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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Chia Seeds: Plant-based Obsession 

     Add Chia Seeds to your smoothies for a healthy alternative for protein. Chia seeds are easy and versatile in diets. You can bake them in muffins, breads, make pudding, and add them to your drinks.  According to the National Nutrition Database for Standard Reference, 100 grams of chia seeds contain 16 grams of protein, 30 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 34 grams of dietary fiber, 630 mg of calcium, 7 mg of iron, 335 mg of magnesium, 860 mg of phosphorus, 407 mg of potassium, 16 mg of sodium and 4 mg of zinc. Chia seeds also have vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E. Chia seeds also have no cholesterol!  They’re super easy to store and inexpensive. A ten ounce bag can cost you less than ten dollars, and it’ll last you a month.  

How do you enjoy your chia seeds and why do you incorporate them into your diet?

     For me, I’m dairy-free so the plant-based calcium benefits are extremely beneficial for my body. Calcium is needed for healthy bones. The good thing about it, I have healthier alternatives. Cutting dairy out was hard for me since I’ve grown up eating every dairy option to mankind. Now as an adult, it had to go.  After some tests and self observations, I realized dairy was the demise to my body’s existence. I was plagued with severe eczema, constipation, acne and a weakened immune system. Once I stopped, things moved along smoother, my skin cleared, and even the mucus significantly reduced in my body.  I wake up now in the mornings without that yellow mucus in my eyes, and my throat isn’t corroded with slimy gook.  I feel much lighter, and my immune is much stronger. I recover better from colds which I rarely get.  

Isn’t that awesome!  

     An article by Thomas Campbell, MD points out the importance of getting calcium from plant-based sources without dairy in your diet. Dairy causes a lot of problems. Find out what those are here.  I’ll stick to my plant-base options. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds yields 18% per serving of calcium. It’s the perfect addition to my smoothies along with spinach and kale which also have calcium. There are so many plant-based options for calcium. Explore them and be healthy! 
Resources:

Why Consume More Plants? 

Why Can Too Much Protein be a Protein?

My Radishes Are in Season 

I love adding radishes to salads because it adds a beautiful color, flavor, and dimension. They have a slight pepper taste that’s tolerable to small children, and an apple like crunch. Slice them thinly and add them to your salads. These red beauties are healthy for you especially, if you have blood pressure issues. They’re known for regulating pressure and reliving congestion. Radishes have antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties. They’re an amazing source of fiber, which is beneficial for keeping your digestive system smooth and regular. Radishes are also a natural diuretic, purifying the kidney and urinary systems and relieving inflammation. If you want to boost your vitamin C levels, just add some radishes to your diet. Try this simple salad with kale, radish, figs, bell peppers and some grapes. No dressing required, just a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add some zing.  
  
Growing radishes literally takes about 60 days to mature…it’s very easy to grow. The Old Almanac reccomends planting 4-6 weeks before the average date of last frost. Direct sow the seeds in your garden ½ inch to an inch deep and one inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to about 2-inch spacings. Radishes need sun and even watering. Within 4-5 days the seeds will germinate. When they’re ready, you’ll see a a vibrant red ball. The longer you leave it in the ground, the bigger the radish. 

How do you normally enjoy your radish? Do you also grow them? I would love to hear from you. 

Resources:  Planting Radish Radish Nutrition Facts 

Memory Booster

 

Move over almonds!  A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that subjects ages 20 to 59 who ate an average of five walnut halves daily performed significantly better on congnitive tests (memorizing a series of symbols and numbers) than those who didn’t eat them.  The brain-boosting effects may come from the nut’s high levels of antioxidants and omega-3’s. 

Another great plant-based option for healthy omegas is flaxseeds. Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetesThe best way to get your needed essential fatty acids is by eating a health-promoting diet derived exclusively from whole natural foods. These essential fatty acids are found abundantly in green leafy vegetables (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, etc.), flaxseeds, soybeans, and nuts and seeds.   

Eating a health-promoting diet will provide adequate amounts of the essential fatty acids, without the problems associated with animal products, processed oils, and supplements, which are often promoted as sources for these essential nutrients. Walnuts, flax seeds and green vegetables including purslane are a rich source of the desirable Omega-3 fatty acids.  



Resource: The World’s Healthiest Foods

Tips For Planning Healthy Meals 

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have much time during the week to cook. Working full-time, juggling three children, a husband, house work, blogging and social life; cooking have to be quick and easy for me. By the time I reach home, I’m exhausted.  What works for me is planning ahead.  On the weekends, I buy all of my fresh produce for the week, and having healthy staples in the pantry is helpful.  These items will keep you sustained! 

My staples: Peanut or almond butter, lentils, chickpeas, breads, pasta, canned crushed tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, almond or coconut milk, cauliflower, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs.  

I enjoy going grocery shopping. Not many people do but I look forward to it.  My go-to stores are Whole Foods, Trader Joes and of course, the farmers market. You might be wondering, why I go to so many stores?  First, I enjoy it. Secondly, we all have different needs and wants.  Lastly, the farmers market is a must for fresh seasonal produce, organic pastured raised eggs, organic apples, and wild caught fish. We go through apples like grapes in my household. 



I’ve found that a small amount of time invested in menu planning saves me time and energy.  The key meals to plan are the evening meals.  Breakfast is easy (oats, French toast, cold cereals, etc.) and lunch, my husband prepares every morning for the children. Dinner is my specialty. 

It is extremely important to consume a variety of plants to make sure we are getting all the nutrients we need.  The produce I buy gets chopped up and mixed into so many different dishes for the week.  When I make my organic brown rice pilaf, there’s about 5-6 different vegetables chopped up in it.  It’s amazingly delicious. My vegan lasagna is also fast and furious.  



The no-boil lasagna cuts my time in half.

Plus, there’s always a green salad with our dinner.  The point here is to plan ahead, cook enough, and incorporate plenty of fresh plants in your meal.  Many people tend to buy frozen produce, remember fresh is always best. 

Tips to consider:

  1. Set aside time to plan a menu for the week. 
  2. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for these recipes. 
  3. Select three or four main dishes, and plan to prepare enough for each person.  
  4. Add some fresh vegetables for salads and side dishes. 
  5. Save your menus and shopping list for future uses. 

Enjoy!

Detox Green Juice Recipe

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I just completed Food Matters Free 3 day detox cleanse, and honestly, I feel amazing!

James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch are the brilliant filmmakers of ‘Food Matters‘ and ‘Hungry For Change‘. Two MUST SEE documentaries! They are the masterminds behind this cleanse.

In this detox, they combined fresh juices, a green salad, and a potassium balancing soup. There was no added sugars, breads, whole grains, or dairy. Strictly vegan! Just real organic vegetables and fresh juices. I love to eat so choosing the right detox was critical. Most detox programs usually eliminate food. Well, Food Matters plan had the perfect balance for me.

When starting any detox plan choosing the right time is key to your success, and consulting with your healthcare professional is extremely important.

Below is the green juice recipe from Food Matters detox cleanse.

2-3 Kale leaves
1 Lime
2-3 Celery stalks
1-2 Cucumbers
Optional detoxifying additions
Parsley
Coriander
Cilantro
Romaine can be added as well

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Sources
For more information about Food Matters click here.

Happy New Year & Happy Detoxing!

Vegan Red Cabbage Slaw

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Ingredients

1 organic small red cabbage
3 organic carrots
5 organic radishes
1 cup organic almond slices
2 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon
2 tablespoon organic olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of organic ground cardamom
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
Step 1
Quarter cabbage, and discard core. Shred cabbage and carrots. Slice radishes thinly. Transfer to a large bowl.

Step 2
In a small bowl, stir together mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and ground cardamom. Season with salt and pepper. Now, pour mixture in with cabbage, and toss to combine. Just before serving, sprinkle cabbage with the almond slices.

EAT A VEGAN MEAL

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Each year, the average American consumes 175 pounds of meat and poultry, almost double the global average. Eating less red meat may do you a favor: It can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. “Learn to love big heaps of vegetables,” says Mark Bittman New York Times food columnist and author of VB6.

To achieve that feeling, Bittman says to try meatless proteins, such as lentils, edamame, garbanzo beans and tofu. He also recommends roasting six sweet potatoes. “The more you cook and have stuff around, the less you’ll depend on junk.”

He’s right! Once you prepare your meals ahead of time, the less likely you will make bad food choices. I think salads are super easy. Every weekend I spend over $70 dollars on organic vegetables and fruits. Apples alone I spend about $10 dollars. Between me and my three children, we go through apples quickly. Salads are great for lunch and dinner. They’re easy to make and can be very filling. Just pile on the fruits and vegetables and don’t forget your plant-based protein. You can’t go wrong!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes with garbanzo beans:

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Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
3 chopped garlics
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped cranberries
2 cups garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic and red peppers. Cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add kale, garbanzo beans and cranberries then, sauté for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers. Toss in almonds.

Yield 4 servings

The idea here is to eat more plants, especially leaves. Plants are a great source of vital nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals. And eat as many different kinds of plants as possible. They all have different antioxidants and so help the body eliminate different kinds of toxins.

Sources:
January 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Kale food facts: High Vitamin K and Anti-Cancer properties
Plant-Based Research

Quick Snap Shot!

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Just a little bit of everything in this vegan lunch. I have my green juice, a big bowl of vegetables, fruit and whole grains. That’s what I love about eating a plant-based diet, there are no rules. Mix it all up and it’s still healthy.

Excerpts from the Spring 2013 Kaiser Permanente Journal says,

“Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

Get on the bandwagon!

Simply Vegetables Sandwich

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A simple vegan sandwich with fresh garden tomatoes on the side. It has baby spinach, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and sprouts with lite French mustard on my favorite 7-grain bread.

This is super easy, all vegan, and delicious. You can customize your vegetable sandwich with whatever you desire.

Healthy eating for the best you ever!