Ever since living on my own I've eaten more vegetarian than not. Simply out of convenience. But I've also grown to love tofu and beans. I feel good when I eat more plant based both physically and mentally. But that being said I love a good burger, fried chicken, and basically any meat every now and then. And you better believe I'm eating ham on Easter and turkey on Thanksgiving. So why am I going more plant based?
GI health: For me, beans and legumes keep me regular. TMI?! Sorry! But honestly the fiber in them just keeps everything moving as it should and in a timely manner.
Fiber: The average adult does not get enough fiber. It comes from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Last year when I was living in Vermont and getting a CSA I was surpassing the recommendations for fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer and it helps you stay regular (see above). Just remember that when you increase fiber you also have to increase your water intake to prevent constipation!
Cost: A pound of chicken on sale these days can cost $2. It would serve about 2-4 meals depending on how hungry I am. On the other hand a can of beans will serve me 3 meals and costs 89 cents. The cost dips even lower if you buy dried beans!
Ease of preparation: Canned beans you just need to rinse! Tofu you can slice and eat as is! Easy peasy. And both are very versatile! Most recipes with meat can be adapted to be made with a vegetarian alternative (like my butter tofu recipe!)
Heart health: The Mediterranean diet promotes heart health. It encompasses fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and plant based protein, unsaturated fats and low fat dairy! My family has borderline high cholesterol so I'm choosing more vegetarian proteins to fight the genetics!
Some of my favorite vegetarian meals so far!
Pasta Fagioli (white beans and Navy beans)
Butter Tofu (with jasmine rice and vegetables)
Egg Roll Bowls (with some nuts for protein!)