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The Foodies Dilemma

I am a foodie. I enjoy eating a good meal, I also enjoy cooking a good meal. I am also a wellness professional specializing in aerial arts, yoga, pilates and Ayurvedic Health. I eat sweets and meats, but I do so in moderation. I believe in a strong plant-based diet consisting of organic, non GMO foods and taking time to prepare my own meals. Yes, I do eat out on occasion (who doesn’t?) but 90% of my meals are carefully planned out and lovingly cooked, for my health, and the health of those I feed. I often say, “I would like to feed the world”, and I really would like to do that. So I try to get the word out about the foods that will help you get healthy, and stay healthy.

There are major benefits to a plant-based diet. But some, like me need some lean animal protein. I workout a lot and the lean proteins keep me going, but I try to stick to eggs, fish and chicken or turkey, but these foods are limited and plants form the rest of my diet. There are days where I eat only plants and my energy is just as much, if not more than days where I eat animal products.

The great thing about a plant-based diet is that most plants are negative calorie foods, which means that it they burn more calories than you actually take in. Sounds amazing right? Here is an example of two meals, both have the same amount of calories, but one WILL cause weight gain and other issues and the other will aid in weight loss, and add in vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health.

“Nutritional Facts” for McDonalds Big Mac:

Big Mac: serving size: 7.6 oz (keep in mind 8oz = 1cup)
Calories: 550
Calories from Fat: 260
Total Fat: 29 grams
Trans Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 970 mg
Carbs: 46 grams
Sugars: 9 grams
Protien: 25 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 4 %
Vitamin C: 2 %
Calcium: 25 %
Iron: 25 %

If you compare that to a spinach salad with blueberries, beets, almond slices, feta cheese and 3 tsp of lemon juice/olive oil dressing, with a sprinkle of sea salt you get a more nutrient dense meal for the same calories, plus there is 8 oz of spinach alone in this salad:

Calories: 550
Total fat: 38.32 grams
Cholesterol: 29.82 mg
Sodium: 215.7 mg
Carbs: 28.9 grams
Protien: 19.21 grams
Fiber: 8.78 grams
Vitamin A: 3027.76 IU
Vitamin B6: 35 mg
Vitamin B12: .03 mcg
Vitamin C: 48.76 mg
Calcium: 401.98 mg
Iron: 3.5 mg

In the spinach salad, we have actual numbers of vitamins and minerals, instead of percentages that you can’t understand. The protein may not be as high as the Big Mac, but with all the added sodium, sugar, high fat content and cholesterol, I would have this salad over the fast food any day. Remember that initial 550 calories from McDonalds doesn’t include the calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium from the fries, or the drink. The cost of this meal runs between $6-$8 depending on where you live. Think that’s all? They call it fast food, but in the time it takes to wait at the counter or drive thru, you could run into the supermarket, buy the ingredients to make the spinach salad for about $20 and get 4-5 healthy meals and snacks, which will turn out to be about $4-$5 per serving. Which sounds better to you????

Happy Eating Folks!

And remember, you don’t have to be pure vegan, raw, or vegetarian to be healthy, as long as you are conscious of the ingredients in your foods.

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