Monday, June 17, 2019

Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce




This post shows you how eating tasty whole food plant based meals with plenty of color rich produce simplifies food planning tasks, improves mood, enhances wellness, and maintains vitality. 

Let me explain...

A whole food vegan eating plan is naturally low in calories and high in fiber. 

People like me who eat this way find they're able to eat large portions without gaining weight or feeling deprived, hungry, or stuffed.

Keep in mind, "whole food plant based/vegan" means recipes contain no animal products or highly processed foods, as well as no added oil, sugar, and salt. 

Nowadays most people understand it's wise to eat at least 5-9 servings of colorful fruits, veggies, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains each day

Those of us who eat both raw and cooked veggies and fruits daily get an ample supply of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients necessary to fuel our body, decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases, give us pep, and feel more joy in living.

Hang in with me, and I'll show you ways food including cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are flavorful and raise the body's natural immunity to illness


Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce




1. Eat all food with mindful awareness, both at home and away. This will help you make conscious food choices.

2. Remember, the human body runs most efficiently on food that is in its natural form, or very close to it. 

3. Visualize yourself preparing and eating at least one new whole food plant-based meal a week. Envisioning a positive outcome will increase the chance of your success. Read 10 Secrets for Eating Healthy on a Budget for information and motivation.

4. Before you head off to the market, check for specials and make a shopping list. 

5. Most whole food plant-based recipes are simple to make. Love  Veggie Chili? It's economical, delicious, and a one pot meal fit for your family or a crowd. For other colorful whole food plant-based ideas I enjoy using Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's cookbook, Color Me Vegan.

6. Once you're in the market, notice whether your list includes a range of colors like those in the rainbow. For example I love brightly colored red peppers, arugula, oranges, watermelon, collard greens, and ears of corn. How many of the veggies and fruits shown in the photo below do you know? 

Leave the store as soon as you find list items to avoid impulse shopping, but check out prep and recipe ideas for those you don't know much about. 



7. Don't overshop. Select those plant-based ingredients you know you will prepare or cook/freeze right away. Eating fresh fruits and veggies as close to the time when your food was harvested, makes good nutrition sense. Making double portions and freezing some to use later saves time and energy in the long run. It also cuts down on food spoilage and waste.

8. Purchase high soluble fiber foods including old fashioned and steel cut oatmeal, millet, barley, black beans, lentils and peas, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes to keep all systems moving.

9. If you buy packaged, frozen, or canned foods, read every label. Here's how to do it

Nix those items with a long ingredient list. Products that are highly processed, usually contain additives, preservatives, and/or empty calories from too much salt, oil, or sugar.

10. Plant proteins are important elements of any healthy whole food plan, and these are good ones to know.


Organic Tofu Protein: 8 to 15 grams (depends on how it's made) per 3 oz. serving

Organic Edamame. Protein: 18 grams per 1-cup serving, cooked


Organic Tempeh. Protein: 3 oz. supply 15.77 grams cooked

Black Beans. Protein: 15 grams per cup, cooked

Mixed Salad Greens. Protein. 2 cups raw provides 2 grams

Spinach. Protein: 1-cup serving provides 1-3 grams, depending on whether it's raw or cooked.


Broccoli. Protein: 1-cup chopped serving provides 2.6 grams


Zucchini. Protein: 2.9 grams in one zucchini

Kale. Protein: 1 cup chopped kale has 2.9 grams

Split Green Peas. Protein: 16 grams per cup, cooked

Sweet Potatoes. Protein: 1 cup provides 2.1 grams

Almonds. Protein: 1 oz. of raw almonds provides 6 grams 


Brazil Nuts. Protein: 6 raw nuts or 1 oz. provides 4.1 grams


Pecans. Protein: 1 oz. raw provides 2.6 grams


Walnuts. Protein: 1 oz. raw walnuts provides 2.6 grams

Almond Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 7 grams


Cashew Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 6 grams


Peanut Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 8 grams ( I don't eat peanuts, but include this for your information)


Sunflower Seeds. Protein: 1/2 cup provides 14.5 grams

Flax meal. Protein: 1 oz. or about 2 Tablespoons provide 12 grams


11. Include fixings for at least one salad a day. Dark green and red/purple lettuces and salad ingredients including romaine, red leaf, watercress, kale, and red cabbage contain more nutrients and taste livelier than the paler colored ones.

Top a salad with a heaping spoonful of Vegan Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Salad Dressing for tangy goodness without the fat. While you're checking out the recipe, discover what tempeh is and how to cook it.





12. If you are at a healthy weight now, you weight will remain stable, if you follow this eating plan, exercise, and refrain from eating junk food and fast food. If you're overweight, sticking with a whole food plant based diet will help you shed pounds and keep them off.

13. Have only a little time to cook? Most markets today sell pre-chopped produce items and salad fixings. Purchasing cut up or spiralized veggies and fruit is a better choice for wellness than eating in a ho-hum restaurant or fast food joint.

14. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It adds digestion, elimination, and keeps you hydrated.

15. Keep a supply of prepped raw carrots, bean and veggie salad, and celery on hand in the refrigerator for times when you have an urge to snack. Scoop out an avocado and mash the green delicious part into a paste. Use it as a taste-tempting, nutritious spread on whole grain bread or as a veggie dip. If you like, season with fresh squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper.




16. Prepare and store a small container of pistachio nuts or pumpkin seeds to munch on, for low energy moments on the job or at home. 

Another idea for snacking is to slice a pink lady apple crosswise, and spread full of peanut or almond butter. Eat this refreshing treat at your desk or after your workout at the gym. 

17. Brown bag your lunch. Save time and prep a few days' worth of veggies, fruits, whole grains for lunches on the go or lunches you eat at home. 

Planning ahead saves time and helps curb eating on the run.

18. Rather than the same old same old, try a rotation plan of try to find recipes for "new to you veggies" like bok choy, Napa cabbage, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, and greens like chard or mustard greens.

19. Lightly steam veggies to retain flavor and nutrients. Season with lemon or orange juice or zest to heighten flavor without calories. 

20. Another way to add interest to home cooked meals is to sprinkle on fresh dill, basil, rosemary, and sage from the garden.  Oregano, mustard seeds, ginger, and thyme are herbs and spices that add zip to the taste of your veggies. 

21. If your budget is tight or you live in a place without a garden, dried herbs and spices are convenient. Store the herb or spice in a tightly sealed glass jar (out of light) for no longer than 1 year to keep quality up. 

Dried herbs are more potent than fresh. Use 1 teaspoon of dried to 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs or a 1 to 3 ratio.

22. Add garlic and/or shallots, leeks, scallions, black pepper, and onion to veggie casseroles, sandwiches, stews, soup, and sauces. Spices provide a sweet, spicy, or savory note and also contain nutrients to help us stay healthy.

23. Another healthful way to cook vegetables to bring out their natural flavor is to roast them. See this easy to prepare recipe for oil free roasted vegetables.

24. Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates. Most are low in calories and loaded with nutrients. Fruit contains natural sugar. When strawberries, grapefruit, and cherries are eaten in moderation, they don't cause abrupt fluctuations in your blood sugar level.

25. Shop for produce with your senses and look, sniff, and touch for freshness and ripeness. Take your time selecting quality over quantity.

26. Mix it up by eating cooked and raw veggies. You'll start to discern a deeper level of aromas, textures, tastes, and sense which color and flavor combinations go together. 

27. Some veggies or fruits like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers are more easily digested by the body when cooked. Beans need to be cooked thoroughly or else sprouted. 

Other things like onion, parsley, cucumber, and celery can be eaten raw. See NutritionFacts.org, an online resource founded by Michael Greger M.D. for sound advice about how the food you eat impacts your health. 

28. Read additional food ideas from previously published posts on this blog by clicking on the links below. 

To live well and feel healthy, experience the pleasures and benefits of eating as close to nature as possible. 

Then, attract attention and praise from family and friends by preparing delicious whole food plant-based meals that supply the nutrient dense foods that help you and your family work and play at peak efficiency.
Are you willing to add at least one new plant-based whole food meal to your cooking repertoire each week? Why or why not? Answer below.




Which of the 28 tips I offer above helps you most and why?

Do you think a whole food plant-based eating plan saves bucks? 

Most people who follow this plan don't have to take cholesterol lowering drugs or blood pressure medications. They aren't at high risk of developing cancer, heart disease, or stroke. 

However, we as a society could cut down on out of pocket medical insurance costs, doctor visit copay expenses, and medication bills if more people followed this plan.

Before you go, please comment below. I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them, if you add links. Thanks for understanding. 

Spread the word by re-sharing on social media, and please credit me with a link back to this post. 💗





Saturday, June 1, 2019

9 Practices to Help You See You Are Enough




This post is for those of us who worry we aren't enough, even when we start off feeling okay about ourselves.

It's food for thought for those of us who get down on ourselves, and sabotage an upbeat mood by comparing our insides to someone else’s outside. 

Can you relate?

When I was in my twenties, I thought caring for my family, taking on greater responsibilities at work and in the community, and leading a busy life would fill the emptiness I often felt inside.

Then in my thirties, I noticed making money, having a degree and career, and receiving praise from others, didn't make me feel I was a valuable human being. 

To compound things, my lack of self-compassion influenced the choices I made, and led to behaviors that further damaged my sense of self-worth.

Are you still with me?

Self-doubt about my right to a place in the world, only made me feel more anxious, gloomy, and dejected. 


How I Discovered I am Enough


In my early forties, at a low point in my life, I felt intense emotional pain. My rocky first marriage had ended, and I was anxious about how my family would survive. 

Fear and courage compelled me to journal write, and try to sort out my options.

Soon I noticed that expressing my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to happenings of the day in a journal, gave me a way to diffuse the negative energy I felt was trapped inside. 

That helped a lot, but I wanted to feel even better. I searched out and added additional self-care practices to my daily routine, and slowly began to feel stronger and empowered. 

That's why this quotation from Joan Halifax's book Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet resonates with me.


"Living systems that break down can reorganize at a higher and more robust level, if they learn from the breakdown experience."

Today, as a result of my steadfast effort to show up for myself, I've replaced damaging self-talk and self-defeating people-pleasing behavior with authenticity. I've gained confidence in my own worth, and like myself just the way I am.

Each day begins fresh and new, as I follow through with mindful self-care. 

I know for sure...


 I am a healthy person with bountiful life and you can have that too! 

Consistent self-care is how I got here, and... 


I invite you to come along with me to try out the 9 practices I outline below for a three week trial. By then, you'll be able to see which ones help you feel peace of mind, motivate you to keep on keeping on, and renews your faith in yourself.


How to Recognize You Are Enough


At least once or twice a day, check in with yourself to listen to the stories you tell yourself about you. Get in touch with your desires, emotions, body sensations, and beliefs. Look for at least five things you consider assets, challenges, successes, and dreams. List them without judging them good or bad. 



Embrace who you are right now, without any qualifications, conditions, or exceptions. Affirm you are enough. 


Early in my recovery, I learned to treat myself with kindness, care, and consideration. PLEASE do that too. 


Best Way to Take an "I am Enough Inventory"

If you are a perfectionist, "should" yourself, or treat yourself harshly, request help from a friend or counsellor to work through your personal inventory.

This is a good idea, because shame and guilt may actually send you deeper into a slump. Research shows that asking questions instead of ordering yourself around is a more effective way to create self-knowledge. 

When you catch your inner critic shouting accusations, reframe thoughts by asking: “What ways can I convert this noise into an information gathering opportunity?”






1. Reserve time to journalWriting with pen on paper grounds you to the present moment and helps you recognize distress or comfort in mind, body, and spirit. Journal writing is a meaningful way to check your emotional temperature, note progress, and supports self-discovery. See Journal Prompts to Boost Self-confidence for more. 





In fact, I suggest you order a copy of the guided journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

Its color-coded journal activities, affirmations, 12 weeks' worth of self-care journal prompts, and space for writing and reflection are designed to boost self-esteem and help you feel joy in daily living.







Colors of Joy has Journal Activities to Boost Self-Esteem
Order it Now


2. Explore meditative practices. Mediation techniques including breath work and body scans, yoga, affirmations and visualizations, mindful eating, reflection, and walks in nature can help you experience the richness in yourself and your surroundings, through your senses. 

If you aren't familiar with one or the other of these self-care practices, take a class, read a book, or get a pro to show you the ropes.

3. Use mindfulness daily. House cleaning and laundry, food prep, child care, exercise, and alone and family time are enriching experiences if done mindfully. Even the colors you choose to wear can have an uplifting effect. 

Living in the now creates calm and balance in you, and helps you be present for yourself, others, and the tasks at hand.





4. Contemplate gratitude. When you make a gratitude list, whether it's a mental or actual written one, you focus on positives in your life. Put an appreciative spin on everything by reading tips to draw more gratitude into your day. 


5. Be physically active and health aware. Incorporate aerobics, stretching, weight lifting, and balancing activities into daily routine. Exercise elevates mood, gets your heart pumping, and can give you the spark that inspires you to take better care of yourself in other areas of your life. Learn how walking is a step in the right direction. Then find out how adopting a plant-based eating plan can make life healthy and lively.

6. Meet your needs first. When you care for mind, body, and spirit, you're more likely to do things that bring you satisfaction, and follow through on actions to improve your sense of well-being. Make wellness a priority and persist with self-care. 

7. Hang out with the winners. Develop mutually supportive relationships with a few good people or many, depending on individual preferences. People need other people, and reaching out to socialize and get and give support is good for mental and physical health. Spending time with family or friends reduces stress and may even lower your risk of dementia

8. Detach from energy drains.  Say "no" to people, places, and things that disrupt serenity. Being around negativity increases tension, so for wellness don't take on anything that goes against personal ethics, values, or instincts. Get in the habit of letting go of small things, before they become bigger problems.


9. Develop a generous, loving attitude. Put your focus on loving kindness. Allow those good vibrations to help you remain non-judgmental, and love and approve of yourself and others wholeheartedly.


More About Improving Self-love:




Molly Mahar the blogger from Stratejoy.com has found 

"Before any reinventing or forward movement, we must start from a strong, loving, secure base of self-worth.  If we don’t believe we are deserving of a big bold bright existence, it will never happen.  And what I’m finding and exploring more and more is that this self-love, this ability to believe we are deserving, boils down to the ability to declare 'I am enough.' ”



💓

Please comment below and click publish. 

If you are dealing with low self-esteem now or have dealt with it in the past, what helped you treat yourself with tender loving care (TLC)? Please share how you do it.

Have any tips about how you fit self-care into a full life? 

I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them if you add links. Thanks for understanding. 


If you'd be so kind, reshare on social media. Many people struggle with this issue, and your social share may be supportive to someone who needs it.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Recipes for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs

Remarkable Vegan Meatballs, Marinara, and Fusilli from Nancy Andres


I've had the urge to create a plant-based whole food recipe for vegan meatballs, scrumptious enough for all to love. To most of us, as we age, it does dawn on us that we could be eating healthier. Cutting down on processed, cholesterol laden foods is a smart health decision.

See what I discovered during my hands on food testing and cooking experiments, cookbook investigation, and research on the web.


I SCOUTED OUT RECIPES THAT ARE :

EASY

DELICIOUS

COLORFUL

HEALTHY


See the Results in a Vegan Meatball Roundup Post to Live For! 



Here's My Recipe...I call it 


Remarkable Vegan Meatballs

This recipe is economical, as it's made from items most of you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. 

It's so adaptable. Serve vegan meatballs for brunch, lunch, or dinner.  Top spaghetti, shells, linguini, or other pasta with vegan meatballs. Savor the flavor in a hoagie, pita, or in a wrap. 

Serve veggie meatballs on a bed of sauteed broccoli or spinach, or top quinoa, barley, or farro with vegan meatballs and mushroom gravy. All these combinations are yummy. 

So let's give a cheer for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs 

Ingredients:


½ cup pre-cooked brown rice (any variety will do)
1 can (about 12 oz.) lentils drained
1 yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
8 oz. fresh white or baby bella mushrooms cleaned and chopped
1 flax egg: In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds. Mix with ¼ cup water. Let flax egg mixture sit until thick and viscous about 5-10 minutes before following directions in step 4 below
2 slices of whole grain bread for bread crumbs-any type as long as it equals about 1 cup ground bread crumbs 
Salt and pepper taste
pinch of fresh basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary chopped fine or 2 teaspoons dried Italian Herb Blend
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce (25 oz.) or homemade

What to do:
1. Put the oven rack in the middle slot of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven heats...

1. Clean and prep onion, garlic, mushrooms. Place a drop of oil in a saute pan and brown the onion for a few moments (for oil free version use water or veggie broth instead of oil). Then add garlic and do the same. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until all are soft and thoroughly cooked (about ten minutes).

2. While that cooks, get a large mixing bowl and mash the brown rice and drained lentils together. Add whole grain bread crumbs and combine. 

3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer onion, garlic, and mushrooms from saute pan to mixing bowl. Reserve mushroom cooking liquid to add to soup, chili, or other dish.

4. Add flax egg and seasoning to mixing bowl.  Combine all thoroughly. This flax egg mixture is the best I've ever tried. The veggie balls bind well and do not crumble. If you feel mixture is too dry and crumbles, add a drop or two of water.

5. Shape mixture into bite size veggie balls. Place them on a large ungreased baking sheet and put in the oven. Cook vegan meatballs for approximately 30 minutes. You'll know they are ready, when they look and feel firm (squeeze one) and are slightly browned. 




6. Meanwhile, empty the jar of marinara into a medium size sauce pan and simmer covered on stove top until pasta and meatballs cook. 

7. In a pasta pot boil the pasta of your choice (cook according to package directions). When done drain.

8. Top each serving of pasta with a ladle or two of sauce and two or three veggie balls apiece. Garnish with fresh clipped parsley or use the vegan cheese recipe below. Any extra veggie balls can be placed in the extra sauce and refrigerated. This recipe will make a dozen vegan meatballs and serves 4.

To change the pace, use spaghetti squash as the base instead of pasta. 


Plant-based spaghetti squash marinara with tossed salad

Try this fabulous recipe from Kelly, a Transformational Health Coach and holistic practitioner who blogs at Tasting Page. See
Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatballs on a bed of lettuce now.


Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatballs - a tasty meat-less meal filled with veggies - Tasting Page




For another slant see this recipe. It features Bulgur wheat and cauliflower for Vegan Italian Meatballs from Chuck Underwood. He's the blogger at Brand New Vegan, and he aims to make switching to plant-based eating as easy as possible. This is a link to his recipe for Vegan Parmesan.

vegan italian meatballs
Vegan Italian Meatballs from Chuck Underwood
  


Not sure what Bulgur wheat is? See more at health advantages of eating Bulgur Wheat from Dr. Axe.


Want to make your own Marinara Sauce? Here's a super way to do it. The recipe comes from yours truly who posted it on my other blog. See Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce.


Tip: Try adding extra veggies to the sauce. When you include carrots, peas or legumes, and edamame it adds vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and plant-based protein. 







For the final recipe in my vegan meatball roundup...

Nora Taylor shares her version of Spaghetti and Easy Vegan Meatballs. She's the blogger at Nora Cooks, and she uses chickpeas to give vegan meatballs a satisfying, comforting flavor. 


vegan meatball on a fork
Photo Nora Taylor at Nora Cooks

Isn't it surprising that vegan meatballs can be made in so many taste tempting ways? 


Tip: Buying in-season, locally grown produce is an easy way to select produce loaded with eye-appeal, freshness, and often on sale. Since locally grown means items aren't transported long distances to get to your table, it costs less and tastes better. It's alive with goodness.

Before you go, please comment in the space provided below. 

Which recipes sound and look good to you? 

No links in comments please, as I won't be able to publish them that way. 

After your food shopping run, have fun cooking up some vegan meatballs to discover they are healthy, colorful, easy to make, and delicious.

Invite your partner, friends, and family to join the cooking party. Perhaps it will turn into a vegan meatball marathon.

Please share a link to this post on social media and see the latest about wellness by visiting again. 

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