Eating in Alignment = Guaranteed Happiness

yoga warrior two

As I laid back on my mat in one of the most well-liked yoga positions (savasana) I felt a slow pop and then my body and soul slid into alignment. My body didn't actually pop, but the way I was experiencing life seemed to be in agreement with the world around me vs. the closed off (tightly clenched muscle) way I had been walking around before. For anyone who hasn't taken a yoga class-just visualize a kink being released from a garden hose. What was once stuck is now free to flow. Free. To. Flow.  

Hold the image of the free flowing water in your mind. It will help you relax while I remind you that most people are walking contradictions. Are you living the life you want to live? Are pain and anger bubbling to the surface now that you've been reminded? Quick! Stuff them back down. Reach for a substance or experience that will temporarily dull the sensation.  

Let me tell you a secret. It might be a mind f*$k. Happiness is closer than you think. I am happy most of the time. It boils down to two principles. 

1. Live in alignment.

Do you realize how normal it is for you to do the opposite of what you feel in your core is right? There are many kinks in the garden hose. Release them and let the water flow. Trust yourself and live in a way that makes you happy. I know a woman who loves her dog like it is her child. She recently stopped eating animals and she said it makes her so happy to live in alignment with her values. I bet you can think of three actions you can take right now (food or non food-related) that will make you happier. 

2. F$@king show up every damn day.  

Just try. Don't hide from yourself or the world. Stop whining. Problem solve. You will be unsuccessful here and there. That's normal. I only ask that you try. The act of committing to your goals creates a sense of purpose which translates to self-esteem... also known as happiness. Happiness!

IF YOU'RE READY TO ALIGN YOUR EATING WITH YOUR VALUES YOU CAN REACH ME HERE.

IF YOU'RE READY TO TAKE A YOGA CLASS I RECOMMEND YOGAGLO. ;)

 

 

Freakebana: The Anti-Meal Prep Method

Freakebana by Plant Based For Me

Origin Story

Ikebana is a Japanese method of flower arrangement that is rich with emotion and intention.

Perverse Evolution

An editor at NY Magazine recently wrote an article about all of the off the rails, wacko flower arrangements she was seeing in hip restaurants, magazines, and trendsetter's homes. It's literally an "anything goes" style which sometimes involves fruit and vegetables. She named this style "freakebana". 

My Version

Freakebana is the contents of my grocery cart. It is on my kitchen table and counters. It is my heart! I have no qualms about arranging a papaya with flowers, a lemon, and an avocado. File them all under the broad category of "things I like in the kitchen". You can also file them under "things my husband wishes weren't cluttering up the counters". 

I haven't put a lot of thought into meal planning lately, but I have been cooking and eating well. Freakebana is the anti-meal prep method for anyone who wants to do some light cooking without the big production of it all. 

How do I prevent myself from buying a bunch of individual items that together add up to nothing? Ask yourself what you want to eat. I'm really feeling smoothies, oatmeal, soups, and market plates. Here is a taste of what runs through my mind as I fly through the produce section, pause in the non-dairy section, linger by the freshly baked bread, and finish in the grains and beans aisles.

What do I want in life a smoothie?

What kinds of mix-ins do I want for my oatmeal?

What do I want in a soup?

Which veggies would be easy (less than three steps to tasty) sides in a market plate?

Which vegetables could be the main event on my dinner plate?

It's that easy friends! Think of the type of foods you want to make then randomly grab things off the shelves as you pass by with your cart. 

If you want more direction you can download my free guide to freakebana grocery shopping which is filled with ingredient suggestions by dish type. This is the members link. I'm here if you're ready for additional support. xoxo

Five Ways to Use... Beet Greens

Beet Greens Plant Based For Me

Vibrant greens and purples! I love when my plate is visually stimulating. It's not hard to make fresh produce (especially beet greens) look appealing. This was my second time making beet greens. I usually end up throwing them out because they spoil so much faster than the beet root. What a waste! Here are some recipes to help you (and I) avoid throwing out pretty, dark leafy greens that are packed with iron, calcium, and magnesium. 

1. Grape jelly veggie breakfast toast please. I know it sounds bizarre (think fresh, sweet, salty, and warm). The photo above features beet greens, purple seedless grapes, edamame, two slices of toast, and sea salt. To make- wash the grapes and greens, add to a pan with a bit of olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar), cover the pan, cook until the greens begin to wilt (add a bit of water if they look dry), layer the ingredients on your plate, then add some sea salt. 

2. Eat them as a side using this recipe that has a sherry vinegar and garlic base.

3. This filling salad has two kinds of plant protein (quinoa and chickpeas). Switch out the dairy-based dressing in the recipe with another like italian or balsamic vinegar. 

4. Add them to my favorite avocado-banana green smoothie.

5. Switch out the spinach in this frittata recipe. No eggs needed. 

LOOKING FOR MORE INGREDIENT INSPIRATION? SUBSCRIBE HERE. NOT SURE WHAT A BEET GREEN IS AND LOOKING FOR SOME PLANT GUIDANCE? WORK WITH ME. 

Book Rec: This Cheese is Nuts

This Cheese Is Nuts By Julie Piatt Plant Based For Me

Happy Holidays! We kicked off the season-of-stuffing-your-face at my house with our annual Harvest Fest potluck. It's a tradition that my old roommate and I started nine years ago. I took this opportunity to make two recipes from the book This Cheese is Nuts. It's a vegan cookbook with recipes for everything from cream cheese to aged hard cheeses. I made the Provolone and the Cashew Cheddar. Since I was crunched for time I did not store them in the fridge overnight (if you want them to truly harden this is necessary), but otherwise I followed the recipes. You just soak cashews overnight, dump the ingredients into a serious blender (I like my refurbished Blendtec), mix until smooth, then heat on the stove top for about two minutes until it thickens. You can serve them hot, keep them in the fridge overnight, or place them in the freezer for three hours like I did.  

I wouldn't call them cheese, but they are delicious spreads. I might be biased because I am excited about the general idea of homemade vegan cheese so I asked my husband for his opinion. He liked the provolone one better (it might be because of the white truffle oil), but overall he said he didn't like them enough to seek them out again. 

Fast forward a few days... I made the Botiija Olive Rosemary Cheese Spread for a work party.  It was a flavor explosion. A++. However, I did not follow the recipe exactly because I could only find dried botija olives so I added two extra olives plus a tiny bit of water until the consistency was right.  Someone mentioned that it would be a really good stuffed mushroom filling. 

Next up on my list are the Mozzarella and the Cream Cheese. I will update this post once I have made and eaten them. Oh, the things I do for you guys!  

I'm going to be straight with you. This Cheese is Nuts has proven to be a delicious and welcome new take on non-dairy cheese, but there are barriers to entry when it comes to executing the recipes.

The first one is money. Most of the recipes require a hardcore blender (i.e. a Blendtec or Vitamix) which are not cheap. I bought mine refurbished from Blendtec so it was about half of the original retail price. A good portion of the recipes also require a dehydrator. It looks like you can get one for about sixty bucks on Amazon.  

The second barrier is ingredients. You can definitely buy things like agar powder (gelatin substitute) and botija olives online, but not a lot of grocery stores carry them. You have to love cooking and be a bit adventurous to make some of these recipes. 

Overall, the cookbook is groundbreaking in a lot of ways and it could significantly help improve non-dairy cheese options. I think the next few cookbooks that are less intimidating and more approachable on the same topic will probably become very popular and widely used. 

If you're not feeling up to the task of making your own "cheese" do not hesitate to try the Kite Hill or Follow Your Heart non-dairy cheeses which are available in a lot of grocery stores. (This is not a paid endorsement!) 

hit me up with your questions about non-dairy cheese! nom nom nom. subscribe here.   

Last Five Salads: Are Tomatoes the only Veggie in Italy?

salad #4

salad #4

I had an amazing honeymoon in Italy where I ate my weight in pasta. Eating in the countryside felt good. It seems the only option is to eat local which is amazing because then the food is fresh. What a novel concept! Americans rarely eat local, but then again we are spoiled with the variety in our grocery stores. There weren't a lot of veggie side options at the restaurants I went to and I missed them so much. Thank goodness I'm back in the states and eating my weight in salads. I mean... Italy was stellar too, but it's always nice to come home. 

1. My Big Return Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • one apple, sliced
  • pepitas
  • two dried tomatoes, sliced
  • one huge carrot, peeled and sliced
  • matzo crackers, broken into pieces
  • dressing: splash of good olive oil, splash of maple syrup, splash of apple cider vinegar, and about a tablespoon of dijon mustard

2. Okay I Miss Pasta Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • four dried tomatoes, sliced
  • a handful of sliced black olives
  • quinoa-corn penne pasta
  • one carrot, peeled and sliced
  • one handful of chopped walnuts
  • italian salad dressing from Annie's 

3. For Anyone Who Likes a Wet Salad

  • arugula 
  • half of a zucchini, grated
  • half an avocado, sliced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • a generous handful of pomegranate seeds
  • dressing: a few splashes of nice olive oil, a dollop of dijon mustard, horseradish (add as much as you can handle), juice from half of a lime, 1 tbsp of maple syrup (or less) 

4. Hot and Cold Salad

  • arugula
  • half an avocado, sliced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • a generous handful of pomegranate seeds
  • pepitas
  • one sweet potato, rinsed, peeled and thinly sliced using a mandolin. roast in coconut oil and sea salt at 400 degrees. you can take them out when the texture looks wrinkly/dehydrated. Splash Cholula (or another hot sauce) on them before adding to your plate. 
  • dressing: a few splashes of nice olive oil, juice from half of a lime, 1 tbsp of maple syrup (or less), a pinch of sea salt 

5. Light and Bright Before a Big Meal Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • pomegranate seeds
  • half an avocado, sliced
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • a splash of nice olive oil
  • a dash of sea salt

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When in Rome... Eat the Best Pecorino

Welcome to my honeymoon! We just landed in Roma and we have a three hour drive ahead of us. Our destination is a small hotel in Tuscany. Hello perfection. 

But this is a plant based website... You might be wondering how I will avoid the meat and cheese that Italians are known for? You may do as you please, but I will eat about ten servings of cheese in the next six days. What about meat? I'll probably eat about three servings. Why? We are in Italy! As I have mentioned, I am not vegan. I eat animal-free dishes at 80% of my meals. That ratio will change for the week due to the fact that... say it with me... WE ARE IN ITALY!

The best thing about living my life in an 80/20 fashion (meaning most, but not all of my meals are vegan) is that I never feel like a fraud. Or that I "cheated". Or that I am truly missing out on life. That goes both ways. Let me elaborate. 

Missing out on life because you aren't living...

Have you ever craved steamed broccoli? I have on more than one occasion. I missed vegetables at the end of my week in Italy. They help me thrive. Eating veggies is a part of my life. Before I ate plant based my energy levels were low, low, low. Now, I have lots of energy and pursue many interests at once (my husband says it looks like I am running all over the place all the time).  

Missing out on life because you have FOMO...

Have you ever been on a diet and envious of someone eating cake, but then you ate the cake too and it's definitely not the best cake you have ever eaten? What a waste. Eating cheese in Italy was like eating the best cake, but there was zero guilt and zero shame because eating plant based is not like going on a diet. I typically don't eat diary because I know it's not good for me and I have made peace with that. Also, a lot of cheap cheese (like a $1 pizza slice) tastes like plastic. Blah. 

To recap... 

Eating cheese in Italy makes me feel alive, but eating cheese in the US prevents me from living my life the way that I desire. It's not that simple, but I know you are smart and see the big picture. When in Rome... eat the best pecorino. 

If you haven't read my tips on how to avoid constipation while on vacation then check it out here. For future posts you can subscribe here.

Last Five Salads: I Want My Skin to Flipping Glow

My wedding is less than a month away and I want my skin to effing glow. I did a hair and makeup trial a few weeks ago and I felt like I was wearing enough makeup to perform on Broadway. I should have taken a photo of my soon-to-be husband who happened to be home during the trial. His face showed a mixture of confusion and concern. When the hair and makeup artist left he said, "I think you look much better without that makeup." I agreed. That is why I am doing my best to drink water, get solid sleep, drink less alcohol than usual, avoid dairy, and eat all my veggies! I will be wearing makeup on the day of my wedding, but only about 30% of what I had on my face during the trial. Wish me luck. Here are my last five salads. #WEDDINGGLOW

Salad #4

Salad #4

 1. The Bride is Just Peachy Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • one peach, sliced
  • green beans
  • half an avocado
  • walnuts
  • italian dressing

 2. A Fall Wedding Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • one apple, sliced
  • acorn squash (rinse; cut into sections; remove seeds; roast with olive oil, nutmeg, pepper, and sea salt)
  • cannellini beans, rinsed
  • cashews
  • dressing: juice from half a lemon, white wine vinegar, and fancy olive oil

 3. You are the Apple of My Eye Salad

  • baby spinach, chopped
  • one apple, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes 
  • light drizzle of fancy olive oil
  • pepitas
  • half a can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • use a food processor to mix the following with the chickpeas:
    • about 1 tbsp vegan mayo
    • about 1 tbsp relish
    • a dash of paprika
    • a dash of black pepper
    • a dash of sea salt
    • juice from half a lemon

 4. Heated Love Affair Salad (two servings)

  • iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • buffalo cauliflower from the Nom Yourself cookbook
  • ranch buttermilk dressing from the Nom Yourself cookbook (I halved the recipe)
  • two slices of pumpernickel bread cut into cubes then baked for ten minutes 
  • one cucumber, peeled and sliced

5.  Help Me Manage My Anxiety Salad

  • leaf lettuce, chopped
  • one tomato, sliced
  • one ear of sweet corn, use a knife to remove the kernels (hold it lengthwise above a cutting board)
  • green beans, with the ends cut off
  • raw almonds
  • two dried mango slices, cut into strips
  • dressing: a splash of nice olive oil, white wine vinegar, and horseradish mustard 

You don't want to miss the upcoming posts. I will have so much free time once i am done managing wedding vendors! Head here to subscribe!

Keep it Moving... Vacation without Constipation

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A few days into vacation my friend revealed, "I ate too much cheese. I haven't pooped since I got here!" Then another friend countered with, "I haven't stopped pooping!" Lovely. Haha. 

It's easy to drink too much alcohol, forget to drink water, overdo it on the dairy, and completely avoid vegetables on vacation. I don't know about you, but I just want to kick back and do whatever whatever. Ya know? There are a few consequences that come with that vacation lifestyle. Do you ever experience these symptoms halfway through vacation: digestion is out of whack, energy is lower than normal, or skin looks lackluster? 

Ideally, I would like to return from vacation looking like I spent a week at a spa in Switzerland (even though I didn't). Here are some tips to help you party like a rock star while keeping your digestion, energy, and skin on track.

  • Don't eat too much of the pre-made plane meals. They are not digestion-friendly. Bring other food from home or the airport.
  • When you arrive at your destination (hotel etc.) make sure you have access to plenty of drinking water or go to a store to buy a few gallons to keep in your room. 
  • Consider your drink of choice. If you are planning on boozing a lot during your vacation try to pick a low sugar drink. My go-to is tequila, soda, and lime. 
  • Make fiber and veggies your priority at mealtime. If you're ordering a side of fries with a sandwich then get a side of vegetables too. It's worth the few extra bucks. 
  • Pack plant based snacks. Like this one or this one. It will help you avoid the low energy that creeps up on you when your meals are too far apart.  
  • If eating dairy triggers skin or digestive issues for you then don't ignore it. Respect your body.
  • Use my Rebel's Guide to Dining Out if you want to eat plant based in a restaurant that isn't veg-friendly. 

Enjoy your vacation! Sending you plant based love. Subscribe for more content here

Last Five Salads: Chasing That Full (Not Stuffed) Feeling

One of my favorite side effects of eating plant based meals is that I rarely feel the need to unbutton my pants and take a nap after eating. Sometimes I feel the opposite- filled with energy. Filled is the key word. Not all salads are created equally. There are many salads that are not filling and will just leave me hangry a few hours later. That's why I try to make sure my salads have enough protein (beans, quinoa, nuts, quinoa-based pasta) or fat (usually avocado) or both. If I don't make a hearty enough salad, then I usually pair it with a side like hummus and crackers. Check out the salads below to chase that full (not stuffed) feeling! 

Salad #5

Salad #5

1. Tie-Dye Pink Bean Salad (makes at least 3 servings)

  • one cup of dry lima beans- soak overnight (3:1 water to bean ratio plus some salt), rinse a few times until the water is clear, cover with water in a pot and turn the heat down once they boil, then cook for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. 
  • one can (drained) of artichokes
  • half of a roasted beet, diced (or a whole beet)
  • one handful of walnuts (break them into smaller pieces like a giant breaking rocks in the palm of their hand)
  • fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • a splash of fancy olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper

2. End of Summer Salad

  • mixed greens
  • one plum tomato, sliced
  • one carrot, sliced
  • two handfuls of cherries, pitted
  • walnuts
  • a splash of fancy olive oil
  • fresh juice from half of a lemon
  • a sprinkle of sea salt

3. Shaky Shaky Mango Salad

  • mixed greens
  • half a mango, sliced
  • chili powder
  • lime juice
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • shake it up!

4. Double Bean Blueberry Salad

  • mixed greens
  • blueberries
  • green beans
  • black beans, rinsed and slightly dried
  • dressing: fresh lemon juice, fancy olive oil, and dijon mustard

5. Massaged Kale Salad

  • shredded kale (without the stem)
  • massage kale with nice olive oil and fresh lemon juice (add olive oil slowly)
  • sea salt
  • roasted chickpeas (olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper)
  • sliced apples
  • optional: pepitas

Head here for more salad inspiration. You can subscribe here so you don't miss another post!  

Treat Yourself

I deserve junk food

I will eat nachos everyday

I will feel like junk

 

Can I let you in on a secret? You don't have to feel like junk. You could eat plant based nachos every night for dinner and you would probably feel fine. The recipe featured above is from an Oh She Glows cookbook. Okay, we covered healthy junk food. Check. 

Next, let's address the stories we tell ourselves. I deserve _____ because ______ happened today.

Here is a list of the basic things that I believe every human deserves:

  • Freedom
  • Healthy food
  • Access to healthcare
  • A safe place to sleep at night
  • Access to education
  • Love from other humans
  • Self-love

If given all of those things, most people should be able to do more than get by or survive-they should be able to THRIVE. 

Eating healthy has had an insane domino effect on my life. It helped me gather the courage to start taking exercise dance classes (I'm horrible at it, but I love it!). It helped my loved ones eat healthier. It helped me flex my creative muscles (see snake photo above). I could keep going...

If you regularly find yourself saying, "I deserve chips/cake/BBQ/candy/a burger because _____ happened today," then it's time for you to rewrite your story. Those things may look like a band aid that help you deal with feelings like stress, but they actually slow you down and prevent you from THRIVING.

Consider eating plant based. I avoid animal products at about 80% of my meals and I am thriving. I deserve to thrive and you do too. Treat yourself. 

If you are ready to THRIVE then head here to subscribe or to reach out for one-on-one support. 

BONUS (PRINTABLE) CONTENT: Check out these "JUNK FOOD" RECIPES from three of my favorite plant based bloggers. Insider Club can check out their special link here

Five Ways to Use... AVOCADO

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I will not tell you to make avocado toast. It is delicious, but avocado toast has received so much publicity in the past year. Too much maybe. There are silly articles out there in the world that claim millennials could afford to buy homes if they just stopped spending money on things like avocado toast. That's a load of crap. The numbers don't work. I'm off to go build my avocado toast house. BRB. Check out these recipes while I'm gone... 

1. This is my favorite smoothie: half an avocado, one banana, almond milk, tiny splash of maple syrup, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and ice (optional).  

2. Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas! I made these for a crew of people who eat meat on the regular and they had no trouble finishing them. 

3. Avocado Caprese Salad. So fresh. Freshness to your face. Eat it when tomatoes are in season. 

4. Mango Pomegranate Guacamole. It sounds fancy and tastes delicious. Bring it to a party!

5. If you're looking for something Pinterest-worthy I would recommend this Watermelon Poke Bowl. If you aren't familiar with poke- it's like a sushi bowl and it's very popular in NYC and LA right now. Swap the fish out for watermelon and voila! 

Are you upset that I didn't share any avo-toast recipes? Head here for a few of those plus my tips for handling avocados. This is the Insider Club link. xoxo

Cookbook Rec: Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen

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Chloe seems like a sweetheart and I appreciate the trailblazing she did to bring fun, approachable vegan food to the masses. She partnered with a hospitality group to open a chain of vegan restaurants (picture "fast casual" with cute branding), but things went south (drama) and she exited the business in the past year. I have a feeling this isn't the last we will hear from her. I mean, I hope not considering she isn't even 30 years old yet. 

I liked this cookbook because it would be useful for someone who lacks variety in their veggie cooking. Chloe will teach you a few new ways to eat staples like avocado, cauliflower, and sweet potato (Italian-style). The simplicity of the recipes is appreciated, but in some ways it felt like they could have been jazzed up a bit. Maybe my expectations are too high. In other words, I think this could be a good cookbook for you, but it isn't my number one favorite. Maybe she will change my mind as I continue to try more of the recipes.  

Here are the recipes I made from the book: 

Butternut Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions- A little awkward to eat with your hands, but tasty. Probably won't make it again.

Smashed Avocado and Roasted Beet Crostini- Delish. I will make it again because it's a "throw it together" kind of recipe. 

Lemonade Cauliflower- I will make it again. Cauliflower roasted with pure maple syrup and fresh lemon juice/zest.

Bowties in Garlic Cream Sauce (with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms)- Tasty. It proves that you can make creamy pasta sauce without cream. Not sure if I would make it again.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins- I will probably make them 30 more times before I die. She won Cupcake Wars with a vegan cupcake so she definitely knows her way around a baked good.

Pesto Mac 'N' Cheese- I liked this one better than the Bowties in Garlic Cream Sauce. Is it exactly like the Kraft mac 'n' cheese you grew up with? No, but it's delish. My recommendation is to make half the cheese sauce for one box of elbow pasta. 

You can purchase your own copy of Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen here. 

Ask Me Anything: Cheese Lovin', Chicken vs. Red Meat, and Snacks

Help! I love cheese. How can I eat less without missing it so much?

First, raise your standards. If you want to eat less, then you should only eat the most delicious cheese. For example, pass on cheese that would sit atop a $1 slice of pizza (it usually tastes like plastic), but eat it at a nice restaurant. Second, consider the source before taking a bite. This white stuff dripped out of an animal and the intended use was to help a baby animals gain nutrients and grow at a super fast pace. Third, try multiple nondairy options. My favorites are from Kite Hill and Follow Your Heart. The asparagus in the photo above was sprinkled with Follow Your Heart Nondairy Parmesan Cheese. You can't taste the difference.     

If I eat more chicken and less red meat I should be okay, right?

What do you mean by "okay"? It's up to you to make that decision. I personally don't eat chicken more than once a week because of the health implications. Yes, red meat is worse than chicken, but beans and veggies are also way healthier than chicken. Eating plant based has helped me realize that so many chicken dishes don't taste like chicken-they taste like the rest of the ingredients! This makes it insanely easy to cook a lot of your favorite "chicken dishes" without the chicken. Here are some recipes: chickpea buffalo wraps, cauliflower buffalo wings, butternut squash black bean enchiladas, and jerk sunchokes with rice and beans. Added bonus- eating less chicken means you're less likely to consume many types of bacteria (like salmonella or e. coli).  

What are some plant based options for mid-morning snacks?

  • Fruit

  • Apple, banana, or celery with almond or peanut butter

  • Chia seed snacks like these from Mamma Chia

  • Larabars (my favorites are apple pie and peanut butter chocolate chip)

  • Plain rice cakes with avocado and a bit of sea salt

  • A protein shake made with almond milk or water and a powder like this one

Hungry for more plant based food tips? Subscribe if you don't want to miss out. 

Five Ways to Use... OATMEAL

Dessert for breakfast. You're welcome. These recipes are fast to make and delicious to eat. Oh, and they're healthy. 

Peach Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal

Peach Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (I like Quick Cooking Bob's Red Mill)
  • hot water from a tea kettle
  • a handful of blueberries
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice mixed into the oatmeal
  • 1 peach sliced and quickly sautéed in a pan with a splash of coconut oil
  • optional: 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon

Banana Bread

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (I like Quick Cooking Bob's Red Mill)
  • hot water from a tea kettle
  • 1 banana sliced or mashed
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • a handful of walnut halves (optional)

Cherry Pie

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (I like Quick Cooking Bob's Red Mill)
  • hot water from a tea kettle (add more if needed after adding almond butter)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • zest from a lemon
  • lemon juice (about 1 tbsp)
  • a handful of cherries pitted and cut in half (add more if you please!)
  • optional: less than 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Apple Pie

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (I like Quick Cooking Bob's Red Mill)
  • hot water from a tea kettle (add more if needed after adding almond butter)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 apple sliced and quickly cooked in a pan with coconut oil (decide how long based on how firm you want the apple)
  • a good sprinkle of cinnamon
  • optional: 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (I like Quick Cooking Bob's Red Mill)
  • hot water from a tea kettle (add more if needed after adding peanut butter)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave (add a bit more if you please)

READY TO EAT some breakfast/Dessert? HERE'S A PRINTABLE LIST OF THE INGREDIENTS ABOVE. HERE IS THE LINK FOR THE INSIDER CLUB

    Wait, are you keeping score?

    Heck no. I will not treat plant based eating like a Weight Watchers program. Most days I will fill my belly with vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Occasionally, I will eat cheese. Or steak. Or ice cream (even though there are some delish non-dairy options). Those days will just happen to be few and far between because I have found plants to eat that make me feel complete (i.e. satiated/happy). I am not keeping track of silly things like "Dear Journal, Today was a 'cheat' day". I am not a bad person for deviating from my health goals. AND NEITHER ARE YOU. 

    Here is how to avoid the shame spiral that we have been conditioned to take on a regular basis. Read it aloud while looking in the mirror if you have the opportunity. 

    1. I am not a bad person. Sometimes I make bad decisions.

    2. What is the story I tell myself when I choose to eat poorly on a regular basis? Some examples: "I'm tired." "I worked hard today so I deserve it." "So-and-so was mean to me."

    3. I am going to throw out that garbage story. I will not lie to myself.

    4. I deserve to eat food that will make me feel good. 

    5. I am worth the effort it takes to eat well. 

    6. I will not compare my eating habits to other people's with the intent of making myself feel inferior, superior, or justified in my decisions. 

    7. I will set my goal and do my best to stick to it. My goal is to eat plant based at ___ percent of my meals. 

    8. I'm proud of you for taking responsibility of your health.

    Virtual hugs! I'm proud of you too. You deserve to feel happy, healthy, and energetic.  

    My goal is to eat plant based for 80% of my meals. That means animal-free. No dairy, meat, fish, eggs, etc. It took me about 3 months to really make that goal work for me. I love to challenge myself so it felt like a good fit. What goal makes sense for you? Are you pushing yourself too much or not enough? Dig deep to make the best decision for you. Check in about six months later and re-evaluate your goal. 

    Here is a printable version of the Eight Steps to Take to Avoid the Shame Spiral. You can tape it inside a kitchen cabinet if you like. Here is the link for the Insider Club! xoxo

    Last Five Salads: Never Have I Ever...

    Never have I ever... eaten a salad for breakfast? I have! When I was a kid I ate cereal for breakfast everyday and I effing loved it. If you told me that as an adult I would occasionally eat veggies for breakfast I would have laughed until milk came out of my nose. Well, look who isn't laughing now! HA! Loads of people don't eat a full serving of vegetables until dinner time. Be a rebel and eat a veggie for breakfast once and a while.

    Cherry on Top Salad (Salad #2)

    Cherry on Top Salad (Salad #2)

    1. Berry Nice to Meet You Spinach Brekky Salad

    • chopped spinach (my preference to chop it-not required)
    • blueberries
    • raspberries
    • strawberries (sliced)
    • blackberries
    • Italian dressing

    2. Cherry on Top Salad

    • sliced cherries
    • green beans
    • chopped spinach
    • a few slices of zucchini
    • raw beet, peeled and shaved over the salad
    • walnuts
    • dressing: 1 tablespoon of miso paste, a splash of sesame oil, a splash of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, a small drizzle of soy sauce, and a splash of pure maple syrup (optional)

    3. Lemony Pasta Salad

    • sliced cherry tomatoes
    • chopped green beans
    • some thin slices of apple
    • pasta cooked, drained, then cooled
    • a handful of zoodles
    • fresh lemon juice
    • a few splashes of fancy olive oil (not the cheapest kind on the shelf)
    • sea salt
    • pepper
    • faux parmesan cheese (I used the brand Follow Your Heart)
    • optional: diced red onion, lemon zest

    4. Unlikely Combo Salad

    • tofu- drained, smooshed (try to get more of the water out onto a paper towel), sliced into squares, lightly covered in grapeseed or olive oil, coated with a mix of spices (black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and paprika), and baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
    • chopped spinach
    • yellow cherry tomatoes
    • a few diced mint leaves
    • 1 roasted beat (peeled and sliced)
    • a splash of balsamic vinagrette

    5. Zesty Watermelon Avocado Salad

    • cubed watermelon
    • spinach
    • chopped mint leaves
    • yellow cherry tomatoes
    • half and avocado, diced
    • a dash of cumin, chili powder and sea salt
    • juice from half a lemon

    Ready to eat some salads? Here's a printable list of the ingredients above. Here is the link for the Insider Club