Monday, August 15, 2011

healthy habits: eat less meat

I know I said we're about to leave for vacation. And we are. But I just couldn't stay away. Not when I had inspiration for another healthy change...

Remember this jingle?



Gotta love how catchy it is. But the ribs it promotes? I don't have as much love for those...without any sides, they pack a third of the daily caloric intake recommended for the average man, 49 grams of fat, and exceed the daily recommended sodium intake.

So I decided to change the tune a little bit.

I want my...

baby bok, baby bok, baby bok!

Yes, there is inspiration to be found in baby bok choy.


And it certainly makes it a lot easier to eat. less. meat.

The EWG's 2011 Meat Eater's Guide is a great explanation about why we should be critical of our meat. Meat can negatively affect our health when it leads to increased cholesterol and fat. It can negatively affect our health when it introduces hormones, antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and other unclean by-products into our bodies. And the production of meat has a seriously negative effect on the health of the planet.

But this is not new news. Just look at what a trend Meatless Mondays are becoming.


I was inspired to eat less meat when I started reflecting on what goes into the meat we had in our house. Nutritionally and ethically, I'm not opposed to eating meat (yet). But in my ideal world, all my meat would be raised on a farm and come from animals that had plenty of good food to eat and beautiful space to run around in until their untimely deaths. That meat would also be free of hormones, antibiotics, sodium injections, and anything else that got there through a needle. That meat exists. But it costs a pretty penny. So the simpler solution for me was to eat less meat.

In fact, I didn't eat any for about a month.

And I actually decided it wasn't for me...at least not at the moment. But it did feel good to talk to people about why I was passing on the pork. And when I finally caved to my omnivorous instincts, I was newly resolved to eat less meat so I could afford more of the quality stuff.

To manage this healthy change, you could...

1. Start a meatless Monday tradition in your house.
2. Switch your beef and pork purchases to chicken and eggs.
3. Switch your fatty meat purchases to lean cuts.
4. Buy more yogurt, eggs, cheese, soy, nuts, and legumes to enhance your protein intake.

And once you've made your home vegetarian-friendly and are wondering what to do with all that tofu, you could try this...

~~~


Easy Vegetarian Stir Fry
*Hardly any wok!

Ingredients:
24 oz. firm tofu
10 oz. sweet potato noodles (available from Asian supermarkets)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
10 oz carrots, julienned
1 bundle of bok choy (see picture), chopped
3 tbsp chunky peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Tabasco, to taste
2 drops liquid stevia
chives or scallions, for garnish


Dice tofu and press moisture out using paper towels. The longer you leave the tofu to air dry, the firmer it will be when you cook it. As you can see, I'm not so great at waiting. Tastes good either way, but the firmer it is, the more it will mimic real meat.

In the meantime, bring a kettle of water to a boil. Put the noodles in a large bowl, and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for about 20 minutes.

While the noodles are sitting, heat the oil in a large pot or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu, onions, and garlic, and stir occasionally. Once the tofu begins to brown, add the carrots. Continue to stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, then add the baby bok choy. Stir in the peanut butter, and then turn off the heat.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, Tabasco, and stevia. Drain the noodles and immediately add the sauce. Transfer into the stir fry, mix, and serve topped with chopped chives or scallions.


1 comment:

  1. We use to eat a lot of red meat because it was quick and cheap. I decided about two years ago I needed to severely cut back so I decided to cut it out for just a while. A went a month and only ate red meat twice - only because we got together with groups of friends for dinner in each others' homes. Ever since, I have cut back dramatically with no problem.

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Thanks for making me smile. =)