Tag Archives: health

Best Packaged Vegetarian and Vegan Foods

These days, many of us are doing our best to be healthy and avoid “processed” foods and eat lots of fresh veggies and protein and all that jazz. But hell, we’re also busy, sometimes in a hurry and sometimes just plain lazy/tired/hangry! There’s nothing wrong with that! These options are especially helpful if you are new to eating vegan/vegetarian and are looking for some help and inspiration. I didn’t realize how many amazing options there were.

These are my go-to foods when I just want a quick meatless meal that’s also tasty and filling.

SWEET EARTH BURRITOS

burritos

I am sort of embarrassed to say that since discovering these burritos, I practically live on them. But they are just SO good. There are several flavors including a few breakfast versions. They are all really high in protein and made of pretty healthy ingredients. Please note that the Kyoto, Curry Tiger, Anasazi and Big Sur Breakfast flavors are fully vegan. The others contain eggs and/or cheese.

GARDEIN MINI CRABLESS CAKES

crab

I admit I love seafood, especially shellfish, and my previous efforts at being fully vegan failed mostly because of this. UNTIL I DISCOVERED THESE BABIES! I went to a vegan restaurant a while back and had vegan crab cakes and didn’t stop talking about them for days. They were just SO good. When I was in the freezer section and WF and realized Gardein also made a version, I was skeptical. I didn’t think they’d be that good but I had to try them. I was so excited to learn they’re really good!! I don’t know how they make vegan ingredients taste like fish. I’m not sure I want to know. But regardless, I am thankful that I can enjoy the taste of crab cakes without thinking about murdered crabs. You really can find vegan versions of EVERYTHING!

BEYOND MEAT BEEF CRUMBLES

feisty

Another thing I loooved as a meat eater was beef tacos and nachos. I haven’t had beef in 5 years and I can’t say I miss it honestly. But I still love Mexican food and try to recreate my favorite restaurant dishes as often as possible. I was so excited to find the “Feisty” Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles because it has a great taco seasoning flavor. I won’t lie, the crumbles do have a bit of that funky fake meat aftertaste if you eat them alone, but if you slather salsa and guacamole on top, you’ll never notice. The texture is just like crumbled beef.

BEYOND MEAT SINGLE SERVE MEALS

meals

Stop the press. These meals have SAVED me at times when I am craving restaurant food (and also times when I have very low blood sugar and I am within 5 minutes of a meltdown). There are only 4 flavors so far – Indian Curry, Korean BBQ, Vietnamese Lemongrass and Roasted Sweet Potato Chili; however, they are really good. My favorite is the Korean BBQ. They are all super high protein and have a good balance of fats/carbs too. They heat up in 5 minutes and will keep you full for hours, but also keep your taste buds happy.

SWEET EARTH BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

break

I used to live on my homemade Egg McMuffin sandwiches. I had a hard time saying goodbye to Canadian bacon. However, Sweet Earth has made all my breakfast sandwich dreams come true! They have several flavors – Harmless Ham & Chickpea Patty (the only vegan one), Meatless Sausage Egg and Gouda, Harmless Ham Egg & Swiss and Benevolent Bacon, Egg & Cheddar. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

ORGANIC VEGETARIAN CHILI WITH RED BEANS & ONION

chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trader Joe’s recently changed the packaging/label on the veg chili and I have to say I’m in love with this new 1970s Brady Bunch theme. I just want to stuff my face with chili every time I see the new cans on the shelf. Anyway, the recipe itself didn’t change at all (or if it did, I can’t tell) and there have been many times when I’ve lived solely off this chili for several days straight. Unlike a lot of chilis, this one really strikes a perfect balance of salty, spicy, beans, and “meat” (it’s tofu). It’s a great all-around meal that’s very filling and has 15 grams of protein….pa pow! It’s a tad spicy but in a very good way. Add a little sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese and green onions (because I am obsessed with green onions) and you have yourself a tasty meal.

 

 

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Why Drinking Milk is Worse for Cows than Eating a Hamburger

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about animal welfare issues. I have done a lot of research and have a TON of passion for promoting kind treatment of animals. After watching terrifying PETA videos and reading awful things about the meat industry, I abruptly stopped eating meat 5 years ago. I didn’t stop with the dairy though. Like most people, even health- and environmentally-conscious ones, I thought it was relatively harmless to drink milk and eat cheese.

What I didn’t realize for a very long time was how devastating the dairy industry is for animals (not just cows, but also goats, sheep and any other animals that produce milk)….perhaps even more devastating than the meat industry (if that’s possible). The reality is that the females are continually impregnanted (basically raped) so that when they give birth, the farmer can separate the baby from his mother immediately to steal her milk. These newborn babies, brand new to the world and wondering where their mothers went, are usually sent straight to slaughter. These so-called farmers do this over and over to ensure that the mom is always lactating. When she’s finally spent, after all the abuse she’s endured, for who knows how long, they haul her off to slaughter too. So they not only kill the babies, but they kill mom too. Females usually fare worse than the males for this reason. Because the farmers want their babies/milk, their abuse is prolonged but they meet the same fate as their babies eventually. In the end, all the animals are hauled off to slaughter because at some point, they stop producing and they are worth more dead than alive. This is disgusting to me and it makes me embarrassed to be human at times, to be perfectly honest.

THIS is the reality of the meat and dairy industry. How does that milk taste now?

10 Things I’d Like to Tell Everyone at the Gym

Day after day at the gym I see people doing things that are just not effective and possibly counterproductive or even harmful. Stop wasting your time in the gym – work smarter NOT harder!

Here are the 10 things I’d like to tell everyone at the gym:

1. Ladies, please, lay off the damn cardio. Not to be mean but most people I see day after day on cardio machines are not in good shape. IT’S NOT WORKING. Endless cardio is actually counterproductive and can make you fatter. Google it.

2. Also ladies, use heavier weight. Yes, I promise you, your arms won’t fall off if you use more than 5 pounds. Your purse probably weighs 10. Go for 15 and make me proud.

3. Men, stop trying to be tough. Drop the weight and perform the exercise correctly. The dudes around you are secretly laughing at you. The women are not impressed.

4. When doing the lat pull, you should be working your lats, not your shoulders. When doing bench, use your chest (puff your chest up ladies, shoulders down and back). Shoulders are smaller, and therefore, weaker muscles. If you increase the weight, you won’t be able to overcompensate with your shoulders because they’re not strong enough to do what your back/chest can do.

5. Learn what exercises work which muscles. Bodybuilding.com is your friend. If you don’t feel those muscles working, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

6. If you can’t bend to 90 degrees during a squat, lower the weight!! Your ass (and lower back) will thank me.

7. Don’t use momentum to lift a weight. Use your strength. If you don’t have it yet, build up to it by using lighter weights, full range of motion and slowing the F down. Weight lifting isn’t a race!

8. STRETCH!! It’s so good for your muscles (post workout) and can help you relax and de-stress. You know you wanna.

9. Drink water. I am amazed at the high % of people that don’t have water bottles in the gym. Being dehydrated actually makes you weaker and less energetic. It also makes you fatter. Drinking enough water is the single easiest way to keep your metabolism revved up.

10. Eat at least 80% whole foods (things from the ground and/or with one ingredient – fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, etc.). If you don’t, none of this other crap will make any difference. Not only is this the “secret” to getting/staying fit, but it will give you energy for days, improve your sleep and mental focus, decrease your stress and greatly increase the odds that you will live long enough to see your grandkids grow up.

Treat your body well and it will return the favor!