There is a lot of information about all the dangers of fast food, unhealthy grease and all the chemicals and toxins that are packed in all the food that we so willingly buy from the grocery stores. If you are finally at the point where you are starting to re-think your eating habits and lifestyle, you may also have questions about where to start.
As with any goal, it is important not to overwhelm yourself with too much information and too may action steps because that can actually lead to you feeling so overwhelmed that you just give up. An easy step to take is to just comitt to adding more plant based foods into your diet.
Getting started with a more plant-based diet
Replace one, or better yet, two to three days of your week’s meals to vegetarian options.
Food: The Meatless Monday campaign is gaining nationwide momentum as even celebrity chef and meat-lover, Mario Batali has signed on. Simply cut back on your meat intake, starting on Mondays. The site has resources, recipes, and a growing online community.
Education on Environmental Impact: Read Mark Bittman’s New York Times article, ‘Considering the Meat Guzzler‘ to see how reducing your meat intake equates to swapping your SUV for a Prius.
Add healthy meat alternatives
Tempeh, edamame beans, tofu, and seitan (wheat gluten) add texture, fiber, and healthy protein to your meal. Make sure to get organic soy products, as most commercial soy beans today are genetically engineered to feed cows.
Food: Skip frozen soy nuggets and opt for fermented soy products. Like tofu, tempeh will take in any flavor you give it. Traditionally eaten in Indonesia, you can marinate it like you would fish, letting it soak in flavors of sesame oil, tamari, and ginger, and sautéing it. Its texture makes a great meat substitute.
Soup lover? Add miso paste to make soup – it’s got live cultures beneficial for digestive health. It offers a great savory, chicken soup substitute, and even makes a great wintertime breakfast as part of the macrobiotic diet.
One product I love is Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips. Three slices are just 100 calories with 8 grams of protein, and they taste great in salads or sandwiches for a veggie BLT.
Legumes all the way
High in fiber, carbs, and protein, legumes are generally feel-good foods for satiety, balancing blood sugar, maintaining weight and energy.