By now most of us are aware about the dangers of eating too much sugar. From an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, the list is long and frightening, but can seemingly feel distant at the same time. Interestingly, it is sometimes the vain outcomes that really hammer home a message. Add wrinkles to that list and our ears suddenly perk up. Sugar causes wrinkles too?!
Yes, sugar contributes to wrinkles.
Think sugar is your only concern? Think again! People who eat three slices of white bread a day are 40% more likely to be overweight or obese than others.
A Spanish study found graduates who ate three slices of white bread per day were 40% more likely to be obese or overweight five years later when compared with people who ate it once a week. The study found that total bread consumption was not linked with obesity, but when they looked at people who ate only white bread, it was found that those who ate two or more portions per day, or 60g, were 40% more likely to be overweight or obese five years later compared with those who had one portion or less per week. The research may suggest that people who eat a lot of white bread have unhealthier diets overall.
Lead author Professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez from University of Navarra, said:
"Refined grains such as white bread start to taste sweet in the mouth almost as soon as you eat it, that is the starch being broken down into sugar. It is this feeling that leaves you wanting more. When white bread is a staple food, eating at one or two main meals a day then this is a lot of extra calories on a daily basis. The message is clear, go for whole grains instead of white bread when eating your meals."
Does white bread fill an important role in your daily meal? If so, try a number of these healthy alternatives:
Available in many supermarkets, puffed rice cakes are an excellent alternative to bread, particularly if you enjoy your white bread with peanut butter or jam. Rice cakes are lower calorie and typically gluten-free. Opt for brown rice cakes when available, as they are typically more nutritious than the white kind.
Healthy and high in fiber, corn tortillas are an excellent replacement for your typical protein and veggie type sandwich. Corn tortillas, unlike the wheat kind, are gluten free. Most supermarkets should carry them under popular brands, but you will also likely find them in any South American themed grocery store, or can even easily make your own.
While not gluten free, Ezekiel bread is an excellent alternative to white bread. Ezekiel bread is composed of four types of sprouted whole grains and two types of legumes. Sprouted seed foods contain more nutrients and are easier to digest than unsprouted.
(Source: "Three Slices of White Bread a Day Linked to Obesity" Published on: 30 May 2014 by Rebecca Smith)
There’s no shame in setting a New Year’s resolution – or at least trying to eat healthier after indulging in a few too many holiday cookies (again, no shame!). We may read that New Year’s resolutions are not psychologically, philosophically, psychosomatically, or whatever, the best way to make changes, and failure rate statistics paint a dismal picture. But there’s never a bad time to get healthy, so why not now? Continue reading
It's self-improvement season, but you may find yourself losing motivation. Follow these tips to stay motivated in your diet plan, and achieve your goals.
Set Realistic Expectations
You can pick any diet you like, but if you expect to see any significant results in a day, a week, or even a month you’ll set yourself up for failure. When you start restricting what you eat, it feels like you’ve made major sacrifices and deserve some sort of payoff—or at least an indication—that your hard work will make a difference.
Unfortunately, you won’t get that kind of immediate satisfaction. All diets take commitment and you won’t see results quickly. But if waiting three months or so to see a significant change seems like a lot, think about all the years you’ve spent trying to meet your goals. Consider the diets you’ve tried and the cumulative time they took. You probably spent quite awhile on plans that didn’t work. Sticking with one that you like for a few months likely adds up to a fraction of that “wasted” time.
Pick a Sustainable Program
You can’t approach a diet successfully without knowing how you relate to your food. You need to understand what you like, what you don’t, what you expect to crave, and so on. Your personal needs play an enormous role in the way you’ll react to the healthy changes you want to make, so you have to know yourself well in order to pick a program you can sustain. Bellatti suggests that you ask yourself a few questions to find out what may or may not fit:
“Don't approach this as "choosing a diet", but rather "choosing an eating style." Unlike a diet, an eating style is sustainable, can be done for the rest of the life, and implies more flexibility. Ask yourself: "Can I eat this way the vast majority of the time?". If the answer is "yes," you've made a good choice. If the answer is "no," choose something else. If this way of eating requires you to live beyond your means, rely on ingredients/foods that are not easily accessible, or inconveniences your daily routine, it's unlikely you'll be able to stick with it for long."
Choose a Diet That Creates Good Habits
If you’ve found an “eating style” you think you can sustain, you’ve whittled down your options to the best. Before you choose one, however, you ought to consider a few more things. As Bellatti explains, habits are key:
“The whole purpose of choosing a better eating style is, usually, to improve health, and the best way to do this is with consistent habits. Don't look for a way of eating that is so strict and limited that you can only stay sane if you do it for two weeks every four months; that isn't a recipe for meaningful results.”
Of the habits you create, Bellatti suggests you ought to get used to cooking more:
“Above all, a healthful way of eating is low in processed foods. It should have you in the kitchen preparing food, as opposed to purchasing ready-made meals, pre-made shakes, or processed snack bars. Additionally, if you become dependent on "diet foods", what happens the day they are no longer sold? That said, choose a way of eating that enables you to still have a social life. You should be able to go to most restaurants and order something—even if just an appetizer and a side dish—that meets your needs.”
Don’t Forget to Exercise
You don’t have to spend tons of time exercising, but you can’t ignore physical activity because you’ve chosen a healthier diet. The two go hand-in-hand. You can’t simply work out and live off of donuts. Dr. Stewart agrees:
“Make sure that any weight loss program you consider is partnered with a solid and consistent amount of physical activity. If the program you're considering looks good but doesn't contain any specific exercise information, consult your doctor to design a safe and comprehensive exercise program.”
Just as with your diet, you want an exercise routine that you can sustain, grow with, and even enjoy. Don’t try too much too fast. Take your time and let your confidence build as you grow stronger. As with all health goals, you can’t achieve them overnight. Aim to continue to better your physical health and wellness with every step, and the rest will follow.
Consult a Professional Before You Jump In
You have a unique body with its own set of dietary issues. One great diet that works for many of your friends may not work so well for you. Before you dive in, Dr. Stewart recommends that you talk to a professional:
“Many of the structured diets advertised these days are gimmicks and nothing more, and some can actually damage your health. In order to make the best choice, it's important to put some thought into it and consult professionals. To begin with, speak with your primary care physician. Discuss your situation in depth; what your particular health issues and goals are and how to select a diet that will best address these.”
This post offers advice but you should never make major changes that affect your health solely based on something you read online. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before you significantly change the way you eat.
(Source: Lifehacker – “How to Create a Diet Plan That Doesn't Suck and Actually Stick to It” by
Adam Dachis, Published on 9/23/2013)
Feeling festive? This vegan holiday hummus is high in protein and fiber. The cranberries add texture, color and a touch of sweetness to balance this savory dip. Serve with your favorite crudités and crackers. For added protein and fiber, scoop up this delicious dip with some Simply Protein Chips.
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (organic if possible)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cloves garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- Handful of dried unsweetened cranberries
- Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
*you may need to add a bit of water at the end to reach your desired consistency.
1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil (or water) and the toppings in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and then scrape down the sides. With the motor running, stream in the oil (or water) through the feed tube.
2. Continue to run the motor until you reach the desired smooth consistency.
3. Add more salt, lemon juice, to taste, and then sprinkle with dried cranberries and coriander before serving.
Throughout the year, vegans can be faced with a variety of societal hurdles, many of which can come to a boil during the holiday season. In the past, many vegans have received confused looks and prying questions from less-than-sympathetic friends and family around the dinner table. As vegan lifestyles and menu options become more common, there is greater social acceptance and understanding.
Although the cultural and culinary challenges for vegans are fewer and less stressful than they have been in the past, the holidays are still a time when issues can arise. Many vegans can attest to the fact that traditional holiday meals – turkey, ham, cookies, gravy and stuffing, can either be based around animal ingredients entirely, or can be subtly non-Vegan by containing bone-char bleached sugar, honey, or even margarine.
The good news is that well prepared vegan meals rival (and often beat) even the best non-vegan ones. For those nostalgic for the appearance and texture of meat specifically, a number of protein-filled meat analogues are available such as TVP, seitan, quorn, tempeh and tofu.
Welcome to our Holiday Survival Guide
Despite the fact that rejecting animal products is often a simple and straightforward choice, vegans are still human and aren’t impervious to the many stresses of the holidays. We hope our tips make your holidays less stressful and more about the important things in life: family, community, and having a good excuse to party.
1. Tell Your Hosts That You Are Vegan
When invited to a gathering with family and friends, inform them of your dietary needs as early and politely as possible. Most hosts will be supportive and offer vegan options. If you feel that your needs may inconvenience your host, consider bringing a meal for everyone (including you) to enjoy, like this festive holiday hummus. Alternatively, host your own gathering and feed your guests entirely plant based meals.
2. Be As Prepared As Possible
It’s never a bad idea to pre-eat if you suspect the event you are attending or your host may not be vegan-friendly. It may also help you if your host underestimates what constitutes a filling vegan meal, and presents you with a plate of salad. If you are cooking, research common holiday dishes, read recipe books, surf the internet, and experiment with recipes. The internet is a monolith of vegan information, and don’t be afraid to use it.
3. Stay calm
Resist the urge to panic and do last minute shopping, and take the more relaxing route of early shopping, making your own gifts, and online purchasing. Get plenty of rest, fresh air and exercise, particularly if you enjoy wintertime sports like skating and skiing. Don’t feel pressured to visit everyone, and remember that the best gifts can be simple if they come from the heart.
4. It is okay to indulge
Don't punish yourself if you "enjoy" a bit too much! Some of the best vegan food is based around sugary sweetness or fatty goodness. The holidays are a time to indulge, much like the New Year is a time to get yourself back into shape from all the holiday meals.
5. Forgive yourself
Families and friends can be our harshest critics, and holiday gatherings can sometimes feel like walking into a firing squad. Your family may not even criticize your eating habits specifically – they may instead pick on your appearance, career, and relationships - but veganism can be a popular target for those ignorant of its merits. Always remember that you can say no to any situation, particularly those in which others may attempt to challenge your personal choices. The holidays are short and you shouldn’t feel the need to compromise on the way you live the rest of the year.
Most of all, the holidays are best spent focusing on the things that bring us together, instead of those that divide us. Have fun this holiday season with your family and friends enjoying holiday activities and festivities. Take the time to catch up with some of your favorite people, and make some memories to last you over the next year.
Zucchini Basil Soup with Simply Protein Herb Chips
This "green" pureed soup is creamy and smooth without using dairy. It is low in fat, and full of flavor, vitamins and minerals. Add some Simply Protein Chips in Herb flavor for added protein, extra fiber and a satisfying crunch for a complete meal. Great choice for a meatless Monday. This soup can be vegan or vegetarian, depending on your choices.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
- 3 pounds of zucchini (approx 10)
- 4 cups good quality vegetable OR chicken stock 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn or chopped 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Shaved or grated parmesan cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Spiralized zucchini
- Fresh basil
*and of course Simply Protein Chips
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes until clear and soft.
Add the zucchini, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper and sauté on medium heat for another 5-8 minutes until the zucchini is tender.
Add the stock and the basil and bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.
Puree the soup either with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer.
Serve this vibrant green soup with any or all of the optional toppings!
Chili is truly a one-pot wonder. This meal-in-a-bowl is not only comforting during the colder months, but it is chock full of nutrients to renew your energy despite the weather. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be frozen for future meals.
Beans are convenient and readily available. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Add some Simply Protein Spicy Chili Chips and amp up the protein and fun to this vegetarian chili.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 28 0z can of diced tomatoes with their juice
- 2 can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can of kidney and 1 can of black beans)
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen corns
- 1 tablespoons of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (more will be spicier)
- 1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup cooked quinoa or
- 1 cup cubed tofu or
- 1 cup crumbled tempeh
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add spices and cook stirring for about 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Once the chili begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium low. You want the chili to be at a low simmer with the lid off.
- Continue to cook the chili, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add beans and corn and let the chili return to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the corn and beans have heated through.
- Serve on its own or topped with one (or all!) of the delicious toppings.
- Simply Protein Spicy Chili Chips
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced avocado
Butternut squash can be found year round, but is most readily available in the fall and winter months. This comforting soup is simple to prepare and is a nutritional powerhouse, sure to renew your energy on a chilly fall day. It is free of dairy and gluten, and high in vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Toss in some savory Simply Protein Chips for a tasty crunch with a boost of protein, and you have a complete meal in a bowl.
Add this easy and wholesome soup to your go-to recipes!
- 4-6 servings
- 1 large squash
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1-2 Tbsp grated ginger (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp real maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp hot chili flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, brush with olive oil and roast in the oven until soft, approx 45 minutes. When the squash is ready, let it cool slightly and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
In a stockpot, over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, the chili flakes and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the squash, the broth, the maple syrup and the salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
In batches, blend the soup in a blender or use and immersion blender directly in the stock pot.
Taste and adjust for seasonings, and serve with Simply Protein Chips.