Friday, September 21, 2012

3 Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Meal Recipes

 
I was asked by several friends for some gluten-free vegan recipes. 
 
Here are 3 meals that I make quite often at home. They are really basic, and easy to make (and my 3 year old loves them, too).   I don’t measure, so it’s all by eye and taste. I usually sauté in Avocado Oil, as it has a very high smoke point.  You can click on links to find where to purchase these items (in the Green Tidings Amazon Store).

1.  Lentils and veggies/greens over brown rice

-Steam/sauté greens (I use a large amount- equivalent to a trader Joe’s bag of organic kale). Set aside.
-Steam/sauté veggies (any kind works- zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onions). Set aside.
-Sautee garlic (as much as you like- I like a lot). Set aside.
-Cook sprouted lentils, with oregano, thyme, and Himalayan sea salt to season.
-Drain lentils and mix with greens, veggies and garlic. Add more herbs and salt as necessary to taste.
-Serve over steamed sprouted brown rice.
-Garnish with Red Star Nutritional Yeast, and liquid aminos (soy or coconut) and/or dulse granules.

 2.  Portabella Lettuce Cups

 -Cut portabella mushrooms into small pieces (2 large mushrooms will be good for about 4 lettuce cups). Sautee. Set aside.
-Sautee veggies (white onions, bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, etc.). Set aside.
-Sautee garlic. Set aside.
-Add mushrooms, garlic, and veggies together. Season with Himalayan sea salt, oregano and thyme (or any other herbs- sage would be good, but not for nursing mamas).
-Cut iceberg lettuce in half. Remove “cups.” You may need to use two “cups” for one serving, depending on how strong the lettuce is.
-Add steamed sprouted brown rice in cups.
-Top with veggie and mushroom mixture.
-Garnish with shredded carrots and/or bean sprouts, Red Star Nutritional Yeast, and liquid aminos (coconut or soy).

3.  Taco Salad

 -Stir fry white or red onions, bell peppers (all colors). Set aside.
-Set aside cooked refried pinto beans or black beans.
-Chop iceberg lettuce into small pieces. Put in large serving bowls/plates.
-Top the lettuce first with the hot beans, then the hot peppers and onions.
-Add chopped tomatoes on top. Add a side of guacamole (or freshly cut avocado) and salsa (mango salsa is really good) on the plate. If you want to add vegan cheese shreds, those are good, too. But great without. :)smile
-Serve with organic blue corn chips.
(You can omit the salad part, and make tacos with these ingredients- use any kind of tortilla you like)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Depression, Stress and Anxiety are the Problem - Now It’s Time to talk about the Solution


Depression, Stress and Anxiety are the Problem  - Now  It’s Time to talk about the Solution

This year, mind wellbeing has received a lot of press; the government has realised that there is ‘No Health without Mental Health,’ and have been promoting this new approach (although the details behind how this will be done is yet to be determined); the Mental Health debate earlier on this year in the United Kingdom was prevalent in the media, as were the Channel 4 Goes Mad series.

These have all gone towards raising awareness of mind illness that some people have to live with on a day-to-day basis.  There is, however, little in the media on how people can cope with what they are unfortunately going through,  or more importantly how they can recover. And yes, it is possible to recover, however much in the depths of darkness someone has been.

Sadly, sometimes people are so bad and perhaps even no longer wanting to live, or not being able to do the things that many of us take for granted.  Long before people get to this place, or during their recovery journey to ‘living life’ as opposed to ‘just existing,’ there are many things we can do safely, responsibly, and easily to support our mind wellbeing.

Here is a selection of approaches that have been proven to work:

1. Nutrition

Have you ever drank a cup of coffee or a caffeine laden energy drink as a pick-me-up?  If so, this demonstrates that what we put into our bodies effects how we feel. Temporarily and superficially, coffee and energy drinks stop us from feeling tired.

The effect of some food and drinks on us may not be so apparent, but instead more subtle and gradual.  For example, high quantities of additives and preservatives or nutrient deficiencies have been proven to have an adverse affect on our wellbeing.

However, we can change this around. We can eat food and drink drinks that nurture us from the inside out. Certain foods increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals. These foods include brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, avocados, green leafy vegetables, lentils, nuts (especially almonds and peanuts), seeds, watermelon, dark chocolate, green tea, fermented foods, omega 3-rich foods, and bananas.  Eating these foods will also help us to sleep more soundly.

Sometimes if we feel down we might resort to comfort foods. Short-term we think they work. Longer-term they don’t. Reduce or eliminate highly processed foods and drinks, which reduce the production of the feel-good chemicals and adversely affect our sleep.

On occasions we may need supplements on a short-term basis if we are particularly deficient in a food type. Speak with your nutritionist or a qualified food practitioner if you suspect this to be the case.

2. Physical Exercise

Exercise is known to increase our minds’ happy chemicals. It doesn’t have to be about going to the gym numerous times a week. In fact, a 20 minute walk every day, or as often as possible, is all that’s required. If you can’t get out of the house, step up and down on the bottom step of the stairs at home for five minutes. This is also good for the cardio system.

There is a side effect to this – you may lose unwanted pounds.

3. Our Beliefs

“What the thinker thinks, the prover proves”  Robert Anton Wilson

A belief is something that we have said, or someone one else has said to us, with such force or with such frequency, that we believe it to be true. However, on closer inspection beliefs are just opinions dressed up as facts.

How often have you said to yourself, “I can’t do that,” or that “Things are going to work out badly as they have done so in the past?”

These are beliefs and they can be changed. One way of doing this is through affirmations. Instead say to yourself, often “I can do this,” and “Things are working out well now” Repeat these, and you will notice that your actions relating to the belief also change, making this new belief your new reality. Give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose.

Which beliefs do you currently hold that are preventing you from reaching your true potential? If you think that you can’t change a belief,  that is a belief in itself.

4. Changing how we feel

Have you ever felt emotions such as helplessness or hopelessness, anger, despair, disappointment, hatred, guilt, worry, enthusiasm, joy, or gratitude? Many of us will, at sometime, in our lives felt at least some of these.

Whilst some of them, like joy, we want to keep, there are some emotions such as worry that could drag us down, if we let them.

There are strategies for overcoming these emotions. One quick and easy approach for helping us to overcome worry for example, and there are many more, is to write down everything we were worried about. This offloading onto paper has a real therapeutic effect, and can often lead to solving  problems that we had. This is especially useful if people suffer with insomnia due to constant array of thoughts spinning around in their mind. ‘Park’ any problems on paper before going to bed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

There are many more approaches to mind wellbeing in Moving on Up! Secrets to an Upbeat Life by Nita Saini, foreword by the International self-help guru Barefoot Doctor. Moving on Up! has been  nominated for Best Wellbeing Book of the Year, with numerous five star reviews, from readers, GP’s, Anxiety UK, largest MIND wellbeing organisation in the UK, celebrities and therapists.  Visit www.movingonupthebook.com for more information, where you will also find a FREE 18 minute download to assist you with your mind wellbeing and also to help you unwind the mind and relax your body.

Nita didn’t want to live at many points in her life, lacked  confidence, was stressed, had feelings of anger, guilt, hatred towards herself and others, worried constantly, suffered with insomnia, was overweight, plus much more. If it wasn’t for her children, she would have not carried on living. She was on a high dose of prescribed medication for many years and so wanted to be the best role model that she could be for her children. And for this reason she strove to recover. After many years of trying different strategies, that didn’t work, she was at the end of her tether. Until she was fortunate  enough to meet solution focussed counsellors and attended self-development courses. Within five months of using the strategies contained in Moving on Up! and with the full knowledge and support of her GP, she was off the anti-depressants – for good. Nita learnt that a combination of different approaches was the long term solution to recovery. On recovering it became Nita’s dream and passion to write a book to empower others through their journey to recovery. Moving on Up! was borne.  She knew that with the right help people do recover.

Moving on Up! had to be concise, pocket-sized, easy to read  and above all effective in supporting others through their recovery. Nita says “ when I was poorly, I so desperately wanted to get better and searched in vain for a book to help me. The books had too many pages, the font was too small, and they went into great detail about why I was feeling so bad. I didn’t want to know why I felt so bad, I wanted to know how I could be happier. The words were far too complicated and my brain couldn’t handle information delivered in such a complex manner.   On top of that the books were written by professors or therapists who didn’t really understand what I was going through as they themselves had not experienced it. I needed a book that was simple, concise, straight  forward and that worked. It became my passion to write a book with these criteria!”

Moving on Up! is for anyone who is unhappy, lonely, sad, disappointed, stressed, overwhelmed, worried, has feelings of anger, guilt, is, depressed, anxious, low self-esteem and confidence, knows they can be happier but doesn’t know, or simply struggling with the pace and pressures of modern life. Available from Amazon for $6.39, in the Green Tidings' Store, and www.movingonupthebook.com for £5.99.

“I can-not recommend this book highly enough. I was lucky enough to find this beautifully written  book when I really needed inspiring. Thank you to the author, you have truly touched my life!” Lynn Kane

To vote for Moving on Up! Secrets to an Upbeat and Happy Life for the Best Wellbeing book for the Year please go to http://www.movingonupthebook.com/#/awards/4568470516

©Nita Saini


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Comparative Look at Carnivores, Omnivores, Herbivores, and Humans

A chart looking at the differences and similarities between carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and vegetarians.