Category Archives: Vegan

JLo Goes Vegan: An Inside Look Into the Surging Popularity of Plant-Based Diets

Guest Blog by Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.

Jennifer Lopez is the latest celebrity to adopt a healthful vegan diet. We’re rooting for JLo and look forward to seeing her plant-powered performances on her next tour!

Vegan diets conjennifer-lopez-vegantinue to surge in popularity and for good reason. Studies show people who adopt a plant-heavy diet are at reduced risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Other benefits include an increased lifespan and improvements in skin complexion, mood, and memory.

Hollywood’s A-list health champions are living proof: Anne Hathaway, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Ellen DeGeneres, and Carrie Underwood are some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars who continue to tout the health benefits of a colorful plant-based diet.

Need a case study?

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer lowered her cholesterol by 83 points, former president Bill Clinton lost 30 pounds and revamped his heart health, and actor Samuel L. Jackson lost 40 pounds after switching to a low-fat vegan diet.

Al Gore may be the next success story: The former vice president, who announced his vegan diet earlier this year, for environmental and health reasons, has lost 50 pounds.

These aren’t the only New Yorker residents who are seeing results: An elementary school in the Bronx recently adopted a plant-based menu, and within a year the students’ overall attendance improved, BMIs dropped, and test scores soared to an all-time high. The good news? The students enjoy the food: Some of the most popular menu items are spiced chickpeas, salad bars with broccoli trees, and fresh mango slices.

GEICO took a similar approach with employees in 2008 and offered plant-based options in workplace cafeterias, provided cooking demos for staff, and then made reference to a vegan diet in their famous “Happier than an Antelope” TV ad in 2012.

This growing phenomenon could explain why a recent Technomic survey finds kale-based options have increased 400 percent on restaurant menus over the past five years. Vegan options and quick grabs, which range from a simple black bean burrito bowl at Chipotle to a macrobiotic bowl with sea vegetables at Café Gratitude, dominate menus nationwide.

As our palates revert back to the healthy basics and as plant-based options continue to expand throughout K-12 schools, hospitals, workplace cafeterias, restaurants, grocery stores, U.S. airports, and on Hollywood screens, I hope to see the health of our next generation rapidly improve.

Want to test-drive a vegan diet or create your own success story? Visit 21DayKickstart.org.

ED this VD? It’s not you, it’s meat.

Between 18 and 30 million men in the United States have erectile dysfunction. It’s certainly a topic everyone’s familiar with—the image of a little blue pill or two outdoor bathtubs is practically iconic. But most people don’t know that ED isn’t usually caused by stress, alcohol, or performance anxiety—it’s a result of blocked arteries. The cholesterol and saturated fat in animal products can lead to vascular problems, which in turn impede blood flow. Gorge on chicken wings and steak, and the only thing that will grow later is your waistline.

Over a six-year span, the U.S. government spent $172 million on penis pumps—expensive contraptions that try to draw blood flow through narrowed arteries. There’s a much less expensive solution: A low-fat, plant-based diet will reverse artery blockage, letting blood flow to where you need it. In fact, while processed meat products cause low-quality sperm, carrots and other vegetables can actually boost virility.

So to those who take their sweetheart out for a big steak dinner this Valentine’s Day only to discover that they’re having some technical difficulties later on, remember—it’s not you, it’s meat.

 

Vegetarian? Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Years ago, while gazing out the window at the meadow surrounding their house, Paul and Linda McCartney watched lambs playing. They were having such a lovely time gamboling about in the sunshine. Paul and Linda then glanced at the sliced lamb on their plates. And that was it. It took only a moment to make the decision. Out with the meat, chicken, fish—all of it—and they never looked back. Ringo quit eating meat decades ago, too.

If a plant-based diet keeps these Beatles rocking after all these years, maybe it’ll do the same for you. Here are some recipes to get you going.

Sergeant Pepper Would Have Banged the Drum for This Red Pepper Hummus
Red Pepper Hummus

Red Pepper Hummus

Makes about 2 cups

Red pepper hummus makes a delicious dip for fresh vegetables or pita wedges. It can also be used as a sandwich spread or as a filling in a wrap.

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup water-packed roasted red peppers (about 2 peppers)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed butter)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.

Per 1/4 cup
• Calories: 87
• Fat: 3 g
• Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
• Calories from Fat: 31.2%
• Cholesterol: 0 mg
• Protein: 4 g
• Carbohydrates: 12 g
• Sugar: 1.1 g
• Fiber: 2.8 g
• Sodium: 57 mg
• Calcium: 37 mg
• Iron: 1.5 mg
• Vitamin C: 21.7 mg
• Beta-Carotene: 265 mcg
• Vitamin E: 0.3 mg

Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

Mean Mr. Mustard Would Be All Over Our Broccoli…
Broccoli with Mustard Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 servings

This is royally delicious treatment for broccoli, a potent cancer-fighter.

1 bunch broccoli
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon stone-ground or Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

Break broccoli into bite-size florets. Peel broccoli stems and slice into 1/4″ rounds. Steam until just tender, about 5 minutes. While the broccoli is steaming, whisk vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a serving bowl. Add broccoli and toss. Serve immediately.

Per serving (1/4 of recipe)
• Calories: 58
• Fat: 0.5 g
• Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
• Calories from Fat: 7.1%
• Cholesterol: 0 mg
• Protein: 2.5 g
• Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
• Sugar: 6.1 g
• Fiber: 3.4 g
• Sodium: 293 mg
• Calcium: 44 mg
• Iron: 0.7 mg
• Vitamin C: 66.3 mg
• Beta-Carotene: 946 mcg
• Vitamin E: 2.1 mg

Source: New Century Nutrition


A few extra options:

Yellow Soup to Match Your “Yellow Submarine”
Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

You’ll be in “Strawberry Fields Forever” with Our Strawberry Delight
Strawberry Delight

“Ain’t She Sweet”? Especially if She’s Eating These Waffles
Sweet Potato Waffles

“Wild Honey Pie” is Sweet and Simple, Just Like This Pie!
Date-Nut Fruit Pie

Here’s What They’re Serving in the “Octopus’s Garden”
Garden Stuffed Pitas

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