For years, Santa Claus has been spreading happiness and joy with his message of giving. Recently, however, the elves have been trying to persuade the jolly old soul to consider going vegetarian. They want him to live a long, healthy life.
Breaking exclusive news: The elves told us that Santa has agreed and shared the plant-based diet books that helped him make the switch:
- Santa's made a lot of kids happy with toy trains and engines. But when it comes to going plant-based, he boosted his energy for giving out those toys with "The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds" (click for details).
- Mrs. Claus was somewhat worried when Santa told her about his plant-based plans. After all, she's famous for her good cooking. But she changed her tune when a reindeer handed her a copy of "Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year" (click for details).
- Some of the elves have been so impressed by Santa's success that they've decided to go vegan. They get lots of exercise making toys, but they've been fueling it with too much hot chocolate and doughnuts (ho ho ho). So they also found a book that Santa loves too: "The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Jump-Start Weight Loss and Help You Feel Great" (click for details). It's by founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Dr. Neal Barnard.
In addition, in an exclusive interview, we talked with Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., director of nutrition education for PCRM. She gave us her advice on what Santa should eat.
"Santa Claus is looking out for his health and the health of others. Science shows that people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet have reduced risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, and dementia," she said.
- As Santa approaches old age, he should swap milk and cookies for blueberries and grapes. The anthocyanins in these colorful fruits destroy free radicals and, based on research from the University of Cincinnati, improve learning and recall.
- Aim for 40 grams of fiber a day and include lots of leafy green vegetables. Mint and vanilla work as savory spices, which can help keep hunger at bay.
- If weight loss is the goal, make sure to limit intake of dairy products, oils, and other high-calorie foods, such as nuts and avocadoes.
And Susan noted that we can expect Santa's famously upbeat mood to get even more cheerful.
"Studies show the more plant-based foods you eat, the better you feel. Researchers from New Zealand tested this theory and found the more fruits and vegetables study participants ate, the calmer, happier, and more energetic they felt. The authors note the mood improvements follow the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and not vice versa. Similarly, another study found that just after two weeks of setting aside meat products, people's depression, anxiety, and stress all improved."
In addition, Santa shared his favorite vegan dessert recipe.
Chocolate Mousse Ingredients
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup nondairy milk, like soy or rice milk
- 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice
- 1 package (12.3 ounces) low-fat silken/firm/extra firm tofu
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 strawberries, sliced
1. Place the chocolate chips and nondairy milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for one minute. Let it sit for two minutes.
2. Place tofu, vanilla, and chocolate chip/nondairy milk mixture in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
3. Chill for two hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer. Serve with strawberry slices.
Per serving (makes eight servings)
7.8 g fat
3.9 g saturated fat
35.6% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
4.7 g protein
28.7 g carbohydrate
21.5 g sugar
2.2 g fiber