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5 Tips for a Vegan-Easy Transition

Posted on 18 September, 2017 at 13:05 Comments comments (0)

This post is for all the amazing folks taking the next step in becoming a more "intentional" and "healthier" version of themselves.
Veganism is definitely the future, and all-inclusive. I believe everyone is somewhere along their journey to a plant based diet.  Some
may certainly be further along than others.

The following 5 tips are some items that can make that transition, much easier....


Prepare Weekday Proteins

By choosing one day to plan your meals for the week, you are able to determine what proteins you will need for each.

For example, Red lentil and Squash Stuffed Manicotti shells on Monday, Home-made Chilli with Kidney beans on Tuesday,  
Black bean and Quinoa burgers on Wednesday....    

Armed with your plan for the week, you now can prepare/cook the lentils and quinoa ahead of time, and place in the fridge.
You also can plan to make additional batches of one item (perhaps Chilli) and freeze for the following week.  

As well, a slow cooker is fabulous for the trending fall recipes.  It can safely and effortlessly be cooking a coconut chickpea curry,
while you are at work or school. A slow cooker is a very small investment for the amount of time/effort saved in the kitchen.


Make your own Trail/Salad/Soup Mix

A homemade mix composed of nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. can transform any plain salad or soup into a balanced meal.  
This is a great method to use while eating out, and not sure of the menu.  You can either snack, or supplement a main dish
by simply bringing a small sealed container, along with you, while travelling.  Power proteins like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds,
and sliced almonds can be mixed with raisins and dried cranberries.  I like to add my own version of  Vegan sesame sticks to the mix.


Vegan Sandwich Spread

Three popular Vegan sandwich spreads are tahini (sesame butter), guacamoli or simply avocado, and hummus.
I prefer these flavours and recommend them highly. 

Recently, I've started spreading artisan fermented nut cheese on "Everything!" There are three reasons for this.  It tastes fabulous, comes in many flavours, and is an easy way to get more "good gut" bacteria in your system. Try some today, if you haven't yet.  Your immune system will thank you for it.


Vegan Snacking

When a snack attack hits, as a Vegan, you want to be ready.  When others around you are indulging in cakes, cookies and other non-vegan snacks, you must refer to your arsenal!  If you prefer chocolate, choose your favourite non-dairy chocolate chips/chunks and keep them handy.
Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast sprinkled on top, is a great alternative to "cheesy poofs", and some popular potato chips are Vegan.

Preparing Vegan muffins and cookies are a nice weekend project. As well, it's alway a good idea to display fruit
(apples, bananas, mandarins, grapes) in "easy to see" spots in your kitchen.  


Read Allergy Warnings

There will be many labels to read, checking to ensure whether a product is Vegan or not. A tremendous time saver, would be to skip to the allergy warning portion of the ingredients listing. Due to their allergic nature, items such as milk, eggs and seafood are always featured, if included. By quickly glancing at the allergy warning of an item, you can save yourself an immense amount of time, in the grocery store.


For more helpful Tips, Recipes, and Weekly Meal Planner,  Join the Veggie network!



Spicy Vegan Anojitos

Posted on 12 September, 2017 at 5:25 Comments comments (0)

I am very happy to share with you, a recipe that is one of our first Veggie and Loving it! "Original recipes" to be published.  It is one of several, that I have been working on, in the last couple of months.

My daughter and I, have decided we will always provide meal ideas that are healthy, comforting, tasty and not too complex.  I think we all can agree, that time is precious, so if we can nourish our ourselves and/or our families, and save time in the kitchen... it's a win/win.


Anojitos, or "small bites" in Mexico, are known as Mexican street food and can be altered to your preference.  This recipe is great for an appetizer, or main course. Alongside it, I made a fresh salsa.  It also can be paired with either a salad or home-made soup.  


I had the pleasure of partnering with Artisan Vegan Cashew Cheese provider (Nuts for Cheese) on this, and look forward to sharing other recipes, utilizing their outstanding product.  Each flavour they offer (Unbrielievable, Smoky Artichoke and herb, Super Blue, Chipotle Cheddar, and Red Rind) is unique and delicious.  My husband, daughter and I, had tons of fun, comparing each of them and choosing our "top 3"!


Another great thing about their organic product, is the fact that it's made with a fermentation process, thereby making it truly beneficial, for our internal "gut" health.

But alas, back to our recipe...    "Chipotle Cheddar!" was the obvious choice for our Spicy Vegan Anojitos.


 


 See Recipe...




Keep Calm and Vegan On....

Posted on 27 June, 2017 at 11:30 Comments comments (0)



Yesterday, I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann. 

She is no doubt, a lady of true inspiration to us all, including Vegans/Vegetarians around the world.  She had just arrived back home, after joining a panel of medical experts at the Canberra, Australia premier of the popular documentary, "What the Health". I had a few questions for her, that you might find interesting.... 


What type of person becomes Vegan or Vegetarian?


According to Clare, she believes that there is a possible correlation with The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  Firstly, we must define ‘ethical’ in the context of veganism/vegetarianism. Veganism is a philosophy which influences a person to take every action not to be part of using animals in any way. Therefore, they do not eat or wear animals nor do they use products that have been tested on or have used animal substances. Many vegetarians stop eating animals because of ethical reasons as they too learn about the animal abuse, often but not always becoming vegan when they realize that their dietary choices to include dairy and eggs sadly collude with animal abuse to a great extent.

The MBTI is an introspective self-report questionnaire claiming to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions.  

It outlines the two rational functions people possess "thinking" and "feeling".  It also explains that either a person is a "thinker" or a "feeler" and uses this to guide themselves in decision-making, judging, and perception.  Those categorized as thinkers tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, looking at something as logical, consistent, following long-standing rules etc.  Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it 'from the inside' and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved. Thinkers usually have trouble interacting with people who are inconsistent or illogical, and tend to give very direct feedback to others. They are concerned with the truth and view it as more important. (Wikipedia)

With this definition of personality preference, Clare believes ethical Vegans are more likely to be “Feelers”. This doesn’t mean people with a preference for Thinking are not ethical, nor that they won’t become vegans or vegetarians, but that a high component of Feeling preference is likely to be correlated with such beliefs/actions.


What are some Psychological Benefits?


There are tremendous benefits.  When someone makes the decision to become Vegan, they are joining the rising tide of social awareness, and for themselves, experiencing an expansion in their compassion beyond human beings.  One can experience finding their chosen path, or purpose.  Something beyond themselves.  Their actions are focused toward a common goal of a new larger community or "family".  Kindness and Compassion also appears to activate different parts of the brain with areas associated with empathy, becoming enlarged. All these things no doubt have direct health benefits.


What is the best way to advocate Veganism?


"The best way to change the world is to change yourself".  That is first priority according to Clare.  Get your house in order.  If you have experienced larger amounts of ridicule and resistance to your choices, you may have anger issues that need to be calmed.  The same goes for those who could be traumatized due to awareness of animal abuse etc.  Your grief needs to be processed, not anger encouraged.

Calmness, and its counterpart anger is contagious so we can’t be a voice for animals if we are angry and despairing inside. If you open a conversation, in a non-judgmental tone and with the intention to be open-minded, good things often come.  Clare believes, if we can give people a nudge in the right direction on a consistent basis, people will are more likely to open their minds.

She also states, "You don't have to do everything."  You can choose one thing and be part of millions of people around the world who are contributing to a kinder world. For example, you might like to make "Vegan cupcakes", and that could be your contribution.  Bake them, talk about them, give them out, bake them for your next get-together.  This will provide ample opportunity for discussion and is a great form of advocacy.  

Many resources including books, films, and articles are available for someone to distribute to their friends and family.  


Valuable Takeaway


There is hope for the animals, the planet and our health; quite a bit actually.  The road to ethical plant-based living is paved with wonderful works being done, every day.

 

My daughter and I give great thanks to Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann, for providing such powerful insight.

 

Clare Mann

Vegan Psychologist, Author and Communications Trainer

http://veganpsychologist.com

http://vegan-voices.com


* Be sure to check out Clare's Essential Skills For Vegan Advocacy: Free Course

   as well as the smartphone App with free training on how to talk about veganism on Google Play  Vegan Voices



20 Summertime "on the go" Vegan Snacks

Posted on 4 May, 2017 at 0:50 Comments comments (0)


I like to think, that everyday is an opportunity to improve on the last.  With that in mind, I am constantly striving to be as nutritionally charged as I can, daily.  Whatever my meals looked like yesterday, can be altered to include new and interesting flavours, and textures, including vitamins/minerals.

Of course, it has alway been more difficult when shopping, travelling, or eating out. Like most vegans/vegetarians, I am faced with situations where, my choice in diet, is found to be a "tad limitting".

My solution was to get organized.  I  thought about what foods/snacks I preffered, what they tasted good with, and would travel/stay fresh "on the go".

I also looked at how filling or satisfying they were, and how much energy they might give me between meals.

Keep this list by the fridge or "on" the fridge, to make it a quick reference, before heading out the door.....



Home-made Almond Milk Made Quick and Easy

Posted on 28 April, 2017 at 14:00 Comments comments (0)


In the past, the thought of making home-made almond milk, made me tired.  Long drawn out processes, are always daunting. I am happy to say, I don't feel that way anymore.  After much consideration, I came up with a great idea, and it was simple.

If you've heard of the original process using cheesecloth and squeezing, I have simply replaced it, with the filtering action of the bodum.  The bodum was introduced by a Danish gentleman, Peter Bodum in 1944.  It is essentially a french press coffee maker, that was initially fitted with either a cheesecloth or metal filter.


The great thing is that most of the process takes place in the bodum, itself. Therefore, easy cleanup.

Here's what you do....


1.  Soak 1 cup of almonds for approxiamately 12 hours, in pure water, in the bodum

2.  Drain and rinse the almonds thoroughly in clean water

3.  Combine the almonds with 4 cups of water in your blender, and chop/mix thoroughly

4.  Pour mixture into bodum, and "press" or "plunge" 3 -4  times

5.  Now, pour out almond milk into glass pitcher

6.  Remaining chopped almond mix can be put into the blender again and more water added. Repeat #3 - #5, at least 2 more times


Essentially, you are trying to extract as much of the almond, as you can.  Thereby, making it more nutrient dense, smooth and delicious.

Sugar/ stevia or even dates can be used for sweetening.  Of course, cocoa powder is added (to taste) for your chocolate flavour.


Give it a try folks, and let me know your thoughts.......










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