Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’
August 10, 2013
Happy Saturday! Scott and I are currently staying in Scott’s hometown of Branson, MO, the “live music show capital of the world.” We arrived yesterday afternoon and plan to spend today out on a boat with his family. Let’s hope the weather is on our side!
But, more about my weekend later…
Today we are talking about GMOs! Do you remember a few weeks back when I shared my concerns about soy products? How ever since I have become aware of how some brands I rely on to “eat healthy” also include chemically altered ingredients? How a little bit of my heart has died a little?
These days, I have been trying my best to educate myself on how to look for real natural ingredients, sans GMOs. But how does one completely change over? And why should we?
Instead of rambling and trying to figure out the best way to describe it myself, I have turned to a new friend of mine for the answers… someone who has made this discovery long before me, and has done her best to share her story.
Tanya is a healthy living enthusiast who enjoys running, yoga, any classic episode of Friends (which we have obviously bonded over), and label reading. She has been a loyal reader of the blog for a while, and when we realized we had a mutual friend in “real life”, I actually met her in Chicago!
She’s awesome to hang out with and although she doesn’t blog, has agreed to step out of her comfort zone to help a sister out on this subject. She has some great tips to share with you, so show her some love will ya?
Take it away, Tanya!
Hello, Housewife Glamour readers!
Wow, still can’t believe I just typed that, and it’s real life. I’ve been following Heather’s blog now for a little over a year, and when she approached me about guest posting my journey with GMO’s I literally almost fell out of my chair with nervousness excitement.
Loving the WIAW series, I always look forward to reading what bloggers eat and comparing it to what I usually eat. I get a lot of great ideas from them and I like to use these lovely ladies as my accountability, (since many of my “real life” friends don’t always share my healthy passion). A few weeks back, Heather posted on many different soy options, and I decided to ask her thoughts on GMOs.
The first thing I found out? Not many people are aware of GMO’s. I wasn’t for a long time. I literally cleaned house at a Borders closing sale a few years back, and one of the books I picked up changed my life. So, here I am today to give you a little of my research, while trying not to bore you to death in Heather’s absence. Ready? Let’s get started.
GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms” and is something that haunts our society today. But what are these little buggers?
“GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.” Source
I know. I didn’t get it either. Basically what this is saying is that the food your grandparents grew up on is not the food you are currently eating.
So, why should you avoid them?
“Did you know… genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not safe? They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.” Source
After I read Jillian Michael’s book “Master your Metabolism”, my bargain bin find, (Please don’t tell her it was $4) I went through my entire kitchen. Sure enough, I was guilty of “toxic” products on multiple accounts. I couldn’t believe it. I’m not one for change, but armed with these facts, how could I ignore it? I immediately researched until my eyeballs almost fell out. Lucky for you (and your eyeballs) I have summarized my findings in this post.
There are six common sources for GMO, and I was guilty of having all of them in my kitchen. Canola Oil? Yep. Soy? Oh yeah. Processed foods? Let’s not even go there.
I’ll be honest with you. Label checking sucks. Just like becoming gluten free or dairy free, there is a learning curve and research required before you feel comfortable in your routine again. For me, it was a very emotional break up with some of my favorite foods. But guess what? I’m surviving. I have my days still where I find out things I love are GM, and I get so discouraged, (Naked Juice). But there are still good products out there, you just need to make yourself aware of them.
For example, when you’re buying fruits and veggies, check the PLU number. I was totally blown away by this. Never in a million years would I ever have known this (thanks, Jillian!) and now I am very picky about my produce.
The only problem is that few states have passed a GMO labeling law, so it’s not required to label just yet. So to be safe, I stick to organic produce.
For meat, go grass fed, or 100% Organic. If it’s not, that means the animals have been typically fed GM feed, which they then digest. That, my friends, ends up on your plate. Not to mention the hormones they use are also harmful to you. This goes for eggs too.
Stay away from processed foods as much as you can. High fructose corn syrup is genetically modified. When you first start label hunting, you will feel like it’s in everything. That was a tough one for me. I liked convenience because of my demanding work schedule. I swore to myself I didn’t have time to “make” anything. Ch-ch-ch-channnges.
As if trying to get food without corn syrup wasn’t hard enough, soy is what actually blindsided me. I ate protein bars. I had just ventured into Tofu. Morning Star spicy black bean burgers were dinner 1-2 times a week. I thought I was being healthy, and they were all culprits!
The good news is that a lot of manufacturers are coming around to the non-GMO, and clearly label it. But until everyone does, here are a few good tips for the grocery store:
Have I lost you yet? I hope not!
Cutting out processed/GMO foods was not an overnight thing. But trust me, it gets easier. You feel better. And then you get to be a guest blogger on Housewife Glamour!
I’ll leave you with a few helpful tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Trader Joes Brand is GMO Free
- My new favorite brand of protein bars is Genisoy. The chocolate mint is ridiculous.
- Whole Foods will be GMO Transparent in the next 5 years
- Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Raisin Granola is my favorite ever!
- The App Fooducate is really helpful.
- Annie’s dressings are GMO free! (Thank goodness!)
- If you can help it, try to prepare your food at home. But if you are like me and love to eat out, just try to choose the best option on the menu.
- This is a helpful list of manufacturers that label GMO-Free
- The Non-GMO Project is a good place to start
Again, I would like to thank Heather, for giving me the opportunity to share with you what I have learned in my GMO journey. I hope this inspires you all to take a look further into what you are putting into your body!
July 14, 2013
Happy Sunday! I love Sundays. It’s not my favorite day of the week, but it’s right up there behind Saturdays.
As I was going through some emails this morning, I ran through a few questions I wanted to share public answers to. If one person is wondering something, maybe some of you are too? (You people do, in fact, care!)
That’s what I’ll just keep telling myself, anyways.
I have been quite fond of bowls lately. Smoothie bowls, rice bowls, veggie bowls… basically anything I can throw together to taste half way decent, I am all about.
This morning, my yogurt bowl was ready to enjoy in two minutes time!
Per usual, I washed it down with an extremely large cup of coffee, which brings me to the first question I want to address:
How you drink your coffee every morning? I have been trying different ways and am still searching for a way that I love!
My coffee cups usually include the following: flavored coffee, some kind of organic skim, soy, or almond milk, and a small serving stevia in the raw. <- I also use this as a sugar substitute for baking.
If you aren’t a true coffee lover, you may need to dress it up a bit more, but that is just the formula I have grown to love.
I discovered the wonderful world of flavored coffee a few years ago. I had an obsession with Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut for a while, and eventually bought the bags of grounds from the grocery store instead of driving thru every morning to get it. (Hello, wallet drainer!)
Expanding my collection, I have also grown quite fond of Dunkin’s French Vanilla, Starbucks Blonde Roast (for more of an original coffee flavor), and will give any kind of chocolate mix a try. Don’t even get me started on the holiday flavors, either. Pumpkin, Gingerbread, Peppermint… I die. (Missing Fresh Market Coffee right about now.)
While writing this post, I literally just stumbled upon these seasonal coffee flavors from Dunkin’ too. Cocounut, Strawberry Shortcake, Triple Berry? Excuse me while I abandon my computer to go to the grocery store…. have any of you tried these? They sound delicious.
Over the years of drinking coffee, I have learned that if I buy flavored grounds, I use less milk/cream/sugars to doctor it up. Plus, no cup ever has to taste the same, if you don’t want it to.
At any given time, I have at least a few variants of milk on hand. Since I started experiencing a few stomach issues this year, I have been trying to substitute soy and almond milk over regular whenever I can.
I usually don’t have two soymilks on hand, but these cartons happened to be on sale at the store. Usually, I have some kind of almond milk added into the mix. Also with my sensitive stomach issues, I have started substituting gluten and dairy-free products into my diet.
While on my bowl kick this week, I found that Amy’s has a whole line of them!
This week’s purchase was the Black-Eyed Peas & Veggies Bowl my mouth was watering over in the freezer section. After a long day of Pistons work (can’t wait to share more about that with you!), I returned home unmotivated to cook, remembered the bowl and went to town.
Amy’s Bowl + 1 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger = pure delight.
I have also received questions about my thoughts on processed foods and genetically modified soy products (GMOs). To be honest, I am very naive on the subject and haven’t even heard much about it until recently.
With a simple Google search of “does morningstar farms use genetically modified soy” I quickly found my answer from numerous articles, including this one dating all the way back from 2001. The answer is a clear yes.
Soy + Genetically Modified Product Concerns
I’m sure that one reader is not the only one who has been wondering about this subject, either.
Here was my answer:
“To quickly (and kind of vaguely) answer for now, I try to stay away from as much processed food as I can. I have only recently heard about the negative effects of soy, so it looks like I need to do some research. For now, I do love soy products and eat them often! I read labels, but not as much as I should.”
Knowing I have at least five boxes of MorningStar products in my freezer at all times, where is one like me to go from here?
First Step: Acknowledge that soy, and especially products meant for meat substitution, can come genetically modified (include GMOs). Do some research and take note of brands that don’t include this.
Second Step: Try to transition away from products that carry GMOs. (This is going to be really hard for me, considering I live on a handful of them!)
Third Step: Keep track of what you learn along the way, and share it with friends, i.e. you guys!
Like I mentioned above, I am completely new to this area of information. As a healthy living blogger, it is important for me to educate myself and others on knowledge of products, with facts both positive and negative.
I plan to take this concern with soy products seriously, and share ways to eat around GMOs with you as much as I can.
Now, since some of you probably know a lot more about this than I do…
I have some questions for YOU!
• What are your thoughts on processed/genetically modified products?
• What are some easy ways to stay away from them?
I need to get better about reading labels and keep an eye out for brands that advertise “GMO-free”.
And, of course, I’m curious…
• What’s in your coffee cup?
All right, I’m off to clean up around here for a little, then headed off to an appearance tonight. This week is going to be jam packed with dancer auditions coming up next weekend. I’m getting very anxious and ready for it to get here already.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
June 19, 2013
I felt on top of the world yesterday.
Not only did I have a few mini-celebrations on the blog front (I promise to share everything with you eventually!), but I finally got back on both the healthy eating AND snacking trains. Do you remember last week’s WIAW sensible snacking fail? Yeah… it happens, and it’s okay.
This week was time to get over that and back on track.
The difference of how my body feels after a few days of healthy eating is always evident. My mood is lifted, I have more energy, and my drive to be productive is through the roof. Coincidence? Eh… I think it’s just an obvious observation. Healthy food = fuel. Fuel = energy and motivation to have a great day. Great day = Happy Heather!
Onto WIAW! Oh, and for those new to the blog… (HI and welcome!)… I take part in What I Ate Wednesdays, hosted by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. She’s pretty awesome, and always featured droolworthy healthy, veggie loaded recipes. Check her out!
Here’s What I Ate
The coffee the size of my head is a given. You should know this by now… so actually snapping a photo of it only happens on rare occasions.
Wanting to get to work downstairs, I threw something extremely easy together to be on my way. I started with a serving of Chobani Low-fat Strawberry Banana Greek yogurt, then topped it with raw almonds, raw oats, chia seeds, and fresh blueberries.
Before lunch, I had a slight hunger and tamed it with a sensible snack.
Sidenote: I am obsessed with hummus, specifically this Roasted Red Pepper flavor. Like, I want to marry it. Seriously.
Knowing lunch was right around the corner, I skipped the normal indulgence in Wheat Thins and grabbed a plate full of carrots instead.
Did the trick!
For lunch, I was pumped to try out a new Morning Star Farms product: the Mediterranean Chickpea Burger. *Swoon*
I just love chick peas. (<- possibly a direct correlation to my love for hummus?) The perfect way to test out a new veggie burger flavor is to heat it and put in on a monster salad.
This one included a fresh spinach/baby spring/romaine mix, broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, red peppers, avocado, fresh cilantro, ground pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar + grapeseed oil.
I have enjoyed this same exact salad for two days and have a feeling it will make a third appearance this afternoon as soon as I publish this post. YUM!
I finished my work for the day around 5:30 p.m. and knew I would need some kind of substance in my belly before going for a run outside. My favorite go-to protein bar is any flavor of Zone Perfect Bars, but a close second has been Quest Nutrition Bars, depending on if I am in a chewy or soft bar kind of mood.
I got a very bright surprise in the mail yesterday! It was a pair of brand new running shoes from the Reebok One line, and they couldn’t have matched what I was already wearing any better.
Since the sun does not set until after 9 p.m. up here (crazy right?), I still had plenty of daylight to work with. When the day comes to run in the dark, however, I know exactly what shoes I will be grabbing. Watch out neighborhood… here I come in all my neon glory! (A review and more information on these shoes coming soon.)
Five miles and a series of push-ups and plank holds later, I was one hungry girl. I already planned out dinner on my run (do any of you do that? ha), and started a pot of quinoa as soon as I walked back in the door.
I have recently become quite smitten by this whole grain, or seed… whatever you consider it to be. When it was almost ready, I quickly sauteed an Al Fresco Apple Chicken Sausage with red peppers, grape tomatoes and spinach.
I then made my quinoa bowl by starting with quinoa on bottom, adding the sausage and veggies, then topping it all off with feta cheese.
When my one serving was ready, Scott walked in the door and admitted to being a little jealous of my meal. He told me he was going to eat dinner at an event, so I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty for eating it in front of him. Hehe.
Even aboard the healthy train, I always allow myself a sweet treat after dinner. Ditching the ice cream, I pulled out something a little better for me this time.
With a glass of organic skim milk, I enjoyed a 100 calorie pack of Oreo Crisps. I even dunked each crisp in the milk like a five-year-old.
If you as me, that’s the only way to eat them.
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
*In case you missed it, I am hosting a giveaway this week for FRS Healthy Energy products. Pop on over and enter!
Hope you enjoy the rest of your Hump Day.
Question of the Day
• What are some of your favorite sensible snacks?
May 15, 2013
Happy Hump Day!
This week’s What I Ate Wednesday is coming to you from Orlando because, yes… I am still here. Today is very a very exciting one because I am going to pick Scott up from the airport later this evening. He is quite the jet setter this month, flying in from Spain and out of Detroit to be with me in Orlando this weekend. (Twenty extra bonus brownie points for you, Mr. Hesington!)
Last week, I shared what I eat on vacation. Of course, this trip is a little different than a “normal” vacation, because I have the convenience of staying with my family to sneak in some home cooked meals.
Regardless, my main point of sharing with you is to offer tips and advice on how to keep an every day healthy eating lifestyle part of whatever you do and wherever you go!
In my last WIAW post, I talked about how important it is to keep up your regular eating habits if you are gone from home for an extended period of time. Of course, we ALL have our cheat meals and days, and it IS vacation… so know that an indulgence every once in a while is not going to kill you. I am not afraid to participate in in pizza nights or happy hour two-for-ones, but at the same time, I always eat with moderation and an overall plan of attack in mind.
• Dessert at dinner? Sure! Maybe I will skip a midnight snack if I am still out and about.
• Heavy breakfast? Maybe I will have a light lunch.
• Heavy dinner and/or drinks? Maybe I will have a lighter breakfast the next morning.
See how easy?
All of this planning has the end goal of maintaining your healthy lifestyle you work hard to keep at home alive!
Today’s post highlights everything I ate last Saturday: before and after a five mile run, an afternoon at home, and a dinner out with friends before my 10 Year High School Reunion.
After eating a light dinner Friday night, I knew I needed something to fuel my morning run with my mom around the neighborhood. I don’t like to eat too much before running, and found this Quest Protein Bar to be the perfect amount of protein and carbs to get me energized.
Pictured is the Cinnamon Roll flavor (so dreamy) I previously tried at my home, but they have all been equally amazing so far. (Stay tuned for a full review of these coming tomorrow!)
After our run, we cooled off with a lot of water and worked up an appetite for breakfast/brunch. My mother might be an even bigger health nut than I am, and suggested we cook some egg whites using my grandmother’s fresh kale from the garden. Umm… okay!
In just a few minutes, we shared a egg white, kale, and feta cheese omelet with a small side of sliced tomatoes (also from her garden) and strawberries.
Lunch came quickly after a few hours of house cleaning, and after perusing the refrigerator I made us what turned out to be a pretty darn good veggie sandwich.
We had just enough salad leftovers from the night before (too small to make a salad, but too yummy to throw away!) to have some serious greens, so I decided to roll with it and make something veggie.
I grabbed a whole wheat deli then, then layered a slice of Swiss cheese and heated it up in the microwave for fifteen seconds. Next came the leftover salad that included romaine, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and yellow peppers.
Wanting some light protein, I sliced up a hard boiled egg and placed it atop a kalamata olive spread on the top.
Smushed together, it was a little bit of a mess, but nothing less than the bomb.
Still hungry, I finished it off with a cup of Stonyfield Organic Super Fruits Greek yogurt.
After lunch, I hopped in the shower and started getting ready for what turned out to be a great night. I went to the reunion with a few of my girlfriends, and we planned to grab dinner on the way.
Dinner – Infusion Tea, College Park
I have never claimed to by any kind of vegetarian or vegan, but that does not mean that I cannot eat full vegan meals every now and then. I actually LOVE the taste of everything vegan I have tried, and if there is ever a choice to substitute gluten-free or non-dairy ingredients to my meals, I go for it.
My friend Katie started listing off a few places we could go to and as soon as she said Infusion Tea the decision had been made. I adore that place!
I have only been a few times, and it is usually with girlfriends. I still haven’t sold Scott on the occasional vegan eating concept, but I really feel like he might have enjoyed this round.
Per usual, I asked about their specialty teas of the day but ended up going with my favorite Chai blend. They bring it to your table and let you decide how long the bag seeps to control it’s strength. Pretty neat!
For dinner, I ordered the Tempeh Taco Salad.
I had never tried tempeh before this place, and I am giving you my honest word when I say it is AMAZING! Similar to the consistency of a veggie burger, I would describe it somewhere in the middle between a patty and a tofu square. Just like tofu, it is made with soy and provides protein.
This gluten-free salad was delicious and featured seasoned tempeh, black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes on organic field greens with mild salsa and crispy organic corn tortilla chips, and a house-made chipotle ranch.
The three of us then went on to split a vegan red velvet cake.
It was pretty dreamy!
Of course, I ordered a few drinks at the reunion that are not pictured.
Biggest tip on adult beverages I can ever share with you! Vodka/soda water with a twist of lemon or lime. If you need something sweeter, introduce yourself to flavored vodka. Simple drinks like this usually range under 100 calories, and the water or soda water keeps you hydrated.
Off to meet a few friends for lunch then head to the airport!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.