Veganlicious Day

Yesterday my mom and I had what I’ll call a “Veganlicious Day.”  It started with my acupuncture session.  Let me just say that acupuncture is helping me to remove a great deal of stuck, stagnant energy that’s in my body.  I know because I start shaking like crazy as soon as those needles are in me.  My acupuncturist says that it’s very rare to see someone moving energy that rapidly, but it’s definitely a great sign.  Even though my headaches aren’t gone, I’m excited that I’m finally making some sort of progress on that front!  No wonder I’ve been in so much pain.

After acupuncture, my mom and I headed to Great Sage, an amazing all vegan restaurant located in Maryland.  I blogged about going to brunch there a few weeks ago and every time I’ve been, the food’s been absolutely amazing.

I started with a refreshing cucumber celery green drink.

Then for my main course I had the pumpkin enchiladas over quinoa, which happened to be gluten-free as well.  They tasted out of this world.  Definitely a recipe I want to try to replicate, though I’m sure it won’t turn out half as good!

And even though I had more than enough to eat with these, I couldn’t resist ordering dessert, and I settled on a gluten free cherry chocolate cheesecake.  So delicious!

Who was it that said that vegans don’t eat well and we only eat grass?  😉

After lunch, my mom and I decided to head to the eco-friendly store next door, Nest, and I got this adorable pottery mug for my chai tea, as well as these cute little bags that I can carry snacks around in.

Then we headed to Roots, an organic market that’s right next to Great Sage.  It was there that we came across the owner of Zendulgence, Asher Radkowsky, offering free samples of his Hemp Gelato.  My eyes literally popped when I tried the flavors – chocolate raspberry, chocolate hazelnut, and chocolate.  So super delicious and the best part is that the ingredients are pure and the base is Hemp Milk, one of my favorites!  Zendulgence has been written about in the Washington Post, and I really hope that the flavors are available in more stores soon!

The chocolate hazelnut flavor is so amazing that it was sold out, so I settled on the chocolate raspberry flavor instead.

I couldn’t leave Roots without purchasing one of my favorite drinks, coconut water, and it was the perfect way to end the afternoon before heading home.  I swear, every kid in America should be carrying around cartons of coconut water instead of sodas, juice, and milk!

What have you been up to this weekend?

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Finds

Today I want to write about some awesome vegan things I’ve discovered lately.  First of all, did you know that they’ve invented Almond Milk Greek yogurt?!  I was beyond excited when I discovered these at Whole Foods the other day!  Of course, I went back today for more and all they had was plain flavor, but I bought a few more, because I can add a little Chocolate Shakeology and coconut flakes to it (snack idea thanks to another Beachbody coach!) and I’m good to go.

As for plant based milks, my absolute favorite is the Almond Coconut Milk blend by Blue Diamond.  Surprisingly, I can’t find this at Whole Foods at all, and need to go to the regular grocery store to get it.

Next up?  These vegan bars that I saw at Whole Foods today.  Overall, I like to stay away from bars, because they can be a little high calorie and you can eat something like an apple as a snack instead, which is higher in nutrients and contains less calories.  However, they’re nice to have on hand if I’m running from one place to another and get hungry.

Let’s not even talk about the next thing.  So I used to actually not like peanut butter at all, up until a month ago at the Beachbody Coach Summit, when my coach bought some for us to put into our oatmeal in the mornings.  Now I’m seriously addicted to it and can’t get enough!  I also picked up a few Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabars, which the fabulous Kris Britton over at i heart wellness happened to post about on her Facebook page the other day.

Last, but not least, I got my pilot issue of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine in the mail yesterday.

So what are some of your favorite vegan finds?  I’m sure there are many more things that I have yet to discover and I love trying out new stuff!

 

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!

Happy Sunday!

Hey everyone!  Happy Sunday!  How’s your weekend been going?  This weekend it was very cool & rainy in the DC area.  I actually had to wear a light sweatshirt outside yesterday, which was odd considering the 100 degree temperatures that we’ve been having this summer!

Today’s been a great day, especially because I finally had the opportunity to go to brunch at Great Sage, an all vegan restaurant out in Maryland.  I was there back in October for a benefit dinner and the food was outstanding.  Today was no different.

I’m friends on Facebook with one of the staff members at Compassion Over Killing and when she posted that she and some of her co-workers were going to be going there and asked if anyone else wanted to join, I decided to go along and check it out!

My meal started with sweet potato carrot ginger soup.  It sounded too good to resist when I heard it being read off as one of the soups of the day.

My main meal was a gluten-free wrap with roasted veggies and a side of tempeh bacon.  The wrap looked much nicer when it arrived and this is already half eaten, but the picture I took with all the veggies inside didn’t show much 🙂

After brunch, I headed out to see Katy for a few hours.  It was nice to catch up, especially since I don’t see her everyday anymore (we both taught at the same school) and since she’s moving back to Ohio soon.  We decided to grab a salad at Sweetgreen, one of my favorite places to go in the DC area for an awesome healthy meal.  This was their awesome Chic-P vegan salad!

While I was out by Great Sage, I bought some coconut water at the organic market by the restaurant.  The funny this is that the first time I ever tasted coconut water I hated it, and then today when I was at Sweetgreen I was wishing that they sold it there so that I could have some with my meal!

Now I have to get ready for a coaching call with my health coach from IIN.  Enjoy your evenings!

 

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!  Ok, so I haven’t blogged in forever, and I still need to post about what I did in Vegas and how I celebrated my birthday vegan style.  But I couldn’t let the 4th of July slip past without it getting a brief mention.

I spent it by the pool, reading 50 Shades of Grey and then 50 Shades Darker (and let me say, I’m officially in love with Christian Grey and would love to marry him! 😉 ) and then I made myself some black bean burgers, sweet potato fries, and kale salad (sans the mushrooms, just because).

Image

How did you spend your day?!

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?!