Happy What I Ate Wednesday, my loves.
If you’ve been reading TGF for a while, you know I eat a 100% plant based vegan diet and have been for over two years now. It makes me feel my best and works for me. Yes, eating plant based can be challenging at first.. but not forever, I promise! It’s a choice you have to make every single day. The hardest part is the learning process because the food is amazing!!!
It’s getting acclimated to this lifestyle and figuring it out that takes months, just like anything else that’s “new” in life. So with these posts, I hope to share some insight and inspiration that’s helpful to you guys.
Okay, so… what do I eat?! First off:
I don’t keep track of specifics and definitely don’t count calories… I would rather not stress about the numbers and prefer to listen to my body instead.
I say this because I often get comments and emails asking for the nutrition information for my recipes. I understand people want to know the specifics (I used to be the same) but it’s life-changing when you transition to focusing on the ingredients rather than the nutrition facts. Can you pronounce all of the ingredients? Are all of the ingredients whole foods or are they processed? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves!
I stick to whole foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Lots of greens, lots of fresh veggies, lots of fruit and good carbs (brown rice, oats, sweet potatoes, beans, quinoa etc) with treats here and there. I try to keep it simple and easy, incorporating different colors and variety throughout each day which means that no one day is the same, but it’s always super yummy.
I also minimize oils (at least when I’m cooking at home) while being mindful about my fat intake; I do LOVE avocados though and have about 2 avocados per week. Avocados are a whole food fat source rather than a extracted oil (such as olive oil or coconut oil).
You may prefer to monitor your food intake and that’s okay – we’re all trying to find our own path, but I find life is so much less stressful when you forget the numbers and scales and just focus on listening to your body and the ingredients you put in it (my 5-Day Body Balance Cleanse is helpful with this.) The plant based lifestyle is supposed to be a sustainable lifestyle for the long-term, so getting caught up in specifics isn’t worth the time or worry, at least for me.
If you are new to the vegan lifestyle, I always recommend getting the Cronometer app – super helpful with keeping track of nutrients and making sure you get in enough calories – which tends to be a mistake many of us make in the beginning.
Before I eat anything, I always make sure to drink 24 ounces of filtered water (after oil pulling, of course!). It helps to rehydrate the body after a long night’s rest. Then I made a cup of coffee with my favorite dairy-free creamer – the Silk Almond Vanilla Flavored Creamer (check out my superfood coffee elixir recipe too!). I savored that while responding to emails and then made breakfast 30-45 minutes later. Listening to our bodies is so important! There are days when I’m starving right as I wake up and there are days when I don’t feel hungry until mid-morning. I don’t stress about it – just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
Breakfast was a bowl of gluten-free rolled oats and Love Crunch Granola + 1 sliced banana + 1 mango, mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. SO GOOD. I call it my homemade adult cereal. It’s been one of my faves lately! Usually I’ll do a smoothie (like this one) but like to switch it up .
A few hours later, I snacked on some baby carrots with the Engine 2 Hummus in the Jalape?o Cilantro flavor. Usually chickpeas hurt my stomach but the chickpeas in this hummus are steamed and seem to work fine for me. Who knows! I LOVE this particular hummus because it has no added oils, is low- fat and low in sodium. Plus, the Engine 2 products are created by Rip Esselstyn who’s a well-known plant based advocate (he learned from his very accomplished father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn)! Check out this Tedx Talks video with Rip!
Salads are my go-to for lunches! I like to make one in the beginning of the week to last me a few days and then another mid-week. You can add so much goodness to salads. I go with greens like kale or spinach and then add in whatever veggies and plant protein I have in the fridge. Today was one that I re-made from a few weeks back and had kale, crumbled tempeh, broccoli, celery, cabbage, kale sprouts and dried cranberries. For a dressing, I went with the lemon tahini sauce from my Green Goddess Glow Bowl recipe. So perfect, so filling and so colorful!
I also drank another 24 ounces of water (with 1/2 lemon) before my salad.
That superfood salad kept me pretty full until dinner so no snacks in between, except water of course! Veggie tacos sounded good for dinner so I made a mixture of steamed broccoli, black beans and cannelini beans with the taco spices from these tacos. Wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla with romaine and 1/2 avocado, it was super yummy and super simple too!
That’s it for What I Ate!
Hope you find these posts helpful and inspiring to get more greens and veggies in your day.