Basically, the series will involve giving a 30-45 minute presentation about various nutrition and wellness topics, followed by me playing "chef" via a cooking demo. Iron chef retirement edition anyone?! :)
|The set-up for today's cooking demo of Asian Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing|
|Explaining the ingredients...|
So, anyway, let's talk shortly about plant-powered nutrition...
What does it mean to eat plant-based?
"Plant based" is a general term to describe an eating plan that is based upon whole and natural plant-based foods rather than foods that are processed or animal-based foods.
Emphasis is on fruits, vegetables, unprocessed whole grains, legumes, beans and plant-based proteins. A plant-based diet does not strictly exclude animal-products, but the emphasis remains on plants.
What are some of the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet?
Research has shown that a plant-based diet can impart the following benefits if followed on a consistent basis:
- Lower triglyceride levels
- Less inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased body weight and BMI
- Decreased risk of death from chronic diseases such as heart disease
- Improved insulin sensitivity & better blood sugar control in patients with diabetes
People who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a 20% reduced risk of heart disease and a 27% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, especially stroke.
Further research shows that each 10-gram increase in daily fiber from sources such as whole grains is associated with a 27% decreased risk of dying from heart disease.
What types of plant-based diets exist?
Primary Plant Based: Plants are the main focus but there is no strict exclusion of any animal products.
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian: Excludes meat but includes dairy and eggs.
Lacto-Vegetarian: Excludes meat and eggs but includes dairy products.
Vegan: Strict exclusion of all animal-based products, including meat, dairy and eggs.
How do I get started? What will I eat?
Most people fear what they will give have to give up in following a plant-based diet rather than focus on what they can gain. That being said, there are many meat and dairy alternatives on the market that can ease the transition to a plant-based diet:
Soy-based cheeses (bricks, slices, or shredded)
Soy, rice or almond milk
Tofu (silken, firm, or extra-firm)
Tempeh (fermented soy)
Seitan (wheat protein)
Edamame (soy bean)
Nuts & Seeds
Beans & Legumes
Whole grain bread
Also, check out this great article for some of the top vegan-vegetarian protein sources!
My biggest tip for making the transition? Focus on adding plants into your diet rather than on removing animal-products. Experiment with vegetarian and vegan dishes throughout the week. Choose to go meat-free for one meal per day or one day per week and see where that takes you!
Honoring "Meatless Mondays" is one great way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Check out their website for a lot of great recipe inspiration: meatlessmondays.com
Cooking Demo: Asian Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing
Recipe From Once Upon a Chef
Whether you choose to eat a plant-based diet or not, be kind and open to change. Be curious. Stop striving for perfection and instead focus on improvement!