Father's Day is this weekend. A day we celebrate Dad with ties, yard tools, and often....meat. Why has meat become associate with manliness? As a nation, we have become obsessed with protein. The word protein comes from the Greek meaning of proteios, or of prime importance. It has become a macronutrient held in highest regard, and we have come to think of protein as coming solely from animal-based sources. We have been taught that in order to build muscle, we must eat muscle. Ask any man what he needs to be strong, and he'll tell you meat! Not so fast Daddio! Let's think about some pretty strong animals that don't eat meat. Gorillas, orangoutangs, rhinos, elephants, and many other herbivores get their strength and build muscle from plant material, and so can we.
As men age, they often show it in belly fat, as well as issues of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction (yup-high saturated fat clogs up all arteries, including some special areas that are ALSO associate with manliness). Another problem with meat is that it's high in calories and fat, and not so filling (it's missing fiber). It takes a lot of it to satisfy you, and by that point, you feel bloated and exhausted.
So, for this weekend, see if you can get your special dad to swap the meat for plants. A good way to do this is with items he's familiar with for the BBQ. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Veggie burgers-they are similar to regular burgers and have WAY less calories (or they should-read the ingredients) and shouldn't have saturated fat in them. I have 2 on my website, but there are lots of recipes out there for others!
2) Shish Kabobs-men like to grill, so fire it up and grill some veggies and some tofu. I marinade mine in a miso dressing.
3) Serve salads often found at a BBQ, like coleslaw, potato salads, but skip the mayos and the oils-these add unneeded fat calories, so up the flavors with fresh herbs and citrus
4) If Dad likes sweet treats, create fruit parfaits with chia seed pudding, in-season strawberry rhubarb compote, and some tahini ginger granola. Or maybe some chocolate covered strawberries, made with melted dark chocolate (dairy free). Or you want to make a rich treat, that tastes a lots richer than it is-try my chocolate peanut butter pie!
Any way you slice it, try to get your man to put down the meat and up those plants! It's good for his heart, and well....you know ;)
Until next week....Happy eating!
Jessica from www.gardenfreshfoodie.com