Plant-based perfect meal – Peanutty Squash Noodle Salad
A few weeks ago I overheard a few fellow yogis talking about The China study: “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health” at one of my Tuesday night Power classes.
I’d heard of this study but hadn’t gotten it yet, even though I’d intended to do so.
Roger (a very unexpected yogi, due to the fact that he’s a golf-loving realtor who seems to be one of those “guy’s guy”) was telling our teacher Alyson that he had to stop reading it because it would make you never want to eat meat or dairy again.
Of course, I was intrigued. What could make me not want to eat meat and dairy?
For some reason hearing that doesn’t scare me. I still feel like I’m lost at sea when it comes to figuring out what style of eating is right for my body. It’s hard to explain. I’m not overweight but I have to fight so hard that it makes me think I must not have found the right way yet.
I went out and bought the book and skimmed the entire thing and now am going back and reading and re-reading each chapter.
It’s really fascinating. The premise is that animal protein, especially casein which is the protein in cow milk, causes cancer, heart disease and obesity. And that low-protein and low-fat diets consisting of whole, plant-only foods; vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds is the way to go. The proof is through 40 years of human observation of various populations, animal study and laboratory testing by not only T. Colin Campbell himself but by students and colleagues amassing to what actually equals about 74 years of total research during that time. The most interesting finding is that in the locations where animal protein is not in the diet these “Western” diseases; cancer, diabetes, etc. are pretty much non-existent.
Maybe I’m brainwashed from Atkins days, but this was the first time I had heard low protein is the way to go and I was surprised.
I had to go back and look again to make sure I read correctly. Sure enough, the book states “low protein diet” is the way to go, even with plant protein. On page 101 this is an excerpt from the chapter on Lesson’s from China.
“Consuming diets high in protein and fat transfers calories away from their conversion into body heat to their storage form – as body fat (unless severe calorie restriction is causing weight loss). In contrast, diets low in protein and fat cause calories to be “lost” as body heat. In research, we say that storing more calories as fat and losing less as heat means being more efficient. I bet that you would rather be a little more inefficient and convert it into body heat rather than body fat, right?
Well simply consuming a diet lower in fat and protein can do this.
This is what our China Study data show. Chinese consume more calories both because they are more physically active and because their consumption of low-fat, low-protein diet shift conversion of these calories away from body fat to body heat.”
So I decided to go back and see when the first Atkins diet book was published. 1972. Sure enough, just before I was born. That’s really interesting. Could he have had that much influence on the way our society eats?
Over all the statistics in this book are really disturbing and hard to ignore.
Have you read the book? What do you think about all this? Could we all be eating way too much protein? I, for one, would be a little relieved to not be so worried that I’m getting enough protein in all the time. Even during my detox a few months ago I was so worried about getting enough protein in that I wonder if that is what threw me off a bit.
For this salad, the dressing softens the raw squash ribbons to lend the mouth-feel of a noodle and the sweet raisins and coconut counterbalance the salty tamari. This was perfect for a light lunch over spinach.
- 3 Tbsp natural organic peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp organic tamari (low-sodium)
- 3 tsp curry powder
- 3 medium organic summer squash (I used two yellow and one zucchini)
- 1/4 cup unsweet shaved coconut
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 Tbsp raw pepitas
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- Peanutty "Noodle" Salad
- Altered from Better Nutrition Magazine
- Mix the peanut butter, tamari and curry in a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a peeler and working around the outside, peel the squashes into ribbons. Massage the peanut butter mixture into the ribbons. Top with coconut, raisins and pepitas and mix well.
- Top 1 cup spinach with about 3/4 cup squash mixture for each of 6 servings.
- Vegan, Gluten Free
- **Exact serving size will vary with size of squashes
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 5.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 335.0 mg
Potassium 452.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 4.4 g
Vitamin A 64.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.6 %
Vitamin C 27.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.6 %
Calcium 5.1 %
Copper 7.4 %
Folate 19.6 %
Iron 10.1 %
Magnesium 12.3 %
Manganese 27.4 %
Niacin 4.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.5 %
Phosphorus 6.6 %
Riboflavin 8.5 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 5.0 %
Zinc 3.9 %
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Wake up feeling revitalized and feel energized after lunch
Be fit, healthy and lean!