Here’s Why You Should Consider Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can mean different things to different people but in this case I am going to let you in on the most achievable and comfortable method in my opinion,  the 16/8 fast. During the 16/8 fast you have an 8 hour window of eating (but this doesn’t mean to go crazy) and during the remaining 16 hours you fast, only drinking water or herbal tea with no sweeteners. Now I know what you’re probably thinking 16 hours without eating??? That’s insane! But relax, those 16 hours of fasting should be split up evenly if possible to half (8) before and the remaining half (8) after your window of eating, and 6 or more should actually be used during sleep. My schedule for example goes like this, from 6am-12pm fasting, drinking water or tea only, from 12pm-8pm I consume 1-2 meals and lots of water, and after 8pm I’m fasting again only drinking water or tea again until noon the next day.  So you see the 16/8 method is very simple although it may seem tough starting out. The key is to base the concept around your personal schedule and find out what works best for you.

The concept of intermittent fasting has been around for well over five decades, however it isn’t as popular as I think it should be especially considering the benefits and the logic behind it. But for some reason American society has taught us that we need to eat 3 meals a day (plus snacks), which if you think about it doesn’t really make any sense. Your body doesn’t even have enough time in between meals to fully digest and break down the food. It takes between 6-8 hours for an average meal (protein, grains, and veggies/fruit) to fully digest, from mouth to rectum. So while one meal is just starting the digestion process, here we go piling more and more on top. Our addictions to food on demand, added preservatives, artificial sugars, highly processed foods, and a million other unnecessary chemicals being added to our food are reasons why we all should consider intermittent fasting. Let’s take a minute and think about it, if your bath tub is full do you running the water? Nope! You have to empty or drain it before you can start properly using it again. And the same rules apply for your body, it takes more than just a trip to the bathroom to completely empty or reboot your body’s system. Like everything else that consumes energy, your body also needs a break from working.

5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  1. An increase in the growth of new neurons, protecting the brain from damage, also increasing memory skills.
  2. A major increase of energy because your body is no longer being overworked or weighed down by excessive amounts of food.
  3. Boosts fat burning and improve metabolic efficiency.
  4. Helps to improve overall immunity health.
  5. Lower risks for diseases and even has been linked to reversing diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.

 

3 Easy & Fulfilling Plant-based Lunch/Dinner Ideas

I’m back with some more bomb plant-based recipes! Eating is about allowing your tastebuds to explore and enjoy different cuisines and flavors. There’s way too many recipes waiting to be created, on top of the millions already out there. Nothing beats a home cooked meal and when it’s filled with natures garden not only does it satisfy your tastebuds but your body benefits as well! Take a step into the kitchen with me and get started with some fresh ideas that your tastebuds have been waiting for. With all the flavor packed ideas I have coming your way I am more than positive that I can make you forget all about consuming animal products. Let’s create healthy habits and eat to live!

Tikka Masala—- Hands down one of my favorite meals! This Indian cuisine will have leave you wondering why you never tried it before. Chunky veggies covered in a tomato-y, savory, creamy sauce that’s slightly sweet but also packed with lots of spices and herbs on top of steamed rice with side of naan bread…I can’t even think of a word to describe this meal!

Veggie Spring Rolls & Sweet & Sour Soup—- Spring Rolls and sweet-spicy soup are my   go-to! Perfect as a snack, lunch or dinner. The light crispy crunch of well seasoned stir-fried veggies wrapped in a thin flaky crust along the side of some hot, fresh hot and sour soup…yum!

Falafel Wrap & Fries—- Falafel by it’s self is already good, but dressed up with some veggies, tahini sauce, stuffed in a warm pita wrap with a side of fries (sweet or regular)…ah-maz-ing! Deep fried (can also be baked) patties made from chickpeas mixed with scallions, red onions, parsley, cumin, garlic, etc. The scrumptious combination of herbs and spices topped with a tangy creamy tahini sauce is unmatched!

Click the link below for full recipes:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kyGhrLiS1uJzKAQwStDvxZevcPN8f1-Yrwy6v6PVf3Q/edit?usp=sharing

P.S.: Tell your tastebuds I said you’re welcome!

 

Choosing the “Diet” for Your Lifestyle

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, lactovarian, fruitarian, pescatarian, or have no preference, a diet isn’t something that should be equated to a temporary intake or quick fix to lose/gain weight. Your diet should be your way of life, in other words it should be consistent and beneficial. I personally think that we should throw away this whole idea of “going on diets” and transition our intake to foods that are more reasonable and responsible. Your diet should consists of foods that makes you comfortable (tastes good & makes you feel good), caters to your health, and provides a balance to your digestive system. Labeling yourself as vegan, vegetarian, or whatever doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily “eating right” or that you even feel 100% good about the decision that you made. At the end of the day the food that you consume should benefit you, be eaten in moderation, and shouldn’t make you feel bad or create side effects. And by side effects I mean acne (most commonly caused by sodas, white bread & rice, & dairy), high blood pressure (most commonly caused by fried food, sodium filled food & canned food), and digestive issues (most commonly caused by red meats, dairy products & high amounts of fructose). What we eat not only affects our bodies, but our minds and spirits are heavily influenced as well. So you should always take into consideration the foods you choose to intake because they certainly play a major role in the future of your health, just saying! Which is why transitioning to the plant-based diet is the most realistic, comfortable, beneficial, and effortless decision that one can make. Think about it, by going plant-based you don’t have to restrict yourself to certain foods or even refrain from the ones you enjoy (just as long as you eat it occasionally or at MAX in moderation). To be plant-based simply means that you’re eating MOSTLY delicious, naturally grown products given to us from our bountiful and beautiful earth (beans, grains and oats, nuts, fruits, vegetables, soy, etc) but with a the option of flexibility. Basically you won’t have to cut off animal products but definitely cut back on them. If you’re someone who eats meat or any animal product (milk, cheese, eggs, honey, etc) everyday then start by going a few days without them, and eventually attempt to only eating animal based products a few times a month or every once in a while (every couple of months or so). It’s challenging (only in the in the beginning), but not impossible. Remember that your health is wealth, and that without it you won’t be worth a damn, (I said what I said🤷🏽‍♀️)!

 

Need help with plant-based recipes?

Use the search bar below and type in “recipes” for some of my favorite plant-based meals, feel free to add your spin on them!

 

Tomayto, Tomahto: 5 Undeniably Tasty Tomato Based Recipes

Before we get started…question! Have you really heard anyone pronounce tomato like “tomahto”? Yeah me neither lol. But no matter how you pronounce it, nothing can take away from the savory, tangy, deliciousness of this lovely “fruit” we call the tomato! Thanks to tomatoes we have pizza, pasta sauces, better salads, chunky chili, and several delicious dips, just to name a few things! But I have to be honest here for a quick second, growing up I could NOT stand tomatoes lol. Aside from ketchup, I would not eat anything with tomatoes in it. But as I grew older somehow my taste buds started to evolve and I can now happily say that I love them, mostly cooked though; I still can’t eat too many raw lol smh but hey baby steps right? After giving them a second chance I realized that they can be used in many ways and I thought it’d be cool to share a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them along with detailed recipes! Click the link below 😋

  1. Spicy pico de gallo & tortilla chips
  2. Creamy tomato & sweet basil pasta sauce
  3. Fried green tomatoes with vegan ranch
  4. Stewed tomato spinach grits
  5. Ricotta tomato toast (can be made vegan)

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ThbcgvD2l7lpuPzkemtvLQjhP3oGPEUIlH5oICmp5jU/edit?usp=sharing

The Versatility of Beans/Peas/Lentils: 6 Un”bean”lievable Recipies

The legume family, also known as bean, pea & lentil family are an affordable source of protein, fiber, and vitamins that also happens to offers many health benefits. Such as being natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, stabilizing blood glucose levels, reducing digestive issues, lowering cholesterol, and providing zinc, iron, magnesium, and fiber. And on top of all the many benefits, they’re so versatile and delicious! Oh, the tasty things you can do with beans/peas/lentils. The endless possibilities, limitless flavor combinations, and the guarantee of a filling satisfactory ending. 100% natural, gluten-free, (unless you’re eating canned beans…another topic for another day) yet savory, scrumptious, and nutritious. From old fashioned red beans & rice to garlic n’ herb string beans to spicy black bean burgers to curried lentils to mediterranean style roasted chickpea salads, to teriyaki glazed sugar snap peas, the bean, lentil, & pea family can be used as a protein replacement in almost any meal you can think of. I just made you hungry huh? Well no worries, I won’t leave you hanging. Allow me to share with you a few recipes that you will want to make, then fall in love with & end up wanting to share with the world!

Click the link below to full recipes and instructions:

  1. Old fashioned red beans & rice
  2. Garlic & herb string beans
  3. Spicy black beans burgers
  4. Curried lentils
  5. Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad
  6. Teriyaki glazed snap peas

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PimCkZPyjh3OOSCF0oVB2VnvVgKs4yvXaRlpZxv34Ps/edit?usp=sharing

Why You Should Be Eating More Colorful Foods

Every day we should be “tasting the rainbow” and no not from a bag of skittles. The color of each fruit and vegetable has a direct connection to the many benefits and nutrients packed inside of them. The most colorful foods are known to strengthen your immune system, stabilize PH balances, reduce digestive problems and for being the most detoxifying. Our bodies benefit from variety and utilize everything consumed so be good to your body and eat all of your colors. Be sure that you’re eating foods based on them being in seasons (when they are the brightest and ripest) to guarantee that you’re getting the maximum nutritional value and of course the best flavor! Below I’ve listed my favorite fruits and vegetables of each color group along with a few benefits. Brighten your plate and your health will brighten as well 🙂

Blues/Purples: Blackberries, blueberries, plums, grapes, red cabbage, eggplant, beets, etc.

The fruit and vegetables of the darker tint are known to be filled with the most antioxidants (super-foods). They’re good for reducing inflammation, strengthening cells, and promoting the brain and heart functions.

Oranges/Yellows: Papaya, oranges, mango, apricot, carrots, squash, pumpkin, yams, etc.

These fruit and vegetables are essential to the health of your retina and other parts of the eyes (linked to improving vision). They also help improve joint and bone health (arthritis, carpal tunnel, cracking knees, etc) and supports the immune system (packed with vitamin C).

Whites: bananas, pear & apple flesh, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushroom, etc.

Although these fruit and vegetables don’t necessarily have a color they are just as important. They are known for reducing cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body, and most importantly for containing natural cancer-fighting agents (specifically garlic and onion).

Greens: Kiwi, honeydew, lime, broccoli, leafy greens (spinach/kale/lettuce), zucchini, etc.

The fruits and vegetables of the greenish tint are full of chlorophyll, which helps to create more blood cells and detox your blood, eliminate funguses and bad odors, energize your body,  and so much more. Green is the color of life and should be a major part of your diet, being that it’s the MOST beneficial of the color groups.

Reds: Strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, red peppers, etc.

Red fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin A and C. They’re full of folic acid which is a good intake for reducing birth defects and complications. Reds are a good source of fiber and potassium, helping with the digestive system and creating more electrolytes improving mood and energy levels.

Benefits of Raw Eating|5 Snack/Meal Ideas

Taking a break (3-7 full days minimum) from processed and cooked foods at least every other month is something that you should really take into consideration. Now allow me to give you a few reasons why; a raw diet helps to reverse chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it reduces heartburn, gas, constipation, and indigestion, it increases energy levels, it gives you the full amount of needed nutrients, it strengthens the immune system, it balances PH levels, it clears skin, and so much more, the benefits are infinite! A raw diet consists of uncooked, fresh, dried, sprouted or fermented vegetables and fruit, grains, seeds, nuts, smoothies, and water. When you’re on a raw food diet it gives your digestive system a break from having to work so hard, and it also gives you a lot more energy because you are now preserving enzymes. Your PH levels start to naturally correct themselves because of all the antioxidants, alkaline, and nutrients your blood system now has access to. Your skin becomes clearer because the raw diet is helping to reduce inflammation and opening up clogged pores. The higher fiber intake reduces any digestive issues such as constipation and gas. Many raw vegetables and roots, specifically broccoli, garlic, and ginger contain natural cancer-fighting and blood pressure lowering properties and compounds that won’t be as productive if the foods are cooked. When you cook vegetables whether it’s by boiling, sauteing, steaming, or grilling, the vegetable becomes 22-34% less nutritious. Once vegetables reach a high temperature the nutrients, vitamins, fibers, and minerals immediately start to diminish. The same goes for grains and oats, they are the most beneficial and nutritious when consumed raw. You have nothing to lose by giving your body a break and consuming food just as nature provides it, natural, raw, unseasoned, and without oil. It’s the perfect diet for weight loss, stops cravings, raises your spiritual awareness (we’ll talk more about this another time), and it’s awesome for the environment! So the next time you’re feeling clogged up this diet would be a great way to detox and give your body a good flush and re-boost. Below I have listed a few of my favs along with a link for the recipes, feel free to re-make them and let me know how they turn out!

5 of my Favorite Raw Meal/Snack Ideas:

  1. Smoothies, Smoothie Bowls, Smoothie Pops
  2.  Apple-Peanut Butter Granola Bars
  3. Raw Veggies Dipped in Tzatziki sauce
  4. Raw Taco Wraps
  5. Sweet Chili Cauliflower Bites

For complete recipes to these snacks/meals click the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOgnUSzDC9gYAKgDnRXrPORI0CM3jVBU44nBhtSsCMw/edit?usp=sharing

How to stick to your diet…For real this time!

When I first transitioned into this plant-based lifestyle for some reason I was always hungry, or so I thought.  When really I was just so used to eating whenever I wanted, whatever I wanted, and however I wanted. Basically, I had no control over my eating schedule or intake and once I tried something new my digestive system was very confusing. I felt like I was starving myself but I decided to stay strong through the process. As the days went by I realized that by putting myself on a schedule, implementing more nutritious meals/snacks, and a lot more water that it was all in my mind. It wasn’t hunger I was feeling, it was my body detoxing itself from the previous damage I’d allowed for so long. I was going through I guess what you can describe as “withdraws”; my body was craving the sugar, the excessive salt, and all the other crap I was eating non-stop. Each time I wanted to give up or have a cheat day I had to remind myself that eating healthier is a reward to my body, essentially just another form of self-care. Like anything new, it will take some time to become fully adjusted and there are going to be uncomfortable moments, but this is where your mental strength will shine through. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy but that’s only in the beginning, it will be more than worth it once you make it past the first couple of months. You’ll notice the change in both your mental and physical states, you’ll find yourself spending less money, you’ll have more positive energy, and who knows you may even motivate someone else to make a change in their habits as well! Below you will find that I’ve put together 5 tips on how to stick to your diet. I hope these help some of you, remember that it’s mind over matter and that eating healthier is not a punishment but a reward. Tune in next week for more recipes!

5 tips for sticking to your diet

  1. Make an eating schedule, try sticking to it the best that you can. Eat your last meal of the day before 9/10pm.  (9/10pm is being generous, that’s still pretty late. Eating late is not the best idea…for me personally, that’s when all the cravings kick in so save yourself from temptation.)
  2. Implement snacks in between meals (Don’t go overboard with this one, eat light snacks like fruit, nuts, or raw veggies with dip.)
  3. Drink MORE water (Can’t stress this one enough, liquid fills you up and “tricks” your stomach into feeling full.)
  4. Eat every meal sitting down, and eat slower. Take time to really chew and enjoy your food. Eating fast just makes you feel hungry again within 10-15 minutes. (Also remove distractions when eating! Watching a movie, scrolling through social media, reading a book, etc. while eating tends to make you eat faster, just simply enjoy your meal.)
  5. Keep yourself inspired and motivated by trying new recipes, getting into the kitchen more, partnering up with a friend/spouse/family member, and keeping a log/record of your meals. (Mix it up, don’t keep eating the same boring salad over and over there are millions of recipes to take advantage of.)

Smoothie Bowls & Gluten Free Pancakes

I haven’t dedicated a post to breakfast yet and just randomly decided to choose this week to do so. I am a big breakfast person, I have to eat or at least drink a smoothie before starting my day. I don’t always have time to eat the type of breakfast I would like but when I do these two (Smoothie Bowls and Pancakes) are my favorite to eat. They are super simple to make and heavenly to consume! 100% healthy and 100% tasty guaranteed. I love taking foods as simple as these and dressing them up with all types of toppings and interchangeable ingredients to keep from getting bored with the recipes. Find the recipes for these below! 😋😋😋

Smoothie Bowls:

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup of almond milk sweetened or unsweetened (water, rice milk, hemp milk, etc any type of milk you want to use)
  2. 1 cup of spinach (or desired greens)
  3. 1 frozen banana (unpeeled)
  4. 1 cup of desired frozen fruit (I prefer berries or kiwis & strawberries)
  5. Toppings: nuts, seeds, sliced fruit, granola, coconut flakes, etc….(options are endless)

Instructions:

  1. Put milk/water, greens, and fruits in blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour evenly into a bowl
  4. Use a spoon to smooth it out
  5. Place toppings on top of smoothie mixture
  6. Grab a spoon and enjoy

Gluten Free Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/4 cup of GF flour
  2. 1 tbsp of sugar (brown or white)
  3. 1/2 tsp of GF baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp of salt
  5. 1 tbsp of vanilla extract (optional)
  6. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  7. 1 cup of almond milk (water or desired milk)
  8. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  9. 1 smashed banana (optional, add 1/4 more almond milk if too thick)
  10. Margarine (vegan) or butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon into a large bowl
  2. Add milk/water, banana, vanilla extract, olive oil
  3. Mix until evenly combined
  4. Heat skillet or griddle to medium heat
  5. Add margarine/butter and allow for it to bubble
  6. Add pancake mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes
  7. Flip pancake and allow other side to cook
  8. Remove from heat and plate
  9. Add toppings such as fruit, nuts, syrup/agave, and enjoy

Salty, Sweet, Crunchy, Guilt-free Goodness

Ok, so last week I let you all in on a little secret of mine! Yes, I too eat junk food from time to time but the point of that post was just to relate to those who are reluctant to make the transition into plant-based eating. So yes although those snacks listed on my previous post are considered junk-food they are still in fact made without any meat or dairy products. Now this I would like to introduce two of my healthier favorite go-to snacks, sea salted maple popcorn and dark chocolate drizzled peanut butter granola bars. Both packed than enough flavors to satisfy your snack cravings, easy recipes that won’t take much time, and inexpensive ingredients! Simple, healthy, and delicious, sounds like the perfect snacks to me, don’t you agree? Um hm, I knew you would. 🙂 Below you will find the ingredients and instructions on how to prepare both of these delightful snacks!

Sea Salted Sweet Maple Popcorn

Ingredients: 2/3 cups of plain popcorn kernels, 1/3-1/2 cups of butter (use margarine or oil of choice if vegan), 3-4 tbsp of original maple syrup, pinch or 2 of sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot melt 1/3-1/2 cups of butter or margarine on medium heat
  2. Add 3-4 tbsp of maple syrup and a large pinch of sea salt (more can be added later)
  3. Use a spoon to mix everything and wait until the mixture starts to foam
  4. Once it foams add the popcorn kernels and cover pot for 4-7 minutes
  5. Shake the pot regularly so that kernels cook evenly
  6. Take lid off and allow popcorn to cool for 1-2 minutes and enjoy

Add more sea salted syrup if desired, simply recreate mixture in a pot and pour over popcorn, allow to settle and enjoy.

 

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Granola Bars (no baking required)

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of nuts (finely chopped if you can find if not combined all desired nuts and gently smash with a hammer or canned good), 1/4 seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, etc.), 1/4 cups dried fruits (optional), as many chocolate chips as you’d like (optional…dark chocolate if vegan), a pinch of salt salt, 1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, maple syrup, or honey), 2/3 cups of peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Mix oats, seeds, chocolate chips, and dried fruit in a large bowl
  2. In another bowl mix together nut butter, sweetener, and salt
  3. Pour second mixture into oat mixture, and mix well until everything is sticky and combined. (if too dry, add more sweetener)
  4. Scoop and press mixture well into a shallow baking dish, lined with foil or saran wrap
  5. Drizzle with chocolate sauce or syrup
  6. Cover with more foil/saran, and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours
  7. Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refrigerated till ready to eat

 

The bars will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge and one week if left out. Keep covered at all times to remain freshness! I hope you enjoy these easy to make healthy but delicious snacks.

 

       Happy snacking!

My Top 40 “Accidentally Vegan” Snacks

If you thought being vegan just meant eating fruits, vegetables, and rice then you’re in for a real surprise. LOL, I actually know a lot of unhealthy and even obese vegans. Just because someone isn’t consuming animal products doesn’t mean that they are always eating healthy. For example, speaking for myself here…I love chips, and all types of chips not just plain potato chips or tortilla chips! I love a flavorful crunch and I couldn’t imagine a world without chips, or snacks at all. Once I decided to make the transition to plant-based eating I thought my options were going to be limited to maybe 2-3 varieties of chips but after doing a littler research I was happy to find out that I was wrong. Not only can I enjoy chips, crackers, french fries, etc but I can also satisfy my sweet tooth with cookies, brownies, candy and even ice cream without cheating on my diet! Below you will find a list (my top 40) of a large variety of well known snacks that aren’t advertised as vegan but I can reassure you that they are.

  1. Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
  2. Original Lays & Original Pringles
  3. BBQ & Salt & Vinegar Lays Potato Chips
  4. Cracker Jack Caramel Popcorn
  5. Original & BBQ Fritos
  6. Ritz Crackers
  7. Cap’n Crunch (all flavors..yay)
  8. Keebler Original Club Crackers
  9. Wheat Thins (Buffalo, Hint of Salt, Zesty Salsa, etc)
  10. Wise Onion Rings
  11. Tortilla Chips (Original & Lime)
  12. Snyders Original & Jalapeno Pretzel Sticks
  13. Smartfood Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
  14. Original Sunchips
  15. Kettle  Brand Chips (Maple Bacon…yep I promise, Jalapeno, Red Curry, etc)
  16. Stacy’s Pita Chips (Simply Naked, Italian, Veggie Medley)
  17. McCormick Bac’n Bits (I know I’m not the only one who eats these plain LOL)
  18. Hairbo Sour S’ghetti Gummy Candy
  19. Swedish Fish
  20. Sour Patch Kids
  21. Fruit by the Foot Rollups
  22. Airheads
  23. Jollyranchers
  24. Super Bubble Bubble Gum
  25. Keebler Fudge Shoppe Fudge Pops
  26. Charms Sweet Lollipops
  27. Minute Maid Frozen Juice Bars
  28. Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
  29. Nabisco Ginger Snaps
  30. Oreo Thin Crips
  31. Unfrosted Poptarts
  32. Nature Valley Granola Bars
  33. Belvita Chocolate Bites
  34. Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix
  35. Smuckers Uncrustables
  36. Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate & Vanilla Frosting
  37. Jello-O Banana Cream Pudding Mix (perfect for banana pudding)
  38. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (I’m not ashamed to say that I can eat the entire package for breakfast)
  39. Ben & Jerry’s Dairy-free Ice cream (if you haven’t tried these then please do, you won’t regret it!)
  40. Hershey’s Chocolate & Strawberry Syrup

That’s just a list of personal favorites, there are many other snacks and frozen foods that are “accidentally vegan”. See, told you that just because something doesn’t contain meat or dairy that is isn’t good…I bet you’ve been eating vegan snack all along and didn’t even know it lol ;). Now I’m not saying you should eat these snacks all the time but I’m just letting you know that having a vegan or plant-based diet does not mean you have any limits.

To find out about more vegan snacks and food visit http://www.peta.org , warning you will be surprised!

The Magical Meat Replacement…Jackfruit!

Oh Jackfruit 😉 my guilty pleasure! Never in a lifetime would I have even imagined using a fruit to replace meat but please believe me when I say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten….EVER! This magical fruit will literally save your life if you’re looking for a cheat code into the plant-based lifestyle. It can be used as a meat replacement in all of your favorite meals such as tacos, pulled “pork” sandwiches, wraps, nachos, roast “beef”, etc the options are endless. Jackfruit is also is very easy to cook and doesn’t take up much time at all to prepare which is another plus!

Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, Wrap, Tacos, etc.

Ingredients:

Canned jackfruit in brine (drain, rinse and remove seeds)

Salt

Pepper

Seasoned salt (add other seasonings according to meal)

Bbq sauce of choice, taco sauce, gravy, etc (according to meal)

olive oil

Instructions:

1.Open can(s), drain jackfruit, rinse in warm water, remove any seeds.

2. Cut pieces into halves.

3. Place in bowl and season with salt, pepper, seasoned salt etc.

4. Pour 1-2 table spoons of olive oil in bowl then mix the jackfruit around until it’s covered evenly in seasonings and oil.

5. Prepare as you normally prepare your meal. Be cautious that if using a skillet to cook the jackfruit (for example when making tacos) that it doesn’t need to cook long ( so simmer on a medium low heat and add more sauce (or whatever) periodically.

6. Once jackfruit is finished cooking take two forks and further shred it if it is not already shredded to your liking.

Jackfruit can be cooked in the oven, slow cooker, or in a skillet. After “saucing it up” add desired toppings, along with your favorite side and viola! You’re on your way to enjoying one of the best plant-based meals you’ve ever had in your life! If you have any left overs they can be frozen and of course can be turned into another meal of choice 🤤. I can go on and on about jackfruit because I just love how limitless this miraculous plant can be but I’ll stop here. Don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself. Jackfruit can be found in almost any grocery store on the canned fruit aisle. Remember to get the kind in brine and NOT syrup. Comment results below!

3 Delicious Meatless Fall Recipes

Eating plant-based is not only salads and smoothies…the possibilities are literally endless! You have no idea how many times I hear “I don’t see how you get full eating only vegetables” or “vegan/ vegetarian food is boring or nasty” along with one million other uneducated closed-minded comments. When I first started eating plant-based it was actually much easier than I expected! I simply recreated my favorite meals by including more fresh ingredients and excluding the processed ingredients such as dairy products, canned foods, and etc. So not only is the food I cook and consume comforting and fulfilling but it’s also fresh and if I say so myself delightful.

I’ve put together 3 fulfilling meal yet simple recipes guaranteed to make your tastebuds smile this Fall season…thank me later 😉

  1. Mexican Inspired 3-Bean Chili

Ingredients: 1/2 cup of Kidney beans, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup of pinto beans (soak beans overnight before, it’s ok to soak them all together), 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of tomato puree, 1 tbsp of olive oil 1 packet of chili powder, paprika, cayenne , salt, pepper, 2-3 medium tomatoes diced, 1 finely chopped clove fresh garlic, 1 finely chopped small onion, 1 cup of corn (frozen or freshly cut from cob), jalapeños (optional), 1/3-1/2 cup of fresh bell peppers (red, orange, yellow or green any will do)

Instructions: Serves 3-4

  1. After boiling beans, drain excess water and pour into a bowl for later.
  2. Heat a large wide pan on medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers to oil and sauté for about 10 mins.
  3. Add tomato puree and stir for 30-60 seconds, then add cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper to taste and stir fry for about one minute.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, corn and soy sauce, bring to a simmer, cover and leave on low heat for 10-20mins, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, beans, packet of chili powder, corn, and jalapeños then stir and bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until beans are hot. Keep an eye on the chili and add a couple of tbsp of water if it starts to become dry.

Add toppings if desired and enjoy!

2. Veggie Shepherd’s Pie (Pot Pie)

Ingredients:  Store bought or home made biscuits or pie crust, 1/2 of cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk, 1 cup of chopped mushrooms, 1 small onion chopped, 1 clove of garlic chopped, 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn, 2 small potatoes peeled and diced, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas, 1 chopped celery stalk, 4 cups of vegetable broth (store bought stock or boil 4 cups of water with a few bullion cubes), 1 bay leaf, 2 tbsp of margarine, 3 tbsp of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of unbleached flour, seasoned salt to taste.

Instructions: Serves 4

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat then add garlic, onion, mushrooms, a pinch of salt of pepper and then stir for about 3 mins.
  3. After stirring add carrots, celery, and potato and saute’ them until tender,  so about 5-8 mins then add flour.
  4. Slowly mix in the broth, then add almond milk and bay leaf and stir well.
  5. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook until it thickens, about 5-7 mins.
  6. After mixture starts to thicken add peas and corn, seasoned salt to taste, and cook for an additional 5 mins then take from heat and let settle.
  7. Roll out the dough or biscuit and cut into 4 equal pieces. Place the dough flatly on base of mini pan, or if using a cup or bowl to make individuals cover inside with dough (if there is excess trim off and use for the top covering)
  8. Once pan(s) are lined with dough add filling to each and add more dough on top.
  9. Press the edges slightly and brush the tops of the dough with melted margarine and cut 1-3 slits in the top for venting.
  10. Place the pan in oven and bake until the dough is a flaky golden brown for about 45-40 mins.

Allow pie(s) to cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy! ( If there is left over filling it may be frozen)

3. Creamy rosemary tomato soup 

Ingredients: 12 small tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes), 3 gloves of peeled garlic, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/3 of hot water, 1/3 cup of almond, coconut or soy milk, 3 tbsp of margarine, salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste.

Instructions: Serves 2-3

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, remove any hard sections and place on baking sheet evenly spread out
  3. Add rosemary and garlic cloves, then sprinkle salt, pepper, and onion powder on the pan and drizzle with olive oil all over.
  4. Roast the tomatoes, rosemary and garlic for 35-40 mins (the tomatoes should look very soft and should be starting to turn brown)
  5. Add tomatoes, garlic, juices from pan, hot water, almond milk, and margarine to a blender and blend until it is completely pureed.
  6. Boil 1/3 -1/2 cup of water or milk depending on the flavor and thickness you’re going for and add mixture from blender to the boiling water/milk along with more pepper, salt, and onion powder if desired.

Allow soup to cool and enjoy with toast or crackers on the side.

If you decide to try a recipe make sure you comment and let me know how if turned out for you!

Transitioning into healthier habits

Eating “right” is hard…that statement alone should be motivation to eat how we were always meant to but if not let me just say this here; yes eating healthy can be challenging but when has taking the easy way out ever benefited you?  We have to remember that just because something tastes good doesn’t make it good for you. I’m sure you know that so hey whenever you’re ready feel free to join the journey! We can take baby steps just as long as you’re willing to make the change. I will be here every step of the way! Stay tuned for a variety of recipes and snack ideas that your body will thank you for while also satisfying your tastebuds 😋

Here’s 5 tips to start you off into your plant-based lifestyle:

  1. Drink more water if you aren’t already (feel free to add fruit for flavor if you are not a big water drinker)
  2. Dedicate 1 day a week to being dairy and meat free (no animal products for example milks, cheeses, butters, and the obvious flesh…including seafood)
  3. Implement fresh fruit into your daily intake, start your day off light with just fruit and water.
  4. Choose healthier snacks such a granola, nuts, seeds, unsalted popcorn, dried fruit, etc.
  5. Instead of frying choose other methods such as grilling, steaming, baking or broiling.