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Diet

Fruits and vegetables are part of a veganism diet

The Rise of Veganism

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Why is Veganism so Popular?

More and more people are making the decision to switch over to plant-based and vegan diets and lifestyles. Moving towards these lifestyles not only provide health benefits, but also benefit the world we live in. For those that enjoy meat, you might be wondering, why would you cut it out?

In order to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle, it’s good to understand the reasons why. Since it is a big change, connecting the lifestyle to your values and morals is important. Some people go vegan because they value the lives of animals while others go vegan solely because of the health benefits.

Health Benefits

In order to sustain yourself on a plant-based diet, you have to make sure you are consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and more. All of these options are very healthy and are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You still have to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to live well. Because they are so nutrient-dense, a vegan diet can reduce the risk of health conditions like:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • And more

Veganism is a diet that is healthy and consists of eating vegetables and fruits

It doesn’t matter how old you are; a vegan diet can benefit you at any age. Plant-based diets require cutting out all the animal products. This can impact the food industry and the environment.

Environmental Impacts

For those that choose to be vegan because of animal welfare and environmental purposes, they have good reasoning. The production of meat and other animal products uses up our natural resources in an inefficient manner. Since the demand for meat has only gone up over the years, the industry is taking over more than half of all agricultural space. 60% of worldwide deforestation is due to transforming land into agricultural land for raising cattle. By choosing a plant-based lifestyle, you aren’t contributing or supporting the meat production industry. It contributes less air pollution and doesn’t requires as many natural resources since it doesn’t require as much land.

Veganism is good for the environment

The meat industry in itself isn’t the most ethical, as documentaries and articles have shown over the years. Animals are kept in tight spaces and are treated poorly. Their living conditions are terrible until the day they are slaughtered. Some people find this good enough reason to give up meat entirely, but others might find it harder to understand why people choose to go vegan.

Ultimately, it comes down to this:

  • Plant-based and vegan diets are healthy for the human body and the environment
  • We are using up too many resources on meat production alone
  • The poor treatment of animals in slaughterhouses touches upon the heart of some people

Meat and animal products are a large part of society, but if more people moved towards a plant-based and vegan lifestyle, they could reduce the damage that is being done to our environment.

Health and wellness in 2020

Health and Wellness Trends in 2020

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A new decade has begun. It’s another chance for renewal, change, and growth. It’s good to start off a new chapter with healthy habits, positive thinking, and self-love. As humans, we are constantly striving to be the best version of ourselves. Here are the health and wellness trends of 2020 that may help you move a step closer to that goal.

Plant-Based

Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or are still a meat-eater, plant-based foods and meats are on the rise. Aside from the argument of plant-based foods is better for the environment, they are also good for our bodies. Eating too much meat, especially red meats and processed meats, can increase the risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Plant-based diet
Plant-based meats are becoming more common. They are good alternatives for meat if you are vegetarian or vegan or attempt to decrease your meat consumption. The research and development of plant-based meats have improved, and the alternatives are becoming less distinguishable from the real thing. If you are transitioning into a fully plant-based diet or a flexitarian diet, these plant-based meat alternatives can be helpful in making the transition smoother and easier.
We are becoming a more eco-conscious society as an awareness of the reality of climate change increases. According to the World Animal Protection report, over 250,000 animals are being saved annually due to the rise of plant-based alternatives.

Mindfulness

Meditation and staying mindful were shown to be on the rise in 2019. Studies have shown that meditation improves mental health, relieves stress, and improves overall well-being. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of meditating, it just means you haven’t found the right type of meditation that works for you.
There are many ways to meditate and no one is limited to a certain type. If you’re just starting out, any guided meditation may be helpful in beginning your journey towards mindfulness and peace of mind. Mindfulness meditation focuses on staying present and focusing on your thoughts through simple observation. It’s one of the most popular meditation techniques in the U.S. and it’s one of the easiest ones to practice alone.
There are other types of meditation practice like spiritual, focused, movement, and more. But, mindfulness meditation is the more common one amongst those that want to include mindfulness into their regular routine.

Home Workouts

Going to the gym can be a hassle and takes time out of your day. Working in the comfort of your own home has been increasingly more popular. With home workouts, you don’t have to pay for a membership, spend the time commuting or deal with other people (unless you enjoy the community).
With the internet, we have access to an array of information from our phones and computers. It’s easy to find resources to help build our own work out routines that we can do in our homes. Home fitness equipment has also become very sophisticated. If you choose to purchase them, you can build your own home gym that could rival commercial gyms.

CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, products became bigger in 2019 and will continue rising as this new decade continues. CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis that is non-psychoactive. Don’t get it confused with THC, which is the cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD mainly helps with pain, anxiety, acne, and sleep.
The CBD industry is still new, but it is growing slowly. There are a variety of products that include CBD like muscle balms, lotions, and oils. They are starting in include CBD in food as well. Most CBD products have not been FDA approved, though, so you have to be cautious about what products you buy.

Circadian Health

As busy students and adults, we’ve been very obsessed with sleep; from counting the hours of sleep we need to get in order to feel rested to buying an array of products to help us get better quality sleep. Even after all this time, many of us struggle with getting a healthy amount of rest. As we enter this new decade, our focus might shift from sleep to our circadian health.
Our circadian rhythm influences our sleep-wake cycles, eating habits, body temperature, and more. If we are able to optimize our circadian health, then it will improve many aspects of our lives, including our obsession with sleep.
There are many ways to help improve your circadian health. The type of light we are exposed to and the timing of it can have a big effect on our sleep schedule. It’s good to avoid blue light, the light that is emitted from our device screens, before going to bed. It’s also good to get sun, exercise regularly, and lower stress. This could all help improve your circadian rhythm and improve your overall health and wellness.
Flexitarian meals are made up of vegetables and less meat

Flexitarianism: The Flexible Diet

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What is Flexitarianism?

What does it mean to be “Flexitarian”? The word originated from the 1990’s and describes someone that consumes mainly plant-based foods with occasional meat or fish. It is a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” In simple terms, flexitarian eating is the reduction of meat.

Health Benefits

With flexitarianism, you receive similar benefits as you would if you were a vegetarian. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and help with weight loss. Consuming anything in excess can be bad for your health, so meat reduction alleviates issues like high cholesterol and more.

Environmental Benefits

By reducing meat consumption, you might be helping improve the environment. The way meat is produced emits a lot of greenhouse gases that are negatively affecting our planet. Reducing meat consumption is one step closer to lowering the emission of greenhouse gases. It is also one step closer to maybe eliminating meat entirely from your diet.

Flexitarian Criticism

You might be wondering, why be flexitarian when you can just be full-on vegetarian? How can you be semi-vegetarian? There are others that ask the same questions. The arguments for a flexitarian diet could easily be used for a vegetarian diet. The only difference is that flexitarians still consume all types of meats, just rarely. There is no counter-argument

against this, except for the fact that they wanted to have a name to define this type of diet.

Flexitarianism is still a positive step towards healthier living that also benefits the environment. Even though some might be opposed to the term, it’s too late to go back now. Flexitarianism is being talked about more and more. For some, eliminating meat entirely might sound too hard, so opting for flexitarianism is still beneficial for those that want to improve their health and environment.

10 Healthy Christmas Dish Ideas to End the Year Right

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Get Ready to Enjoy Eating Healthy During the Holidays!

 

The winter season is upon us and Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a time for giving, love, and FOOD.  Holiday meals don’t always have to leave you feeling like you’re going to fall into a food coma. Here are 10 Healthy Christmas dish ideas and recipes that you could try this season!

1)      Lemony Herb Roast Chicken

Need a main course dish? Chicken is a classic. Using herbs as the flavor can help enhance the dish while keeping it healthy for your holiday dinner.

2)      Roasted Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that help with brain function. On top of that, it tastes pretty delicious when roasted in some good ol’ zest.

3)      Cauliflower “Couscous”

If you’re trying to avoid carbohydrates this Christmas, this cauliflower “couscous” is a great alternative! It has all the flavors of couscous without the actual couscous.

4)      Brussel Sprouts with Pickled Shallots and Hazelnuts

Brussel sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, and more! Why not add them to your Christmas spread this year? This simple recipe will make the perfect side dish.

5)      Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes? Healthy? Well, what a happy surprise, mashed potatoes can be healthier than you think. Check our Sugar-Free Mom’s recipe that uses very little butter to make a healthy version of this classic dish.

6)      Garlic Lemon Green Beans

Whether you need a solid side dish or want a light main course, these tasty green beans work great. And they only take 15 minutes to make!

7)      Green Bean Casserole & Garlic Mushrooms

This recipe pulls a vegan twist on a classic holiday dish! This is a great option for those that are vegan or vegetarian.

8)      White Bean Vegan Mashed Potatoes

To continue the trend, here’s another vegan twist on an oldie but a goodie. Mashed “potatoes” without the potatoes!

9)      Rosemary Stuffed Mushrooms

If you need an appetizer, this dish is great! These mushrooms are stuffed with a cashew-based mix instead of cheese. It’s another vegan option for those that need it!

10)   Radiance Fruit Salad

Fruits are a great source of vitamins and can be just as tasty as any other dessert. Instead of opting for a cake or pie, you can make this fruit salad! It is filled with a variety of fruits that can be swapped out depending on availability.

4 Reasons to Be Vegan

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Thinking of Going Vegan?

Following a vegan diet brings many health benefits. Vegan people have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to people who eat meat. Studies have also shown that vegan people have a lower risk of cancer associated with our diet. They also have lower levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat on average. Although there are numerous benefits, there are also some aspects that must be taken into account to prosper.

Calories, protein, and fats

It is important for people who are trying to eat a vegan diet to include some foods high in calories and protein in order to feel satisfied.
Simply eliminating animal products from a common American diet will leave you with practically low-calorie foods such as salads, vegetables, and fruits. Eating only these foods can make you feel very hungry and weak, it will also leave you thinking that vegan eating is a very big challenge.
While severe protein deficiency is not something to worry about, not eating some high-protein foods can leave you craving animal products. Legumes (beans, peanuts, peas, lentils, soybeans), seitan and quinoa are the best sources of protein for vegans and vegans. Include some portions of these foods a day, including at each meal.
A very low-fat diet can improve people’s health in the short term, especially if they have high cholesterol levels, but it may not be ideal in the long term. If you are avoiding all the added fats and start craving products of animal origin, it may be time to increase vegetable fats. People tend to consider animal products as “protein,” especially meat, but they are mostly 50% fat.
In unusual cases, some vegans and vegans may not be consuming enough fats and calories to produce adequate amounts of steroid hormones (which are produced from cholesterol). Two studies have shown that these people have the same amount of sex hormones, but one report showed that vegan women have lower levels of estrogen.
Other reports provide evidence that low cholesterol cases can be a problem for those who lead this lifestyle. In these cases, increasing saturated fats, such as coconut oil, may improve some symptoms (such as increased libido or regulation of the menstrual cycle).
Even though the study is still preliminary, it seems that some people do not have genetics that work with a high carb diet. For such people, an eco-Atkins diet, high in vegetable protein such as soy meat, legumes, and seitan, might be a better option.
Lastly, if you have cravings for animal products, it may be because you have a strong preference for the taste of glutamate, known as umami. Some foods rich in umami are miso, tamari, ripe tomatoes, nutritional yeast, mushrooms, olives, balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms, and sauerkraut. Roasting, caramelizing, browning and roasting increase the umami.

Four (important) reasons to be vegan

1. It’s good for the planet

Scientists say we should eat less meat immediately and change the way we manage the land to stop the climate crisis.
A report on climate change published by United Nations scientists in August said that eating less meat and reducing food waste could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and benefit our health and the environment.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which published the report, says that humans affect approximately 70% of the ice-free land on Earth, and the panel previously concluded that changing our diets could contribute 20% of the effort needed to prevent the global temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
Meat consumption is a major contributor to global warming: according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), agriculture is responsible for approximately a quarter of the world’s direct greenhouse gas emissions from mankind, and livestock contributes with approximately 14.5%.
Animal husbandry for food requires many resources and requires the production of food and fertilizers that produce greenhouse gases, not to mention methane that comes from cows.
Livestock also requires that the land be cleared: according to WWF, about 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been lost in the last 50 years, and most of the losses are due to the conversion of the forest to livestock.
Beef and soybeans are the main contributors to global deforestation, while the production of meat, dairy, poultry, and shellfish also contributes to habitat loss and water use, says WWF.

2. It could be good for your health

Many people adopt a vegan diet because of its health benefits. Following a plant-based diet may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a study published in July suggested.
“We found that the consumption of plant-based diets was associated with, on average, a 23% reduction in diabetes risk,” said Dr. Qi Sun, associate professor in the Nutrition Department at Harvard TH School of Public Health Chan in Boston and lead author of the article published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Meanwhile, another study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that sticking to a generally plant-based diet or a diet that includes more plant foods than animal foods could be associated with a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and up to 25 % less risk of premature death.

3. Animal welfare

Some people choose to be vegan for reasons of animal welfare: according to the animal rights organization of the United Kingdom Animal Aid, becoming a vegan “is one of the best things you can do to help end animal cruelty.”
Some refrain from eating meat because they disagree with the killing of animals. They may choose to adopt a completely vegan diet because they believe that the conditions in which animals are maintained to produce popular foods, such as meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and honey, contribute to the suffering of creatures.

4. Being vegan is easier than ever

Veganism may have once been seen as a hard-to-satisfy diet, but now restaurants offer vegan dishes and supermarkets are packed with plant-based alternatives in developed countries around the world. Those who still crave a quick meal are receiving answers to their prayers.
KFC launched a vegan hamburger in the United Kingdom in June, McDonald’s began offering meatless hamburgers in Germany, and in the US. In the US, Burger King announced that it was expanding the distribution of its popular meatless Impossible Whopper hamburger to 100 locations in the San Francisco Bay area.
Retail sales of plant-based foods in the United States have grown 11% over the past year, according to a July report by the Plant-Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports businesses’ vegetable origin. Barclays investment bank predicts that the alternative meat sector could reach around $ 140 billion in sales over the next decade, capturing approximately 10% of the global meat industry.

Is the vegan diet healthy for children?

The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium recommended that children, adolescents, pregnant women, and nursing mothers do not follow a vegan diet. Vitamins, including essential ingredients such as D and B12, calcium or even trace elements and essential nutrients for proper development are “absent from this diet,” according to MD. Casimir.
Isabelle Thiebaut, the co-author of the medical concept and president of a European organization for dietitians, said it is important to explain to parents about “weight loss and psychomotor delays, malnutrition, anemia” and other possible nutritional deficiencies caused by a vegan diet for children. If parents do not follow the new recommendation, children who continue a vegan diet should receive regular supplements, medical follow-up and blood tests, according to the academy.