What I Eat in a Day!

Ever since I became a vegan, I have been constantly bombarded with questions about what I eat during a typical day, if I “miss” meat and animal products, and how can I “possibly be satisfied?!”

So, I decided to give a little glimpse into a typical day of eating for me to clear up the misconception that veganism is A. Super expensive, B. Just salad and C. Doesn’t leave you satisfied.

Now, I don’t count calories unless I want to ensure I’m eating ENOUGH food, and even then I just log my calories maybe once a week to see if I’m getting all my nutrients and getting in enough calories to support my daily runs. I eat loads of carbs, meaning vegetables, fruits, grains, starches, and oats, and eat until I’m full and guess what? I am ALWAYS satisfied at the end of the day, and maintain my fitness and physique without starving myself.

I do not crave meat, dairy, eggs, whatever. I crave the nutrients I honor myself with every day and I have never felt more vibrant, light in my body and heart, and energetic, and as an added bonus, since the last time I was training for a half-marathon, my mile times have improved more than they ever have before without the exhaustion that used to always plague me.

Bottom line: veganism RULES and I truly love the food I eat every single day.

P.S. Sorry these pictures are shit, I either was in a rush to eat my food, forgot about taking a picture until I was half way done, or the lighting was bad. But, you get the idea 🙂

BREAKFAST:

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1/3 cup uncooked old fashioned oats, cooked in 2/3 cup rice milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. I topped the oats with 1 sliced banana, 1/2 cup defrosted strawberries and peaches, 1 tsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. shredded coconut, and 1 tbsp. maple syrup. On the side I had some steamed kale and a cup of green tea.

AM SNACK:

Clif bar before my lunch break 4 mile run

                                               Clif bar before my lunch break 4 mile run

LUNCH:

Big bowl of leftover vegetable noodle soup and a 1/2 sandwich with frozen grilled veggies, avocado, grainy mustard, and spinach on a huge piece of french peasant bread.

Big bowl of leftover vegetable noodle soup and a 1/2 sandwich with frozen grilled veggies, avocado, grainy mustard, and spinach on a huge piece of french peasant bread.

PM SNACK:

1 pear (I like my fruit super ripe hehe) and 20 almonds or so (I ate some before I took this pic).

1 pear (I like my fruit super ripe hehe) and 20 almonds or so (I ate some before I took this pic).

DINNER:

Again, I started to eat my dinner before taking this I was so hungry after work! It's a huge bowl of 1 cup brown rice, 1 small sweet potato, 2 cups roasted broccoli, 1/2 cup roasted chick peas topped with tahini, 4 peppadews, balsamic drizzle, and nurtitional yeast.

Again, I started to eat my dinner before taking this I was so hungry after work! It’s a huge bowl of 1 cup brown rice, 1 small sweet potato, 2 cups roasted broccoli, 1/2 cup roasted chick peas topped with tahini, 4 peppadews, balsamic drizzle, and nurtitional yeast.

DESSERT (KINDA):

I had a square of the best chocolate in the whole world, dark chocolate with coconut shreds alongside a mug of mint tea before bed.

I had a square of the best chocolate in the whole world, dark chocolate with coconut shreds alongside a mug of mint tea before bed.

I hope this gives you guys some ideas about vegan meals or reminds you that this lifestyle is super accessible, is super affordable (I mean, broccoli, rice, beans, oats? Come on, cheapest food staples ever) and most importantly, DELICIOUS!

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Vegetable Udon Curry

Ahh, spring time. The birds are chirping, the daffodils are out, denim jackets are appropriate again, and the world is sighing in relief that winter has finally passed. April is just the best….

NOT.

April in Rochester actually goes a little something like this: “Snow is melting, woo! Wow, I don’t need to wear my big jacket anymore, this is awesome! Shit, it’s raining, well, at least it’s kinda warm? Oh my god the daffodils are up, it must truly be spring! Fuck my life, it’s snowing.”

Yep, it’s snowing here folks, and it’s about 30 degrees. I could cry. I really could.

Being mad at the weather is the worst because you can’t curse at it or punch it in the face, considering it’s not a solid being, and you end up taking out your frustration on whoever is around to take it. This morning I trudged to work in my warmest scarf, winter hat, mittens, and fleece and saw the hopeless anger in the eyes of every person I passed…we just cannot catch a break here.

One thing that does always cheer me up, even when spring seems like a completely lost cause, is a bowl of veggie curry. It’s got to be one of my all time favorite foods. It’s stupidly easy, so flavorful, and warms up every corner of my heart and soul, even when said heart is as cold as the ice on my windshield this morning.

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INGREDIENTS:

For the curry sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1 can light (organic) coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. grated ginger

For the dish:

  • 1 package udon noodles, cooked as directed on package
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 head bok choy, chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms of choice, sliced
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil

In a large pan, heat the coconut oil over high heat. Add veggies and stir fry until softened, about 5-8 minutes, then add veggie stock. Cook until stock has evaporated 3/4 of the way.

While veggies cook, mix the curry sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over veggies. Turn heat to medium and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so. 

Serve hot over udon noodles and garnish with sriracha, cilantro, peanuts, bean sprouts, whatever you want.

Whether the weather is bringing you down, you want to enjoy a bowl of something hot on the couch while watching a shitty TV show, or you’re just in the mood for a comforting, spicy pick-me-up, make this curry and I promise you’ll feel better.

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Couscous Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

All hail the sun, blue skies, green grass, and daffodils popping up around every corner!

With a full week of spring weather (almost) officially under our belts, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve turned the corner towards a pleasant season and a bomb ass summer.

While I was pumped to bust out as many soups, roasted root veggies, and piping hot oven dishes as I could when the colder months rolled in, I am happily bypassing the butternut squashes and parsnips at the grocery store, and instead find myself heading straight for anything with color, crunch, and coolness.

To me, seasonal cooking not only connects me more to the food I’m making, it reminds me that I’m a child of the Earth and should stop, drop, and listen to her when she doles out the differing bounties of each season.

Hippie shit aside, I think eating seasonally has become a frighteningly rare occurrence in our culture, and even though obviously I eat bananas, out of season tomatoes, and frozen berries, I appreciate in-season produce so much and try my hardest to revolve my cooking ventures around the natural turn of the planet.

As the weather takes a turn for the better, my fridge is fast becoming a rainbow and my creative culinary juices are flowing once again, HALLELUJAH! To me, summer dishes mean vibrant hues, grilled goods, huge salads, and tons of fresh herbs. I broke the soil of spring with this couscous salad and swear I could taste summer on my spoon.

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INGREDIENTS:

For the Salad:

  • 1.5 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large red swiss chard leaves, including the steams, chopped
  • 4 large kale leaves, stems not included, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly minced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (the best quality you can afford)
  • 2 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat, add couscous and put lid on. All liquid should be dissolved and couscous should be cooked and tender in around 10 minutes.

Put cooked couscous in the fridge and let cool while you prep the rest of the salad. In a steamer pot, steam swiss chard and kale for just a few minutes until leaves are wilted and the chard steams are fork tender. Take out of pot immediately and let cool.

While the couscous and greens cool, make your dressing by mincing the garlic, and putting it in a small bowl with the oil, vinegar, and oregano. Whisk until everything is combined and set aside.

Once couscous has cooled, grate your carrots, dice your cucumber, drain and rinse your chickpeas, chop your parsley, and through everything into a large bowl along with the greens and couscous. Mix thoroughly, pour vinaigrette and pumpkin seeds over salad, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper, and mix again, ensuring that everything is well coated in the dressing.

Serve immediately or let cool in the fridge until it reaches your desired temperature.

I enjoyed this alongside some Asian style BBQ tempeh on my cute little balcony after a long day’s work. Sink your teeth into the season with this salad, folks!

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once again, HALLELUJAH!

Weekend Recap: My First 10K!

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYBODY!

And no, I’m not wishing that sarcastically, I really mean it, it’s a glorious day! Here in Rochester the sun is shining, the wind is only blowing a tiny bit (which is a friggin’ miracle here), and it’s almost 80 degrees!

I woke up this morning with a sunburn on the tip of my nose and my tank top laid out for work today and it instantly brought a smile to my face and made me ready to put my blissfully exciting weekend in the books and get ready for another excellent week.

This post is the “books” I’m putting my weekend in, so lemme just start off by saying that I finally ran my first 10k race yesterday in Ithaca!

Although I’ve completed 4 half-marathons, I’ve never run a “normal” distance race! In the spirit of spring beginning and my happy season of running from April-Novemeber, I decided I’d sign up for a race every month until December!

The Skunk Cabbage Classic in Ithaca started my monthly race goal off with a bang! I finished in 51 minutes, 56 seconds, beating my goal time by over 3 minutes!

No headphones were allowed and the course was kinda hilly (helloooo, Ithaca hills anyone??) but I managed to kick ass and had such a great time before and after the race.

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My dad drove up from down home with my Gigi (grandma) to meet Collin and I at the Cornell campus where the race began.

Col and I drove to Ithaca Saturday morning and spent the day there exploring and eating vegan burritos and delicious Thai food. The weather was absolute shit Saturday, so I was kind of worried race day would follow suit, but we woke up to a gorgeous sunrise and the day was literally perfection (hence the sunburn on my nose this morning).

The course took us along rolling farmland and even brought us next to a pheasant farm (didn’t want to think about why pheasant farms are even a thing…) and even hugged the lake a tiny bit. It was such a scenic course ideal for my first race without music.

I started way up front to keep myself motivated by those faster than me, and my tactic worked! I picked a girl whose stride I admired and stayed right behind her the whole time, pushing myself hard the whole way.

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Post race (after I snagged as many free bagels and bananas as I could carry from the stadium), we went to brunch at Stella’s which was actually a huge disappointment! They had a few vegan options, so I got quinoa oatmeal and a root vegetable hash. My oatmeal was literally a bowl of quinoa with apples on it, and while my hash was good, out food took 45 minutes to get out!

Even though it wasn’t the most pleasant brunch in history, we did have such a sweet time goofing off and I was still experiencing my runner’s high…plus all of the coffee I drank while waiting the 45 minutes for my food. Needless to say, I was off the walls in the best way.

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Post-brunch, we stopped at Green Star, the most amazing health food store known to man to get some treats (I got a vegan fruit and oat bar) and then made our way to the Ithaca Beer Co. Brewery!

I got a flight for a little variety, and my dad, Gigi, Collin and I sat outside at a picnic table surrounded by a golden field, hens roaming around, and customers playing frisbee, drinkin’ brews and basking in the sun’s glory. I cannot wait to take another trip there once summer rolls around.

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Before we drove home, we stopped at Cayuga Lake to skip some rocks and take in my favorite view of all time: any body of water, anywhere.

This weekend I realized just how far I’ve come with my running…how many incredible places it has taken me, both within and outside of myself and I truly felt completely connected and grateful for this body that has taken such a beating from me and my outrageous expectations of it.

My body is incredible in every way…my body is my hero and I am so proud of her and all that she does.

It was also a weekend I never thought would come: the first true weekend of Spring weather where hopes are high, everyone is outside grasping at the sun they thought would never show its face again, and PLAYING which I try to do every day.

So, now that my weekend is in the books, on to half-marathon training my my June 21st trail half and a week of (hopefully) sunshine.

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How to love being alone

Back in my high school hay days, I made sure I was constantly surrounded by people.

Whether I was hanging out with my friends, which was basically 90% of the time, at home around my family, or falling asleep on the couch with the TV blaring, I made sure to always have stimuli at close hand.

I enjoyed my alone time, don’t get me wrong, but only for short bursts of time when I had completely drained myself between school, friends, soccer, work, parents, ect.

I would take a bath to enjoy time alone, but the minute the towel hit the floor, I was hopping off to my next engagement.

When I was alone, I was anxious that I was missing out on something, and scared that I would delve into the frightening yet familiar dark corners of my mind. I thought that I constantly needed people around me to keep me sane, distract me from my demons, and keep my incessant fear of “missing out” at bay.

I adore my best friends and would never trade the obnoxious amount of time we all used to spend together for anything, especially now that we live hours apart, but when I look back on it, I think I would have began to better my life quite a bit sooner if I had stopped being such a coward when faced with my own reflection.

After years of struggling with disordered eating, body image, and self-esteem, coupled with depression I fight to keep under control every day, it has been a grueling, uphill battle getting to know, love, and spend time with myself…just myself, and love every single second of it.

Below are some tips on how I became my best friend and someone I genuinely love spending time with!

  • PLAN OUT YOUR BFF DAY WITH YOURSELF! Cook yourself an incredible breakfast, blast your favorite music while you clean/organize your personal space, take a walk to get some coffee, go get a manicure if that’s what you’re into, go grocery shopping and stock your fridge with food that loves you back. Whatever your perfect, stress-free day entails, enjoy it with yourself and for yourself!
  • START A PROJECT! As a knitter/cross stitcher/wannabe gardener, I LOVE projects. I love setting goals and reaching them, getting my hands dirty, making something out of nothing, enriching my life with beauty from my own hands. Starting a project will get your creativity flowing, challenge you, and give you a personal goal that is meant to make you proud of you!
  • CREATE AN EXERCISE ROUTINE! Shocker alert, I LOVE exercise. Yes, I’ll admit, some days I drag myself to the gym or make myself get out on the trail and run when I really don’t want to, but most of the time I sincerely love exercise. Having an exercise routine is a great way to challenge and bond with both your mind and your body, and not only keeps you healthy, it keeps your whole life in shape! As an avid runner for the past three years, I’ve shaped a body I am proud of, because it came from hard work, sweat, and perseverance, and can kick past me’s ass with no problem! I have an endless reserve of energy, am sharper and more alert than ever, and my stamina is pretty much that of a cheetah.
  • GO ON A SOLO PICNIC! Last summer when I first moved to Rochester, I was hours away from my friends and family, worked on a fishing boat where I interacted solely with the captain and no one else, and was adjusting to life out of college….I was a friggin’ mess. One day when I was feeling particularly blue and could not for the life of me stop feeling sorry for myself, I decided to enjoy the gorgeous day outside my window and go on a picnic, just me myself and I. Let me tell ya, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, PERIOD. I brought a lunch, blanket, and book, and ate at the park with only the sounds of birds around me, read in peace while smelling fresh air, and sunbathed until I fell asleep and woke up with some extra freckles! I left the park that day with a serene smile on my face and calm in my heart knowing that life really isn’t out to get me, and hangin’ with myself is the most satisfying thing there is.

In today’s society, being alone is frowned upon, gawked at, and basically shunned.

Well, fuck that. Learning not only to be alone, but to absolutely love and cherish the time you spend with yourself is, to me, one of the most important life lessons any of us can (and should) learn.

Get to know and love yourself and plan some you time NOW!

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I wish