Tag Archives: vegan

Craving Something Unhealthy?

Well, I was too! I wasn’t craving the worst thing, Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, but there are things on the ingredient list that just don’t work for me. The corn is most likely GMO which is a controversial subject, but I choose to err on the side of caution and avoid it when possible. And the pasta is made with wheat which I try my best to avoid because it causes me grief, and eggs (probably not pastured and who knows what the chickens ate) and sugar which shouldn’t be necessary to cut the acidity of the tomatoes because there are carrots in the soup.

All of which left me in the lurch so I started checking around and found Amy’s Organic Fat Free Vegetable Soup which was delicious once I added a squirt of olive oil, but pricey at around $3.60/can. That can was enough for one nice-sized bowl and I definitely bought it, then found it for a around $2.50 online through Walmart.

One day a few weeks ago I was walking through the grocery store and spotted a package of mixed veggies. That’s something I hadn’t looked at or purchased in years, but the picture got my attention because it is exactly what’s in Campbell’s or Amy’s vegetable soup. The light bulb came on! I checked out the ingredients on Amy’s can and knew that with a can of tomatoes and a few spices I could duplicate the veggie soup of my craving! And, it works! Here’s how:

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/3 bag of frozen organic corn*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen edamame*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen spinach
  • 1-2T reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • Dehydrated onion flakes, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today's lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today’s lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Using a large pot, put all of the ingredients together along with 1 1/2 tomato cans of water. Heat it all up and then simmer for a couple of hours.
I like extra corn and wanted a bit of protein thrown in. Use organic when possible and practical. You can use onions, garlic and celery, I just didn’t happen to have any on hand when I put mine together.
The second time I made it I cleaned out the bits and pieces of veggies in my freezer and added some okra, peas and kale. Play with it and enjoy!

So, the moral of the story is, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a healthy version, nor does it have to be difficult to create. I’d love the challenge of finding healthy alternatives for you. Visit my website http://www.nancyoglesby.com and click on Contact Me.

Bon Apetite!



Nancy’s Soon-to-Be Famous Accidental Chili

I’ve found a combination of ‘secret’ ingredients that make meatless soup, chili and spaghetti sauce taste, for lack of a better word, meaty. I’ve tested my recipes on diehard, meat-loving dudes and they are all shocked when they find out there’s no meat in them.

So, add this to your meal rotation and save the money for a grass-fed steak! (For more on reasons to add in meatless meals see Breakfast for Dinner.) The story explaining the name is in the recipe instructions below.

This recipe is high in protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Enjoy!

(Gluten Free)

1 Can (28oz)     Diced Organic Tomatoes
2 Cans (15oz)   Kidney Beans (I like Light Red)
1 Can (15oz)     Pinto/Black Beans
1 Can (15oz)     Pizza Sauce (I use Muir Glen Organic)
2 Med                 Onions (chopped how you like them)
2 Cloves            Garlic (crushed)
6-8 Small           Red Potatoes (quartered, unpeeled)
1 Cube               Edward & Sons Not Beef Bouillon (or a brand you prefer)
1 T                     Bragg Liquid Aminos (available either online or in the health section
of your grocery
1.5T                   Smoked Paprika  (or to taste)
3 T                     Chili Powder  (or to taste)
2 T                     Cumin  (or to taste)
1.5 T                  Coconut Oil (I use raw, organic, extra virgin)

Rinse & drain the beans, toss everything in a crockpot, cook. J I have to confess that I don’t always use a raw onion or garlic cloves. If I’m in a hurry and don’t have either, I add dried, minced onion and garlic powder. (There, I said it. Confession over.)

Okay, here’s how the accidental, fabulously delicious potato chili happened:

I was at the grocery store and googled ‘chili’ since I can never remember the ratio of tomatoes to tomato sauce or paste. I checked out three and all of them had only 1 large can of tomatoes so that’s what I bought. I got home and started adding ingredients and quickly realized that I needed another tomato product so I looked in my cabinet and the only thing I had was a can of Muir Glen Pizza Sauce. I read the ingredients and thought, “That should work. The Chili Powder and Cumin should do a good job of covering up most of the basil and oregano.”

I tossed everything in the Crockpot and cooked it several hours before dinner. I fixed myself a bowl, took a bite and realized that the bouillon cube added way too much salt … Hmmm, potatoes will absorb that, so tomorrow I’ll add some potatoes.

The next morning, I tossed it all back in the Crockpot and cubed 6-8 small red potatoes and added them. Several hours later I had the best chili I’d ever tasted … NancyO’s Accidental, Fabulously Delicious Potato Chili! But you don’t have to believe me. I demonstrate this in my cooking classes while the students eat some that’s already cooked. This is what I hear:

“OMG – the chili was AWESOME! … That is a recipe my meat-eating hubby would like too!”

“This chili is really amazing!”

“I can’t believe there’s no meat in this. It’s delicious!”

I hope you get a chance to try this because it is really good and the perfect answer to Meatless Meals!

Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Just a quick disclaimer: I make a small amount if you purchase from the links I provide. However, primarily I add links because it allows you to know exactly what product I’m talking about when I identify brands that I like and use.

5 Freezer Hacks to Save Money

My freezer isn't always this organized. It's often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

My freezer isn’t always this organized. It’s often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

This is going to be short and sweet: Freeze Everything!

Okay, maybe not quite everything, but if you’re like me, there’s often a banana that’s about to go bad, oranges that you can’t possible eat in time or you can’t take advantage of the sale on grapes because there’s no way you can use them soon enough. Maybe you bought that bag of kale with good intentions, but the intentions didn’t follow you home from the store.

How many times do you end up throwing away produce? If you’re like I was, it’s a lot. What you buy will have a better chance of staying out of the the landfill when you begin to rely on your freezer. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Buy a bag of already washed and chopped kale, and if you only use it in cooked dishes and/or smoothies, just toss it right in the freezer when you get home. This works for spinach as well. (It doesn’t work at all if you’re going to eat it in a salad or raw since when defrosted it gets pretty mushy.)
  2. Cookie sheet magic happens with most fruits and veggies that you want to use for smoothies or in cooked dishes. Are your bananas looking a bit beyond their deliciousness? Slice, lay out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and slide in the freezer. When they’ve frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This works for apples (which don’t turn brown when cut up and frozen), peaches, cherries, orange sections, grapes, strawberries, mango, melon, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, snow peas, green beans … Well, just about anything! These won’t be good for eating thawed out, but they’re great for purees, smoothies, syrups, stir fries, soups and stews. You can even add frozen fruit to beverages for a pop of color.
  3. If you haven’t already tried it, eat grapes and cherries frozen. It takes you longer to eat them (reduced sugar intake) and they taste great!
  4. A treat with frozen bananas is to dip them in melted, dark chocolate (70% or higher) and refreeze … good for your health and fabulous for that chocolate craving! (Eat frozen)
  5. Can’t possibly go through a loaf of bread in time? Open the bag, fan out the slices, set in the freezer. Once frozen, put the loaf back together and seal the bag. You won’t have to jackhammer the pieces apart ever again!
Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil ... handy!

Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil … handy!

There you have it … Tips to help your budget, your health and the landfill!

If you’re in the Kansas City area, check out my upcoming events. They can be found on my website’s Events Page.

Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Tidbit Tuesday – Chia Seeds

Wow! These little, bitty seeds pack a wallop! 1oz. (1T + 1/2t) has 8.6g fat, 4.4g protein (high quality containing all essential amino acids except for taurine), 12g carbohydrate, 11g fiber; 1620mg Omega6, 4915mg Omega3, 18% DV of calcium and it’s also high in phosphorous, and manganese. Chia also contains zinc, potassium, copper, niacin, folic acid and magnesium.

All that nutrition is packed into a tiny seed that’s tasteless! That means you can add it to almost anything without affecting the taste. Go ahead, sprinkle it on salads, cereal and yogurt or blend it up in your smoothie. (See Mad About Monday 2-6-12

So, what are the health claims? The Aztecs ate chia seeds for energy. It is reported to be mildly anti-inflammatory, slows the digestion of carbohydrates helping to regulate blood sugar, lowers bad and raises good cholesterol, aids in weight loss and helps to control cravings. Because it’s loaded with anti-oxidants it aids in the prevention of heart disease and hypertension and should be included in any anti-aging strategy. It also aids in hydration and is great for your skin

As if all that isn’t enough, unlike flax seed, chia doesn’t need to be ground to get the benefits, making it easier and faster to use; and it doesn’t need careful handling because it doesn’t get rancid due to the high levels of anti-oxidants. I’ve read that you can keep them for two years.

Chia seeds turn liquid into a gel-like substance that surrounds the seed. It makes a fantastic base for a raw pudding. I got the following recipe from rawfoodswitch.com:

1/4c chia seeds, 1.5c almond or other nut milk, dash of vanilla, sweetener of choice (I love pure maple syrup). Put all ingredients in a glass jar, shake to mix and refrigerate overnight … Voila! Pudding!

As a variation, I plan to try adding 1T of raw cacao to the mix … yum!

Mad About Monday – Apple Smoothie

I am mad about smoothies … especially my fave breakfast smoothie! It’s a healthy, long-lasting bit of heaven in a glass. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1.5c Almond Milk, unsweetened, vanilla
  • 1 apple, cored and frozen (I like fuji)
  • 1/2T pure maple syrup
  • 2T peanut butter (I use organic, freshly ground from Whole Foods)
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1/8t cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

Toss into blender and blend away. As an alternative to cinnamon and nutmeg, you can add a blended seasoning mix such as pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice if that’s what’s in your kitchen.

This breakfast keeps me satisfied for hours! Enjoy!

Wednesday’s Word – Disgusted 1/18/12

While former President Bill Clinton who chose to control his health by eating a healthy, whole foods diet, holds a conference on wellness, another celebrity, Paula Deen chooses to climb in bed with the huge pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to promote their newest injection and lead a growing diabetes population toward insulin dependence as a way of life instead of choosing to change to a healthier lifestyle and a diet that centers on natural, unprocessed whole foods.

I am not privy to the contract that Ms. Deen signed with Novo Nordisk, but am certain she is being paid a hefty sum to be the face of Victoza. Well done, madam; use your celebrity to earn more money (which I’m sure you don’t have enough of) instead of stepping up and using your talents to effect a healthy change in the standard American diet. Instead you are teaching diabetics to continue their bad habits while relying on the healthcare system to bail them out.

No wonder our healthcare costs are skyrocketing while our health is deteriorating. People pay more and feel worse! Novo Nordisk paying Paula Deen is another example of an expense that’s passed on to the consumer … In this case, diabetics!

Pharmaceutical companies want you to keep eating processed food and sitting on the couch watching television, sitting all day at the office getting stressed out … They want you to be healthy enough to go to work, but sick enough to need their products.

There’s no money in healthy people!

Type 2 Diabetes is CAUSED by a poor diet and lifestyle and can be CURED by a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Now, more than ever, people need to learn how to change their health and stay out of the healthcare system—Death by healthcare (iatrogenic death) is reported to be the third leading cause of death in the U.S., ahead of motor vehicle accidents and AIDS. Iatrogenic deaths aren’t listed in standard death rate tables because that’s not how they’re reported, but the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 1991/1999 that upwards of 100,000 deaths resulted from ‘medical injuries.’ And that is trending up instead of down. Infections incurred during hospitalization have increased dramatically.

Certified Health Coach will work with your doctor to reduce and even eliminate your need for diabetes medication. To contact me for more information, or a free health consultation visit my website at http://www.HealthWorksKC.com

How Changing a Diet Changed a Life

I know a person with MS; let’s call him Tom. Tom has had some issues with alcohol over the years and was recently released from a 90-day sentence in a prison alcohol treatment program. When he had been back for a few days, we got to talking about his MS and how bad it was; there was numbness and tingling in his hands and arms and he said that his feet felt like anvils when he came up the stairs. His depression was pretty deep.

I had read bits and pieces about diet and MS and offered to print out some of what I came across for him. I also suggested Vitamin D supplements since I’d just read a lot about the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiencies and the host of problems, including MS symptom exacerbation and depression, that was caused by not having enough of it. I was pretty sure, based on his pasty complexion, that he hadn’t been getting a lot of sun in prison.

I came home, printed out information from The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, John MacDougall, MD., and information about the Swank Diet. There was also a NYTimes article which referenced two women, Ann Sawyer and Judith Bachrach, who had written a book titled, “The MS Recovery Diet.” (There are also naysayers who discount diet’s role in symptom relief, but there are people who argue about the benefits of healthy eating everywhere.)

While I was not at all recommending replacing medical treatment, I was certainly encouraging Tom to try to resolve some of his symptoms through diet. I was surprised and delighted that he not only read the information, but immediately began to put the strategies in place.

Last week, we were sharing a vegan lunch, and I told him that the dollop of aioli wasn’t vegan. He wouldn’t touch it. He said, “No way am I eating that. I’m feeling good and I don’t want to do anything to mess this up!” This was less than two months after he began changing his diet. He said he was able to run up the stairs, and there wasn’t any numbness in his hands. I could observe that he wasn’t as depressed and his color was much improved.

I’ve personally given up dairy, gluten and meat, along with rarely eating tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes, something I thought would never happen, but I don’t have any symptoms of asthma, arthritis or hypertension anymore. I can walk two miles a night without feeling an ache or pain. I can swim laps for a half hour, then go walk a mile on the track and ride a cycle for a half hour without any breathing problems. I have more energy than I had when I was 25 and I’m 61 … That’s what I’m talking about!

Tom had to give up dairy, gluten, eggs and meat for this to work for him. As Ms. Sawyer said, “The approach is simple, doesn’t cost anything and nobody is making money from it. We’re not saying the diet is a cure; it’s a way to control the symptoms of MS. Walking around watching what you eat is a lot better than sitting in a wheelchair.” Isn’t that the truth!

Diet! What a fantastic tool we have available to us and yet so few people choose to use it. Whether you have allergies, asthma, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, fibromyalgia or MS … Why not give it a shot? It sounds difficult and frightening at first, but when you start feeling so much better, and you get better at preparation, making good choices, and finding products that you like, it really becomes second nature.

I decided to become a certified health coach because of the success I’ve had with changing my diet. A lot of people don’t need to make the drastic changes that I made or that Tom made; they just need to discover what works for them. Often, people just want to have more energy, lose weight, or sleep better.

One way to make the process of changing your diet easier is to work with a health coach who can help you experiment with what works for you and can even help you learn how to prepare some  foods that might be new to you. A certified health coach has the knowledge to guide you through the process. In September, I’ll be certified to offer a six-month health coaching program. Since I’ll be new to the coaching process, I will be offering the program at a substantial discount. So, if you’re interested in making a change, let me know and we can make arrangements to get together in September!