Friday, June 14, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers!

Yummy Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Healthy and Easy!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can tomato paste
1 can green chilis
Remains of the top of the pepper
1tbs of cumin
2tbs of garlic
1tbs Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
4 bell peppers
1 hand full of Breadcrumbs

Preparation:
Start to cook the quinoa and then core bell peppers and save the excess top for the filling. Chop up onions and start sauteing with the excess pepper. After they become softer add in the corn, chili peppers, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. When the quinoa is finished add to the mixture. Mix together well and stuff the peppers. Cook for 30 minutes and 5 minutes before they're done pull out and top with breadcrumbs!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Top 8 Vegan/Vegetarian Products!

These are some of my favorite alternative products that I've found that taste like the real thing!
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS39XeSE4foVkmjzj93jDglQl8HBNKSz01ffw7lwdp5cZv_OnSe


Morning Star "Hotdogs" and "Corndogs"- I literally will give these to my friends or family and they don't even know the difference.

Trader Joe's Chicken-less Mandarin Morsels (vegan version)- So freaking good! A little more like chicken nuggets though.

Yves Meat Crumbles (vegan)- These are amazing for tacos and burritos, they have good texture and flavor, just add taco seasoning and yum!

Morning Star Black Bean Burgers and Chick Pea Burgers- These are great for burger substitutes and are filled with flavor!

Yves Pepperoni Slices (vegan)- Best tasting brand along with texture that I've found. 

Daiya Cheddar Wedge (vegan)- Creamy and tastes like the American cheese slices.  I also like the shreds, which stretch, but I like the wedge better.

Vegenaise Garlic Mayo (vegan)- Tastes even better than real mayo and has a very similar texture! 

Quorn Turk'y Roast- I had this for Thanksgiving and I could not believe how similar the taste and texture was to real turkey....I actually prefer it over the real thing!! 

Common Assumption: We're meant to eat meat

Last night I got yet another common comment from someone after I had told them I was vegetarian and against the killing of animals, so I thought I'd post s a response to this one which is; "we're meant to eat meat, that's what we're built for"...I get this often and its not so true...when compared it seems were actually built more like herbivores than carnivores, here's a comparison chart I found interesting that I came across on multiple occasions as well as a few links with some more in-depth information below:

This is how I feel about it: CAN we eat and Process meat? Yes. obviously we can. BUT that doesn't mean we NEED towere BUILT to, or can process it Easily.






Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, these are my opinions, I am not a doctor, nor a specialist. This is all information I've learned from multiple books, documentaries, and researching online.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What? These Contain Animal Products!?

Here are some things I was surprised to find out that contain and don't contain animal products:

Candies Commonly Containing Gelatin
(Made by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water)
Peeps
Starburst
Candy Corn
Junior Mints
Mentos
Most Marshmallows
Most Jello
Pop Tarts (the frosting)
And many other gummy candies so read your labels!

Common Candies NOT Containing Animal Products-
Airheads Taffy 
Swedish Fish
Sweet Tarts
Twizzlers

Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
Laffy Taffy (some varieties)
Lemon heads
Mambas
Mike and Ike
Now and Later

Sour Patch Kids


Other Random Products Usually Containing Animal Products-
Worcestershire sauce (anchovy)
Some Tortillas (lard)
Most Cesear Dressings (anchovy)
Ding Dongs (beef fat)
BBQ Baked Lays(chicken fat)
Old El Paso Re-fried Beans (lard)
Velveeta Cheese (gelatin)
Many Cambells and Progresso Vegetable Soups

Surprising Products NOT Containing Animal Products-
BacO's Bacon Bits
Oreo's
Jello Instant Pudding (not the gelatin kind)

Feel free to add to the list...just make sure to check your labels!! :)

Vegan Awareness Weekend!

I came across this and thought it was pretty cool especially since it's in my town!!! Eugene Mayor, Kitty Piercy, has officially declared September 29 and 30 as Vegan Awareness Weekend in the City of Eugene Oregon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guiltless "junk food!"

Here are some of my favorite vegetarian/vegan friendly go-to recipes when I'm craving something bad for me that won't break my calorie bank!



My Guiltless "Chili" dog-
1 veggie hot dog (Morning Star 50cal)
1 slice of 100 calorie wheat bread slightly toasted (so its 50cal)
1/3 cup of vegetarian chili (about 65cal)
(I use a little vegan cheese like Daiya, or you can use a low-cal regular cheese, and onion on top)
Ends up only being around 170 calories verses around 450 and tastes like the real thing!

Guiltless Enchiladas-
Corn tortillas (Guerrero 40cal each)
Enchilada sauce (Old El Paso 20cal per 1/4c)
Filling-
black beans (50cal per 1/4c)
corn (30cal per 1/4c)
bell pepper (5cal per 1/8c)
onion (3cal per 1/8c)
Jalapenos (2cal per 1/8c)
Mix all with a little enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, cumin,
and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with enchilada sauce and black olives (25cal per 1/4c)
(you can add cheese if you want, I use vegan cheese if I do to make them healthier)
Ends up being around 130 calories per enchilada compared to around 250-300 calories!

Vegan Pizza-

Whole wheat pizza crust (about 100cal per slice)
-I buy dough and stretch myself
Tomato sauce of choice (around 45cal per 1/2c)
Vegan cheese  (90 cal per 1/4c)
-I suggest Daiya it stretches/melts well and I mix pepper jack with cheddar
Top With-
mushrooms (2cal per 1/8c)
bell peppers (5cal per 1/8c)
onions (3cal per 1/8c)
olives (25cal per 1/4c)
Ends up being around 215 calories per slice compared to a pepperoni pizza of around 300 calories! 

Vegan Quesadilla- 
Wheat Tortilla- Trader Joe's Brand brand 60cal
Daiya Cheese (cheddar wedge)- About 45cal 1/2 ounce
Bac-o-bits- 8cal per 1/2tbs
A couple dashes of Franks Hot Sauce and there's a delicious quesadillla for about 115 calories rather than 350! 
  

A Few Other Ideas- but not quite as Low-Cal : ) 



Where To Get Protein!

 Veggie Sources of Protein

Another common question I get from people is "where do you get your protein" I never realized how many other healthier sources of protein there were until I became veggie.
 
I thought this was pretty funny :)
 Here are some of my favorite sources of protein, which also
happen to be mostly vegan as well: (amounts of protein are estimated)
  • Black beans (or black bean burgers) 
    •  15 g of protein per cup
  • Kidney/Garbanzo Beans (good for salads)   
    • 14 g of protein per cup
  • Vegetarian chili (good on top of a vegetarian hot dog!)  
    • 11 g of protein per cup
  • Quinoa/Barley (good combined as a main or side dish)
    • 8 g of protein per cup
  • Tofu (Good pan fried or in stir fry's)   
    • 20 g of protein per cup 
  • Almonds ( Great snack--I always carry in my purse)
    • 20 grams per cup
  • Sunflower Seeds (good on salads or just as a snack)
    • 6 g per 1/4 cup
  • Veggie burgers (just sub one in for your old favorites!)
    • 11 g of protein   
I also like some alternative meat products like veggie dogs and breakfast 
"sausage" from Morning Star and Yves taco crumbles! 

 Here are some other vegan/vegetarian sources
of protein as well:


Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, these are my opinions, I am not a doctor, nor a specialist. This is all information I've obtained from multiple books, documentaries, and researching online.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Responses to Non-Veggies

If you are vegetarian or vegan I'm sure that you're aware that there are many questions/ comments that almost every meat-eater will ask/say when you inform them that you're vegetarian. Although this can get repetitive, I think it's important to have good responses. I must say sometimes I have trouble sometimes responding to them without getting frustrated and in a non-threatening manor. So I looked into it a little and combined some practical/logical responses that I liked into my own words.

Here's Some Common Questions or Comments: 

"We're natural carnivores/omnivores. We've been eating meat for thousands of years."  
-We have also owned slaves, kept women from voting, participated in mass genocide, lived in caves, and ate other humans. Just because something has a long tradition doesn't mean that it's right. Also were actually designed more like herbivores than anything else. (I also touched on a response to "we're meant to meat" in an earlier post)

"That's not healthy, Let me know when you get sick"
-Don't get me wrong, but I'm pretty sure meat eaters get sick too, and have been proven to have a higher risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure, and cancer.
  
 "Well other animals eat meat"
-Animals that eat meat, which, I note, are built to eat meat, need it to survive, while humans do not. Also, animals don't have the ability to choose, while people do.

 "We're true predators."
-True predators have the speed and agility to chase down their own prey, not breed them in confined spaces so that they can't get away. Have you ever seen a human chase after a lion, kill it with it's bare hands then eat the lion without any remorse or being picky about the raw meat.

"What would you do if you were stranded and the only thing to eat was meat?"
-What would you do if you were starving and the only available food was human being?


Along with these are a couple other common ones like "where do you get your protein" or "where do you get your calcium", I touched on those in previous posts.







Monday, February 25, 2013

Statistics On Veggies!

I was curious to see how many people in the U.S. are vegetarian or vegan and if the numbers were increasing over the years. So this is some information I came across.
According the the Vegetarian Times from information collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau in 2008:
  • 7.3 Million Americans Are Vegetarians
  • 1 Million are Vegan
  • 22.8 Million Follow a Vegetarian-Inclined Diet
Percentages:
  • 3.2 % follow a vegetarian-based diet.
  • 0.5 %, or 1 million, of those are vegans
  • 10 % of U.S., adults, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.
Demographics:
  • 59 % of vegetarians are female; 41 % are male.
  • 42.0 % are age 18 to 34 years old; 40.7 % are 35 to 54; and 17.4 % are over 55.
  • 57.1 % have followed a vegetarian diet for more than 10 years; 18 % for 5 to 10 years; 10.8 % for 2 to 5 years, 14.1% for less than 2 years.
Other Statistics:
  • Revenues for meat alternatives such as Quorn, Boca, and tempeh have increased since 2009 by 2.4 percent, or $636 million, according to data from the Soyfood Association of North America.
  • In a 2005-2006 survey by Philadelphia Inquirer , 8% of college students said they were vegetarian and less than 1% identified as vegan. But the company's follow up 2009-2010 survey showss that 12% of college students are vegetarian and 2% follow a vegan lifestyle.
  • The number of vegetarian youth in the United States has increased 70% in just the last few years according to a recent poll conducted by the independent research firm Harris Interactive.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Veggie Restaurants in Eugene!



I was surprised to find out that there are actually quite a few vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants in Eugene and they're good!

Oh yea and fun fact!-- Portland, OR has the most vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants in the country!

Here's a Few Fully Vegetarian/Vegan Places:

  • Cornbread Cafe (1290 W 7th Ave, Eugene, Oregon)-All vegan
    • I love this place, it is a vegan soul food restaurant, they have really good "philly cheese steaks", "fried chicken", and "french dips"
  • Garbanzo Grill (Food cart outside Ninkasi)
    • I just tried them and they have amazing veggie burgers! They use a really good vegan sauce and caramelized onions...yum!-Mostly Vegan
  • Lotus Garden (810 Charnelton St, Eugene, Oregon)-All vegan
    • This is a chinese place, I haven't been here yet but its on my list. They have "fried shrimp" and of course chow mien and different "breaded chicken"
  • Viva Vegetarian Grill (Food Cart-12th Ave & Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon)-All vegan
    • This is another one I haven't been to so I'm not sure how it is
  • Govinda's Vegetarian Buffet (1030 River Rd, Eugene, Oregon)
    • I was surprised to find out that it is mostly indian food, but it actually was quite good and also has a salad bar. It was also very cheap!
  • Morning Glory Cafe (450 Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon)
    • I've only had breakfast here and they make their own soysage, but I wasn't a huge fan of the taste- it tasted like gingerbread, but everything else was good.
  • Pizza Research Institute (530 Blair St, Eugene, Oregon)
    • Really good vegan and vegetarian pizza! It also has a lot of live music and good drafts.
Here's a Few, More Than Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants (I say more than because now days almost all restaurants have vegetarian friendly options)
  • PrimeTime Bar (1360 Mohawk Blvd  Springfield, OR )
    • I only put this on there because that have a really good house made veggie burger! surprising right?
  • Holy Cow Cafe (2222 E 13th St, Eugene, Oregon )
    • Haven't tried this one yet but it does serve meat but has many vegetarian alternatives as well
  • Go Healthy Cafe (3802 W 11th Ave, Eugene, Oregon )
    • Really fresh and delicious food like quesadillas, burritos, bowls, salads, and has tempeh and tofu substitutes
  • Laughing Planet (760 Blair Blvd, Eugene, Oregon )
    • Mostly burritos and bowls etc. and they are good! they also have tempeh and tofu substitutes and also probably one of the best cesear salads I've ever had and its vegetarian!(vegan without the cheese)
  • Cornicopia Bar (207 E 5th Ave Eugene, OR)
    • Has multiple vegetarian/vegan options and a really good black bean quinoa burger topped with salsa and guac yum! They also have live music
  • Cafe Yumm! (many locations)
    • Good bowls and wraps
  • Keystone Cafe (395 W 5th Ave Eugene, OR)
    • Haven't been here yet but it has breakfast along with other things and many vegetarian alternatives
-Those are the ones that I'm most aware of, but they're all good and even if your not veggie you should try them!!


Health Benefits


Another common reason that people switch from a meat eating diet to a non-meat eating diet is for health reasons. This isn't originally why I became vegetarian but it is the reason that I try to eat the least dairy as possible.

There is a common negative I found which I kinda touched on my previous post that sometimes vegetarians or vegans can be deficient in certain nutrients, but it was said that "Properly planned vegan diets are healthy, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of many diseases," said Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian and nutrition educator in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. 

If you want to get really in-depth mind blowing information about the health benefits of a meatless diet, watch the documentary "Forks Over Knifes"!!!!!

Here's a few statistics I came across:

-70% of Americans are dying from illnesses associated with their diets. According to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

-40 million people are diagnosed with heart disease every year in the U.S. and 1.5 million a year have heart attacks. (Diehl, Western Diseases: Their Dietary Prevention and Reversibility)

-Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.

-The Journal Of American Medical Association has reported that a vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of coronary obstructions


-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes
Adapting a vegetarian or vegan diet can lower 
these statistics by....
Lowering The Risk of
-Certain Cancers
-Obesity
-Diabetes
-Cardiovascular Disease
-Heart Disease
-High Blood Pressure
-Gallstones
The reason for these health benefits are due to lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and the higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, certain minerals, and phytochemicals. My Source and This One

Here's also a few studies I found:


-According to Harvard Health Publications There's some evidence that vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events (such as a heart attack) and death from cardiac causes. In one of the largest studies — a combined analysis of data from five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants published several years ago — vegetarians were, on average, 25% less likely to die of heart disease.


-Data from the Adventist Health Study showed that non-vegetarians had a substantially increased risk of both colorectal and prostate cancer than did vegetarians.

-In 2002, the National Institutes of Health gave Loma Linda University School of Public Health a grant to continue the research on Seventh-day Adventists.  They found that vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters. The most recent data from the study indicates that Vegetarian Adventist men live to an average of 83.3 years – 9.5 years longer than other Californians. Vegetarian women live an average of 85.7 years which is 6.1 years longer than non-vegetarians.
They also found:
- Vegans are, on average, 30 pounds lighter than meat eaters.
- Vegans are also five units lighter on the BMI scale than meat-eaters.
- Vegetarians and vegans are also less insulin resistant than meat-eaters.
- Pesco-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians who limit animal products, but still eat meat once a week or so, have "intermediate protection" against lifestyle diseases.

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, these are my personal opinions, I am not a doctor nor am I a specialist. These are things I've learned from books, documentaries, and online research.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Foods For a Balanced Diet



Like many of you know its pretty common for people to tell you, when they find out your vegetarian/vegan, that you are deficient in certain things and that you are going to get sick. Although this can be true by not paying attention to your nutrient intake, it differs from person to person and how well they plan their diet.(And P.S. I think it's funny when a non-vegetarian says this because I guarantee if they went to the doctor, just because they eat meat, doesn’t mean there not deficient in anything or have a perfectly balanced diet.) Below I made a list of the top 5 nutrients that vegetarian/vegans can be deficient in by not eating animals and/or animal products and what you can eat to make sure you're getting these nutrients.

The top 5 nutrients that vegetarian/vegans
can be deficient in are:
1.      Vitamin B-12- This one is hard to get in other foods so most people just take a supplement.
2.      Iron- There are tons of foods you can eat to get iron- some of them being: tofu, lima beans, potato, pinto beans, kidney beans, kale, pumpkin seeds, black beans, spinach, broccoli, almonds, quinoa, raisins, green beans, whole wheat,oats, corn, peanuts, blueberries, bananas and raspberries.
3.      Zinc- Ways you can get this is through baked potato, oats, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, rice, kidney beans, ginger root, wild rice, peas, leeks, lentils, cashews, sunflower seeds, and lima beans.
4.      Omega-3- The best way to get this nutrient is through flax seed, walnuts, and chia seeds
5.      Calcium- Drink soy, rice, almond or other milk substitute. (I LOVE almond milk) and of course, I limit my dairy intake so I don't usually eat these products, but you can get your calcium from real milk.

One last tip that helps me- I always carry almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds in your car, purse, etc. This helps me get at least 2 of the nutrients above. It also helps me with my weight control because when I'm on the run and I get hungry I just eat a few nuts/seeds and prevent myself from getting super starved so won't to pig out when I do eat. Also when I have them on me it reminds me to eat them!

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, these are my opinions, I am not a doctor, nor a specialist. This is all information I've learned from multiple books, documentaries, and researching online.

Support Podcasts


For people that already are vegetarian or vegan or people that are just curious, I absolutely love the podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, when I'm needing some positive encouragement or don't know how to deal with certain situations, I listen to her podcast. She has one on pretty much every topic. You can find them on her website here.. This Link.. But I'll list some of my favorites as well with some links to those too.

Black Bean Tacos!

Simple Delicious Black Bean and Corn Tacos!

-This was a perfect substitute for my hard taco cravings and even more delicious without the meat and its super easy!


Tacos
1 pack of hard shell tacos
1 can Black beans
1/2 can corn
1/4 cup of chopped jalapenos
2 tbs. taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream (or vegan sour cream)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic
salt and pepper to taste
-And if you need a meat substitute in there I suggest
Yves taco crumbles they are just like the real thing!

Toppings
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 16-oz. container prepared salsa
1/2 onion chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced (1 cups)
2 avocados, diced (about 1cups)
1 cups shredded cheese or daily shreds (vegan).
  1. First heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant. Stir in beans, corn, chili powder, half of the taco seasoning,  Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 5-10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  2. Mix together the remaining taco seasoning and the sour cream (or vegan sour) and spread it on the bottom of the taco shells.
  3. Put a little of fresh chopped onion and jalapenos onto the sour cream in the bottom of the shells.
  4. Than put your bean and corn mixture on top of that
  5. Than top with your favorite toppings: lettuce, cheese (or vegen cheese), tomato, and avocado.
  6. My favorite last step with these tacos are La Victoria taco sauce!....Soo good but if not top with some salsa!
-Goes great with any leftover black beans and some mexican rice!

Factory Farming, Know WhereYour Food Comes From

I'd like to touch on factory farming a bit....I came across someone the other day that literally had no idea that the conditions of the animals of the source of their food was even remotely cruel. What I've came to realize is how uneducated many people are when it comes to knowing where their  food comes from and the conditions the animals suffer in so people can eat them....to be honest its hard for me to even research some of these things because it is just so horrible and cruel. But I think it's very important just to be aware that these things are going on..so....here we go..

THIS IS THE ETHICAL PART
And Is Not Pretty!

I'll start with a few facts: (I try to make most of these links as well so you can view the full sites)

-Each year, more than 58 billion cows, pigs, chickens, and other innocent, sentient animals are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, mutilated, and manhandled in the world's factory farms and slaughterhouses. In the US alone, 10 billion land animals are abused and slaughtered every year.

-According to a 10-year investigation based on interviews with slaughterhouse workers and USDA inspectors, many animals actually survive the slaughter process. Many -- alive and conscious -- are skinned, dismembered, gutted, scalded, and drowned in their own blood.

-Huge amounts of antibiotics and pesticides are used to fight the spreading of diseases and bacteria, as farm animals would get sick due to the crowded conditions, dirt, and humidity in the pens.

-Weak and injured animals are often left to fend for themselves with open wounds or infections, without food or water. They wait in pain for a slow death, as veterinary care is considered too costly for individual animals. Many cases of animal cruelty are documented where still living animals have been thrown away as trash, as they were too weak to stand-up or walk.

-Humane killing methods are often ignored to keep the production line running, and many animals are improperly sedated or stunned before being scorched in boiling water, throat-slit, beheaded, or bolt-shut. If these methods don't manage to kill them, the animal cruelty intensifies beyond belief, as they are dismembered piece by piece, often still conscious, on the fast-moving production line.


Here's a few popular videos that show the treatment and living
conditions of our food sources......
Warning: they are not pleasant


 Paul McCartney Documentary














An Undercover Video From a Factory
Farm in Wyoming: