There are plenty of reasons to eat more meat-free meals: They’re nearly always cheaper, lower in calories, and better for the environment. It’s easy to get enough protein without eating animals, but the doubters often have another concern: Are these meat-free protein sources complete?
The term “complete protein” refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids—we need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.
Yes, meat and eggs are complete proteins, and beans and nuts aren’t. But humans don’t need every amino acid in every bite of food in every meal they eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day.
Still, some people want complete proteins in all of their meals. No problem—meat’s not the only contender. Eggs and dairy also fit the bill, which is an easy get for the vegetarians, but there are plenty of other ways to get complete proteins on your next meatless Monday. Here are some of the easiest:
Protein: 8 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked
Quinoa looks a lot like couscous, but it is way more nutritious. Full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese, quinoa is a terrific substitute for rice and it’s versatile enough to make muffins, fritters, cookies, and breakfast casseroles.
Protein: 6 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked
Buckwheat is in fact, not a type of wheat at all, but a relative of rhubarb. While the Japanese have turned the plant into funky noodles called soba, most cultures eat the seeds by either grinding them into flour (making a great base for gluten free pancakes!) or cooking the hulled kernels, or “groats,” similarly to oatmeal. Buckwheat is crazy healthy: Some studies have shown that it may improve circulation, lower blood cholesterol and control blood glucose levels .
Protein: 10 grams per 2 tablespoon serving
This relative of the popular narcotic contain significant amounts of all nine essential amino acids, as well as plenty of magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium. They’re also a rare vegan source of essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, which can help fight depression.
Protein: 4 grams per 2 tablespoon serving
No longer used to grow fur on boring clay animals, chia seeds are the highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they contain more fiber than flax seeds or nuts. Chia is also a powerhouse of iron, calcium, zinc, and antioxidants, but the best thing about these little seeds is that they form a goopy gel when combined with milk or water. This makes them fantastic for making healthy puddings, thickening smoothies, or replacing eggs in vegan baking.
While beans are normally low in the amino acid methionine, soy is a complete protein and thoroughly deserves its status as the go-to substitute for the meat-free (but go easy on the processed varieties).Tempeh and natto are made by fermenting the beans, but tofu is probably the best known soy product. If protein’s a concern, it’s important to choose the firmest tofu available—the harder the tofu, the higher the protein content.
Rice and Beans
Protein: 7 grams per 1 cup serving
One of the simplest, cheapest, and vegan like meals in existence is also one of the best sources of protein around. Most beans are low in methionine and high in lysine, while rice is low in lysine and high in methionine. Put them together, and whaddaya got? Protein content that is on par with that of meat! Subbing lentils or chickpeas for beans produces the same effect. These meals are a great way to load up on protein and carbohydrates after an intense workout.
Hummus and Pita
The protein in wheat is pretty similar to that of rice, in that it’s only deficient in lysine. But chickpeas have plenty of lysine, giving us all the more reason to tuck into that Middle Eastern staple: hummus and pita. Chickpeas have a pretty similar amino acid profile to most legumes, so don’t’ be afraid to experiment with hummus made from cannellini, edamame, or other kinds of beans.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Protein: 15 grams per 2-slice sandwich with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
See how easy this is? Every time legumes like beans, lentils, and peanuts are combined with grains like wheat, rice, and corn, a complete protein is born. Peanut butter on whole wheat is an easy snack that, while pretty high in calories, provides a heaping dose of all the essential amino acids and plenty of healthy fats to boot.
25 Healing Reasons To Drink Green Smoothies!
We love our morning smoothies! It has changed the lives of our Team Members and we hope it can do the same for you. Smoothies are a fun and healthy way to start the day and have also been a good cornerstone in our lives for an overall diet and nutrition makeover.
We can experience so many benefits from making and drinking smoothies, I have listed 25 here that resonate with us at Quality Greens the most.
The type of smoothies we are talking about in this post are homemade from scratch in your kitchen with a Blendtec, Vitamix or another type of blender. We are not talking about pre-made smoothies you buy in the store, I’m talking about a fresh smoothie made from whole ingredients.
We include frozen fruit or a banana, and some kind of green in our smoothies. Usually the green is spinach or romaine. For the liquid, we use coconut milk from a carton and not water. The result is a nutrient dense, satiating, creamy drink for breakfast.
We have found that as we ate more of this type of food (whole food, plant-based) we found ourselves eating less processed foods and less meat. This was a good starter food into the world of good nutrition.
You will find that most of these benefits relate to physical health. However, the healing benefits of eating this way are not limited to physical health. We have found increased emotional capacity and an improved sense of joy in life.
- Smoothies are an easy way to eat more whole foods.
- Consume less processed foods.
- Get more plant-based protein.
- You are eating nutrients from their source as opposed to a vitamin, where the nutrients are separated. (Do both.)
- Better sleep
- Lower your levels of anxiety and stress.
- Have more good clean energy.
- When you add dark leafy greens like spinach in it will improve your complexion.
- Make your hair more sheen, stronger nails
- Help your body to regulate your weight more optimally.
- Help you to maintain youthfulness.
- Stronger muscles.
- Smoothies are a great and easy way to naturally increase good fiber in your diet.
- Improve general digestive health
- Slows down digestion.
- Allows for better absorption of nutrients.
- Reduce risk of many chronic diseases.
- smoothies strengthen the immune system,
- This type of real food is satiating and lessens cravings for unhealthy alternatives
- You may find you have fewer (if any) food addictions.
- Green smoothies are also good for children and supports their nutritional needs.
- Increasing emotional happiness.
- Help to balance out hormones
- Have less inflammation.
- Feel healthier and happier
Now that you have read through this list, we hope you are blown away by how much starting a new routine in the morning can improve your health and overall quality of life. We hope you get to experience a life changing process as well! Please come see us at Quality Greens Farm Market to get your organic fruits and veggies and get to work.
9 Tips For a Gluten-Free Diet
Worried you have a gluten-intolerance? Already living with celiac disease? If you’re gluten-free these top tips will help make the everyday a little easier…
Celiac disease is a lifelong, serious autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only treatment for the condition is a strict gluten-free diet for life.
For those newly diagnosed with the condition, the prospect of a strict gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first; but armed with the right knowledge, the gluten-free diet can be relatively easy to adapt to.
Use gluten-free substitutes in place of gluten-containing foods
Pasta, bread and crackers all contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these foods in your diet. Instead, switch to gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods, which you will find at Quality Greens. We carry over 300 Gluten Free products – just look for the “GF” stickers on our labels. Gluten-free substitute foods include pasta, bread, crackers, bread rolls, cereals and more.
Remember lots of foods are naturally gluten-free
Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free, so use these as the basis to your meals.
Enjoy naturally gluten-free grains and cereals.
The gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that all grains and cereals are off the menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet. Just check the labels to make sure you are using uncontaminated versions. Try swapping traditional breadcrumbs for polenta crumbs, opt for gluten-free buckwheat or rice noodles and pasta and try baking with quinoa for gluten-free alternatives.
Know which alcohol to avoid
Gluten-free alcohol includes cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs, but remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beers are available in some supermarkets and restaurants, but make sure you only drink those that are labelled in this way.
Remember you can still enjoy meals out with family and friends
Being on a gluten-free diet does not mean that you can’t eat out – ask your favorite restaurants for their Gluten Free Menu. When in Kelowna visit the Gratitude Cafe – a Raw, Vegan and Gluten Free Cafe that QG supplies with the best fresh quality local ingredients.
Be aware of cross contamination
Even a tiny bit of gluten can be enough to cause symptoms for someone with celiac disease, so make sure you minimize the risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing foods. Do this by washing down kitchen surfaces before use, using separate butters, spreads and jams to minimize the spread of crumbs and invest in some toaster bags to keep your gluten-free bread separate.
Avoid sauces containing gluten
Lots of pasta sauces, gravies, stocks and condiments contain wheat flour, and therefore gluten, so ensure you read the label and exclude anything that is not suitable. Instead, try making your own pasta sauces and gravies using corn flour, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken them for a gluten-free option.
Experiment in the kitchen
Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids.
Remember, gluten-free meals can be just as delicious and healthy too
Once diagnosed with celiac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health with the help of Quality Greens Farm Markets. Complete lists of Gluten Free products are available in store to help you get started in the kitchen.
Tips for Making Nutrition and Fitness a Priority
We live busy lives, shuttling back and forth between home, jobs, social events, and many other commitments. At times, we feel there is no time to exercise, or we have no choice but to grab the convenient food over the healthy food. These easy to implement tips will help you and your family lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Small changes can snowball into big results. Consider snow or rain. One flake or drop of water isn’t going to make a big difference, and is easy to dismiss. But compounded by consistency and quantity, they accumulate into a force of nature.
Start small in fitness and food. Starting small will keep you motivated for the next opportunity.
- Go for a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute run
- Do 10 squats, then 10 push ups
- Drink 1 liter of water instead of soda
- Eat 1 salad a week
Food Over Fitness
A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is best.
Fueling yourself with good food simply makes sense. When you combine healthy eating with your exercise, you’ll notice you feel even better!
When a day comes up where finding your exercise time is difficult, making smart choices with your meals will help keep your body and mind in top shape. Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind.
- Eat as many whole foods as possible, i.e. fruits & vegetables.
- Eat lean cuts of meat.
- Eat smaller portions, but a little more often.
- Drink plenty of water.
Move In a Way That’s Fun
Move in a way you enjoy, and you’ll see the benefits much quicker. Your exercise won’t be a burden because it’s fun! Maybe it’s a dance class, yoga, hiking, canoeing, martial arts, cycling, soccer, or tennis.
Eat More Color
Have you ever admired the rich color palette of fruits and vegetables? Orange, after all, is both a fruit and a major color. Dark greens, apple red, or banana yellow? Simply increasing the diversity of colors on your plate will help you eat healthier, even if that’s all you do!
6 Tips to Make Healthy Living a Breeze
1. Aim for a spectrum of color in the day
You are looking to eat a rainbow of colors coming from produce items every single day to meet your vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient needs (plant nutrients). In order to do that, every week aim to fill your grocery cart with the following:
2 leafy greens
2-3 green vegetables
2-3 red items
1-2 purple items
3-4 yellow/orange items
1-2 white/tan items
Onions (yellow, red, white)
Garlic, shallots, leeks
2-3 fresh herbs
2. Let whole foods be the star of your meals
You may wonder what a whole food is. There are 4 questions you can ask yourself that will answer this question:
Can you imagine it growing? Maybe in a field, on a tree, or in the ground?
What’s been done to it since it’s harvest? If you think of an oat cereal, lot’s has been done to it since it’s harvest. It has been joined together with other cereal grains, fruit has been added, likely sugar has been added too, as well as preservatives and additives to make it shelf stable. But, if you think about the large flake oat by itself, nothing has really been done to it, other than being harvested from the field. So, in this case the large flake oat would be a better choice versus an oat based cereal.
Is the ingredient list have more than 5 ingredients or is the ingredient list longer than my pinky finger? If it is longer, then it is likely is not a whole food.
Are all of it’s edible parts intact? If you think about orange juice, the peel is gone and the majority of the pulp is gone. So, orange juice would not be a whole food, but the whole orange would be.
3. Limit yourself to a maximum of one processed food/day
This is a good for your digestion tip. Processed foods take a large toll on our digestive system and the resulting symptoms we may experience like gas, bloating, cramping, skin issues, and headaches. A processed food is anything that doesn’t fit the criteria above!
4. Make time for movement
We need to move in order to keep our digestive system moving along in tip top shape! So, make time to take a walk out in nature or grab a buddy and hit up your favorite activity together
5. Make time for relaxation
Stress is something everyone is dealing with these days and it can impact our mood, how we digest our food, and our general well-being. Excessive stress in our lives can also make you more prone to developing food sensitivities! The bottom line is that we need to address the stress on a daily basis. It can even be as short as taking 5 minutes to do some deep breathing once you get home from work.
6. Include at least 1 probiotic rich food everyday
Many of us are working 10-12 hour days, relying on processed foods more often than we should and living high stress lifestyles. All of this takes a large toll on our microbiome. Our microbiome is the variety of bacteria that live inside of our digestive system. The variety of our gut bacteria and the amount of our gut bacteria found in our digestive system help to make us more resilient to disease and illness. More reasons to make probiotics your friend! You can find probiotics in plain yogurt, and also find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store in items like sauerkraut, kimchi, and other varieties of fermented vegetables.
Question of the Week brought to you by the Quality Greens Dietitian Selena De Vries!
If you have a question for Selena please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re Launching Question of the Week!
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Do you want healthy living information from a credible nutrition source?
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Send your specific questions to Selena at email@example.com and she will choose ONE per week to address in the QG newsletter!
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Transform your lifestyle in six weeks …
Many of us know what healthy living entails but, often, the difficult part is incorporating these habits into our daily lifestyle. This series is for anyone who:
Has lost weight before, but struggles to keep it off Struggles with cravings Struggles to find the time in day to fit ‘healthy living’ consistently into their routine Feels overwhelmed with nutrition and fitness information If you want to feel clear and confident on what you need to do to make healthy living feel like second nature, then this series is for you.
Quality Greens is committed to helping you live healthier…
We are pleased to partner with registered Dietician Selena Devries of Heathbean Nutrition .
Selena Devries is an Integrative Registered Dietitian using food as medicine to redefine your health. She applies a fresh approach to healthy living that encompasses the whole person by integrating mind, body wellness so you can feel that best you’ve ever felt. Selena provides nutrition coaching services, specializes in digestive health and promotes healthy living within the community by holding wellness events.
Visit www.healthbean.ca for more information on Selena’s services
October is Non GMO Awareness Month
What is GMO?
GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) refer to the plants or animals created through the gene slicing techniques of biotechnology. They are foods created by merging DNA from different species.
GMO crops, when first introduced, were touted as the answer to world hunger. The argument was that by developing pesticides and herbicide resistant crops, farmers would be able to increase their yields and decrease costs. This has mot proven to be the case. Instead, bugs and weeks have become resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both. More spraying means more costs for the farmers, more damage to the environment and more health concerns.
For more information visit http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/