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Meatless Meals Benefit Your Health

A ''Flexitarian'' Diet Meets in the Middle

84 Comments




 
1/14/2010 8:08:38 PM

MYMISSION2's SparkPage
This article was very enlightening and encouraging. Since not all of want to be vegetarians, it really showed how we can still reap the benefits of healthier eating by cutting back the meat portions.
SUSHAH
10/28/2009 6:21:12 PM

I consider myself a flexitarian. It is a dietary lifestyle that fits my nutritional needs and allows me a wider range of options when planning my daily menu.
10/1/2009 6:30:21 PM

BEINGHAPPY1's SparkPage
I really enjoyed this article, I have become what I like to call a "Lunch Time Vegetarian" I don't eat meat for lunch, partially to save money but also to encourage myself to try new foods and methods of cooking and preparing foods. It has been yummy.
10/1/2009 3:35:00 PM

GIANTPANDA's SparkPage
The Physicians For Social Responsibilty have held a 21-day vegan challenge with support to help. There are so many health benefits to meatless meals. My health improved immediately as I moved toward the mostly vegan diet. There are so many great recipe books. The latest one in my collection is by Mark Reinfeld. Very true about saving money on a vegan diet as well. It's amazing.
10/1/2009 3:05:42 PM

WOODLANDMYST's SparkPage
There's lots of great vegetarian cookbooks out there - give it a go! We're vegan (2 yrs) after being vegetarian for 3 years. I make all our meals from scratch and we enjoy a wide variety of foods. I like trying new recipes. In fact, my husband says that I don't make some of his favorites more often.
10/1/2009 2:29:50 PM

LEONALIONESS's SparkPage
To the poster asking about seitan, yup, it's made of wheat and is an EXCELLENT source of protein. It's made from wheat gluten which is the protein part of wheat. Low cal, low fat and nutrient dense. I think seitan is my favorite "meaty" food. I make my own (it's really easy - especially if you use a 'quick' recipe that uses gluten flour) and use it for stroganoff, 'roast' with carrots/potatoes/gravy and peas, in pot pies, stir fry ... really, you can use seitan anywhere you'd use meat.

For chili and things like stuffed peppers, I like using ground walnuts or bulgar wheat. I've made really delish "neatloafs" with ground walnuts as the meaty texture (plus mushrooms, rice, tons of veggies, etc.) and also made some fantastic walnut balls in a vegan bechamel sauce. Mmmm. For chili, I tend to just use bulgar. It's cheap, a good source of protein and fiber and adds a hearty texture to the chili.

Oh, and another poster mention textured vegetable protein. TVP is, in fact, soy based. It's delicious and I don't have any issues using it but for those intolerant to soy, give it a miss.

I've been vegan going on 7 years now (veg for about 4 before that) and I couldn't be happier. I didn't do it for my health, for me it was ethics, but the health benefits are a nice benefit. I'm happy to see so many willing to eat less meat. It's so much better for you, the environment AND the animals. Every bit helps. :)
10/1/2009 1:55:51 PM

MARINASHU's SparkPage
KRISTALSHYT, the wheat product you're probably thinking of is seitan, which is made from wheat gluten and has a solid, chewy texture. I'm not sure whether or not it's a good source of protein, but if tofu is too soft for you and you're craving something chewy this might be a good source!

I was a vegetarian for a few years (mostly for $$$ reasons--do you meat eaters not realize how expensive that stuff is??? You could get like ten pounds of rice for the cost of one pound of meat!) but now I eat chicken and fish occasionally, mostly when I'm eating out. One thing I never realized before going vegetarian was how FAST meat fills me up! If I eat more than six ounces, even if I'm not eating anything else, I feel so bloated. Especially beef--I'll have a hamburger a few times a year, but every time I just feel so icky afterwards it keeps me away.
SIRIRADHA
10/1/2009 12:47:08 PM

Yeah! Come and check out the Flexitarian Team!
10/1/2009 12:46:26 PM

ZAZABOOTY's SparkPage
I think a lot of people have the misconception that you can't get all of your nutrients without meat. Thank you for this article--it's helping to dispel some of those faulty beliefs. I'd also like to point out that eating a meatless diet is healthier for the environment as well!
10/1/2009 11:13:31 AM

KRISTALSHYT's SparkPage
My grandmother has been a vegetarian, except on holidays - she'll have turkey for Thanksgiving & Christmas, for pretty much her whole life. As a result I learned some great meatless recipes from her. And as a testament to the health benefits, she's in her early 90s & is amazingly fit for her age, though part of that is due to her physical activity level as well.

To the person who asked for non-soy protein options, there are tons. I'll admit it's too bad this article didn't delve into the possibilities. There is textured vegetable protein you can get - I'm not sure if it includes soy or not, but I think it doesn't. Also there are hempseed derived proteins you can get if you don't mind the flavor... & then there's my grandmother's favorite. It's derived from wheat somehow. I'm honestly not sure how it's done, but she makes wonderful "mock turkey" with gravy using it. I've also heard about rice derived protein options as well. It could help to go to your local health-food/organic market & ask about it. Usually when I do that I end up with some wonderful answers.
8/27/2009 10:03:57 AM

MOMMYSARA605's SparkPage
I'm definitely a flexitarian. I only eat meat maybe 3 or 4 times a month, and that includes fish. I prefer to fill up on vegetables and whole grains, sometimes a good tofu (which I'm still learning how to prepare myself), beans, and I keep my cheese to single servings of 1oz and try to not have it every day. It's a quick and easy protein, but I'm in a discovery mode to find as many quick vegetarian protein as I can for both meals and snacking.
8/27/2009 7:04:47 AM

KATELJM's SparkPage
Just remember, many of the older vegetarian cookbooks use lots of unhealthy fats.

On recipezaar.com, many of my biggest surprise hits were vegetarian dishes (in which we actually preferred the meatless version to the carnivore version). I love to discover vegetarian recipes that carnivores request as repeats.
8/15/2009 2:49:02 PM

CHOCOLATEJAZZE's SparkPage
Try it you all. I tried it and so far its only been a week, but I've lost four pounds. I eat seafood, crab burgers, shrimp, baked fish, etc. I really didn't crave any meat. My stomach hasn't hurt in the week. Before, I was an avid meat eater and would suffer physically. Now, I have more energy and my digestive system feels great.
5/6/2009 5:54:32 PM

FAYEBYNOE's SparkPage
I am a total meat lover but after reading this article im gonna have 2 meatless days in the week..I guess it wont hurt to try
5/4/2009 9:20:12 AM

TTAYLOR13's SparkPage
I found that after a couple of days of eating more healthily and just happening to not have any meat, I stopped wanting any. I've found that whereas before I'd look at a steak or a burger and really want it, now it just doesn't look appealing to me any more! I don't know why, but I just don't want to eat meat any more - it wasn't even a concious decision. I do still eat seafood though, so I'm not a complete vegetarian, and I still eat eggs and dairy products (no cheese though because I've just never really liked it) so I easily get my protein requirements. I feel healthier without meat, and I don't miss it at all!

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