole milk is okay. Butter and eggs too. What’s next — bacon? Good article.We asked him, (Michael Pollen), to elaborate on his famous instruction to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” He writes: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. All you need to know. Yes, we constantly divide the nutritional landscape into good and evil nutrients. There are several problems with this manichaen approach to food, but one is that, as soon as you demonize one nutrient — say, fat — you give a free pass to another, supposedly less-evil nutrient — carbs. What I call the Snackwell’s phenomenon, after that Nabisco line of no-fat junk food in the 1980s. Since these cookies, crackers and chips didn’t contain any of the evil nutrients, people felt they could binge on them. This is story of the low-fat campaign writ small: consumption of fat in absolute terms remained steady while consumption of supposedly innocent carbs skyrocketed. Nutritionism is a great way to sell food, since you can market the absence of evil nutrients or the presence of blessed ones, but its not a good way to eat. Which is why we got fat during the years of the low-fat campaign.” He is so right about labeling ingredients “evil” or “good”. This is exactly what happened to fat. It is also a brilliant way to sell food. Think about how many “super foods” have popped up in the last 5 years. How many did you buy based on the marketing? Acai berries, kale & quinoa are great examples of this.

I believe that the typical American feels that in all things, including medications, if one is good then 10 are better! More is just simply more. So if an “evil” food is bad then the “blessed” foods can be eaten all day! Moderation is the key.

Old ways Mediterranian pyramid

So what is new with fat? Well, a new study has been published in The Lancet, regarding weight-loss & eating fats. The reason I found this fascinating is because the study was done with the Mediterranean diet. You can read the actual study here:  Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial  The bottom line to this study is called the Interpretation: 

Interpretation: “A long-term intervention with an unrestricted-calorie, high-vegetable-fat Mediterranean diet was associated with decreases in bodyweight and less gain in central adiposity compared with a control diet. These results lend support to advice not restricting intake of healthy fats for bodyweight maintenance.”

What this means to us is that healthy fats like olive oil & nuts will not cause weight gain or “central adiposity” which means weight around the middle or waist. 

From U.S.News Health Care…  Healthy Fats in Mediterranean Diet Won’t Boost Weight …June 7, 2016: “That’s good news for people who’d prefer to try the Mediterranean diet — which includes healthy fats — over a diet that’s low in fat. And the study authors suggest that current health guidelines may be creating an unnecessary fear of these healthful fats.

“More than 40 years of nutritional policy has advocated for a low-fat diet, but we’re seeing little impact on rising levels of obesity,” said study lead author Dr. Ramon Estruch, of the University of Barcelona in Spain.

“Our study shows that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable fats such as olive oil and nuts had little effect on body weight or waist circumference compared to people on a low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet has well-known health benefits and includes healthy fats, such as vegetable oils, fish and nuts,” Estruch explained in a journal news release.

However, he also pointed out that not all fats are created equal. “Our findings certainly do not imply that unrestricted diets with high levels of unhealthy fats such as butter, processed meat, sweetened beverages, deserts or fast-foods are beneficial,” Estruch added.” This last paragraph is very important. Read it again 🙂 

From Live science….Eating Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat, Study FindsBy Sara G. Miller, Staff Writer | “It seems logical to think that eating a high-fat diet would tip the scale upward, but a new study suggests that might not be the case. What’s more, eating more of certain types of fats may help move the scale in the other direction.

Men and women in the study who followed a high-fat, Mediterranean diet that was rich in either olive oil or nuts lost more weight and reduced their waist circumference more than the people in the study who were simply instructed to reduce their fat intake, according to the study.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fats and plant proteins, has been linked in previous studies to a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes — two conditions that are also linked to obesity.”……….People should focus more on eating healthy foods, rather than worrying about dietary fats, Mozaffarian told Live Science. The new study may in fact have underestimated the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, Mozaffarian added. Because the study took place in Spain, where people already eat a Mediterranean-style diet, there may not have been as big a change in eating patterns as there would have been if people had shifted from an American-style diet, for example, he said.

Even though this post is about fat, it is also about eating a Mediterranean diet which includes exercise, community & meals with others. It is a lifestyle. I can’t stress enough that the closer to this healthy plant based diet & lifestyle that you get, your immune system will thank you.

Let’s end with my favorite Michael Pollen quote: “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Resources: Here are a few links that I thought you would benefit from. I included the coconut pudding because it is delicious!

 

Take With a Grain of Salt.

salt photoAccording to the FDA, the average American consumes 3,400 mgm of sodium per day. This is equal to approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. 75% of this comes from added salt in processed food & food prepared in restaurants . The FDA is asking the food & restaurant industry to voluntarily cut the amount of salt in their products over the next 2 years. The target is to reduce the consumers average intake from 3,400 mgm to 2,300 mgm per day.

The reason behind this? FDA issues draft guidance to food industry for voluntarily reducing sodium in processed and commercially prepared food 

“Americans consume almost 50 percent more sodium than what most experts recommend. One in three individuals has high blood pressure, which has been linked to diets high in sodium and is a major risk factor cause of heart disease and stroke. That number climbs to one in two African Americans and even includes one in 10 children aged 8-17. While a majority of Americans reports watching or trying to reduce added salt in their diets, the deck has been stacked against them. The majority of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, not the salt shaker.”

Salt contains the electrolyte/mineral sodium as well as chloride. The body needs sodium to control the volume of blood by attracting & holding water. This maintains your blood pressure. Sodium controls the total amount of water in & outside of your cells, maintaining fluid balance. It is also important in how muscles & nerves function.

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure in some people. This in turn can lead to heart disease. Low sodium levels are uncommon & are usually caused by diarrhea, malnutrition & heart failure.

This article, FDA takes aim at sodium in packaged & prepared foodson the Mayo Clinic website is especially informative. Take time to read the entire article. Here are two excerpts: Efforts to reduce sodium intake over the past 40 years have been mainly educational and are not successful. Americans are still consuming too much sodium, approximately 1.5 times more than they should be. Approximately three-quarters of the sodium in Americans’ diets comes from sodium added to foods during manufacturing and at restaurants. Therefore, lowering most everyone’s intake of sodium must involve those preparing commercial foods. Why do packaged and restaurant foods have so much sodium? Sodium or salt in food limits bacterial growth, adds stability and enhances flavor.”

“There has been controversy over lowering sodium intake. A 2013 Institute of Medicine report confirmed a positive relationship between higher levels of sodium intake and the risk of heart disease. It also found both substantial evidence of population benefit and no evidence of harm associated with reductions in sodium intake down to 2,300 mg a day.”

In this article it states that salt is used to enhance flavor. When coupled with fat & sugar it not only enhances flavor, it is also the reason we keep eating processed foods & why we keep going back to our favorite fast food places. The “triple whammy” 🙂

I have included a number of resources about sodium research & the controversy surrounding lowering the recommended amount to 2,300 mgm per day. Even more controversial is the American Heart Associations recommendation of 1500 mgm per day. After wading through all the articles & research I have listed, I have come to the following conclusions to help you to decide how much salt to use.

The recommendation by the FDA to lower the salt intake of Americans to 2,300 mgm/day is based on good, sound, research. The Standard American Diet, SAD, has been linked to chronic diseases for some years now. The culprits appear to be high amounts of sodium, sugar & fats in packaged & prepared foods. The key to this recommendation is that it is for the average American.

People with high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes etc. would need to lower their intake to 1,500 – 2300 mgm per day or to what their health care team recommends based on their medical history. Based on research, 1500 mgm per day is too low for the average person. 

Because I teach & believe that we need to take responsibility for our health by being informed consumers, The Harvard School of Public Health article,  The new salt controversy , is the best article to explain this new recommendation. Take time to read it.

Our bodies need sodium; remember what I said in the first part of the post? ~Salt contains the electrolyte/mineral sodium as well as chloride. The body needs sodium to control the volume of blood by attracting & holding water. This maintains your blood pressure. Sodium controls the total amount of water in & outside of your cells, maintaining fluid balance. It is also important in how muscles & nerves function.~ So this is not an all or nothing sort of decision. You need sodium. Going on a “salt free” diet is not the answer. 

As informed consumers, we have many options already available to us. Now, no shaking of heads & putting hands over your ears, I know you have heard this all before 🙂

  • Salt is sodium chloride, whether it is Himalayan, Sea Salt, Kosher, Celtic, or Table salt (refined salt). It all contains sodium.  The SaltWorks® Gourmet Salt Guide, & 10 Salts to Know 
  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
  • Read the nutrition labels! How much Sodium is in each serving?
  • Check the ingredient list. 
  • Eat a plant based diet. All whole foods have a natural amount of sodium in them. They are not the problem.
  • Either use less salt in your cooking or none at all. Use more spices for flavor.
  • If you use salt in your cooking then do not put the salt shaker on the table. Put veggie pepper or lemon pepper out for use.
  • If you don’t salt when you cook, don’t put the salt shaker on the table during the meal; put out your custom made spice bottle. It can have a touch of salt in the mixture.
  • Mix your favorite spices into a shaker bottle for use in cooking and on the table. 14 Homemade Spice Blends 
  • Visit your favorite restaurants as a treat & enjoy the food. There are many ways to have a healthy meal out. Here are just a few ideas. If you want to have control over the food ordered, then choose from their “lite” menu. If they don’t have one then ask for a healthier version by asking to have the protein portion grilled or baked rather than fried. Order your salad dressing & sauces on the side so you have control over the amounts used on your dishes. If you eat out once every 2 weeks or once a month, then enjoy what you order without worrying. Fast Food Nutrition  Fast Food Restaurants……..“Select from the list of fast food restaurants below to view the nutrition facts for that restaurant.” Click on the link to see the large selection of fast food restaurants.

The Untied States Healthful Food Council  states: “…… the average American adult buys a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times a week, and more than 30 percent of children eat fast food on any given day.” Good reason for the FDA to wade in on this issue of salt in prepared foods.

Once again, moderation is the word. If you have a question regarding salt intake, please email me.

No Blog post next week, June 20th. I will be on vacation. I will be back with a new subject the following week of June 27th. Until then, hide that salt shaker & replace it with your very own spice & herb blend!

Resources:

Becoming a Healthy Vegan.

Becoming a vegan is simple; quit eating all animal products. Becoming a healthy vegan is a bit more complicated. As with any way of eating, we must take care in our nutritional choices.

A cupcake, candy bar, cookies, breads, pasta dishes, & more can be vegan. Not all vegan products are necessarily the healthiest of choices. In general you should follow the same dietary suggestions as anyone else. No alcohol, avoid processed foods, read the labels, avoid added sugars, eat a plant based diet, exercise etc.

In my opinion there are 2 types of vegans; those looking for a healthier way of eating & those who embrace the healthy, compassionate, vegan lifestyle. Both are wonderfully healthy ways to live. In the second type, embracing the vegan lifestyle also means compassion towards animals. Here are a few examples.

  • No honey: as it exploits the bees.
  • No leather goods: buying leather perpetuates the abuse of animals.
  • No ridding of horses, mules or any other animal: exploits the animal & can lead to abuse & injuries.
  • Racing of dogs, horses & other animals: also exploits the animal & can lead to abuse & injuries.

I am going to concentrate on the vegan diet, not the lifestyle. Among famous vegans are doctors, athletes, artists, actors & great thinkers. From their examples, we know that being a vegan can be a healthy choice. We just need to understand what a healthy vegan diet looks like so we get all the nutrients our body needs to function.

This is the vegan pyramid from: Ordinary Vegan 

OV_FoodPyramid-1130

I like this particular pyramid because it has daily servings for each food group. Yet my favorite way of looking at any diet is on a plate 🙂 Both of these graphics can be downloaded to print out for your frig at the link I provided.

Here is a healthy Vegan Power Plate from: Ordinary Vegan  

vegan-power-plate-680

The concerns people voice about being vegan are: where they will get their protein, calcium & Omega 3’s from. In reality the only concern is Vitamin B12.

Protein can be found in nearly all plant foods in varying amounts. From the same website, Ordinary Vegan, is this wonderful comparison chart & information about protein sources:So how do these seeds compare? Here is a chart for my favorite seeds and vegan protein information for all the foods we love to eat on a plant-based diet. For a print friendly version, click on the website link above & go to the bottom of the page.

My Favorite Seeds Comparison Chart (1 tablespoon)

FLAX SEEDS                       CHIA SEEDS                        HEMP SEEDS

Omega-3s                2300 mg                                2400 mg                                1000 mg
Omega-6                  600 mg                                   800 mg                                 2500 mg
Protein                      2 grams                                  2.5 grams                              3.3 grams
Fiber                          3 grams                                  5 grams                                 0.3 grams
Calories                    55 calories                             60 calories                              57 calories

Vegan Protein in Vegetables, Grains, Legumes, Fruits and Healthy Fats

Vegetables
1 medium avocado – 4.2 grams

1 medium artichoke – 3.4 grams
6 spears of asparagus – 2.1 grams
1 cup broccoli – 5 grams
1 cup Brussels sprouts – 3.9 grams
2 cups raw spinach – 1.8 grams
2 cups cooked kale – 5 grams
1 cup boiled peas – 8.5 grams
1 cup cooked sweet potato – 5 grams
1 cup bok choy – 2.6 grams
2 cups of butternut squash – 1.8 grams
1 cup cooked cauliflower – 2.2 grams
1 cup celery – 1.2 grams
1 large ear of yellow corn – 4.6 grams
1/2 cup raw mushrooms – 1 gram
1 medium baked potato – 4.3 grams
1 medium sweet potato – 2.2 grams
1 medium zucchini – 2.4 grams

Fruit
1 cup of  pitted chopped dates – 3.6 grams

1 cup of Guava – 4.2 grams
1 nectarine – 1.5 grams
1 cup cherries  – 1.4 grams
1 cup diced cherimoya – 2.5 grams
1 cup fresh breadfruit – 2.3 grams
1 cup of grapes – 1 gram
1 cup mulberries – 2 grams
1 medium orange – 1.2 grams
1 cup of fresh passionfruit – 5.1 grams
1 plum – 1 gram
1 pomegranate – 4.7 grams
1 small box raisins (1.5 ounces) – 1.3 grams
1 cup raspberries – 1.4 grams
1 tomato – 1 gram
1 medium slice of watermelon – 1.7 grams

Legumes
• 1 cup soybeans – 28 grams (1 cup tofu – 22 grams, 1 cup tempeh – 30 grams) Organic only

• 1 cup lentils – 18 grams
• 1 cup black turtle beans – 39 grams
• 1 cup garbanzo beans (and hummus) – 14.5 grams
• 1 cup pinto or kidney beans – 13-15 grams

Nuts and Seeds
1 oz. cashews – 4.4 grams

2 tablespoons Hempseed – 6.6 grams
2 tablespoons Chia seeds – 4 grams
1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams,
3 tablespoons of tahini – 8 grams
1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts – 5 grams
1 oz. pistachios – 5.8 grams
2 tbsp almonds – 4 grams
Nut butters – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter – 2 tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein

Tofu
1/2 cup serving firm tofu – 10 grams

1/2 cup serving  tempeh – 15 grams

Non-dairy milk
Almond milk – 1 cup gets you 1-2 grams of protein depending on how many almonds they actually use.

Grains 
Quinoa is versatile and delicious. 1 cup cooked – 8 grams.
Buckwheat – 1 cup cooked – 6 grams
Seitan, or flavored wheat gluten, has about 52 grams per cup, but it may not be a good idea to eat too much of it.
Oatmeal – 1 cup – 6 grams.
Amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran are other grains with a high protein content.
Sprouted grain bread products – buns, tortillas, bread. Pack a sandwich or a wrap and you’ll get 4-5 grams from the bread alone, but always check the ingredients to make sure there isn’t any processed ingredients, dairy or high sodium. Better yet, make your own!

As you can see, there is no need to worry about protein. You are now asking yourself about the quality of this protein. Vegetarians & vegans will get all the amino acids that make up protein by eating a balanced diet. Meat eaters get all their amino acids, not just from meat, but by adding plant foods to their diet. 

Calcium: From Dr. Lisa Watson, ND’s website: 40 Vegan Sources of CalciumVegetables (per cup)

Bok choy (cooked) – 330 mg
Kale – 180mg
Bean sprouts – 320 mg
Spinach (cooked) – 250 mg
Collard greens (cooked) – 260 mg
Mustard greens (cooked) – 100 mg
Turnip greens (cooked) – 200 mg
Swiss chard (cooked) – 100 mg
Seaweed (Wakame) – 120mg
Okra – 130 mg
Broccoli – 45 mg
Fennel – 45 mg
Artichoke – 55 mg
Celery – 40 mg
Leeks – 55 mg

Nuts, nut butters and seeds

Almonds (1/4 cup) – 95 mg
Brazil nuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Hazelnuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Almond butter (1 tbsp) – 43 mg
Sesame seeds (1 tbsp) – 63 mg
Tahini (1 tbsp) – 65 mg

Grains

Cereals (calcium fortified, ½ cup) – 250 to 500 mg
Amaranth (cooked, ½ cup) – 135 mg
Brown rice (cooked, 1 cup) – 50 mg
Quinoa (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg

Legumes and beans

Chickpeas (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg
Pinto beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 75 mg
Soy beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 200 mg
Tofu (soft or firm, 4 oz) – 120 – 400mg
Tempeh (1 cup) – 150 mg
Navy beans (1 cup) – 110 mg
White beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 140 mg

Fruit (per cup)

Figs (dried) – 300 mg
Apricots (dried) – 75mg
Kiwi – 60mg
Rhubarb (cooked) – 350 mg
Orange – 70 mg
Prunes – 75 mg
Blackberries – 40 mg

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp) – 135 mg

So, no problem getting enough calcium either 🙂 It is absorbed more efficiently from whole foods rather than in a supplement. Even if you are eating a Mediterranean or vegetarian diet the lists above are helpful.

Omega 3’s. Scroll back up to the Seeds Comparison Chart. Omega 3’s are listed first.

This next chart is from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Click here for a printable chart: Better Omega 3’s Please. 

Infographic-Omega-3

Vitamin B12: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a great page about vitamin B12 & vegans. Click here for the entire article: Vitamin B12: A Simple Solution “For individuals following a diet free of all animal products, vitamin B12 needs can easily be met by consuming a variety of vegan foods. Fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soymilk, and fortified meat analogues contain a reliable source of the vitamin.4 Nutritional yeast, such as Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, is also a reliable source. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts Label or the ingredient list to ensure you are receiving the active form of vitamin B12, called cobalamin or cyanocobalamin. Most common multivitamins, from Flintstones to One-A-Day to Stress Tabs, also contain B12……..The recommended dietary allowance in adults is 2.4 micrograms per day,”

Common Sources of B12 in a Vegan Diet

 

Serving  

Amount

Total cereal 3/4 cup 6.0 mcg
Product 19 cereal 1 cup 6.0 mcg
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 3/4 cup 1.5 mcg
Grape-Nuts cereal 1/2 cup 1.5 mcg
Edensoy Extra Soymilk 1 cup 3.0 mcg
Meat analogues varies 2-7 mcg
Nutritional yeast (Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, formerly T-6635+) 1 T 4.0 mcg
Sources: Pennington JAT. Bowes and Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. Lippincott, New York, 1998. VMessina V and Messina M. The Vegetarian Way. Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York, 1996.

What are the proven health benefits of a vegan diet? Here is a very good 2013 study abstract: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets“The objective of this article is to present to physicians an update on plant-based diets. Concerns about the rising cost of health care are being voiced nationwide, even as unhealthy lifestyles are contributing to the spread of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For these reasons, physicians looking for cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes are becoming more involved in helping their patients adopt healthier lifestyles. Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods. We present a case study as an example of the potential health benefits of such a diet.” Click on the link for the actual study & the conclusions. 

This list of health benefits comes from NursingDegree.net Blog: 57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan  It is a very comprehensive list. Go to the link to see the other benefits listed.

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.

  1. Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.
  2. Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
  3. Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
  4. Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.” Read more about it here.
  5. Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
  6. Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
  7. Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.
  8. Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
  9. Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
  10. Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  11. Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.

Not everyone is cut out to be a vegetarian or a vegan. It is a serious commitment to make. It is time consuming in the beginning, then it becomes easier & then it becomes your lifestyle. Give it a try for a month & see how you feel. You can start out as a vegan or you can ease into it by starting out as a vegetarian. You will see the health benefits within the first week. 

A few tips from my personal experience:

  • Don’t become a fanatic. You don’t need to convince anyone else. Being an example is far better than being rude & confrontational. I have seen a vegetarian throw a huge fit because a tiny piece of meat from a dish fell onto her plate at a restaurant. It was so embarrassing for everyone. No, it wasn’t me 🙂 Sausage-Wielding Extremists Attack Vegan Cafe In Tbilisi  On BBC this week 🙂
  • Be flexible when you go out to eat. I have never had a problem with asking for a vegan choice. Asian food is the easiest. Our local Mexican restaurant will make their dishes vegan if asked. Check out the menu on line first or ask when you get there.
  • Take a vegan entree with you when you are invited out to your family or friends for a meal. It is a rare hostess that does not welcome an additional dish to serve 🙂
  • My husband & I decided to be vegan at home & vegetarian when we eat out. Since our favorite spots serve both we can choose!
  • Don’t throw out your tried & true recipes. It is not that difficult to substitute ingredients to make the recipe vegan. Here is an example for eggs: Ordinary Vegan Plant-Based Egg Substitutes

9-Plant-Based-Egg-Substitutions

To help you get started I have put together a list of resources for you. They have nutrition information, grocery lists, transitioning advice, recipes & additional resources on their pages. Start with the Ordinary VeganI Love Vegan pages. They are the most helpful to get you going on this new path!

Resources:

I hope this gives you the incentive to at least try a vegetarian or vegan day a few times a week……..until next time…..Mary 🙂