What Do Vegans Eat?!

I love it when I get asked this question, mainly because I’m shocked when people tell me they don’t eat that many vegetables.  My very first thought is, “what do YOU eat if you don’t eat vegetables?!”  Here’s what I’ve been eating the past several days.

Sweet potatoes, rainbow chard, mushrooms, and asparagus over brown rice

Almond milk Greek yogurt with protein powder, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and fruit

Artichoke salad, inspired by a wrap I had in Las Vegas

Peach pie smoothie, which only looks green because of the spinach I added at the very end

Grilled tempeh with kale

Peanut butter fruit toast

Carrot apple juice

Strawberry salad

Fresh fruit

Veggie lo mein

Quinoa mango black bean salad

Quinoa breakfast porridge

What are some of your favorite things to eat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latin American Fiesta

What a busy day it’s been!  I’ve accomplished so much and amazingly I’m not tired as I normally would be.  Perhaps it’s the lasting effects of the acupuncture?

I was up at 5:30 am to get in my workout.  I knew it was going to be a busy day and I’ve found that once I do my workout in the morning, I feel so great that it’s done for the day and that I’m helping to rev up my metabolism.  Not to mention that I can’t come up with any excuses as I might later on in the day for not doing it.  On top of that, I’m actually feeling muscle in my arms and calves.  So exciting!  I can’t wait to see the final results.

Today was my first day working back at the Montessori preschool where I used to work before I began working for the county.  It was great seeing all my former co-workers and all the kids that I’ve known since they were 3 years old.  I couldn’t believe how much some of them had grown up and it was nice to receive their hugs and cries of “Miss Jennifer!” when they saw me.

I also managed to go to the dentist for my final Invisalign set, go to the chiropractor, get a manicure and pedicure while reading 50 Shades Freed (the 3rd book in the 50 Shades of Grey series), come home and cook dinner, and various other odds and ends that needed to be accomplished.  My point?!  There should be no excuses for what you want to achieve.  If you want something badly enough, you will find the time to do it (and I live in chronic pain and with normally low energy — no excuses from me!! 🙂 )

My fuel for today included some amazing food, thanks to inspiration that I received from the PCOS Diva.  She’s a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (which is where I’m currently going to school) and has put together a fantastic Summer Meal Plan to help women with PCOS plan and make amazing meals.  The best part is that the recipes are vegan friendly!  I did make a few changes to what she had on the menu for today, but overall I followed the plan and I was excited to be back in the kitchen cooking amazing food!

Overnight oats with chia seeds, PB2, almond coconut milk, slivered almonds, and blueberries for breakfast!

I also couldn’t resist this snack at Montessori, mainly because I wanted to try the salsa.  I have the recipe and will have to make it sometime for myself, because it was super delicious!

Lunch was a GF wrap with veggies and hummus.  I was actually so excited to make my own hummus, until I got home and realized that I’d completely forgotten to buy tahini so I could make it!  Thankfully I had some hummus in the fridge, but it wasn’t the same.

I was trying to avoid eating an afternoon snack, especially after I listened to one of my IIN lectures about Ayurveda and just eating 3 main meals a day, but I got pretty hungry in the afternoon, so I had an apple while I was at the nail salon, and then a Chocolate Shakeology when I got home.  Seriously, that stuff is so addictive.  It was calling my name and it’s well worth it!  Tastes like a chocolate shake, but it’s filled with so many ingredients that are great for you.  Shakeology is the reason I don’t really drink green smoothies, even though I want to start increasing my intake of green smoothies as well!

My liquid gold!  🙂

And my dinner?!  I made amazing black bean burgers, with homemade guacamole and homemade pico de gallo (all thanks to the PCOS Diva’s recipes), over salad greens.  My burgers didn’t turn out quite the way I anticipated, probably because of the recipe for egg replacer that I used, but I figured that I can always experiment with other egg replacer recipes and that it doesn’t matter if the burgers didn’t turn out perfectly.  At least I was experimenting!

I have tons of leftovers of the black bean burgers too and I’ve already thought of a few different ways to use them up — as fajitas with onions and peppers, in a breakfast scramble with sweet potatoes, or with some quinoa.

All right, it’s been a long day and I’m getting sleepy!  About to get on my Beachbody team call and then I’m going to bed so I can get up early again to do my workout!  Have a great night!

Go Heavy or Go Home!

I just had the best workout ever and I can’t get over how amazing it made me feel.  Last week, I went through the same workout, but I could barely do it because the pain from my fibromyalgia was so horrendous.  This week, I powered through it and even though I was sweating buckets, I felt fantastic.  Chalene Johnson even said at the very end “You should feel like a million bucks” and I shouted back at the TV “yes Chalene, I do!!!!”  I can’t wait to work out live with her at Beachbody’s Coach Summit in Vegas in a few more weeks.

I even bought heavier weights last night because 5 pounds just wasn’t cutting it anymore!

Despite the recent weight loss that I’ve had thanks to the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, my weight has stabilized and I’ve been getting frustrated with myself because of the fact that I still have body fat on my body.  Which you might think sounds kind of ridiculous, but as my good friend Katy affectionately says to me, I’m eating “twigs and berries.”  I honestly don’t understand how it’s physiologically possible for me to have fat on my stomach and thighs when I drink a superfoods shake for breakfast everyday, have a salad with fruit for lunch, have another shake as a snack, and then eat vegetables with a whole grain for dinner, practically everyday.

I’d understand if I were eating junk here and there, but I’m honestly not.  There’s nothing that I’m eating that my body can grab onto in order for the fat to be there.  The only thing I can think of is that something strange is going on with my PCOS.  Either I’m not eating enough calories, or I’m eating too much (I don’t ever bother to count calories).  My guess is I’m not eating enough, because I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night starving.  I’ve also been eating higher glycemic fruits, like bananas, so I guess I have to cut back.  I’m still figuring out what works for me, because so many foods still make me so bloated, but it’s just so frustrating because I know that I take care of myself, and although I’m not severely overweight, I’ve got at least 10 to 20 pounds to go.  It’s even more frustrating when I see people shoveling junk into their bodies and they maintain a slim physique.  Trust me, the last thing I want to be doing is shoveling junk into my body, but it’s kind of a pain having to overanalyze every little thing that goes into my mouth.  Ok, rant over.  🙂

The weather’s been gorgeous around here, so today at lunch I sat outside with my IIN Fast Track Workbook and worked on learning on how to market myself while I enjoyed my delicious fruit.

And then when I left work, I couldn’t resist stopping by Starbucks and buying a soy chai (with half the amount of sugar or else it’s way too sweet for me!) and then having some Shakeology “ice cream” as a snack!

I also ordered two new books from Amazon and was excited to see that they were at my door when I arrived.  One’s a brand new vegan cookbook (as if I didn’t have enough already!) and the other one is about, as the title says, healing your headache.  The latest medicine that the neurologist gave me isn’t working, and even though I’m seeing him again next week, this book came recommended to me by another Beachbody coach who has fibromyalgia, and I’d like to see what it says and whether it’ll help me.  Hopefully it’ll tell me something new that I don’t already know.  It also had great reviews on Amazon.

For dinner, I had these amazing Tempeh Taco Lettuce Wraps courtesy of The Fitnessista.  A super easy recipe that only took me a few minutes to make!  Unfortunately I didn’t have mushrooms and I probably would’ve added some more spices next time, but definitely a recipe worth repeating!

Can’t believe it’s already June tomorrow, but I’m ready for it!

Glowing Green

It was back to work today!  Only 3 more weeks until it’s the end of school, which is pretty exciting, although I’ll be working throughout the summer to help me pay bills until I can get my Beachbody business off the ground running.

The exciting thing is though that it’s only 3 more weeks until Beachbody’s Coach Summit 2012 and 1 month until I turn 30!  I’ll officially have 3 weeks off (notice a 3 week theme here?!) between my last day of work and working summer school, but it’s definitely going to be a busy time!

Breakfast was, as usual, Shakeology, and for lunch I’ve been sticking to microgreen salads.  I won’t lie, I’m definitely getting tired of eating them everyday, but they’re so quick & easy to make, and I can get pretty lazy when it comes to cooking, so they’re my standby for now.

I accompanied my salad with some delicious blueberries.

Even though today was my workout rest day, I decided to do ChaLEAN Extreme today because tomorrow night I’m meeting up with some people who are in my Integrative Nutrition class.  My pre-workout snack was Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, which I haven’t made in a while, but it was delicious!

And for dinner I decided to have some of the butternut squash that my mom roasted for me yesterday along with some garlicky kale toasted in some coconut milk.  It was so good that I was thinking next time I’ll have the kale with some gluten-free pasta!

Now it’s off to bed for me.  It’s raining again, which means my pain levels are high and sleep tends to elude me.  Praying it’s different tonight!

 

Bring On Summer!

Hi everyone!  How did you spend your long weekends?!  I hope that you were able to relax and spend time with friends and family!  I know that I was very thankful to finally be able to let go and not have to think about anything other than just being free to do whatever I wanted.  I spent the majority of the weekend by the pool, soaking up the sunshine and swimming – my idea of heaven!  🙂

A little gf vegan pizza, something that I definitely consider a splurge meal, but it was very delicious!

Chipotle poolside today while I read The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

I bought it last year and Alicia talks about things I already pretty much know about, but it helped to re-affirm why I choose to eat a plant based diet.  I also love it because she delves into the Macrobiotic lifestyle, something that I just learned about at Institute for Integrative Nutrition and that I’ve been wanting to explore more, so it’s perfect!

I bought lots of groceries to help set me up for the week, including salad greens, spinach, kale, celery, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, pears, shredded carrots, chia seeds, romaine, lemons, black beans, coconut milk, and blueberries.

Since it was still so warm out when I got home from the pool, I decided to make a cooling cucumber avocado soup for dinner, followed by Tropical Shakeology ice cream for dessert!

And my mom grilled up some butternut squash that I had sitting around, so I’m all set for tomorrow’s dinner, which I’ll probably eat with a side of some steamed kale.

Bring on summer!

Exercise Makes You Feel Happy :)

On a day like today when I’ve 3 Shakeology’s to get me through my meals because I’m too exhausted to cook, I wanted to remind you to eat fresh whole foods and get in your exercise. In the words of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, “”Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!”

 

 

What have you done for YOURSELF today?!

Fibromyalgia meets PCOS

Imagine having pain all over your body 24/7, with no relief in site.  It’ll come and go in waves, but it’s always there.  For a while, the best I could describe it is that it felt like I could always use a massage through my shoulders and back, but I didn’t think much else of it.  Oh yeah, and then there are the chronic daily headaches that I live with on a daily basis and that I’ve talked about before.

As I’ve gotten more involved with going to the chiropractor regularly and been more involved with researching my symptoms, I’ve been hearing more and more about fibromyalgia.  My chiropractor even briefly mentioned to me a few weeks ago that he thought I might have fibromyalgia, but I still had no idea what it meant.  I finally did my own research thanks for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and thanks to the guidance of a few other Beachbody coaches that also have it, and I couldn’t believe that I felt like I was reading about myself.

So today I finally talked to my chiropractor about it.  My Beachbody coach friends told me to ask him about a functional medicine doctor.  Somehow, it went over my head that he also practices functional medicine.  He’s actually been suspecting for a long time that fibromyalgia has been my problem, but since it’s hard to diagnose and there’s no specific test for it, other autoimmune diseases must first be ruled out of the picture.  Since I’ve tried pretty much everything and ruled out a lot of things (including Lyme!), he finally conducted the official diagnosis by assessing the fibromyalgia trigger points, which was most definitely painful!

I’m actually happy that I finally have an answer.  And it’s no wonder that nothing is really working and I feel the way that I feel.  Having PCOS AND fibromyalgia is quite a concoction in my body, to say the least.  I know that the healthy lifestyle changes that I’ve made are definitely helping.  Exercise is definitely helping.  Even if I don’t immediately feel it, I know that the pain could be a lot worse.  And every single day I’m thankful for my illness (illnesses? dis-eases?), because if it weren’t for what I have, I would never have discovered my true passion.

Now, onto the food I had today!  Shakeology was for breakfast, as usual.  I actually stopped taking pictures of the Shakeology because they’re always the same, yummy and good!  But I do have an awesome picture that was shared by another coach on Facebook related to Shakeology!

Lunch was a yummy microgreen salad

With some fresh fruit

I did have a chocolate Shakeology as a snack before doing my ChaLEAN Extreme (gotta stay in shape, despite the pain!)  I used to use the pain and being chronically tired as an excuse, but after another coach told me that she doesn’t let fibromyalgia win, I decided to adopt the same attitude, and I haven’t missed a single workout since!  🙂

I was super tired today too, because I didn’t sleep well last night.  On days like these, I don’t feel like cooking.  Instead of being lazy about it though, I threw some millet into the rice cooker, chopped up some zucchini, onion, asparagus, and some carrots, and dinner was ready in less than 15 minutes.  Quick, simple, easy, and delicious!

And now I’m headed to bed because my pain levels are high and I need some sleep!!!

Just Push Play

Hi everyone!  How were your weekends?!  I absolutely loved the gorgeous weather that we had here this weekend, and enjoyed it even moreso knowing that it’s going to be gray and cloudy here all week!  I met up with some friends, got caught up with studying my Integrative Nutrition content, and enjoyed the sunshine.

I was also super excited because today I managed to fit into a pair of jeans that I have not been able to fit into for over a year!!!  It’s all thanks to Beachbody!  First I lost 10 pounds with the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  I did try on the jeans after the Reset, but they didn’t quite fit just yet.  This past week I’ve been doing the TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme hybrid and I’m so excited because it’s working!!!  Thanks to that, today I was able to zip those jeans up, yay!!!!

I’ve also decided that I need to start eating more like I was when I was eating the Reset meals.  This weekend I didn’t eat quite as close to the Reset, but now that I know how my body responds when I eat meals that aren’t as clean (even if they’re gluten-free and vegan), I’m better able to make wiser choices that help me on my path to wellness.

A little tempeh salad for lunch yesterday

With a side of Tropical Shakeology, since I still felt hungry.  I couldn’t finish it all though, so I saved some for snack later on.

I made some time to finally start writing in my IIN journal.  I can tell that this is definitely going to help me on my journey!

Pancakes for dinner.  I didn’t feel like cooking anything last night, so when I opened up to Chloe Coscarelli’s book and this was the first thing I saw, I knew that’s what I was making, haha!

Today I met up with my good friend Diana in Leesburg, which is not too far from here, but I felt like I was in a whole other world.  I had a great lunch of vegan pad thai (and I loved that on the menu itself it stated that the noodles were gluten-free!), but thanks to the Reset, I feel like my appetite has shrunk, so I only ate a little bit and saved the rest for dinner.

After lunch, we walked around and checked out some of the shops.  Since Leesburg is historic, sometimes you’ll see signs outside of places that show where something historic happened.  We couldn’t help noticing this one though!

We also got some yummy chai at this cute little coffee shop called Shoes, that actually has shoes hanging from the ceiling!

And they even had the most beautiful little secret garden, that reminded me of places that I used to go to in London when I lived there.

For some reason, I failed to take a picture of the garden, but trust me, it was beautiful!

So how were your weekends?  What did you do to take care of yourselves?

It’s the Weekend!

So happy that the weekend is here and that we’re enjoying blue skies and sunshine!  I’ve got lots of exciting things planned and I’m ready to enjoy them!  What are you up to this weekend?

Despite the pain, I’m really getting into working out and already noticing that I’m getting smaller, which is super exciting.  Loving every minute of it!

Keeping up the clean eating with Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast and awesome food for lunch and dinner.

Enjoy your weekends!

Seeking Answers

I’m baaaaack!!!  So I never intentionally set out to be gone for so many days, but ever since I finished the Reset, my food just has not been as interesting or fun to blog about.  And as much as I enjoyed preparing my meals on the Reset, I just haven’t made the time to do it post-Reset.  My goal though is to start shopping from the ingredients that I already have in my house, instead of going out and spending money on things when what I have is perfectly good.  My other goal is to make full use of all the amazing vegan cookbooks that I have.

Post-Reset, I’ve realized that foods are bloating me out more easily, so I ordered the Optimize and the Pre and Pro Biotics to see if it helps me with that.  During the Reset, I was hardly ever bloated.  The great news is that I’ve maintained my weight loss.  I’ve also started working out to my TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme Hybrid, and let me say, it feels awesome working out again!!!

I’ve also been delving further into my health issues thanks to the help of some amazing Beachbody coaches and another one of my fellow IIN students and I’m really started to suspect that I have either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  My chiropractor a few weeks ago had mentioned that he thought I might have a mild case of Fibromyalgia, but I didn’t really pay attention to all of its symptoms until I read this list and my jaw dropped.  Pretty much every single one fits me.

I don’t have every single one of these symptoms, but I definitely have a lot of them.  And combined with PCOS?  Recipe for disaster!  Yet I’m thankful for my illness because it’s led me to where I am today.  My next step is to ask to get tested for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, gallbladder issues, and whatever else my intuition tells me could be causing me so much pain.  It may not make it go away, but at least I’ll have answers.

Now, onto the food for today!

My beloved Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast

Marinated lime tempeh with farmer’s market asparagus and brown rice.  I was inspired by this tempeh recipe and it’s pretty much the only recipe that’s allowed me to really enjoy tempeh!

I accompanied that with a side salad

And then for dinner…well, have you ever had one of those nights where you don’t really feel like eating real food, but you know that you need to eat something?  I had leftover brown rice, so I decided to have rice pudding for dinner, and it was delicious.

I’m looking forward to the weekend and warm, sunshine!