I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there has been an energy shift happening over the last few months. We are moving into a new age where having a meat-centered diet and using animals as commodities will no longer be acceptable. People are ready to take an honest look at their dinner plates and see the bigger picture staring back at them. Here’s a list of things I think would be great to get on your plate this year.
Organics (Avoid the “Dirty Dozen“)
I know you keep hearing to eat organics, and I know you keep saying “Oh, what’s the difference, I don’t want to spend the extra money” but it does make a difference. Pesticides are used to kill pest on plants, meaning they are poisons that infiltrate their nervous systems. They pollute the environment, streams and other waterways killing aquatic life there, and are polluting groundwater as well. Many adults and children who live near heavily pesticided farms have serious health conditions, like cancer, respiratory problems, nerve damage, neurological damage, blindness, and other birth defects. This is your health we are talking about (or the health of your children). We can’t always control our surrounding environment but we can control what kinds of foods we eat.
Trader Joes has organic foods cheaper than any other grocer I’ve seen, if you have one near you!
Beans really are superfoods. They are full of fiber and a great source of iron, without the fat and calories that come with animal foods. Eating beans are especially important for menstruating women who are more prone to iron deficiency. Beans are also great for blood-sugar disorders because their high fiber content helps prevent blood sugar levels from rising to quickly. If you have problems digesting beans, be sure to soak them 4-6 hours and cook with a 1 inch piece of kombu. I will do a video soon on how to cook beans in a pressure cooker! Dried beans can be purchased in the bulk bins for super cheap making them a inexpensive source of protein and nutrients. Like I said…they are super.
Now I’m not talking pasta and bread! I mean actual whole grains that contain the bran and germ and haven’t been processed into another food. There are many beneficial reasons why you should add whole grains to your diet. Whole grain foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals. Our bodies need complex carbohydrates for energy and brain function. They have been known to help reduce many diseases and ailments including heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Whole grains also help everything come out properly when you are in the loo. These are millet, quinoa, brown rice (long, medium, short), corn, sweet rice, barley, kamut, amaranth, and hato mugi.
Huh, what? The one major thing lacking in an American diet is sea vegetables! They are especially important for a vegan diet. Unless you live in the East, sea vegetables are probably a bit foreign to you. You most likely have eaten sushi before which is wrap in Nori, but you have you ever heard of Arame, Hijiki, Dulse, Wakame or Kombu before? Sea vegetables are gifts from the sea that are rich in vitamins and trace minerals. If you can sneak sea vegetables into your daily diet, you will build good blood and protect yourself against cardiovascular disease and stroke. Sea vegetables are a rich source of iodine, which is essential for thyroid function. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and play a role in many physiological functions, so it’s important to keep the thyroid in check.
These include sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, burdock, daikon, and beets. These bright colored root veggies are full of beta-carotene and vitamin K to combat osteoporosis and protect against heart disease. They are great baked or sauteed with a little olive oil and fresh herbs.