Become a Part-Time Vegetarian! This Delectable Portabella Burger Recipe Will Make a Convert Out of Anyone

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

Why become a part-time vegetarian? Because it is healthy and delicious.

One does not have to be completely vegetarian, carnivorous or vegan (plant-based) to be healthy. You can, like me, become a part-time vegan and vegetarian.

As a nutritionist, I do not regularly advocate a completely vegan or vegetarian diet, as I think meat can be fine in moderation, but, since most of us need to eat more vegetables, I do advise more fruits and vegetables and less animal products for most people. However it is worth noting, and as I have said before, we CAN get all necessary nutrients from plants.

The obstacles most people face in eating more plants and less animal products are knowledge, convenience and habit. I have been on a learning curve myself, as I continue to evolve and become more and more vegan or “plant based”.  I am leaning vegan for health and ethical reasons, though it is a personal choice. Ignorance can be bliss, but bliss is not a good word for many of the animal products I was eating. I eat about 80% less animal foods than before, but, converting is not always easy. So if you want to eat more vegan foods, be it for moral, health reasons or both, I will continue to share my successes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine with the hope that it will lead to more people eating more fresh, whole plant foods, as that is what the data says is most healthy.

My latest vegetarian creation was a Portabella BBQ Western Burger. Compare the nutrient value of this delectable dish with a typical beef hamburger. This mouthwatering creation has 220 fewer calories, 7 grams less saturated fat, 17 grams less total fat, 60 milligrams less sodium, 80 mg less cholesterol and much more fiber than a beef burger does.

Portabella BBQ Western Burger

Ingredients:

1 portabella mushroom

1 whole-grain hamburger bun

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

1 onion slice

1 tomato slice

1 piece lettuce

2 slices mozzarella or vegan cheese

Non-stick cooking spray or 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Directions:

Sauté mushroom in oil or cooking spray for 2-3 minutes. Turn mushroom over, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Toast bun for 1 minute. Place mushroom on lightly toasted bun and place cheese slices on top. Set in oven open-face or closed, and bake or broil until cheese is melted (2-3 minutes).  Remove. Add barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion and slice in half (as it may get messy). Serve and enjoy!

Adaptations: You could use a teriyaki or other sauce instead of barbecue sauce. Get creative. Some of the most delicious meals I have cooked were based on what I had in the garden, cupboard or fridge!

 

My New Brochure

Happy holidays! Here is a link to my new brochure.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxlOHGHh6ZOwMDQyNDY0OGQtZmU1YS00MmU3LWEyZDctNDQwZjNmYjRkZTFl

Peace and natural healing,

Elizabeth

How to Get Nutrition Consulting Paid for by Insurance

Nutrition therapy can be a helpful component in medical therapy, but often it is not covered by insurance. It cannot only improve an individual’s health, but it also can save money on health-care costs. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM), getting nutritional therapy is cost effective. Dietitians can help people manage conditions such as high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney and heart problems and diabetes. A study by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., showed that more than half the people who saw a dietitian only a few times lowered their cholesterol so much that they no longer needed cholesterol medication. Nutrition therapy saved the health-care system about $60,000 per year in prescription drug costs. According to the IOM report, nutrition therapy can mean a savings of millions of dollars. For example, if Medicare beneficiaries with high-blood pressure received nutrition therapy, health-care costs over a five-year period could be cut by an estimated $52 million dollars. These cost savings could be increased for every disease nutrition therapy was applied to. The IOM report’s authors concluded that Medicare should cover nutrition counseling. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover nutrition counseling but, fortunately, more and more insurance carriers are now seeing the advantages of seeing a nutritionist (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50695&pf=3&page=1).

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

  • Phone
  • Computer
  • Insurance company information
  • Doctor’s contact information
  1. How to Get Insurance Coverage for Nutrition Counseling

    • 1

      Insurance may be more likely to cover nutrition therapy for certain medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease or high-blood pressure for which diet therapy and modification is recognized as one aspect of treatment (Dr.Weil.com, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400314/nutritional-consultations).

    • 2

      First call or see your doctor to see if you can get a referral for a dietitian. This will increase the likelihood nutrition therapy will be covered by insurance.

    • 3

      Call, go online to the insurance companies website or email your insurance provider to find out what coverage they offer for nutrition counseling. Some insurance companies might cover it entirely and some might offer a 10 to 20 percent discount.

    • 4

      A good bet for getting nutrition visits covered by insurance is to see a registered dietitian. You can contact the American Dietetic Association’s Nutrition Network Referral Service at (800) 366-1655 (weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Standard Time) for contact information for dietitians in your area ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50695&pf=3&page=1).

    • 5

      Even if your insurer says your policy doesn’t cover dietary counseling, send in the paperwork anyway and see what happens. If you have a doctor’s written referral to a dietitian, include a copy. Also include a letter, signed by both your dietitian and your doctor, detailing the medical need for your treatment.
      In correspondence refer to dietitian visits as “medical nutrition therapy” or nutrition “management” or “treatment.” Try to avoid the term counseling as it does not imply a medical necessity.

    • 6

      Instead of speaking with an adjuster, ask your dietitian to talk to the medical director of the health plan to consider covering nutritional counseling, says Michele Mathieu, Director of Health Care Financing at the American Dietetic Association.

    • 7

      Emphasize the dollar savings. Have your dietitian, doctor or both detail the progress you have been  making and how much money is being saved as a result. For instance, if you have lost weight or been able to reduce medication, explain this to them. Add up the actual dollars that have been saved. Many insurance companies are demanding to see actual results from dietitian visits before they will begin to cover them. They might start authorizing them if they see progress is being made.

    • 8

      Be persistent. Even if your claims are rejected, continue to submit them after every visit, especially if you are getting better. If you are persistent you are more likely than not to get it. Even if you do not receive insurance coverage, you will be making the insurance company aware of the effectiveness of nutrition, and with each claim filed, you will have cast a vote for insurance coverage for nutrition therapy.

 

Resources

 

Example of a Personal Diet Analysis

By Dietitian, Wellness Educator and eHow Contributor, Elizabeth Kahn

A personal diet analysis is where a dietitian or nutritionist evaluates the daily diet of an individual to determine its healthfulness. There are many reasons that diet analysis can be necessary. An individual may have health concerns or problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, diabetes and Crohn’s disease. There are many in Western society who would benefit from diet analysis as many of the typical Western diets are out of balance nutritionally and this can cause a host of diseases and other health problems

Software, Online Tools

There are software packages that can be used at home. This would involve the individual entering his or her daily food intake into the computer and allowing it to do the diet analysis. The diet could then be modified and re-entered until the right nutritional content was reached. Many dietitians do this for their patients. The software costs anywhere from $2 each month (online) to $800 for the software dietitians use. There are also free tools for diet analysis, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s tool, MyPyramid.gov.

In-Person Diet Analysis

There are dietitians and nutritionists who do one on one counseling. Many nutritionists
charge under $100 per hour. Thirty to 90 minutes per week for several weeks
(approximately 10 weeks) would be sufficient for most people.

Food Journal

In person, individualized nutrition counseling typically involves the patient or client
keeping a diary or a food journal of what they eat each day. Most food journals
are kept for a few days to a few weeks. The diet is then evaluated for
nutritional content, balance, calories, portion sizes, fat and carbohydrate
intake, etc. The nutrition expert will then review the journal and make suggested
changes to the patient or clients diet.

Example of a Daily Food Diary

Breakfast:

2 eggs

2 tbsp. butter

1 piece white toast

3 cups coffee

Lunch:

1 hamburger

1 large fries

1 large soda

Snack:

1 cup barbecue potato chips

Dinner:

2 cups chicken casserole w/potatoes, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese,
onions

1 french roll

Dessert

1 cup chocolate ice cream

Problems

This diet is high in cholesterol, calories and saturated or “bad” fat. This diet
is also high in processed foods including white flour that have many nutrients
such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids removed. As a result, this diet is
also low in fiber. While it does contain a sufficient amount of protein, it
actually contains too much. This diet also contains enough servings of grains but
not enough whole grains as guides like the food pyramid intend. The body
responds similarly to white flour as it does to sugar, so it should be
considered more of a sugar than a grain although it does contain some
nutrients. Sugars and fats have a thin stripe on the food pyramid, meaning we
should limit our intake of those things. This diet is too high in the fats and
sugars and needs more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Foods like fruits,
vegetables and whole grains contain many important nutrients such as vitamins,
minerals, amino acids and fiber, which this diet and many typical Western diets
are lacking in.

Recommendations

A nutritionist or dietitian would suggest something like the following:

Breakfast:

1 egg

1 tbsp. canola oil margarine

1/2 apple sliced

1 piece whole-grain bread

1 to 2 cups green tea or juice

Lunch:

1 tuna sandwich on whole-grain bread w/lettuce and tomato and 1 tbsp. low-fat
mayonnaise

(or 1 turkey or veggie burger on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato,
ketchup and mustard, 1 tsp. mayo if desired)

1/2 cup baked chips

1 glass water or juice

Snack:

1 whole orange or 4 slices of 3-4 inch celery sticks with peanut butter

Dinner:

1 cup chicken casserole with mozzarella cheese, onions, scalloped potatoes,
low-fat milk

1 cup green salad with 1 tbsp. olive oil and vinegar dressing

1 to 2 pieces whole grain bread of their choice (i.e., slices, roll or
baguette)

1 glass water or juice

Dessert: 3/4
cup chocolate frozen yogurt

Explanation of Recommendations

The recommendations made will add many nutrients and will lower the amount of
calories, bad fat and cholesterol. This modified diet is much more balanced and
incorporates the right amount of each food group. There are many ways to modify
an individual’s diet. Personal counseling and interviewing is useful in
determining what types of foods to incorporate into the diet. This diet was
modified by taking the client’s existing choices and making them more
healthful. There are many creative ways to change one’s diet and personal
consulting by a nutrition expert is the ideal method for achieving that and
finding a solution that will last.

Resources

MyPyramid .gov

The American Dietetic Association

Find A Nutrititonist.com