The Plant-Powered Diet Makes Meatless Monday Easy

July 23rd, 2012

Sharon Palmer is a Registered Dietician and Editor for the award-winning health and nutrition newsletter, Environmental Nutrition. Her new book, The Plant-Powered Diet, is the perfect Meatless Monday companion, offering simple suggestions and recipes to help people of all culinary persuasions add more whole foods to their diet.

The Plant-Powered Diet encourages readers to shift towards vegetable-focused meals by putting produce at the center of their plate. Palmer shares a wealth of information about the benefits of whole grains, healthy fats, balanced nutrition, and seasoning with herbs and spices. She also debunks many common myths, asserting that it’s possible to get healthy food on the road and adequate protein from meatless meals:

“All plants have a certain amount of protein. Some plants are packed with protein – a serving of beans, lentils, dried peas, nuts or soy… even some whole grains such as Kamut and veggies like green peas have comparable levels of protein to those in an ounce of meat. If you include a balanced diet rich in whole plant based foods… you’ll do just fine in the protein department.”

Palmer credits Meatless Monday restaurateurs like Mario Batali for the recent surge in plant-based menu options. She cites the campaign as one of her Top Tips for Trimming Animal Food From Your Diet, encouraging readers to visit the Meatless Monday website for more resources and delicious recipes.

The book also includes testimonials from people who have successfully shifted to more meatless options. Alma, a “plant-powered omnivore” living in Sammamish, Washington, tells readers that Meatless Monday has helped her and her family focus on a wide variety of disease-fighting foods:

“I consciously follow Meatless Monday… When I compare how I feel after a lunch of beans and rice and veggies versus the turkey, potato, gravy meal, I realize that I have a more productive afternoon… I find that it helps me keep my weight in check, and I know that this type of diet is associated with lower risks for some cancers and heart disease, so I figure it will help me stay healthier… My family has also embraced Meatless Monday: it’s a good conversation starter at dinner and a way to expose the kids to alternative dining and understanding what their choices mean.”

Check out The Plant-Powered Diet for tips and tools that can help you go from meat-focused meals to more balanced fare. Resources include a handy produce-prep guide, nutrition and vitamin index, recommended pantry staples, and two full weeks of menu ideas- like this quick and colorful recipe for Southwestern Black Bean Mango and Quinoa Salad.