Author: feeoshea (page 1 of 25)

The Goodness of Lemons

Somewhere in this blog I’ve talked about the goodness of lemons – well I’m pretty sure I have.

You see, to me lemons are the bomb!  They just ooze goodness literally and figuratively.  So today’s blog is all about the lemon.  AND at the end is a quick video with a damn great tip.

Let’s start with what lemons are full of:

  • vitamin C, citric acid,
  • flavonoids,
  • B-complex vitamins,
  • calcium,
  • copper,
  • iron,
  • magnesium,
  • phosphorus,
  • potassium,
  • fiber.

Bet you didn’t know about the iron!!!

Did you know – Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes.

So here’s the rub – most of all this goodness is found in the skin and pith, both parts of the lemon we generally don’t use.  So you really should be eating all of it.  You probably already know that the zest of the lemon gives a much more lemon flavour in your cooking tha just the juice – so now we come to the video below.  This is how you can combine all of the goodness and the flavour in one go.

Enjoy:

And if you want some amazing recipes check out:  24 LEMON RECIPES

Have great food and
be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao

 

 




How To Cook Without Oil

I’d like to show you how to cook without using oil.  And the example is using Scrambled Tofu

First let me explain about why you would even want to consider cooking without oil.  If you’re wanting to get onto the health swing, then reducing or even eliminating oil from your eating plan is a definite must.

Confession time:  Oil was pretty darn difficult for me to let go of.  In saying that, I don’t mind if someone else has used it and I’m the recipient of delicious vegan food.  But, I don’t use it in my every day meals.  If you’re diabetic or have high cholesterol, heart disease etc, then consider not using it at all.

“But wait” I hear you say “isn’t coconut oil good for you?” – well no.  It’s actually as bad as tallow or beef fat, although not as bad as butter, as it’s a saturated fat.  Find more here Is Coconut Oil Good For You?
And what about Olive Oil?  Well, it’s not that good either – Studies On Olive Oil However, of the two, the Olive oil is better especially if you’re having it with lots of leafy green veg, grains, nuts and seeds etc – in other words – whole plant foods.

I’ll leave you to make up your own mind, but for now check out the Fee’s Random Kitchen video below to see how to cook scrambled tofu without oil.

Have great food and
be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao

 

 




Thanks For 2017

Here’s a great big THANKS for sticking with me during 2017.

Have great food and
be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao

 

 




Just Having A Bit Of Fun

Today is all about having a bit of fun!

Each Friday I like to post a cartoon or some other funny meme up on the Social Media pages.

So here are just some I’ve post over the past couple of months.

You can check out more Funnies Here

Ciao
Fee



What Is Cholesterol?

I think I can safely say that we all have heard about cholesterol and that it can cause heart disease, but what exactly is cholesterol and what impact does it have on our health?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid or fat that is essential for all animal life …. in the right amounts.
It performs three essential functions:

  1. It helps make the outer coating of our cells,
  2. It makes up the bile acids that work to digest food in the intestine,
  3. It allows the body to make Vitamin D and hormones, such as testosterone in men and estrogen in women

Now cholesterol is oil based and blood is water based, so if cholesterol were just dumped into the bloodstream, it would congeal into unusable globs.  But the body is clever and so it packages it up into minuscule protein particles called lipoproteins.

In most people, 60%-70% of their cholesterol is carried in LDL particles, which are considered “bad” cholesterol. This is where it can get confusing so I’ll try and simplify it.

LDL particles are not all “bad,” however, because they act as ‘ferries’, and they put the cholesterol to parts of the body that need it.
LDL cholesterol becomes “bad” if there is too much in the body — when the parts of the body have enough the ‘ferries’ start dumping the cholesterol into the bloodstream.  Remember what I said about the fatty globs dumped in the blood?
Well that’s high cholesterol.  It’s those fatty deposits that cause the problem because they clog blood vessels.

Coronary atherosclerosis is the clinical name for the build up of plaque,  (the fatty globs), inside the artery walls. This in turn causes the inside walls to get narrow meaning the flow of blood is slowed down.

It’s now known that this plaque build up starts really early in life, like we’re talking toddlers, and progresses over the years before it becomes a medical problem.
100s of studies with over a million people have shown that those with higher LDL cholesterol are at far greater risk of heart disease.

High cholesterol itself typically does not have any symptoms, so many people are unaware they are at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other heart diseases. It is recommended that all adults have their levels checked every five years.
Because pharmaceutical drugs start at around the age of 63, the problem is that the LDL cholesterol (the bad one) has been circulating in the body for years and so these drugs only reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about a 20 – 30%.

Why not just take the drugs?  Well like I just said, you only get a 20-30% reduction in the risk of heart disease and you have the added downside of the side effects of the drugs, plus you have to remember to take the pills.

High cholesterol runs in my family and my levels, even on a vegan diet were going up. It wasn’t until I switched to whole plant foods that I started to see a change and an even better drop when I cut out oil… oil is a processed food not a whole food. – just saying.

There is enough research, studies and clinical trials out there to prove that you can reduce and even reverse heart disease by eating whole plant based foods.
If you want to know more here’s a couple of reference links.

How Do We Know That Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease?

What Causes High Cholesterol

Have great food and …..
Be compassionate to all animals, including humans

Ciao

 

My 3 Top Tips For Going Vegan

These are my three top tips for going vegan, maybe they would be more aptly named as my top 3 ‘don’ts’.

1.   DON’T GO COLD TURKEY

(excuse the pun), especially If you’re doing this on your own. Going vegan or plant based eating is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet in the traditional sense of the word, it is a different way of eating (and for vegan it includes way of living) and something that you need to get your head around. I know it can be difficult if you’ve just seen a movie like ‘Earthlings’ and you see where your meat is actually coming from. It’s like the old saying – once seen, never can be unsee – which means you’re finding it really difficult to look at meat the same way you used to.
But, if you want going vegan to work, then do it slowly. Pick 2 or 3 days a week to be animal free (including dairy and eggs) or, just make the weekends the time for having animal products.
Make sure you eat up the food you already have, it’s a waste to throw it out – but as you replace it, you can then look for the vegan version.

2.  DON’T THINK ABOUT ‘GIVING UP’ FOODS

Think about discovering ‘new’ foods.
Many people think about the foods they are going to have to give up such as bacon or cheese or ice-cream or chicken nuggets or other favourites they may have.
So I always counsel to try and think about the new foods and flavours. When looking at recipes think things like ‘ooo that looks so good’ or ‘wow I bet that’s tasty’ or ‘I know I’ll like that because it has XYZ seasonings’. So look at the new foods and soon those foods will become part of your life.

3.  DON’T JUST TAKE THE MEAT OFF YOUR PLATE

Put a quality protein in its place. You need to be eating quality foods, so putting a quality protein in the place of meat is a great way to start your vegan voyage. To begin with try foods like chickpeas, quinoa, lentils and beans and put one of those with your plate full of vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Not only will it give you the nourishment, it will help to fill you up. Oh, and keep it all full of as much colour as you can – not only looks tasty but full of nutrition.

Those are my top 3 tips for going vegan:

Don’t go Cold Turkey – Don’t think about ‘giving up’ foods and Don’t just take the meat off.

Ciao
Fee



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Fee’s Magic Minute – Trying New Foods

Life is wonderful when you’re trying new foods.

The Magic Minute video is all about the new foods and, hopefully, encouraging you to try them.  I let you know where I go in order to find the new foods and well as find out about them.

 

Hope you enjoyed

Ciao
Fee



The Magic of Parsley

The magic of parsley never ceases to astound me and I continue to eat it every day in order to enjoy its goodness and flavour.

I’ve said it before, but just in case you missed it last time round – PARSLEY ROCKS

This old fashioned herb is making a bit of a comeback which is awesome.  I really don’t think it should have left the “superfood” list in the first place, if indeed it was ever on it.  But it’s slowly starting to get popular again.

Growing parsley is just sooooo darn easy. I generally have one or two pots which travel around with me as not all places I go have it and I do try to eat it once a day.

So why is parsley awesome?

Well, not only is it easy to grow, the health benefits of parsley are really over the top!
Goodness, where do I start?
O.k. so it’s full of iron, something that a lot of people worry about when they stop eating meat.  And here’s something to think on – both meat eaters and plant eaters can be iron deficient – in fact, more meat eaters than plant eaters are … go figure
Anyhoo – Back to parsley.  It’s also full of vitamins like K, C, E and A along with folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium.  Has zinc a bit of thiamin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin and did I mention protein? … well it’s got that too.

And what are the health benefits?

  • Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components, I’m not going to list them, but these powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer formation, in particular slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens from harming the body.
  • Because it’s such a high source of antioxidants it can help fight cancer, it acts as a natural diuretic and helps to relieve bloating. It can also help fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections and gallbladder infections (you’d need to seek a herbalist for the correct dosage etc for these ailments).
  • It can improve digestion and is a lovely breath freshner.
  • It has anitbacterial and antifungal properties although, again, seek advice on how to use the oil as it’s very potent and if used incorrectly topically can cause a skin reaction or burn.
  • It balances the hormones and is great for heart health.

How to use – eat it mostly raw!

Parsley can be used sprinkled over top of just about anything or can be a dish on it’s own like Tabouli. Throw some into your smoothie or add to salads. I tend to chop the curly parsley very fine, but the Italian or flat-leaf parsley can be roughly chopped.

If you grow your own you’ll find that parsley is probably the cheapest super food you can have.

Parsley Rocks!

Ciao
Fee



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How Good Are Nuts?

Talking nuts today, (yes, a common thing I do) – but seriously just how good are nuts?

This tiny little bit of food is power packed with lots of essential nutrients – and different nuts contain different things.  Example – the Brazil nut is a great source of selenium but also good at reducing the LDL cholesterol, however, research has shown that you only need to have four of these awesome nuts ONCE A MONTH.

Yup, only once a month that’s all it takes to help get that bad cholesterol down.

Now some nuts are healthier than others but they are all a good source of unsaturated fat – the good fats – they’re also a great source of protein and most are a good source of vitamins B and E.

The top 5 for me are:

  1. Macadamias which contain more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  2. Cashews are very high in iron, zinc and magnesium. Iron helps keep your blood oxygenated, zinc is great for the immune system and magnesium can improve memory.
  3. Brazil nuts, as mentioned above, the selenium can help prevent cancer.
  4. Almonds, these nuts contain more fibre than any other nut and they’re also the highest in Vitamin E
    and number 5
  5. Walnuts – quite a maligned nut, but contains the most antioxidants of any nut around. Also contains the most omega-3 fatty acids which fights inflammation And high in manganeses which can reduce PMS symptoms.

The beauty of nuts is that you can use them in lots of different ways. Not only having them as a raw snack but they can be used for making milk, the base for creamy sauces and dressings and butters.

Here’s a tip – Keep your nuts fresh by storing them in the fridge it gives them a longer ‘shelf’ life.

Oh, and one last thing – they’re a great source of calcium and magnesium for healthy bones – see don’t need animal dairy at all if you’re eating nuts

I’ve talked about nuts before – so go here to get the gen on making nut milks – The Humble Nut

Ciao
Fee



 

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Should We Eat Eggs?

Eggs are such a common food and touted as being great for us, but should we actually eat eggs?

Now I have to admit, that eggs were the hardest thing for me to leave behind, but I did so for a couple of reasons.

The Egg Industry:

I think we all know just how cruel life is for the chickens who have to live in the cages.  So let’s look at a few facts on the caged chicken.

  1. It can take around 34 hours for a chicken to produce an egg which means that farmers have to make sure they have enough chickens producing enough eggs in order to make a living.  As demand increased so the space allocated to each chicken decreased.
  2. Battery cages allow a space no bigger than an A4 size piece of paper. And, because the hens are packed into these cages with anywhere between 5 to 11 to a cage,
  3. At the start of their life the end of their beaks are cut off with a hot blade – no anesthetic given (not all battery hens suffer this, but it is still a common practice around the world).
  4. Cages are usually stacked one on top of another which allows urine and feces to fall through to the birds in the cages below
  5. They often die in the cage and on some farms are left to rot. This does make you wonder just how much disease is coming through into the eggs.

These cages are being phased out. They’re already banned in many European countries and in parts of the United States.  N.Z. has put a ban on battery cages, however, currently is allowing colony cages which is really just a bigger version. … wire and steel.  Australia, I believe, still is running with this barbaric practice.

So, instead, you choose free range eggs.

Before I go on let’s start at the beginning because this is the start of all chickens lives regardless of whether they are for the caged or the free range farms.

  1. Because the demand is so great for layer hens, chicks are born in large incubators obviously never seeing their mother.
  2. Shortly after birth the chicks are sorted into male and females. The males are tossed into the trash to suffocate gassed or ground up alive in machines.
  3. At the other end of life – again, same for all types of egg farms.
  4. Hens can live up to 10 years of age, but in this industry they are lucky if they reach 2 years. Most are packed into crates and trucked off to slaughter around the 18 months of age this is because their egg laying begins to tail off and so they are no longer a viable proposition to the farmer.
  5. For those who live in cages and in barns – the journey in the truck to the slaughter house is the only time a hen will see the light of day, the only time she will breathe the air and see the sky.

Eggs For Health:

Where do I start?

Even the US Department of Agriculture warned the egg industry that if they say eggs are nutritious or safe they may violate the rules against false and misleading advertising.

That in itself speaks volumes.

  1. Egg yolks alone can cause artery clogging plaque build up nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.
  2. Eggs are the number one source of cholesterol.  A fascinating study was done over a period of a year where they put the subject on eggs, then took him off eggs, put him back on eggs, took him off eggs and the rise and fall of cholesterol was massive – it turn his blood cholesterol on and off like an eggy light switch.
  3. Eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.   Putting  all the studies going right back to the 1930’s all together you find those who ate the most eggs (average a single egg per day), had a 19% increase in cardiovascular disease, a 68% increase risk of diabetes and those with diabetes a 85% increase risk of heart disease.

You must remember that you need to be sure the research you read are not funded by the egg industry.
and what I find amusing is that their studies will compare a single egg to something like a cheese and sausage found in the McDonald’s McMuffin which, of course, is laden with saturated fats.

Now, If you’re already eating a high cholesterol diet, then adding an egg isn’t going to make a difference.  But if you’re trying to eat healthy and bring your cholesterol down, then an egg is going to shoot it right back up again.

Apart from the cholesterol and looking at other phytonutrients that eggs have such as lutein which have been shown to be beneficial to one’s eyesight against conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

But wait – you can get both these nutrients in spinach. In fact, you’d have to eat 9 eggs to get the same amount that is in a single spoonful of spinach.

Eggs are not rich in protein, iron or folate as the industry might want you to believe.  Choline is about the only nutrient eggs are rich in (besides cholesterol) and even though the industry would love you to think that eggs are the only source of it in reality we probably all get too much choline as it’s found in lots of foods.

If you tend to have a bit of a ‘fishy’ breath, sweat, urine and other secretions, then chances are you’ve had too much choline.  Oh and by the way, dietary choline is found mainly in eggs, milk, liver, red meat, poultry, shell fish and fish.

It’s also been discovered that once it’s been through the gut and oxidized in our liver the result may contribute to plaque build up in the arteries.

My conclusion is that eggs are a double whammy when it comes to heart health having both the cholesterol and the choline.
There’s just no way round it …. go wholefood vegan and help not only the chickkies but your health as well.

Ciao
Fee



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