Archive | FOOD

My transition to vegan

Hi Friends,

Holy smokes it’s been a minute. I have absolutely no excuses either! Just been crazy being at home with all these family and friends that want to see us!! We’re not used to it. Not to mention, my sister is getting married in just over a month! CRAZY!!!

I wanted to talk for a minute about my transition to veganism. I completed the transition on May 1st… so just over two months ago and it was so much easier than I expected. 

Here’s kind of how it went down…

4 1/2 years ago when I was working at Vega, Greg and I did a challenge with some of the people there. Some people did a vegan challenge, Greg and I did vegetarian (eat totally vegetarian for a month). We did it for 4 weeks, and decided to continue until our trip to Mexico in the coming weeks. Once we got to Mexico, I was starving so I had tacos – allll kinds. Pork, chicken, beef… etc. I felt SO SICK. So so so sick. And that was it for me. I decided I wasn’t going to have meat anymore. I did still continue to have fish though, up until this past May.

About 4 years ago I did a food sensitivity test because I have having digestive upset. It revealed that I was sensitive to gluten (not celiac though, which is good!). So I cut gluten out, with the exception of the odd beer with my hubby. About a year later, I retested to see where my levels were at. I had a feeling they were still not great, because I was still having some digestive upset and eczema flair ups. This time, the test revealed that I still had my sensitivity to gluten… but I was now showing a reaction to about 75% of the foods on the test. What the heck?

The nutritionist explained that I had what was called leaky gut. With leaky gut, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Scary stuff! So anyway… I had to cut a lot of things out… but the big ones were still no gluten, NO dairy at all (not even goats products which are sometimes easier for people to digest) and no eggs. So for about 3 years, I’ve been basically vegan + fish… and I would cheat every now and again with some cheese or greek yogurt. 

I had been following a bunch of vegan bloggers/trainers on Instagram, and I also have some friends that are vegan as well. I was kind of just looking for that little extra push to get me fully transitioned.

So the first two people that ever got me thinking about vegetarianism are two of my closest friends Laura and Sarah. These beauties have both been vegetarian since they were quite young, and made the decision on their own. They got the wheels turning many many years ago for me, but not enough to make the shift I guess. They also taught me that being ‘preachy’ isn’t necessarily the way to go. They are proudly vegetarian, but they don’t force those beliefs or practices on people, and aren’t always talking about it either! I admire them both for that and I strive to find that same balance.

Now for a few of the pages I’d been following:

Deryn – Running on Real Food – http://runningonrealfood.com/start-here/ 

My friends, Elizabeth and Collin >> @elizabetheats, @cmcdougs


(they’re going to be so mad at me for putting up a pic of them… especially Collin. haha! – thats what you get for being inspirational you two!! Not only are they both vegan inspos to me, but they’re probably the cutest couple of all time!!!)

And the guy that shares some of the most interesting vegan facts that will get ya (they got me!)
@conscious_muscle

>> NOTE – that he’s rocking a #muttmala!!!! <<
He’s a vegan fitness coach that helps people with the transition and helps them to meet their fitness/nutrition goals. I actually worked with him end of last year, but had some health issues and also ended up moving across country, so I didn’t get to execute his plan to the best of my ability. However he’s amazing to work with and very reasonable – for those of you interested in transitioning!

He posted something end of April that got me.

And he was right… Just like that, done! To be honest, I had seen Forks over Knives, as well as Cowspiracy… both really well done, but it was Earthlings that got me.

That’s really it you guys. About 2.5 months ago I transitioned and it’s be SOOOOO much easier than I thought. Sure sometimes when I’m out on the road for work, or with a client, it can be a little tricker. I am getting much better at packing lunches (or at the very least snacks!), and places are becoming much more vegan friendly! Places like Pita Pit (and super recently from what I’ve heard, starbucks!) have vegan options! Amazing!!!! 

I would love love LOVE to hear from my vegetarian and vegan peeps out there. This community has been so welcoming and supportive and I would love to chat with other people who recently made the transition, are thinking about it, or have been vegan/vegetarian for years! Please share your fave blogs, recipes, people to follow 🙂

Thanks for sticking through this post if you did – I know it’s long, but it was important to me to share 🙂 

xoxo
ANDREA

PS — next post will be coming before long (not 2 months like this time!) and it’s going to be about #muttmalas !!! 

Meal prep successes

  Hey guys! 
So last week, I actually had a pretty good week for food prep (which is SOOOOO nice after a long time of just, not)

We currently are living with my in-laws. They have a pretty big house and just the two of them in it, so they were gracious enough to let us move in downstairs (WITH our small zoo of two dogs AND two cats). My mum in law is a FANTASTIC cook. She’s so great working around all of my dietary restrictions, and she generally is cooking really healthy things. So Greg and I haven’t really cooked a TON for ourselves lately because she’s just so dang good at it!! 🙂 

An example of a little rice noodle and chick pea patty she just ‘whipped up’

That said though.. I’m trying to get more on track… transition more and more to 100% plant based, and I am trying to get better at counting my macros as well (and using myfitnesspal to do that!). So I did a bunch of meal prep on Sunday and inputted all the recipes into myfitnesspal in hopes of making my week a little smoother.

I am so pumped by some of the recipes that I found this week you guys, I had to share. If you’ve read my blog before… you know I’m not the BEST at capturing food pics. Generally it’s me in the kitchen… making a huge mess and trying to figure out what goes where… getting pretty jacked up when things start to come together and things are tasting good… sampling all the things I’m making… then eating all of the things I’m making… then too late for pics. But I did manage to get a few!

Banana Blender Muffins: So I really like to have things that are easy to have in the morning either pre or post workout. Pre workout its great to have something fairly small, just to take that hunger edge off, but not sit heavily in your stomach. These muffins are PERFECT for that. I made them in the mini muffin tins (because lets be honest, then you gave have 40 of them without feeling like a fatty fatty 2×4). I also love that the base of these muffins is white beans! 

Borrowed from the original blog post at chocolatecoveredkatie.com

 

Flourless Pumpkin Muffins: These I’ve made before… and know they’re amazing. So I make them in the full size muffin tins, and I always make at least a double batch. I have them heated up with a tiny bit of coconut oil on them (instead of butter). DELISH!

Borrowed from original post at makingthymeforhealth.com

No Bake Protein bars: Okay honestly… these are the star of the week by FAR!!!!! Angela over at Oh She Glows rocks my world, every time! She’s such a whiz when it comes to amazing gluten free, vegan recipes… and this one is no different. Took honestly, 5 minutes to make and they’re SO FREAKIN AMAZING!!!! She says this is 12 servings worth but I got about 20 servings. I cut them into smaller squares because I found them quite dense (but SO GOOD!) – so I guess it depends how big you want them. When I gave my sister one, she asked WHY I had only given her such a small piece… then when she tried it she said ‘oh, because you’re saving these delicious pieces of heaven for yourself’. 

 

Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad – I loved this one! Everything about it. I am a big fan of edamame in salad because of the added protein and substance, and I just love edamame. Everything else in this salad is rather crunchy and the flavours go together so well. Plus anything thai, I am on board with. I added some tempeh for some extra protein and flavour 🙂 

Roasted Chickpea Salad (with vegan ranch!) – Now this salad I have to say… I really enjoyed the salad portion…. the roasted chick peas were absolutely spot on! The rest of the salad had delicious components with lots of substance… but the dressing needs some tweaking to get an A+ in my book! Now to be fair… I was missing chives… which I am sure is a large component of the flavouring, so I just improvised and used some regular onion blended in. I do love the idea of making a vegan dressing with something other than cashews (I love cashews, but holy $$, not to mention lots of [good] fats!). The tofu does make it creamy, but it was just lacking flavour for me. I absolutely will try again though 🙂 

Borrowed from original blog post at emilieeats.com

Vegan PB Cup protein shake – You guys this one… holy smokes! I LOVE a good PB and chocolate anything… but this has a twist. I love reading Deryn’s blog because she’s got amazing vegan recipes and she pays attention to macros too (which I’ve been learning to do!). But this recipe is next level. It’s pretty much your standard PB and chocolate smoothie… but she adds NUTRITIONAL YEAST! I know, seems super weird in a smoothie… but don’t knock it til you try it. SO DELISH. I also added about 1/4 cup oats just to take it to the next level!

Borrowed from original blog post at runningonrealfood.com

I am really trying to get back on the food prep train, and would LOVE love love to hear some of your tips and tricks on how to make food prep more interesting, seamless and easier to stick to! Please share! 🙂

xxx
Andrea

Friday Faves – A blog, a bag, and some TEA!

Hello there … and HAPPY FRIDAY!
Thanks for stopping by 🙂 

As you may or may not know… my blogging has totally suffered in the last month and a half or so (and I’m sad about it!). I’ve been really busy working on my Mutt Malas page. If you aren’t familiar, please go check it out!! It’s pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Processed with MOLDIV

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Joffre Lakes hike & the perfect snack to bring

Happy Monday y’all!

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What a weekend we had. We’d been planning to do Joffre Lakes with friends of ours for ages, and we planned this weekend away 3-4 months ago to ensure it happened. I am so glad we set aside the time!!!! This is definitely going to be more of a picture book than a blog post since I have NO words to better describe what we saw than just showing you some amazing photos.
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Friday Faves – Peanut butter, oil pulling and TEA

FRIIIIIIdayyyyyyy… again!!!! 
And we’re only 5 days away from Hawaii!!!! 

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It appears (not on purpose) that my 3 faves I am sharing with you guys this week are all edible items. I like to vary it up and have all different items, but this week it just so happens it’s all food/drink. BUT if I do say so myself, they’re some great recos, so stay tuned!

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Smoothie Cleanse & Inversion Love

Happy hump day everyone! 

Hope you’re having a lovely week so far. For my BC friends, we’re coming up on a long weekend in a couple days (Family Day!!!) 

Greg and I were both feeling a little ‘blah’ at the end of the last week. A little tired, a little sluggish, feeling like we might be getting sick etc. So we decided to do a Smoothie Cleanse that we’ve done before.

3daycleansememe

I am not one for doing these crazy ‘diets’ like the Master Cleanse (where you drink water with honey, lemon and cayenne only, for days on end!) But I am all about doing a couple day long ‘detox’ to cleanse the body, release toxins and restart the body. 

The cleanse Greg and I like to do is from Healthy Green Flamingo , and it’s great. It’s super well laid out, and comes with a grocery list, and recipes for the full 3 days! There’s also an overview with some alternate instructions, reasons why it’s a good option for a cleanse, and more – check out that overview here

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