Lentils and Legumes

     How many of you eat lentils and legumes?  I think out of all the legumes, black beans and lentils are my most favorite.  I like them all, but lentils are so versatile.   They can be used in chili, salads, lentil loaves.  You can eat them cold or hot.  Another thing that I love about lentils, is they cook up so quickly.  If you have ever rehydrated beans, it's an all day, all night affair unless of course you use an Ipot, but lentils cook up within 20 minutes or so, and if you are anything like me who doesn't plan your meals or think something sounds good and you get a wild hair you can do a pot of lentils within minutes.

     Lentils have a history..... It's thought that lentils date back as far as 8000 years and have been found in archaeological finds in the Middle East.  Lentils were mentioned in the bible both as the item that Jacob traded for his birthright and as part of a bread that was made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people.

     Before the 1st century, they were introduced into India.  Currently, the leading commercial producers of lentils include India, Turkey, Canada, China and Syria.  It's believed they originated in central Asia.

     So how are lentils good for you?  They are heart healthy.  They have a high fiber content, significant amounts of folate and magnesium both of which are heart healthy.  Lentils also give you energy to burn while stabilizing blood sugar levels.  If you have hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow burning energy.
Iron!!!  I remember my sister was concerned that I wouldn't get enough iron if I didn't eat meat. Lentils replenishes iron levels, especially for menstruating women.

     Lentils like other legumes are packed with fiber.  Both soluble, and insoluble.  Soluble helps with cholesterol to take it out of the body, and insoluble helps us so we don't become constipated, although on a plant based diet, I don't think that is really a problem.

     Lentils also provide lots of vitamins and minerals.  B1, B6, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium.
If you want more info about this magic bean, read the article in full below.    

     Make sure when you consume any legume if they are a dried bean to sort them and rinse them.  Often times you will find rocks in them.  Then you will find yourself going to the dentist.  I use a lot of green and brown lentils, and red lentils are great for thickening as they absorb water.

     I have a couple of lentil recipes on my blog, but I need more!  I think I will be making lentil loaf this week while the husband is gone on business.  It's not his favorite, but I love it.

     This is a picture of the lentils I have in my pantry.  I buy them in bulk at WINCO.  Experiment with lentils.  They are flat delicious!


Factory Farms

     When I started this lifestyle I wasn't doing it for the animals.  I was doing it for my health.  I was sick and tired of being on medications, and worrying what was going to happen to me if I didn't do something.  So 1 year and 3 months ago I started a lifestyle that would change my life forever.  Then I began to really look into things.  I started watching Youtube videos pertaining to a vegan lifestyle. One video lead me closer to other people's videos.  I have subscribed to so many plant based groups and people!  Some of my favorites are High Carb Hannah, Simple Daily Recipes, Happy Healthy Vegans, The Happy Pear, just to name a few.  If you want more ideas let me know, and I will post more.

     With these videos came information about factory farms.  Now I grew up in the late 50s, early 60s (yes I'm old)!  LOL  Nothing was mentioned then about factory farms.  I do remember driving by a slaughter house on the way to pick up my father from work, and I remember to this day the smell.  It didn't smell like anything else.  It smelled like death.  I never gave it much thought though, maybe because of my age, but we also ate meat in our home every night for dinner.  I remember taking tuna sandwiches in my lunch to school, and hot dogs at bar b ques.  Life then was simple and not convoluted.  My parents got Kentucky Fried Chicken on occasion when my mom didn't want to cook. McDonald's was also around back then, but all these other fast food chains were not around.  Life was a bit slower and relaxed, ah the good old days.

     As I became more acquainted with a plant based lifestyle, I also because acquainted with factory farms, and I cannot tell you how disturbing they are.  It is a horror show!  Things that I can't even bear to watch.  I was encouraged to watch Earthlings.  You can watch it on Youtube if you so desire.  I got 1/4 of the way through it, and couldn't watch anymore.  I tried again, and again.  I cannot get through it.  The way those animals are treated is deplorable. If you believe in God, like I do, you have to know that he would not approve of this way of farming at all.  Pigs and cattle are stunned with a bolt to their heads, and while still alive are hung by their back feet while their throats are slit.  Baby chicks that are male are sent through a grinder because they are no use to a chicken farm, and pigs are kept in cement crates and they can't turn around or get to their babies after giving birth.  Did you know that a pig is smarter than  your dog or cat?  Did you know they are highly intelligent?

     So what are the numbers of vegans around the world?  In the UK alone 350% have left a carnivore diet and switched to a plant based or vegan diet.  According to Raw Food World 16 million Americans are now vegan.  I have looked online to see what the number is of animals being saved lately from so many people starting to eat healthy no meat lives, but I couldn't find a number.  I'm sure every little bit helps.

     Not only are we saving lives of animals, but we are helping the environment.  There are pig farms in the US that are disgusting.  Here is a video about a pig farm in North Carolina.  There is no cruelty shown in this video, but it explains the amount of waste that this big farm produces, and the stench that people near by have to deal with.
When we lived in Utah, we lived next door to a family that were raising pigs, and they had maybe 5-6 pigs.  When the wind blew just the right way the smell was awful.  I can't even imagine living close to a big factory farm of pigs.

     Now I don't condone what PETA does either.  These people are ruthless.  They are in your face about animal rights.  They don't let up either.  I believe that if we lead by example, and try to spread the word in a calm manner that we will have better luck than yelling and screaming at people, yelling to me is a turn off.  I truly believe that eating this way is better for all of us including the animals.

     There are more and more restaurants and grocery stores that are selling vegan foods.  I love going to Whole Foods, and Trader Joes to find things that you can't find at the grocery store.  You may pay a bit more, but to me it's worth it.  However, today at Walmart I noticed I could get Bear Naked Granola in the cereal isle.  The word is getting out there little by little.  Baby step by baby step.  It's exciting to watch, and as this spreads hopefully we will see a shift in healthy humans.  I can dream can't I!!!

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