Demonstrations & Samples at Vegetarian Cooking Classes

Submitted by David Ogram, Health Awareness Committee,
Swan River Seventh-day Adventist Church

On the evening of Monday, September 16, 2019, eighteen people were present at the first of 5 Vegetarian Cooking Classes (using only plant foods) being held in the Basement Meeting Room at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The recipes used are suitable for people with prediabetes and diabetes.

Vegetarian foods are becoming more and more popular. Many of the fast food companies, and some restaurants, are now offering vegetarian burgers and other vegetarian foods. The Professional Nutritionists and other Health Professionals with the Canadian Government are recommending a diet which is essentially plant-based, as shown in the new Canada Food Guide, which was released in January, 2019.

Various well known organizations are noticing the trend towards eating a vegetarian diet, and have taken the time to explain why this is happening. For example:

Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular. As of 2015 approximately 29 million people in the USA [estimated 2.9 million in Canada] said they were vegetarian or mostly vegetarian. “A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than non-vegetarians do.” Mayo Clinic July 26, 2017

“People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses. According to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate…” Harvard University March 18, 2016

Benefits of a vegetarian diet include: less likely to be overweight, low blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer and better moods. (Source: Time Magazine – February 24, 2014)

Changing to a vegetarian diet (using mainly unprocessed plants) increases the intake of fiber (animal products contain no fibre), unsaturated fat, folic acid, vitamins C and E, magnesium, and numerous phytochemicals. It usually leads to weight loss (if needed), lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and various other illnesses. The last two illnesses are frequently caused by blockages in the arteries due to elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. Since plant foods do not contain cholesterol, eating a mainly plant-based diet reduces the cholesterol level in the blood. Other advantages of vegetarianism include more efficient use of land and water.

During the evening vegetarian recipes were presented and demonstrated by Donna Leming, Linda Ogram and Linda McCullough. Food samples and recipes were provided. Also David Ogram presented information about other Health Programs that are periodically conducted by the Adventist Church, including: “Diabetes Undone” “Depression Recovery”, and “Full Plate Living”. These programs focus on the causes, prevention and often reversal of these and other illnesses through lifestyle changes instead of using pharmaceutical drugs. “5-Day Stop Smoking Programs” are also conducted periodically.

Four more Cooking Classes, following the same format, will be held at 7:00 pm in the Basement Meeting Room, at the Swan River Seventh-day Adventist Church, on the following Mondays: September 30, October 21st, November 4th and November 18th. If you plan to attend any of these classes, please contact one of the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Health Awareness Committee (David & Linda Ogram, Donna Leming and Linda McCullough), as soon as possible, but at least a few days before the class is held. NOTE: The October 21, 2019 session has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 24.

Vegetarian (plant-based) diet provides large quantities of fiber (animal products contain no fibre), unsaturated fat, folic acid, vitamins C and E, magnesium, and numerous phytochemicals. It also results in reduced blood-cholesterol levels (only animal products contain cholesterol) and it results in more energy and stamina.

Some people are concerned that they will not get enough protein if they eat only plant foods. However one only has to look at the size and strength of the gorilla, elephant, horse, rhinoceros and hippopotamus, etc. to realize that plant foods will provide an adequate amount of protein for human beings. Other people are concerned that they will not get enough calcium for their bones if they follow a vegetarian diet, but again the animals listed above have much bigger bones than we do. Also look at the cow which eats grass and grains but gets enough calcium for strong bones as well as enough to produce lots of milk which is full of calcium.

It is surprising to many people that some of the fastest runners and strongest weightlifters in the world are vegetarians.