Friday, June 17, 2011

Vegan Diet Benefits


People who are into or following a healthy diet, vegan for example, may it be for religious or cultural reasons or simply by trying to avoid health related problems should know that it is a must to consume variety of foods that meet the daily nutritional needs. But many are trapped of getting not enough nutrients when they try to skip some foods in their diet. A well planned diet is the smart choice in order to avoid the potential health risks that is associated with vegetarian diet.

Whatever kind of vegetarian eating patterns you have chosen, remember that meats and poultry products are usually excluded and that’s why it is necessary that you plan it well so you will be consuming all the essential nutrients needed by the body. You need to find substitutes for the nutritional value of what meat can offer. Don’t forget the four major nutrients that is essential in the body; Vitamin B12, Protein, Calcium and Iron. Deficiency of which carries a greater danger of serious health complications and vegan diets have the higher risks of deficiency.

Despite of, research have shown that a diet low in animal products and fats prevents chronic illness and heart related disease. And many experts have concluded that such diet tends to turn towards vegetarianism. A balanced diet high in vegetables, fruits and fibers contributes in dealing weight problems and eventually a good way to lose weight. And we know that obesity is one of the common causes of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

However, even vegetarians need to watch their total calorie intake in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And in order to be successful, you should make sure that you include the foods that you enjoy eating and that your diet plan must fit in your lifestyle.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Vegan Easter Meal


Do you always find it hard to stick to your diets, vegan or otherwise, during holidays or special family occasions? Chances are Easter is just one of those days and you rack your brain in finding ways to prepare a special meal the entire family can share whilst sticking to your strictly non-meat diet. Sounds like a good plan to me, now here are a few suggestions to a delightful vegan eastern gastronomic experience.


Tofu and Artichoke Risotto

    What you’ll need:
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 chopped onion
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 6 cups heated vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 ounce tofu, cubed
  • 13 ounce diced artichoke hearts
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

How to do it:

  • Heat oil and butter in a saucepot over a medium high heat
  • Add rice, cook while stirring frequently until it turns brown
  • Add half of the chopped onions, apple juice and soy milk
  • Cook and stir
  • Add heated vegetable broth, about a cup at a time.
  • Cook and stir
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook for another 20 minutes
  • Cook remaining onion in butter in a small saucepan
  • Add in garlic and cook quickly
  • Add tofu and cook for additional few minutes
  • Remove rice from stove and mix in the remaining ¼ cup broth, artichoke hearts and the tofu mixture.
  • Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste
Potatoes and Onion Frittata

    What you’ll need:

    • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 4 chopped green onions
    • 4 cloves minced garlic
    • 1 chopped onions
    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 2 thinly sliced medium potatoes
    • 12 oz firm tofu
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp pepper
    • Cheese

    How to do it:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Sautee onions, garlic and green onion bottoms in olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes
  • Add salt, pepper and potatoes and saute for another 10 to 15 minutes
  • Stir occasionally until potatoes are golden brown
  • In a blender or food processor, mix tofu, soy sauce and nutritional yeast
  • Add green onions and potatoes and pour unto a greased pan
  • Cook for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked all the way through.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gearing Up For A Vegan Diet

If you are fairly new in the business of going on a diet, vegan is probably the most difficult one to choose since this will require a 360-degree turn on your food choices. Not to dampen your motivation or discourage vegan enthusiasm, although it is completely achievable, it also entails a lot of hard work, determination and discipline but will be very much rewarding towards the end. Bear these simple tips in mind:

  • Beginning and sticking with a vegan diet can be more of a breeze if you have a vegan-buddy. So, if you can, try convincing your partner, or your sibling, or your best friend to embrace the same diet and lifestyle. This will make your experience a lot more fun too otherwise you just have to eat your meals solo.

  • Be in the know. Research and read as much as you can. A huge number of books and websites are dedicated to this way of life. If you found one site you love, bookmark it, or if in case of a book, buy it and keep it in your bedside table and make it your guide. Starting a vegan diet will be easy peasy from then on.

  • Do not be too hard on yourself. Changing into a vegan diet cannot be done overnight. A more effective way of starting is gradually replacing your meaty favorites with a vegan substitute one product at a time.

  • One vegan substitute you can try is soy milk to take your cow’s milk’s place. There are also other soy-based products you might want to try to replace other dairy products you consume.

  • To make sure you will not succumb to your meaty cravings any time soon, stock up your pantry with vegan staple items. Fill it with soy milk, whole grain breads and vegan snack bars (if you wish).

  • If you happen to dine out most of the time, choose a vegetarian restaurant to make sure no meat or any byproduct goes in on your meals. The best way to make sure is quit dining out altogether and prepare your vegan meals in the comfort of your home.

That ought to get you started. Remember, no one says it’s easy but no one says it’s impossible too. If others can do with, so can you. Go, newbie vegan!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vegan Diet Weight Loss


Are you wary of turning vegan just because you were thinking that while in a vegan diet weight loss would seem hard, if not impossible?

Well, hold on to that thought and think this “veganize your favorite food and you are all set” or if you were thinking substituting your current food choice and diet would seem a little difficult and complicated when you turn vegan, and adding dieting to the fray would make it seem chaotic? It is easy as A-B-C come to think of it, you just have to take it one step at a time, one food substitution at a time, plus bear in mind that dieting would seem very easy and would come out naturally now that you have curbed on your meaty consumption and is on your way to a healthier diet.

Of course, you can still opt for those meaty recipes you have come to love and enjoy over the years, only this time with less the fat and calories the real meat version entails, using faux meat. A very classic example is the use of tofu, which if I may add is very high in protein and is great for weight loss too, as egg substitute. You can mash up some tofu and sprinkle some turmeric spice and you have your scrambled eggs substitute. Now the taste can take a little getting used to and you might even surmise that it tastes nothing like the scrambled eggs your palate was accustomed to, but it tastes great just the same and is very nutritious too. You can eat this on its own or have it with a toast plus throw in a little of vegan ham, a slice of vegan cheese and a dollop of vegan mayo and breakfast is served, vegan style!

The possibilities end with your imagination really. You can even make a veganize version of your favorite desserts and breads or any recipes you can think of, for that matter. Just remember much like with any other diets, you need a lot of determination and discipline to pull this one through. But believe me when I say, going on a vegan diet will prove to be the most rewarding.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vegan Diet Problems


Too much of a good thing can still be bad for you. You’ve got to take everything in moderation much like how alcoholic drinks advertise it. If you have been contemplating on going green on your diet and turn vegan, you might want to check out these vegan diet downside for your guidance.

  1. Malnutrition – with limited diet, vegan infants and children or those born by vegan mothers fall prey to malnutrition which, in some cases, could also be fatal.

  2. Lower birth rate - for the simple reason that babies in utero were not getting all the nutrients they require to develop fully and healthy, most babies born by vegan women have lower birth rate.

  3. Deficiency in vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients required by the body to function healthy, these deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency – this vitamin is not found in plant food and lack thereof causes anemia and neuro-degenerative disorders

  • Calcium deficiency – a vegan diet is low in calcium making most vegans susceptible to bone fracture than their meat-eating contemporaries

  • Lack of Vitamin D – lack of which is detrimental to maintaining healthy bone growth and might lead to osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancer

  • Iodine Deficiency – vegans shun iodine altogether since animal products are used to manufacture this. But lack of Iodine in the body results to goiter and hypothyroidism, lower IQ levels and stunted growth for children born from vegan mothers

  • Deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids – this acid is essential for brain functions and without it, vegans are exposed to high risks for heart disease, cancer and arthritis

Turning vegan may not be for everyone, you might want to consult with your medical practitioner first to find suitable and healthy ways so you can gradually change your lifestyle to achieve the vegan one you aspire. It is also worthy to note that once you turn vegan make sure you pop in those supplements so you won’t fall prey to any of the deficiencies or conditions mentioned.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Raw Vegan Diet

Raw vegan diet combines vegan and raw food, excluding all food cooked above 48 degrees Celsius and from all food from animal origin. It includes, as the name suggests, raw and fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, grain and legume sprouts, plant oils, herbs and seeds, seaweeds, nuts and nut pastes and fresh juices. Other diet versions include fruitarianism, sproutarianism and juicearianism.



A raw sampler (raw corn chowder)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 2 cups of raw nut milk like almond milk
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

What you’ll do:

  • Blend together the almond milk and a corn ear in a blender
  • Add the remaining corn
  • Sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Refrigerate raw soup to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serve and enjoy

Some reasons why people turn into this kind of diet, vegans mostly, to begin with, are:

  • Health reasons – they believe that cooking food destroys the balance of micronutrients and that dangerous chemicals are produced by the heat interaction with protein, fats and carbohydrates during the cooking process. Individuals also believed that it is a healthier diet. This diet increases energy, improves skin appearance and digestion, reduce risk of heart disease and can very well result to weight loss. Some studies even show that raw vegan diet reduced breast cancer risk due to consumption of large amounts of raw vegetables.

  • Environmental reasons – most raw vegan are concerned about the ill effects of cooking in the environment. The use of wood or fossil fuels for cooking produces greenhouse gasses and other pollutants harmful to the environment.

  • Philosophical reasons – some would even venture that a raw vegan diet places more importance on spiritual gain.

This kind of diet, though, is not suitable for everyone. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding mother, and people with anemia or those with high risk for osteoporosis are best advised to explore other diet types for medical reasons

Friday, January 28, 2011

Count Your Way to 1200 Vegan Calories

If your train of thought goes something like “I’ve just started my new way of life and have quite a few unwanted pounds I’ve been wanting to get rid of, can I find a matching suitable diet vegan living?”

Then do not be in despair, if you’ve been meaning to get rid of those bulging midsection effectively, you might like to incorporate 1200 calorie diet into your existing one. 1200 calorie diet, as the name suggests, is all about consuming less calories than we actually require which eventually leads to weight loss. This diet plan propagates the concept of controlling calorie intake. Why 1200 you might ask? Simply because 1200 calories is the recommended threshold for minimum calorie intake for safe and healthy weight loss by providing adequate nutritional intake and allows a person to still have normal metabolism and healthy bodily functions while losing weight.

Unlike other weight loss plan, this diet does not require or recommend a specific food group or specific food types, basically just a healthy 1200-calorie diet and being a vegan makes it quite easier for you to follow this since your usual diet actually already include fresh unprocessed foods like vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes which are best suitable options.

A sampler:

  • Breakfast – a bowl of breakfast cereal with skimmed milk and unsweetend fruit juice
  • Lunch – tuna sandwich with whole grain bread with low fat mayonnaise and one small apple
  • Snack – a small tub of non-fat yogurt and a fruit of your choice
  • Dinner – ¾ cup of steamed green beans; a salad with one cup lettuce, ½ cup of cherry tomatoes and ½ grated carrot with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar; and 1 piece of fresh peach
  • Drinking 48 ounces of water with these meals is also beneficial to keep you well-hydrated

To breeze through this diet regimen, all you have to do is count those calories and watch what you eat religiously but, remember that this is not advisable for everyone, most worthy of mention will be pregnant or breastfeeding women who require more than a daily intake of 1200 calories. As always, discussing your plans with your medical practitioner, or in this case, your dietician or nutritionist is of paramount importance.

 

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