Meatless Mondays: The Health Reasons

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Meatless Monday (MM) is a nation-wide campaign to encourage people to give up meat one day out of the week to increase health, ecology, and economy. It’s also very achievable. You are only going one day a week without any meat. In turn, you will increase your intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. (MM does not mean substituting meat for refined carbohydrates,  large quantities of cheese and peanut butter; it will add a significant amount of fat and calories to your diet. MM also does not mean for you to increase your intake of meat for the rest of the week.)

Here are a few health benefits from a vegetarian diet:
-Vegetarian diets often contain more fiber, potassium, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamins associated with reduced risks of chronic and preventable diseases (diabetes, obesity).
-Generally, vegetarians maintain a healthier body weight (that is if they make good choices).
-Diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Whereas, red and processed meat consumption are linked to colon cancer.
-Studies have shown that countries with a higher intake of fat, especially fat from animal products, such as meat and dairy products, have a higher incidence of breast cancer.
– Fiber is only found in fruit and vegetables. Fiber makes you full on fewer calories, hence less overeating and greater weight control.

These are just a few of the many health benefits of a diet focused on fresh vegetables and fruits. Adopt to MM and see the results for yourself.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow@clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Advertisements

Fitness Fridays: What’s In Your Backayard

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook!
Going for a hike does not have to be a big excursion (like hopping on a plane and traversing through a thick rainforest)- all you need are shoes with good grip and a park. The world is full of natural and man-made parks.  Don’t feel like you need to an expert about trees and birds to go on a hike. It really is about just getting out there, taking in fresh air, and getting some exercise. Also, you can experience what your neighborhood/city has to offer in a different way. Bonus, you can hike solo or with family and friends. Hiking provides quality bonding time (no cell phones or computers) and it doesn’t cost much. Find the closest park or trail near you, put on your shoes, carry water and nuts, and get out there!

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

January Rules

The holidays were really fun- going from one party to another, learning how to make cookies from scratch, participating in cookie swaps, decadent dinners, brunches, and exciting Club Dine In! events. My favorite was Irvin’s dessert party. Irvin, a passionate baker and blogger, throws an annual grandiose dessert party. He bakes all of his desserts from scratch and asks his guests to bring only their sweet tooth. Irvin had 21 desserts, all displayed beautifully with name cards. I tried to take only bite-sized servings of the desserts I really wanted to try, but I decided that everything was sooo worth it. My favorites were the Red Velvet Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting and  Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping.

I baked cookies from scratch! Pistachio+Muscovado Sugar+Egg Whites+Meyer Lemon

I don’t feel that guilty about my indulgent ways in December and have set goals to get back on track to healthy eating and living. Instead of making large, undefined resolutions such as “losing weight” I’ve decided to go to the gym at least four times a week, limit desserts to once a week, and appreciate food more. I’ve also decided to clean up my act a bit more by participating in January Rules. Remember, the October: Unprocessed challenge? Andrew Wilder at Eating Rules has come up with another challenge: January Rules. This challenge is much more lax and asks you to follow only three rules. I already follow these rules normally, especially #2, but I need to more vigilant.

  1. When you eat grains, eat only 100% whole grains.
  2. Don’t eat high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Don’t eat hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or anything that’s been deep-fried.

Also, once a week, go ahead and “cheat.” Eat anything you want. I encourage all of you to kickstart 2011 with joining me on January Rules. Follow the hastag #januaryrules on Twitter for inspiration, motivation, and ideas.  Follow me on twitter for more frequent ideas on how to satisfy your sweet tooth, make unprocessed choices, and pretty pictures of food and other musings.

 

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded people and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Thanksgiving Without The Guilt

For the last 25 days you have 1) talked, thought, tested out recipes, and shopped non-stop for this meal  2) salivated over all the food blogs and TV shows, hoping someone can cook all that up for you 3) secretly dreaded the meal because you know it will mess with your health goals.

Family Meal

Image by _dbr via Flickr

It really is wonderful that you have been more conscious of your health and weight. You have made changes that will help you reach your health goals and  you have been on track for sometime now. If you really have been on track, eating well and being active regularly, then fear not. Even if you have not been on track, still fear not.  Thanksgiving is just one day and it is just one meal. It is the one day that you can allow yourself to enjoy creamy mashed potatoes,  turkey gravy, macaroni and cheese, and decadent desserts.  Here are some basic tips for healthy eating:

1. Enjoy the atmosphere. Take in the sights and smells of the food. Talk to the people at the dinner table.

2. Fill up your plate once and eat slowly. Bite, put your fork down, chew,  enjoy the conversations, then bite again. Slowing down helps you digest and you can actually enjoy the taste of the food. If you are still hungry, go for seconds of  only what you really only want to eat.

3.  Leave room for dessert. Instead of saying “There’s always room for dessert,” actually leave room for it. Eat a little less of everything else so you can have a piece of that pie with whip cream sans guilt.

4. Start the day with a workout, brisk walk, or anything active that will help kick-start your metabolism. If you are too busy cooking, cleaning, or driving, just do 10 jumping jacks. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s better than nothing, will make you feel better, and it only takes 60 seconds. Or suggest the family go for a walk after the meal instead of sitting down in front of the television.

Overall, it is just one meal.  If you overeat, don’t be so hard on yourself. It will not kill you or throw so off track that you can’t get back on. Your metabolism will adjust and you will burn off the extra 200 calories. Plus, you can get back to eating regularly and staying active the next day. Stop thinking about Thanksgiving as only about food and think about all that you have to be thankful for. It’s a time when you sit down and share the grand meal with people who mean something to you. Enjoy that thought. Happy Thanksgiving.

Meatless Monday

Giving up meat for one day is not as hard as you have convinced yourself it to be. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian options available; you just have to be open-minded and willing to try new foods. Also, you will not become protein deficient by not consuming meat one day a week. Continue reading