Perfect Vegan Picnic Salad and Ten Reasons to Go Vegan!

Quinoa Salad

So I hear that some of you are thinking about incorporating more vegan meals in your diet; others of you are even wondering whether you could become completely vegan. Let’s face it: change is scary and sometimes it just feels like too much effort!

However, I am here to help you! There is absolutely nothing that would give me greater pleasure than to help you become aware of truths that have been hidden from view.

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” ~ Sir Paul McCartney

This week, not only do I have a yummy quinoa salad recipe for you (so perfect for summer picnics!), but I will also list 10 reasons why your inner voice telling you to eat more and more vegan meals is RIGHT ON!

Since human beings on average consume approximately 80 000 meals in a lifetime, and there are around 7 billion of us on earth, it is no wonder that what we eat not only impacts our own bodies, but the environment as a whole. Why is it important for our health, and for the health of the planet, to be vegan?

Here are 10 reasons:

1. We hear a lot about our “carbon footprint” these days. Our carbon footprint refers to the amount that our activities contribute to the production of carbon dioxide in the world, carbon dioxide being the main greenhouse gas. Hence, each and every one of us is contributing to global warming on a daily basis and what we eat is a huge part of this. By adopting a plant-based diet, we are dramatically lowering our impact on global warming. Did you know that the number one contributor to the production of greenhouse gases is the livestock industry? Most people believe that too many cars are the problem, however, enslaving the billions and billions of animals for food and all that is involved with these industries produces 18% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases, as compared to 13% produced by all means of transportation combined.

2. Animal-based protein, found in meats and dairy, is significantly linked to many serious diseases such as heart disease and various cancers. A vegan diet can even reverse diseases like diabetes and prostate cancer. Instead of popping pills which can have serious side-effects, just “let food be your medicine”.

3. Plant-based meals, even organic, are cheaper than animal-based meals. Vegetables, beans, whole grains, fresh fruits, when bought in season, locally whenever possible, are far less expensive than meats and cheeses. A vegan diet can save you money immediately!

4. Furthermore, a vegan diet will save you money in the long-run on all forms of healthcare. We are somehow paying for healthcare, whether it be directly with private healthcare or indirectly with ever-rising taxes to fund public healthcare systems. Also, when we are ill, we are so desirous to gain our health back (this I know!) that we spend a lot of money on alternative and complementary health services.

5. There is a greater variety of important nutrients to be found in meals which are plant-based. Typically, we get more fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants from plant sources than animal sources. We also get plenty of protein, calcium and complex carbohydrates from plant sources. Moreover, plant-based food contains no cholesterol or unhealthy fats.

6. Plant-based diets reduce water waste and pollution.

7. Biodiversity is protected. Plant-based diets help preserve both aquatic and terrestrial wild-life and their natural habitats.

8. Plant-based diets reduce world hunger. Too many of the world’s limited resources are used to grow grains, corn and soy to feed livestock, when those resources could be used to feed people directly. So simple, it’s ridiculous!

9. All animal products are highly acidic. An acidic bodily environment promotes disease development. The more alkaline our diet, the healthier we are.

10. And last, but definitely not least, ethically, veganism is the only way to live with compassion for all beings! Vegan cooking is truly: cooking with amore! It is the only kind, responsible and fully conscious cuisine and way of life!

Convinced yet? OK, OK, how about you try this yummy vegan recipe (a complete protein by the way!) and then make up your mind! Enjoy, in joy and in health!

Quinoa Chia Delight Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:
1. Add quinoa and 3 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil (1 ½ cups of water for every cup of quinoa). Simmer until all water is absorbed (about 10 minutes). Allow cooked quinoa time to cool – at least 2 hours.
2. Mix quinoa and all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.

“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

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