I’ve always wondered what were the compelling factors for individuals to choose a vegan or mainly plant-based diet. Talking to friends, some explained that going the whole plant-based route was best for them as their goal has been to prevent any chronic illness or disease, and sometimes reversing the effects of those cases. Others more supportive of the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle felt they were concerned with the ethical treatment of animals. In either case, listening to what our parents have told us for decades about eating our fruits and vegetables has greatly influenced businesses and restaurants to offer more plant-based or vegan options.
Health resources remind us of the importance of lessening our intake of processed foods and meats because these are treated with ingredients, preserving agents, and byproducts. Often the same foods and meats contain saturated fats that clog arteries.
But what if you start if you want to begin this type of lifestyle? Do you have to rely on going out and having a food establishment prepare a meal for you? Not really. Changes within the dishes you are familiar with can help you as you progress maintaining a plant-based diet. For example, when you make chili, why not substitute the meat for extra beans or other vegetables, or make stir fry with tofu instead of with chicken. Don’t forget that there are also tons of simple recipes available online and in cookbooks too, so don’t be afraid to try something new!
For those that aren’t comfortable yet with taking on the full task of cooking from a recipe, even small changes can help. According to the Mayo Clinic, just a cup of raspberries, or cooked green beans amounts to 8 grams of fiber or more. With the suggested daily servings of fruits and vegetables being updated to more than 8, finding ways to consume more, little by little you’ll experience the benefits and success you want from your new diet.
Some friends and I recently went to Fika Café (www.fikacafe.net) for an early lunch and was pleasantly surprised by the vegetarian options such as roasted golden beets salad, or Nordic Cobb without meat. Why not visit some of the following restaurants? They offer excellent dishes for those maintaining a plant-based lifestyle within the Twin Cities
989 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
169 N Victoria St
St Paul, MN 55104
2558 Lyndale Ave
Uptown, MN 55408