As one of the voices of water.org, co-founder, Matt Damon encourages a vegan diet. Water.org is a wonderful organization that raises awareness on the increasing issues with regard to clean water around the world. The facts are daunting — Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness; People spend 200 million hours a day around the world collecting water. Yet, people are wasting water each day by just eating animal products. Believe it or not, it takes a whopping 2400 gallons of water to create just one pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to grow a pound of wheat.
Although Matt, himself, is not a practicing vegan, he made mention of the fact that he promotes the diet/lifestyle. “My thoughts on veganism are that it’s a wonderful thing to do. I just can’t do it. I tried” (http://www.ecorazzi.com). A part of me appreciates his honesty. The truth is: it is a difficult lifestyle to maintain, especially living in the US. But, it is all of the amazing benefits of this lifestyle that make it well worth it. Check out some more information regarding the clean water crisis from the water.org website below.
Beginning October 21st, Chipotle will test out its new vegan option, Sofritas, tofu (sourced from California-based Hodo Soy) braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos and spices. Dependent on its success, it will become a permanent option on their menu. Cannot wait to try!
Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
As a plant-based vegan, this is one of the most important items that I have in my kitchen. I use it at least three times a week. This rice cooker makes quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats, sushi rice…the list goes on and on. The best part, there is no need to use any oil (olive oil, canola oil, etc.) because everything in this rice cooker turns out perfectly with just water and pressing the start button (I sometimes add different seasonings, veggies or fruits to the cooker depending on what I’m making). Based upon the setting chosen, it somehow identifies its end time. Magic! No timers needed, just put the grain and water in the cooker and let this machine do the rest. It then automatically turns to a warmer setting once the cooking has finished. No need to sit around, wait and check on anything. Quality product! Can’t say enough great things about this rice cooker!
If this doesn’t bring notice to a cause, I don’t know what will. Yesterday, in Los Angeles at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, Mercy for Animals made their presence known while actively protesting carnivores. Definitely a unique and strong way to may their point. It made national news, that’s for sure.
Robin Quivers Discusses Battling Cancer, Weight loss and Becoming a Vegan With Dr. Oz
It’s really great to see that there is national news promoting the vegan diet. Robin Quivers has been actively promoting her cookbook, The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life. Yesterday, she was on the Dr. Oz show discussing her diet, battling cancer and weight loss. She contributes the vegan diet to her battling the disease with tremendous strength. And for the past 3 months, she has been cancer free! Such an amazing story.
I love Infographics. Fantastic data-filled illustrations. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s pretty cool. Check it out!
Product Review: The Pro Bar
It is extremely necessary that I do this review. The Pro Bar is a meal bar that I found while grocery shopping at Whole Foods. I was looking for something new, something nutritious and organic. This bar is THE best. So far, I’ve tried the peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter and oatmeal raisin flavors. All of them are equally amazing. The whole grains, nuts, seeds, the chucks of fruits, the flavor and the best part, it tastes homemade. And each bar has lots of fiber as well. Cannot beat that! I just recently had a baby and this is the perfect “go-to” bar, as it can be pretty difficult to make something wholesome with very little “me” time. I would definitely suggest checking these out at your nearest health food store. My new favorite! Cheers!
The Bill Gates-backed company that’s reinventing meat
Being the true innovator that he is, Bill Gates has found another cutting edge investment opportunity. Beyond Meat®. Beyond Meat® is teaming up with Bill Gates and they have a plan to take over the market with the development and introduction of new plant protein products. With someone like Bill Gates on your side, it’ll be hard not to prosper and grow astronomically. “We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources,” Gates wrote on his blog. He’s all about the preservation of natural resources and we all know that it takes much more fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein than it does to make one calorie from plant protein (11 times more, to be exact).
Although this seed is native to South America and has been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries, most of us are just now learning that these little seeds of wonder are not just for the purpose of spreading its sprouts onto grooved terra cotta figurine heads that with time sprout into green plant “fur” or “hair“…“Cha, Cha, Cha Chia!” Anyone remember that fun jingle for the chia pet (that grew in popularity in the 1980s)? And this summer, arranged along Michigan Avenue between the Chicago river and Roosevelt Road, there were 12 foot tall sustainable art chia sculptures. Chicago’s very own monster-sized versions of the chia pet!
We now know that chia seeds are a lot more to us than art, they provide us with some real nutritional value. I have been eating chia seeds for the past few years because I’ve found, with lots of research, they need to be an integral part of my diet. Why you ask? I’ve identified my top 9 reasons for making chia seeds one of my VeggieLuvin’ favorites!
- Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids which can help to reduce inflammation, reduce high cholesterol and enhance mental, intellectual performance. Also great for strong hair, nails and glowing skin.
- These seeds offer one of the highest plant-based sources of protein which helps with weight loss and building lean muscle.
- They are an excellent source of fiber – 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons! This is the stuff that keeps us full longer, balances our appetite and helps debloat.
- Very rich in antioxidants, chia seeds help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer.
- They are a great source of calcium. 18 percent of DRI [Dietary Reference Intakes]. And vegans have a hard time getting calcium, why??
- I can consume these whole and do not need to grind up in order to release all the great nutrients (as I would with flax seeds).
- Chia seeds are great for regulating blood sugar. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormal amounts of insulin in the blood.
- They are a quick, easy and simple ingredient to add to any meal. I love to use it to make a delicious pudding or sprinkle some on top of my breakfast cereal.
- They’re fairly inexpensive. I can grab a 5 ounce bag at Trader Joe’s for just 5 bucks! Which lasts me a couple months, if not longer, it all depends on my cravings. 😉
Also, better yet, there are a few restaurants around Chicago that have incorporated chia seeds into their menus:
What are the reasons you love chia seeds? Interested minds would like to know!
- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1 cup of dark chocolate almond milk
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 cup of seasonal fruit
- 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Stir in the 3 tablespoons of chia seeds into the dark chocolate almond milk and let sit for about two minutes. Stir again, wait another 5 minutes and then stir again. Sometimes, I like to let sit overnight, as I like my pudding thicker. I will then add a splash or two of almond milk in the morning and stir it up. Add the banana, seasonal fruit, sliced almonds and cinnamon and you’re good to go!
One of my favorite breakfast treats!