California Water Crisis Continues

by Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe

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Native Foods uses this image courtesy https://kssunews.files.wordpress.com

“Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.” -Jack Handey

Things such as the water crisis in California is what keeps me up at night. But, I feel when I talk about this with other people I get shoulder shrugs and comments like, “well I am sure they will figure it out.” But will they?

I read an article on CNN about the scientist from NASA who claims the state of California will be out of water in one year. One year!? The article goes on to state that CA is encouraging shorter showers and less toilet flushing. Great, but these just do not seem like adequate solutions to this everlasting drought situation, might as well add in “do a rain dance every night before bed.”

This immediately brings me to think about factory farming and on the large scale our country is producing meat. I read it takes almost 2,000 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef where the average shower uses 14 gallons. So, that is  A LOT of water being used for each person to enjoy one hamburger. Yet, I do not see any solutions being “cut down on meat consumption.”

This is just another way again that adopting a plant based diet, even part time can make a dramatic impact on helping our planet. We shouldn’t have let CA get this far but I feel the time to make some dramatic changes to help our plant needs to start now.

In the Spotlight: Lighter

by Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe

We have written about Micah Risk before and her rad Runner’s World cover where she was sporting vegan socks for the entire running community to see.

This isn’t the only cool thing Micah has been up to. She recently launched Lighter, a plant-based recipe and grocery delivery service. We caught up with Micah to talk all about her new company. 

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1.) What is Lighter all about?

We are the easy button for going vegan! Lighter’s mission is to challenge the Standard American Diet (SAD) and celebrate real food. We do this through our curated grocery delivery service, which means we create custom meal plans for your whole household and arrange for all the groceries to be delivered. We believe that eating good food at home should be delicious, convenient and affordable for everyone!

2.) What inspired you to start it?

We were looking for real solutions to real problems that people face when they make the decision to eat healthy food. Our curated grocery delivery service includes delicious, easy recipes that are nutritionally balanced and customized to your household. We do the planning and budgeting for you then we have all the groceries delivered right to your doorstep!

3.) How can people get involved?

 Check out our website: www.lighterculture.com to sign up for delicious recipes, a customized meal plan, and groceries delivered right to your door! It’s super easy.

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USA Today’s 2015 Foodie Trends

By: Lauren Neuschel

What’s “in” in 2015 (besides Native Foods and veganism of course!)? USA Today has the scoop on the biggest trends to hit the foodie world this year.

The Top 10 shocked us! But what didn’t surprise us was the continuing shift towards a healthier, vegetable-loving diet! Here’s their projection (get ready for bigger, better and…louder?):

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Native Foods Washington D.C. Video Contest Winners!

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In the spirit of our new D.C. area vegan restaurant opening next week in Falls Church, Virginia (WOOHOO!!) we wanted to give a little shout out to some of our most passionate, loyal and creative guests EVER– all of our winners from the Native Foods D.C. Grand Opening Video Contest!! Your entries were seriously above and beyond what we expected…from hilarious to touching to just plain wacky! Thank you again to all of our winners and to anyone who submitted an entry. Today’s post is for all of YOU!

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Go Pick on Someone Your Own Size!

By Kelly Behr

 

One big (huge) company is suing little Hampton Creek who are the creators of Just Mayo. Just Mayo, if you are not familiar is a vegan brand that comes in delicious flavors like chipotle & sriracha not to mention the tastiness of the original. 

Just Mayo found themselves smack dab in the middle of a lawsuit the other day brought on by it’s much larger competitor, Hellmann’s. Their problem? Hampton Creek “mayo” wasn’t using real eggs!! I mean how dare they! Hellmann’s is claiming that Just Mayo is participating in fraud by making people think the product contains real eggs and by definition should not be allowed to use the word Mayo. Looks like someone is a little scared of this up and coming brand if you ask me! Continue reading

Run…Vegans…Run…

by Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe

 

Meet Micah Risk, mother, business owner, runner, vegan and the newest cover model for Ruuner's World. And what a more perfect match for the October Nutrition Issue. Run, vegans, run!

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Micah at DC Veg Fest where I learned a little more about her and her business which just happens to be in food…healthy & delicious food, we already had so much in common.. well except for the whole, her being a marathon runner thing. 

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She has started this rad business called Ligher Culture which is designed to make it easy for people to eat healthier, stick to their diets and stay within their budgets. They offer food coaches who tailor your food preferences just for you! Then you are given a special meal plan, set up a time for your groceries to be delivered and boom…you are your own gourmet chef. Lighter is going on a national launch soon, so stay tuned! 

I was able to stay and watch her cooking demo as she showed the crowd a few simple recipes that they could easily make at home. Her tacos sounded delicious, I really should have taken notes! 

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I am excited to hear how Lighter is expanding, click here to sign up to hear when the food delivery service is available in your city!

Are you ready for some football?

By Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe

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Native Foods uses this image courtesy of firstwefeast.com

I am a pretty big sports fan. I grew up in St. Louis, MO attending Cardinals games from about the time I was four years old. My father, an avid golfer would drag me to PGA tour events. I went to a division 1 college so I went to  my fill of football and basketball games in those 4 years. I still try and attend any sporting event I get invited to, but the thing that all these events have in common is the lack of vegan options at the stadiums. 

When you go to almost any stadium the food options seem to be the same assortment of nachos and hot dogs and as a vegan you probably find yourself not eating or having another pretzel at the very least. 

Well good news for vegans, it seems some stadiums are taking notice on their lack luster vegan options. It seems the San Franciso 49ers stadium has come to the rescue and  will be the most vegan friendly stadium in America. 

ABC news just recently did a story on this new coming of food age stadium. The article stated that:

 

“We are going to be the most vegan-friendly stadium in the entire sports industry,” Zach Hensely, manager of Centerplate, told the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that there would be more than 30 vegan options at the stadium, including one at every permanent stand." 

 

I really can't even imagine what it will be like when other stadiums jump on board and offer some plant based options and I can actually eat something! But it looks like the tide could be turning but for now my $9 pretzel will have to do! 

 

 

 

Are Meat Eaters Killing the Planet?

By Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe

 

A recent article that USA Today featured as something to check out online caught my attention. The headline, "Holy Cow, Are Meat Eaters Destroying Our Planet?" had me thinking of course! But I wanted to read the article and see what they had to say. 

 

The article pretty much concluded, the more meat you eat the more of a carbon footprint you leave. There was a scientifc study done at Oxford University about how these carbon footprints were determined. Feel free to read it here. It was a very technical study conducted on 65,000 people and their consumption habits. 

Basically the results were that the meat eaters' carbon foot print was double that of those who do not eat meat. There are different causes to this but one major cause is that is takes a lot more energy from our planet to raise animals as food than it does to care for crops. 

At Native Foods we care deeply about the environment. We love to say that Earth Day is everyday, well, because it should be! This is our house, we should keep our house clean! We can help the planet tremendously if we all just do a little bit, one plant base meal a day, a week, a month makes a difference. 

And here at Native Foods we make it very very easy on you. 

 

A meat-free Twister Wrap anyone?

 

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No? How about a Bacon Oklahoma Cheeseburger? I mean, this is not your average vegan sandwich!

 

Now see? It's sooo easy to incorporate some plant-based eating into your diet! 

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Did someone in your yoga class tell you to stop eating gluten?

By Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe

 

The other day the New York Times wrote an article about the gluten free fad. However, it doesn't seem to be a fad. This gluten-free diet might be more of a way of life, not only for consumers but also for restaurants and food manufactures. It seems like every day there is a new line of gluten free products popping up on supermarket shelves and on restaurant menus. People hear the word gluten and just think…bad. 

The article stated there are only about 2% of the population that are actually diagnosed with celiac. So the surge of these new products seems to be coming from the gluten-free maniacs.

"In the luxe dining room of Del Posto, one of New York’s most heralded and expensive Italian restaurants, one-third of the tables on any given night will have at least one gluten-free diner." – (source-http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/dining/gluten-free-eating-appears-to-be-here-to-stay.html?_r=0

If you aren't gluten-free I am sure you know someone who is trying to be. Restaurants are carefully labeling everything with a GF… at this point fruit salad could even get the label just so the diners are absolutely sure there is no gluten hidden in those blueberries. 

But what is gluten? Do people who are "gluten-free" even know

 

 

 

 

 

Well, as you probably figured, most people do not know what gluten is. Which is funny to base your diet on something you know nothing about in an age where you can Google anything. 

Gluten is found in grains, it is actually a mixture of 2 proteins that gives wheat its elastic texture. And it can cause illness…but only in people who have a celiac disease and only certain types of gluten. RIce has gluten, corn even has forms of gluten…but it isn't the gluten that is going to get you sick. So, technically you can label things "gluten-free" that actually contain gluten, as long as it is in the clear for celiacs to eat. Confusing right?  

But you know who loves this? Marketers. Time online also did an article recently called: Eat More Gluten, The Fad Must Die

"As the Wall Street Journal reports, U.S. sales of products carrying the gluten free label jumped from $11.5 billion to $23 billion in just the past four years. General Mills alone has added 600 such products to its inventory since 2008, when it first marketed its gluten-free line of Chex cereals. But while the manufacturers are getting rich on the craze, consumers might be getting sick. Not only will gluten-free products do you no good if you’re not gluten-sensitive, taking out the offending ingredient requires replacing it with something else for texture or taste. A whole range of products, including spaghetti, pancake mix and potato chips, therefore have less fiber and protein and more sugar and sodium in their gluten-free formulation than in their supposedly less healthy one." – source (http://time.com/2912311/eat-more-gluten-the-diet-fad-must-die/) 

 

We at Native Foods are not scared to use gluten in our cooking. We have several types of homemade seitan that make up for a vast majority of our proteins. Yep, our "wheat-meat" is a complete protein. This is great news for vegans but might be a head scratcher for people who do not understand what gluten actually is. 

Livestrong.com listed out all the healthy benefits of incorporating some seitan in your diet. Again, the only warning of the gluten was reserved only to those with celiac disease. The other 98% of the population who think gluten is evil might just be suffering from a bad placebo effect. 

High in Protein, Low in Carbs and Fat

Although seitan is made from wheat, it is low in carbs and high in protein. A 3-ounce portion of seitan contains 2.5 to 4 grams of carbs, 1 to 2 grams of fiber, 0 to 2 grams of fat and 21 grams of protein. The publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" says that including alternative sources of protein in place of your usual meat and chicken can help improve the nutritional quality of your diet by providing nutrients that promote health. Seitan is low in fat, has no saturated fat and provides a source of fiber, making it a good choice for heart health. So, instead of making your usual beef stew for dinner, try stew with seitan. -Source (http://www.livestrong.com/article/294810-the-nutritional-value-of-seitan

 

So ladies and gentlemen it is up to you whether or not you eat gluten, I am just encouraging you to do your research before you cut out something that might not being affecting your health. 

 

 

 

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Vegan Drink Recipe: Perfect Patio Drink

By Alex Placencia

Executive Chef

Native Foods Cafe

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Since summer has finally kicked in, hanging around outdoors is a must.  Any time family and friends get together I always want to have refreshing drinks and sit out on the deck all day.  Here is a recipe for an adult drink that I have been making.  It’s crisp and fresh and I am loving it.  I made rosemary simple syrup to give it a little boost, but feel free to use normal simple syrup as well, it will do the job.  Enjoy!

Fresh Orange Juice                                                                   1 oz

Fresh Lime Juice                                                                      ½ oz

Rosemary Simple Syrup                                                             ½ oz

Melon Vodka                                                                            ½ oz

Ice                                                                                         1 Cup

Angostura Aromatic Bitters                                                        Splash

Club Soda                                                                               ½ Cup

1)     In a shaker, place all ingredients, with the exception of the soda and bitters. 

2)     Shake to emulsify

3)     Pour in a glass and top with club soda and splash of bitters.