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Common Vegetarian No-Nos

By — One of many Food blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

We now know that not all vegetarian diets are healthy. Do the majority of your food choices come from a package and have a list of ingredients you can’t envision? Think about what you eat each day. Better yet, go grab that package of frozen chickenless patties out of your freezer. Read each ingredient and then close your eyes and try to envision each one. Modified vegetable gum - can you see it? What about soy protein isolate? If a large proportion of your food contains ingredients such as these, it’s time to make some changes. To gain a better understanding of what an unhealthy vegetarian diet looks like (aka muffin-lovin‘ vegetarians and carbivores), here’s a list of some common meatless foods that should be limited, or avoided altogether:

Veggie Burger

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/02/easy-sweet-potato-veggie-burgers-with.html?m=1
http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2012/09/06/alkaline-grain-veggie-burgers/

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2010/02/27/dairy-free-ricotta-cheese/

Veggie LasagnaIt tastes especially amazing in pasta-free dishes, such as the lasagna recipe below. When I first made this for my carb-loving boyfriend, I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes that my plant-based culinary adventures were going to be more satisfying than anticipated.
http://www.yumuniverse.com/2010/03/27/gluten-free-dairy-free-vegetable-lasagna/

Plant-Based Protein Smoothie
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup raw organic hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons of chia seeds or flax seeds
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 banana
A couple drops of liquid stevia or a tablespoon of honey (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy, enjoy! This is a great post-workout snack or afternoon pick-me-up.

Quinoa

Simple carbs don’t do much for our body except take us on a blood sugar roller coaster ride, cause mood swings, feed candida, and attribute to weight gain. Start replacing some of those white breads and pastas with whole grain and gluten-free varieties. Ancient Harvest offers delicious quinoa pasta, and Tinkyada makes my preferred brown rice pasta. Both of these can be found at most large grocery stores. Some excellent alternatives to white bread include organic sprouted Ezekiel bread or millet bread. Not quite ready to go from white to millet in the blink of an eye? Look for whole grain breads that don’t contain added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.

Read your labels. Be informed. Get Inspired

As you start reading your food labels more carefully, remember the concept of envisioning the food you eat. Think about what it does for you. If it does more harm than good, it may not be worth it. Step away from the veggie dogs - this time anyway. Think of highly processed vegetarian products like any other processed food; you should enjoy them only in moderation. They shouldn't be a staple on your grocery list. Start experimenting with more plant food recipes, such as the ones above. Get inspired. Get healthy... One positive plant-based choice at a time.


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