Fake Weight Loss Claims: I Hate ‘Em

I know, I know. It’s been FOREVER since I last posted. A lot has been going on in my life in the past year, and a lot of planning has been going on in my head about where I want my future to go. I won’t say too many details yet, but I’m working on starting my own business — and very soon. So I’m also currently figuring out where exactly I want to go with this blog.

But I still want to have it! So today I’m just going to write about something I’m very passionate about. And angry about.

I really can’t stand how much money some weight loss companies make from completely bogus, unscientific claims. And earlier this week I came across one so elaborate that I just have to talk about it.

THIS site: http://womenshealthweekly.org/cambogiafb2.php

fake weight loss claim

It’s a “review” written about some product called Garcinia Cambogia, and the article is supposedly written by a staff reporter of this website/magazine, which is apparently called Women’s Health. There is a real magazine by this name, but their website is womenshealthmag.com, not the womenshealthweekly.org that is this site. It LOOKS like a real site, but click on any of the links and you are sent to a pdf of the Garcinia Cambogia product.

These people are posing as a legitimate magazine to trick buyers into thinking this is a product that has been tested by a health magazine writer and given her unreal results. They are not only being deceitful and dishonest, but this is cruel.

We are surrounded by food, and the easiest to find is processed, sugar-laden, high-fat, low-fiber… crap. Until you are informed about what foods are health-promoting and how to make them a normal part of your diet/life, finding your healthy weight feel like be constant, painful, failing fight. And antics like what this company is pulling are just feeding the desperation that comes with feeling helpless over one’s weight. It really, really bothers me that there are so many products like this allowed to be sold.

Friends, let me tell you that it has been proven that there is no secret pill. There is no ONE move or method or food or “trick” that is going to make your weight “melt off like it was butter,” as this article claims.

The answer is healthy foods and education, NOT quick weight loss products. A whole foods, plant-based diet will give you all of the great, healthy stuff you need to nourish your body while also eliminating the junk and fillers in meat, dairy, and processed foods that is getting in the way of us being our most healthy selves. It’s really as simple as that. And the more people who are aware of this, the less these companies will make off of a scam.

Let’s spread health and positivity to better our world, not phony rip-offs just to make a buck.

And if you need help with getting started, contact me (I love to help as much as I can) or see any of these great resources:

 

Low-fat, Soy-free, Gluten-free: Vegan Cheezy BBQ Lentil Nachos

Today is the Super Bowl!

But I won’t be watching it. We aren’t really sports fans at my place. Like, at all.

However, I do LOVE making snack dishes that can be used for such occasions! I am a huge snacker, and there’s something so nice about having something delicious to munch on while enjoying the company of others. And although this weekend has been more about barricading myself in my apartment with the pets and my Nintendo 3DS (yep, I’m a gamer), I still felt like making myself a crunchy, salty finger food.

Maybe the Super Bowl spirit is rubbing off on me a bit.

Thus, the following nacho recipe was born, which turned out so great that I’m sharing it for you to enjoy the crispy barbecue cheesiness as well. Enjoy!

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Vegan Cheezy BBQ Nachos

1 bag Frito Lay Baked Tostitos (or any type of tortilla chips, but I prefer these because they’re low fat and easy to find)
2 cups cooked lentils
1.5 c chopped spinach
1 zucchini, diced
2 green onions, chopped

BBQ Cheezy Sauce:
2 c almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
1/4 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
2/3 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c barbecue sauce
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp cumin

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange chips in a single layer on sheet.

3. Make the Cheezy sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and heating over medium heat until it thickens, stirring frequently.

4. Sprinkle lentils, spinach, zucchini, and green onions evenly over chips.

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5. Pour prepared Cheezy sauce over everything as evenly as possible.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has darkened a bit and chips are browned slightly.

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Serve immediately, and enjoy!

TexaVegan: Low-Fat, Down-Home Recipes for Everyone

I got a ton of cookbooks for Christmas this year.

Everyone in my life knows I love to cook and bake, so these were perfect gifts for me that I was overjoyed to receive! The list includes:

Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

The Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm

Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson

Easy as Vegan Pie by Hannah Kaminsky

The Vegan Bible by Editors of Publications International Ltd.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay Nixon (who is the BEST!)

The only problem is: which to cook/bake from first!

Well, I’m actually starting off with a cookbook I didn’t receive as a Christmas gift, but that I received around the same time and have been given the opportunity to review: TexaVegan by Deborah Brutsche. Also, I thought it looked awesome and pretty perfect for my dietary preferences.

And, as hinted at from the title, the author — Deborah Brutsche — is from Texas like me!

So, a couple thoughts on the book before I get into the recipes I made:

  • This would be a great cookbook to give someone just starting to cook vegan. Brutsche goes over the different types of vegan items called for throughout her cookbook; however, basically all of the ingredients used are basic and easy to find. She even has a whole section called “Stocking a Vegan Fridge” that lists all the vegan kitchen staples and explanations of them.
  • Most of the recipes seem quick and contain ingredients that are easily accessible in basic grocery stores. For each dish I’ve made so far, I already had most everything I needed for them.
  • Although the cookbook is “low-fat”, Brutsche does use a slight amount of oil in many of the recipes, which I try to avoid usually. However, even though I usually leave out/replace oil called for in any recipe, for these I did so as to stick strictly to the recipe.
  • The book also doesn’t contain any pictures, which may turn some people off, but I promise the taste and appearance of the finished recipes more than make up for it!

Now, for the first dish:

Bean & Chili Pasta Bake

This was delicious!! Quick, easy, and worked well as a weeknight meal. I love pasta dishes, and I love how baking it gave the noodles a nice crispiness. The sauce was pretty simple, with basic veggies like tomatoes, corn, and onions. I plan to make it a regular.

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Potato & Veggie Sausage Bake

Another baking dish! As implied in the title, this one called for vegan sausage (Gimme Lean brand is what I used).

Here’s the meat being sauteed and browned…
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Then a yogurt sauce with green onions and spices…

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And everything layered and baked with sliced red potatoes!

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Now, I am actually not a big fan of veggie “meat” substitutes. Honestly, they freak me out a little bit with how similar they are to actual meat… which I guess is a compliment to the modern vegan meat companies! But I was still very impressed with this recipe. The yogurt sauce was my favorite. And my boyfriend LOVED it with veggie sausage. So I would make it again for sure, maybe just picking around the meat for me. 🙂

Nut & Medjool Date Crust with the Yogurt Pie Filling.

Brutsche includes several crust recipes and then separate pie fillings recipes, so you can easily mix and match any of them. I went with this combo — an almond-date crust and cream cheese yogurt filling — which was extremely easy and very delicious! I also added some sliced banana between the crust and filling, because I’ve made several Engine 2 pies that did this and were really amazing.

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Yum!! Probably my favorite recipe so far, just because I love dessert and I love cream cheese. 🙂

So, overall, I’m very impressed with this cookbook and intend to pull recipe ideas out of it regularly. I would recommend it to anyone, whether vegan for many years of veg-curious, because of the easy yet creative recipes. You just have to overlook the fact that there are no pictures. Well done, Deborah Brutsche!

What is most important to you when buying a cookbook — do you look for quick recipes, creative recipes, pretty pictures, or something else?

Thoughts on 2013

Happy New Year, friends!

My sister and me!

My sister and me!

Since last night, I’ve been thinking about new year’s resolutions, like most everyone else. I’ve always been one of those people who makes changes as they come and doesn’t focus too much on change specifically on the 1st each year, but it’s nice to think about what this year could be like. Also, two years ago today I did actually have a new year’s resolution: to go completely vegan, and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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Our New Year’s vegan snack spread

Something I’ve also been thinking about is how my view of health and fitness has changed over the years. I’ve talked about this on other blogs before, but I’ve struggled with my body image and eating habits for many years until a little after I went vegan.

I’ve always enjoyed working out, but for most of this time it became so much of a necessity to get in a great workout at the gym that I didn’t feel okay if I didn’t. It became one of the most important things to me, taking precedence over friends, family, downtime. And if I didn’t eat 100% “healthy” (a word whose meaning has changed a lot for me over the years), I wasn’t able to enjoy whatever I was doing or whoever I was with. I am someone who loves food and loves to eat, and often, so I’m guessing this feeling of “needing” a workout would come from feeling like I needed to burn off the excess calories I was consuming.

Well, in the past couple of years and since I started eating a vegan diet, things have changed. I still love food and still love feeling healthy, but it doesn’t feel like a struggle at all anymore. In fact, I actually workout — as in, hardcore workouts at the gym where I feel exhausted after — a lot less often… which would seem backwards to most, but for me… I’m finally at peace. Not to say that I’ve become a couch potato. I still enjoy yoga in my living room, walks with my dog, and playing those dancing games on the Wii that my family has. But these are things I wouldn’t have felt up to before because I would be consumed with getting a “good” workout in that evening instead of something “light” like these activities. But now, I’m enjoying my life and my time with others, and I’m still staying active and healthy — and actually healthy, now that I’m eating fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, things that are nourishing to my body and aren’t junk that needs to be “worked off”. Even when I eat vegan candy or junk food, like we did last night, I’m able to enjoy it and realize that I’m still gonna be okay and eat well the next day.

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My mom!

So, my New Year’s resolution for this year, and each one to follow, is to take care of myself and enjoy my life.