Hey there everyone! My name is Lindsay and I am honored today to be part of this guest blogging series here at With a Heart Full of Daisies. I've been following Kate's blog since I first started blogging late last year. I love Kate's free spirited and down to earth blogging style, the fashion, the recipes and how she motivates me with fitness and running!! I blog over at Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels, another healthy living blog where I primarily focus on wholesome and natural cooking.
I follow a primarily plant-based vegan diet. I also shy away from processed foods, packaged foods and foods with sugar and preservatives. When I tell people I eat this way, they usually do a double take and gasp, What on earth do you eat? How do you get your nutrients? To me, it's ironic that in today's society whole and natural foods are so far from the norm. I eat every fruit vegetable, whole grain, seed, legume and nut butter under the sun. And yes I still indulge in chocolate!! :) The more I vary my diet, the maximum amount of vitamins and nutrients I am able to incorporate.
One essential nutrient for our bodies, especially for women whom can be more prone to osteoporosis and bone loss, is calcium and vitamin D. And drinking a huge glass of milk is not the only way to get these nutrients. The most natural and efficient source of Vitamin D is the sunlight. Just 15 minutes in the sun will allow your body to absorb adequate amounts of Vitamin D. So step outside, wiggle your toes in the grass and enjoy a little mother nature once and awhile.
There are many different foods with high calcium content. The USDA recommends that women ages 19-50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Since vitamins and nutrients are more easily absorbed in their natural food form, I use my diet to get this recommended dosage. Leafy greens, beans and soy products, almonds, sesame seeds and many more sources contain high levels of calcium. Foods like tofu and orange juice are often fortified with additional calcium content.
One of my favorite foods is hummus. Two of the ingredients, garbanzo beans and tahini (sesame seed paste), contain calcium. Hummus is also high in dietary fiber, protein and iron. It makes a great spread on sandwiches, a dip for veggies and crackers or even homemade falafel! It's also super easy to make. One of my favorite things about hummus is that it's so versatile and you can incorporate whichever flavor you desire. If plain hummus strikes your fancy, you only need a handful of ingredients to get started. If you have a more exploratory palate, experiment by adding veggies and herbs, or even sweeten it up with pumpkin puree or nut butter. The possibilities are endless. Here is one of my favorite humus recipes.
Spicy Eggplant Hummus
2 c. garbanzo beans, cooked and drained (you can use canned if you like)
1 lg. eggplant
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. tahini
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp red chili sesame oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1. First step is to peel your chic peas. This may sound strange but it's essential for a smooth and creamy hummus. So plop your behind in front of a good episode of CSI or Law and Order (my favs!) and peel away. This bowl took about 15 or 20 minutes.
2. Wash, peel and chop your eggplant into 2" cubes. Place into a casserole pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in 350 degree oven until softened, about 25 minutes.
3. Incorporate chic peas, eggplant and remaining ingredients in large mixing bowl. Use a hand-help emersion blender to blend together until smooth (Or you can combine everything in a food processor).
Serve with your favorite side items and enjoy!!
Thank you again Kate for allowing me to guest post here with you today, and for all of you, please don't hesitate to swing over and say hello at Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels. Happy wedding week dear Kate!!!! <3