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Healthy Eating - Vegan Style

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Here's a wonderful site that I found the other day when I was doing some more research on health related information associated to the vegan lifestyle. IMAVEGAN is always (thankfully) keeping me up to date with a lot of information and making sure that I'm keeping to a healthy lifestyle. It's so great to have wonderful people here that are helping with keeping my mind at peace and health on track.

My latest find was a great website that held information on exact requirements to keep healthy while still eating vegan food. Being vegan is about not eating animals instead of necessarily healthy eating. For me though, losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is important so it is my intention to assure that we are getting all the nutrients that are needed for the body and mind. It just happens that I can save a few animals, help the environment, save some money and eat tons of fruits/veggies!

This website really helps point out some interesting points - especially with B12 supplementation. (We are not going strict vegan - we ate a healthy pizza with all natural real cheese on it the other day but since it was the first animal by-product we have had in about 1.5 months, I don't call that bad. ) B12 is only found in animal products (some state that it's found in the soil but I have also read that the soil has been used so much that the B12 is depleted.) So, it's great to know how to supplement this vitamin just in case. Note: B12 gives us energy.

Enough of my babbling - bad habit, sorry... Here's the site:
www.veganhealth.org/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 4/21/2010 5:46PM

    B12 is actually produced by bacteria. Animal products are just dirtier than plants. ;) The overuse of pesticides definitely has resulted in more "sterile" soil thus making the bacterial B12 less prevalent in dirt.

Nice site. Jack Norris is a smart fella and he's good at giving accurate information, so it's a good source of info, IMO.

I'm a long distance runner and long time (going on 7 years now, I believe) vegan, was veg for 4-5 years before I went vegan. I'm always interested in tweaking my diet to be healthier.

Have you tried Daiya yet? It's a soy free vegan cheese that melts fantastically. It's the only vegan cheese I'll choose to put on my pizza since all the others just aren't worth it. Daiya, though, is a revelation. :)

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11.4KM/7Mile Run

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yesterday was finally a gorgeous, sunny day in our area. It got up to around 87 degrees F I believe - or so my blackberry was telling me as I was sitting in the sun capturing some Vitamin D. Doesn't everything seem to go better when the sun is shining and it's warm outside? Here it was dry but with small gusts of wind occasionally. A sunny day always makes me want to eat healthier foods- nothing processed just anything straight from Mother Earth.

My two babies (5 year old) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and (4 year old) domestic cat sat outside on a picnic blanket on our front porch. They thought they were so "cool" by sitting outside on a blanket - usually we sit in chairs. Today I wanted to tan the back of my legs since I'm tanned only on the front (weird) so we enjoyed the blanket. Boy were they excited to sit in the sun and just enjoy some fresh air. Seems like all three of us were lucky enough to have the fresh air and sunshine to reflect and reconnect with what we have in our lives. Granted their lives involve how to look more cute to achieve more treats and where to take the next nap but still - it was very pleasant! Perfect afternoon

Then I prepared our dinner - Vegan Soba complete with homemade vegan dipping sauce! Yay! I love Japanese foods and this was something that I wasn't going to go without this summer, thankfully I found the recipe at vegweb.com/index.php?topic=8041.0 . I changed the recipe a little since I didn't want all the sugar and salt. I deleted the salt actually and the recipe was perfect! I pre-prepared everything before we went out on our run together for the day. I have found that doing almost all the preparations before an exercise outing is much easier and we eat healthier than if I were to prepare everything after I got home.

I drove to pick up the hubster from work so that we could drive together to a local Metropark reservation to run for something new and exciting. We decided it was such a beautiful day that we would enjoy the weather and celebrate by running in a new setting. Ishuffle, hand water bottle and a few tissues in hand we were off. One thing that I didn't prepare for was the heat. Oops! I'm hypoglycemic, so I have to be careful of my low sugar levels. I had some fruit but basically there was not enough sugar in my body to do a long run. Seven miles into the run, I started to feel the blackouts and body shivers. We stopped at 7 miles - one mile short of our 8 mile goal. It really frustrates me that we only had one more mile however my body was rejecting the low sugar situation and telling me to stop otherwise pass out. A few blackouts are enough of a single for me. So, my husband and I decided that before dinner we would enjoy a lovely Zen Bliss (I believe that is the name) smoothie made with soy milk and soy sherbet from Robek's. Yum! We also got a Green Tea Latte with ice cubes from Starbucks - not sure why they didn't make it into a frappacino but it seems like our local shops do not really know the difference between coffee types. Oh well...

Finally back home and showered and settled into our dinner - just had to make boil the noodles which only took about ten minutes. Sat in the sunshine once again outdoors and had a pleasant evening chatting, sipping on soba and munching on freshly cut cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, cucumbers and a large salad.

Photos of Vegan Foods:
Breakfast: Normal breakfast, I think I'm in a rut... Sprouted Wheat Bread, strawberries, soy butter and some vegemite.

Lunch: Even though we are still eating vegan, we don't really have that many green salads - we generally have lots of veggies mixed together in quinoa or couscous but not many mixed greens. I purchased a large box from Sam's Club (seriously much cheaper than the normal store for organic mixed baby greens) and couldn't wait to dive in. I had a large plate along with some grape tomatoes, cucumber, freshly cut parsley and a little Japanese ginger dressing. Perfect lunch!! I also had an apple for a snack.


Dinner: Two different types of soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles): traditional soba noodles and then also vegetable soba. Yummy! Soba is a favorite in our household so I knew once I found a recipe to make the dipping sauce that I was all in for the summer months. Since we were tired I forgot to take a photo before we ate but this is the hubster's bento for work. Not decorative but again I was seriously tired and not feeling my cute side.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISA322 4/16/2010 1:55PM

    Oh btw, don't beat yourself up for not making it to 8 miles. I think you did great considering the heat and your low sugar level. I don't think I would have been able to make it past 5 miles considering those conditions.

Temps are supposed to drop here over the weekend. I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow too so I guess I should be happy.

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PAPRINIKA 4/16/2010 1:14PM

    The salad looks really appetizing!

And as usual, I need to get out and run. XD

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ELISA322 4/16/2010 12:24PM

    Photos are great, as always!

Do you take anything with you during your long runs? There is no way I could go past an hour of running without any fuel or electrolytes. For runs over 6 miles, I take GU's or Clif Blok shots or even jelly beans, and I eat within 45 minutes into my run. I do drink Powerade too, which I'm not a big fan of, but on hot days I need something more than just water. I didn't take anything with me yesterday and I about died out there just running 4 miles. I seriously don't know how you made it to 7 miles in the heat.

Anyway, you probably don't want to go the processed route like I am, but I know there are people that are using natural stuff as fuel such as dried fruit and coconut water for electrolytes. Just a thought.

I actually tried the Starbucks green tea frap for the very first time this week. I love it, but it sort of makes me feel sick afterward for some reason.

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Buying Running Shoes

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My husband has been yelling at me - well at first it was gentle suggestions and then yelling - that I must purchase new running shoes. I'm very attached to them, they have gotten me through many hard miles since November! Actually I've had them fora few years but not until the end of last year did I start running. Yes, they are worn and actually torn but I love them for all the harsh and fun runs we have endured together. These worn shoes are like old friends and I wasn't going to give them up without a fight! haha

We decided (with some lovely suggestions from other Sparkers) that we would go to the running store to purchase a new pair of shoes for the two of us. It was my first time purchasing running shoes, since I was always a tennis player and had different needs, so we decided to get some help from the "professionals". Firstly though, we checked out runnersworld.com and watched all the videos and also looked at the reviews of the shoes that were of mentioning. If you are looking for new running shoes, I highly suggest watching the videos on the site to learn more about how to find the perfect one - including if your foot needs for pronation and arch... We had a nice idea before going in what we were looking for in our running needs and foot support needs. Then when we got into the local shoe store, it was not only hard to get some help but also it was hard to get the attention of the sales person. Not sure if it was the day or just the location but I wasn't really feeling the help we had. The sales representative actually watched me walk and looked at my old shoes for suggestions on my needs. He was in the direct option that we had figured out from online support. Go runnersworld! But the selections the rep suggested were terrible! Not only were the shoes made for the color blind but they were not fitting correctly. Out of the entire stores selection, the rep could only come up with three shoes! Three! One pair I would have selected for my grandmother with all the cushioning which would have made me work 5x more just to get my feet off the ground. More cushion, the more effort you have to put forth to get a liftoff the ground. Cushioned shoes are usually for really overweight people or newbies... which okay maybe I took it too personally.. but...

Not only was the rep suggesting shoes that actually hurt my feet when I stepped down (high arch support for a normal arch foot)- he kept mentioning that once I found the shoe I like - he would "teach" me how to properly run in running shoes. Okay, so maybe I don't have a completely slimmed down body like most runners, but I don't believe just for that reason I am a total newbie to running. It just wasn't the best experience...

We finally went over to Dick's Sporting Goods where we figured we could get some better help and find the shoe that we liked. Thankfully I did find two pairs I liked!!! It helps to know what you are looking for for your support (thanks to runnersworld) because the help at Dicks' were so busy, we had to catch them as they walked past just to get a pair in our size. But at a chain, I expect them to be busier than the small specialized stores because they are helping a lot of people instead of just a few... They were nice and were able to answer a few questions but you must ask the questions.

We both made our selections but chose to look online first to look for better deals. We found that the prices in the store were comparable to the selections online. Ironically, my husband could not find the shoe he liked in any of the stores in the right size (9) but could find it online at Dick's. They are ordered and will be here in less than a week! Free shipping and free return label if they don't fit or we don't like them. Yay!

The shoes we chose (not intentionally were the same) Saucony ProGrid Ride Running Shoe. This is the first series, there are two newer ones, but we enjoyed the larger toe area in the first model.
Women's: orange and white

Men's: Red and White

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWJENN10 4/16/2010 9:15AM

    I am a novice runner, more a shuffler trying not to stopper...anyway, I happened upon saucony's last year and love them, they do not look as nice as some of the newer shoes I have but they are my favorites! I will get new ones soon, and these will become my bum around shoes. Never thought I would be attached to gym shoes! My how my life has changed!

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SUGIRL06 4/15/2010 4:12PM

    I'm so vane. I gotta have cool looking running shoes. I found a couple pairs I liked at Sports Authority and decided to check out Nike's Running website online (since the pairs I liked were Nikes). I ended up finding a really awesome pair, ordered them and they have been perfect! I'm actually thinking about getting another pair before they stop making them. If I'm gonna torture myself by running miles and miles and miles without getting anywhere, I'm at least gonna look cute doing it! Haha! Great choice!
~Ang

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PRETTYBLKGYRL 4/15/2010 2:05PM

    *lol* you should post a pic of your current running buddies aka shoes. I can only imagine how "broken in" they must be if your hubby had to INSIST you get new ones. What a wonderful hubby you have. :o)

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PAPRINIKA 4/15/2010 1:17PM

    Red + White is a sexy combi! :D

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ELISA322 4/15/2010 11:44AM

    When my husband and I first caught the running bug about 6 years ago, we made the mistake of going to a running store. Nothing against the store, but as you said, the rep recommended the biggest ugly shoe I have ever seen in my life and he talked me into buying them. They were Brooks, can't remember the model, but it was made for overpronators like me. Not to mention they were expensive. I was embarrassed to be seen in them to be honest, and after a few months I eventually quit running all together.

So last year when I caught the running bug again, I decided to go the ebay route LOL. I bought another pair of Brooks (again, can't remember model) and I believe I only paid $40 for them. It's a much lighter shoe than my previous Brooks, and I really like how they look too. I hate to part with them, but I'm going to have to soon since my feet are starting to hurt terribly. I think I've put close to 350 miles on them now since last year.

I'm sure you're getting anxious for your shoes to arrive!

Comment edited on: 4/15/2010 11:44:43 AM

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BREW99 4/15/2010 11:24AM

    Wow! I sound grouchy don't I? haha Still sulking a little I guess... sorry, didn't mean for it to sound angry... I'm quite the cheerful type in person... hehe

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Vegan Healthy Food Photos April 10-15th

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Again, I am slow at putting these photos online. I have been very lazy lately at getting online at all - you will notice from my MIA. Sorry. It's been sunny and I've wanted to increase my exercise time so that leaves out some of the time online at S.P. If only there were a few more hours in a day. haha I'm still on my plateau (grrr) but still counting calories daily. I go by the plan: 300 bkfast; 100 snack; 300 lunch; 100 snack; 300 dinner; 100 snack. Easy to count and makes for lots of snacking - healthy of course. One of my favorite things right now is fruit - yes it has a good amount of natural sugar but I'm hypoglycemic so if I'm not taking in sugar - I could have some major problems. Plus, fruit has so many more mineral and nutrients that so many people do not know about. Plus, whom could pass up a lovely bowl of strawberries for a pastry? Seriously, vibrant red, juicy strawberries to a colorless pastry... yum!

I've been in a little rut lately so I have not made too many new recipes items. Here are the new ones.

Granola Cereal: Bear Naked has some wonderful selections. This one was Mango and agave!!! This was my husbands' so I threw in some extra wild blueberries and raisins...


Homemade Falafel with a low-calorie tahini sauce!! Amazing! It smells so good as you are grilling too! (recipe from www.chezbettay.com)


BBQ sauce marinated tempeh sticks. Basically just get a low calorie BBQ sauce (all natural ingredients in possible) and then marinate for one hour and throw on the grill for about five minutes. They cook faster than you think! We placed a few slices on a piece of vegan naan bread. Side dish was something I threw together with leftover frozen (no added sodium) and fresh veggies: corn, peas, diced cucumber, carrots, some garlic, a little red onion and a few capers - nothing else.


Vegan Polenta Ranchers from Vegan Brunch Cookbook:


I've become addicted to making the perfect Vegan sausages from vital wheat gluten. I like a sausage-less brand from Trader Joes' but I don't like processed foods so I've become to love my own homemade ones with low-sodium and fat! Also seen my favorite grilled asparagus (just thrown on the grill with no oil or seasoning) and the homemade sausages. Also, homemade Colorful Dilled Pasta salad.. Also, there is one photo with a mini sausage (tiny food humors me) and some homemade vegan mac-n-cheese (I make mine with vegetable "pasta" instead of flour ones.)




Lazy Vegan Breakfast: Seriously looks like a lot however it is less than 300 calories! Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread, grapefruit, strawberries, Numi Chinese Breakfast tea and an apple. I also use soy butter and vegemite but less than 1/2 tsp total! A little soy butter goes really far - you don't even have to spread all over...


Vegan BBQ - Homemade Black Bean Burgers (amazing!!!!), asparagus and some toppings. We used Bok Choy instead of lettuce for more nutrients. Whole Wheat Bun used (again I was lazy and didn't make my own)




Ever get some of those weekend nights where you just really don't want to follow a recipe and spend time in the kitchen? Here is my lazy night - mashed potatoes, bok choy, red onion, carrots, and a little nutritional yeast. Yum! Night time I'm going to throw in some peas and chow down... delish and makes you full of energy for a good long run!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPRINIKA 4/15/2010 1:17PM

    ALL LOOKS SO YUMMY! *Prys eye away from screen*

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TURBOTIF 4/15/2010 11:38AM

    OMG that all looks AMAZING!!!! mmmmm must be time for my snack... lol :) --- I want to try a black bean burger recipe... where do you find the sprouted bread?

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GRANDMAAMIE 4/15/2010 11:17AM

    ALL LOOKS GOOD !
GREAT JOB!


AMIE

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MEGS2021 4/15/2010 11:14AM

    Yum, how did you make the black bean burgers?

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SHAYGETSFIT 4/15/2010 11:12AM

    looks delicious!

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SUGIRL06 4/15/2010 11:07AM

    Ok, right before lunch is NOT the best time to read your blog because I want to eat everything I see on the screen! And I had to laugh at "tiny food humors me". Have I told you about EpiCute.com? Seriously. You need to check it out. Its just pictures. Pictures of cute food (the blog author is a big fan of miniature foods and bento boxes too). You'll love it!
~Ang

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MYCUTEGIZMO 4/15/2010 11:05AM

  Yummy!!!

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WINDEE52 4/15/2010 11:01AM

    OMG - you have an open invitation to come over and cook any time you want! These look soooooo goooooood!

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April 5-9th Healthy Vegan Food Photos

Friday, April 09, 2010

Breakfast Burrito I whipped together: Missing egg salad, black beans, pinto beans, vegan cheese, cabbage, salsa, and some avocado (in DH's only).


Smoothie on a hot Day: Coconut juice from freshly cracked Thai Coconut, some fresh coconut meat, 1 cup of strawberries and some ice cubes. This photo was from the DH, mine was much smaller serving...


My latest addictive Restaurant: Aladdin's Eatery. This is a freshly made pita (as thin as a tortilla), a bunch of green salad, about 1 tbsp alfalfa sprouts (which there were more), and some yummy hummus. Very good and filling - ate this for about three meals!


From the same restaurant: This is the DH selection - such a good guy he actually chose vegan too. We took his parents out to this restaurant and they actually ate some healthy food too! This photo is a falafel burrito with salad in it. Very tasty!


Seriously, fresh fruits and veggies don't need "heart-healthy" labels- they say it for themselves! This is homemade vegan sausages and Pasta Salad from the BBQ:



Since the weather did get nice, we have been drawn outdoors. This is my attempt at making vegan seitan fajitas. I kind of threw things together and it ended up amazing! It was so freh and tasty that we will definitely make again! Before and After BBQ photos:





So I was looking up vegan recipes or recipes that I could convert to vegan on my favorite cooking website: cookpad.com. It is entirely in Japanese but worth the translation. This was my attempt at making a jam drink. Basically I took homemade vegan strawberry jam (made it with agar agar), Mitsuya Cider (store only had all zero - definitely not as good as the original), and some vegan soy creamery "ice cream" from Trader Joes.


Polenta Rancheros for a special breakfast:


I really need to kick my booty into action again and start doing daily photos instead of mass publishing. Sorry, I have so many photos that I am only posting a few for now.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRETTYBLKGYRL 4/10/2010 2:02PM

    that smoothie looks DELISH - actually ALL of those dishes look delish. I wish I had the discipline it takes to commit to a vegan lifestyle. I'm WAY too lazy. *lol*

I've been a flexitarian for years. (I usually only have meat products a few times a month, but lately it's been a lot more often)

I love your blogs, they are giving me great ideas/inspiration on some dishes I'd like to experiment with this summer. & were those asparagus grilled? if so how did you prepare them? Mine NEVER come out tasty. :o/


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LIZNIX1 4/9/2010 4:33PM

    How do you make your seitan? I have tried a few recipes and nothing has turned out quite right. It is the only meatless food item that continues to elude me.

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