flexitarianNewYr14

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Here is our version of another meatless meal — who knew that turnip potato soup could be sooo goood! The salad had mixed leafy greens, fresh avocado, roasted beets, goat cheese and a deliciously sweet vinagrette dressing. This is a very satisfying meal, leaving none of us feeling too full.

TurnipSoupSalad

As many Americans are catching on to the idea and benefits of Meatless Mondays or Eating Less Meat each meal, we flexitarians can raise the bar and challenge ourselves and others to reduce our meat intake by up to half or more. Cutting meat out two, three, even four days a week increases heart, health and environmental benefits rapidly and more successfully. Try this : For the next five meals you plan, take meat out of two or more and replace with an extra helping (or two) of vegetables, fruits and/or beans. You will save time and money while creating even better health and eating habits.

Recent reports indicate that 30 percent of Americans are eating less meat! This means flexitarians are on the rise and moooove!

Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.” “Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used…

via 70 Percent of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains ‘Pink Slime’.

Love this Chipotle commercial!

Here is a great article, courtesy of Mercy For Animals, about how meat affects our stress levels and moods!

“Thanks to nutrition experts and films like Forks Over Knives, we already know of the strong link between animal-based foods and preventable diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now, a groundbreaking study published in Nutritional Journal finds that meat in our diet can also affect our mood. 

 
Researchers asked nearly 40 meat-eaters to try one of three diets: all-vegetarian, some fish, or daily meat consumption. After just two weeks, the people eating a completely vegetarian diet showed a significant drop in stress, while those eating animal products did not. 
 
According to the researchers, these results “suggest that consuming a diet high in meat, fish, and poultry may negatively impact mental state.” They also advised exploring this connection further “as reductions in dietary meat [consumption] … would not only reduce health risks but could benefit the environment as well.” 
 
As science continues to shed light on the many health benefits of plant-based diets, common sense tells us that vegetarian eating is also good for the billions of animals who suffer on factory farms and in slaughterhouses each year. 
 
Ready to help animals while reaching greater levels of physical and mental health? Visit ChooseVeg.com for delicious recipes and tips on getting started.”

These are some easy ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet via www.everydayhealth.com. Enjoy!

  • Top your breakfast cereal with sliced bananas or fresh strawberries or blueberries.
  • Blend some fresh fruit, yogurt, and honey for a delicious breakfast smoothie.
  • Add vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, and peppers to an omelet.
  • Have a piece of fresh fruit with your lunch or as a snack.
  • Add a green salad to your evening meal. Simple additions like yellow peppers, tomato, or avocado can make it more interesting.
  • Use vegetables as a topping for easy meals like pizza or pasta.
  • Keep some dried fruit handy as an energy-rich snack.

Here’s a great article from Meatless Monday linking red meat to heart disease.

“Did you know that cutting back on meat can help heart health? Studies have shown that eating lots of red and processed meats (like ground beef, steak, hot dogs and cold cuts) increases your risk of heart disease. That’s because saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet can raise your body’s bad cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk.

Thankfully, even a moderate reduction in consumption can make a difference.Women especially can significantly reduce their risk for heart disease by swapping some red and processed meat with leaner protein sources like nuts and beans. That’s where Meatless Monday comes in: by going meatless one day a week you’re reducing your saturated fat intake by about 15%, which can help you maintain healthier cholesterol levels.”  Read more…

Go meatless in honor of national heart month!

Here’s a quick ‘n easy recipe I created using a chub of Quinoa Polenta. I chose the Heirloom Red & Black and fell in love with it. Slice the chub into 1/2″ thick circles. Place in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and fry/sauté over medium flame. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet. Place a fresh, ripe, juicy slice of tomato on top. Add a thin slice of fresh mozzarella (or a clump of shredded mozzarella), a few basil leaves (or thin basil shreds) and sprinkle with shaved parmesan. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and enjoy!

Variation: Instead of pan frying or sautéeing, place under broiler and brown both sides.

 

 

Use this as a main course offering two, three or more topped slices per serving. Add a small portion of chicken, beef, pork or fish on the side along with your favorite vegetable.