Your Vegan New Year’s Diet: Don’t Forget the Protein

Your Vegan New Year’s Diet: Don’t Forget the Protein

beans_usdaIt’s hard to resist the call of the New Year’s diet. There is something about the promise of new beginnings, especially after the season of indulgence.

If your goals for 2016 include weight loss, please make sure your vegan diet includes enough protein-rich foods. I’m not suggesting that you need to eat a high-protein diet. Nor am I saying that eating lots of carbs is bad. My concern is that some vegan weight loss plans are woefully short on legumes.  A menu that consists of oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, vegetable soup and a salad for lunch, and a dinner of chili might very well help you lose weight. But, it’s not the best recipe for muscle and bone strength. I see this in the ... Read More >

Potassium in Vegan Diets: Less Kale, More Beans?

Potassium in Vegan Diets: Less Kale, More Beans?

It’s not surprising that vegetarians and vegans tend to have higher intakes of potassium compared to omnivores. One simple dietary change—replacing the meat in a recipe with any type of beans—can give potassium intake a healthy boost.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that we vegans always get enough, though. In fact, while it’s far easier to meet needs on a plant-based diet, it’s really a challenge to consume the recommended 4700 milligrams of potassium on any kind of diet. In the Adventist Health-2 study, there was a wide range of potassium intakes among vegans, suggesting that some were on the low side.

Potassium is another of those nutrients where you won’t be staggering around with deficiency symptoms if you aren’t getting enough. Low intake does its ... Read More >

Easy Resolutions for a Healthy Vegan New Year

Easy Resolutions for a Healthy Vegan New Year

Happy 2013! There is nothing like a brand new year to inspire health-related resolutions. And while it’s tempting to resolve to make all kinds of big changes, sometimes a few little tweaks here and there are all we vegans really need.  Here are ten ideas for vegans—mostly easy ways to fine-tune your diet and lifestyle. One of two of them might help to make your new year a little bit healthier.

1. Give some attention to calcium. It’s simple enough to get enough calcium from plant foods, but many vegans fall short because they just aren’t paying attention. Make sure you are consuming at least three cups per day of some combination of calcium-set tofu, fortified plant milks or juices, or calcium-rich leafy greens like ... Read More >

Ten Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy on a Vegan Diet

Ten Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy on a Vegan Diet

There is a long list of reasons why people fail on a vegan diet and return to the world of cheese sandwiches and fish fillets. They might have developed overt deficiencies or vague symptoms of poor health. Some ex-vegans say that they experienced depression or foggy thinking or fatigue without animal foods. Others struggled with challenging social situations or with cravings for animal foods.

The following ideas for staying happy and healthy on a vegan diet are all things I’ve written about before, but I wanted to condense them into a sort of checklist for those who are struggling to stay vegan. It may not cover everything (let me know if there are things you think I should add) but I think it addresses the ... Read More >

A Vegan’s Ode To The Chickpea

I have very few brilliant ideas of my own and must admit that this one—a poem about chickpeas—was inspired by some friends on twitter—ReluctantVeggie and LeafyV. You can find links to their work and words of wisdom at the end of this post. But first..my ode to everyone’s favorite bean.

A Vegan’s Ode To The Chickpea

If you’ve been to a vegan pot luck
Where everyone brings a dish
You’ve tasted six kinds of hummus
Thank goodness it’s so delish.

It’s tasty because it has chickpeas
A very delectable bean
But hummus is just for starters
‘Cuz chickpeas are worldly cuisine.

In Milan they call them ceci,
They eat them with rigatoni
They’re classic Italian food
As famous as macaroni.

When you pair them up with pasta
You get a protein that’s complete.
Oops, what the ... Read More >

Great Vegan Bean Cuisine

The absolute best meal I’ve ever had was a platter of chickpeas and fresh tomato sauce; it had simmered all day on the open hearth of a restaurant in Sicily, and—along with a little pasta, escarole, and Chianti, of course—created a meal that could never be rivaled by even the most expensive cut of meat!

Other wonderful bean-based delicacies: garlic-infused Cuban black beans, spicy Indian lentil curry, or lemony chick pea hummus from the Middle East. Beans are world class cuisine!

I always keep a good supply of canned beans on hand for fast meals. But they have become expensive lately, and they also have a higher glycemic index than those you cook from scratch. And cooking your own dried beans is easy.

... Read More >

Beans for Vegetarians and Other Smart Eaters

Beans for Vegetarians and Other Smart Eaters

collection of beans, legumes, peas, lentils on wooden spoonsI’ve got beans on the brain. I’ve been thinking about them a lot because—like everyone else—I’m trying to cut back on expenses. But even in the best of financial times, beans are nearly always on my menu. I love and adore them. Here is what’s so great about beans:

  • They are central to all kinds of exotic and exciting world cuisine, so beans lend themselves to fun recipes.
  • They are gorgeous! Lentils and black beans may not be all that exciting, but look around for some of the “boutique beans” like Christmas limas, Calypsos, and Black Valentines. They are kitchen art!
  • They’re plant foods, so of course, eating more beans (and, therefore, less meat) is good for the environment. But beans are even better ... Read More >