Category Archives: Vegan

Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

In honor of American Heart Month, we are celebrating apples for heart health! Check out our newest recipe (Cinnamon Roasted Apples) and read on to learn why affordable, delicious apples are a great choice for your health and how to always pick the best apple from the bunch.

First, where did this “apple a day” idea come from?  The expression originated in the United Kingdom, specifically, Pembrokeshire in Southern Wales. The original proverb was “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.” We found record of it first being published in the February 1866 edition of Notes and Queries magazine.


While there wasn’t really research done on apples way back then, they got it right about the possible health benefits of apples. Research shows many possible health benefits associated with apples due to some of the wonderful little phytochemicals (plant compounds) that are found in apples. For example, apples have:

  • Phenolic Compounds which may have antimicrobial properties and are associated with reduced risk of tooth decay
  • Flavonoids (specifically quercetin) which is associated with reduced risk of lung and colorectal cancer
  • Pectin, phytosterols and polyphenols which are associated lowering cholesterol levels which can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Flavonoids which may improve endothelial function (basically the ability of your blood vessels to expand and contract when they are supposed to) in people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease – which may reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease

So, yeah. apples, which happen to be the 2nd most eaten fruit (yay!) pack a powerhouse of nutrition-rich, health-promoting goodies!

All this being said. Please don’t rely on apples when you need to visit the doctor! 

Good news – apples are available year-round and believe it or not, every single state in the USA grows apples. This could be thanks in part to Johnny Appleseed (remember him?) who planted apple trees on his trek as the United States were settled. And we are happy he did as the crabapple is the only apple native to North America.

Let’s talk real life here. You’re in the grocery store and looking at a huge selection of different types of apples. How do you know which apple to choose?

Well, we always say the best choice is the one you enjoy the most, so feel free to grab your favorite type of apple and call it a day!

After that, look to your food budget… which brings more good news: apples are affordable. If your food budget is your main concern, choose the least expensive type of apple.

If you want more details though…

In terms of picking out a good-quality apple, select ones that are firm, show no signs of bruising or decay, and don’t have broken or shriveled skin.

Great tasting apples should be ripe when picked, to maintain consistent flavor, texture, and make them last longer. You can speed up ripening by leaving them at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator when they are ripe.

There are many varieties of apples, each variety with its own distinct characteristics. For example, the Red Delicious, is excellent eaten fresh or in a salad, but does not do well in roasting. Some apples that are good for baking and/or roasting are the Fuji, Gala, Golden, Granny Smith, and the Rome Beauty. Click for more information on the different types of apple varieties and what they are best suited for.


One medium apple has just under 100 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4.5 grams fiber, and 14% of the daily value for Vitamin C. It has no fat, very little protein (1/2 gram), no cholesterol, and only 2 mg of sodium (yes, natural foods have sodium – check out our series of videos on salt!).

Don’t peel your apples! Pectin and about 2/3 of the nutritional goodness (fiber and antioxidants) are in the skin. Also, be careful when juicing. There are approximately 2 1/4 apples in an 8-ounce glass of juice so you can really get a lot of calories and natural sugars by juicing and won’t register fullness the same way you would if you ate 2 apples.

The N.E.W. Motivation Coaching criteria for heart healthy foods includes (1) has fiber, (2) low saturated/trans fat, (3) low sodium, (4) low added sugars, and (5) not too high in calories. Apples are a perfectly heart-healthy choice!

Post a comment and let us know your favorite type apple or apple recipe! We are partial to the Honeycrisp variety and love us some good apple pie… and our Recipes Page has our Cinnamon Roasted Apple recipe which mimics the flavor of apple pie! YUM!

This blog was researched and written by Millie Yeamans, UNF Nutrition Student and edited by Alexia Lewis RD. We support RD2BE students!



  1. The Meaning And Origin Of The Expression: An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  2. Kalinowska M, Bielawska A, Lewandowska-Siwkiewicz H, et al. Apples: Content of phenolic compounds vs. variety, part of apple and cultivation model, extraction of phenolic compounds, biological properties. Plant Physiol Biochem. 84 (2014) 169-188.
  3. Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004;3:5.
  4. Bondonno N, Bondonno C, Croft K, et al. Flavonoid-rich apple improves endothelial function in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Feb;62(3).
  5. Drake BH, Shertzer JK. Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Apples. Published February 25, 2010. Accessed February 13, 2018
  6. McWilliams M. Fruits. Food Fundamentals. 10th ed. Pearson Education; 2014:120.
  7. Commodity Apples. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  8. Apple Facts. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  9. Apples, raw, with skin. Accessed February 14, 2018.


A Pumpkiny Good Time

I had so much fun today sharing my new pumpkin recipes at the N.E.W. Motivation Coaching Pumpkin Love Make & Take!

These lucky ladies joined the fun and made a tangy pumpkin vinaigrette, a pumpkin-nilla-chai smoothie with no added sugar (thank you very much!), and some sweeeeeeet and healthy pumpkin power bites.

But I’m really just writing this blog to share the pictures. So, here they are!


Recipe: Spicy Mexi-Bowl (Gluten-Free!)

Here is another delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan recipe. This spicy Mexican-inspired quinoa and beans bowl is a quick to prepare, heart-healthy, and nutrition-rich meal that can be made ahead for take-to-work lunches or you can mix up a big batch for a family dinner.  You could even top it with an over-easy egg and make it a breakfast (although it won’t be vegan with that egg on it!).


And, before I forget – if you join up for our email newsletter before October 1, you will get a special offer on the Go Gluten Free or the Get Started Coaching Packages! Join today!

Here is the printer-friendly PDF: Recipe -Spicy Mexi-Bowl


A Mason Jar Meal-Prep Workshop Recipe by Alexia Lewis RD / N.E.W. Motivation Coaching

Makes 1 serving


1                          Mason Jar, 2-cup size

1 Tbsp                Red wine vinegar (or to taste)

1 tsp                    Lime juice

1/4 medium      Avocado (Florida), peeled and chopped

7                          Grape tomatoes, halved

1 Tbsp                Red onion, chopped (or to taste)

1 Tbsp                Jalapeño, deseeded and chopped

1/2 cup               Quinoa, cooked

1/2 cup               Black beans, low-sodium canned, rinsed or cooked from dry

1 tsp                   Cilantro, fresh, chopped


  1. Layer all ingredients in mason jar in order listed.
  2. Store refrigerated for 3-5 days depending on quality of mason jar seal
  3. To serve, shake food from jar into a bowl, toss to combine, and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving:

365 calories, 10 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 0 cholesterol, 153 milligrams sodium, 59 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fiber, 4 grams natural sugar, 14 grams protein.


We recommend making four servings at once – that way you use up the whole avocado – and can cook 3/4 cup of dry quinoa which should give you about 2 1/4 cups cooked.

Recipe: Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding (Gluten-Free!)

We are so excited about publishing our first Celiac Disease ebook that we are sharing gluten-free recipes in advance of our gluten-free focused special deals for October! First up is a coconut, chocolate, chia seed pudding. So much yes!

This is one of three gluten-free, treats (snacks or desserts) we are showcasing at our next Make & Take Meal Prep Workshop but we love it so much we are sharing it with you here too. By the way, this recipe is also dairy-free and vegan! And yes, it can be all these things and still delicious!


If you want to also learn to make Peach (or Pineapple!) Cheesecake and the Peanut Pecan Dream, we invite you to join us at the October 13, 2017 workshop (or see Upcoming Events to find the next workshop!) where you get to make three gluten-free, healthy, and delicious desserts – that can also fit in as a great afternoon snack – and take four meal-prepped treats home with you.  You will get the recipes and learn about what makes these treats a healthier option and what’s really going on with sugar and your health.

Yes, I said healthy AND delicious. I mean, where else can you get 10 grams of fiber, 20% of the Daily Value (%DV) for Vitamin D, and 50% of the DV for calcium in a dessert!?? This is one treat you can feel good about giving your little ones (or enjoying for yourself!) because this sugar comes with some solid nutrition as well!

Without further ado – here is the recipe! Click for printer-friendly PDF!

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

A Mason Jar Meal-Prep Workshop Recipe by Alexia Lewis RD / N.E.W. Motivation Coaching

Makes 1 serving


 1                        Mason Jar, 1-cup size

3/4 cup           Almond milk, dark chocolate

2 Tbsp             Chia seeds

1 packet          Alternative sweetener

1 Tbsp             Coconut, shredded, no sugar added

1 pinch            Salt

2 Tbsp             Coconut whipped topping


1.      Measure all ingredients except coconut whipped topping into blender

2.     Blend for 30 seconds

3.     Pour mixture into mason jar

4.     Top with whipped topping

5.     Close jar tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to eat (up to 3-5 days)


250 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 5 g protein plus 50% DV calcium and 20% DV Vitamin D


This will have a slightly “gritty” texture due to grinding the chia seeds, you can skip grinding (and skip alternative sweetener) but you should refrigerate 2 days before serving or pudding will be much more liquid. 

Reduce added sugar/carbohydrates by using unsweetened almond milk plus 1 scoop chocolate protein powder.



Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili

Eat More Beans! Crockpot Quinoa Chili Recipe (Vegan)

Imagine this. You are in the grocery store and you need to buy some beans. In one hand, you hold a can of beans. In the other hand, you hold a bag of dried beans. Which one do you buy?

You probably consider a few things before you decide.

The first consideration may be convenience. The canned beans are ready to go. You can throw those in the microwave and have hot, cooked beans in just a couple of minutes. The dried beans will take much more time because you have to soak them for many hours and then cook them for another couple of hours. Do you have time for this? Do you know how to cook dried beans? Will you forget and then have to come up with a Plan B dinner?

The second consideration may be nutrition. Beans are a nutrition-packed food! If you cook dried beans, then in 1/2 cup of black beans you get 7 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fiber, and 10% daily value of iron with only 115 calories, 1/2 gram of fat, and no cholesterol or sodium! If you choose the canned beans, much of this stays the same; but you get more sodium. If you choose regular black beans, that 1/2 cup can have 500 milligrams of sodium and reduced sodium black beans can have 240 milligrams of sodium. Some canned products are also packaged in cans that have BPA.

Many people don’t consider cost because those other two things are more important. A 15 ounce can of beans gives you approximately 1 3/4 cups of beans for $1.00 to $3.00. A 16 ounce bag of dried beans contains 3 1/4 cups of dried beans which gives you about 9 cups of cooked beans for about  $1.00 to $2.00. If you do the work of cooking dried beans, you get about five times a much for your money!

I used dried beans most of the time and save canned beans for when I don’t want to rely on myself to remember to cook dried beans the day before I need them or I decided on having beans for dinner on the day I grocery shop. I went in search of dried bean recipes that eliminated the need to cook the beans the day before. After reviewing a few recipes for cooking times and methods and a few trial runs, here is what I ended up with.

Crockpot Quinoa Chili

Makes 9 cups cooked chili

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 6 hours 15 minutes

Skill level: low


1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 teaspoon or 2 cloves minced garlic

2 cups frozen corn

1 package (10 ounces) spinach

2 cups low-sodium salsa

1/2 large red onion, chopped

5 cups water

1/2 teaspoon each: Hot Shot (red/black pepper blend) and red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon of each ground spice: turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and chipotle chile pepper

Quinoa Chili Ingredients
Ingredients – Yes, those are pinto beans from Hatch, New Mexico courtesy of a great neighbor!


1. Layer all ingredients except spices in crockpot in order listed above.

2. Cook on high heat for one hour and then reduce to low heat for five hours. If home, stir occasionally making sure beans and quinoa stay covered by liquid.

3. Add spices and stir before serving.

Quinoa Chili Start
How it starts…

Nutrition Information per 1-cup serving: 138 calories, 1 gram fat (0 saturated, 0 trans), 0 milligrams cholesterol,  225 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fiber, 8 grams protein.

Serving suggestion: Stir in plain Greek yogurt (not vegan!) to cool it down or top with chopped chipotle peppers and hot sauce to kick it up a notch! I added homemade cornbread muffins on the side (also not vegan) following this recipe and sliced tomatoes.

Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili
Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili



Vegan Challenge – The Final Day

I did it! I ate completely vegan for five days! Well, except for that one bite of celery with ranch dressing that snuck into my mouth before my brain thought about it…

There are no pictures or foods listed for this day because it was an exact repeat of yesterday. There is a joy that comes with the easiness of using leftovers and I took full advantage! The only minor change was to my smoothie, in which I simply used pineapple and strawberries.

This final day was the first day that I was a little bit hungry between meals. The first four days, I was eating so often that I didn’t really move into full-on hunger; but on this afternoon, I did. I think I am learning to better meet my body’s needs for protein and calories and I have finally (yay!) adjusted to the increased amount of fiber in my diet.

Overall, I feel really good. I feel a little slimmer because of how my clothes are fitting, which may or may not be due to the vegan diet. It could be that this challenge has motivated me to keep up with my food journal and workouts. I also have slept through the night the last two nights, which is not at all typical for me.

Now that this challenge is ending, I am actually considering continuing a no-meat diet. I very much miss cheese, eggs, and milk so I will definitely add dairy back into my meals. I also, as an RD, am not comfortable with cutting out an entire food group. However, I’m not sure I want to go back to my old eating habits because I have found that I get to eat so much food and the nutrition quality of my diet has been stellar while eating like a vegan.

Initially, my vegan diet was low in protein, calories, and B12. By the end of the challenge, I was eating adequate amounts of these nutrients without using specialty foods. This has also reaffirmed my belief that vegans/vegetarians should consider a multi-vitamin since it can be difficult to obtain all the nutrients in the recommended amounts.

My vegan diet was also very low in cholesterol (obviously since it’s found in animal products), saturated fat, and sodium. These are the three main things to limit to eat heart healthy and reduce risk of some chronic diseases. Another heart- and cancer-healthy guideline is to focus on fiber and, as I’ve shared, this diet was definitely high in fiber.

I’m very happy that I decided to take part in this challenge. My goal was to better understand the challenges faced by vegans in planning for an optimally nutritious diet. I wanted to do this to help me when I counsel my vegan and vegetarian clients. I feel I have reached this goal. I think I will be a better nutrition counselor to my clients because of this challenge.

My final day was on May 24th and since then I have not yet eaten meat. I have been following a lacto/ovo vegetarian diet for the past week. I am one very happy camper to once again have cheese! I love cheese. 🙂 I’m still uncertain if I want to return to my previous omnivorous ways. Right now, my plan is to continue lacto/ovo and add seafood back in when I feel ready (there was an advertisement for a local restaurant’s deal on oysters that definitely peaked my interest!). But once I transistion into pescatarian, I may just stay there.

Don’t tell my husband! But he’ll probably read this blog…

Featured image from:


The Vegan Experiment – Day Four: All Protein Powder is Not Created Equal

I made two breakfasts on Day Four. It is rare that I make something that is inedible. Even my most crazy flavor combinations result in edible, even if unusual, dishes. This was not the case on this day. I had to toss my first breakfast. It was truly that bad. Most protein powders that I’ve used have anywhere from 16-22 grams of protein in a scoop. Since plants do not contain as much protein as the other foods used to make protein powders (whey, soy, etc.), the amount of powder that has to be used to get to 21 grams of protein is huge. It completely overpowered my usually-delicious pumpkin pie oatmeal. I couldn’t eat it. I almost forced myself since I dread throwing away food; but I just couldn’t make myself eat it.

So, here we go – food pictures!

Breakfast #1: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal – adapted from Clean Eating Magazine. I’m sharing the recipe because if you make this with vanilla whey protein powder, it is very yummy!

First, start your oatmeal on the stove by boiling 2 parts water, adding 1 part whole oats (example: 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup oats), and then simmering until the desired consitency. While simmering, mix one scoop protein powder with a tiny bit of water and stir into a paste. You can see the plant protein powder took up half the bowl!

Nearly half a bowl-full of plant protein powder to get 21 grams of protein
Nearly half a bowl-full of plant protein powder to get 21 grams of protein

Next take the same measuring cup you just used for measuring your oatmeal and water, and fill it half with pumpkin puree (no salt) and half with sliced almonds. If you use the same measuring cup, then you can easily adjust this recipe for any amount of oatmeal without having to do any food math!

Pumpkin puree and sliced almonds
Pumpkin puree and sliced almonds

Once the oats are cooked, simply add them to the bowl with the protein powder and stir in the pumpkin and almonds. Top this with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Breakfast #2:  Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oats cereal with almond milk, sliced almonds, and raisins. Coffee with almond milk and splenda. Thank you to Jason McDonald for commenting on my blog post to add nuts to cereal because it made me realize I can add some protein and fun to a basic cereal!

Pumped up cereal
Pumped up cereal

Post-workout Snack: Smoothie made with banana, pineapple, peanut butter, and flaxseed. Blend with as much ice and water as it takes to get the volume and consistency that you like.

Smoothie in progress
Smoothie in progress
Smoothie completed!
Smoothie completed!

Lunch: Hummus wrap (homemade with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, curry powder, and salt) with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber served with pretzel sticks.

The insides of the hummus wrap
The insides of the hummus wrap

Snack #2: almonds

Dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti with homemade sauce of onions, tomatoes, garlic, silken tofu, marinara sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil served with sandwich thin garlic toast (olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning). For this, I first sauted the onions then added the chopped garlic and chopped tomatoes and let those cook just a little. Then I added the marinara sauce and tofu and cooked to heat through. Last step was seasoning with the spices. It looks a little weird as a sauce due to how the tofu stirred in to the sauce in a chunky way. If I make this again, I’ll blend the sauce as a last step to make it smooth. Regardless of what it looked like, it was good! I think this was extra yummy due to the organic onions and basil from the university’s garden!

Pretty tomatoes, onions, and garlic
Pretty tomatoes, onions, and garlic
Vegan spaghetti
Vegan spaghetti

One victory for today is the realization that my usual urge to (over)-snack on the days that I work from home is greatly diminished following this plan. That’s usually a huge struggle for me and I give in to the temptation to graze all day even thought I’m not hungry. Today, I had that urge for a minute and I was able to overcome it. Overall, I’m feeling good and strong; still gassy but my body is (finally!) adjusting to the extra fiber it’s starting to get a little better! My energy levels are normal for me and I can still think clearly and have strength for
yoga class.

In case you are wondering, I did live the vegan lifestyle for five days in a row. I’m just not the fastest blogger. It’s something I’m working on.

Nutrition information: 1415 calories, 235 grams carbohydrates, 46 grams fiber, 395 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 55 grams protein, and 1360 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 54% calcium, 77% iron, 30% vitamin D, 36% zinc, and 250% vitamin B12.

Once again, all images are my personal pictures. You may use them as long as you credit me (my name and a link back to my Web site).

A beautiful vegan salad

Vegan Experiment – Day Three: Taking It to the Office

This was the first day that I was following my vegan diet at work. This added just a little more of a challenge since I had to prepare my lunch and snacks in the morning. I also forgot to photograph my meals while at work, even though I did remember to bring my camera.

Breakfast: Same as previous two days and I’m getting bored with it – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with almond milk, coffee with almond milk and splenda.

Post-workout Snack: Smoothie with banana, pineapple, and ice/water.

Lunch: Peanut butter and banana sandwich on a sandwich thin.

Snack: Snack: Roasted spicy chickpeas.

Snack: Vegetables from veggie tray (grape tomatoes, baby carrots, snap peas, broccoli).

Dinner: Huge salad with romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, grape tomatoes, avocado, raisins, roasted chickpeas, sliced almonds, and balsamic vinegar served with triscuits.

A beautiful vegan salad
A beautiful vegan salad

Overall, I have been feeling fine; but I was a little low on energy on this afternoon. I came home and found myself wishing I didn’t have a meal to prepare for dinner, especially a salad – so much chopping! I also am still ridiculously gassy! I ran this morning and was happy to find that I am still properly fueled to enjoy my morning workouts.

My biggest struggle so far has been my ability to meet what I’ve deemed my nutrient goals for some nutrients.

Nutrition information: 1430 calories, 249 grams carbohydrates, 48 grams fiber, 37 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 51 grams protein, and 670 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 67% calcium, 65 iron, 33% vitamin D, 12% zinc, and 0 vitamin B12.

Overall, the quality of my diet is good in many ways following a vegan diet; but there are some concerns. I am concerned with my low protein intake (I am for about 55 grams/day minimum) and I haven’t been able to find soy protein in the conventional grocery stores. I went to a supplement store and purchased a plant protein powder. It was expensive and I’m realizing that it may not be possible to easily stick with non-specialty foods and get enough protein as a vegan. Today I was closest to my minimum protein goal (4 grams under). While it sounds weird to say, I think I may not be getting enough sodium either (ranging from 670-890 mg/day); but from what I can find there is no set minimum requirement. The previous two days, it has been difficult to get enough calories; but today I was right where I like to be on workout days!

I’m learning how to better work with this type of diet and my goals.

This has gotten me thinking… My goal was to do this without any specialty products; but perhaps vegans do need to use the specialty products (protein powder, aminos, TVP, etc.) to meet their body’s needs. At least, it would make it much easier to meet the body’s needs. While my food costs for this week were low (before the protein powder purchase); I think if I followed this as a permanent lifestyle, my food budget might increase to account for these products.

As a final thought, I want to hit on one of the miconceptions about veganism. I’m a talker; I talk to anyone and everyone. I stopped by the dollar store to pick up more spices and pretzels and was chatting with the cashier and mentioned that I was doing this vegan challenge. People have such misguided notions about food and nutrition… he asked me how my immunity was, since I wasn’t eating meat, wasn’t I more likely to get sick? Ummm, no. I have learned not to go to deep into nutrition unless people ask, so I just told him I was feeling fine. 🙂 And in case you are wondering, no, a vegan diet does not make anyone who is generally healthy already more likely to get sick.

Mash beans, avocado, and salsa together

My First Day Being a Vegan

Yesterday, I started the Vegan Experiment Challenge.

The day started off with a true challenge. The breakfast I had planned was mock scrambled eggs made with tofu. Unfortunately, I didn’t research any recipes before I shopped and I got the wrong consistency of tofu. This threw off my plan for my very first meal! Even with a bumpy start, my husband and I perservered and  were 100% vegan on the first day of the challenge!

I felt tired; but I don’t think that was related to diet (more a poor night’s sleep and a busy day!). I felt like I ate a lot of vegetables and the 51 grams of fiber indicates I did indeed eat many vegetables yesterday. I hit my calorie range; but was low on protein. Meal details and nutrition information follow with all the numbers at the end of this post.

Breakfast: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with almond milk, coffee with almond milk and splenda

An easy vegan breakfast
An easy vegan breakfast

Morning snack: almonds and raisins

Easy homemade snack
Easy homemade snack

Lunch: bean burrito made from a Flatout wrap, mashed black/pinto beans, salsa, avocado, rice, cilantro,  and lime juice served with tomato and cumumber slices on the side

Mash beans, avocado, and salsa together
Mash beans, avocado, and salsa together
Put mixture, rice, cilantro, and lime juice on wrap
Put mixture, rice, cilantro, and lime juice on wrap
Vegan Bean Burrito
Vegan Bean Burrito

Afternoon snack: while I hesitate to call it a snack, I must confess to having 2 beers while relaxing on the beach in the afternoon…

Dinner: 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

Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables
Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables

For those of you out there who like the numbers, here you go!

1560 calories, 209 grams carbohydrates, 51 grams fiber, 37 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 47 grams protein, and 890 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 73% calcium, 71% iron, 31% vitamin D, 13% zinc, and 0 vitamin B12.

All images are personal photographs. You may use them as long as you credit (my name and a link back to my Web site).


Vegan Experiment Shopping Day

I have found myself wondering if eating a vegan diet for five days will be more expensive than my typical diet. I believe there are two ways to go with vegetarian/vegan eating. One is to use whole natural foods and shop in the conventional grocery stores and one is to use the vegetarian/vegan-specific marketed foods and shop in the specialty grocery stores.

Now, that I write that, I realize that’s true no matter what type of diet one follows.

Today, I spent $55.33 at a conventional store on groceries for the next six days. I already have some staples on hand, such as quinoa and dried beans, and I just got a nice harvest (curly kale, carrots, onions, and basil) from the university’s organic garden. I am so looking forward to those kale chips I’ll be making tomorrow with the beautiful organic curly kale! I couldn’t find a soy-only protein powder, so I still need to pick that up for about $10-$12. Even if I had to purchase the quinoa, black beans, and garden vegetables and adding the cost of the protein powder, I think ~$75 to feed 2 people for six days is pretty darn good! That’s just $6.25 per person per day, or around $2 meal!

Here’s my list. Don’t worry – the meals and recipes will be coming over the next five days as I live this experiment!

Produce: avocado, bananas, green/red bell peppers, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, portobello mushrooms, apples, limes, and canned pineapple

Proteins: silken tofu, sliced and whole almonds, peanut butter, canellini beans

Grains: cereal, rice cakes, whole wheat spaghetti

Misc: soup, salsa

Any ideas what I’ll be making?