Over the last few years I've adopted a plant-based diet both for health and ethical reasons.
Why Do Vegetarians Live Longer? on The HuffingtonPost 10/26/2012
Why Go Veg? on Vegetarian Times
"Blue Zones" - places in the world where people live significantly longer than the rest of the world, with much lower rates of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's disease, have a few things in common. Most obvious are lower stress and a plant based diet. Ikaria, Greece is one of those places. Their diet consists of legumes, homegrown vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), and copious amounts of red wine and olive oil. Surprisingly, this island community does not eat much fish, and meat is enjoyed only on holidays when the family pig would be slaughtered. The people of Sardinia, Italy, another blue zone, enjoy a diet based on fava beans, nuts, cheese, bread, and very dark red wine. Okinawa, Japan has the longest living women in the world. Their diet? Plant based with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, soy, and very little fish and meat.
I also highly recommend watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives.
Adopting a plant based diet is easy once you are familiar with some protein rich staples like legumes (think lentil soups), beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy. A 5.3 ounce container of 2% Greek yogurt has 12 grams of protein, for example.
Scroll through my vegetarian recipes here. My cookbook coming out in April will have almost 100 meatless recipes, and some of my old most loved meat recipes for the carnivores in your life too.
Some of my favorite Vegetarian recipes:
Brussels Sprout Mac & Cheese
Lighter Veggie Pot Pies
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup (vegan)
Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto Pizza
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
Roasted Cherry Tomato Cappellini
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Heirloom Tomato and Greens Lasagna
Brussels Sprout and Butternut Squash Lasagna
BBQ Tempeh Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onions
Pear, Raspberry, and Quinoa Salad
No-Sauce Summer Pizzas
Spa Salad with Quinoa (vegan)
California Caprese Sandwiches
Disclaimer: These are just my opinions based on the research stated above. Please consult your physician before starting any new diet.