Thoughtful Thursday – ALT Sandwich

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One of my favorite sandwiches used to be the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). But now that I’ve gone vegan, those sandwiches are off the menu. Years ago I tried avocados. I wasn’t too crazy about them because they have a bit of a bland flavor but that can be a good thing.

The other day I wanted to make a really good sandwich and thought I’d try an ALT, avocado, lettuce and tomato. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted and satisfied my hunger. It was even easier to make than a BLT because I didn’t have to cook the bacon. Plus I felt great after eating it.

I simply used 2 slices of Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted and spread with vegan mayonnaise. Then I added the avocado slices, lettuce, tomato and a little Himalayan sea salt. Voila! I had a delicious, healthy, satisfying sandwich!

Thanks for stopping by and hope you give this a try!

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“Health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain.” ~Dr. Josh Axe

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Thoughtful Thursday – Adverse Affects of Dairy

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As most of your know, I went vegan about 4 years ago. Not because it was the “in thing” to do but because of health issues I was having at the time. I drank lots of milk when I was a kid and I think we’ve all heard the slogan, “Milk, it does the body good.” But does it really?

I grew up thinking that cows were put on this earth to give us milk and that was that. But when you think about it, the only reason a cow produces milk is to feed their calf. So their bodies have to be in a continual pregnant state to produce milk for us.

There’s been a lot of research done showing milk may actually do us more harm than good. For starters, one of my problems with milk was that I was constantly congested. When I’d get a cold, the congestion would get really bad. I thought by drinking only organic milk and eating only organic dairy products, I was being healthy. But my congestion just kept getting worse even though I wasn’t sick. After reading an article in a magazine I decided to give plant based milk a try and found that my congestion completely cleared up in a few weeks.

After experiencing that I started doing research and found that milk contains harmful hormones which are given to the cows to increase their milk production. Even the organic milk still has hormones in it. I also learned that milk causes your body to leach calcium from the bones which in turn can make you more susceptible to osteoporosis. Not to mention, that milk and dairy products can cause cancer. Yikes! And these were just a few of the adverse affects of dairy that I stumbled upon in my research.

There are a lot of documentaries that you can watch like Food Inc., What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Plant Pure Nation to name a few. These films were a real eye opener for me and although I didn’t go vegan initially, the more educated I became, the more I realized I needed to stick with it to stay healthy. Once I did that, I was living proof that what they were expressing in these films had a lot of truth behind it. Granted a vegan diet isn’t for everyone but there’s always room for improvement no matter what diet you consume.

Please don’t take my word for it but do your own research. You may be surprised and shocked at what you find. Your diet is the foundation to your health as well as your happiness. Because the bottom line is, if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. You can’t bring joy to the world if you don’t take care of yourself first. Hope you found this information helpful.

Thanks for stopping by!

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“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” ~Ayurvedic Proverb

Sources:

Forks Over Knives: “7 Ways Milk and Dairy Products are Making You Sick

The Miter: “Harmful Effects of Cow’s Milk on the Human Body Becomes More Prevalent”

Dr McDougall: T. Colin Campbell, PhD: Link Between Dairy Protein, Casein, & Cancer

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Thoughtful Thursday – Vegan Chocolate Smoothie

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Ok, I confess I’m a chocoholic. But who doesn’t like chocolate? I mean it’s just awesome! There are so many varieties of chocolate out there like white, milk, dark and all flavors in between.

Besides tasting so delicious, studies have shown that dark chocolate, at least 75% or more has some pretty good health benefits too like reducing stress and food cravings, fighting fatigue, improving blood circulation and so much more. It’s even considered nutritious and contains nearly the full RDA of copper and manganese, plus it contains descent amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber, zinc, selenium and potassium.

The 75% dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar as compared to white or milk chocolate. So it won’t contribute to weight gain as long as you don’t over do it. What I have noticed personally is that the more sugar that’s in the chocolate, the more I’ll want to eat it. I find that with the darker chocolate I only need 1 square to satisfy chocolate craving and I’m good to go.

As most of you know, I’m vegan so I’m always looking for vegan chocolates. They do make more of them now and they’re very tasty but a little more pricey than regular chocolate. With that being said I’m always on the hunt for new ways to satisfy my chocolate cravings.

I found a great smoothie recipe online that I tried. It was good but just wasn’t satisfying that rich chocolatey flavor I was looking for so I made changes and came up with this delicious Vegan Chocolate Smoothie that has a rich chocolate flavor and contains about 16 grams of protein:

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any unsweet non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Gluten Free Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Cacao Nibs or 1.5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (see note below*)
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp No Salt or Sugar Added Almond Butter
  • 2 Tsp Organic Chia Seeds
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Organic Date (pitt removed)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Instant Espresso Coffee
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1 C Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

(*) Although I love cacao nibs and all the antioxidants they provide, I found that using Cocoa Powder gives the smoothie a richer and creamier flavor.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!

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“I’d give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.” ~Unknown

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Thoughtful Thursday – Benefits of Ginger

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Ginger root has been used for centuries as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The first time I tried ginger, I wasn’t too crazy about it. I loved the scent but the flavor, not so much.

Over the years, I’ve grown to really love ginger. I’ll put a few small pieces in my salad or add some to my veggie juices. I even make fresh ginger tea which is very aromatic and quite delicious (recipe below). I’ve learned and personally experienced the healing powers of ginger and I can say in all honesty, it’s truly a Superfood.

Ginger has many benefits and can help the body heal from a number of ailments naturally including:

  1. Aids in Digestion
  2. Regulates Blood Sugar
  3. Reduces Inflammation
  4. Lowers Blood Pressure
  5. Helps with Nausea
  6. Antibacterial Properties
  7. Reduces Menstrual Pain
  8. Aids in Reducing LDL Cholesterol
  9. Anti-Cancer Properties
  10. Aids Weight Loss

Before making any changes to your healthcare regime, always check with your doctor/health practitioner to make sure it’s right for you.

Ginger Tea Recipe:

  • 4-5 quarter inches pieces of ginger, slightly crushed
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Sweetener (honey, stevia)

Add ginger and water to a teapot. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain ginger pieces, add a little sweetener and enjoy.

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“Our Food should be our Medicine & our Medicine should be our Food.” ~Hippocrates

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Thoughtful Thursday – “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich Recipe Review

Vegan Chickpea "No Tuna" Salad | Forks Over Knives

I’ve been exploring more vegan recipes, especially the ones that don’t necessarily appeal to my tastebuds. And I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. So far, they have all been quite delicious and tasty.

My family likes to eat tuna fish sandwiches but tuna is one of the most toxic fish you can eat. They’re high in mercury and other heavy metals because of pollutants in the water. So I wanted to find a vegan alternative. I finally decided to give this recipe a try and I’m glad I did. It’s a “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich. It’s great because it doesn’t have that fishy smell like real tuna but it’s super delicious and quite filling. Plus it’s quick and easy to make.

The recipe was published in the latest Forks Over Knives, “100 Best Plant-Based Recipes,” 2021 and it can also be found on their website “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich.

Forks Over Knives  100 Best Plant-Based Recipes  2021 image 0

The main ingredient is chick peas aka garbanzo beans which is not necessarily my favorite but they work well in this recipe. I served my family these sandwiches and they were a hit! Lots of flavor, very filling and satisfying, vegan and most important, No Mercury! It’s a win win.

I recommend getting a little crazy and giving it a try. You may discover new flavors on this adventure!

Thanks for stopping by!

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“Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected.” ~ T. Collin Campbell

Keto Day 15 – Progress Report

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Keto Day 15 – Progress Report

Okay, today is my last Keto Diet progress report. I promised to report the good, the bad and and ugly. Well, I started out good, losing weight and inches and that has now slowed down to a crawl unfortunately. I’ve lost a total of 7 pounds but my body fat and muscle mass is the same. I’ve hit a plateau and it’s a little frustrating.

Going back to my history, my body doesn’t normally respond well to eating more fat. However, one thing I did start adding to my morning shakes was Coconut MCT Oil which is a long-chain triglyceride that is easier to digest and is a good source of energy. It’s also good for brain health. You can have it everyday, but I only add it to my diet 3 times a week. I will say I’ve noticed that my mind is definitely sharper. So that’s a plus! Some of my other issues related to inflammation have also lessened, another plus!

Many people lose a lot of weight on Keto, but it just doesn’t seem to totally agree with me so I have to tweak my diet a little more. I think if I go back to cooking oil free but keep the avocados, nuts, coconuts and olives in my diet a few times a week I’m hoping I can find a good balance.

The Keto recipes were delicious and I now have a few new favorites. I’m still a believer in the Keto Lifestyle and recommend giving it a try. But eat a clean Keto Diet, not the ones that convince you a slab of bacon is healthy. Before making any changes to your diet, always check with your healthcare practitioner.

Thanks for your support on this adventure!

Recommend books for Keto Diet:

  • “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola

  • “Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca

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“If your body’s not right the rest of your day will go wrong. Take care of yourself!” ~V. L. Allineare

Keto Day 10 – Progress Report

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Keto Day 10 – Progress Report

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I started the Keto Diet March 1st, Vegan style. So far I’ve lost a total of 6.4 pounds. My body fat dropped another .2% for a total of 1.2% while my muscle mass stayed the same for a total gain .5%.

I’m still happy with my progress. I thought I would have seen more of a change from fat to muscle by now, but it really didn’t fluctuate the last 5 days. I’m hoping to see more of a shift soon.

When I drank only smoothies made with raw fruits and veggies for a period of about 2 months, I lost anywhere from .3 – .5 lbs a day which totaled 10 – 15 lbs in a month. So considering I’m eating more fats than I have ever done in my life from avocado, nuts, olives and coconut I’m pretty surprised that the results so far are about the same.

The recipes thus far have been tasty, so no complaints there. However, I just can’t bring myself to cook with lots of oil. I still go light in that department and that’s worked out okay for me.

My energy levels are good and overall I feel great! So I’m sticking with it for another 5 days and will let you know how it goes.

Stay tuned because I will see you again on Day 15.

Thanks for your support!

Recommend books for Keto Diet:

  • “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola

  • “Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca

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“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” ~Robert Urich

Keto Day 5 – Progress Report

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Keto Day 5 – Progress Report

March 1st, I started on the Keto Diet, Vegan style. I’ve been doing good sticking to it for my first 5 days. It hasn’t been easy at times but I’ve managed. I’m still not in Ketosis (burning fat) but I have lost a total of 5.2 pounds.

I use the Eat Smart Digital scale to weigh myself and it also measures your body fat and muscle mass. I’m happy to report that my body fat dropped 1.0% and my muscle mass increased .5%. Although these aren’t big changes, it’s still progress, however small.

The recipes for the meals in Dr. Cabeca’s book, “Keto-Green 16,” have been surprisingly delicious! I thought with limiting my foods on keto and then limiting them even more because I’m vegan would be problem with flavor. But luckily this is not the case which makes it so much easier to continue.

I’m still doing my 30 minute weight and 30 minute cardio workouts everyday except Sunday, my day of rest. My energy for the first 3 days was a little low but on days 4 and 5 my energy increased and I feel like I have more energy than before which is another plus.

Stay tuned because I will see you again on Day 10. Wish me luck!

Thanks for your support!

Recommend books for Keto Diet:

  • “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
  • “Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca

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“The best six doctors anywhere, and no one can deny it are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.” ~Wayne Fields

Thoughtful Thursday

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Forgiveness

It seems there’s a lot of negativity in the world today, more than ever before. But what can you do when someone gets angry at you or says a lot of negative and hurtful things?

When you take in their negative energy you lose yours and feel terrible. You lose a precious piece of yourself like your self esteem. As human beings we have the ability to replay moments in our minds like a movie, good or bad. We can relive moments over and over again. Good moments fill us with joy while bad ones completely drain us of our power.

Sometimes it’s a loved one who says or does something hurtful not realizing how it may affect you, or it could be a friend or total stranger. But you need to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture. Usually that person is acting out of a past experience or fear where they may have been hurt in some way. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with you. As hard as it may be don’t take in their negativity. Instead forgive them and send them loving energy, in the end it will make you stronger.

“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” ~Buddha

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Keto Day 1 – Kick Off!

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Keto Day 1 – Kick Off!

If you didn’t have a chance to read my Thoughtful Thursday post from last week, I ‘m starting the Keto diet today. The goal is to stick with it, no cheating and get my body into fat burning mode, ketosis. I’ll be measuring my pH and Ketosis levels with test strips. I plan on giving you updates with my progress every 5 days for the first 15 days, the good, the bad and the ugly.

This morning I started my day as usual, with a 30 minute weight workout followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I’ve done this routine for years and you would think losing weight wouldn’t be a problem, but it all comes down to what you eat. You can get away with more in your younger years, but as you get older, your body is not so forgiving.

Fingers crossed, this keto diet will work. I’m following Dr Anna Cabeca’s menu included in her book “Keto-Green 16.” She has recipes and modification tips for vegans and so that’s what I will be following. If you want to join in, would love to have you along on this adventure!

Thanks for your support!

Recommend books for Keto Diet:

  • “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
  • “Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca

Share the Happy!!

“Nothing has benefited me more physically, mentally and most important spiritually, then adapting a vegan diet. The best decision I have made as a human for me and the planet.” ~Tim Shieff, Professional Freerunner