10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT VEGAN DIETS* (Guest Post)

Vegan

(By Michelle Hannan)

“Veganism is as old as humans themselves, but with time, we have somehow lost our track of how good this path full of veggies is. I am not against meaty diets or people who love meat, I just prefer those diets that have veggies and fruits more than any other thing.

People may opt veganism due to their religious belief, moral values, or merely to lose weight in that particular manner. Here it is essential to understand that veganism is not just restricted to your diet, but it is a code of conduct, the way you choose your life to be. click HERE to see the food list that is not only delicious, but healthy too 

A vegan diet has so many benefits, and for you, ten of them are listed below.

1. The medical fraternity accepts 150-200 mg/dL to be a standard range of cholesterol. According to a recent study, an average Americans cholesterol level is 210 mg/dL, and the level of a vegan is 146 mg/dL. Well, it is safe to say that it is better to be under than above.

2. People may think that vegans do not consume dairy, so they lack in protein and calcium, but to their surprise food like broccoli, bok choy, calcium-fortified orange juice, collards, kale, and Chinese cabbage are an excellent source to meet the deficit.

3. With the vegan diet, men and women are less likely to be a subject of cancer, and the rate goes down to approximately 36%. Cancer is one of the most common and deadly diseases, but with this diet, you may save yourself with this trouble.

4. Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Prize winner, came up with a study that claims that vegan diet changed more than 500 genes in just three months. Apparently, veganism turns off the genes that cause cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other diseases and turns on the genes that prevent infections.

5. Products that are listed as non-cholesterol are often vegan as bad fat is a product of meaty food.

6. Vegan diet not just brightens up your skin, it also makes you feel active and energetic for the longest time. So, if you feel frustrated and fatigued throughout the day than a properly cooked vegan meal can may you feel better.

7. While there are so many benefits of vegetables and fruits, if they are overcooked, all the benefits it carries go down the drain.

8. When one person decides to be a vegan that person helps saving the entire acre o a forest from demolishing. How? For meat production, forests are being cleared out to grow crops to feed the animals. I am not asking not to feed animals, but in order to fulfill the huge meat need, drastic measures have been taken.

9. To produce one pound of meat 2500 gallons of water is needed and to grow one pound of wheat, only 25 gallons of water is required. Considering the rumors that the third world war will be on the water, I think we should do more to save up this precious thing than wasting it.

10. Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Sia, Pamela Anderson, and Peter Dinklage are the ones who believe that veganism is not just healthy, but it is also the right way to live.”

*The views expressed in this post are strictly that of the author, Michelle Hannan.

 

 

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Healthy Snacking

Quite often people ask me what I snack on, especially when I’m on a Whole 30.  In fact, when I tell people about the Whole 30 I am usually met with “what do you eat?”.  I’m finding that people don’t realize how much nasty crap they’re eating until I really spell it out for them by explaining what I eliminate and why.

Because I’m on the go so much and, it seems, pretty much living at the gym, I’m always hungry and need to be prepared for when hunger strikes and for pre-workout fuel.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the short-list for my snacking staples:

  1. Dates – You can almost always find a bag of dates in my desk drawer at work, and somewhere in my house.  I love dates.  Dates are a great pre-workout fuel, since they’re rich in glucose (a simple carb).  Glucose travels directly to the liver for immediate energy transport – meaning the body doesn’t have to convert it to a different form of energy in order to utilize it.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little draggy during the day, I’ll pop a few dates for quick (and sweet) energy.

Dates

2. Larabars

Larabars

I LOVE me a good Larabar.  There are so many different flavors to choose from and they are made (mostly – some of them have chocolate or peanut butter) from 100% natural, clean ingredients.  And since the primary ingredient in a Larabar is dates, they’re an excellent source of energy.  You can be certain there are always a few Larabars stuffed in my gym bag.

I often make my own Larabars…especially when I’m rockin’ a Whole 30.  It’s inexpensive and I can ensure they’re compliant.

Homemade Larabars

3. Fruit – Fruit is usually my number one go-to for snacks.  I usually have apples and bananas in my fridge at home and at work.  If I have a big workout coming up, I will usually have one of the two a bit in advance.  I often will throw an apple in my gym bag as well.

Fruit

You really can’t go wrong with fruit

I also like to have tropical fruit – mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit – for occasional snacking sweetness.

4. Plantain Chips – I am addicted to plantain chips.

Plantain

I get these dudes at Walmart for $2

Okay, I may not be addicted, but I do enjoy plantains – home-cooked or store bought.  They’re low in calories and fat, and are sugar-free.  I sometimes keep these in my desk drawer (where my coworkers steal indulge in them) and in my cupboard at home.  They are so good and since they are Whole 30 compliant, I usually have them on hand for “emergency” snacking.

As you can see, my snacks are all Whole 30 compliant.  But there are also options available for people who are looking for snacks that are organic, or gluten-free, or vegan.  The company GoMacro offers products that meet all of the above.

GoMacro

GoMacro is a family-owned company that “put their heart and soul into a natural, whole-food based lifestyle”.  Their pursuit of health thus became a path of living in balance with themselves and nature.  (Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read their story – it’s truly inspiring!!  <3)

Their products are, as I mentioned, gluten-free, organic, and vegan (they’re also kosher). They are cold-pressed and nut-butter based and made from simple, clean ingredients.  These little bars are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or your back pack or your purse.

MacroBite

I can almost taste the nom nom nom

Unfortunately, GoMacro Bars are not yet available in Canada (they’re working on it), but if you’re living in or visiting the US, you can order them here or pick them up in select stores.  (GoMacro peeps – feel free to send me a sampler. 🙂 ).

Well there you have it.  What I eat.  What I want to eat.  A few healthy snack ideas that you can consider keeping on hand and getting you through your workout, especially if you’re struggling to maintain compliance in a Whole or clean or vegan diet.

Cheers, ~FB

 

 

Skinny Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I love pumpkin.  I love September and October because all the little cafes and coffee shops come out with pumpkin flavored everything.  (Thankfully the closest Starbucks and Second Cup are both more than an hour away in another city otherwise I’d be poor and on a sugar high all the time.)   And because I love trying out new things I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin puree lately.

A few weeks ago I made vegan pumpkin ice cream.  I used the Healthy Vegan Ice Cream recipe from back in June and mixed in some pumpkin puree.  I also added pumpkin pie spice which may make it less vegan but it was delish so I’m not even sorry a little bit. 😉

This morning I decided to forego my eggs and make a pumpkin pie smoothie.

Because I have a long day ahead of me (work, gym then 2 fitness classes) I added a scoop of protein powder.  If you make this recipe you can choose to use the protein or not.

– One cup of milk of choice (I used almond milk)

– 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (not pie filling*)

– 1-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) OR half a banana (I use these for consistency as I like a thick smoothie.  Normally I use the banana but today I used the yogurt)

– 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

(*if you choose to use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree, simply omit the pumpkin pie spice.  Also, the filling will likely make your smoothie less skinny.)

Put all ingredients in a blender.  Enjoy.pumpkin-pie-smoothie

 

 

Healthy Vegan “Ice Cream”

Mine was a little thicker than this
Last week I wanted a treat so I made a small batch of vegan “ice cream.” This is so simple and so yummy and so healthy.

The main ingredient? Bananas. Yeppers. Bananas. I’m sure some of you have heard it before or have seen the Yonanas commercials on TV (I desperately wanted a Yonanas machine last year) and it’s becoming all the rage. And instead of a Yonanas machine all you need is a blender or food processor.

Here’s what you do:

Place bananas in the freezer (number of bananas depends on desired size and portions – 2 medium bananas will make 2 good servings). {It is best to peel them prior to freezing. I made the mistake of not doing this the first time around and the icky insides of the peel went everywhere…It was gross. Slicing prior to is optional – if you forget to slice before hand, it’s not a big deal.}

Once frozen, remove from freezer and place slices in food processor or blender. Blend banana well…until they’re creamy and smooth.

THIS IS NOW YOUR ICE CREAM. However you can add additional ingredients. The first batch I made I added natural peanut butter and blended. It was so good.

The second time I made it I added cocoa. But the possibilities are endless: Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, pineapple. Or you can add flavored protein powder or chocolate chips (some of your ingredients will make your dessert not-so-vegan).

See? Simple. And Cheap. And healthy. Well, healthy as long as you don’t go throwing a lot of extra junk in it. This is definitely something I’m going to be making more of and trying different variations. My goal is to make a bigger batch to store in a container in the freezer so that I won’t have to go thru the process (which is really only like 2 minutes {once bananas are frozen}) everytime I want some.

Try it and enjoy.

~Fit Bitch