Browsing Category

Food

Food Recipes

Acai Bowl

When breakfast time roles around each day, I prefer to make something cold and refreshing. Usually I stick to fruit or a smoothie of some sort, whether that me a smoothie/smoothie bowl/nana ice cream. However, one of my absolute favourite breakfast meals is an acai bowl.

You’ve probably heard of acai (pronounced ah-sa-ee). It’s a super healthy berry that contains a whole lot of antioxidants that are amazing for your body. Not only is it nutritious, but it tastes great, hence why the acai bowl is so popular.

Well, let’s get into it then.

2016-04-25-018

F

Acai Bowl
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package of frozen acai (I use http://www.sambazon.com/products/) OR 1-2 tsp. of acai powder.
  2. 2 frozen bananas
  3. orange juice
  4. almond milk
  5. optional: fruit of choice (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, mango)
Instructions
  1. Before you make your acai bowl, you're going to want to have pre-frozen bananas ready to go. I like to buy a bunch of bananas, wait till they're spotty and ripe, then freeze them.
  2. Place your bananas in a high speed blender, and add your acai. (either the frozen package or the powder)
  3. Next, if you'd like, add in whatever other fruit you desire. I always like to add some frozen fruit from a package, preferably the mixed berry. (rasp, strawb, blueb, black)
  4. Depending on the consistency you want, you need to add in almond milk and orange juice. I only add in a tad bit of orange juice, then pour as much almond milk as I think I need. If i want the bowl to be thicker in consistency, I add less liquid.
  5. Finally, you blend it all together until it comes out creamy and smooth, and you can add your toppings of choice. Acai bowls taste great topped with banana and homemade granola!
Mindfully Bliss http://mindfullybliss.com/
Food Recipes

Vegan Mac N Cheese

Everyone loves mac n cheese, right? I mean, what’s not to love about a thick, warm cheese sauce drizzled over top of macaroni? As a kid, I loved making Kraft Dinner from the box. However, looking back now, that stuff is not healthy at all, and it has so many additives and gross ingredients that I wouldn’t even consider boxed KD food. Lucky for me, I discovered homemade VEGAN mac n cheese.

2016-10-08-022

This version doesn’t contain any bad stuff. No milk, no cheese, no additives, no problem. Instead of using dairy cheese, you use a bunch of different ingredients to get that cheesy taste and texture, one special ingredient being nutritional yeast.

Did you know that nutritional yeast is one of the only natural sources on this planet to contain vitamin B12, a vitamin that is very difficult to find in foods and that many people, vegans and non-vegans alike, are deficient in? How awesome is that!

Nutritional Yeast contains also B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat, and contains no added sugars or preservatives.

Along with nutrional yeast, this recipe also requires turmeric which is a great superfood, especially when you’re feeling sick or low on energy.

So this dish is basically super healthy 😉

2016-10-08-018

This recipe is super easy to make, and takes less than 20 minutes. The cheese sauce is a large batch, so feel free to store the extra in a tupperware container and have it throughout the week. You can even use it on other things, like nachos, burritos, etc.

Well, without further adue, let’s get onto it, shall we?

2016-10-08-020 2016-10-08-024 2016-10-08-025

Vegan Mac n Cheese
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups macaroni
  2. 3/4 cup soaked cashews
  3. 1/4 cup nutritonal yeast
  4. 1/2 a sweet potato (baked/boiled)
  5. 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (may need to add more based on how thick/thin you want the sauce)
  6. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  7. 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  8. 3 tbsp. tomato pasta or ketchup
  9. 1 tsp. onion powder
  10. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  11. 1 tsp. tumberic
  12. 1 tsp. paprika
  13. 1 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. You're going to need a pot and a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Begin my measuring out 4 cups of dry macaroni and pouring into boiling water.
  3. While the macaroni is cooking, you can begin making your sauce. First, add in 3/4 cup SOAKED cashews (These should be soaking in water for at least 5 hours prior to making the recipe)
  4. Peel and cut up half of a sweet potato, and boil in water, or microwave for 3 minutes (or until soft)
  5. While the potato is boiling, add all of the ingredients into the blender. Save the non-dairy milk for last, as you will need to add more or less depending on the consistency that you'd like your sauce to be. If you like it thick, add in less milk. If you want it thin, add more milk.
  6. Add in your sweet potato and blend everything together until smooth. You can play around and adjust to consistency to how you desire.
  7. Once the macaroni is finished cooking, drain it in the sink. Pour macaroni back into the pot, and pour on your cheese sauce.
  8. Mix it together well, and serve.
Mindfully Bliss http://mindfullybliss.com/

 

Food Vegan

Vegan Meal Ideas

When people don’t know what veganism is, or when they initially go vegan, they are unsure what to eat. “What do you even eat… lettuce?” Is often a question that vegans get asked. I have tons of recipes here on my blog, but I decided to make this post to represent a very simplistic/basic idea of the things that vegans/I eat on a regular basis.

I also know that ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos are super popular on YouTube, and people love to watch what others are eating. Everyone is different, so don’t watch someone’s video, or read someone’s blog or instagram and think that you need to eat exactly like them to be vegan. Some vegans are super healthy and eat 100% plant based foods. Other vegans are fully raw. Some vegans eat junk food and faux meat and cheese’s. Others may never eat vegan meats. Some people switch it up and have a bit of everything! I think the best and healthiest way to live and eat is solely up to YOU as an individual. Experiment in the kitchen, look up recipes online, try a bunch of different things out. But remember, you don’t have to stick to any certain regime of meals. If you love them, then hey, eat that every day! But the glorious thing about eating this way and living this lifestyle is that you can try something new every day.

My person favourites that I eat almost every single day would be nana ice cream or a smoothie for breakfast. This is routine for me because it’s what make me feel my best, so I have this every morning. For lunch (lately) I’ve been having salads. But I go through phases of eating the same thing for lunch/dinner every single day for a couple of months, and then I move on to something new. In the past my phases have been: avocado on toast, oatmeal, pb&j sandwiches. For dinner (lately), I’ve been rotating between salads, potato wedges, and pasta.

It’s funny because back in 2013, I literally ate oatmeal every single day for breakfast. Now, I can’t even eat it anymore. It doesn’t work well with my stomach. So I eat more fruity meals/smoothies, etc. Things change. Our bodies change. Every body is different. Remember that. And good luck 🙂 Below are some of my fav meal ideas. I hope you can try them out and enjoy them too!

Breakfast

LUNCH

DINNER

Food

Top 12 Ways to Use Avocado

Avocado’s are kind of a controversial vegetable because some people love em, and some people hate em. I feel like there’s no in between emotions around avo’s. Everyone I know that likes them is OBSESSED with them, and then other people I know absolutely hate them and think they’re gross.

2016-05-16 007

But this post isn’t for the avo haters. It’s for the avo lovers. The avo enthusiasts. And let’s be honest – you can literally put avocado on/with anything. But I’m going to keep a cap on things and give you the top 12 ways (or just 12 ways in general) you can use this magical green vegetable.

1. Avo on toast

This is the most basic and probably the most common use of avocado. So so many people use the avo on toast combo every day. I do. That’s what I have for lunch most days. Except I have it on fresh sourdough bread rather than toast. UGH. It’s just so damn good. And so quick + simple to make. How could anyone dislike this!?

2016-01-24 001

2.Mashed on salads

This is another favourite of mine. I’m not sure if it has become too popular yet, but I know a few people who mash their avo (or blend it) to put on salads. I like doing this because it adds some texture to the salad and makes it creamy. It’s also handy when making your own salad dressing. Just blend half an avo with half a mango, squeeze in some lemon or orange juice, and voila! Super tasty.

2015-08-28 032

3. Dip for fries

Do people do this? Well I do. I love making home-made fries and dipping them in ketchup and mashed avo. I don’t call it guac because I don’t add anything to. I just mash up an avocado and dip my fries in it.

IMG_7714

4. Guacamole

Guacamole – finally! Guac is a popular dip for many people. I absolutely loving getting burritos or nachos just to have that guac on it. So damn good and it just makes the food you’re eating so much creamier and tastier.

IMG_6317

5. Chocolate Pudding

This may sound gross, but you can even put avocado in…pudding. Don’t knock it till you try it! I thought it was a weird concept at first as well. But I swear, you can’t even taste it. There’s tons of recipes online so you can just Google a few until you find one you like. But basically it’s just avocado, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, maybe some dates, etc. You blend it all up in your food processor, chill it in the fridge for a bit, and I swear it tastes just like chocolate pudding.

IMG_1227

6. Face mask

Again, this may seem strange, but it’s awesome. You can mash up an avocado, add oats and lemon, and you have a little face mask. Add it to your skin for ten minutes or so, wash off, and your face will be extra smooth. Put some cucumber on your eyes to get the full effect.

7. Diced on pasta

A very simple way to get some extra avo in your diet would to just be dicing it on top of meals, such as pasta. I love the flavour combination of pasta, tomato sauce, and avocado. Again, it adds creaminess and a smooth texture to your pasta.

2015-05-23-058

8. Substitute for butter/Avo brownies

Many people use avocado as a butter substitute because of the texture. Because of this, you can add it to baked goods to replace butter. I’ve seen so many avocado brownie recipes; there’s tons you can choose from to try out!

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/vegan-brownies/

img_0431b

9. Avocado Ice Cream

You can even add avocado to ice cream! Seems crazy (and gross) right? But why do people always think adding avocado (or any vegetable for that matter) to desserts is so gross. If anything, the avo just serves as texture and you can’t even taste it. Give this one a try, it’s pretty amazing.

Vegan Creamy Chocolate-Avocado Ice Cream

10. Added in smoothies

This is quite popular, especially for green smoothies. Not only are avocado’s packed with nutrients and healthy fats, it adds a creamy texture to your smoothie that will leave you feeling rejuvinized. I suggest adding 2 bananas as your base, half an avocado, some spinach, maybe some peanut butter, hemp powder, etc. Play around and experiment until you find one that you love.

2016-05-27 045

13. Avo Hummus

I didn’t discover avocado hummus until last year, but oh my goodness, it is incredible. Two of my favourite things came together and created something so wonderful and tasty. MMMMM. I’ll let you try this one and let it speak for itself.

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/05/avocado-hummus/

12. Avocado Sushi

And finalllyyyy: last but not least, avocado sushi. This is one of my favourite foods to eat. I’m literally obsessed with avo sushi. Something about the texture of avocado, rice, and the nori paper is so desirable to me.

2016-01-14 024

Well that’s my list of my favourite ways to use avocado’s. Comment down below and share what yours are! 🙂

Katrina xx

For health benefits of avocado, click here: https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/

Article Food Health

The Healthiest Sugars

Everyone reading this probably uses sugar at some point in their day/week, right? There are tons of different sugars, from regular table sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, cane sugar, and other sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, barley malt, black strap molasses, and corn syrup.

When we eat sugar, we’re probably not too concerned with how healthy it is because we know that sugar isn’t healthy and that is not our purpose for eating it. However, what if I told you that there were two sugars that have tons of health benefits to them? Well, it’s true.. and those would be Date Sugar and Black Strap Molasses: the healthiest sugars.

Date Sugar

Dr. Michael Greger explains in the video below that most sugars are just empty calories; yes, even maple syrup and agave nectar. However, date sugar is the healthiest sweetener on the planet. He says how it’s not really ‘sugar’, it’s just dried dates pulsed into a powder. And since it’s the only whole plant food on there, it contains all it’s fiber and nutrients as any other fruit.

Benefits of dates include:

  • Good for digestion/aids in constipation. Dates have high levels of soluble fiber, which is essential in promoting healthy bowel movements and the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract, which can relieve symptoms of constipation.(x)
  • Bone strength: The significant amounts of minerals found in dates make it a super food for strengthening bones and fighting off painful and debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength.(x)
  • High in iron/good for anemia: The high level of iron balances out the inherent lack of iron in anemic patients, increasing energy and strength, while decreasing feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.(x)
  • Nervous System Health: The vitamins present in dates make it an ideal boost to nervous system health and functionality.(x)
  • Sexual Weakness: Studies have shown that dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina. (x)
  • Abdominal Cancer: Research has pointed towards dates being a legitimate way to reduce the risk and impact of abdominal cancer. (x)

Date+Sugar

Black Strap Molasses

Black Strap Molasses also contains many vitamins and nutrients. Although it has an acquired taste that many don’t like, you should still give it a try to add some extra nutrients into your meals. I take 1 tbsp every morning and since I don’t really like the taste that much, I take a big gulp of orange juice after.

“It has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product. The wonderment of blackstrap molasses is that it’s unlike refined sugar, which has zero nutritional value. Blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.”

  • It can be digested slower, which helps stabilize blood sugar in the body. (x)
  • Blackstrap molasses contains both calcium and magnesium, so it can help you guard against osteoporosis. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, 95 percent of iron, and 38 percent of magnesium. (x)
  • Great for people with anemia: Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 95 percent of your daily allowance of iron. (x)
  • Good for diabetics: Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet. (x)
  • Blackstrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements.(x)
  • Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant. (x)

Blackstrapmolasses

 

 

Food Health

Carbs and Fruit Sugar Myths

I often hear people expressing their concerns regarding the amounts of sugar found in fruit, as well as being afraid to eat too many carbs. People consider fruit ‘bad’ if you eat too much because of the high amounts of sugar, and people have this negative connotation with eating carbs for some reason because those are the thoughts that society has instilled into us for a long time. So I’m going to break things down for you and explain things, scientifically, so you stop fearing fruit-sugar and carbohydrates.

#1. CARBS

CARBS ARE GOOD FOR THE BODY!!

Firstly, there is a difference between good carbs and bad carbs.

Simple Carbohydrates/BAD CARBS are things like refined fructose and glucose which are found in white flour/starch (white bread, white refined sugar) and are “empty calories”. One thing to stay away from is high fructose corn syrup found in sodas and processed foods.

Complex Carbohydrate/GOOD CARBS are fruits, vegetables, whole grains (oats, rye, quinoa, rice, etc), beans, legumes, pasta, potatoes, certain bread, etc.

“In general, the more refined, or “whiter,” the grain-based food, the lower the fiber.

“Added sugars, also known as caloric sweeteners, are sugars and syrups that are added to foods at the table or during processing or preparation (such as high fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and baked products)” – http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/carbohydrates?page=2

good-carbs-vs-bad-carbs

SECONDLY, we are brainwashed into believing that carbs are bad for us.

Carbs are not bad for you. I’m not sure why we have grown up in a society that frowns on carbs? When did it become such a hip/trendy thing for carbs to be bad. If you recall the Mean Girls quote by Regina George: “Is butter a carb?” you can understand why girls have this fear of consuming carbs.

Michael Pollan discusses the carb phenomena in his book The Omnivores Dilemma. He states how in 2002, a New York Times magazine claimed that “fat doesn’t make you fat – carbs do”. This caused a downwards spiral effect of all carb products such as bread and pasta. All of the grocery stores and supermarkets restocked their shelves and changed product placement in fear of the carbs. Atkins and other fad diets let people believe that they could still eat meat and lose weight, as long as they laid off the bread and pasta.

NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

“In September 2002, the National Academies Institute of Medicine recommended that people focus on getting more good carbs with fiber into their diet.”

  • To meet the body’s daily nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein.
  • There is only one way to get fiber — eat plant foods. Plants such as fruits and vegetables are quality carbohydrates that are loaded with fiber. Studies show an increased risk for heart disease with low-fiber diets. There is also some evidence to suggest that fiber in the diet may also help to prevent colon cancer and promote weight control.

#2. SUGAR IN FRUIT

Sugar from fruit is not equivalent to processed, white refined table sugar. It is not stripped from its whole form and won’t cause your blood pressure to sky rocket and crash later.

It’s release is regulated by the water and fibre, and because of that, it does not have the same effects as white sugar.

FRUIT PLATTER

“The soluble fiber in the berries has a gelling effect in our intestines that slows the release of sugars.” http://www.care2.com/greenliving/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit.html#ixzz3rNdi38Q1

“Sugar as it occurs in whole foods is not an issue; in fact, it is necessary and should be embraced. It’s a problem only when it is extracted from its natural package and used to excess. Also, the foods highest in added sugars frequently are higher in added fats, sodium, refined flours, and animal products, making them unhealthy for a variety of reasons and not just because of the added sugars.” – Forks over Knives

“Fresh fruit offers so much more than the natural sugar it contains – including water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (those naturally-occurring plant compounds that have wide ranging beneficial effects on the body).

“Faced with a serving of fruit, how much sugar are we talking about, anyway? An average orange has only about 12 grams of natural sugar (about 3 teaspoons) and a cup of strawberries has only about 7 grams – that’s less than two teaspoons. And either way, you’re also getting 3 grams of fiber, about a full day’s worth of vitamin C, healthy antioxidants and some folic acid and potassium to boot – and it’ll only cost you about 50 or 60 calories. “All sugar”? I think not.

By contrast, a 20-ounce cola will set you back about 225 calories and, needless to say, won’t be supplying any antioxidants, vitamins, minerals or fiber. You’ll just be chugging down some carbonated water, maybe some artificial color and flavor, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 grams of added sugar – about 1/3 of a cup.” – http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2011/02/the-truth-about-sugars-in-fruit/

 

So in conclusion, carbs are not the enemy, and you will not get fat from the sugar in fruit. Enjoy these foods in abundance.

For more information, check out these books:

The Starch Solution – Dr. John McDougall  (STARCHES+COOKED FOODS = GOOD FOR YOU)

80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas Graham (RAW FRUITS + VEGGIES = GOOD FOR YOU)

Food Product Review

The Rawesome Vegan Cook Book Review

Hey you! Do you like cooking? Do you like being healthy? Do you appreciate vegan food? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I know the perfect thing for you:

The Rawesome Vegan Cook Book!

IMG_0994

On December 8th of this month, my friend Emily from This Rawesome Vegan Life released her (third!!) cook book. Her first two were best sellers and her blog is an award winner, so you could say she’s pretty popular. I actually did an interview with Emily a few months back on my blog which you can read here.

I was also lucky enough to meet Emily in person in October when she was here visiting the city of Toronto. She’s a super sweet down to earth human who I absolutely adore.

BUT ANYWAYS, to her cook book.

2015-12-11 035

This cook book is amazing to say the least. It is packed with tons of healthy and yummy recipes. The first half are raw, the second half are lightly cooked. I skimmed through the book when it first arrived in my hands and I was just in awe at the photography. Not only is Emily a genius in the kitchen, she’s an amazing photographer and all of the photos had me drooling. I didn’t know which recipe to make first.

I ended up deciding on her Mac n Cheese because I freaking love mac n cheese and who could turn down a warm home cooked meal like that?

IMG_0988

If you want the recipe, you’re going to have to purchase her cook book 😉 However I will tease you with some photos I snapped throughout the process:

IMG_1045 IMG_1051 IMG_1112 IMG_1074 2015-12-11 044

The final result? Amazing, of course. I’ve tried other mac n cheese recipes before, but something was so different and unique about this one and it literally tasted like “real” mac n cheese. (The old stuff I used to make from a box, ya know? But better)

I can tell Emily put so much hard work and dedication into this book. It is a master piece and I must try every single recipe. Her cook book is suitable for everyone, not just vegans or vegetarians. Whether you’re vegan, paleo, gluten free, full meataterian or whatever your diet preference, this cook book could work for you.

What I love most about the cook book is that the recipes are pretty simple and straight forward. No super long ingredient lists or complex recipes that make your head spin. So with that being said, it will be even easier for me to make my way through the book.

But enough from me – I’ll let you be the judge. Go out and get yours now: http://www.amazon.com/Rawsome-Vegan-Cookbook-Lightly-Cooked-Gluten-Free/dp/1624141714/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435111760&sr=8-1&keywords=the+rawsome+vegan+cookbook&pebp=1435111761975&perid=1SBG2Z8MW04DXSWSZ972

2015-12-11 042

Food Recipes

Brownie Batter Blizzard

Before I was vegan, one of my absolute favourite desserts was a Dairy Queen Brownie Batter Blizzard. I cannot even explain the excitement I would get to go and order this thing. And then they’d tip it upside before handing it to me. Oh my goodness, it was so delicious. So thick and creamy and chocolatey, with soft gooey pieces of brownie all stirred into the mix. MMMMM.

2015-10-18 014

Okay I’m getting a bit carried away. My point is, Brownie Batter Blizzards were the bomb. Also a mouth full to say. BBB. One of my favourite hobbies is recreating my favourite non-vegan foods/desserts, and turning them into vegan friendly versions. Not only are they healthier, but even yummier!

So without further ado, I present to you, my very own.. Brownie Batter Blizzard!

BBBlizzard

Brownie Batter Blizzard
Serves 1
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 frozen bananas
  2. 1 tsp. carob powder (or cocoa/cacao powder)
  3. 1 tsp. peanut butter
  4. 3/4 cup almond milk
  5. 2 vegan brownies
  6. optional: chocolate sauce
Instructions
  1. Prior to making your blizzard, you're going to want to freeze your bananas the night before. I always wait till mine are ripe and spotty, then I freeze a bunch so that they're ready when I need them.
  2. When you're ready to make your blizzard, place two frozen bananas in a high-speed blender.
  3. Add in 3/4 cup of almond milk (you can add more or less depending on how thick or runny you like it)
  4. Add in 1 tsp. of carob powder and 1 tsp. of peanut butter.
  5. Blend everything together until it's smooth, then stir in your brownie chunks. (You can find my homemade brownie recipe linked below)
  6. Drizzle on some chocolate sauce (1 tsp. almond milk, 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1 tsp. carob powder)
  7. And enjoy!
Mindfully Bliss http://mindfullybliss.com/
 My recipe for chocolate fudge vegan brownies: http://mindfullybliss.com/chocolate-fudge-brownies/

2015-10-18 015 2015-10-18 013

Food Health

Vegan Vitamins and Nutrients

One of the biggest misconceptions about going vegan is that you won’t get any vitamins and nutrients. We’ve grown up in a society that tells us that we need to get protein from meat, and calcium from milk. So when you switch over to this completely new and different lifestyle, it can be scary, and you may not know anything. So that is why I created this post; to show you that YES, it is possible, and very easy, to get every single essential vitamin, mineral, and nutrient that your body needs to thrive.

Some vegans take supplements, some vegans don’t. It’s all up to you really, and you need to be smart about it. Personally, I eat a ton of fruits and veggies, and can be certain I’m getting all of my nutrients (yes, even B12. I eat nutritional yeast and spirulina every day, and the almond milk we buy is fortified with it). But if you cannot guarantee getting every single vitamin or nutrient, then don’t be afraid to take supplements! Most people who eat meat, dairy and eggs have to take supplements, so it’s perfectly normal.

VITAMIN A (beta-carotene)

  • Bright yellow and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, and apricots.
  • Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
  • Other sources of beta-carotene include broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables.

VITAMIN B1 (thiamin)

  • baker’s yeast (active yeast), nutritional yeast (nonactive yeast), coriander, pine nuts, Jerusalem artichokes, hibiscus tea, watermelon, whole grains, acorn squash, soymilk, soybeans, rice bran, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts (or butter), tahini, sesame seeds, spirulina, green peas, most beans, asparagus

VITAMIN B2 (riboflavin)

  • cereal grasses, whole grains, almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, fortified soy milk, spirulina, mushrooms, beet greens, quinoa, buckwheat, prunes

VITAMIN B3 (niacin)

  • baker’s yeast (active yeast), nutritional yeast (nonactive yeast), coffee, chili powder, spirulina, peanuts, peanut butter, rice bran, mushrooms, barley, durian fruit, potatoes, tomatoes, millet, chia, whole grains, wild rice, buckwheat, green peas, avocados, sunflower seeds, tahini

VITAMIN B5 (pantothenic Acid)

  • baker’s yeast (active yeast), nutritional yeast (nonactive yeast), paprika, mushrooms, sunflower seeds (and sunbutter), whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomatoes, soy milk, rice bran, sweet potatoes

VITAMIN B6 (pyridoxine)

  • all soy products (choose non-GMO), bananas, watermelon, peanut butter, almonds, sweet potatoes, green peas, avocados, hemp seeds, spirulina, chia seeds, beans, rice bran, chickpeas, prunes, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pineapple, plantains, hearts of palm, artichokes, water chesnuts, all squash and pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, green beans, pistachios, figs, nutritional yeast, baker’s yeast (active yeast), garlic, sage, peppers, kale, collards

VITAMIN B7 (biotin)

  • almonds, chia, peanuts, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, onions, oats, tomatoes, carrots, walnuts

VITAMIN B9 (folate)

  • spinach, beans, lentils, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, avocados, mangoes, oranges, most whole grains, nutritional yeast (nonactive yeast), baker’s yeast (active yeast), basil, soy products, peanuts, artichokes, cantaloupe, walnuts, flax, sesame, cauliflower, tahini, sunflower seeds, peas, okra, celery, hazelnuts, mint, leeks, chesnuts

VITAMIN B12 (cobalamin) *

  • nutritional yeast (one of the best), spirulina (best source), soy products, fortified cereals (choose an organic, non-GMO brand), fortified almond milk (Silk), fortified coconut milk (Silk), some vegan protein powders.

“As you can see, you can usually obtain all the B vitamins you need from vegan foods alone. You should take specific caution to take a Vitamin B12 supplement if you do not take one already, or you don’t consume at least one teaspoon or spirulina per day or at least 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast per day. Both those sources in the specified amounts provide over 100% of the daily values. In terms of the other vitamins, it’s quite easy to get enough through your diet or you can simply take a vegan B complex supplement.” – http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/b-vitamins-how-to-get-them-in-a-vegan-diet/

VITAMIN D*

“For almost all of human history, humans got their vitamin D from sun exposure. In fact, before the days of fortification, it would have been pretty hard to get enough from food. The only food sources were certain fatty fish, and you would have had to eat a lot of them to meet vitamin D needs.

Even the most common fortified food in the U.S. diet—cow’s milk—doesn’t have enough vitamin D to meet daily needs.

In many parts of the world, it’s impossible to make enough vitamin D during the colder months. So, although vitamin D is sometimes thought of as a “vegan issue” in nutrition, it’s really not – vitamin D is hard to come by for everyone. Supplements are the best answer for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans.” – http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-health/meeting-vitamin-d-needs-on-a-vegan-diet/

With that being said, here are some foods that contain vitamin D:

  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Chanterelle mushrooms, raw
  • Fortified foods/drinks such as soymilk, almond milk, organge juice, soy yogurt, etc.

VITAMIN C

  • orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon
  • Dark leafy greens, broccoli, etc.
  • Papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, and raspberries

IRON

  • Tofu (1/2 cup): 6.6 mg
  • Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg
  • Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4.4 mg
  • Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg
  • Quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg
  • Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4 mg
  • Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg
  • White beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg
  • Dried apricots (1 cup): 3.5 mg
  • Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3.2 mg
  • Dried peaches (6 halves): 3.1 mg
  • Prune juice (8 ounces): 3 mg
  • Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg
  • Peas (1 cup): 2.1 mg

CALCIUM

  • Kale (1 cup contains 180 mg)
  • Collard Greens (1 cup contains over 350 mg)
  • Blackstrap Molasses (2 tablespoons contains 400 mg)
  • Tempeh (1 cup contains 215 mg)
  • Turnip Greens (1 cup contains 250 mg)
  • Fortified non-dairy milk (1 cup contains 200-300 mg)
  • Hemp milk (1 cup contains 460 mg)
  • Fortified orange juice (1 cup contains 300 mg)
  • Tahini (2 tablespoons contains 130 mg)
  • Almond butter (2 tablespoons contains 85 mg)
  • Great northern beans (1 cup contains 120 mg)
  • Soybeans (1 cup contains 175 mg)
  • Broccoli (1 cup contains 95 mg)
  • Raw fennel (1 medium bulb contains 115 mg)
  • Blackberries (1 cup contains 40 mg)
  • Black Currants (1 cup contains 62 mg)
  • Oranges (1 orange contains between 50 and 60 mg)
  • Dried apricots (1/2 cup contains 35 mg)
  • Figs (1/2 cup contains 120 mg)
  • Dates (1/2 cup contains 35 mg)
  • Artichoke (1 medium artichoke contains 55 mg)
  • Roasted sesame seeds (1 oz. contains 35 mg)
  • Adzuki beans (1 cup contains 65 mg)
  • Navy beans (1 cup contains 125 mg)
  • Amaranth (1 cup contains 275 mg)

PROTEIN

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans =14.5 grams
  • 1 cup pinto beans =12 grams
  • 1 cup refried beans =15.5 grams
  • 1 cup soybeans =28 grams
  • 1 oz. cashews =4.4 grams
  • 1 oz. peanuts =6.5 grams
  • 1 oz. sesame seeds =6.5 grams
  • 1 oz. pistachios =5.8 grams
  • 1 cup tofu =22 grams
  • 1 cup lentils =18 grams
  • 1 avocado =10 grams
  • 1 cup broccoli =5 grams
  • 1 cup spinach =5 grams
  • 1 cup peas =9 grams
  • 1 medium artichoke =4 grams
  • 1 cup asparagus =5 grams
  • 1 cup beet greens =3 grams

ALMOST EVERYTHING CONTAINS PROTEIN!! Not getting enough protein is not the problem. Getting too much protein is the problem. http://mindfullybliss.com/the-obsession-with-protein/

(lentils, cous cous,tofu, potatoes, seitan, tempeh, quinoa, peanuts, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, almonds, whole wheat bread, black beans, rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, cashews, artichoke, corn, peas, avocado, banana, pumpkin seeds, watermelon, spinach, flaxseeds, broccoli, pecans, kidney beans, rye bread, popcorn, steel cut oats, soybeans, etc)

 

FIBRE

I guess this isn’t a problem for vegans as much as it is meat-eaters. People often ask vegans and vegetarians, “how do you get your protein?” But the real question to them is, “how do you get your fibre?” Fibre is super important in our diets, and can help people lose weight. Everybody should be getting fibre in their diet. That means eating lots of:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Quinoa
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Flax Seed
  • Chia Seeds

OMEGA 3 – ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

  • Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds
  • Dark leafy greens: romaine, arugala, spinach
  • Beans: navy beans, kidney beans, soybeans
  • Cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts
  • Winter Squash

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/plant-based-foods-with-the-highest-amount-of-omega-3-fatty-acids/

Good sources of omega-3 fats are the oils of some nuts and seeds such as flax, mustard, hemp, rapeseed and walnuts. Making rapeseed (canola) oil your primary kitchen oil is an affordable, straight-forward approach to obtaining good fats. Why not try hemp milk and spirulina powder (also high in omega-3) in smoothies, walnuts on your breakfast cereal, or ground flax seeds in baking?

Other sources of omega-3 include green leafy vegetables, soya and grains; however, vegans should not rely on these sources as they tend to be high in omega-6, which can inhibit omega-3 uptake.

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/omega-3-and-omega-6

OMEGA 6

Vegan diets, which tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds already gain enough omega-6 to be healthy. The trick is to make sure you’re not consuming too much omega-6 compared to omega-3.

MAGNESIUM

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Pumpkin seeds, flax seed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Dark Chocolate = more than 100 milligrams per ounce
  • Almonds = 84 milligrams per ounce
  • Lentils = 1 cup serving of lentils provides approximately 70 mg of magnesium, or as much as 20 percent of your daily value.
  • Bananas = One banana provides 32 mg, according to the U.S. National Nutrient Database.

http://www.care2.com/causes/5-surprisingly-yummy-sources-of-magnesium-2.html#ixzz3p1o0vPUC

SELENIUM

The adult RDA (Recommended Daily or Dietary Allowance) is 55 mcg (microgram) of selenium. For safety, don’t have more than 400 mcg each day.

Brazil nuts can be high in selenium: a Brazil nut grown in selenium-rich soil may contain half of your RDA! Wholegrains, beans and white rice may also be rich in the mineral. It is recommended to eat one or two Brazil nuts each day, or take a reliable selenium supplement. However, be careful not to eat more than 3-4 Brazil nuts each day due to selenium’s toxicity. – https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/selenium

  • brazilnuts (30g)
  • spaghetti (215g)
  • Couscous (140g)
  • soybean kernels (250ml)
  • shiitake (85g)
  • whole-grain wheat flour (30g)
  • sunflower seeds (30g)
  • rye (45g)

http://selenium.rich-vegan-foods.com/

PHOSPHORUS

  • Yellow beans (100g=488m)
  • Soybeans (250ml=445mg)
  • Lentils (250ml=377mg)
  • Pumpkin seed kernels (30g=370mg)
  • Toasted sunflower seed kernels (30g=347mg)
  • Falafel (140g=269mg)
  • Brazil nuts (30g=218mg)

ZINC

We need 8-11 mg of zinc per day, though the Institute of Medicine has suggested that vegans with high intakes of unrefined grains might need 50% more zinc than recommended.

  • Tofu, tempeh, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and fortified products (like breakfast cereal and meat substitutes

To increase the uptake of zinc you can toast nuts and seeds, choose risen bread over flatbread and drink orange juice with each meal. While unrefined grains tend to be higher in phytate, wholegrain bread’s higher zinc levels make up for its poor absorption – so you don’t have to give up on the other nutritious benefits wholegrain provides.

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/zinc

 

Article Food Health Vegan

Is Eating Meat a Personal Choice?

So often I hear people say, “I respect vegan’s choice not to eat meat, and they should respect my choice to eat meat.”

“Each to one’s own”

“You do your thing, I’ll do mine”

shutterstock9723865This argument is dangerously flawed in many ways. The first factor being that the individual saying this is clearly thinking about THEIR choice, but not the choice of the animal. The cow/pig/chicken that you are eating did not have a choice. They were taken and killed against their will. This argument will be irrelevant for people who do not care about farm animals, and solely believe that they are “just food”. But to anyone else who may have an inkling of compassion in their hearts for those poor farm animals; you are neglecting the choice that they did not get.

The second factor of this argument is that it really isn’t a ‘personal choice’, as it does more than just affect that individual. Animal agriculture and factory farming are the leading causes of environmental destruction due to the amount of resources (water, food, land, etc), and greenhouse gasses used to keep these animals alive to turn into food. So when you eat that burger, you aren’t just affecting your own life; you are affecting the entire planet. (See sources here.)

Not plucking one’s eyebrows is a personal choice. Going bald is one’s personal choice. Heck, not showering for a week is someone’s personal choice. These are choices that solely effect that one individual. But there are many things in this world that are more than just personal choices. For instance; wearing makeup. I was originally going to say in this post “wearing make-up is a personal choice!” But is it? Most of the brands out there test on animals. So if you wear the majority of the popular make-up brands, you are contributing to the testing and deaths of  innocent animals. And people will say “but I love make-up; it makes me feel happy/confident/insert emotion here. That’s fine! You are allowed to wear make-up! But individuals should be aware about what they are putting their money into. So it is a choice to participate in that, or you can choose to wear cruelty free brands. 

When people choose to continue to pay for animal by-products, they are giving into the demand. If we all suddenly stopped eating meat, that demand would go away, causing the need to kill animals to decrease.

You see, we all make a difference in this world, whether you know it or not. When you purchase animal by-products, you are shaping how this world will turn out. So it is up to you whether you make a positive or negative choice.

It bothers me that people also refer to veganism as a ‘belief’ or even a diet. They say, “Don’t shove your religion down other people’s throats”. But when did justice and compassion become equivalent to Christianity or Judaism? It didn’t. It is not a belief or a religion or a diet; it is way beyond that. Stopping the slaughter of sentient beings is not something that you choose to ‘believe’ in; it is choosing to do something that is morally and ethically right.

180764_dbdac4eea9aa2bd7339c240a3bd44322_largeI guess it all stems from the argument, are we all equal? Many people do not think so. Humanity feels superior for many reasons. But once you take away those layers, and strip it down to the basic thinking, you realize we were all created on this earth for a purpose; we are all earthlings and we are all equal. When egotistical/ superior thinking comes into play, humans get cocky and become know-it-alls. “We need meat to survive” “We’ve been doing it for thousands of years” “Animals can’t feel pain; they don’t have souls; we’re supposed to eat them”

Yeah, only until we’re not.

If we can survive without meat, then why are we still eating it?

Habits. Culture. History. Taste.

Those are difficult barriers to break through. Difficult; but not impossible.

I did it. Many people did it. You just have to find your true reasons for wanting to go vegan; something that clicks in your brain and makes you say ‘hey, you’re right. Why are we still killing animals and destroying our planet?’

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

We can do this.

So no, I don’t think eating meat is a personal choice. I think it is a very public choice that affects the entire planet and it’s species. Oceans, rainforests, third world countries, North America, etc. It affects everything.

So today you have a choice; what kind of change will you make for this world?