breakfast, faq, health, jordan, soy, vegan, vegetarian

Banana heaven! + No Soy?

What could be better than starting the day with a cup of coffee and a hot banana muffin?

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The aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and banana lingered throughout the house all morning long. It was heavenly.

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I had a dab of Earth Balance on mine – the salty and sweet is one of the most comforting flavor combinations.

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So what does a mom do when she finds her son on the kitchen cabinets? Take a picture, of course!

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How he went from a little, helpless infant to an exploring, daredevil toddler still amazes me! I love you, my son!

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Hi Tasha, I love reading your blog. I am trying to eat better but I don’t know what to eat. I would love to become vegetarian but I can’t do soy products. Do you have any ideas? Linda

Hi Linda! Great question, I would love to be of some help with this.

soy Soy is in everything these days. Because it is such an abundant and cheap additive, it is being used just as much as corn is. Research also shows danger from large amounts of soy consumption in small children.

But soy does give us a lot of health benefits – protein, amino acids, calcium and shows it can lower the risk of heart disease. When consumed in moderation it provides vegetarians and non-vegetarians a great source of plant based protein.

Many people choose not to eat soy, or they simply cannot eat it due to reactions. I told myself I wasn’t going to consume too much soy based products when I made the initial decision to be vegetarian. Although, I do love incorporating a small amount of tofu in my meals, I don’t make it a habit. There are plenty of other protein sources for vegetarians and vegans.

beans Beans are amazing in every way. Lentils, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans… I love them all! I eat a lot of beans. I mix them in my salads, heat them up as a side dish and use them as you would with meat. Quinoa is also a great protein source.

I think a lot of people think once they  choose a vegetarian lifestyle they have to eat tofu and other soy products. This is not true. I eat so many fresh vegetables, wholesome fresh producegrains, nuts, seeds and fruit, that I don’t really make room in my diet for soy. I have been using a lot of raw food recipes – I love cooking, or shall I say NON cooking, with soaked nuts and beans. it is amazing what you can create with raw foods!

Linda, if you are serious about adapting a vegetarian lifestyle, I would start gathering recipes and looking at cook books. This is what I did before I went vegetarian. There is a few reasons why I suggest this:

  • You always have inspiration. No one likes to look in the fridge or in the pantry and see nothing to eat. Most likely you are starving, frustrated and feel like throwing in the towel.
  • Recipes are adaptable. You can easily take a recipe and make it your own; adding or deleting ingredients to please your palate.
  • It helps you think outside the vegetarian box. You will be surprised to see that many recipes do not use soy products.
  • And have fun! Browse your local farmer’s market, picking out freshly picked produce and create something wonderful! Remember: simple is best!

Linda, I hopes this helps your quest to becoming a soy-free vegetarian! Thank you for reading and I wish you the best!

ztashaz_thumb[1]

faq, vegan

Building a vegan kitchen – a reader’s question answered

Hey all! How was your Wednesday?
Here is another great question from a dear reader asking how to start transitioning to a vegan diet.

Hi there. First want to say that I absolutely love your blog. I must say it is very informative and I’ve loved trying some of the recipes that you have listed.
I never considered the whole eating clean or going vegan until about four years ago, but for whatever reason I never got on the bandwagon and stuck too it. Now, I’m fed up with my poor eating habits along with the way that I look. I want to finally start living the life I’ve dreamed about but the thing that’s holding me back is getting over that initial hump of just doing it and going vegan.
I know, I know, you are probably wondering who this crazy person is emailing you and I do have a point. I have done a lot of research but I was wanting advice from someone who has been on this journey longer than I have.
I’m starting to rebuild my kitchen through food and I was wondering if you knew of or could point me in the direction of any substitutions for eggs or is giving up eggs all together the best option? Also, what is the best route to go for flour and sweeteners? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Kelly

Wonderful questions, Kelly! You are not alone in this transition. In fact I can almost bet this is one of the main reasons people do not adopt a healthier lifestyle because they just do not know how or where to start.

It’s hard to look past the daily staples so many of us use – eggno_meat_no_dairy_no_kidding_vegan_wares_sticker-p217294617827630035tdcj_210s, cheese,  milk, meat… If I was given a dollar for every time someone asked me “What do you eat?” when they find out I’m vegan/vegetarian I would be rich! There is life outside of the block of cheese and the breast of chicken, a fabulous, DELISCIOUS and kind life!

You asked the best way to get around the use of eggs. Are you referring to the eating of whole eggs or in terms of baking? Well, since you are not physically here to answer that, I will give my option for both.

If you are craving eggs, as in scrambled eggs, I love tofu scrambles. Although, they do not imitate an egg, in my opinion. I sure do love my tofu scrambles! I was never a huge egg fan before and I never have “cravings” for eggs. If you are looking for vegan quiches, eggs benedict or any other “eggy” type dish, Google is your friend! There is a vast world of vegan recipes just ready to be eaten.

Baking without eggs is pretty simple: I use flax seed replacer. 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water (per one egg). Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. It will become jelly like and you can add it to any baked good recipe. Viola! Here is a great egg replacer article that I also recommend.

Flours are wonderful, except white flour. I always have a big bag of whole raw-sugarwheat flour in my pantry, along with spelt flour. A lot of vegan recipes can still be considered unhealthy, so I always search for clean eating, wholesome baked goods recipes.
The same goes with sweeteners. I LOVE  pure maple syrup! AND maple syrup flakes. I also use organic raw sugar and agave nectar. I always have these sweeteners on hand depending on what I am making or have a craving for. I also suggest you buying a large package of dates and keep them in your fridge. Dates are a natural sweetener that is decadent and used a lot in raw recipes. Plus, they are good to pop and eat all by themselves!

I really hope this helps your journey into veganism. One piece of advice that I cannot stress enough is: Start slow! Do not bite off more then you can handle – this only leads to frustration.

Healthy Eating!
ztashaz_thumb[1]

breakfast, dinner, faq, lunch, vegetarian

Reader question answered + eats on Monday

Welcome back, Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! =)

I promise this post wont be as long as yesterdays. So let me just jump right into things:

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Tofu scramble + romaine lettuce + avocado + whole wheat wrap = BREAKFAST
I love the bright yellow color the turmeric gives.

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Falafel salad for lunch.

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Peas, romaine, cucumber, red onion, home made croutons, 2 falafel patties crumbled, hummus, avocado, dried basil and EVOO.

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After all of the complex flavors of today’s eats I decided to keep it simple for dinner/

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Beans, rice and a side of edamame.
I seasoned the rice with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried basil. Then topped it with creamy avocado.

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Fresh edamame with a small pinch of sea salt.

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Over the next week I am planning on answering some questions by my readers. I am very late on some of these so I apologize in advance! =( I have about a dozen emails starred in my inbox… no joke.

Here is a question from Tammy regarding transitioning into veganism:

First off I just want to say how much I love your blog!!  Your story is one that I can really relate to – struggling with feelings about food/eating disorders/trying to go veg, etc…..
Today I am a clean eater that wants to take the step to eliminate meat/poultry/fish etc from my diet.  It is this nagging feeling I have had since I was a child and really want to make that final step to being truly health aware.

I have 2 little boys – My oldest is 4 and he has never eaten any meat ever. A natural vegetarian I have been told. Interesting. That and picky! 🙂 My little one is 17 months next week. I want them to have healthy and strong body and minds.

Can you help me by giving me a very very basic run down of your daily menu template of sorts? I am not sure how to describe it but I will tell you my current "template" and maybe you could help by sharing your version.

  • Currently I eat cold or hot cereal for breakfast (some times adding fruit and/or nuts) and with skim milk.
  • I eat a mid morning snack that is usually a bit more carbs like a small whole grain bagel with nut butter or something similar.  Fruit on the side.
  • Lunch is always a loaded salad (with chicken right now) with olive oil OR soup OR a chicken wrap
  • Mid afternoon snack is often veggies and hummus or another salad or yogurt and granola and fruit.
  • Dinner is always a meat protein with tons of veggies (sometimes in an ezekiel wrap).

Can you help?

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!! You are wonderful and inspirational 🙂

Take care!! – Tammy

Thanks, Tammy! What a great question. I know how difficult making meals that are both interesting and great tasting can be. You are on a great track and I fully understand you wanting to eliminate meat from your everyday diet.
I started eliminating meat one meal at a time. Having a meat-eating husband I found myself face-to-plate with meat quite often. Since I am a stay at home mom, I eventually eliminated meat from breakfast, then lunch, and then I popped the big statement one night: “I want to be a vegetarian.” At first I don’t think he believed me and still offered me meat at home and when we ate out. My family didn’t quite understand, either. Saying, “Just this once – it wont matter!” I never gave in and it is getting easier and easier.
But I will admit I was a little lost with what I was going to eat. Having relied on meat so much in the past it was mind boggling to NOT eat it any longer. Luckily the plethora of wonderful food bloggers helped me see past the meat. Whether I was randomly clicking blog rolls and looking for “vegetarian” tags or Google searching, inspiration was all around me!
Tammy, you are on a perfect path! In fact, you really don’t need to change much at all. It’s easy to substitute meat for beans, tofu, seitan or meatless-meat products. And I have said it before, right now is the best time to be vegetarian! There are so many great products out there!
However, if you are still wanting to eat clean, like I do, be very careful about the meat-less products. There are some pretty weird ingredients  in them. I buy faux sausage and “chicken” nuggets for J but I pass on the stuff for me.

  • For your lunch salad, swap beans for your chicken – I love garbanzo, black or pinto beans.  For wraps I always use A LOT of hummus and fresh veggies – YUM!
  • To sub a piece of meat at dinner may seem a bit challenging. I love making a pot of hearty vegetarian chili, a spinach meat-less lasagna or making something simple like beans, rice and greens. Remember to keep the ingredients fresh and hearty. If pasta sauce seems boring with meat, add olives, fresh basil, onion and red bell pepper to add texture, taste and color.
  • Invest in a vegetarian cookbook or magazine subscription. It helps to see eye appealing recipes for inspiration. Oh, and Google is your friend! =)
  • Last but not least – start slow! if you go full force you may feel over whelmed and become frustrated.

Well Tammy I really hope this helps your quest for become vegetarian! If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to to ask!

ztashaz_thumb[1]

faq, salad

Soggy

It’s the weekend! Hope everyone is enjoying themselves! Me? Well… I am planning on going for a nice run, hopefully over 6 miles, BUT Seattle has yet to let the sun shine nor has it even let the rain stop. Looks like I might have to suck it up and get a little wet. Oh well – all in the life of a Seattleite.
I want to share another AMAZING salad I ate yesterday:
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Big pieces of romaine, red onion, peas, garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts, toasted pumpkin and soy beans, orange bell pepper, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, EVOO and salt and pepper. I cannot stop eating these giant salads. Everyday I seem to crave them more and more! I remember I went through a time this winter that I didn’t even touch a salad – for weeks I was salad-less. =( But in the dead of winter when produce doesn’t look appealing all I wanted to do was warm up with a hot bowl of soup. I guess I am making up for my lack of salads the past few weeks.
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Questions

How many calories do you eat on average?

Oh gosh – I really hate this question. I really have no idea how many calories I eat, nor do I really care (in a nice way =). I had struggled with counting calories and my weight for years. I was a slave to the calorie and fat content of every single piece of food that went into my mouth – it was a very low point in my life. When I started to eat clean, then vegetarian/vegan, I stopped worrying about my calorie intake because I knew the foods that I eat are healthy and wholesome. I still have will power, however, and eat very little extra sugar, like desserts. Pieces of dark chocolate curb my sweet tooth when I am in need of something sweet.
What I do know about my calorie intake is that I eat just right. My weight is steady, meaning I have not lost nor gained any weight in months. I am still very active; running 5 times a week and keep up with a toddler is a great workout! =) And with all of the avocado, EVOO and nuts I eat on a daily basis… I am not sure if I really want to know how many calories I am consuming! I have a hunch that I might freak out a little; even though I am in a much better mental state regarding food I know those thoughts are still there somewhere. For now I feel that ignorance is bliss.

I have run across some recipes that call from coconut oil. I do not like coconut–is there something I can use in place of it?

Oh wow – great question! I have never used coconut oil. It is one ingredient that has been on my grocery list for a while now but I haven’t splurged yet. I would have to see the recipe in order to give a good substitution but are they recipes that you can sub EVOO or grape seed oil for? I am going to have to open the floor up to my readers – any suggestions for this?
Thanks again for the questions! I love them!
ztashaz_thumb[1]

dinner, faq, lunch, running

Gathering my Strength!

Look what I was able to do yesterday!
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While this time is not breaking news, nor has it been my best, it’s my best in a very long time! And you were all right when you said to keep my chin up with my running… My legs are strong and my lungs are expanding. WOOHOO!
I will never take granted that I am able to run, ever. When you go from training for a marathon to not being able to walk it really puts things in perspective and makes you realize that while you want to strive to do you best, pushing yourself past your means leads to disaster.

I was pretty hot and sweaty after my run so I made a refreshing PB & Chocolate shake.
DSC04386I used almond milk, cocoa powder, PB, flax meal and a few squirts of agave. It really hit the spot! I normally add a scoop of chocolate Amazing Meal but I am out at the moment.

I was starving when dinner came around – I made a mexican salad.
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Black beans, rice, romaine, avocado, black olives, salsa, red onion and tortilla chips. I downed this salad in seconds!
Then Marc and I relaxed and watched Deadliest Catch. We’ve been watching this show ever since it was first aired on The Discover Channel – we both love it! I know it sounds a little contradicting coming for a vegetarians mouth… hmm. (shrugs) I normally do not watch TV, except the Food Network, and learning channels (TLC, Discovery, History, etc.) And most of the captains, boats and crew are from the Seattle region, too. In the summer you can drive past the docks and see the actual boats, even see the crew members, too! What is your guilty pleasure TV show?

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I want to take a few minutes and answer some formspring questions:

What other fitness regimes do you incorporate into your workouts besides running?

For right now I am sticking to running, with a few days of ab, leg and arm work; but nothing substantial. I am trying to be very careful and start off slow. I do love spinning and attend a class when I can. What can I say – I love my cardio!

Do you create these recipes on your own? You should try out for the next Food Network star. They don’t have any shows that focus on clean eating, vegan, organic, might be a great niche for you 😉

Thanks! I am actually very camera shy, but I guess if given the opportunity it would be pretty amazing that have a show! Recipes around the blog sphere is a touchy subject, or so I have seen. People use recipes, forget to give credit of the source, owners feelings get hurt and so on. My recipes have all been adapted from sources: whether that be from physical cookbooks, a combination of intuition and ingredients, Google searching, but I would have to say that I get a lot of my ideas from my fellow bloggers. I do, however, always give credit where credit is due.

What does your husband eat? do you cook for him? Does he follow your same eating lifestyle?

Kind of – sort of. He does eat meat and dairy, and will eat meat and dairy for the rest of his life. There is nothing I can say or do for him to change. I would LOVE if he would cut down his meat consumption but I know that will never happen. Since we eat so differently we rarely eat meals together. When I ate meat and dairy we always ate together and there never was an issue. Unfortunately,  we have argued about food and preparation now that I am a vegetarian, and was a pretty touchy subject when I first changed my ways. 
Even when I ate meat I was never the one that bought or cooked the meat. In fact, my husband cooked 90% of the time! That has dramatically switched, and I do more cooking for him and ALL of the cooking for myself. Raw meat really skeeves me out and I have NEVER been a fan of working or cooking with it. Plus, with his skills as being a certified chef, he knows the exact temperatures, seasonings and skills to cook meat. Me, not so much. Every day seems to be getting easier and better. He now has the understanding that this is not a temporary change for me.
Keep asking those questions! You can find the formspirng box on the right hand side of my blog. 

awareness, faq, health

What to do if you suspect a dairy intolerant baby

You asked the questions, now you have the answers!
I am doing another FAQ post that I believe is a very important topic: How do you know if your baby/child is dairy intolerant?

Here are two questions I have received on this subject:

Hello!! Love your blog!! Thanks for all the useful info so far 😉 I’m thinking my nursing baby may have a dairy intolerance…I’ve researched a bit online, but still not completely sure. Any knowledge on this that you could share?

AND

I realize you are probably quite busy, but wanted to ask you a question. I’m trying to eliminate most dairy from my diet, and I’m wondering…what are the best ways of getting enough calcium without taking a supplement?  I’m nursing my son and I suspect that he may have a diary sensitivity…still not sure.  I didn’t know if you could offer your advice! 

Unfortunately, and fortunately, I have no first hand advice when it comes to dairy intolerance in babies. J was never bothered by dairy nor did he have any allergies, and still doesn’t. (Knocks on wood) I asked my dear friend, Lyndsay, who suspected her darling daughter, A, of being dairy intolerant. She gives a very detailed response that I am sure will help any mother trying to decipher if their baby has a dairy problem. This is a very common problem in babies and should be dealt with as soon as you suspect something.

breastfeeding
Picture Source 

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I reluctantly determined my daughter was allergic to dairy around 5 months of age; to this day, it’s unofficially diagnosed. Prior to that, I considered all other alternatives because I was in complete denial. ☺ My sister attempted to convince me, since it runs heavily in our family, but I still refused. I even had my pediatrician prescribe her two dairy different reflux medications swearing it was just that, silent reflux. At any rate, I finally came to this conclusion because from birth she was a very cranky baby and she was often hard to comfort. I passed it off as being over stimulated, which may have been some of it. She also developed mild eczema. Her stools became mucousy (i.e. snot-like), unlike the green, seedy breastfeeding poop. She was a crappy sleeper, during the day and at night. So I gave it a shot, I cut out dairy for a few days and immediately I noticed an improvement in her disposition and her sleeping. Her poop also began to look more normal and her eczema faded away. I had thought it was silent reflux because she often arched her back while nursing; this is a sign of reflux. However, I later learned a dairy allergy could mimic reflux. My pediatrician was always reluctant to diagnose, despite my repeated testimonies about her allergy. My pediatrician only considers a food allergy when blood is present in a child’s stool; this was not the case with my daughter, at least there was no blood to the naked eye. We are currently scheduled for allergy testing in 2 weeks because I suspect she may have more allergies than just dairy. Unfortunately, food allergies run heavily in my family.

symbol-dairy-free Cutting out dairy from my diet, since I was breastfeeding, was fairly simple. My sister and her youngest daughter were both allergic, so she was a wealth of information on substitutes and what to avoid. The food industry also makes it fairly easy to avoid popular allergens by listing any allergens underneath the ingredients list. The hardest part of avoiding dairy was giving up my beloved ice cream, pizza, chocolate, etc. ☺ But I survived, another 10 months, without dairy and my daughter is still sensitive to this day; although, I quit breastfeeding when she was approximately 15 months old. We’re hoping she grows out of it, its possible up to the age of 2, but given our family history we know she may not. To this day if she has too much dairy, because she can tolerate a tiny amount, she is cranky (make that, very cranky), her poop becomes runny again, and her sleep is interrupted (this is from the stomach cramping I believe).

At any rate, avoiding dairy, as I mentioned previously, is  quite easy. There are tons of diary-free/vegan substitutes for butter, sour cream, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and godairyfreeeven cream cheese! Finding these dairy-free foods are easiest in the health food, organic aisle of your local grocer. But, again, all foods now must list the ingredients and any possible allergens, so even if your organic selection is limited you can just read the ingredient panel to know if you can eat it or not. Cooking with substitutes was fairly easy too. And, you can find a dairy free recipe for most anything! I found one for green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, and both were delicious! Thankfully, my daughter did not react to casein (aka caseinate), which is a milk derivative, so I didn’t have to avoid that. She was also not sensitive to foods made on equipment “shared” with dairy products.

Eating out initially was difficult, but my husband and I rarely eat out, so it didn’t bother me too much. Over time I learned to do some research before going to the restaurant and if that failed, then I would just ask the waiter to ask the kitchen staff or chef. Some restaurants are better than others, and once you get the hang of what you can eat, it’ll get easier just to look at the menu and know what to avoid. Like I mentioned, doing online research before hand can make menu selection quick and easy. I often just Google whatever restaurant we’re headed to and “dairy free”. Most popular chains have something online about it or someone else has already done the legwork for you to find out what’s dairy-free/vegan.

Overall, it was not that hard to cut out dairy in order to meet my goal of breastfeeding for one-year. Most people thought I was crazy to put myself through that, but it was a small sacrifice for giving my daughter what I believed was best, breast milk. Most of the time it did not bother me, but every now and then I was became depressed about what I could not eat. However, I usually quickly snapped out of it because there are really a ton of good-tasting substitutions. I wish anyone in this situation good luck as it can be a challenging and frustrating situation, but it can be done. Also, don’t give up on your instincts about what you may believe is a food allergy; some pediatricians are better than others in diagnosing one based on parents’ self reports vs actual testing.

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Thank you so much, Lyndsay! It’s very important to act on your instinct, just as Lyndsay did. Dairy intolerance in newborns is more common than parents tend to realize, causing both the child and parents more pain and tears than needed.

Here are some valued online sources that I have read not only for dairy intolerant children but for adults as well:

Go Dairy Free is a detailed website that offers wonderful recipes, incite and tips.

Wholesome Baby Food was, and still is, my online go to site for baby/toddler food, recipes and ideas. Believe me, it’s a foreign subject when your breast feeding baby starts to eat solid food. I had so many questions and this site cleared them up for me.

Vegan Society has been a wonderful resource for dairy-free recipes. While Lyndsay is not vegan, she used vegan sources to find ways to make her beloved recipes dairy free, and to gain more knowledge in living a dairy-free life.

But what about calcium?
Calcium is very important in growing children and adult women. We were always taught that milk, cheese and yogurt gave us the recommended daily serving of calcium we needed, 1000 MG. Contrary to belief, there are more effective and healthier ways to receive calcium than dairy.

For vegan eaters: each item is 100 grams / 3.53 ounce servings

Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate – 683 mg
Soybeans, raw – 277 mg
Almonds, raw – 248 mg
White Beans – 240 mg
Flaxseed – 199 mg
Turnip Greens, raw – 190 mg
1 cup of broccoli – 178 mg

Arugula, raw – 166 mg
Figs, dried and uncooked – 144 mg
Kale, raw – 135 mg
Spinach, raw – 99 mg

Here is the source of this information; along with 110 more foods that contain calcium. I was very surprised to see so many seeds and herbs on this list. While you would have to eat an enormous amount to meet the amount of calcium listed, it is comforting to know that besides flavor, spices, herbs and seeds do more good than we may have thought!

Dairy does more harm than good, in my opinion. Contrary to belief, it has no effect on osteoporosis, contains unhealthy cholesterol and saturated fat, is linked to the growing diabetes rate, and so on. This is a wonderful article stating the effects of dairy.

True, it tastes good but just as Lyndsay explained, after not eating dairy you really don’t miss it. Plus there are alternatives to everything located in the supermarket. Milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and so on. You just have to open your eyes.

I really hoped this post answered your dairy questions. I plan to continue doing my research on the effects of dairy and share with all of you soon. I would also love to hear your thoughts on this, as well! Do you or someone you know have a dairy problem? Did your children?

Healthy Eating,
ztashaz_thumb[1]

clean eating, faq, health, nutrition

Bloat – oh my!

Question of the day: I recently (within the last month) began eating vegan/vegetarian. Does the bloat/gas ever go away? Oy! Thanks! Trysha

Bloating This is a very common problem with new vegans and vegetarians, and happens to everyone! While it is rather annoying, rest assure you are not alone in this little, uncomfortable problem. And depending on what you were eating before – and many of us were eating cheeseburgers and fries – the journey into eating a cleaner, vegetarian/vegan diet can be a shock to our intestines.

Vegetables are loaded with fiber and alkalinity – meaning, they are very cleansing! And due to the fact that our bodies were being filled with grease and processed foods, there are a lot of unwanted toxins being stored in our digestive tracts. When we eat foods that are naturally high in fiber, it wakes up those toxins and pushes them out. The release is most likely to cause gas and bloating, but could also cause diarrhea.

Like I mentioned, these symptoms will calm down, leaving your tummy happy and quiet again. My digestive tract is healthy and regular now that I have cleaned up my eating. For years I suffered from constipation, severe abdominal pain and discomfort. If I had only known that eating a plant based diet would alleviate ALL of my digestive problems, I would have made this change years ago.

While you are waiting for your body to get back to feeling normal, here are some ways you can help the transition:

  • Be a food detective. Foods effect us all differently. I suggest examining and make note of what you are eating and when your gas/bloating occurs. For me, soy based products make me feel bloated (tofu, soy milk, faux meats). I try to limit my intake of such foods.
  • Drink your H2O. My water intake helps with my digestion. When I feel dehydrated I feel very bloated.
  • Get some exercise. Walking and/or running can help get things moving down there, literally. Remember, we have gas because our body is getting rid of toxins. And when we are active it helps the process speed up and lets us get back to feeling normal.

One suggestion I have for anyone wanting to transition into eating cleaner, whether that means omnivore, vegetarian, vegan or raw, is transition s l o w l y. Going from black to white over night will only add more discomfort. Your body is delicate and needs time to get used to new foods, and a new way of eating and living.

I hope that give you some peace of mind, Trysha! Good luck on your journey!

Healthy eating,
ztashaz_thumb[1]

clean eating, family, faq

Starting to eat clean

Question of the day: What are some really good starting out eating clean recipes for toddlers and family of 4?
Clean Eating is not as hard as it seems. In fact, once you start implementing this life style and change of eating into your daily life, clean eating helps to simplify your meal time.
basket Now remember, clean eating has many definitions depending on who you ask. To me it simply means: To eat from the Earth. But can it really be that simple while still pleasing a family of 4?
Yes. But transition slowly. Introduce new foods at every meal, and help your family become educated about their food choices. By showing them hard facts about the ever so “popular” foods they are used to consuming, they will start to appreciate the simplistic foods we all often forget about. Like carrots, beets, baby spinach and beans.
When someone wants to start eating clean, the first piece of advice I give is to make sure you have enough information. Read and research until you are blue in the face! This will help anyone to understand that Eating Clean is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. It’s not about deprivation, counting calories or having cheat days. Clean Eating changes the way individuals look at food, and helps them to understand that healthy, wholesome food is as much of a necessity in our life as the air we breath and the water we drink. dietYou can read my entire Clean Eating Philosophy here.
I love Tosca Reno’s books. They are much more than cookbooks; they are a guide to help this journey be painless and seamless. She describes in detail the foods we should be eating and the poisons we need to be eliminating. You will be surprised at how easy the recipes are, how delicious they can taste and how simple this way of life is.
Kids can be the worst critiques, though. Believe me, I know first hand! A few simple moves can warm your children to the idea of no more fast food and (gasp) more veggies!

  • Get them involved. Help them create the grocery list or give them a few items of their own to shop for. Children love to help, and the more they are involved the better they will be willing to accept something new.
  • Inspire the “little chef” inside of them. Look through cook books, have your child pick a recipe, then get cooking! You will be surprised at what your child really does or doesn’t like as far as food. When they make choices and decisions that shows them you have trust in them, and they will feel proud that they were able to help feed the entire family.

I hope these small suggestions help your new journey to eat healthier! I wish you the best of luck and years full of good eats!
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faq

Get your drink on!

Question of the day: I don’t use almond milk. I use cow’s milk. Can I replace cow’s milk for almond milk in a green monster?



Of course! In fact you don’t have to use milk at all if you prefer. I have made many Green Monsters just using water; although I do prefer a little thicker and flavorful base, such as almond milk. I have also used soy milk but I am not a huge fan of soy to begin with.


Question of the day: What is your favorite protein powder for smoothies?


Unfortunately, protein powders are very foreign to me as I do not use any form of protein powder in my shakes. I do however love Amazing Grass products. I used to make my shakes with Amazing Meal and they were wonderful! Amazing Grass products are raw, vegan and full of essential nutrients and vitamins. But for the last 6 months or so I only use fruit and spinach for my shakes. Sorry I wasn’t able to answer your question on protein powders. Does anyone have any good information on protein powders?
faq, jordan, mommy series

How I keep a little one busy enough to cook!

Question of the day:

You’ve gotten me hooked on Green Monsters! I was wondering if you have any advice for me, a stay at home mom of a one year old. How do you keep J busy in the kitchen while you cook, or do you prep during naptime/night time?

Aren’t Green Monsters the best!?

gm

In regards to J, he is at an age where he is still very curious of his surroundings yet stays by me closely. I try not to do a lot of cooking with him around my ankles as this could be potentially dangerous, but he keeps busy by rearranging the pots and pans, playing with the dry items in the pantry or he is busy playing with his own toys. Luckily our kitchen is connected to the family room and we spend 99% of our time in both of these rooms. It makes it very easy for me to keep an eye on him. I also do a lot of prep work while he is eating in his own high chair. I make sure I talk and sing to him while I am chopping – apparently he loves my pitchy tone! 😉

I do remember when he was younger and was just starting to walk – I would put him in his high chair and give him his own set of spoons, cups and other non-dangerous kitchen utensils to play with. Amazingly this would keep him entertained for a long time and I was able to get a lot of cooking/baking done this way.

I suggest to try incorporating your child in your kitchen. Although boundaries need to be set, like around the oven, but make it fun and exciting for your little one! Rearrange your cupboards so non-dangerous items are on the bottom for him to explore with. I know this means more clean up work for us moms, but when they are exploring new environments and touching new items they are learning and developing. Let them go wild and have fun with them!

kitchen kitchen2

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