Happy Wednesday, friends! How’s your day so far? It’s gray and bleary out – again. Seriously, sun…can you please show us some love? I think an anti-rain dance needs to happen. Do those even exist?
Rain was pouring when I woke up to start my day. To be honest, I was kind of mad to wake up to rain again. I thought April showers brought May flowers? Pft. I took my anger out on my workout and completed Tone It Up’s Bikini Body MAX Burn and Surfer Girl workouts, followed by one round of the Beach Bum routine. My booty’s going to feel it tomorrow!
After watching Live with Kelly with my Mom and getting ready for the day, I took care of some blog-related tasks before breaking for lunch: wrap style!
I whipped up a batch of curried mock chicken salad and stuffed it into collard leaves and cabbage leaves. This is one of my favorite recipes to make. It’s so delicious and satsifying!
Fighting “Protein Boredom” As a Vegan
I received an excellent question from reader Mary a couple of weeks ago regarding protein boredom as a vegan. Mary said she is sick of eating beans and veggies all the time and needs some help in the variety department. Well, let’s fix that, shall we? After deciding to adopt a vegan lifestyle, we have so many sources of protein to eat, it’s just a matter of planning and thinking a little bit outside the box. Here are my favorite ways:
Wait, what? Yes, vegetables! Just 1/2 cup of raw vegetables has 2 grams of protein. When I make my entrees for lunch and dinner, I typically include anywhere between 4 and 5 cups of vegetables, between dark, leafy greens and other delicious additions. That means I am getting between 8 and 10 grams of protein from vegetables alone – and that’s before I add a protein source. Bottom line: Eat your vegetables and love ‘em! Raw, roasted, stir fried – go crazy!
This is one of my favorite protein additions because it contains all of the essential amino acids – these are the building blocks of protein that we need to obtain from our diet. One serving of quinoa is a great source of high quality protein. I like to bump up the protein factor by adding 2 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast and a little coconut oil to make a thick mass of deliciousness. I also like to add quinoa to stir frys and enjoy it in collard wraps.
Beans, beans – they’re good for your heart…yeah you know the rest. Beans are incredibly versatile! Whip up a quick chili, create homemade bean-based burgers like Gena’s Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers, Sarah’s Black Bean Burgers, or one of these Cooking Light veggie burgers (not all are vegan but you can easily subsitute). I also like to roast a can of organic chickpeas in 1 tbsp coconut oil with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice for an easy salad topping.
People tend to shy away from nuts because of their high fat content but there is NO need to fear the fat! We need fat to protect our cells and preserve our memory. I say bring on the fat! One of my favorite ways to eat at meal time is with Brendan Brazier’s almond-flaxseed burgers from his book Thrive. They take just 5 minutes to make, are absolutely incredible, and are bursting with garlic flavor (warning: reduce to 1 clove of garlic if you’re sensitive to it!). Ani Phyo and Kimberly Snyder also have great entrees that incorporate nuts! Both of their books are great kitchen tools to have on hand.
Organic, non-GMO Soy
I enjoy high-quality soy products roughly 3 to 5 times a week. Like any other foods we eat, when consumed in moderation and variety, it’s perfectly acceptable! (For more info on the safety of soy, click here). I purchase extra-firm tofu and incorporate it into scrambles and bake it. Personally, these are the only ways that I like to enjoy my tofu. You can also buy silken tofu and put it into smoothies for a nice, thick taste! Tempeh is my all-time favorite soy-based protein and you can incorporate it into any of these recipes.
When it comes to processed soy products, with the exception of organic, non-GMO tofu and tempeh and my coveted Sunshine Burgers, I personally try to steer clear of them because I like foods that give me the most energy bang for my buck! Remember that we are all different, though. If you like processed soy products, you are no less of a human being than myself. We just have different ideals – and that’s okay! The key to living a delicious and compassionate vegan lifestyle is to have fun and plan ahead! Planning out your meals for the week really makes everything so much easier. Hope this was of help to you!
I’m off to work my retail job (womp womp). Have a great day!