New Blog, New Me

Posts tagged ‘vegan’

Whos with me?

Why did I go from eating junk food, fast food, fried stuff, lots of red meats, too-large portion sizes, cookies, cheese on everything, and other naughty things all of the time. Well isnt that apparent? No.one. can eat junk like that all the time and be healthy. Its just not possible. I got tired of it. Enough. You know? Time for something drastic and long-lasting. Time for a new me! May 2012 I became a vegetarian and enter a whole lifestyle change.

Since then I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning and progressing, for me that’s what it is all about .. Progress not perfection! Progressing towards a completely plant based diet, towards someone who uses food as fuel not therapy, towards a mom who is confident and fierce. I’ve been feeling like it’s placed on my heart to start a new blog series, that’s also tied to my other social media accounts, which highlights the plant based/meat free diet. Starting in November each month will have a different theme and once a week I’ll post topics related to that. Themes like: 1) How to eat meat free on the cheap! 2) How to get all your protein from a plant based diet. 3) How to eat out while sticking to a veggie meal…

I get told a lot from people that they want to cut back on how much meat they are eating but are not sure where to start. Or even if its possible. I want to say – “Yes it is totally possible and here is a little info on how to do just that.” Maybe one day Ill get my ducks in a row and become a PiYo instructor and get a weight loss management certification. Become truly too legit to quit and all… But, admittedly I am not a personal trainer, Im not a nutritionist, I am not a size 2, and I dont have some body building 6 pack. So why am I even qualified to talk on this subject?

Well I am passionate about it and Ive stuck to it even through some struggles. Ive had many many people attempt to talk me out of not eating meat. It makes some people uncomfortable. Im not sure why but it does so they make it their goal to bring my diet up in conversations whenever they can, to persuade me to “go back”. No one cared enough to talk to me when I was 230 lbs, eating fast food multiple times a week, and clearly making bad choices all of the time! No one gently sat me down to have a heart to heart about what effect my diet and lack of exercise played on my health. None of these people seemed all that concerned when my choices lead me to getting gestational diabetes; while they saw me testing my blood sugars 4 times a day and restricting my foods to make sure I was staying within safe ranges for baby. Nope not a word to my face. However, after I decided I don’t want to eat any animals, limit the animal products (milk/eggs/cheese), and focus on eating more plant-based foods – that’s when people wanted to say something. Go figure? I know what its like to face opposition and my passion for my diet has helped me to not stop.

My passion drives me to learn more about the nutrition side. I love finding new foods and nutrition programs that will help me get closer to my goals. When I started out in 2012 I knew nothing. Not a single thing! I joined private Facebook groups, I scoured Pinterest, blogs and Instagram, I connected with like minded people, and I discovered some fantastic professional foodies/chefs. I honestly like looking stuff up! So if I didnt know an answer I’d dig around until I found it. Those all have been what has helped me stay on this path, but it did take some time. There are so very many different resources out there for vegan and vegetarians that it can get a little overwhelming, which is the exact opposite of what a newbie needs. Ive found some great resources from experts and the opportunity to have a forum where they can all be compiled together would be amazing.

While I know some would disagree with the method (meat free eating) I do feel led by the Lord to share my passion with others. He has given me a heart for helping people. I can feel that so clearly. The pull to want to come along side the person I was back in 2012 and help her see that there is a better way. To tell that frazzled mom: You don’t have to live in the prison of obesity, there is a better way, you can become comfortable in your skin, you can find happiness through exercise, and you can work at getting victory over the struggle of being overweight. As I am working for those things myself, I feel the Lord asking me to step out in faith because He has placed this passion in my heart for a reason. So my goal during this veggie series is to help others while honoring God. 

Check back on Mondays for the new blog posts that correlate to the monthly topic. You can also leave your email address to be added to the subscription list. Today was an introduction. I wanted to put my heart out there about why Im starting this in the first place. Next Monday Ill cover the main reason why I changed my diet to vegetarian – What are the health benefits of a plant based diet? (This wont be me ranting over eating animals. I wont go all crazy lady on ya. Lol. 😛 Nor will I be talking out of my butt. Ill give info from various professionals on the positive sides to a plant based diet and you can make the decision yourself about how you feel.)

Im excited! Who’s with me? 

Plant based vegetarian blog series trystea

Are You Hungry? Carrot and Sweet Pea Salad

Look whos writing again! I had some inspiration today, in the form of a sweet friend asking me to post this recipe from an Instagram lunch post. {HEY girl!!} Lunch was pretty basic, I havent gone to the grocery store this week so I have very little in my kitchen to choose from. I guess that makes for some super simple, yet creative meals. Lol.

carrot and pea salad

Carrot and Sweet Pea Salad
2 large carrot sticks
1/2 frozen sweet peas
3 Tbsp Hemp seeds
Balsamic Drizzle

Using a vegetable peeler, shred the carrots being careful to not nick your fingers! (Or use a vegetable spiralizer, that would make life a lot easier). Cook the sweet peas per the bag instructions (I heated mine up for 4 mins). Mix peas and carrots. Sprinkle with hemp seeds (I use Manitoba Harvest, it adds 10g of protein!). Squirt the balsamic drizzle on top, using a delicate touch because its concentrated and comes out fast. Eat and enjoy!

carrot and pea salad

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Are You Hungry? Weekly Meal Prep

Hey there! I haven’t felt too inspired to write lately but as Im currently trying to search through recipes for this next week’s meals I thought Id share! You know, in case any of yall wanted to do a meatless Monday or even a meatless Monday-Sunday with me! 😉 (Hey, a veggie girl can hope.)

Anyways, Im kind of in a bit of a food rut so instead of trying to come up with something of my own, Im searching through foodie blogs for inspiration. My absolute favorite vegan (no animal products as all) foodie is Happy Herbivore, I have several of her cook books and have found most everything Ive made from hers is delish.. Plus, unlike a lot of other vegan cookbooks I have from different authors, HH is really easy to follow with not a lot of odd ingredients. Easy and fast is exactly what Im looking for.

Breakfast
Chocolate Vegan Shakeology with Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Lunch
Caribbean Peas & Rice
Cassoulet

Dinner
Crockpot 3 Bean and Corn Chili
Chickpea Cacciatore with Italian Veggies

I know cooking all that sounds like a lot at first but Ive found that if I don’t, I end up ordering a cheese, tomato, and jalapeño pizza for dinner. (Ugh!) Ill get too busy with my day and then by the time dinner rolls around, the last thing I want to do is to think of something healthy to cook & actually fix it. To remedy that problem – today is planning the meals and tomorrow is making the meals, then Ill be all set for the rest of the week. It is a lot of work up front but it really does help me stay on track.

healthy eating

Give it a try?

News flash, it’s almost April. You know what that means? Summer is nearing! This summer I will have a child who turns 10 and will then be in the double digits for age. The baby will turn 1 and will be on his way to walking and talking. Insane! And we will be celebrating these birthdays in the Florida Keys! Key Largo, here I come! … Bathing suit season … Here. I. Come.

I know I’m not the only one trying to get that sexy summer bod! 😉 Hows it going out there? It’s way too easy for me to give into ordering take out or eating out so my diet got a little wonky the past two weeks. Planning and preparing meals in advance solves that problem completely! (Along with observing a little self-control and actually eating what you plan.)

Last week I ordered some food trays to use for meal prep, they come divided into 3 sections but there are other variations you can get as well (I might order the bowl style for stir fries). I ordered them from Amazon, here. It’s kind of a thoughtless meal, like a frozen TV dinner kind of thing, but hopefully you don’t fill it with crappy food. I like that there’s room for everything – all your protein, carbs, and veggies.

The packaging says you can also freeze them so cook in bulk, divide meals up in the trays, freeze, and take out for a quick meal later on. Pretty darn helpful for example, a pregnant lady wanting to eat healthy meals after the baby comes. Or if you have to go out of town and leave your hubby at home, he will be able to survive without suffering through whole days of nothing but coffee, Hot Pockets, and Ramen Noodles (YEP, my poor husband).

Yesterday I had some free time while the baby was napping and the other 2 kids were playing, to tackle this task. It was pretty simple but did require a chunk of time to get it all done. Beans, veggies, and sweet potatoes. That’s it! Im still learning but I hope to get pretty good at this meal prep business. If you don’t already, you should give it a try!

What I wish my meal prep looks like…

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… What my mealprep really looks like!

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Are You Hungry? Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Toast

If you’re about to read this and you’re hungry, just stop right there. Don’t read any further without first eating a snack. Because if you love peanut butter like I do, this will make you haungry! I made this the other day as a post workout snack (hello 12g protein). Its savory and sweet, and would also be perfect for breakfast or dessert as well. Oh and healthy. Yeah there’s that too! You could fix this without caramelizing the banana but then it just wouldn’t taste as good. Hahaha. Really, just take the extra step, you’ll thank me.

Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Toast

  • Bread (whole wheat or Ezekiel)
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Ripe Banana
  • Honey (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Peel and slice the bananas on the diagonal. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, using non-stick spray. When hot, in a single layer add the banana slices. Cook approx. 2-3 minutes or until bananas start to brown. One at a time, flip banana slices over. Continue to cook until that side is also brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Toast the bread and spread on peanut butter. Layer the bananas on top. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon or a drizzle of honey, if so desired. Cut toast on the diagonal to make it look fancy. Enjoy!

I used Ezekiel bread, which can be found in the freezer section, but any whole grain bread would be fine. Just make sure you take note of the serving size. Additionally, use peanut butter of choice but make sure its the natural kind, free of preservatives, artificial flavors, colors.

You could also turn this into French Toast by making this into a sandwich, instead of toasting the bread simply cook it as you would a classic French toast. You could also top whole wheat pancakes or waffles with the caramelized bananas. Yes!

Fancy Banana Peanut Butter Toast

Fancy Banana Peanut Butter Toast

Are You Hungry? Lentil Bolognese

Woah! Its almost been a month since Ive made a post. Where has all that time gone?! I knew it had been awhile but not that long. This homeschooling business is kicking my butt. Im going 1000 miles a min during the day. Think being a stay at home mom is hard? …Try also being your child’s teacher. Im rambling, Ill blog more about that in another post. I made an oh.so.yummy Lentil Bolognese dinner last night. Ive been in a dinner funk, feeling lazy and not wanting to put forth effort to cook. I spent about 30 mins yesterday trying to come up with this week’s dinner menu, nothing really sounded good. Until I happened upon this one foodie blog, Maple Spice and all Vegan Things Nice. I pinned like 10 different delish looking recipies! I just happen to have almost all the ingredients for her Lentil Bolognese so that’s what I cooked.

Such a score because my Meat Eater Husband and Son loved it & my picky toddler ate a lot of it .. until she noticed the garlic bread, and then she only wanted bread. Womp womp. Lol. Its got a good amt of veggies in it! The lentils give it a meat-ish like of feel. And shhh don’t tell, but I used about half a package of mushrooms. The husband HATES mushrooms and usually wont eat them, but he has no idea that his yummy dinner was full of mushrooms! MuhHahaha!! (Unless of course, he reads this blog…) Now if you don’t like mushrooms either, don’t run away. The sauce is blended smooth in a food processor and you really cannot tell that there are mushrooms in it! Of course you can omit them if you want to be difficult 😛 but don’t! It feels great, feeding your family something that’s good tasting and good for them.

Heres the recipe: Vegan Veggie Lentil Bolognese

Vegan Veggie Lentil Bolognese

Vegan Veggie Lentil Bolognese

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 small package mushrooms, washed and quartered
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 cup brown lentils, drained and rinsed
1 12 oz box whole wheat fettuccine noodles
Heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, basil, oregano and bay leaf and cook till onions are transparent. Add the garlic, stir, then add the carrot, and red pepper, cook for a few minutes then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to wilt, stir in soy sauce and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Cook pasta per box instructions. Reserve some pasta water and add to sauce if its too thick.
Mix sauce in with the pasta.

To serve, add a little cheeze or nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and some fresh basil. Maybe a side of steamed broccoli or a salad. Some garlic bread (Vegan garlic bread recipe!! You can use olive oil in place of the vegan butter). And youre good to go!!

Are You Hungry? Fail Brownies

From the post’s title you’d think this was a recipe blog post. You would be close but not exactly correct. This is a failed recipe post. Today is Friday the 13th! I thought it would be a perfect post for today!

One thing my friends know about me is that I cannot bake. They all get a chuckle out of the fact that I just cant do it. Now, I don’t mean I just burn brownies or overcook cookies. No. I mean that I can follow a recipe for baked goods to a T and still manage to screw it up, so much so that its not worth eating. Im not even being funny. I really cannot bake! Which I guess is fine, I mean.. we cant be experts at everything! 😉 Lol!!

I guess Im a glutten for punishment because any time my family wants something dessert-ish, you’d think I would have learned by now and just go buy something already made from the bakery. But no! I always want to try to make it myself and it never fails, it always kinda sucks. I guess Im so determined to make it because that way I can try to make whatever it is vegan..because the bakeries around here do not have that option. If someone wants to bake a vegan treat for me and mail it to me, Id be thrilled!

I also have a problem with saying no to such treats. Did you know oreos are vegan? Well they are. Go ahead and gobble them down because they don’t contain animal products! But they are so very bad for you and the serving size is 2 cookies! Who in their right mind can eat just 2 oreo cookies?! Not me! which is why I never have sweets in the house. Because I will eat them. And I will eat a lot of them.

So the point of this post. Last week I was making my weekly grocery store run. I texted the husband to see if he needed anything and his response was that I better come back with something chocolaty, or else! …. Ok Honey, suuure no problem! 😉

Of course I didn’t stop at the bakery section, no. I was determined to bake something myself. Mistake #1! I searched the grocery story trying to find something chocolate but not so bad for you! I found the store’s very small organic section and they had a bag of veg friendly organic dark chocolate kisses, on the back was a recipe on how to make brownies. Score! But the ingredient list was a million items long and I thought it best to try something else (Im so bad with forgetting key ingredients!). I walked down my use-to-be favorite isle, the baking isle! With all those yummy boxed brownies, cakes, and cupcake mixes. But alas, ALL of them had milk or something like that listed in the mix. Then I saw it! Betty Crocker has like 3 types of gluten free baked goods: brownies, white cake, and cookies. Milk FREE!. Mistake #2, I went with the brownies.

I got home and saw it called for butter and eggs. Piiish, I got this, or so I thought! I used egg replacer (its like a power thing and you add water) for the eggs and half an avocado for the butter. Uh. Mistake #3! I don’t know what the deal was but when I mixed the ingredients, not a thing happened. They didn’t mix together! It still looked like a power. Oops! It was at that time when the hubby comes in the kitchen to see what I was up to….

I was caught! He just looked at me and shuck his head. I had ruined his chocolate! He insisted on adding half a stick of butter to the mess. I put it in the oven and… out came this brick of brownies. Yummy, huh?! He must have been desperate….because the husband did eventually finish off that tray of ‘delish’ brownies. Ha!

So that’s my adventure of making Fail Brownies. They were at least gluten free!! 😀 But they had a very odd consistency and flavor. More like soil and not brownie-like, at all. I don’t know if they would have tasted normal had I not tried to make them vegan? Id like to think they just didn’t taste good to begin with! 😉 Lol.

And to prove the point that I suck at baking….. pics!

The batter after the hubby added his butter

The batter after the hubby added his butter

What he thinks of the mess I made, not happy

What he thinks of the mess I made, not happy

And cooked...

And cooked…

 

 

 

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