I’m sure you have heard of the “meatless Monday” movement. The idea is to have one day a week when you focus on eating plant-based meals and take a break from animal proteins. Another approach is to change one meal a day to plant-based foods. For many, this has been an interesting exercise that encourages them to think outside our cultural norm.
You know that I encourage including protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your meals for a balanced nutritional benefit. You may be wondering how to do this when planning a meatless meal. It’s not hard at all. Legumes provide both plant-based protein and complex carbs along with a healthy dose of beneficial fiber. Healthy fats can be found in avocado, olive or coconut oil and some vegetables.
One Meal a Day
Suzy Cameron, author of OMD: Change the World By Changing One Meal a Day suggests that switching one meal a day (OMD) provides greater benefit than meatless Monday. Making this one change, Cameron says, has ripple effects that begins at a cellular level and expands from there. With this simple change, you can slash your disease risk without deprivation.
The seed for developing this approach was planted when Cameron watched Forks Over Knives, a documentary that traces the experiences of a group of people who used plant-based eating to reverse degenerative disease.
Cameron was the co-founder of a private school and could see the early signs of disease development in many of her students. The decision was made to shift to plant-based school lunches. This change helped students and faculty members reduce their medication.
Fully plant-based meals provide the digestive system with relief from the demands of breaking down animal protein into its components for absorption. They increase the body’s own anti-aging activity by raising levels of telomerase, the enzyme that helps our genes repair themselves. This approach also reduces inflammation, provided that meals include complex grains, not refined grains (think flour-based food).
When you think about it, our current diet is not the historical norm. The average American’s meals are loaded with oversized portions of meat, sugar, refined foods with little fiber. Such a meal would have been unaffordable for most people prior to the 1960s.
Government subsidies of some agriculture has dropped the cost for these foods but the results is not good for our health. We are staggering under an increasing burden of diseases like gout, heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Most disturbing for me is that we are now seeing a generation of children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Whoa!
What About You?
What meal could you change to plant-based? Your box of cereal or waffles doesn’t count. Cereal and waffles are refined foods. I start each day with a plant-based smoothie that incorporates many different fruits and veggies. I’d be glad to share a “Build a Smoothie” guide if that would help you. Reach out to me and ask for it!
A plant-based lunch can be more than a salad! A meal built with roasted veggies and cooked legumes is a good alternative. This approach lends itself to preparing several in advance, which can save time and money on your lunches for the week. And it doesn’t have to be lunch that you swap – perhaps you want to eat a heavier meal for lunch and then swap your dinner to plant-based?
Whatever meal you choose, your body will benefit from a daily plant-based meal. Just OMD will provide a boost in enzymes and relief for your digestive system. Can you hear your body’s sigh of relief?
Photo by Adalia Botha on Unsplash