I hate the word “diet”. Like….I really, really do. I’ve been on a diet almost my entire life, so, for me, the word evokes a major feeling of restriction and deprivation. It also suggests, by the name alone, that we are either “on it” or “off it”. When we go off it, and we always do, we’re most likely to end up right where we started before we went on it in the first place. That’s why when talking about the plant-based diet, I’d rather use the word "lifestyle".
Last week I was talking about when I first started eating plant-based, I felt deprived of eating sandwiches. I remember missing my favorite ham, cheese & mustard combo on squishy white bread. I realized I had actually been grieving that sandwich. It was nothing fancy...not even the mustard was fancy, but my mom would stop whatever she was doing to happily prepare that sandwich for me, slicing it diagonally and serving it on one of her treasured, beautifully decorated dishes as if I were the Queen of England.
It’s important to note here that ALL change is grief. Even good, positive, healthful change. Change signals the end of something and the beginning of something else. And where that happens, there is grief, my friends; especially when we find ourselves emotionally attached to our food at a very deep level. This isn’t to be confused with emotional eating, although they often go hand-in-hand, as they can in my case.
Like, when you're crying and eating out of a bag of chips at the same time.
It’s having that unwillingness to let go of certain foods because it’s what we know or the recipes have sentimental value, having been passed down through generations, or it’s holiday tradition, it’s the way our friends are eating...it’s how my momma use to make it.
And when you boil all that down, folks, eating certain foods gives us that feeling of safety and comfort, reassuring us that all is right with the world.
And if it’s not, well then you at least have your favorite sandwich.
I was the girl who used to say, “I could never give up cheese.” I was also the girl who thought…”Well if I can’t have the sandwich I like, then I’m having none at all.” So, I didn’t eat them for a long time. But over the years, as my taste buds have changed and healed, I’ve learned to like new foods and unique combinations that would never have appealed to me before.
Last week I shared some cold sandwich variations from my repertoire and this week I’ve promised to deliver some warm sammie creations perfect for the summer meal rotation. I hope they ease the pain of breaking up with the sandwiches of yesterday...and seduce you to fall in love all over again.
1. VBLT- I LOVE BLTs...especially in the summer time. Veggie Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and light vegan Mayo. You can buy pre-packaged vegan bacon (check the ingredients list to be sure it doesn't contain dairy or egg) or simply sauté some sliced Portobello mushrooms in a little vegan Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup and a few drops of liquid smoke. Sautéing mushrooms in soy sauce, tamari (gluten free) or coconut aminos (soy free) also does the trick for me.
2. Loaded BBQ- Sauté shredded sweet potato or carrot in your favorite barbeque sauce until warmed. Trust me. Top with shredded cabbage, guacamole and/or jarred pineapple salsa to give it that Caribbean flare. Alternatively, top with your favorite coleslaw using eggless mayo, such as Just Mayo. Make a quick, fresh pineapple salsa with diced pineapple, red onion and squeeze a lime wedge mixed in.
3. Grilled Cheeze- There is something about a grilled cheese sandwich. Whether you’re dipping it in creamy tomato soup or taking it up a notch with a thinly sliced tomato and spread of Dijon mustard, it may surprise you to know the sky can be the limit. Any good vegan cheese recipe always starts with potatoes, carrots and onion...I don’t care who you are. Oh and cashews just take it to a whole 'nother level as it does in this recipe. I like to skip the vegan butter part and just slather it on two pieces of whole grain toasted bread.
If you really want to go down the rabbit-hole for some swoon-worthy grilled cheese combinations, check out Peta's top picks for #nationalgrilledcheese day.
4. Quick Portobello Panini- Cooked mushrooms do make a repeat appearance in many of my sandwiches. The surprising part is I use to loathe mushrooms only a few years ago. If I can learn to like new foods after hating them most of my life, anyone can. Sauté sliced portobello mushroom in soy sauce, tamari (gluten free) or coconut aminos (soy free) and serve on toasted bread slathered with hummus, your favorite mustard and fresh spinach leaves.
5. Breakfast McSandwich- This Happy Herbivore, Meal Mentor inspired breakfast creation is savory and satiating for the soul. And it’s a perfect way to start your Saturday morning when you have a little more time to indulge in distant memories of Egg McMuffins past...with a south of the border twist.
On average, Americans eat just ONE serving of fruits and vegetables per DAY. “If Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day, this would save more than 30,000 lives and $5 billion in medical costs each year.” What? Crazy! Just think how amazing it could be if Americans added two more servings?!?! *Mind Blown* All kidding aside, it really is important to add more fruits and vegetables in your diet. EVERYONE needs more and you can not eat too many fruits and vegetables. They are called superfoods for a reason! Did you know all fruits and vegetables contain cancer-fighting compounds?!?! People who eat just five servings of fruits and vegetables a day lower their risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions!
I know what you are going to ask me: “what's an easy way to add in more fruits and veggies?” That is what you were going to ask me, right? I am always looking for easy ways myself! The best way to make a change is to Set Goals! Don't just say “eat more fruits and vegetables”; make it actionable! Set tangible, specific goals! So, let's make this a list, I LOVE lists!!
I use it for fruit, too! I always hesitate buying berries because I feel like they go bad
by the next day. With these nifty contraptions I can store berries in the fridge for at least 10 days!! I know, so exciting, right?! So, the tip is to make a big salad that you can grab at anytime!! How easy is that?! The secret to keeping the salad fresh though is not adding the vegetables that get too wet...I save the tomatoes and cucumbers until I'm ready to serve. I also top with some seeds like sunflower or pumpkin.
Here's what I throw into those awesome containers:
Are those doable? Can you find some time to fit more fruits and vegetables into your life? Your life depends on it;)
Do you have any tips that can make my life easier?!?! I'd love to hear them; post in the comments, facebook, instagram, or throw an email my way!
Peace, Love, Plants,
*I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about health and holistic wellness.
Years ago, when I was transitioning to a plant-based diet, I remember feeling deprived of eating sandwiches. I was really stuck in the mindset of the deli meat and cheese-filled sandwiches of my youth and quickly grew bored with the comforts of peanut butter and jelly.
Over the years I’ve gotten creative in layering up a good ‘sammie’ and put together a solid list of go-to hot and cold creations to give me that fix.
Here are the makings for a healthy delicious sandwich. Conventional store bought breads often have small amounts of dairy and egg products, so always check the label to be sure!
Here are 6 COOL summer sandwich ideas to curb your cravings.
1. Chik’n Salad- Pulse soy curls or chickpeas in a food processor or mash chickpeas in a bowl with a fork until no whole beans are left. With vegan mayo ,such as Just Mayo, you can make up a chik’n salad just as you always have. I like to add chopped celery, red onion, dill relish and poultry seasoning or celery salt. My picky daughter prefers only the mayo, and salt & pepper to taste.
2. ALTO- Meet the better looking younger sister of the BLT: sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato & red onion. Toast up some bread, slather hummus, vegan mayo and/or your favorite mustard and layer it up for a delicious summer sandwich.
3. 7 Layer- 2 slices of whole grain bread, spinach leaves or lettuce, sliced red onion, tomato or roasted red pepper, cucumber, avocado or guacamole, hummus and add a drizzle of your favorite mustard!
4. Mediterranean- I like to top a bagel or toasted pita bread with a slather of hummus, spinach or lettuce leaves, sliced or diced tomato, sliced kalamata or green olives, capers, cucumber and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or glaze. Alternatively, you can roll it up in a wrap.
5. Tea Room- Vegan cream cheese and sliced dates make for a nice alternative to pb&j. I like to do this combo on a bagel or toasted whole grain sprouted bread. This is also a great one for your next afternoon soirée, serving on smaller cocktail store-bought breads for ease. Alternatively, you can do vegan cream cheese and cucumber, sprinkled with white pepper.
6. Italian- This is a fun combo to have on a baguette or sub roll. Slather vegan pesto on both sides of bread and layer chopped artichoke hearts, seeded and diced tomato or roasted red pepper, pepperoncini, red onion sliced into thin rings, vegan cheese (optional) and top with shredded romaine lettuce, sprinkle of dried oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
BONUS RECIPE! Check out Cristy’s Mock Tuna Salad! It's simple, delicious and you probably already have all of the ingredients.
Check back next week for some HOT melt-in-your-mouth variations you can whip up in a snap!
So, with impending life changes ahead and much of my life excess I wanted to leave behind, in January of this year I made the decision to get rid of half my belongings. Like....I really, really, really wanted to. But I was really, really, really afraid I just... wouldn't.
I mean, if history is any indication, there have been several attempts to reduce my consumption, to shop less and let go of much I was holding onto simply because I felt guilty for buying it in the first place. To hold on to it meant I hadn't wasted my time and money. And I SHOULD hold on to it all just in case of that unforeseeable , come-to-the-rescue need in the future when I'd be so glad I had it on hand.
But, my #wonderwomangoals are behind me, and I now want to DO things, rather than accumulate things. I want to explore other places and start moving into the next chapter of my life with less to manage.
My goal was to reduce my possessions by half by June of this year. That meant going through every room, every space, every closet, every drawer and eliminate by half. That did not include my daughters' rooms and possessions or my husbands clothing and personal items. I laid out a 6 month schedule, allowing for planned vacations and time away and assigned each space a date. I pretty much stuck to the schedule, sometimes switching the order, but in the end, I did it.
It is finished.
I want to thank you all for your encouraging words and feedback as I've trucked on through this journey of letting go. If any of you are wanting to have less in order to live more, I hope this gives you some bit of inspiration. There are those of you who have given me TREMENDOUS inspiration and the motivation to
Finish. It. With heartfelt thanks and gratitude...
Over the past several years I have taken a few courses in online business marketing and was introduced to the relatively new organizational strategy for time management, batching. The idea is to perform similar tasks using similar resources all at once during a designated block of concentrated time, increasing and optimizing productivity and decreasing distraction, fatigue, stress and procrastination.
So what does that have to do with anything?
Well, I’ve found this to be a viable tool when it comes to getting dinner on the table. The truth is, I’ve never been particularly good at doing the family dinner thing. I mean, I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, so I don’t have any real excuses. It’s just that, in our family, like many of yours, we often find ourselves eating on the fly, going to this game or that lesson, or one kid doesn’t like what we’re having while the other isn’t eating carbs this week. Sometimes there are only 2 of us home at dinner time and other times we have a full house. The struggle is real.
But I am determined to eat well. No matter who’s coming for dinner.
In order to eat well every day I had to develop a method to this meal madness. Contain the chaos. Come up with shortcuts to getting dinner on the table rather than succumb to pre-packaged meals to reheat in the microwave, ordering out or eating out of a bag.
So I implemented batch cooking. I didn’t invent it or anything. I actually learned it from my meal mentor Lindsay Nixon, The Happy Herbivore. One strategy is to batch cook all your staples to freeze or refrigerate in single portions for later use. And it works beautifully, saving time, money and more importantly food waste. I hate throwing food away. Batch cooking staples ensures that I always have something I can throw together to create a meal that is plant-based and oil free. It's just a matter of reheating.
beans + rice + salsa + corn pasta + marinara + frozen veg quinoa + beans + frozen veg + soy sauce
Batch cooking also gives me back time out of the kitchen, because let’s face it, summer’s coming and I don’t want to have to be in the kitchen all day. I want to be by the pool with the rest of the fam.
Sipping margaritas. Listening to my jams.
What is more telling is what happens when I don’t batch cook my staples.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. No matter what diet it is you're following.
I have a few other batching shortcuts in my repertoire you can read about next week.. In the meantime, here are some staples I batch cook mindlessly while listening to the latest podcast or while streaming one of my favorite shows. I hear the new season of Orange is the New Black debuting June 9 (praise hands emoji):
Beans: Chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, and brown or green lentils are what I use most for soups, salads, hummus, dips, bowls, wraps, tacos. I use the pressure cooker which eliminates having to soak legumes before cooking or having to stand watch over the stove. You can certainly cook your beans in a large pot. I like to make the whole bag and freeze in single serving portions.
Marinara Sauce: I prefer an oil-free marinara sauce, reducing my fat intake and keeping ingredients simple where I can. I use a Crockpot to batch a triple recipe and freeze in 1 cup portions. You can use a family favorite recipe for traditional spaghetti sauce and eliminate using oil quite easily by sautéing any vegetables in ¼ cup water rather than oil, adding more water to prevent sticking as needed.
Whole Grains: Cook entire bags of whole grains such as rice or quinoa to use for bowls, side dishes, soups or salads and freeze in 1 cup portions.
Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes: I cook a bunch of these for the week and store in the fridge. Potatoes can be easily reheated for soups, loaded potatoes, dry-fried potatoes or snacks with your favorite condiment. Don’t forget the many reasons why you should be eating plenty o’ potatoes!
Vegetable Broth: Check out our video on getting a second life out of your veggies by turning your scraps into vegetable broth. This makes a great base for soups and can also be used for sautéing.
Pasta: Pasta can be cooked al dente at the beginning of the week, stored in ziplock bags and reheated in 30 seconds in boiling water on the stove. Sometimes even boiling pasta can seem like too much after you’ve worked all day. This method works great for weekday meals.
Salad Dressings: I also like to prepare a big batch of salad dressing at the beginning of the week as I don’t really like pre-packaged bottled dressings. My friend, Trisha, introduced me to this delicious salad dressing created by Dara Dubinet for the fastest salad in the west. You could also check out this Sweet & Tangy Salad Dressing from My Plant-Based Family!
BBQ Sauce: While there are plenty of tasty barbeque sauces out there, I enjoy making my own oil-free version. It’s just so simple and gives me a little more quality control over the amount of fat and sugar I’m consuming. It all adds up, and sauces and condiments are sneaky culprits for causing us to consume more than we think.
So maybe you’re thinking of giving this plant-based thing a go? Summer parties and gatherings have already begun and sometimes before we know it, the scale starts creeping back to where it was on January 1st when we pledged we would lose those last 10-15 pounds for The. Last. Time. Here in the northeast we go all-in, celebrating the warmer weather with Happy Hour all day, every day. But, Summer is actually THE perfect time to go plant-based; to eat more seasonal veggies and fruits and crowd out all that stuff that’s threatening to sneak back into your diet and cause the slippery slope of sabotage….again.
Stay tuned for more practical and doable solutions for getting your next health-giving plant-based meal on the table quicker and with ease. Let's do this!
Do you ever come across one of those pictures of yourself from the past and think “What happened to her?” Or, “I want that body back!” Or, “Oh! To be young again...” I rarely go through photos. They make me feel incredibly sad. Even if they’re mementos of happy occasions. In fact, as I've been purging my house and minimizing my belongings...I come across pictures I don't know what to do with, and quickly pile them away to sort out last.
I think it’s because they capture a time that happened long ago and the older I get, the further away I am from that moment. I guess there is the sense that time is running out…”Like the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” da-da-daaaaa...
I’m turning 45 this week. That’s like... halfway to 90. Or halfway to 50, depending how you look at it. Both of which are beautiful milestones, but….as much as I keep practicing, the words FORTY-FIVE just don't roll off my tongue. The words seem too big for my mouth. I’ve been thinking about turning forty-five since I've been 44 ½. So much, so, I thought I was turning 46 for a few minutes.
This is where it happens, right? When you can't quite remember how old you are without doing some quick calculations.
And for every one of you out there who try and convince me 45 is still young, there are a few of my students who love to remind me on the daily that I’m old. As dirt. At this point in my life, I really do feel age is just a number, because I still feel as though I’m 28.
In fact, there’s this adorable teacher-friend at the school where I’m doing a long term sub gig, who I find so fun and relatable, I thought maybe we were close in age. But, I found out yesterday when I’d had my first baby in 1995, she would have been 2.
The truth is, I feel I’ve been rockin’ the 40’s. (Just ask anyone who attended my cousin Lauren's wedding last summer.) My 20’s were reckless and confusing, my 30’s were lost to motherhood and a struggle to “find my self”, my 40’s just seem a good fit. I pay less attention to what’s going on with everyone else, in that meaningless, gossipy kind of way. (I said LESS attention, I'm human after all.) I’ve lost the need or desire to prove myself and be noticed. I’m trying new things that I didn’t have the time or confidence to do before. And there is that freedom to speak my mind, to speak my truth; I’m just not that invested in what people think of me anymore.
And I think many 40-somethings would agree, it’s incredibly freeing and empowering.
I look at my picture from years ago, of this young girl. Slimmer. Prettier, maybe. Smoother skin. Less worry. She has her whole life ahead of her. What would I tell my 18 year old self? Ooooh, that’s a tough question. My fingers are paused over the keyboard, because this hits a nerve.
You are not that important. And you are THAT important.
The thing is, when I take a better look at the photo, I see more closely in her eyes the desperation to be loved, the fear and uncertainty of the future and the longing to be liked and accepted by everyone. And she’s right to be afraid. Because sh*t’s gonna go sideways. Over and over again.
I guess I would tell her to stop looking for happiness and fulfillment outside herself. That she is enough. That to be loved and accepted, you must first learn to love and accept. But can you tell that to an 18 year old? Well, I guess you can, but can she really hear it?
It takes some of us years, decades even, if ever at all, to come to this wisdom. But, by then you can’t fit into your 18 year old jeans and your breasts aren't where they used to be. It’s so unfair!
So how does one celebrate turning 45?? What’s the protocol?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really enjoyed birthdays. Or birthday parties, for that matter. I think it’s because there’s this great sense of expectation we don’t speak about. Unless you’re a Kardashian. Or a Real Housewife. I kind of get a kick out of them throwing their own glam-fabulous, over-the-top birthday events, inviting everyone who’s anyone, except the one they’re mad at. Which is probably the reason they planned the party to begin with.
This year I’m going to keep things simple and do something I've really been craving. I’ll be spending time in nature, in one of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people. I’m going to take a break from my phone and my laptop and the everyday-ness. I have much to be grateful for: a husband and kids I adore, active parents who enjoy spending time with me, loving and supportive family and friends, my health...plus I have a good bottle of wine for the occasion.
Come on 45...Let's do this.
Let's talk some sh**! 97% of Americans are deficient in this nutrient. So, that's only 3% that are getting enough! We need approximately 31.5 grams per day and the average American gets just 10-15. Every year, roughly, 63 million Americans suffer constipation and 10 million with hemorrhoids, in part, due to the lack of this nutrient. Its deficiency also contributes to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hormonal problems, asthma, allergies, acne, and more (yes, there's more!!)
Have you guessed it?
FIBER! Fiber makes life way more enjoyable...or wait, no, that's bathroom visits! Well, actually life, too-- fiber is so important to our health and digestion and 80% of our immune is in our digestive system. Fiber is one of the most important nutrients to maintain balance and health in our bodies.
What does that mean for our health? Most of the illnesses seen by medical professionals today originate from a fiber-deficient diet.
What is fiber you ask? Great question!! Fiber is the indigestible substance which is resistant to digestive enzymes. So what does that mean? Indigestible? That doesn't sound good! Exactly the opposite! It's what our bodies need! As it passes through our digestive tract, being indigestible and all, it does a lot of work picking up all the bad stuff and getting rid of it!
Let's first start with the well-known benefit of fiber...bulking up our poop and making bathroom visits more regular! Bulkier, softer stools are easier to pass than hard or watery ones, which not only makes life more comfortable, but also helps maintain colorectal health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (small, painful pouches on the colon).
Next, fiber can LOWER CHOLESTEROL. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Fiber lowers blood sugar levels. Increased fiber intake is associated with REDUCED BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.
Your cancer risk may be reduced with increased intake of fiber. A 2011 meta-analysis from the British Journal of Medicine found an association between cereal fiber and whole grain intake and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. This protective effect may be due to fiber's tendency to add bulk to your digestive system, shortening the amount of time that wastes travel through the colon. Fiber, also, naturally reacts with bacteria in the lower colon and can sometimes ferment into a chemical called butyrate, which may cause CANCER CELLS to SELF-DESTRUCT. Fiber may also have a protective effect against mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers.
All those sound great, right?! How about this one: Eating more fiber can ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE!! People who eat a high fiber diet are less likely to die of any cause, a new study of nearly one million people has found. According to that same study, Those who ate the greatest amount of fiber daily were 16 percent less likely to die than those who consumed the least amount of fiber.
Still with me? How about food allergies and asthma? Yup, fiber can help with that, too! New research suggests that fiber could play a role in PREVENTING FOOD ALLERGIES, the existence of which has long puzzled scientists. Again, this theory comes down to the interaction between fiber and bacteria in the gut. Scientists theorize that people are not producing the right gut bacteria to tackle foods commonly associated with allergies, like peanuts and shellfish. Without the right bacteria, particles of these foods can enter the bloodstream via the gut. The same goes for asthma, particles enter the bloodstream causing an autoimmune response like asthmatic inflammation.
Ok. maybe you knew about all of those, but have heard that increased fiber intake can help BALANCE HORMONES? I know, crazy, right?! Fiber binds to excessive amounts of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and helps the body eliminate them. This helps reduce symptoms of PMS, menopause, acne, unwanted facial hair, mood disturbances, endometriosis, fibroids, risk of breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer.
Holy crap!! This fiber business is serious sh**!!!!!!
Now you know and want to change! How do you add in more fiber?
All plant food contains fiber!! Did you know that?! When asked, more than half of Americans thought steak contained fiber! Nope!! But, all those beautiful plants contain lots! Check out these rich sources of fiber:
Tips for adding more fiber to your diet:
Peace, Love, Plants,
Red, white, yellow gold, fingerlings, russet, blue/purple...makes no difference to me. I love all potatoes. I loved baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, steamed potatoes, fried potatoes, roasted, twice-baked, hash browned, French fried. And I love potato soup. And potato ice cream. Just kidding, I’ve never had that.
But everyone always seems to be hatin’ on the potato. The potato first started to acquire a bad wrap during the low-carb craze of the early 2000’s, lumped in with all the white foods that are making us fat. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not the potato that packs on the pounds. It’s the company it keeps on our plate. Butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon...and it’s also how we are preparing them. In other words, it’s not the potato in the french fries that is rounding out our waistline; it’s the oil we are frying them in.
So, I stand here in defense of this humble tuber, begging the world to stop villainizing. Here are my 12 reasons to eat MORE potatoes.
1. The potato is a nutritional powerhouse: White potatoes are among the most nutritious vegetable in the world. And research shows potatoes contain phytochemicals, with antioxidant activity, such as flavonoids and carotenoids. Here's a breakdown of the nutritional value for a medium white potato, with skin:
2. Low in fat and calories: The potato in the picture above has just 120 calories and 0g fat.
3. Spuds are satiating: Potatoes are ranked high on the satiety index, meaning they make you feel full and satisfied longer. Our brains act like the fuel gauge in our cars, directing you to fill up when we are on empty. Foods high in resistant starch, like potatoes, flip on every fullness switch in the brain and release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more resistant to insulin.
4. Potatoes Support Weight Loss: New research shows that potatoes help people lose weight, and not just sweet potatoes, but white potatoes too. In a study conducted by the University of California, Davis, three groups were assigned diets ranging in 5-7 servings of potatoes per week. One group was eating potatoes every day. Subjects were closely monitored for dietary compliance. All three groups lost weight, further disproving that potatoes cause weight gain.
5. Potassium: Potassium is the key to healthy blood pressure. Potatoes pack 620mg of potassium, 18% of the recommended daily dose of this hard-to-get mineral. They actually rankest highest for potassium content of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables, including the more well known source for potassium, the banana.
6. Vitamin C: Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing us with 45% of the daily recommendation...which is more than their famous cousin, the sweet potato!
7. Fiber: Potatoes are considered to be a fiber rich food, having an average 2g fiber per tuber. A potato with its skin is considered a high fiber food.
8. You can live on them: From Ireland to China, evidence shows that humans, historically, have survived on potatoes and little else, thanks to their nutritional content. This same evidence shows that these populations getting 70-80% of their calories from potatoes were also very lean.
Take a look at Australian, Andrew Taylor, who found recent fame by vowing to eat nothing but potatoes in 2016 in an effort to cure his binge eating. Not only has the man from Melbourne reportedly lost over 100 lbs, but says he’s sleeping better and has cured his depression and joint pain, lowered his cholesterol, sugar levels and blood pressure.
And the plant-based community took it as a personal victory when Mark Watney, the space botanist character played by Matt Damon in 2015’s, The Martian, survived being stranded on Mars on a diet of cleverly harvested potatoes.
9. Potatoes are cost effective: If you want the most bang for your buck, potatoes offer the greatest ROI. In fact, a recent study showed potatoes deliver an excellent nutritional value per penny, second only to beans. Potatoes provide an affordable source for essential nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and Vitamins C, E, and K. And they're the most cost-effective source of potassium out of all food groups.
10. Eating Potatoes Helps the Economy: The potato is the fourth most widely consumed vegetable in the world. And, it’s a big money maker for American farmers. Potatoes are the leading crop grown in the U.S. In 2010, the U.S. exported $3.8 billion worth of potatoes. Japan, China and Mexico are leading buyers of stateside spuds. Potatoes are grown in 30 U.S. states, with Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin rounding out the top three.
11. They Fight Cancer: Sweet potatoes and other colorful potatoes are rich in antioxidants such as carotenes, the precursor to Vitamin K.
12. A word on Sweet Potatoes: Only distantly related to the potato and not part of the same nightshade family, sweet potatoes tend to get lumped in with the regular potatoes because they are prepared the same way.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin K. Carotenoids, the powerful form of antioxidants, can fight cancer and heart disease. These tuberous root vegetables contain 438% of your daily value of Vitamin A, which is essential for building a strong immune system. Vitamin A is essential for areas in the body that go haywire when we catch a cold. It keeps the mucous linings in the nose and throat, our bodies first line of defense, healthy and functioning properly. Sweet potatoes deliver 37% of vitamin C plus Vitamin B6, potassium, iron and calcium all in just 105 calories! They also contain 4g of dietary fiber, 16% of your daily value and zero grams of fat.
Though I often enjoy eating potatoes plain, either as a breakfast or as a satisfying, low-calorie snack, here are some fun and flavorful tips to prepare them without all the added fat:
Tips for Storing Potatoes:
The Martian, starring Matt Damon
It's been almost 4 months since the new year has begun. Resolutions have come and gone or maybe you're still working on yours...maybe you never even started. To each their own!
I love resolutions and goal setting and lists...OH MY!!
They keep me motivated, challenged... I love a good competition and the best ones are with myself! It's never too late to start a new challenge and what better one than choosing to be healthier!
Imagine yourself leaner, lighter, full of energy, possibly, medication-free...it is POSSIBLE!
It's time to start a competition with yourself... what is the only diet: proven to reverse disease, to have the leanest people, to create energy and vibrance?! Yup, you guess it, the plant-based diet and guess what? This is the time! 2017 has been declared #theyearofvegan!!
So, I'm going to help you start the competition with yourself and give you 10 reasons why this is your year to become a plant-based powerhouse!!
"The Food You Eat Can Either Be
The Most Powerful
Form of Medicine
Form of Poison"
8. Plant-Based Food is Delicious- What kind of foods do you eat regularly? Pasta? Pizza? Burgers? Fries? All of these can be made using whole food plant-based ingredients! All of the flavor comes from the herbs and spices being used which makes it so easy to make savory, delicious plant-based dishes. If you are looking for a resource, a great place to start is by signing up for our email list and we will send you 50 recipes for easy and delicious plant-based snacks!
9. Animals are Amazing- You love your dog and/or cat so much, right? They are so smart and loving, right? Pigs can learn to play video games and have far more emotional intelligence than a dog. A chicken is so smart its intelligence is comparable to a monkey's, according to scientists. There is no difference between your household pet and a farm animal...they all have superior intelligence, emotional capabilities, and the same RIGHT TO LIFE!
10. Save Money- You work hard for your money; why waste it on expensive foods that are poisoning your body! The cheapest cuts of meat are $3+ a pound. Rice, beans, lentils, and pasta are less than $1 a pound...no brainer, right?! Vegans, on average, save over $750 a year compared to meat eaters. What could you do with an additional $750?!
The time is right now! This is your year to become a healthier, happier you! I gave you 10 great reasons so no excuses. Are you ready to be healthier, happier, sexier….are you ready to save the planet, animals, money AND end world hunger?! Basically, you are a superhero in the making...are you ready for the challenge?!
As always, if you need any help in your journey email me or comment with your questions, concerns, and/or criticism...I'm ready for it all!!
Peace, Love, Plants,
I'm trying something new this week...I shared this presentation with our nutrition workshop series participants and I thought it was worth sharing with you all, too! It's about how we can rewire our brains to create lasting changes. I don't want to give too much away...so check it out and let me know your thoughts!!
Thank you so much for checking it out!!
Peace, Love, Plants,
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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