Tag Archives: Vegetarian

7 Awesome Reasons Denver Residents Look and Feel So Good

I’ve lived in Denver for one month now, and by the end of the first week it was clear to me why Colorado as a state and Denver as a city own the top of the healthiest lists. From activity to fresh air and an attitude that supports wellness, how could anyone not feel their best here?

Year after year, Colorado remains at the top of the list for healthiest states. The CDC’s map of obesity trends starts in 1985, and it wasn’t until 1990 that Colorado even showed up for having less than 10 percent of its population qualify as obese. The most current map is from 2012 and puts Colorado as one of only nine states with an obesity population under 25 percent. Fitness and hiking clothes seem to be The Official Denver Outfit, as everyone at brunch, the park, the grocery store, and the office seem to be dressed down and ready to move!

While there are no doubt more, these are seven killer reasons that Denver residents look and feel so darn good!

denver bikes
Very Bicycle Friendly. I’m confident I’ve seen more bicycles in the last four weeks than I’ve seen in the last four years. Whether for commutes, fun, or exercise, bicycles own the roads in Denver. As recent as 2011, bicycle commuters were 2.4 percent of Denver’s population, a number up 183% since 1990. Bike racks and lanes exist everywhere, making it a no-brainer for cyclists to get out and ride to work, to the grocery store, or just out for fun. B-Cycle has 83 rental stations and 700 bikes throughout the city, making it pretty impossible not to bike.

chipotle sofritas
Vegetarian Food Abounds. You can throw a stone and find vegetarian and even vegan dining options. Bonnie Brae makes a titillating homemade vegan ice cream, Native Foods has a mock fast food menu that will knock your socks off, and the locally-based Chipotle even puts sofritas (organic tofu braised with chilis and spices) on the menu. Every restaurant we’ve visited (and there have been a lot!) has hearty vegetarian options that even the most carnivorous will consider noshing on. The Goodness Truck roams around near Ft. Collins serving their grilled brie sandwich — to die! And all around the area you can dine at farm to table events. (more…)

5 Eating Habits that Sound Healthy, but Aren’t

As a health coach, I have had dozens of people provide me with their definitions of “healthy living” and “healthy eating”. Although they’ve made an appointment with me, these people are pretty sure they have most things health figured out and are proud to share the rules they have imposed on their kitchens. The problem is, the difference between good and bad eating habits isn’t aways black and white.

habits

It’s easy to get caught up and confused by the overload of information about nutrition out there, especially because some of it is contradictory. Enchanted by the latest celebrity endorsement or buzzword of the day, well-intentioned dieters easily make misguided decisions, setting rules and restrictions based on good intentions but not actual science. Here are the health traps I see people fall into most often, habits that actually aren’t all that healthy in the long run.

1. The Fat Fearers
Yes, large amounts of saturated fats found in steaks and candy bars can increase your risk for cardiac events, but don’t forget the good fats! “Low-fat” products simply replace the fat with more chemicals and sugar and should be avoided in favor of full-fat options. It’s also smart to add in more healthy fats like those found in avocado, olive oil, and flax seeds to feel full and satisfied with each meal.

2. The Cheating Vegetarian/Vegan
No question that a plant-based diet is a safe bet for overall health. More and more people are experimenting with vegetarianism and veganism and that is wonderful! But did you know products like Oreos are vegan? A lot of new vegans do—and they’re filling up on them! The idea behind vegetarian and vegan diets is to have most all of your food sources come from natural fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, seeds, and good fats (with the occasional cookies of course!). Eating packaged junk like mac & cheese and veggie pizza means you avoid meat, but these diets don’t satisfy the plant-based foods requirement. To do this diet right, make one of our meat free recipes, like these delicious vegetarian stuffed peppers. (more…)

6 Ways to Makeover a Boring and Bland Salad

salad

By Team Best Life

As the weather warms up, you might be looking for easy meal solutions that don’t require turning on the oven. We’ve got a suggestion: Salad! Think your salad has to leave you hungry or dissatisfied? We can help! To create a full-meal salad that really fills you up, use the following tips:

Go green. You may be most familiar with iceberg and romaine lettuce, but why not experiment with other greens that offer different flavors and provide different nutrients? Give these greens a shot: arugula, butterhead, escarole, kale, mache, mizuna, spinach and watercress.

Choose a variety of veggies. The classics, like carrots, radishes and celery, are no-brainers. But if you want to be more adventurous, you can sprinkle on some roasted red peppers, canned artichoke hearts, or hearts of palm. Best Life lead nutritionist Janis JIbrin likes blueberries, beets, pomegranate seeds, butternut squash and fresh mint.

Get your fat fix. Stir in just one high-fat addition, such as 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon of nuts, or ¼ cup of sliced avocado. That will help keep you satisfied without adding too many calories to your bowl and help you absorb some of the vitamins from the vegetables. (more…)

Get it While it’s Hot: Cauliflower is THE Vegetable of 2014

A delicious new trend has been popping up everywhere lately, and I am all for it: Cauliflower is having a moment, sprouting up in all sorts of recipes and proving that it is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. (It’s a side! It’s a main dish! It’s probably even a dessert somewhere!)

cauliflower

Have you noticed this trend? We’ve been spotting cauliflower recipes all over the web and cauliflower dishes on restaurant menus, sort of like Brussels sprouts circa 2007.

So what are the best things to do with this hearty veggie, which is low in fat, but high in fiber, water, and vitamin C? I’m so glad you asked! With no further ado, the best cauliflower recipes to try out ASAP:

Mock Potato Salad
Like the mashed potato idea you may have heard of but with a summery twist! This recipe for “mock potato salad” is brilliant. There are no potatoes in this salad, but cauliflower instead. Everything else you will recognize from your favorite potato salad recipes: eggs, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, dill. Warm weather friendly!

Cauliflower Tater Tots
There is not a potato in sight in this phenomenally addictive recipe. Only (spoiler alert!) cauliflower! Served as a side dish or even the main course, the recipe calls for not much more than cauliflower, coconut oil, and seasoning. Yum. (more…)

Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless, Anecdotal Pregnancy Advice Leaves us Saying ‘As If!’

The Kind Mama - alicia silverstoneAlicia Silverstone is known for many things, like being an actress, star of Aerosmith videos, vegan, and champion for the environment. She is not, however, a licensed physician or even a wise shaman, though in her new book, The Kind Mama, she’s giving advice that has our experts seeing red and shouting, “As if!”

A few eyebrow-raising comments from the book include, “Bananas are a naughty food for a baby,” “Dairy leaves toxic sludge in your baby house (uterus),” “The diaper industry is fueled by corporate-backed pseudoscience,” and also, pretty much everything she talks about in the book is “yummy.”

We’ve been HERE before

This is not the first time the Clueless star has been in the news for her nontraditional parenting style. Wait, I didn’t mean to call her clueless, I meant she was in the 90s cult classic movie, Clueless. Actually, come to think of it, either way that sentence works. Anyway, there was that time she chewed up her toddler’s food and fed him from her own mouth, baby bird style. Then, she admitted to eating her own placenta after his birth. She didn’t just reach down, grab it and munch on it. It was in pill form, so it’s totally not weird.

Did she really just go there about infertility? Yep, she did.

I believe Alicia had good intentions when she wrote this book, but she has to know that some of her claims will be challenged. It’s widely known that our managing editor, Brandi Koskie, had infertility issues before giving birth to her daughter, so when she read Alicia’s one-size-fits-all fertility rule about simply “cleaning up your baby house,” “having lots of yummy sex,” and avoiding fertility drugs, she had a swift response:

“Doesn’t that just sound delightful and peachy keen? Well, I’m here to tell you that Alicia is delusional. (more…)

Have Dessert for Breakfast with Frozen Banana Ice Cream Parfaits

There are some foods that are better enjoyed at a restaurant. Parfaits are not one of them. They’re often way too sweet, more so than is necessary. A breakfast parfait should be light, subtly sweet, and filling. And that’s exactly what we’ve created.

frozen banana parfait
Forget what you know about yogurt parfaits and follow along closely. Here, the yogurt is a garnish and homemade “ice cream” takes center stage. See, when you freeze bananas and blend them, the texture is eerily similar to ice cream. When you add a little vanilla, you’d be hard pressed to recognize the difference. (more…)

Parmesan Orange Sweet Potato Hash Browns: A 68-Calorie Breakfast Side Dish with Big Flavor

While preparing breakfast for my family one Sunday morning I realized we had only sweet potatoes and not any red skin potatoes — my go-to for a hearty weekend meal. I thought our hopes for hash browns were dashed. However, I decided to give the sweet potatoes a whirl and venture beyond our typical baked sweet potato comfort zone.

sweet potato hasbrown
They shredded easily, and I dressed them up with just a little freshly grated Parmesan and orange zest before browning on the stove top. What I got was a gift from the breakfast Gods and a perfectly crisp, wonderfully flavored complement to an otherwise ordinary meal. (more…)

This Green Tea Power Smoothie is the Ultimate Power Breakfast

Smoothies are the ultimate power breakfast, in my opinion. In one easy and portable drink, you get multiple servings of fruit and vegetables plus protein so it always lasts you till lunch. And no matter what the ingredients are it always ends up tasting delicious, which makes me think my blender has magical powers.

matcha smoothie

Once I discovered you could add spinach to smoothies without altering the taste, my morning breakfast was forever changed. In this smoothie, we add spinach and green tea powder, or “matcha,” which contains more antioxidants than brewed green tea, raspberries and blueberries combined!

greenTea-smoothie

In other words, this is one of the healthiest smoothies on the block! (more…)

75 New Vegan Recipes in the ‘Oh She Glows’ Debut Cookbook

Angela Liddon is a popular blogger who’s been sharing vegan recipes on her award-winning site, Oh She Glows, for the last five years. Originally the blog was created as a cathartic outlet for Angela to write about her eating disorder recovery. The site became a place for her to connect with men and women who were also struggling to make peace with food. Now, Oh She Glows boasts more than 400 healthy recipes. Writing The Oh She Glows Cookbook was a natural progression, and a project that her fans have been eagerly awaiting.

oh she glows 1

The book will be released on March 4, 2014, but Angela was nice enough to give us a little sneak peek.

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out contains 75 new recipes not found on the website. The recipes are all vegan in nature but some are also gluten-free and sugar-free. The focus is on health and “real whole-food ingredients.”

(more…)

Dip and Devour! The Cheesy Black Bean and Sweet Corn Dip That Saved My Party

I have this bad habit of casually inviting people to my house for any number of reasons — most recently the big NFL bowl game — and not keeping any sort of track. So when Sunday morning rolled around for a recent football game, and texts and tweets confirming attendance started popping up, I panicked.

Of course I had no idea how many people I’d actually invited. In surveying the food I would serve, I was absolutely certain we’d all starve, everyone would go home hungry, and I’d be remembered for throwing the worst party ever.

black bean corn dip

I was in no mood to face the grocery store one more time that weekend, especially a couple of hours before kick-off. Certainly I had enough things on hand to whip up something… anything. This Cheesy Black Bean and Sweet Corn Dip was the result. I have made it three more times since then and am of the belief that I could solely eat this, and only this, for the rest of my days and I wouldn’t be mad at it.

I poured through my kitchen staples for something tasty, hearty, crowd-pleasing, and easy. This was so simple it only required that I crack open a can, rip open a bag, stir, bake, and eat. (more…)