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Tips and Tricks to Tackle a Vegetarian Diet

Heading into the end of the year is a time that people like to re-focus on their health. They start looking into plant-based diets (vegetarian or vegan), cleanses, or even consider tackling the Whole 30.

 

Shifting from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one is an admirable challenge, but it is a challenge none the less. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you in this undertaking.

 

The two main issues that I see almost every time a life-long meat eater attempts to go vegetarian are: (1) their mentality and (2) their approach to food.
First up – Don’t think of this as an exercise in deprivation. If you keep saying “I can’t live without bacon” or telling yourself/other people that you’re not going to be able to do it, you won’t be able to do it. It’s that simple. So really think about shifting your perspective. You’re not cutting yourself off, you’re opening yourself up to a whole new way of looking at food and nourishing yourself. You’ll find new foods, new recipes, and new meals that you never knew existed, and that’s a wonderful thing. Even if you’re counting down every day to returning to your previous habits, try to give a little attention to what you’re gaining. New knowledge, new foods, new perspective. That in itself is worth celebrating.
Vegetarian Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Plant-Based Diet San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness LIfestyle Blogger
Second – Don’t try to eat exactly the same way that you used to and just cut out the meat. I see that A LOT with people in fitness, they try to cut out meat but don’t actually add anything new to their meals. You’ll be bored and hungry in hours if you’re just eating vegetables and eggs.
The keys to a sustainable plant-based diet are feeling satiated and fully nourishing yourself. Some people eat soy with every meal, others supplement with powders and bars, and some eat entirely whole foods with no processed products. It’s up to you to decide which path to take, but I recommend being mindful and opening yourself up to trying new things, so you can discover what works best for your body.
Bulking up your meals is important. You will starve to death and hate every minute if you eat the same thing for every meal or try to sustain yourself with broccoli three times a day. So, for bulking, I recommend loading up on whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Don’t be boring and basic, ask yourself “what can I add to this?” at each meal. It’ll help keep you full and satisfied.
Not that my diet is perfect, but here’s examples of two days of eating for me. One is during the week when I’m in an office and need easy foods, and one is when I’m at home and can be more creative. Also, one thing to note, is that I workout twice a day, so I have high protein needs.
Week day:
– Lemon water + tea
– Smoothie: mixed berries, spinach, protein powder, cinnamon, ginger, maca powder + chia seeds (add chia at the end, don’t blend the seeds)
– Avocado toast: Udi’s GF bread, avocado, cayenne, sea salt, hemp + sesame seeds
– Giant salad beast: mixed greens, radish, cucumber, kidney beans, cherry tomatoes, roasted beets, quinoa + carrot ginger dressing
– Coconut yogurt + almond butter with cinnamon
– Protein bar (I like lower sugar bars, minimally processed, and usually brown rice or pea protein vs soy protein isolate)
– Roasted sweet potatoes, stir fried zucchini + Summer squash with shallots, garlic + coconut aminos, and a veggie burger with salsa
Lots of big meals. Protein, healthy fat and carbs with every meal. And lots of variety – Raw + cooked vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, seeds, nut butter…
Weekend:
– Scramble: Green onions, garlic + shallots with peppers, zucchini + cherry tomatoes and eggs. Topped with salsa and avocado, and served with fruit salad + Greek yogurt
– Nourish bowl: Quinoa, roasted cauliflower, black beans, sauteed asparagus and greens topped with hummus, hemp seeds, and balsamic
– Snack: Celery, carrots, cucumber with babaganoosh
– Pasta: Zucchini + sweet potato noodles sauteed with tomatoes, vegan sausage, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, and spices.
Recipes and Links:
While I love recipes and food blogs, I tend to go off script. I use them as a starting point and then do whatever I feel like. I use whatever I have on hand and like to get creative, so most of my “recipes” are different every time I make them. My advice is to read some of these links and find out what appeals to you, then get creative. 🙂
Additional links:
– Alllll the veggie posts
Fun facts:
Even if you eat a very healthy diet, going vegetarian means more fiber. You can get gassy or bloated or experience some GI distress when you’re getting started. Try easing into it slowly, and drink LOTS of water. I drink a full water bottle as soon as I get up, before I even leave my bedroom. I put it on my bedside table when I go to bed and drink it when I wake up. It’s a good way to start flushing your system.
Some other things that may help during your transition or if you’re having stomach issues are pre/probiotics and fermented foods/drinks. Kombucha, sauerkraut, gut shots, and kimchi are all great ways to promote a healthy, happy gut. I also turn to ginger lemon tea whenever I get an upset or angry tummy, calms it right down.
Good luck to those considering a transition towards a plant-based diet and let me know if you have any questions!
Any other tips from my plant-based friends out there?
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Project Comeback | What I Eat in a Day

Building off the first Project Comeback post, I’m back today to share a peek into my daily eating habits while I’m working on tightening things up pre-birthday. 🙂 Welcome to the latest What I Eat in a Day post!

I’m usually happy eating the same thing every day. I like to do food prep on Sundays to get ready for the week, and have my meals planned out ahead of time. Here’s an example of a typical week for me when I’m trying to eat clean and stay on track.

Project Comeback What I Eat In A Day San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian

5am – Full water bottle

6am – Lemon water + Irish breakfast tea

7am – Collagen + iron supplement + detox shot or supplements (I alternate days on my morning detox shot and taking calcium + Vitamin B supplements)

9am – Breakfast! I’ve been LOVING baked oatmeal and have been playing around with recipes. Chia seeds, protein powder, ground hemp seeds… It’s a great way to introduce lots of nutrients first thing. On days when I’ll have a carb-heavy dinner I’ll have half a baked oatmeal serving plus a smoothie.

12pm – My go-to lunch lately has been a giant salad beast. I really enjoy loading up on hydrating veggies like cucumber, cabbage, and celery. My current salad dressing obsession is spicy carrot ginger, so stay tuned for a recipe!

2:30pm – An afternoon snack doubles as a pre-workout boost so I like to have a good combination of healthy fats and carbs. Coconut yogurt with almond butter or a smoothie are my favorite midday boosts.

5pm-6pm – When I’m walking home from my after work gym session I’ll usually munch on a bar. It’s an easy way to refuel on the move, just make sure that you find bars that aren’t super high in sugar. I have been obsessed with No Cow bars for YEARS and highly recommend them.

6:30pm – We like to eat on the early side which is great for me, since I don’t sleep well with a full stomach. Since I’ve been enjoying giant salads at lunchtime lately, I’ve steered clear of them for dinner. Roasted veggies or a stir fry with a plant-based burger is the usual right now.

What’s on YOUR plate right now?

Stay tuned for more Project Comeback posts on workouts, gym gear, and more!

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What I Eat In a Day | Vegetarian Meals + Supplements

Welcome to a new What I Eat In a Day post! It’s been a while since I walked you through my day so I thought a Summery, vegetarian take on a traditional What I Eat In a Day would be fun. I’ll include my workout times as well so you can see how I handful pre-and-post workout nutrition, and supplements.

What I Ate Today What I Ate Wednesday Vegetarian Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Supplements San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Roasted broccoli, cauliflower and purple sweet potato with hummus, guacamole, and a veggie burger}

  • 5am – Water {My trick for getting in some water first thing is to keep a water bottle on my bedside table, I drink the whole thing before I leave for work}
  • 5:30am – Lemon water, Irish Breakfast tea, and more water
  • 7am – Morning detox shot {Monday, Wednesday & Friday – recipe coming soon!}
  • 8am – Collagen supplement {Currently using, and loving, Reserveage Collagen Capsules}
  • 9am – Breakfast time! I really enjoyed my Intermittent Fasting earlier this year and have read really interesting and thought-provoking pieces on the benefits of fasting and the longevity associated with cultures that practice fasting, I try to make it a part of my daily routine when I can. My breakfasts can vary, though I’ll go through phases where I eat the same thing every day. 🙂 Right now my go-to breakfast is Udi’s gluten-free bread with 1/4 avocado and Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning plus a smoothie.
  • 9:30am – On Tuesdays and Thursdays I take a Vitamin B and a Calcium supplement. I alternate the detox shot above and the supplements so I’m doing something different from the day before.
  • 11am – Workout: Bodyweight circuit or cardio session
  • 12pm – Lunch: Giant salad beast. I’ve been loading up on tons of water-rich veggies and healthy fats in my salads lately, and occasionally tossing in some marinated Hodo Soy tofu. I vary my topping often though, and like to mix things up so that I ensure I’m getting all of my micronutrients.
  • 2pm – Afternoon snack/pre-workout: Coconut yogurt + peanut butter or almond butter + cinnamon. This is my current favorite, I’ve been having this 3-4 times a week lately. If I’m out of yogurt or not in the mood, I’ll make a little dish of oatmeal with chia seeds and protein powder. {Note: I use Orgain protein powder in my smoothies and oats, it’s my absolute go-to}
  • 4:30pm – Workout: Training session at The Bay Club, cardio session, or a class
  • 6pm – I’ll usually munch on a No Cow bar while I’m walking home from the gym or while I’m starting dinner.
  • 6:30pm – Dinner! Yes, we eat early. 😉 I like my food to be digested before bed anyway, so eating early works well for me. Since I’ve been eating big salads for lunch the last few months, I’ve eaten fewer for dinner. Lately I’ve been craving roasted veggies instead – So a typical meal will be roasted veggies with EVOO + spices with a veggie burger and maybe some sautéed zucchini and squash with garlic and shallots. I like to mix up my veggies so one night it could be sweet potatoes, cauliflower the next, and broccoli the day after. And if I’m craving everything, I’ll throw whatever veggies I have prepped into a bowl with quinoa or brown rice – a la nourish bowl.
  • 7:30pm – The newest addition to my daily routine is doing a 10-20 minute yoga flow session before bed. I’ve been having trouble sleeping so it’s a great way to de-stress and relax before climbing into bed. Completely obsessed with the Boho Beautiful YouTube page.

What I Ate Today What I Ate Wednesday Vegetarian Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Supplements San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Carrot + cabbage salad with honey mustard dressing, roasted cauliflower + sweet potatoes, and a veggie burger}

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my daily routine!

Just a quick reminder – Everyone’s nutrition and activity needs are different, so what works for me, may not necessarily work for you. The best approach to building a healthy, sustainable lifestyle is trial and error – Try different routines and foods and see how your body responds. And if you’re coming back from an injury or disordered eating habits, I highly recommend chatting with a doctor before making any big shifts.

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Grocery Shopping How To | Pantry Basics

While fresh foods and filling your refrigerator are important parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle – It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’ve got the basic necessities in your pantry or cupboards.

I for one don’t have a true pantry, but I use a large chunk of my kitchen cupboards for some must have products that I always have on hand.

Pantry Basics Essentials Vegan Vegetarian Paleo Gluten-Free San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Organizations

{Photo of my dream pantry from Health Pinterest Board}

Liquids:

Dry Goods:

Nuts, Seeds & Dry Fruit:

Canned Goods:

Spices:

  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Mustard
  • Cumin
  • Chili
  • Curry
  • Garam Masala
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground Cloves
  • Vanilla powder

What’s in YOUR pantry?

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Overnight Oats | Dave’s Gourmet

When I’m home or the office I have all my supplies and can make healthy meals pretty quickly. But when you’re traveling? That can be rough. Especially if you’re like me and have food allergies and sensitivities that make eating out at restaurants for every meal a bit of a challenge. That means I’m always on the look out for a good travel-ready options. Good ingredients, minimal processing, and – Of course – Tasty! Enter Dave’s Gourmet Overnight Oats.

Overnight Oats Dave's Gourmet Dave's Naturals Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian Dairy-Free San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{I love, love, loved the Blueberry Vanilla Almond oats, pictured here. I made them with coconut-almond milk and topped with frozen blueberries and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut flakes}

These little containers pack a lot of nutrients and flavor. There are four flavors and the ingredient list is pretty similar for them all. And they’re all dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

Apple Nut

  • Organic whole grain oats, organic cane sugar, almonds, chia seeds, oat bran, apples, natural flavor, cinnamon & sea salt.
  • Macros: 5g Fat, 42g Carbs & 9g protein. 9 grams of sugar & 0 transfats.

Cinnamon Raisin

  • Organic whole grain oats, raisins, organic cane sugar, chia seeds, oat bran, cinnamon, natural flavor & sea salt.
  • Macros: 3.5g Fat, 43g Carbs & 8g protein. 12 grams of sugar & 0 transfats.

Blueberry Vanilla Almond

  • Organic whole grain oats, organic cane sugar, chia seeds, oat bran, blueberries, almonds, natural flavor & sea salt.
  • Macros: 5g Fat, 42g Carbs & 9g protein. 9 grams of sugar & 0 transfats.

Mixed Berry

  • Organic whole grain oats, organic cane sugar, oat bran, chia seeds, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries & natural flavor.
  • Macros: 5g Fat, 42g Carbs & 9g protein. 9 grams of sugar & 0 transfats.

One thing that I always look for on packaged food is the amount, and kind, of sugar. You want to avoid super high sugar items and anything with transfats. These overnight oats do use organic cane sugar, but they’re all under 12 grams of sugar total, including the fruit. (Note: The recommended amount of sugar in a day for a woman is 25g and 38g for a man)

Are YOU a fan of overnight oats? Do you have a favorite travel-ready packable meal?

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