This week we’re celebrating Meat Free Week at The Healthy Chef. By taking part in Meat Free Week, you’ll be helping to raise awareness of Australia’s second biggest cancer killer – bowel cancer. Dealing with chronic digestive issues for most of my life, digestive health is very close to my heart.
People often ask me about what I eat, and to be honest, I tend to focus on eating more of a plant-based whole foods diet as it works better with my digestion. I also include other protein such as wild caught fish or organic chicken.
Studies published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition showed that the vegetarian diet was associated with an overall lower incidence of colorectal cancers. Evidence from the study also showed a reduced risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
A plant-based lifestyle can encompass a wide variety of diets and foods eaten, but have one thing in common amongst all of these diets. The foundation of the diet is from wholefoods....eating fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, and other foods than come from plants.
Being plant-based can be a wonderful template from which you can build your own personalised diet.
A NOURISHING WHOLEFOODS DIET
A nourishing, meat free diet is great for boosting your intake of essential nutrients. It can also keep your skin glowing, support a healthy weight, and prevent the onset of chronic disease.
I believe that food is most healing when it is close to its original state and has the properties to heal and nourish, which is why I love eating mostly a vibrant, plant-based diet.
One of the most common questions from people following vegetarian style eating plans is how to get enough protein into their diet. Getting adequate amounts of protein is extremely important as protein is the building block of our cells, muscles, tissues, and so much more.
Protein should be high priority in all diets, but especially in plant-based diets. Making sure you have enough protein throughout the day is key to long-term success.
VEGAN RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
FOR A TREAT: VEGAN BANANA BREAD
A tropical take on my all time classic Gluten Free Banana Bread, from my Purely Delicious Cookbook. My vegan version is from my newest Healthy Baking Cookbook and uses organic desiccated coconut and almond meal to create a lusciously sweet and nutty flavour. It’s also gluten-free and egg free, makingit perfect for anyone with a food allergy or intolerance. This recipe was featured on The Morning Show last week as it's always been an all-time favourite recipe of mine. It's quite delicate as it has no eggs to hold it together, so it's important to set the bread in the fridge overnight before you serve it.
Bananas are a terrific energy food and a great source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. They add moisture and sweetness to baked goods, which means you can reduce the amount of sweetener and oil considerably. Almonds are packed full of protein and heart healthy fats that are kind to your arteries and can help lower cholesterol as well as keep blood sugars stable. This makes a nice change from typical store bought and cafe-style banana breads that are generally high in refined white flour, sugar and saturated fats. GET THE RECIPE
Almonds are packed full of protein and heart healthy fats that are kind to your arteries and can help lower cholesterol as well as keep blood sugars stable.
FOR COMPLETE NOURISHMENT: WARM BROCCOLI SALAD WITH KALE, LIME + ROASTED TAMARI ALMONDS
This is complete nourishment in a bowl and the recipe is from my cookbook Purely Delicious. It is my go-to recipe that takes just minutes to make and makes you feel amazing after eating it.
Broccoli is full of alkalinising, anti-inflammatory and phytonutrients that work to support optimum health and protect against disease. It’s a true superfood rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, E and CoQ10. Broccoli is also a wonderful source of B group vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. Almonds are high in the minerals potassium and magnesium to help nourish the nervous system when under stress. The lime helps to alkalinise whilst the black pepper will enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory. GET THE RECIPE
Broccoli is full of alkalinising, anti-inflammatory and phytonutrients that work to support optimum health and protect against disease.
FOR A HEARTY MEAL: EARTH BURGERS
These yummy vegetarian style burgers are rich in superfood antioxidants and protein to aid muscle repair and help energise your body. The recipe is from my cookbook Purely Delicious. I make mine using wholegrain steamed brown rice, which holds them together really well. Enjoy them cold as a quick and healthy lunch or snack.
Brown rice is great to use if you have digestive issues. It is high in resistant starch which is a unique type of fibre with impressive health benefits for gut health. Resistant starch functions similarly to soluble fibre, helping feed the friendly bacteria in your gut and increasing its production.
Brown rice has a lovely, mild in flavour and gluten-free. It’s also a source of B vitamins that are needed for energy metabolism. If you’re using quinoa, it is gluten-free and has a low GI of 53. For added protein, I’ve added grated tempeh which is made from fermented soy beans. GET THE RECIPE
Brown rice is great to use if you have digestive issues. It’s a lovely, mild in flavour and gluten-free. It’s also a source of B vitamins that are needed for energy metabolism.