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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Nominated for the Liebster Award!

liebster-award

I’m so stunned and humbled that Ambra from Veganquake has nominated my blog for the Liebster Award – Discover New Blogs. Thank you so much, this is super encouraging and made my night!

These are the questions I have to answer along with 11 random facts about me!

1. When did you decide that you wanted to write a blog for the first time?

I’ve always wanted to be a part of the blogosphere since I began reading blogs a few years ago, but never took action until I started religiously reading a few of my favorites last year and got inspired.

2. What’s your favourite place to write?

On any rooftop or by any body of water.
3. Dog person or cat person?

Dog person all the way! I hate cats and cats hate me, it’s a win-win relationship.
4. Favourite book?

Oh wow, this is a toughie…I’d say it’s a 3 way tie between Running with Scissors, The Bell Jar, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
5. What is your favourite cuisine?

Thai food, any time of day, every day, always. I love Thai food.
6. Water or fire?

Water. I’m pretty sure I was a mermaid in my past life.
7. If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Greece!
8. The last time you had a gym membership? (I know, this is cheeky!)

Technically, I am a Planet Fitness member, but accidentally gave them the wrong credit card info and then moved last year so I now just ignore their calls…
9. Do you ever stick to cookbooks?

I love cookbooks! Although I rarely stick to them exactly, I get a lot of inspiration from them and love to just read them through.
10. Marmite: love or hate?

Not quite sure what it is but I’ve heard it’s quite gross. But, I’m up for trying anything (As long as it’s vegan of course hehe!)
11. Favorite quote & why?

“I would believe only in a God who could dance”…Not sure who said this, but I read it in a book a long time ago and it’s stuck with me for years. I just think it sums up life so well and encourages being spiritually connected to the universe but also being a free spirited wild child. 

11 Random Facts:

  1. I’m an avid knitter & cross stitcher
  2. I LOVE to run
  3. I had two pet ducks named Helga and Jose when I was in high school
  4. Hey Arnold speaks to my soul and I know every episode
  5. Broccoli is my #1 favorite food and I’m planning on getting a broccoli tattoo in the near future
  6. I’m 22 and have a ton of gray hairs
  7. Swimming is my favorite thing to do in the whole world
  8. I have to wear socks when I sleep
  9. Modest Mouse is my favorite band and I basically worship Isaac Brock
  10. I have a huge crush on Joe Pesci
  11. My hometown best friends were in a Wizard Rock band (Harry Potter based…)

The blogs I nominate for the award are:

Peanut Butter & Ellie

Veggies Don’t Bite

Vegan Girl Meats World

Vegan Simplified

Little Nomadic Kitchen

Your job is to answer these questions in a blog post and spread the Liebe!
Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you (see below)

Questions from tbirdchronicles:

  1. What is your number one reason for blogging?
  2. Would you rather have the ability to fly or breath under water?
  3. What is your absolute favorite food and why?
  4. Fruits or Veggies?
  5. What is your favorite season?
  6. Exercise: Love it or hate it?
  7. Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
  8. Who is your favorite author?
  9. What is your favorite thing about cooking?
  10. Extrovert or introvert?
  11. What are some words you live by and why?

4. Next, provide 11 random facts about yourself (see above notation)

5. Nominate 5 –11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

6. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer (see mine above!)

7. List these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).

 

Five Great Pieces of My Week

On this Friday that I have been (patiently) waiting for, I am at work reflecting on the past week. It’s been one of discovery, hard work, and reflection. My mind is a buzzin’ with everything I’ve learned, discovered, worked on, and felt this week, so I’ve decided to compile a list of the five best pieces of my week. I’m going to start doing this every Friday just to motivate myself to keep exploring, thinking, and feeling new things, ideas, and emotions! Cool? Cool.

 

  1. I started/finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first book in the Millennium Series, and subsequently fell in love with it/its protagonist, Lisbeth Salander. She is a badass, sly, incredibly troubled investigative/technological genius/young woman who I happen to identify with on many levels. She does not become a product of her harsh and dark upbringing, she rises from it, kicking ass and taking names along the way. I have actually decided to name my car, who I have been struggling to come up with a name for for about three years, Lisbeth because I love her so much. I encourage everybody to read this book, not just because of the strength of Lisbeth (though that is my top reason), but because it is well-written, well-paced, and well-characterized. The story draws you in like a story should and FINALLY satisfied my craving for a book I just cannot put down, which I have been missing in my life for the past few months. I am on the edge of my seat, constantly checking the mail for the next book in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire, to arrive in the mail! READ IT.
  2. Speaking of books, my boyfriend showed me THIS. It’s a site called Paperback Swap and it’s a gem of the internet! You can make an account and post any books you no longer want for people to request. When someone requests one of your books, you get a credit to get a book from someone else on the site for free! You just have to pay to mail your book to whoever requested it. BASICALLY IT’S FREE BOOKS AND RECYCLING IN ONE. C’MON. ITS GREAT.
  3. I discovered Slate’s Cultural Gabfest which is such an awesome podcast! My friend just opened my world when he told me how much he loves podcasts and how they make his day fly and keep him updated on his favorite things. Cultural Gabfest is all about dissecting current culture in a roundtable discussion. They talk about music, movies, books, and current events, which are all some of my favorite things. The hosts are super intelligent, pretty funny, and seem down to earth even though they talk in pretty philosophical fashion. I recommend giving this podcast a listen, it’s fucking great.
  4. I realized the power of parks. I am a complete nature girl, and grew up in the Hudson Valley where nature is abundant and just kinda there. When I moved to Rochester, I automatically missed my backyard, the Catskills, the easy access to hiking trails, the creek…basically everything. But, as I began to explore Roch, I discovered how many awesome parks they managed to fit into such a teeny city! I spend a lot of time running in Genesse Valley Park, which has such great and surprisingly long trails along the river and canal, and have ran in Cobb’s Hill Park, which has such an awesome view of the city and a really pretty reservoir. My favorite park by far though, is Highland Park. I’ve attempted running there a few times and don’t quite enjoy it for that purpose. But it is such a  beautiful park with a huge valley smack dab in the middle of it that feels like a wonderland. That valley never fails to make me feel small and human, and helps me stop and appreciate the beauty and vastness of the world around me. Go for a walk in a park, it’ll change your day for the better no matter what.
  5. I made THIS for dinner last night. I was craving something creamy and decadent for dinner, had pinned this recipe a while ago, and was too tired/rushed to create a recipe of my own to satisfy my craving, so I made it quickly for Col and I before we saw The Giver (DON’T SEE IT IF YOU LOVE THE BOOK/MOVIES IN GENERAL). It was really delicious, rich, and healthy! I recommend this for a cozy night in when you want some comfort food, vegan or not!

Roasted Tomatoes & Garlic Sauce!

Maple Chipotle Grilled Tempeh

I grew up absolutely HATING pure male syrup. Believe it or not, until last year I preferred Aunt Jemima’s to the real deal. It’s not like I eat tons of maple syrup, or foods that syrup typically goes on, but I felt like a hypocrite as I poured my auntie J’s over my whole what banana flax oatmeal pancakes, and decided to start training myself to love the real stuff as much as everyone else seemed to.

Well, after about a year of always having it on hand in case I feel the urge to make pancakes, waffles, etc., I’ve finally started to experiment with it in savory dishes, not just on breakfast foods and in desserts.

Because I adore chipotle peppers, and am obsessed with spicy food in general, I decided to give my first shot at savory maple syrup usage a kick. After trying this recipe, I am so happy I transitioned to pure maple syrup, and even happier I’m beginning to incorporate into my recipe creations! This tempeh is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and smokey, without the sugar-filled, overly-slathered barbequed sauce taste. (obviously I am not fond of bbq sauce…) I grilled mine because I LOVE anything and everything grilled and I wanted a smokey flavor, but you could easily just bake it or pan sear it or whatever you feel like doing if you don’t have a grill or don’t feel like grilling.

I’m sorry for the picture being such shit, I was about to dig in when I remembered I wanted to post this, and my hands were shaky with hunger/delight.

Ingedients:

  • 1 package organic tempeh
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt  & pepper to taste

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the chipotle pepper into the olive oil and maple syrup. Add the minced garlic and spices, and mix everything together. Cut tempeh in four diagonal strips, place in bowl and coat with the sauce thoroughly, making sure to slather each side of each strip. Refrigerate for at least an hour. About 5-10 minutes before the tempeh is done marinating, preheat grill to medium-high. Once grill is nice and hot, put tempeh on and grill for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the middle of each piece is hot and it has grill marks on all sides. Take off the grill and serve immediately.

I served mine with some simple sauteed veggies cooked down in veggie broth over rice. This would be good with spanish style rice and beans, over a salad, or on a sandwich to name a few. Enjoy, creatures!

5 Reasons to Go Vegan!

I have been a vegan for about three months now, and I can honestly say that is it for life. Once you go plant-based you never go back.

While, I will admit, the transition wasn’t all that difficult for me considering the fact that I was already an extremely healthy eater with tons of veggies and fruits in my daily diet, and the fact that I love to cook and don’t mind devoting time to meal prep, I still believe that anyone can make the transition and that everyone should! Here are my core reasons why a vegan lifestyle is the shit.

  1. Your carbon footprint is SO MUCH LESS! The meat, dairy, and egg industries are some of the, if not the LARGEST contributors to climate change and environmental destruction in the world. Most people do not know this! I know I didn’t until a few short months ago. We generally think that emissions and destroying the rainforest and other habitats are the sole contributors to climate change. The reason is because we are destroying habitats so that we can plant mass amounts of food for the mass amounts of animals we slaughter, then use crazy amounts of emissions to raise them on factory farms before they are slaughtered. When you go vegan, you are actively taking a stand against this unbelievable destructive industry.
  2. Your body will thank you! Actually, this one is also for healthy eating in general. When I began eating healthy, whole foods and tons of fruits and veggies, (combined with daily exercise), I not only saw my body shape transform, but also my hair! Where once I had pin-straight, dry, damaged hair, there was now bouncy, full, spiral freaking curls! It was such a mystery to me after I cut my hair that it grew back extremely curly and generally huge, but I am 100% sure it is a result of changing my diet. Since becoming a vegan, my hair has grown super fast and my random acne bursts have disappeared! I now have glowing, rosy cheeks and smooth skin.
  3. You will live cruelty free! I had first considered going vegan after doing research about the negative impact eating animal products has on the body, and just to challenge myself. After watching Earthlings, though, I added the moral reason of being a vegan to my list. While I totally respect everyone’s rights to eat whatever they please, I just cannot fathom eating a piece of chicken again or even drinking milk after being exposed to the horrors of the meat and dairy industries. As a nation, our factory farms are basically torture chambers where innocent beings not only die, but die in extremely sickening fashion and live the short lives they are given in utter pain and misery. Personally, I just can’t unsee what I saw, or unfeel what I feel. Yes, I get that eating meat tastes good, but it is unnecessary. I like being a vegan because it means I can live without killing, or contributing to killing, other beings in the process.
  4. You spice up your kitchen life! I’ve always loved to cook, maybe even more than I love to eat! Going vegan has challenged and excited my time in the kitchen. I love creating “veganized” versions of foods that aren’t vegan which I love (cheesecake, brownies, mac and cheese). Also, by using whole, plant-based ingredients, you will naturally eat healthier and, believe it or not, your grocery bill will decrease (I swear). Meat is expensive! Vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains are generally pretty cheap. And if you check out your farmer’s markets, they’re even cheaper than in the grocery store, and you will most likely find new produce to experiment and fall in love with that you had never tried before! Seriously people, being a vegan isn’t a life of deprivation, it’s fucking delicious!
  5. You eat more!!!!!!! This reason, even considering my cruelty-free and less carbon footprint reasons, is my absolute favorite thing about being a vegan. (no disrespect, chickies and piggies!) I’ve always had a large appetite, and when I started exercising daily, this appetite grew. Instead of meticulously portioning my foods and counting calories like I did in the past, I now eat an abundance of healthy foods because they nourish and benefit me. Because plant-based foods are typically lower in calories and are PACKED TO THE BRIM with nutrients, I eat a ton of them and don’t have to worry about calories or gaining weight. Of course, there are plant-based foods that are high in calories and that I still monitor (duh), generally I fill my plate with veggies, fruits, beans, and whole grains and feel satisfied and nourished, not overly full and guilty. Going vegan has really helped me develop a healthy relationship with food which I am insanely thankful for.

These are just a few reasons why I love being a vegan! I do not judge anyone who is not a vegan, because obviously I am still a newb myself, and I get why many people do not choose to go vegan (convenience, taste, etc.). I am just trying to shed light on how amazing this lifestyle is for your body, your mind, your soul, and your planet!

 

Avocado Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red potatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste

To make this dish take less time, I microwaved the potatoes to cook them through. Once they are fork tender, refrigerate for about an hour or until they’re cool. Slice them into bite-size chunks and put in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mash the avocado, mustard, lemon, salt & pepper, and rosemary until they’re fully incorporated and semi-smooth. Pour avocado sauce over the potatoes and mix until they are fully covered with the mixture. Mince the scallions and mix them into the potato salad along with salt & pepper to your liking. Refrigerate for an hour or so, or serve immediately if you like it at room temperature.

I hate traditional potato salad, so I don’t really care that I “can’t” eat it as a vegan. I’m just not big on mayonnaise-based salads in general, so veganaise potato salad wouldn’t tickle my fancy either. But, I saw a recipe for mashed avocado with chickpeas to make a salad, so I figured I would try out a potato salad that I would actually like, and would be healthy, decadent, but not too heavy. This is it! It’s easy, SO FLAVORFUL, tangy, and overall delicious. I took the leftovers to work today and the salad is even better the next day. Happy eating, betches! 😉