Today, I realized that there is more to think about when following a vegan lifestyle than just meat and dairy foods. I have to admit to an unintentional slip today – ranch dressing! But I’ll get to that as I go through my meals in pictures.
Breakfast: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with almond milk, coffee with almond milk and splenda.
Snack: Roasted spicy chickpeas.
This was a time-consuming recipe; but I’m working on stretching my food dollars so it was worth the effort. I started with a bag of dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and soaked and cooked them one day. The next day, I tossed the half of the cooked beans with a tablespoon of canola oil, a pinch of salt, and a fair amount of paprika, cumin, and a touch of cayenne pepper. Then I cooked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and sprayed with canola oil cooking spray. Cook the beans in one layer because the goal is to dry them out until they are a crispy crunchy treat. If you don’t cook them long enough, they will be mealy. I know this from my first attempt at this recipe! Per 1/2-cup serving: 135 calories and 7 grams of protein.
Post-workout snack: granny smith apple courtesy of my gym’s member appreciation day offerings.
Lunch: Last night’s dinner leftovers: Quinoa with red/green bell peppers, red onions, garlic, pineapple, sliced almonds, and a dash of sriracha sauce served with a side of roasted vegetables (beets, carrots, onions) seasoned with canola oil, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Snack: Sweet Peanut Butter Smoothie!
I typically make my smoothies with either milk, yogurt, or almond milk depending on what I have on hand and how much protein and calories I would like to have. This time, I used water and ice instead of a milk or yogurt. I blended banana, pineapple chunks, and peanut butter with water and ice (adjusting to fill my cup and be the consistency and I wanted).
Snack: Celery and snap peas.
This is where I inadvertenly fell off the vegan wagon. I had an evening meeting to attend. The good news is that I brought the snacks and so could bring vegan alternatives. One thing I brought was a veggie tray with ranch dressing. I grabbed a celery stick and dipped it in the ranch dressing and as I was chewing, it hit me that the dressing was probably not vegan! I checked and I was correct – buttermilk is the second ingredient. This made me realize that there are more foods to limit that I realized. I wanted the convenience of the pre-made veggie tray… If only the grocery stores packaged veggie trays with hummus instead of dressing.
Dinner: Portobella mushroom sandwiches (mushroom, lettuce, avocado, mustard on sandwich thin) and Alexia sweet potato fries with ketchup.
When making the Portobello sandwich, I was reaching for the mayonnaise when I realized that was also not vegan! This is more difficult than a vegetarian diet.
So, how am I feeling? Gassy! There is so much fiber in my diet now!
Otherwise, I’m feeling good and have energy for working out. I’m getting plenty of carbohydrates and calories; but I am still lacking in protein. I love how incredibly low my saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake is following a vegan diet. Even with my one unintentional slip, I’m still going strong and feeling good about sticking with this challenge!
Nutrition information: 1360 calories, 204 grams carbohydrates, 43 grams fiber, 35 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 43 grams protein, and 725 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 60% calcium, 63% iron, 25% vitamin D, 8% zinc, and 0 vitamin B12.
All images are personal photographs. You may use them as long as you credit me (my name and a link back to my Web site).