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Thursday, January 24, 2013

People now suing Subway because it's not really a footlong...

 

So now people, well actually two men from New Jersey, are suing Subway because their "footlong" sandwich is not actually a foot long in most cases, it's 11 inches...I thought men always said size doesn't matter? Hmmm...but I digresss.These two guys went to a bunch of different Subway stores and measured sandwiches. Glad they have so much time on their hands. And there we have more proof of our "sue everyone" centric mindset.

Subway is a quick place for me to grab lunch when I'm working because I can get a sandwich loaded with veggies and not worry about having something that has been drenched in butter and full of cheese. Last week when I stopped at one, a group of men got out of a Ford Excursion while I pulled into my parking spot. There were 6 big guys (big not only in height but also girth) who entered Subway right before I did. I watched quite intently as each one ordered their sandwich since they were directly in front of me in line. 

The first guy ordered a meatball footlong with all both cheddar and extra pepper jack. Nothing else, just meatballs, cheese, bread. I missed most of what the the second guy ordered, but know it was a meat laden, veggie lacking sandwich and I did hear "extra bacon". The third, forth and last guy ordered the "Italian" or whatever it is. Basically it's every single processed lunch meat, salami, ham, turkey, etc. Then they all added extra cheese and one did put tomatoes on his. The other two put no veggies, but one did ask for about 10 little ribbons of iceberg lettuce, joking that he had to get some veggies in him or his wife would kill him! No worries guy-your sandwich will do that for you. The remaining guy ordered a turkey sandwich with avocado, jalapenos and olives, slightly better, but still not good. They were regulars as the workers were talking to them about their "job" they were working on, thinking they might have been a construction crew or something working nearby.

Usually when watching that it grosses me out, and it kind of did, but this time I actually felt a little bit of sadness. Sadness knowing that eating that way got them into the state they are in. Sadness in knowing that studies, many studies, now link processed meats (lunch meats and bacon) have been linked to increased rates of pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and other health issues. Sadness that people just either don't get it or simply don't care. I felt sorry for their wives, their kids, their friends, knowing that they are possibly working their way to an early death if they keep eating so bad. 

I recently told a friend of mine that I was trying to stay very healthy and while following a vegan lifestyle, I was trying to stick to a whole foods plant based diet, staying away from processed foods, and cooking without oils, etc. because I feel it is the best way to keep me healthy, keep me from getting heart disease, cancer, etc. And really I am doing it to make sure that my life, no matter how long I have left, is spent healthy, free of meds, free of issues that most people face as they get older such as heart disease, cancer, etc. 

Maybe I have a unique view of how much I cherish life since my brother, dad and mom are all deceased. It taught me early that life can be over in a flash and I want to make sure that I can enjoy my life and stay healthy as long as possible. I don't want to have unnecessary ailments, surgeries, prescriptions, etc. pumped into my body if I can keep it healthy by eating the right foods, staying away from the bad one's where so many studies show the harm in eating them and stay fit with exercise. My friend said she didn't want to live forever. I'm not trying to live forever, everyone dies, we all have an expiration date, but seriously I want to live healthy. I want to travel, see the world, enjoy life, be healthy and happy. I don't want to depend on prescription meds to solve an "ailment" when I can simply eat right to avoid getting that "ailment". 

This whole experience reminded me that the first sign of heart disease in men is ED. Yep, that little "guy" depends on adequate blood flow...arteries are arteries, no matter where they are in your body. I won't go into details, but it's the first sign that something is going on with your heart/arteries, etc. Look it up...I'm not making it up. But I guess it's easier to grab a little blue pill than to make changes to your diet. Seems like that would be something that would make men change...but not enough know about that. 

So I ordered my sandwich, full of every veggie (minus the black olives, ick) and had red wine vinegar on it. A little bit of black pepper and I'm good to go. Gotta keep my "ticker" ticking and want to make sure I'm treating it right!

Why do I post this? Not to chastise anyone, but to hopefully just open one persons eyes, maybe one of you will read this and decide to make a change, small or large...it just takes one person to make a change for their health and that would make me feel good. Some friends have already said they have done so because of something I posted or because of something that I recommended they watch. Forks over Knives probably having the biggest impact because it's all about health and not about the horrors of how meat and dairy gets to your plate (they skip that all together, so it's safe if you are squirmish).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Homemade Raw Organic Almond Milk



Homemade raw almond milk...so simple, so easy...and so much better than the store bought stuff! 



I buy my organic raw almonds from Bremnar Farms Roadside Stand online: Bremnar Farms
Why organic raw almonds? Because just like with my veggies and fruit, I don't want my almonds full of pesticides. Why raw? Because almonds that have been pasteurized lose their good enzymes and a lot of the nutrients that make almonds so GREAT!

Almonds need to be soaked overnight, so put 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl and cover with enough water to cover the almonds completely with about 2 inches extra on the top. 

In the morning, rinse the almonds to get rid of the soaking water. 
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup raw almonds which have been soaked overnight and rinsed
  • Optional: 1-3 medjool dates, 1 tsp vanilla extract, dash of himalayan sea salt

Method:
  1. Soak almonds overnight.
  2. Rinse almonds to get rid of residual soaking water.
  3. Add almonds and filtered water to a blender, and blend on high until completely smooth (I use my VitaMix).
  4. To strain the pulp out you have a few options, you can use a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or a cheap paint strainer bag. I use a cheap paint strainer bag! You can find them in the paint aisle at Home Depot and usually they come 3-4 to a package and they are CHEAP and hold up well! 
  5. Strain blended mixture through your choice of paint strainer bag, nut milk bag or cheesecloth into a bowl or jar. I usually put my bag into a small pitcher, secure the bag over the top (it has elastic) and pour the blended mixture into the bag.
  6. Strain the milk through the bag by gently squeezing the mixture in the nut milk bag with your hands (wash them first, duh!) until there is no more liquid left, just almond pulp.

Notes: If you want the milk to have a little bit of sweetness, you can throw 1-3 medjool dates into the blender with the almonds - just make sure you remove the pit and rinse them first. You can also add a dash of himalayan sea salt and/or some vanilla extract.

Transfer almond milk to a mason jar or other glass container and store in refrigerator. It's good for about 3-4 days. 

You can also modify this and use organic hemp seeds! Those don't have to be soaked overnight, but I do suggest keeping hemp seeds in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Organic vs. Non-Organic

Organic works for me. I feel much better eating something that isn't covered in pesticides. It's better for you to avoid the toxic pesticides! But yes...organic is more expensive. I have been juicing a lot over the past month and yes, it's a bit expensive. However, I feel much better juicing organic veggies/fruits versus conventional. But my grocery bill didn't go up when I started juicing more...how's that you say? Well, I decided a few months ago to give up the "easy, processed" vegan foods. The only processed foods that I tend to pick up are whole grain cereal in case I don't have time to make my usual steal cut oats.

Buying these convenience items sure is easier, they are easy to throw together and after a long day of travel, I really don't want to cook. However, they are also loaded with things that, although vegan, aren't really good for you in the long run. So by shopping mainly in the produce section, staying out of the convenience foods section, my grocery bill didn't change since I gave up the expensive convenience foods.

I make my own almond milk because it is WAY cheaper! Non-dairy milks are expensive. Homemade almond milk is so easy to make and it tastes great. And I am not a huge almond lover. I don't pick up almonds as a snack, but almond milk (at least my homemade version) doesn't taste heavily almond-y. Yeah, that's a word!

There are things you can do though when it comes to organic vs. non-organic. Follow the dirty dozen/clean fifteen list. In general, leafy greens should be organic, thin skinned items should be organic. Things with thick skins like Bananas it's not as important. Pick your battles!

The Dirty Dozen (Buy these organic where possible):
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Nectarines and other stone fruits (peaches, apricots, etc)

7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Blueberries 

12. Potatoes

Plus: Green beans, Kale/Greens – May contain residues of special concern

* I buy all my greens organic, I just don't trust non-organic greens. And really, except for hard shelled squash that I have to peel and bananas I buy all organic.

The Clean 15 (Lowest is pesticides, ok to buy not organic when):

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn - I would buy this organic to avoid GMOs
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi
11. Cantaloupe

12. Sweet Potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Broccoli


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Are you Veg-Curious?

So I had never watched the film - Vegucated because it really wasn't available to watch until after I went vegan. So I finally watched it. Great film. Although I don't really endorse the use of "processed" vegan foods, it is a good way to transition. But for the long term, it is better to stick with a whole foods plant based diet.

Watch it, get some good info and follow 3 people who went vegan as part of the films experiment. There is only a small section of the film that tells it like it is with factory farming and the horrors of how animals are treated. Worth watching, so don't be an Ostrich, get your head out of the sand and take a look! You just might learn something! :)

http://www.getvegucated.com/