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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

This vegan meal has been one of the yummiest I have ever made (my boyfriend approved). And the best thing about it? It is super quick and easy because it honestly doesn’t need a lot of cooking experience. I mean, who doesn’t love these kind of meals where you can just throw everything together?

In addition to that, it has some super healthy ingredients such as quinoa (more to its health benefits by simplyquinoa) and beans (also high in protein and super nutrient dense).

Honestly, don’t miss out on this recipe! It is also great for bulk meals as it can be easily stored in the fridge for a few days.

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Portions:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cans canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 bell peppers (colours up to you)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Heat up some oil in a pot, add the red onion and let it cook for around 2-3 minutes
  • Add the garlic and bell peppers and let cook for around 3-4 minutes
  • Add all of the other ingredients, except for the lime, let it cook with the lid on for around 20-25 minutes, make sure to check regularly
  • Lastly, add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with some avocado and/or cherry tomatoes

Serve and enjoy!

Categories
Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

10 Ways To Consume Less Sugar

Everyone loves the taste of something sweet, which in most cases is caused by added sugar.

First of all, let’s answer the question: What is sugar?

Sugar is a carbohydrate. Glucose is the most common carbohydrate and the most important and quickest source of energy.

Refined sugar in processed foods is the bad one as it has no vital substances or fiber. It has literally no use for the functions of our body. Overconsumption of sugar can be linked to several diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

I personally try to limit my consumption of sugar as much as I can, but I do like to indulge in sweets once in a while.

A few other things that have helped me reduce my sugar consumption are:

  1. Substitute sugar with dried fruit like dates, dried figs and raisins
  2. Spice things up with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  3. Substitute overripe bananas (e.g. add to oatmeal or as sweetener in many recipes)
  4. Try to not consume anything sweet for 2 weeks, your taste buds will adapt very quickly and you will crave it less
  5. Use dark chocolate or cocoa powder
  6. Drink herbal teas with a lot of flavour (especially fruit)
  7. Make healthy vegan desserts out of raw ingredients
  8. Try to eat more nuts (fat content can reduce sugar craving)
  9. Try to eat more fruit and don’t be scared of the sugar in it (check blogpost)
  10. Swap out the soda for flavoured water (cold water with orange, lemon, cucumber, strawberry slices)

Lastly, I would say that you should always make sure to check food labels, as there is sugar in almost anything! Check out this blogpost for the different names sugar can have.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Facts Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Cow’s Milk vs. Plant Milk (Nutrients, Environment, Animals)

Cow’s Milk vs. Plant Milk

What are the differences of cow’s milk vs. plant milk? As plant milk is starting to become more popular all over the world, the demand of cow’s milk is decreasing. People are slowly starting to understand that cow’s milk might not be the best for health, the environment and the animals.

Dairy products can be associated with some health problems. Milk is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, of which both have the possibility to increase the risk of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. Also, dairy products contain hormones, pesticides and puss.

At the same time consumers might be afraid that by cutting out dairy, they might be missing some important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin b2. Let’s have a look at these nutrients in cow’s milk vs. plant milk.

Nutrients

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, which is important for calcium balance, bone metabolism and the immune system.

Cow’s milk does contain vitamin D, but the amount is usually very small.

Plant milk only contains vitamin D, if it has been fortified. Generally, it is safer to rely on enough sunlight during summer days and vitamin D supplements in order to get an adequate amount of vitamin D. 

Calcium

As everyone knows, calcium is important for strong bones and teeth.

Calcium is generally lower in plant milks, but many companies fortify their plant milks with it.

Great plant sources of calcium are: kale, broccoli, pak choi, wild herbs, dried fruit, nuts, almonds, seeds and pseudo-grains (like amaranth) and some legumes (like tofu, soya beans, lupin, black beans, white beans, red beans).

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Yes, cow’s milk does contain vitamin B2, but so do kale, mushrooms, asparagus, almonds, nutritional yeast, avocado and wild rice

In comparison: cow’s milk has 180µg per 100g, kale 182µg per 100g, mushrooms 389µg per 100g and broccoli 177µg per 100g.

Whole grains and legumes can also be a good source of vitamin B2.

Iron

Iron is known to be a critical nutrient in the vegan diet, but also for women in general. Iron is an important component of red blood cells, which carry oxygen from your lungs to your whole body.

I personally think it’s super cool that there is more iron in plant milk than there is in cow’s milk. In comparison there is about 60µg in 100g of cow’s milk while there can be around 570µg in 100g of soy milk.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for brain function, nerve tissue health and the production of red blood cells.

Conventional plant milks are sometimes fortified with vitamin B12, though it is not the best source of vitamin B12. It is always recommended to supplement vitamin B12.

In addition to that, many people have a lactose intolerance, which can lead to diarrhoea, bloating and severe stomach cramps.

Environment

Many think that soy products are responsible for deforestation. Most soybeans, which are used for soy milk, usually come from France, Italy, Canada and West Europe.

98% of all soy that is being grown worldwide is used for animal food. Only 2% is being used for products, which we consume (most producers put the place of production on their packaging).

Soy beans that are used for animal food usually come from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and the US, where rainforests are being destroyed for this reason.

Two research groups from Sweden have analysed the life cycle of soy and oat milk vs. cow’s milk. 

This is what they have found out:

When it comes to land consumption, soy milk and oat milk use 39% and 21% respectively, compared to cow’s milk with 100%. Both plant milks also create less greenhouse gases (cow’s milk: 100%, soy milk: 24%, oat milk: 31%).

UNESCO-IHE analysed the water usage of soy milk and burgers as well as cow’s milk and beef burgers. The results are crazy! While it takes 158 litres of water to get a 150g soy burger, it takes 2350 litres (!!!!!) of water to get get a 150g beef burger. It takes 296 litres of water to get 1 litre of soy milk, while for 1 litre of cow’s milk, it takes 1050 litres of water. 

Animals

Not only does it seem that the consumption of plant milk has a lot of benefits for our health and the environment, but it seems like it has a lot of benefits for the animals, too.

A cow, just like any other mammal (including us humans) produces milk only when pregnant. A dairy cow needs to constantly produce milk. For this reason cows are being forcibly inseminated every year. After the cow gives birth to her baby, both, mother and calf are being separated within hours or minutes, which is very traumatic for both parts. The cow will be inseminated again, six to eight weeks after giving birth.

While female cows all face the same destiny and become a dairy cow, male calves are being sold to fattening farms, where they spend a few weeks gaining weight, until they are being sent to slaughter.

A life span of a cow is between 18 and 22 years. In the dairy and slaughter industry most of these animals die way before. A dairy cow, when no longer able to produce milk, will be slaughtered at the age of 4.5 to 6 years.

Nowadays there are so many choices and brands. More and more stores offer soy, oat, almond, cashew, hazelnut, coconut, rice, hemp and macadamia milk.

I personally love coconut and oat milk. Which is your favourite plant milk?

With love,

Jess x

Sources:
ProVeg (2018). Treatment of cows in the dairy industry.
Ecodemy (2019). Pflanzenmilch – der Siegeszug einer Milch, die eigentlich gar nicht so heißen darf
Categories
Vegan Nutrition

Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?

Is a vegan diet healthy?

Before becoming vegan myself, I remember thinking that all vegans ate were salads and vegetables. I had no clue. And I realised that today a lot of non-vegans still think the same way.

When I turned vegan in December 2017, I realised it was not at all the case. I actually couldn’t believe the amount of vegan options I could find everywhere, from vegan burgers, to pizzas, to doughnuts to ice cream. There was literally a vegan substitute for everything. I remember being so excited, that I started eating it all, regularly. I really felt like I wanted to try all of the different vegan options that existed on the market.

With time I started feeling really unwell in my body. Not only did I gain unhealthy weight, due to the amount of sugar and added fat I was eating, but I also felt really tired and without energy. I started questioning if the vegan diet was really for me. I couldn’t believe it. All of the vegans online were promoting all of the health benefits of a vegan diet and how amazing it has made them feel.

I realised that it doesn’t matter if you follow a vegan or omnivore diet. If your diet contains a lot of processed carbs, added sugar and unhealthy fat, you will be generally unhealthy and not feel great.

And so I turned it around. I wanted to become the healthiest I have every been. And I can proudly say my diet has never been healthier! The secret?

A whole food plant based diet!

This means that the focus of the diet is on unprocessed and real food.

What does this mean?

It is pretty simple! Just focus on covering these important food groups:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains (Brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread,…)
  • Legumes (Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas,…)
  • Healthy Fats, such as Nuts, Seeds and Avocados

As you can see, vegetables and fruits should make up the base of our diet, followed my unrefined whole grains, legumes and high-fat whole foods.

The moment I have focused on these 5 food groups and have started cooking it all from scratch, I saw significant changes to my body, mood and energy. I have never felt better!

And don’t understand me wrong, I still do like to eat mock-meats or vegan ice cream. I just make it an exception and don’t make it the staple of my diet anymore, as I used to.

To make things easier, I like to stock up on staples such as whole grains and legumes, and I also like to precook my meals or make sure I always have a big pot of rice, lentils, beans, in my fridge. So all I have to do is add in some vegetables and healthy fats and I am good to go.

Don’t overcomplicate it. It is really so much simpler than most of us might think!

 

With love,

Jess x