Easy substitutions for healthier living;)

OK folks, I know this is not a health blog so if you just want to see a funny card and go on your way here you go:

DCF 1.0
Stamp: Sunday International, Quote: Rita Rudner

Wow, you are still here? Great! Many of you know that i am a vegetarian, vegan actually for 19 years. I don’t harp and preach to people because it is none of my business what you choose to eat, I just want people to feel good, enjoy life and be healthy. When I told you about my husbands health scale last month you showered me with support and kindness, my husband is doing well now and I thank you for all the thoughts, prayers and good vibes sent my way. May I repay the favor? Many of you told me of your health struggles and those of your family. I think that you can make small changes to your life that will last and make big impacts to your long term health. We all know that when we go on a diet or start some unrealistic workout regime (yes, I meant to say regime and not regimen because it feels like a regime doesn’t it?) we do great for a week or so then fall off the wagon and feel like a loser, go back to bad habits and end up worse then before, clearly this doesn’t work.  Let’s start with 3 food substitutions that will save you calories, lower cholesterol and make you healthier. Think of these substitutions like health investment. Put a little away every day and in no time you have a lot saved up with interest!

  1. Old Fashioned Oats instead of other junk for breafast: A half cup of cooked oatmeal has 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 2.5 grams of fat and only 150 calories. Add milk (or soymilk) and some fresh fruit like bananas, blueberries or even applesauce for a filling yummy breakfast. You can even add a bit of brown sugar or other sweeter.  Feed this to your kids and spouse to start their day healthy too, you can gook old fashioned oats on the stove in 5 minutes, make a big pot, I really don’t think you can overdo it with this food…if so you will only do it once LOL! PS I am a fan of eating your largest meal in the morning so add in a *tofu scramble or  meat and eggs if you like.
  2. Use cooking spray instead of oil: If you are making pancakes, eggs, roasted veggies or *oven fries you can use cooking spray instead of vegetable oil or olive oil, I’m not saying that oil is bad but you can cut out a significant amount of fat and calories and no one should miss it.
  3. Recipe crumbles (Textured Vegetable Protein) in place of ground beef in recipes: Recipe crumbles are made from soybeans and they can replace meat in a recipe. You can buy them at a health food store in bulk dry and unflavored or you can get them in the freezer at the grocery store already to go. You will find them next to the veggie burgers. I recommend the Boca brand as they are vegan but if you don’t mind eggs in it you can try the Morningstar brand. I am not known for my cooking but my *vegetarian chili gets rave reviews and nobody believes there is no meat in it because I use the crumbles. I bag of frozen crumbles is about $3-$4 and will replace 1lb of browned ground beef. Try it is tacos, chili, hamburger helper type meals, chop suey, spaghetti sauce or any other recipe calling for hamburger. One serving of the Boca crumbles 13 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol and only 70 calories.

* recipes below

We all know that working out is boring and hard to stick to. However playing is fun. We did not need to be told to “go exercise” as kids, just playing was good enough. What activity do you enjoy? I love badminton, luckily my kids do to so I have a net set up in the backyard and we play a few matches a day. No. it is not as good as lifting weights but my barbels collect dust (or hold my tripod down during craft videos) but my rackets earn their keep! I also like to bike and roller-skate. Do you garden? Thoroughly clean your house? That counts too, just be active! Walk the dog, chase the chickens, swim with the kids (or just splash in the water, you are moving, isn’t it fun?!?)

OK, wait, maybe you want to do these things but you feel too out of shape or silly. It’s OK, let me give you a hug. 🙂 Put on your comfiest shoes head outside and start walking. Walk for 5 minutes, and come home. how do you feel? Can you do this every day? It only takes 10 minutes total. If you can’t do 5 minutes do 4 or 3 or 2. If 5 was no problem walk for 10 minutes, turn around and come home. If you have a dog take him with you! (same goes for a spouse!) Walking 20 minutes a day will give you such a health and weight loss boost because it is something you can do, you don’t need special equipment or a gym membership, the hardest thing is the first step. Pretty soon you will just do it, it will become habit and you won’t even think about it. You might even get to know your neighbors and have a walking buddy!

Easy Healthy Recipes! (if I can cook this so can YOU!)

Tofu scramble: (quantities and ingredients are up to your liking, that’s how I roll in the kitchen!) Spray a large frying pan with canola oil, brown onions, peppers and garlic over medium high heat then add a block of tofu (silken is lower is calories and fat but I prefer extra firm for the protein content and texture) to the pan. Mash up the tofu with the wooden spoon you stirred the onions with. Add corn, salsa, Tabasco sauce, and anything else you like. Salt to taste. Really since you are not dealing with animal products and everything here can be eaten raw you just need to heat it up so no worries.

Veggie Chili: I think chilli is an “anything goes” type of dish but here is a typical batch, you can also do this in a crock pot, just cook any onions, garlic and peppers in the pot first for 1/2 hour with a bit of oil and salt. Brown as much onion, garlic and papers as you like in a large sauce pan with a wee bit of canola oil or cooking spray over medium heat. I don’t mind oil here because it is dispersed in a  large pot of chili, it also helps break up the spice. then ad

  • one 15oz can each of corn, dark red kidney beans, black beans garbanzo beans and any other bean you like,(rinse/drain all beans first!) tomato sauce and diced tomatoes
  • cumin, chili powder, salt and Tabasco sauce.
  • 1 bag of Boca crumbles (or 1 cup dry TVP plus 1 cup boiling water to reconstitute it)

You can even dump a beer into the chili for extra flavor! Enjoy alone or over rice, potatoes or tortilla chips if you are not watching calories.

Baked No-Fat Fries: Super easy, I recommend making these when you are baking something else (like banana bread or muffins) wash 3 potatoes. Slice in 1/4″ thick rounds. spray a cookie sheet with canola oil spray. Place potato rounds in a single layer on pan. Spray potatos with canola oil and sprinkle on garlic powder and salt. Bake at 350 on bottom rack of oven for 40 minutes flipping them at 20 minutes. serve immediately! I used to make these with oil and they always burnt and stuck, the spray is better!

While the fries are baking on the bottom rack you can make weight watchers pumpkin muffins on the middle rack. A friend shared this recipe with me and it is awesome: Use an electric mixer to mix a box of spice cake mix with a large can of pumpkin. Add a cup of chocolate chips if you like, spoon into muffin cups and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out dry, about 30 minutes. Pumpkin muffins and fries, now that’s my kind of diet!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you like the healthy vegan recipes, if nothing else you have something to feed a vegan should one come to dinner;) Happy crafting!