Editor’s note: Today we will be kicking off a new series called “Your Body is a Temple” based on the Buddha quote above. The articles (one monthly) will be written by our newest contributor Maggie Savage. You can learn more about Maggie here. Thank you Maggie!
I’m excited to be joining The Conscious Perspective and sharing lots of healthy tips, recipes, and ideas throughout 2012.
I’ve come to believe that my body really is my temple. As a busy study-at-home Mom (I’m currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist), I need to be at my best so I can get a lot accomplished in my day.
I thought I’d start by sharing FIVE power foods we need in our temples. These are power foods; they’ll give you the power you need to get through your day!
1. Dark, leafy greens – I start my day with a green smoothie and I can’t imagine it any other way. Dark leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. I try to get in at least 2-3 cups a day. 1 cup in my smoothie and another couple of cups in the form of a salad or thrown into whatever it is I’m cooking for supper (soups, stews, curries, and even veggie burgers).
2. Color on your plate – In addition to eating your dark leafy greens, it’s important to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies throughout the day. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and many of them have benefits scientists have yet to discover. I try to get as many raw fruits and veggies in as possible, since that guarantees lots of vitamins in my diet.
3. Ground chia seeds or ground flax seeds – Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are an important part of our diets. Our brains need these EFA’s for cognitive functioning, and they even play a role in stabilizing our moods. I like to sprinkle ground chia or flax on my cereal, in my smoothies, and even my toast. I also use ground chia and ground flax in my baking.
4. Dates –Since giving up refined sugar, I’ve been using medjool dates to get my 3pm sugar fix under control. Dates are an excellent source of energy and dietary fiber. Dates are also loaded with potassium, which helps the body maintain a healthy central nervous system. I use dates to sweeten my smoothies, or when I’m headed out for a long run. Combined with some raw nuts, dates make the perfect mid-day snack.
5. Coconut oil – The benefits of coconut oil can’t be described in one small paragraph. It is hands-down one of the healthiest fats out there. It can be used topically to maintain healthy hair and skin. Taken internally, coconut oil is also excellent for maintaining cholesterol levels and increasing immunity. I love to cook and bake with coconut oil mainly because it is an excellent dairy-free alternative, but also because it is stable enough to resist heat damage.
Do you have a favorite power food? Share with us by leaving a comment below.
Celery Root, Onion & Mushroom Latkes ~ Bon Appetit
Hannukah kicks of this week, and I thought it would be fun to share some modern twists on the classic potato Latke recipe. Latkes are traditionally fried in oil, but there certainly are ways to make them healthier, including mixing in some carrots and other root veggies.
Today’s Meatless Monday round-up includes some healthier versions of the latke, yet most are still fried the traditional way… all are sure to be delicious. They make a fantastic and tasty side dish and can easily be made gluten-free, so give them a try!
Parsnip & Carrot Latke ~ Gluten Free Bay
Potato & Zucchini Latke Recipe ~ LaaLoosh
Beet & Carrot Latkes ~ Eggs on Sunday
Sweet Potato Latkes ~ The Kitchen Minions
Carrot Scallion Latke ~ Elena’s Pantry
Apple Latkes ~ Smitten Kitchen
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Lasagna ~ Holy Cow Vegan
Last Monday we skipped the recipe round-up in favor of an amazing Vegan Cookbook giveaway featuring Spork-Fed. Spork-Fed was written by by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, owners of Spork Foods in LA. You still have plenty of time to enter, contest ends Nov. 30th.
Today we are getting back to Meatless Monday recipes, and in honor of the US Thanksgiving holiday this week I am whipping up a batch of Thanksgiving recipes for you.
You may remember a similar post back in October, where I provided a many different vegetarian options for the Canadian Thanksgiving. Today’s post will contrast our previous post in that the recipes you find here today are main events for the Thanksgiving meal. These are dishes that can replace meat at any holiday table.
Even if you do cook a turkey and make one other main such as the ones listed here, you may be surprised how many meat-eaters reach for the vegetarian option!
Nutloaf – The Kitchn
Dairy-Free stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps ~ Got No Milk
Portobello Wellington - Virtually Vegan Mama via Made Just Right
Curried Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkins ~ The Joy of Clean Eating
Vegetarian Garden Loaf with Maple Apricot Glaze – Gluten-Free Goddess
Last week I stumbled upon a documentary that I had watched quite a while back called Rebecca’s Wild Farm. The documentary focuses on Rebecca Hoskins, a farmer’s daughter from the UK who takes over her family’s conventional livestock farm. The film documents Hoskins as she faces the challenges that have arisen for conventional farmers in the face of industrialization.
She learns of the “peak oil” concerns, and is introduced to the Permaculture concept by visiting active farms.Most importantly, she explains where our food comes from and how it gets to our plate from a farmer’s perspective.
Simultaneously while Rebecca’s Wild Farm was on the television, Anthony Bourdain was special preparing a locally grown and raised holiday feast. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Perhaps I am just more aware than ever, but it does appear to me that even the mainstream media is focusing on the fact that we need to make some changes to our eating habits.
As I have mentioned in the past, this is why I love Meatless Monday and blog about it every week. It is just one small thing that you can do yourself that has a major impact. Nancy Callan, member of the Board of Directors of Earthsave provided the following information on impact;
“More greenhouse gasses can be prevented by going meatless one day a week than by eating locally seven days a week.”
That is pretty amazing no?
Today for Meatless Monday, I wanted to take a brief break from my usual recipe listing and share a cookbook giveaway! A vegan cookbook. Sure, it isn’t called “Vegan Monday”, but it is simple to add a little dairy in to a vegan dish if you wish to.
Spork-Fed is a newly released vegan cookbook written by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, owners of Spork Foods in L.A.. The sisters provide cooking lessons, in-home consultations, cooking parties, and more. Their fans include Emily and Zooey Deschanel (who wrote the foreward), Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary, and Skinny Bitch author Rory Freedman.
The book has been receiving rave reviews by readers for it’s yummy dishes, and gorgeous photos to go along with each recipe. There are also gluten-free recipes included! (You can view the book trailer here!)
1. Leave a comment on this blog stating your favorite cookbook. Vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free, any healthy book that you love best!
2. Become a fan of The Conscious Perspective on Facebook
Contest begins November 14, 2011 and ends November 30th at 11:59pm!
The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Teslaca!
THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!
Photos: Courtesy of Spork Foods Facebook
I love writing Meatless Monday posts. Every Sunday I allow myself a few moments to think back, and along with the recipes and dishes, warm memories float into my mind. I grew up with weekly extended family dinners, all twenty of us together, and so family dinners are important to me and I cherish the memories.
Something else I cherish are the many different cuisines I have been exposed to throughout my life. A combination of Mediterranean and North American foods were the basis of my diet as a child, but there was no shortage of ethnic restaurants in the border-city where I spent the first 20 years of my life. Indian, Ethiopian, Arabic, and Vietnamese restaurants scatter the streets, amongst many others, which made for an exciting culinary experience.
When I moved away to a teeny tiny little village in Central Ontario, Chinese food was the extent of the local cuisine, and so I learned to make many dishes at home. For the new few weeks I plan to take a little trip around the world and share some of my favorite vegetarian dishes from a variety of cuisines that I have made at home.
This week, I wanted to start with some delicious Ethiopian recipes. Ethiopian food is spicy, full of flavor, and literally saucy. The best part is the Injera, a wheat-free pancake-like bread (traditionally made with teff flour) that is served with the meals. All you need to start is a spice mix called Berbere. Don’t be intimidated, if you are missing an ingredient it will still taste great! Be sure to serve a fresh salad with the meal, it’s nice to have a bite of something fresh mixed in with all of the yummy flavors.
Injera Sourdough FlatBread (with Teff Flour) ~ Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté
Berbere Spice Mix ~ Veggie Belly
Ethiopian Sweet Potato Stew ~ Vegan Dad
Misr Wot (Lentil Stew) ~ Saveur
Gomen (Ethiopian greens) ~ Goodness of Food, From me to you
Bamya Alicha (Okra) ~ The Vegan Chickpea
I finally had the opportunity to sit down and watch the Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer event which was filmed last week in Hawaii. As expected, it was amazing. Engaging, thought-provoking, funny – the kind of thing you pause multiple times to discuss.
Wayne Dyer often uses analogies, stories, or poems to get his message across, which is why I find him so intriguing to listen to/watch. During the video he told of an interaction with Dr. Christiane Northrup, (a fellow Hay House author), where she excitedly shared a new piece of research; food which we grow ourselves will provide the exact nutrients our bodies are lacking. (I have searched high and low for this study but came up empty handed, likely due to the fact it is so new).
This is not truly surprising if we think of what we already know about plants. Have you ever heard of the Backster Effect (aka plant perception)? In the 1960′s an American polygraph expert, Cleve Backster set out to prove that plants are sentient. He began his experiments by dipping the leaves in hot coffee only to find that the plants were not reacting. Eventually, he decided to mentally visualize harming a plant by burning it – this cause a huge spike on the polygraph.
The plants were reacting to the Backster’s thoughts. Multiple tests confirmed that this was the case – that plants are able to sense human thoughts and emotions.
While his theory has been discredited by scientists who question his lack of following experimental protocol, I believe Backster’s evidence is convincing. If you have ever successfully grown anything yourself, you can likely attest to the fact that plants must be nurtured to grow. I have many family members with thriving gardens every summer, and have always noticed that they treat their plants like family members. They talk to them, care for them, encourage them, and are rewarded with abundance.
Taking into consideration both what Dyer shared and our knowledge that plants are sentient, can you imagine an even greater disconnect between us individually and our food thanks to large scale farming and genetically modified crops?
I relish in the thought that those of us who have the opportunity to grow our own food will do so on a larger scale, and those of us who don’t due to location, or lack of free-time will support local farmers.