The Fat Guide: What To And Not To Eat

The Fat Guide: What To And Not To Eat

While most people are allergic to the word: fat, it is something we all have to deal with when we eat food, but if you know your stuff or if you do enough research about it, you’ll know that some fat is good for your health. Now this isn’t a signal to go crazy on chips, chicken skin, pork fat and much more, you hear me? Much like anything else in this world, there are fat inside of food that can be good or bad for our health. It can get a little tricky but that shouldn’t stop you from finding and consuming the right fat in each meal or every so often, after all taking care of your health is and should be on top of mind whenever you are about to order or make some food.

Trans fat – This is one of the more natural fat options you can find in a lot of meat and dairy options, usually in rather low quantities. Now usually if you aren’t too insane with the meat and dairy, trans fat shouldn’t be too much of a concern as in low quantities or at the very least below or exactly the recommended amount a day is alright for our health, and won’t be of concern. It becomes a concern when you consume food that has the oil is artificial and goes through the process of hydrogenation.

Hydrogenated trans fat – Usually this is the type of trans fat that is called hydrogenated vegetable oil and this is the type of trans fat that is bad for our health and can be found in several types of food. The idea is it is used to make items more spreadable if you will, making items easier to market and use for consumers plus it extends the shelf life of products, so you know that can’t be natural at all. I mentioned earlier that trans fat is normally alright but when it has gone through the hydrogenation process, that’s when you should be concerned and if you consume it in high quantities, your health could be in danger as when your food diet is focused on high trans fat, you are opening the doors to a ton of heart diseases such as stroke, heart attack and much more.

Saturated fat – Perhaps one of the most debated types of fat in this whole list, as it is usually blamed for a lot of heart diseases in earlier research. This fat is often found in butter, meat, cheese and a number of other food options out there. Now the thing is research was conducted a few years back that blamed saturated fat as the villain in heart diseases as mentioned prior, however recent, I use the word recent very casually as it was done in 1970s, showing that participants who switched from saturated fat to unsaturated fat products, did not necessarily have an impact on potential heart ailments. The research continues to this day and many are saying that saturated fat is not good for our health while others claim that we should not worry about it in our food, regardless I would pretty much consume it in controlled quantities for now, if you can avoid it good but if not maybe in very limited amounts should be fine.

heart attack
It has been proven that a lot of the fatty foods we eat contribute to major health risks like stroke and heart attack.

Polyunsaturated fat – Now this is the good stuff that you want to consume if you are really into your health, which again I am hoping you should be considering you’ve read this far regarding this topic. This is the fat that you’ve heard of when you buy salmon or other fatty fish, the good fat as they call it or omega-3 or omega-6, either or you’ll want this in your food. These healthy fat options can help you be with cognitive functions and is a great skin booster as well, plus the fact that they are essential building blocks for our body should entice you in to getting a good serving of fatty fish. Also found in some vegetable oils and nuts, make sure to get a good amount into your body for proper health, however be warned that some scientists say that too much can also lead to heart problems but too much of anything can really do a number on your body so you shouldn’t be too shocked about this I suppose.

Mono-unsaturated fat – Ever notice how they say that peanuts are the ideal food? Like walnuts and stuff like that? Well that’s pretty much due to the mono-unsaturated fat that is found in them and can really help us step up our health against a ton of diseases, such as heart diseases, which no one really wants to have a problem with. What happens when you take in mono-unsaturated fat, it increases the HDL or the high-density lipoprotein, which is regarded as a good cholesterol for you heart while it lowers the LDL or low-density lipoprotein which is regarded as the bad cholesterol. Either way getting as much mono-unsaturated fat in your food and into your body will really help keep your health up from a ton of diseases so make sure to get enough quantities of this into your system.

Now that we know what is good for you and what you should avoid, I suppose now it all goes down to you. When we are serious about our health we need to watch what food we place into our bodies, this is best done by reading the label of whatever you are purchasing after all a smart consumer is a healthy consumer. By checking the labels you will know what is inside the product you just bought or are considering to buy, you’ll not only know what type of fat is inside and if it is good for your health or not, but you’ll know pretty much everything you’ll need to about that particular food product. I don’t expect you to know every single little thing about the items inside each product but maybe have a list of things that can give you a small alert in your mind every time you see it, of course you can also research items on your phone but I’d imagine that would take you forever to finish shopping, so generally just make sure to take note of the undesirables.

Overall you need to know what you can consume everyday and what you should in controlled quantities for your own health, if you are searching for good fat, which once more I am hoping after reading this article, you will be actively searching in certain food types here and again. Remember that your health is top priority and over consuming even good fat is still bad for you, everything in controlled quantities and recommended dosage is always the ideal setting for you and your health. Food options are all around us, but choices for our health is even more apparent in everything we need to do, so take the time and choose the proper fat for your body. Stay healthy!

The Dangers Of Late Night Snacking

The Dangers Of Late Night Snacking

Late night snacking, midnight munchies, or the many other names it goes by is something a lot of us are guilty of. When you don’t sleep early enough, your body tends to play tricks on you and you end up getting cravings, notice how I say cravings and not hungry, because around that time (unless you’re on the graveyard shift) you should still be full from dinner. However if you’re up awfully late and this has become a habit, you’ll notice that you tend to snack more around the later it gets, why is that? Not quite sure really, maybe it’s because you’re tired and your body just gets bored, it could be because some of the worst decisions are made at night, either or, if you really look into your pantry consumption of cookies, chips and more, you’ll realize that you tend to snack more in the evening which isn’t good for your health. While I do agree with a snack every now and again during the day for health reasons, evening or late night snack trips are a bad idea and I’ll share why.

No diet accounts for these calories – I have seen a lot of diets and while a whole lot of them account for an afternoon snack, I haven’t really seen a lot of them account for late night snack plans. There’s a good reason for that aside from the fact that the additional calories aren’t good for both your health and your waistline, there are more reasons below as to why late night snack plans aren’t a good idea.

Your metabolism best works during the day – Research has shown that our metabolism best works during the day, so in the evening it is pretty much at a more relaxed setting. Notice how most diets have a rather heavy breakfast or lunch and a rather light dinner? Well that’s because it’s not good for your health to have a super big meal for dinner, as your metabolism is on rest mode for the bulk of the evening. What more if you plan to snack late into the night? Well then you won’t be burning off a lot of the calories or fat that you’re taking in, which will end up on your stomach or other body parts. The reason we have a higher metabolism during the day is we are usually more active during the day, so our bodies have set themselves to burn and use up more energy during the day, that’s why you should not snack in the evening.

Ruins the body’s rhythm – Late night snack attacks are not something that the body is accustomed to, and again for good reason, so when you suddenly introduce some calories or extra intake during an odd hour, the body is jolted and the rhythm is thrown off. This is bad for you as rhythm is very important for the body to maintain orderly and timely processing of food intake. This is almost like when you’re used to a certain work schedule and all of a sudden at 2 AM – 4 AM you are asked to wake up and work, won’t this kind of ruin your 9 PM to 6 PM regular work day? Well you can see how it would really throw off a lot of people and quite frankly that isn’t good for your health at all.

midnight snack
While late night snacking is unhealthy, junk food makes it worse.

Higher blood sugar – Now not enough research has been done by this yet but signs have been found that late night snack meals have been linked to higher blood sugar in the body, which in turn becomes a ton of chronic diseases. Ideas have stemmed that maybe it is because of the change in temperature at night, the need for less energy as mostly in the evening should be rest and much more, however it has yet to be pinpointed and confirmed if late night snack meals are the reason for higher blood sugar. I think all the same, if you care about your health, which you should, avoid that snack altogether.

Reduced glucose tolerance – Another problem to your health is the reduced glucose tolerance that occurs with late night snack ideas. It has been found that participants who had later meals usually had a lower glucose tolerance, which can lead to diabetes. This is being studied further but it is likely that the ‘internal clock’ in our bodies is the reason we cannot process the calories, sugars and fats from that late night snack. Once more diabetes has reared its ugly head, and one of the leading diseases in the US, we should take all precautions to avoid it as much as possible. By far diabetes is one of the diseases I think we should all take very seriously and should prepare our health to fight against.

Can’t burn it while asleep – Well this one should be self-explanatory for everyone. Sure it’s not like we always go to the gym or do some exercise after breakfast or lunch, but at the very least we are moving, standing and much more during the day. Ideally you’d get some gym time after that so you can burn off more calories but it’s alright not to always do it, at the very least walk around or something. However when we are asleep, we don’t really burn that much, so a late night snack will just sit and fester in our stomach, and yes I used the word fester just to really bring it to a rather glaring light at how bad late night snacking is for your health.

Hormones could be driving the cravings – As mentioned earlier, when it gets late at night, you get cravings in the evening which pretty much drives you to snack late at night, you aren’t really hungry you just want something to munch or eat. Research has shown that hormones are the ones that drive these cravings, they are the ones that pretty much puts your health on hold and wants to just eat the night away. Well there’s not much we can do about these hormones except ignore them, at least for our own health. The idea is to stop staying up too late, so you can avoid late night snack attacks or the lack of sleep, which is another reason why you are probably eating so late at night.

So these are some pretty solid reasons not to snack at night, and now you know why you should avoid it. Not only for your health, well mostly for your health, but overall if you want to lose weight, you definitely want to avoid taking a snack or a heavy meal at night. While it has been found that a snack every so often is good for you and will help stop cravings that will break potential diets, having said snack in the evening is not agreeable whatsoever. Stay with an afternoon or late morning snack if you wake up rather early in the morning, either or anything except a late night snack that will really deter your health. Stay healthy!

Why People Choose To Become Vegan

Why People Choose To Become Vegan

A lot of people can’t seem to understand, that becoming a vegan is more than just a choice of dietary needs, sometimes there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. I have my own personal reasons for choosing to become vegan, but as I mentioned, a lot of other people have made their own decisions, which could be due to the effect on the environment, their health and much more. In fact I would like to go through a list of reasons why people often decide to become vegan, right below, perhaps you’ll understand the others that have decided to go down this difficult road or maybe even decide to rethink your own consumer decisions after reading it, either way you gain a lot of knowledge about becoming a vegan and the environment just by reading this, so please keep reading.

Health – Perhaps one of the popular reasons to go vegan, a lot of people are after the many wonderful health bonuses that comes up with choosing this dietary and lifestyle path. By removing unwanted meat by products from our body, the body can really heal itself and improve its functions to the best of its abilities. Plus by taking in more vegetables and nutrients into your body, you will be able to create an environment that will allow your organs to fully function properly. This is an ideal situation and can be created from the consumption of tasty and healthy meals, while steadily keeping up a proper exercise routine as well.

Environment – The ramifications of consuming items as a vegan cannot be disputed, the effects it has on our very limited resources and environment is nothing short of amazing. When you decide not to consume meat or other animal products, the caretaking, assuming you can say that for a lot of the animals ready for slaughter, sorry I just had to say, could be reallocated for other needs. Say the gallons upon gallons of water that they allot for cows or the feeding grounds of cows, can be reserved for other needs. The acres of land reserved for raising and grazing animals, can be used to grow produce instead. The effects on our environment is staggering and should be known to all.

For the love of animals – Quite a few people, no let’s say more than a few in fact, a lot, lot, lot of people love animals and why wouldn’t you? This is one of the reasons why a lot of people decide to become a vegan or even try it, they love animals and they don’t want to bring them any harm, thus the ideal is to lead a life where you do not consume or hurt the environment so that the animals can live a peaceful and happy life. For a vegan and many others, this is a driving force why they continue to choose the vegan environment and consumer lifestyle, it really helps the slaughtering and the subjugation of many other animals to provide for us, when the land and many other options already exist for us to consume. There is no need for us to go out of our way to cause harm to other existing and conscious beings just to continue our own way of life, alright that is a very zen way of seeing things but I honestly believe that and I’m sure many others do as well.

vegetables
People’s reasons for going vegan may vary, but one sure thing it does is boost good health.

Sustainability – As mentioned earlier, choosing the vegan option is a more sustainable path as it does not take a ridiculous amount of resources to provide for the vegan environment or dietary needs. The vegetables and other foods, are easily renewable with proper care, in fact a lot of people who choose to be vegan, grow their own food. Can you imagine? Being free of the supermarket or other needs from that either cause you to pay a lot and even more, go out of your way to buy. The wonderful thing about consuming things that you grew on your own, you will be able to tell that it was done with a lot of love and less chemicals, pesticides or preservatives, which will really help your body heal itself from the years of animal products it needs to remove. Having total control of your consumption and needs is ideal, and I’ll be honest, while it is a lot of work, I would love having everything I need ready in my backyard.

Moral reasons – The use and slaughter of animals does not sit well with a lot of people, even non vegan people see ethical and moral reasons why animals ready for slaughter need to be treated humanely. In the end however, as a vegan, even if they are treated from start to end, but in the end their life will end due to being readied for consumption, which is still unacceptable. The moral concept of being raised simply to become a meal is cruel bordering on inhumane and needs to be stopped. While picketing and live lobbying is an option, I prefer to share my knowledge and hopefully get more people to become vegan or at least cut down on meat every so often, just by cutting back on chicken once a meal every week, you can save quite a few lives, think about how much you’re really changing with each decision you make on your plate.

Logic – Hear me out on this one, given all the myriad of reasons above and the combination of them, have lead quite a few people to becoming a vegan, which is pretty much the logical step. Health, morality, sustainability and much more, the logical path for both your body and the environment is vegan. In the end choosing this lifestyle will not only better your body but it will really and literally spare thousands of lives, with each dish you choose not to consume animal by products, you give another reason to release a chicken or a cow or even a pig. By not choosing to drink dairy milk, you now give the poor old cow a day or two to rest and graze like it was meant to. Becoming a vegan has so many positive effects that the logical path is to become one, sure you can test it out but if you really agree with it, the path goes that way, why fight it?

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, some of the best reasons to become a vegan and help save the environment. While there are a lot of people who still choose to consume animal by products, there is no need to worry however I do hope that reading this will convince them of skipping at least one meal of meat maybe once a week, eating meat is not needed it is a choice, and I am hoping that at least once in awhile, you make the conscious effort to avoid it, for both the environment and yourself. Stay healthy!

10 Things To Do Instead Of Eating Out Of Boredom

10 Things To Do Instead Of Eating Out Of Boredom

Boredom and stress can make you do a lot of things and one of them that really gets to most of us, is to eating. Let me tell you, this is one of the last things you should be doing. I understand when you want to eat because you are hungry or preparing for some exercise, but eating out of a boredom is one of the leading causes of unnecessary snacking and you are better than that. In fact I bet you that you are at least, take note how I say at least, 10 times better than that, I’m so confident that I will give you a list of 10 things you could be doing instead of eating out of boredom.

Exercise – This is a no-brainer, if you are about to start eating out of boredom why don’t you grab your shoes and take a quick walk around the block. Heck maybe even go to the gym to workout some stress in your life, either or you can definitely avoid eating out of boredom, simply by getting off your tush and getting your sweat on. Not only will you avoid the needless calories, you get to burn a bit more off, such a better alternative wouldn’t you agree?

Clean the house or apartment – Since you are about to start eating out of boredom, might as well take some time to get your house in order. Not only will this help you put that spoon or fork away, but it will help alleviate some stress, the particular stress of not being able to find anything in the mess that you call home. Once in awhile you need to do a little spring-cleaning even if it isn’t spring just yet, so put down that pop tart and grab that duster.

house cleaning

Read that book you’ve been savingEating out of boredom stems from having nothing to do and too much time on your hands, well now that you have a little spare time, get that book that’s gathering dust in the corner, the one you promised you would read a few months ago when things weren’t so hectic, pretty much everyone I know has at least one book like this, well now is the best time to pick it up and read it, not only will you lessen your stress, you get to check another thing off your list.

Pick up a hobbyEating out of boredom seems silly since there is so much else to do out there. Why don’t you pick up a hobby that’s of interest to you? Maybe learn an instrument, learn a new language, heck even build some model airplanes or something, the sky is the limit here, so why would you want to stuff your face while you stress so many other potentials out there? You can do it, believe in yourself!

Meditate – Perhaps you know or don’t, either or I am a huge, huge, and did I mention, huge fan of meditation? Not only does meditation help you relieve yourself of stress, you also end up getting your ducks in order, the more you meditate, the better off you will be and the further away you will be from eating out of boredom. Meditation is a great way to recollect yourself for the work week ahead or just to make sure you want to remember and do everything that you need to do for the week, I really do suggest this alternative to eating out of boredom.

Call your friends or family members – There is never a bad time to catch up, and instead of eating out of boredom, this could be the perfect time to drop a line on a friend or family member. Sure they’ll be surprised at the sudden call and assume that you are about to stress on something, but let’s knock them out by simply saying: hi. Take the time to just talk and see what they are up to, or when you can meet face to face, after all it’s a good time to check in with your loved one always.

Do some chores – Well there’s no better time than the present to get that pile of dishes done, or maybe you have a car that is in dire need of washing, either or you can do any of these to avoid eating out of boredom. Plus it is another constructive way to spend your down time, adding to the fact that you will lose some stress knowing that there are some chores ticked off on your list. Don’t do groceries if you got the munchies though, that can lead up to some very poorly made buying decisions that will only hasten the eating out of boredom effect.

Take a quick nap – Maybe meditation is not your thing, it’s alright, I do advise that you give it a serious try though however if it doesn’t work for you, a nap also works in this case. Especially if the nap will take the place of eating out of boredom, I’m all for it. Naps have been shown to reduce stress in most individuals and can really rejuvenate someone from a tiring week, so if you are bored and have the time go for that nap.

read a book

Check up on your favorite blog – Not that I’m making any suggestions, but since we’re on the topic… just kidding! Log on and see what’s happening online, read up your favorite articles and see what new stuff is on your favorite site, again a much better option that eating out of boredom and this way you still can get rid of stress as you catch up your favorite site. Note to the wise, if your favorite site is a food blog, maybe do that a bit later, that could entice you to eat some more of course.

Plan out a way to earn a little extra cash – With so many ideas out there, I’m sure you already have an idea how to earn a little passive income on the side here and there, use the time that you were planning to start eating out of boredom and start to flesh out a solid plan as to how you can earn some extra cash on the side. Take the time and make it a more solid plan, more ideas as to how you can improve the thought in your head will always help and will pave to a possible new world for you and your family.

I honestly believe they can be done by everyone if not mostly everyone. These are great ways to lose some stress along the way plus you don’t gain weight so that’s always good too. Stay healthy!

Vegan Pets, Is It Safe For Them?

Vegan Pets: Is it Safe For Them?

Animals are a driving factor for a lot of people, regardless if it is your pet or you want to help or make the life easier for animals, either case it is apparent that many people love them. For vegans, one of the considering factors of going on the rather difficult lifestyle change could be in consideration for these animals who cannot speak for themselves. I know several people who have turned to veganism because they love animals and don’t want to cause them any harm, heck they even have vegan pets who they have also put on their lifestyle choice.

Now this is where the debate comes in, for many of you, I‘m sure you’ve heard about the whole vegan pets debate as to how you cannot force a predominantly carnivorous animal to be without meat. I’ll admit this is a rather heated debate among regular pets and vegan pets, but it really is because we all have a passion for animals that we continue to discuss it now. So just to shed a little light on the topic, I wrote down a few of the favorite animals that we usually have in our houses, and I want to make sure that they are classified as a possible choice for vegan pets or otherwise.

Dogs – Considered man’s best friend, this is perhaps one of the most debated vegan pets out there. However it is in their nature that they are omnivores, so technically speaking they should be able to survive on a steady diet of vegan options and continue to live healthily as one of the ideal vegan pets. Among the animals on the list, this is one of the more meat loving animals but that is because they are exposed to it, it is possible to feed them a vegan diet and they will continue to be healthy.

dog and carrot
Dogs can possibly be on a vegan diet since they are omnivores.

Cats – This is even trickier than the last, research has shown that cats are primarily carnivorous meaning that a diet of meat of some kind must be introduced to the animals’ diet. However I have several vegan people who will attest to cats being great vegan pets who are healthy and strong to this day. I’m on the fence here and I think further research is needed, so if you are considering on adopting a few animals but want them to be vegan pets, hold off on the cat decision for now.

Rabbits – One of the more popular options for vegan pets, after all it only eats vegetables so changing it to a vegan diet is not at all impossible. So if you’re looking for a good option for vegan pets, this is the one you want to gravitate towards.

Small birds – I’ll admit this is a little broad, however getting into too much species of animals can really get exhausting. As for which can be vegan pets, usually small birds like parrots, lovebirds and a number more are good options, it’s not like I know a lot of people with pet vultures, eagles or hawks, those need meat and won’t make very good vegan pets.

Fish – Again, much like birds the list differs quite a bit. If you get a piranha or a shark, well that would be a bad idea for your choice for vegan pets but if you stick with small fish animals, goldfish, monitor fish and more, you can definitely manage a vegan diet for them.

rabbit eating
Rabbits live in a plant-based eating habit.

Hamsters – They say that these little balls of fluff and cuteness are a definite go for the vegan pets category, which is likely as they don’t really eat meat. However as animals, I know for a fact that they sometimes eat their young, for whatever reason is not really known to me, but if that’s a concern for you regarding it as an option for vegan pets, I just wanted it out in the open.

Turtles – Another omnivore on the list of animals, the turtle may not be that easy to make predominantly a vegan. After all if a bug or something crawls into the vegan pets home, well it is likely to eat it and that pretty much cancels your vegan plans, so maybe not the easiest option out there.

Well that’s a pretty short and comprehensive list, but hope it helps you decide if you want to adopt one of the animals above and if their diet can suit your beliefs. Vegan pets in essence don’t exist as being a vegan is a choice, and usually animals will instinctively eat vegetarian or some meat, so if you have vegan pets, that is entirely up to you and your decision alone. Make a smart decision and make sure that your pet gets the proper care. Stay healthy!

5 Best Vegan Salad Dressings

5 Best Vegan Salad Dressings

Let’s face it, the salad dressing on your salad can really make or break it, it can heighten, highlight or take the taste away of whatever raw veggies or other stuff you have in the said salad and quite frankly some of them are just down right delicious. As a vegan, I have tweaked several of my favorite salad dressing from when I wasn’t a vegan, however if push comes to shove there are a ton of vegan friendly salad dressings out there and I would just like to take a few minutes to simply sing their praises. Please note that some of them are regular items that was tweaked to be vegan friendly, for personal preferences of course.

Balsamic vinegar – Oh my gosh, don’t tell me even if you aren’t a vegan, you haven’t enjoyed a wonderful salad with a salad dressing of balsamic vinegar? If you haven’t, then you are truly missing out even if you aren’t a vegan at all. This dark sour and rather pungent salad dressing can really bring out the green in your vegetables while carefully marrying the other ingredients so effortlessly. The tricky part is finding the right bottle of salad dressing for you, given so many options out there it gets a little overwhelming, but hey if you can’t find what you like, why not make a vegan friendly balsamic vinegar yourself anyhow? It’s not that hard to do and you can adjust it to suit your tastes as well, so this is without a doubt a great idea.

ranch dressing
Ranch dressing is one of the most common ones.

Ranch dressing – Well the tricky part here is not using regular mayonnaise but with so many substitutes out there, it is not impossible at all to make a wonderful ranch dressing that works pretty much with any salad. I like having it with some rather colorful vegetables that can really use a nice creamy touch, paired off with crunchy, leafy vegetables and I am in vegan heaven. As a salad dressing, ranch is one of the most requested even by people who are not vegan, after all most salads come with this very basic salad dressing, and we know why now.

French dressing – One of my personal favorites among all the salad dressing available out there, and I am happy to report that it is easier to turn vegan friendly than you’d think. This simple salad dressing has made it here as one of the most requested salad dressing options out there, plus making it vegan cuts back a little on the calories and other stuff you want to avoid. Works well with not only salads, but also with lightly cooked vegetables or even vegetable sticks. Kids seem to gravitate towards this option, regardless if it is vegan or not, they seem to like the tangy after taste of this salad dressing and I can’t help but agree with them.

Thousand Island – The sweeter side of the salad dressing options and once more very easy to tweak into a vegan favorite, this works well with pretty much any salad you can come up with. When you go to the market this is possibly one of the easiest salad dressing options you can find in ready made bottles, it just sings further how this is not only a favorite in the vegan world but everyone else’s go-to salad dressing, so why wouldn’t I put it on this list?

Pesto salad dressing
Pesto will always be on my list of favorites.

Pesto – Now this is fairly vegan friendly even if you don’t tweak it at all, so if you need one of those ready-made salad dressing options from a market, as you don’t have time to make it, you will find some pretty much anywhere. However if you’ve made and tried fresh pesto, well there’s rarely a choice to go back, the freshness in a new batch is just amazing and I love how it is so easy to make. Pesto is a rather unique salad dressing option but still one that I highly recommend as a vegan option.

salad dressing daiya
These are some of my favorite salad dressings. Non-dairy and egg-free!
salad dressing organicville
These are some of my favorite salad dressings. Non-dairy and egg-free!

And there you have it, some of my rather favorite vegan friendly salad dressing options out there. I’m sure you can easily find them in most stores but if you have the time please make it on your own especially if you are vegan. Stay healthy!

Chocolate: Guilty No More

Chocolate: Guilty No More

Chocolate is something most of us enjoy and many refer to it as a guilty pleasure, but with good knowledge, you will know about its health benefits.

Now hold on, don’t go crazy and peel off that sugary sweet cover and go nuts on milk chocolate, the truth of the matter is that DARK chocolate is the one full of health benefits, so don’t go crazy just yet. As always over consumption is easy to do but in small and regulated amounts, it can do wonders for you.

Dark chocolate the antioxidant champion – Let’s start off with something we all pretty much know. Yes, its health benefits are closely tied with how much antioxidant is in each bite. Antioxidants are known to protect the body and help avoid a ton of harmful molecules that can really do a number on your body. So don’t feel bad when you have a mouthful of dark chocolate, the health benefits are just starting with each scrumptious bite.

Increase blood flow – Dark chocolate is known to have quite a bit of nitric oxide, which can lower the resistance of blood flow, which in turn reduces blood pressure, so consumption of these delicious treats have that added health benefits aside from sating your sweet tooth.

Increase HDL levels and lower LDL – Now let me break it down real quick before you Google the abbreviations I just mentioned, it stands for high and low density lipoprotein and HDL is the one that helps your body with health benefits while the LDL is something you really want to avoid. Well HDL helps the body but what you really want is to remove the LDL too as it often works with radicals in your body to cause a number of problems. So enjoy the dark chocolate knowing that you can get a foot up with a ton of health benefits.

dark chocolate
Dark chocolates are the best ones.

Better cardiovascular resistance – Given that one of the health benefits is lowering LDL will help you fight off a number of cardiovascular diseases that no one in their right mind will want to worry about anyways. So as one of the ideal health benefits, you’ll be happy to know that this is one of the more important benefits listed for dark chocolate.

Better skin – Looking for better skin? Then take a helping of dark chocolate. Studies have shown that the dark ones have some pretty great skin health benefits, by protecting it from sun damage. So assuming you will be hitting the beach perhaps it is time to snack on a little dark chocolate to avoid skin damage.

Become smarter – Well this hasn’t been proven just yet… but the studies are in progress and so far results have shown that participants who consumed some dark chocolate showed signs of better brain functions. The studies are continuing but moving forward if they do find that dark chocolate does help brain functions, you’ll want to make sure these are among the benefits that you get while getting your chocolate on.

And there we have it, some pretty awesome health benefits of dark chocolate, again mind the consumption but over all I think you should know how much to have every now and again. While the se health benefits are great, remember that each serving still comes with sugar, so don’t feel guilty with each bite but be mindful nonetheless. Stay healthy!

Review: The Vegan Nom

REVIEW: The Vegan Nom, Austin TX

Austin Texas is rich in food places every traveler (or anybody else for that matter) would definitely need to try out and enjoy. I wanted to focus on the vegan places to dine at and share them to everyone who’s interested in eating healthy on the go. I’m so excited to share with you my first eat out review!
The Vegan Nom is a taco food truck on Austin’s eastside off Cesar Chavez.  It’s mostly tacos and your Tex Mex faves like vegan chips and nachos and guacamole. You can choose from the menu or build your own taco. Everyday there’s a special “$2 Taco” and today’s was “Migas”.
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I tend to shy away from faux cheese or processed vegan foods but I was feeling adventurous and decided to try the Migas. I liked it, the tofu scramble was the right texture and the combo of cheeses, chips and bell peppers was delicious.  I think it’s a great choice for someone who is new to vegan food but willing to try something kind of familiar. The salsas provided, one green and one orange, weren’t that spicy. I also had the spinach, mushrooms and caramelized onion taco and that was definitely more my style but it was not seasoned and a little bland but I’m a fan of the use of whole foods. I wish the salsas had more flavor because that would be an easy fix.
We also tried the chips and nacho cheese. I honestly didn’t care much for it because it is served room temperature like a hummus and I prefer nacho cheese piping hot but Thomas seemed to like it.
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The grand finale and probably the highlight of the food was the dessert: vegan Twinkies!  Super sweet, oily and incredibly delicious with our coffees from Sister Coffee next door. Thomas had a Grilled Avocado Royals off of the Signature Tacos menu which he says he always gets so it must be good.
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Twinkies! I love ’em!

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I can’t say right off the bat that I am a fan of The Vegan Nom but I’ll most definitely come explore more of the menu.
Looking forward to my next eat out adventure and I surely will be sharing my review! Stay healthy!
Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks You’ll Love

Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks You’ll Love

Being a vegan used to be tougher than it is nowadays, but with so many vegan cookbooks out there and even more recipes, you can be sure that if you eat vegan style, there is a cookbook or two waiting for you. With so many great recipes all over the place, the hardest part is choosing the right cookbook for you as a vegan, quite frankly even I have a tough time deciding which ones to get. Unlike a few years back, the options now have quadrupled or more from when being a vegan was new and somewhat a shock in most households. Nowadays you can pretty much meet another vegan as soon as you step out on the street and I am super happy about that. Given all that, it’s no wonder there are a ton of cookbook options and recipes out there. However do not fret, let’s list down 10 of the more popular ones, loaded with some pretty great recipes and tips for vegan newbies and veterans alike, we just can’t lose with great reading like this available in the market, can we?

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck – I know this is a little different from the usual cookbook ideas, but the recipes in here are legit. Besides it’s nice to see something that is a little different every now and again. This is the only cookbook in this list that isn’t primarily vegan, but it really needs to get a mention or two plus at least it helps push more vegetables in the usual diet so that’s always good, maybe it will convert a few people to become vegetarian or maybe even vegan. Tweak the recipes as you like it, in order to make it vegan friendly and you are solid as… the last word in the title.

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck cookbook

But I could never go vegan!: 125 Recipes that prove you can live without cheese, it’s not all rabbit food, and your friends will still come over for dinner – Well, the title of this cookbook pretty much tells it all doesn’t it? 125 recipes that are delicious and will make sure that your buddies won’t stop hanging out just because you decided to become vegan, sounds like an ideal read to me and something you can definitely use when entertaining guests. And yes for the record, vegan food does definitely not have to taste like rabbit food… whatever that tastes like.

The oh she glows cookbook: over 100 vegan recipes to glow from the inside out – Another on the best seller list of potential cookbook options out there, this vegan cookbook will help you choose some killer recipes. A definite must if you are looking for some unique recipes to add to your already hefty list of things to make in the kitchen, you won’t be disappointed in buying this cookbook.

Vegan cookbook for beginners: The essential vegan cookbook to get started – If you are new to cooking as a vegan, then you definitely want to get this cookbook for the simple recipes and the regular tips that you’ll definitely be needing in a few months or so. Keep this cookbook handy even if you’ve learned a lot already as a vegan chef, it doesn’t hurt to always have some basics waiting to be retouched when you need a refresher here and there.

Easy vegan breakfasts & lunches: The best way to eat plant-based meals on the go – Pretty much everyone loves breakfast, but lunch isn’t that far off the list as well and dinner is pretty great too… ok so we like to eat, nothing wrong with that. As a vegan however, it’s a good thing to have some quick and easy vegan options for breakfast and lunch at the tip of your fingers. That’s where this cookbook comes in, choose from a number of recipes that will make sure you’re out your door at a reasonable hour and not slaving away by the stove the whole day.

Easy vegan breakfasts & lunches: The best way to eat plant-based meals on the go

Vegan Richa’s Indian kitchen – I personally love Indian food, what’s not to love? The curry, the spices, the vegetables prepared just so right… yum, yum. That’s why if you’re a lot like me, you’ll definitely want this cookbook in your kitchen. Get some awesome vegan recipes that will rock your Indian cravings to the core, plus you’ll be sure to learn a lot of things that you didn’t know about some Indian recipes, sounds like a good investment to me.

Fresh from the vegan slow cooker: 200 ultra-convenient, super-tasty, completely animal-free recipes – 200 recipes, let that sink in for awhile, 200 pretty cool vegan recipes! Doesn’t that sound spectacular? Well I think it does, after all getting a cookbook that has 200 recipes that are vegan friendly will really extend your repertoire in the kitchen, plus you’ll be able to cater to preferences as easy as one, two, two hundred, see what I did there?

Vegan bowl attack!: More than 100 one-dish meals packed with plant-based power – In most households, not everyone is a vegan and that’s understandable. Sometimes you are just cooking for yourself, and this cookbook can definitely help you out. Equipped with more than 100 recipes in it that make single meals a breeze, and between you and me, I like how convenient some meals are when they are in a bowl.

Vegan bowl attack!: More than 100 one-dish meals packed with plant-based power

Veganomicon: The ultimate vegan cookbook – Making vegetables delicious isn’t too hard, especially if the food is fresh but having over 250 recipes under your belt could really give you a lot to do in the kitchen, having several vegan options for each vegetable is always a good thing. With the words ultimate in the title, you can be sure that this little, or in this case, not so little cookbook will be ready with some out of this world options for you and your family.

Easy. Whole. Vegan.: 100 flavor-packed, no-stress recipes for busy families – If by some chance your household is primarily composed of vegan people, and let’s just add on to that layer and say that you are rather busy vegans, then you’ll want to get a hold of this cookbook plus the recipes inside. This cookbook merits itself with some simple recipes that will make sure you aren’t thrown off your regular work or life schedule at all, plus it’s made for sharing, a definite must for people who cook for the entire family.

And there we have it, I would have to say that you can definitely get a handful of really good recipes from one of the cookbooks above. If you are really interested I’d start off with a cookbook or two first and build myself up, don’t want to overwhelm yourself with the sheer number of recipes available to you. Additionally I hope to create a cookbook myself some day that will cater to the vegan lifestyle, I’d definitely like to be in the top 10 list someday.  Stay healthy!

The Best Wines For Your Waistline

The Best Wines For Your Waistline

My dear friends, if you are anything like me you enjoy a glass of wine every now and again, however drinking your calories is a good way to really let your waistline go as most of us have learned over the years. That should be a head’s in itself to watch your waistline and keep your wine drinking to a minimum or casual, however I’m happy to share with you some tips to the best wines for your waistline, after all a happy tummy is a happy you.

Check the alcohol by volume – While there is no nutritional value in most bottles of wine, actually I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in any bottles but oh well, the alcohol by volume or the ABV tells you how much percent alcohol is in wine. The higher the alcohol by volume, the higher the potential content of calories in it which will pretty much go to your waistline, so the lower the better if you are watching your weight.

European wine is the way to go – Given the tip above, European wine usually has stricter regulations, meaning lower alcohol by volume, which in turn leads to less calories for your waistline. Unlike US brands or other countries, European wine has quite a hold and rather strict regulations regarding the produce of their bottles, so that makes it a good win for you.

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White wine is a good choice and even better when shared with friends.

White will make it right – Another simple tip to drinking wine is to drink white, as once more they tend to have less alcohol by volume and again that means less calories for the waistline. Of course on occasion red wine is alright but again it’s all about control and moderation, but if at all possible go with white wine to save your waistline the unwanted gains.

Avoid champagne – As fun as champagne is and how great it is for special occasions, if you want to keep your waistline in check, then keep the champagne as such special occasions indeed. The sugar content within a bottle of champagne is quite significant as opposed to regular wine, that is just unwanted sugar consumption, calories and much more. Stick with regular white if you want something special for the night but feel free to splurge every so often, after all every so often is alright just don’t go crazy here.

Spritzers are a viable option – I’m not saying to do this with really good, expensive wine, that would be atrocious and an insult to the makers, even if it does help your waistline. However if you are just looking for something a little special in the evening after a long day of work, make that white wine a spritzer and you’ll not only cut down the calories, you’ll enjoy the drink and still keep your stomach in reasonable proportions. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

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Opting for spritzers won’t hurt either.

Share that bottle – When in doubt about the calories and your waistline, call in the cavalry. Enjoy the bottle with friends, a glass of wine goes a long way with good friends but if you drink a whole bottle alone, well you really get the blunt of the calories, sharing you can almost split the calories in half. Plus you get to enjoy a nice evening with your friends or family, which makes it a ton more fun.

And there we have some pretty great tips to cut down with the calories of a bottle of wine, making sure that while you enjoy your night, your waistline won’t wake up to regret it. Stay healthy!