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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

7 Days of Refreshing, High Energy Smoothies without Caffeine

Monday, July 11th, 2011



Healthy and delicious fruity milk shakes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants- these smoothies will keep your energy up all summer long…without the caffeine!


Nothing beats an ice-cold drink on a hot, lazy summer day.  Colas and “energy drinks” might temporarily give you that extra power boost you need in the middle of the afternoon, but that’s only because they get their fuel from caffeine.

One 16-ounce can of SoBe’s No Fear contains 141mg of caffeine; that’s about as much as an 8-ounce cup of coffee, which can have anywhere between 100-150mg of caffeine.

So, what’s wrong with a caffeine buzz?

Nothing, if it’s an occasional cup of coffee.  But if you’re banking on a can of Diet Coke or a tall Frappuccino to get you through your morning workload or afternoon gym class on a regular basis, then you should consider the health risks involved.

Caffeine and your health

Besides guaranteeing a “caffeine crash” a few hours later, which defeats the whole purpose of drinking an energy drink, excess caffeine intake causes the following side effects:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Nutritious, energy drinks just make more sense

Why risk all the ill effects of caffeine addiction, when you can get a vitamin-packed power boost from heart-healthy ingredients that your body loves?

Whip up a high-energy smoothie for a quick, refreshing breakfast, snack, or frozen dessert. 

Dairy ingredients such as yogurt and low-fat milk provide protein and vitamin B12, for long-lasting energy and metabolic performance throughout your day. 

Individuals on special diets can substitute soy milk or soy ice cream for a vegetarian milk shake. 

Fresh fruits of the season deliver maximum vitamins and antioxidants.

Try some of these healthy, summertime smoothie recipes for yourself; listed below is one for each day of the week!

Sunday: Tea-Licious Smoothie

7 Days of Refreshing, High Energy Smoothies without Caffeine

This frosty drink gets it vavavoom from peppermint tea, lemon sorbet, and vitamin C-rich citrus fruits.  It’s an excellent alternative to caffeine-laden Southern sweet tea.

Monday: Apple à la Mode Smoothie

7 Days of Refreshing, High Energy Smoothies without Caffeine

You’ll start loving Mondays if you make this apple pie smoothie a part of your morning ritual.  The apple pectin provides high fiber, so you won’t get hungry by the time 10:00 am rolls around.

Tuesday: Creamy Date Shake

Dates add natural sweetness and filling fiber to this low-fat milk shake.

Wednesday: Banana-Yogurt Smoothie

Martha Stewart recommends this naturally wholesome and delicious banana drink, which also contains flax seeds, honey, and plain yogurt.

Thursday: Watermelon Yogurt Mint Smoothie


Are you ready to try something refreshingly different?  If you love crisp watermelon, then you’ll flip for this cooling summer treat, made with fresh watermelon, mint leaves, honey, and lemon yogurt.

Friday: Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie Recipe


You don’t have to wait until October to enjoy antioxidant-rich pumpkin pie! Just crack open a can of pumpkin puree, and add banana and almond milk.  This recipe also contains two cups of baby spinach, but you can substitute your favorite leafy greens.

Saturday: Avocado-Pear Smoothie

Avocado and silken tofu add a smooth, creamy texture to this protein drink, and pear juice and honey give it a naturally sweet taste.

Other great healthy recipes:

10 Most Tempting Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

Crohn’s Disease Suggested Dinner Menu, plus Recipes

8 Rockin’ Meatless Grill Recipes for Memorial’s Day

Ten Ultimate Super Bowl Snacks That Are High in Vitamin B12


Too much caffeine – Caffeine crash – TheSite.org

Caffeine Fuels Most Energy Drinks

The Daily Meal



Incredible Smoothies

Whole Living

My Recipes


6 Must-Eat Foods for Die-Hard Vegans

Monday, May 23rd, 2011



What are some meatless meals that have protein and vitamin B12? Here are some nutritious food choices for vegans.


Are you a committed vegan?

Anybody who has ever cried during Walt Disney’s Bambi has probably flirted with the idea of converting to veganism, a diet which mindfully excludes eating, wearing or utilizing any product which is derived through the slaughter of animals.

Who hasn’t fantasized about growing their own organic vegetables, tossing out their leather sneakers in favor of a pair of cruelty-free recycled-material loafers, and living off a steady diet of barbecued tofu sandwiches, mixed bean sprouts and Matcha green tea?

Many of us have tried being vegetarian for at least a day; some of us for even longer.

What eventually makes or breaks your commitment to the vegan lifestyle is the inevitable need to maintain the same nutritional balance that you had back in your meat-eating days…

Namely, you need to replace the iron, vitamin B12 and protein that you used to get from meat, fish, milk, and eggs, and find new plant-based foods which meet the same nutritional needs.

On Becoming Vegan: Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Others

Vitamin B12 and veganism

Vegans who neglect to include sufficient amounts of vitamins such as B12 in their diets often end up with vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic fatigue, and increased risk for heart attack and severe neurological damage.

A good preventative measure is to take regular supplementation, such as iron pills and a vitamin B12, in addition to including the following 6 vegetarian-based nutrients:

#1 Vegan Protein: Beans, soy products, nuts and seeds

The dilemma about not getting enough protein in a vegan diet has nothing to do with availability. Most foods, vegan or non-vegan, have adequate amounts of protein in them.

Vegetables, beans, grains and nuts are rich in protein. Particularly healthy protein sources are almond butters, tempeh (mock meat), quinoa, lentils and kidney beans.

But in order to obtain enough amino acids, you must include a variety of protein foods in your diet, as none (except for the soy products) are single whole sources of complete protein.


#2 Vegan Vitamin B12: Soy milk, fortified cereals

A majority of the foods which are rich in vitamin B12 are animal-based: lean beef, chicken, organ meats, eggs, fish and dairy products.

Don’t skimp on vitamin B12; your body needs it to produce red blood cells, maintain the nervous system and convert food into energy.

Vegan milk substitutes often have vitamin B12 added in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. But don’t become too complacent; B12 levels can plummet steadily without your realizing it. Make certain your doctor gives you a vitamin B12 blood screening at every checkup, and become familiar with the basic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms


#3 Vegan Iron: Dark leafy greens, beans, raisins and fortified breads

Iron is essential for collecting oxygen produced in our lungs and distributing it to the rest of the body.

Of all the vitamin deficiencies, the most common is caused by low iron levels, affecting up to 20 percent of women. Iron sources obtained from meat are the most easily digested, but vegan sources are available.

The highest sources of iron in the vegan diet include:

  • soybeans;
  • blackstrap molasses;
  • lentils;
  • spinach;
  • quinoa.


#4 Vegan Omega-3 fatty acids: Walnuts, flaxseed, wheat germ, supplements

The richest sources of omega-3′s are in seafood, particularly mackerel, trout and tuna.

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly derived from Linolenic Acid, and are vital for brain functioning, boosting the immune system, promoting heart health and imparting general feelings of well-being.

Vegan foods which are high in omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • flax, soy and canola oils;
  • hemp, sesame and pumpkin seeds;
  • nuts, such as walnuts and Brazil nuts;
  • wheat germ and wheat germ oil


#5 Vegan Zinc: Legumes, seeds, grains, brewer’s yeast and green veggies

Zinc is important for helping our bodies fight infections, produce new cells and utilize protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Foods which provide the most zinc nutrients are shellfish, meat and milk, but there are many plant-based sources as well.

To get enough zinc in a vegetarian diet, include plenty of:

  • whole grains, including cereals and breads made with whole grains;
  • nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds;
  • brewer’s yeast;
  • beans and lentils;
  • wheat germ;
  • dark green vegetables


#6 Vegan Iodine: Iodized salt, seaweed

Vegetarians are more likely to not consume enough iodine, as some or the richest sources of iodine include many seafoods.

According to one study, 80% of vegans and 25% of vegetarians do not consume sufficient amounts of iodine.

Make a point of using iodized salts, and try incorporating toasted seaweed into your diet. Or better yet, learn how to make vegan sushi, complete with nori sheets, avocado, cucumber slices and compressed tofu.


Also read:

Vegan Dieters at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease, After All

B12 Deficiency can really Get on your Nerves

Natalie Portman Chooses B12 over Veganism







Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

March, 2011- In northern France, a vegan married couple faces trial after the death of their baby due to vitamin B12 deficiency; their daughter, who was exclusively breast fed even at the age of 11 months, became ill back in March of 2008 of vitamin deficiency. Morguefile, http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/48424Now the couple may face charges of neglect for refusing to include animal products in her diet.

Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou called an ambulance when they noticed that their baby daughter Louise seemed pale, unfocused and drained of energy, but by the time the emergency team arrived their daughter was already dead.

Most 11-month-olds weight approximately 8 kg (17.6 lbs), but at the time of her death Louise weighed only 5.7 kg (12.5 lbs).

Police believe that vitamin B12 deficiency lowered the baby’s resistance to infection and ultimately caused her to die of pneumonia.

Read Pregnant Moms and Low B12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products such as lean red meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods.  B12 is essential for neurological development and production of red blood cells. The vegan diet specifically excludes all foods which are rich in vitamin B12, so a special effort must be made to include vitamin B12 supplements such as injections.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Fatigue, loss of energy
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Depression
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Altered taste perception
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • “Brain fog,” unclear thinking
  • Dizziness

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to serious neurological damage or pernicious anemia.

While the infant Louise was fed milk, a rich source of vitamin B12, the fact that her vegan mother refused to eat animal products nor feed her animal products meant that she was deliberately neglected of this essential vitamin, say police.

The deputy prosecutor of the trial had this to say about the mother’s involvement in the death of her child: “The problem with a vitamin B12 deficiency could be linked to the mother’s eating habits.”

In addition to shunning animal products, the Le Moaligou family also eschews traditional medicine in favor of home-made remedies found in their collection of self-help books.

At her 9-month checkup, Louise was already suffering some of the symptoms of B12 deficiency, in addition to bronchitis and rapid weight loss; her parents were advised to admit her into a hospital, but refused, opting instead for non-traditional medical practices such as applying cabbage leaves, mustard and camphor. Parents also preferred to wash their baby with dirt and clay in lieu of soap and water.

The French couple, who also has a 13-year-old daughter, may face 30 years if found guilty.


The Guardian, Times Live, RFI

Oprah Pledges 7 Days to Vegan Challenge

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Oprah Winfrey is taking her farewell season to new heights with her latest “Vegan Challenge.”

Only days after stunning her afternoon TV talk show audience with her highly anticipated revelation of a half-sister, Oprah Winfrey is once again making headlines. This time, it’s all about going vegan.

Recently Oprah announced that she and the rest of her 378-member Harpo staff would be taking a seven -day vegan challenge.  Promoting the new vegan diet book by author Kathy Freston, “Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World,” Oprah’s February 3, 2011 aired the results, including a shocking expose on a beef processing plant.

Her explanation for taking the Vegan Challenge- To raise awareness of animal cruelty and to demonstrate how living free of animal products can improve your health.

Kathy Freston’s book encourages getting your protein from whole grains, beans and lentils. Recipes featured on her show included a blueberry-banana-broccoli shake, Pumpernickel bread, veggie burgers and a new ingredient: Daiya, a cheese substitute derived from tapioca, arrowroot and peas.

And the results of the 7-day Vegan Challenge?

  • Out of the 378-crew, approximately 300 were able to complete the 7-day vegan diet.
  • Collectively they lost 444 pounds.
  • Many volunteers reported having digestive difficulties adjusting to the vegan entrees, being unaccustomed to following a diet rich in legumes.
  • Video editor Rich shared his success story- after 10 years of migraine headaches and chronic acid indigestion he has lost 11 pounds during the one-week challenge and has never felt better.

Unlike vegetarianism, which permits the eating of eggs, fish and cheese, the vegan diet is entirely plant-based; in addition to eschewing all foods which are even remotely derived from any animal source many vegans also shun leather goods and fur.

Considering going vegan? Proceed with caution; the typical vegan diet lacks Vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient which aids in red blood cell production and various neurological functions. A Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to pernicious anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, memory loss and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.




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