It's great to see more colleges offering vegan meal options in their cafeterias. It is a reflection of demand for healthy food from the new generation of students. When I was in graduate school, trying to become vegan, I had a difficult time. My car didn't work so I was stuck on campus and the cafeteria had very limited vegan or vegetarian options. Most vegan dinners were limited to the salad bar. I think the schools mentioned in the article would definately have attracted me if I knew more about what they served when I was a student.
When you detox, you are cleansing your body of harmful toxins that build up over time. These toxins can be detrimental to your health if not removed. There are many ways to detox, but one of the best is to eat fruits and vegetables every day. This article provides some helpful tips.
If find it to be fairly easy to stay vegan when I'm in my own neighborhood. I cook and eat at home most of the time. But if I want to eat out or have lunch or dinner with friends, I know which restaurants have vegan friendly options so there's no stress involved. At one of the smaller restaurants where I live, the servers and chef know me well enough that when I visit, they are already planning to make a vegan plate for me without even having to ask. However, once I leave the neighborhood or do a roadtrip across the state or out of state, it beomes a totally different story - I'm no longer in my vegan comfort zone.
One of the biggest challenges for me is to find vegan options while traveling. When eating at new restaurants on the road, can you be assured that there are no dairy products in the meals or even meat products such as a chicken based broth, etc.? When your only option is a convenience store at a gas station in the middle of the countryside, what do you eat? The answer for me sometimes has been 'nothing'.
Many times, I'll just skip a meal until healthy options are available or until I find a supermarket to buy fruit and nuts and other healthy products. It makes it hard sometimes when traveling with other people who aren't vegan or vegetarian - you don't want to be a complete pain every meal. This article offers some good tips on how to prepare for a roadtrip and eat healthy which is useful for everyone regardless of what you usually eat!
Getting enough fiber is one of the keys to good health. A vegan diet rich in grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes goes a long way to provide the necessary daily amount of fiber to ensure long term vitality. This is a good article which defines the difference between solubable and insoluable fiber, the benefits of each, and how to enrich any meal with fiber delivering ingredients.
Flexitarians are people who eat vegetarian or vegan meals once in a while but haven't completely eliminated meat from their diet. It happens to be a growing trend in the U.S. It's a good sign, because the first step to becoming a true vegeterian or vegan is to simply start reducing the amount of meat eaten during the day or week. Also, any reduction in the consumption of meat, even for just one meal a week, improves health, supports animal welfare, and preserves the environment. This article talks about the flexitarian trend. Good news!
I use plenty of yams in my cooking. I like the orange colored flesh and the flavor. They combine well with other ingredients in soups and salads. In fact, one of my favorite meal cominations includes yams. But, according to this article, what we call yams are actually sweet potatoes and true yams, native to Africa, are slightly different than what we buy in the grocery store. This article explains the differences.
If you are looking for an excellent primer on the nutritional value of vegetables, this is a good article. What I like is that it gives a breakdown of phytonutrients based on the color of the vegetable or fruit. Phytonutrients help fight against health related problems and disease.
It also discusses how to integrate more vegetables into your meals. The main message is that more vegetables and fruit are better for everyone. I totally agree!
Sometimes when I talk about vegan cooking in general it seems to repel people who are not avidly into the cuisine. This is understandable to some degree since the roots of veganism and vegetarianism in America produce extreme images of people not part of the mainstream culture. I think this is changing rapidly due to the efforts of so many vegan and vegetarian chefs and writers and the entire 'green' movement with concerns about animal welfare and sustaining the environment.
However, would more people be interesting in eating less meat if the term 'vegan' was not part of the meal description? I've noticed in talking to people that they need some convincing that it's not a radical idea but a useful lifestyle that many can enjoy and still be socially relevant. Check out this article from the Washington Post.
I'm worried that to much of our culture is celebrity driven. I feel that you should live your own life and do what you determine is best and most useful to you, and not do something because of an endorsement or lifestyle of someone famous in our popular culture.
Having said that, when it comes to endorsing vegan meals and lifestyles, I guess it can't hurt for everyone to see celebrities embracing it. Well, check out this article in USA Today about one of the hottest trends among the famous. I'm enthused that even some casinos are putting vegan options in their restaurants! Can't be too upset about that...
This is a fun article about lowering your cholesterol if you consume meat, fish, and dairly products on a regular basis. If you eat the food mentioned, try substituting a vegan meal once a week. Vegan meals have no cholesterol and have a positive impact if you are watching your cholesterol.
Make Simple Vegan Meals