Vegan Diet Can Lower Blood Pressure

veggie-dinner-2Vegan diets are emerging as some of the healthiest possible.  Next to that are vegetarian diets which come in different levels.  Many vegetarians avoid meat, fish, and poultry.  Some include dairy products and eggs and are called lacto-ovo vegetarians.  Vegans eat no animal products including dairy.  The advantage of vegan diets include reducing the risk of  many health issues. 

Vegans have a cholesterol-free diet.  Only animal products have cholesterol so eating just a plant-based diet will not include cholesterol.  Plant-based proteins also help lower blood cholesterol levels.  In fact, some studies show that people who add animal products to their vegetarian diet signifiantly and quickly raise blood pressure levels and effect cholesterol levels.  Other information shows that a vegan diet is good for helping diabetes something we’ll talk about a lot more in the near future.

The Humungous Veggie Salad

I call this my big HVS  – Humongous Vegetable Salad. Here is the vegetable salad I keep around constantly. It goes with absolutely everything. I prepare this once or twice a week. If you don’t put in vegetables that have a lot of water content it tends to last longer in the refrigerator.  You can pull it out and serve yourself a bowl of it anytime of the day.

It’s also a great meal to have on a detox.  Just use a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime instead of a salad dressing to keep everything raw.

How to Prepare

The quantities give for each vegetable are not exact. Add more of what you love and less of what you don’t.  Increase quantities as you get used to eating this salad on a daily basis.

I list the vegetables that I use in the standard salad then list others you can use to “lighten” it up, change the dominant tastes, or create a full meal according to your tastes.

Experiment with the amounts of the various vegetables to get the quantities that work for you.

Basic HVS

These vegetables make up the basic salad. This can last for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator without getting wilted.

  • Green cabbage
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Pepper
  • Green Pepper
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

Additional vegetables
These vegetables can get soft or discolored quicker. That mean you have to eat the salad quicker. You can add these on any day to change the taste of the basic mix. Have them already prepared so you just have to put in the amount you want.

  • lettuce/spinach
  • chopped broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • zucchini
  • avocado

Toppings

Toppings are optional. This is what makes this salad versatile enough to be the base of a fully meal, 7 days a week.

  • Nuts or seeds
  • Raisins
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Rice
  • Cheese
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Left-over meat, fish, chicken – really helps if you prepare foods for people who eat differently, i.e., raw to meat eaters.
  • Whatever else you have.

Dressings
These go from simple to complex. The taste of the salad is so good I often eat it with no dressings. However, I started with bottled dressings and now use a simple squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Sometimes I add some Olive Oil. Another alternative is a great balsamic vinegar.

Of course, you can use your favorite low fat dressing and experiment with different salad dressings.  If you eat this everyday you can change things up with different dressings.

Directions:

Wash all of the vegetables and thinly shred them with a knife. This lets them come out in thin layers that are fun to eat. You can also shred by hand, chop in chunks or “break” some of the vegetables by hand.

Use more of your favorites and change things up a bit. Try new tastes by adding other favorite vegetables I’ve forgotten here. If it’s something you eat raw, it can go into the basic salad. If it’s cooked, add as a topping for a special meal.

As a Side Dish

I serve a version of this salad almost everyday. You can add anything else in your meal. To make it a side dish, serve a portion with your cooked protein (meat, fish, chicken, beans). It goes with ethnic foods and vegetarian delights.

Keep this around on a regular basis. It’s crunchy and satisfying. Depending on other meals, you can use this and start to naturally lose weight by making it your staple meal of the day or by eating more of this than other, higher calorie foods.

Let me know how you like it.

Fit and Fabulous at Any Age

Being a Seasoned Woman can be some of the best years of your life, in fact, these are your prime years.  So embrace these years and let others see your excitement.

The years between 40 and over can be when menopause hits most women.  You can experience bone loss and muscle depletion if you don’t stay fit.  It is also the time when you can turn things around for yourself both physically and mentally be adapting better wellness habits.  Think of yourself as being in transition with the best years still to come.

Eat to be Fabulous 

Healthy eating begins with healthy food choices something that is often underestimated it.  Food choices are shown in your skin, and in the levels of energy you have.  If any of these areas are problematic, check your food intake where you will find the answers.

Foods lacking in vitamins and minerals can affect the health of your skin which can make you look older.  Beautiful clear and healthy skin is wanted by everyone.

Healthy eating begins with uncomplicated foods.  That also means  adding antioxidants that help fight the signs of aging.  There are many raw foods that contain antioxidants: blueberries, strawberries, whole grains, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, root vegetables and yogurt. These foods can be eaten “as is” as they fill your body with vital nutrients that  keeps the body repaired and vibrant looking.

Being busy is not an excuse to go out and eat fast foods that are depleted of needed nutrients.   Create your own convenient fast foods to be in control of your nutrition.  It just takes a bit of scheduling. Make meals ahead of time. Create your own healthy snacks at home and carry them wherever you go.

 Work to be Fit

Getting and staying in shape is important at any age and especially during this transition phase of your life.  If you don’t have a workout going it’s never too late to start.  You can start today and reap the benefits of a healthy body for years to come.

One thing that you will want to do is know how to start and know your limitations.  If you haven’t exercised in a while, going slow is the way to start.  Taht is, don’t go out and sign up for a kickboxing class and hurt yourself.   Instead choose an activity that you like and stick with it.  As you get stronger, you can move up to that kick butt kickboxing class and feel confident that you can hang tough.

Don’t forget strength training either.  Many seasoned women don’t understand how important it is to keep muscles built up.  Muscle burns more fat than just doing aerobics alone. Building muscle also strengthens your bones and your joints which helps to avoid arthritis and other aches and pains.  Start slow here again with light weights and maybe a fitness trainer if you haven’t a clue what to do. The goal is to build toned, tight lean muscle not big bulky muscles.

Exercise has the added benefit of lowering blood pressure, decreasing stress and strengthening your heart and lungs. With a strong body you can avoid many of the diseases that usually come with age.

Look forward to feeling fit and fabulous at any age.  Get moving and shaking today while you modify your diet to get back to basics.  Get your metabolism revved up with exercise. In no time at all you will feel younger and look better than you did when you were younger.

Low-Fat Banana Bread

Low-Fat, Good for You Banana Bread

First of all, bananas are good for you.  They have potassium which is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Plus, banana bead is a type of comfort food that many people enjoy at breakfast and any other times of the day.  The problem is that most banana bread recipes can also pack some punch with the calories.

This recipe offers a great option for a low-calorie, much lower fat version of the famous banana bread.  By using applesauce instead of oil and xylitol instead of sugar, you cut calories as well as fats.  Xylitol  is a natural sweetener that comes from the fibrous parts of plants which cuts down on calories and carbohydrates.  

By the way, the original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar.  I don’t like bread that is too sweet so I put the xylitol down to 3/4 cups.  You can make the adjustments to fit your taste levels.   

Give this receipe a try, then leave your comments below to tell me how you liked it.

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
3/4 cup of xylitol (plant based sugar)
¾ cup of applesauce
2 eggs
2 cups of bread flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan. In a large bowl, slice the bananas and use an electric mixer to mash. Add the xylitol and blend. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes. Add applesauce and eggs and mix well. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand again for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.