September 6, 2012 by 6 Comments
Those of us that lean into or follow a plant-based diet (aka vegan) get asked the same couple of questions all the time. Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your calcium? and… Do you do it for your own health, or for the health of the animals? As for the protein question, I like to answer with specifics like beans, seeds, nuts and soy (the obvious) but also grains and vegetables which is surprising to many. While grains and veggies don’t have the amount of protein that animal products do, the protein they do provide is easily absorbed into the body. The most important part of the answer to the protein question is, however, that we don’t need a whole lot of protein to be healthy or to have muscle! Ever notice when you get blood work done they NEVER check your protein levels? That’s because in America (and most evolved countries) it’s basically impossible to be protein deficient. As for calcium, a glass of almond milk provides twice as much calcium as cow’s milk (and tastes so much better, in my humble opinion.) Additionally, if we are looking to food alone for our calcium, in an effort to build or maintain strong bones, we are neglecting the single most important factor, which is definitely strength training! Certain foods and supplements which are high in calcium, cause our bones to leak calcium, often causing a deficit. Building strong bones is a byproduct of building strong muscles, so hitting the weights is key, and of course will also rev up the metabolism. As to the question of why, for health or for the animals, to me, personally, it is like the mind-body connection…impossible to disconnect one component from the other. Anyone who has adopted a plant-based diet, for whatever reason, will attest to the peace of mind that comes with it. Many have leaned in for their own health reasons, only to find they are much more connected to the animal kingdom, while others become vegans to save the animals and end up healthier than they have ever been. My choice to lean into a plant-based diet came from curiosity about it’s health benefits, but being an animal lover, it was easy to see how prior to this change, I struggled with some of my food choices, like eggs. (I haven’t eaten meat or poultry in many, many years, but gave up the dairy and eggs about 2 1/2 years ago.) Oh, of course people also ask about deprivation, but there is none. When one feels this good in body, mind and soul, it’s hard to feel deprived of ANYTHING.
This week I have been revisiting the oven (lots of summer grilling) with my veggies. Not a big fan of broccoli, Mitch was in the mood. I cut a whole head up into “flower-ettes,” added several pieces of thinly sliced garlic and tossed with some olive oil and a bit of kosher salt. Putting it on a flat tray, I roasted it (without turning) in a 420 degree oven for about 30 or 35 minutes. It was truly the best broccoli I have ever tasted. Last night I did the same with brussel sprouts (cut in half the long way) and had same delicious results. Sadly, many of grew up on canned or overcooked vegetables and hence we think we hate them! To say you don’t like them, when you haven’t explored how incredibly sweet and satisfying they can be is a disservice to yourself and our animal friends. Once, I read about a vegan restaurant called Dirt Candy. When I eat roasted vegetables, that’s all I can think. Candy plucked from the ground. Crazy!
It is frustrating to witness people I care about, suffering with their health and well being, putting themselves at the mercy of doctors and pharmacists who can only do so much to fix what’s broken. As we revisit breathing love and gratitude, I hope that you will consider loving YOURSELF enough to take care of your health, physically, emotionally and spiritually–get physical, breathe with intention, focus on the positive…and keep in mind this quote by THE genius for all times, Albert Einstein:
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
Thanks for stopping in. Time to eat some breakfast and walk the redhead. What’s for breakfast you ask? Probably two slices of seeded whole grain bread with a smear of peanut butter and half a sliced banana. So protein, some grain, some healthy fat, some fruit and definitely NO deprivation.
August 11, 2012 by Leave a Comment
While it didn’t really happen for the Dolphins last night, it was fun to watch some football, see some new blood, and….sleep that “out for the count sleep” during the second half. I seriously sleep better during football than most any other time. But before sleep I made some vegan football food and though to some of you that might seem like an oxymoron, I make a mean buffalo “chicken” sandwich. Since I was making them just for me, I made only 4 Gardein Chicken Tenders (baked them according to the directions) and threw about a tablespoon of Earth Balance butter and (quite) a few shakes (I like the sauce a deep red) of Crystal Louisiana Pure hot sauce in a fry pan to melt together. Once the tenders were done, I poured the sauce on top and since it was Friday night and I was going all out, I put the tenders on some fresh bread from Publix. It was insanely delicious, very filling and screamed football food. For those that count, the tenders are 50 calories each and I calculated my sandwich at about 400 calories. If you are looking for a meat alternative, this is a winner!
It’s amazing how much one can learn from Facebook. This week, for instance, I know that Derek and Jolene played in Disneyland and Kyle and Nicole, in Islands of Adventure. No feeling badly for those kids!!! And good luck to Cross Fit trainer, Justin, who is participating in some hardcore “games,” and I am sure will do very well at them! Reading some great quotes on the good book, I will leave you with this one that Debbie of Fusion Fitness and Yoga posted because it is so true! Thanks, Debs…
“You will not be punished FOR your anger, you will be punished BY your anger.”
In summation: Eat, sleep, be merry. As they say, this is definitely not a dress rehearsal. Happy Weekend.
August 9, 2012 by 2 Comments
So much to say this morning…from the Olympic scene, it was a great night for track and fielder Alison Felix who brought home the gold and her smile is worth it’s weight in that stuff, too! And imagine earning your living playing beach volleyball, living in a bikini, strutting those great abs and going 21 and 0 in your career. Congrats to Kerri and Misty May for taking the gold home for the third time in a row! Not too shabby for a couple of “old ladies.” (It was Misty’s hubby, Matt Treaner, who called them that They are a perfect example of what great team work can accomplish. Not just team work between Misty and Kerri, but also between each of them and their husbands. It takes an awful lot of support and selflessness to make it all come together as it did for these two.
I must admit that I have been so absorbed in the Olympics that I completely forgot about Extreme Makeover Weight Loss, and was pleasantly surprised to find a new episode, from Sunday night, on my DVR. Pretty convinced that I must have struggled with severe obesity in a previous life, I cried from the opening weigh in, all the way through. Jonathon started his weight loss journey at 543 pounds, and in a year, lost 250 of them. Again, teamwork was the answer to his success. With the complete support of his wife, Lisa, who was his high school sweetheart and along with his 2 young sons, and of course trainer, Chris Powell, Jon had enough support to reach most of his weigh in goals and turn his health and his entire life around. No doubt he will struggle to maintain his weight loss, especially since his job finds him in and out of convenience stores all day, but there is no question he is now able to be the father, husband and human being he was unable to be at the start of his one year journey. And as a side bar to all that wonder about Chris Powell, I was correct in saying he has a wife and next week she will make an appearance on the show. Can’t wait to “meet” the woman married to that seemingly super sweet, incredibly fit and cute guy.
Between the incredible stories of overcoming challenges we have seen in London and the almost impossible job done by Jon on the makeover show, I have extra motivation and inspiration stored in my tank and I am thrilled to share that with my students and clients.
Finally, it IS Vegan Thursday and just in time for that, and timely in general, I got a recipe in my mail yesterday from Alicia Silverstone’s site, and she credits the recipe to PETA. It’s definitely not low calorie, but it is vegan and personally, I have never personally been a patron of the place for more reasons than one, I will be trying these at home, for sure!
4 vegan chicken cutlets (try Gardein Chick’n Scallopini)
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup pickle juice
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 cups peanut, canola, or vegetable oil, for frying
Olive oil cooking spray
16 dill pickle chips
Defrost or thaw the chicken cutlets if frozen.
Combine the soy milk and the pickle juice in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, dry mustard, and powdered sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
Warm the peanut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
Dip a “chicken” cutlet into the wet mixture, coating evenly on all sides. Toss into the flour mixture and coat generously. Repeat with the remaining cutlets and set aside.
Place one cutlet in the frying pan using a pair of tongs. Flip occasionally to ensure even cooking. Allow to cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and golden brown. Allow to drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
Lightly spray the buns with the cooking spray and place in a frying pan over low heat until slightly toasted.
Place 4 pickle chips on the bottom half of each bun, then top with the fried “chicken.” Serve immediately.