The countdown starts now: To make it easier for you to adopt a plant-based diet this holiday like wow elf names, we’ve put together 14 days of vegan recipes for you. You can start the day with our pumpkin pancakes (served with maple syrup and cinnamon) or a kale salad that is loaded up with salad ingredients and topped off with an avocado dressing. For dinner, try out our tasty tofu fajitas recipe and serve them on whole wheat tortillas.
Become a better farmer in 14 days:
1. What is a plant-based diet and why do you need it?
The term “plant-based” does not mean you have to eat only plants. The word “vegan” means that no animal products should be included in your diet. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian, however, to take these steps:
2. What are the benefits of going plant-based?
A plant-based diet will improve your health and help lose weight by cutting calories from fat and cholesterol. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and lower the risk of heart disease by reducing saturated fat intake. The meat and dairy industries promote heart disease because they cause us to eat more saturated fats, which increase the risk of heart attack. Plant-based foods can reduce our cholesterol levels, lower the risks of heart disease and diabetes, and improve mood. Plant-based diets are also better for you physically when it comes to preventing osteoporosis.
3. What should I make at home?
You don’t need a special recipe to benefit from going vegan; you can find some great recipes on our website (www.victorycafe.com) or check out Vegan with a Vengeance by John Joseph, PhD (available at http://www.amazon.com).
4. How can I get more vitamin B12?
B12 is a nutrient that is found in meat, poultry and eggs. For a long time, scientists said that vegans would be deficient in B12, but they were not; they just had lower amounts than people who ate meat. We have discovered that you can easily get vitamin B12 through fortified cereals and other fortified products (vitamin water, soy milk).
5. What about the cost of eating plant-based?
A farmer’s market is a great place to find fresh produce and you can save money on produce, but you need to be prepared to pay a little more than you would for the typical run of the mill supermarket. There are ways to save money on groceries if you eat plant-based meals: You can buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, shop at ethnic food stores (e.g., Asian Markets) or become a member of your local farmers market.
6. What are good sources of protein?
Most Americans get too much protein and that can be harmful to your health. If you are determined to get your protein from animal sources, then consider these options:
Eat eggs only occasionally because they are extremely high in cholesterol. There are good vegetable sources of protein such as peas, beans, nuts and soy foods (e.g., tofu, tempeh). You can also use veggie patties instead of meat in your burgers or eat “fake meat” made from wheat gluten.
7. Where do I get calcium?
Calcium is found in fortified juices and soy milk. You can also cook with calcium-fortified orange juice or use greens like collards, bok choy and kale.
8. What is the difference between vegetarianism and veganism?
Both vegetarians and vegans do not eat animal foods like meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. However, there are some differences:
• Vegetarians eat eggs, while vegans do not.
• Vegetarians eat dairy products, while vegans do not.
• Vegetarianism is a lifestyle, while veganism is a diet that includes no animal foods of any type (including dairy).
9. How can I get more iron?
A diet rich in iron-containing foods can help boost iron levels in the blood. Plant based foods such as beans and whole grains are great sources of iron. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber; it is insoluble fiber that binds to iron from food sources and helps your body absorb it better. This is a good way to get more iron.
10. How do I get enough zinc?
Zinc is found in legumes, yeast and beef. You can also get it from fortified cereals and soy milk. Zinc is found in meat, poultry and eggs and also in nuts, seeds and vegetables. If you need more zinc, you can easily get it from fortified foods such as cereal, orange juice and molasses. You can also add kale or collards to your diet for zinc.
We hope this helps you make some delicious changes to your diet for the holidays. As we get older, many of us seek ways to improve our quality of life and eating a plant-based diet can do just that! This year, try to choose organic and whole ingredients whenever possible when shopping at the grocery store. Instead of buying chocolate chip cookies in a package, make your own one at home by baking whole-wheat flour, flax seed meal or oat bran into a delicious cookie. Those treats will taste so good you won’t even miss the eggs or milk!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.