Vegetarian Dietitians Essex Junction VT
White River Junction, VT
A Q & A with dietitian Alanna Boynton
About 5 million people in the United States consistently follow a vegetarian diet. According to the American Dietetic Association, it’s a nutrition strategy that’s nutritionally sound and helps prevent and treat certain diseases. But it’s an approach to eating that’s often misunderstood.
“Probably the biggest misconception is that vegans are interested in depriving themselves and making other people feel guilty,” explains Alanna Boynton, MS, RD, a research dietitian based in Seattle who shares her journey as a vegan of nine years on her blog at http://vegandietitian.blogspot.com . But she and her husband believe their plant-based diet is healthful and fulfilling.
Here she shares her thoughts on the virtues of her way of eating:
Q: What are some key reasons for adopting a vegetarian diet?
A: It’s good for your health: Studies have shown that vegetarian diets can lower the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Vegetarians are also much less likely to be obese.
It’s also good for the planet. A recent Food and Agriculture Organization report points to livestock as making a greater contribution to greenhouse gas emissions than transportation. Eating animals is incredibly inefficient from an energy standpoint; it takes a huge amount of resources (water, fuel, land, fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, etc.) to produce meat. In fact, it takes 18,000 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of beef, and overall it takes about 10 to 20 times more energy to produce the same amount of animal protein as it does to produce vegetable protein.
Eating lower on the food chain is a very effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, and some individuals choose to be vegetarian for ethical reasons. They may be opposed to the killing and eating of animals for personal or religious reasons, and many object to the poor living conditions of animals raised in factory farms.
Q: How can someone ease into this way of eating?
A: Try a few different approaches and see what works. You could have more meatless meals throughout the course of the week or try to eat meat just once a day. You could gradually decrease portions of meat on your plate by moving past the idea of the traditional American dinner that centers on a huge chunk of meat and start to use meat more as a condiment or garnish.
Base your meals around vegetables, legumes, and whole grains instead. Rather than solely relying on faux meats to take the place of meat, take the opportunity to expand your horizons, try new recipes, and sample international cuisine. Vegetarian food blogs and online communities can be great places to get support and inspiration.
Q: Can someone get enough protein with a vegetarian diet?
A: A vegetarian diet that contains a variety of plant foods and meets an individual's ...
Vegans and nonvegans alike will appreciate Pat Crocker’s latest cookbook, The Vegan Cook’s Bible. But vegan cooks especially will benefit from her considerable food expertise and winning ways for creating recipes with no animal products but plenty of taste and texture. Here, Crocker shares five tips for better vegan cooking, along with a sample from her recipe collection.
Pat Crocker’s Top Five Tips
Avocados are actually a semitropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America. Now grown in California for export, the Hass variety accounts for up to 85% of the more than 80 varieties known. Rich in dietary fiber, vitamins K, A, B6, C, and folate, avocados also provide unsaturated fats containing oleic acid. It is the fats in avocados that lend their creamy texture to this soup and to other dishes such as sauces and dips.
In a saucepan, bring broth to a gentle boil over high heat. Add avocados with lemon juice and potato. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until potato is soft. Let cool.
In a blender, combine rice milk and avocado mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until well chilled. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped chives, if using.