New Food Language

With evidence that a diet high in animal products, especially meat, is linked to many chronic diseases, how do you remove the unhealthy processed meats, cheeses and bad carb breads and bagels? What will you eat? Read on to gain a different perspective on variety in diet.

This question was recently asked of me.

What would I do without meat; or less meat?   What would I eat?

We now have evidence that a diet high in animal products, especially meat, is linked to many chronic diseases. Cancer and heart disease are especially inflamed by meat. So if your lunch regularly consists of a sandwich, and you’re looking to remove the unhealthy processed meats, cheeses and bad carb breads and bagels, what else is there? The question caught me off guard because I don’t struggle with this question anymore.

I was thinking about it today and, well, here’s what I have for you.

I would first ask the question…how many kinds of meat are there? Not very many in the typical American home. Beef, chicken, pork are the staples; and yet we find ways to eat the same few meats, multiple times a day, day in and day out. Ultimately to the detriment of our health. You use different spices, cook it differently, add it to pasta, etc. Think about it. I know someone in the house has at some point said, “chicken? Again?”

Next question, how many different vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains are there? Vastly more. Those nuts and seeds can be made into cheese. The whole grains can be ground or sprouted to make healthier breads and pastas. The beans can be blended into any kind of hummus you can dream up by adding different spices, olives, peppers, etc. The vegetables, beans and grains can be made into healthier pastas. And spices? I have a drawer that’s about 2 square feet of health-promoting spices like curcumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, fennel, sage, and thyme to name my favorites; and the list goes on for days.

The real question, the one that gets to the answer to the initial question: what do I do with all these healthy foods that I’m not used to eating or cooking with? In many ways, meat makes it easy, although boring, to eat the same thing day in and day out. We know how to cook it and we don’t have high expectations beyond that.

The answer? Start small, start experimenting. Small changes make big differences. There are recipes everywhere. The bookstore has an aisle or more on vegan foods that can inspire healthier cooking without meat. The internet is exploding with recipes for meatless entrees. Here at Whole Health Goal we are regularly adding recipes straight from our kitchen to the website.

And by all means, if you find something you like share it here so others can try. Just don’t swap out meat for other unhealthy substitutes. That’s the only rule. One of the first swaps for me, back when I ate a lot of sandwiches, was to trade in mayo for sliced avocado. I never touched mayo again. Hmmm, this may inspire a new recipe.

Life is a journey, not a destination; so enjoy the ride and explore.

Yours in Wellness!!

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