Vegetarian Coast to Coast

Healthy Living With A Coastal Flair

Posts tagged Gardien

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The truth about juicing.

There is a lot of misinformation going on in the media these days and it is time to tell the truth about it. If you caught the Today segment by Joy Bauer, you get the feeling that she is holding back on the subject. I listen to these segments to see how much truth telling is going on and I am trying to set the record straight.

Juicing is a highly nutritious method of getting your daily allowance of vegetables in your body every day. Yes, there is a good amount of cleansing juice fasts taking place these days and they are beneficial for cleansing the body of all the toxins we consume every day with no second thought. Truthfully, I have not done a total juice cleansing fast because after substituting two meals for juice, my body cleanses itself. I usually just add salad and steamed vegetables for the evening meal and my body will shed a pound or two during that time period.

There is no fiber in the juice as the juicer takes all the fiber out of the fruits or vegetables and the only thing that is left is the juice. Joy compared the sugars in the juice to white sugar (about 20 teaspoons) but these are complex sugars not simple sugar that has been processed with chemicals. These complex sugars are what help your brain to function.

She also made her juice in a blender and technically it would be called a green smoothie because of the greek yogurt she added to it. If she had strained it and not added the yogurt it can be classified as a juice.

From experience with juicing for the last 15 years, juicing in addition to a healthy diet gets your body back in sync without adding a lot of supplements. I did the juice with the regular meal for about 1 month and I put on 5 pounds. This is why you need to decide that the juice is a meal replacement rather than accompanying the meal. The juice is so nutritious you will not miss chewing. Doing a half day fast once  a week is my recommendation just to keep your system regular. Your stomach will also decrease in size and for the next week you will not eat as large a portion at each meal.

When talking about meal replacements like the slim fast program. They have you drinking these shakes filled with chemicals for two meals and then adding a healthy meal for dinner. When you are juicing for two meals the nutrients and vitamins come in the form of fresh vegetables and fruits instead of some chemical mix in a can.

My favorite site to go to juicing recipes is Eating a plant based diet and removing all the animal products from your diet will make your body sing. I am not sure what scares the media so much about adopting this particular diet but in the long run your body knows what is best for it.  If you have skin eruptions like exzema, this condition is chronic and can be put in its place by making a switch to the plant based diet. The new term for vegetarian/vegan on the media is meat-freer’s and that is really offensive to those who practice it. Contrary to popular belief, the plant based diet is not dull, nor does it lack flavor, but it is just the opposite of that. The meat alternatives are so much better than they were 15 years ago and my newest crave is from As a former carnivore, these are the most realistic in texture to what you are giving up and are healthier for you in the long run. The other thing that helps exzema is going out in the sun in the morning for 15 minutes without sunscreen. Only 15 minutes a day on the area that is broken out and in a week or two the eruption will start to disappear. The doctor will sometime prescribe sun lamp therapy for this condition. But really the only sun lamp you need is the sun for a short period of time.

I know I have gotten off the beaten track but between the juicing and the plant based diet, my exzema is basically gone and is showing no signs of coming back any time soon. I am also pre-diabetic and my glucose levels are in check when I am faithful to the diet. The sun treatment for 15 minutes a day helps my skin get enough vitamin D to keep the skin in check.

You need to decide what is right for you. Juicing is a good alternative if you need to get your body started in the weight loss game. It helps to regulate your system until you can get on the diet that is right for you. Vegetable protein is much better than animal protein in any form. This is because your intestines were made for a plant based diet and not an animal based diet.

To juice or not to juice? What is your decision?

Filed under juicing Today Show Joy Bauer exzema Gardien vitamin D sun

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Getting the carb balance right.

This is such a challenging task even though I am no longer considered a type 2 diabetic but more on the side of pre-diabetic. My sugar levels tend to range from 90-103 after fasting and I think it is due to the amount of simple carbs I consume during the day. Simple carbs are white rice, white potatoes, bread, and white sugar.

Sugar continues to be a battleground for me as the addiction is really strong no matter what I do to make it weaker. I know it is not good for me, but still pulling on me like no other substance in the world. I do eat mostly a vegetable and fruit plate most of the time, but occasionally I will add a carb just because it fills me up for longer and I am not snacking all day long.

I also love white rice, especially jasmine rice. The nutty flavor makes my mouth water and plain or with a smidge of vegan butter I am in hog heaven. I cannot stop with just one portion half of the time. And I know it wreaks havoc with keeping my glucose levels in check.

I love baked potatoes, but they too play havoc with my glucose levels. Even with a smidge of vegan butter and salsa, my glucose will stay high for more than 2 hours. Ingesting these simple carbs takes almost 3 hours for the glucose levels to come back down into the proper range for me. 

I never want to be taking any form of insulin or a pill to regulate the sugar as sometimes this will cause more damage than just keeping the glucose levels in check all day long.

I know that I will just have to be more careful at what I am eating on my plate every day. I always load up my plate with the vegetables and usually a vegetable protein of some sort. The meat analogs that gardien puts out are remarkable and even my carnivore husband likes them. Tofu is my old stand by as it is always available in the local markets.

Use a smaller plate for your breakfast, lunch and dinner and that will help you to keep your portions just right.

Filed under Gardien carb balance

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Seitan (Sey-tan)

Did you know 30 years ago, that meat alternatives were not readily available to the vegetarian/vegan consumer? What was available for protein was tofu mainly and tofu was not desirable for those of us coming off of a meat heavy diet. Part of our problem was that newbies to vegetarianism did not have a strong network of people to guide them in how to prepare the food correctly and make it edible even for the carnivores in their families they were trying to feed. Needless to say, until I mastered spices and sauces, my family had a hard time with accepting any other meat alternative. For Tofu, l learned that freezing it made into a more meat like texture and flavorings could soaked into it to make it palatable for my carnivourous family. I also learned that making seitan also has become easier since Bob’s Red Mill has come out with a vital wheat gluten base for making the seitan.

When I first started making seitan, I would take 10 cups of whole wheat flour freshly ground from my german flour grinder. I would then add enough water to make a ball of dough and knead it for 10 minutes to build gluten. The process of washing the gluten begins in bowls and bowls of water until the gluten water runs clear. Much like the process of washing rice before putting it into the steamer. At this point the gluten can now be processed into steaks, roasts, cutlets and ground. Nowadays, the process is very streamlined with the vital wheat gluten flour already rinsed and dried and ready to use.

Vegan on the Cheap has several really good recipes for making cutlets and sausage variations, so be sure to check them out.

I also think that Tal Ronnen has been a major contributor to making seitan more palatable and marketable with his Gardien products available at most of your Whole Foods Markets. His innovations with the product make it indistinguishable from the real thing.

For those with wheat allergies seitan is not a good meat alternative for you and you should look for something that is nut based or bean based. They are out there, but I have not been successful at making these products in house.

Filed under seitan vegan Tal Ronnen Gardien gluten processes