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Posts tagged “Vegan 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.

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{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.

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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.

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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.

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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:


Whole 30: Preparing + Week One

January 1st marked day one of my adventure with Whole 30 – Inspired by my friend Holly of Holly Would If She Could {check out A December To Remember + A Whole 30 Level Set & January Whole 30? LET’S DO THIS for background on this challenge}.

And while calling three days “week one” might seem presumptuous I must confess that I’m a firm believer in playing up any successes or positive changes towards a healthier life style. Whether it’s a week or a day – you’ve made better choices & improved your health – so celebrate it!

My decision to participate in this challenge isn’t about weight loss but about eating a cleaner diet – Something I wasn’t strict about over the course of the last few months. While I truly believe that you should enjoy food & bubbles with your family and friends during the holidays, I must say that I’m feeling a bit sluggish as January begins.

It’s also a great chance to find some delicious new recipes to add to my repertoire and to meet other like-minded folks who put a lot of time and effort into sustaining a healthy lifestyle. So here are some of my munchies for the last three days and how they’re making me feel.

Snacks:

Raw carrots, celery & sugar snap peas and tempeh jerky {roasted slices of tempeh w/ spices}

CracklinCauliflower

Meals:

I made two main dishes on Monday and ate them throughout the week, a plan which worked out perfectly because it ended up being a busy couple of days. I made a variation of my favorite crockpot stew from Carrie On Vegan – The Dependable Slow Cooker & Cauliflower Indian Stew and this seriously delicious Cracklin’ Cauliflower recipe from Peas And Thank You.

Stew

Thoughts So Far:

Preparation is KEY. These first few days were all about changing habits and reminding myself to think about my food choices before they went into my mouth. And that is much easier when you have the “right” foods already set up and waiting. When you’re starving, running around trying to find a Whole 30 approved meal isn’t the most fun experience. Not that I would know. 🙂

Preparation

How I Feel:

Outside of the holiday season I already eat a fairly clean diet – No gluten, no dairy, and little to no processed foods – So I wasn’t expecting a huge change in how I felt. I was pleasantly surprised however to find that I started sleeping more soundly, no middle of the night wake-ups was a nice change!

Have you ever tried a clean eating program like this one? What results did you have?

Stay tuned for Week Two!


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.

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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

Health & Fitness:

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Packing lunch during the week is a great option to save money and make sure that you’re getting a healthy, nutritious meal mid-day to keep you going. I like to do some work in the kitchen during the weekends to prepare for the week {Sunday Prep}, you can also get some killer tips from Choosing Raw – Monday’s Lunchbox.

Thinking about jumping on the treadmill or elliptical for some cardio and neglecting the machines and weight racks are you gym? Think again! I’m a huge advocate of not only changing up your gym routine on a regular basis but of foregoing machine cardio for walking and weight training. If you don’t believe m just read this piece from Natalie Jill Fitness: Only WEIGHT and INTENSITY Will Change Your Body – You HAVE to lift HEAVY if You Want to Lean Out and Change Your Body!

Fitting in a workout is a MUST during the hectic holiday season – It reduces stress, gives you some much-needed alone time, produces endorphins, and keeps you healthy & fit so you can enjoy the holiday festivities with your friends and family. Regardless of whether you have an hour or 15 minutes available, or if you even have time to make it to the gym – Make time!

Fashion:

I love the old Hollywood, film noir feel of killer black & white photographs. The subjects somehow always manage to appear chic and timeless, regardless of the year, the pose, the style of their clothes… I just can’t get enough and neither can A Fashion Friend – It’s Better In Black & White.

Have you ever been tempted to run off to Paris so that you can live a fashionable, glamorous life? If the answer is yes, you probably shouldn’t click on these links because you will most likely run off to Paris to live a fashionable, glamorous life.

As you may know – I adore stripes – Whether they’re the traditional nautical variety for Spring or demure pinstripes for the office. So why not take this fabulous print into the Fall season as well? Harper’s Bazaar definitely agrees – Shop the Street Style Look: Summer’s Stripes for Fall.

Are you a jeans girl? There are so many varieties this day in age there are almost endless choices when you head into a store and start to peruse their denim department. 70’s flare, wide-leg, cropped, skinny, cut-off, distressed, boyfriend, boot cut… Check out Love Me Jeans for some serious denim inspiration and worship – What’s your favorite pair?

We’ve all had the rule “No White After Labor Day” repeated ad nauseam over the years, but is this a rule for our grandmothers and not for our generation? Well The Man Repeller is making quite the argument against this rule with her fabulous photographs from Nolita – Accent In White.


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.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Are you a fan of metallics? They can be a great way to spice up a look for Fall or make an outfit nighttime-ready – Style File: Metallics.

Black and white is one of my favorite color schemes, it’s chic and really stylish and you can spice it up really easily with a splash of color – Street Style Update: Black & White Outfits @ New York, Milan & Paris Fashion Weeks.

If you’re in the market for a sweet dessert-inspired necklace why not support an amazing cause? She’s The First sponsors girls’ education in the developing world and has created a too cute cupcake necklace to further their cause – She’s the First Tie-Dye Cupcake Necklace.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the recent remakes from the movies to the BBC & US-based TV series. Clearl I’m not the only one as Apartment Therapy put together a great list of Sherlock Holmes-inspired home decor – Get This Look: BBC’s Sherlock.

Healthy & Fitness:

Do you track your daily food intake? While it can see daunting to keep track of every single thing that you put in your mouth over the course of the day, it can be a useful and informative project. Commonly people over – or under – estimate their intake of calories, fat, protein, fiber, and vitamins & nutrients. Over the years I’ve tried a handful of programs – From Slimkicker to Livestrong to the My Fitness Pal app (for Android!) that my boyfriend recommends to his CrossFit clients. I highly recommend giving this a try, you may be surprised by what you find out!

I can’t live without music in my day-to-day life and I REALLY can’t live without music at the gym. If I forget my headphones or don’t charge my mp3 player, odds are I’ll skip my workout. So finding new tunes for my fitness sessions is essential – Whether they’re new tracks on the airwaves or I’m rediscovering CDs from my youth.

We’re heading into the holiday stretch now and with all the family gatherings, social events, and holiday festivities on the horizon, why not make a healthy eating plan that’ll allow you to not only show up to everything looking fabulous, but also feeling great? Check out The No Meat Athlete’s 10 Simple Guidelines for Eating Healthier than Ever and get inspired!

Shopping at your local Whole Foods or health food store can be a daunting prospect – There’s a reason they call it Whole Paycheck! So why not get some advice & tips to arm yourself before your next trip? Prevention’s Smart Buys At The Health Food Store.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always in the mood to try something new in the fitness arena. From boxing & pilates to running & yoga, I’m always interested in finding new ways to keep myself interested and to keep my body from plateauing. Classes at the gym or local Y can be a great option and with endless choices to pick from learning a little about them in advance can’t hurt. So read on – TRX: 6 Things to Know Before Trying a Class.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Whether you’re a student heading back to school or not, you can take inspiration from the back-to-school trends and pick out some great new glasses for Fall – 7 Geek-Chic Specs That Will Put You Ahead of the Curve.

Need some hippie in your life? Check out these fabulous and stylish ways to style this perfect boho chic piece for Fall 2012 – Street Style: Dsquared2 Gilet Vest.

Getting ready to give up your Summer duds for new Fall 2012 pieces? See what Style.com has to say about what you’ll be living in this Fall and Winter – Fall 2012 Shopping Guide.

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This is a really great editorial with some fabulous pictures, showing you boys that you should step it up like hockey player Sean Avery on the fashion and design front – Refinery 29’s Inside Sean Avery’s Slick Soho Loft (And Super-Luxe Wardrobe).

If you’ve been a fan of Garance Dore as long as I have, you were thrilled to hear about her exciting collaboration with Kate Spade. Finally the details are out and Racked has the goods – Garance Dore Gets Sketchy for Kate Spade.

Health & Fitness:

Get inspired by plus-sized model & healthy body image advocate Danika Brysha’s MONDivation – Beating the Odds.

Sometimes there are allergens that will affect your body even when you’re following a healthy lifestyle – Health-Food Ingredients You Might Want to Skip.

Interested in tightening up specific parts of your body with your workouts? Check out Shape Magazine’s Top 10 NEW Exercises for Thighs or Prevention’s Arm Exercises: 3 At-Home Workouts to Tone Arms for some inspiration.

If you’re interested in your personal health you’ve  probably heard the phrase “healthy fats” but if you’re still interested in learning more or in getting some additional background on why these are necessary this is the article for you: Healthy Fat – Why You Need To Eat It!

Both my parents and my brother have recently transitioned to a primarily paleo diet and needed some tips on how to get started and what they needed to stock their pantry and fridge with – 10 Healthy Items On The Paleo Diet Shopping List.