Another Example Of How Our Nutritional MINDSET Is All Wrong

originally from: http://www.discount-supplements.co.uk/blog/nutritional-mindset-wrong/

So a recent study claims to have found the key to reducing the damaging effects of excessive sugar intake. It seems that an enzyme going by the name of glycerol 3-phosphate phosphatase (G3PP) may be able to stop the toxic effects of excessive sugar consumption.

Let’s just leave it there… that says it all really doesn’t it? I mean from a mindset point of view why on earth are we trying to ‘entitle’ people to consume excessive amounts of refined sugars rather than getting to the root of the problem.

We don’t need to be giving the public ‘get out of jail free cards’ with things like this, we need an absolute solution! Yes, I get that this enzyme may have positive implications for the treatment of Diabetes and obesity related illness, but I can’t help but feel that this could be used as a justification for poor eating and drinking habits in years to come.

I agree this is an exciting finding and one that deserves credit. However, excessive sugar consumption isn’t just about the inflammation and ‘toxicity’ it causes in the blood vessels and heart. It’s also much to do with the high volume of empty calories that accompanies it. A lay consumer would be forgiven for thinking the study suggests that in years to come we may all be able to eat as much sugar as we please… but that’s dangerous, and NOT the kind of message we should be putting out there.

I get that some people struggle to resist sugar, that’s an evolutionary process and, to an extent, a lack of restraint. This is fighting fires, but it’s only focusing on one bedroom within the burning house even though the whole thing is clearly ablaze!

The focus of this study, although offering some very useful applications, is a prime example of how we as a species go straight for the treatment rather than prevention! If it saves some lives, brilliant, but the bigger picture extends far beyond this…why can’t we stop people getting into the poor state of health in the first place?

Learn to like wholefoods such as basmati or brown rice, sweet potato, white potato, rolled or steel cut oats (steel cut undergo less processing), good protein sources such as chicken, beef, lean beef mince, white fish and oily fish. And of course, get an abundance of fruit and vegetables to satisfy the sugar yearning, aiming for around 2-3 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables per day. As a rule of thumb, make sure your plate is half filled with vegetables at meal time and you won’t go far wrong.

Get a hold on the fundamentals of nutrition such as calorie balance and macronutrient ratios, and the so- called ‘Superstimuli’ that take over our dietary habits (sugar, caffeine and many more) thanks to their ‘reward’ and feel good side-effects.

A pill that mops up high sugar intake toxicity is dangerous. The researchers need to handle this one sensibly and ensure the public health message is clear and defined. Otherwise we could be feeding the obesity epidemic as opposed to helping it!

fat loss mindset all wrong

Source

CRCHUM, (2016). TOO MUCH SUGAR? THERE’S AN ENZYME FOR THAT. Retrieved 21st January, 2016, from http://crchum.chumontreal.qc.ca/en/news-briefs/too-much-sugar-theres-enzyme

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins (vegan)

originally from: http://ohsheglows.com/2015/10/28/pumpkin-gingerbread-muffins-vegan/

veganpumpkingingerbreadmuffins

I love to transform my favourite recipes into something new. Often, it’s not too far of a stretch to take a solid recipe base and create something different and fresh. Maybe I’m a baking nerd, but I just love the process of calculating measurements, swapping new ingredients for others, figuring out new baking times, and streamlining the method. My goal with recipe writing is to provide as many pertinent details as I can so you feel like I’m in the kitchen with you, but I also try to simplify and condense, too. It gives me great joy to refine and improve a dish and the written recipe itself over multiple trials.

Yup, I’m definitely a baking nerd. There’s no denying it.

My Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Spiced Buttercream is a bit of a legend on this blog. I created the recipe for a blogging competition, Project Food Blog, five years ago (side note: my recipe writing style has clearly changed since then!). Despite being buried in the archives, this loaf has stood the test of time and remains popular during the fall and winter seasons. I’ve had requests for a muffin version – something a bit lighter and more wholesome that could pair with breakfast or an afternoon snack. (Wait a second. The original loaf with frosting doesn’t count as breakfast? I’ve been doing it all wrong.)

Joking aside, it’s a great idea. So maybe it’s a few years late, but I’m not a miracle worker! Ok, maybe I am. I made the original loaf more wholesome by using whole-grain spelt flour rather than all-purpose white flour. Despite using this heavier flour, I was astonished by how light and fluffy the muffins turned out! Spelt flour is incredibly tasty with a lightly sweet and nutty flavour that works so well in a muffin. Actually, I kept saying to Eric that these muffins taste a bit like a spiced bran muffin (in a very good way!). In just 1/4 cup of whole-grain spelt flour you’ll find 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre, too. Look for whole-grain spelt flour in the natural foods or specialty section of grocery stores or you can find it online. Keep in mind that it’s not gluten-free so it won’t work for those with gluten allergies. You’ll also find pumpkin, blackstrap molasses (a great source of iron), pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and more. It’s like a big fall hug. Get ready, because your place is going to smell like a gingerbread house. No joke.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins
Vegan, soy-free

Despite using whole-grain spelt flour, pumpkin puree, and molasses, these muffins rise beautifully and they are so light and fluffy! I think you’re going to love them. They are perfectly spiced (not too strong and not too light) and great for fall and winter baking. You won’t believe how incredible these muffins will make your house smell, too. Throw a batch in the oven before company comes over and your entire place will smell like a gingerbread house! This recipe is adapted from a reader favourite recipe: my Pumpkin Gingerbread loaf with Spiced Buttercream.

Yield
1 dozen

Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
22 Minutes
Total Time
37 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the wet ingredients:1 tablespoon chia seeds3 tablespoons water1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree*1/3 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil**3 tablespoons pure maple syrup1/2 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup blackstrap molassesFor the dry ingredients:1 2/3 cups whole-grain spelt flour***1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see tips below for link to recipe)1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon fine sea saltHeaping 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with large paper liners. (this is my favorite brand as they never stick!) In a mug or small bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (spelt flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth (chia mixture, pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses). Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No patches of flour should remain. Be sure not to overmix the batter as spelt is a delicate flour. If using, stir in the chopped walnuts. You can also reserve some for garnish on top, like in the photos. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. They should be about 3/4 full or a bit more. Add any reserved walnuts on top and gently push down (optional). Bake the muffins for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then transfer each muffin onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

Tips:

* If your pumpkin puree is a bit grainy, try throwing it into a food processor and processing it until smooth before making this recipe. Or you can beat it with electric beaters. This will simply prevent clumps in the dough.

** If using melted coconut oil, make sure that the rest of the wet ingredients are all at room temperature (do not use refrigerated pumpkin, maple syrup, etc. as they will harden the coconut oil).

***I haven’t tried these muffins with any other flour yet, but I expect that regular all-purpose flour will work (like in the loaf recipe). If you try any different flours please leave a comment with what you used and how it worked out!

Here is the Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix recipe

Make it nut-free: Simply omit the walnuts.

pumpkinspicegingerbreadmuffinsvegan

Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography

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OMG Oven-Baked Vegan Onion Rings

originally from: http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/baked-vegan-onion-rings

Isa Chandra Moskowitz originally achieved fame for her best-selling cookbooks, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Veganomicon, and Vegan with a Vengeance. But she isn’t one to slow down, and has continued to release several more popular titles, including the resolution-worthy collection, Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. This book may have been written to […]

The post OMG Oven-Baked Vegan Onion Rings appeared first on Go Dairy Free.

Apple, Almond & Buckwheat Muffins

originally from: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/apple-almond-buckwheat-muffins/

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If the warm apple and cinnamon fragrance from our kitchen found a way to fly into my laptop, on to the internet and out through whatever device you are reading this on, then I could stop writing this text right here. You would already be deep into your pantry drawers looking for the ingredients to start baking these muffins.

Instead, I guess I have to convince you the old-fashioned way, with words and images. And since we truly want you to understand how thrilled we are about this recipe, we also filmed a video for our youtube channel. Let’s start with that!

Apple trees heavy with fruit, small rubber boots tumbling around in the leaves, warm porridge in the morning, furry sweaters, cinnamon sticks, pitch dark nights and rainy afternoons. Autumn is already over us and it always seems to come with a profound desire for baking. In our apartment, switching on the oven is also a necessary trick to keep warm, since our radiators have a mind of their own.

If anyone remember my previous aversion to warm apples, this recipe must be the ultimate proof that I’m passed it. Not only does our muffins have shredded apples in the batter and sliced apples on top of them, but they also hold small golden pockets of apple sauce in the middle. It’s a serenade of apple flavours and textures paired with warm spices and they sing happy songs together.

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I guess this is an Autumnal edition of our Blueberry & Turmeric Breakfast Muffins. These are only sweetened with apples and dates, they are gluten-free and we have included a well-tested vegan option. The vegan version come out just slightly denser, but they taste almost identical. The combination of apple, oats, almond and buckwheat is perfect in an earthy, wholesome but still light kind of way.

So if you are also feeling the autumn mood or are just freezing and need another excuse to switch on the oven, we have got just the right recipe for you.

gks_apple_muffins_3  gks_apple_muffins_05

Apple, Almond & Buckwheat Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

These muffins are only sweetened with apples and dates. We make our own apple sauce and even though it is unsweetened, it has a naturally sweet flavour that works perfect in this recipe. Since the muffins are not overly decadent, we enjoy them both as weekend breakfast and weekday dessert. However, if you know that you like your muffins more on the sweeter side, you can replace have of the apple sauce with maple syrup.

Dry ingredients
1 cup / 100 g almond flour
1 cup / 100 g rolled oats (use cert. gluten free if intolerant)
2/3 cup / 75 g buckwheat flour
2 tbsp arrowroot (or potato starch)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp sea salt

Wet ingredients
160 ml / 2/3 cup plain unsweetened yogurt or plant yogurt
80 ml / 1/3 cup coconut oil, butter or olive oil
10 fresh soft dates, pitted and mashed
3 large eggs (or 3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 9 tbsp water)
1/2 cup / 120 ml apple sauce, unsweetened (see below for instructions hot to make your own)
3 organic apples

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Grease a muffin pan with oil or butter or line it with muffin tins. Add all the dry ingredients to a food processor or blender and process on high speed so the oats turn into coarse flour and all ingredients are mixed. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, dates and 1/3 cup / 80 ml of the apple sauce (save the rest for later) to the food processor or blender and mix until smooth, and then transfer to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Grate two of the apples and add them to the batter. Divide the batter into the muffin tins, filling them only half way up. Drop a heaping teaspoon of apple sauce in the middle of each muffin and then cover with the remaining batter. Slice the last apple thinly, brush the slices with oil and place one or a few slices on top of each muffin, pressing them down slightly. Dust with cinnamon. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool for a bit before taking them out of their tins and they will release easier. Enjoy!

 

Apple Sauce
Apple sauce is one of the simplest things to make and if you choose a sweet variety of apples, no other sweetener is needed. This makes more than you need for the Apple Muffin recipe, which is good as you can add large spoonfuls of the leftovers on top of yogurt or cultured buttermilk in the morning.

1 lb / ½ kg organic apples
¼ cup / 60 ml water
1 tsp lemon juice

Core the apples, cut them in ½ inch / 1 cm dices and add to a large sauce pan on medium heat together with the water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat slightly. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Use a hand blender to mix it smoothly. Add lemon juice and stir around to prevent the color from going brown. Store in air-tight glass jars the fridge for up to about a week or in plastic containers in the freezer for-like-ever.

gks_apple_muffins_06

Udi’s Gluten Free Bread (Loaves, Ancient Grains, and Buns)

originally from: http://www.godairyfree.org/product-reviews/udis-gluten-free-bread

We have not yet trialed Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, so this is an informational review post only. I cannot yet give it a rating or personally weigh in on the taste, texture, etc, but if you have tried it, please do leave a comment with your own review! It’s hard to ignore Udi’s Gluten Free […]

The post Udi’s Gluten Free Bread (Loaves, Ancient Grains, and Buns) appeared first on Go Dairy Free.

DIY Burrito Bowl

originally from: http://ohsheglows.com/2015/11/02/diy-burrito-bowl/

DIYveganburritobowl5

Hello from Scottsdale, Arizona! We’re here visiting for a little work and play. I’m so excited to be getting away for some downtime after a busy year. My mom and stepdad are arriving soon too, and Adriana is pumped to have lots of quality time with her Mimi and Papa. The last time we were here I was 6/7 weeks pregnant so it’s pretty amazing to be here with my girl this year. That trip, I could barely get off the couch due to 1st trimester nausea (I think I hiked a total of 1 mile, lol); it’ll be nice to feel normal again. I plan on making up for the last visit in many ways, especially on the food front! Any new plant-based restaurants pop up?

Our trip is off to a bit of a strange start – we had a series of odd events yesterday during our trek here, and then we woke up to an earthquake (!) last night. It felt like a truck slammed into the side of our bedroom. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad (4.1-mag), but it did give us quite a scare in the middle of the night. Aka…I screamed and then said a couple choice words. I immediately checked the baby monitor and Adriana didn’t even budge! Oh to sleep like a baby. Anyway, that was quite the welcome.

This hearty meal was thrown together last week and I loved it so much I knew I had to share it with you. Plus, I figured we could all use a balanced meal after the Halloween festivities.

I did a an informal poll on Facebook asking you – burrito (in a wrap) or burrito bowl? Most of you said BOWL….just give me the bowl! Here are a handful of your responses:

Katherine loves the versatility of a bowl. “I love both. But I think there are more options with a bowl, especially for creative rice substitutions that have more nutritional value than a tortilla. And I trust you to make it delicious AND healthy!” (side note: I used classic white rice here (no regrets!! gah, so good), but you can use any base you like – cauliflower rice, quinoa, shredded lettuce, etc.)

Others think a burrito bowl creates feelings of jealousy and envy. Stacy wrote, “With the tortilla! Otherwise, it’s a pile of ingredients merely wishing they were a burrito!”

Some of you thought outside the box bowl. Jaya said, “A nice compromise is actually baking the flour/rice/whatever kind of tortilla into a bowl shape, so you get a crispy bowl!” (hello, lover)

Others mentioned giving the option of a wrap by serving the soft tortillas on the side. Jodi wrote, “Bowl for me, but kids would chose burrito. Win win either way!”

So I went with a bowl for this post, but rest assured you can also stuff this into a big soft tortilla wrap. I absolutely love burrito bowls because you can make them as simple or as complex as you want. They can be as basic as plain black beans, sliced avocado, store-bought salsa, and rice, or you can load on a wide array of toppings to your heart’s content. I tried to keep this one simple, but also included some interesting components that make it fun and unique. I hope you love it as much as we do!

burritobowlvegan

DIY Burrito Bowl
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This burrito bowl is so filling and healthy! The Spicy Black Beans are adapted from one of my favourite new cookbooks, Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal. The spicy black beans are to die for (or, to live for!). I’m already dreaming of the many ways I’m going to enjoy the beans– in a wrap, sprinkled on a salad, or even as a dip with tortilla chips and guacamole. The Avocado-Lime Sauce is also a must-make. It yields about a heaping half cup so if you are a big avocado lover you can always double the recipe. To change up this recipe, stuff everything into a large soft tortilla wrap rather than enjoying it bowl style.

Yield
3 servings

Prep Time
25 Minutes
Cook time
20 Minutes
Total Time
45 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the burrito bowl:1 cup dry white long-grain rice (or rice of choice)1 tablespoon refined coconut oil or vegan butter*Salsa, as neededSliced green onion, for garnishSliced grape tomatoes, for garnish (optional)For the Spicy Black Beans:2 tablespoons refined coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil1 cup diced sweet onion4 medium garlic cloves, minced3/4-1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes1 teaspoon chili powder1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon dried oregano1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste1 (14-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed1/2 cup unpacked cilantro, large stems removed and finely choppedFor the Avocado-Lime Sauce (makes heaping 1/2 cup):1 large garlic clove1 large avocado, pitted1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste1 tablespoon water1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

Directions:
For the rice: Add the rice and 1 tablespoon of oil or butter into a medium pot along with 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to low-medium, and cover with a lid. Cook the rice until it’s tender and the water is absorbed. For white long-grain rice this will take 13-20 minutes, but please follow the directions on your specific package for best results. Meanwhile, prepare the Spicy Black Beans: In a large wok or skillet, add the oil and melt it over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and saute for about 5-6 minutes, until softened. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, cayenne (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue sauteing for another 3-5 minutes (increasing/reducing heat if necessary), until the tomato softens. Now stir in the tomato paste and drained and rinsed black beans. Cook for a few more minutes until heated throughout. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stir in the cilantro. You can leave the mixture over low heat until ready to serve or simply turn off the heat and reheat before serving. For the Avocado-Lime Sauce: Mince the garlic clove in a mini food processor (or use a regular size processor, if necessary). Now add the avocado flesh, lime juice, water, and salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust lime juice if desired. I usually add another teaspoon. When the rice is ready, reheat the bean mixture, if necessary. Divide the rice between 2-3 bowls. Top each with a couple scoops of the hot black bean mixture, and a large spoonful of both the salsa and the Avocado-Lime Sauce. Garnish with sliced green onion and optional sliced grape tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Tips:

* Why the use of refined coconut oil? Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil doesn’t have a light coconut flavour. I use it whenever I don’t want a coconut flavour to come through. That being said, if you don’t mind a bit of coconut flavour feel free to use the virgin kind.

Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography

vegnewsawards

I recently heard that Oh She Glows won “Favorite Blog” in the 14th annual Veggie Awards™. Even though I never feel quite deserving of such a title given the immense talent in our plant-based community, I’m so grateful for those of you who love what I do and take the time to vote. You guys inspire me to grow and improve in so many ways! My 7-year “blogiversary” was on Halloween (seriously, I can’t believe it has been that long!), and this blog would be nothing without YOU. My favourite part of blogging is that I’ve met so many incredible people over the years, so just know that if you’ve ever taken time to leave a comment or said hello in person, it’s not something I take lightly. Or, if you’ve made a recipe and enjoyed it with your family, even better!

 

Ps – Thanks for all your reviews on the Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins! So glad you are enjoying them.

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