I meet a lot of people who want to clean up their diets. Maybe they know they’re unhealthy eaters, or they eat too many processed foods. Maybe they have the winter blues and want to switch things up a little. Maybe they’ve finally realized that it’s time to do something about the bloating and tummy discomfort that comes with most of their meals.
Regardless, we could all stand to freshen up our plates a little.
Well, now’s the time. If you start tomorrow, and commit to it, you’ll be feeling fabulous come Springtime. I promise!
5 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Diet
1. Limit your sugar intake. Look for sugar listed in everything you buy that comes in a package or a jar. Tomato sauces and salsas don’t need to have sugar in them. Make your own salad dressings and use stevia or less refined sugars like maple syrup or honey.
Try this recipe for homemade salad dressing using stevia as the sweetener.
2. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Try a green smoothie. Dark leafy greens are ridiculously full of vitamins and minerals. I throw kale, romaine, or spinach into my smoothies, and then I try to have one big salad every couple of days. You can get loads of cancer-fighting antioxidants from raw fruits and veggies.
Try this recipe for the beginner’s green smoothie.
3. If you’re a meat-eater, consider using it as a condiment instead of letting it take up your whole plate. Talk to your local butcher about where he gets his meat. Does he know the farmer who raises the cattle? Are the animals grass-fed? Hormone-free? You want the answers to these questions to be a resounding YES!
4. Limit your dairy intake. Processed and pasteurized dairy is inflammatory and can clog up our bodies. This makes it harder for us to heal, easier for us to get colds, and it can drag us down. Try to buy local and organic dairy whenever possible.
Try this recipe for Homemade Nut Milk.
5. Start eating more power foods NOW. Last month I talked about the incredible nutritional benefits of dark leafy greens, eating a variety of colorful fruits and veggies, using ground chia seeds or flax seeds, eating dates when you need a sugar-fix, and the all-powerful coconut oil. Find a way to fit these foods into your diet today!
Photo source via Maggie Savage
Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Burgers ~ She Let Them Eat Cake
Last week we introduced a new feature, and a new writer – “Your Body is a Temple” written by my personal health guru Maggie Savage from She Let Them Eat Cake & the newly launched The Balanced Platter. Maggie shared her Top 5 Power Foods, which include dark leafy greens and coconut oil. “Your Body is a Temple” will return in February with another inspiring post which will help you on your journey to optimum health.
Today we return to Meatless Monday after a bit of a hiatus, and Quinoa is the star of the show. I admit, I am not in love with quinoa like so many are. I understand the health benefits – the fact that it is a complete protein for instance – however, it is still a bit of a struggle for me to enjoy it (and I am not a picky eater).
The recipes included look great, and many use the quinoa in clever ways. I plan to give one of them a try tonight!
What are your thoughts on quinoa? Do you love it?
Lentil & Quinoa Vegetable Soup ~ Weekend Notes
Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables ~ What Would Cathy Eat?
Andean Bean Stew with Squash & Quinoa ~ Kate in the Kitchen
Creamy Chipotle Sweet Potato & Quinoa Casserole ~ Mary Makes Dinner
(A few adjustments and could be dairy-free!)
Spaghetti Squash Quinoa Bake ~ Artsy-Foodie
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
Eggplant Parmigiana ~ Jamie Oliver
Way back, I kicked off a Meatless trip around the world starting in Ethiopia and featuring classic dishes with a vegetarian twist. With the American Thanksgiving, a weeks holiday, and a cookbook giveaway thrown in the mix, the trip around the world took the back-burner for a while, but today it is back in full force!
In the past I have shared my Italian heritage, and because of this many of my comfort foods include dishes from Italy. I know I am not alone in my love for this type of cuisine, it is popular all over North America and many other areas as well.
There are actually quite a few meatless dishes popular in Italy as well, both using veggies, and with fish or seafood. Today for Meatless Monday I thought we’d share some delicious veggie options from the different regions of Italy, hopefully they will inspire you to join in with the Meatless Monday movement and go meat-free one day a week!
Rice Stuffed Tomatoes ~ Le Delicieux
Zucchini Boats ~ Home Cooking in Montana
Caprese Panini ~ Amazing Sandwiches
Vegan Meatballs & Spaghetti ~ Work Life Joy
Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna ~ Gluten Free Goddess
Seitan Scallopini with Lemon-Olive Sauce ~ Fat Free Vegan 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