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Can eating vegetarian help drug addicts

Can eating vegetarian help drug addicts

Drug addiction is a tough battle for anyone. It puts your health and life at risk, and it can lead to isolation from friends and family – making the struggle even more difficult. Fortunately, there are ways you can make things easier on yourself while fighting your addiction. If you’ve decided to take control of your drug use, one way to do that is by switching to a vegetarian diet. 

Reducing meat intake can have numerous benefits for those struggling with substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), strong research suggests that avoiding red meat may lower the risk of developing some drug addictions in the future. 

In this article, we’ll explore why this is the case and other ways that eating vegetarian can help you if you’re struggling with drug addiction.

What is a vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet is one that omits the consumption of meat, fish, and poultry. While there are different types of vegetarian diets, they all have one thing in common: they’re all plant-based. Some vegetarians choose to eat eggs, dairy, and honey. 

Vegans, on the other hand, do not consume any of these things because they believe they contribute to animal cruelty. Regardless of which type of vegetarian diet you follow, eating more plant-based foods will decrease your intake of meat, fish, and poultry.

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet for Drug Users

Boosts energy levels – When you consume meat, it’s broken down in the body into tyrosine. This amino acid helps produce dopamine, which gives you energy. Once the dopamine has been used up, it transforms into something called 3-hydroxytyrosine (3-HT). This substance is a neurotoxin that can lead to cravings for more dopamine and eventually, drug abuse. 

In comparison, plant-based foods create dopamine without 3-HT. This means that you’ll have more energy throughout the day without those cravings for more dopamine. Helps with weight loss – Switching to a vegetarian diet can also help you lose weight. You’ll be consuming fewer overall calories, and you won’t be consuming any saturated fats or cholesterol. 

This combination can make it easier to drop pounds. Depending on the type of vegetarian diet you follow, you may also be able to increase your intake of healthy fats like plant-based omega-3s. This can make it easier to stay full, even as you’re losing weight. Better mental health and well-being – Another benefit of a vegetarian diet is that it can improve your mental health and well-being over time. 

This is because, as we’ve discussed, you’ll be consuming less meat and more plant-based foods. This can lead to improvements in your vitamin, mineral, and fiber intake. Of course, everyone’s bodies react differently, but these improvements can help strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and improve your mood. What’s more, these health improvements can also help you stay drug-free.

tofu burger

What Vegetarian Food to Eat While in Recovery

What to eat while in recovery is important. That could mean eating foods that are high in protein and vegetables, such as beans and other legumes. It can also mean eating whole grains and fresh fruit. To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need while eating well, talk with your doctor or a holistic health care provider about what vitamins and minerals you should be taking.

There’s also a wide variety of vegetarian foods to choose from when you’re recovering from addiction to alcohol or drugs. For example, there are a number of plant-based options for protein, including tofu, tempeh, seitan (also known as wheat meat), and hemp seed. You can find these foods in most grocery stores or health food stores.

If you’re really craving something that’s not plant-based, there are some animal-based plant-based options for you to try out. For instance, if you miss chicken wings, try making quinoa “wings” instead. Or if you miss hamburgers, try making veggie burgers with lentils instead of beef.

Helps With Drug Withdrawal and Relapse Prevention

Slower drug metabolism – When you eat meat, it takes less time for your body to metabolize the drugs you’ve taken. In other words, you’ll process them faster and get the result sooner. Eating more plant-based foods can slow down this process and make your drugs last longer. This can help you avoid withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to find a treatment program that works for you. 

Better sleep – If you’re struggling with drug withdrawal, insomnia is likely one of the most difficult symptoms you’re dealing with. Eating more plant-based foods can help you sleep better. It’s not totally understood why this is the case, but researchers believe that eating more fruits and vegetables floods your body with vitamin B. 

This can help you sleep longer and more soundly. A better night of sleep can help you feel more rested, alert, and ready to take on the day.

better self esteem

Better Mental Health and Well-being

Boosts self-esteem – When you take control of your eating habits, you’re also taking control of your health. This can boost your self-esteem and make you feel more confident and proud of yourself. A healthy diet can help you feel more positive, energetic, and ready to take on the day. 

This can make it easier to stay focused on your recovery and avoid drug cravings. Improves self-image – A healthy diet can also help you feel more positive about your body. When you’re eating well, you’ll likely see changes in your appearance, such as weight loss and glowing skin. This can help you feel more confident about yourself and your appearance. 

It can also help you avoid the self-loathing that can come with drug abuse. More than anything, it can help you break the cycle of self-deprivation and self-harm.

Conclusion

Drug addiction is a difficult battle, but it doesn’t have to be a losing one. There are many things you can do to improve your chances of success and make yourself healthier in the process. If you’re struggling with drug addiction, switching to a vegetarian diet may help you stay focused on recovery. 

It can be a great way to boost your energy, lose weight, and improve your mental health and well-being. If you want to give it a try, make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals by eating a balanced vegetarian diet. 

Stay away from processed foods as much as possible, and remember that every diet has pros and cons. Avoiding meat isn’t going to cure your drug addiction on its own, but it can make things easier and help you get the nutrients you need to stay strong.

Is Wine Vegetarian, Vegan or Both?

Is Wine Vegetarian, Vegan or Both?

Wine tastings don’t have to be intimidating. By using the 5 S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor), you’ll be able to get the most out of any glass of wine Not only will you be able to enjoy the wine more, but you’ll gain an appreciation for it.

Wine is made from grapes but it does not automatically make it vegan or vegetarian. Many winemaking techniques make use of animal-derived products in surprising ways. This is why more wine producers are stating whether the wine can be made vegan or vegetarian on their labels. What does this mean?

First, some winemaking basics: Winemaking has been slow in the past. The pressed grape juice must settle before fermentation, and the new wine after fermentation to allow suspended solids to sink to the bottom.

The wine will continue to mature over the winter after harvest. As residual solids sink to the bottom, they contribute to the sediment. This slow and natural process allows the wine to clarify itself. Wine made this way is often bottled “unfiltered” and “unfined” simply because it was allowed time to go through these natural processes.

Modern market demands and wine styles require a quicker process. Science has developed a way to speed up the slow clarification process that occurs in the cellar over time. This is called fining.

wine

Fining involves the addition of animal products to wine as “processing aids.” This is done to remove undesirable substances and bind them to the wine, which then gets filtered out. Fining agents are not listed as ingredients in the final wine bottle.

Fining can be used to correct winemaking errors like off flavors, colors, or smooth tannins. However, it is often used to stabilize wine that hasn’t had the time to naturally clarify. This reduces the time it takes for the wine to reach its destination and makes modern wines more affordable.

Let’s look at the uses of animal products and their reasons.

Egg whites

Many Bordeaux chateaux still use the most basic, traditional method of fining. Cabernet Sauvignon red wines are rich in heavy, astringent tannins. The harshest tannins can be removed by adding natural egg whites and stirring the barrels.

Because young tannins are naturally negative in ionic charges, and egg whites are positive, this technique works. The barrel will mix them and the negative-charged tannins will bind to the positively charged egg whites. The tannins sink to the bottom and can then be poured out. You can also use powdered egg whites.

Verdict: Vegetarian but not vegan

Other animal derivatives

Animals are used in many other products that remove excess solids, off-flavor, and excess phenolics (tannins) in red and white wine. These are just a few examples of common products used in winemaking.

Casein

Casein, a protein found in milk is used in winemaking to enhance white wines’ clarity and remove oxidative staining. This can sometimes be achieved with skim milk, as in the case of very clear Sauvignon Blancs.

Verdict: Vegetarian but not vegan

Gelatin

gelatin is a protein that comes from animal bones and hides. It can be used in both red and white wine. White wines may have more suppleness than red wines, but white wines may be brighter, although this is often at the cost of tannins.

Verdict: This is not a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Is Wine Vegetarian, Vegan, or Both (5)

Isinglass

It is a substance that comes from the swim bladders and fish of sturgeons and other fish. In the past, it was more widely used. It helps white wines have brilliant clarity by removing excess color and solids.

Verdict: This is not a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Chitosan

Chitosan, a carbohydrate, is derived from the shells and meats of crustaceans. It is a positive ionic agent and is used to remove excess color from white wines.

Verdict: This is not a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Does this mean all wines labeled “vegan” are not unfined?

Not necessarily. Many fining agents aren’t derived from animals and can be used to make vegan wines.

Poly-vinyl-poly-pyrrolidone (PVPP)

PVPP is a manmade plastic material that absorbs excess colors and phenols. PVPP is used often to give rose wines an elegant appearance.

Verdict: Vegetarian or vegan

Bentonite

Bentonite, a purified clay with a negative charge, is purified clay. It bonds protein colloids in white wines and rose wines and makes them heat-stable. Activated charcoal can remove some of the most prominent flavors but it can also strip wine from other desirable flavors.

Verdict: Vegetarian or vegan

How about farming?

Vegans don’t just look at the winemaking process, but also check to see if any animal products were used in agriculture. They oppose animal-derived fertilizers such as bone meal (from dead animals) and fish emulsion, which are made from fish waste, in favor of plant-based compounds.

wine

What can a vegetarian or vegan do?

Ask your merchant to show you the back label. This is something wine producers are more aware of as consumers demand transparency.

Tomato, Basil & Caramelized Onion Quiche

Tomato, Basil & Onion Quiche

Heirloom Tomato Quiche

Sun-sweetened tomatoes can be enjoyed in many ways, but we prefer to enjoy them in a tomato Quiche. Our Heirloom Tomato Quiche is made with garden-fresh basil and sweet caramelized onion. This is the ultimate summertime breakfast quiche. Peak summer, peak quiche.

 

  • SERVES: 8
  • PREP TIME: 1 hr
  • COOK TIME: 45 min
  • CALORIES: 245

What is Quiche

A savory pie crust (or pate Brisse) that is filled with eggy custard. This is our definition of “quiche”. Food history enthusiasts will be pleased to know that quiche originated in France’s Alsace-Lorraine region. Its most famous version, Quiche Lorraine, is made with bacon, Gruyere cheese, and heavy cream. This vegetarian quiche recipe has been transformed into a celebration of all things Summer. Here’s how:

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 small sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 6large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2-3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese finely grated
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, thinly sliced

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, 1/2 inch diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tbsp ice water

 

How to make:

  1. Dice 9 tablespoons butter. Place on parchment paper and freeze.
  2. Heat remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it foams. Add onions and sugar, Let cook over medium heat until caramelized and deep golden brown, approximately 40 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.
  3. As the onions caramelize, add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a food processor fitted with a blade. Blend until combined. Add the butter from your freezer. Blend until the butter is approximately the size of peas. With the machine running pour in the ice water. Pulse the machine until the dough starts to form a ball. Remove and place on a floured surface and roll into a ball
  4. Preheat oven to 375º F
  5. Roll out the dough in a pie pan or quiche pan 8-9 inches. While you prepare the eggs, place them in the refrigerator.
  6. In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, cream, salt, and pepper. Blend for one minute. Layer the basil, tomatoes, and cheese in the bottom crust-lined quiche pan. Sprinkle the onion and garlic evenly over the top. Then, pour the egg mixture over that. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. 
  7. Cut into wedges. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Apple, Caramelized Onion and Spinach Quesadilla

veggie Apple, Caramelized Onion and Spinach Quesadilla

Apple Quesadilla?

We love apple pie but we also enjoy other ways to celebrate apple season. This is especially true for Honeycrisp apples. Honeycrisps, our favorite golden-flecked apple cultivar is sweet and crisp. We couldn’t resist adding them to a warm, delicious baked quesadilla. They are crisp and juicy with the perfect amount of tartness. This simple fall recipe will convince you that apples, especially super-fresh, in-season apples, belong on your dinner table.

  • SERVES: 8
  • PREP TIME: 15 min
  • COOK TIME: 15 min
  • CALORIES: 346

The Best Cheese

Any cheese that melts well is the best for homemade quesadillas. Monterey Jack, while not as strong-flavored, is another great cheese for homemade quesadillas. We wanted to marry a variety of flavors into this vegetarian quesadilla so we searched for the best cheese to provide the most interesting contrast with the sweet-tart caramelized onions and the deep-savory caramelized apples. Fontina is your answer! Fontina, a cow’s milk cheese from the Italian Alps is made for melting. Truly! It is a classic recipe for fondue. A little Fontina can melt into your apple, spinach, and onion quesadilla and turn it into a delicious dinner party favorite.

Ingredients:

 

  • 8 (8”) inch flour tortillas
  • 16 oz fontina or white sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup caramelized onions

 

How to make:

  1. Heat oven to 424°F.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, grease with olive oil.
  3. One tortilla at a time, layer cheese,  spinach, caramelized onions, a few apple slices then more cheese onto half of each of the tortillas.
  4. Fold in half and brush with olive oil. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Slice into quarters and enjoy!

 

Spicy Kung Pao Tofu

kung pao tofu recipe

Kung Pao Tofu?

Yes! It turns out that we may love it more than Kung Pao Chicken. Imagine tofu fried with a little sesame oil and then dipped in spicy Kung Pao sauce.

The spice aisle in most grocery stores stocks dried chilies which give this simple tofu stir fry its spicy heat. Our vegetarian Kung Pao recipe is simple and easy to make. 

 

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 30 min
  • COOK TIME: 25 min
  • CALORIES: 427

How to make Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao tofu can be made from scratch so you don’t have to wait for take-out. This plant-based recipe is great for saving time and money. Here’s how to make Kung Pao Tofu stir fry.

Ingredients 

  • 2 blocks (14-16 oz) extra-firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1red bell pepper, large diced
  • 1green bell pepper, large diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 3″ pieces
  • 1 cup cashews (or peanuts)
  • 1 Tbsp minced or grated, fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 whole dried red chili peppers (cut a few in half if you like spice)

Kung Pao Sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Place kung pao sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside until later.

How to make:

 

  1. Place paper towels on a plate. Place the whole block of tofu, drained from the packaging liquid, onto the paper towels. Add more paper towels to the top of the tofu. Next, place a heavier item on top. The object should not be so heavy that it crushes the tofu. However, it should be heavy enough to extract the liquid. Drain the tofu and change the paper towels halfway through.
  2. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar together in a bowl to make the Kung Pao Sauce, mix well, and place in a bowl.
  3. After draining the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes. Place them in a large bowl. Toss the tofu with cornstarch until well coated.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large skillet on high heat. To avoid overcrowding the pan cook in small batches. Cook until brown on all sides, approximately 15 minutes. Transfer the tofu out of the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels. 
  5. In the same skillet heat one tablespoon of sesame oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot stir-fry the bell peppers for 4 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the cashews, green onions, dried chili peppers, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry for about 2 minutes, then add the Kung Pao sauce and the fried Tofu. 
  6. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Serve and enjoy! Serve over your favorite rice for extra goodness.

What You Need To Know About Organic Foods

What You Need to Know About Organic Foods

Are organic foods really healthier? Is it worth the cost? Learn what the labels mean so you can choose the best foods for the most money.

what does the term “organic” refer to?

Organic refers to how agricultural products are grown and processed. Although regulations may vary from one country to another, USDA labeling requires that organic foods be grown without synthetic pesticides or herbicides.

Organic livestock that is raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products must be kept in conditions that allow them to maintain their natural behavior (such as being able to graze on grass) and fed organic feed. They cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones.

Organic vs. Nonorganic
Organic produce Conventionally-grown produce:
Use natural fertilizers such as manure and compost. Use synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
You can control weeds naturally by crop rotation, hand weeding, and mulching, or by using organic-approved herbicides. Chemical herbicides can be used to control weeds.
Natural methods are used to control pests (birds, insects, and traps) as well as naturally-derived pesticides. Synthetic pesticides can be used to control pests
Organic meat, dairy, and eggs Conventionally-raised meat, dairy, eggs
All organic, hormone-, and GMO-free feed is given to livestock. For faster growth, livestock is fed growth hormones as well as GMO-free feed.
Natural methods like clean housing, rotational grass cutting, and healthy eating can prevent disease. To prevent livestock diseases, antibiotics and medication are used.
Access to the outdoors is essential for livestock. The outdoors may be available to livestock.

organic foods have many benefits

Your mental and emotional well-being, as well as that of the environment, can be affected by how your food is raised. People with allergies to chemicals or foods may notice a decrease or disappearance of symptoms when organic foods are consumed. Organic foods can often contain more nutrients than conventionally grown foods. Needless to say, the amount of nutrition in food matters.

Organic produce is less pesticide-laden. Pesticide residues can remain in the food we eat.

Organic food is fresher because it doesn’t have preservatives which make it last longer. Sometimes organic produce is produced in smaller farms closer to the place it will be sold.

Organic agriculture tends to be more sustainable. It is better for the environment, birds, and animals that live near farms than it is for people.

Organically-raised animals are not given growth hormones or antibiotics. The use of antibiotics may also lead to antibiotic-resistant strains. Organically raised animals are more mobile and have access to the outdoors. This helps to maintain their health.

Organic meats and milk may contain more nutrients than conventionally raised meats and milk.

GMO-free organic food is available. GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms are plants whose DNA has undergone genetic engineering to produce an insecticide or be resistant to them.

locally-grown foods vs organic foods

There is no standard for what “local food” means, unlike organic standards. It could be from your area, your state, or your country. It is possible to buy food at local markets, especially during large parts of the year.

locally grown foods have many benefits

Financial Money stays in the local economy. Instead of going to marketing and distribution, more money goes directly to farmers.

Transportation: The average distance that a meal takes from the farm to your plate in the United States is more than 1,500 miles. Produce must first be picked when it is still young and then “ripened” by gassing after transportation. Foods are also highly processed in factories that use preservatives, radiation, and other methods to preserve them for transport.

Freshness: Local foods are harvested when they are ripe, which makes them more flavorful and fresher.

Although some small farmers may use organic methods, they might not be able or able to afford to get certified organic. Talk to farmers at a farmer’s marketplace to learn more about their methods.

genetically modified organisms

understanding GMOS

GMOs and their effects on the environment and health are a topic of ongoing controversy. GMOs are designed to make crops resistant to herbicides or to produce insecticides. A lot of sweet corn grown in the United States is genetically engineered to resist Roundup herbicide and produce its own insecticide, Bt Toxin.

GMOs can also be found in U.S. crops like soybeans, alfalfa, and squash. They are also common in processed foods such as bread, cereal, and many other breakfast foods. GMOs are most likely to be found in packages containing corn syrup and soy lecithin.

GMOS, pesticides

Since GMOs were introduced, the use of toxic herbicides such as Roundup (glyphosate), has increased by 15 times. The World Health Organization has declared that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” to humans, but there are still questions about the health risks associated with pesticide use.

are GMOS safe to eat?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and biotech companies that have engineered GMOs, insist that they are safe. However, food safety advocates argue that there have never been long-term studies to prove that GMOs are safe. Some animal studies indicate that GMOs can cause damage to internal organs, slow brain growth, and thickening in the digestive tract.

GMOs have been linked with increased food allergies and gastrointestinal issues in humans. Many people believe that altering DNA in animals or plants can increase cancer risk, but the research so far has been inconsistent.

organic means pesticide-free?

One of the main benefits of organic food is its lower pesticide use. However, despite popular belief, organic farms do use pesticides. Organic farms use only naturally-derived pesticides and not synthetic pesticides like those used on commercial farms. Although natural pesticides may be less toxic than synthetic ones, some have been shown to pose health risks. Organic food will reduce your exposure to pesticides.

what are the potential risks associated with pesticides?

Many years of exposure to pesticides has led to a buildup in our bodies. As it is medically called, this chemical “body burden” could cause health problems such as headaches, birth defects, and additional strain on the immune system.

Studies have shown that even low-dose pesticides can increase your risk of certain types of cancer like leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer.

The most vulnerable are children and their fetuses to pesticides, as their bodies, immune systems, and brains still developing. Early exposure can cause motor dysfunction, developmental delays, autism, immune system damage, and behavioral disorders.

Pregnant mothers are more at risk because of the additional stress pesticides place on already stressed organs. Pesticides can also be passed from mother to child in the womb and breast milk.

The widespread use of pesticides has also led to the emergence of “superweeds” and “superbugs,” which can only be killed with extremely toxic poisons like 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (a major ingredient in Agent Orange).

is it possible to get rid of pesticides by washing and peeling?

Fresh produce can be rinsed to reduce pesticides, but not completely eliminate them. Sometimes peeling can help, but valuable nutrients often end up in the water. It is best to eat a variety of foods, scrub your produce well, and use organic whenever possible.

organic shopping offers the best value for money

Organic food can be more expensive than conventionally grown food. It is possible to buy organic food if you have some priorities.

know your produce pesticide levels

Certain types of conventionally grown produce have higher pesticide levels than others, so it is best to avoid them. Some are sufficiently low that it is safe to buy organic.

vegetables and fruits where the organic label is most important

The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit organization that analyses the results of U.S. government pesticide testing. Important to know for vegetarians, it has been determined that the following fruits and veggies have the highest pesticide levels. Organics are the best option.

  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Summer squash
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Hot Peppers

you don’t need to buy organic fruits and vegetables

These conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, also known as the “Clean 15”, are low in pesticides.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet Peas (frozen).
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe

if you have the funds, buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy

The U.S. may allow industrially raised animals to be fed corn, grains, and antibiotics as well as animal by-products, growth hormones, and pesticides. Both the animals and those who eat their meat, eggs, and milk can suffer from these practices.

Look for beef and dairy products that are “pasture-raised” or 100 percent grass-fed if you have the funds. For chicken, pork, and eggs, opt for “certified organic.” It may be possible to buy lower-quality meats from organically raised animals and still eat organic. For example, you might consider buying organic chicken thighs rather than conventionally raised chicken breasts.

save money buying organic

there are other ways you can keep organic food costs within your budget

Visit farmers’ markets. Local farmers often sell their produce at open-air street markets, which are often cheaper than grocery stores.

Sign up for a food cooperative. A food co-op or cooperative grocery store typically has lower prices for members who pay an annual membership fee

Join a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA), where individuals and families can purchase “shares”, or bulk produce directly from a local farmer. Local and Organic!

tips for buying organic food

Always buy in season. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are the cheapest and most fresh. To ensure that you are buying the best food, find out when your produce will be delivered to your local market.

Compare prices. Compare organic products at the farmers’ market, grocery stores, online, and other places (including the freezer aisle).

Organic doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. It is common for food companies to make junk food appear healthy. However, organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks can still be very high in sugar, salt, or fat. It is important to carefully read labels on food.

why is organic food so expensive?

Organic food requires more work because the farmers don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Organic certification can be costly and organic feed for animals may cost twice as much. Farms that product organic foods are smaller than traditional farms. This means that overhead and fixed costs must be spread across smaller produce volumes, without subsidies from the government.

How to Caramelize Onions

How to Caramelize onions recipe

Caramelized Onions

 

PREP TIME 10 mins

COOK TIME 45 mins

SERVINGS 8 servings

YIELD 2 cups

*Quantities 5 large raw onions yielded about 2 cups caramelized onions*

Slow cooking onions bring new flavor

You can caramelize onions by slow cooking them in olive oil until they become richly browned. Onions are naturally sweet and the caramelizing process is made from simple sugar slow cooking. This caramelization results in onions becoming intensely and wonderfully flavorful.

This method can be used to top steaks, soup, quiche, quesadillas, and a number of other dishes. You can also eat the whole batch straight up, as I did with this batch. What are your favorite dishes that make use of caramelized onions? 

Ingredients

 

  • Several onions, yellow, white, or red
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

How to make:

  1. Dice the onions
  2. Heat the Oil – Heat the pan on medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.
  3. Add diced onions to oil
  4. Add salt after about 30 min
  5. Cook for an additional 30 min stirring occasionally 
  6. At the end of the cooking process, you might want to add a little balsamic vinegar or wine to help deglaze the pan and bring some additional flavor to the onions.

 

Optionally you can add some sugar with the salt to help with the caramelization process. Just add the salt, stir and then add the sugar.

Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Quinoa

Vegan Lentil Soup

Let’s talk Lentil Soup Nutrition

It’s not “Is lentil soup good for you?  but “Can a soup be this healthy and still taste delicious?” YES! This French lentil soup recipe is a nutritional powerhouse that can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. Quinoa is paired with protein-packed green beans, which are rich in iron, potassium, and phosphorus. Quinoa, which is gluten-free, is rich in fiber, minerals, and folate (B1) and can also be considered a “complete protein”. This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. Quinoa is a great food to add to a vegetarian or vegan diet. This vegan lentil soup is a great source of nutrients for both small and large bodies.

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 15 min
  • COOK TIME: 55 min
  • CALORIES: 614

 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and dicedLentil Soup spices
  • 8 ounces cremini and/or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups black or green lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Crusty bread

 

Method

 

  1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil has glistened add the onion and celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, salt, thyme, and pepper. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes until vegetables become soft and begin to brown.
  2. Add the stock, 2 cups water, and the diced tomato along with their juices. Bring the soup to boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the lentils, cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. Bring the bring back to a boil and add the quinoa. Reduce to medium heat and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add olive oil, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and parsley (if desired) to garnish. 
  5. Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy!

 

 

Super-Flavorful Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with Avocado Crema

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 20 min
  • COOK TIME: 30 min
  • CALORIES: 410

Super-Flavorful Vegetarian Burrito Bowl Ingredients

Although you can make your veggie burrito bowl with just roasted vegetables and canned beans over rice, adding a few more steps and ingredients to the recipe will transform it into a delicious and healthy meal everyone wants. These easy burrito bowls can be made with:

  • ½ lb. Cauliflower Florets.
  • 3 Bell peppers. 
  • 1 yellow Onion.
  • Olive oil.
  • 2 limes juiced. 1 for the crema and 1 for the rice.
  • Taco seasoning. 
  • 1 can of Beans. Pinto or black.
  • Salsa. Jarred or homemade
  • Romaine lettuce.
  • 2 cups of Rice. 

Avocado Crema

The burrito bowl’s colorful and hearty vegetarian ingredients can be seasoned in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s worth going the extra mile. This lovely avocado crema makes a burrito bowl look a lot fancier. The avocado crema also makes the burrito bowl look a little more cohesive and ties everything together.  Here’s what you need to do to make your veggie burrito bowl extra special.

  • 1 Fresh Avocado
  • 3 cloves diced fresh Garlic
  • ⅓ cup of Sour cream
  • 1 lime juiced
  • Cilantro to taste

Vegetarian Food

Putting together your Burrito Bowl

It is mostly a matter of assembling a burrito bowl. It is possible to prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time and make them easy to put together. This is how we approach the burrito bowl recipe.

  1. Cilantro-lime rice: Cook rice in a rice maker for the best rice. Or just season some leftover rice with a little cilantro and lime juice.
  2. Veggies: Heat a bit of olive oil in your pan. Add Cauliflower florets, diced peppers, diced onions and taco seasoning, cook on low to med heat for about 30 minutes. 
  3. Beans: Add beans and salsa to a pan and heat for about 3 minutes
  4. Mix the avocado crema ingredients together and place them in the fridge for up to 30 minutes.
  5. Rough chop your Romaine.
  6. Assemble and enjoy!

The Importance of Food and Nutrition in Detox

diets for addiction therapy

Everyone knows that Drug and Alcohol abuse takes a significant toll on the human body.  It takes time to recover from a history of substance abuse and should be a gradual procedure, not cold turkey or an overnight rush.  In addition to avoiding substance abuse, nutrition is one of the most important aspects of recovery.  Alcohol addiction is especially tough to recuperate from as the detoxification phase is quite complex (where vigilant monitoring, medication, and support are available).  For the socialites, alcohol presents even greater challenges to avoid if one is particularly social.  Food and nutrition are vital in helping the body restore itself as well as restore and preserve health and wellness.

When you abuse alcohol and also drugs, you:

  • Eat less (except in the case of marijuana abuse).
  • Tend to go for quick foods that are much less nourishing and skip meals outright.
  • Use up energy at a faster rate, often leading to fatigue and exhaustion.
  • Take in fewer nutrients due to looseness of bowels and vomiting.
  • Cause intestinal damage and imbalances that inhibit your gut from absorbing nutrients effectively. 

What you eat does have an influence on brain function.  When your body isn’t getting the proper nutrition, it can’t create the proper chemicals for healthy brain function.  When your body isn’t creating these chemicals, or the chemicals are out of whack, you can feel short-tempered and also anxious. You can experience food cravings, stress and anxiety, and a lack of ability to rest or sleep. The resulting anxiety can also impact memory and/or make people paranoid, worn out, dissatisfied, and depressed.

How should you eat for healing? 

During healing, you need to maintain a diet plan that stabilizes the levels of serotonin (a hormonal agent that assists with relaxation) in the brain. You should focus on foods high in carbohydrates, especially the intricate carbohydrates found in starchy foods like beans (e.g., beans, peas, and lentils), root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, and carrots, as well as healthy pastas and whole-grain breads. Consuming these foods with your choice of a healthy, low-fat protein in your daily diet will certainly help improve your mood and wellness.  

Deficiencies in thiamine, folate or folic acid, (B-Complex vitamins), and B12 prevail with alcoholism.  The body also often lacks vitamin C, which is so important for immunity.  Chronic alcohol intake likewise enhances the loss of minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium from the body. Iron is an exemption to this as well as is seldom lacking due to the fact that alcohol damages the stomach lining, therefore raising iron absorption. These nutritional imbalances can lead to a whirlwind of conditions, most importantly depression and fatigue.

In the first year after becoming sober from your alcohol or drug addiction, your body has higher nutritional demands than it normally would.  There is a lot of internal recovery and repair to take place, and your body needs proper nourishment. Eat healthy food on a daily basis. If you eat healthily but don’t discontinue your alcohol or drug use, your body isn’t making full use of that nutrition, and a lot of it, especially the nutrients required for detox, go right down the toilet.  Loose stools are common in the alcoholic, as well as a general lack of overall proper nutrition.  

Poor nutrition in an addict manifests itself in a number of ways.  Fatigue is a common problem, as well as a weakened immune system.  These things contribute to your ability to get sick, and when you’re not eating right, you’re more prone to illness.  Dental problems are common, not only with the meth addict (teeth can be damaged by repeated bouts of acid reflux and vomiting) digestion problems (loose stools, gas, diarrhea, or possibly constipation), skin problems (dryness and/or sores), and a decrease in the ability to taste food.  For the heavy and long-term alcohol abuser, there is a strong risk of brain damage, nerve damage, liver problems, heart problems, pancreatic problems, and an increased risk for certain types of cancer.  These problems are significant and must be addressed and corrected — preferably by a group of addiction treatment healthcare professionals — in order for true healing to take place.

In the early stages of detoxification as well as healing, you need to take the diet easy, as your body may not be up to the task of properly digesting your meals.  It’s a great suggestion to start off with small, frequent meals.  Some people may gain weight as they replace meals they once routinely skipped.  If you need assistance with weight management, nutritional counselors are also a good resource for help.  If you still have difficulty eating properly and still managing your weight, or if your weight bothers you or seems unmanageable, it may be necessary to be evaluated by a specialist for body image and/or eating disorder issues.  

Food shouldn’t replace medicines as a coping system. Sugar, as well as high levels of caffeine, are common replacements that people fall into using because of the energy boost that many people feel.  These low-nutrient foods can prevent you from consuming adequate healthy food and they impact your state of mind and mood. Nonetheless, even these options are better than resorting back to drug or alcohol abuse again. 

To properly plan for drug and alcohol recovery, your diet must include: 

  1. Complex carbohydrates (roughly half of your daily calorie intake), which means a lot of fruits, grains, and veggies.
  2. Dairy products or various other foods rich in calcium (calcium-fortified drinks, tofu, kale), a glass or two every day.
  3. Modest healthy protein (15% to 20% of calories): two to four ounces twice a day of meat or fish (or another high-protein food such as tofu).
  4. Fat choices (A third of your overall daily calorie intake), ideally excellent oils such as canola, olive, flaxseed, as well as those located in fish.
  5. Support groups and other solutions should be included in your plan for dietary recovery.  

Interventions can be ineffective without proper structure and access to support networks.  An appropriate structure would include a network of access to healthy and safe foods, dietary consultation and monitoring, and implementing healthy lifestyle changes.  

Health care companies and also various community-based options often have treatment packages that include services in psychological wellness, nourishment, and provided food, along with various other social solutions. These are fantastic tools in the recovery procedure, and they can offer alternative care and also assistance if you are recouping from dependency.

Nourishment pointers for healing … and also for life

  1. If you must eat fast food, look for the healthy options.  Most fast food menus now have calorie counts posted at the drive through, in the store, and on their website.  If you can’t cook, try your best to buy healthy. 
  2. Eat a selection of foods from all the food teams (fruits/vegetables, grains, milk, and meat or choices).
  3. Consume food high in fiber, such as bran as well as oat grains and muffins, beans, fruits, and also veggies.
  4. Don’t skip meals, including breakfast.  Smaller meals throughout the day may be easier at first.  
  5. Slowly cut down to drinking fewer than two cups of caffeinated soda, tea, or coffee per day.
  6. Cut back on sugar and sweets, but don’t omit them altogether – glucose is the sugar that the brain burns. 
  7. Drink lots of water.
  8. Take multivitamins (talk to your health care provider concerning the options).
  9. Take up a hobby.  Get a life and start to enjoy it.  
  10. Learn new means of managing stress and anxiety.  

Most importantly, seek support. Connect to counselors and also family members. Talk to a dietitian for recommendations on nutrients, and read the best health blogs to learn exactly how to manage dietary problems including constipation and diarrhea, and for other healthful and cost-saving diet tips.