Meatless Mondays…Vegatarian or Vegan?

EAT UP!Meatless Mondays?

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 on last Friday (Nov. 9, 2012) to adopt a resolution of meatless Mondays for its citizens.  The idea is for citizens to go meatless on Mondays in an effort to become healthier by limiting diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  According to the Meatless Monday website, there are several other cities in the U.S. and around the world who have endorsed meatless Mondays.

This is my first day adopting the policy of meatless Mondays for myself.  Actually, for the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking very seriously about becoming a vegetarian…or a vegan.  The way I see it, my body will  benefit greatly from a change to eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  So I looked into both the vegan and the vegetarian diet to see which one I would be more prone to comply with.

It wasn’t even close.  Of course the vegetarian diet won hands down.  I’ve grown to take for granted the daily consumption of milk and dairy products over the span of my lifetime, and the vegetarian diet would allow me to continue to enjoy them. I’d give them up if I absolutely had to, but I don’t think I can give them up very easily, or for very long.

Actually, for the last few years I’ve been eating mostly chicken, and sea foods, while omitting the red meats.   So I guess one could say that I am already a semi vegetarian.

But a vegetarian diet has its drawbacks.  This is because a vegetarian diet can be lacking in some of the essential nutrients our bodies need.  Because of this, a vegetarian diet must be well planned.  Specific nutrients that may be lacking are:  protein, iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and other important nutrients…including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, and riboflavin.

If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, I would suggest that you consult your doctor or nutritionist first, or at least investigate it carefully.  This is in order to make sure your choice of foods will provide all of the  necessary nutrients you will require. A family with growing children and mothers who are breast feeding or are pregnant can all consume a vegetarian diet without any harm.  Perhaps it is a good idea to start off slowly, one day a week; eg Meatless Mondays.

As I already suggested, the thing to do first is to learn of your family’s nutritional requirements so their needs will be met.  A vegan diet completely excludes meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.  As you can determine, it is a bit more restrictive than what the vegetarian diet is. This is because it does not allow for the eggs and dairy products.

Foods that are allowed on both the vegan and vegetarian diet include:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Soy products, beans, and nuts
  • canola, olive and sesame oils, and coconut oil
  • Whole-grain cereals and breads
  •  whole-wheat and whole grain pasta, vegetable pasta, tortillas, brown rice, barley, quinoa, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • For the vegetarian diet only, milk and dairy products are included.

I hope this has given you some insight on the benefits of going meatless once a week.  Also in the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet plan.  I know for a long time in the past I always confused the two.  The big thing to remember is if you like your milk and dairy products, go vegetarian.

Healthy trails to you.

Carolyn

Instill These Four Lifestyle Changes and Forget Diabetes

                                                                    DIABETIC TESTER

Source: author- florixc, it.wikipedia Gnu 1.2

Do you have a loved one or a friend with diabetes?  Or is diabetes a disease that many of your family members are battling?  Then I encourage you to continue reading.

Diabetes is the seventh disease killer of Americans. It is also the leading cause of death due to heart attacks and strokes. A Study was done by the National Institute of Diabetes in 2010. It showed that there are 79 million adults in the U.S. who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The good news is that type two diabetes, (adult onset) can most likely be prevented.

As many of you already know, when a person develops diabetes, the body stops making enough insulin to convert the sugar (glucose) into a source of energy.  Because of this, the body ends up with far too much sugar that it is unable to convert.  As a result, multiple complications can develop which has the potential to dramatically change a person’s physical health. Some of the complications include; visual impairment, vascular and heart disease, and renal failure.

These diseases have an horrific effect on any individual. In the event of kidney failure, dialysis will be required; most times it will be 3 times per week. Vascular disease can lead to amputations, and heart disease can cause a heart attack. The eyes may not only become visually impaired, but may develop complete blindness.

Now despite all of that gloom and doom, there is still some good news I’d like to report.  In many cases, You can guard yourself from ever becoming inflicted with diabetes in the first place.  All you have to do to protect yourself is to act upon these four important lifestyle changes.

1)Eat a Well Balanced Diet Every Day

Your diet should include a variety of:

Wholegrain foods like pastas and breads. They not only have a better nutritional value, but they tend to keep you feeling full longer. Be careful to watch the carbohydrate count.

fiber foods.  They help to balance the carbs you eat and they also have a great filling effect. Some of the best fiber foods are:

Berries, Avocados, Lentils and black beans, and  Broccoli

2) Don’t Smoke – Tobacco by itself has a lot of possible health hazards. It increases the risk of lung and mouth cancer, and seriously damages the respiratory system. It can also cause high blood pressure, and causes babies to be born prematurity with medical complications. Smoking in relation to diabetes constricts the blood vessels in the hands and feet, which causes swelling, dryness, and eventual ulceration. Ulcers may eventually lead to Amputation. So the best thing to do is not to smoke.   Of course, this is easier said than done.  If you are a smoker, you should start to dramatically cut down so you can eventually stop smoking. Many people find it difficult to stop. Anyone with difficulty should consider using the nicotine patches. The patches should help in the weaning process from the smoking habit.

3) Increase Your Activity Level- Activity is essential for all of us. We need physical activity in our lives every day to keep our bodies functioning and healthy. Regular exercise is a great component that helps to keep the blood sugar level within normal limits.

4) Keep weight within the normal limits- Perhaps the best benefit of exercise is weight loss, and or maintenance. If we can keep our weight within normal limits, the chances for developing diabetes will be seriously diminished. Usually, the older a person gets, the less active that person becomes. So an increase in body weight will naturally develop due to the decrease in activity. But there are many people who are naturally overweight because of making poor dietary choices. This is a sure precursor to type two diabetes.  Weight loss can be difficult but it is obviously worth the effort.

So for a lifestyle change that would help prevent diabetes in the future, remember these four things. Eat three nutritious meals every day, including snacks; no smoking, increase your physical activity, and maintain your body’s weight within its normal weight range.

Healthy trails to you

Carolyn