Thursday, August 30, 2012

Where Do Vegans Find Probiotics?

There are hundreds of television commercials about Probiotics and friendly bacteria these days. Most people don’t even know what probiotics are. In a nut shell, taken from bios, meaning “life,” probiotics mean pro life. Essentially, these probiotics found in food, encourage the growth of friendly bacteria which helps to balance the bad bacteria that grows in our gut.

Most of us know of probiotics found in the cultures of yogurt. This leaves the question; What do I do for probiotics if I’m a vegan? Not to worry. friendly bacteria is found in fermented foods like sauerkraut. Bummer. The only way that I ever ate sauerkraut was on hot dogs which I no longer eat. Good news. There are lots of delicious fermented options!

Miso is an excellent source of Vitamin B12 as well as probiotics, so it serves as a great supplement to any vegan diet. You can find a great article about fermented foods and friendly bacteria at the Conscious Life website by clicking this link > LINK TO CONSCIOUS LIFE


Friday, August 24, 2012

Hang Your Herbs And Veggies For Later

By now, the garden is starting to get colder at night and leaves are browning, some are going to seed, and there's a lot to keep up with. It's important to me not to let one ounce of my clean and perfect food go to waste. The thing is, if you attend to it, it could end up being the best ingredient in your soups and stews this winter. Last week I pulled a few spinach plants up that were almost completely done! They were two feet tall, some going to seed, just ragged! I hung them upside down in the garage where the dried seeds will wait to be planted next year. A few days later I crumbled the leaves into a vinegar and oil salad dressing. Wow. It was powdery, green, and nutritious. Let alone the flavor that it added to the fresh salad! As the garden slows down, I'll dry peas, beans, and all of my herbs for a winter of nutrition and flavor.

If you don't have your own garden, at this time of year fresh herbs are pretty cheap. You can hang them in the garage and dry a years worth! The grocery store charges 8 to 9 bucks for a small container of dried herbs. Besides, it's fun to play with really healthy food!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Are You A Vegan?

I like to read as many vegan blogs as I can. There are so many diverse menus, ideas, beliefs, etc. I am mostly vegan for a few reasons. First, my family history has a lot of heart disease. I’ve been in the health and fitness business for over 35 years and have worked with many people. You can SEE what excess animal fats can do to a body. So, my first reason is for personal health. Secondly, I am an animal lover. My horses and my dogs are a part of my family. Watching some of the TV clips about commercial meat farming and the brutal suffering that animals endure has certainly made me not want to support those practices. Third, I know that there is more of an impact on the planet to raise an animal for food than to eat the grains first hand.

What I find interesting in the vegan blogosphere is the diversity of purpose. I found a thread that was an argument between a vegan and a "call myself a vegan" about consuming honey or not. I call myself “mostly” vegan, and I eat honey drizzled over my fruit now and then. I have never seen a clip on TV about violence to bees, but just like calves are separated from their mother’s milk so that we can have it, honey is farmed in a similar fashion. I never looked at eating honey as an infringement on nature. Now that I see that fact, I’ll consider it for myself.

My point is that there are vegans that are specific proponents of non-violence or “Ahimsa” which  means non-violence (one of the behavioral restraints in the 8 limbs of Raja Yoga.) The "vegan" in the argument was claiming ahimsa for the bees. If you are a proponent of non-violence, you can’t harsh on somebody else for eating honey. It seems as though this type of moral superiority is in itself a form of violence against your fellow honey consumer.

Come on dude, let’s get along. Let’s eat the freshest, most nutritious plant based diet that we can possibly find. Let’s share our recipes and ideas. Let’s create a non-violent world. Let’s hold hands and sing Kumbaya for goodness sake. Our world and all of the creatures in it could use a little positive support today. It doesn’t matter what we call ourselves, as long as we ascribe to non-violence.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gotta Have A Food Processor

I have several friends who use their blender to make sauces and dips. Although a blender will do the job, these are the same friends that are always cussing at the blender. Face it, things like large chunks of fruit or nuts choke the thing every time.

If you're really serious about vegan recipes, soups, and the things that you like to puree, spend the money and get a food processor. When I finally broke down and bought one, I went for the Cuisinart. What the heck. I can take a few ingredients and have a rich, creamy, comfort meal in less than 30 minutes.

Remind me to include my mushroom-walnut brown vegan low fat gravy before the holidays. For now I'm making frozen peach smoothies all day long!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Low Fat Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

The Low Fat Vegan Chef has offered a free Caesar Salad dressing recipe that is beyond delicious. The dressing is oil free, and the main flavor comes from Miso and Cashews. Go figure.  I made this recipe last night for a red romaine salad from the garden. It was a very rich and satisfying meal. I can see where I might come up with some sort of vegan Alfredo sauce from this recipe. It's actually cheesy tasting!

The recipe is available on the Low Fat Vegan Chef website for free! Click on this link.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Fit Horse Companion is going ebook!





Just made the arrangements for my book, The Fit Horse Companion to be printed in ebook form. It will soon be available at Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook for $3.99. Stay tuned!

Loving The Olympics

Loved the Equestrian events today! I fell in love with a horse named Sancha that reminded me of my jumping teacher, Fortune. What a gorgeous jumper!

Now that many of the main swimming events are finished, i'm looking forward to track and field, and whatever equestrian events that we can find.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Finding The Elusive B12 - New Product Alert!

B vitamins are essential to avoid anemia, fatigue, and depression. Most young vegans can go for a long period of time before any deficiency symptoms show because the body is able to store large amounts in the liver which can last for a long time. If you hope to be a vegan for years to come, finding a good source of vitamin B12 is important. The problem is that B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria which is found in fish, meats, and dairy. Clams are a rich source of B12.

One of my favorite companies, Bragg, in Santa Barbara, California has produced a product called Nutritional Yeast Seasoning which contains a substantial amount of B12. If you've ever tasted Smart Food popcorn, it is made with Brewers Yeast and has that cheesy flavor. Braggs new seasoning has a similar flavor. I've tried it on popcorn, but also on vegetables and even in a casserole. You can give your salads and vegetables that hearty nutty flavor. It's around $6.00 a shaker.

Many nutritionists recommend that you eat food that is supplemented or take supplements that are "fortified" with vitamin B12. The problem is that I can't find the source of the supplementation on the labels. If I am going to take a pill or eat a cereal that is fortified with an animal product, I'd eat the animal himself, now wouldn't I? This product is a winner. A big thumbs up to Braggs, once again. Their products are a source of Amino Acid supplementation for my family too.

One tablespoon of Bragg's Nutritional Yeast Seasoning provides 40% of the RDA of vitamin B12. Score! Use it anywhere that you would use salt or cheese like the veggies for your tacos, pasta dishes, veggie casseroles, and I love it on popcorn.

Bragg's website offers a video about this product. I give it a thumbs up!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vegans and Bird Flu Shots

A question that comes up often is "Do vegans get bird flu shots?" My answer to that is that vegans do not consume or wear animal products. Why a person chooses to be a vegan, or what population a person belongs to (seniors and people with a compromised immune system) should be considered. This is not an argument that someone else can decide for you.

If a person has an allergy to peanuts, they could go into anaphylactic shock and die from eating peanuts. If a person chooses to become a vegan because they do not want to harm animals, and the flu could compromise their life, they need to make an educated choice. There are nutritional supplements and foods that might strengthen their immune system enough to possibly avoid the flu, that is a choice, as well.

Lots of people choose to become vegan to prevent suffering. When thinking compassionately about the worlds creatures, don't forget to include yourself. Could you possibly suffer from being afflicted from the flu? I hear a resounding; "YES, I had it last year!!!"

I can't give an educated opinion about that question. If it is a personal concern, I would recommend discussing it with a Naturopathic Physician who can probably recommend a homeopathic vegan product that is recommended for flu protection in the high risk populations.

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