SAVE THE DATES: Fall Events and Online Programs

Hello everyone,

I am super excited for Fall and for the approaching holiday season.  I have two events coming up that will help us all feel more healthy, happy and confident for those family pictures and gatherings.

The first is one that everyone, all over the world, can participate in.  I am running a “Fall in Love with Fitness” online challenge.  It will consist of short workouts that can be done from the comfort of your own bedroom (I personally love to workout in my pajamas).  It is only $25.00 for the entire two weeks and starts on November 5th!

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The second event is for all of my local friends.  I am co-hosting a “Fall in Love with Food” Vegan Cooking Class on November 8th from 6:00-7:30pm.  During the class we will eat a 5 course meal (including wine) and will learn some basic cooking skills.  Everyone will leave with a recipe packet so that you can make these amazing meals at home (and for those holiday gatherings).  The entire evening is only $55.00/person.  *Please note that you absolutely do not have to be vegan to attend.

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Please contact me to sign up for either one of these events.  Also, please share with anyone who you think may be interested.  I truly appreciate all of your support!

One of the easiest dinner recipes ever!

Hello everyone,

It has definitely turned into Fall in Southern California, and the temperature has started dropping in the evenings.  I am craving nothing but warm, comfort foods for dinner and this is one of our favorites.  I am not sure that there are many healthy, dinner recipes out there that are this easy.

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Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato (serves 2)

Ingredients:

*2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

*3/4 can of black beans

*Your choice of veggies (we prefer cherry tomatoes, carrots, spinach, bell pepper, zucchini, red onion)

*Optional: salsa, guacamole or vegan butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Poke holes in your sweet potatoes with a fork.
  3. Cook sweet potatoes until they are soft, all the way through (approximately 45 minutes).
  4. In the meantime, chop and saute your vegetables and black beans.
  5. When the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, pull them out of the oven.  Slice them open (length wise) and mash the insides with a fork.
  6. Add your veggies, black beans, salsa and guacamole.
  7. Enjoy!

*I will sometimes add guacamole, salsa or vegan butter to the sweet potato before piling on my veggies.  This helps take away from the dryness of the sweet potato.

 

 

 

What do vegans eat?!

You have decided that you are ready to go vegan, you’ve found your “why”, you have studied all of the benefits, but now you are wondering…..what do vegans eat????

The short answer is that vegans eat everything that non vegans eat!  They just happen to do so without including animal products of any kind 🙂

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Let me explain with a little bit longer of an answer…..

A vegan diet is one that doesn’t consist of any animal products: meat, dairy, eggs, fish or honey.  And depending on your “why”, you may eat differently than other vegans.  If your reason for going vegan is strictly for the animals, then you may go the vegan junk food route in which there is literally a vegan version of everything: vegan sausage, vegan ice cream, vegan burgers, vegan pizza, vegan fish, vegan chicken nuggets, so and on and so on.  However, if are transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons, then you may stick with a whole food plant based version: vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains.

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For fun, imagine going grocery shopping.  All you have to do is avoid animal products.  What’s left?  Everything else! And the options are endless: fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, potatoes, herbs, tofu, seitan, tempeh, rice, plant based milks, plant based ice creams, vegan meats, vegan cheese, nuts and seeds……

To show you how easy it can be, let me take you through a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and a green tea

Lunch:  a giant salad with lettuce, red cabbage, peas, sauerkraut, cucumber, tofu, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, avocado, and miso/lemon dressing

(you absolutely don’t have to eat salads, but I enjoy them!)

Snack: a giant smoothie (which will sometimes include a plant based protein powder)

Dinner: pasta, vegan sausage, veggies and marinara sauce, chickpea salad sandwich, potato soup, Mac and cheese or a baked sweet potato

Dessert: if I have dessert it’ll often be fruit or “nice cream”

The trick to switching to a vegan diet is to not complicate things and to try to make it fun!  This should be something that you are excited and are empowered to try.  And if you get stuck, there are tons of resources on the Internet.  Go to Pinterest and type in “vegan” __________________ (pizza, Mac and cheese, sausage, burger, etc).  You will find a recipe for anything that your heart desires.

Best of luck and please remember that I am always here for you if you have any questions or if you need support ❤ 

 

 

The Surprising Foods that May Contain Animal Products

Sometimes the hardest part about switching to a vegan diet, is the surprising amount of foods that contain animal products (that you would never even think of!).  Most people know that giving up animal products means giving up meat, dairy, eggs, fish and honey.  But did you know that switching to a vegan diet may mean that you need to find a vegan wine or beer alternative?  Or that your gummy vitamins could be made from insects?!

Here are some ingredients that are made from animals and which foods you may possibly find them in:

*Bread products may contain L-cysteine, which often comes from feathers, to keep them soft.

*Gelatin is made from the connective tissue of pigs and cows.  It is used in Jello, Gummies, and many candies.

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*Refined sugar, which is found in a plethora of sweet foods, was possibly lightened with bone char, derived from the bones of cattle.

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*Isinglass, comes from fish bladders, and is often used in the making of beer and wine.

*Shellac, an insect-based product, is sometimes used to wax fresh produce or in candy.

*Deep fried foods and fresh pasta often contain eggs.

*Whey, casein, lactose are all derived from dairy and can be found in many packaged foods and protein drinks (dairy can also be found in vitamins and pain medications).

*Cochineal, or carmine, is red food coloring that is made from insects (although we are discussing food, this one is often found in cosmetics).

*Some food additives are also derived from animals.  These include; E120, E322, E422, E471, E542, E631, E901, E904.

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The easiest way to avoid the use of animals for your food is to stick to a whole food plant based diet.  However, if you want to purchase foods that have been processed, please look for “Vegan” on the label and make sure to ALWAYS read the ingredients.

And of course, I am always here to help you!  Contact me anytime ❤

 

*This information can be found in the book Vegan Recipes and Preparation by Saskia Fraser

 

 

I’ve decided to go VEGAN…now what???

You have watched the documentaries, you have figured out your “why”, and you are motivated to make the transition to being vegan.  But now what do you do????  Although going vegan was the best decision that I ever made, I find that it can be daunting in the beginning to know where to start.

I would love it if everyone could go vegan overnight, but this may not be the best strategy for long term success (and this should be your goal: to sustainably go vegan so you can stay vegan for the remainder of your lifetime).

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Here are some approachable ways to make the change.  You know yourself better than anyone, so choose a level that will work best for you.

*Eliminate one animal product every two weeks: for the first two weeks, you would eliminate dairy.  The next two weeks you could eliminate poultry.  The following two weeks, you could eliminate fish.  So on and so on….

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*Switch one of your meals to being vegan at one time: for the first two weeks you could have a vegan breakfast.  For the next two weeks you could add in a vegan lunch.  The next two weeks you would add a vegan dinner.  And then all you have to do is add in vegan snacks!  Pretty soon all of your meals will be vegan without the overwhelm.

*Find ways to make your favorite recipes or meals vegan:  if you are like me, you probably have 3-4 meals that you truly love and eat over and over.  Start with your favorite recipes and switch them to being vegan.  You could try vegan cheese in your macaroni, plant based milk in your oatmeal, chickpeas in your tuna fish salad, tofu in your breakfast burrito, pesto on your pizza.   Click here for more ideas. Pinterest is also an amazing resource for vegan recipes.

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*Veganize your restaurant experience: if you are someone that eats out a lot, maybe your first step should be to try to “veganize” your restaurant meals.  If you have a favorite restaurant, look up the menu ahead of time and study what you could possibly eat as a vegan.  If it’s an Italian restaurant, you could try a marinara pasta and lentil soup.  Stir frys are great at a Chinese restaurant and you certainly cannot go wrong with veggie fajitas at a Mexican restaurant.  There will always be something vegan to eat at every restaurant and if you are struggling, you can always ask your server for help.

In addition, to going to old restaurants, it can be fun to try something new.  Visit a vegan restaurant to see what they have to offer and to see how yummy vegan food can truly be.

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                                                          (photo from Veggie Grill)

If you are having a difficult time finding a vegan restaurant near you, make sure to add Happy Cow to your phone.  It is a free App/website that will show you the vegan options in your area.

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There are so many ways to start your vegan transition.  Every bit counts and every small change will add up in the long run.  Just remember that it should be fun!  You are making the commitment to your health, the planet, the animals and this is something that should be celebrated!!!

And please remember that if you ever get stuck, that I am here for you to offer accountability, support and resources.  Contact me anytime!!!  I mean it…..

See you next time!

 

Cooking Demo for my Favorite Recipe

Have you ever been so obsessed with a recipe that you just cannot stop talking about it (and eating it)?!  That is how I feel about my chickpea salad recipe.  It is so easy to make and I could probably eat it for lunch and dinner on a daily basis (maybe breakfast too?).

I have previously posted the recipe for this amazing meal, but I also wanted to share a quick, cooking demo for those visual learners out there.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video and make sure to let me know if you give this recipe a go!  I would love to hear if you are obsessed with it as I am :).

Enjoy!!!