Soy Milk

Soy Milk

“If I could spend the rest of my life with my people, I would do it over and over again.”

 

It was school day and I would wake up quite early in the morning. I’ve always been a mornings person, I would never wake up in a bad mood. Mom would help me dressing and prepare my breakfast while I brush my teeth. Normally I would have some toasts with a glass of chocolate milk or breakfast cereal with milk.

After that, mom would walk me to school and drop me there. Her job was just on the other side of the street.

Nasal Noises

On my way to school I would feel my belly bloated, I would feel sick and nauseated. I would make weird noises with my nose, like trying to relieve some pressure through the nose. I don’t know how to explain this and don’t even why, but I would feel a bit relieved by doing that. Even nowadays I would do the same.

“Those weird noises again? What now?” – Mom would scold me. Because this was not a single or sporadic episode, no, this struggle would repeat nearly every day.

Mom used to think that my morning sickness was dued to nervousness for going to school. And so did I, but I could never understand why. I actually used to enjoy going to school.

Calf

While growing I started hating having breakfast.

It was not until I was 17 or 18 when I realized that the problem was not the breakfast, but what I would have for breakfast.

I was asthmatic for many years and I was submited to a gazillion allergy tests, from cutaneous to blood testing. As far as I know, I don’t have allergies to any food, medicine or animal. The only allergy I’ve always had is to house dust mites. But the truth is that I found out that it was the milk that was ruining my mornings.

I can say I have lactose intolerance… or maybe I’m just not a calf.

Ingredients:
1 liter of Milk

1 Cup of Soy Beans (dried)
5 Cups of Water (plus some more to soak, boil and rinse)
1 TSP of Vanilla Powder (optional)
Maple or date Syrup, agave or any other sweetner of your choice (optional)

Instructions:

  • Rinse your beans;
  • Soak them in cold water for about 8-12 hours;
  • Drain the water;
  • Cook your beans in high heat;
    • Let it boil for about 10 minutes or until they’re soft and cooked;
    • The amount of water used to cook them is not important… though they should be at least covered in liquid… I think;
  • Drain the water and throw the beans in the blender;
  • Add in 5 cups of cold water;
  • Zzzzzzzttttttt;

soy 1

  • Do not blend it too much or it will be harder to filter;
    • Too much means that you don’t want to make a capuccino in your blender;
  • Use a cheese cloth or something similar to filter the milk;
    • Do not squeeze or twist the cloth too much or you’ll probably end up ripping it appart and you’ll make a mess;
    • This process requires some patience;
  • Keep the pulp that remains in the cloth;
    • This pulp is known as okara in Japan and can be used to prepare many recipes;
    • Google for recipes with okara, you will find a lot of things;
    • You can store your okara for about 3 or 4 days in the fridge or for over a month in the freezer;

soy 2

  • Pour the filtered milk into a sauce pan;
  • Cook the milk one more time, for 10-15 minutes on medium heat;
    • The soy milk has the tedency to form a thin skin on the top, just like that disgusting skin when you bring whole cow’s milk to boil;
      • This soy skin is known as yuba and sold fresh or dried and used in many different recipes in China, Japan, Korea and other asian countries;
    • If you don’t want to store your yuba to use later, you can just remove it or simply mix it again in the milk. Contrary to ordinary cow’s milk, this one dissolves!;

soy 3

  • When your milk is ready, taste it and check if you want to add in some vanilla or sweetners;
  • Allow the milk to cool down before storing it in a closed jar;
  • Fresh soy milk can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days;

soy 4

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soy 5soy 6

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Cup)

Blue = 23% Carbs

Red = 43% Fat

Green = 34% Protein

Note:

  • These values are for plain soy milk, with no sweetners added;
  • If you add sweetners like maple syrup, agave or others to it, remember that you’re also adding some more calories;

 

Persimmon, Apricot and Banana Smoothie

 

Persimmon, Banana and Apricot Smoothie

fruit-veg

Persimmons are very peculiar fruits. What kind of fruit looks like a tomate? Well, actually tomatoes are fruits itself… Anyways, persimmons are weird. Soft and strange textured weird fruits. I remember the first time I tried one. I found it disgusting. I use to get nauseated just by thinking about it.

This weird reddish fruit is particularly rich in tanines, specially the variety dyospiros kaki (commonly known as kaki in europe), therefore it’s astringency. In other words, when you bite one of these persimmon before fully ripened, it will feel like you licked your dog’s feet and then brushed your teeth with vine leaves. Hmmm… This may not be that easy to visualize. Let’s move on.

ft231a_204persimmon_smThe most common astringent persimmon species is the japanese variety hachyia. Unfortunately this is also the only avaiable variety in Norway, but that doesn’t stop me to eat my persimmons. When perfectly ripe this fruit acquires a very sweet taste and a creamy texture. The trick is to buy a nice ammount of it and let it ripe amongst other fruits for several days.

persimmon-fuyu-transIn Portugal the most commonly commercialized variety is the fuyu, also of japanese origin. It is considered a non-astringent variety, so if you live in Portugal it is highly probable that you never experienced the feeling I described above. Contrary to the hachyia variety, this one loses much of it’s astringency very quickly while ripening and therefore becomes edible even when not fully ripened.

Persimmons are an excelent source of dietary fiber, manganese (don’t confuse with magnesium!), iron, betacarotene and vitamin C, besides a panoply of phytochemicals and the already reffered tanines (which seem to have anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties).

img_0159kisame-hoshigaki-kisame-hoshigaki-18899318-640-480And like this was already not enough information to make you indulge on persimmons when in season, you should also know that in Japan this fruit is also quite popular in it’s dried form. Besides that, it goes by the name of hoshigaki! Something that may not sound funny at all if you’re not a fan of Naruto

 

Ingredients:

3 Persimmons

2 Bananas (frozen)

2 Cups of Soy Milk

8 Dried Apricots (pre-soaked in water)

Handful of Kale

Instructions:

  • Blend all the ingredients except the kale;
  • Pour half the blend in two glasses, jars, or what ever you fancy;
  • Blend the rest of the blend (BAM!) with kale;
  • Pour on the top of the already served smoothie;
    • You could use granola or something else in the middle to separate the two layers, or you could simply pour it slowly in the glass, with the help of the back of a spoon or something like that;
    • If you don’t give a damn about the color layers, just the blend the motherf*cker all together and f*ck it;

persimmon-smoothie1

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Kcal Breakdown:

(1 Service if 1/2 the recipe)

Blue – 80% Carbs

Red – 10% Fat

Green – 10% Protein

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Suggestion: Serve with granola and raw cacao nibs

 

Raspberries and Peach Smoothie

 

“Purple is a fruit.”

I can’t remember the first time I had a smoothie. In fact, I don’t even remember knowing what a smoothie wa81654c8dad9ce23e9dd27079b5de50a3s when I was a child. Besides milkshakes in american movies of course. But I’m pretty sure I ever heard the word smoothie by then. Still regarding milkshakes, I never got what is that of drinking blended ice cream, fruit and whipped cream with a meal. I tried it once in an american diner in Lisbon (which I can’t remember the name) and it made me get so sick that I didn’t even enjoyed the burger. Still, it sounds like a wonderful way of adding 1200 kcal to a not healthy at all meal.

Actually I do remember the first time I had a smoothie – it was in the gym. When I started “pumping iron” some years ago, I also started drinking protein shakes. It was probably the first time I heard about smoothies. In my own world, by then, a smoothie was just some whey powder dissolved in water or skimmed milk.

It was not until I stopped being a proteinaholic that I became interested in living healthier and started enjoying fruit again. Smoothies were the next step.

Today I can say that is very unusual to start a day with anything but a smoothie. It is the official breakfast in our home almost seven days a week. If the breakfast is not a smoothie, the lunch will very likely be. That or a family size fruit bowl. Just in my head or not, I feel different if my first meal does not contain a nice amount of fruit. And, in her head or not, Joana says the same.

Personally, beside the imense mix of flavors one can get, I am a huge fan of smoothies for two reasons:

  1. It’s a very handy, quick and efficient way of getting a nice daily amount of fruit in, even for very busy people who can’t have breakfast at home;
  2. There is always the possibility of adding greens (kale, spinach, arugula, etc.) to your smoothies and, depending on how much, you won’t even notice it (what doesn’t count as a plus for me, because I really enjoy the taste of the greens in smoothies);

Peach and Raspberries Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Soy Milk 400 gr. of Frozen Raspberries 1 TBSP of Almond Butter (heaping TBSP) Large handful of Kale 7 Peaches

Instructions:

  • Wash and peel the peaches;
    • Do you like the peaches with the skin on? So let the f*ckin skin on for crying out loud…;
  • Chop the peaches in pieces;
  • Throw all the ingredients into to the blender;
  • Blend;
  • Drink;

raspberrypeachsmoothie

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Kcal Breakdown:

(1 service is half this recipe)

Blue – 67% Carbs

Red – 20% Fat

Green – 13% Protein

It helps A LOT if you comment or share this recipe 🙂

Suggestion: Serve the smoothie with some granola or müsli

 

Protein + Post-workout Smoothies

Protein

Oh yeah protein! I have to gorge on meat because I have this huge muscles to maintain and without  it my muscles will disintegrate!

What is Protein?

Protein are  biological macromolecules with one or more chains of amino acids – or, in good English, a shit load of amino acids. Proteins are everywhere. They constitute all living beings and participate in all cellular processes, managing a vast array of functions in the organism – such as the muscular repairing and oxygen transportation, that for sure you learned in kindergarden.

Contrary to plants, animals can’t synthesize all amino acids they need to live. The amino acids that your organism can’t synthesize by itself are named essential amino acids. Those are the ones that should be taken from food digestion.

Twenty are the amino acids utilized in the construction of proteins. Of those twenty, nine are essentials – fenaline, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and valine, (a shit ton of “ine” things). Cysteine, tyrosine,  and arginine, are normally reffered are semi-essential amino acids because they develop a fundamental roll in our development phase. There’s some disagreement in the scientific community in regards to histidine. However recent research shows that it’s not synthetized by adult humans. So where gonna take this ine as important too.

Biological Value

As these amino acids are fundamental to your existence, their respective dietary reference intakes (DRI) are as important as for proteins itself. If you live in the western world and you’re not starving – and you probably do since you’re able to live having into account your reading this – it’s very unlikely that you have any protein deficiency, whatever your diet may be. The essential amino acids percentages in animals products and soy for example is very close to the ones found in human protein, however the same can’t be verified in other vegetables. The popular saying “proteins of high biological value” originates from study made by Mendel and Osborne in 1913 (1), in regards to the nutricional necessities of animals. In this study they observed that rats fed with animal proteins would grow up way faster and healthier than those that would be fed with vegetable protein. The direct consequence of this study was the classification of eggs, milk and meat as Class A protein sources and vegetable protein as class B. It seems however that no one thought that rats are a bit different from humans… I mean they’re not always a like. The nutricional necessities of a newborn rat for example, are very different a human being, so the mother’s milk of white mice is eleven times more concentrated in protein  than ours. That’s why a white rat achieves maturity in five months while humans take eighteen years.

People tend to think that vegetable food that isn’t soy based completely lacks any essential amino acid. Truth is all vegetable proteins have all the essential amino acids. In general terms legumes have less methionine, while vegetables in general lack lysine.

Lysine

Before we talk about vegan protein needs, let’s simplify everything – The DRI for lysine is more important than for protein itself. In short words, if you reach your DRI for lysine in a plant based diet, almost for sure you have filled all your proteic needs.

Tofu, tempeh, soy beans, lentils, seitan are the ones with higher concentrations, followed by other legumes and seeds like quinoa, amaranth, pistache and pumpkin seeds.

It is extremely hard for non-athletes to hit the DRI for lysine in a vegan diet without legumes, cereals or seeds. So, Yo Muscle Boy, dO yOu EvEn BeAn BrO? Just follow the brazilian way, go berzerk on that rice and beans and make some gains!

Dudes with caloric restrictions and raw diets, you may have a lysine deficiency or can have it in the future. 

Human Protein Needs

Until recently, it was believed that a plant based diet would require huge amounts of protein due to it’s difficult digestion.

The daily dosage referred by the WHO (World Health Organization) is of 0,8g of protein per kg of body weight. This recommendation already includes a safety margin – such as all daily dosage recommended by the WHO – considering the minimum value would be 0.5g per kg. This means if you weight 70kg you will need 56g of protein a day.

These values are normally obtained through research relating to the balance of nitrogen. Nitrogen is an element present in proteins, but not in fat or carbs or even alcohol. These studies measure the amount of nitrogen in a diet ingested during the study and removing what is released through urine, stool and sweat.  If the release is equivalent to the intake, then the level is considered balanced and therefore determined as the perfect amount of recommended protein! Shazam!

The problem with this DRI refered by WHO is that is obtained from studies in human beings that are omnivores and not herbivores. The truth is that there isn’t one single study made in humans that followed a plant based diet. Still though, there’s enough data to assume that the daily dosage of protein for a vegan could vary between 0.8/1.0g per kg, not very different from the normal recommendation. (2;3;4;5;6;7)

By this time your probably wondering “ So I’ll just eat tons of protein and everything will be good!”. Well, it happens that the IOM (Institute of Medicine) – the guys that establish the daily dosages for WHO, do not recommend high dosages of protein not even for athletes.

Different from fat, protein can’t be stored in your organism. When consumed in excess, protein is mainly processed in your liver, kidneys and muscles. The excessive consumption of protein leads to an excessive usage of your liver and kidneys and can create toxic acumulations of protein subproducts. Proteins are made of amino acids, and as the name says, they are natural acids. Meat proteins for example are extremely rich in amino acids containing sulphur that are transformed into sulpuric acid that needs to be neutralized by the buffers existing in our bones. Some evidence refers that our bones deteriorate (slowly of course) by freeing these regulating materials and the sediments lodge themselves in the kidneys. So you know if you want kidney stones, eat tons of animal protein. (8)

Vegetable proteins on the other hand are mainly alkalin, so they preserve the bones and prevent kidney stones. Still, vegetable proteins are not free from contaminating agents and the excess can lead to other complications

Still, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), ADA (American Diatetic Association) and DC (Dietitians of Canada) recommend a higher protein consumption for athletes between 1.2/14g for endurance atlhetes and 1.2/1.17g to strength athletes; For vegetarian athletes is recommended 1.3/1.8g of protein.

Still, there’s a number of vegan athletes (Jon VenusTimothy ShieffRich Roll) who follow diets not so rich in proteins and they don’t seem to have any problem with that.

So where are we? If we just consider that our organism can store those essential amino acids and, for that reason, it’s not necessary to take them in the correct amounts in every single meal, as long as you don’t starve and restrain yourself from certain foods, you won’t have any problems. So, run to your grandmother and ask her to make that fuckin pot of beans and pasta soup!

And just so you start crying already saying you don’t want beans with pasta after exercise, here’s two post-exercide smoothies rich in protein and highly caloric. If you want  to gain weight and you don’t want to waste money  in gainers (and you do very good as less processed food is better) these smoothies are for you. If you still want to buy any protein and gainers and all that shit, I still don’t recommend it nor I believe it will be any beneficial in the long term, but just take something plant based that won’t be isolated from proteins from soy or peas. If you want to waste your money with gainers, at least try to harm less animals with your decisions.

At the end of this page I refer the number of studies mentioned in this post.

Beans and chocolate smoothie

This monster is a real gainer! Yes I know, beans on a smoothie? WTF?! But believe me, in terms of flavour you won’t even notice them but they give a lot of protein to the mix.

First of all, if you don’t have a blender, buy one or do you think that is cheaper to spend 2 euros every day on a crappy smoothie at the gym? I recommend investing in a decent machine. If your going this way it will be your best friend.

About the beans, I normally buy them dry. The only thing you need to do is wash them well and put them in water for 12 hours and cook them in water without salt and finally freeze them. You won’t need a lot of time for this, just some organization, but believe me that it will save you a ton of time and money from now on.

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Ingedients

  • 1 Cup of Pinto Beans
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach
  • 1 Cup Soy Milk (or any other vegetable milk)
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 4 Dates
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cocoa or Carob powder
  • ¼ Cup of Oats

I normally come from the gym grab all of this and throw it into the blender and blend it. Oh yeah! I drink it afterwards too! Complicated isn’t it? IF your blender is good, you won’t even need to unfreeze the beans or spinach. Oats is more like an option but it adds 150kcal to it. If you want to save calories remove the oats. If you want a thicker smoothie add less water, if you want it more smooth add more water. If you don’t like chocolate, try with cinnamon. If you don’t like this smoothie, do one you’d like.

Calories Breakdown

Blue: 70% Hidrates

Red: 12% Fat

Green: 18% Protein

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Peans and orange smoothie

Peas I normally buy them frozen. I also buy dry peas but for another purpose. I never tried them in smoothies. The ones I’m talking about are the traditional fresh peas that you can buy in any supermarket. The process is the same as before but with a greener result. Everything in there, blend and munch it. Once again, if you want to save calories you can remove oats. If you want a thicker smoothies add less water, and more smooth, more water. If you don’t like orange juice add something else. If you didn’t remove the shell from the pumpkin seeds you’re stupid. If you don’t know what griséus are don’t tell anyone you’re from the Algarve.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of orange juice (not from concentrate if possible)
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 5 Dates
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup of oats

Calories Breakdown

Blue: 72% Carbs

Red: 15% Fat

Green: 13% Protein

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Many thanks to Vasco Cartó for helping with the translations!

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(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5897935

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6036264

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3701462

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702580

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479236

(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21568818

(8) https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2004nl/040100puproteinoverload.htm

(1) http://www.jbc.org/content/58/3/905.full.pdf