Brown Girl Goes Green

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Yummy Veggie Lasagna June 7, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Recipes — backpackready @ 6:00 pm
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Veggies & spices I used:  Onions, garlic, celery, spaghetti squash, zucchini, mushrooms, shredded carrots, chickpeas, broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, rosemary.  *add or leave out certain veggies based on what is available to you and your personal taste*

Other ingredients needed:  wheat pasta, olive oil, tomato sauce.

How it’s done:  Saute onions and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil then add in your veggies. Cook veggies till fairly soft.  *You should be boiling your lasagna pasta-I like to add a little olive oil and salt in the water*

Next Step:  Drain cooked pasta.  Then what?  Line bottom of pan with pasta, veggie mix on top of that, then mozzarella layer and repeat 2x. *I like to sprinkle a little rosemary and garlic seasoning on top of the cheese before I put it in the oven.* Oven time:  Bake 35-40 min on 350°.

*If you decide to make it, let me know how it turns out 🙂

 

Quinoa: Put it on your plate. May 16, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 3:15 pm
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Although it looks like a grain, this nutritional powerhouse is actually a seed that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America and should be in your cabinet pronto.

Image

http://www.squawkfox.com/2008/08/12/how-to-cook-quinoa/

Why you should eat it?

  1.  It serves as a complete protein with 9 essential amino acids.  Jump on it vegetarians/vegans.
  2. High magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content
  3. Great source of insoluble fiber.
  4. Provides half the daily minimum requirement for manganese & is a good source of copper & zinc.
  5. Lower in carbohydrates than rice and other grains.
  6. Gluten free.
  7. Very filling.   
  8. Easy preparation:  2 parts water for every 1 cup. I usually add a teaspoon of EVO to the boiling water before I add my quinoa in.  Similar to brown rice in that it takes ~25 min to cook.

Brown Rice vs Quinoa

“A cup of cooked quinoa has 220 calories, 8 g protein, 3.5 g fat, 39.5 g carbohydrates and 5 g fiber. Quinoa is in fact slightly higher in fat, but it beats brown rice in the amounts of protein and dietary fiber per serving. Quinoa is a much better choice for vegetarians or vegans since it is more difficult to get enough protein in those types of diets. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids in it, whereas brown rice doesn’t make up a complete protein on its own”. From:  http://quinoanutrition.info/

 Image

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

http://www.naturalnews.com/034110_quinoa_nutrition.html#ixzz1v2rS5Gal

 

How to safely be a Vegetarian: Salads are NOT enough. April 29, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 7:57 pm
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 *** A Healthy Vegetarian is a Thoughtful Nutrient Focused Meal Planner***

Although there are many ethical, health, and environmental reasons for vegetarianism, it can be detrimental to your health if not carefully planned.  Animals serve as thoughtless/easy sources of protein, essential fatty acids, Iron, vitamin B 12, etc that may not be as easily obtained from nonmeat sources. I personally recommend a daily multivitamin for this lifestyle.

Beef is full of protein but cows don’t eat other animals… they eat grass!… so where do cows get their protein from?”

The Most common question a vegetarian is asked is, “Where do you get your protein?”  Protein is actually very available from beans, tofu, chickpeas, etc.  What you should be concerned about is Vitamin B12, Iron, & Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

21 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vegetarian-protein-sources.html

I’ll list a few common/easy vegetarian Protein Sources from the above webpage:  Garbanzo beans (14.5 grams), Soybeans (28 grams), 1 cup tofu (22 grams), 1 cup lentils (18 grams), 1 cup yogurt (13 grams), Avocado (10 grams).

There are many sites that list plant vitamin B12 sources, but unfortunately, vegetables, seaweed, and whatever other plant sources mentioned are NOT reliable sources of adequate B vitamins. The levels of B12 in plants are highly dependent on where it is grown, when it is picked, and how soon it is eaten after picking.  Although I consider myself a “clean eater”, the most reliable way to get sufficient B12 is via fortified cereals & B12 vitamin supplements which are inexpensive & effective. If you are not vegan;  Milk, yogurt, and eggs are great vitamin B12 sources.

Good, easy to read article on the importance of Vitamin B12 & appropriate sources: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/getting-enough-vitamin-B12.php

Iron Sources: Green leafy vegetables, prunes, chick peas, beans, millet.

12 Top Vegan Iron Sources & daily Iron Requirements: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html

 Tannins in Coffee & tea can decrease Iron absorption so don’t drink it within 2 hours of eating your iron rich foods.  I will emphasize that tea, especially Green Tea is an excellent source of antioxidants.  Just try to avoid drinking it with your high Iron foods.  Vitamin C increases absorption of Iron. So eat all the oranges and other vitamin C rich foods you want with Iron Sources. Conveniently, many foods that are rich in Iron are also rich in vitamin C.  Popeye must have been on to something 😉  Side Note:  If you decide to take Iron supplements, drink plenty of water and increase your  fiber intake,  as Iron supplements commonly cause constipation.

EFAs: flax seed oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.

EFA: Research articles-Good for those with science background: Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/640S.full . Vegetarian’s Challenge-Optimizing Essential Fatty Acid status http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020810p22.shtml (a bit easier to read than the first article)

Easy read to understand importance of essential fatty acids and sources: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/omega-3-vegetarians-vegans.php

 

Whatever your reason for considering vegetarianism, use those same reasons to work a little harder to ensure you obtain the nutrients you need for a full, long, healthy lifestyle that is free of animal cruelty. Besides…you’re not helping the cause when you are sick and malnourished with your hair falling out.

Wonderful link on nonmeat nutrient sources: http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/proteins.htm#efa

 

 

“Clean Eating”? What is it and what are the benefits? March 30, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean — backpackready @ 5:56 am
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Clean eating is not a fad or a “diet”. It is a way of life that supports health and wellbeing by avoiding overly processed foods with hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, added sugars, and anything else that unnatural.

Basic Guide

*Start Reading labels: Avoid foods with white flour, sugar & sugar substitutes, saturated fats & trans-fats.

*What you should be eating

Complex carbs with 100%  whole grains.  Don’t be tricked into buying “multi-grain” as it is NOT interchangeable with whole grains.  Good site for more info on this: http://nutritionmythbusters.blogspot.com/2011/01/myth-multi-grain-and-whole-grain.html

 

Fresh fruits and vegetables (I’ll tell you how to make this cheaper). 

Lean meats: chicken & fish whenever possible (not fried). Staying away from processed fatty meats (NoNos: spam, Vienna sausages, mystery meat, etc).

 

*The Big PurgeGet rid of “Dirty” foods: Adopt a no junk food allowed policy.  If it’s not in your house, you are less likely to eat it.  Parents, remember that you are not “punishing” your child by decreasing their access to foods that predispose them to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity.  I’ll avoid my soapbox, but if your 3 year old is crying for McDonalds it’s because you have been taking them there…jus sayin’.

*Any lifestyle change takes time, so be patient with yourself and with your family.  It’s perfectly normal to slip up sometimes (i.e office parties, birthday).  The longer and more committed you become to health and clean eating the less slip ups you will have. 

 

Slip ups can be discouraging. Here are few ways to stay on track….

# 1 Tip:  NEVER EVER be caught hungry and without healthy options.  This is achieved by always carrying a snack: keep a bag of almonds in your purse or car, have fruit (fresh or dried) available, take a sandwich with you. 

#2:  Extension of #1: Become a Snack believer.  And EAT BREAKFAST.  When you are hungry, you become preoccupied with EATING (clean or dirty…who cares? I’m starving).  STOP SAVING YOUR APPETITE. What exactly are you “saving it for”?  It’s food, not a pot of gold.  You’re probably hard to get along with when you’re hungry anyway. When you go into an “eating situation” you are more likely to make healthy choices when you are not starving.  That is what to-go boxes are made for.

#3: Ignore Diet sabatogers: Diet sabatogers are not necessarily evil people.  They are your coworkers, your parents, your friends. Remember that your body is a temple (I Corinthians 16:9…if getting biblical helps you). If they choose to put hydrogenated oils and trans fats in their temples, that is up to them.  But, they should not be allowed to force them in yours. You have chosen a lifestyle that supports vitality and health.  You can NOT be a people pleaser with your health.  So… if you choose to eat a slither of birthday cake, make sure it’s what you want, not because you are concerned with what others think.  Good article on Diet sabatoge: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52366. Good blog on saying NO to food pushers: http://www.shakebaby.com/healthy-eating-peer-pressure/

#4: Be cautious about broadcasting your lifestyle change.  This can sometimes put the aforementioned diet sabatogers and health haters in full gear. Some people are just jealous in advance. They can already see you looking and feeling better. 

#5: Change the way you think about food.  You should eat to live not live to eat.  Stop striving to be FULL!!  Stop eating when you are no longer hungry.  That “full” feeling means you have eaten too much.  Eat slowly, drink sips of water between every few bites, and enjoy your food, don’t inhale it.  

Examples of ways to avoid close calls and health sabatogers.

1.       Unfortunately most of the best social experiences have the “best” food. You can still enjoy cookouts, parties, and other gatherings with food (GWF) while avoiding slip-ups.

a.       Eat before you go.  Doesn’t have to be a full meal. I always have a bowl of oatmeal before GWF.  If you do this, you can focus on the people not the food.  And…if you choose to eat there, you are less likely to overindulge…think 2 chicken wings, not 5.

b.       Okay you were in a hurry and didn’t eat beforehand (tisk tisk).  Start drinking water as soon as you get there. Water may take the edge off your perceived hunger, allowing you to think logically, and you probably aren’t drinking enough water anyway. Bottoms up (with water).

c.        Start with a salad or fruit. Just remember that lettuce and tomatoes do not cancel out fried chicken, croutons, ranch dressing, and other calorie-rich salad toppers.

d.       Put smaller portions of food on your plate. If at a restaurant with large portions, immediately put half in a to-go box.  We have a tendency to want to “clean our plates”, so just have less food there.

2.       Avoid alcohol when possible.  Drunkà Waffle house, Krystals, and ihop.  nuff said.

Sources:

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.92.2.246

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nutr.21.1.323?journalCode=nutr

http://www.man-health-fitness-solutions.com/support-files/ultimate_guide.pdf#page=1037

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/014067369390350P

http://eatingcleanworks.com/what-is-eating-clean.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2049770_eat-clean.html

 

 
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