Weekly Roundup: In Honor of the 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition

This weekend, a few of us at Life & Health are packing up our things and heading to our favorite Blue Zone (i.e. longevity hot spot) Loma Linda, California, where a veggie burger sits proudly on the McDonald’s menu and where a third of the residents are Seventh-day Adventist, a Christian faith that is particularly health-conscious and recommends a vegetarian diet due to good health lending itself to good stewardship of Christian ministry. A study observing 22,940 Adventist revealed the following:

  • Adventist men have been shown to live 6.2 years longer than non-Adventist men, while Adventist women lived 3.7 years longer than their non-Adventist counterparts.
  • Death rates from all cancers were 24% lower for Adventist women and 40% lower for Adventist men, compared to non-Adventists.
  • The rate of coronary heart disease was 34% lower for Adventist men and 2% lower for Adventist women, compared to non-Adventists.

There are only five Blue Zones in the world and Loma Linda is unique in that it’s the only one in the United States, and these are the following 8 common denominators that award-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Dann Buettner shared with Loma Linda University Health:

  1. Sprinkle your day with natural physical activity, like walking to work or gardening
  2. Give yourself free time to decompress and de-stress
  3. Live with purpose; know why you wake up every morning
  4. Eat a plant-based diet
  5. Control your portion
  6. Have faith
  7. Curate your social network, specifically with those with healthy social behaviors

This year, about 1,000 participants are expected to travel from over 40 different countries to Loma Linda for the 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition. It’s actually quite exciting, as this scientific conference convenes only once every five years to offer the most recent findings on the health effects of the plant-based diet and connect plant-based health professionals and researchers with each other.

Okay, we admit it, it all sounds kind of nerdy. But we’re not afraid to admit that we’re huge health nerds! What’s better to geek out about that good health?

In honor of the exciting events coming up next week, we’re packaging together some of our favorite vegetarian recipes from Life & Health and around the web. We’re hoping that jump on our plant-based train and adapt some of these recipes into your meals next week.

Vegetarian recipes from Life & Health:

Protein-Packed Quinoa Salad: Termed “the supergrain of the future,” quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can possibly eat and contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains.

Cuban Black Beans & Rice: Like quinoa, black beans are high in fiber and protein (who says you have to eat meat to get a protein fix!). Best of all, black beans have such high level of soluble, which attracts water and turns into a gel during digestion, that it can lower your blood cholesterol.

Korean Cucumber Salad: Well, I’m Korean so maybe I’m a little biased but you could seriously eat these as a side dish or precursor to any meal! If you like Mediterranean food, think of this as an Asian version of Greek cucumber salad, with soy sauce instead of lemon and herbs. Cucumbers are 95% water so they’re helpful in keeping you hydrated and are effective in flushing out the toxins in your body.

Almond MilkI used to think this was a complicated recipe until I made it myself. There are just three ingredients, including water, and you get to squeeze the milk from the almond pulp with something called a “nut bag,” which is kind of fun. J Recently, a study revealed that almonds can lower LDL cholesterol while maintaining your HDL cholesterol!

Vegetarian recipes from around the web:

From Deliciously EllaWarm Cumin Roasted Carrot, Red Onion, and Lentil Salad – “The fragrant cumin seeds give the carrots so much flavour and the lentils are deliciously filling. Big dollops of creamy cashew cheese really bring the whole thing together. It tastes great cold the next day too!”

From My New RootsPlant-Powered Sloppy Joes  – “I used wholegrain sourdough buns from my local organic bakery, then toasted them lightly before drowning them in vegan sloppy goodness. You can also eat these open-faced if you’d like to cut back on the bread. Or pull an alt-bread move and wrap it in socca, a cabbage leaf, or use it to top a crispbread (although, let’s be honest: the bun rules).”

From Oh She Glows: Quick & Easy Creamy Tomato Mushroom Pasta –  “This pasta dish was thrown together based on what I had kicking around and it turned out good enough to share. The best part is, it came together in about 20 minutes or so. Easy comfort food…my favourite kind.”

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @life_andhealth for live updates from the 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition!

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Sarah Yoo

Sarah Yoo is the associate director of Life & Health but wears a few dozen hats as other this-and-thats, as is the norm in non-profit work. Her favorite part about working at Life & Health is meeting the people that Life & Health content has helped. Ultimately, Sarah dreams of doing humanitarian work in a developing country with her family.

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