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Posts tagged “Plant-based diet

The Whole 30: The End

This week I said adieu to The Whole 30 after four long weeks of clean, healthy eating. While I did a “lite” version of this paleo-inspired program which included some additional vegetables & beans since I was excluding meat, I feel as though I was still able to get a good feel for the program.

Pros:

As with my juice cleanse in 2012, I found that one of the major challenges for me at the beginning of The Whole 30 was to think before eating. That may sound like a simple task, but a lot of snacking & munching throughout the day is habit or boredom or automatic rather than actual hunger.

Since this program excludes certain things I was forced to think about what I put into my body more consciously than I do on a regular basis. And that can’t be anything but good! Really listening to my body and asking the right questions was key – Am I really hungry? What is my body asking for? – I was also forced to plan my meals in advance to ensure I was receiving the necessary nutrients.

MacNCheesePlatedE

{Vegan, gluten-free mac n’ cheese & sautéed garlic vegetables}

Cons:

While I did miss some things {namely sweetener in my morning tea & Diet Coke}, I knew I could survive without them for a month. The real con about this program is that it’s not sustainable. It’s a cleanse and intended to be followed only for a short period of time. Living without alllllll fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, beans, and nuts isn’t conceivable if I want to live a full & healthy life.

Physical Benefits:

I already follow a fairly healthy diet, I do most of my own cooking and stay away from synthetic & processed foods, but overall in January I felt even healthier than usual. I woke up easily & was filled with energy, my days were productive and by planning out healthy, protein-rich meals in advance I avoided blood sugar spikes over the course of the day, and – best of all – I slept exceptionally well most nights.

Biggest Benefit:

I spent a great deal of 2012 in the kitchen but I have to admit that I was mostly baking. This month I tried more new recipes than I can remember trying all of last year! I made stew, paella, sautées, stir frys, mac n’ cheese, BBQ Baked Beans, and a couple other tasty new dishes. It was fun to put some real effort into being creative in the kitchen and I really hope to continue with that now that the challenge is over.

Have you ever tried a clean eating program like The Whole 30? What were the worst & best parts?

If you’d like to read about my entire experience with The Whole 30 you can catch up at the following links: The Whole 30: Preparing + Week One, The Whole 30: Week Two, The Whole 30: Week Three & The Whole 30: Week Four.


The Whole 30: Week Four

In this, the fourth and final full week of The Whole 30 challenge, I started to realize just how great I’m feeling. While this clean eating plan isn’t terribly far off from my usual way of eating, it excludes the few synthetic, processed & sweet things that I usually consume. Mostly Diet Coke on weekends, Stevia in my morning green tea, the baked goods that I prepare a few times a month, and the red wine or whiskey I indulge in every once in a while.

And I’m not sure if it’s excluding these things that’s making me feel so much better or just the consistency of my diet lately, but I have been feeling great.

Snacks:

Same old, same old. Fresh veggies, smoothies, and sweet potatoes.

Part of the consistency that I mentioned above is a major reduction in my overall snacking – By consciously filling my meals with substantial amounts of fiber & protein I’m staying full and satiated for longer which means less snacking.

Meals:

My favorite new dish this week was one that I made for brunch last weekend – OhSheGlow’s Maple Baked Lentils w/ Sweet Potatoes. I made a few Whole 30-approved changed and the end result was absolutely delicious. Savory and filling with a hint of sweetness. I was thrilled that I’d made enough for brunch as well as a few mid-week meals for myself.

BakedLentils

Thoughts So Far:

While many things about this way of eating seem like smart ideas that should be extended beyond the 30 days – Such as reduced consumption of alcohol, processed foods, synthetics ingredients – I don’t believe that this is a sustainable all-the-time diet. I’m hoping to continue on when it comes to certain aspects, but such an austere eating plan just plain isn’t fun when it comes to eating out or social events.

How I Feel:

As I said above this cleanse is having quite beneficial results for me. I’m sleeping really well, but more than that, I’m even – Emotionally and physically – Through out the day. Part of that is that I’m not going from starving to overly full because I’m planning my meals out in advance, and part of it is that my blood sugar is stable throughout the day so that there are no highs & lows.

Even = GOOD! 🙂

If you want to catch up on the previous installments of this series here they are: The Whole 30: Preparing + Week One, The Whole 30: Week Two & The Whole 30: Week Three.

Follow my daily struggles, thoughts, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


The Whole 30: Week Three

Here we are at Week Three of The Whole 30 Challenge, which could also be called “I can almost taste the coconut squares.” Yes, I’m already planning my first “non-Whole 30” treat. Judge away.

Snacks:

There was some serious sweet potato-age this week! I barely touched them the first two weeks but this week, in addition to craving them, I was also reading about the positive health benefits of potatoes in Kathleen DesMaisons’s Potatoes Not Prozac {book report to come!}. So this week I ended up eating baked potatoes as snacks and even adding chunks of them to my mornings smoothies.

Yum!

Meals:

A friend came over for dinner Tuesday and I was excited to finally try a recipe that I had printed out the week before – Carrie On Vegan’s BBQ Baked Beans. They turned out great as the entree for our little dinner party with sauteed green beans & asparagus and curried cauliflower on the side.

PlatedI

I’m loving cauliflower right now so if you’re like me and just can’t get enough you should check out Holly Would If She Could’s 5 Things To Do With: CAULIFLOWER and get some new inspiration!

Thoughts So Far:

I had the strangest cravings this week! If someone mentioned a food or if I read about a meal or saw food on TV it as immediately the only thing I could think about. Which is especially odd since I don’t even eat most of those things in the first place. My subconscious clearly just doesn’t like being told “no!”

How I Feel:

Fantastic! I’m sleeping really well, I’m waking up easily and without caffeine, I have energy and concentration throughout the day, and I feel really satiated after my meals. And that smugness Holly promised is really starting to kick in… 🙂

Follow my daily struggles, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


The Whole 30: Week Two

Welcome to Week Two of my experience with The Whole 30 – You can read about Week One here.

The main difference for this second week – and the first full week – was the addition of a weekend. During a standard week I have routines and I plan everything out in advance, however I tend to approach my weekends with a much more lackadaisical attitude. There are more social engagements, meals at restaurants, traveling & events, and during the weekends I’m not as regimented with food & fitness. I like to bake, I drink wine, I allow myself treats at the Farmers Market…

Snacks:

Adammame beans, roasted beet chips, baby carrots, and vegetable based smoothies were all on the docket this week. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was pretty thrilled when I came across the container of ready-to-eat edammame at a health food store in Sacramento.

Meals:

I was still working through my batch of crockpot cauliflower & sweet potato stew this week and I supplemented my meals with coconut oil roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower & zucchini. The other main dish that I made for this week was a delicious Quinoa Vegetable Paella – I substituted lentils for the quinoa – Feeling really proud of myself – And emphasized the veggies I had on hand.

PaellaPan

You know I really enjoy a dish when there isn’t a single picture of it plated – I enjoyed it too much to slow down long enough to take a picture of it!

Thoughts So Far:

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead and cart snacks/meals around with you – Whether it’s going to the office or traveling over the weekends. During this full week it became apparent how important it was for me to bring healthy, satisfying alternatives into the office for midday consumption – Otherwise I binged on the readily available nuts when the snacking urge hit me.

How I felt:

Despite having similar meals each day how much I ate and how often varied from day-to-day. I was surprised to find that some days I was starving in the mornings, while on others I barely ate until the afternoon. This eating plan is alllll about listening to your body & giving it what it needs!

Follow my daily struggles, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Sweet potatoes are a great addition to any healthy diet so you should definitely try out some of these nutritious recipes from Shape Magazine – 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes.

fall detox salad 7422 thumb   Fall Detox Salad + Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Update

OhSheGlow’s Fall Detox Salad is a must try – Filled with Brussels Sprouts, carrots, apple, celery, sunflower seeds, and raisins, it’s as nutritious as it is delicious {also check out this salad as part of the Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up}.

Eating well and living a healthy life doesn’t have to mean giving up all sweets and desserts, you just need to make healthier, smarter choices when you want to indulge – Try FitFluential’s Five Healthier Desserts which include amazing choices like Raspberry Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Pretzels, Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes/Muffins, and Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.

Do you want model-worthy skin? Refinery 29 has the goods – The Surprising Secret To Model-Worthy Skin.

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Finding a great, healthy snack that you love and that’s easy to make is wonderful – One of my favorites recently is Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower.

Fashion:

Interested in spicing up your daily makeup routine? It’s always fun to see what other beauty products are out there and the sort of routines that women go through on a daily basis, so let’s check out how blogger Trop Rouge has set up her makeup routine – Makeup Monday.

Top 9 at 9: A Model’s Must Haves with Lonneke Engel gives you all of model Lonneke Engel’s Fall 2012 picks – From workout gear to sweaters to what her favorite shoes are for Fall.

Ulyana Sergeenko’s dramatic, eye-catching clothes are the perfect pieces for this dreamy Moscow-based photo shoot in the most recent Carine Roitfeld Fashion Book issue – Moscow Walk.

Oxblood is everywhere for Fall 2012 and if you’re not sure whether it’s the trend for you, trying beauty products and nail polish are great choices – 3 Chic Ways To Do Burgundy Beauty.

The Fall 2012 Collection for J.Crew is pretty phenomenal – It’s filled with great outerwear, fun, printed pants, and killer accessories. And none of those accessories are better than the Lulu Frost’s Capsule Collection – Shop It Now: Lulu Frost For J.Crew Holiday.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Outerwear is always one of my favorite parts about dressing for Fall, and with all of the fun patterned and colorful blazers in stores this season I’m even more excited than usual. Not sure where to start? Time to check in with the experts! The Glitter Guide’s Fall Shopping Guide: Blazers.

One of my new favorites to keep an eye on during Fashion Month is Russian designer and photographer Ulyana Sergeenko. Her style is dramatic, eye-catching, and perfectly over-the-top. And luckily for us fashion lovers she’s just one of many chic up and coming Russian fashionistas making the scene these days! You’ll thank me after you check out all of these lovely ladies in Bougeotte’s Modern Russian Czarinas Are Being Born.

Beauty lovers have been buzzing about the new Courtin-Clarins beauty blog that launched last month. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see what these French beauties have to say now’s the time! WhoWhatWear – The Scoop: Claire & Virginie Courtin-Clarins.

Patterned pants and all-over-prints on suits and shorts suits are all things that I’m excited to wear this Fall and next Spring, so why not check out some fabulous versions worn lately to get you in the mood? The Next Evolution of Fashion’s Print Obsession: The Printed Suit.

I recently discovered a fun new fashion blog that I’d love to share – Advanced Style was created by Ari Seth Cohen and celebrates the fabulous fashion of the older generations. As someone who grew up on Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant movies, couldn’t wait to start working after college so I could have a formal wardrobe, and dresses up to travel – this is right up my alley. I love the formality and classic approach to fashion celebrated  by previous generations and this website is a great place to find stunning photographs of just that. Enjoy!

Health & Fitness:

I remember thinking at 18 that 30 was so old but now as I’m swiftly approaching the big three-oh my thinking has changed – I’m looking forward to the things that I’m going to accomplish in my thirties, the goals I’m going to set, the places I’m going to visit. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw this article – Does life really begin at 30?

Sweet potatoes are a great favorite of mine – I love that there are an endless number of recipes that you can make with them, from snacks to savory dinner to sweet desserts. Versatile and delicious, what more could a girl want? More recipes to try of course! 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes: Easy and tasty sweet potato recipes, each with about 300 calories or less.

Finding new recipes, reading about food, health & nutrition, and finding great food blogs written by creative, passionate people are some of my favorite pastimes so I was thrilled when Green Thickies posted a list of the their favorite blogs – Some I already knew and others I eagerly looked up. I had dozens of recipes printed in minutes! 🙂 Check out 8 Best Vegan Blogs for links and recipes to try!

Sometimes when I look at a recipe I’ll immediately think “no” in my mind when I look at the amount of oil, butter, or sugar being recommended. Rather than count certain recipes out, we can substitute healthier, nutritious ingredients for the more calorically dense, fattening ones. Apple sauce is one of my go-to ingredients to lighten up a recipe, but for Fall why not try pumpkin? How to Substitute Pumpkin Puree For Butter and Oil.

Speaking of pumpkin, this was one of the first pumpkin recipes I made this season when Trader Joe’s started stocking the shelves with canned pumpkin – How To Make A Quick Healthy Pumpkin Pie Fudge. So. Good.


Restaurant Review: Candle Cafe

While I was in New York right before Spring 2013 Fashion Week I was lucky enough to have an understanding and food-enthusiastic friend who was willing to run all over Manhattan with me so that I could check some vegan restaurants off my Must Try list.

First on the docket – within mere hours of touching down at JFK – was Candle Cafe. Last year when I was in New York we went to Blossom and I had been interested in trying this other famous vegan restaurant since then.

{Vino}

{Grilled Kale Salad – Haricots verts, beluga lentils, red onions, turnips, avocado, sunflower seeds, spelt berries and chive vinaigrette}

{Evening Special – BBQ Seitan Burrito}

{Chipotle Grilled Tofu – Quinoa-vegetable pilaf, sautéed greens served with a black bean sauce; topped with an avocado mango salad}

After taking some recommendations from the friendly waitress and ordering a bottle of red, we decided to split two entrees and an appetizer, and since the appetizer kale salad was huge it ended up being more than enough food for both of us.

{Clearly we hated it}

Seitan is Colin’s new favorite vegan fare – It’s hardy, flavorful, and filling, a really great alternative for meat-eaters who are eating at plant-based restaurants or those who are attempting to go vegan or vegetarian.

If you’re a meat eater are you willing to try new types of restaurants with friends who follow a plant-based diet? Do you enjoy trying new and creative dishes unlike the ones you usually eat?


Restaurant Review: Park Tavern

During the Summer there’s very little that I love more than a restaurant with a view. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting inside near giant windows or braving the elements on a patio, people watching while enjoying a good glass of wine or a tasty meal is a hallmark of Summertime.

For a recent date night we ventured to Washington Square Park for a delicious meal at Park Tavern SF, a newish restaurant on the park with tons of foot traffic that makes for a real people-watching treat.

{Deviled eggs, bacon, pickled jalepeño & chives}

{“Demons on horseback” smoked lardo-wrapped prawns, scallion remoulade & celery leaf}

{Anson Mills polenta, orange & red cabbage relish}

{Roasted brussels sprout hearts, parmesan, sage & chili}

{Five Star Ranch N.Y. strip steak frites, black pepper-parmesan fries, prosciutto butter & red wine jus}

The food was tasty even though there were limited veggie options, I enjoyed the wine list, and the service was quite good, especially since it was busy. There’s a valet too for those driving, and I would recommend calling a few days in advance, we had an early meal because when we called the day before the only had 5:30pm or 9:30pm available for the following night.

What is your favorite type of restaurant for a date night? Do you like to dress up and make a night of it, or stay with something more relaxed and casual.


Links You’ll Love

Let’s start this Sunday off with some INSPIRATION – Wise Words: 24 Inspiring Prints to Start Your Day

Fashion:

I’d hate to label myself as lazy, but even I have to admit that I definitely get into fashion ruts so… Stop Being Lazy: 7 Chic AND Easy Switch-Outs from Refinery 29 with fun new options like trading your old, torn cut-offs for some adorable printed shorts or trying cropped trousers so you can give up your legging habit. Definitely some great ideas!

If you’re looking for some new products to add to your skin care routine why not take some Kiehl’s suggestions from Italian blogger and fashion It Girl Eleonora Carisi – I Can’t Live Without.

Need some fabulous fashion inspiration for your next tropical vacation? Unstoppable Style: Poppy Delevingne Shares Her Ultimate Summer Wish List.

Want to create the perfect pair of jean shorts this Summer? Follow The Glamourai’s step by step instructions and enjoy the fabulous results! { DIY } Denim Cut-Offs.

If you’re in the market for updating your accessories stash or just looking for some advice on styling, why not turn to a professional? Anna Dello Russo – 10 TOP Rules for ACCESSORIES.

Health & Fitness:

A major part of finding internal motivation to hit the gym or trails is feeling comfortable and confident in your workout clothes. A great pair of pants that highlight your assets are going to get you out the door much faster than a tattered, stretched out pair of yoga pants. Trust me. Check out The Fitnessista’s recommendations – Summer Workout Gear.

Who better to give health & fitness tips than someone whose livelihood is based on their body? Top model Izabel Goulart shares her Five Minute Brazilian Butt Workout with Modelinia. What else does she mention? Walking! I just can’t recommend it enough – Low Intensity Fasted Cardio!

If you need to amp up the healthy fats in your diet avocados are the perfect choice during Summer, so pick some up next time you’re at the store and take of these recipes for a spin – 5 New Ways to Use Avocado.

Finding the right snack to give you energy and satisfy you before a workout without causing a sugar crash or an upset or overly filled stomach is a balancing act. See what Fit Bottomed Girls suggest – 4 New Healthy Snacks to Put in Your Gym Bag.

In the mood to get a little creative in the kitchen? Why not whip up some healthy desserts in the form of vegan ice cream? I made Choosing Raw’s Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream and it was divine, so follow my lead and give one of these tasty recipes a try – Veg Out: Dairy-Free and Delish Ice Cream Recipes.

No matter what your diet is, putting together a good grocery list is a Must. Check out FitSugar’s 7 Grocery Shopping Tips For a Plant-Based Approach or Caveman Strong’s Grocery List Paleo Style.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and has a great Sunday! I’ll be back tomorrow to share with you all weekend in sunny, secluded Fallen Leaf Lake.


Links You’ll Love

Happy Easter!

Martha Stewart’s Easter and Spring Centerpieces

Health/Fitness:

Interested in more information on veganism, health, exercise, and similar topics? The Hungry Hungry Hippie has done the leg work for you and put together three lists of articles & pieces for you to read: Leafy Linkage I, Leafy Linkage II & Leafy Linkage III.

I know you’ve all heard something over the years about which foods you should cook and which are best for your body when they’re raw. The Daily Green is here to set the records straight – 8 Foods That Are More Nutritious Raw.

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Are you a fan of nutrient rich and protein dense beans but hesitant to increase your consumption because your body has trouble digesting them? Read Gena at Choosing Raw’s 10 Tips For Better Bean Digestion.

You don’t need a huge chunk of time in order to include a workout in your day. Only have 10 minutes? No problem! Try Jackie Warner’s Calorie Blasting Power Pyramid Workout from FitSugar.

Fashion:

spring 2012 beauty picks

Refinery29’s San Francisco Beauty Editor Katie Hintz-Zambrano shares her 8 Must Buy Beauty Products – From Benefit mascara (one of my personal favorites!) to a glitter-loving local nail polish company whose products are available on Etsy. She definitely knows her stuff!

Planning a big night out and want to vamp up your makeup look? Check out Refinery 29’s How To Do Madmen Makeup tutorial. Wow!

A DIY Earring Holder Tutorial from Crafty Endeavor (more DIY here).

Spring Basics on a Budget

Want to upgrade your closet for Spring but not interested in spending a fortune? Check out FabSugar’s Spring Basics on a Budget and The Budget Fashionista’s Top Fashion Trends for Spring/Summer 2012.

And I know that I already shared this on Twitter but it makes me laugh (probably more than it should) so I’m going to share it with you again: 13 Simple Steps To Get You Through A Rough Day.