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5 Ways to Get Soy-Free Protein on a Plant Based Diet

One of the most common questions posed when people are making the transition from a meat-diet to a fully plant based diet is “Where am I going to get my protein”? One of the easiest and most commonly known meat substitutes is tofu and other soy based consumables. But, with more and more soy allergies cropping up, and the increased risk of disease from the consumption of too many processed soy products,  it’s important to know what other plant based foods can provide your body with the protein that it needs.

Quinoa

Quiona is what we call a “complete protein”, in that provides all of the essential amino acids in a proper balance for the human body. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.  It is a starchy protein that is full of iron, magnesium, and fiber. It’s starchy consistency lends itself to being not only a great substitute for rice, but also a wonderful substitute in baked goods as well.

Chia

Chia seeds have some extraordinary properties. In addition to having a whopping 4 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons of seeds, they are very high in soluble fiber.  This means that when they soaked in water, the seeds turn into a gel substance. This gel substance is great to use a natural thickener, an egg substitute in baking, or pudding-like dessert when mixed into almond or soy milk.

Nuts

This is obviously a very broad category, but that’s because most nuts are very high in protein.  Some sources say that almonds and pistachios are the most beneficial, seeing as they have the highest amount of protein compared to saturated fat.  On average, a quarter cup of nuts can contain between 7-9 grams of protein. Nuts in general are extraordinarily versatile, and can be added to almost any meal with little to no preparation.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat, a relative of rhubarb, is most often ingested in the form of soba noodles. But the seeds can also be ground and turned into flour, and the kernels can be cooked to create an oatmeal-like breakfast food. Buckwheat is another source of complete protein, and 1 cup of cooked buckwheat produces a serving of 6 grams of protein.

Beans

Again, this is another broad category, because beans as an institution are a fantastic source of protein. Beans are a starchy protein that are also a great source of carbs and fiber, and provide a similar protein content to most meats: they average 15 grams of protein per cup of cooked beans.  For that reason beans are usually the immediate answer to a new-plant based dieter’s protein needs.

Sources: 1 2 3

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Eat More Sustainably (Part 1)

Food production as it currently stands is incredible detrimental to the health of the environment. Unsustainable food has been contributed to large scale erosion of topsoil, air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and the undermining of genetic diversity. There are a few things that you can do to make a positive impact on the environment without forcing you to completely change the way you live and eat.

Buy and Eat Organic Foods

It’s true that organic foods are always significantly more expensive, but if it is within your budget, you should try to buy organically. Organic food allows you to avoid directly funding a system that actively pollutes the environment. Production of organic food must follow certain standards to create and maintain a balanced eco system. Organic vegetation does not contain any man-made pesticides, antibiotics, or fertilizers. Organic meats come from animals that are not fed any growth hormones and are not fed anything that contains less that 95% organic ingredients.

Eat Sustainable Seafood

The unfortunate reality is that seafood is often caught through highly unsustainable means. Many times, the fishing process destroys the ocean habitats (most often by damaging the sea floor.) The most common problem is overfishing, where fishermen catch populations of sea animals more quickly than they have time to reproduce. Try to find supermarkets or grocery stores in your area that sell sustainable seafood.

Try to Cook More From Scratch & Don’t Waste Food

One great rule of thumb is to try to use as much of the food you have in your home as you can before you go out and buy more groceries. Another great solution is to try to make the foods that you usually buy in packages. The internet is full of easy DIY recipes for foods like peanut butter, nutella, jelly, and a whole host of other items.

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Live A More Sustainable Everyday Life: A Few Simple Ways to Make an Impact

We hear about sustainability in almost every facet of our lives these days. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase sustainability, and cities all over the world are being pitted against each other to determine which ones are the most sustainable. In a society where consumption has been the longtime front-runner in the determination of one’s social standing, sustainability has become a necessity in trying to preserve our planet. It may seem like a daunting, even impossible task, but there are simple things that can be incorporated into our lives that contribute to an overall more sustainable life.

Live A More Sustainable Everyday Life: A Few Simple Ways to Make an ImpactImage courtesy of Getty Images

Shop Less. Begin to unlearn the conditioning that has taught you to purchase so much “stuff”. Instead of buying items that you don’t really have a use for, and will be ultimately be obsolete sooner rather than later, save your money for experiences. Remember the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Image courtesy of Getty ImagesRemove Plastic from Your Life. Most plastics are not biodegradable, so they are essentially going to be here forever. Billions of pounds of plastic are currently in the ocean, and they’re killing marine life and destroying ocean eco systems every day. You can immediately start reducing  your plastic use by bringing reusable bags when you go shopping, switch to reusable water bottles (preferably glass or metal), and ditching the unnecessary plastic when buying vegetables and meats (you’ll be rinsing them anyway).

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Image courtesy of Getty ImagesImage courtesy of Getty ImagesDrive Less. This is not a viable step for everyone (depending on your location or place of residence). But, if it is available, opt for the use of public transportation or a carpooling set-up. If you want to take it a little further, and improve your health in the process, start walking or biking instead of driving. If driving a car really is your only means of transportation, be sure to keep your car tuned up; a properly maintained car uses less fuel.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Image courtesy of Getty ImagesEat Less (Red) Meat. Our society’s meat production process is one of the most destructive industries we have created. The production of meat requires huge amounts of water, creates pollution, and contributes to carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions. Opt for locally grown fruits and vegetables to provide most of your caloric intake, and you will be simultaneously saving the earth.

Click here to see more steps that can lead towards a more sustainable life.

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Eat More Sustainably (Part 2)

As I mentioned in part one of this list t it’s really important for the health of our planet for people to become more aware of the effects of their eating habits. Eating sustainably doesn’t have to be a complete upheaval of your lifestyle. Below, are a few more tips to eating more sustainably.

Grow Fruits, Vegetables, & Herbs

This is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that your food is organic; you have full control over the way that your food is grown. Many people overlook this option because they don’t have access to a garden or a backyard. But, a windowsill is more than enough space for a small herb garden. Every little bit of home gardening helps There are plenty of resources to help you grow food from your apartment.

Stop Buying Bottled Water & Start Drinking Tap

Water bottle production is incredibly bad for the environment. Water bottle production is linked to the consumption over 1.5 million barrels a year. The transportation of that water is linked to four thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Tap water in America is run through several filtration processes, but if you want to take extra precautions, you can always purchase a filter for your tap.

Start Composting

Most people are under the assumption that food breaks down in landfills; that is not the case. Landfills are designed to keep trash dry and away from the air, so even biodegradable items stay intact. You can do you part by saving your food scraps and starting a compost system at home.  It may seem unappealing, but there are many options that will make your compost experience smell and stress free.

Reduce and Reuse Packaging

Start buying your food in bulk instead of smaller, more frequently purchases packages. If you do need to buy smaller items, try to find groceries with recyclable packing (reusable containers or bags). Bonus: Buying in bulk is also a fantastic way to save money.

To learn more about Vladislav Davidzon, check out his website:

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FREE Public Seminar about Plant Nutrition , Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting Powder

FREE Public Seminar about Plant Nutrition , Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting PowderCollector’s Connection

Quezon Memorial Circle , Quezon City-Philippines

Quezon Memorial Circle , Quezon City-PhilippinesPhilippine Horticultural Society Inc. ( Education Committee ) in cooperation with The Philippine Orchid Conservation and Preservation Volunteers and Quezon Memorial Circle .

Because of multiple requests, the course will be presented again middle of February 2015.  Orchidology 1 will be the prerequisite of the laboratory training course: Aseptic Cultures of Orchid to be held on May 2015. This is part of the PHSI’s mission of spreading the science of Horticulture to upgrade the level of the Horticultural Industries in the Philippines.

For the month of August, the lectures will be on Basic Plant Nutrition, Fertilizer Compounding and Rooting Powder Compounding Demonstration and Workshop. The certificate course is intended for commercial nursery operators, academicians, hobbyists and students of Agriculture.  For attendees of Fertilizer Compounding, please bring calculators. Nutrient computations will be part of the exercise. This is one of the public services of…

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Transition to a Plant Based Diet the Right Way

Once you’ve made the decision to shift to a plant based diet (congratulations!), don’t let the pressure of that decision feel like a weight on your psyche. Everyone makes the shift at their own pace, and the speed at which you switch over does not matter as much as you think it does. If you are like most people, you’re not going to go from eating steak one day to only greens the next. The following are some tips to making a gradual shift; you don’t have to quit meat cold-turkey (pun intended).

Slowly Cutting Out Meat:

  • Start with meals you love – The easiest way to make the transition will be to find the foods that you love, and adapt them into meat-free versions. If you have hankerings for pastas, opt for meat-free sauces instead of the sausage and chicken heavy toppings. Chinese takeout can still be delicious with all veggies instead of beef and pork.
  • Introduce Meat Substitutes – Along those same lines, you can start to bring meat substitutes to the table. (They’re out there and they are delicious!) If you want to have a burger, substitute portabella mushroom caps for meat patties. If you’re a consistency-eater and textures are important to you, invest in texturized vegetable protein for the feeling of meat. Soy substitutes (aka tofu) also come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, so getting rid of meat won’t be too difficult.

Then, Say Goodbye To Dairy

  • Milk & Eggs – Straying away from animal milk is not incredibly hard. Soy and almond milk taste slightly different than the standard cow milk, but the adjustment period shouldn’t be that long. Silken tofu is a great substitute for breakfast-style eggs (use turmeric for that familiar yellow color!). If your baking recipe calls for eggs, chia or flax seeds are an excellent alternative.
  • Everyone misses cheese – Time and time again, people switching to a plant based diet say eliminating cheese is hands down the most difficult part of the transition. Cheese alternatives are getting better, but it’s probably easier to think about the deliciousness that you can eat instead of the cheese flavors that you’re giving up.

Get Adventurous:

  • Many other cultures have cuisines that are almost solely plant based. Go find them and get inspired! Many regions of India are vegetarian, and there are a plethora of veggie curries and dishes that you can incorporate into your repertoire. Moroccan style whole couscous and South American quinoa are also great a grains to be aware of in your new plant-centric life.

Most importantly, have a fantastic time with your diet transition! You’re making a great change for your body, and you’ll start feeling a noticeable difference in your body within a few weeks. Happy eating!

For more information on switching to a plant based diet, refer to these two sources: one & two

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Kale Pesto

Kale Pestothesweetvegetarian

I realize I have posted quite a few recipes in my short time blogging featuring kale. I didn’t realize I love it so much, but I guess its so versatile that this veggie is like a gift that just keeps on giving!

A few nights ago t I wanted to make a pasta but do something fun with it so I decided to make kale pesto for the sauce. It came out so delicious! Instead of pine nuts I used cashews which totally worked well to make the sauce creamy, and the addition of lemon really adds a nice summery flavor. This is super quick to whip up and I bet it would be great to store. Next time I might make more so I can do that.

We paired our pesto with penne and added some slightly cooked grape tomatoes and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top. This is on…

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