Dec
28

save-money1While most people think that living a vegetarian lifestyle will cost significantly more, in reality, that line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, even on a strict budget you’ll find that you can very easily live and eat the Vegetarian Lifestyle.  After all, it doesn’t take big bucks to eat veggie!

Here are the Top 6 Tips For Saving Money:

1) Eliminate meat and you will save A LOT of cash.

Meat is far more expensive than grains and legumes so you can feel good about saving your hard earned money.

2) The more whole plant foods you purchase the LESS your grocery bill will be.

Even a vegetarian diet budget can creep up if you start buying pre-packaged or prepared items because you are basically paying for someone to chop, cut, and prepare food for you.

For example, chopped watermelon in a plastic container costs almost double what you would pay if you just bought the watermelon whole and cut it yourself. So don’t be a lazy vegetarian like Craig Ballantyne! Do your own food prep you will save money.

3) Buy from local farmers and markets that are willing to give you a DEAL.local-farm-produce

They typically have better prices overall since you are going directly to the farmer. Plus, farmer’s markets are becoming more and more popular even in large cities.

4) Buy produce that is in season.

Since the produce will be in abundance during this time – the price will be less.

5) Instead of buying and paying for expensive salad dressings, make your own.

You can easily combine a few ingredients such as lemon, honey, salt and herbs and add to your salad for a zesty dressing.

6) Costco! Believe it or not, Costco has great prices on produce and bulk items.

You can get 3 times the amount of organic salad greens for about the same price as going to the regular store and getting the same brand in a smaller bag.

The Vegetarian Lifestyle is CONVENIENT

Another common misconception of the vegetarian lifestyle is that it takes way TOO MUCH TIME to follow.

Simply by setting aside a block of time to prepare your meals, the Vegetarian Lifestyle is just as easy and convenient as any other weight loss meal plan – only you don’t have to cook 10 chicken breasts at a time with our plan!

I love PREPARING MY MEALS at home.prepare-vegetarian-meals

When I make a meal, I make enough for several more meals so I can take it with me to work and so I don’t have to cook again. When I need to rush out of the house, I put my already prepared food in a Tupperware container, put it in an insulated lunch box with an ice pack and my next meal is ready to go. Now I can eat anytime, anywhere.

This is just as easy as making your lunch on any other diet plan – but again, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money on expensive meat dishes. Most of what I eat doesn’t need to be heated up. Plus, the less heating involved in preparation means you will get more nutrients from your food.

If you must eat out…

…Most restaurants cater to vegetarians since it is more common. vegetarian-dining

Restaurants are willing to accommodate you by making changes to the meal. You just need to ask. Seriously, it is NOT an inconvenience. When I go to restaurants, they almost always are happy to add a sliced avocado or other toppings to my salad. Just ask!

Grocery shopping is simple and convenient as well.

After all, every grocery store has a well-stocked produce section. And these days conventional grocery stores and the growing number of health food stores all carry convenient foods for vegetarians that don’t need much preparation.

All in all, it’s pretty easy to stick to the Veggie Lifestyle.  So, go ahead and give it a try, even if it’s only one day a week to start out with!

Kardena Pauza

Author of, Easy Veggie Meal Plans





Dec
21

While the Vegetarian Lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your own health, it’s also one of the most important things youvegetarian-lifestyle can do for the health of the planet.

Eating a plant-based diet is a giant step toward improving our environment. It SAVES our drinking water, our food supply, our soil, and atmosphere.

Let me explain…

First we need to start by looking at the resources it takes to raise animals for food. The amount of food needed to raise livestock is staggering.

Here’s the shocking truth about what it takes to raise your burgers and chicken breasts!

•    Livestock consume massive amounts of corn, soybeans, and grain.
•    If these resources were fed directly to people, we could feed millions of people!
•    Livestock also produces huge amounts of methane and other greenhouse gasses which may harm the environment.

Think of all the land we wouldn’t need to farm, water we wouldn’t have to use, fossil fuels for shipping livestock we wouldn’t need, and the pollution we wouldn’t create if we didn’t have to support over HALF A BILLION livestock a year.

That’s right, according to the government; in 1997 farms in the USA were home to…

•    403,000,000 chickens (That’s 403 MILLION chickens!)
•    99,500,000 cattle (Almost 100 million cows)
•    59,900,000 hogs (60 million piggys!)
•    7,600,000 sheep (And I wonder, did everyone fall asleep while counting sheep?)

By consuming less meat and more plants, we could save our soils from over-farming and reduce the loss of our nutrient rich top soil that is being depleted at a dramatic pace.

And it gets worse…

Contaminated Livestock Waste:

At those terrible factory farms that you’ve heard so much about, livestock manure is collected in enormous sewer systems. These “pools of poop” are several football fields in length and hold millions of gallons of livestock waste. Plus, these animals produce 100 times more manure than human waste each year!

And when these high concentrations of manure overflow, leak, and spill, it can CONTAMINATE our drinking water and cause deadly water borne disease outbreaks in humans. Plus, it’s just disgusting to think that livestock waste might be in our water.

High Consumption of Fresh Water:

In addition to sabotaging our water supplies, factory-farmed animals also are the biggest consumers of water. Millions of gallons of fresh water are used in the United States everyday to clean dairy operations, provide drinking water for livestock, to clean feedlots, and manage those awful manure tanks.

Overgrazing:

It doesn’t get much better when you look at how livestock production has changed the world.

Grazing and ranching has degraded at least 20 percent of the current open range of the earth. Around the world deserts have been created because of overgrazing (overgrazing means there is too high a concentration of livestock for a given area).

The large livestock population eats the vegetation to the ground killing the plants and without the plants to hold the soil down, wind and rain wash the precious top soil away. By this point, the ground is no longer fertile so nothing grows and a desert is created.

Soil Erosion:

Livestock also cause soil erosion near water banks destroying the ecology, polluting the rivers, and killing the fish. Huge tracts of the rainforest have been destroyed due to cattle grazing, causing an environmental emergency.

The rainforest produces oxygen and absorbs a majority of our carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – we need it to survive!

I hope this section has been an eye opener for you. Remember that knowledge is power. With knowledge you can make better, healthier and wiser choices and together we can make a difference in our lives and in the sustainability of the world.

Kardena Pauza

Author of, Easy Veggie Meal Plans





Dec
17

How to Have More Energy

Posted by Kardena

If you eat a larger than normal meal or a calorie dense meal, do you notice how tired you feel afterwards? food-comafood-coma

This is what I call FOOD COMA.

This is where you get extremely tired and you start to regret stuffing yourself, but it’s too late the DAMAGE is done. You can barely keep your eyes open and all you want to do is crawl up into a ball and go to sleep. You can’t focus or concentrate on work and even a simple conversation takes effort.

All you want to do is lie down.

So many people have this experience on a daily basis. In fact, I was just like this during high school when I would gorge on fast food and pizza and junk.

But this is not how your body should feel after meals.

With the Vegetarian Lifestyle, you won’t be sleepy after you eat. In fact, you’ll be alert, mentally sharp, and physically ready to take on the world.

By eating high nutrient low calorie foods, you will eliminate the side effects from food comas. I guarantee you’ll have more energy with the Veggie Meal Plans diet than you have on any other diet – simply because you will NOT be restricting your calorie or nutrient intake – in fact, you’ll be able to fill yourself up with our delicious foods..

Smoothies:

I love making smoothies because they give me so much ENERGY in the morning.

I’ll blend different fruits and vegetables with a little protein powder to make easy to digest and energizing drinks. I’ll also add a tiny bit of fresh ginger to give it a zing and anti-inflammatory properties. You won’t get the same energy or health benefits from a plate of bacon, eggs, and white-flour pancakes!

Soups:

I also love to make fresh, flavorful soups. And it’s easy too.

I make soups in the blender or food processor, such as a simple tomato gazpacho soup, or Mexican green soup, or an Asian inspired coconut curry soup. These soups can be warmed on the stove or eaten at room temperature. These foods are full of life! I use everything from carrots, celery, broccoli, cilantro, basil, onions, coconut, apples, oranges, lemon, and a variety of spices.

Wraps:

I make these really great wraps using a low-carb tortilla, romaine lettuce leaf, or a collard green leaf as the wrap shell.

Each wrap is lovingly filled with fresh veggies like spinach, sprouts, green onions, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, and then I add hummus, salsa, or herb seasonings/salt.

Pate:

I also make a pate from sunflower seeds and spices, tempeh, or seitan, which makes the wrap filling, very nutritious, and energizing!

These are just a few ways in which you can fill up on nutrient-rich foods that will leave you energized and feeling great throughout the day.





Dec
16

Are you struggling with what to buy the vegetarian in your life?  Hear are some thoughtful gifts that would show them you really care about their health and love them.  If I received these gifts, I would be so excited!  The best gift you could give someone is the gift of health.

1.  Portable Reusable Shopping Bags chico-bag

These are great for carrying in your purse or the car for those visits to the local farmers markets or for that matter any store. I use mine in stores like Nordstrom too!  This way, paper and plastic bags don’t pile up at home and you’re contributing to a much healthier environment!  Chicobags.com are great bags and they have their own little stuff pouch so they fit in my purse perfectly or glove box.

2.  Food Dehydrator

A dehydrator is an appliance that removes moisture from food to restrain various bacteria from growing and spoiling food.  I used it for making the holiday Cranberry Scones.  It’s great for making dried fruits and veggies and you can create your own healthy “fruit roll-up” snacks, veggie burgers, crackers, etc.  I love mine!  

3.  New vegetarian cookbook.cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4

Maybe your friend is running out of ideas for vegetarian and vegan meals. Time to get a new cookbook! Keep them inspired and healthy by searching your local bookstore for a new and exciting cookbook.If you need a REALLY good balanced vegetarian cookbook, try my Easy Veggie Meal Plans…wink wink!  It’s great for weight loss too! I have over 250 different easy recipes in a 90 day weight loss format.  Pretty amazing!

4.  Blenderktec-blender

This is for that special person in your life.  They are a little more of an investment. The top two brands I recommend are K-TEC and Vitamix.  These manufacturer’s have several models that can fit most budgets. These puppies are so powerful, ranging between 2 and 3 horsepower!  A normal kitchen blender is about 1/2 a horsepower.  The best part is that these blenders can blend almost anything you throw at it, like nuts, seeds, beans and more!  I myself and many other people I know have burned out so many blenders because they are too weak to blend my crazy meals.  Instead of continuing to buy cheap blenders and burning them out every 5 months, buy one of these and it will last years.  I’ve had mine 5 years already and I use it everyday.  This is my favorite appliance by far!  Another option is the Magic Bullet which is easier on the wallet and is great for making  fast, easy, and out the door smoothies.

5.  Gift certificate to a local health food store

Introduce someone to a healthier alternative to a conventional grocery store or support their already healthy habit.  The larger chain health food stores I know are Mothers Market, Whole Foods Market or Wild Oats. All of these stores have national locations.  There are also many smaller health food stores you can support!

6.  Sprouting jars w/ sprout lids

There are so many great vegan and vegetarian recipes that call for sprouting, so why buy sprouts when one can make their own, and save money!  Having jars and sprout lids makes sprouting easy. See how easy it is in this sprouting video I did.  You can find these at your local health food stores or order online!

Now that I’ve given you some ideas, what did I miss?  Are there some cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4gifts you’ve gotten or received that were really great?  Let me know about them

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Kardena Pauza

Author of, Easy Veggie Meal Plans- vegetarian weight loss





Dec
10

Healthy Snowboarding/Ski Trip

Posted by Kardena

dsc08718My husband Mark & I went to Big Bear last weekend with some friends and we had a blast!  We stayed at our friend Steve’s gorgeous mountain home and had two days of fun in the snow.  It was one of the funnest weekends I have had in a long time.  Great friends and great memories.

It seems where ever I go, people always ask me about how to eat healthy.  And this weekend was no different.  Apparently I do interesting things with what I eat that catch peoples attention and they say, “Wow, I never thought of that!”

We skiied with the owners of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resort.  Jennifer and Rich were an amazing couple who schooled us on the mountain.  Down the mountain they were so fast and skilled, I couldn’t catch them!

Here’s one of those things I do that catches peoples attention…

We took a break for lunch at the mountain top lodge and the owners showed us the posters around the lodge of them and their children skiing and mountain biking, pretty cool.  We all ordered our food and sat down together.  I bought a garden salad and I wasn’t sure what to put on it for dressing.  I didn’t like the packets of salad dressing because they contained bad for you hydrogenated oil and corn syrup.  I came up with something on the fly.  They had lemons, mustard, and honey (not vegan).  So at the table I put lemon juice, honey, and mustard on my salad, closed the lid and tossed it all together.  Everybody was staring at me and amazed at what I had just done.  The dressing tasted great!  Even the owners were impressed.

Get creative and you can eat healthy just about anywhere you go.

In the morning I made my favorite breakfast, soaked oat groats, fruit, rice protein powder, and green powder “cereal”.  I made my healthy vegetarian cereal for  my friends and they loved it!  They were shocked and amazed at how great it tasted and how filling it was.dsc08722

Here’s how to make the cereal. It’s similar to my other energizing cereal.

-soak oat groats in water for 12 hours. if you don’t have oat groats then you can use old fashion rolled oats.  (oat groats I find in the health food store with other whole grains, probably not in the cereal section.)

-chop up fruit like apple, banana, pears, berries

-rice protein powder

-green powder with stevia

-a little water to mix everything together

I didn’t have nuts or seeds in the video but that would be a great addition for healthy fats.

This “cereal” will satisfy you, give you time released energy, and is an excellent source of all important fiber.

High Elevation Tips

Also if you are going to enjoy the high country for some winter sports, some things that will help with energy is-

-Drink lots of water.  Higher elevation tends to cause you to get dehydrated faster.  Once you are dehydrated you lose 30% of your power/energy and feel tired so stay perky.

- Eat greens, superfood powders, or liquid chlorophyll diluted in water.  Because there is less oxygen at high elevation the added greens can assist you in increasing your blood iron (hemoglobin) which carries oxygen to your cells.  That’s what I used and I ripped it up on the mountain.

- Eat a clean diet.  Sludge in your diet will slow down your performance, so to be at peak performance fuel your body with nutrient rich foods.

Can you guys relate to being in somewhere and having to finagle a healcb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4thy meal together?

Kardena Pauza

Author, Easyveggiemealplans.com





Dec
07

There are millions of overweight vegetarians in this world, so just because someone eats a vegetarian diet doesn’t mean they will automatically be thin.

Calories are still calories whether they come from carbs, fats, or proteins and eating a vegetarian diet is NOT a free ticket to eatvegetarian diet whatever you want whenever you want even within the vegetarian parameters.

With that said, research shows that most vegetarians weigh LESS than their meat eating counter parts.

That is good news for the Vegetarian Lifestyle!

After all, vegetarians typically eat low calorie, high fiber foods with less saturated fat and cholesterol.

vegetarian-diet Vegetarians that are lean and healthy tend to eat more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis     and smaller portions.

The weight loss benefits of fruits and vegetables are amazing.

Fruits and vegetables have the ability to carry toxins and fat out of the digestive system because of their   absorbing qualities. As well, fiber is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and the average American probably needs fiber more than any other nutrient in their diet – even protein!

Fiber:
Not only do people lack enough fiber in their diet, but most folks don’t know the difference between the various TYPES of fiber.

Insoluble fiber is fiber that will not breakdown and stays intact all the way through the intestines and has no calorie effect on the body. Soluble fiber is known for its fat binding capabilities and will bind with excess unwanted fatty acids to carry it out of the body through the intestines helping you drop inches from your waist, belly and thighs.

Fiber also slows down the absorption of sugar instead of dramatically increasing your blood sugar. That’s what happens when you eat processed foods and the extra sugar is stored as fat in unwanted areas on your body.

Soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol levels, plus increasing your fiber intake to the recommended 30 grams per day reduces a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer by 50%!fiber-sources

When you eat fiber and water-packed foods (like fruits and vegetables), it is harder to over-eat because you always feel full and satisfied. But if your idea of a vegetarian meal is a dense, processed pasta dish, you could easily consume twice as many calories as you need – and that’s where vegetarians get into trouble!

When you BUILD YOUR DIET AROUND fruits and vegetables you will feel full while eating fewer calories (the key to fat loss), and you’ll consume more water, higher amounts of nutrients, and get a lot more fiber without feeling hungry.

Simply put, the right Vegetarian Lifestyle is a better, faster, and simpler way for you to lose weight, get more energy, and look 10 to 15 years younger in just weeks.

The Power of Plants
The correct Vegetarian Lifestyle is full of nutrient-rich foods and lower in calories, and when you eat a plant based diet it has amazing effects on how you feel and think – and it gives you a tremendous boost in your MENTAL and PHYSICAL energy levels.

Plus, eating a plant based diet has the power to cleanse, detoxify and regenerate your body back to optimal health.

Having excess fat on our bodies is not a sign of good health as it is a sign of stored calories and stored excess toxins.

Did you know that the chemicals in marijuana can stay stored in fat cells for up to 60 days? (Not that you use marijuana, but I just want to prove a point!). A lot of other drugs – including valium – and toxins also “hang around” in your fat cells for months.

But when you give the body the nutrients it needs, it has the ability to shed unwanted weight and the toxins that are stored in fat.

Health
There’s so much I could say about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet that this section needs a book of its own. But since we’re concentrating on fat loss with these meal plans, I’ll just list everything the Vegetarian Lifestyle can do for your health:vegetarian-health-benefits

•    Helps you lower your cholesterol
•    Decreases risk of heart disease
•    Dramatically reduces your risk of cancer – often slashing your risk in half or more
•    Cuts down on uric acid and eliminates cases of gout
•    Creates an alkaline environment in your body (An acidic environment is associated with common lifestyle diseases)
•    Lose weight and enhances your fat burning program

So you can see the MANY advantages of following a healthy vegetarian diet. What about you, have you embraced the Vegetarian Lifestyle or are you considering it?





Dec
04

cranberry-sconeWith the holidays here I thought it would be fun to make Cranberry Scones with a sweet spread for Thanksgiving dinner last week. I have to admit I do like traditional foods around the holidays, so learning how to enjoy the flavors and foods is where I have to get creative.

What I love about these scones is that there is no wheat or grain flour!

What’s so cool about that? That means they are low glycemic which means the scones don’t spike your blood sugar and cause you to store excess fat on your belly or thighs or where ever it goes on your body.

I made two videos. The first one shows how the make the cranberry scones and the second one shows how to make the spread, my favorite.

How to make the Cranberry Scones:
The first step is to buy or make almond meal as the base for this recipe. Although you can buy it, it’s easy and fun to make it yourself. All you’ll need is raw almonds, water,  a nut milk bag which you’ll see on the video and a powerful blender like a Total Blender or Vitamix.

Almond flour is great to use because it’s not bleached and processed to death, contains fiber, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and it’s low glycemic. Here are the steps below…

Instructions for making the almond flour/ meal
Make 4 1/2 cups almond flour/meal from raw almonds

Only use about 2 cups of almonds at a time in the blender and fill the rest of the blender with water.  You’ll need to do two batches in the blender.

1.    Blend until almonds are as fine as you can make them.
2.    Use a fine mesh nut milk bag (or a paint bag from Home Depot) to strain the almond meal from the almond milk. Pour the liquid into mesh bag and squeeze almond milk into jar or bowl.  Make sure to squeeze all the liquid out through the strainer so you’re left with what will be a dry and crumbly almond meal.  Place the almond meal in a bowl.

*** Don’t throw the almond milk away!  You can always use the almond milk to make other things and it will stay good for up to a week in your refrigerator. You can use the almond milk in smoothies or in a chocolate drink, it’s a great snack, or on cereal, or for breakfast foods even some soups!

Ingredients for Scones
4 1/2 cups almond meal
1 cup dried cranberries (apple juice sweetened) or other dried fruit bits
1 cup raw coconut oil
1 cup flaxseeds ground into meal (1 1/2 cups meal)
½ cup date paste, honey, agave, or maple syrup
2 tsp. orange zest
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 tsp. salt

Directions
1.    Place your raw almond meal in a large mixing bowl and combine with ground flaxseed, coconut oil, cranberries, orange zest, dates cinnamon and salt and mix together with your hands.
2.    Once all the elements are mixed well, cut the mixture in half and form 2, 1 inch thick tubular logs.

3.  Take a pastry scraper and flatten the loaf to the desired thickness. Remember, the mixture itself will not rise when baked, so flatten it to your desired “scone thickness.”
4.    Cut the scone loaf into triangular shapes, place on dehydrator tray or baking sheet and place in dehydrator or oven on low for up to 2 hours.

5.  Dehydrator takes longer.  Mine dried in about 12 hours.

This recipe will yield between 16-18 scones. Enjoy!

Yummy Sweet Spread like Honey Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 Tbs. honey or agave nectar
dash of salt
dash of turmeric for color (optional)

Mix by hand in a small bowl with a fork.  Store at room temperature in a glass container.  Now it’s ready to spread on the Scones!

I hope you like them as much as I do!

I would love to hear recipes you make that are a healthy twist on highlycb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4 processed traditional foods. How do you change up traditional favorites to make them healthy?

Kardena Pauza,
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans





Dec
01

Vegan Protein Powder Try-Out

Posted by Kardena

Vegan Protein Powder?

Guest post from Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know that I’m not one to normally buy protein powders or meal replacements.  However, I have to ADMIT, the other day I stopped into one of the whole food stores in my neighborhood and picked one up.

So what exactly did I buy? Vega meal replacement powder. vegan foods

Strangely enough, my hardest decision wasn’t whether or not I should buy the Vega powder, but instead which of the 4 flavors I should try – berry, chocolate, vanilla chai, or natural.

Wanting a variety, I opted to go with the can’t miss classic, chocolate, and the uber trendy sounding, vanilla chai.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the Vega line, these products are all made exclusively from natural plant-based whole foods.  What’s even more interesting is the creator is none other than elite vegan athlete Brendan Brazier, one of Canada’s top professional Ironman Triathletes.

The fact that a premier level vegan athlete had developed this product definitely sparked my interest.

And upon further review of the Vega brand, I discovered that Brazier has created a whole line of 100% vegan-friendly products, including oils, bars, smoothies, and much more.

My interest, however, was in the Vega meal replacement because not only is it high in fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids, but it also contains a lengthy list of other health-optimizing benefits such as removing heavy  metals and toxins, defending against free radical damage, and providing me with 100% of my recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

In the end, it’s the perfect compliment to my vegetarian diet.

But, even for those of you who aren’t vegan, I’d highly recommend adding this vegan protein supplement to your diet simply because of all the health benefits it offers.

To learn more about Vega you can check out this website.

What about you, have you tried Vega meal replacement before?  If so, which flavours and what do you think?





Nov
24

pumpkin-smoothieThe holidays are hear and so are pumpkins, squashes, cranberries and hearty foods.  I love holiday foods and spices and I have found a way to enjoy one of my favorite dishes without all the unnecessary fillers, dairy, and processed sugars and have it be a complete healthy easy meal! This recipe is a fun way to enjoy the holidays!

It’s a pumpkin spice smoothie and it tastes like pumpkin pie filling! Hmmmm…a wonderful treat.

Really take advantage of the high nutrient foods of the season.  Pumpkins are high in beta carotene, antioxidants, high fiber, Vitamins C,E, A and is low glycemic. We love that!

I created this recipe myself and it’s a super-healthy seasonal smoothie that’s perfect for a pick me up or a complete meal! Hope you like it like I do…

It’s a great source of protein (15g or more) and 10g fiber. The added almonds and cashews add a creamy texture and lots of essential fats. This recipe makes 20oz of smoothie and approximately 370 calories so for a guy, you will need to double the pumpkin and add more almonds. Let’s get started!

Check out my video to see how I made it.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Pumpkin puree (canned, homebaked, or raw), ½ cup for girls, 1c for guys
10-12 almonds, 6 cashews soaked in water overnight for 12 hours
1-1 ½ c water and ice
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Dash of mineral salt- enhances the flavor
1 tbsp coconut butter or oil
1 tbsp of rice protein
4 Dates (can substitute honey/maple syrup/agave nectar)
Dash of Stevia for sweetener

Directions:
Add water and ice to blender cup and mix in pumpkin puree. Take the almonds and cashews that you’ve soaked for 12 hours and add them to the mix. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, mineral salt, coconut butter, rice protein and sweeteners and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until done.

Looking for an extra bit of nutrients? Add 2 handfuls of fresh spinach leaf and add to mix!cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4

Keep it green!

Kardena Pauza

Author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans

Remember- A typical Thanksgiving dinner is 2,700 calories-4,000 calories. Enjoy yourself without stuffing yourself like a turkey.





Nov
16

dsc07967The holiday season is just as much about the food as it is about being with friends and family and just because you are eating vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat bland food and miss out on the wonderful fall/winter delectable dishes.

Let’s have fun this holiday season!

The holidays used to be a bitter sweet time for me.  I was excited to be with friends and family and I wanted to look great in my holiday outfit.

But after a couple of parties and a couple weeks into the holiday season, tons of cakes and cookies around my work place and over indulgence, I start gaining weight, looking bloated, puffy and I would be down on myself for doing that to myself.

I have changed this around and created a plan of success I will share with you. Today, I want to share 3 of my top 9 tips, and next week I’ll be adding a new bonus to the Easy Veggie Meal Plans, “My 20 Favorite Holiday Vegetarian Recipes”!

Thanks to these recipes, I now enjoy the holidays, I don’t gain weight, and I look and feel great at parties – and you can too.

This will be the year you break the cycle of splurge, gain weight, feel disgusting, and recommit at New Years and try and work off the extra 5-10 lbs. you gained over the holidays.  holiday20party20

Why go through all that agony and put your body through that?  It’s not worth it.  This year you’ll be guilt free, have fun, and look great.

By the way, I’d love to hear your holiday eating tips for avoiding the holiday weight gain.

What tips do you have to lose fat over the holidays?

Here are mine…

Tip #1 – Use Fiber to Fill Up Before Holiday High-Calorie Parties

There is a simple natural supplement that will help you feel satisfied before you go to a party.  It is not a stimulant that stresses your adrenal glands; it’s not a chemical that will mess with your hormones.

Psyllium husk/fiber is a fiber you drink with water and it expands in your stomach giving you a full feeling.  It is an insoluble fiber and basically has no calories.  Put 1 teaspoon in water or apple juice, mix quickly and drink before it expands.  Be sure to drink plenty of water with it.

If you are feeling sluggish, tired, getting sick, low energy or bloated, Psyllium fiber will help you snap out of it quickly and you will have way more energy.

Take 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk twice a day morning and night with lots of water.  This is amazingly helpful in pulling toxins and excess cholesterol out of your body.

Tip #2 – Plan your Cheat Meal

Going to a party on the weekend may be the perfect opportunity to exercise your one cheat meal for the week.  pumpkin_pie

Having one free “eat whatever you want” meal a week gives you something to look forward to during the week.  Have fun and enjoy yourself at the parties.

But what if you have two or more parties to go to in one week?

This is where you use these techniques to keep you on the weight loss track.  If you have too many cheat days in a week than your not following a weight loss plan.  So use the following technique to stay on track!

Tip #3 – Help the Host

Before I go to a party or a get together for the holidays, I would let the host know I was vegan.  This way if the host chose to, they would make some vegan dishes.

I don’t expect it but sometimes they are interested to try new recipes.

What I typically do is ask the host in a polite and courteous way if I can bring 1 or 2 vegan dishes to share.

That way there’s food I can eat and I can share new dishes with everyone!  Bringing a couple of dishes gives you plenty of options to choose from and enjoy the get together.  And the host is happy that there is more food for the guests!

When people try the vegan dishes, they are surprised how good they taste.

Everyone wants to know how they taste so good if it’s vegan or raw.  Like it can’t taste good because it’s vegan! Ha!  It blows their mind. Oh, I don’t tell them it’s raw or vegan until after they taste it, it’s my little secret.

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I hope those tips help you stick to your veggie meal plan over the holidays, and next week I’ll show you 20 amazing vegetarian recipes that you can put together to dazzle any holiday party. cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4

Here’s to living the easy veggie lifestyle,

Kardena Pauza
Author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans