Cruelty-Free Protein Bowl

July 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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My vegan tendencies stem mostly from the health benefits of a plant-based diet rather than the animal cruelty argument. It has been difficult for me to visualize animals in distant factories being subjected to such inhumane treatment.

But driving down the I-5 in California it’s difficult to not notice the nasty realities of farm life for many animals, especially when juxtaposed with the clearly healthier environment of grass-fed cows.

Exhibit A: High population density, no green anything on mass cow breeding farms,

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Versus space to spread out, grass and trees to lounge under on grass-fed farms. Happy cows…

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Versus unhappy cows.

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Now, let’s talk about the smell. Cow manure may not be the most pleasant smell in the world, but on a small farm of grass-fed cows we can at least agree that it smells natural and earthy. The stench from factory farms is not natural. Or earthy. The manure from these farms stinks from miles away and smells almost human, like a port-a-potty. Like all the chemicals and hormones and animal by-products that a cow should not be eating.

And when you eat the cows from these factory farms, guess where all the chemicals and hormones and animal by-products end up.

So whether because of your compassion for animals or because of your compassion for yourself, at the very least aim for only grass-fed meat.

And if you want to go even further and take a few steps toward veganism, here is a really easy, protein-packed, cow-free meal.

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Cruelty-Free Avocado Bowl

makes two servings

Ingredients:

1 can BPA-free black beans, drained and rinsed

2 small avocados

Hot sauce of choice, to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the beans in a saucepan.

2. Slice and dice the avocado.

3. Top the black beans with avocado and as much hot sauce as desired. Serve immediately.

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Let’s compare:

Per serving this avocado bowl is approximately 384 calories. When compared to 384 calories of ground beef this vegan meal has

  • 18 (mostly monounsaturated) vs 26 (mostly saturated plus scary trans) grams of fat
  • 0 vs 124 mg cholesterol
  • 752 vs 136 mg of sodium (which can easily be adjusted depending on what kind of canned beans you get)
  • 45 vs 0 g carbs
  • 22 vs 0 g fiber
  • 3 vs 0 g sugar
  • 16 vs 38 g protein
  • plus comparable iron levels, more calcium and more vitamin c.

Analysis:

  • Monounsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol, while saturated fats raise bad cholesterol and trans fats raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol is just not good for you.
  • Getting the sodium level of this vegan meal down is really easy. Draining and rinsing the beans reduces sodium by up to 40%. The 752mg is pre-rinsing. And reduced sodium varieties of beans are easily available.
  • Low carb diets are all the rage, but your body needs a higher percentage of carbs than protein to function. The absence of carbs in meat makes it easy to overdose on protein.
  • Fiber helps fill you up and helps regulate many aspects of your body.
  • Sugars found naturally in foods really aren’t bad for you and are actually healthy. Plus, this is a very small amount.
  • Though this meal doesn’t have as much protein per calorie as meat, it has a more reasonable amount considering the proportions of carbs to protein to fat that we need.

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No brainer?

I am sharing this post with Healthy Vegan Friday, Whole Food Fridays and Wellness Weekend.

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