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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Erica from Studio City told Aunt Nettie that she would like to become a vegetarian but feels that she can't stick with it because she feels the need for more protein than vegetarian foods can supply. When she feels her energy at a low ebb, she falls back on the Standard American Diet.

Here's what Aunt Nettie suggests for Erica:

Dear Erika,

I think I know jes' the thing to help ya perk up to the energy a young lass like you oughter be feelin'. First off, I'm gonna give ya couple o' basics to help point ya in the right direction.

Protein is mainly fer buildin' brand new blood cells, repairin' 'em when they's all tuckered out, an' keepin' them cells in good condition. On a vegetarian diet those high protein foods would be mostly beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Even veggies have some protein. Tofu, made from soybeans, has a heap o' protein--extra-firm tofu can fix yer right up with a whoppin' 13 grams of it fer a three-ounce servin'. Now don't that make ya sit right up an' pay attention?

Fer energy, we gonna head right fer the carbohydrates--mainly fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. On a vegetarian diet, lots o' foods high in carbohydrates kin also give ya lots protein, so you git double benefit. Now, y'all knows every car needs gas to make it go--carbohydrates are engine fuel fer the body, so be sure to eat regular meals every day and enjoy plenty o' those energy packed carbohydrates.

Right down below is a list comparin' the carbohydrates in the animal products you been eatin' to the carbohydrates in plant foods. Don't those numbers jest surprise ya? Mind you now, it's easy to see that the energy foods are mostly in the vegetarian category.

Carbohydrate Grams

Vegetarian Stuff

Apple, 1 medium                	21.0

Carrot, 1 medium        	8.0

Tangerine,  1 medium         	6.5

Banana, 1 medium              	26.7

Tomato, 1 medium              	5.7

Cabbage, 1/2 cup                1.9

Split Peas, 4 oz. Cooked     	23.9

Lentils,  1/2 cup cooked     	19.9

Lentils, 4 oz. Sprouted        	25.2

Potato, baked w/skin	    	28.6

Sweet potato, baked	    	27.5

Sunflower seeds, 1 oz, raw  	5.3

Mango, medium		     	35.2

Almonds, raw 1 oz. 	       	6.0

Bread, whole wheat 1 slice  	14.0

Squash, butternut, 4 oz.    	4.9

Cantaloupe, 1/2 cup		6.7

Fig, 1 large			12.3

Animal Stuff Milk, 1 cup whole 11.0 Egg, 1 hard boiled .03 Parmesan, 1 oz. .09 Cheese, cheddar , 1 oz. .04 Cream cheese, 1 oz. .07 Mozzarella, 1 oz. .08 Cottage cheese, 1 oz. 1.0 Feta Cheese, 1 oz. 1.2 Monterey Jack, 1 oz. 1.0 Chicken breast, 4 oz. 00 Tuna, canned, 3oz. 00 Turkey, roasted, 4 oz. 00 Porterhouse, cooked, 3 oz. 00 Ground beef, cooked, 3 oz. 00

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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