When it comes to our diet, a lot of meat eaters don’t take enough vegetables in their diet. Meat eaters could learn to take up some habits from vegetarians.
These habits can actually lead to weight loss, helping you to become more healthy by increasing your intake of fresh vegetables into one’s diet and it also helps to lower the risks of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
More and more people are now embracing a healthier lifestyle with being more health conscious and implementing healthier options in their diet. A lot of people are also becoming “part-time” vegetarians. What this means is that these people do not want to give up meat entirely, but they enjoy plenty of meatless meals and participate in food movements such as “Meatless Mondays”.
The notion of becoming a semi-vegetarian or “part-time” vegetarians has quite a lot of health benefits. If you do embrace this lifestyle habit, you’ll already be increasing your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses into your diet. That, in itself, makes you healthier as you are consuming more fiber and antioxidants in your diet. If you’re not so keen on fruits and veggies, many people juice it instead. They also benefit by having a healthier lifestyle by taking the focus off the meat and learning a simple way to boost your intake of plant-based foods you may not be eating enough of.
Here are five healthy veg-based habits you can adopt, even if you aren’t interested in embracing a total vegetarian lifestyle.
1. Make veggies the main attraction
To a lot of people, veggies are often an afterthought or merely a side dish which isn’t important and even something they can very well do without of. A good mindset to have at your next meal is to think about the veggies first for a change instead of just focusing on your main meat course. Learn to build the rest of the meal around them.
Fitting in just one additional portion per day can slash your risk of heart disease and making veggies the star of your plate can lead to a host of benefits. From today, when it comes to choosing what’s for lunch or dinner, select your veggies to start, then add in your choice of lean protein, good fat, and healthy starch to balance out your meal.
2. Choose plant-based fats over animal fats
The switch includes more plant-based fats than animal fats is not necessary easy for some, but it isn’t as difficult as one might think. Plant-based fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and diseases, including obesity, and even help boost weight control and best of all, narrow our waistlines! Make the switch more often yourself and monitor how you feel. Instead of just focusing on weighing yourself, focus on how well your jeans fit as that can motivate you better.
Plant-based foods can be veggies sautéed in olive oil or dressed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and balsamic vinegar, as well as having just the guacamole instead of it together with sour cream. Sauces made from tahini (sesame seed paste) are also great for incorporating into your meals. Have nut butter at breakfast with wholegrain bread instead of roti canai or nasi lemak.
3. Make “pulses” your protein
There isn’t enough importance put on pulses. Pulses include beans, peas (e.g. chickpeas, black-eyed peas), and lentils, and in numerous studies, eating more of them has been tied to weight loss, less belly fat, appetite suppression, a better overall nutrient intake, and a lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease. Vegetarians often opt for pulses as their protein source and there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them, including lentil or split pea soup, curries, dhals, black beans in rice dishes, and hummus.
Pea protein powder is also a pulse, and it is also becoming a hot plant-based protein. It’s great in smoothies, and a lot of vegetarians use it as a protein-booster in oatmeal. In addition to providing protein, pulses are rich in filling, blood-sugar regulating fiber, as well as resistant starch, a unique kind of carb that’s been shown to naturally up your body’s fat-burning furnace. Pulses also pack antioxidant levels that rival berries, and they’re satisfying without making you feel sluggish.
4. Snack on plants
While there are also unhealthy vegetarians, on the whole, a lot of them embrace an”eat clean” and a healthy living lifestyle. Many vegetarians make whole, plant-based foods their focus, including when they are in need of a snack. Great options anyone can reach for include raw veggies with hummus or guacamole, fresh fruit with nuts, seeds or nut/seed butter, or a smoothie made with a plant-based “milk” (like almond milk) with fruit, leafy greens, and a plant-derived protein powder. And if you’ve no time to make your own smoothies or juices, get your juice delivered to you. Easy peasy.
5. Build plants into desserts
A great way to add more fruits and vegetables into your dessert is to add puréed spinach to vegan brownies, beetroot or courgettes into muffins or even some cake recipes. You can also include whipping white beans into chocolate pudding. These days, one just has do a search online for recipes and there are tons of recipes to choose from. Interesting foods like tomato sorbet to a chocolate eggplant cake.