I grew up in Center City Philadelphia in the 1970s, an enclave of clog-wearing moms and bearded dads. I went to a school run by peace-loving Quakers, and even my own mother, more preppie than hippie, went through a phase of growing alfalfa sprouts on our kitchen counter. Of course I rolled my eyes at all of it, but looking back, many of the food and lifestyle choices these aging hippies espoused were spot on. Here are five ways the “me” generation got healthy living right:
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The first time I ever had a tofu “burger” was at a backyard barbecue thrown by a friend’s vegetarian parents. It was literally a slab of tofu an inch thick, thrown on the grill and then stuffed between a hamburger bun. While this was not the most creative way to make a burger substitute, you can’t argue with its healthfulness, especially when compared to red meat.
Studies show that tofu, which is produced from soy beans and is the only plant-based food that is a complete protein source, can lower risk of heart disease and improve bone health. Unfortunately, most Americans are still a little wary of the stuff: compared to the Japanese, who consume about 8 grams of soy protein daily, we only eat a gram.