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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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Thanksgiving: Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipe Round-Up

Thanksgiving, more so in my mind than any other holiday, is really food-centric. Family is the best part of any holiday, but when I think of Thanksgiving, I think of food! For my plant-based folks out there, here’s a round-up of delicious, healthy recipes to meet all of your needs – Vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free. Enjoy!

Appetizers:

  • Roasted Apple Pumpkin Soup – Nothing beats a hearty soup on a cold day. Check out this colorful and delicious recipe from As Easy As Apple Pie.
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash – These amazing little squash bites are the perfect combo of ingredients. So head over to Abbey’s Kitchen to see more!
  • 5-Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus – Quick, delicious, and perfect for dipping. Two Healthy Kitchens knows what we need.

Thanksgiving Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Stuffed Acorn Squash}

Sides:

  • Sweet Potato Unstuffing – Because The Real Food Dietitians know that you don’t need bread for an amazing stuffing recipe!
  • Crispy Garlic Smashed Baby Potatoes – I’m a big fan of including as many potato recipes as possible in any meal. 🙂 Clearly Yay for Food agrees.
  • Maple Glazed Heirloom Carrots – These carrots from Eye Candy Popper, with an amazing lemon cashew cream, are the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving dinner.

Entrees:

  • Lentil Loaf with Classic Brown Onion Gravy – Lentils, veggies, and gravy. Oh my!! This dish from the Mostly Vegan looks like a winner. May need to try it out before the holiday!
  • Vegan Pot Pies – I have to confess that I’ve never had a pot pie, so I’m very, very tempted by this recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen.
  • Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash – Butternut squash, veggies, rice… What could be better? It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken is here to save the day.

Thanksgiving Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Maple Glazed Heirloom Carrots}

Desserts:

  • Apple Pie – Easy, gorgeous, and delicious. What more could you need in a pie? Pickles & Honey has you covered.
  • Pumpkin Pie – Jessica in the Kitchen has juuust the recipe for you this Thanksgiving!
  • Apple Crumble & Apple Spice Cake – Delicious & filling apple based desserts, with the perfect amount of spice.

What’s YOUR favorite dish at Thanksgiving?

Check out more recipes on my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board.

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Skin Care Junkie | Evening Skincare Routine

In case having an ongoing series titled “Skin Care Junkie” wasn’t a tip off – I love skin care! 🙂 While I may wish that I had gotten interested in it earlier, I’ve really enjoyed learning about products and trying new brands and creating routines and rituals for myself. I’m always adding in new products and experimenting, so my routine is constantly evolving as I discover what works best for me. Here’s a peek into my nightly routine with an updated evening skincare routine round-up.

First up – Always remove your makeup! Some people swear by traditional makeup removing products, others prefer oil-free. I actually like to start with makeup removing wipes. I really like Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes and Neutrogena, both work well and are gentle. Plus wipes are great for traveling since there’s no liquid!

After you’ve wiped away all traces of makeup, it’s time for a full face cleanse. I have found a handful of amazing cleansers {check out My Favorite Cleansers for more}, and am currently rotating between Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser and Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser.

Skin Care Junkie Nighttime Routine Evening Beauty San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Next is a toner – I like to use witch hazel or Balanced Guru Facial Toner. It’s just a way to calm your skin between cleansing and moisturizing.

In the evenings I apply an anti-aging product with AHAs and/or retinol. These products are great for fine lines and wrinkles that are already forming, or as a preventative measure. Note: These products can cause sensitivity in your skin so you should only use them at night, they can cause your skin to burn if you use them before heading outside. A few of my current favorites are the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, Alpha H Liquid Gold, Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum, and Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid.

Once the AHA/retinol goodness has absorbed, I start moisturizing. First up is eye cream. My current obsession is Dr. Roebuck’s Down Under Collagen Boosting Eye Treatment. This feels AMAZING going on and absorbs quickly, I really love it.

Skin Care Junkie Nighttime Routine Evening Beauty San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Second up is skin moisturizer. A few of my favorites are Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, Caudalie Resvertrol Lift Face Lifting Soft Cream, and Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer.

What’s YOUR evening skincare routine?

Are you a big fan of skin care and beauty products? 

Check out some of my other Skin Care Junkie posts: Alaska Glacial Mud Mask, Sibu Sea Berry Seed Oil, Musely Hydrogel Eye Mask, Raw Beauty & Coconut Oil, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products, Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsTravel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily Beauty RoutineSelf Tan Luxe Face Oil, My Latest Sephora Order, My Favorite Cleansers, 5 Minute Makeup Routine, and Monthly Favorites.

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MCLV Mange | Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

While trying to come up with some fun new ways to enjoy my oats, I stumbled on the idea of baked oatmeal! It’s a healthy dish that you can add any toppings you want to, plus you can make it in advance and eat all week. I do love my meal prepping. Also – It’s so delicious and decadent tasting that you could definitely make it into a dessert.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipe

{Vegan // Vegetarian // Gluten-Free} 

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe {5 servings – Meal prep}

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Optional: If you want this more dessert-y, you can add 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 and spray an 8×8 baking pan
  • Mix together dry ingredients. Then add in mashed banana, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Fold in blueberries.
  • Pour into greased pan and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes {until golden brown}
  • Serve warm or cold, its delicious either way!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series here to see what you’ve missed so far.

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Project Comeback | Activewear Loves

Welcome to my Project Comeback series! If you’ve missed out, you can check out these previous posts: Project Comeback | A Week of Workouts & Project Comeback | What I Eat in a Day. Today we’re here to talk about activewear!

Whenever I amp up my fitness goals, I find that I both want and need new gym gear. When you’re feeling great, you want to show off what you’ve got. And when you’re working out twice a day, you need a lot of gear unless you have time to do laundry on a daily basis!

Here are a few of my current favorite pieces:

Activewear Project Comeback FitLife Fitspo Workout Gym San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Nordstrom Zella Sweaty Betty Reebok Victoria's Secret Sport

{Shoes // Sports Bra // Leggings // Shirt}

Zella All In Vision Leggings from Nordstrom – Zella is a long time favorite of mine. Their gear is comfortable and flattering. These leggings are no exception – Love the little details on the legs.

The Incredible Lightweight Max Sports Bra by Victoria’s Secret SportVS Sport has killer sports bras. I’ve never ordered one that I didn’t end up loving. The Incredible Lightweight Max is just what its name implies. It’s a lightweight, easy to wear piece, but with maximum support. Perfect for HIIT workouts!

Breeze Short Sleeve Run Tee from Sweaty Betty – I’m super picky about my t-shirts because I have a long torso and a shorter tee can end up looking like a crop top. This running tee is cute, goes with everything, and is a good length.

Speed Her TR Training Sneaker by Reebok – I spend a lot of time searching for running shoes. When you’re running races and logging lots of training miles, your shoes are make or break. What I never realized though, was how important shoes for cross training were. These training sneakers provide the perfect platform for weight training or bodyweight circuits.

What activewear is on YOUR must have list? Anything I need to try?

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