vegan nutrition

8 Easy Swaps For These Common Ingredients

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Have you been wanting to ditch the dairy and see what changes you notice? 

Or perhaps you want to try out a new recipe without setting off a food allergy, but you're allergic to one of the main ingredients in most recipes. 

It could even be that you're just one or two ingredients short of the recipe you want to try and don't have time to run to the store. 

For all these occasions and more, it's helpful to know a few common ingredient replacements to hack into your cooking skills.

Whether your goal is to be healthier, to use what's already in your kitchen, or to avoid a food sensitivity issue, these ingredient swaps can help you be a master of ingredient disguises!

Butter 

Baking something? You can use coconut oil in a ratio of 1:1 in either soft or solid form to replace the need for butter.

Milk

If milk is called for in whatever you're baking, you can swap it for any type of nut-milk. That means almond milk or any dairy-free milk in the same amount as called for in the recipe. 

Whipped Cream

Want to top your fruit with fresh whipped cream but without the dairy? Use coconut cream instead. Just be sure that it's well chilled overnight and only use the solid parts for the whipping. It has such a fresh and light taste to it!

Going Gluten-Free

Instead of using regular flour, use a cup of gluten-free flour plus a half-teaspoon of xanthan gum. Read the labels though…some gluten-free flour varieties already have xanthan in them which means you won't need to add it. 

Eggs

Whether someone has an egg allergy or they're plant-based, you can still bake up tasty treats by replacing each egg in the recipe with 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal combined with 6 tablespoons of purified water. Make sure you mix it into a paste first before combining it with your other ingredients. You can also substitute eggs with unsweetened applesauce, to make things easier. 

Fish Sauce

Many Asian recipes call for the use of fish sauce. For those that have allergies or follow a plant-based diet, you can swap it out with either soy sauce or tamari or my fav is Braggs Aminos Sauce. Although you won't have that same umami flavour the fish sauce will bring, it will still be delicious, and you'll hardly notice the difference.

Grated Parmesan

If you need to add grated parmesan to your recipe, choose nutritional yeast. Side note: it's fabulous on air-popped popcorn, too.

Vinegar

Vinegar is one of those that can stump you in the kitchen since there are so many types, but the good news is that it's very versatile. So if you have a recipe that calls for white vinegar, but you only have apple cider vinegar, you can use what you have. The only vinegar you can't just randomly sub in or out of your recipes is balsamic vinegar because the flavour is truly unique. Thankfully, it's an ingredient that meshes well with all diets so you won't be doing anyone harm. 

With this quick list of common ingredients to swap, you'll be able to master any dish for any occasion or any dietary concern.

YOUR TURN: I want to know if your favourite swaps - what did you eliminate from your diet and what did you replace it with? Drop a comment below……

4 Beliefs That Are Preventing You From Making Lasting Change

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Do you ever have trouble achieving your health & fitness goals?

Whether you want to eat more veg, take up running, start a yoga class, lose some weight or anything else, if you're not able to cross that finish line, chances are you’ve got some limiting beliefs standing in your way.

These limiting beliefs rear their ugly head as the sneaky little lies (aka EXCUSES) we tell ourselves about why we can't move ahead until we have more time, more resources, more support, etc.

But here's the deal.

We all have beliefs that stop us from making lasting change or keep us from even trying. 

Our beliefs are like directions from our subconscious.  They tell us what we’re capable of, which is all well and good when you believe in yourself.  But what if you don’t and your beliefs are trying to keep you small and safe and in your comfort zone. These beliefs or thoughts become your limiting beliefs. 

People often ask me how I was able to make so many changes in my life while working a demanding job, raising 3 kids and attending college.  People are amazed when I said it really wasn’t that difficult.  The reason is simple -- I wanted it.  In fact I had a burning desire for it!

This is the secret to making lasting change: you have to want it. 

Next, your beliefs need to back you up, then comes the time for action. 

When your desires, beliefs and actions are all in alignment, there is nothing you can’t achieve.   

Let’s explore the top four limiting beliefs (ahem….excuses) that I hear over and over. 

Limiting belief #1: My family and friends are resistant to eating healthy

The journey to better health can often create resistance amongst loved ones, especially when it comes to food.  Sometimes this resistance is about their vulnerabilities, but other times it’s just because healthy food has a bad reputation. People hear “healthy,” and they think, yuck.  But the days of having to choose between delicious and healthy are over.  The truth is, you need to do this for you.  It’s your time to step up and take care of yourself regardless of anyone else.

And then an interesting thing happens, when you lead by example your loved ones see the change in you.  They see your joy.  They see your glow.  And you just might find them asking how they can get a little bit of that too. 

Limiting belief #2: I’m too busy

Many of you are busy professionals, globetrotters, caregivers for your parents, your children or both.  Whatever the case, there are lots of demands on all of us.   The truth is, we all have the same number of hours in a day.  And it’s your job to choose how to use them.

I sometimes find myself apologetically saying to people ‘I just don’t have the time’.  But the truth is I make time for the things that I want to do, the things that I believe are important, which means other things don’t get done, but less important things. 

So, make your boundaries and stop over-committing to friends, family and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to say no. 

Then ask yourself, are you watching too much TV or surfing the internet for hours?  Can you wake up a little earlier and get to bed sooner?  Can you ask for help when you need it?   

If you let the excuse of not having enough time stand in your way, a year from now you could be in the exact same place you are today or worse. 

Limiting belief #3: But will I meet all my nutritional needs on a plant based diet

This is a great question and ironically one that most people only ask when confronted with a healthy eating plan!

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, the first one is about protein.  The truth is the plant kingdom is full of protein rich foods.  Protein is abundant in vegetables, beans, grains, seeds and nuts. As long as you’re eating well balanced meals like the ones in my recipes blog, you’ll get everything you need. 

Another common myth is about calcium.  Most people believe that cow’s milk is the only source of calcium. But did you know that leafy greens like cabbage, kale and collards contain a huge amount of calcium.  Think of elephants and other powerful animals that rely solely on plant foods for complete nutrition. If they can do it, we can certainly add more veggies to our plate.  When you do, you’ll also be getting a huge dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.   

Limiting belief #4: Fear of failure

Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing in your way is YOU and your fear of failure. You may feel overwhelmed with your health goals.  But do not overthink this or let your past control your future.  You must believe that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.  You only need to take one small step in the right direction.  You don’t need all the answers today.  You just need the willingness to try.

Know that the energy and health you’re seeking is already inside of you.  You just need to unleash it.

Now, tell me what are your limiting beliefs?

4 Ways to Overcome Your Food Cravings

It’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of vibrant health -- food cravings. Everyone has them. But do you know how to overcome them? Get my top 4 ways to overcome food cravings here; https://www.lornamccormack.com/education-blog/4-ways-to-overcome-your-food-cravings

What a Whole Food Plant Based Day Looks Like (in pictures)

I am always asked but, Lorna, what do you eat? In this post I want to show you what an average day for me looks like on a whole food plant based 'lifestyle' (with pictures). Read the full post here; https://www.lornamccormack.com/education-blog/what-i-eat-in-a-day

The Healthiest Marshmallows in the World

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This recipe is a little trickier than my usual super easy ones but totally worth is.  Also remember, sugar is sugar is sugar.....no matter where it comes from  So this really is for those special occasions.  

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. agar agar

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/8 tsp. himalayan salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Instructions

Lightly grease a baking tray with coconut oil and cover it with baking paper. Also grease the paper lightly.

Put ¼ cup of the water in a bowl and sprinkle in the agar agar. Put it aside to turn geletinous.

In another pot heat the salt,  maple syrup and the remaining water. Heat to about 120 degrees C (240 degrees F). It could take up to 10 minutes to reach this temperature. To check if it’s ready dribble a little of the liquid into a bowl of ice cold water. Allow the syrup to cool in the water, remove it from the water and form into a soft little ball, if it molds into a ball its ready. 

Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as it’s at the right temperature.

Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the agar agar mixture.  Start by pouring the mixture down the edges of the bowl.

Then add the vanilla extract and salt.  Increase the speed of the whisk.

Whisk for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and thick. 

Empty the mixture into the baking tray and leave uncovered overnight so that it can dry out. 

When ready cut the marshmallow into shapes.

Alternatively, you could grease some small moldings and let the mixture set in these molds for a variety of shapes. 

Share and enjoy!