This morning, I talked to a colleague of mine during a break. He told me a secret I didn’t know about. He said a few years ago he wanted to work for an employer who was very strict about the health status of his employees. It was mandatory for them to have a certain cholesterol level in order to successfully apply for this company. Exceeding this level would mean being disqualified for consideration during the application process of this company. Unfortunately, after testing his cholesterol level it became clear that he was by far exceeding this cholesterol “barrier”. So, his wonderful wife started to entirely cook for him vegetarian and vegan dishes for two weeks, he said. It was very hard for him to resign to meat and dairy products since these meals had been his main dishes so far. However, he wanted this job so badly. Hearing this story, I was excited to know if his diet change made him get this job. He said after two weeks his cholesterol levels had dropped so dramatically that he passed the “cholesterol test” of this employer. To me it was the first time to hear about such an employer. I didn’t even know this is legal. In the article below, the story is much less dramatic. However, the reason why 100 Geico employees switched over to a vegan diet, of course voluntarily, and the health impact is nothing short but stunning.
“A vegan diet has a host of benefits (weight loss, heart health, and eco-friendliness come to mind), but new research shows that cutting meat and dairy from your diet can also improve your work life.
More than 100 Geico employees switched over to a vegan diet for four months, as part of a study commissioned by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (a nonprofit devoted to promoting the vegan diet). Researchers found that not only did participants drop an average of 10 pounds and 13 cholesterol points, but they also reported improvements in overall productivity, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and general health as compared to workers that said “no thanks” to tofu.
How did the company get so many employees to abandon their beloved diet staples? They made sure to offer them vegan swaps so yummy they wouldn’t miss their meaty favorites. The company put plant-based meals in their cafeterias, making them as easy to eat as options with animal-based foods. Plus, they brought in nutrition experts to teach workers during a few lunch breaks how to make vegan foods they’d enjoy.
According to Gene Baur, co-author of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, eating vegan doesn’t need to feel like a drastic change. In fact, all it takes is a few simple swaps to get on the right path to an animal-free diet.
If you love eggs in the morning, try: scrambled [tofu]. Don’t forget some delicious veggies to up the nutritional ante.
If you love oatmeal, try: oatmeal. That’s right — oatmeal is already vegan, so just mix in some fruit and nuts (think walnuts for healthy fats or blueberries for antioxidants) for flavor and heartiness. Skip adding in cow’s milk and grab a plant-based alternative like almond, soy, cashew, or coconut, instead. That goes for cold cereal, too. “These vary in taste and texture,” said Baur. “So try different types to find your favorite.”
If you love grilled chicken, try: A meat-free alternative. Today’s market offers a ton of great-tasting alternatives, including tasty options like Gardein’s barbecue wings and porkless shreds pocket meals. And they’re not the only company upping the meat-free game. “Beyond Meat makes chicken-free strips that can be substituted for chicken in stir fries and other recipes, without anybody knowing the difference,” added Baur. “Food critics have actually been unable to tell the difference in blind taste tests.”