Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Eleventh Day of Christmas - A day in the life.

Hey there again my beauties. We're nearly there! Nothing doing but Christmas dinner, a boxing day binge-fest and then coasting 'till the new year and those pesky resolutions kick in, hey?

Since I've taken the pledge to go vegan earlier than anticipated and the idea behind these twelve days of Christmas was to help anyone who wanted to transition with me, I thought it might be nice to share...

A Day In The Life Of A New Vegan

So what the hell does a vegan eat, anyway? You're gonna get that a lot if you switch to a plant based diet. I'm certainly no expert. In fact I'm winging it and more or less figuring things out as I go, but I can give you what a recent day's meals were like and include the super easy recipes for you to try yourself. And as you move towards incorporating more veggies and grains into your diet as you replace meat, eggs and dairy, I'd suggest stepping outside of your square. Don't be afraid to try new things or even things that you've had in the past and didn't like. 

Our taste buds do actually change over time. Check out this great article about why and how this happens. It will actually encourage you to bust out that jar of sauerkraut or those brussel sprouts and give them another go if you've tried them in the past and decided that you didn't like them. It really can work in our favor as we shift into new foods territory.

I happen to love simple foods, I'm just lucky that way. So my "day in the life" menu might not tempt you, but I'm hoping it inspires you to see that everyday ordinary foods that you already eat can be made vegan with very little effort.

So breakfast for me is almost always a smoothie. I add a ton of great ingredients so they're filling and delicious but also super easy and quick which is what I need as I'm flying out the door to grab the subway to the studio on a work day.

I like to change up my smoothies from day to day - but my building blocks are always 1 1/2 cups of nut milk and protein powder. I like Almond, cashew or coconut milks personally and I always go for the unsweetened. Because I add fruit, I don't need the extra sugar of a pre-sweetened beverage. Next I add my vegan protein powder. I've been using Sun Warrior for nearly two years since He Who Shall Not Be Named went vegan. It's the best. High in protein, great taste and only ingredients that I can pronounce so that's a win.

I need to stay full until lunch and in the writer's room, you never quite know when that's going to come, so I make sure to add fat. This is dealer's choice and I'll pick the fat depending on the fruit or other vegetables that I might add. My go to's are almond butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, or a half an avocado. Following that I add the whole foods.

When I'm not in the mood to experiment, I keep it simple with 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and a half a banana. That's it. Done. But sometimes I'll swap out the banana for a few sweet cherries. OR I'll ditch the berries and add an apple to that banana plus a dash of cinnamon. I also love to add in things like cacao powder, maca, or tiger nut powder. These add minerals and lots of sweet flavor. You get the idea - wing it and see what you invent.

Now because I'm only about two weeks into this vegan thing I don't have a staple go to lunch but the one I had yesterday was da bomb! So simple, quick and easy. I mashed an avocado onto some gluten free toast and topped it with crunchy veggies. Yum.

Isn't it pretty?

My dinner was a Rustic Pasta recipe from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and I served it up with crusty garlic bread {not pictured.} and a glass of red wine. So delicious and again - nothing fancy. No weird or hard to find ingredients. This idea that being a vegan requires all sorts of strange exotic hard to find or expensive to buy food is a myth. I bet it was invented by the meat industry. Lol 

Anyway - this was dinner and because it was so fantastic and I definitely plan to make it again, I'll post the recipe below in case you want to try it.

Alicia Silverstone's Rustic Pasta Recipe.

1/2 lb gluten free pasta - your choice. I used spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions thinnly sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 celery stocks sliced diagonally
1/4 cup tamari
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt (or powder)
1 head of cabbage thinnly sliced
5-6 tbsp vegan marinara sauce (I used store-bought)

Boil water and add pasta with salt. Cook to package instructions but keep it el dente
Drain and rinse well
Meanwhile, heat oil in a very large skillet on high. Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes until soft then add garlic and saute for 3 more minutes. Until everything looks golden.
Add celery and saute for a minute or two, stir in tamari, garlic powder, then add cabbage and saute for about 4 minutes. Mind your heat.
Reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes longer.
Add your cooked pasta and marinara sauce to the skillet, toss together and cook over medium high heat for another minute or two and serve.

I added micro greens to my bowl after I served. I love that bit of green in there and it gave the dish a nice extra crunch.

I hope you get to try some new recipes and enjoy the adventure of doing something new. It feels good to take charge of our health while doing something great for our planet and the animals.


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