June 7, 2010

Why we should participate in Meatless Monday.

There are too many reasons to list.

I grew up in a small town in Texas and knew my meat personally.

As a child, I would help feed the cows and tend the garden at my grandparent’s farm. I hated every minute of it. Not because I had a deep connection with said cows and knew they were going to be slaughtered. I just despised being outside in the heat and getting dirty.

Twice a year my dad would bring home slabs of different meats to fill up the extra fridge in the garage. We loved to barbecue and I ate my meat with a smile. I didn’t think it was wrong because I didn’t know any better. Most of us are taught that eating animals is just a part of life; that you don’t really have a choice in the matter.

But, we do have a choice.

Let us throw out our conventional knowledge about nutrition just for a moment. There are plenty of studies that show that humans can get adequate protein and nutrition on a well-balanced plant-based diet. Studies also show that most of the degenerative dis-ease in this country is caused by our meat-centered diets and can be completely prevented and treated by eliminating animal foods from our diets.

The UN just released a report that clearly states that we need to consume less animal products if we want to save ourselves and the planet from destruction. If changing your diet meant that you would be free from physical pain and mental suffering, that the world would have enough food to eat, and the planet would be saved, would that be enough?

If not then we do the best we can. We try to eat as many vegetarian meals as possible. We all, no matter our ethnicity, gender, age, or income level, can reduce the amount of animal foods we eat. To get started participate in Meatless Monday with us here at Elephant Journal. I’m going to post recipes and cooking videos each month to help you on your way to better physical, psychological, and spiritual health. And the planet gets to breathe a sigh of relief.

We are what we eat. This is one simple truth that never changes. When I eat a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds I literally disease-proof my body, having less instances of the common cold, flu, headaches, allergies and conditions like cancer, arthritis, and diabetes will be stopped dead in their tracks. I know when I’m feeling this awesome there’s a good possibility that I will be able to present my true, authentic self to the world and be able to perform my function for this lifetime.

I would like to share with you a delicious Summer salad recipe that is super quick and easy to make. Everything should be available at your local farmer’s market.

Avocado, Strawberry, & Grape Tomato Salad

Strawberries are the most popular berry in the world. They go great in salads and as a compliment to a savory dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette in this recipe.

1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn or chiffonade
2 avocados, cubed
1 medium carrot, thin julienne
10 grape tomatoes, quartered
6 strawberries, ends cut off and sliced
1 cup yellow pepper, thinly sliced
Pinch of black pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup
¼-½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 clove fresh garlic, sliced (optional)



Blend dressing ingredients in a blender or whisk by hand. Place salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss with vinaigrette right before serving.

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