Friday, March 29, 2013

Vegan Sandwich Lunch

In a former post I told you that I like to eat, and like for my food to taste good.  Hopefully you have been able to see that from some of my Food Friday recipe posts.  Today is about lunch!  Above is one of my vegan sandwiches.  That is sourdough bread, vegenaise, tomato, avocado, lettuce and cilantro.  Very tasty!  Add a side of fruit or Lentil chips if you need that added crunch.

The vegenaise we use is a Grapeseed oil base and it tastes really good, oh and it is Gluten free also!

Lentil chips, Vegan and only a few ingredients


Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Blog Site

Howdy Family, Friends and Fellow Blog Followers,

I just wanted to drop you all a line to let you know that all the great 'health' stuff I have been posting on this blog is now moving to its own personal blog site Sow What You Eat at .  So if you currently subscribe to this blog via e-mail or follow this blog some other way you will need to go visit my new Sow What You Eat blog and sign up there.

My health posts will show up in both places for 2 weeks, then Mommy Glamour will only be about my personal life and Sow What You Eat will contain my weekly series of My Life Monday, Wisdom Wednesday and Food Friday, where I talk about food, health, exercise, alternatives to medicine, gardening and so much more.  You can also find me on FaceBook at Sow What You Eat

Please stop by and don't forget to share with your friends. 


PS - If there are any topics of interest you would like to see covered feel free to leave a comment on my blog of FB page.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday - Protein

Original Picture from Roma Foods

Do I get enough protein?  What if I am vegetarian, or vegan?  What if I just juice or am a raw foodie (eat raw fruits and veggies only)?  I'm glad you asked, let's find out! 

(By-the-way, raw foodies consume much larger quantities of fruits and veggies than the average person, eating an entire bunch of bananas, or a huge bowl of berries, or even a large plate of peaches all at once...that is how they get their calorie and protein intake.  Oh, and their salads are the Big serving bowl size, not a little cereal bowl size...yumm!)

First, what is protein?  Protein is the basic building block for the human body. explains that about 16% of our body is protein: muscle, hair, skin and connective tissues; and that it also plays a major part in our DNA and cellular activity. 

Since childhood we have been told that we have to eat meat (or other animal byproducts like eggs, cheese and milk) to get enough protein in our diet.  Is this true?  Are there other sources of proteins?  Are there better sources of proteins?

So, how much protein do I need?  The basic calculation for how much you need is your body weight in pounds x .37 =  minimum daily protein intake.  So for me that would be 103 x .37 = 38.11 grams minimum per day.  Athletes and pregnant/lactating women need more.  This is just one way to calculate daily needed protein, but it is good enough for any examples I use today.

Children are a little different, they are continually growing and learning so according to Baylor College of Medicine their calculation looks like this:
Ages 1-3 years: .55 x body weight in pounds = daily protein intake
Ages 4-6 years: .5 x body weight in pounds = daily protein intake
Ages 7-14 years: .45 x body weight in pounds = daily protein intake
Ages 15-18 years: .4 x body weight in pounds = daily protein intake
18+ uses calculation above for adults

My children would look like this:
Mackenzie: 43 x .5 = 21.5 grams daily
Micah: 29 x .55 = 15.95 grams daily

These numbers are very easily reached if animal byproducts are consumed.

3 oz. of chicken breast = 25 grams protein (the same as beef and turkey)
1 cup non-fat milk = 10 grams protein
1 cup cottage cheese = 28 grams protein
4 oz. ocean caught fish = 25 to 31 grams protein
6 oz. yogurt = 5 grams protein

If you use me as an example of needing 38.11 grams protein per day I would meet that with 4 oz. of fish, 1 cup milk and a yogurt.  Chances are I would eat MORE than 4 oz. of fish in a sitting.  Or, maybe I had 6 oz. of chicken...that is a whopping 50 grams of protein, way more than I need.  And this does not include all the extras like butter and cheese!  So yes, on an animal rich diet you can easily exceed your daily protein needs.

What about protein on a plant based diet?  You do have to be a little more intentional, but doable especially with grains, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes.  Let's take a look using my 38.11 grams of protein per day.

1/4 cup Nuts:
Almonds, Sesame and Pumpkin seeds: 7 grams protein
Peanuts and Sunflower seeds: 8 grams protein

1 cup cooked beans:
Black, Garbanzo and Kidney: 15 grams protein
Black eyed peas and Mug: 14 grams protein
Navy and Split Peas: 16 grams protein

1 cup cooked grains:
Wheat, Couscous, Bulgar, Groats: 6 grams protein
Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley: 5 grams protein
Wild Rice, Oat bran: 7 grams protein

Raw Fruit:
Most of your fruit has 1-2 grams of protein per serving.  1 serving being either 1 medium fruit or 1 cup (like berries and cherries).  Some fruits have more like Durian or Avocado which has 4 grams of protein.

Cooked Vegetables:
These vary widely, so I am going to take a small sample of those with the most protein and those with the least protein.  Your green leafy veggies contain quite a bit of protein.
Medium Artichoke, 1 cup Collards, 1/2 cup peas: 4 grams protein
1 large cob sweet corn, Baked potato: 5 grams protein
Sweet potato: 3 grams protein
1 cup summer or winter squash: 2 grams protein
5 Asparagus spears: 2 grams protein
1/2 cup broccoli, Brussel sprouts: 2 grams protein
1 cup cucumber, lettuce, eggplant, celery, spinach: 1 gram protein

2 Tablespoons Peanut butter: 9 grams protein

Woo, that's a lot, and I didn't even include meat substitutes like tofu, milk substitutes like almond/coconut/soy milk, butter substitutes like olive oil or nut butters (which are high in 4-9 grams of protein per 2 Tablespoons)! 

Now, let us use my 38.11 grams of protein needed daily.  Can I do it?

2 slices of whole wheat toast (my bread has 5g per slice) with 2 tablespoons peanut butter for breakfast: 19 grams protein
Avocado, cucumber, tomato, whole wheat sandwich with strawberries on the side: 16.5 grams protein
By lunch I have already consumed 35.5 grams protein; more than I need for the day.
1 apple, 1 banana for snack: 2 grams protein
Roasted Eggplant, potato, sweet potato over brown rice for dinner: 14 grams protein
Daily total: 51.5 grams protein without animal byproduct!  And I usually have 2-3 snack per day.  Plus this did not include any milk, meat or butter substitutes.  When I juice each glass usually contains about 10 to 15 grams additional protein.  So I could easily get 66 grams of protein in my daily diet without the use of animal byproducts.  For me that is enough to live and work out on!  Actually, that is enough for some smaller men.  I usually do not have peanut butter and am heavier on the leafy greens and beans/legumes which would actually increase my daily intake of protein!  Now, having seen this, it is easy to see that unless you are on a vigorous workout schedule or are pregnant or nursing you probably do not need to stress out about your protein intake.  I exceeded my daily needs without even trying!  Also, don't eat processed and junk foods or drink unnecessary sugar and calories.  Those simply strip your body of the good stuff you are getting and trick you into thinking you are still hungry and need more protein!

Yes!  It can be done!  Even if you don't eat grains.  My large salad made the way I like it can easily contain 16+ grams of protein (a lot more if I add beans or eat a bigger portion).  Or even oatmeal with berries could have 6 grams or more!

Now, do I need to avoid animal byproduct?  That is a personal conviction.  Plant based proteins are easier for the body to digest and utilize, while animal based proteins cause plaque in arteries, disease, inflammation and high cholesterol/blood pressure things that the plants do no cause.  I would recommend you watch Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and/or The Beautiful Truth (check out my blog post here) to decide your stance on eating with our with out (or even limited) animal foods.

My next big topic to study...Gluten! 

What are your thoughts about protein? 

What would you like to read about?

Leave your comments and let me know!

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Life Monday - The Crush

Do you remember your first crush?  Was it a person, someone famous, or maybe even a cartoon character?  Hey now, you can admit it!  Some little people's first feelings are for those larger than life cartoon characters.

At this moment in life we are all about Tinkerbell. 

Photo from Movie Wallpaper
My daughter loves to be her, so we do a lot of flying and throwing of pixie dust around here.  But my son?  He asks to watch the movie daily.  Why?  Because he likes Tinkerbell?  No!  He is in love with Vidia.  The harder more stoic fairy.  I like to think it's because her hair is dark like his Mommy's, but I'm not so sure about that.

Picture from Wikia

So, who was your first crush?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spinach Wrap Dinner

This is a twist to the normal fajita dinner, and instead it is a spinach wrap dinner.  Very tasty and light, yet filling.

First I began roasting the veggies of choice: cauliflower and eggplant in a little extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.  Roast in the oven at 415* for about 20-25 minutes, or until eggplant is soft and cauliflower is caramelizing.  Done!

Than I began making a potato salad (yes, to go in the wrap).  Cube and boil potato of choice until soft about 12-20 minutes depending on the potato you choose.  Once done I drained then added minced garlic, coconut milk, cilantro and a dollop of veganise to the hot pot.  Re-added the potatoes and mixed together. Done!

Finally I chopped up some tomato and lettuce and we all sat down to fill and eat our spinach tortillas!  Yummm!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lifestyle Change

Original picture from Loosen Your White Collar

I wanted to give you a few tips on how to change your lifestyle, if that is your desire.  This particular post will focus on food lifestyle, but the thought can be applied to other areas as well.

  1. Set a Goal - where do you want to be in the long run?  What do you want in the short term?
  2. Make a Plan - how do I obtain my closest short term goal.  Don't move past that goal until it is met, then you can plan for your next short term goal.  After each one you are a huge step closer to that long term goal.
  3. Start small - change one thing (or set of things) at a time.  Don't try to complete the entire race in one big jump, but rather take one day at a time.  For instance, my family started with removing artificial food colors.  Once we conquered that we removed MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup (this step cuts out a lot!)...  Then we moved on to all artificial ingredients...  The we began lessening our meat intake, and now we are going vegan.  Eventually we hope to remove gluten, but we will wait and see.  That is a part of the larger goal, and not something I think about right now.  We will only move that direction once our vegan goal is fully obtained and not difficult; really a second nature to us.  Then we will re-evaluate and decide if we desire to move further. 
  4. Don't just take things away from yourself, but also add good rewards.  We added juicing (which we love).  We added gardening (something I truly enjoy).  We added higher sugar content fruits such as dates, persimmons and the like to replace the sweet tooth cravings!  Actually, my kids think dates are candy they taste sooooo good. (fresh dates, not dried)
  5. If you struggle get accountable.  I have my hubby and kids, but I have also found the transitions easy; they just motivate me.
  6. Hang around like minded people.  It is easier when you all desire the same goals, or are moving in the same directions.
  7. Give yourself some slack.  If you mess up it is OK, just start, not tomorrow!  Like I stated before, we eat this way at home and are relaxed when out with people.  We still try to make good choices when out, but my kids can eat cheese, or we can eat meat on Thanksgiving...not a life or death issue!

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Life Monday - How Does Your Garden Grow?

I recently mentioned that we were restarting our garden this year.  Well, it is almost finished!  This post is mostly pictures, but let me just tell you that we are using organic gardening methods.  Most of the plants you see I started as seeds, and some seeds I just planted today so we will not see the sprouts for a few weeks.  Other crops (like beets, carrots, onions and spinach) I will plant every two weeks in order to have a rotating/continuous crop.  Our back yard is very small, so we decided to do a total of 5 small raised beds along the fence. 

Here is the 1.5 yards of gardening dirt we moved to the son had a blast helping with this.

One side of our yard...yes, our yard is not level.

The other side of our yard.  Eventually there will be some type of trellis on that back bed.

Cucumber, peas, strawberries, carrots, beets and onion bed.  We are using the square foot gardening method.  You get a much higher yield of produce this way.  Most everything is still seeds here, but you can see our strawberry and cucumber plants.  This bed will have a trellis along the back.

Mixed greens bed.  Various lettuces, arugula, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Kale.

See, here are two of the lettuces sprouting, one is red leaf and the other is butter bowl.

And here is a kale plant.  Tiny now, but in a few weeks it will be big.

Here is the eggplant, squash, zucchini bed.  The Zucchini will be staked to grow tall instead of trailing along the ground.  Everything else is bush variety and still seeds or seedlings.

Here is the melon bed with 2 watermelon sections and 2 cantaloupe sections.  Cabbage is planted along the front.  The melons will be trellised to grow up instead of along the ground.

See, this cantaloupe already has a flower!

This is the tomato, bell pepper bed (with some basil).  Some are still seedlings.

Our blueberry bush has flowers all over it! 

Our little Satsuma mandarin also has tiny flower buds.

That is it so far.  I will post pictures when everything really gets growing, and I hope to keep track of how much we produce this spring/summer season and again in the fall/winter season to see which crops do better when.  I'll keep you posted.

Do you have a garden?  What do you grow?  Any tips?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Roasted Veggie Dinner

I love the flavor profile of roasted veggies, especially potato, sweet potato and beets.  Here is a vegan dinner we made with the roasted veggies as the star.

White rice (I prefer brown, but hey, this is what we had) cooked according to package directions.  We actually buy organic bulk.

Sautéed veggies in Coconut Oil: Swiss Chard, Beet tops, Onions, Mushrooms.

Roasted Veggies on the side: Roasted Potato and Beets in oven at 420* for 45 - 50 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Eggplant Spread

Today I will post some food recipes and ideas.

I still owe you that leftover eggplant spread that was suppose to be posted last Friday, oops!

Eggplant Spread:

Leftover Eggplant
2 Garlic Cloves
Squeeze fresh lemon
Dash Kosher Salt

Ingredients minus eggplant and garlic

Roast eggplant and garlic cloves together at 400* for 10-15 minutes, or until garlic is getting soft. 

Place all ingredients into food processer and process until a thick paste.  Does not look very appetizing, but my kids liked it in their pita as a meat substitute.

Use as desired.  We added it to our pita with lettuce and avocado.  You can dip veggies or use as a sandwich spread.  Or you could process with olive oil, avocado oil or sesame oil to thin out or veganise to make creamy, even change the spices to tahini, ginger or orange for different flavor profiles.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Food Friday - Kids and Diets

Photo from John Stone Fitness

I read a really sad article about a 7-year old feeling the need to diet (you can read it here), and it reminded me of something that happened in my childhood that I thought I should share with you. 

When I was in elementary school we had standardized physical education testing.  How many push ups can she do in 1 minute?  How fast can she run a mile?  How many pull ups can she do?  How long can she do the flexed arm hang?  Is she flexible?  Can she climb?  Is she coordinated?  And on and on.  Then there was the weight, height and body mass index.  When I came to that part, even though I exceeded in all of the other athletic areas, my gym teacher said, "Whoa, you better lay off the potatoes!  You have too much fat."  I was shocked!  Too much fat?  Was she serious?  I had always been told I was thin, skinny even.  When I told my Mom she laughed a little chuckle and said that the teacher must have been joking.  I had very high self esteem and self worth (founded in the Lord) so I took my Mom's word and never thought of that moment again.

Well guess what?  Kids don't understand sarcasm.  And guess what else?  She wasn't kidding!  My Mom actually kept all of those test readings in my childhood scrap book and I came across that one the other day when showing my kids some old memories.  I was in the excellent category for everything, then under body mass index the notes read that I needed to run and exercise more to get the excess off.  Now as an adult looking back I can honestly say that gym teacher probably needed some serious help!  She was either jealous of my thin frame, measured me wrong or thought it was funny to put such a thing on my chart as a joke.  Why do I say this?  Because I was thin and in good shape.  Good thing I was grounded and founded in the Lord because such words could mold a kid the wrong way.

First, what we feed our kids IS important, but it is not a stress on being skinny or to look a certain way, but rather it is about health and what is right for our bodies...a way of life.  Not eating junk and eating as much healthy food as you need.

Second, words are powerful.  Words from other kids and words from adults can be very impacting, not only to a child, but for anyone.  Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."  Words or a joke that is really not funny can have serious implications on a person and need to be carefully thought out before spoken. 

Now to the present:  I talk about food a lot.  I like food.  I like to eat.  Some may call me overly passionate, or even a bit crazy.  But I like to feel good, be healthy and give life in abundance to myself and my family.  It is not how we look, but rather how who we are and how we live that matters.  I have always been thin; some would say borderline skinny or even anorexic looking.  However, I have never had an eating disorder.  Like so many people find it difficult to lose weight my body has difficulty gaining weight.  My heaviest weight, without being pregnant, was 112 pounds, but my entire adult life starting back in high school I hover between 103-107 pounds.  That seems to be my body's comfort weight no matter what I eat.  I could have pizza and Mexican food daily, or eat completely vegetarian and my weight stays in that same matter what!  Exercise 107lb range. No exercise 103lb range.  Sleep a lot.  Never sleep.  Eat a ton.  Eat less often.  No matter what stage in life I sort of hover in that range, and guess what?  I'm OK with that!  Why?  Because I know I am feeding myself and my family good nutritious food that tastes good and we are not going hungry.  I just put it down to the fact that I am pretty much the same size as my Paternal Grandfather and leave it at that...oh, and this is how God made me.

My family: We don't diet, unless you call what we eat everyday Our Diet.  We just have a way of life that is ever evolving and we love it!

As for my kids?  They know a lot about nutrition.  They know what is good for them and what is bad for them.  They choose the good on their own.  We don't talk about weight or fat or how we look in that kind of way, but rather we talk about how we feel and putting good fuel into our bodies.  They still get to eat cake at parties (if I make it due to food additive intolerance), and they don't miss out on the special treats and fun.  They are being taught (all the way from the garden to the table) and one day they will be making all of their own decisions.  I only hope I have taught them well and that they will make decisions based on health and not based on what the world says body image is.

Do you have any stories about diet, way of life or words spoken over you?  Feel free to share in your comments, we would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday - Take A Break

Today's Wisdom Tip is short.  It is Take A Break.  Did you notice I did not do a blog post on Monday?  Well, we had a really busy weekend and I felt like I needed a break, so I took one.  I didn't even feel guilty!  Remember, sometimes we just need to take a break, however long or short, to stay healthy.  Isn't that a little bit of what the season of Lent is about?  If you feel the need go ahead and stop.  It's OK.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Food Friday - Inspirational Food

Food comes in all different forms.  There is junk food, healthy food, food from God.  There is solid food, liquid food, spiritual food, mental food, emotional food, food that is just good for the soul.  Today, instead of reading what I have to say, I want to share with you the inspirational story of a friend of mine that just competed a 21 day juice fast.  You will read his why, how and what story of the fast.  Click here and enjoy!

Picture from 80 Breakfasts
I used the above picture as inspiration, but did not follow the recipe or make the yogurt...since I was making a vegan meal.

Roasted Eggplant with Sweet potato and Beans:

1 eggplant
Sweet potatoes
Swiss Chard
Pinto beans
Minced Garlic (1-2 cloves)
Coconut Oil
Kosher salt

First I cut the eggplant in half long ways then scored the white flesh diagonally both directions being careful not to cut through the purple skin.  Brush on a little olive oil or coconut oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.  Place on baking sheet skin side down  and put in a preheated 350* oven for 45 minutes.  Once roasted this is our Main dish.  Just scoop out the eggplant squared with a spoon...yumm!

While the eggplant is baking I prepare my steamer and cut the sweet potato in 1 inch rounds and steam on high for about 20-25 minutes.  This is our 'veggie' part of the dinner.

While those two are going I prepare a skillet with a little coconut oil, minced garlic (I like a lot), and a little kosher salt.  I then sautee' the onions, mushrooms, Swiss chard and pinto beans.  This is our warm salad part of dinner.

Try to time everything to finish cooking together, serve up warm and enjoy. 

PS - Don't throw away any leftover eggplant or the skin.  Next Friday I will show you how to make a good dip/spread with them.