Category: Food (page 1 of 4)

Should Vegans Take Supplements?

This is my view on whether vegans should take supplements or not.

If you’re on a wholefood plant based way of eating then you shouldn’t need supplements other than two, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Assuming your food is pretty good, like you grow it yourself,  get it at farmers markets,  buy local produce, organic where you can etc,  then you should be getting all your nutrients from the food.

Most people don’t know but some supplements can actually be detrimental to your health. These are in two ways:

  1. Hazardous ingredients are known to turn up in some supplements causing those taking them to end up in hospital with a range of serious problems. These are mainly found in Body building, Weight loss and Sexual enhancement supplements.
  2. Some supplements have the risk of giving the taker organ damage, cancer and cardiac arrest.
    Many ingredients can also interfere with those taking prescription medicine especially cholesterol lowering and blood-thinning drugs.

So to give you a couple of examples.

Red Yeast Rice is used to Lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to help prevent heart disease however, it can actually trigger kidney and muscle problems, liver problems, hair loss and can magnify the effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, increasing the risk of side effects.

another is

Green Tea Extract Powder mainly used in the weight loss industry  can lead to dizziness, ringing in the ears, reduced absorption of iron (exacerbates anemia), glaucoma, can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, can cause liver damage and possibly even death.

It’s the way some of the supplements are made up and the ingredients that are used that is the problem.
Also, you have to remember that the supplement’s ingredients have been  processed – not a whole-food and therefore can be just as detrimental in its refined state as sugar or white flour is.

If you believe you should be taking supplements, then always seek advice from a health professional.

On a brighter note:
The two I suggest? Vitamin B12 as this comes from the soil and we have the habit of washing the bejezual out of our veggies – and Vitamin D if you’re an indoor person or live in poor sun.  Vitamin B12 comes in a selection of foods, so look on the label for the words ‘fortified B12’ and you won’t have to bother with tablets.

And, always choose quality branded product from a health food store.

That’s it for me today

Ciao
Fee



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How To Make The Best Vegan Broth

Want to know how to make the best vegan broth?

This is really so simple it’s going to be a staple once you’ve tasted it.  Yes, there is a bit of a bone broth craze out there, but this vegan version is not only tasty it’s way more healthy for you.

Enjoy:

Until next time
Ciao
Fee




credit: The Scene

The Humble Little Nut

We really do sometimes take the humble little nut for granted when, in fact, it packs an almighty powerful punch.

Not only can we use the nut in different ways, but it is also a major contributor to our health.

So let’s start with the nutritional value of nuts.  Yes, it does depend a wee bit on the actual nut, but generally they are a source of:

  • protein (yes, nodding head, they are)
  • potassium,
  • calcium (see, you don’t need dairy – chop some nuts and sprinkle over dark green veg and you’re good to go!)
  • magnesium
  • anitoxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • fibre
  • selenium
  • iron

As I said – each type of nut offers different things.  However they pretty much all have fat in them – good fat – but still fat.  This is why you don’t want to sit down to a bag of nuts!!!  Instead it’s recommended that a handful a day is sufficient.  (mixed or one type).

Please avoid nuts that have been roasted as they normally will be done in oil and have salt and/or flavourings added.  It’s best to buy raw and dry roast them in the oven yourself.

HOW TO STORE.  Sadly nuts come already shelled and not chilled which means you have no idea how old they are.  If they smell a bit “off” (rancid) they are waaaaay past their ‘best by’ date.  When you get them home … pop into the fridge and they will last longer.

What to do with them:

NUT MILK

Nuts make remarkable milk that can be used either in cooking or just plain over grains or to drink. To make the nut milk –

You’ll need:.

  • Organic nuts are best and they ought to be fresh. You could use any kind of type, however, I suggest you start with either almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts or hazelnuts.
  • This is where you need to have a really good, and powerful blender – one that you make smoothies with.
    Next you’ll need something to strain the milk with.  You could use cheese cloth or muslin which I’d suggest to start with – you can get a nut milk bag later on if you want to continue making your milk.

How to:

  • Soak the nuts over night this will soften them and make it easier to blend.
  • The portion is 1 cup of nuts to 3 cups of filtered water (you can alter the amount of water as you get familiar with the process
  • Put into your blender and blend at high speed until the nuts are well mixed. (They’ll turn the colour of milk)
  • Strain the fluid through your cheese cloth to separate it from the pulp, getting out as much milk as possible by twisting the cloth.
  • You can use the pulp in baking.

If you do want to sweeten the milk, try with a little date puree which is the healthiest option … just put it back into the blender with the date puree and blend well.

NUT BUTTER

Again quite a simple process.  Your food processor will do the job effectively.

You’ll need:

  • Organic nuts and this time dry roast them and cooled
  • Oil – maybe.

How to:

  • Put the cooled nuts into the processor and start to blend them.
  • They should start forming a ball.  Some nuts won’t need the extra oil, but if you think the nuts are not forming enough of a paste, then add a little oil to help the process.
  • Once made, place into pot or small glass jar to use.

Nuts au natural:

Regardless if you have them whole or chopped they are a fabulous addition to practically anything.

  • Include cashews to stir-fried vegetables – scrumptious.
  • Obviously you can always add nuts to baking e.g. cakes, breads or cookies.
  • A little mix of nuts sprinkled over a salad or I’ve been known to put them over veggies.

That’s it – so go nutty!

Ciao
Fee



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Is Being Vegan Expensive?

I had someone say to me the other day “Isn’t being vegan expensive?”

Surprisingly enough this is actually quite a common question.
The simple answer is “No”.

Let me explain a bit further.

The vegan’s protein ‘go to’ is usually either bean, peas or lentils and all these foods can be sourced at bulk buying outlets extremely cheaply. In fact, a pound (kilo) of lentils would probably cost less than a pound (kilo) of beef and would go sooooooo much further.  In this day and age – a pound of beef would probably only feed two people for one meal, but the lentils would feed a family of four over two meals.  Of course you would be adding to the lentil dish with other vegetables and you’re now looking at perhaps a family of 6 people over two meals …. equals, far less expensive than meat.

It’s usually fruit and veggies that are the expensive items. Now the reason for this is usually that people buy out of season. And it’s not only vegans that do that, but meat eaters as well. So, if you’re wanting to save money, then I’d suggest you wander down to your local farmers market and buy in season.
And, give your local produce outlet a try as well – in season fruits and veggies just may be cheaper than your local supermarket and chances are, better quality.

I recently posted a video on 5 of the top questions I get asked being vegan which does include the one above.  So watch the video to find out the rest:

Enjoy good food
Ciao
Fee

Here’s A Tip You Might Be Interested In

Plants are the pharmacy of our world.

Plants really are amazing things.  They can actually be your first choice pharmacy because they are all so healing in their properties.

One of the tricks, though, is to eat all the edible part of the plant.  For example: Have the apple skin as well as the flesh, or bake the potato instead of peeling off the skin.

Why? – because the healing properties work in synergy with each other.  It’s one of the reasons I don’t recommend juicing, because so much goodness is left behind.  Smoothies are better because it mulches up the whole plant therefore giving you the full benefits.

What the image says is:  Cranberries can suppress the growth of cancer cells in the liver.  Just a wee handful a day, pop onto your cereal or in your smoothie. Remember, have all the fruit, not just the juice.

Don’t forget – I have the FREE Discovery call – 1/2 an hour with me live, you can ask me anything you like and I’ll be telling you 3 secrets to a healthier life.
Jump online here: Make Your Booking

Until next time
Have great food and be compassionate to all animals

Ciao
Fee



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How To Dine With Meat Eaters

This is a subject that a lot of vegans/vegetarians can struggle with – how to dine with meat eaters who are their friends.

It’s happens to me frequently and now I have the perfect way of being able to go to their home and enjoy their company as well as enjoy great food.

Check out the tips I give on this quick video and hopefully they will help immensely

 

Have great food
Ciao
Fee

Do You Have To Eat Meat To Get Good Iron?

It’s a myth that many believe … that you have to have meat in order to get good amounts of iron.

Here in New Zealand, we have  Olympic athletes who advertise on our  T.V. for the meat industry, touting Beef and Lamb being rich in protein and iron.  Kind of saying – eat this and you’ll be an athlete like me.

Sadly I have some news that hopefully will dispel this crazy myth that meat iron is good for us.

Yes, we need iron.  In simply language we need it for healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around our body.

Meat iron is called heme iron and it differs considerably from plant iron … and here’s why.

Iron is regulated by the intestines.  So when we don’t have enough, the intestines will increase the absorption of iron into the blood.  When we have too much iron, the reverse happens – the intestines decrease the iron.

But, here’s where it gets interesting.  You see, it does NOT work for heme iron.  The intestines can only regulate plant iron!!!!

Heme iron also is a pro-oxidant.  That means it can generate cancer-causing free radicals.  Quite honestly you don’t really want to have heme iron in your body at all, plus, how many meat eaters do you know who are really into their antioxidants?  Check out my post on Antioxidants

So if you are relying on meat for iron, or your doctor has told you that it is the best source, understand that because the intestines can’t regulate it …. too little will lead to anemia, but, too much (which the average meat eater has), you run the risk of cancer and heart disease.

iron in meat

BUT – I haven’t finished yet!!!!!  This next bit is really interesting.

I have it on very good authority that the meat industry is looking at ways to have additives that will

“suppress the toxic effects of heme iron”

This reminds me of the Tobacco Industry who knew back in the 1920s & 30s that cigarettes caused cancer, but nothing was done until 1969 when finally the public were made aware of the dangers.
So does this action from the meat industry sound familiar???

I leave you to ponder on that, and I’d love you to leave a comment.

Ciao
Fee



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How To Make Hummus

This is my version of how to make hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 1 cup of precooked chickpeas).
  • 2 Tblsp aquafaba water (water from the can or the cooking water). (may require more).
  • 3 Tblsp tahini
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 plump cloves of garlic
  • 1/2  cup lemon juice (add a little of the pulp)

Season with:

  • Sea salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground cumin

Method:

  1. Blend the chickpeas and aquafaba together, add more aquafaba if you want it to be more  creamy.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and blend to the desired consistency.
  3. Serve with sliced raw veggies, crackers or even use it on top of a salad… you can put it pretty much anywhere!!!

Check out the video in My Kitchen – I made the hummus live on FB and at the end discovered I’d left out the garlic!!!

The Rise of Veganism?

With the latest Supermarket Stats from Britain out, are we seeing a Rise in Veganism?

Now I realize that these statistics are from Britain, but I truly believe that these figures are synonymous with what is a growing trend in the Western world.  Even in my own small city, the emergence of new plant based cafés – vegetarian, vegan and raw foods has increased considerably in the last 18 months.  It’s wonderful to behold!!!!

The following statistics were taken from the supermarket figures in Britain for the year 2016.  What I have done is show you what they would be if they were USA or N.Z. dollars (Australians can go sort of in between those two).

Fresh Meat was down £328 million – $106 million USA – $566 million N.Z.

Itemized out that is:

  • Beef – down £72 million – $90 million USA – $124 million N.Z.
  • Pork – down £62 million – $75 million USA – $107 million N.Z.
  • Lamb – down £21 million – $26 million USA – $36 million N.Z.
  • Poultry – down £49 million – $60 million USA – $84 million N.Z.

But not only was meat down, so was dairy ….

  • Fresh milk – down £54 million – $66 million USA – $93 million N.Z.
  • Butter – down £83 million – $102 million USA – $143 million N.Z.
  • Cheese – down £73 million – $90 million USA – 1266 million N.Z.

Brilliant news!!!!  And the beauty is that there was a rise in Dairy Free product which were up by £123 million

If this trend continues we could see omnivores as being the odd ones out and plant based eaters as main stream. Wouldn’t that be grand for us all (humans, animals the planet!!!).

Enjoy great food and be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao
Fee




Cameras In Slaughterhouses – Well Done France!

I heard today that France has passed a bill that there are to be cameras in all their slaughterhouses.

Which got me remembering all the other things that France has done.  So I have made a list (as I do).

  1. They have introduced incentives to embed sustainability into French urban planning.
  2. They are encouraging  alternatives to conventional means of transportation such as self-service bike rental stations and car sharing.  They are also encouraging the use and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the necessary infrastructure to power them.
  3. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  4. France is the first country to ban plastic cups and plates and utensils –  French law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials. read more.   And on the subject of plastic, they have also banned the common plastic bag – that’s the smaller and thinner type used in supermarkets.  They will still have plastic bags, but they must be reusable ones which should cut down the numbers.
    You know those little plastic bags you put the veggies/fruit in? well they’ve been phased out as of the start of this year (2017) The law also currently plans to have domestically compostable bags which should replace plastic fruit and vegetable bags too.  Did you know:  An average plastic bag takes one second to make, is used for roughly 20 minutes and takes up to 400 years to degrade naturally.
  5. Food – The have become the world’s first country to ban supermarket waste and compel large retailers to donate unsold food.  Let’s face it – there’s heaps of places that will take donated food, not just the homeless shelters – what about schools, orphanages, old folk homes .
  6. All the new buildings in commercial zones must now comply and have green roofs – that is to say the rooftops must be partially covered in plants or solar panels by law.
  7. And now – the cameras in slaughterhouses.  Although France’s history of animal welfare is lacking compare to other countries, at least this is a real start.  It did come about by the release of hidden video as well as a fair amount of protesting.  Read more  To top this off a coalition of 26 French animal protection associations have combined to make sure that animal welfare is on the political agenda for the next presidential and legislative elections.

Our animals and our planet need us to get behind countries that are actually doing something.  Yes we need the “something” to be way more than what’s being done, and way faster, but, being the realist I am, I’m grateful for small wins.

Speaking about the environment – The EU, those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels who care for the environment, are putting all countries under pressure to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.  Wish the same could be said for here Down Under!!!

Love food, be kind to animals (including humans)
and, remember, for every $ you spend you shape our world.

Ciao
Fee

 

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