Monday, November 20, 2017

Vegan Trends

Here's some good news for vegan.

Hope you live in an are with a Trader Joe'.  The food chain is offering some holiday choices... Read about their product release here... Click

And here's one about Wholesome Wave in the Houston Area... Veganism is trending.  Click

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Nutrition... who knows what?

I've read many books on nutrition over the years. That doesn't make me an expert, but I have often found that I seem to know more about good nutrition than those in the medical field who treat me. I don't know how many times I've gone to the doctor seeking help with losing weight.  Most times, I've come away with the usual recommendation of going on a calorie-restricted diet.  Well, research shows that those don't work, and that they cause your body to hold on to the extra pounds defiantly because it thinks you're trying to starve it.  

So, I've often wondered why doctors keep pushing this archaic view of nutrition. I have suspected that they didn't take many, if any, classes in nutrition when going through medical school.

I was right.  In Michael Greger MD's book How Not To Die,  he states, "According to the most recent national survey, only a quarter of medical schools offer a single course in nutrition.." and he goes on to say, "... six out of seven graduating doctors surveyed felt physicians were inadequately trained to counsel patients about their diets."  

So, there you have it.  We may feel we are on our own in this. Don't despair... look for a good nutritionist in your area.  Great help to be had from them.

And about doctors...  Since most diseases -- cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc -- are caused in part by our dietary habits, it would seem like a great idea if doctors would study nutrition and apply it in their practices. It could make a huge difference.

Great book:  To Die or Not To Die, by Michael Greger, MD also his website is very educational in the area of nutrition... here's a link... Nutrition Facts


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Weight Management for Vegans

Maintaining and losing weight while vegan...

I've been asked to pull together some information about how to maintain your weight after becoming vegan. I'm not an expert, but I sure have read a lot and will pull together information to give you a start...

I've notice most often that the traditional medical community is still recommending calorie-restricted diets.Guess what? They Don't Work. Believe me... I know because I've tried all of them.  Oh... they work while you are white-knuckling your way through the days of eating a low calorie diet, but this can not be sustained forever. And, as soon as you try to go on maintenance  the weight pops right back. Then we fall into a slump because we failed again and that just makes us want to eat more.

Well, the good news is that if you are following a vegan diet (no meat, fish, fowl, dairy, eggs) and you limit the use of processed foods, you'll most likely lose weight. In fact, it appears that vegans have better cholesterol levels, less difficulty with high blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, and a lower rate of obesity than meat eaters. 

Calories, of course, do count, but it seems that where those calories come from also counts. And, as a vegan, you are way ahead in that department.  Let me start this series by repeating the easy categories that won't lead you astray...

Eat these daily...  (and regarding greens... eat a couple of healthy salads each day if you like quantity..).

 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables

3 servings of fruit

3 servings of legumes

1 to 2 ounces nuts/seeds

* and don't forget plenty of water and supplements when needed..

  This is a starting point.  I'll be back with more specifics.

Here's a good blog article that might be helpful...

Veganism Found to Be the Best Diet for Weight Loss




Monday, November 6, 2017

What does Vegan mean to you?

Straight forward definition comes from the Oxford Dictionary...

VEGAN -- a person who does not eat or use animal products...

Easy peasy... but maybe you can't quite go all the way to a strict vegan lifestyle.  What to do?  I recommend you can work your way to total veganism at your own pace.

It SEEMS TO ME... it's okay to transition to becoming a vegan. No one is keeping score. If cold turkey (so-to-speak) is too much for you, ease into it at your own pace. The point is you are doing something wonderful for your health and for the animals.  A good barometer for success is: Are you progressing in eating more healthfully?

I watched a video the other day where it was recommended that people could do a world of good for the environment and for yourself just by replacing beef (not all forms of meat, but just beef) with beans.  If that's as much as you can do to start... go for it. 

No judgement from this blogger and none from yourself.  And, when you're ready, add a few more items to the vegan side and take a few more away from the non-vegan side of your diet.  I predict that you will be wanting to transition all the way before long... Why?  Because you'll feel so much better with each successive day. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Where do you get it?

Where do you get it?  

Most of what I've been reading leads me to believe that if you eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds that you'll get everything you'll need.... No reason to really count this or that.  Except for vitamins B12 and D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It's good to make a point of ensuring you get enough of these...  Here's some information on where we get them...

Where do you get B12?  

Because plants don't supply enough B12, most books I've read suggest a supplement of 100 micrograms daily or 1000 micrograms twice a week.  Some foods are fortified with B12, so you can always keep an eye out for those as well.

Where do you get Vitamin D?

Now that we're all careful about the harmful effects of too much sun, most people don't rely on the sun for their daily dose of vitamin D; therefore, vitamin D deficiency is very common these days.  Since it plays such an important role in bone health and it does help prevent some cancers, it is important to get enough. Supplemental doses range from 1000 units to 4000units... It'd be good to check with your doctor on this one to be sure you are getting enough. 

Vitamin D comes in two forms D2 and D3. Vegans should look for D2 as D3 is made from lanolin which comes from sheep.

Where do you get Omega 3 Fatty Acid?

Brain health, child development, and heart health all rely on a balance of fats. Here are some sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids: flaxseed (whole, ground, or oil), hempseed oil, tofu (firm), and walnuts.

Hope this has been helpful. There's lots of information out there about these. We'll look at more of it as we go along.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

What does being a Vegan mean to you?

Being vegan is more than just about food. By becoming a vegan you are showing your interest and appreciation of all other beings (such as cows, pigs, chickens, fish, lambs, etc.) as well as your love of the earth.

I am new to being vegan. I am learning as quickly as I can, so I can pass along good information to you.  I've known in the back of my mind for a long time that steak comes from cows and wings from chickens, but I have chosen not to think about it too deeply.  Not thinking about it until I did think about it -- until I actually saw how the animals are treated.  But, there are many more issues in addition to the treatment of animals.

Did you know ...

...that according to Scientific America, four-fifths of deforestation of the Amazon rain forest can be attributed to cattle ranching. 

...that red meat is responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as veggies and grains.

...that there is significant water pollution around factory farms...

I'm not going to beat you up with this information. That's not my style. People need to come to these decisions on their own. But, consuming meat and animal products is a topic worth thinking about.  It puts becoming vegan in a much larger context than a diet choice.  It's a lifestyles choice for sure.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester

I have confessed to you before that I'm a newbie vegan. Yes, I'm feeling my way along. The other day, I realized I needed to get organized and not stand in front of the fridge blankly before each meal hoping to combine some non-dairy, non-meat ingredients into something edible. I have come to realize I need to know how to cook vegan and shop vegan before I'll feel comfortable. 

So, of course, I went looking for books and preferably books with the word "Easy" in the title.  Well, I think I hit the jackpot with The Easy Vegan Cookbook.  It certainly appears to be a hopeful answer to many of my questions. 

The Easy Vegan Cookbook is written by Kathy Hester who is a best selling cookbook author and blogger ( ).  In addition to this book she has written The Great Vegan Bean Book and OATrageous Oatmeals.

I must admit the book just arrived in the mail today. I have not tested the recipes yet, but, I'll be back to write a review of them when I do.

I needed to devote this blog to The Easy Vegan Cookbook because I like what I see.  I've flipped though it and what appeals to me is that, in addition to recipes, it has a section on how to make staples ahead and how to stock your freezer with cut veggies, etc. It also gives a shopping list for how to stock your cupboards with spices and supplies that will make it easier when you are cooking.

So for now.... I'm gonna get to cooking.... Come along with me as I get organized and I'll be back to talk about individual recipes soon.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Yummy Recipes Galore

The Minimalist Baker.... nice blog... Just click on a picture and you'll see the recipe   

A page of pictures of food.  Yes, the author also teaches food photography, so you know that pictures are scrumptious. Not just one photo per recipe, but several... all beautiful. The recipe is included, instructions on how to combine the ingredients and notes from the author. In addition, there is nutritional information for each recipe. Who could want more. 

 Well, there is mire... Also on this site is a complete section to help bloggers on WordPress set up and maintain their site.  This is a nifty blog.  (Is nifty an archaic term?)  

Oh My Veggies .... Another good one 

This website has a great look also and oodles of recipes.  The detail is about the same as The Minimalist Baker in that there are several photos of each recipe, the instructions and notes.  The only downside was there was an ad for Spanks on the same page as a recipe for wonderful brownies... (I guess that is a plus probably, as it did make me move on). Anyway, give this one a look.  You won't be disappointed. 

When I get the time to try out some of these recipes, I will certainly review them for you... In the meantime, try them out and let us know what you think... either in the comments below or come join us on Facebook in The Helpful Vegan group.  Hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Little Piles of Food... The Vegan Way

Food is food right. So if you eat little piles of food or the same ingredients artfully combined into a recipe, nutrition-wise, it probably doesn't make much difference.  But taste-wise and visually it probably does. 

As a new vegan, I find that I'm starting to catch on to what to eat and when to eat, but I am slow to get to the cooking part. So I've just been putting little piles of food on my plate and eating them.

This week I think I'll actually try cooking... I have realized that I must plan ahead for this, because I'm not sure what all goes together.  For example, I'm not exactly sure what to do with nutritional yeast other than sprinkle some on a baked potato.  And, I have some almond milk in the frig that I haven't even tried yet.  Any suggestions out there will be welcome.  In the meantime, I'm returning to those articles I put up for you to read and checking the mail for the EASY cookbook I ordered.

And I'm making myself a little daily index card to keep track of the food groups, so I don't forget anything...

Here's an example...

 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables

_______  _______  _______  _______  _______  

3 servings of fruit

_______  _______  _______  

3 servings of legumes

_______  _______  _______  

1 to 2 ounces nuts/seeds


* and don't forget plenty of water and supplements when needed..

I'll let you know how I do with thin.  But, I must say... I feel great since going vegan. I just need to refine it some.  

Hope you're doing well... Don't be shy about using the comment section to let me know how it's going.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Helpful Vegan - Facebook Group

I have just created a group on Facebook: The Helpful Vegan.  I will continue to post longer things here, but I have a desire to get more people into the conversation and thought that a group might be the answer to that.

The Helpful Vegan is a group for vegans, aspiring vegans, vegetarians and anyone interested in these topics. The purpose of the group is to share news, recipes, tips, and trends regarding vegan nutrition, cooking, and health issues. It is open to all interested individuals. Joining means you agree to helpful, positive communication on any topic under the umbrella of veganism.

So head on over the Facebook and Join The Helpful Vegan...

Here's the link.. CLICK HERE

See you there...


Monday, October 16, 2017

What to use for Sauces and Dressings

So, being newly vegan, I had this whole pile of individual foods -- fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc -- but didn't know how to put them together without dairy and cheese in my diet.  So, I researched some blogs that have lists and recipes of sauces that can be used with multiple dishes.... Here are three good ones I've found.  This should help get you started....

 Click Here 

The Sauce System: 5 Staple Vegan Sauces for Endless Meal Options

This is the No Meat Athlete website...  it has lots of general info for athletes on how to continue as a vegan.  This article spotlights sauces that can be used in many ways...  

Click Here

9 Vegan Sauces to Put on Everything

By Lauren Branchini

This is from the . It's a great site with lots and lots of recipes. This article emphasizes sauces... Enjoy

Click Here 

8 Tasty Vegan Sauces, Salad Dressings and Dips

This list is from Well Vegan.  It is a site that has lots of information for beginning vegans.   

Vegan Trends

Here's some good news for vegan. Hope you live in an are with a Trader Joe'.  The food chain is offering some holiday choices.....