Tag Archives: vegan

Tips on Eliminating Meat from your Diet – Mayo Clinic

I haven’t eliminated meat from my diet, but I have cut back sharply. If you are considering either going without meat, or cutting way back, you have probably wondered about what you will be missing in nutrition. Well, Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter offered some worthwhile tips for just such a situation.

” … if you eliminate or markedly reduce only the meat in your diet, but still consume animal products such as dairy and eggs, and a wide variety of plant-based foods, you should have no problem getting adequate protein, iron, calcium and vitamin B-12.

Not so much ...

Not so much …

“Even a vegan diet — which eliminates all animal-based foods, including dairy and eggs — provides adequate protein and iron if you get enough calories and eat a variety of foods, including soy products, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables.

“The only true nutritional issues for those who adopt a balanced vegan diet are:
•    Calcium — If you don’t consume dairy products, a calcium supplement may be necessary. Other calcium sources include fortified products such as some types of tofu, soy milk, breakfast cereal and fruit juice. Dark green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, also contain calcium.

•    Vitamin B-12 — Some foods, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamin B-12. Still, you may need to take a vitamin supplement to get this important nutrient.
The key to a healthy meatless diet, like any diet, is to enjoy a variety of foods. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs.

“Want more great health information? Visit the store now to see the latest products from Mayo Clinic doctors, specialists and editorial staff.”


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Filed under health, healthy eating, healthy living, Mayo Clinic, meat, portion control, Weight

What is Native Foods Cafe?

I’m always in search of new places that can make eating out fun, and more healthy than most restaurants make it. So I was anxious to try a place new to Chicago.

The eatery is called the Native Foods Cafe and “is a vegan restaurant designed to meet the needs of today’s discriminating, health-conscious diners looking for great-tasting food… both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike,” according to its Web site. It’s actually a chain started 17 years ago that now has 13 locations, two of which are in Chicago.

My Native Foods mushroom burger; the brown slice above the bun is some sort of fake sausage, unneeded I think if a portobello mushroom cap had been in the mix instead of mushroom slices.

I had a portobello mushroom burger which was good but cluttered up by some sort of fake sausage patty.

A great portobello mushroom cap can sit in for a beef burger anytime. I often make them on my outdoor grills in the summer with a teriyaki sauce for flavoring. This offering had wonderful slices of mushrooms in it.

That said, I enjoyed Native Foods better than the Protein Bar, which also claims to offer healthier alternatives. Its menu was too salt-laden for me and my high blood pressure. Native Foods had a great menu selection and wonderful presentation of the various dishes we ordered on our visit (there were six of us, so I got to see quite a few dishes, sides and appetizers).

I could not find nutrition info on the Native Food Web site. I hope that appears sooner rather than later.

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Vacations Can Include Healthy Meals

I’ve been writing a lot about the junk food I ate on my recent New York City vacation which included my 40-year high school reunion and my daughter’s NYU graduation. But I also tried to sprinkle in some healthier meals to balance out the hot dogs and fried dough.

My daughter picked a vegan restaurant for her graduation dinner and I opted for a plate of five vegetables there. I dislike two of those, Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes, which I gave away but I enjoyed the fennel, one of the more obscure veggies I grew up eating and still enjoy. I was disappointed the place had no portobello mushroom offerings on its menu. I find those mushrooms exquisite and a worthy alternative to any meat dish.

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