By Diane Forrest, RN
While looking at my assignment sheet I see that today is World Veggie Day. I was thrown for a loop. Out of all the vegetables out there, how was I possibly gonna mention them all, or just pick only one to write about? Luckily, its Vegetarian Day, so that makes it a little less complicated. I mean I don’t have to focus on all or one vegetable, but more about a way of life. This day is used to promote awareness of the issues, and encourages others to become vegetarians.
This day was established in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian society as a way to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism. It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
A vegetarian, by definition, eats no meat. That includes fish and other forms of seafood. Bottom line is, a vegetarian eats no animal. Their diet consists of plants....fruits and vegetables. They are ethically and morally opposed to killing animals for food. They are also against poor treatment of animals at farms ad slaughterhouses.
As a nurse, I can say that vegetables and fruits are very nutritious and healthy for you, however the body also needs protein. Protein can be found in meat, chicken fish, as well as dairy, eggs, nuts and legumes (beans).
Your body needs protein for nearly everything it does. Protein is needed to build and repair our muscles, to make our hair and skin, to fight against infections and to carry oxygen in our blood. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about twenty different amino acids, and your body can actually make some of them. There are nine amino acids, however, that your body can't make. These are called essential amino acids and the only way to get them is through the food you eat. It's important to eat a variety of protein foods every day to make sure your body gets all of the essential amino acids.
However, today since it is World Vegetarian day, try a vegetarian diet. You might just be surprised at how good it tastes, too.
Here is a quick and easy vegetable soup recipe for you to try today:
- 1 pkg (16 oz each) frozen pasta & vegetable blend in garlic sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cans (14 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Combine pasta and vegetable blend, undrained tomatoes and broth in medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.
Seeing as fruits and vegetables are very healthy for you, World Vegetarian Day is a good day to try a vegetarian diet. You might just be surprised at how good it tastes, too.