Vegan Bytes #11: Spring Cleaning

Welcome to the Vegan-Nutritionista.com newsletter that focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. The Vegan Bytes Newsletter is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, and answering your vegan nutrition questions.

In this issue...


*Thoughts: Spring cleaning your body
*New pages... Now YOU can share your opinions
*Your questions: "How can I lose weight on a vegan diet?"
*Recipe of the Month: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World!


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Spring Cleaning Your Body

A lot of people make New Year's resolutions that revolve around losing weight, eating healthy diets, and working out. We all want to look great, but when it comes time to get to the gym or to pick up lunch, it's easy to forget what we want long term.


Once April rolls around, most of us dropped those resolutions long ago. I read once that people adopt a pattern of losing weight in January and February, of going back to their old ways by March, and then by November they are up a few pounds on where they were the year before. Even with the winter weight loss, they are slowly gaining weight as they age.


Even if you have fallen into that pattern, you can reverse it. April is a great time to renew your resolutions. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and swimsuit season is just around the corner. It's a great time to clean yourself from the inside out and start to think about making some great life changes.


Here are some spring internal cleaning tips:

  • Try a colon cleanse like Dr. Natura's Colonix
  • Sign up for a summer CSA so you can start getting fresh vegetables and fruits from a local farm weekly
  • Clean out the junk food from your pantry and donate it or give it away
  • Start a challenge with yourself to cut back on caffeinated beverages by next month
  • Get at least 15 minutes of fresh air and sunshine daily
  • Look for some places to hike near your house and try them out
  • If you're considering veganism, try a Meatless Monday or Tofu Tuesday. Start small and see how you feel
  • A naturopath can help design an herb concoction to help detoxify your body


Have fun and don't feel guilty about not following through on resolutions. Just make new ones!





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YOUR Contributions

The most exciting new thing on Vegan Nutritionista is that we are now able to take free submissions from you... the reader!


Just like on wikipedia, flickr, and MySpace, you can now write comments, share tips, and rate other comments all on our site.


  • Your all-time best vegan recipe now
  • What is the best raw vegan recipe you know?
  • Your collection of gorgeous vegan wedding cakes
  • What's your favorite vegan ice cream?
  • Where do you stand on the soy debate?
  • Read and share inspirational vegan weight loss stories
  • List your vegan cooking classes online





    Vegan Bytes Insider Password


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    The following page is password-protected and will require a password from you. This password will change occasionally and you will always find the most current password in the most current Vegan Bytes Newsletter.


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    Vegan Chemical-Free Gas Remedies
    The one negative drawback to eating a vegan diet is that you often eat more fiber than the typical person. Doesn't sound negative, right? Well, it can be for your digestive system. Never fear though... I have researched and found several amazing, natural, chemical-free gas remedies.



    Take A Fruit Bouquet Workshop
    Fruit Bouquets are a creative way to show someone you care, without having to cut flowers or buy chocolates. Take this workshop to learn how to make your own fruit baskets, including pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and grape tulips.


    Learn All About Nut Cheeses
    Vegan cheeses are abundant in grocery stores across the world, but most of them are still lacking something. Tree nut cheeses are the fabulous and new (somewhat) addition to the vegan world, and their flavor is unparalleled.




    "How can I lose weight on a vegan diet?"

    This month, I've had numerous people write in asking how to lose weight on a vegan diet, so I decided to tackle that huge topic here. To read the entire article, click on the link for the ebook I created to cover this subject.


    Essential Vegan Weight Loss Tips


    I approach the topic of healthy eating from the viewpoint that we don't need to count calories or worry too much about portion size, as long as we are eating the right foods and listening to our bodies, and not attempting fad diets. This is certainly not something I made up on my own or that only I follow. In fact, for many of you, this will likely be old news.


    For others though, this philosophy might sound crazy for a few reasons:


    1. For years we've all been taught that you have to be very mindful of how many calories we are putting in and burning off of our bodies or we will never lose weight.


    2. We've been taught that the best way to lose weight is to control our portions according to specific dietary requirements. We've heard about thousands of people losing huge amounts of weight by following diets like this. Even though we've also heard about people gaining all that weight back, we listen more to the inspirational side.


    3. "Eating the right foods" is simpler than it sounds. Any whole foods from the plant world qualify, and the more variety, the better. The best way to accomplish eating good variety is to try to eat every color of the rainbow, every day. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans, and add in some nuts and seeds. Use processed foods only as last resorts and only occasionally.


    4. "Listening to our bodies" can sound a little wacky too. Everyone who's ever lost weight and kept it off for life will tell you that they now know how to tell when they are hungry (truly hungry, not emotionally hungry), and are able to tell when they are done eating. In Food for Life: How the New Four Food Groups Can Save Your Life, Dr. Neal Barnard talks about this concept openly. You can tell a difference in your body when you are truly hungry. Your blood sugar level plummets, you get a headache, you might feel dizzy, and you know you are hungry.


    Maybe what we've been taught for the past 20 years isn't actually what's best for our bodies. Let's dive into those concepts and evaluate them.


    On counting calories...


    While it is true that the body needs to burn more calories than it takes, it's generally a waste of time to count calories, and it tends to be counter-productive. If you focus on the other rules, you will lose weight and won't have to worry about calories.


    A calorie counter might look at an incredibly healthy tablespoon of flax seeds, see 50 calories and 5 grams of fat, and decide not to eat it because they are trying to be to afford to eat a great piece of vegan pie later that night. That's the wrong philosophy. The flax seeds are also incredibly high in essential nutrients for a vegan diet.


    Don't miss the rest of this article, including essential tips for losing weight on a vegan diet...


    Recipe of the Month

    Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

    These are by far the best homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. They're even better than Tollhouse's famous recipe. If you don't have it already, you should rush out and get The Everyday Vegan to try her other incredible recipes and to have this one nearby in the kitchen.


    Note: This isn't the healthy food we're talking about in the guide above, although when made with spelt flour it's much better than most cookies. This is fun food!

    Ingredients:

    1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or spelt, see below)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup unrefined sugar
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
    1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined.

    In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined.

    Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not over-mix).

    Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little.

    Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out).

    Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

    Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie. For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of the spelt flour to the dry mix (the amount needed varies with brand of spelt flour and whether you are using a refined spelt flour versus a less processed spelt flour).

    Note: If, as you are mixing together your batter it appears quite floury and thick, simply mix together a couple of teaspoons more canola and maple syrup and incorporate it into the batter. Sometimes humidity, type of flour used, and other factors can affect the density of the batter and so a touch more liquid may be needed.

    Makes 9-12 average to large sized cookies.





    That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it.


    Comments? Feedback? Ideas? I'd love to hear from you. My website is here to help you, and I love to hear feedback on how to better do so. Just use my contact page and let me know what you think.


    Note: This is an auto-responder email so you can't reply directly to this email.


    Have a great month!


    Cathleen





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