The Vegetarian Athlete's Cookbook by Anita Bean - Read Online
The Vegetarian Athlete's Cookbook
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Editor’s Note

“Summer veggies…”A healthy diet is the ideal companion to a fit, active life. Beloved sports nutritionist and champion athlete Anita Bean compiles her most delicious and most effective vegetarian recipes in this cookbook, specifically geared to fuel each and every workout.
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Summary

For anyone who takes fitness seriously--from committed to weekend athletes--the vegetarian recipes of bestselling author and nutritionist Anita Bean will fuel workouts and aid recovery.

The way we eat is changing. More and more of us are opting to eat fewer animal products or to cut them out entirely. Eating well to support a training regimen presents its own challenges, but as celebrated nutritionist Anita Bean shows, it is possible to eat delicious, healthy food and reach your athletic potential. Her new cookbook offers athletes-from weekend warriors to professionals-more than one hundred easy-to-prepare vegetarian and vegan recipes for breakfast, main meals, snacks, and more to allow the kind of performance every athlete aspires to, featuring gorgeous food photography and nutritional information for every recipe.
Published: Bloomsbury USA an imprint of Bloomsbury USA on
ISBN: 9781632866448
List price: $16.00
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Page 1 of 1

CHAPTER 1

WHY NO MEAT?

BENEFITS OF A VEGETARIAN DIET

Many people think vegetarianism is just a fad. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. Vegetarianism encompasses a lot more than not eating meat. It is a lifestyle, a state of mind, a set of inherent beliefs and values that are unique and important to each individual. The list of reasons why people choose not to eat meat is varied and includes issues relating to the environment, economy, religion, ethics, animal welfare, compassion, and, of course, health.

Sustainability has become a major issue and there are now real fears that, if current trends in meat consumption continue, we will not be able to feed the world’s expanding population. Meat production is a highly inefficient use of land, water, and energy compared with growing plants. There are currently 7.2 billion people in the world and the population is predicted to rise to 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations. People are living and eating longer. This means we must somehow make the earth’s resources stretch to feed all these people, and for a longer time period. It has been estimated that 50–70 percent more food must be produced by 2050. The time is now to make small changes that can make a big impact on our planet. There is a very simple solution to many of the world’s greatest problems, and it starts with eating less meat. A vegetarian diet requires far fewer environmental resources, such as energy, land, pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed, and water, than a meat-based diet, and is undoubtedly more sustainable (Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003; Berners-Lee et al., 2012; Carbon Trust, 2015). Here are nine reasons to make the transition to a plant-based diet.

DEFINITION OF VEGETARIAN DIETS

LACTO-OVO VEGETARIAN: The most common type of vegetarian diet, which includes both dairy products and eggs.

LACTO VEGETARIAN: Includes dairy products but not eggs.

OVO VEGETARIAN: Includes eggs but not dairy products.

VEGAN: Excludes all foods and products of animal origin, including honey.

FLEXITARIAN: Also referred to as semi-vegetarian or part-time vegetarian, a mostly vegetarian diet with meat and fish consumed occasionally.

PESCATARIAN (or PESCO VEGETARIAN): Avoids meat but includes fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.

NOTE: Flexitarian and pescatarian are a bit of an oxymoron, but you will come across people who use these terms to describe their eating habits.

1 IT’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Few people are aware of the link between climate change, diet, and meat consumption. However, livestock farming (therefore meat consumption) is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Everyone thinks that climate change and global warming are due to burning fossil fuels but livestock farming is responsible for 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human-related activities, which is considerably more than the entire transport sector (Goodland & Anhang, 2009). Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet could cut out those emissions by 70 percent and 63 percent respectively (Spingman et. al., 2016).

Greenhouse gas emissions include carbon dioxide (from fossil fuels used to power farm machinery and to transport, store, and cook foods), nitrous oxide (released from fertilized soils), and methane (from enteric fermentation in ruminant livestock). Due to their unique digestive process, cows, sheep, and other ruminant livestock generate substantial amounts of methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A single cow produces between 66 to 132 gallons of methane a day.

We are already perilously close to the maximum 2°C rise in global temperatures agreed in 2010 by member states at the UN climate change conference in Cancun. Unless we switch to a more sustainable plant-based diet, greenhouse gas emissions from food production will make it extremely difficult to keep below this limit (Bajželj et al., 2014). Scientists say that, if this 2°C limit is exceeded, we will see widespread extinction of animal and plant species, droughts, deforestation, a rise in sea level, an increased risk of flooding of low-lying areas near the coast, and even the total submergence of low-lying islands. In other words, global warming will have a devastating impact on our planet.

So how can we keep the temperature rise below 2°C? Eating less meat is an obvious strategy. If adopted worldwide, it would generate a quarter of the emissions reductions we need to keep below this level by 2015, according to a report from Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Wellesley et al., 2015). This echoes the recommendation by the Carbon Trust, which also says that moving towards more vegetarian eating will dramatically reduce the impact on the environment (Carbon Trust, 2015). In other words, cutting meat will increase the sustainability of our diet and feed the world more fairly and humanely.

More than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the US are used in animal production.

The production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times the fossil fuel input as a calorie of plant protein.

A person who follows a plant-based diet produces 50 percent less CO2 and uses ¹/11th oil, ¹/13th water, and ¹/18th land.

Cutting out meat can cut your carbon footprint by 50 percent.

Fertilizer spread on soil generates nitrous oxide, which is 300 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide.

Greenhouse gas emissions in meat-eaters are approximately twice as high as those in vegans (Scarborough et al., 2014). This comes from the inefficiencies in growing cereal crops for animal feed and methane produced from livestock.

2 IT SAVES WATER

Meat production, especially the feeding of cattle, is a particularly water-intensive process. Animal agriculture uses more than 34 trillion gallons of water annually. Not eating meat will save water.

Around 70 percent of all freshwater used by humans goes into irrigation, and much of it is used on crops and pasture for livestock.

2 lb of beef requires approximately 43,000 litres of water to produce it, which is almost 50 times more than that required to produce 2 lb vegetables (Pimentel et al., 2004).

Animal farming is responsible for up to 33 percent of all freshwater consumption in the world.

780 million people (1 in 10) lack access to safe water.

3 IT DOESN’T DESTROY SPECIES

No one wants to see species destroyed, but by eating meat you are unwittingly contributing to the daily loss of more than 100 species of animals, plants, and insects in the world. Huge areas of the rainforest are being cut down to graze livestock and grow crops for animal feed. By removing rainforest, habitats are also lost and so are thousands of animal, plant, and insect species (www.savetheamazon.org/rainforeststats.htm).

4 IT PROTECTS THE OCEANS

Three quarters of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted. Overfishing depletes the oceans and damages wildlife. For every pound of fish caught, five pounds of bi-kill (other fish or sea animals) are also caught and wasted. A lot of sea bird populations are now threatened because there are not enough fish for them to survive on. There is also the problem of dolphins, whales, turtles, and other sea birds being killed when they get caught up in discarded fishing tackle and drift nets.

As many as 40 percent of fish caught globally each year are discarded (Goldenberg, 2014).

Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins, and seals are also killed every year by fishing vessels.

5 IT’S A BETTER USE OF LAND

Rearing animals for meat is a very wasteful and inefficient way of producing food for people. Switching to a plant-based diet is a far more economical use of land. Growing crops to feed people rather than animals uses less land, water, and other resources, will help save land, and improve global food security. Cattle ranching is also one of the main causes of tropical rainforest destruction. Fast-shrinking rainforests are often cut down for cattle pasture or to grow crops for animal feed.

30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface—70 percent of all agricultural land—is used to produce animal products.

It takes ¹/6th of an acre to feed a vegan, 3 times as much for a vegetarian, and 18 times as much for a meat-eater.

Animals eat half of the wheat and 60 percent of the barley grown in the UK, and 80 percent of the world’s soy beans.

For every 2 lb of beef produced, cattle consume 15.4 lb of grain.

1.5 acres of land can produce 37,000 lb of plant-based food, whereas the same amount of land produces just 374.7 lb meat.

Livestock production is responsible for 70 percent of the Amazon deforestation in Latin America, where the rainforest has been cleared to create new pastures.

6 IT CAUSES LESS POLLUTION AND WASTE

Animal waste causes substantial water and air pollution, and emits nitrous oxide and methane. In the UK, intensive factory farming is one of the main causes of water pollution. Farm runoff results in high levels of nitrogen in rivers and oceans, which pollutes coastal water, kills marine life, and can result in ocean dead zones.

US livestock in confined feedlots generate 500 million tons of manure a year, three times the waste of the entire human population.

A farm of 2,500 dairy cows generates the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.

7 IT’S ETHICAL

For many, choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is an ethical decision. They believe that rearing and killing animals for meat is morally wrong; that eating meat is a form of exploitation and cruelty to animals. By not eating meat, they are helping to prevent this exploitation. Vegetarians also believe that animals have rights—a right to life and to freedom, and that it is unethical to raise and kill them so that we can eat meat and fish. Whether or not animals are reared in decent conditions or treated humanely, this does not justify raising and killing them for meat. In the end, they have their lives cut short. The truth is we don’t need to eat meat to live nor to be healthy. We can obtain a perfectly healthy diet by eating other foods.

In the UK, over two million land animals are slaughtered daily and almost 600,000 tons of fish are killed each year.

Beef cattle are slaughtered when they are just 1–2 years old, considerably less than their natural lifespan of 20–25 years.

Sheep naturally live for 15 years but are killed when they are between 3 and 10 months old.

Pigs also live for 15 years but their lives are cut short when they are 3–6 months old.

Chickens can live for 10 years but are killed at just 6 weeks.

8 IT’S COMPASSIONATE TO ANIMALS

Many people choose not to eat meat because they are concerned about animal suffering. Many animals farmed for meat are kept in filthy and cramped factory farms and never experience a natural life out in the open air. They are kept in small spaces indoors so that farmers can cut costs and produce meat as quickly and cheaply as possible. Vegetarians believe it is cruel to keep animals in such conditions. Most animals raised for meat don’t have access to fresh air, proper exercise, or the freedom to behave naturally. They may experience pain, discomfort, fear, and frustration. Ultimately, whether they are reared on a factory or free-range farm, all animals die a violent death at the slaughterhouse when they are still very young.

Many beef cattle are kept indoors all year-round.

Most of the pigs in the UK are reared intensively in overcrowded sheds and with no outdoor access.

The majority of broiler chickens live in large, windowless, crowded sheds. The birds are fattened up so quickly that their legs may not be able to carry the weight of their bodies.

Sheep may spend most of their lives outdoors, but each year 1 in 20 die of cold, starvation, sickness, or injury. Many are transported long distances to slaughter, which is stressful.

Fish may be dragged along the ocean bed for long periods in giant drift nets and undergo painful decompression when hauled up from the deep. On some ships, fish are gutted alive.

Free-range doesn’t mean cruelty free. Animals are often kept in crowded conditions with restricted access to outdoors. They are still slaughtered at an early age in the same way as intensively reared animals.

9 IT’S HEALTHIER

People living in the five regions of the world identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world (the so-called Blue Zones: Sardinia; Okinawa in Japan; Ikaria in Greece; the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica; and Loma Linda in Southern California) live on a mainly plant-based or semi-vegetarian diet. The Sardinians, for example, eat meat once or twice a week, and the people of Okinawa, Japan, get only 7 percent of their calories from protein—the majority of which comes from sweet potatoes.

Many leading health organizations suggest that eating less meat and more plant foods has definite nutritional and health benefits. The British Dietetic Association states that well planned vegetarian diets can be nutritious and healthy (BDA, 2014). This is in agreement with the position paper on vegetarian diets from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), which states that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases (Craig et al., 2009). Indeed, hundreds of studies suggest that vegetarians have longer lives and are at lower risk of developing:

Heart disease

High blood pressure

Type 2 diabetes

Obesity

Certain cancers

Large-scale prospective dietary surveys have found that vegetarians typically have higher intakes of fruit and vegetables, fiber, antioxidant nutrients, and phytochemicals (plant substances that have beneficial health properties) and lower intakes of saturated fat than non-vegetarians (Spencer et al., 2003; Key et al., 1999). It is possible that other lifestyle factors may also play a role—vegetarians generally weigh less, exercise more, and are less likely to smoke and drink excessive alcohol;