I’m sure you’re thinking what is Flexitarianism? Megan Ware, one of our weight loss camps RD’s explains. The newly coined term can be used to describe anyone following a plant-based diet that occasionally consumes meat. Any time you replace meat with vegetables, you are cutting back on calories and gaining valuable nutrients. If weight loss isn’t enough of reason, check this out:
It has been estimated that 8% of deaths in women and almost 10% of deaths in men could be prevented if people consumed less than half a serving per day of red meat, according to Adam Bernstein, research director at the renowned Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.
The National Institute of Health-AARP conducted a study on half a million people and found that those who ate the most red meat had a 30% higher mortality rate than those who ate the least.
The risk of colon and rectal cancer rises by about 20% for every serving of red or processed meat you eat in a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a strict vegan. Start small:
The next time you’re ordering or preparing anything from an omelet to a burrito, replace the meat with tomato, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions or any other vegetable you enjoy. You can turn any mediocre meal into healthier one using this tip—pizza, spaghetti sauces, wraps, sandwiches, you name it.
Go meatless one day per week. Participate in meatless Monday, a campaign launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The “cut out meat one day a week” program is active in 23 countries and growing! Start by trying this alternative to the classic burger:
Black Bean Burgers
Makes 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
6 green leaf lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.
Nutrition and Cooking Tips:
Black beans are included in the family of dried beans and peas known as legumes. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in black beans aid in normal body processes, maintain good health and fight chronic disease. They are great source of iron and 5 percent of the daily value for calcium. Black beans also provide significant amounts of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, and the B vitamins -thiamin and folate, or folic acid. www.Livestrong.com
Make your own whole wheat bread crumbs. Either use stale whole wheat bread or toast up some whole wheat bread and process in a food processor until there are crumbs. Season with herbs.
Scoop out the whole wheat bun if serving on a bun. Other options are eating it open faced or on a bed of lettuce.
Top your burger with a variety of vegetables.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 290 kcal Total Fat: 7 g Total Carbohydrates: 47 g Dietary Fiber: 10 g Protein: 12 g