You don’t necessarily need to be a strict vegetarian to be healthy. Even a predominantly plant-based diet is a much healthier lifestyle choice than eating largely animal products every day.
In the USA, a congregation called ‘Seventh Day Adventists’ has many people who choose to be vegetarian. Other than their diet, their environment and lifestyle are similar to those of the non-vegetarians in the same congregation. Both groups were the basis of a scientific study. (Orlich, Fraser & Gray, 2014)
Overall, the study concluded that:
- the vegetarians and vegans were found to be less likely to suffer from heart disease and cancer
- vegetarians had less gastro-intestinal cancer (i.e. colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer), especially among lacto-ovo-vegetarians
- vegan women experienced fewer female-specific cancers.
Over the last week I have been doing some Christmas vegetarian cooking demonstrations. I’ll have plenty of recipes to share, and it won’t be just nut roast and lukewarm sprouts.
There are 3,000,000 veggies out there in the UK alone, some may come to yours for Xmas. Here are my top veggie Christmas tips to get you in the mood.
Keith’s Veggie Christmas Tips
- Announcing a veggie Xmas may be a polite way to keep the in-laws at bay over your holiday
- More than two veggies to cater for? If you can’t beat them join them!
- You don’t have to go cold turkey and go meat-free overnight, try a few veggie dishes as a change.
- Make enough because everyone will want to try some.
- Check labels, look for a ‘V’ sign
- Cheat if you like, there are plenty of ready-made veggie dishes to buy.
- Go into great detail how you cooked things, even if they are ready-made.
Tips for Veggies
- Let your host know well in advance about your requests (like veggie or vegan) see if they need any help, offer to bring something to share.
- Don’t wear your halo too tight and interrogate your host about ingredients in case something has slipped through the net, ignorance is bliss.