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There are many alternatives to using eggs. You ask, ‘why would you want to do that’? Well, an egg is loaded with cholesterol and 70% of the calories come from fat! Not only that, but a big portion of that is saturated fat! Eggs are also the leading cause for food poisoning due to the fact that they are the perfect host for salmonella bacteria. The shell of an egg is thin, porous, and fragile living in dirty and over-crowded egg farm conditions. I think you get the picture. Knowing that, why would you not want to make a change today?!
 
If you want scrambled eggs, try crumbling extra firm tofu in your new scrambled egg conversion, called tofu scramble.
 
For baking, I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer. There are other brands available, so find one that you like. Read the package instructions, as each  one is slightly different. You will need to whisk the egg replacer powder with water to arrive at your egg substitution for baking. Keeps well in freezer (store in freezer bag).
 
Aside from egg replacers, you can use
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for each egg the recipe calls for which works well to bind ingredients in muffins and cakes.
Half of a mashed banana can also be used to replace 1 egg. Use this in  breads, muffins and cakes where you want the banana flavoring.
Or, try 1 heaping tablespoon of soy flour or cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water for each egg in a baked product.

Tofu is a great alternative to using egg. Try 1/4 cup of pureed soft silken tofu when making puddings and mousse.

For main course meals, such as meatloaf and burgers, try using tomato paste, moistened bread crumbs or mashed potatoes. Egg replacers do work well for these type of recipes.

pHion is the category leader when it pertains to pH balancing of the body.
Acid Reflux has been a concern of mine. Will eating a vegan diet help with this condition and balance out my bodies pH?    

Yes, acid reflux is a condition of an unbalanced pH inside of your body. The bodies pH balance should be more alkaline, rather than acidic. Eating meat and other animal products, which are acid producing, can help offset the balance especially if you are on a high animal protein diet. A body that is highly acidic  stores more fat and toxins. By eliminating meat (use vegetarian meat –  vegan) and other animal products from your diet, and eating more fruits and vegetables, you can gain control over your bodies pH and stop the heart burn and acid reflux. Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, pepper, tomato sauce and orange juice. Infuse your body daily with greens you eat or drink in a shake, like Vega, which actually tastes good.  Comes in vanilla chai, chocolate or berry.

Another ‘green’ shake probiotic option is by Vibrant Health. It is gluten-free and supports nutrition, digestion, circulation and your immune system.

The cells in your body change when they live in an overly acidic environment. High acidity can cause illness and put you at greater risk of developing diseases and conditions, such as cancer, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, weakened immune system, fat accumulation and inflammation, among others. Consume foods rich in chlorophyll which are alkaline. This will help with cleansing to remove toxins from your blood stream, regenerate cells and improve the flow of oxygen. Try drinking Kombucha, an organic raw living tea that contains active enzymes, probiotics and detoxifiers. Kombucha helps with digestion, immune system and liver functions, helps to control appetite and weight, increases body alkalinity, supports anti-aging and nourishes cells, skin and hair. My favorite flavors are multi-green and maqui berry grapefruit., then ginger and original.

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I love to dine out. Where should I go and what should I order?    

I love to tell people to continue to go to your favorite places, just veganize it! I list some of my favorite places and what I order on my ‘stuff I like’ page or see below. Just be sure to let the waiter know you eat animal-free, so no meat, fowl, dairy, eggs, fish oils or animal stock. If you plan on eating the bread, just ask that it is free of milk, eggs and butter.

Some helpful links to finding vegan restaurants in your area are:

http://www.happycow.net/

http://www.vegdining.com/Home.cfm

http://www.veganeatingout.com/

http://www.vegguide.org/ for restaurants, grocers and organizations in your city.

http://www.zagat.com/ pick your city and type vegan in search.

Fast food options can be found here.

Desserts and snacks remain in high demand with vegans, so here’s a link to see what you can order while dining out at some establishments.

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I cannot live without desserts. Will I still be able to enjoy these and what can I eat?    

Yes, of course. There are many healthy dessert recipes you can indulge in. This site has several delicious and healthy dessert recipes posted, such as tofu based chocolate mousse, oat bars, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry piepumpkin pie, frosting and chocolate eclair that are all dairy free. 

You can also purchase packaged goods. Look for dairy free Rice Dream chocolate bars, available in five decadent varieties, they contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or refined sugars making them truly a dairy free and gluten free dream come true.

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Trader Joe’s brand of dark chocolate 73% is vegan. Whole Foods also has the 365 brand of vegan chocolate chip morsels, great for baking chocolate chip cookies and melting in the chocolate mousse recipe on this site. You can also use them to top off dairy free pancakes.  Arrowhead Mills has boxed mixes of some dairy free desserts. Try the Brownie Mix, use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, if you prefer, and use Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer instead of eggs. You can make these in a square pan or try to put them in muffin tins. The consistency comes out different depending on what pan you use but any way you bake it tastes great!

A great dessert for toddlers and kids is DINO bites banana and chocolate chip mini vegan cookies.

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A vegan lifestyle is healthy and safe for kids. You will be doing your children a favor by making them vegetarian kids and moving them to vegan animal free foods. Many diseases are derived from animal products, so eliminating these from their diet early on and introducing them to vegetarian meat (vegan meatless) will prove beneficial.

According to Mayo Clinic, “nutrition for kids is based on the same principles as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. What’s different about nutrition for kids, however, is the amount of specific nutrients needed at different ages.

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Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. The Inca civilization considered this one of their staple foods, besides corn and potatoes. It is considered an ancient super-grain delivering many nutritional benefits.

Quinoa is the one and only high protein grain, averaging 16.2% compared to rice which contains 7.5%, millet 9.9%, and wheat 14%. There are other varieties of quinoa that contain 20% or more of protein. The super-grain’s protein is of high quality, delivering a complete protein because it is rich in 9 essential amino acids, containing lysine, methinonin and cystine which are typically low in other grains. It also provides oils high in essential linoleic acid, fiber, minerals (calcium and iron), starch, sugars, and vitamins (E and B’s) and is low in sodium.

Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare, resembling tiny sprouted seeds. Once rinsed to remove a bitter tasting powdery residue , it cooks in 15 minutes. It tastes light and fluffy and is easy to digest. You can substitute it for other grains in any recipe or you can mix it with other grains to bring in the healthy benefits of this super-grain. You can enjoy eating quinoa for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Consider getting your protein intake with quinoa, a vegetarian meat (vegan) substitute that any vegetarian kid or adult would enjoy. Use it in any of your healthy vegetarian recipes to boost protein and other nutritional benefits. This grain can be eaten hot, warm or cold, as an oatmeal alternative, a base for a grain salad, or in place of a side of rice for dinner. The white variety is most common, but it also comes in red and black. 

This relative of the beet, spinach and Swiss chard family is gluten-free and easy to digest. It is also a nutritious superfood  high in magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals.

Quinoa can be found in most grocery and natural food stores.

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Omega-3 are essential fatty acids needed by the body. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 helps in brain function, growth and development of your body, including your retina and cell membranes. This fatty acid helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, inflammation, blood clotting, cholesterol, and improves artery flexibility. However, your body cannot manufacture them, so it is important to seek out food sources rich in omega-3. A few sources for omega-3 are plants and nut oils.  Consume walnuts, canola oil, hemp oil, Earth Balance with omega-3, tofu, soybeans and flaxseeds (grind up to use in smoothies and soups, or sprinkle on salads, cereal and dairy free ice cream). Flax is also rich in protein, lignans, potassium, magnesium and boron which is good for cancer prevention.

Daily recommended for vegan adults is 2.2-3.3 g, which you can easily get in 1 tsp of flaxseed oil (do not bake with this oil, use cold. OK to put on warm food. Keep refrigerated). Ifyou take a supplement, make sure it is free of animal and fish oils. Try this vegetarian and vegan brand made from marine plant sources. Order here

One of my favorite healthy dessert recipes is throwing together a scoop of Purely Decadent vanilla soy ice cream, a sprinkle of ground flax seed (omega-3, 6 & 9) and a sprinkle of salted sunflower seeds. Or, try the blueberry muffin recipe with ground flax seed.

Recommended reading listed here.

Minerals are elements originating in the soil, so fruits and vegetables are the obvious choice to feed your body with these nutrients. Minerals help your body to grow, develop and stay healthy. Your body uses minerals to perform building functions, transmit nerve impulses and to maintain a normal heartbeat.

Calcium is an important mineral for your body.  Calcium helps to ease insomnia, regulate nutrients through cell walls and feeds your muscles so they contract properly.  Vegetarians and vegans are less likely to form kidney stones or gallstones.  High protein diets actually cause calcium loss. Most fruits contain calcium, with the top choices being blackberries, blackcurrants, dates, dried figs, grapefruit, mulberries, oranges, pomegranate and prickly pears. Vegetables also contain a lot of calcium with greater benefits coming from amaranth leaves, bok choy, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, celery, chinese broccoli, french beans, collards, kale, okra, parsnip, spirulina, swiss chard, sweet potato, broccoli and turnips. You can’t go wrong with any dark green vegetables, lentils, tofu, soymilk, rice milk and nuts. And, plant based eaters tend to have stronger bones than meat eaters.

Nuts, seeds and grains also provide calcium intake. Best choices are almonds, amaranth, brazil nuts, filberts and hazelnuts, oats, pistachios, sesame seeds, wheat (durum and hard) and white grains.  Try almond butter and other nut betters too. There are non-dairy and vegetarian meat protein sources (soy drinks and yogurts, tofu and tempeh) that also contain calcium, so read labels to see what you are consuming. On the average, most adults need 1000 mg/day, while children range from 800-1300 mg/day.

Iron is another important mineral. Many people believe eating red meat is the only way to get sufficient amounts of iron. You can get enough from plant based fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Combining vitamin C rich foods with an iron source helps to aid in the absorption of this mineral. Women and teen girls need 15 mg/day, while men only need 10 mg/day and children require 10-12 mg/day. Fruits rich in iron are raisins, avocado, blackberries, blackcurrant, boysenberries, cherries, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi, lemon, loganberries, lychee, mulberries, passion fruit, persimmon, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.  Vegetable choices include amaranth leaves, bok choy, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, french beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, spirulina and swiss chard.

Some nuts, seeds and grain sources include amaranth, buckwheat, cashews, coconut, oats, pine nuts, pignolias, pumpkin seeds, rye, spelt, quinoa, wheat (durum and hard) and white grains.

Other minerals, such as copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc can all be supplemented by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Always go for variety. For a healthy vegetarian (vegan) breakfast recipe, try the Warm Quinoa.

Visit this site for healthy vegetarian recipes (vegan) that are easy to make. You will also be delighted with the delicious and healthy dessert recipes. With plant based ingredients, it is easy to get a healthy dessert recipe that contains protein and is low in calories, sugar and fat. Try the Chocolate Mousse.

Visit here for kid and teen mineral RDA and here for adults.

As important as minerals are to the body, so are vitamins D and B12.

Vitamin D is a ‘free’ vitamin and is obtained from sunlight exposure. Spend 10-15 minutes 2-3x per week to stimulate vitamin D production. Vitamin D regulates the absorption and excretion of calcium. You can also obtain by drinking vitamin D fortified orange juice, almond, soy or rice milks. This vitamin is important for vegetarian kids and vegans, and knowing that there are other ways to get it is key. If you’re an indoors person, then try a vitamin D supplement. Recommended daily intake is 1,000 to 2,000 IU.  This site has many healthy vegetarian recipes (vegan) and healthy dessert recipes that contain soy milk, so look to get some vitamin D when cooking.

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells as well as the production of DNA. Since the human body stores several years’ worth of B12, a deficiency is uncommon. B12 is not made by plants or animals. Bacteria is charged for B12 production. Animals happen to get B12 from consuming foods contaminated with this vitamin and then it becomes a source in human consumption.  Since B12 requirement is low, this may not be a concern. However, strict vegetarians and vegans may consider taking a B12 supplement if you are not consuming other B12 sources. Other sources would include nutritional yeast, fortified beverages and cereals, and vegetarian meat such as wheat gluten or soybean meat substitutes. I like to use liquid B12 by Natures Answer which I can put under my tongue or mix in with a smoothie. This brand is animal free.  Try to get approximately 50 mg each of the B vitamins (B1 thiamine, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6 pyridoxine), and 500 mcg of B12. B’s are best taken earlier in the day because they help to increase energy levels. Order now

Or, if you like lolli pops, order these rich in vitamin B12, only one a day needed. Order now

Always read labels, even when it comes to buying vitamins as many use fish oils and other ingredients derived from animal. Try vegan main course dishes from this site that contain vegetarian meat (vegan, such as soy crumbles, tempeh, textured protein).

Consult your doctor on what vitamins you are taking and how they may affect other medications you may be taking.

Visit here for kid and teen RDA and here for adults.

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I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, what we considered to be the beer capital of the USA! I always thought of beer as an alcoholic beverage, and nothing more. Now, I see, I am mistaken. Many beers contain skin, tissue, blood and bones from cows, pigs and fish. Who ever would have thought!? The thought of consuming this is gross. But the thought of these ingredients not needing to make it on the label is criminal!

Here’s what is safe to drink, if you are concerned about those poor vulnerable animals, and about your health. Drink Pabst (a Milwaukee staple), Amstel, Coronoa, Heineken, New Belgium Brewery, Sierra Nevada, or Tectate.

AVOID Castle Rock, Guinness, New Castle Brown Ale, and Red Stripe.

Read for yourself the list of ingredients derived from animal.

Now, to find out more about what you are drinking, or if you are looking for vegan choices in beer, wine, and other libations, then click here