A Day of Vegan Eats

Hello!

I mentioned that I was doing a Vegan Challenge, and I wanted to go into more detail.  I have struggled with disordered eating in the past, so I do my best not to put too many hard and fast or restrictive rules on my diet (ex: no carbs, no sugar, etc), as to avoid the inevitable binge of previously off limit foods.  So, with that philosophy, a vegan challenge may seem counter intuitive…?  I decided to do this because I realized I needed to clean up my eats, and to be honest, my cousin was telling me about the success she had from her recent vegan challenge.  I was vegetarian for 6 years, only recently adding back meat over the last year, so I am not new to or even concerned with eliminating meat – it’s the dairy, the cheese, the junk, the ice cream – that I need help with.  It’s so true that these foods are legit addictive!  Additionally, deep down inside, I feel that a plant based diet-when done responsibly-is the healthiest diet – for me.  Now, I know not everyone agrees with this, and that’s ok, I’m really only concerned about me.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a 24/7/365 vegan – there will always be holidays or celebrations that I may choose to “treat” myself with something non-vegan. I am a huge proponent of the 80/20 rule, so my intent is to turn this 30 day challenge into something more like an everyday challenge, save for a few select occasions.

ANYway, so far the challenge is going swimmingly.  I really have no complaints and have not had any hard times.  I’ve made it through a weekend (my diet downfall) and a work potluck with flying colors.  I haven’t felt deprived or gotten that anxious-bingy feeling, I actually FEEL great. Oh, and I’ve lost 4 pounds.  I know I’m still new to this, but so far so good.  I wanted to showcase a day of eats and share a fantastic recipe. Here we go.

Today, I had to jet to work early, so I brought breakfast with me (warning: Tupperware ahead).  I made oatmeal with flax seed, maple syrup and date pieces (the highlight of the meal) and coffee with plain coconut milk creamer.

On Sunday I prepared a batch of red beans & rice in the crock pot to have for lunches during the week.

served on a bed of kale

(Unpictured) snacks throughout the day included an apple, almonds, a larabar and some cherries in coconut milk.

Once again, on Sunday, I prepared this lasagna and it was life changing…furreal! Go make this! With whole wheat noodles, tofu and hummus for protein, and kale or spinach (I used kale) – this makes for a delicious and nutritious meal.  Have I mentioned how good this is?!?! SOOO good.  It’s amazing how “cheesy” this dairy-free dish tastes.  Amazing. I am having it for dinner all week.

ridiculously good.

Usually I’ll have a some fruit or candied ginger after dinner.

So, that’s my Vegan day – never hungry, always satisfied.  I can totally do this :)

The Results…

The smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns surely must top the “best smells to wake up to” list – if there was ever a list made.  These cinnamon buns did not disappoint. Seriously, go make these now.

fresh out the oven!

Firm on the outside, gooey on the inside. I didn’t make the icing that was in the recipe- to decrease the sugar content, but instead, smeared the top of one with coconut butter.  Other great toppings could be a nut butter or just straight up (vegan) butter.  Or plain.  You really can’t go wrong.

delicious!

Such an indulgent way to start the morning, and I didn’t feel bad about it afterwards!  To round out my breakfast – or at this point – brunch, I made a smoothie. Into the blender went some almond/coconut milk, banana, blackberries, Vega protein mix, leftover chia seed pudding, and a handful kale.  All my fruit was frozen, so this bad boy was thick! Delicious and nutritious.

purple monster

I have no idea whats up for the rest of the day….ciao!

Vegan Cinnamon Buns

I am doing a 30-ish day (commitment-phob) vegan challange, which is going really well at the moment – but I really wanted to bake something.  Now, I’m very familiar with vegan baking, but wanted something that was guiltfree and somewhat healthy.  I ran across this recipe earlier in the week, and couldn’t get it out of my head.  With whole wheat flour, pumpkin, and not too much sugar, I thought it would be the perfect treat.

the buns – before

I’ve put the buns in the fridge to rise overnight, but if the dough is any indication of the final product -  we have a winner :)

Speaking of the vegan challenge, I’m one week in and it’s going really great!  I thught it would be a really hard transition, but it’s actually been fun to find new vegan foods to eat. This weekend I’ve prepped 2 meals for the week, that will make easy lunches to take to work.  Last week at work we had a team potluck, which is usually a huge downfall for me.  My team loves their cookies and desserts! But, I brought in vegan friendly food for me, and had an amazing lunch of pita with guac and hummus and veggies.

potluck done right

It was the first time I’ve left a potluck not feeling completely gross – winning!  Here’s to week 2 eating vegan!