House Calls

SUM 2017

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { summer 2017 } 33 For instance, watching portion size of red meat in order to cut back on saturated fat can be part of the successful equation. "High consumption of saturated fat can contribute to cardiovascular risk factors, and heart attacks and strokes are among the leading causes of death in the U.S.," says Coulter. "We have 'portion distortion'; if you ordered a steak at a restaurant and actually got the proper serving size of three ounces, you'd probably wonder where the rest of it was, because we've been so pre-programmed to think that we need eight ounces." Findings show that our bodies aren't the only beneficiaries of flipping the emphasis on your plate to plant-based foods. "When you substitute a bean burrito for its beef counterpart, it significantly reduces your environmental footprint," says Coulter. Plant- based proteins like beans require less water, fewer fossil fuel resources, lower amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, and a fraction of the land needed to produce beef, Coulter says. You can also minimize your environmental footprint by picking up fresh veggies sourced close to home at a local farmers market or by joining a CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture") that makes regular deliveries of produce to your neighborhood. "And we have an awesome climate for potted vegetable or herb growing if you have a green thumb—or even if you don't!" Coulter says. All these benefits don't come from merely subsisting on seeds and leafy greens. When it comes to nutrition, there are a wide variety of plant-based foods that cover our needs—and that range is important. According to the American Dietetic Association, plant sources can meet protein requirements, delivering all of the amino acids your body needs, when a variety of plant foods are consumed throughout the day. "People sometimes think if they are cutting back on meat they're going to be lacking in protein, but there are so many sources of plant proteins," says Coulter, such as beans, nuts, nut butters, quinoa, peas, and soy products, plus milk or eggs, if you include those. Another misconception: because some plants are naturally lower in calories, you'll be hungry. "Plants contain far more fiber than meat sources, and fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer," she says. And while the recommended amount of iron is higher for vegetarians because plant sources are not as well absorbed, "you can still get adequate iron from plants," Coulter says. "Some top-of-the-list sources are lentils, lima beans, soybeans, tofu, grains, and nuts." A vitamin that's not a component of plant foods? B-12. If you're a vegan, you need fortified foods or a supplement; otherwise milk and eggs are great sources. Nutritional recommendations can vary depending on factors such as age and how restrictive your diet is, so check out USDA's or speak with a registered dietitian for nutritional counseling and tailored guidance. Perhaps the best takeaway is that restriction isn't required. The easiest way to trigger progress toward healthier eating could just be making some smart swaps here and there. "If you love bacon, try flavoring a vegetable dish with it," Coulter says. "It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Small steps can make a big impact on your health." FLAVOR-FULL: The "Acorn Bowl" ($12) at Dellz Uptown features an acorn squash stuffed with asparagus, mushrooms, onions, and quinoa, is served over goddess dressing, and comes topped with mango salsa. "I think the biggest trend—and healthiest approach—is to realize that you can limit and minimize while still enjoying everything." —SARAH COULTER PROTEIN VIA PLANTS Here's the skinny on a few easy, non-animal sources of the important nutrient TOFU: A bland curd made from mashed soybeans, "but don't be deterred by 'bland,'" Coulter says. "It's a blank canvas that you can season or marinate in any flavor or style of cooking you like, whether mesquite or Asian." TEMPEH: Fermented soybeans, a bit chewier than tofu. "It's kind of earthy and sweet tasting," Coulter says. "Just don't overcook it." HEMP POWDER: A supplement usually made from raw hemp seeds and often used in smoothies and shakes. "It's a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but you can get that from whole food sources as well," says Coulter. MIXED-PLANT PROTEIN POWDER: A supplement typically containing two or more proteins such as brown rice, pea, hemp, bean, or quinoa. "Most people's needs can be met with a foods-first approach, but a protein shake is a convenient way to get out the door in the morning," Coulter says. "People are very fruit focused with their shakes, but try mixing in fresh veggies like spinach," she adds. It may turn your drink green but won't influence the flavor. WHERE DO I START?

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