Yesterday we established that physically, moving 30 minutes a day is probably one of the best goals you can make for this new year. Since I am pushing HEALTH over WEIGHT LOSS this year, there is no better day than Vegan (Feast) Thursday to remind you that the single best thing you can do for your health food wise is eliminate some animal products and replace them with fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and beans. One thing that really works for me is taking a block of tofu, draining it well (I use a brick placed over a towel) and cutting it into about a dozen slices. Then I marinate it with some spices for about a half hour and grill it on the BBQ (but they easily could be baked). They only take a few minutes on each side and then I have something readily available when I am looking for some protein. I keep them on the plain side for caloric reasons, but they are super tasty with some bbq sauce, too! I have also cut my tofu into squares and covered them with sesame seeds and baked them. They go a long way like that–topping a salad or popped in a pita…or just eaten out of a bowl. I have learned that if you don’t like a vegetable, try roasting it and everything changes. Roasted brussel sprouts, and/or broccoli heads, with some olive oil and fresh garlic roasted until the edges start browning is like candy to me (and many others agree). Try any or all of the root veggies like carrots, turnips and potatoes or let your imagination run wild.
While many would like to argue with me (and do!) that we are meant to eat animals, we really aren’t. We are omnivores in that we are capable of living on just about anything, but looking at our own bodies shows us what we are really designed to eat. Our molars, for instance, are molars of herbivores as they are flat and blunt made for grinding, not gnawing and tearing. Our hands , are nimble and flexible–great for picking fruits and veggies off trees and vines–they aren’t claws designed to tear open flesh. And those designed to eat animals have short, straight intestines, made to quickly digest and rid bodies of flesh, but our intestines are long and winding slowing down the digestive process.
If we are looking to improve our health (and hence find our optimal weight) the American Dietetic Association (ADA) concluded after many, many studies, that not only is a vegetarian or vegan diet healthy, but that “vegetarians have been reported to have a lower body mass than non-vegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.”
Whether it’s Meatless Monday, or Vegan (Feast) Thursday, or any and every day, consider the above information and perhaps try a meatless meal or two. You just might be surprised at how good it feels. How do really know unless you try??