Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog
As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.
In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.
Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
When I heard about Stogo, the new vegan ice cream store in the East Village started by actor Rob Sedgwick and friends, I wanted to go there. Thursday I made it there with another pilgrim to the vegan shrine of rich, yummy ice cream. It's a hike from my usual hangout just south of Union Square, and this is a very good thing! They have less fat and calories than regular gourmet ice cream, but the 160 calories for a scoop of the mango flavor quickly climbs if you have two scoops and opt for flavors with nuts, caramel or fudge mixed in. Vegan hot fudge and caramel are available for just $1.00 if you want. I'd love nothing more but I'm also trying to shed a few pounds, so no can do.
Great News: free tastes are offered so you can choose among the colorful batches of awesome flavors displayed behind the glass. My friend and I each had two scoops. I had
Pomegranate Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel Pecan, both amazing and delicious, although the pieces of chocolate in the Pomegranate Chocolate Chip were a bit hard and sort of waxy until they had a chance to melt, not easy if you tend to scarf down your ice cream. My friend had Peanut Butter Fudge, and Chocolate made with coconut milk, both delicious, too. The other three flavors I mentioned here were made with soy milk. They also offer a few hemp milk flavors. In addition to their excellent ice creams, Stogo also carries some Babycakes vegan cupcakes and other pastries, and vegan truffles and other chocolates, available by the gourmet piece.
Click HERE to view NBC New York's "Serious Eats" video on Stogo. And for more info on flavors, nutrition and other good stuff plus "testimonials" go HERE. I highly recommend Stogo to all ice-cream-loving vegans. Our time has come. By the way, I've learned that Lulu's Sweet Apothocary in Alphabet City in Manhattan is another wonderful shrine of vegan treats for us vegan dessert pilgrims.
I'm now going to prepare vegan potato salad using Follow Your Heart's Vegenaise, which I personally think tastes more like old-fashioned homemade mayo than Hellman's or Kraft ever did. Then I'll whip up some vegan carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. We're heading to the country home of dear friends for a Memorial Day barbecue and I'm bringing these goodies plus some Tofurkey Italian Sausages and Yves The Good Dog vegan franks. I'm gonna really enjoy this.
To prepare myself for the holiday fun, I had a healthy shake this morning made with light vanilla soy milk, Crystal Light raspberry ice tea, fresh strawberries, and Living Harvest Hemp Chocolate-Chili protein. Yummy, freed up about 250 calories over my usual bowl of cereal, fruit, nuts, flaxseed meal and raisins.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly. If so, a physician's supervision is required.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
I've been trying vegan meal replacement powders to keep lunch quick, easy, nutritious and low-calorie. I started with four different one-serving packs of Vega. It seems to be a great product but is expensive, hence the trial packets. Sadly, I found that the stevia gave it an unpleasant aftertaste, and the green color was a little off-putting, so I kept searching. On a trip to my local GNC, the clerk who helped me knew of no vegan products in their store. A passing customer suggested Gary Null's powder, so I thanked him and went to the Vitamin Shoppe. The very helpful guy took me to a section that was "all vegan" according to him, and the Gary Null powder was about $25, so I asked if they carried single-serving packets. No, they didn't but they did have Spiru-tein in a 7-packet assortment with a mixing shaker. I looked over the package quickly and saw that there was no dairy, so I took it.
SPIRU-TEIN®, an incredibly delicious, all-natural energy formula, is power-packed with 14 grams on high quality protein from soy, fermented soy, rice, pea and spirulina- nature's premier sources of vegetarian protein.
In addition to 100% of the daily value for all vitamins, and a broad profile of essential minerals, each nutritious and satisfying sip supplies bee pollen, bromelain papaya, lecithin, bio-flavonoids, oat bran, cellulose, apple pectin and chlorophyll.
Other Ingredients: Nature's plus SPIRU-TEIN POWDER features a unique blend of ingredients, including 100% daily value of all vitamins, Broad profile of essential minerals, Energy nutrients: high quality complete protein and bee pollen, Diet aids: lecithin, spirulina, choline and inositol, Enzymes: bromelain and papaya, Cleansing: chlorophyll, FIBER: Bran, cellulose and apple pectin.
Directions: Add contents of packet to 8 fl. oz. of skim milk, whole milk, or juice, and mix (or shake) until smooth. For best results, milk or juice should be very cold.
Warnings: Not to be used as the sole source of dietary calories.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The kinds of debris and foreign matter that can be found in pollen is remarkable. A partial listing includes: (1) lost bee parts; (2) bits of plants like leaves and straw; (3) pollinia or stamens from certain plants that stick to bees and pollen; (4) hair-like threads; (5) various insects, some invisible to the human eye and (6) mummies and scales from bee diseases.The Vegan Society has a detailed treatise on why vegans must avoid all bee products.
So I am clear now that I will be returning the Spiru-Tein to the store and exchanging it for something truly vegan. What I choose remains to be seen. By the way, as I did my search of information, I came across something on a Gary Null site touting the praises of bee pollen as a "perfect food". Apparently a number of years ago Null did an infomercial for bee pollen and was excoriated for lending credibility to claims the FDA later debunked. You can learn more about that here. So, I plan to get my money back, go to Whole Foods, and read everything over carefully before choosing my next meal replacement. The moral of the story may be that eating a healthy meal is better than trying to replace it.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Tonight I am having Road's End Mac & Chreese for the first time. I added half a tablespoon of Earth Balance margarine and a drained can of mushrooms. I'm fixing Mr. Maven turkey meatballs and marinara over Dreamfield's linguine, and we'll share a nice salad and some mixed veggies.