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VEGETARIAN // VEGAN

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2014 at 4:48pm
The Vegan Food Pyramid

Although there's no uniform vegan food pyramid, it's very simple to convert the USDA food pyramid into a structure that works for vegans.

If you replace the meats section with beans and legumes and replace the dairy section with fortified dairy substitutes, you come out with a perfect vegan food guide pyramid.

Don't worry- you don't have to count every single thing you eat every single day to ensure you're getting enough of each category. If you eat a well balanced, healthy vegan diet full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, you will definitely get plenty of the vitamins and minerals you need.

For decades, the USDA has been promoting some version of the food guide pyramid, and have often faced criticism about where they get their nutritional information. Children are provided with food guides at school and their parents are reminded of them at the pediatrician's office, so it's critical that the information is true and unbiased, but that hasn't always been the case.

In 2011, the USDA abandoned the food pyramid for a less confusing USDA food plate guide. I like the concept of this food plate much better, and it reminds me of the vegan food plate I created years ago as a guide for how to create well-balanced vegan meals. However, of course I still disagree with them showing a glass of milk as a necessary component of a healthy meal.

Breaking Down the Vegan Food Pyramid

The basis for a nutritious vegan diet is whole grains.

Throw out those ideas about carbs being the devil!!   It's just not true. We need complex carbohydrates for energy, and we need good solid whole grains in our diets.

We enjoy oats in the morning, whole wheat bread, sprouted grain bread with all kinds of grains, quinoa, millet, bulgur, barley, and fresh popped corn. That satisfies the grain section of the vegan food pyramid.

Above that on the food pyramid, you want to make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The more variety, the better. Check out this list of fruits and vegetables and try to eat at least one fruit/vegetable from every color of the rainbow every day.

R apples, beets-- I LOVE beets, strawberries
O oranges, yams, pumpkins, carrots, papaya, cantaloupe
Y bananas, butternut squash, mango
G green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus (the easiest color to eat)
B grapes, blue potatoes, blueberries
I purple carrots or potatoes, grapes, raspberries
V plums, blackberries


There are some great grocery stores out there that will carry all of these all the time, and others that do in season. You could also consider joining a CSA to get local, seasonal fruits and vegetables weekly.


Next we move to the next level--legumes.

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart... And for your entire body. Eat lots of them, and again, try as much variety as you can. In my household, we love lentils, cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and split peas, and use them all the time.




Fortified dairy substitutes

I grew up in a household where milk was an absolute necessity and my mom would rush to the store if we were out. I drank glasses and glasses of milk a day.

I tell you this because I want you to know that I am fully aware of what milk tastes like and yet, I love milk substitutes like almond milk, soymilk, rice milk, hemp milk, and even hazelnut milk. You can use milk substitutes in the exact same place you used cow's milk; they're great in cereals, coffee, baking recipes, and as added ingredients in other vegan recipes. You will want to eat 2-4 servings of them to satisfy the vegan food pyramid's suggestions.

If you're trying nondairy milk for the first time, you have to keep in mind that it is not milk, and it's not meant to be. It's not bright white like cow's milk. That may seem trivial, but it can throw you off to see a slightly brown product be called milk, and that can make you think you don't like the taste.

The taste will be different, but if you think of it as an entirely different product than cow's milk, you will accept that difference much quicker, and then before long, you won't think the smell/taste of "regular" cow's milk tastes normal anymore.



At the top of the vegan food pyramid are the oils and added fats

I cook with olive oil and coconut oil. I am half Italian and I can cook anything with some garlic and olive oil, but I've also learned that coconut oil can be cooked at higher temperatures than olive oil without breaking down the beneficial ingredients. It has a very mild coconut flavor that can usually be masked with other flavors if you don't love coconut.

If you're trying to lose weight, you could consider some fatty fruits and vegetables to be part of this category. For example, avocadoes and olives have more fat than other produce, and while it's "good fat," it can be helpful to cut back on them while you're actively losing weight.

You could also consider nuts and seeds to be part of the top portion of the vegan food pyramid. There are numerous health benefits of nuts and seeds, but it's still good to eat them in moderation.
About 1/4 cup of nuts once a day will give you amazing energy and stamina.




Turning the Vegan Food Pyramid into Meals

If you stick to whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds, and add in pre-packaged processed foods only very occasionally, you are going to be following the vegan food pyramid without even trying.

Even if you're exhausted by the time you get home from work, you can whip up a 10-15 minute meal that satisfies all the requirements of thevegan food pyramid. What I do on the nights I can't think is this:
•Boil my favorite whole grain (quinoa, barley, brown rice, amaranth)
•Open a can of beans (or take frozen ones from the freezer) and put them in a saucepot with a chopped onion
•Chop up dark leafy greens (kale, chard, bok choy, spinach, beet greens)
•Sautee garlic in olive oil and toss in the greens, cooking for just a few minutes, until softened.
•Dish up the plate so half the plate is vegetables, a quarter is whole grain, and a quarter is beans
•Cover with my favorite sauce, or just some liquid Amino's and nutritional yeast
•For dessert, slice up fruits and squeeze lemon over the top (apples, pineapple, oranges, pears, bananas, etc) or cover it with a quick cashew cream sauce
•...and I'm eating 10 minutes later and satisfying the vegan food pyramid!

Eventually, when you have a great idea for what is on the vegan food pyramid, you don't have to look at it often because you already know what you need to eat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2014 at 5:13pm
MARILU HENNER'S FOOD COMBINATION CHART

STARCHES

potatoes - carrots
parsnips - corn - winter squash
grains
(barley, buckwheat,
dried corn, oats,
rice, wheat, rye)
pasta
bread
brown rice
wild rice


LEGUMES   (may be combined with grains, pasta, bread to make
complete protein)

beans - peas
tofu - peanuts

PROTEINS poultry - fish meats* - cheese - milk - yogurt
& other dairy products* eggs - nuts** - seeds
* I do not recommend dairy or meat. However, I've included these for clarity.

** Nuts are part protein, part fat & may be eaten as both.   When
eaten as a snack, always combine with an acid fruit.


VEGETABLES

cabbage - kale
lettuce - celery
sprouts - artichokes
mushrooms - string beans
green peas - green beans
red, yellow, & green peppers
cucumber - cauliflower
broccoli - spinach
tomatoes


OIL & FATS*

butter - margarine
all oils (including olive,
vegetable, safflower)
avacados
olives - coconuts

* Oils and fats combine with all foods, but should be used sparingly because they slow the digestive
process.


SWEET FRUITS

bananas - plantains
dates - persimmons
figs - prunes
raisins - dried fruits
DO NOT COMBINE WITH OTHER FOODS


ACID FRUITS

grapefruits
oranges - lemons
limes - kiwis
strawberries
cranberries
pineapple

SUB-ACID FRUITS

apples - apricots
blackberries - plums
peaches - cherries
pears - raspberries
mangos - nectarines
grapes - papayas


MELONS
cantaloupe - honeydew
watermelon - casaba
christmas - crenshaw


WHAT IS FOOD COMBINING?

When I was in high school, the only science class I ever liked was chemistry. I love putting different things in a test tube and watching
them change.   Understanding FOOD COMBINING is a lot like chemistry class. Think of your stomach as a beaker. When you put starches
like bread, rice, potatoes or corn into the beaker it requires an alkalinhe base in order to digest it.   It you put in proteins like fish, chicken, eggs, or nuts, it requires an acid base in order to digest. If you know anything about chemistry, you know what happens when you mix an acid with an alkaline — they NEUTRALIZE each other. When you eat foods that are starchy with foods that are protein, they don’t digest.
Instead, they rot and ferment. It is this spoiled, undigested food that is then passed on to your intestine. A lifetime of this eventually leads
to health problems and digestive distress.

FOOD COMBINING, first discovered by a medical doctor in the early 1890s, explains how to eat foods that don’t FIGHT each other for
digestion. By following this simple chart and the written guidelines, along with my tips, you will learn which foods can be combined for the
most efficient, healthy digestion.


THE BASIC RULES OF FOOD COMBINING

Do NOT eat proteins and starches together. Your body requires an acid base to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest      starches.

Proteins and starches combine well with green, leafy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables, but they do not combine well with each other.

Do NOT mix fruit with proteins, starches or any kind of vegetable. Fruits digest so quickly that by the time they reach your stomach they are already partially digested. If they are combined with other foods, they will rot and ferment.

Always eat fruit by themselves.

Melons digest faster than any other food. Therefore, you should NEVER eat melons with any other food, including other fruits. Always eat melons on their own.
     
Do NOT mix acid and/or sub-acid fruits with sweet fruits at the same meal.
Acid fruits, such as grapefruits, pineapple and strawberries can be mixed with sub-acid fruits such as apples, grapes and peaches, but neither of these categories can be mixed with sweet fruits such as bananas, dates or raisins.

Eat only four to six different vegetables or fruits at one meal.

Fats and oils combine with everything (except fruits) but should be used in limited amounts because they won’t inhibit digestion, but they will slow it down.

Wait the following lengths of time between meals that don’t combine:
2 hours after eating fruit
3 hours after eating starches
4 hours after eating proteins

MARILU’S PERSONAL FOOD COMBINING TIPS
I’ve been FOOD COMBINING for years and along the way I’ve discovered some tips that you definitely won’t find in any of the conventional food combining books, but seem to work very well for me. Try them and see if they work for you.
I divide my day into three food combining segments:
I eat a fruit morning, a protein lunch and a starch dinner.
This gives me my cleansing fruit meal first thing in the morning, my energy-packed protein lunch in the middle of the day and the slow steady release of energy from complex carbohydrates at night.
This isn’t always possible and it’s not a big deal if your schedule makes it necessary to eat a carbo lunch and protein dinner or carbo breakfast or protein breakfast, etc.
Many days I eat my protein lunch in the form of a starch-legume meal which makes a complete protein.
If you experience a 4 o’clock energy slump, save some of your lunch protein or your lunch carbohydrate to recharge your batteries.
           
If you miscombine by eating starches with protein, eat some legumes with the starch and the starch will become a complete protein. For example, if you eat chicken with rice, be sure to have some beans to make the rice a complete protein.
If beans aren’t available, grab a handful of peanuts and eat them after the meal.
I choose not to eat dairy products, but I do eat foods high in calcium so that I get a sufficient amount of it in my diet.   Among my favorites are broccoli, salmon, green leafy vegetables, figs, oats, sesame seeds, tofu and black strap molasses.

I recommend limiting foods from nightshade plants (eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, etc,). However, if I do eat fish at night, I find I digest this protein meal more quickly if I eat a fresh tomato with the fish.
If you have arthritis, I strongly recommend you never eat nightshade plants.
          
Never eat nuts without having some acid fruit with them. This is one of the exceptions that prove the rule. Nuts are fattening, I know, but sometimes I can’t resist, so I always make sure I have a glass of orange juice or some other acids when I indulge.

If you do eat dairy, combine it with and acid fruit, especially pineapple which contains bromelain, and enzyme that helps the stomach digest dairy.
     
People always ask me if it’s possible to have an occasional drink and still food combine, and I tell them when drinking alcohol, follow these rules:
           
• Drink two glasses of water for every one ounce of liquor, four ounces of wine or eight ounces of beer.
           
• Drink beer and grain alcohols (vodka, scotch, etc.) when eating carbohydrates.

• Ideally, you should drink wine and champagne only with fruit.
     
Drink spring or bottled water only. It is better not to use ice because extremely cold temperatures are damaging to the sinuses. However, if you must use ice, make sure thatt it is from the same pure water source as your drinking water. Also, avoid sparkling or bubbly water since the carbon dioxide used to charge the water interferes with digestion.
And, last but not least, only drink water 15 minutes before eating or 1 hour after eating and not with meals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 02 2014 at 7:57pm
I had Wine and Pepperoni Pizza over the Holiday

Still have not gotten on the scale since I weighed last. I am just going with the fit of my clothing.   Since they are not snug, I am doing okay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 10 2014 at 8:13pm
I am slowly realizing how it's possible for Vegetarians/Vegans to not be skinny.

I have stopped losing weight because am not keeping an eye on my Fat and Protein intake. Back to the 80/10/10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CammiCutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 26 2014 at 2:18am
I love vegetables and fruits.I'm not a serious vegetarian,I just eat them most of time.Eating them daily really helps to keep slim and it is great for skin.What I suggest is that there's no need to completely get rid of oil and meat.Your body need them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 15 2015 at 5:42pm
I agree CammiCutie   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 6:24pm
Made a huge pot of Hot and Sour Soup today. Used lots of Bamboo Shoots, Shiitake Mushrooms (dried and fresh), Tofu and Soy Skin Bean Sticks. Sambal, and Serrano peppers

Absolutely delicious and super spicy.

I am all ready to start off Lent
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 23 2015 at 2:44pm
Having all veggie Spring Rolls today
It's been a very long time since I've made these.

Also finishing the Raspberry Ketones I purchased months ago and never really used .   Not expecting much, but why waste money already spent
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 28 2015 at 8:09pm
I am such a hopeless dieter

Still avoiding meats, but recently incorporated Eggs back into my diet.

Started Dr Phil's 20/20 Diet a few days ago. So far, so good , will be starting Phase 2 on Tuesday.   



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