Monday, May 17, 2010

Meatless Mondays

Vegetarianism has been a way of life throughout the world for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and it is spreading.

Even if you are a carnivore, there is no reason why you shouldn't give your digestive system a break, at least once a week, by eating a vegetarian meal. Yes, some vegetarian recipes are high in kilojoules and fats, but a low fat vegetarian meal (or diet) is easy to achieve.

A balanced vegetarian diet tends to be low in saturated fats and high in fibre; also, because you are eating more vegetables, you get more of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs. Protein is supplied by eggs, milk, yoghurt, cheese and nuts - plus in many countries tofu, quorn and soya substitutes are readily available as ready-meals and 'in-the-raw'.

Most non-vegetarians seem to think that vegetarian food consisits of limp lettuce leaves or a plate of plain vegetables. This doesn't, indeed shouldn't, be the case. Vegetarians enjoy beans , peas, lentils, grains, nuts and seeds - they will happily eat other complex carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, bulghar wheat, couscous and potatoes too. Many enjoy eggs and dairy products.

I have fed three vegetarian family members (and many guests) on numerous occassions. My oldest daughter became an ethical vegetarian after studying philosophy at university - and remains a vegetarian twenty years later. She was not always healthy to begin with, but she has learned through experience to balance her food groups.

If you think about it, you don't have to give up much. And you will save on your budget and your health.

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