No doubt you’ve heard that making the transition to a more healthful non-meat based diet can enhance your health and longevity. The task seems daunting for most folks. So we asked our Editorial Assistant, Jan Francisco, to share with you how she made this shift in her own life. She notes that it was a gradual process, nearly two years (which is what “the experts” recommend), to gradually eliminate certain foods and introduce new healthier ones into the daily diet.
Jan Francisco reflects on the steps she took:
- Eliminating all products from my diet which contained nitrates—this took out all the processed meats.
- Eliminating all pork—I used the vegetarian versions of bacon for a while and that helped.
- Gradually eliminating all red meats. Once eliminating beef from my diet it was very difficult to go back to chewing the consistency of beef.
- Gradually eliminating chicken. This was done by eating only small bits of chicken in rice dishes, soups and salads. The next step was just using chicken broth in prepared dishes. The final step was eliminating it all together. I would boil boneless chicken breasts to use in salads, soups and rice dishes and save the broth to be used in those dishes or as frozen cubes to be used in sauteing vegetables. Even just a cube of frozen chicken broth added to a main dish would be enough to satisfy my meat craving. I had designated ice cube trays for chicken bouillion which, once frozen, would be placed in freezer bags for future use.
During the above steps, the goal was to eat only meats that were free of additives, preservatives, and were either free range or from local farmers. It was more about quality than quantity.
During this time I was increasing my intake of dark green leafy vegetables and following the premise that the darker the color of the vegetable the more it had to offer—as far as nutrition. I eliminated white potatoes for sweet potatoes or Yukon Golds, and changed my rice from white to brown, preferaby long grain. The idea was to rid myself of empty calories. Also, the dark green leafy vegetables, especially the kale, have enambled me to continue to have excellent bone scan results even after six years of not eating dairy products. I must add that regular exercise—walking in particular, really contributes to that also.
Black Soy Bean &
Tomato Chili Salsa
1 cup Eden® Organic Black Soy Beans, drained
1 cup Eden Organic Diced Tomatoes w/Green Chilies, drained
1/2 cup red onion, minced
3 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon Eden Organic Shoyu Soy Sauce
1/2 cup coriander, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoons green onion chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix, taste, and add extra lime juice and shoyu, if desired. Serve with Eden Chips or organic tortilla chips.
Serves 10 / Prep Time 10 minutes / Cooking Time 0 minutes
Tomato Tortilla Soup
29 ounces Eden Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, 2 cans, do not drain
15 ounces Eden Organic Navy Beans, do not drain
1/2 cup Edensoy Original or Edensoy Unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon Eden Sea Salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, minced
2 cups tortilla strips or mini tortilla chips
Place beans and tomatoes in a blender and puree until creamy. Pour into a medium saucepan, add sea salt and Edensoy. Turn the flame to medium, stirring frequently and bring almost to a boil. Reduce the flame to low and simmer 5 minutes. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish each bowl with parsley or cilantro, and tortilla strips.
Serves 5 / Prep Time 5 minutes / Cooking Time 5 minutes
Sweet & Sour Pasta
12 ounces Eden Organic Kamut Spirals, 1 package, or any Eden Spiral Pasta
15 ounces Eden Organic Kidney (dark red) Beans, drained
15 ounces Eden Organic garbonzo Beans, drained
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium Cucumber, sliced
2 cups green onions, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons dried basil
1/3 cup Eden Organic Brown Rice Vinegar, or Eden Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Eden Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Eden Organic Barley Malt Syrup
2 Tablespoons Eden Shoyu Soy Sauce
Serves 6 / Prep Time 10 minutes / Cook Time 10 minutes
Cook pasta as package directs. Rinse and drain. Mix pasta, beans, red pepper, green onions and basil. Prepare dressing. Mix into salad and serve.
Frozen Banana Parfait
2 large bananas, peeled, sliced in half and frozen
1/4 cup Edensoy Vanilla, or Extra Vanilla
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, if desired
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh, or other any berries
Cut the banana chunks into slices and place in a blender. Add Edensoy and puree until creamy. Add maple syrup, if desired and pulse again. Set a few blueberries in the bottom of two parfait glasses. Spoon about one third of the banana mixture on top. Repeat layers twice more, ending with blueberries on top. Serve immediately. Serves 2