Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vegetarians and Weight Loss

Vegetarian Weight Loss - Can You Achieve Weight Loss the Vegetarian Way?
By Vanessa Youngstrom

Obesity is a growing problem. Two thirds of Americans are overweight. More and more people are searching for natural weight loss options and vegetarian weight loss programs fit the bill.
The commercial market is overflowing with a large number of diet supplements and weight loss options. But natural options are the safest way to shed pounds. Dieticians and nutritionists recommend natural weight loss diets to people who are health conscious.

People who follow a diet of raw fruits and vegetables for weight loss are less prone to heart disease, stroke and cancer. Vegetarian weight loss programs can be structured using a point system so that vegetables are a “0”, fruits are between 1-3 points and nuts and seeds rank higher because they are higher in calories and fats.

The desire for a lean healthy body must include regular intake of water, the right foods and regular exercise. Like in any other program large helpings of high-fat protein sources such as peanut butter, nuts and cheese can cause vegetarians to gain weight.

Instead of using peanut butter or nuts as snacks, use whole grain snacks, fruit and vegetables during the day. Using a vegetarian weight loss program does not ensure automatic weight loss. Keep a written record of everything you eat during the day to keep a handle on your eating habits. Keep watch on everything that isn’t raw fruit and vegetables.

Plan your meal choices during the day since last minute choices are usually higher in calories. Those chips, cookies, power bars and candy, although meatless, are higher in calories, sugar and fats. Use a daily multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps.

There are convenience foods sold in the grocery store that fit a vegetarian weight loss program. Check out the health food store and watch the calories, sugars, fats and oils in the products. Do not resort to junk foods. When all else fails apples and bananas are convenient, filling and full of good nutrition.

You can also put together pre-made bags of your own trail mix. Include almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for a healthy nutritious snack. Try to eat only raw and organic nuts and seeds for the best flavor and fuel.

Preparation of your vegetarian weight loss program can be just as important as the foods you eat. Grocers now carry vegetarian burgers that can be microwaved as opposed to fried. Frying foods is just as dangerous as eating meats because of the increased animal fats and the processing that vegetable oils and lard go through to make them palatable. Try to eat as much raw foods as possible to help your digestive system.

Vegetarian weight loss is a healthy and natural weight loss option to add to your weight loss arsenal. Done right you’ll see some fast weight loss initially and you’ll feel better and have more energy.

Vanessa Youngstrom, a nurse practitioner, enjoys writing and educating on health and wellness topics. You’ll find more articles at http://www.PathToYourHealth.com

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Vegetarian Lasagna

By Melissa Lastelle


If you are looking for the best vegetarian lasagna recipe available on the internet then you have come to the right place!

I made this vegetarian lasagna for my family and they loved it so much that it is now in the permanent family recipe book!

This vegetarian lasagna is not only delicious but highly nutritional. What other vegetarian lasagna recipe can claim to be enriched with potassium and folate?

Many people are under the impression that by not eating meat you would be lacking in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. They could not be further from the truth.

The high spinach content in this vegetarian lasagna recipe is believed to reduce the risk of cancer, help to avoid and relieve anemia and is said to protect against eye degeneration and heart disease!

Who ever said lasagna had to be unhealthy? This vegetarian lasagna is also high in protein and low in carbohydrates, courtesy of the cottage cheese content.

Vegetarian lasagna is widely believed to bland and unsubstantial in comparison to regular lasagna. This is not the case, choosing your favorite sauce or a sauce that the family (or whoever you are preparing the vegetarian lasagna for) usually have with pasta dishes will help to familiarize them to the idea and it is certain to be highly rated! We all know how scary it is to try new recipes out on the family, especially with fussy children.

If you are new or are introducing your family to the vegetarian lifestyle then starting off with dishes such as vegetarian lasagna or anything similar is wise. It is not advised to go straight to recipes and ingredients that your family members are not used to. This usually results in negative feedback and will only make it harder for you to be a successful vegetarian.

This delicious vegetarian lasagna recipe is highly nutritional, popular with the family (yes even the kids!) And easy to make! Best of all, it’s free!

VEGETARIAN LASAGNA

INGREDIENTS:

1 Package lasagna noodles
1 Jar favorite meatless pasta sauce
1 Small package lite mozzarella cheese 1 Fresh medium eggplant
3 Tomatoes
Parsley Flakes
1 Package frozen spinach
Salt and pepper
1 Small package of cottage cheese

METHOD:

Thinly slice eggplant into rounds and lay on a paper towel, salt lightly. Lay another paper towel on top and layer with eggplant slices and salt lightly. Continue this layering method until all eggplant is used.
Place a heavy pan on a cookie sheet on top of stack and leave to sit for half an hour to two hours. Defrost spinach and drain as much water out as possible. (Using a colander)
Cook lasagna noodles in oven at 180˚C until soft and tender
Mix cottage cheese and defrosted spinach together in a large bowl and add salt and pepper
Using a casserole pan, spread a layer of sauce and then place a tender lasagna noodle on top
Place a layer of spinach/cottage cheese mix, sauce, eggplant slices and then a noodle. Repeat this process until pan is full then place in the oven.
Place sauce and thinly sliced tomatoes on the last layer and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese heavily on top.
Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. (Eggplant should be soft and a brown color)
SERVES-4

Melissa Lastelle-Founder of http://www.TheVegetarianBible.com