Healthy AF Enchiladas + Caloric Density & Weight Loss| Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Disease Reversing Info

enchiladas

These enchiladas are by no means at all traditional.  Traditional as in white flour tortillas and cheese and meat… blegh! Sounds like a mess of weight gain, and heart disease! Time for a neeeeeew recipe.  This recipe has got kale, shrooms, quinoa, and all simple wholesome ingredients. Mmm what could possibly be more deliciously satisfying and nourishing.

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Completing my master’s and dietetic internship in South Texas where cola, taki’s, breakfast tacos, and bacon fat laden pinto beans are unfortunately staples, the statistic that 3/4 of Americans are overweight or obese made sense to me.  What’s crazy is that, a calorie dense, nutrient poor diet is actually quite common. Even where I live now in Los Angeles, California.  I have a couple of clients who, prior to working with me, had never chopped a vegetable before.  Gawd. I love my job.  And these enchiladas.  They’re not insanely overly stimulatingly like oh my gawd so f***ing good (if you’re comparing to something thats been salted, oiled, idk.. fried and oober processed) . Recalibrate your taste buds. And these will knock your socks off. 😛

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Healthy AF Enchiladas

Adapted from Food52’s Wintry Mushroom Enchiladas

The Homemade Saucy Sauce 

  • tablespoon water
  • cup onion, diced
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I like the Fire Roasted diced tomatoes from Muir Glen – no salt added)
  • teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

The Enchiladas

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 pound baby bella or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapeño peppers (or for V mild version, use poblanos
  • cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 10 6-inch organic corn tortillas (I used masienda brand – just corn, lime, water)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • avocado on avocado on avocado

Steps:

  1. To make the enchilada sauce, heat water in a medium skillet or pot. Saute onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, thyme, tomatoes, and maple syrup
  3. Transfer sauce to a blender or food processor, and blend till smooth. Add a little water to adjust the consistency as you wish. Set sauce aside till you’re ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp water (have some handy to add if burns off). Saute onion and garlic till onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has been released and evaporated.
  6. Add the chilis to the pot and give them a stir. Add the kale and allow it to wilt slightly. Add the cumin, sea salt (optional), black beans, corn, and quinoa. Continue heating mixture until it’s completely warm and well mixed.
  7. In the bottom of a casserole dish, spread a thin layer of the enchilada sauce. Place about a quarter cup mushroom and quinoa mixture in the center of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and place it into the dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Cover them all with a layer of enchilada sauce and bake for 25 minutes. Top the enchiladas with chopped cilantro, avocado, and pumpkin seeds, and idk. More corn because noooom!!!
  8. Also, squeeze a lime on there and, call me crazy, but I put a little cinnamon on mine and it was off the charts

So.. why is this recipe so generally disease reversing?

  1. No Salt: although 0 calories, it is a super processed white powder (aka crack cocaine) that causes responses in the brain to make us not only want to eat more, but that makes wholesome food taste less flavorful.  Cut the salt, and all of a sudden, celery, cilantro, avocado and lime dance on your tongue like a tap dancer in times square.  Flavors so very exciting, no white powder added.  Plus plus, high sodium intake has been shown to decrease calcium absorption / utilization. That ain’t good!!! Also also. Sodium is important. This is different than salt. Naturally occurring sodium is sufficiently found in wholesome plant foods like the veggies I mentioned a second ago.  No stimulants needed.  Excess sodium causes water retention, causing blood volume to increase, leading to high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, etc.
  2. No Oil: Talk about caloric density. Not many foods are more calories per pound than oil… are any foods more calorie per pound??  Just a tiny bit of oil adds a lot of calories with not much benefit.  All it really does is make you eat more calories than you’re designed to eat plus make you want to eat more. The fat from the avocado and pumpkin seeds is fantastic. You got fiber and zinc and fresh phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Avocado oil and pumpkin oil?? Mmm I’ll pass.
  3. Nutrient Dense: Self explanatory.  Every calorie is full of nutrition.  Helping you to feel calm, balanced, satisfied, energized, clear headed.. not to mention beautiful bowel movements. Which is actually a huge fricken deal these days.  If there’s a magazine rack in your bathroom… call me!!! You need help!!!
  4. Intact Grains: Ok, obvi the tortillas are made of corn flour, which is not intact. The quinoa tho- that’s good stuff.  And the tortillas I used were just 3 ingredients: non-gmo corn, lime, and water.  That’s all you need. No gums, oils, preservatives, or fortified etc etc. Keep it simple.  The more whole the better.
  5. Beans: Resistant starch is liiife.  Did you know that resistant starch in beans actually decreases the glycemic load of your next meal?  Also, beans are such great sources of protein, iron, fiber. Eating them has been shown to help decrease risk of so many diseases and cancers.  If you’re afraid of fartiness. Don’t fret.  The resistant starches may take a couple of weeks for your gut to adjust to.  Start with a little bit like 1/4 cup a day for a week and work your way up to ~1-3 cups or so / day.  A healthy gut can process beans just fine.  Little to no fartiness.  If you’re used to eating a V low fiber diet. Warn your friends and family your increasing ahead of time hahaha.
  6. Greens: The most nutrition per pound possible.  Everything you need. Just amazingness.
  7. Mushrooms: Should be eaten cooked. Mushrooms help decrease excess estrogen that may cause breast cancer- very well targeted, doesn’t cause low estrogen if you are healthy. Also, mushrooms contain lectins (ABLs) that recognize cancer cells and prevent them from growing and dividing. Also also, mushrooms upregulate IgA antibody secretion, helping the immune system. Also also also, they have beta glucans which also boost immune function. PLUS they make their own vitamin D if exposed to the sun!! Honestly. All plants are amazing. I just don’t have all day to tell you every magical component of everything gawd!
  8. Onions: Eaten raw the allinaise enzyme is active and is potent cancer fighter. Onions also help to blunt blood sugar spikes. Onions and garlic are antimicrobial and help the immune system to fight viruses and fend against cancers. Scallions are great too.
  9. Healthy Fat: Includes fiber 🙂 Necessary for healthy hormones, satiety, clarity, and overall optimal health. It doesn’t take much though.  A little dab will do you.
  10. Peace of mind: Honestly, of course.  A favorable health destiny is priceless. HOWEVER I say “generally” disease reversing because I do have clients with eating disorders, amenorrhea, and anemia, and athletes who aren’t getting in enough calories and wasting away, or frail adults, etc. Who, it is healthier for them to eat more refined foods. More calorically dense foods. More stimulating foods.  These recommendations are for the general average American looking to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, blood pressure, have regular bowel movements, and reverse type 2 diabetes. Have your healthy AF enchiladas, and your vegan cookies too maybe. Ok? All depends on your goals and what you, you beautiful individual, need.

That is all. xoxo

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VEGAN PREGNANCY

Wow. What an extremely lucky child to have a parent reading this. Can you believe you are creating life?! This is HUGE! I am so glad that you are here. Educating yourself for not only an incredibly healthy and happy you, but the best future for your magnificently blessed kiddo as well ❤

YES as a matter of fact there is nothing missing in a vegan diet to raise an EXTREMELY  healthy happy successful, talented, bright, beautiful, and alive child. AND you are dramatically reducing your risk for complications, pain, sickness, and beyond.

Resources:

Vegetarian Diet Pregnancy PDF – Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dr. McDougall Vegan Pregnancy Newsletter PDF

Vegetarian Infants PDF // Vegetarian Diets Pregnancy – Academy of Nutrition + Dietetics

Vegan Pregnancy Brochure // Pregnancy + Vegan Diet – Vegetarian Resource Group

Nutrition During Pregnancy – Cleveland Clinic

Academy Link: HELPFUL

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Educate yourself with all of the material on this post! In general, pregnant women only require about 300 extra calories per day from starch. This video is very informative!
  2. Emphasize beans and greens combined with a source of vitamin C like lemon or orange juice for peak iron absorption. (great recipes)
  3. Incorporate omega-3s daily: ground flax, chia, walnut, hemp, and leafy greens daily for omega-3s (vegan algael oil DHA supplement if you’d like) for a super smart baby 😀
  4.  Incorporate calcium rich foods: kale, broccoli, collards, okra, oranges, figs or calcium-set tofu, fortified plant based milk, etc. daily
  5. Get iodine from a dulse or kelp shaker, nori, Eden’s brand beans, or sea palm. Iodized salt is not the best source of iodine as concentrated sodium like that in salt + high sodium foods has been shown to increase blood pressure and may lead to preeclampsia.
  6. Take a B12 supplement 2-6x / week if not already in your multi / fortified foods
  7. Avoid seafood!!! Heavy metals cross placenta as they detox from mom’s body into baby while pregnant and breastfeeding.  Mercury, antibiotics, and other additives and heavy metals in seafood and other animal products should be avoided.
  8. Spend at least 20 minutes / day in nature if you can. Relax! Take it easy! Get some natural sunshine vitamin D or make sure it is in you multi or be sure to take a supplement 2000IU/ day should do the trick 🙂
  9. Emphasize whole plant foods like veggies, whole grains, fruit, beans, seeds, and nuts and minimize processed foods like added sugars, processed oils, white and refined flours and flour products, and added sodium and salt.
  10. Practice Intuition: what do you feel like eating? An entire watermelon? Fantastic! 3 whole heads of lettuce with an avocado?! Amazing. Our bodies are incredible. Meditate, listen to what it wants, stay calm, and have so much fun!

Some mama inspo + info for ya:

DR. MICHAEL GREGER of nutritionfacts.org:

HEALTHY PREGNANCY PLAYLIST MUST WATCH

Mr. and Mrs. Vegan:

  1. How to Make a BABY! [Healthy Pregnancy Diet]
  2. USDA Guidelines for Vegans + Meal Plan that Meets Needs
  3. What Eat in A Day While Pregnant // Two Recipes

Ellen Fisher:

  1. Pregnant with 3rd Vegan Child
  2. VEGAN MOMS TALK: Tips for Raising Healthy Vegan Kids
  3. What my vegan 4 year old ate today

Supplementation:

MyKind Organics Prenatal:

Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Multivitamin Supplement with Folate – mykind Whole Food Prenatal Vitamin, Vegan, 180 Tablets

Iron supplement I recommend:

MegaFood – Blood Builder, Energy Boosting Iron Supplement, 90 Tablets (FFP)

More Resources:

Books:

The Kind Mama: Book and Website by Alicia Silverstone


The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning

The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: All you need to know for a healthy pregnancy that fits your lifestyle (Everything Series)

Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother!

Websites + more PDFs:

Feeding Vegan Kids. The Vegetarian Resource Group. http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.htm. Practical information for parents of children from infancy through adolescence.

Vegetarian Nutrition for Teenagers. The Vegetarian Resource Group. Available at: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/teen_veg.pdf. Brochure designed for teen vegetarians. Covers key nutrients, body weight issues, and simple snacks.

Raising Vegetarian Children. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Available at:http://vegetariannutrition.net/vegetarian-kids/ Blog written by registered dietitians with suggestions for vegetarian families.

Teen FAQs. Vegetarian Resource Group. Available at: http://www.vrg.org/teen/. Questions and answers about nutrition, social situations, family issues, foods and cooking for vegetarian teens.

Vegetarian Teens. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Available at: http://vegetariannutrition.net/vegetarian-teens/Blog written by registered dietitians with a focus on vegetarian teens.

Vegan Lunch Box Blog. Available at: http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/. Blog includes many ideas for healthy packed lunches for vegetarian and vegan children.

Vegetarian Diet: How to Get the Best Nutrition. Mayo Clinic. Available at: http://mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596. Includes information on substitutes for milk, butter, cheese, and eggs.

Becoming a Vegetarian. Nemours Foundation. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/nutrition/diets/vegetarian.html. Article aimed at teenagers who are interested in becoming vegetarian.

Why I will NEVER recommend DAIRY + Tips to Bone Health

One in every two women and one in every four men over the age of 50 are going to break a bone due to osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It is up to you to take control of your bone health!

Eating a wide variety of plant foods in sufficient calories should supply the body with the calcium it needs sufficiently, without supplementation necessary.

According to the Academy’s Nutrition Care Manual:

Vegans can obtain calcium from a variety of foods, including (USDA, 2007; Manufacturer’s information):

  • Low-oxalate vegetables (see below for calcium content)
  • Calcium-set tofu (120 to 430 mg per half cup)
  • Figs (68 mg per five dried figs)
  • Soybeans (88 mg per half cup)
  • Tempeh (92 mg per half cup)
  • Calcium-fortified foods (300 to 350 mg per cup orange juice; 200 to 350 mg per cup soymilk; 55 to 1,000 mg per ounce ready-to-eat breakfast cereal)screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-24-54-pm

My Top 5 Tips for Bone Health?

  1. Exercise: Resistance training and impact activities like running and jumping improve bone mineral density, so be sure to incorporate these activities into your daily life. Recommendations are to resistance train at least 2-3 days a week for 30 minutes / day and to train aerobically at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes with moderate effort.
  2. Eat Plants: As shown in the video, antioxidants in plant foods have been shown to help bone health. The more the merrier.  Animal foods and animal protein have been shown to cause an acidic effect on the body that may interfere with calcium absorption and retention and could be associated with high rates of hip fracture in Western civilization where high amounts of animal protein from meat and dairy are consumed.
  3. Incorporate These Foods: Low-oxalate veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, as well as okra, figs, calcium set tofu, and fortified plant milk.
  4. Sunshine: Let your skin see the sun at least 15 minutes / day of direct sunlight. If you live in a darker, cooler area, I would recommend supplementing about 10,000 IU vitamin D and maybe even include mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods like cereals and plant milks to cover the vitamin D necessity.
  5. Take it WITHOUT A Grain Of Salt: Eat less sodium. Sodium effects our calcium retention. Try bringing flavor to dishes with lemon, lime, or even orange juice. Also, try fresh herbs and flavorful veggies that you like, like thyme, garlic, sage, cilantro, basil, or onion.

I hope this blog post helps to bring you closer to the optimal health and happy life of your dreams.  Much love! Reines and SHINE, it is wake up time.

References:

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

V Benetou, P Orfanos, U Pattersson-Kymmer et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of hip fractures in a European cohort. Osteoporosis Int. May 2013. 24(5): 1587-1598. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23085859

E de Jonge, F Rivadeneira, N Erler, et al. Dietary Patterns in an elderly population and their relation with bone mineral density: the Rotterdam Study. European Journal of Nutrition. August 24, 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-016-1297-7

M Hassan, A Rezabakhsh. Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health- Narrative Review Article. Iran Journal Public Health. June 2015. 44(6): 742-758. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524299/

BC Melnik, SM John, P Carrera-Bastos, et al. The impact of cow’s milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. Nutr Metab (Lond). Aug 14, 2012. 9(1): 74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891897