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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Best Vegetarian Meals, and What They Can Do for Your Health

Include these Foods for Best Vegetarian Meals

The best vegetarian meals are sought out for more reasons than only health.  Feeling more invigorated is certainly a prime reason.  But there are also moral, cultural and religious reasons for opting for vegetarian diets.  But for whatever the motivation might be, you should be aware of what you may have to take nutritionally to make up for what might be lacking in the diet.

Best Vegetarian Meals

It is not a good idea to ignore what might be missing in your new diet.  There is a modified vegetarian diet called the flexitarian diet (more about that in the video at the bottom).  It is also plant-based, but would allow small quantities of needed foods like dairy, meat, fish and poultry.  But speak with a doctor or registered dietitian for a plan to be sure your dietary needs are met.

When on any diet plan for any fast healthy meals, it is imperative that you meet all of the nutritional requirements you require.  As with any diet, this means using a wide variety of foods in multiple food groups, with fruits and vegetables be sure to use multiple colors.  Foods from only one group will not provide all the nutrients necessary for optimum health.

Your Best Vegetarian Meals Must Make Up for Lost Nutrients

Areas in the vegetarian diet that you may need to consider to supplement will be omega-3 fats, protein, zinc and vitamin B-12.

Omega-3 fatty acids.  These fats are necessary for a well-rounded diet, but some vegetarians do not eat fish.  This is especially true of nutritious salmon, as it is an important nutritional source. Plant based omega-3 might seem like an option, but in many instances they do not convert well in the system.  Fortified products or vitamin supplementation may be necessary.

The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet

The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Protein.  There are options for plant-based protein in lentils and legumes, whole grains, nuts rich in protein and soy products.  This might not be enough for people needing high amounts of protein, such as body builders or high-level athletes.  Using supplements or a large assortment of these foods will be needed.

Zinc. There are many plant-based sources of zinc, but like iron is not absorbed easily into the system from plants as from animals.  If dairy is part of your vegetarian diet cheese is a good source.  Plants that are good for zinc are legumes, wheat germ, nuts, soy, and whole grains.

Vitamin B-12. This is one particular vitamin almost exclusive to animal products, and it is important for producing red blood cells.  Anemia is one result of B-12 deficiency.  Fortified soy products, B-12 supplements and vitamin-enriched cereals are important dietary options.

Have a Diet Strategy When Looking for the Best Vegetarian Meals

If this diet is what you choose, get into it with a precise strategy.  Those deficiencies mentioned above can be compensated for, but you must be totally aware of their consequences.   There are ways to take planning these meals out of your hands, like meal delivery plans, (see  There are vegetarian meal planning options that leave your meal planning to dietitians.  Check out the pages on this site for more information if you’re searching for the top vegetarian meal plans.


Why Be a Vegetarian- Various Things to Consider

Why Be a Vegetarian- Is it for You?

These are a few reasons to consider this diet plan, so there are different reasons for why be a vegetarian.  People that opt for vegetarian meal plans have different reasons, or a combination of more than one.  Here we would like to focus on three of the main arguments for a vegetarian diet.  Some are very applicable, some have some fact but their argument is somewhat hard to fully buy into, and some reasons are more humorous than credible.  So let’s examine some of the reasons, and see what stands up to hard evidence. For more on a diet that takes vegetarianism further, read about vegan diets.

Our Three Reasons of Why Be a Vegetarian

Why Be a Vegetarian

Why Be a Vegetarian

Health Reasons. Testing has shown that vegetarians are at less risk for cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetic issues.  Also they have shown to have greater endurance and less cases of obesity.  This has been determined by those on a vegetarian diet as opposed to a standard American diet.

There probably isn’t a dietician in the United States that would dispute the fact that the American diet is way too high in animal products and not high enough in fruits and vegetables.  That is an argument to alter the standard American diet, not to completely throw it out in favor of full vegetarianism.  As we see often in diets, moderation is a better choice than elimination.

The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook

The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook

Additionally, vegetarians probably do have less disease and better stamina, but can we credit a vegetarian diet for that entirely?  If a person is on this diet for health purposes, they probably lead a totally healthy lifestyle in all aspects, such as more exercise and no smoking.  Those factors would also contribute to better stamina and less disease.  To be able to make the case for vegetarianism they ought to cite studies evaluating only vegetarian versus a sensible diet plan.  To my knowledge there has not been a study separating these factors out.

Environmental Reasons.  This may be the most valid argument in support of a vegetarian diet. Meat is found to have higher levels of pesticides over plant food.  This can cause health concerns, especially if taken in large doses.  And when there is a product recall or health issues including salmonella or listeria monocytogenes, which often originate from products from animals.

Arguments that more land must be used to produce animal food as opposed to an unadulterated vegetarian diet appear a bit far-fetched.  When land becomes such a shortage for producing food cheaply, the price for that food will go up dramatically.  This will cause more people to consume more affordable types of foods.

Animal Welfare Reasons.  For people who have a morality issue with millions of animals being killed to feed humans, it would be a great reason to go on a vegetarian diet.  But humans have been raising animals for consumption throughout much of human history, and that will not change within our lifetimes.  There continues to be an effort within the farming industry in many areas of the world to create more humane conditions for animals.  The animal activists who have labored to see this happening should be commended, and much work still has to be done.  But its vision is not the end of animal farming.

It’s an Individual’s Call on Why Be a Vegetarian

This article is not in favor or in opposition to vegetarianism, because anyone who feels it is right for them should by all means start.  In vegetarian meal plans we discuss some of the great food options vegetarians have now, but there are dietary implications that should be examined before you embark on your new diet.  As far as valid reasons, there is generally some fact backed up by embellishment, and the argument for vegetarianism isn’t different.


Cooking with Cast Iron Skillet for Healthier Cooking

Cooking With Cast Iron Skillet- It’s Truly Healthier

Cast Iron Skillet

When we look back to the hey-day of cooking with cast iron skillet, many people will look back fondly to those days.  It does date back a long time, but we still see movies about how families cooked with them, and somehow we think those times must have been better.  Actually, probably 90% of their lives back then were worse than we have it today, but once in a while we get one of those back-to-the-future items that did the job better than what we have now.

Cooking with Cast Iron Is Making a Comeback

Those cast iron skillets have been making a comeback in many kitchens, and for good reason.  Here we will point out the health benefits of cooking with this old standby, and why we highly recommend that anyone who is intent on spending more time in the kitchen cooking should use them.  They are much healthier than those low-priced pans we’ve been using the last few years.

If cooking with cast iron skillet has so many advantages, why did people stop using them years ago? It’s because they didn’t know of their health benefits back then.  Technology took over in the 1960’s, and Teflon-coated cookware that had non-stick properties replaced the heavy cast iron.  They were lighter to work with, cheaper (even though they didn’t last nearly as long), and seemed to do the job.

Cooking With Cast Iron Skillet Has the Three Following Advantages

Now we have had a chance to take a new look at Teflon, and cast iron now seems to be the healthier option.

Sizzling Skillets And Other One-Pot Wonders

Sizzling Skillets And Other One-Pot Wonders

1.    You’ll be able to use reduced oil.   The less oil we use in cooking, the better it will be for us health wise.  Some Healthy Oils are better than others, but all are high in calories.  So the more we can minimize the use of oils the better.

First, the skillet must be properly seasoned.  When it is it will have a shine to it, giving it non-stick properties.  To do this, pour a half inch of premium cooking oil in the skillet with a thick layer of kosher salt.  Next heat it until the oil starts to smoke.  Then pour everything into a container, use paper towels to rub the interior of the pan until it has a nice sheen. When cleaning, never use soap and water but rub it using a stiff brush, rinse with hot water and dry thoroughly.

2.    It’s a substance free alternative. Cooking with cast iron skillet will never give you the problems of dangerous chemicals.  The repellent that is used on non-stick Teflon pans contains fluorocarbons, or PFCs.  When these pans become heated to the extreme, these PFCs get released, and they become part of the air we breathe.  Furthermore, if the pan gets damaged or chipped, these damaging chemicals can be picked up by the food in the pan.  We have none of these issues cooking with cast iron.

3.    It fortifies the meal with iron.  What will leach into the food won’t be chemical substances, but iron, and that is a good thing for people with iron deficiency issuesIron deficiency is rather common, as it’s estimated that 10% of American women are iron-deficient.  Tomatoes are one type of food that can elevate iron content when cooked in cast iron by as much as 20 times.  This is due to their acidity.

Cast-iron skillets are great conductors of heat and be used almost indefinitely. If you are not into cooking, you might be interested to learn about how to combine food and spices, but strongly consider cooking with  cast iron skillet.