Personal Chef Service -
My Blog

Healthy eating

Vegan Fly Traps

In the world of vegan choices, there are obvious things to avoid - steak, chicken, cheese, and eggs. Veggies, grains, tofu - all safe choices. But what about some other things? Is everything that is not meat safe?

In my travels into a vegan lifestyle, and cooking for clients with sensitivities to certain things (shellfish for example) I am learning of hidden "traps" we must be careful of in trying to be 100% vegan.

Gelatin- of course we know that this is made from hooves, but did you know that it is often a thickener in many things, including yogurts and chewing gum.

Vegan Victory for Health

For those of you following my blog, you know that I chose a vegan lifestyle in January, for the scientific experiment of health. As a fit, average weight individual struggling with her genetics, I was willing to test the theory of veganism and blood sugar regulation and cholesterol management. Afeter all, nothing else seemed to be working.......

So the adventure began. At first there was resentment. I had to give up so much, I felt. Going out to dinner was near impossible, especially with no vegan restaurants on the south shore.

Vegan Bleeding Heart

It's lunchtime. That chance to eat at your desk.....or maybe sneak away for a very quick, and typically unsatisfying sandwich. If you are like many of us, it is probably the same sandwich you had yesterday, Monday and the week before. Turkey on whole wheat, maybe a slice of tomato. Tuna pocket, lettuce and pickles. Salad with the same toppings and dressing. Yes, I know I said sandwich, but we all know you get the pita pocket to go with your salad, and maybe even stuff your salad into the pocket.

Seasonal Allergies and Food

Springtime  brings an explosion of growth and renewal, and of course pollen. We all see the green stuff on our cars and feel it in our eyes, noses and throats. But is there anything we can do besides carrying tissues and consume allergy medications?

Eat better. Yes, food can actually help ease the symptoms of the effects of histamines in our bodies. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

An apple a day..... and eat the skin for maximum nutritional value. They are loaded with quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

Ancient Grains -the Unadulterated Version

What exactly is an ancient grain? "Grains" such as quinoa, amaranth, spelt and kamut are called "ancient" because they've been around, unchanged, for millennia. By contrast, corn, rice and modern varieties of wheat have been bred selectively over thousands of years to look and taste much different from their distant ancestors," said Mian Riaz, director of the Food Protein Research and Development Center at Texas A&M University. Most notably, modern corn bears little resemblance to wild corn (maize) from long ago.

Vegan + fish = Pescatarian

If you have been reading along, you know that I have been eating a vegan diet since Jan 1. Part of that decision was for improved health, specifically lower blood sugars and cholesterol. The test came the end of February with my endocrinologist appointment. And the verdict? Yup, just as you would have guessed, my A1C (a measure over time of blood sugar trends) were up!

Ummm, wait a minute.....up? How can that be? They were supposed to go down, I was supposed to be lowering my medication, I was supposed to be healthier for going vegan, right?

Continuing the vegan lifestyle

So week 4...or is it 5? Time has been a blur of late, as my business has picked up, and the true test of my vegan lifestyle continues. At a recent chef's meeting,  I thought I was doing well at Not Your Average Joe's - they had a few great vegan choices including the spring roll appetizer that was all veggies wrapped in rice paper with a light peanut dipping sauce. To round out dinner I ordered the edamame hummus. Both were delicious, very filling and the servings were more lunch size than appetizers.

Vegan eating week 3

In week three of my vegan diet I started getting a little looser with dinners. Mixed veggies over pasta, veggie burger, seaweed salads, and a trip out to a Mexican restaurant. This was the biggest challenge....going out to dinner. I looked at the menu ahead of time to try to plan ahead. They had veggie stuffed poblano peppers, veggies crepes with a salsa verde and salads. It was snowy and cold, so salad was out. I asked about the peppers, if the cheese could be left off the top. Our waiter informed me their was cheese inside too.

Week 2 - Vegan Quest

As I continue my experiment with veganism, I have lost just 1 lb this week (OK, I'll take it), continue to feel great energy wise, and am seeing a slight decrease in blood sugars overall. Some things I have learned this week that I'd like to share for anyone looking to try going vegan (or vegetarian):

  • Wine makes me crave cereal - not sure why, but after a glass of wine (or 2) I get the munchies and crave cereal. At least it's healthy, right?
  • Tempeh is not my favorite thing - I prefer tofu for a soy based protein and Whole Foods salad bar has some great choices here.

Going Vegan

Per the direction of my personal trainer, all based on incredible research (see Forks over Knives), years of nutritional experience (theirs, not mine) and the desire to feel better, lose weight, and get off meds for diabetes and cholesterol, I figured, Why not? The holidays were not perfect - fish stew, gingerbread, wine, lot's of wine, and little exercise. I have been trying vegetarianism for a while for variety, with fish thrown in and two trials of meat to see if I felt better (no not really).

Recent Posts

How to Cook Every Single Whole Grain
Mushroom Mania
Health Benefits of Pumpkins
Sharp Knives and Hard Steel
Spring is in the air


Cooking tips
food events
General Thoughts
Healthy eating
powered by