Veganism: Already Part of Your Life

Vegan food

                         Vegan Options
                  Raisingmyvibrations.com

A high percentage of Indians are vegetarians. Indian cuisines include recipes that are vegan and have roots in plant based nutrition. Our grocery carts are laden with items recommended highly in vegan blogs and cookbooks all over the world. We use spices like cumin, turmeric and coriander in our daily food that the rest of the world is waking up to. Plant based proteins and fats are already a part of our nutritional intake. What we lack is thorough understanding and awareness about the vegan food options available to fulfill our nutritional requirements. Traditional grains like Ragi, Jowar and Bajra are vegan powerhouses and are used prominently in regional Kanaddiga and Maharashtrian cuisines. Green sources of protein like Soya, Amaranth (chaulai  Saag), and lotus seeds also form a part of our daily diets. Whole grains like Wheat, Brown rice also are very nutritious. Eaten with lentils, vegetables and greens; these grains make a complete meal.

Eating vegan fooddoesn’t have to be hard. These days, home cooks are seeking out simple recipes that unite hearty, satisfying taste with the perks of vegan food–it’s healthy, fresh, economical, lactose-free, ethical, and environmentally sustainable. Indian, Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Greek, and Italian cuisines are extremely vegan friendly. Until it is brought to notice, many diets all over the world use a healthy mix of whole foods to whip up delicious vegan meals.Dairy is a bit of a stumbling block, but vegan options like Almond, Soya, Coconut milk and vegan cheeses and yogurt make it relatively easy to turn vegan. The lack of awareness about the living conditions of animals on animal farms contributes to ignorance about the usage of dairy products. Unhappy and sick animals cannot produce fortifying and nutritious food for humans.

vegan snacks

Vegan Snacks Peta.org

Going vegan is simply a lifestyle choice one makes, when one decides not to exploit other creatures on the earth for their own pleasure. It includes a commitment to vegan food, clothing, cosmetics and other vegan products.

Going vegan isn’t that big a deal that it is made out to be. If you look at your food choices all great things and by that I mean “a dark chocolate” is already vegan. Dig a little deeper yes those fries are vegan too. So are Oreos, popcorn with corn oil and your favorite coconut milk ice cream. Vegan lifestyle is a movement against cruelty to animals. Its proponents also talk about it multifold health benefits on the side but it does not mean that you become a bean spouting health nut (pun intended).  Vegetarian Thai Red curry with brown rice, Whole Wheat Pasta with basil pesto and Artichoke hearts, Stir fried Chinese greens, Tofu skewers with peanut sauce, Burritos; do any of these dishes seem like a punishment diet, yet all of these are prepared vegan with minimal changes in ingredients (mostly dairy based high fat foods such as mayo & cheese) and almost no changes in taste.

Indians are specially blessed in this regard that they a rich and varied food culture. We can pick and choose snacks and other vegan food options with little impact on our daily life. In Fact more than 60-70% of our diets are already vegan. For example, if you were told that your rice idly and sambhar is usually cooked without ghee/curd and is absolutely Vegan as are so many other regular food & fast food preparations without Ghee/curd, would you feel going Vegan is difficult? Not Really! Right?! More and more people are moving towards avoiding ghee & cheese due to health reasons. A ghee free household is usually making almost every Indian vegetable the Vegan way! Many people who are already off-ghee & cheese find it difficult to go Vegan because they can’t think of life without curd or yoghurt. A simple curd recipe can just help get you the yoghurt delight and also help save a cow of some trouble to produce more. A visit to a local dairy & a peek into techniques of animal husbandry will let you know the reasons why we feel milk & its products are cruel and cannot nourish your life. Just imagine if we can’t compromise on our choices of taste, why should we expect animals to compromise on their life and dignity as sentient beings.

What we need is a higher awareness regarding the vegan cause and vegan options available. Being Vegan is akin to Being Human, it is not a limiting choice, on the contrary it connects you to your roots from your grandma’s times when food was real. This opens up a huge new and exciting world

5 Vegan Superfoods

Vegan Lifestyle is all about a holistic and encompassing lifestyle.  Ancient Cultures and civilizations all over the world have texts dedicated to healing. Vegans are against cruelty to animals in all streams of life. Chemical drugs manufactured by big companies are usually tested on lab animals like rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. These animals undergo horrible side effects that are a result of the trial and error methods employed in research.  Traditional cultures are a fount of treasure when it comes to holistic healing techniques. Though a more thorough and scientific study is required to point out the effects of these traditional products there is a lot of empirical evidence to prove their claims. These herbs and spices are by no means a replacement for Chemical drugs but they are a relatively side effect free lifestyle enhancements that contribute to your health. These products are most effective when they are of organic, natural and whole form.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. There are two varieties of cinnamon available in India one is Chinese known as “cassia” and the other is Ceylon. The Ceylon cinnamon is used widely for medicinal purposes as cassia might lead to stomach upset in some people. Cinnamon is a fantastic source of fiber, flavanols, calcium, iron, manganese, and powerful antioxidants. Cinnamon can be used topically and even added as a cooking spice.

Cinnamon vegan superfood

Cinnamon
                             Getty images

Cinnamon helps in fighting type 2 diabetes, prevents storage of fat which in turns leads to better heart health and also aids in weight loss.  Cinnamon is also known to boost brain function, aid in arthritis pain management and provides relief in cold and cough. It should be taken in moderation as excess intake can cause stomach problems.

Green Tea

Green tea (whole leaf) is the one of the healthiest drink on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have amazing effects on the body. Green tea has been

Green Tea

Green Tea
                       kognozi.blogspot.com

used as a medicine for thousands of years. With the use of whole leaf one ensures having a less processed and more natural product with the nutrition and goodness intact. Whole leaf Green tea is more natural and unprocessed form of the plant therefore it has more benefits compared to black tea or the powdered version available readily in the market. It is full of polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. The beneficial effects  of green tea includes  better brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer, regulation of blood sugar and other myriad benefits for skin and hair. Organically grown and minimally processed green teas are available in online vegan stores.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. One ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains, 11 grams fiber,  9 grams fat ,5 grams fat of which are omega 3’s, 4

Chia seeds

Chia Seeds
                  Wholespice.com

grams protein and sizeable percentage of  daily servings of manganese, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. Chia seeds are whole grain, are usually grown organically, and are naturally gluten free. These tiny powerhouses are also loaded with Antioxidants. The Chia seeds are said to help in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. They are a rich source of plant based protein and fat. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added ground to smoothies. In India the local version is easily available at affordable prices and is popularly known as “Sabza”.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds have been around for the past 6000 years. They are most likely the ancestors

Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds
                              nuts.com

of all superfoods. Flax seeds aid digestion, improve skin quality, lower cholesterol, fight cancer and can help in weight loss. They are usually toasted and grinded for better absorption. Flax seed nutrition profile makes one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Flax seeds improve digestion; give clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss. Flaxseeds are the one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Organic Flax seeds can be bought from vegan or specialty stores. They can be mixed with dough or sprinkled on salads and smoothies.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a staple in any Indian household. It has amazing antioxidant and anti-

turmeric

Turmeric
                         Getty Images

inflammatory properties. Turmeric is said to help in preventing cancer, reducing the risk of heart attack and strokes, combats inflammatory diseases, fights flu and cold and helps regulate blood sugar. Turmeric is also used in face packs to give a radiant complexion. Organically grown turmeric available in vegan stores is best for medicinal purposes.

These wonderful gifts of nature are our first step to fight and curtail the scourge of lifestyle diseases. These whole foods that are naturally obtained are largely chemical free. They are a rich addition to any diet including one for the natural food lovers and vegans and provide plant based nutrition. They must be included in any vegan diet to achieve perfect balance and nutrition.

A Diet That can Rid You of the Pill !!

Safe food for diabetics

               Reverse your Diabetes
                Diabetessupport.com

People who suffer from thyroid or diabetic disorders have to be on strict and regular medication. Missing even a single dose can affect their daily life and normal activities. Often these two diseases are interrelated and the incidence of finding them together in one person is rather high. Untreated or under treatment of these disorders can lead to long term complications including Hypertension, Heart disease and Renal diseases. Diabetes is often known as the silent killer. Thyroid is a tiny gland at the base of our neck that controls to a huge extent the quality of our life. It controls our physical and mental well-being and also the glasses through which we look at life. Thyroid and Diabetes are auto immune disorders that attack the host body. Vegan lifestyle promotes a holistic lifestyle aimed at addressing these imbalances in the human body. The debilitating effects of weight gain, hair loss and bad skin that are often the result of these disorders are often highly discounted by the society. Recent studies have pointed out the important part played by diet in controlling and sometimes reversing these diseases. People whose diets were based mainly on plant-derived whole vegan foods—that is, bown rice, noodles, beans, and vegetables—were less likely to develop diabetes, compared with people whose diets were more focused on animal based fat and protein. These studies suggested that meaty, fatty diets cause the body to be more resistant to insulin’s actions. Research has shown that adopting a low-fat, plant-derived vegan diet improves insulin sensitivity, helps with weight loss, and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol.

It is crucial to avoid animal-derived products. All animal based fat and protein must be

diabetes friendly vegan food

                 Manage your Diet
                        Flickr.com

eliminated from one’s diet.  Animal proteins accelerate kidney damage in people who have already lost some kidney function. They also increase the loss of calcium from the body, potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Plant sources of protein do not present these problems. Excellent sources of plant based proteins are available in vegan stores. I have also put up a chart on the blog vegalyfe.wordpress.com about the vegan sources of protein. Eating a vegetable-based diet reduces levels of a key blood-protein called Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c). For people with diabetes, the higher the HbA1c in their blood, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease.  A plant-based diet improves blood sugar, body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol all at the same time, which is something more than a pill can do.

Vegan food also provides healthier, plant-based sources of iodine that includes cereals and grains, such as whole wheat and rye. Plant based proteins and fats are very helpful to combat such conditions. Gluten sensitivity has been linked with autoimmune disorders including autoimmune thyroid disease. People with autoimmune-caused hypothyroidism must also test for gluten allergy.

Selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function. It is needed for enzymes which help control thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. The B vitamins play an important role in the control of Auto immune disorders like these. They are found in whole grains and vegetables based diets.

Vegan food choices when made mindfully are all about healthy eating. This introduces us to a rich and nutrient dense variety of produce that work as enablers for our body.  They suffuse us with greater energy and lightness of being.  Just avoid eating cruciferous vegetable (such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and similar leafy vegetables) in raw form as they contain chemicals that interfere with the absorption of thyroxine. They are much better in their cooked form. Also avoid eating them for a few hours after taking medication. In addition to becoming healthy yourself, the thought of not harming other creatures for our selfish gains in the process is a reward by itself.

How To Spot A Vegan

Beauty through Lifestyle, Healthy Eating and Peace

                            Vegan Beauty                                                              OhSheGlows.com

She walks in beauty, like the night

   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

Lord Byron

Often when I remember these lines by Lord Byron I think that he was talking about a lady at peace with herself and her surroundings, suffused with an inner glow that only a blameless soul can achieve.  It is also interesting to know that Lord Byron was one of the earliest proponents of the vegetarian movement; an earlier avatar of vegan lifestyle. I think of people who follow a vegan lifestyle in the same light. The people who follow vegan lifestyle are sentient and compassionate people at peace with themselves and the world around them.

A vegan does not treat the creatures of god with cruelty in any form nor do they use these creatures as products to be consumed in any form. All products derived from animals be it dairy, fur, leather, wool, eggs and meat entail cruelty in some form, vegans therefore they do not consume it.  People who follow vegan lifestyle prove every day in their choices that care more for god’s creation rather than vanity. All aspects of vegan lifestyle embrace a holistic philosophy. They wear vegan clothing, use vegan accessories and eat vegan food. As a result they have the inner peace of mind of not contributing to the deterioration of mother earth and its resources. As far as possible they also refrain from using products that contain unnatural chemicals and take special care in choosing products for their daily use. These precautions make them healthy and glowing from inside. As they say we are what we eat in that respect vegans are complete, natural and earthy individuals free of artifice or malice.

Vegans have to face ridicule from friends and family alike in many situations. The internet is littered with how to spot a vegan jokes. Yes vegans believe in their choice, they feel deeply for the animals that suffer unbearable torture and cruelty so some other people can indulge themselves in their choice of food, clothing or fashion accessories. This encounter with reality makes many people uncomfortable and they react by making fun of vegans for their choices.

For me vegans are brave and compassionate individuals. They are caring and loving towards their fellow beings in this world. So whenever you next walk in a room and are captivated by the rooted, relaxed and natural charm of an individual you know you’ve likely have spotted a Vegan.

PROTEIN RICH VEGAN FOOD

Protein rich vegan food

Protein Rich Vegan Food ( Vouheldiet.atspace.eu)

FOOD AMOUNT PROTEIN PROTEIN
(gm) (gm/100 cal)
Broccoli cooked 1 cup 4 6.7
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3
Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Spinach cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Soy yogurt, plain 8 ounces 6 4.0
Bulgur cooked 1 cup 6 3.7
Soy milk commercial 1 cup 7 7.0
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 7 5.2
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 7 3.4
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.1
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Almonds 1/4 cup 8 3.7
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.1
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8 6.6
Textured Vegetable Protein 1/2 cup 8 15.0
Bagel 1 med. (3.5 oz) 10 3.9
Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.6
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6
Seitan 3 ounces 21 17.5
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7
Veggie burger 1 patty 13 18.6
Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5.0
Tofu, firm 4 ounces 11 10.6
Tofu, regular 4 ounces 10 10.7

 

Powerhouse Zucchini Potato Fritters (vegan)

Vegan Zucchini Potato Fritters

Zucchini Potato Fritters

These days My daughter is finally eating vegetables. This recipe is a household favorite, loaded with minerals, vitamins and all the other goodies mothers want their offspring to ingest. It is relatively easy to make and you can make a low fat version very easily by using a non stick pan. I usually need to put on two pans as they fly away so fast. These fritters are great with soup to make a complete meal.

Ingredients (makes 12-16)

Zucchini               3 Large    Washed and Grated

Potatoes Raw      4 medium  Peeled  and Grated

Cashew paste      2 Tablespoon

Cornflour               3 Tablespoon

Crushed garlic       3-4 cloves (optional)

Italian Seasoning   1/2 Teaspoon

Salt to taste

Olive oil as required

Method 

Squeeze the  grated zucchini to remove excess moisture

In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients together

Put the pan to heat, drizzle with olive oil  when heated

Pat  small round cakes of the mixture  and put them on the pan

Let it cook on slow , flip on the other side when light brown and repeat the cooking on the other side.

Here you are, now your nutritious, vegan, healthy, guilt free snack or starter is ready !! These little beauties are good for school snack box as well. These powerhouse fritters are a great addition to any cooks repertoire.

Nutrition Facts

Zucchini is is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
Potato is  very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

An Ayurvedic Detox

Detox Tea

CCF Tea An Ayurvedic Detox Image byebyedoc.com

Here is an Ayurvedic Tea that I use at home. It is often recommended for stomach disorders. It aids in dealing with acidity and helps one feel lighter.

Ingredients (Buy locally grown organic ingredients, if possible)

1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

This spice is known to help balance the three doshas and it has a cooling effect on the body because it helps to reduce the heat and acidic levels in the stomach. It is also an excellent spice that helps to reduce congestion and eases joint pains.

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

This is one of the spices that is used in most Indian cuisine because it promotes a better    digestive health. It also helps to cleanse and detox the body of toxins

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

This spice is often eaten at the end of a meal to support digestion. It helps to calm the mind

11/2 liters room temperature water

Bring the water to a boil and add the spices to the it. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes and switch off the gas. Let the water with the spices stand for 10-15 minutes and your CCF tea is ready to be consumed.

Strain and store this in a flask. You can add a pinch of black salt to it while drinking. This really perks up the tea.