Welcome to Meatless Mondays Australia!
The cooler weather is starting to set in, the days are getting shorter, and winter is just around the corner. Our immune systems can take a battering at this time of year, so this week we focus on capsicums and their powerful antioxidant properties that can help beat the sniffles and flu, we offer a gorgeous warm tofu and grilled veggie salad, perfect for a meal on a cool day, and we give you some easy to follow health tips for building your immune system. Finally, we ask you to think about ways you can give the Earth a helping hand, and we give the Thumbs Up to a cosmetics company that works hard to reduce its impact on the planet.
Please Make the Pledge by subscribing to our newsletter and join us in our commitment to Meatless Mondays – for the people, for the planet.
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Food of the Week
Capsicums come in a range of colours, most commonly red, green, and yellow. The red variety has the highest levels of Vitamin C and beta-carotene and is the sweetest in taste. However, all capsicums have great antioxidant properties and nutritional value.
- High levels of Vitamins A, C and E
- Beta-carotene, folic acid
- Capsaicin, a compound believed to prevent cancer
Capsicums have been shown to:
- Promote good cardiovascular health by normalising blood pressure and improving circulation
- Stimulate stomach acid to improve digestion
- Aid peristalsis and prevent constipation
- Boost the immune system and assist in treating colds and fevers
- Stimulate the metabolism
- Contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Capsicums can be eaten raw or cooked, added to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and almost any dish to add flavour. They are delicious and beautifully sweet when chargrilled and work well when teamed with other Mediterranean veggies like eggplant and zucchini. Capsicums are available all year round and should be incorporated into your regular diet.
And don’t forget to look for the locally grown product so you don’t add to your carbon footprint. If your greengrocer or supermarket doesn’t stock locally grown produce, please encourage them to do so.
Recipe of the Week
Dr. VB’s Warm Grilled Vegetable Salad with Tofu
300g firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 cm slices
2 red capsicums, seeded and quartered
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and quartered
1 medium eggplant, sliced thickly
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g rocket leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Marinate the tofu in the balsamic vinegar and half of the garlic for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with absorbent paper.
Meanwhile, cook the capsicums under the grill (skin-side up), until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove from the grill and put the pieces into a plastic bag. Leave for 5 minutes. Remove the skin (it should come away easily) and cut into thin slices.
Place the eggplant slices on an oiled oven tray and turn to make sure both sides are lightly oiled. Sprinkle with the remaining garlic. Cook under the grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the tofu slices and cook these for about 3 minutes each side. Continue grilling until the tofu is browned and the eggplant is softened.
Combine the capsicum, onion, rocket and basil in a bowl with olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Toss gently.
On separate plates stack the tofu slices on the eggplant slices, and then top with the capsicum salad. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve and enjoy.
Have you noticed the leaves changing colour and falling? Have you felt the chill in the wind, the morning air more crisp and the evening temperature drop? Autumn has well and truly arrived, winter is approaching, and it is time for us to adapt to our changing environment. It is time to slow down as nature is doing. It is also a time to boost the immune system to avoid colds and flu and the important but often forgotten problem of dryness.
Here are some autumn tips to boost your immune system and keep dryness at bay as well as keep you happy and healthy in this changing weather:
1. Make sure you’re eating healthy food choices with lots of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre – all of which is vital to aid your digestion, the root of your immune system strength.
2. Dryness is a common problem in autumn. It causes constipation, thirst, dry throat, dry skin, dry eyes, dry brittle hair, and prevents sweating. Drink plenty of water, and add lemon to warm water. Pear juice is a lovely moistening solution for a dry lung, and on the outside cocoa butter moisturiser keeps the skin divinely soft and silky.
3. Get a good night sleep. Whatever your personal sleep requirement, make sure you get it! Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone levels (including the human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol), keeping weight down, promoting clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant, healthy skin.
4. Eat lots of protein as this is the building block for a healthy immune system, body and mind.
5. Spend some active time outside. Make sure you layer up, but get some clean, fresh, crisp air into your lungs. Step outside and breathe in the autumn air slowly and deeply, which is also a great for the thyroid gland to stay in balance.
6. And last but not least, nurture you. Make sure you make time for yourself, spend some time with loved ones, and indulge yourself with massages and hot baths. Or rub cream onto your skin in a loving caring manner, really connecting with your body and listening to its needs. Our bodies respond to our emotions – if you’re feeling worried or anxious, it can manifest in a sore throat or a cold. Create a space within yourself and your living environment for peace, harmony, love and joy. Give thanks and be grateful for the blessings of abundance in your life and from the world around you. Take the time to listen to your body and pay attention to any warning signs of a sore throat, blocked sinuses, headaches or exhaustion so you can keep them from getting worse.
Slow down, stay warm, stay happy.
Save the Planet
Give the Earth a Hand
Meatless Mondays Australia has made a commitment to make every day Earth Day.
There are lots of simple things we can all do to give the planet a hand, such as reducing meat consumption, conserving energy and water wherever possible, recycling, and limiting our car usage, just to name a few. This great little video highlights why its important to make the effort and why we need to focus on what really matters…our planet!
Write and tell us the things you do to give the Earth a hand.
Lush cosmetics and beauty products are gentle to the planet and for that, we love them.
The entire range is handmade in Australia using fresh ingredients, organic and fairly-traded wherever possible. Preservatives and packaging are avoided, and they do not use animal testing, or buy ingredients from companies that do. Lush developed a soap base that does not contain palm oil so their soaps are good for orangutans and their rainforest habitat.
Lush products can be purchased on-line but a visit to a Lush store is an experience that will delight your senses – just like the ultimate beauty delicatessen with a vast array of fresh products. So fresh they come with best-before dates!
You must check them out!