Friday, April 20, 2012

Vegan Dog Food: What's a good brand?


Aren't they just the cutest things?? By living a Vegan lifestyle I aim to provide healthy, non-processed food to EVERY member of my family--including the furry ones.





As you've read in my About Me Page Hubs and I have two pups named Moose and Louie. We try our best to feed them nutritious meals and they're pretty happy with the vegetarian brand we use. They seem to like it as you can see....


Nature's Recipe is an amazing Dog Food which is made with only natural ingredients including barley, carrots, cranberries, flaxseed, salmon, other proteins and sweet potatoes. The best part? It has a vegetarian option! It can be difficult to find in stores so feel free to purchase some from My Favorite Things. The brand offers dry food in a large bag for $33.99 or you can purchase it at a discount price below. 


Read More......

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No Time to Make Lunch? Try this!


Sometimes I find myself in such a hurry in the morning getting ready for work that I have zero time to have my coffee and breakfast...let alone make my lunch for the day (sound familiar folks?). I may press the snooze button just one too many times and I have to run out the door. Here's what I do to fix the problem:

When grocery shopping, look for items that can be warmed in your break room microwave or taken right out of the fridge. Today I had organic tomato soup and a wrap from Roly Poly--a lovely place in Pensacola known for their soups, salads and wraps.



I was able to get a healthy lunch for the price of $6.25 ($3.95 for the 6" wrap). If you don't have a Roly Poly in your area, feel free to make the "Nutty Avocado" from home. Here's the ingredients:


-Avocado

-Cashews

-Walnuts

-Craisins

-Romain Lettuce

-Baby Spinach

-Shredded Carrot

-Alfalfa sprouts

-Balsamic Vinaigrette (I had mine on the side and used it as a dipping sauce)

-Whole Wheat Tortilla

(Calories: 276 for 6"/552 for 12")

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Supplements: What to take if Vegan/Vegetarian


It's been said before and I'll say it again--being vegan is a LIFESTYLE and not just a diet. Some people will try Veganism just to lose a little weight. It doesn't work like that people! You need to do your homework first and find out what works best for you and commit to healthy eating and healthy living..forever.

Non-vegetarians say the same bull over and over--"I could never be vegan...I need protein". What? That makes absolutely no sense. Yes you get protein from meat and dairy, but you can get just as much or even more protein practicing a plant based diet. There are arguments both ways but I'm on the plant side. To start your research you must read The China Study and Forks Over Knives. These books changed my life. If you're not much of reader and prefer the movie versions try the Forks Over Knives DVD.

I'll return to my topic of supplements. The only thing lacking in a plant based diet is the Vitamin B12. Vegetarians run the risk of feeling tired, weak, constipated and even depressed if there is a lack of Vitamin B12. There is a simple solution--1000mcg of B12 each day. One little pink pill is all it takes. I buy a brand from the Vitamin Shoppe and the bottle includes 100 lozenges for around $9.00. To read more facts about B12 check out the website I used for more information.



I also take a Vegetarian digestive aid. Enzymes are what break down your carbs, fats and proteins so your body can absorb the food's nutrients. So I take a digestive supplement to boost the breakdown process and as a result my body is able to absorb additional nutrients. I purchase a bottle of 250 tablets for about $11.00.


Last but certainly not least is Flax Oil. Everyone knows Omega 3 fatty acids are essential in any diet. Some people use Fish Oil...vegans use Flax Oil. Why? Because nowadays many of the fish used to create Fish Oil is contaminated. Haven't you heard the warnings from health shows telling you to limit your fish intake? And pregnant women shouldn't eat fish at all because of the mercury? Gross! And scary! I'll take the Flax...thanks. The negative side is that the body must work a little harder to break down Flax Oil vs. Fish Oil. However, this process is boosted with the help of supplement #2 the Vegetarian Digestive Aid. I purchase a bottle of 250 soft gels and it runs around $14.00. To read about both sides check out the website I used for more information.


So these are the 3 I take. I hope this was helpful. Have a great weekend!

Enjoy!

-Joanna

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vegan Dinner: Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells


Happy Thursday! Tomorrow is Good Friday so today is my last day of the work week--nice! Yesterday was a good day at the office. For my co-worker's birthday our whole department went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I was so happy that I could eat there. I get all ala carte items at Mexican restaurants....black beans, salsa, tortilla chips, Mexican rice and all the hot sauce I want. I don't enjoy eating at most places because they don't offer anything to vegetarians--except a salad. It's usually a really boring salad too. I'm lucky to work with a group of people who always consider my vegan diet when deciding what or where to eat.

What's on the menu tonight? Stuffed Shells! Yum! This healthy dish is so easy to make and I cut the preparation time in half by purchasing egg-free pasta shells and organic marinara sauce (I can't always make everything from scratch).





Ingredients:

-Extra virgin olive oil

-5 cloves of garlic, minced

-3 baby bella mushrooms

-1 portion of Tofu Ricotta (view the recipe here)

-1 cup of nutritional yeast (add to the tofu ricotta recipe)

-3 handfuls of spinach

-1/2 tbsp of basil

-1/2 tbsp of oregano

-1 box of Ronzoni Jumbo Shells

-1 1/2 cups of Emeril's Homestyle Organic Marinara

-1 roma tomato, sliced into small pieces

-1/4 cup of kalamata olives

-Salt and pepper as needed

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Boil a large pot of water and cook shells as directed on the box (subtract a few minutes to ensure it's al dente...I did 10 minutes)

2. Put shells to the side for later

3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil and combine the garlic and mushrooms to cook for 2 minutes. Then add spinach and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off heat.

Spinach, Mushroom and Garlic
4. Add mushrooms, garlic, spinach, basil, oregano, nutritional yeast and tofu ricotta to a blender. Mix well

5. In a 9 x 12 glass dish, scoop a small spoonful of the ricotta mixture into each shell and repeat until pan is full

6. Top with marinara, sliced tomato and olives

7. Cover pan with tinfoil and cook for 20 minutes and you're done!

Enjoy!

-Joanna




Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Breakfast: Tropical Island Smoothie


Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Hubs and I went out to eat twice this weekend which is something we rarely do living a vegan lifestyle. Restaurants in our area do not offer a lot of healthy options, but we were lucky enough to find a great Thai place for Friday's dinner and an Indian place for Sunday's lunch. Thank goodness I cook at home as much as I do because otherwise this lifestyle would be much more challenging.

Saturday I picked up a new hobby--golf! Hubs loves to golf and has been going to the course every weekend now that the weather is beautiful almost everyday. I didn't take any action shots just yet because I'm still learning but managed to take a shot while being a passenger in the truck on the way to the course.


I shot 5 on a par 3 my first hole ever! Craig was proud but I still wasn't sure exactly what I had accomplished. I learn very quickly so was able to pick up the basics after just a few hours. It was fun--I had a Bloody Mary and got some sun too! Bonus!

We made this smoothie Saturday morning to fuel our long day at the course.



Ingredients:

-4 1/2 cups of ice

-1/4 cup of Pomegranate juice

-3/4 cup of Acai Superfood juice (see picture below)

-1 organic banana

-1 pear (cut in half remove seeds and stem)

-2 kiwis

-2 handfuls of spinach

-1 mango

-2 tbsp of flax seed

Directions:

1. Pulse ice first in blender 3-4 times to break up

2. Add all juices, then fruits, and top with the flax

3. Blend well and you're done!

Enjoy!

-Joanna