Thursday, March 31, 2011

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO..THURSDAYS- Being a Vegan : Shopping for Food in Bulk for Vegans

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of The Truth According To..Thursdays. Today's video talks about some "truths" about shopping in bulk. I believe shopping in bulk can be beneficial for anyone. If you don't make it to the bulk section of your store, check out the video and get some tips! You're sure to be scooping out some ingredients real soon!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS- BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE


Happy Hump Day Everybody!

I hope everyone is successfully making it over the middle of the week!  The end is near..:-)  Anyway, today's topic is acupuncture.  I've grown much more intrigued with learning more about this practice lately, so I decided to do some research to find out what benefits it provides. 

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is a holistic approach that benefits the improvement of physical health conditions as well as affective disorders and instills a feeling of increased mental clarity.


Acupuncture works directly with the body’s energy or qi, acupuncture practitioners believe that all illnesses are a result of the natural flow of energy through the body becoming stuck, depleted or weakened making an individual prone to illness. The practice of Acupuncture benefits the rebalance of qi through treatment of specific acupoints related to symptoms or illness present.  Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating various medical conditions through clinical trials so its use has been expanded into conventional medicine practices.


Best known for the control of pain, acupuncture also benefits a wide variety of disorders. Respiratory disorders such as sinusitis, common cold, bronchitis and asthma can be treated with acupuncture. Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders including paralysis following stroke, frozen shoulder or Tennis elbow, sciatica and osteoarthritis are also treatable with acupuncture.  Other benefits include, recovery from injuries, decreased symptoms of stress, improved circulation and strengthening of the immune system function.  Addictions, phobias, obsessive behavior, eating disorders, and anxiety are also said to be treatable.

Acupuncture is most commonly used as preventative medicine, but is beneficial in preventing illness from occurring.

Wow, it looks like those tiny needles that make people look like a porcupine pack a health filled punch!

Note: Those who hate needles like me need not fear, I'm told it doesn't hurt!


SOURCE: amcollege.edu

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TALK TO ME TUESDAYS- BEST FOODS TO KICK THE COLD AND FLU BUG

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of Talk To Me Tuesday! 

So, the question of the day is: What are some of the best foods to eat to kick the cold and flu bug?

Well, we all know the key to optimum health and avoid getting sick at all is plenty of water, rest, exercise and a clean diet.  However, with the many toxic elements in the air, you can still fall victim to an occasional cold or flu, but if you are taking the best possible care of yourself on the inside, the elements outside don't have much of a chance.  I would say I get a slight cold maybe once a year now and it usually only lasts for about two days and I treat it with rest, drink lots of alkaline water and eat fruit.   Fitnessmagazine.com prescribes the following remedies as well:

Whole Grains

Full of zinc, which is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. Think brown rice with vegetables.

Bananas
They contain vitamin B6, which helps our bodies fight infection.

Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, an active ingredient in this spice beats congestion by thinning the mucus in your nasal passages so we can breathe freely again. (I know many people that put a dash of cayenne in water and drink daily in the morning).

Sweet Potatoes
One of the best sources of beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A), which our bodies need to make enough white blood cells to fight off infection.

Garlic
Allicin, an active components in freshly crushed garlic, helps zap viruses by blocking the enzymes that lead to infection.

The above are all foods that you can incorporate into your diet daily to keep those nasty cold and flu bugs away!

Monday, March 28, 2011

MOVE OVER MEAT MONDAYS- BLACK BEAN SESAME VEGGIE HASH

Hey everybody,

I hope everyone made it through Monday splendidly!  I found a wonderful site today dedicated to Meatless Mondays!  The following recipe comes from www.meatlessmonday.com!  Not all the recipes are vegan, but they are all sans meat.  Please take a moment to peruse their site when you have a moment for some great tips and ideas.  In the meantime check out the following recipe.  I found it in their breakfast category, but it sounds like a meal perfect for any time of the day!!

BLACK BEAN SESAME VEGGIE HASH

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, sliced into thin diagonals

1 sweet potato, diced into 1/4 inch cubes

2 green onions, sliced

6 ounces firm or extra firm tofu

2-4 tablespoons low sodium tamari

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1-2 teaspoons hot chili oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 broccoli stalk, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, carrot, sweet potato and green onion to the pan. Cook, stirring intermittently, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

Crumble the tofu into the pan, breaking it up with your fingers as you add it to the vegetables. Stir to combine. Season the vegetable mixture with the tamari, sesame oil, chili oil and sesame seeds.

Add the cabbage, garlic, broccoli and black beans to the pan. Stir until well combined and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flavors have fully melded together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SAVORY SUNDAYS- VEGAN PAD SEE EW

Hey folks,

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I went to a Thai spot I frequent very often to pick up dinner tonight and got my FAVORITE dish..Pad See Ew, so I decided to look for a recipe for this dish to share with you guys tonight!  My favorite source vegweb serves up the following!

VEGAN PAD SEE EW

INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 package (about 7 ounces) wide rice noodles (the slimmer noodles can be substituted)

1/2-1 pound firm tofu, chopped bite sized

1/2 head Chinese broccoli, chopped bite sized

3 tablespoons black sweet soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons regular soy sauce (or bragg's liquid amino acids)

1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce

lime, for garnish


DIRECTIONS:

Put the garlic and vegetable oil in a large wok. On medium-high heat, cook until garlic is golden brown. In a sauce pan, boil the rice noodles in water (no need for salt or oil, you'll be adding both later).

Once garlic is cooked, add the broccoli and tofu to the wok and saute until the broccoli is still somewhat crunchy (leaves are wilted and stems are darker green, about 1 minute). If you want to speed up prep time, add about 1/4 cup water to the wok (or other pan you're using) and cover to steam the broccoli.

Once noodles have cooked to just under done (I typically taste test one to see if it's close to being fully cooked), drain and set aside. Once your broccoli is ready, add the sweet soy sauce (this can be purchased at an Asian market, or you can make your own by mixing a 2:1 ratio of molasses or sugar to regular soy sauce), mushroom sauce (can also be purchased at an Asian market), and regular soy sauce.

Let the broccoli and tofu absorb the sauces for about a minute, then add your noodles. If the noodles are sticking together, add a little more vegetable oil to break them up.

Saute until the noodles have fully soaked up the sauces and serve. If you're unsure about the salty/sweet factor, taste test before serving. I always remembered it being a rather sweet dish, but I tried to keep the recipe fairly neutral. Garnish with lime.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

SWEET TOOTH SATURDAYS- VEGAN SWEETS AND TREATS

Hey folks,

Happy Sweet Tooth Saturday to you!  I hope your weekend is off to a splendid start!  I was browsing the internet looking for what sweet offering to bring you today and came across another great site where you can order treats to satisfy that sweet tooth- Garuda International!  They also have a ton of other vegan and organic products as well.  Garuda International supplies Eco-Friendly Fair Trade Organic and Vegan goods from around the world.  So, click here to see what treats they have..sweet and beyond for you to have shipped to your door!

Friday, March 25, 2011

PHYSICAL FITNESS FRIDAYS- THAI CHI

Happy Physical Fitness Friday folks!

Today's physical activity of choice is Thai Chi.  This is one form of exercise that I've never practiced but have been intrigued to learn more about, so I did and here is what I found!

THAI CHI

Tai chi is often referred to as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through gentle movements which connect the mind and body. It was originally developed in ancient China for self-defense, however tai chi transformed into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and to assist with a variety of other health conditions.

There are more than 100 possible movements and positions with tai chi, many named for animals or nature. All forms of tai chi include rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help achieve a sense of inner calm. The concentration required for tai chi forces you to live in the present moment, putting aside distressing thoughts.

Reasons to practice tai chi:


Low-impact and gentle movements put minimal stress on your muscles and joints.

Low risk of injury.

You can do it anywhere, anytime.

Requires very little space and no special clothing or equipment.

You can go at your own pace.

It's noncompetitive.
It can be done in groups or by yourself.
Lots of movements to keep you interested, and as you become more seasoned you can add those to your routine.

Wow..I feel relaxed and calm already..how about some thai chi everyone?!


SOURCES: mayoclinic.com, medicinenet.com

Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO..THURSDAYS-Kris Carr Speaks About Cancer and The China Study

Hey folks,

Welcome to The Truth According To...Thursday!  Today's truth comes from Kris Carr.  Kris Carr is the author of  the bestselling"Crazy Sexy Diet"and  in the following video she speaks a little about her remarkable journey and The China Study.  To learn more about Kris Carr and her incredible journey and work to bring awareness, click here.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS- GOJI BERRIES

Happy Hump Day Folks!

I was recently out and noticed goji berries.  I don't remember where I was or in what form they stood out to me, but as I was browsing the internet deciding what topic to bring you today, goji berries popped in my head again.  So, I decided to go with it..divine blog intervention if you will..LOL!  Anyway, I've never had goji berries and didn't know anything about them, until right now.  So, if you too have been in the dark..let me shed some light on these berries!

GOJI BERRIES

Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. Goji berries are shriveled red berries resembling red raisins and are commonly found dried.



Goji berries have been used for by herbalists in China, India and Tibet for 6,000 years to:

•protect the liver
•help eyesight
•improve sexual function and fertility
•strengthen the legs
•boost immune function
•improve circulation
•promote longevity

In the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into a tea, added to Chinese soups, or made into liquid extracts.  Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin helps protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant.
Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour.  They have a chewy texture like raisins as well as a similar shape.  You can also find Goji juice usually in 32-ounce bottles.  They have also appeared in snack foods in North America. Trader Joe's sells a goji berry trail mix (this may be where I noticed them).
You can find whole goji berries at Chinese herbal shops. Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores as well as through network marketers.

I know I'm definitely going to give them a try..I'll let you know my verdict on these nutritious berries!
 
SOURCE: altmedicine.about.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TALK TO ME TUESDAYS- IS ALL WINE VEGAN?

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of Talk To Me Tuesdays!  I've been getting some questions lately about drinking alcohol as a vegan.  I do not drink alcohol myself, but this is just a personal choice for me having nothing to do with my vegan status.  As far as I knew up until now, it was fine to drink any type of alcohol if you're living the veg life.  However, I just came across a site that says that all alcohol is not created vegan...lol!  Today's question deals specifically with wine, check out what I found out!

Many wines are made using animal-derived ingredients to assist in the processing. The ingredients in the main are filtered out of the wine before it is sold but the use of animal ingredients in the creation of the wine makes them a non-vegan product. Usually the ingredients are used as processing aids to help remove solid impurities such as grape skins, stems, pips and to remove the yeast used in the fermentation process or to adjust the tannin levels in certain wines.

The most common animal ingredients used in wine making are isinglass - pure form of gelatine from sturgeon fish bladders, gelatine-extract from boiled cow's or pig's hooves and sinews, egg whites and casein-a milk protein.  Wow..who knew?!

But do not fret folks- to see a list of vegan friendly wines, click here.  So, if you are into wine, you can be vegan and still enjoy.  You just need to do your homework and pick the right ones! Hopefully this gives you a running start! As always be responsible!



SOURCE: frommars.org

Monday, March 21, 2011

MOVE OVER MEAT MONDAYS- VEGAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Happy Meatless Monday Everybody!

Who says green bean casserole is just for the holiday table? This yummy sounding recipe from vegweb sounds like a great side for any time of the year or any day of the week that you want a little something special.  Check it out!

VEGAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):
1-1/2 cups nondairy milk

1 (2.5-ounce) cube veggie bouillon

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

3/4 cup chopped mushrooms (button, crimini, portabella, whatever)

1 carrot, diced

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 or 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch

2 or 3 tablespoons cold water

1 (14.5-ounce) can French cut green beans

1-1/2 (24-ounce) canisters vegan French fried onions
DIRECTIONS:

In a saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and veggie bouillon; stir until bouillon cube disintegrates. Just heat the milk, do not boil or scald it.

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions, mushrooms, and carrots; saute until the onions are translucent. Add the herbs and spices (basil, garlic, marjoram, oregano, pepper, sage, salt, and thyme - and whatever other hearty herbs make you happy).

Make a thickener by combining cornstarch and cold water; mix well. Pour into the nondairy milk-bouillon mixture. Stir well, because this will coagulate pretty quickly.

Quickly add the can of green beans, the sautéed veggies, and about half of the French fried onions; stir well. Pour that mixture into a casserole dish or pan and top with remaining French fried onions.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the French fried onions begin to brown. Remove. Eat. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SAVORY SUNDAYS- SWEET AND SPICY CHILI

Hey folks,

It's Savory Sunday time!  I just left a nice restaurant in downtown Los Angeles called Engine Co. No 28 where I had some very tasty veggie chili.  So, just like yesterday, I was inspired by that dish (along with it being a perfect rainy day for soup or chili) to find a recipe reminiscent of my meal to share with you guys!  If you've been following this blog for any length of time I'm sure you know where I looked...vegweb of course! :-)  I promise I'm going to branch out more to find more sites to pull from.  They just happen to appear to have every vegan recipe under the sun!  Anyway, I digress..lol.  Please check out the following for your savory selection..with a little bit of sweet as well!  Enjoy!

SWEET AND SPICY CHILI

INGREDIENTS  (use vegan versions):

1/4-1/3 medium onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, diced

4 ounces jarred hot banana pepper rings, diced

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans

1/2 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, optional

1/4 cup white vinegar

1-2 tablespoons vegan sweetener

1 heaping teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

red pepper seeds/flakes, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste


DIRECTIONS:

Add onion, garlic, and banana peppers into pot.

Add kidney beans, tomatoes (if using) and all other ingredients. Mix it all.

Bring to a bubbling boil over medium heat, then turn heat down and let simmer about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SWEET TOOTH SATURDAYS- TRIPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE

Happy Sweet Tooth Saturday!

I just had the most delicious smoothie from Tasties at the mall so I was inspired to find a great smoothie recipe to share with you today!  Check out my selection from vegweb and quench your thirst with the following!

TRIPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE
INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):

1 cup plain or vanilla soy milk

1/2 banana

1 tablespoon flax oil

1/3 cup frozen strawberries

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1/3 cup frozen blueberries


DIRECTIONS:
Blend in blender and enjoy!

Serves: 1 or 2

Friday, March 18, 2011

PHYSICAL FITNESS FRIDAYS- WORKING OUT ON THE BEACH

Hey folks,

Happy Physical Fitness Friday to ya!  I hope you're ready for the weekend.  I was talking earlier about how I used to get with some of my girlfriends and go take a long walk on the beach for a great early morning workout.  It started me thinking about what other great activites you can do on the beach to burn some calories and tone up.  I know some of you may be saying I'm biased because I live in L.A.near the beach, but you can use the suggestions in the following article whenever you are near the water!  A great way to get in some vacation time exercise!!

Click here to check out the article!  Now go have fun in the sand! :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO...THURSDAYS- How Diet Soda Causes Weight Gain

Hey folks,

Welcome to The Truth According To...Thursdays!  The following "truth" or shall I say lesson I found on youtube by Wellness Works has some very vital information about not only how diet soda causes weight gain, but on how the body processes acidic and alkaline foods.  It's a little longer than most videos I post, but it is WELL worth it.  Please check it out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS-VEGAN ONLINE SHOPPING

Hey folks,

Welcome to Whatever Wednesday!  Once again, we made it over the hump!  It seems like everyday there are more and more options to help live the veg life.  However, I'm sure there are some areas where it's difficult to find the vegan goods.  So, one great online place to get some products is Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe. 

When I lived in Atlanta, they actually had a retail store that I had the pleasure of visiting.  They are now an online shop and if you live in or visit the Atlanta area, they do have a showroom as well that is open on Saturdays from 12-6.  They have vegan food, clothing, cosmetics, supplements and more!  So, click here to check it all out !  I love how it gets increasingly difficult to have an excuse to not go veg!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TALK TO ME TUESDAYS- MORE ON SPIRULINA

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of Talk To Me Tuesdays!  I received a  funny comment followed up with a question regarding last week's post on Spirulina.  Apparently a reader was quite traumatized by the taste of the powder but has a big jar of it to use and asked for some ways innovative ways to make it taste good enough to swallow..LOL!  As I mentioned last week, I myself have only had it masked in the drink Greem Machine by Naked. 

Well, I did some digging and found the site highonhealth.org that has some great recipes to help Spirulina taste good! So, click here and check 'em out!  So, JL goes Vegan and everyone else, I hope these work for you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

MOVE OVER MEAT MONDAYS- VEGAN CHEESE BISCUITS

Hey folks,

Welcome to Move Over Meat Monday!  Today's meatless selection is not a full entree, but a very tasty sounding accompaniment to any meal.  This selection came in my inbox from my folks over at VegNews and these biscuits sound DEELISH!

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unbleached white flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine

2/3 cup unsweetened soymilk

3/4 cup shredded vegan cheese


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together white flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, and sugar.

Cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add soymilk and cheese, and stir quickly with fork until just mixed.

Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead gently for 8 to 10 strokes, then roll or pat dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Dip biscuit cutter in flour and cut dough straight down, without twisting. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

SAVORY SUNDAYS- CHICKPEA-EDAMAME BURGERS

Hey folks,

I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the extra hour of sunlight! Today's savor selection from vegweb was inspired by a DELICIOUS chickpea burger I had last night at a restaurant called Babaloo in Santa Monica.  I enjoyed it SO much and decided to try to find a recipe for one to try myself at some point and to share with you guys.  This recipe has a twist with the use of edamame.  Check it out!

CHICKPEA-EDAMAME BURGERS WITH TAHINI-DILL SAUCE

INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):

Burgers:

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame beans

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons tahini

2 teaspoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup quinoa flour (or brown rice flour)
Tahini-Dill Sauce:

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons lemon/lime juice

sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dill
DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Steam the edamame until soft. Combine chickpeas, edamame, water and tahini in a food processor until smooth (it's ok if the edamame is somewhat still a bit chunky)

Transfer to a bowl and stir in spices, aminos, and flour. Form into 7 patties. Bake for 20 minutes.

To make sauce, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Makes enough to dress 2 burgers.



For more recipes like this one check out: http://www.sketchfreevegan.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SWEET TOOTH SATURDAYS- VEGAN RICE KRISPIE TREATS

Hey everyone,

Welcome to Sweet Tooth Saturday!  The following is a classic and reminds me of when I was younger, I used to love these!  The following vegan version from vegweb makes having these possible again! 

RICE KRISPIE TREATS


INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):
1 (10-ounce) bag Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

2 tablespoons vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread)

4 cups puffed rice cereal (Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal is vegan and crispy)
DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot over medium heat, combine marshmallows and margarine; melt, stirring occasionally.

Add cereal; immediately stir together until thoroughly mixed, then remove from heat.

Spread mixture in a 13" x 9" pan; spread out evenly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

PHYSICAL FITNESS FRIDAYS- PREPARING FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!

Hey folks,

Happy Physical Fitness Friday!  I hope you're all geared up for the weekend!  We all will be turning our clocks forward on Sunday and I found a great article on how to use the extra hour of daylight to our physical fitness advantage!!  One of the the tips is about grilling and I would encourage you to replace the meat with some colorful veggies instead..:-)  This article offers up some great suggestions and tips for us all to use as we march into spring!

Check it out...http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/7-healthy-things-do-extra-hour-daylight/slide/1

Thursday, March 10, 2011

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO...THURSDAYS- KRS One Beef WEB.mp4

Hey folks,

Welcome to The Truth According To...Thursday!  My friend Moody (who some of you will remember was my second vegan challenge participant) sent me an email yesterday with the link to the following video and the lyrics.  All I can say is WOW!  This content is very blunt and in your face and some may even say radical, but it is my goal to represent as many views and "truths" as possible on this blog.  So, please check this out for yourself.  Also, here is the direct link to the lyrics as well http://www.metrolyrics.com/beef-lyrics-boogie-down-productions.html Thanks for sending this Moody!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS- I NEED YOU!

Hey folks,

Welcome to Whatever Wednesday! It's time again to make it over the hump! As I've mentioned in some of my recent posts, I have had A LOT of transition taking place in my life lately.  I'm proud of the fact that in the midst of it all, I have continued to blog daily, but it hasn't always been easy to do so.  It is my desire to continue bringing you helpful, insightful and interesting content to read on a daily basis.  I feel some of my posts have faltered lately because I've just been so focused on making sure to get it in and I haven't truly had time to read and research about the topics I would like to bring to you.  I have now arrived (at the moment) at the place where I'm fully now settled in L.A. and can get back to devoting the proper time to this blog and the content I want to bring.  However, I am asking for your help with a few things...

1) I am still seeking participants for my Seven Day Vegan Challenge! If you're new to the blog or need a reminder of the guidelines, click here!

2) I'm still looking for stories about how you overcame a food addiction or food vice.  Mark Sutton of Soul Veggie shared his testimony and I learned a great deal.  If you missed that one, you can click here.  If you would like to share your story, don't feel pressured or obligated to do anything fancy or any extra research.  What you did and how you did it will suffice.

3) I need your questions for Talk To Me Tuesdays!  This blog is to help and inspire so I want to answer any questions you have about the veg lifestyle.

Lastly, I am open to any other ideas or suggestions you may have in order to make your reading experience here on Veggin' a great one!  Please feel free to e-mail me at c_writes@hotmail.com for any of the above.  I really look forward to hearing from you and thank you SO much for your continued interest and support!

In love and health always,

C

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TALK TO ME TUESDAYS- SPIRULINA

Hey folks,

Welcome to another edition of Talk To Me Tuesday!

Question of the day: What's is Spirulina?

I was talking to my friend DD the other day and I talked him into trying the juice Green Machine by Naked and as he was looking at the ingredients he asked about Spirulina.  I told him I would do some research to give him an educated answer, so here it goes!

SPIRULINA

Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green alga that lives in the sea and fresh water.   Spirulina is the common name for human and animal food produced primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.  Arthrospira is cultivated around the world.  It is used as a human dietary supplement and can be found in tablet, flake and powder form. 

Spirulina contains a very high amount of protein, between 55% and 77% by dry weight depending upon the source. It's a complete protein which containins all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes.
Spirulina contains vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E.  It is also is a great source of potassium, and additionally contains calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Spirulina is a dietary supplement so the FDA does not regulate its quality and production.  There have been extensive studies on both the benefits and concerns of Spirulina.  To get more information, I suggest also checking out the following site: .http://spirulina4nutrition.com/spirulina-health-benefits/.




SOURCE: wikipedia.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

MOVE OVER MEAT MONDAYS- SPICY BLACK BEAN CAULIFLOWER SALAD

Hey folks,

Welcome to Move Over Meat Monday! I'm not a fan usually a fan of cauliflower but when I cruised over to vegweb for today's meatless selection, this jumped out to me and could possibly make me change my mind about cauliflower.  This salad sounds very packed with flavor and gives cauliflower a nice little makeover. Check it out!

SPICY BLACK BEAN CAULIFLOWER SALAD
INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon turmeric

salt, to taste

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated, divided

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-site pieces

1 (15-ounce) can cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large jalapeño pepper, minced (omit the seeds if you don’t like things too spicy)

1 tablespoon agave nectar

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or green onion

DIRECTIONS:

In a pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cumin together for 1 minute. Add the onion, turmeric, and salt; sauté for 6 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, sesame seeds, pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon ginger; cook 1 minute. Add cauliflower and cover; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 6 minutes.

Add black beans; heat for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ginger, jalapeño, and agave nectar. Garnish with cilantro.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SAVORY SUNDAYS- GREEN BEAN RECIPE

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of Savory Sundays!  The following green bean recipe sounds very delicious.  I found it on a new site I found called 101cookbooks.com.  You should definitely check this site out because they have some great sounding recipes!! Check out the following to satisfy your savory side!

INGREDIENTS

4 leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into 1/2-inch segments (see photo in main post)


1/3 cup fresh dill, well chopped

3/4 pound green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments

extra-virgin olive oil

fine-grain sea salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the leeks are golden and crispy. I stir every minute or two in the beginning, and more often as they brown using a metal spatula. All in all it takes me roughly 7 - 10 minutes to brown the leeks. At this point stir in the dill, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes - just until the the beans brighten up and lose that raw bite. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately.

Serves about 6

Saturday, March 5, 2011

SWEET TOOTH SATURDAYS- DUTCH APPLE PANCAKE

Hey folks,

Welcome to Sweet Tooth Saturday!  I woke up with a little bit of a taste for pancakes so I decided to search my favorite recipe database to see if I found anything that sounded intriguing to try to share with you guys.  The following from vegweb sounds quite interesting and delicious!

BAKED DUTCH APPLE PANCAKE

INGREDIENTS (use vegan versions):
1/3 cup maple syrup (I used low calorie pancake syrup)

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons vegan margarine

2 apples thinly sliced (I leave the skin on for extra fiber but it’s your choice)

1 egg made with EnerG egg substitute

3/4 cup soy milk

1 tablespoon vegan margarine

1 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)

4 tablespoons sugar or sweetener of your choice

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup applesauce
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, and margarine in a 9 inch round baking pan. Put in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the butter melts. Remove and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Arrange apple slices, overlapping, over the syrup mixture in the pan. Set aside.

Whisk together the egg replacer, soy milk, applesauce and melted margarine.
In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the soy milk mixture and stir until smooth. Pour batter over the apples.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out onto a serving plate.

Serves: 4-6 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes

Friday, March 4, 2011

PHYSICAL FITNESS FRIDAYS- NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

Hey folks,

Happy Friday to you!! I hope everyone had a great week and ready for the weekend!  I told you I was under the weather at the beginning of the week and I'm proud to say that I've been back 100% since Wednesday evening!

Now on to today's topic at hand- no time like the present.  I'm sure we all know how easy it can be to fall off an exercise routine.  With all the demands of everyday life, it can become difficult to squeeze in the extra time for exercise.  Then once you do fall off, it's easy to stay off and make excuses to not get going again.  Oftentimes we tell ourselves, when I'm done with this project I'll get back in gear, after the holiday I'll get back in the gym, at the first of the month I'll be back at it.  The excuses we can make are endless.  This is just a reminder that there is no time like the present.  There can always be a better time to do something, but each moment we have is precious and we must seize the opportunity. 

The bottom line is (I can hear my friends snickering because that is one of my favorite statements..lol) that exercising regularly gives you the energy for all the other things going on in your life.  Exercise helps us be vibrant enough to tackle all that life throws at us.  Again, exercise should be enjoyable and once you lock into a physical activity that gives you joy, it will be hard to make excuses not to do it.  So, if you've fallen off, the time is now to get back on track!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO... THURSDAYS- Veganism ~The Solution

Hey folks,

Welcome to the Truth According To..Thursdays.  I found this very interesting video posted by Vegan Truthist1 presenting another position on the benefits of vegansim from a perspective that I haven't shared here before.  I'm trying to present as many different views as possible.  This video is a little longer, but worth the view in my opinion.  Check it out!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS- ELIMINATE

Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of Whatever Wednesdays.  Today's topic can be a little uncomfortable for some, but it's a part of life and everyone does it or should be doing it on a regular basis for health.  I'm talking about bowel movements everyone..hence the title of the post..LOL! It just baffles me how many people have trouble going to the bathroom or go for days without having one.  So, I went online and gathered some information for you all out there about this topic and how important it is to be eliminating regularly. 

According to an article on ehow.com:
"When the digestive system is not working properly, most people experience fatigue, constipation, an inability to concentrate, and have difficulty sleeping. Weight gain and indigestion are also common when the bowels are not functioning properly.

According to HealingDaily.com, the typical American holds approximately eight meals of undigested food in her colon. This is because waste byproducts are not eliminated regularly through the bowels. One of the best ways to get rid of the waste buildup is to eat more fiber and undertake a bowel cleanse.

The best foods that cleanse the bowel include: fresh fruits with skins, yeast flakes, fresh vegetables, wheat products, sea vegetables, sprouted grains, spinach, broccoli, almonds, kale, beet greens, sesame seeds, watercress, legumes, acerola cherries, pysllium fiber and flax seeds. All of these foods must be eaten in their purest form and eaten on an empty stomach."

So, as you can see, it is of utmost importance that you are eating foods that promote digestion so you can be eliminating regularly.  To read the article in its entirety, click here.  Happy flushing..lol!

.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TALK TO ME TUESDAYS- THE UDON SOUP BOWL VERDICT

Hey folks,

Well today's edition of Talk To Me Tuesday will answer the question about the noodles I talked about yesterday. If you missed that, check it out by clicking here

Well, for a packaged noodle product it was okay.  I wasn't extremely impressed but it was indeed edible and I would suggest it if you're looking for a quick and easy soup fix and want some noodles.  It could be a little more flavorful but it served its purpose for me today.  On a scale of 1-10, I would give it about a 6. 

Let me know what you think if you give them a try!