Imagine you’re strolling the aisles in a video store trying to find a good movie for the weekend. You finally settle on one with an interesting title. However, after watching the movie, your reaction is, “Huh? That’s not what I expected.”
It’s a similar situation when people are searching for healthy eating guidelines. Many people choose a vegetarian or vegan diet thinking it is healthy because there are no animal products. The individual may be puzzled by increased blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels. Vegetarians and vegans focus on eliminating animal products, but may not be focused on foods that are detrimental to their health, like refined flour, refined sugar, salt, and oil. For example, a piece of chocolate cake or a donut fits the vegetarian or vegan diet, but contains loads of empty calories. Refined sugars, flours, salt and oil can cause a spike in blood sugar and increase cholesterol levels.
Now, you may be wondering what to eat. The healthiest option is to adopt a plant-based diet with whole foods. It’s essential to reduce the amount of processed foods, salt, sugar and oil to achieve optimal health.
A plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It consists of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. If you’re craving something sweet, replace the chocolate cake with strawberries, a mango, pineapple chunks or an orange. Try including whole grains like millet, quinoa, barley or brown rice into your diet. Other healthy options to add to your diet are kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, cannellini beans and lentils.
For information about living a healthy lifestyle, contact the Rochester Clinic at (507) 218-3095.
Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.
Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:
1. Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook
If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.
2. The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes
This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.
3. The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film
PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.
4. Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes
Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.
5. Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.
Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan
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