Question Me

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Hi. If you’ve found yourself on my blog, first of all thanks. I appreciate every reader.

Second, I’m so happy to see you probably have even the slightest interest in your health through nutrition. If you weren’t aware, this blog is about maximizing your life one plant-based meal at a time. It’s about myself too; how I am growing as a person, in knowledge as a dietetic student as well as personally.

I’ve said this before, but I don’t care about the amount of people that see my posts. All I want to know is that I can help just one person out or encourage just ONE PERSON in realizing their full potential health-wise.

Therefore, I really want anyone who happens upon this humble little blog to know that I love to give advice on vegan diets, being a college student in dietetics, where to find a certain product, ETC. Are you wondering about my protein? Are you wondering why I eat SO MUCH DARN FRUIT!? Won’t that make me fat from all the sugar? Ask it!!! If you keep questions bottled up and continue to wonder about things you’ll never know!

My brother just texted me today about where to find a recipe for zucchini noodle pasta he loved. He also asked about suggestions for food processors- a had so much fun researching for him and giving him my thoughts! Things like that, I love to do!

If you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I will research it and find one or refer you to a resource I trust.

I would also love to see suggestions on improving my site or what to write about. The times that this blog has been most rewarding is when I have interacted with readers. I absolutely love talking to people about nutrition.

I just wanted anyone who stumbles on to my site to know that this blog can be a helpful resource to you. Ask me questions if you feel the urge- I’d be more than delighted to answer them!

Sending love,

~Anna

Don’t Touch Your Phone for 10 Minutes, Provide a Day of Clean Drinking Water For a Child In Need

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Don’t Touch Your Phone for 10 Minutes, Provide a Day of Clean Drinking Water For a Child In Need

Dorm Foodie:

This is so neat, I had to share! I love how little projects like these can help make a difference. It also makes you realize you don’t need to check your phone every time you have a second to spare. Love this!

Originally posted on Higher Learning:

UNICEF recently teamed up with clothing designer Giorgio Armani for the latest campaign in the UNICEF Tap Project, which has been striving to increase access to clean water for children worldwide since 2007.

For this latest scheme, they have created a mobile website app (you don’t have to download anything) that can tell when your phone is not being used. For every 10 minutes you leave your phone alone, Armani will provide a day of clean drinking water to a child in need.

According to UNICEF, 768 million people lack access to safe, clean drinking water, 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation and 1,400 children die every day from diseases linked directly to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation.

Millions of children lack clean water. How long could you go without something far less vital… like your phone?

Visit the homepage of the UNICEF Tap Project on your phone and…

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Spring Break Eats

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Well, I’m back at school for the last 7 weeks of the semester after spring break. I thought I’d share some of the foods I ate over the past week while on vacation. My family was in Florida for 5 days and I was home for 4 days so it was a nice balanced break for me. I do miss the bright cheery sunshine Florida has to offer! Being a nutrition nerd, and a vegan who is at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency, I was excited for my cells as they soaked up the soothing rays! After a long and bitter winter, the heat on my skin felt like heaven. It just makes me want summer to come quick! Here are a few examples of the nourishment I enjoyed:

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This may be my new obsession: Kombucha. It’s a fermented tea drink that offers probiotics for healthy digestion thanks to its living bacteria and yeast.  I love the kind with chia seeds inside! Not to mention it’s loaded with antioxidants. LOVE IT!20140318_083956

Smoothie of banana, mango, almond milk and kale!
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Big huge salad with collards, carrots, green onion and a dressing of tomato/cucumber/avocado/carrot juice.20140322_183434

Vegetable rolls (!), purple rice and a salad. Yum x 10!ABM_1395354748

Whole Wheat (I used corn pasta) pasta with Tofu and Cucumber -Delicious (will make again!)!!
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The cutest little watermelon-I ate the whole thing as a snack :)IMG_20140321_091013More kombucha tea and a few perfectly spotty bananas

I hope you found some of these eats interesting and deliciously appetizing. I don’t have much time at the moment to write a ton, but I plan on writing more posts soon! Thanks for stoping by :)

~Anna

Prevention Through Plants

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fruit love

“Yeah, heart disease is the number one cause of death, but what if your cholesterol is normal? I hear that all the time for patients. [I] have to break it to them, ‘look having a ‘normal’ cholesterol in a society where it’s normal to drop dead of a heart attack- not necessarily a good thing!’”- Dr. Michael Greger

I love that point made by Dr. Greger! Heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases are so common in our society and this should make us re-think what we consider to be acceptable ranges of cholesterol. He continued (based on this study),

“Almost 75 percent of heart attack patients fell within recommended targets for LDL cholesterol, demonstrating that the current guidelines may not be low enough to cut heart attack risk in most who could benefit. Specifically, these patients had LDL cholesterol levels that met current guidelines, and close to half had LDL levels classified in guidelines as optimal (<100 mg/dl).”

Dr. Greger went on to say that not only do we want to aim for lowering cholesterol levels, we should be making it our goal to PREVENT incidences of heart disease. How would we do that? I vote through our diets! Forgo the easy route through drugs if possible and avoid the many side effects that come with it. Plants don’t come with negative side effects. In fact they come with lots of positive side effects- great energy, better skin, better mood, longer life expectancy, stronger brains, disease protection! Dr. Greger summarized it this way: “The side effects of a plant-based diet is less diseases over all.”

Another side of the coin is the inflammation that comes with eating a meal high in animal fat. Dr. Greger noted that eating a diet high in meat, dairy and eggs will leave your body in a “chronic state of low-grade inflammation” which increases the risk of inflammation related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Reducing intake of these inflammation-inducing foods should be a no-brainer, right!? To me it’s a great “prescription” for prevention and disease risk reduction because at the same time, you get to eat delicious foods that make you feel alive. Eat living foods to feel vibrant- not dead animal carcasses!

Here is the video I reference in this post. It’s a long one but oh so interesting! It relates a plant-based diet to prevention and even reversal of all of the top causes of death.

As a side note, we are in the middle of National Nutrition Month! This month is devoted to spreading nutrition awareness, but I believe the WHOLE year should be full of good nutrition :) Keep smiling, do something you love and remember to enjoy the abundance of fruits, vegetables and other plant foods that God made just for us! Sending my love to you!

~Anna <3

Got Phytochemicals?

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fb9434427f2111e3bf2412329a6f3ed4_8You may have heard the term phytochemicals tossed around in various nutrition articles or maybe on food labels. It sounds like a science-y word but these little structures are important parts of our diets and I find it fascinating that they are all found in plant foods! I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, but plants are full of life-sustaining nutrients beyond those we commonly think of like vitamin C, potassium, or iron.

The latin word phyto means plant! I want to share several phytochemicals and where you can sneak them into your diet.

Allyl sulfides/organosulfides are found in garlic, onions, and leeks and may help lower lipids and blood pressure.

Saponins are found in garlic, onions, licorice, and legumes and act as natural antibiotics and may have anticancer properties.

Carotenoids are found in orange/red/yellow fruits and vegetables and have antioxidant properties that are involved in cancer and heart disease protection as well as enhanced immune function.

Monoterpenes are found in oranges, lemons, grapefruit and rosemary and they have antitumor properties

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in hot chili peppers which acts as a vasodilator and is a common addition to pain-releaving creams

Lignans are found in plant compounds such as flaxseed, berries and whole grains and can protect against cancers-especially those that are hormone-sensitive like breast, uterine and prostate cancers

Indoles are in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale and possess protective anticancer properties

Isothiocyanates are also found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. These phytochemicals help neutralize carcinogens, reduce their poisonous effect and stimulate the release of other substances that help combat them.

Phytosterols are found in a wide variety of plants like soybeans, legumes, cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables. They offer many health benefits including lowering cholesterol.

Flavonoids can be found in citrus fruits, pinions, apples, grapes, wed wine, tea, chocolate and tomatoes, to name a few sources. They have anticancer, antioxidant and antiallergy properties. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified!

Isoflavones are found in soybeans and other legumes and can help ease menopause symptoms as well as fight cancer with their antioxidants.

Catechins are found in green tea and cinnamon and can inhibit the activity of free radicals and in turn aid in cancer prevention.

Ellagic acid is present in strawberries, raspberries, grapes, cherries, apples, bananas and nuts. It has been shown to be anti carcinogenic and antimuagenic, inhibiting tumor grown.

Anthocyanins are found in red, blue and purple plants like eggplant, blueberries, cherries and red cabbage. They improve vision and grain function, guard against  macular degeneration and help relieve inflammation.

Fructooligosaccharides are found in onions, bananas and oranges and are useful for good gut bacteria. They are also known as prebiotics.

Stilbenoids (e.g., resveratrol) are found in blueberries, grapes, peanuts and red wine and are associated with anti-aging effects, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lower cancer risk.

Go on, eat those gorgeous and colorful plant foods to reap the benefits in your health!

~Anna

Sources: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden/Wardlaw’s Perspectives in Nutrition 

Coconut Love

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Coconut WaterI have really been loving coconut water lately. (Don’t confuse this with coconut milk- a completely different product!) Whenever I get the chance to have some, I always feel so refreshed, energized and fully hydrated. Coconut water has so many benefits besides hydration:

  • Fat-free and cholesterol free
  • More potassium than a banana!
  • Easily digested carbohydrates and electrolytes
  • Contains the same electrolyte balance as our blood plasma! [super cool!]
  • Perfect post workout to replace sports drinks
    • Less sugars (given that there are no added sugars) than sports drinks (and it’s the natural kind!)
  • DELICIOUS!!

If you’ve never tried coconut water, please do! I’ve seen it popping up in the beverage refrigerators at restaurants and gas stations recently so it’s becoming easier to get your hands on.

[side note]: best enjoyed if you picture yourself sipping out of a whole coconut on the beach!

No Bake Carob Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

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No Bake Carob Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

Dorm Foodie:

Hello readers! Sorry I’ve been m.i.a. lately! I feel more busy than I ever have in my life but that’s a good thing I think! I’ll have to share an update when I get a chance to sit down and write about how I’m doing, but for now I want to share a post my friend Katie wrote that involves cookies! Yes, cookies! These look sooo good and I can’t wait to try them sometime! Katie has an awesome blog and we share our vegan lifestyle together so she’s super great! Hope you have a great day and don’t forget to check out Katie’s blog!

Originally posted on Life Is Rawesome:

Like soft, sweet, mushy, crunchy, oatmeal raisin cookies??!?

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Me too.  :)… more like cookie dough balls… even better.

These are the easiest, healthiest, fastest raw cookie dough deliciousnesses!!

These oatmeal cookies are an incredible source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, simple and complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and are gluten free, salt free, dairy free, carcinogen free, and after you savor one for a little dessert, you will feel like flying <3 .

Essential fatty acids??  Our body needs omega-3 and omega-6 to function and we can’t make them on our own- they have to be obtained from our diet. Our body needs two critical Omega-3 fatty acids, (eicosapentaenoic acid, called EPA and docosahexaenoic or DHA) and walnuts, flax seeds, and hemp seeds, contain an abundance of a precursor omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts to EPA and DHA.  Low omega-3 intake has…

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Happy Birthday Grandma!

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Today is my Grandma Margaret’s 85th birthday! I’m so glad she’s been with me for 20 years of my life! Grandma always has great words of wisdom and I hope to be a Grandma like her some day! She’s always aware of her health and knows that her crossword puzzles and omega-3s are important for her brain! Hope you have had a wonderful day Grandma and I look forward to seeing you and Grandpa next time I’m home!

Grandma 2

LOVE, Anna

Pray for Purdue

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1545913_10151940246049423_1701548167_nToday a tragic event took place on my campus. Today at Purdue University, an innocent life was stolen from them and the hearts of this community are hurt. You hear about shootings at universities, but I never thought an event like this would occur at my school. I am in shock and I can only imagine how the friends and family of the victim feel. Please keep those affected in your prayers. #prayforpurdue

John 16:33 -  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.