Cutting back on your meat consumption could possibly be the best thing for your body and for the environment. Studies have shown that eating less meat has a profound effect on heart health and the overall health of any individual.  Additionally, the UN has warned that the raising of animals for food makes up about 18% of greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming.  That’s not to say we all need to go vegetarian, but eating vegetarian meals 3-4 times a week is a practical compromise for those who love meat.

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Start today by choosing vegetarian meals to keep you going strong throughout the day. For breakfast, eat whole grains like oatmeal with some walnuts and cinnamon.  Then, prepare dinner by prepping a hearty bean chili in the crock-pot or slow cooker before you leave for work.  I love crock-pots in the winter because you don’t have to do much work. Just pour the ingredients in and go to work. When you come home, it will be like someone cooked for you!  Make yourself (or buy if you have to) a hummus and veggie sandwich for lunch. Almost every sandwich place has vegetarian options. Serve your sandwich with a green salad or a side of vegetarian minestrone soup.  In between meals, snack on healthy and hearty foods like vegetables dipped in guacamole, whole grains or whole grain crackers with a cup of soup, or trail mix.

Other sources of vegetarian protein you might want to experiment with are: tofu, tempeh (both fermented soy products), beans & legumes like lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas and aduki beans, nuts, and whole grains like quinoa (a complete protein).

Want more ideas? Email me at caryn@appetitesforlife.com for vegetarian recipes or a sample vegetarian meal plan.