Showing posts from March, 2011

Vegan Protein Powders: The Hows and Whys

I've been meaning to post about protein powders for months now, but never found the opportunity to do so. Conveniently, a recent post over on Kristen's blog has provided me with the perfect opportunity to give that topic a go.

I have to start this post with two disclaimers:
1) I know that I have probably mentioned that protein has become a little overrated in our culture today, and I still stand by that statement. I probably only get about 10% of my daily calorie intake from protein and that seems to be suiting me just fine (even daily recommendations made by the UN and such usually place the minimum at about 5%). Our society thinks we need way more protein than we do, and I think that's allowed our economies to fuel the meat and dairy industries beyond comprehension. Industrial agriculture aside, to me, the thing that people don't see when it comes to eating "high protein" meals is that those generally boost your unhealthy fat intake as much as anything else.

Pre-pregnant? It's Never too Early to Start Being Healthy

It's a statement you hear a lot from women: "Now that I am/trying to get pregnant, what kind of vitamins should I take for the baby to be healthy? What about folic acid?" As you know, I'm not currently in the baby market, but I still think it's important for women to know that health is not something that should come at the same time as the stork. Many neural tube defects are said to occur even before most women know they are pregnant. Being optimally healthy and getting all your vitamins and nutrients, whether for yourself, your potential future little you or both, is something that should be maintained over a lifetime.
I've always had the highest respect for Kristen Suzanne and her hubby, who preemptively took a whole year before even trying to conceive, to get in the best shape and make 100% sure they were getting all the vitamins and minerals they needed to produce the healthiest child they could. Yes, they'd been healthy even before that, but when th…

Raw vs. Cooked: Eat Both, and Have Some Fries with That

My recent post about cauliflowerand an article I just read in VegNewson the "raw vs. cooked" debate reminded me of a recipe I've been meaning to share with you all. I'm constantly in pursuit of understanding the raw vs. cooked thing, but for a while now I've realized that sometimes you have to take a step back and just eat what makes you feel good. (So in the end, I'm almost exclusively raw anyway, but that might not float your boat as much as mine.)

While I wrote about the gointrogens in cauliflower and how they may affect your thyroid function, the VegNews article said eating raw cauliflower actually conserves its folate and potassium that would otherwise get denatured if cooked. Same thing goes for pumpkins/squash/tubers: some say you can't eat them raw because they're very starchy, indigestible, and may even have small levels of toxicity in their raw state.Otherssay people have been happily eating raw pumpkins for decades, and in this specific case…

Stretching 101 (routine included)

I've mentioned this a few times in a variety of different ways, but I have often gotten comments and questions about flexibility. The secret? Stretch. No really. Stretch. After every work out. It's super simple, it only takes about 5-10 minutes and you can do it wherever and whenever you want. At the gym? Sure! Watching TV? Of course (more on that later)! To me, stretching is one of the three legs of the perfect fitness stool (the other two being cardio and strength training). Stretching is great thing to do, especially after exercise, but it's definitely under-appreciated. (If you're interested, that is a picture of me on an OmGym last year... They're awesome, though it depresses me to see how tanned I am when I don't undergo a Canadian winter.) Here are only some of the things stretching and flexibility achieve: relaxes your muscles after your body has undergone a lot of stress and impact (under a lot of stress and trauma, your muscles shorten, which will pull…

Rice Amazingness and Apple Sauce Comfort

With half a head of cauliflower left, I wanted to give raw cauliflower another chance. Luckily, I chanced upon the Pure2Raw twins' Raw Rice and knew I had to give that a try. Of course, it being me, I had to tweak the recipe and came up with something fabulous. Though you can't see the layers at all, I made three tiers. The bottom and middle layer were seperated by a really simple guacamole, and the middle and top layer by caramalized red onions. I topped it all off with raisin, sundried tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds. Amazing! Like the kind of amazing that you could eat every day and be eternally satisfied.
I'm keeping my own version a secret right now, so instead, I'll share my favourite apple sauce recipe with you. I've pretty much been eating this apple sauce every day for the past few weeks now, and I'm still in love with it. There's something about apple sauce, and especially the apple-cinnamon combination, that feels like someone just wrapped you up in a…

Cauliflower and Raw Mushroom Gravy

So, one of the things I've always questioned is my relationship with cauliflower. I love it raw, especially when I make my raw couscous or simply eating it with a nice dip, but I often get a pretty funny digestive reaction to it. The way I feel after eating raw cauliflower made me wonder whether eating it raw was optimal or not. Most of the things I've heard about raw cauliflower are obviously various praises about it. Raw cauliflower has lots of cancer-fighting agents, and has vitamins and minerals to boot!
However, also floating around has been talk about the sulfur compounds found in raw cauliflower, though they're not bad for you (it's actually quite good for your skin), it kind of does give cauliflower that tasteless but gassy taste (and often reaction) for some. More importantly though, I learned that cauliflower (and other veggies in the brassica family as well as soy) contains goitrogens, a naturally-occurring substance that may interfere with proper thyroid fu…

Why I Run, a Playlist & My 2012 Race Goal Revealed!

Ah running, an addiction to some, a chore to others...
I love looking at other people's playlists to get some inspiration, so I thought I'd start off by posting the one I used for today's run. Granted, I like to listen to really cheesy and/or misogynistic songs when I run, but it's generally whatever has a good beat and can keep me pumped. I've learned to stop being embarrassed by the girly pop songs I listen to when I run. A song's rhythm really gets to me a lot, so I make sure they inspire me in some way before they make it to my play list. I busted out 4.7 miles at a 8:30 pace, which might not be that impressive for some, but given that I've just gotten back into the whole running thing over the past few weeks, I was quite pleased. This is what kept me going:
1. Hold it against me ~ Britney Spears 2. Firework ~ Katy Perry 3. Spotlight ~ Selena Gomez 4. Tonight (I'm F**in' You) ~ Enrique Iglesias (feat. Ludacris) 5. I Gotta Feeling ~ Black Eyed Peas 6. H…

Why I won't be celebrating St. Patrick's Day

I'm going to go out on a limb here and talk about something completely unrelated to my usual food/fitness talk, because I think it's worth sharing. [Edit: I have to add the note that all I'm trying to do here is to shed light on some blind spots on a history that few people who celebrate Saint Patrick's Day even know about. I think it's important to understand part of the origins of a day your choosing to celebrate]:

The pub crawls, the shamrock stickers, the green food dyed Baileys shots, the "Kiss me I'm Irish" t-shirts... If you lived any part of your teen/adult years anywhere in North America, Ireland, or the British Isles, I can assume that you've all taken part in the St. Patrick's Day celebration madness at one time or another.
However, when I first got to learn about the other side of the Saint Patrick's Day story, I haven't actively sought to take part in the partying anymore. Why? Didn't St. Patrick's Day just "dr…

Planning Workout Recovery: Protein Packed Overnight Oats

Over the years, I've learned lots about how both to fuel and recover from a good workout. From my post-workout rest and nutrition tips, to some recovery smoothie ideas, to the much perfected rebound ball recipe I wrote back in the early days, this household has workout recovery in the bag.
Obviously, the two most important things to do after a workout are rest and proper nutrition. Though we don't do it often, I find that early morning workouts require a different kind of muscle rebuilding strategy, especially if your planning a serious weights workout. While I don't usually do this and stick with morning cardio, Andrew is a big fan. Having said that, neither of us recommend you do weights on an empty stomach. Eat anything before you hit the gym, whether it's a couple of dates, a banana, or anything to get your blood sugars running.

For after? I've expanded the infamous vegan overnight oat recipe to post-weights workout perfection. Why oats over the usual fruit-prote…

Celebrating Mardi Gras in the Gluten-Free & Raw

Oh, the life of a PhD student... I was super excited to post about our Mardi Gras and some initial thoughts about Ash Wednesday and Lent last night, but readings, presentations, and papers caught up with me and left a big pile at my door that I was busy picking up until this morning. Anyhoo, Mardi Gras has always played a big role in my life, you know, to stuff my face with crepes and go all out before the season of Lent.
In the spirit of the "stuff your face" aspect of Mardi Gras, Andrew shared with me that the only thing his family ever did for Shrove Tuesday was eat pancakes. I'd never heard of that, but since I knew that one of two things I would be giving up for Lent was grains, I was game for respecting his culinary heritage. Having just looked Shrove Tuesday up on the Universal Life Source called Wikipedia, I have learned that: Shrove Tuesday is what English-speaking countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines, call Mardi Gras.Wh…