Thanksgiving: healthy gift baskets

By Shalini Kolluri

 

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This holiday season I have decided to combine my passion for healthy vegan food with my love for making fun goody baskets!

People are often surprised when they hear that I prefer vegan food. If only I had a nickel for every time someone asked me where I got my protein!!

Did you know that most powerful animals on the planet: the bull, elephant, giraffe, rhino, hippo, etc., are all herbivores. Also consider that the biggest dinosaurs, the ones who outlived the others, were mostly herbivores. Have you ever heard of a person who is protein deficient, other than in third world countries where they do not have access to nutrient rich foods – or food in general – on a daily basis? No.

Vegans are in no way threatened by protein deficiency. If they ate nothing but wheat, oatmeal, or potatoes, we would easily take in more than enough protein.

The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and gaining a few extra pounds. No…I’m not trying to be a kill joy asking you to forsake all your favorite munchies, just trying to promote healthy ways to satisfy your holiday cravings.

This Thanksgiving I have decided to give all of my friends and family gift baskets that contain wholesome healthy vegan snacks. Trust me, it’s not as bad as it sounds! This is a great gift for someone who leads a healthy lifestyle.

I started this project one week ago. First, I bought some really fun baskets which were sturdy enough at a florist’s near my house. Make sure they aren’t flimsy as they have to support some weight. I also bought some festive ribbons to go with it. The green and yellow ones I chose go nicely with the earthy baskets that I had picked out.

I decided to put these healthy goodies into my baskets-

Green tea sachets:-

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I’m a green tea fanatic, and have tried over 40 different varieties. It keeps me energized and wanting more. Coffee works, but at the cost of digestive issues, acidity and a dehydrated “run-down”, stressed out feeling.

Green tea’s antioxidants, small amounts of caffeine and theanines promote a feeling of relaxation as well as stamina, and you can drink several cups without feeling stressed out and jittery (i.e the over-caffeinated syndrome from coffee). This tea (Yogi – Blue berry slim life) not only helps control my appetite and helps me to bounce around all day without getting tired. The light and sweet blueberry flavor and hints of organic hibiscus add brightness and heavenly fruity flavor.

Coconut water:-

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Professional tennis player John Isner credits coconut water with keeping him on his feet for his epic 11-hour marathon Wimbledon tennis win. “It is super hydrating and has kept me going in long matches and prevented me from cramping even in the hottest and most humid conditions,” Isner said.

It is mostly just water, packed with potassium, low in calories and contains cytokinins. Science has confirmed cytokinins slow down the development of cancer, plus they slow down the aging. What’s not to love, right?

Ground cumin:-

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It is an herb that many associate with Mexican, Indian and Spanish foods, but it is also widely used in Middle Eastern and American fusion recipes. Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system, and scientific research is beginning to bear out cumin’s age-old reputation. Research has shown that cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation!

Flax seeds:-

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Finding creative ways to add flax seeds to your meals can be a challenge. One popular technique is to incorporate ground flax seeds into your muffin, cookie, or bread recipes. I prefer snacking on toasted flax seeds when I’m in the mood for something crunchy.

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content.  Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract. Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

You should aim to consume 30-40 g of fiber daily.

They are rich in omega-3-fatty acids and keep heart problems and  menopausal symptoms at bay.

LUNA Bar: Caramel Nut Brownie:-

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It’s mouthwatering flavors combine the finest ingredients with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is:-

  • Gluten Free
  • Made with 70% organic ingredients
  • Has low Glycemic

Hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays and find creative ways to stay healthy and have fun!!

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