“Planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,” according to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
But for those who are not ready to give up meat entirely, adopting “Meatless Mondays” might be the thin end of the wedge, the start we need to adopt healthier food choices, says Liz Dempsey, a dietetic intern at Michigan State University who is working a rotation with Hillary Bisnett, director of the Ecology Center’s “Healthy Food in Health Care” initiative this year.
Bisnett has worked with a number of dietetics students over the past few years. “We host several students working on their rotations from dietetics programs throughout the state each year. They work with us on the Healthy Food initiative to give them some insight into sustainable food systems and civic dietetics,” Bisnett said. “They also help us spread the word about our efforts and broaden our impact when they go on to their professional careers.”
“The key to a vegetarian diet is to focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds,” Dempsey said. By eating a varied diet, it is easy for vegetarians to get all the necessary nutrients your body needs.”
The recipe Dempsey recommends this month for panini sandwiches is a great example of including a variety of foods in a vegetarian meal. Maybe you’ll want to try it next Monday?
(If you do try the recipe, will you let us know how it turned out? We’d like to run photos on our web site.)
Recipe: Portobello, Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Panini
EcoLink — January 2012 Ecolink
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