Vegetarian Diets and Climate
Vegetarian foods for cold climates
Question: I've travelled a lot around the world, and when I'm in hot countries I find it easy to eat vegetarian food, but when I'm in colder parts of the world, I feel the need to eat meat.
Have you heard of research on this, or have you heard other people say the same? Do you think a vegetarian diet can provide the right nutrition in colder climates?Answer from Ina at Belsandia.com:
I agree with you that eating vegtarian foods is easier in warmer climates, as we naturally gravitate to lighter, fresher meals and more fruits and vegetables there. However, eating great healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes that provide adequate nutrition is just as easy and fast when it's cold outside.
The trick lies in knowing what to eat to keep your body warm and to feel full and satisfied, while getting the right nutrition. When it's cold we often reach for foods that have more fat, as we instinctively seek to build-up our body's fat layers for better cold insulation. So we vegans reach for more legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Vegetarians who eat cheese may gravitate to those dishes more.But why not try a great balanced vegetarian diet that is fit for any climate, without adding fat calories and the threat of diabetes or heart disease? That would be a vegan diet!
You don't need to worry about protein, calcium, or fat in vegetarian diets. Check this nutrition data information
to clear up the myths about protein and calcium deficiencies in vegetarian diets.How to do get healthy vegetarian meals when your body is longing for warm comfort foods?
A great option to warm up from the inside out is a thick, spicy vegetarian chili. Take a look at the recipe here
if you like to create it yourself.The focus should be more on grains and legumes, which offer large quantities of protein and many protective vitamins and minerals.
Bean casseroles, refried beans (without lard), lentil soup, green pea soup, pasta dishes are all hearty and highly
satisfying in winter. Since you travel a lot, go for soups, stews, curries and baked items in colder climates.
A hot gravy is often key to feeling warm and comfortable, but these can be vegetarian or vegan too. I suggest focusing on Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese foods
if you like these flavors and are looking for a hot steaming meal.
Almost every restaurant has so far been creating great vegetable curries and hot soups with veggie broth for me while overseas, even if they did not show any of these on the menu.In Western cuisines,
I often start with hot vegetable, potato, or bean soup followed by a dish based on potatoes or noodles. If they don't premake the food, you may get them to make a hearty vegetarian tomato pasta sauce or oven-baked pasta.
Some countries are harder than others for vegans like me (and that includes my native Germany).
So I focus on complex carbohydrates, nuts and seeds wherever I can: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, almonds, walnuts, power bars with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Europe is generally great for breads - and the darker and more grains they have, the better. These make very hearty sandwiches for the winter too. Just replace the mayonnaise or butter with hummus if you can.If all is lost and there is no food on the restaurant menu that strikes your vegetarian fancy, why not combine a few side dishes or starters?
I have been eating in many steakhouses as a vegan and greatly enjoyed it! My dinner there is a colorful array of a potato dish, greens like spinach or broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, something fried, and a big loaf of hot, steamy bread right from the oven. Then I load on black pepper and chili flakes and voila: I'm a happy vegan even in a steakhouse! A bit of flexibility and courage to ask for your needs will usually accommodate your vegetarian diet - no matter if you are in
minus 30 or plus 30 degrees Celsium around the globe!