Vegan Bytes #12: 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: "Is soy bad for me?"
*Recipe of the Month: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World!
My first ebook will be available for purchase soon...
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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!
Like many websites, Vegan Nutritionista is constantly growing and changing, and if you signed up for this newsletter a long time ago, you might not have read our new information. Our blog page keeps you up-to-date with new articles on the site.
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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
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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.
"Is soy bad for your health?"
I have been hearing a lot about hormonal problems with soy. I drink soy milk every day and propably have some sort of tofu every other day. Is there anything I should be careful of. Do you think the whole soy bean thing is a spoof or real.
Thank you for submitting your question. What's funny is that the newsletter that I just sent out had a link to an ongoing discussion on our site about this same topic. If you are a subscriber, you probably know that already! Some people take the position that all soy is bad, others differentiate between soys, and some think it's all incredibly healthy for you. Check out a page on the topic at http://www.vegan-nutritionista.com/soy-controversy.html and the discussion at http://www.vegan-nutritionista.com/soy.html#INV
I personally fall somewhere in between. I think the soy to avoid is the genetically modified soy that is grown mostly for livestock, and the processed soy that is added to processed foods (like soy lechitin, TVP, soy protein isolate, soy powders, etc). What's funny is that people eating meat-based diets actually consume more soy than those of us who stick to plant proteins.
Asian cultures have been eating soy as their dominant protein for thousands of years, and they never have the health problems that Westerners have. Also, from what I understand from my research, it appears that fermented soy products are extremely healthy for us. Those are things like tempeh, miso, natto, and even soy sauce.
As of right now, it seems we don't have a definite answer as to the benefits or drawbacks to soy, but I am sure within a few years we will get to the bottom of it. I would love to hear your opinion on the comments page.
Thanks for writing in, and let me know if you have any other questions.
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!
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
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.
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