***This Forward Food conversation is presented by Baptist Health South Florida. As always all opinions are my own.
The concept of Forward Food is helping grow a healthier, more sustainable food system that eventually we as a community can help bring food forward.
Did you know that if you swapped three meals per week to a plant-based breakfast, lunch or dinner you would save you and your family $1,500 dollars per year? Over the course of your lifetime that is some serious coin! Last week, Baptist Health South Florida held a plant-based chefs training to encourage plant based cooking within their hospitals. When I was first introduced to the Baptist Health South Florida team at the Grow2Heal garden I was so impressed about the way they spoke about their health system. Their main goal is actually to offer programs that keep patients out of hospital beds; which is why education is a key component in their process.
Let’s face it, eating healthy in today’s society takes work. Eating an apple or potato today is not the same as it was when our grandparents sat down at their dinner tables. GMO’s and pesticides have become the new norm and food shopping can be more like navigating a jungle than a walk in the park. Organic produce is not sprayed with with pesticides or grown with genetically modified seeds. Organic foods are foods that are grown to comply with the organic standards of farming and restrict the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers. Pesticide induced diseases include: certain cancers, autism, Alzhaimer’s, endocrine disruption, fertility issues, asthma, allergies, diabetes and more! Crazy, I know.
I a not writing today’s post to scare you, but more to sprinkle some knowledge upon you to help you navigate this difficult landscape and help you decide what items to purchase organically. A good rule of thumb for me when food shopping is that if I am going to eat the skin I always buy organic. Greens, no question! I learned my lesson in non-organic greens last year when I was in a bind. I opened the bag, washed and prepared my salad, only to take a bite and it literally tasted like cleaning fluid! Although organic may be better for you it can also be quite expensive; however, if you shop with the seasons, take advantage of weekend farmers markets and go to stores like ALDI and Trader Joe’s you may be surprised to find affordable organically grown options. Produce that is grown organically is always going to be a better option for you. So today, I am sharing what is known as the “CLEAN 15” and “THE DIRTY DOZEN”.
Last week I had the honor to spend some time with Baptist Health South Florida at the grand opening of the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami! The Frost Science Museum is located a hop, skip and a jump away from the American Airlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace and is the perfect place to spend an educational and super fun weekend with your family. The museum boasts a planetarium, aquarium, a space exhibit, a seeing exhibit and of course The MeLaβ brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.
I was so excited to spend an afternoon at the museum and learn all about eggplants at “Veggie Phobia” where we learned tons of fun facts about eggplants and made the most delicious eggplant dip known as Baba ghanoush. Wow! It was one of the best I have ever tasted and here is the full recipe!
Natalie Castro is an RD from Baptist Health South Florida, and today, she has compiled a list of benefits on why you should fuel your body with plant protein. Today’s post is not to encourage all of the steak lovers out there to turn vegetarian, but rather, debunk the myth you cannot get adequate amounts of protein from a plant-based diet.
Honestly, I used to have the same mindset when it came to food that many Americans have. I thought that going vegetarian or vegan would be absolutely torturous. I thought I would hate every day of it. I thought I would never feel satisfied and give up after my first meat-free meal. In fact, I did not even think you could get protein from sources other than meat. Boy was I wrong! As the old saying goes: “ignorance is bliss”, and now after diving into the health and fitness community I can say that “knowledge is power” is the more powerful statement!
As my life has transitioned into the health and fitness space I have acquired so much knowledge about the way food is used as fuel in your body. Plants, nuts, seeds and heart-healthy fats are great sources of energy, fiber and offer enough nutrients to ward off diseases that are plaguing this country including: obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Plants can help detoxify the body and give your gut a much-needed break to reset and recharge.
Plant protein sources I love include:
- Black beans
- Hemp Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Nuts and Nut Butter
- Chia Seeds
For more on fueling yourself with plant protein and a great vegetarian recipe, make sure to check out the full post from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida!