Every March, McDonald’s releases its Shamrock Shake in dubious honor of St. Patrick’s Day. This dairy-and-syrup-heavy minty green beverage is supposed to make the month extra-festive. However, with 12 grams of saturated fat, nearly a quarter of your daily maximum cholesterol, and 660 calories, shake guzzlers will need the luck o’ the Irish to keep the jig in their step afterwards.
Using chemical coloring and corn syrup to make a high-cholesterol dairy item match the month’s color scheme? It’s enough to make a banshee wail! There are so many naturally green foods that are actually good for you. Green apples, kale, broccoli, pistachios, honeydew melon, kiwis—they all create a nutritional pot of gold.
With dairy’s connection to certain cancers, don’t try your luck with the Shamrock Shake. Instead, start spring off on the right foot with our Green Goddess Smoothie. Or for a more decadent treat, check out The Edgy Veg’s Vegan Mint Milkshake!
Green Goddess Smoothie
Makes 5 1-cup servings
1 orange, peeled
1 cup grapes
1 pear, cored
1 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
2 cups fresh kale or spinach
ice cubes (optional)
Place all ingredients in the blender for 1 minute, or until desired smoothness is achieved.
Add ice cubes, if using, and process further to desired temperature.
Per 1-cup serving:
- Calories: 110
- Fat: 1.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
- Calories from Fat: 8.5%
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.5 g
- Sugar: 14.9 g
- Fiber: 3.8 g
- Sodium: 36 mg
- Calcium: 99 mg
- Iron: 1 mg
- Vitamin C: 33.1 mg
- Beta Carotene: 2464 mcg
- Vitamin E: 1.2 mg
Source: Katherine Lawrence, owner of www.plantbasedhealth.com
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.
The days of Santa’s belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly are over, now that he’s gone vegetarian. To help Santa stay slim chimney after chimney, it’s time to revamp the old-fashioned “cookies and milk” into something more healthful. So if you are prepping a snack for Santa with your children, you may want to make your ingredients list and check it twice. Developing good eating habits early in life can help children skip diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease later on.
Just one Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie has 250 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat. If you leave even four cookies out for Santa, you’re giving him over 128 percent of his maximum saturated fat intake. (And since we all know that sometimes one of Santa’s “helpers” gets the cookies, you’re not doing him or her any favors either.) This is the perfect opportunity to start a new tradition. Gather the family and make some Super Raspberry Protein Brownies or a Masala Chai Apple Crisp. Share the Nutrition Rainbow and illustrate why certain foods are better for you than others. Explain that Santa’s got a long journey ahead of him, and you want to help him feel his best. For a simpler, quicker treat, try leaving a plate of hummus and carrots. Santa will appreciate the vitamin C boost for his immune system—and he can even share the carrots with Rudolph.
During the holiday season and beyond, take the time to cook with your children. Teach them about nutrition to set them up for a lifetime of health. They may not have “future good health and habits” on any of their birthday or holiday wish lists, but they’ll sure thank you for it in the years to come!