Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

5 Tips on How to Become a Vegetarian or Vegan in 2018

There are two theories on setting resolutions for the New Year: 1. Yaaass honey fresh start clean slate I’m gonna slay this year, or 2. Ahem, you shouldn’t have to wait 365 days to start a new resolution. I hear you both. But there is something especially special (redundant?) about January 1st this year…it lands on a Monday. What’s more resolutiony than that? Whether you decided to stop eating meat (yay you!) On November 25th or want to start fresh at the beginning of a new year, more power to you! It never matters when you start, it just matters that you start a change and most importantly, that you stick to it. Here are 5 steps to help you become a vegetarian or vegan so that you can make 2018 better not only for you, but for the plant and all the animals on it.

Step 1: Tell Everyone

There is absolutely zero shame in you wanting to a) better your health and b) better the planet. The latter is pretty much the foundation of every religion, right? And no one will bash you for what you believe in (go away trolls!). And if you do happen to deal with those negative naysayers who make fun of “vegan food” or act negative around you, just shroud it out with your good vibes cause that’s all you’re putting out and lettin’ in sistah. Some show on Blue’s Clue’s (hi, 80s baby here) told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. If you’ve tried to nicely explain your way of life or amazing decision to stop eating meat to someone and they just don’t get it…move on. You do you.

Step 2: Expect Bumps In the Road

Giving something up is never easy. If you’ve eaten meat your whole life, it’s hard to go cold turkey. Know that you may have a setback here or there but one setback isn’t the catalyst to failure. Just get back on the buggy.

Step 3: Educate Yourself

Piggybacking on step 2, the main reason most people fail at resolutions, regardless of what it is, is because they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Someone may want to lose weight because they just want to be skinny and may get there the unhealthy way. Setting up a resolution should come from a desire for change. If you want to become vegetarian or vegan, but aren’t sure why or what to say when people ask you why, then it’s time to educate yourself! Once you feel compassionate about your cause, your resolution becomes less of a goal and more of an intrinsic belief. Check out numerous documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, get a vegan starter kit from PETA, and follow inspirational social media influencers to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.

Step 4: Plan for Success

You may be stuck on your daily ham and cheese sandwich for lunch or chicken and broccoli for dinner. As with every resolution, becoming vegetarian does need some work, but minimal at best. Googling vegetarian versions of your favorite recipes, new recipes all together, finding inspirational meal planners on social media or YouTube, these are all things that can help you plan for success.

The easiest way to start is to take a weekend and meal prep 2-3 vegetarian meals or vegan meals you can use for lunch and or dinner. It’s as easy as even preparing the ingredients you need to pull the meal together in minutes once you get home from work or after picking the kids up from school.

I have some What I Ate Wednesday videos on my YouTube channel with ideas to get you going!

Step 5: Enjoy the Journey

This resolution you set to not eat meat shouldn’t be a stressful one. Your body takes about a month to detox all the blood, spirit and chemicals from the meat products you’ve eaten over the years. Expect withdrawals, bad skin (a part of detox) which turns into amazing skin, stress and pressure. But all this in such a small period of time will lead to your best self.

Please always consult your physician before making any drastic physical or dietary changes.

Question of the Day

What is your resolution for the New Year?

I’m giving up processed sugar of any kind for the month of January. If all goes well, then another month after that and so forth.

Uncategorized, Vegan Food

Low-Calorie Vegan “Meat” Substitutes

When I first went vegan on January 2016, I couldn’t stay away from carbs. I ate broccoli and rice almost every day and a lot of pasta…and let me tell you where all this carbo-loading went (I put Kim K’s butt to shame). It took me anywhere between 2-6 months to really figure out a balance in my “diet”, air quotes because ya’ll know it’s a lifestyle. Part of this balance is finding “junk” food and sometimes wanting a little more than your faithful greens. Ya girl can only eat so much broccoli without turning green [P.S. it’s kinda true–my husband ate so many carrots as a baby he turned orange.] So to change it up, I opted for some vegan meats. Now while I like to stay as clean and as few ingredients as possible, these little patties, balls and strips (Las Vegas club name?) make salads just a bit more fun when you need to change it up. FYI you can get all of these vegan meats at Trader Joe’s!

12.13post2

1. California Veggie Burgers

If you like veggie patties or want to make more delicious burgers, opt for these low-calorie, nutrition-packed vegan patties (see the little circle with the heart on the bottom?). While they don’t taste like meat, they don’t taste like squashed veggies either. Something about them is so tasty!

Not so Secret Tip: If you do want the look and taste of meat, Beyond Burger patties are EV-UH-REE-THING. I’m getting them again this Friday and will talk about them on Monday, in case you were considering them ^_-.

Calories: 120

Highlight: Cleaner than most other patties (Veggie Masala Patty is a close contender)

2. Chickenless Crispy Tenders

12.13post1

These are so delish. If ya’ll want to add a bit of something naughty to your salads, add these dumplings that are FAR from meat! Or if you want to trick your friends, these do the trick too 😉

Calories: 150 for 3 chicken tenders

Highlight: They’re hella tasty. Like dang yum yum. Unfortunately, one serving has 7g of fat, which is pretty dang high. Most should aim for 0-4g of fat per serving.

3. Meatless Meatballs

Related image
PC: PinchofLovely

Now the above picture isn’t of the Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs, but it’s a recipe where you make your own. Now if you don’t have time to make your own, sub those kinds of recipes with these “meatballs” and you’ll be good as vegan gold. Also, if you miss spaghetti and meatballs, I got yo back! These work great with tomato sauce or also make a great addition to salads. I’ve even made them just as snacks, and they’re great for that too.

Calories: 140 for 6 meatballs

Highlight: It’s good for those on a low-calorie diet. These are the best of the worst products for you, because it’s high in sodium and highly-processed.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite naughty “meats”? Share!

 blog-signature

Vegan Food

What is Maca Powder & How to Use It

Always consult your doctor before considering new additions or supplements to your diet.

Maca powder. It sounds like the name of an ancient ruler and looks like dirt. So why is everyone going crazy over this finely milled powder? You don’t have to maca me tell you! #nerdlife #veganpuns

What is Maca? Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains. It is a relative of the radish and has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in this area for at least 3,000 years. – Webmd

Maca1Maca powder has a sweet-ish smell, reminiscent of butterscotch. You can easily use it in place of cocoa powder or chocolate. It makes a great addition to protein shakes for a mocha like flavor: Add a tablespoon to some almond milk with a banana and some chocolate protein powder (tsp. of coffee crystals optional), blend it up and MM-mm.

Ok, so it tastes good. I know what you’re thinking, But why do I want to put it in my body. My body is a temple, I mean come on.

Health Benefits of Maca Root Powder

Maca2

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

According to Healthline, maca root is high in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper and iron. Because of these vitamins, it’s a great supplement when used in the right doses for people suffering from anemia.

Helps Balance Hormones

Rich in flavonoids, maca can help reduce anxiety and put you in a better mood. According to Wellnessmama.com, it is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production. Because of it’s composition, it helps balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. Whoa.

Additional Benefits

Since it’s rich in vitamins and because it’s an endocrine adaptogen (throw that in someone’s face today), it’s a hearty root that may also help to*:

  • promote fertility
  • build muscle
  • increase stamina
  • relieve symptoms of menopause
  • boost energy
  • support prostate health
  • increase bone density
  • alleviate depression
  • boost libido
  • balance hormones

What to Look for When Buying Maca Powder

As always, quality matters. Sure you may pay more to get less, but that often means you need to use less, much like matcha powder [what my hubs thought I was talking about this whole time…maca, not matcha ;)]

1 – Date of Harvest

Not unlike other organic goods, you’re going to want to look for powder that’s been harvested within a few months of purchase. This plant can be grown as a perennial, so it really doesn’t have a “season.”

2 – Sealed for Freshness

Make sure it’s vacuum-sealed to preserve it’s quality.

3 – Color

Maca root comes in three different colors, kind of like potatoes. You have purple (black), white and red. The white/cream is the most popular, and so is the most affordable. No shade though, because it still have a high amount of benefits. According to gnowfglins.com:

  • Hormonally, the red (which is the sweetest tasting and has the highest phytonutrient levels) is recommended for women and the black for men.
  • Black is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: muscle building and stamina.
  • Red is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: energy, mental focus, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety/stress, circulation, bone density, hair growth, and acne.

* Bullet list source

Question of the Day

What are your thoughts on maca powder? Have you tried it? Are you interested in trying it? What other natural supplements would you want to learn more about?

Blog Signature