Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Variety Adds
Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Variety Adds vitality to your vegetarian meals. one of the most perplexing thoughts a person has when they transition to vegetarianism is keeping their diet filled with a variety of fun, diverse, and nutrient-dense foods.” (“Variety in your Diet – Right Hill”) It can sometimes feel like you are cutting many options out since you are no longer consuming meat, and it may seem you are losing even more options if you have also decided to cut dairy and eggs from your diet as well. With a little creativity, planning, and forethought, you might be surprised how much variety you can achieve with your new vegetarian diet – even more than your meat-eating days! (“Variety in your Diet – Right Hill”)
There are some simple substitutions you can experiment with and use as substitutions in your favorite meat recipes. Tempeh, which is cultured soybeans with a chewy texture; tofu (freezing and then thawing gives tofu a meaty texture; the tofu will turn slightly off white in color); and wheat gluten or seitan (made from wheat and has the texture of meat; available in health food or Asian stores) are all great items to start with. (“Variety in your Diet – Right Hill”)
Milk and other dairy products can also be easily replaced with vegetarian-friendly items. Try soy milk, soy margarine, and soy yogurts, which can be found in health food or Asian food stores. (“Ideas For Variety in Vegetarian Meals”) You can also make nut milks by blending nuts with water and straining, or rice milks by blending cooked rice with water.
An effective way to introduce beans to the diet is to use them instead of meat in favorite dishes, like casseroles and chili. Because of their many health benefits, beans should be eaten often. Some notable examples are chickpeas, split peas, haricot, lentils (red, green, or brown), and kidney beans. (“Vegetarian Diet Reviews”)
Many nuts and seeds are available both in and out of the shell, whole, halved, sliced, chopped, raw, or roasted. Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds are some easy-to-find favorites. Sunflower and sesame seeds are excellent choices for spicing up salads and other vegetable dishes. (“Variety in your Diet – Right Hill”)
And do not worry that you will have to give up your favorite Mexican, Italian, or other favorite dishes now that you are vegetarian. Many of them can still be enjoyed and only require slight variations. (“Ideas For Variety In Vegetarian Meals”) Some popular and easily convertible dishes include pasta with tomato sauce, bean burritos, tacos, tostadas, pizza, baked potatoes, vegetable soups, whole grain bread and muffins, sandwiches, macaroni, stir-fry, all types of salad, veggie burgers with French fries, beans and rice, bagels, breakfast cereals, pancakes, and waffles just to name a few. (“Blogger – Vegetarians”) The freezer sections of most big grocery stores carry an assortment of vegetarian convenience foods such as veggie bacon, burgers, and breakfast sausages.
So, get in the kitchen and let your creativity lead the way! You will be pleasantly surprised just how much more variety your diet will have as a result. (“Variety in your Diet – Right Hill”)
Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health
We have all been there. We have just come in from a long day at work and the last thing on our mind is taking the time to prepare a healthy, nutritionally sound vegetarian meal. But choosing a refined or enriched carbohydrate over the beneficial carbohydrates that a solid, well-balanced vegetarian diet offers defeats the purpose of your decision to live a vegetarian lifestyle, and that is for optimal health. Consuming refined carbohydrates presents different hazards to your health. (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”)
The over-consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars can result in excess insulin in the bloodstream. In the presence of excess insulin, glucose, the blood sugar, is converted to triglycerides and stored in the fat cells of the body. (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”)
According to one study, consuming refined grains may also increase your risk of getting stomach cancer. The research found that a high intake of refined grains could increase a patient’s risk of stomach cancer.
“In addition, refined sugars and carbohydrates have been implicated as a contributing factor in increased gallbladder disease, according to a recent study.” (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”) It showed a direct link between the number of sugars eaten and the incidence of gallbladder disease. Another study looked at the role carbohydrates play in the incidence of heart disease. The researchers noted that as carbohydrate consumption increased, so did the level of triglycerides in the blood of the participants. Diets low in fat and high in carbohydrates not only dramatically raised triglyceride levels but significantly reduced levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”)
“And lastly, refined white sugars increase the rate at which your body excretes calcium, which is directly connected to your skeletal health.” (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”) Simply put, as your sugary and refined carbohydrate intake increases, your bone density decreases.
So do not be lazy! “Do your body right and take the time to prepare a nutrient-dense and delicious vegetarian meal.” (“Lazy Vegetarians Who Choose the Wrong Carbs Risk Health …”) Your body, and your conscience, will thank you for it eventually.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Why Did Humans Start Eating Meat?”
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