Monday, June 17, 2019

Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce

Plant-based Eating Food Tips

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. 

Post Updated 1/20/2023

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 a variety of both raw and cooked veggies, fruits, legumes, and whole grains daily get an ample supply of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients necessary to fuel our body, reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases, give us pep, and feel more joy in living.

See more about a Netflix documentary You are What You Eat: a Twin Study from Stanford University.

For instance, if you hang in with me, I'll show you ways cruciferous veggies including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are flavorful and support the body's natural ability to maintain good health and prevent illness.

Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce

Plant-based Eating Food Tips

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. They are economical, delicious, and usually can be a one pot meal. 

For colorful whole food plant-based ideas I enjoy using Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's cookbook, Color Me Vegan.

6. Once you're in the market, shop from a list that includes a range of colorful fruits and veggies, like those in the rainbow. 

For example I love brightly colored red peppers, dark green arugula, brightly colored oranges, luscious red watermelon, dark green collard greens, and ears of yellow corn. How many of the veggies and fruits shown in the photo below do you know? 

Leave the store as soon as you locate items on your list to avoid impulse shopping. 

Plant-based Eating Food Tips

7. Don't over-shop. 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 nutritional and budget sense. 

Try out new recipes with the ingredients you have on hand.

Make double portions and freeze some to use later. This 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. When you buy packaged, frozen, or canned foods, read every label

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 provides 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 Creamy Vegan Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Salad Dressing for tangy goodness without the fat. While you're checking out the recipe, discover an excellent chili recipe and how to cook it.

Bean Salad Dressing

12. If you are at a healthy weight now, your weight will remain stable, if you follow this eating plan, exercise, and refrain from eating junk food/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, beans, 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. For extra flavor, season with fresh squeezed lime juice.

Plant-based Eating Food Tips

16. Prepare and carry along 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 the fruit surface with 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 or 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 complement each other. 

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

Other things like onion, parsley, cucumber, and celery can be eaten raw. See, 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? Comment below please.

Plant-based Eating Food Tips

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 lower the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, or having a stroke. 

In addition, 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. πŸ’—

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

9 Practices to Help You See You Are Enough

Self-care Tips and Motivation for Wellness

Gather round those of us who worry we aren't enough. This applies to even those who start off feeling okay about themselves.

This post has been updated 5/5/2022

This post is food for thought for those who get down on themselves. We may make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others and come up short. Can you relate? πŸ˜•

When I was in my twenties, I thought caring for my family, taking on greater responsibility at work and in the community, and leading a busy life would fill the emptiness I often felt inside. It didn't.

Then in my thirties, I noticed that despite making money, having a degree and career, and receiving praise from others, I didn't 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. 

I journaled about my goals and dreams, and the recorded progress I made. This motivated me to search for and adopt additional self-care practices that eventually helped me feel stronger and more 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 a bountiful life 

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 increase 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 counselor 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?”

Self-care tips and motivation

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. 

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. 

When you're mindful to take good care of your own needs, you have renewed energy to be there for others. Just remember, to 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:


Please comment below and click publish. 

If you are dealing with low self-image 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, share on social media with a link back to this post.

Many people struggle with low self-esteem, and your social share of this post may be supportive to someone who needs it.


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