Hello, welcome to our second week of “Veggie Month with Oria”!!!
What are the health benefits of vegetarianism?
There is currently not enough data to know the exact effects of vegetarian diets. It’s not easy to tease out the fact of being vegetarian from other practices that we are more likely to follow, such as not smoking, not drinking excessively, and getting adequate exercise. But, for sure, when you don’t eat meat, you consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and plant chemicals. As a result, you are likely to have lower total cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI). Moreover, we associate it with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases. Some studies have even shown a decrease in overall risk of all-cause mortality.
Thereby, being vegetarian can reduce the risk and prevents from heart diseases, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, diabetes.
But, with what can you replace proteins you find in your meat? That is a good question people legitimately often ask. To answer it, I can give you some general advice. You can easily replace proteins with dairy products and eggs, or with plant sources such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, seeds, soy products and whole grains. Usually, being vegetarian doesn’t affect your iron rate. Otherwise, you can eat more vitamin C: it will enhance the absorption of iron by your body (which is made faster with iron that you find in red meat). It is the same thing with zinc.
There is one specific vitamin you can only find in animal products: the vitamin B12. So, it is in eggs and fish, but you don’t find it in plant sources. You can still complement your diet with a B12 vitamin supplement.
To sum up, no figure has proven the health benefits of vegetarianism- but in my opinion, you have nothing to lose!!! Eating less meat may not make you live 20 years longer, but it will have a positive impact on your body and the planet!!
Statistic of the week
There is a 19% lower risk of death from heart disease among vegetarians.
Recipe of the week: Carrot cake
Here a delicious recipe, my favourite dessert! It’s easy to do, tasty, original, and lighter than a chocolate cake. My recipe is for 6 people, but you can do it for more or less.
To bake it, you will need:
- 2 cups carrot (hand-grated)
- 1 cup ¼ (175 g) almond powder
- 1/3 cup (50g) chopped pecan nuts
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar (175g) (brown or white)
- 1 yellow lemon
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- Oria’s tip: I always add a packet of vanilla sugar.
If you have everything you can start! (You can replace almond powder with flour, and raisin and pecan nuts for any nut you like).
- In a bowl, blend egg yolk with sugar until it comes white and foamy.
- Add lemon zest, then flour, salt, almond powder, chopped pecan nuts, cinnamon. Blend everything.
- Add carrot hand grated, and finally lemon juice. Blend again in order to make it smooth.
- To finish, add nuts.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs white and carefully incorporate it into the previous preparation.
- And finally, butter a cake mold, pour the preparation in it, and bake for 45-50 minutes to 350˚F (180˚C)
- Remove the cake from its mould and let cool it down on a wire rack.
Now, you can taste it… or if you want to, make an icing to put on it:
- Icing: you need 200 g icing sugar, 50 g soft butter (but not melted), and 100 g creamy soft white cheese.
- Blend all the ingredients together and then spread them on the cake. Let it harden in the refrigerator at least 12h before tasting.
Challenge of the week
This week I am challenging you to organize a Vegetarian Supper for your family or friends, or colleagues, whoever you want! You could do Vegebowls and a carrot cake for dessert!!
As I am staying with my host family, I have made one for them and it was so delicious! Check out some other meals Green Venture staff and volunteers have cooked up: Vegbowls, Mexican Street Corn, and Stir Fry!
Bonus: If you are hungry at the moment you can make yourself a healthy snack such as hummus and avocado toast!!
I often do some for lunch. Since I have started, I am addicted to it.
It’s even tastier if you put a pinch of salt on your avocado toast.