Being vegan doesn't mean giving up chocolate. In fact, many authentic dark chocolates are vegan since they don't have dairy. Vegan desserts have come a long way with many great options from cupcakes to cookies and cakes. Since this article gives 15 recipes for vegan chocolate treats, it's one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Baobob is a tree native to southern Africa and produces a fruit with a lot of vitamin C. Many fruits have this vitamin, but nutritionists assert that it has some antioxidant properties as well. This article from About.com gives the latest details on the baobob benefits.
A healthy heart is one of the benefits of a plant-based diet. February is 'Heart Month', so it's a propitious time to add more veggies to your meals. It's also a good time to think of ways to increase the health of your heart for the long term. This article from ABC News gives four useful strategies!
It's not surprising that many people salivate over meat. Images of meat on TV ads, billboards, websites, and in magazines entice people to consider meat for every meal of the day. The images are effective, especially when they are repeated many times. It would be nice to see vegetables portrayed with the same intensity. Most likely, it would have the same effect over time and generate more interest in eating veggies as a main dish. The latest research published in this article from Scientific American suggests that images of vegetables do result in a greater appetite for these ingredients.
When the UN Conference on Climate Change concluded in Durban, South Africa, last year, it was evident that the meeting produced very few actions to stop pollutants linked to climate change. Since then a grass roots movement formed, initiated by the U.S. and several other nations to try to limit short-lived pollutants. These pollutants last in the atmosphere from one week to a year, and, according to the article, account for 30% to 40% of global warming. Other countries involved are Canada, Mexico, Ghana, and Sweden. It's being run out of the UN's Environment Program. More countries are being recruited to join the movement. It seems like a good reaction to the slow pace of the UN climate change conference and deserves the support needed to succeed. Details of the climate reduction program are in this article from the NY Times.
New research suggests that purple potatoes are a healthy food which are packed with antioxidants. According to this article, they can also help lower blood pressure. Purple potatoes taste great in roasted vegetable recipes and are a nice alternative to regular potatoes which are the most consumed vegetable in the U.S. Purple potatoes aren't found in all grocery stores, but are usually available in natural grocery stores and farmer's markets. My favorite variety is the Peruvian purple potato which has a nice flavor, especially when roasted. Other purple foods such as eggplant, blueberries, and blackberries also contain antioxidants. So if you want to add a healthy ingredient to your cooking, try purple!
Most sodium doesn't come from your salt shaker! Sodium is used in so many prepared foods which, when consumed frequently, results in exceeding the daily sodium allowance recommended by dietitians for maintaining good health. Even when food doesn't taste salty, it still may contain large amounts of sodium.
The CDC recently published a report on the top 10 foods that contain the highest levels of sodium. The results are discussed in this article from the AP.
Bread is now the number one contributor to sodium in our diets based on the level of sodium per serving and the number of servings eaten on an average day by people in the study.This is not surprising. Packaged bread from supermarkets contain too much salt. Further, artisan breads from specialty stores or farmer's markets may also contain high levels of sodium. This includes bagels as well. Interestingly, some brands of potato chips and other snack foods we commonly associate with high salt levels were lower on the list than bread products.
So, try reducing the amount of bread eaten during the day. For example, if you have a sandwich, take the top slice off and eat it "open-faced". Same thing if you are making a veggie burger or soy dog. Based on the recommendations of many nutritionists, doing so can help improve long term health and also reduce your caloric intake. Make an honest effort to read labels on breads before you buy.
The empowering effect of vegan diets is proclaimed earnestly in this brilliant article by James McWilliams in the Atlantic. Evidence includes having tremendous vitality among vegans at more senior ages, conquering chronic illness, appearing much younger than one's age, and the ability to change and impact giant food companies which can lead to less damage to the environment.
All of this is possible by eating a wide range of veggies, fruit, and whole grains during the day which will supply the full amount of nutrition the body needs. The author starts the article with a long list of the vegetables and fruit he ate the day he wrote it. It's the most important message to consider - there is so much great food to eat and it doesn't have to include meat. Once you adopt a vegan diet, it's amazing how many different foods you'll start including in your meals which leads to more enjoyment, nutrients, energy, and the transformation to a more powerful life!
This article gives a nice overview of the vegan trend and highlights that, what was once an obscure diet regimen, is now reaching mainstream status. Being vegan or eating a vegan meal means eating vegetables which are healthy and less destructive to the environment to produce on a large scale. It also means expanding the reach of one's compassion and reducing, as much as possible, one's footprint on the environment. It's a positive way of life and it's nice to see more people learning about it. The article also discusses nutrition topics relevant to vegan diets.
Make Simple Vegan Meals