Yes Raw,Vegans Get Protein Too!!

ImageWe raw/vegans have a lot of people questioning our diets and lifestyles, at least that is the case for most of us at some point in our journey.  Some more than others, families question our choices, how will our friends cook meals for us, we must be starving all the time, that food can’t taste good etc.   Oh well now we can’t forget this big one, “you can’t possibly be getting enough protein living this way”!!  Ha boy do we ever hear that one a lot.  Its funny though because more Raw and or Vegan people seem to have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to the food they are eating, its nutrients and benefits etc.  Don’t you agree?  Of course there are also a great deal of vegans who don’t pay much attention to what they eat, and yes there is a good chance they may be missing certain things including protein, but at the same time non-vegans can also be in that category.  So why the heck are we getting all the slack then, what’s that about!?

It seems at least for  the past generations we have been raised and taught to think that the only sources of protein in the diet come from animals.  Sound about right?  Lucky for us over the years these ideas have changed and we have opened our eyes to so many more high protein sources that come from all sorts of things, animals not needing to be one.  First of all if you are a vegan and you like to eat fruit and veggies ( which most of us do) then right there is a protein source.  Dark leafy greens added to a juice or smoothie are a great source as well.  Certain grains including quinoa and amaranth are super sources and filling options too. Nuts and seeds are packed with protein too!!  Most of these items are easy to obtain and are included in most peoples diets ( except for those with nut allergies of course).

Thing is there are soooooooo many more great options as well.  Not everyone is familiar with or likes the taste of Spirulina but in the Raw/Vegan world it is a real beauty.  Packed with highly digestible protein ( loads more digestible that meat by the way and without being acidic)  Spirulina is anywhere from 65-85% digestible.  Awesome!!   Spirulina contains no cellulose so it is quickly digested and absorbed by the body making it a fabulous choice for us.  Its easily mixed into smoothies, sprinkled on salads oh and it goes lovely with raw cacao!!

Let’s not forget the wonderful power hemp!!  These little tiny seeds are a fantastic source of protein as well. They contain all of the essential amino acids ( proteins that our body can not produce on its own, making it “essential” for us to get them from diet)  and again they are easily digested and absorbed by the body.  Not only that but they are packed with essential fatty acids too, promoting a strong immune system and much much more.  Hemp is also super versatile, it can be taken in powdered form and added to smoothies, seeds can be sprinkled on pretty much anything from salads, granolas to fruit or really whatever your heart desires!!  And hemp milk is super tasty too.  Mixed with a date or two and a teaspoon of cacao, oh what a yummy protein packed chocolate milk!!

Protein is a big player in the fitness world too and people have often said ” you better not work out too hard, you are a vegan and don’t get enough protein you can’t possibly build muscle that way” .  Well when a person works out yes the first that comes to mind may be protein but really if we are looking to build muscle protein is not the only thing we need to consume in order to achieve that, we must reach a proper balance with everything. Carbs and good fats included there.  Side note, Raw/Vegans tend to have a great deal of good fats in their diets!! 🙂
Speaking of working out have you tried SunWarrior Rice Protein blend?  It is a Rice Protein Powder like no other really, it is a fusion of unique raw, plant based protein sources which are easily digestible and very nutrient dense.  It is a perfect protein combination for not only building muscle but as well for weight management, curbing appetite and even boosting energy.  Oh and it tastes great!  Simply blend a spoonful in your favourite smoothie and off you go 🙂 http://www.upayanaturals.com/Sun_Warrior_Protein_Vanilla_2_2_lbs_p/sun-003.htmImage

We have really only highlighted a few of our most favourite protein sources here but don’t think for a second that they stop there, in upcoming blogs we will continue to talk about more great sources as well as sources of other much needed nutrients as well, including iron, silica etc.

So what do you think?  Are you confident you get enough protein in your diet?  If you are vegan chances are you do, veggies, superfoods etc are non acidic and therefore digest easily without creating negative affects on the body that consuming acidic foods do .   These protein sources are the best!!

Do you deal with a lot of unsupportive people when it comes to your lifestyle and protein?  Hopefully this helps to at least keep a few people off your back!!

Ahhh now time to sit back and enjoy a protein packed hemp and mango smoothie!! See you next week 🙂

Recipe Week!!

 

Good day all!

!Image

 

This week and most likely once a month we thought we would simply share one of our fabulous Raw and or Vegan recipes with you. Some of our favourites, some of the ones that are hits with out friends and family, some specific themed recipes for holidays or occasions etc. Hopefully we can inspire you 🙂
For this week we thought about sharing one of our staples. Raw Vegan Granola. 

Granola is great because you can make a huge batch and have it last all month long. We like to have our granola for breakfast with a nice nut milk ( almond,hemp and brazil nut are just a few of our favs!) or as a snack throughout the day. The great thing about this is to that it travels well, often when we head out for a weekend we will pavk a small container with granola and then we always know we have our healthy, raw, vegan food available to us if need be. ( Often the case). Its also nice sprinkled on top of a fresh fruit salad, it can make the fruit more filling and of course add more nutrition. Its also a favourite with kids, that might be because of the raw cacao we add!! Who doesn’t like to start their day off with cacao! mmmmmmmmm

The only possible issue some may have with making homemade Raw Granola is the need for the use of a dehydrator. Though we know people who are quite happy doing it their oven at a very low temperature in order to keep things as raw as possible.

Ok well lets get started then.

Raw, Vegan Chocolatey Granola ( or trail mix)
To make about 4-5 cups

1 cup of soaked and rinsed almonds
1 cup of sprouted buckwheat
1/4 cup each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of goji berries
1/3 cup of all or either of the following dried apples, pears, pineapple, dried coconut ( you can chop and dehydrate these the night before if you are drying your own)
6-8 dates soaked with a large handful of raisins
1/3 cup of Agave
2 TBLS of cacao powder
small pinch of salt

In a large bowl use the back of a knife to crumble up the rinsed almonds and add the seeds and dried fruits. Blend the dates and raisins into a paste and add to the nut mixture. Add cacao and salt. Slowly add in the agave, you may actually need a bit less or perhaps a bit more.
Line your dehydrator tray and dehydrate overnight ( approx. 12-14 hours) until crispy at 105.

Enjoy your granola any way you please. A nice nut milk of half a cup of almonds, half a cup of hemp seeds, 4 cups of water, a teaspoon of vanilla powder and 2 blended dates is a great way to start your day!! 

What is your favourite raw/vegan breakfast recipe? Do you tend to re create old favourites and make healthier versions?

 

H2oooooooooo So Good!! Tips to help you get enough Water :)

Image

We hear it all the time, Drink your water, drink your water, drink your water!! But how much of us actually abide by this statement and get enough?
Water actually makes up more than 2/3 of our body weight and thus we cannot go more than a few days without it, lucky for most of us its not hard to access. ( Of course we must always remember to be thankful and never take it for granted)
Water is completely essential to our health and survival, especially with these crazy hot days we have been experiencing, prevention of dehydration is soooo important.
Water is the basis of all life and what, when and how much we consume is vital to our being. Everyday we lose water through urine, perspiration, breathing etc so it is very important for us to replenish ourselves by consuming more water either in its true form or also foods and drinks that are high in water content.
Its hard to say exactly how much water each of us should take in daily but it is safe to say that once we become thirsty it is often because we have already become dehydrated. Keeping a bottle full of water with us most of the time and drinking it throughout the day before the actual thirst hits is such a great practice.
General guidelines seem to have stated that men should drink roughly 13 glasses of water a day and women approx. 9. Are you getting enough?
It might sound silly but pay attention to your urine, if it is consistently clear then chances are you are consuming enough water, and if not well you know what to do!!

Here are a few tips that may help you get your water intake up if you don’t already do so, which is actually quite a few of us!!
*Set a digital watch to go off every hour reminding you to grab a glass
*Get a purification system, fresh water tastes better!!
*Add lemon or lime juice to your water if you find the taste “boring”!
*Include more water dense fruits and veggies in your diet eg: celery, watermelon, cucumber,etc.
*Purchase a new water bottle that a good size for carrying around and is easy to open for quick access ( we have some great water bottle options in store to help with this 🙂 )
*Herbal teas can count as water too, as long as you don’t drink tea with caffeine you are all good! Even a simple blend of hot water, fresh mint and fresh ginger is great. 

Not only will you feel better ( less tired, more energy etc) your skin benefits as well from proper water intake. Think of it as a moisturizer for inside and out.

If we remain committed to or healthy lifestyles, we must make drinking enough natural water a constant habit in our lives. It doesn’t take long to feel the benefit and it is of course a free investment for our long-term health!! So drink up!!

Do you find it easy to get your recommended glasses of water each day? Do you tend to mix it with herbs, fruits etc to change the flavour and make it easier to drink or are you a “straight up” kinda drinker?
Any tips you’d care to share with our friends?

Cheers!!

Image

RAWSICLES ROCK!!

Remember the sweet sound of bells ringing as the ice cream truck or dickie dee ( whatever you called it!!) drove by the neighbourhood, it was a sound of summer for sure. Kids running inside to grab a buck or two and race over to snag a cold sugary treat. Refreshing yes, healthy probably not. With summer being such an amazingly hot one for us this year we thought we would share some of our yummy, healthy and refreshing popsicle recipes with you. Popsicles are the perfect summer treat, and there is no need to seek out the ice cream truck on a hot summer day when you can prepare a healthier often tastier version in your own home. 

So let us tempt you with a few of out tried and tested favs!!

Let’s replace that ever popular fudgsicle with a rawsicle!
Depending on the size of your popsicle mold each of the recipes should yield approx. 6-12 frozen treats 🙂

Start with both the meat and water of 2-3 young thai coconuts
1 TBLS of Agave nectar or coconut nectar
1 TBLS of Lucuma powder 
1 TBLS of Maca powder
4 TBLS of Cacao powder
1 TBLS of Tocotrienols ( gives it a nice creamy texture and adds a healthy dose of vitamin E)
Add a pinch of himalayan or celtic salt
Add a pinch or more of vanilla powder ( we like a few pinches!!)

Simply blend everything together, place in mold , freeze and sit back relax and enjoy!! 

This one is sort of a take on the creamsicle, now known as the Cashew Creamsicle!!

Soak 2 cups of cashews for at least 4 hours, drain and rinse
Add the juice of 2 oranges
Add 1 mango sliced
1 TBLS of Agave nectar ( sometimes more depending on how sweet the oranges end up being so have a small taste before freezing)

Again a pinch of salt, blend, freeze, enjoy!!

For a super refreshing popsicle try this fruity combination we call the Popsicle Powerhouse with added antioxidants ( always a bonus while spending time in the sun)
2 or 3 handfuls of either Strawberry or Raspberry
1 cup of Pineapple
A large handful of goji berries that you will soak in a cup of water until soft, but keep the water to add as well
1-2 TBLS of fresh lime juice
1 TBLS of both or either Acai powder or Camu Camu

Blend this powerhouse popsicle together, freeze it and enjoy its amazing goodness over and over again!!

Hopefully we have helped you cool down a little and maybe given you a fun inside activity to do with the kids that they are sure to enjoy afterwards!!

 
Do you have a favourite childhood summer treat that you have revamped into a healthier, maybe even raw version?  Or is there one you would like us to try to experiment with?  

Stay sun safe, and enjoy what this wonderful weather has to offer 🙂


Image

Summer Salads

Image

We love summer for so many reasons, fresh air, local produce, exercise outdoors etc ect.  But we also find the warm weather in the summer and our access to fresh, local and organic fruits and veggies makes it so much easier to enjoy our raw vegan diets.  Summer salads are perfect, generally easy prep work, the combinations are endless and the nutritional value is just a bonus!!

 
Now we are not talking about the typical 4 ingredient salad that we vegans find ourselves being forced to enjoy if we want to go out to a “standard” restaurant with our non vegan friends.  Ice burg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions!! Thats about it, no wonder people still have such huge misconceptions about what we eat eh, no one would be happy eating 3 vegan meals a day if thats what it consisted of.  But for most of it it just doesn’t even come close to that.
 
Salads are actually a favourite for us because we can add almost anything to them and we know we are meeting our nutritional requirements while still enjoying what we are eating.  Also because of the variety its actually no problem to even have a salad multiple times a day as the choices are endless.
To step up our salads we like to be sure we always have a few things ready in stock in our kitchen, these things include:
Raw nuts and seeds for protein and fat and to help keep us full longer ( almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds etc)
Bean sprouts and other sprouted seeds that we can make at home in a few short days. ( Sunflower is a favourite of ours as it contains lecithin which is packed with brain building choline)
Healthy fats are important too so avocado and raw olives are just great, as well as having a variety of oils on hand to make different dressing choices. ( Flax, hemp, coconut,etc Pumpkin oil is also amazing!)
Sun dried tomatoes and different fresh or dried fruits can really step things up as well and can make for a sweeter option.
We like to stay away from ice burg lettuce when we can since so many other greens out there are just jam packed with nutrition.  (kale, chard,spinach,parsley etc.)
Of course an abundance of any and all veggies is always a go!!
Nutrition yeast, which contains B vitamins is also widely used as a sort of cheesy addition, it can be sprinkled on top or mixed in a nice dressing.
Miso, lemon juice,garlic and ginger are wonderful additions along with fresh herbs for salad dressings.
Oh and lets not forget about spirulina, it can sprinkled on top and really adds a nice flavour without being too over powering.
 
So it really is possible to get full off of a salad, and without having to add meats, high fatty dressings etc.  You can make a nice dressing which will keep in the fridge for a few days and just change up the “salad contents” for a quick easy dinner after a long day at work!! Sounds nice and easy eh 🙂
 
If you are looking for a salad option without using any salad greens thats just a nice change from the norm, we whipped up this awesome spicy corn and radish salad recently in under 10 minutes and would love to share our recipe with you.
 
We use the kernels from 4-6 cobs of fresh corn
6 or so radishes sliced
A small red onion sliced thinly
A chopped red pepper
A handful each of chopped cilantro and parsley
A small jalapeno chopped really small
1 tbls of Agave
1 tbls of fresh lime juice
1 tbls of some sort of oil, olive oil is fine but we choose pumpkin oil last time 🙂
Mix everything together and enjoy, though if you leave it to sit in the fridge for an hour or so it brings out the flavours.
 
Simple summer salads are such a staple we think and hopefully we have helped you to realize ( if you have not already) that they do not need to be boring and have you feeling hungry 30 minutes after eating.
 
Any favourite salad recipes out there that you would care to share?  What sort of things do you add to your salads to “bulk” up the nutrition and create a meal out of them?
 
 
 Image