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WIAW #11

Hiii loves!

Okay so I’ve literally been the worst blogger ever. I’ve missed you guys! How are ya?!

I am proud to announce, I survived the two weeks of being vegan! Sorry for the lack of posts of what I ate, I have one coming up! Since then, I’ve been still eating vegan at home, although I went out to eat a couple days ago and I ordered chicken. I also made catfish for the boyf the other night (it was delish, recipe to come). The hardest thing to live without has definitely been cheese, and vegan cheese really doesn’t compare unfortunately.

After being vegan for 2+ weeks, I didn’t feel much different (I think it’s because I didn’t eat that much meat and dairy to begin with) and I’ve maintained the same weight. As of right now, I’ve decided that I will eat mostly vegan, but occasionally have some cheese, chicken or fish if I want when I eat out or am really craving it.

Today, I ate vegan!

Let’s see what it was….

pre-cooked quinoa (instead of oats! highly recommend!!) with half a banana, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and topped with banana walnut brulee (recipe to follow).

Banana Walnut Brulee

serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts

1 T agave (can also use honey or maple syrup)

1/4 t cinnamon

tiny dash vanilla extract

1/2 banana, chopped

dash of cayenne

cooking spray

Directions:

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and set it to medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add to skillet and let it saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and add to whatever you like!

On Wednesday’s I have five classes, including a 3 hour biology lab, so I don’t have much time to eat! I practically swallowed a whole smoothie in one gulp as I ran after the bus on the way to my next class…..

green smoothie with spinach, spirulina powder, half a frozen banana, frozen mango topped with homemade granola. sorry for the awful photo, again, i was in a rush!

I came home ravishing (remind me to pack a snack next Wednesday gahhhhhh!) and fixed that with this:

mary's crackers, tj's hummus and bolani pesto while making dinner

some nasty looking black bean soup (my recipe with added carrots and onions) and angela @ ohsheglows dinosaur dill crunch salad (made with curly kale instead of dinosaur kale) - pretty good! i think i needed to let the kale marinate in the dressing a little longer, it was a hard to chew and i'm not used to eating it raw.

And of course……

best. dessert. ever. almond breeze vanilla ice cream with blueberries and homemade chocolate sauce (cocoa powder, agave, and a little splash of almond milk!). sweet tooth satisfied.

Yum!!!!

Okay off to do some Stats homework and read pages and pages in my Biology book! Soooo freakin excited.

LOVEEEEEESYAA

Kara

vegan eats

Hi babydolls!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for quite a while…the quarter just started Monday so I’ve been figuring out my classes and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a whole month!

My vegan diet has been going well so far, I have completed a week plus two days now! Surprisingly finding things to eat has been easy, although I’ve had to get a little more creative and do some planning ahead of time.

When I was at home, my sister and mom had some delicious looking (and smelling!) cheesy pesto bread with their dinner and I would have loved a big bite of it, but I told myself that I couldn’t give in quite yet. I do reallllly really miss cheese and eggs, but I’ve had no cravings for meat so far!

As of now, my thoughts about this whole vegan ordeal is that I do not want to deprive my body of anything it craves. If after 2 weeks I’m craving cheese or eggs, I will allow my body some cheese and eggs! There’s no sense in torturing and depriving myself.

Now I’ll let ya guys in on what I’ve been eating lately ;).

sprouted whole wheat toast with ab & pb and fresh berries. my mouth is watering just looking at those berries right now! get in mah belly.

i tried an amy's indian spinach tofu wrap. it was perfect for a quick and delicious small meal!

portobello mushroom burger/sandwich with all the fixins and sauteed green beans with hazelnuts.

crocodile crunch from alicia silverstone's "the kind diet." 1 t spirulina, ~3/4 T almond milk, ~3/4 T orange juice, ~3/4 T maple syrup, 1 t almond butter. mix sauce and pour over fresh fruit and coconut. top with kamut puffs, granola or whatever cereal you like! beware: this looks gross (I mean it issss green) but it's actually DELICIOUS and may turn your teeth temporarily green hehe.

sauteed vegetables, tempeh, and lentil & bean mix.

butternut squash and vegetable curry over brown rice and topped with coconut and roasted almonds & cashews (in bragg liquid aminos)

the. best. pancakes. EVER. (recipe coming soon!)

quinoa bowl with veggies, salsa and cilantro jalapeno hummus (found at TJs).

kale, tempeh and wild rice!

green beans and asparagus over brown rice with Mama Pea's "mmm" sauce drizzled on top!

snacky dinner! butternut squash soup, veggies & crackers (Marys crackers and Flackers) to dip in hummus and salsa. and a sliced apple!

So there ya have it! Not exactly everything I’ve been eating lately, but a summary! Today, I had a delicious falafel pita sandwich with cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, hummus and tahini sauce from a Mediterranean cafe. I’m determined to recreate it. And tonight I think I’ll make some overnight oats for tomorrow’s breakfast! Mmmm.

Hope you all had a fabulous week!

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #10 and day one of being a vegan!

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

After watching the nutrition documentary, Forks Over Knives last night, the above quote stuck with me. In the movie, (which you should watch if you haven’t!) two doctors show patients who are suffering from conditions like heart disease and diabetes how diet is the best medicine. These two admirable doctors both found that these types of diseases and some forms of cancer can be prevented, and sometimes reversed, by adopting a “whole-foods, plant-based diet.” What I found most astonishing was a study with rats. They fed the rats a diet of 20% casein (the main protein found in dairy products), then 5% casein, switching off between the two levels of protein for a period of time and observing the effects of this dietary change on the rat’s cancer cells. There was a dramatic drop in cancerous growths in the rats that were fed a diet of 5% casein rather than 20%.

I’ve always thought about going vegan but never actually went through with it. I was vegetarian for about a year, but then felt like I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet and went back to eating meat. Forks Over Knives completely shocked me, I had no idea animal products can actually induce cancer cells! I still want to do some more research before fully committing to veganism, though. I realize that eventually I am going to die someday (sorry to be so blunt) whether that be old age, cancer, or disease…and in recent research it seems like everything causes cancer – parabens found in lotion, hair dyes, chemicals in makeup, sodium lauryl sulfate found in shampoos and toothpaste, aluminum based deodorants, non- organic fruits and vegetables, plastic water bottles, microwaves….I could go on and on. I think that if we live our lives fearing everything that causes cancer in the world, we will end up becoming complete crazies hiding from life.

Okay, but now I am going to contradict myself because even though I can’t prevent cancer entirely, it’s worth a shot. Plus, I’ve always been intrigued by the vegan diet so I figured why not try it if it won’t hurtcha?!

My goal is to try being vegan for 2 weeks and see if there are any changes in how I feel. In the movie, the real life patients boasted feeling more energetic and had no need for medications. (My dream!! A world of barely any prescription drugs..which only cure the symptoms not the actual disease or sickness itself, and more homeopathic remedies! But maybe I am crazy.) In the vegan cookbook called The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstein (who’s prego if you didn’t know!!) also expressed feeling more energetic on the vegan diet as well as having her acne clear up. I wouldn’t mind feeling more energetic and having completely clear skin, but those are not my main reasons for trying veganism, I simply want to try it to see how it affects me. Who knows, in two weeks I may feel no different and be back to eating how I was, or I may continue down the road of being a vegan. Thanks to Forks Over Knives my life could be entirely changed after this.

I do have a few concerns:

1) The Forks Over Knives diet rules out most fats (even the healthy ones like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds!). I CANNOT DO WITHOUT FAT. Soo I will be eating plenty of that in my new vegan diet.

2) I’ve gotten over the stage of caring what people think of me, but being the odd one out is never fun. Thank goodness my friend Cat (also a Nutrition Science major and the one who told me about this movie!!) agreed to try veganism with me. It is definitely going to be hard ordering at restaurants, eating with friends and attending family events. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of weird looks and questions like “so why exactly are you vegan?” or  “you’re one of those animal rights activists aren’t you?” or  “you don’t eat any cheese or meat?!” or “how do you live?!”

3) My last concern is gaining weight. I love peanut butter as you all know, nuts, seeds, avocado…which are all fat and high in calories. Good fat, but must be eaten in moderation. I’m worried that I might overdo it on those (I loooove trail mix and can eat a whole bag easily) out of boredom of the other foods I’m eating and end up actually gaining weight rather than losing pounds or maintaining my weight.

But I’m going to try not to worry about all that and enjoy my 2 (or more) weeks of being vegan!!

So here goes my first WIAW as a vegan.

Breakfast…

oatmeal made with oats, banana, cinnamon, and chia seeds topped with almond milk, strawberries and almonds

and a cup of the best tea ever.

Lunch…

black bean soup and sauteed green beans & spinach

Black Bean Soup

serves 3

Ingredients:

2 cans black beans, drained

1 c salsa

1 t cumin

1 1/2 c low sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

Put first three ingredients in food processor until you get your desired constituency (chunky or smooth). Then heat in a saucepan and mix in the vegetable broth. Top with green onion, avocado, salsa, etc!

yummmmy, quick and so easy!

cuddle time with my babyy

Snack…

apple cupcakes...sort of!

I used this recipe for high protein chocolate pudding on the left apple, but used cocoa powder instead of carob, and used cocoa liquid stevia instead of maple syrup.

high protein chocolate pudding on the left topped with dried cranberries and pepitas, the right topped with peanut butter and cacao nibs!

Dinner…

nutty israeli couscous!

Nutty Israeli Couscous with Arugula, Butternut Squash and Sage

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/3 c Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous)

1 3/4 c water

1 T EVOO + more for sauteeing and drizzling

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 a butternut squash

1/4 c pecans

2 handfuls of arugula (or any other leafy green you like)

Balsamic vinegar

s & p

Directions:

Pierce butternut squash with a fork or knife a couple times so that air can escape while in the microwave. Nuke for 10 minutes, cut in half and let cool. Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan, saute 1 1/3 c couscous with 1 T EVOO over medium heat until the couscous is lightly browned. This takes about 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 3/4 c water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove the rind of the butternut squash (I found it easiest to cut off the rind with a knife, but maybe you could try using a peeler?) and cut it into cubes. In a large frying pan set to medium heat drizzle some EVOO and add the chopped shallot, minced garlic and chopped sage leaves. Saute until the shallot is almost transparent. Mix in the pecans and saute some more, but make sure to not burn the nuts. By now the couscous should be finishing up, so turn off the heat, add a generous drizzle of EVOO and s & p. Then, add the butternut squash to the frying pan and cover. After about 3 minutes the butternut squash should be tender and aromatic. Now add the 2 handfuls of arugula, mix until wilted. Turn off the heat. Fold the butternut squash mixture into the saucepan with the couscous. Drizzle some balsamic, taste it and adjust how much s & p you would like. Enjoy!

filling and delicious!

Wahoo I survived my first day as a vegan! And it wasn’t as hard as I thought :)!

xoxo

Kara