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Category Archives: Eat to Live

Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

These quick wraps will satisfy your craving for spicy, tangy Buffalo sauce while still packing in a hefty dose of nutritious fiber and protein from chickpeas and black beans.

Makes 8 wraps

Ingredients

For the Buffalo sauce:

  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter or dairy-free butter
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

To complete the wraps:

  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled or dairy-free cheese

Directions

Add the Buffalo sauce ingredients to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, stir in the chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Serve all the ingredients on top of the leaves of romaine, and enjoy immediately.

Baked Vegetable Tots

Tater tots taken to a whole new level. Not only do these tots have potatoes, but they are also loaded with zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and garlic! This recipe is kid-friendly and is the perfect way to pack more vegetables and nutrients into their diets.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large (8.2 oz.) zucchini
  • 1 medium (8.5 oz.) white potato, peeled
  • ½ small (10.4 oz.) head of cauliflower
  • 1 medium (2.75 oz.) carrot, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water)
  • ⅓ cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 medium (4 oz.) white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Into a large bowl or onto a cutting board, grate the zucchini, white potato, cauliflower, and carrot, with a coarse grater. Transfer the grated vegetables to a large bowl mix them together with a ½ teaspoon of salt. Let the vegetables sit for 20 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the moisture.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the flax egg. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal with 6 tablespoons of water and set it aside to thicken.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  4. After 20 minutes, transfer the grated veggies into a clean kitchen towel (or a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag). Clean the bowl they were in by giving it a quick rinse, drying it, and setting it aside. Grab a small bowl and strain out as much liquid from the vegetables as you can. Discard liquid.
  5. Place the grated veggies back into the bowl and mix in the prepared flax eggs, vegan parmesan, panko breadcrumbs, parsley, white onion, garlic, pepper, and remaining salt. Mix until well combined.
  6. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a tater tot shape. It may be difficult to start, but eventually, you will get the hang of it. Refer to the video in this post if you need assistance! Continue until you have formed 20-25 tots.
  7. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown, being sure to flip halfway through.
  8. Cool and then serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe is adapted from Tasty Junior.
  • Store the tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To reheat, pop them into the oven on a baking sheet at 400F for 5-8 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • To freeze these tots for later, follow the recipe all the way through and allow the tots to cool. Transfer the tots to a sheet tray or large plate in a single layer and place in freezer for at least 1 hour, and then transfer the frozen tots to a freezer safe bag or container. Store for up to 3 months. To reheat, pop them into the oven on a baking sheet at 400F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

We Must Develop A Mindful Eating Lifestyle In These Stressful Times

A report from amfAR, the Foundation for Aids Research, indicates that 22% of U.S. counties are disproportionately Black, and those counties account for 52% of COVID-19 cases and 58% of COVID-19 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in April 2020 that 33% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were Black, although they made up just 18% of the community being evaluated.

There are many reasons why black people are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The historical economic and social disparities that has created a constant state of stress in our communities, should make us more mindful of our health and wellness and what we need to do as a people to combat the onslaught of the virus and did-ease. It all starts with what we eat.

Mindful eating is merely eating with your full awareness of your food and the entire eating process.

Most people sit down for a meal and mindlessly fills themselves up. They often overeat because they aren’t paying attention to whether they’re full or not. They eat unhealthy food because they haven’t given serious thought to their meal’s nutritional value they’re about to eat.

Their mind isn’t on their meal. They’re thinking about the bills that need to be paid. They might be watching TV. They might even be driving down the road while eating a meal.

Mindful eating is a robust process that delivers significant results to your health, life experience, and psychology. Eating is the most crucial input you have to influence your body. When you’re mindful of the food that you eat, you’re going to have positive results.

There’s no downside to mindful eating. If you take the time to master this skill, you’ll see numerous benefits in all parts of your life.

What you learn from eating mindfully can be applied to other parts of your life. Mindful eating affects your mind, body, and life experience for the better.

As we watch the news, it seems that every day there is some calamity. Just watching the news can cause stress. Dealing with this current pandemic is a stressful situation for everyone. Being locked in, not being able to go anywhere, will cause many people to eat more.

There are biological reasons that so many people eat when stressed. When a person is physically or emotionally stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol does a lot of things, including increasing food cravings for foods high in sugar or fat.

Stress also increases the hormones that produce feelings of hunger. Stress is harmful to your mind and body.

It’s essential to be mindful during those periods you’re experiencing stress.

Stress is a part of life now more than ever. It’s easy to allow your eating patterns to get out of control when you’re stressed. You’re more likely to crave unhealthy foods or eat when you’re not even hungry. Stress and poor eating habits are strongly linked.

Use these strategies to avoid the tendency to eat poorly during stressful times:

  1. Keep track of your food intake. If you’re feeling stressed regularly, and many people are these days, it’s an excellent time to track your food intake. There are plenty of free apps, such as MyFitnessPal, making it very easy to keep track of your calories, macronutrients, and even exercise.
  2. Assess your hunger. Are you really hungry? Take an objective look at your hunger. Did you eat recently? Have you been engaged in a lot of physical activity since you last ate? Do you feel hungry, or do you have the urge to eat?

• If you’re not hungry, do your best not to eat. If you have to eat despite not genuinely needing to, try eating something healthy but has minimal calories. Lettuce, other greens, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower are a few examples of practically calorie-free foods.

  1. Make healthy choices. If you’re feeling stress, but it is time to have a meal, focus more than ever on eating healthy foods. It’s so easy to eat poorly during stressful times that your food selection is essential.

• Healthy foods will allow your mind and body to deal with stress more effectively. And the last thing you need is to create even more stress by eating poorly and becoming sick.

  1. Relieve your stress in other ways. If you don’t have a legitimate biological need to eat, it’s best not to eat. Regardless of how tough you are, it would be best if you dealt with the stress that’s pushing you to eat, or you’ll eventually fail. You’ll eventually give in if you don’t find something else to do. Some stress-relieving ideas are:

• Go for a walk.
• Read a book.
• Find a yoga class on TV and participate.
• Call someone.
• Clean your garage.
• Meditate.
• Take a nap.
• Take a hot shower or bath.

Stress-related eating is prevalent, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow stress to affect the way you eat. Stress affects the way you feel compelled to eat, but you can choose to eat mindfully instead. Mindful eating is a way to combat stress-related eating and its adverse effects on your diet and health.

Few people eat in a manner that anyone could label as “mindfully.” Given the critical role that food plays in your health, it’s important to eat mindfully and intentionally.

The times we live in have a significant impact on social opportunities, personal finances, businesses’ health, and individual health. No one can be certain what the future holds, but there are some things you can control.

One of those things is your diet. Eating healthy foods in adequate amounts at effective times will have a massive impact on your health. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to eat mindfully.

Eating mindfully will teach you a lot about yourself. It will also provide the opportunity to change your eating habits positively. It can also lead to dramatic changes in your health and aid in weight loss.

Becoming mindful in all aspects of your life can significantly increase life satisfaction. Get the most from your life with mindfulness.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Cauliflower is a delicious cruciferous vegetables packed with vitamins and nutrients, and covered in buffalo sauce, these wings are a delicious snack for any time!

This recipe comes to us from Kimatni Rawlins of Fit Fathers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3/4 bottle of buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Separate the cauliflower into florets.

2. Combine the flour, milk, spices, and nutritional yeast into a bowl and stir. Dip the cauliflower pieces into the mixture to coat, and then place on a greased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy. When the cauliflower has about 5 minutes left, take the tray out and lather the wings with buffalo sauce. Place back into the oven.

4. Serve with vegan blue cheese (or your plant-based dip of choice), celery and carrot sticks, and enjoy!

Note: Feel free to substitute with BBQ or your sauce of choice.

The Tremendous Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

You’ve heard about the vegan diet. Maybe you’re not convinced that it’s for you. All you know is that it sounds extreme and dull. Still, you might consider it if there were sufficient benefits.

Could you be one of those “vegan people”? Maybe you could! It might be the best decision you could make for your health and longevity.

First, let’s define what a vegan diet is. Essentially, it’s a diet that is free of animal products. So, that means no meat of any kind, including fish and seafood, no dairy products, and no eggs. Of course, many vegans choose to exclude honey, too.

What does that leave? Every other food, including fruits, soy, vegetables, beans, grains, and nuts. There are many processed foods as well that are vegan, such as bread and pasta.

Keep in mind that vegan food isn’t necessarily healthy food. French fries, potato chips, and some cookies are vegan, but they certainly aren’t healthy. You can eat a very unhealthy diet and still be 100% vegan!

A vegan diet with nutritious foods can provide many health benefits:

  1. A vegan diet may reduce arthritis pain. Multiple studies have demonstrated that following a vegan diet can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported less joint swelling and less morning stiffness, too.
  2. Metabolism benefits. Vegan diets can be extremely healthy. A good vegan diet is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Just as important, a proper vegan diet is also low in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. This type of diet is high in nutrition but low in calories and disease-causing components.
  • There is also evidence to suggest that an improvement in gut biome in those following a vegan diet also leads to metabolic advantages. 
  1. Lower risk of heart disease. The primary contributors to heart disease include high blood sugar, blood pressure, LDL, and total cholesterol. A healthy vegan diet has been shown to lower all of these risk factors.
  2. Cognitive benefits. Those that follow a vegan diet have shown a decreased risk of developing cognitive issues. When a cognitive problem is present, vegan diet followers show a slower rate of decline. 
  3. Lower risk of certain types of cancer. Adhering to a vegan diet lowers the risk of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
  4. Enhance kidney function. High blood sugar is ultimately very damaging to kidney function. It forces the kidneys to work extra hard. High blood sugar is also damaging to the blood vessels in the kidneys. Those following a vegan diet often experience significant improvements in kidney function.
  5. Weight loss. A healthy vegan diet is low in calories. However, not all vegan diets are healthy. You can eat nothing but potato chips and Fruit Loops and be a vegan. However, a healthy vegan diet has a low-calorie density. It would be a real challenge to eat enough to maintain high body weight.

A vegan diet can be extremely healthy if good food choices are made. If you’re looking to boost your health, lose weight, and preserve your cognitive function, a vegan diet might be the best option.

Getting Started With a Vegan Diet

How can you get started with a minimal amount of trouble?

Follow this process:

  1. First, make a list of healthy vegan foods that you enjoy.
  2. Then, start by eating one vegan meal each day.
  3. After a week, add in a second vegan meal.
  4. Take things slowly and experiment with different recipes. You’ll struggle if you’re determined to eat nothing but salad and fruit. If eating isn’t enjoyable, it will be challenging to stick with it.