So, when I tell people I follow a Whole Food Plant Based Diet, (WFPB), they look at me kind of funny. I explain, no meat or dairy products, and right away they will say something like, "Oh, you mean a Vegan diet?" The answer to that is NO. A vegan way of eating does mean no meat or dairy, but that's all it means. Everything else is up for grabs....processed foods, artificial foods, faux meats, faux cheese, etc. For people trying to transition from the Standard American Diet, (SAD) to a WFPB diet, these type foods are what they are reaching for in the beginning. Because they are trying to "replicate" the meat and dairy in their diets, they are choosing highly processed foods like the "beef crumbles" in the above picture, or veggie burgers in the freezer case, or faux cheese like the Daiya brand.
However, a Whole Food Plant Based diet does not include processed, artificial foods....whole food means just that, real food that is as close to nature as possible....nothing taken away from it and nothing added to it. All the artificial ingredients in the faux foods as well as all the chemicals and preservatives added to it are NOT HEALTH foods. All those chemicals are putting a strain on your body.....the chemicals are foreign invaders....because they didn't come from nature our body doesn't know what to do with them, so they surround these chemicals with water and fat and have to "store" them somewhere, usually in our organs. Our bodies are very good at protecting us, but when we overload ourselves with all this "bad stuff" our cells become overwhelmed and "sick", and then the trouble begins.
Our body is constantly regenerating new cells...if our cells are unhealthy, they will regenerate new unhealthy cells....if our cells are healthy, they will reproduce healthy cells. If we keep regenerating unhealthy cells, we are in serious trouble. Soon we have a lot more unhealthy cells taking over leading us into a disaster.
My advice to anyone that wants to listen to me is to eat REAL WHOLE foods. Do most of your shopping in the produce section of the market. You can make delicious healthy meals your whole family will love. When I do buy something in a package, (such as cereal or wraps), my rule is no more than 5 ingredients AND I have to know what the ingredients are....when you look at some ingredient lists on packages you can't even pronounce the names let alone know what it is!
So, instead of reaching for that frozen packaged veggie burger in the market, make your own....it's SO EASY and much CHEAPER.....
BROWN RICE AND LENTIL BURGERS
3 1/2 c water
1/2 c lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 t sea salt
1 t chili powder
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce the heat and cook until lentils are softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a saute pan, saute the garlic, onion and peppers until light browned, (use water, NOT OIL)
- In a large bowl, combine the lentils, rice and vegetables. Add the salt and chili powder and mix well. Add a little bit of flour to hold the mixture together if needed. Form into burger-sized patties and place on a lined baking sheet or press into a loaf pan.
- Bake burgers until slightly firm, about 15 minutes, or bake the loaf for about 25 minutes.
To cut down on the time to make this recipe or any other recipe that calls for rice or some kind of beans, I always try and make big batches of rice and beans over the weekend. Then, you can come home from work and just starting throwing things together....your cooking time for this recipe is cut down to 15 minutes, the time it takes to bake the burgers. Serve the burgers on a whole wheat bun with all the toppings you like, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc., and a big green salad on the side. Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes and it is a HEALTHY, delicious dinner.
Believe me, when you make your own homemade burgers, there is no comparison to the store bought variety. And, there are so many different bean burger recipes out there....if you are not a fan of lentils, use any other kind of bean....black beans, red beans, white beans, chickpeas, etc.
The possibilities are endless.......