I have been a vegetarian for about 14 years. I know it makes me healthier and it gives me great energy. I also know it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss and good health. You can do it wrong.
For example, vegetarians can start out as carbitarians. Pasta is an easy dish that pleases most everyone, making it a staple for new vegetarians. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables seems to be easy enough but what else do vegetarians eat? Where does the protein come from?
If you give up all animal products (making the jump to veganism) it can become even more confusing. You may start to rely on overly processed vegan substitutes that can be loaded with extra sugar or chemicals to make up for the missing animal ingredients. (more…)
As we end the first week of 2013, it seems appropriate to look ahead and forecast what will be the hot fitness and health trends of the upcoming year. It’s always fun to not only look back to archive a year, but seeing which trends will be big and make a mark this year is, too. We’ve rounded up the seven things we think everyone will be chatting about this year and in to 2014!
1. Fitness and Health Smartphone Apps. Last year was another big one for fitness apps. Just this week Consumer Reports noted that MyFitnessPal was at the top of their list for “DIY Dieting.” There are so many useful and effective programs available that, according to Huffington Post, it’s expected that even health professionals will start advocating for and recommending these apps to help keep their patients on track.
2. Crossfit and Women in the Weight Room. The popularity of Crossfit has yet to wane and as a result more women aren’t getting scared out of the weight room. It’s assumed that more women will take up these classes and practices this year. The benefits of heavy lifting are being revealed as social media has proven a great way to show off the results many women are seeing. Nevermind the internal benefits such as bone and heart health. (more…)
Los Angeles has become the largest city in the U.S. to partake in what’s known as Meatless Monday. It’s been a mostly social media-driven national effort by The Monday Campaigns to get people to eat vegetarian meals every Monday.
Friday, November 9, the LA City Council unanimously approved a resolution to adopt Meatless Monday for the city. The council resolution gives statistics showing that more than half of LA County residents are obese or overweight and states that reducing meat consumption can decrease the chances of having health issues. Councilwoman Jan Perry encouraged the motion due to growing health issues such as heart disease and cancer.
“We can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent. While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” said Perry. “The issue is, how does a local municipality engage in this and how do we create change? If we do it one plate at time, one meal, one day, we are ratcheting down the impact on our environment. We start with one day a week and then, who knows, maybe we can change our habits for a lifetime.”
Here’s a list of a few restaurants/business in the L.A. area that plan to actively participate in the resolution every Monday (some may even offer Meatless Monday discounts). (more…)
If you’re plugged into the health world at all, or apparently if you work for the USDA, then you’ve likely heard the term ‘Meatless Monday‘ floating around at one point or another. The term, or movement, rather, is an initiative on behalf of the nonprofit organization Monday Campaign Inc., and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, to encourage people to embrace the idea of a meat-free diet on Mondays for health and environmental reasons, among others.
According to the website, “Going meatless once a week, may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.”
Initially, the USDA was all in favor of meat-free Mondays and even promoted the idea in a recent interoffice newsletter saying: “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the Meatless Mondays initiative,” citing the reasons of health and environmental impact as encouragement to join the cause. (more…)
March might be almost over, but it isn’t too late to note that it is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. More than 50,000 people – one every 9.3 minutes – die from colon cancer each year, despite the fact that it’s the most treatable cancer when detected early through proper screening. Olympus, the Colon Cancer Alliance and Colorectal Cancer Coalition, is encouraging all Americans to help beat colon cancer by learning more and committing to be screened for the disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be linked to dietary factors. In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, check out some new colon cancer fighting food facts below and start to incorporate some of these healthy foods into your own diet.
One of the largest institutional meal service providers, Sodexo, is now supporting Meatless Mondays nationwide. Sodexo piloted Meatless Mondays at college campuses across the U.S. and at the John Hopkins Hospital. The success of these programs lead Sodexo to roll once-a-week all-vegetarian menus to all their food outlets.
Sodexo serves universities, hospitals, senior centers, corporate and government cafeterias. “Sodexo is proud to combine our culinary expertise with the knowledge of our clinical dietitians to integrate meatless meal options that meet the nutritional needs of students learning in schools, patients recovering in hospitals, and employees engaging worksite wellness programs,” said Nitu Gupta, the vice president of brand management for Sodexo health care in a statement for MeatlessMonday.com. “Meatless Monday provides a healthy and tasty alternative for people looking to implement a healthy diet change, which explains why it has been so popular.”
It’s no secret that Americans’ diets could use some improvement. Currently, the USDA recommends that for the average 2,000-calorie diet, individuals should consumer 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day.
The USDA also reported that good nutrition is vital to good health and is essential for the healthy growth and development of children and adolescents. To help improve your current health and prevent certain disease, there are plenty of easy ways to eat a little more green in your diet.
Many times when I was asked why I became a vegetarian, or pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish), my answer was twofold. One of the first reasons was due to the treatment of animals, which in a recent film I watched were actually termed “animal cities” and that term was not meant as one of endearment. The quality of life our animals have, from cows to chickens to pigs, is horrendous. Whether being kept in pens or tight quarters where slight movements are difficult or never seeing sunlight, I could not fathom taking part in allowing this to continue so I stopped giving those stock yards and farmers my money. (more…)