Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegan Sushi

It just so happens that one of the best foods to eat out and at home is... Sushi. Most people think "raw fish" when they hear sushi. While it's true that you won't find any sushi restaurants without raw fish (unless they're vegan of course), you can always find an abundance of vegan sushi. In fact the word sushi means "vinegared rice", not "dead sea animals". And speaking of rice... sushi rice is some of the highest grade and best tasting rice in the world. Here's a really great sushi recipe for home on vimeo ---> Vegan Sushi Video.

The great thing about sushi restaurants is that they are more than willing to make you something custom that you want. As a vegan this is great, because don't we all hate the feeling of making the server at a restaurant have to work extra hard to get us something we can eat.

Consider all the vegan friendly sushi options:
  •  Avocado Roll
  • Cucumber Roll
  • Vegetable Roll
  • Miso Soup (Miso Hungry ;)
  • Edamame
  • Salad
  • Vegetable Tempura (as long as there's no egg in the batter)
Another cool thing about sushi is that it can be found at most supermarkets now too... Whole Foods probably has some of the best and most fresh vegan sushi available at retail stores. Here's a couple of sites to check out with many great vegan sushi recipes ---> www.marisabaggett.com/vegan-sushi/ and www.fourgreensteps.com.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vegan Diet Evolution

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival on Earth, as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"
- Albert Einstein

It's already widely known and accepted that large-scale animal agriculture is extremely devastating to the environment. In fact, the plain truth and economics of factory farming are the motivating factors for many new people who embrace the vegan diet every year. Giant livestock operations in the US and abroad produce vast amounts of waste, and some can be compared to small cities in regards to waste production. Many people have embraced a vegan diet because they do not want to contribute to this environmentally harmful method of food production; many more are aware that a vegan diet is optimal for health.

The health benefits of the vegan diet are endless and, for some, life changing! People who follow a well-planned plant-based diet, have low rates of heart disease, cancer, and medical issues. Obesity prevalence in vegans ranges from 0% - 6%. Even if you have a large appetite, as a vegan, you can consume large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and still maintain a healthy body weight. For many health-conscious people, the vegan diet is the only realistic option. Many medical and anthropological studies have shown that vegetarian/vegan populations tend to have less body fat than meat-eaters, and they experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions linked to obesity.

The vegan diet is a part of our species evolution because unless we change the way we produce our food, we will not survive. Perhaps one day it will be too late and our supplies of antibiotics, clean water, and green pastures will all be wasted and contaminated.... but certainty, the potential exists for a greater future. Embrace the evolution of our diet, see how a vegan diet can change your life and your world for the better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Plant Based Health

For many, the vegan diet is not all about having an undying passion for animal rights. Although, animal welfare is a concern for most vegans, the health benefits of the diet and lifestyle transcend any moral or political agenda. Following a well-planned plant-based diet is a cornerstone to longevity and the prevention of a number of genetic diseases common throughout North America. The nutrition derived from a balanced vegan diet helps to increase your body's energy levels and protects against sickness and disease. Meat and dairy products contain high levels of saturated fat (in case you didn't know, that's the bad stuff), and this has a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Replacing meat and dairy products with nuts, grains, and legumes will reduce your risks of heart disease and strengthen your cardiovascular system. In fact, eliminating animal products from your diet will eliminate your intake of all dietary cholesterol. This is a good thing for your blood pressure! A well-planned vegan diet eliminates the foods that cause unnatural weight gain, thus it is also beneficial in maintaining healthy body weights and a lower body mass index (BMI). Increased levels of energy and improved athletic performance have also been reported by many who subscribe to the vegan diet. Some of the world's top endurance athletes are vegan, including Brendan Brazier, who's web site and books are "A guide to optimal health and performance through plant-based whole foods".

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vegan Meals on the Go

Many of us are too busy to consistently cook for ourselves, so at times we must resort to fast, convenience, and take out foods. It would be ideal if we could just pick all our food up fresh from the market everyday, but that is just not reality. If you are a busy person, hopefully you live in an area with a lot of great vegan friendly restaurants and grocers, because this will make a big difference when you are eating on the go. Lets say that you're a busy young single person in an average American suburb or small town. What kinds of fast food options do you have then? The standard fare: McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, and many other places that specialize in greasy food full of sick animal by-products. Even if these places are your only choices, you can still find vegan-friendly options on the menus. Taco Bell, for instance, has many vegan choices (bean tacos, rice, potatoes, bean burritos, tostadas, etc...) and they are cheap too! Subway offers veggie sandwiches and they now have avocado/guacamole on the menu, although its not fresh, so its probably not the best. Another good thing about Subway is that they offer foods that aren't deep fried, so you don't have to resort to french fries (or be tempted by them). Burger King offers a veggie burger combo on their menu. The sides at Burger King though are pretty much limited to french fries and mediocre salads, so for many, this would be a last resort. Unfortunately, McDonalds does not offer too many vegan foods other than fries and salads. The salads at McDonalds almost always come with chicken or some other meat on them, so you will end up over paying for a below average salad. Yes, McDonalds offers apples, but you can walk in a store anywhere and buy an apple for cheaper, and if you can't, well then you've probably got bigger problems than not having enough vegan choices in your community.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

It's very easy to neglect the first, and many would say, the most important meal of the day; breakfast. This is especially true for those of us who are not only busy, but also not interested in the plethora of American convenience foods available to us in the a.m.. It's true, breakfast is a vital meal because its the beginning of your day, its the kick you are giving your mind and body to get going. So what kinds of foods can you prepare for yourself in the morning as part of a nutritious vegan breakfast? Well that depends on how much time you have! Here's an idea that works well for the active individual who needs energy to face a busy day:
  • Hash browns (throw in mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, etc..)
  • Guacamole ---- 2-3 Tblsp
  • Black beans ----- 1/2-1 cup
  • fruit juice ----- try orange-pineapple
  • 1 banana
Fry those hash browns up with some olive oil or cook them on a non-stick pan in the oven. Add the guacamole and black beans on top of the hash browns. Throw a little salsa on top of that jewel too! Grab a banana and a glass of juice, and you're good to go. Not only does this breakfast taste good, its a high performance meal that could be incorporated into any athletes' diet. In fact, the vegan diet is optimal for high endurance athletes seeking to improve their performance. Carl Lewis, 9 time American track and field gold medalist, said that a vegan diet allowed him to eat more while he trained and that it actually improved his edge. You will see many articles on this blog about athletic performance and the vegan diet, because that is a primary focus of this site. There is mounds and mounds of scientific evidence that proves a plant-based diet is conducive to athletic performance and longevity in general.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vegan Made From Scratch

If you have decided that the vegan diet is the right one for you, or if your a life-long vegan, you will inevitably have to do a little cooking for yourself. Unless, of course, you have your own personal chef to do this for you! Preparing your meals from scratch can be fun though. It is very rewarding to know that you can prepare your own vegan meals that fulfill your own dietary guidelines. Cooking your own food ensures that you will get all the nutrients your body needs to live and thrive. Some very popular staples in the vegan kitchen are: rice, avocados, kale greens, bananas, potatoes, soy milk, black beans, almonds, broccoli, corn tortillas, and peanut butter. Not only are those items vegan and good for you, they're also gluten free! You can actually come up with a number of vegan made from scratch recipes just off those simple cheap ingredients. Here's an idea: grab some of those kale greens ($1.49 a bundle), an avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, and black beans. Make some guacamole and prepare the black beans on a stove-top. Take a rinsed-off kale leaf in the palm of your hand and scoop the beans and guac in the leaf. Voila! There you have it; southwest vegan kale wraps. Mexican cuisine, minus the sick animals. I wonder if Taco Bell will carry that on their menu any time soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fighting To Be Healthy

Isn't it ironic, that with all the abundance of food choices we have, it's still a challenge to find a meal that's actually good for you? This is especially true if you are single and have a very busy schedule. Sure, there's always food available that has been deemed "healthy" by the FDA. But, is eating sick animals everyday a healthy choice? We grow up being told at home and school that we need milk for strong bones and chicken breast for protein. There is too much modern-day scientific evidence that proves this incorrect. By following a vegan diet, you not only expose yourself to healthy foods, but you also avoid eating food tainted with disease and sickness. As mentioned before though, it is a challenge to follow a vegan diet, especially if you do not live in an area with a large vegan/vegetarian population. The challenge really begins with time management and planning. If you do not plan out your meals and prepare many yourself at home, you will find it very difficult to maintain a healthy vegan diet. More and more restaurants and fast food places are offering more vegan choices on the menus, but the variety is still mediocre at best. So, to succeed with your vegan diet, you must be willing to take the initiative and begin to plan and prepare many of your meals yourself. Once you make it a daily habit, it will become easier and easier. Also, after a while, you will say to yourself "why would I want to go out and grab some cheap greasy food, when I have all this great food right here at home?".