I love to cook, I love to eat, I love all things purple and I just happen to be vegan!
"Where do you get your protein from?" Every vegan alive has had this question asked at least 10 times. I personally can't count the number of times I have had it asked from not only non-vegans but vegans too. Many parents, peers, teachers, and coworkers will insist that without meat, vegans are certainly protein deficient. We have been programmed to think that getting enough protein is absolutely essential to living a healthy life when in fact it is not. If you like to do the research on the great protein debate a really good book to start with is Proteinaholic by Garth Davis, M.D.
In the book Proteinaholic Davis says he was shocked to find out during his research that none of the "Protein Gospels" you may have heard were even a little bit true. He goes on to list:
● Protein is not the key to weight loss—in fact, animal protein is one of the biggest factors behind the obesity epidemic, and, in virtually every study, animal protein is correlated with weight gain.
● Animal protein is not one of the healthiest foods around—rather, it is strongly associated with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer, the primary killers of our time.
● Plant-based protein not only exists—it’s much better for you than animal protein and all plants contain more than enough to support every one of your health needs.
● A lower-protein (and low-fat) diet is the most effective way to lose weight, improve your health, and prevent future disease.
● Carbs, far from being the enemy, are (in their natural state) the source of human health, vitality, and vigor.
*list taken fro the book Proteinaholic
So you want to know how I and others on a plant based diet get their protein? Here is a list of 10 of foods that are commonly eaten by those on a plant based diet that contain protein.
10 Common Ways That Vegans Consume Protein
As you can see from the list above, it’s quite easy for a vegan to consume the proper amount of daily protein. Let’s say for breakfast you have a cup of oatmeal and a guava, for lunch you have a veggie burger with soymilk, for a snack, you have some peanuts, and for dinner, you have lentil salad with spinach, half a cup of cooked tofu, and kidney beans. That’s 82 grams of protein! Plant proteins are different from meat proteins, vegans should aim to consume 0.41 grams of protein per pound each day. This amounts to almost 10% of daily calorie intake. Therefore, an average 180-pound male vegan should consume 74 grams of protein each day. So as you can see it is possible to get plenty of protein on a plant based diet. When was the last tie you heard of anyone being dying fro being protein deficient? I'll wait......
Infused water is the process of adding fruits, vegetables, and herbs to your water, then letting these ingredients flavor the water. In addition to providing a delicious flavor with a wide range of combination options, you also get some of the nutrients from the produce and herbs, which further improves how healthy your water is. Infused water is easy to do, but there are a few things you should know first. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are making your infused water.
Types of Water to Use
The first thing you should know about making infused water is that filtered water is always better. Filtered water is cleaner, so this is really going to improve the overall quality and flavor of your infused water. Since not everyone has access to enough filtered water to fill infused water pitchers every time, tap water is okay when necessary, but do try to get filtered water if at all possible.
When choosing your water, you should only use room temperature or cold water. Avoid warm or hot water, since it can cause the produce to fall apart at a rapid rate, which reduces how many nutrients are going to end up in your water.
Choose Organic When Possible
If at all possible, try to select organic fruits and vegetables. These can often be found in the produce of your supermarket, but a better option might be to get them from a weekly CSA, farmer’s market, or contacting local farmers directly. This allows you to get fresh fruits and veggies that you know were grown locally without added fertilizers and other chemicals. Organic produce does tend to provide a better flavor for infused water. However, the most important part is having healthy water with your favorite fruits and veggies, so if you can’t use organic, don’t worry too much about it!
How to Prep the Ingredients
After you select the ingredients you want to use for your infused water, you will then need to prep them before putting them into the pitcher. You should always rinse the fruits and vegetables to make sure no chemicals are left on them. Even if you bought them organic, it is still a good idea to rinse them and make sure they are clean. If you are using herbs, you want to crush them with a muddler since this will help to release the oils. The exception is when the herb is leafy, such as with mint or basil.
Most fruits and vegetables need to be cut at least in half before being put in the pitcher so that they can release their flavors. Hard fruits and vegetables like cucumber and apples need to be cut into thin slices since they can take longer to release flavor to the water. With berries and citrus fruit, they are softer, so just cutting them in half or quarters should be fine.
What to Make Your Infused Water In
By this point, you are ready to start putting your infused water together. Before you add in the water, make sure you have the right container. While you can technically use anything, a glass pitcher is usually recommended. However, regardless of which way you go, make sure it is BPA-free and food-safe. Many plastic pitchers are not ideal and won’t keep the water fresh, but in the end it is really up to you. There are also pitchers and cups used especially for infusing. They typically have a long and narrow section in the middle where you put your herbs and fruit, with holes or slots so the flavor can be released. You can use these, but they aren’t necessary.
I use a variety of different containers for my infused water Check The Purple Vegan Likes for links to my favorite infused water bottles and containers!
How Long to Soak the Produce
When making infused water, you will add the produce and herbs first, then add your room temperature or cold water on top. You then want to let the water infuse so that you can get good flavors and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables being used. If you are leaving it out on the counter, this is usually done in about 2 hours. Otherwise, wait 4-6 hours if keeping it in the refrigerator for the infusing process. If you leave it overnight, it will be super flavorful.
When the Water Should Be Enjoyed
The ideal time to drink infused water is within 24-48 hours after the infusing process is complete. It is usually best to drink it the same day, but at least try to drink it within the first couple days. Waiting 3 days is okay, but don’t leave it for longer than that. Make sure you are not leaving the fruits and vegetables in the water for this long though. They should be removed and only the water should remain in the pitcher for this long. Citrus fruits will remain fresher for longer, while melons are going to get soft and mushy quickly.
Also keep in mind that if you drink the infused water the same day, you can usually refill it 2-3 times with the produce in the pitcher or cup and still get good flavor from it.
Mix it up!
If you need ideas for infused water recipes you can check out this post here on The Purple Vegan.
There are also tons of books available on Amazon with recipes for infused water. Right now the book pictured below is available on Amazon for FREE!! Act quickly because the time limit is not guaranteed!
Are you considering a plant-based milk alternative? If so, you probably understand the dangers of dairy. Once upon a time (in the unfortunately not too distant past) you were told to get several servings of dairy each day. At least a couple of generations were raised on the "milk is good" nutrition attitude that has caused a lot of health problems for so many people.
We now know that dairy products like milk don't necessarily lead to improved bone health. That was one of the big selling points of milk. A Swedish study showed that when women drink more than 3 glasses of milk a day, they increased their rate of dying over 20 years by 100%. Multiple studies have shown an increased risk of contracting type I diabetes, several cancers, high cholesterol, acne and pro-inflammatory conditions on a diet which includes dairy milk.
Which Plant-Based Milk Alternative Should I Use?
If you're reading this short article, you are looking for answers. You understand that dairy milk can be replaced by milks made from a plant base. The problem is, you see these types of products everywhere. So, should you try soy milk or almond milk? What is the difference? Are there any other plant-based alternatives? Let's take a look. (The following numbers are averages, and depend on the brand and flavor you purchase.)
Soy milk – This plant-based milk alternative delivers about 110 cal per serving, against just 4 or 5 g of fat. You receive 8 g of protein, 30% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D, and 45% RDA of calcium. Additional benefits include magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B 12.
Almond milk – You can count on just 30 to 35 cal and 2.5 g of fat per serving. You also receive 45% of your calcium RDA, and 25% of your vitamin D RDA. Extras include magnesium and vitamin E.
Rice milk – Expect about 120 cal, 2.5 g of fat, 1 g of sugar and 30% of your calcium RDA per serving. You also receive 25% of your vitamin D RDA, as well as phosphorus and vitamins A and B 12.
Coconut milk – You get 10% of your calcium RDA and 30% of your daily vitamin D allowance. You receive zero protein, 7 g of sugar, healthy fatty acids, vitamins B12 and A, and magnesium as well.
Cashew, hemp and kefir milks are also available, but the 4 milks just covered are the most popular.
My personal favorite is unsweetened almond milk. I don't use plant- based milk often but when it comes to an occasional bowl of cereal, oatmeal or making mashed potatoes unsweetened almond milk for me delivers the mildest flavor and the best consistency.
Remember, most plant-based milk alternatives have less protein than dairy milk. The exception is soy milk. Coconut milk delivers more saturated fat than whole dairy milk, but research has shown that particular type of fat is healthy. Also, look for versions with added protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and other wonderfully healthy nutrients. With more than 50 new milk substitute products, you have a lot of choices. Just make sure to read the nutrition label on any type of milk product you buy, and try to steer clear of whole dairy milk whenever possible.
(The links contained in this post are affiliate links and I earn a small commission.)
If you’re looking for a way to stay healthy, decrease the risk of suffering from some serious diseases, and slow down the process of aging, then you should eat more whole foods. Whole foods are the foods closest to their natural state, which means that they contain much more nutrients than processed foods. Of course, it’s incredibly hard to make your diet consist of whole foods only, but you should strive to make them the majority of the food you consume.
Whole foods can include unprocessed vegetable, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Now, most people know that whole foods are healthier, there is the misconception that they are more expensive which simply is not true.
Just take a moment to think about how health is important and if you truly need all the processed snacks and sweets that you buy on a regular basis that can add up in cost very quickly. It’s a much better idea to simply visit your local farmers’ market and buy the nutrient-packed whole foods.
In case you need to be convinced to start eating whole foods, here are 5 ways they contribute to your well-being.
Lower Risk Of Diabetes
According to Mercola.com, a diet that involves a lot of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits significantly lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In case you are already suffering from this disease, know that you too will feel better if you follow a diet based on whole foods.
A Stop To Nutrient Shortages
WebMD notes that a survey about eating habits was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the results they found were shocking. A huge amount of people didn’t have proper nutrient intake. In fact, 92-97% of the population that participated in the survey didn’t consume enough potassium and fiber, while a third of the people didn’t consume a sufficient amount of vitamin C.
However, these nutrients help reduce the risk of some serious diseases and are very important for your overall health. So, what should people do when they simply don’t get enough nutrients from the food they eat? Start consuming whole foods. All of these nutrient shortages can be fixed by following a diet filled with healthy, whole foods.
Most whole plant-based foods are extremely rich in fiber, while processed and junk foods aren’t. Fiber is a very important nutrient that improves your health in numerous ways. For example, it helps you fight diabetes, heart disease, it helps you feel full faster, and it keeps the GI tract moving.
Whole foods are a much better way to increase your fiber intake, since they contain both types of it (insoluble and soluble). Eating foods that are rich in fiber will also help control your weight, blood fats, and blood sugar.
If you want to keep your weight under control, but don’t feel like going on some extreme diet, then you’ll be pleased to hear that eating whole foods promotes healthy weight management, especially if you choose to eat mostly whole vegetables and fruits. These foods contain very little calories, so you won’t have to worry about counting them.
There is a simple explanation why whole foods will provide you with more energy. When you eat something, your body has to break down that food. However, processed foods are difficult to break down, so a lot of the energy they have to offer will actually go into the processing of breaking it down. On the other hand, it’s not a challenge for your body to break down whole foods, so you will be left with a lot of unused energy.
I can personally attest to this point because I used to suffer from eczema on my hands and legs which would itch terribly in cold or hot temperatures. Since I have become vegan I have not had a flare up in almost 3 years and the dry patches are gone on my hands and feet.
Nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so eating a whole food and preferably plant based diet will usually result in good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan oe whole food plant based diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
Consider what you are eating every day and that diet is your best chance for living a longer and healthier life.
Grilling season is in full force now, leaving us vegans searching for recipes that keep us from looking like rabbits at the family barbecue LOL. I am currently out of town visiting my family and since I have been vegan for a little over 4 years now my family is pretty used to me having a different menu then what they are having. My aunt usually keeps a supply of different beans and rice so if all else fails I always have beans and rice! When I got to my aunt's house this week she told me she had bought me a can of jackfruit. I have never tried jackfruit but over the past couple years I have saved a bunch of recipes using jackfruit so what better time to give it a try then at the family barbecue!?
If you aren't familiar with jackfruit it is a tropical fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. You are likely to find it at Asian grocers fresh. It is also available canned.
If you are having a hard time finding jackfruit in your city, it is available on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link)
After trying it out I will definitely be ordering cans to have on hand for those lazy days!
Since I am not at home I did not have my supply of my usual spices, seasonings and vegan staples at my disposal so this recipe was something I totally winged but the results were pretty darn convincing even to my very omnivore uncle!
Barbecue Jackfruit with Avocado Slaw
For the Slaw:
For Barbecue Jackfruit:
1. Drain jackfruit and rinse with water. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 1 hour.
2. While jackfruit is soaking make the avocado slaw. Place avocado, onion, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, lime juice and start with 1 tablespoon of water into food processor/blender. Blend until creamy. If avocado dressing is too think to your personal liking add water a tablespoon at a time until you reach a good consistency.
3. Place shredded cole slaw into a bowl and pour avocado dressing over it and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
4. After jackfruit has soaked for an hour, drain, rinse again and set aside.
5. To skillet add water, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and liquid smoke. Simmer on medium heat for about 5 mins until all seasonings are well combined with the water.
6. Add jackfruit to the skillet, turn down heat and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated (approximately 12-17 minutes).
7. Once liquid has evaporated add barbecue cause and 1/3 cup of water and barbecue sauce and continue cooking on low heat for 10-15 more minutes. Turn off heat and remove.
8. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of jackfruit onto bun and top with slaw.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.