A tip for easing into a plant-based diet: Use familiar flavors

Food is medicine. A healthy diet can promote longevity, energy, focus, a healthy night's sleep… and even a healthy romantic life!

Many breast cancer survivors explore the idea of switching to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Decreasing the amount of animal hormones we consume reduces risk of cancer and other diseases. However, trying to go from a meat-filled diet to a meatless one can be an overwhelming task. One way to start is to take familiar flavors from your favorite meals, and use them with plant-based foods instead of animal products.

This recipe is a lunch-time favorite in our house. My husband, who is basically a carnivore, loves it – he compares the flavor to chicken salad or tuna salad. The texture is similar to tuna, but there is no mayo whatsoever in this creamy walnut spread – just walnuts and veggies, with a hint of lemon.

This walnut wrap will make your life so easy when it comes to a summer picnic or lunch on-the-go. The walnut spread will last over the course of 2-3 days (depending on how many are in your household). If you're taking it to work or school, you can either make them ahead of time or just take the tortillas and the filling separately, then roll then when you're ready.

Now for the health benefits. If you've been through any kind of major illness – or even just a stressful chapter of your life – walnuts are like a magic wand to help you cope! Not only do they decrease inflammation, which often occurs when the body is stressed. They also help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, sleep patterns, and cognitive function. Even more, studies are now indicating that walnuts may even promote healthy bones.

Now, you may be thinking, "OK – but if I eat a sandwich full of walnuts – won't I get FAT?"

Nope. And I'll tell you why. First, walnuts actually support weight loss. Because they are plant-based and anti-inflammatory, the fat in walnuts is a good fat – not a nasty one that makes people obese.

Second, this is your main course, and it contains just one serving of walnuts per wrap – the perfect amount of protein and fat for a healthy meal. It would be a different story if you were sitting in front of the T.V. eating a gigantic bag of walnuts for a snack. Like anything in life, moderation is key.

Third, you'll have vegetables in your sandwich and preferably, a whole grain tortilla (for gluten-free diet, simply use a gluten-free tortilla). Nutrients and fiber are so important in our diets.
So grab-n-go! Here's the easy recipe for Walnut Wraps.
 

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