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Category Archives: Health

Tasty Vegan Meals

No matter which city you live in, you’re bound to have a wide variety of vegan or vegan friendly restaurants to choose from to have a lovely meal. All you have to do is a quick Google, ask Siri, or check your local Yelp listings. Once you’ve chosen a place, you can go on a friend date or something more intimate with your sweetie and have a delicious pad Thai with tofu, or a delicious Vietnamese seitan creation.

These foods are not only rich in vegetables and other health foods, but the lack of animal products means that they’re lower in fat, absent in cholesterol, and still piping with wonderful flavors!

Once you’ve tasted of vegan splendors out on the town, you could (and should!) hit up the local health food store to pick up some ingredients for your own vegan feast. Maybe you’ll make it into a dinner party for work associates, or maybe you’ll bring a dish to a family dinner, but either way, you’ll be showing others that meatless, animal friendly meals are still yummy to the tummy!

Finding a recipe to work with is easy. The internet is a wonderful resource with literally thousands of vegan food blogs to peruse. There are bound to be plenty that suit your palate, be it Southern comfort food, Cambodian delights, or even vegan sushi! You can also check with your local food market vendors and ask what their favorite meat free recipes are.

Once you have found your niche in vegan cooking, you can explore whole new venues in the vegan lifestyle. It may be certainly worth considering to eliminate more and more meat from more and more meals. Meatless Monday has been around forever, but why not make all dinners meatless? They are healthful and delicious without animal products!

Once you get ready to step outside your comfort zone of vegan cuisine, the next place to look is a matter of choice. The options are out there, and they are all of them a matter of personal choice and selection! There are dozens of fantastic vegan cooking podcasts available to download for free, for instance, which can give you countless helpful tips in the kitchen, be it how to cook a jicama or how to properly slice your root veggies.

Super Health Food

  • Have you ever tried coconut water? Well if you haven’t you are missing out on a drink that has some of the most essential electrolytes that the body needs to keep the nerves on the go, the muscles in action and stress under control. It contains a whole lot more potassium than bananas. A doctor once told me that the water from 2 tender coconuts is the equivalent of a bottle of intravenous fluid. Not sure about you but I’d rather drink the coconut water!
  • Rambutans if you can get them are a fruit from South East Asia; you have to peel open the spiny outside to reach the white, jelly like fruit inside. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – it may not look very nice on the outside but the fruit is simply yummy! It is full of manganese, copper and vitamin C, with trace amounts of calcium, potassium and iron.
  • Beetroot is one of the most interesting of all vegetables, its juice is used as a general tonic; it has therapeutic properties to help with kidney, prostate, liver, gall bladder, kidney stones and even sexual weakness problems.
  • Canned carrots and pumpkin are simply chock-full of carotenoids which are a powerful antioxidant. Pumpkin has alpha carotene which according to some experts is far more powerful than beta carotene. Pumpkin seeds are also full of vitamins and minerals and it is recommended that you consume a small quantity daily.

Vegan Supplements for Better Health

Vegan supplements are ideal for many people who are trying to find effective supplements to include in their diet and exercise. There are a number of vegan supplements that may really make a difference in a person’s goal of becoming healthier and feeling younger. Vegan products are a lot better in countless ways.

One main reason why people choose them over other products is they make use of a lot of plant based ingredients that are more natural and effective compared to synthesized ingredients found in the majority of the supplements being sold today. The greater ingredients within vegan supplements are simply as effective, if not more, and will not cause one of the problems that synthesized and chemical ingredients could very well cause with long term use. Two brands that have become very popular among vegan supplement supporters are VEGA and Lorna Vanderhaeghe.

VEGA’s Whole Food Health Optimizer is one great vegan product, and is a good meal replacement. The VEGA Whole Food Health Optimizer may also be used as a dietary supplement that maximizes your body’s functions. This supplement contains different proteins, in addition to essential fatty acids, quality carbohydrates, and a lot of fiber, all important nourishment that people can benefit from daily.

VEGA also provides a version of the Whole Food Health Optimizer in berry flavor. This product contains similar ingredients to the previously mentioned item, but is offered in a more pleasing berry flavor.

Become Healthy Vegan

Becoming a healthy vegan is easy, because the diet itself is so healthful. Don’t be swayed by those who are shocked by your decision or try to convince you that becoming vegan is an extreme lifestyle. You’ll find that within a few months of becoming vegan you will feel better and even lose weight plus have more energy. A healthy vegan diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts make you feel full faster while needing to eat less. With veganism, there is a much more efficient use of calories and it shows in your looks, health and energy.

Meat and other animal by-products are not necessary for the human diet. Most cultures in the world eat largely vegetarian diets, and their average life spans are generally much longer than American ones (See ‘The China Study’ for more statistics). Nature provides solutions for getting protein in the form of nuts and legumes. Modern technology has also made convenient substitutes for animal products like hamburgers, eggs, milk, and cheese that are healthier and don’t involve the harming of any animal.

Though most of the changes involved in becoming vegan are about what you eat, you have to remember that many animal products are involved in the clothes we wear. Leather is one animal by-product that is often used in shoes and jackets, but thankfully much more vegan-friendly substitutes are being used each day.

Becoming vegan is about more than just eating a specific diet. It is the environmentally, compassionate, healthy choice. It isn’t hard to make the switch to veganism. Getting rich diversity of nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in your diet are more than enough to make you a very healthy vegan.

Build Muscle on Vegan Diet

A Goal That Is Realizable

Therefore, the idea of building muscle on a vegan diet is realizable if you know the nutrient information for various kinds of vegan foods. Therefore, the idea that vegetarians and vegans exhibit scrawny, weakly physiques could not be further from the truth, especially when those physiques have been sculpted through weight-training activities.

Just a year ago, a vegan strongman proved that vegans could be exceptionally strong as he hoisted an impressive, record-breaking 1,212.54 pounds over an area of almost three yards (32.8 feet to be exact).

Because protein is the key ingredient needed for gaining and maintaining muscular strength, bodybuilders and weight trainers require regular intake of protein to feed muscle the nutrition it needs to grow strong and get bigger. Therefore, you can follow a vegan diet and meal plan that features protein-rich foods as a part of your weight training and bodybuilding regimen.

Break Up Meals

It is best to break up meal times into several small meals during the day. Include macronutrients, such as fats and carbs, to maintain the energy needed for intense workouts and activities.

In order to achieve bodybuilding goals, experts recommend that weight-training enthusiasts consume a ratio of 30/30/40 of protein/fat/carbohydrates.

Vegan Protein Rich Foods

Some of the vegan, protein-rich foods that bodybuilders can use to build muscle or weight trainers can eat to build strength include these healthy choices.

Nuts and Nut Butters

When it comes to building muscle, you can’t go wrong with nuts as ½-cup supplies as much as 15 grams of protein and healthy fats for heart health and energy during grueling workouts.

All nuts are protein rich, and the lower fat varieties include peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. You can select from so many kinds of nuts to eat that they become an unavoidable food source for building muscle.

Of course, some weight trainers are allergic to nuts. However, for anyone who is immune from the allergens, nuts are an ideal accompaniment to a muscle builder’s diet.

Gluten Free Vegan Diet

If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect celiac disease or a wheat allergy, the severity of your symptoms will determine how much you change your diet. For celiacs, ingestion of proteins (glutens) found in cereal grains damage the small intestines and can result in abdominal cramping, anemia, low bone density and body weight, lupus, fatigue, depression, and a host of other ills. The only known treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong avoidance of all glutens. On the other hand, people who suffer wheat or gluten sensitivity usually feel better on a gluten-free diet, but they may grow to tolerate some forms of “forbidden grains.” For example, eating durum or semolina pasta gives me an excruciating migraine headache, yet I have no problem eating sprouted Ezekiel bread.

Glutens can affect our health in surprising ways. Particularly if you have unsuccessfully “tried everything” to treat a health issue, you might want to try a gluten-elimination diet. When you reintroduce glutens, observe your reactions. Acne, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, constipation, and asthma are some of the many problems occasionally relieved by avoiding gluten.

Unfortunately, wheat and its gluten-containing cousins appear in more foods than you might expect. Reading labels only helps if you can recognize the ingredients. Some hidden forms of gluten include:

modified food starch

textured vegetable protein

hydrolyzed plant protein

extenders and binders

hydrolyzed vegetable protein

malt

Most restaurant and canned soups contain flour, pasta or barley, and commercial enchilada sauces and “Spanish rice” mixes usually contain some form of wheat. At this point, all packaged veggie burgers and sausages contain wheat; however, a gluten-free veggie burger will supposedly be released by mid-2004. Always check the ingredient list, even on products like Rice Chex, which uses malt as a sweetener. Kashi cereal, which contains kashi, or buckwheat (a non-gluten grain), also contains wheat.

Start A Vegan Diet

1. Start with Cutting out Red Meat

The first step needs to be fairly easy. And for many people that starts with cutting red meat (we’re not as attached to it as we are to our cheese it seems).

Start by cutting out all pork, beef, lamb, and other red meat from your diet. Still allow yourself white meat like fish, chicken, and seafood.

You can also start trying meat-free versions of bacon and other meats that you can find in your local grocery or health food store, just to see which versions you like. When you begin feeling comfortable from not eating red meat, you can move to the next stage.

2. Chop the Chicken

Cut out the chicken – but still include seafood and fish like tuna, salmon, shrimp etc.

You can also start to try preparing some vegan meal recipes (you can find a lot online – and many times they are also reviewed by other vegans – so you can find the ones that REALLY taste good).

3. Cut out Seafood and Fish

By now, you’re pretty much at the vegetarian stage – congratulations! Now it’s time to cut the seafood and fish – but keep testing out other meat-alternatives like soy-based patties etc.

Your protein will also be coming from legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and black beans. There’s also whole grains, vegetarian mince, vegetarian patties, some other meat-free products like the vegan bacon.

4. Bid Farewell to Cheese

OK, this might be the more painful part for many of us. We love our cheese. But there are cheese alternatives like rice cheese and soy cheese. You’ll have to experiment here to find which kind of cheese works for you.

For example, I can’t stand soy cheese – but there’s a rice-based cheese I can buy at my grocery store that is fantastic – it even melts like real cheese!

Easy Vegan Lunch

Sandwich, Wrap or Bread roll
Purchase your vegan bread from the supermarket or your local health shop and freeze it to ensure an easy vegan lunch. Make your sandwich with avocado, bean sprouts, and any salad ingredient you fancy. For protein, enjoy tinned legumes such as lentils, four-bean mix or chickpeas. Otherwise you can add to your sandwich some cooked vegan bacon, scrambled “eggs” (tofu), grated vegan cheese, hummus spread or you could fry a vegan patty and put it on your sandwich or bread roll. You have many options for a delicious and nutritious vegan sandwich, wrap or bread roll. Don’t make the same sandwich every day – it’s important to have variety in your diet.

Salads
Salads can either be low-calorie or very sustaining, whichever you fancy or fulfills your current needs. Salads are actually one of the most popular vegan lunches because they are healthy, versatile, and often very quick and easy to make. Make your own garden salad with tomatoes, olives, lettuce, onions, cucumber, balsamic dressing and chickpeas. Or for a high-protein salad, mix together in a bowl four-been mix or chickpeas, cubed capsicum, red onion, chopped cucumber, parsley, and balsamic dressing. Add some cubed avocado to make your salad more sustaining if you wish. If you are tired of eating the same salads, you should search online or download a vegan recipe e-book for hundreds of vegan lunch recipes and salad ideas to make your food more fun and delicious.

For your salad dressings, you can just use olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar, or otherwise follow a simple vegan salad dressing recipe and store it in the fridge for up to one week. It is important to add a tasty salad dressing to your salads, as this not only makes the salad taste heavenly, but it also provides you with essential fats (olive oil) and salts that you need in your daily diet for optimal nutrition. Make a balsamic dressing, a hummus dressing, a vegan “mayo” and herb dressing, a curry dressing, a mustard dressing… the list of tasty dressings is endless! So begin your hunt today for some tasty salad dressing recipes to boost your salads taste and nutrition to the next level!

Smoothies
Some folk actually prefer their meal in a cup, whether it be for weight loss reasons or simply personal preference! Make your smoothie at home in the morning and put it in a large, leak-free smoothie bottle, preferably keeping it cool with an ice-brick. Create your smoothie from almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, soy yogurt, coconut-milk yogurt, agave nectar, maple syrup, cinnamon, spices, walnuts, slithered almonds, brazil nuts, water, coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, linseeds, berries, bananas, avocado (try it out), spinach (that’s right), mango, pineapple, raisins, dates… the list of vegan smoothie ingredients is endless. A smoothie is an easy option for a vegan lunch. If you are not the best at creating your own recipe concoction, look for recipes on the internet or in vegan recipe e-books. Sometimes following a recipe or just getting some ideas about what ingredients go together will make your smoothie experience so much tastier!

Nutrition of Vegan Athletes

Athletic Benefits of Vegan Diets

In his paper, Dr. Fuhrman contends that high level athletes compromise their immune systems through hard training, leaving them more susceptible to upper respiratory infections. These infections disrupt their training programs. He believes that following a nutrient rich vegan diet bolsters the athletes’ immune systems, reducing their viral infections and loss of training time. Furthermore, Dr. Fuhrman asserts that consuming high-antioxidant plant foods may abate the effects of oxidative stress that occurs from exercising.

Nutrient Supplementation

He then addresses whether specific micronutrients can be adequately acquired in a vegan diet. Regarding calcium and iron, he suggests that sufficient amounts of these nutrients can be found in a thoughtful plant-based diet. Other nutrients may require supplementation, however. These include zinc, iodine, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which tend to run low in vegans and vegetarians. Vitamin D levels are often deficient, even in the general population. Finally, taurine supplements appear to boost athletic performance and also tend to be lacking in vegans.

Protein Requirements

Athletes require an increased amount of protein to synthesize intramuscular protein and reduce muscle damage from exercise. Yet the actual amount of protein needed daily remains controversial. Dr. Fuhrman’s literature review in his article generally cites protein requirements as ranging from about 1.4 to 2 grams protein per kilogram of body weight. Thus, a 150-pound athlete would require from 95 to 136 grams of protein daily.

However, he prefers to cite protein needs in terms of kcals (calories) and protein grams. He offers an example of a 150-pound endurance athlete needing 3600 calories and 120 grams of protein daily. These amounts are based on the person training four hours per day. The vast majority of competitors certainly do not train anywhere near that level. A 150-pound sedentary individual needs only about 55 grams of protein. Extrapolating to a casual recreational athlete, somewhere in the range of 70-100 may be appropriate.

Must know about Vegetarian with Vegan

So a vegetarian path would be a good one to live out the results of this study in pursuit of better health and longevity. It might include yogurt, cheese, eggs and other dairy products. Some consider themselves vegetarian who also eat fish and sometimes chicken. Others say they don’t eat anything with “legs.” One must follow one’s own conscience and beliefs to create an individualized expression of vegetarianism. If animal products are consumed they ought best be organic, void of added hormones, free range vegetarian; if you have any doubt about how important it is to pay the little extra for organic dairy products, rent the movie “The Corporation.” It will cure you forever of eating non-organic dairy products.

Ah yes, the gentle vegans. This is the path of St. Francis of Assisi – a true vegan eats nothing of animal origin, wears nothing of animal origin. So does this mean they wear petroleum made shoes? Many vegans are proponents of hemp – an excellent resource for making everything from clothes to shoes; and the hemp seed is an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids greatly enjoyed by many vegans.

As we journey on the path of conscious eating, becoming vegan or vegetarian is often a key to exploring greater awareness and presence. When one eats more lightly, one lives more gently on the Earth. Upwards of 40% of our greenhouse gasses are caused by feedlot factory animal farming and chopping down rainforests to grow more beef.