How about a What I Ate post?
If you’ve ever tried to document everything you ate over the course of a day, you probably know that it’s much harder than it seems. I usually don’t remember to take pictures of my food until after I’ve already eaten it, but I’m getting better about it. I can’t believe that I used to count every calorie I ate and measure every morsel. I guess it works for some, but I could never go back to doing it. It made me completely bonkers.
Do you count calories or measure portion sizes?
I gave up dieting several years ago, but it took awhile to learn to trust myself around certain foods (dessert, I’m looking at YOU). I didn’t fully let go of worrying about what I ate until I switched to a plant-based, whole foods diet. I am always amazed at how much food I can eat and still maintain a trim, healthy figure. It’s true that I work out almost every day, but I fully believe that reaching a healthy weight has much more to do with what you eat than how much you work out- I’d say it’s probably an 80% nutrition/20% exercise split, at least for me. Maybe even 90/10.
What do you think?
It’s important to be nutritionally aware, but once you know the basics and have mastered putting together balanced meals and snacks, it becomes much easier to trust your body and eat according to hunger. Our bodies are efficient, amazing, strong, capable calorie-burning machines that will guide us if we listen, especially when we fuel it with the right foods. It took me a looooong time to figure that out, but now that I have I want to spread the word.
I can’t say enough good things about the benefits of a vegan, minimally processed diet: it helps the planet, saves the animals, is packed with nutrition and good for your health, and means that I can stuff my face with
vegan chocolate peanut butter cups delicious food and still fit into my skinny jeans.
It’s a total win all around, man.
If you’re interested in incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, here are some good places to start:
- PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart
- PCRM’s Vegetarian Starter Kit
- Just a few of the many reasons to eat more plants
- Vegan Outreach’s booklet on making Compassionate Choices
The links are endless, really. Click on over to my resources page for more!
This is what happens when I really don’t have a set topic to blog about: what I ate—> counting calories—> plant-based diet—> reasons to eat more plants and fewer animals. I just realized that I never blogged about my very first leafleting experience with Mercy for Animals, which happened a couple of Fridays ago. How is that possible!? Another day (I made myself a note).
Gee, ramble much?
Anyway, I eat more than ever these days but weigh around five pounds less than I did at this time last year, which was when I first started transitioning to a vegan diet. I wasn’t trying to lose weight but it happened, and it’s because I ditched the animal protein, said good-bye to most processed foods and started really putting forth effort to cook for myself and my kids as much as possible using natural, wholesome, plant-based ingredients.
Best thing I have ever done for my health, my waistline and my kitchen confidence.
What I Ate Wednesday
(+ a cup of black coffee, not pictured)
This is my favorite smoothie recipe at the current mo’. You can probably tell that I don’t have a fancy high-speed blender (someday!), but that’s okay. I love an ice-cold, sweet, creamy green smoothie in a bowl- it’s almost like eating ice cream for breakfast. If you’ve never made a smoothie using a frozen banana before, you probably think I’m crazy. TRY IT. Let some large bananas get nice and brown on your counter top (they get sweeter the more ripe they get), peel, wrap in plastic wrap or toss into a zip top baggie and stash in the freezer. Once frozen, toss one into your blender and get your smoothie on, using these recipes for inspiration:
- Mama Pea’s smoothie recipes
- Smoothie mania from Healthy Happy Life
A big ol’ salad that included spinach, purple cabbage, fresh chopped veggies, avocado, homemade lemon-tahini dressing and a leftover Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burger, all sprinkled with sea salt and a little dulse.
I buy organic carrots and then just eat them without peeling. Is that weird? I’m lazy.
I was still feeling satisfied from my salad in the afternoon, so I grabbed a citrus kombucha for a little pick-me-up:
Check out my mile-high stack of vegan cookbooks on the side. I’m an addict.
So easy to make, but so flipping good. You just take a few yukon gold potatoes, poke a couple of holes in them and bake on a baking sheet at 400* for 45 minutes or so. Pull them out and squash them (I used a potato masher), then drizzle with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Crank the heat up to 450* and put the potatoes back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to crisp up a bit. Pull them out and flip them, top with a bit more oil and sea salt, and bake again for another ten minutes. That’s it!
I loved that the potatoes got crispy on the outside but stayed buttery smooth on the inside. This is a great, healthy way to turn an otherwise boring plain ol’ potato into something a little different without much effort.
Eat, Drink & Be Vegan was actually my first vegan cookbook. I ordered it in July of 2011 and didn’t go fully vegan until August. At the time I wasn’t familiar with many of the ingredients in the cookbook and had not yet built up a vegan pantry. Because of this I am sad to say that Eat, Drink & Be Vegan became buried under my ever-growing stack of vegan cookooks, but after falling in love with Let Them Eat Vegan! recently I was reminded that hey, don’t I have another one of Dreena’s cookbooks around here somewhere?! And then I started to wonder why I never made more than a couple of things from it. Yesterday after making these potatoes I dusted it off and spent half an hour thumbing through it. HEAVEN. It was like getting an early Christmas present. :) Now most of the ingredients are regular staples in my pantry, and I must have dog-eared about fifty recipes that I can’t wait to try. Plus, there’s a whole chapter in there dedicated to my one true love: HUMMUS.
Now I have a second cookbook to obsess over.
Moving on to dessert…
(This is rather lengthy for a What I Ate post, yeah?)
An hour or so before bed I had one of the chocolate peanut butter cups that I’d made in the afternoon, and they were nothing short of glorious. I savored every chocolatey bite!
And that is what I ate yesterday.
Happy (almost) Friday!