Plant-based Ground Beef

Here’s a great alternative to ground beef. Let me introduce you to Beyond Beef. A Plant-based version of real beef. All the ingredients are made from plants. It’s also soy-free and gluten-free. As you can see, it’s Non-GMO Project Verified, which basically means this product was not made with any genetically modified organisms. The ingredients are pure, just as Mother Nature intended them to be.

Take a look at the ingredients below. There are no meat byproducts, soy, or artificial preservatives.

INGREDIENTS:

Water, Pea Protein Isolate*, Expeller-pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Fruite Powder, Beet Juice Extract (For Color).

All plants ingredients! Where can you buy this and many other plant-based foods? Whole Foods Market! Plus, it’s just in time for the July 4th holiday. Get your grills out and grill up some plant-based burgers or make the family a nice meatless meatball and spaghetti dinner. They won’t know the difference.

Be safe and healthy, and have a Happy 4th of July.

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Refueling With Beets

People often ask me, what vegetable should they eat daily? I used to say, organic kale or spinach. Now I tell people to eat beets along with their greens. Eating any form of green vegetables is crucial in any diet, but eating the whole beet plant is a two for one deal. The beet greens are just as edible and highly recommended to eat just like any other green vegetable. According to the whfoods.org, beet greens nutritional intake consist both of fat-soluble vitamins like A and K, as well as water-soluble vitamins like vitamins C and B2.  Beet greens are also packed with vital minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium.  In the phytonutrient category, beet greens show special benefits in the area of carotenoid richness. Beets are also naturally sweet so eating the greens will counter balance the sugar in the beets. Instead of tossing the green tops in the garbage, juice them with the beet or sauté a bunch and serve as a side dish.

Video: How Sugar Beets are Turned into Table Sugar

I recently stumbled upon this study done by researchers at Wake Forest University. According to the study, beets contain a high level of dietary nitrite, when ingested nitrite converts into nitric oxide (NO). Don’t get it confused. Nitrite into Nitric Oxide! So, the NO increases the blood flow and oxygen in the body. With this increase of blood flowing to your brain, your performance may be enhanced. This study is fascinating because they also discovered that drinking a beetroot juice supplement before a workout can make the brain of older people look younger. Whether you’re looking for performance enhancements or a younger brain, it’s definitely worth getting your daily doses of beets in.  Another study results were outstanding. Results indicated that beetroot juice given as a single dose or over a few days may improve performance at intermittent, high-intensity efforts with short rest periods.

  1. Muscle recovery after workouts
  2. Improved time trial performance
  3. Decreased cost of work when performing

Thus means you can finish the race or workout feeling less fatigued. Eating beets will increases your body’s endurance. I suggest based off of my research, opt out of the Gatorade and go for beet juice instead. My passion is eating healthy and spreading my knowledge of the importance of eating a nutritional diet, mainly plant-based. It’s been over a year now since I’ve added exercising into my lifestyle. In the beginning, I was exhausted and achy from my workouts. It was difficult to get on a consistent regimen but since I’ve got added beets to my weekly diet, I’ve noticed a positive upward shift in my energy pre and post workouts. I’ve always enjoyed eating and growing beets, and now that I’m working out, I’ve incorporated beets in my daily diet. I juice, shred for salads, or roast in the oven. Beets and their greens are now a staple in my household. If I could only get my two boys to eat it!

Other Health Benefits of Beets

Beets can lower blood pressure; promote eye, respiratory, and bone health; build immunity and increase stamina; and fight premature aging. There’s evidence they may even help prevent cancer. They’re highly nutritious, abundant in phytochemical compounds, low in fat and calories. Beets’ also supports detoxification.

Simple Beet Juice Recipe

  • 1 medium beetroot with the greens
  • 1/2 peeled lemon
  • Small piece of ginger
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cucumber

Here a little home video of me picking beets from my garden. I hope I was able to inspire you to start eating beet greens.

Sources

        Study:Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent high-intensity exercise efforts
        Study: Beetroot juice supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of exercise without improving mitochondrial efficiency: but how?
        Study:The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease
        Study:Effects of Beetroot Juice on Recovery of Muscle Function and Performance between Bouts of Repeated Sprint Exercise
        Beet Greens –whfoods.com

Summer Tomatoes

Growing your own food is such a rewarding feeling because I’m in charge of the whole process. My food is healthy, fresh, and pesticide free. I have full control over everything, especially on the kind of fertilizers and lest control I use. Everything is done organically. There’s nothing like fresh picked vegetables. Food that ripens in my garden have more nutrients than many store-bought vegetables that must be picked early for shipping. The process has been quite easy with some minor bumps in the road. I do research and watch some ‘How to Videos’, because I’m not an expert and I want to get it right hopefully the first time.

I’m so proud of my tomato crop this year. I made sure I planted just the right mixture of just what I need. OMG! Last year I planted too many cherry tomatoes. They were over producing and I wasn’t pruning. It was a little disaster in the garden, and I was overwhelmed by cherry tomatoes. I ended up giving most of them away. This year I have all sorts of varieties for various different needs. Since the cherry tomatoes are my daughters favorite, I only planted one. As they ripen, she picks them and eats them like gum balls. Usually there’s none left for anyone else. That reminds me, I still have cherry tomatoes in the freezer from last year.

The picture above are my The Jersey Beefsteak. This variety is one of my favorite tomato’s to grow because they grow pretty large and the flavor is sweet with a little tart. I make a really nice tomato and onion salad with them. I also make my own apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. The juices from the tomatoes makes the dressing taste so fresh and sweet. I have three of these Jersey babies in the garden this year. I also use them for making my homemade marinara sauce. Recipe here.

These Early Girl variety grows quickly (hence ‘Early’) and they have high yields. They’re pretty common amongst home growers for that reason. I do believe it takes about 50-55 days after planting to maturity. You can easily grow these in containers too.

Check these green beauties out. I bought the sucker (baby plant) from the farmers market. The tag read, Organic Roma Tomatoes. These are obviously not because they are much longer. After some internet research, I stumbled upon a lookalike, they’re actually called, Long Tom. They can grow up to 9″. According to the website, they’re also known for bearing huge amounts of meaty red paste tomatoes with very few seeds in them. I can’t wait to taste them. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my organic tomato lifestyle. I hope I was able to inspire you a little to eat organically and grow your own organic garden.

Tomato Salad Recipe

  • 2 Beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • Parsley
  • 1 Garlic
  • Small Red onion
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Simple dish that requires 10 minutes of preparation. Cut tomatoes in big chunks and set aside in a bowl. Peel, cut and discard cucumber seeds. Rough chop parsley place in bowl with tomatoes and cucumbers. Dice garlic and onions and place in bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss everything together and enjoy.
  • Still Harvesting My Greens in November

    Just got in from the gym and decided to make myself a protein green smoothie. This is always a quicker option than cooking, especially when your tired. Check out my beautiful bouquet of greens. Just freshly cut from my garden. It’s November and cold here in New York, however my collard greens, curly leaf kale, Tuscan kale, and parsley are surviving strong. Even the two days of frost we had a couple of weeks ago. Kale and collards are cool-season greens that are part of the cruciferous family along with cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and bok choy. They grow best in the springtime and fall and can tolerate frost. Leafy greens are power food packed with power nutrients. Plus all greens are low in calories. And a serving of just about any of the deeply colored ones contains your daily supply of vitamins K and A, most of your daily vitamin C, and a hefty helping of fiber, B vitamins and essential minerals. They’re great additions to smoothies too.

    • 1/2 cup of kale
    • 1 cup collard greens
    • 1/2 cup of figs
    • 1 cup of flaxseed milk
    • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
    • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1 tsp of organic Maca powder
    • 1/2 cup of ice

    Check out the protein content on this plant-based flaxseed milk. It taste sooooooo good. I bought it from Whole Foods.

    Benefits of kale

    • Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Kale
    • Glucosinolates and Cancer-Preventive
    • Kale also extend to its cholesterol-lowering ability

    Resource: The World’s Healthiest Food – Kale

    Pickled Hot Peppers

    Pickling hot peppers is an island delight for Jamaicans. I’ve watched my mother preserve her peppers this way for decades, and now it has become one of my favorite things to do with my homegrown hot peppers.  This is also a wonderful way to preserve your hot peppers.  You can use any type of hot pepper or vegetables to add to your jars.  My mom loves to put carrots in hers. I’ve done it before in the past and it comes out just as great.  For this recipe, I’m keeping it simple.  I had a lot of peppers to start with so these 4 jars is equivalent to 4 pints/16 oz. You can also modify this recipe by decreasing the vinegar to 2 cups per jar. 

    Ingredients 

    • 4 Large onions sliced
    • 4 Green bell peppers 
    • 8 Scotch bonnet peppers
    • 4 Ghost peppers
    • 24 Habanero peppers 
    • 4 Tbsp Dried Pimento seeds (whole allspice)
    • 2 Tbsp sugar 
    • 8 Cups White Vinegar 

    Cooking tip: Wear protective gloves and goggles (optional). When done, wash all tools and surface with cold water and soap. 

    Instructions

    1. Sterilize the mason jars in a large pot with boiling water for 30 minutes. 
    2. While your jars are boiling slice your onions and peppers into desired shapes. Leave the seeds. 
    3. Remove jars with a tong and set aside to cool. 
    4. After about 10 minutes, layer the vegetables, peppers, and pimento seed in the jars. 
    5. Warm the vinegar and sugar in a pot on the stove.  Do not bring to a boil. 
    6. Pour warm vinegar into jars and set aside to cool.  
    7. Tighten carefully with the lids. 

    You do not have to refrigerate your jars.  I know some people who do.  It’s optional. These jars are beautiful to give away as gifts. Just add a ribbon to make them even more special.  

    Enjoy! 

    Homemade Tomato Sauce

         When August and September rolls around and you have a sea of freshly picked tomatoes, there’s only one thing I could think of, pasta sauce. After I’ve shared and eaten and picked, it’s time to preserve for the winter. As if I live in the wilderness. I don’t obviously, but it’s cost effective to preserve for later uses.  My tomatoes were at its ripest and that’s what you want. The reddest, sweetest and densest tomatoes. 


    INGREDIENTS

    • 10 pounds fresh tomatoes 
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 3 garlic clove, halved
    • 2 basil springs 
    • 3 bay leaf

    PREPARATION

    Step 1:  Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard, if you wish. Press the cut side of tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 8-9 cups.

    Step 2:  Put tomato pulp in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.

    Step 3:  Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 4 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or may be frozen.

    I freeze mines. Let it cool completely and insert desired amount in ziplock freezer bags. I like the quart sizes. Enjoy!!

    Growing Tomato Tips


         My heirloom Hartman’s yellow Gooseberry tomatoes are sweet, mild and very tasty.  This is my first year planting them, and I’m pleased by the results so far.  When I purchased this seedling, it was about a foot tall.  I dug a whole twice the size of the pot it came in, and covered the whole root system with compost soil mixed with the dirt I dug up. I then sprayed it with diluted liduid kelp to give the plant a little boost of nutrients to get it going.  Within one month of adequate even watering and good sunlight, the plant tripled its size.  You can eat these raw or sautéed.  Anyway, you’ll just love the taste.  The color will also brighten up any dish and will wow any crowd.  Not to mention, they’re also very easy to grow. 

    Growing Tomato Tips

    1. Spacing between plants:  2-3 feet apart for room to grow. 
    2. Cutting the tomatoes from the vine with a scissors protects the plant and the fruit. Don’t tug or pull. 
    3. Fertilize with Azomite and liquid Kelp both add calcium and trace minerals.  
    4. Store tomatoes if green on the countertop, stem side up to ripen. 
    5. If you refrigerate – limit for 3-5 days, this will also effect the flavor and texture of the tomato.
    6. Stake, trellis or cage tomato plants to support and keep them from the ground. 

         Growing tomatoes in the summer is simple, plus if you don’t have a garden, growing in containers work just as fine too. You can grow beets, lettuces, carrots, cucumbers and so much more in pots on your balcony or patio. If you have the space and the sunlight, go for it.  Check this beauty out below! 

    Have fun with growing fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grow your own foods. Organically of course😉

    Resources: Grow Organic – Online resource for everything organically grown. 

     Tomatoe Pruning and Tomatoe Diseases 

    Growing Beets in Containers – The Basics

    Best Tomato Varieties For Containers

    Green Smoothie 

    I woke up this morning feeling for an easy breakfast. I didn’t have the desire to cook. The kids are on their own for breakfast today. With two teenagers, they can fend for themselves in the kitchen and their little sister can eat whatever they cook. It’s just one of those days. I started my morning with a big mug of green tea with lemon and finished it off with a simple organic green smoothie for breakfast. I just used what was on hand. Luckily for me, I had some fresh organic spinach. 


    Simple Recipe 
    2 Ripe organic bananas

    Hefty handful of organic spinach 

    2 Cups of organic almond milk 

    1 Tablespoon of organic chia seeds 

    1 Cup of ice

    1 Tablespoon of organic wheatgrass powder

    The wheatgrass powder adds more vital nutrients to the smoothie making it a powerful energy booster.  The chlorophyll in the wheatgrass supports detoxification of the body. Apart from the detoxification, it also ensures that there is an increased amount of oxygen sent to every cell.


    I like to add chia to my smoothies. This ensures I’m getting more fiber, Omega 3 & 6’s, and healthy protein in my diet.  These are simple additions you can infuse your juices or smoothies with to boost up your vitamin intake. 
    Enjoy! 

    My Fibrous Fig Tree

    Capelas variety

         My fig tree blessed me with a bountiful harvest this year. I’ve always wanted a fig tree in my yard.  Once my husband and I closed on our first home, that same week I had my mini-potted fig tree planted in my back yard.  The first summer it didn’t produce much, but this year, it quadrupled in size and bared the sweetest fruits.  Fresh figs are extremely delicious to eat and very full of fiber. Eating fiber-rich foods have great advantages for losing weight and even reducing your breast cancer risk.  I came across a study done on postmenopausal women.  The results of a prospective study involving 51,823 women for an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit-fiber compared to those consuming the least. 

         In addition, in the subgroup of women who had ever used hormone replacement, those consuming the most fiber, especially cereal fiber, had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming the least. Fruits richest in fiber include apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes. When choosing a high fiber cereal, look for whole grain cereals as they supply the most bran (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fiber). Adding these fiber-rich fruits to your cereals will boost your fiber intake. 

    Resources: Study – Dietary fiber intake and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer defined by estrogen and progesterone receptor status–a prospective cohort study among Swedish women.

    Homeopathic Cough Remedy with Raw Honey

         My grandmother on my paternal side taugh me this homemade remedy for coughs and sore throats. Since the weather has changed here in New York, one of my kids already caught a sore throat. ‘Tis the season of battling sicknesses, so what’s the best remedy for treating a sore throat? It’s Honey!  I actually remember the first time my grandmother whipped this honey concoction up for me. I had a sore throat with a dry cough, and I was constantly gargling with salt water. I must have been between eleven or twelve years old. She said, I was irritating my throat even more and that I needed something to soothe it.  We went into the kitchen and she chopped up onions and covered it with raw honey in a glass. It sat for one hour before I had a table spoon full.  

         Surprisingly, it tasted good and within a few minutes my throat felt less irritated and after about ten minute my cough was lesser.  The taste of the onions was pronounced but the honey makes up for it.  My twist on my granny’s recipe is adding garlic. I make this every year around the fall and throughout the winter months. I give it to all my children from the youngest of six years to the eldest, who is fifteen.  It is a very simple and effective remedy, and it works for us, and it may even work for you.  
    Recipe 

    • 2 Medium Onions
    • Raw honey
    • Half head of garlic (5 gloves) 

    Directions

         Peel and slice the onions evenly. Peel and cut each garlic in half.  Place everything in your jar (I purchased mines from IKEA). Pour the raw honey over everything until majority of contents are covered. Cover lid and let it sit on your counter overnight for 6-8 hours. I like to give it a little stir after the times up.  I give 1 table spoonful which is equivalent to 2 teaspoons to my children. Depends on the severity of the situation, a child may get 2 spoonful an hour.  Overtime, I store on the counter or even in the fridge. You could always add more ingredients overtime if you’re running low. The onions will eventually breakdown. I usually eat them when I take a spoonful. The hardest part is to get the kids to eat it. 

         I highly recommend using raw honey for this recipe because store bought honey sometimes have additives like high fructose corn syrup. Please read your labels!  These three natural ingredients have the capability to fight colds, coughs, allergies, sore throats and even boost your bodies immunity.  Honey is truly an amazing substance.  It is a natural sweetener and it encompasses an intricate chemical composition of carbohydrates, free amino acids, vitamins, trace elements and flavonoids/antioxidants. Not to forget anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.  Studies of the antimicrobial effect of honey have demonstrated its broad-spectrum antimicrobial actions against upper-respiratory tract infections.  Honey has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of coughs for a very long time (1).  Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, which is a common ingredient in over the counter cough medications to soothe cough(2).  This home remedy, works better according to the study.   Honey naturally soothes. 

         The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic controls infection from bacterias and viruses.  Onions and garlic are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects.  Onions antioxidant rich flavonoids provides us with the benefits to keep chronic unwanted inflammation under control (3). The use of honey is also prohibited under the age of one due to poor immunity against Clostridium Botulinum, a potential contaminant (4).  Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine”, prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses.  Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion and fatigue. It’s great for flavoring your food and to treat illnesses. 



    Resources: 

    (1) Study: Bactericidal activity of different types of honey against clinical and environmental isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    (2) Study: Honey for Treatment of Cough in Children

    (3) Study: Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of quercetin oxidation products from yellow onion (Allium cepa) skin.

    (4) Study: Incidence of Clostridium botulinum in honey of various origins.

    WARNINGS ⚠️ 

    Homey is NOT for children under one years old. My mission is to extend the knowledge of healthly eating through this blog. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health program.