Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goin Vegetarian...for just one meal anyway.

Last year I completed a 6 month nutrition certification program at the Tulsi Holistic Living Center in Georgetown. Among the many fascinating things I learned was that Americans eat entirely too much animal protein. When, I realize that only a very small percentage of people are actually eating meat from clean-grass fed sources, it is easy to understand how this is a problem. Conventional meats, raised on grain diets, are typically more sickly animals. They are fed antibiotics and given growth hormones which directly affect those who consume them. The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats is way out of whack which leads to inflammation in our bodies. Also, animal proteins, once digested, leave behind what is referred to as an "acid ash" . As the body attempts to re-alkanalize the blood, it must leach minerals from our reserves (bones) in order to establish stable PH levels in the blood. In other words, That five dollar foot long isn't as healthy as one would hope.
So, when my main message is GO ORGANIC, support local farms and always consume meat that is naturally raised to organic standards, I also got to thinking about how I can implement more vegetarian sources of protein into our family meals.
Some ideas such as combining brown rice with soaked beans in our burittos instead of always using ground beef, making bean and grain salads inspired by those found at the Whole Foods salad bar stand to add to our salads and adding sliced almonds and sunflower seeds to my rice pilaf.
However, my favorite weekly stand by:

Stock boiled Garlic LentilsSauteed Rainbow Chard and sauteed Rainbow Chard Stems (great texture and because who doesn't like eating something pink for dinner?!)
Creamed Yams with Cardamon.
Things like legumes, grains, nuts and seeds contain fiber, which helps clean out the pipes, unsaturated fats (please note, I am not saying that saturated fats from clean animals is a bad thing), and minerals which actually alkalize the blood! Furthermore, when a pound of grass-fed ground beef is $6 compared to two cups of french lentils for $1.20, we could spend a little less per meal here and there!
So here you have it. Our weekly go to-nonmeat-meal. It just occurred to me that I can't call this vegetarian when I am cooking my lentils in bone broth, a topic so very cool, it belongs in a blog post of its own!

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