As vegetarians, we are all aware of tofu and how tasty it can be. But do we know and understand the benefits of including it in our diets, or are we only eating it because it’s considered a good substitute for meat? Tofu has been around for ages. More than 2000 years to be exact. Did you know that tofu originated in China?
Tofu is a fantastic source of protein, copper, magnesium and iron to name but a few. In this post we discuss all the health benefits of this wonderful bean curd that we have a love/hate relationship with.
1. Great for Weight Loss
Tofu is very low in fat and cholesterol, making it great for a healthy and balanced diet. But, it is also rich in peptins, which is responsible for the blending and deposition of fatty acids. This does wonders for weight loss, burning fat and curbing obesity.
2. Thwarts Arthritis and is Great for Bones
Did we mention that tofu is also rich in magnesium and calcium? This makes tofu a superfood to be reckonedwith. Studies have shown that tofu helps in improving bone density and overall health. It’s fantastic for the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
3. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Thanks to this superfood’s low fat and caloric content, it’s perfect for those who have diabetes but also for the prevention of it. Researches have found that including a serving of 200g of tofu in your daily diet can curb the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes significantly.
4. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Thanks to the availability and affordability thereof, processed foods are favored. It is also considered to be the main culprit in the shocking statistics of people who suffers from heart disease. Including tofu in your diet will lower your risk of suffering from stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Tofu helps to lower the level of low cholesterol and increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL).
5. Aids Regulation of Blood Pressure
Thanks to the bioactive peptides-glycinin and conglycinin content in tofu, damage to blood vessels and inflammation is reduced. This content is natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidants and improves your blood pressure. Not only does it regulate your blood pressure, but it also lowers high blood pressure, making it an ideal food to include in your diet.
As you can see, there are quite a few health benefits when you start including tofu in your diet, whether you are vegetarian or not! And remember, it doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. There are a lot of delicious tofu recipes out thereready for you to try out.Here’s a list of some of the best tofu recipes from Good Housekeeping to get you inspired!
Getting the right amount and all the essential nutrients is crucial for anyone. Even more so for vegetarians who do not get essentials like protein or calcium. Fiber on the other hand should not be a problem for vegetarians, or should it?
Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? We’ve compiled a list of signs to look out for that may indicate that you aren’t.
#1 You are Always Hungry
Do you find that you are constantly hungry and grabbing whatever comes your way to snack on? To fill that little hole in your tummy. If this is the case, chances are you are not getting enough fiber. People who don’t get enough fiber will generally feel hungry even after eating.
Fiber is responsible for that feeling of satisfaction and ‘fullness’ after we had a meal. To ensure your appetite is taken care of, include foods that are high in fiber in your diet.
#2 Fluxes in your Blood Sugar Levels
Some people struggle with maintaining their blood sugar levels. Specifically, those who have diabetes. Fiber is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in your body. It helps your body digest it properly by slowing down the way our bodies absorb and process sugar.
If you struggle with blood sugar levels that keep fluctuating or is completely out of whack, your body isn’t getting the sufficient amount of fiber.
#3 You Gain Weight
Weight gain is usually caused when you eat more of other foods than you should. For instance, you’d rather fill up on starchy foods like pasta and potatoes. Or you are a sucker for foods that are high in fats and sugars. A balanced vegetarian diet consists of the right amounts of all types of foods and nutrients, including fiber.
To curb your cravings, fill up on legumes, beans, whole-grains, fruits and vegetables. All of them are great sources of fiber.
#4 You’ve Got High Cholesterol
Fiber is great for just about everything. Including your cholesterol. It binds and moves bad cholesterol out of your system. This characteristic is specifically coupled with soluble fibers. To ensure your cholesterol levels are normal, take care to include enough fiber in your diet.
Foods that are great for this specific purpose includes figs, barley, oats, sweet potato, beans and prunes. Be sure to stock up on these soluble fibers!
#5 You Feel Bloated all the Time
When your diet does not include sufficient fiber, you’ll notice that you feel bloated more often than not. Fiber helps all the different foods and nutrients you consume move along your digestive tract. What happens when you don’t eat enough fiber is other food does not go through the digestive tract the way they should.
Think of it as some traffic jam in your digestive tract. But the opposite can be true too! If you eat too much fiber, it can also cause bloating.
Fiber is wonderful! But, as we’ve mentioned, it should also not be overdone. Stick to the recommended required portions and your body will thank you for it!Need some more convincing? Read this article on all the benefits of eating more fiber.
Ah, tofu. Some love it and some can’t stand it. But as vegetarians it should make out a big part of our diet. Tofu is healthy and can be dressed up pretty well, trust us. And, if you find tofu to be a bit bland, why not buy some pre-marinated tofu?
In this post we take a look at our top pick of delicious tofu recipes you won’t be able to refuse.
1. Chinese Cabbage Salad
This yummy salad with curried tofu is irresistible. It is pretty straight forward to make, but will take you up to one hour and twenty minutes in total
- Coconut milk
- Curry powder
- Curry paste
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Vegetable stock
Cut the tofu in smaller pieces. Chop and mix the onion, ginger, curry paste, curry powder and coconut milk in a blender. Put the tofu in a bowl and add the puree, place it in the refrigerator to marinade for about half an hour.
Mix the ingredients for the dressing. Chop and shred the cabbage, scallion and carrot and mix them roughly together in a bowl. Fry the marinated tofu in some oil until golden brown. Dish cabbage salad into bowls and place tofu slices on top of the salad. Eat and enjoy!
2. Tofu Tacos
These deliciously crunchy tofu tacos will be a hit with the kids and only takes twenty minutes to prepare!
- Chili powder
- Corn starch
- Toasted sesame oil
Drain the tofu on paper towels for about fifteen minutes. Mix the chili powder, pepper paste, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix some of the chili powder and salt with the corn starch. Next, heat oil in a frying pan.
The tofu should be drained now, add it to the chili powder mix and coat it with the sauce. Next, toss the tofu in the cornstarch mix and coat it. Fry the tofu in the pan until golden brown. Once it is done, remove and drain the excess oil with paper towels. Serve with the tortillas, kimchi, pear and peanuts.
3. Scrambled Tofu
The best option for a wholesome breakfast is scrambled tofu. This yummy recipe calls for zucchini and won’t take you half an hour to make!
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the tomato, zucchini, onion and garlic. Add the tofu by crumbling it into the pan with the vegetables. Add the turmeric and mix it well. Cook for about eight minutes or until all the vegetables are nice and soft. Serve and enjoy!
There are many ways you can play with tofu. We hope our favorite three recipes have inspired you to experiment and play around with tofu and different types of spices and flavors.
Whatever your reason for being vegetarian, whether you want to help towards a more conscientious tomorrow or improve your health, being sure you get all the nutrients you need is imperative. Keep in mind that not including meat and other animal products in your diet means you won’t get all the nutrients you used to.
In this post we look at five of the foods you simply cannot live without. These will ensure you get all your nutrients, protein, iron and amino acids. Let’s take a look at what they are!
But it is tasteless so you don’t want to eat it, right? There are loads of ways you can dress tofu up or buy pre-marinated tofu. The thing is, tofu is rich in mega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and protein. This means tofu should be your best friend.
It also contains calcium and vitamin D, which is crucial for healthy bones and the digestion of any other protein that enters your body.
Nuts is quite easy to consume for most people, and it should be included in your diet! Nuts are a great source of protein, but some are even rich in calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Recent studies have also shown that even though nuts are high in calories, they do not contribute to weight gain.
So, whether you pack some nuts for a snack in between meals or add them in a salad, sticking with nuts in your diet is the healthy way to go!
Grains found in cereal contain calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy will have to take a supplement for vitamin B12 to be sure you get the required daily amount! If your diet includes whole-grains you should be okay.
Grains are known to decrease cholesterol levels and decreases your risk of colon cancer and other digestive diseases.
Did you know that a single cup of beans per day will provide you with half of the required amount of fiber and a third of the daily required amount of iron and protein? Beans are also rich in zinc and potassium and is great for lowering cholesterol.
You also have the option to buy dry or canned beans. Be sure to rinse canned beans as they are often soaked in salt.
Lentils are also a legume and essential if you are a vegetarian. They are (just like beans) high in protein and soluble fiber. What sets them apart is the fact that lentils contain twice as much iron as beans. Lentils are also more versatile than beans and can be served with anything.
Did you know that lentils are high in folate and vitamin B? These nutrients are especially important for pregnant women as it decreases the risk of congenital disabilities.
There you have it! Our top pick of foods you cannot live without as a vegetarian. Perhaps you have been skimping on some foods. Remember that there are a lot of delicious vegetarian recipes on the web, making any meal time something to look forward to. Here’s a list of some of Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian recipes to try out!
There are a lot of interesting facts about vegetarianism out there. Some of them are considered to be true while others we can only speculate about. In this post we take a quick look at some of these fun facts. We hope you enjoy them just as much as we do!
1. Hitler was a Vegetarian
It is said that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Whether this is true or not is debatable. The story goes that he adopted the lifestyle when he was older and that he predicted that vegetarianism will become the lifestyle choice of the world. Records are showing Hitler telling stories of slaughterhouses to his dinner guests, aiming to put them off of their meal.
2. Some Religions Requires you to be Vegetarian
Perhaps a more well-known fact, but yet one worth mentioning. There are a couple of religious movements where one is required to be a vegetarian. Some of them include Rastafarianism as well as Hare Krishna.
3. Fruitarianism is a Thing
Have you ever watched Notting Hill? With Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Well, in one scene Grant dates a woman who shares with the dinner guests that she is a fruitarian. What you may not have known is that it exists and that it falls under vegetarianism. Fruitarians only eat fresh fruits, nuts and seeds where the plant is not harmed during harvest.
4. India is the Origin
It is said that ancient India is where vegetarianism has its roots. To this day statistics have shown that the world’s largest percentage of vegetarians can be found in India. The practice was based on the philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence towards animals).
5. Vegetarian Celebs All Over
Throughout the ages a lot of famous people opted for the vegetarian way of life. Some of who includes Leonardo da Vinci, Ozzy Osbourne, Albert Einstein and Brad Pitt. It is also said that Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian and that he introduced tofu to the country.
6. The Environment and Interesting Health Benefits
One of the main reasons why a lot of Americans decide to become vegetarians is due to the impact the meat industry has on the environment. That is of course adjacent to the multiple health benefits the lifestyle choice holds. According to studies, avoiding red meat can increase the sex appeal of male body odor.
Now that you know some interesting facts about vegetarianism, you have the perfect ice breakers for that next dinner party!
If you are not a vegetarian but you are considering to make the lifestyle change, you probably wonder about some things you’ve heard, read or just thought about. As a vegetarian it can be very frustrating to set people straight when it comes to these misconceptions, as you will soon learn when you make the change.
In this post we try to debunk these untruths and shed some light on them. If you are a vegetarian, you can use the information here to set the record straight once and for all!
1. Vegetarians are Skinny and Healthy
A lot of people assume that just because you are vegetarian, you are instantly healthier and skinny. Being vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. It doesn’t mean you are going to lose a whole lot of weight or be healthier than everyone else. There are loads of things vegetarians can also indulge in that is considered unhealthy.
It’s all about balance and choosing your meals and portions correctly. If you want to be a vegetarian because of this misconception, don’t. You’ll have to adopt a healthy lifestyle to be healthy and lose weight.
2. It’s difficult for a Vegetarian to Dine Out
Another one is the misconception that vegetarians are limited to selecting meatless salads and cooked veggies when they dine out. If you believe this, you haven’t dined out for a long time. Nowadays vegetarians have loads of options when it comes to going out, think vegetarian sushi for example.
There are also a lot of vegetarian restaurants opening and the latest trend is gourmet vegetarian restaurants. If you think you don’t want to become a vegetarian because you won’t be able to enjoy yourself, think again!
3. Vegetarians Spend Too Much Money on Food
Vegetarians may spend a lot more money on fresh fruit and vegetables, but then again meat is very expensive. Have you ever noticed the price difference of vegetarian options at restaurants? Yes, they are not more expensive than your average steak or burger.
If price is holding you back, you’ve got it all wrong. You are probably going to spend a little less or just about the same amount on groceries and dining out than before. Being vegetarian is not an expensive lifestyle.
4. Vegetarians Don’t Get Sufficient Protein
In fact, a lot of people believe that vegetarians have vitamin and protein deficiencies. This is by far the fattest of all the lies we have come across. Vegetarians replace foods to ensure they get all the nutritional goodness they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, a vegetarian diet will include loads of legumes and beans, vegetables and fruits and nuts. There are loads of fresh or dried foods out there that contains all the nutrients one needs to be healthy.
5. Vegetarians Judge Meat-eaters
Even though this might be true for some, but it’s not always the case. The majority of vegetarians couldn’t care less what your meal preference or lifestyle preference is. Just like we prefer others not to judge their preferences, we don’t judge theirs.
If you are going to have your steak in front of a vegetarian, they will not necessarily leave the table for that matter. There are however some vegetarians who do get nauseated when they smell or see meat. But for the rest of us, we don’t care what you eat!
And that’s a wrap! We hope you can now make your decision or explain to others what being vegetarian is all about. Read Rose Elliot’s take on the topic of being a vegetarian or vegan.
Building muscle mass while bodybuilding or training as a vegetarian can be a bit tricky. Taking protein shakes or powders is not everyone’s cup of tea, and you have to check the labels to ensure you can take that supplement.
In this post we take a look at our top five protein powders that are great for vegetarians. Now you can rest assured that you will be able to build those muscles and not waste any time by taking any of these vegetarian powders. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Pea Protein Powder
Made from garden peas, pea protein powder can be compared to brown rice protein powder. It does not contain all the amino acids that’s essential for building muscle mass, but it’s a perfect option for those who are vegan or are lactose intolerant.
Whether you want to add it to your smoothie, or to one of your meals, pea protein powder packs a punch and is a great way to supplement your protein intake. It’s also easily digested and doesn’t have an overwhelming taste as some powders do.
2. Casein Protein Powder
If you are a lacto-vegetarian, you might want to opt for Casein protein powders. It’s very similar to whey protein and has up to 80% of the protein in cow’s milk. This makes it perfect for building muscle mass and getting more out of your workout routine.
The best time to take your casein supplement? At night before bed. Why? Drinking your shake at night will ensure that no muscle breakdown takes place while you sleep and allows your body to recover in time for your next workout session.
3. Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein repairs and strengthens your lean muscle mass and accelerates your recovery after every workout. You’ll be able to choose between isolate, concentrate or complete whey when opting for whey protein as your protein powder.
The best option of the three? We would recommend whey isolate as it has a lower fat content and the protein content is purer.And, if you are a bit lactose-intolerant, you won’t have a problem with it as it contains less lactose.
4. Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein powder is a great option as you will have the benefit of getting all the amino acids that most vegetarian-friendly protein powders lack. It’s also very easy to digest and a perfect option to consume before you hit the gym.
The downside of hemp protein powder is probably its high calorie and fat content. It is however a great option if you are looking at building some muscle mass but if the fat and calories are off-putting, a better option would be whey or casein.
As you can see there are loads of options for vegetarians when it comes to protein powders. The main reason why athletes and bodybuilders take these supplements is to ensure recovery and that they build muscle mass. Which protein powder are you using, and why?
Whether you are a globetrotter or someone who dreams of traveling the world, we’ve got a treat for you! We have found the world’s very best vegetarian restaurants and compiled this list for you. If you are a bit of a foodie, you’d best bookmark these spots and make sure you get there!
Number 1: Bodhi, Sydney
This little gem in the heart of Sydney is sure to steal your heart. The emphasis of the restaurant is on fresh produce, serving delicious tapas style meals. Bodhi’s specialty? Yum-Cha and Pan Asian cuisine. This vegan/vegetarian restaurant is an absolute must if you ever find yourself in the merry old land of Oz.
Number 2: Le Grenier de Notre-Dame, Paris
The city of love has loads to offer any foodie. Whether you are a vegan, meat-eater or vegetarian, French cuisine is tops. Le Grenier’s menus are 100% plant-based and non-meat eaters can choose from their Zen or Discovery menus. The former is macrobiotic-based, whereas the Discovery menu is entirely vegetarian.
Number 3: L’Arancia Blu, Rome
When in Rome, eat at L’Arancia Blu! Even though the restaurant has a couple of not so favorable reviews, we’d highly recommend popping in. You can expect some of the most delicious all vegetarian Italian dishes. Pastas, pizzas and traditional desserts, you name it, they serve it. For a real Italian culinary experience, it’s a must.
Number 4: Cookies Cream, Berlin
For a true vegetarian gourmet experience, look no further than Cookies Cream in Berlin. The menu offers delectable entrees, mains and desserts while the atmosphere is cool and casual. You also won’t find any of the usual suspects like tofu or pasta on the menu. Everything made by the chef is fresh, herby and to die for!
Number 5: The Gate, London
Established in 1989, The Gate is listed as the best vegetarian/vegan gourmet restaurant in London. Everything on the menu promotes a healthy and conscious lifestyle and is delicious. If you find yourself in London, the trip would be incomplete without a meal at this award-winning restaurant. Signature dishes include butternut Rotolo and aubergine schnitzel.
Number 6: Pun Pun, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand’s tourism has boomed in recent years. If you don’t visit the country for the exquisite beaches and natural scenery, you should go for the food alone! The restaurant only uses organic produce in their dishes and supports local markets. For affordable vegetarian meals that is out of this world, Pun Punis recommended.
Number 7: The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
Who would have thought that one of the best vegetarian restaurants could be based in a country where meat and barbecue rules the roost? The Test Kitchen offers diners a unique dining experience and has an interesting take on vegetarian cuisine. If you ever happen to find yourself in the mother city, be sure to check it out.
Number 8: The Acorn, Vancouver
Our final stop is in Canada, home of The Acorn. If you are traveling to Vancouver, best book your seat at this award-winning restaurant. Meals are described as ‘vegetable-forward’ and creative. Your meal will be prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients. A perfect place for a brunch, lunch or delectable dinner.
Have you been to any of these restaurants before? Where would you travel to just for the food? We wish you happy travels and excellent dining experience wherever you may go.
Getting dinner ready in the week can become a bit of a schlep. Plus, you’ve just spent half the day working and now you have to spend more time preparing a meal. Most of us look forward to getting home and just relaxing.
With these easy recipes, you won’t compromise on taste or on your time for yourself. Are you ready to transform your mid-week dinners?
1. Vegetarian Gnocchi with Kale and Dolcelatte
Anyone for some creamy gnocchi? This recipe will only take 20 minutes of your time, very little effort and the result is one tasty dish!
- Green salad
- Half-fat crèmefraîche
First off you need to prepare the gnocchi. Simply follow the cooking instructions and scoop out with a slotted spoon once its cooked. Using the same water, cook the kale for about five minutes and drain. In the same pan, mix the kale, cheese and crème fraiche.
Mix everything with the cooked gnocchi, place it in an oven dish and grill it until it is golden brown. Serve with some salad greens and enjoy!
2. Potato and Spring Onion Soup
Perfect for a light dinner and those colder days when you need something warm and wholesome! This recipe is easy to make and won’t take longer than 30 minutes of your time.
- Double cream
- Spring onions
- Vegetable stock
Melt the butter in a pan and add most of the chopped spring onions. You’ll need some green pieces for garnishing once the soup is done. Next, add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is cooked and the potatoes are soft, use a stick blender or food processor to blend it until it is smooth. Add the cream, garnish and enjoy!
3. Spicy Black Bean and Squash Quesadillas
This delicious spicy black bean and squash quesadilla recipe is perfect for a lighter dinner and won’t take more than 30 minutes to make.
- Chipotle chili
- Jalapeno chili
- Black beans
- Butternut squash
Fry the tomato, garlic and onion in a frying pan over high heat until it is well-cooked. Place the charred veg in a food processor with the chipotle chili and blend until smooth. Cook the butternut in the microwave for ten minutes or until cooked. Once it is soft, mash it up, add the black beans and mash again.
Add the cheddar, jalapeno, lime and coriander to the butternut blend and mix well. Spoon onto tortillas and fold them over. Grill over high heat in a frying pan until the tortillas are brown and crispy and the cheese is melted. Serve with the chipotle salsa.
There are loads of quick and easy vegetarian recipes out there, waiting for you to give them a try! Let us know if you’ve enjoyed any of the ones we’ve shared with you here!
So, you have decided to become a vegetarian. Congratulations are in order! You can now look forward to a healthy lifestyle. It’s not easy though, and you have to take things one step at a time. But don’t you worry about a thing. Most of us has made that journey already, and we are here to help you on your way!
There are plenty of benefits you can look forward to as a vegetarian. In fact, you can learn more about how you will benefit in our post about the top six benefits of being vegetarian. But, you’ve probably already done your homework and want some tips on how to make the process a bit easier, right? Let’s jump right in.
#1 Identify Your Goals
This is the first step and is crucial, because without goals you don’t have anything to keep your eyes on the prize. Things to keep in mind is what you envision the transition to bring about, what you want to achieve, and what you envision to include in your diet.
Depending on your goals and needs, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to cut out meat and still eat dairy and eggs (lacto-ovo), eggs but no dairy (lacto-vegetarian) or vegan (no animal products).
#2 Take Some Time
Yes, it is a big transition and a major lifestyle change. It is going to take time to ease into this new way of life. The best advice is to systematically scale down your regular meals to ensure your body gets used to the change. You can start by eating two vegetarian dishes a week.
Slowly start incorporating more and more vegetarian meals until your body is used to the fact that it’s getting less meat. Don’t be in a rush, it’s not going to happen overnight!
#3 Replace the Right Foods
Just because your diet is changing doesn’t mean you are going to leave out certain nutrients completely. In fact, you should replace the foods you wean yourself off with something else that has the same nutritional value.
For instance, you will need to include a lot of legumes and beans, fruits and vegetables as well as grains. The nutrition you get should still be the same, otherwise you’ll end up feeling hungry.
#4 Don’t Starve Yourself
It goes without saying. You will probably lose some weight, but don’t assume you have to eat less or food that’s drab and tasteless. Your diet will most definitely not consist of salads and steamed vegetables alone!
You’ll be able to experiment and have fun with new foods and recipes. Keep at it and follow a healthy meal plan. Don’t end up starving yourself.
If you follow these simple tips you should be fine! Don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that the transition is going to take place overnight. Be proud of your decision and keep at it, you’ll soon experience the value of becoming a vegetarian.