Thursday, October 9, 2014

Healthy Proteins for Vegetarians, Vegan and Lovegan



Sushil Kumar (wrestling Champion), the strongest man in the world has been a vegetarian all his life

 
During my student days in Canada, influenced by eastern philosophies, a friend became a vegetarian. He had developed the notion that being a vegetarian meant not eating, meat, fish and eggs and eating vegetables instead. It goes without saying that he became weaker by the months until explained to him, that vegetables is something both meat eaters and vegetarians have to eat for good health and if he has stopped meat he must replace that with other protein matter not just more of vegetables. This friend studied the matter and took to beans until he began to phart like a cow and then I had to intervene again to explain to him that beans cause flatulence and will not help him to acquire a robust health although he might survive in an insipid and unpleasant sort of a way. He has since learned of the right and healthy way to become a vegetarian.

Some of the strongest, healthiest and longest lived people come from regions like Haryana in India and Ikaria in Greece and they are either pure vegetarians or almost vegetarian but they know what to eat to be healthy and flatulence free. The world champion wrestler belongs to Harayana and is regarded as the strongest man in the world by some. He has been a pure vegetarian all his life not even consuming eggs. He does have plenty of milk products though and almonds, lentil beans, yoghurt, farm fresh vegetables and unleavened whole wheat flat bread often cooked on a wood stove. During a wrestling match it was suspected he had bitten the ear of an opponent and when he was asked about it he replied jokingly that how could he, he was a vegetarian.

Some of the foods are listed here in the order of their usefulness for a lovegan diet. The following vegetarian foods include eggs and milk products that is a part of lovegan diet but not a vegan one. The vegans can choose items permitted by their philosophy. Vegetarians are of two kinds some that eat eggs regarding it as a surplus animal product like milk and others who do not eat eggs saying that they may be fertilized and be a part of life.

  1. Eggs: Eggs are the healthiest, economical and most convenient delicious food but because of their powerful contents it is best not to exceed two a day. It is safest to stick to just one a day, most days. Hard boil them, scramble or make an omelet or have them as a part of a cake.

  1. Milk products: The best are yoghurt and Paneer - an unprocessed non-melting cheese - that can be used in an array of delicious recipes. It is prepared easily at home by adding a few spoons of vinegar to boiling milk and straining out the solid paneer. Some of the liquid that is left can be used to add to soups, stews and bread but if too much is left, some may have to be discarded unfortunately. Some butter or clarified butter for cooking is also a near must for robust health for vegetarians.

  1. Chick Peas: These are delicious and full of good health but will cause flatulence unless processed properly. Soak them overnight and then boil and soften them in a pressure cooker with lots of water and a little salt until tender, about half an hour. Cool, and strain. The flatulence will go out with the water and you may then use the cooked chick peas as a replacement for meat in a lot of recipes. They are delicious if cooked properly. Throwing in a finger of ginger while boiling will help further.

  1. Mung Bean Sprouts: Once you learn how to prepare them at home, they are great for a noodle dish, veggie burgers or just stir fried lightly with onions and tomatoes.

  1. White button Mushrooms

  1. Red lentils: These are great as a soup with sandwich or with steamed rice. Use of Tomatoes while cooking them adds greatly to taste.

  1. Preparations from Besan – Black Bengal gram flour ( black chick peas) – You would have to learn the recipes though to make use of this handy and delicious vegetarian protein food. Dried Pea flour is at times used as a replacement for Besan. it is similar but does not have all the health promoting properties of Bengal Gram.

  1. Tofu / Tempeh

  1. Black eyed Beans (lobia) Pre-process as chick peas above to remove flatulence. However, despite that they may cause flatulence for some. If they do, skip these.

  1. Some seeds such as hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein. Hemp seeds can be mixed with flour for  protein rich bread, about two table spoons per cup of flour. More widely available is almonds, coconuts and other nuts such as roasted peanuts or roasted black Bengal gram; this has been mentioned last not because it is the least but because it is a health supplement taken aside from the meals. However they are a part of many recipes too, especially deserts. They brighten most any desert and add great nutrition and protein to it.Check out this great recipe of Mother's Bounty Chutney that will help vegans and vegetarians to make up any deficiency caused by not eating meat http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/10/good-health-fighting-alzheimers-disease.html  


Mixed Red Lentil and Split Moong, ready for cooking


There are a lot of other types of beans and lentils but most are heavy on flatulence except washed split and dried Mung beans but they were not included in the list because good quality washed and split mung beans are not available widely around the world. However in places that they are available, they may form an important part of a vegetarian diet. So now you have an extensive list to choose from. Provided you learn the right recipes you can have delicious meals every day and be just as healthy as those from Ikaria or Haryana and far healthier than meat eaters. It goes without saying that bread, rice and fresh vegetables must accompany these meals for carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals that a human body needs. However the obese should cut down on carbohydrates but not the others. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and goose foot weed are the healthiest while lettuce and celery leaves are great as a part of the salad.  Do ensure that there is some raw fruit or salad in meals at least once a day for the live enzymes a body needs.


An average human who consumes an egg a day,  five or six days a week, five to ten almonds ( more would harm just as as too many eggs do) or a quarter of a coconut (it can be ground up in a chutney or sauce), a cup of yoghurt and just a small portion of another item from the list here should be well off as regards the protein content of diet. Consume yoghurt at or before lunch only and avoid in the evening according to ancient experience from the Himalayan region or alternatively have a glass of hot milk at night. Aside from proteins carbohydrates are required, best in bread or rice;  some vegetable - some leafy, some raw and some cooked in a good fat or oil such as butter, olive oil or coconut oil with a spoonful or two of natural sweetener such as jaggery or honey or even a sweet fruit to indulge, an apple or banana a day would make up for many nutrients and enzymes one may miss due to lack of vegetables and salad. One should then be well off as regards diet in the opinion of this author and need nothing more than pure water, fresh air, sunshine, green surroundings, exercise, cleanliness, loving thoughts and a lack of greed for excellent health, to the best possible potential that the genetic structure that the Lord gave one at birth permits. It is possible to bring down these requirements with meditation and mindful breathing because man does not live by bread alone but that is mostly for mystics and not ordinary humans.

The List here is not exhaustive but merely drawn from the author's experience in travels around the world. Wishing that you enjoy a great life full of love for all life.  Mother earth has filled the planet with a great variety of foods for your enjoyment and nourishment. Cherish her gifts. One need not cause violence just to live and be healthy.

Enjoy with steamed rice and a clear herbal sauce
Caution: If you have been a regular meat, chicken or fish eater, giving up on all of it suddenly is likely to lead to weakness because we are all creatures of our habits. It is better to spread out the change over a few years cutting down the number of days gradually with meat as you discover new alternatives, until you are down to once a week or so. If you have been a meat or fish eater until the age of fifty or sixty, your body may now have developed so that it unable to produce all that it requires for good health without meat or fish but once a week should be sufficient to make up for it. This is akin to those of Ikaria who are some of the longest lived and most disease free group of humans on earth and who mostly consume meat or fish only four or five times in a month.  While the precise chemistry of each human is unique and different and is something every individual must explore on their own as regards food, it is not a good idea to be a fanatic in this area. While traveling, visiting or say on a thanks giving dinner with turkey, one need not hold back from it unless one has been a vegetarian since childhood. Do note that is is impossible to eliminate violence completely in procurement of food, one may only eliminate whatever is unnecessary. When we contribute some good for the world besides ourselves we tend to compensate for harm done.

Read about the Ikarians here:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/01/vegetarian-food-for-good-health-ikaria.html 

UPDATE: A new study now proves conclusively that vegetarian food is healthier than non-vegetarian one. See: http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2015/12/its-official-vegetarians-lead-healthier.html


Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saut%C3%A9ed_Tempeh_cropped.jpg

1 comment:

endy smith said...

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