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vegan protein

It takes 21 days…

Ever since I could remember, I have never been a fan of “the most important meal of the day” and I believe my health has suffered some as a result.  I was never a huge fan of the buffet style with bacon, sausage and eggs, but I do like a waffle topped with fruit on the weekends every once in a while.  I simply would just drink water or a diet soda until lunch time.

I’ve tried pretty much every “diet” on the market over the years starting as early as the 6th grade from what I remember and even took more drastic steps to improve my health.  There’s a huge problem with that statement.  They were all diets.  Diets don’t work.  They kept me in a vicious cycle of starting over every Monday morning.

I was sick and tired of starting over every Monday so I took a chance and joined a challenge group for 21 days of eating clean and committing to working out in the convenience of my own home.  What could I lose?  (Hint – it’s inches!)

It takes 21 days to change a habit.

Three Mondays.

Three weekends.

That’s it.  If I can make it through three Mondays in a row without starting over, that could change everything.

In July, I started changing my eating habits by focusing on a portioned eating plan.  Nothing complicated.  I just followed one simple rule – if it fits, I EAT it!  I refocused on whole, plant based foods while planning my meals.  I prepped most of my meals on Sunday to make dinners easier for my family as well.  I never once felt deprived during the challenge.  I even had my favorite vegan sushi with no guilt at all.  I had the flexibility to make the program work for me.

At the beginning of August, I added fitness into my days as well as a better breakfast option.  The 21 Day Fix Program was suggested as a good starting point for my journey by my coach, but was plenty challenging for my fitness level!  At the beginning of the month, I had to modify most of the movements, but I gave it 100% of my effort.  By the end of the program, I was able to do all of the moves with weights!  By the end of August, I was down a total of 24 lbs from July 1st and 19 inches were lost in August alone!  As I’m writing this, I have gotten heavier weights to use during my round two of the 21-day fix program which started Monday.  That’s right – I didn’t stop after three Mondays!

During this time, I tried having breakfast every day for 21 days and it made all the difference in my lifestyle and how I felt.  I had more energy, felt lighter and the shake was just a great tasting way to start my day.  I purchased a one-month supply of Vegan Vanilla Shakeology which allowed me to have a combination of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fiber along with a variety of nutritious superfoods all in one shake that I could grab and go with no hassle to keep me full for hours.

 

Maybe this would be the thing to get me to enjoy the most important meal of the day.

 

In addition to the one month supply, I ordered a single packet of each of the four vegan varieties offered by Beachbody – Vanilla, Chocolate, Tropical Strawberry and Café Latte.  The vanilla base is pretty much great with any additions you like to add like frozen fruit, greens or even coffee.  The chocolate version is sure to fix any sweet tooth addict and is delicious with a little bit of peanut butter. Tropical strawberry is a fruit lover’s dream and can trick you into thinking you are having that milkshake you love.  Café Latte is sure to replace that crazy-high-calorie version you know you like drink way too much.

Below are a few of my favorite recipe creations so far!  If you would like to follow my journey or are interested in learning more, check out my Beachbody page here.

Recipes

Blueberry Muffin

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup of frozen blueberries

1 cup spinach

1 scoop of vegan vanilla Shakeology

 

Peanut Butter Cup

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tbsp of peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)

1 scoop of vegan chocolate Shakeology

 

Cherry Vanilla

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup of frozen dark cherries

1 scoop of vegan vanilla Shakeology

 

 

Café Frappe

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 of cold brew coffee

1 scoop of vegan vanilla Shakeology

A handful or two of ice cubes

 

Daytime Daiquiri

1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk

1 cup of frozen pineapple

1 scoop of vegan tropical strawberry Shakeology

Bye y’all!

are you scared? part 3

What’s stopping you from being vegetarian or vegan?

Part 3 of the Friday mini series addressing the fears of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle focuses on the #1 asked question when people find out that I don’t eat meat anymore – But where do you get your protein?!  Click to read part 1 and part 2!

Are you worried you’ll never get enough protein for those gains you’re working on?

Our society has become obsessed with protein specifically animal based.  Between the meat counters at the supermarket, whey protein shakes of every flavor and even protein infused vodka, there is a high demand for animal products to support a high protein – low carb lifestyle.  As a weight loss surgery patient, I lived this life for several years and I felt miserable.  I was instructed by a nutritionist in connection with my surgeon on what I should consume in my new post-op life.  My nutrition instruction was based largely on a diabetic diet.  I only met with her for approximately 30 minutes once before surgery and never afterwards.  I was given instructions to consume a minimum of 75 grams of firm animal based protein each day starting each meal with the protein first and, if I still had hunger, I could have some vegetables or fruit.  While the surgery did help me lose a significant amount of my excess weight, I just wasn’t happy with the way I felt.

When I started transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle, I was still obsessed with calculating my protein grams each day.  How could I survive without protein?  I know how silly this thought process was now.  The USDA recommends 5 ounces of protein for a woman in my age range which is far less than what I was consuming each day.  My blood work started to suffer from my diet as well.  For the first time in my life, my cholesterol was starting to rise enough to concern my doctor and discuss medication.  In an attempt to eliminate having to take medication, I started taking meat out of my diet. Below is a standard formula for the recommended protein grams that you need per day.

Formula for protein grams:

Body weight (in pounds) x 0.36 = Recommended Protein (in grams)

seafood-watermarkI started first by researching more on the nutrition of fruits, vegetables and grains and changing my mindset.  I was so tired of my diet and knew there was no way I could eat this way for the rest of my life.  My research led me to protein grams first naturally given my previous mindset.

beyond-meat-watermark

I traded in bacon, steak, chicken and eggs for tofu, beans, pasta, broccoli and meat alternatives.  I’ve never felt better!  Now I know I get my recommended protein grams without even trying and I focus more on getting the recommended 35 grams of fiber per day instead.  Below shows some examples of vegan foods and their protein grams.  As you’ll see, it is so easy (and yummy!) to get your daily recommended protein grams cruelty free plus fiber!

Protein Source Serving Size Protein Fiber
Tofu 1/2 cup 10 grams 0 grams
Black Beans 1 cup 39 grams 29 grams
Lentils 1 cup 18 grams 16 grams
Hemp Seeds 3 Tbsp. 11 grams 1 gram
Quinoa 1 cup 9 grams 5 grams
Green Peas 1 cup 8 grams 7 grams
Pasta 1 cup 8 grams 2.5 grams
Nutritional Yeast 2 Tbsp. 8 grams 4 grams
Peanut Butter 2 Tbsp. 8 grams 2 grams
Artichokes 1 medium 4.2 grams 7 grams
Asparagus 1 cup 2.9 grams 2.8 grams
Broccoli 1 cup 2.6 grams 2.4 grams
Spinach 1 cup .9 grams .7 grams
Meat Alternative Protein Fiber
Beyond Beef Patty 23 grams 4 grams
Boca Beefless Grounds 13 grams 3 grams
Gardein Porkless Bites 13 grams 2 grams
Boca Chik’in Patty 12 grams 3 grams
Gardein Crabless Cakes 9 grams 1 gram
Gardein Fishless Filets 9 grams 3 grams
Gardein Crispy Chicken 8 grams 1 gram

Bye y’all!

are you scared? part 1

What’s stopping you from being vegetarian or vegan?

Are you scared of tofu and meat alternatives?

Are you scared of being deprived?

Are you worried you’ll never get enough protein for those gains you’re working on?

Are you scared you’ll never have anything to eat?

Is it just too expensive for you?

But I can’t live without cheese!

 

I’ve been there with you.  I’ve had these hesitations and fears too.  I’m here to tell you that it’s OK.  The biggest advantage you can give yourself is to be open minded.  That changed everything for me.  I also challenge you try eating a few vegetarian or vegan meals each week.  If you do, let me know how you feel – Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? Did you feel better or worse? What did you try?  Over this Friday mini series, I’ll show you that it is possible and worth it to try more plant based meals in your rotation.

Are you scared of tofu & meat alternatives?

Image result for tofu turkey everybody loves raymondI know what you’re thinking.  Tofu is what TV sitcom nightmares are made of in disguise as a tofu turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.  It can be so good!  My favorite use of tofu is baked crispy in an Asian stir fry, a tofu scramble as an egg replacement or silken tofu added to frozen fruit in a smoothie to add a delightful texture and protein boost.

In addition to tofu, there are LOTS of companies that have spent a ton of time and resources creating delicious replicas of your favorite meals as well.  Some of my favorite companies for meat alternatives are Gardein, Beyond Meat, Boca, Morningstar and Field Roast.  Most of the nutrition is comparable to the meat version or less in terms of calories and packed with protein.
pizza-watermarkGardein provides lots of options like fish, crab cakes, sweet and sour pork and even pizza pockets!  What’s better than cholesterol free pizza?
gardein-watermark

 

 

Beyond Meat is the new standard for beef beyond-watermarkalternatives and they do not disappoint.  Currently they provide a seasoned and original ground beefless product and a variety of chicken alternatives.  These delicious sliders pack 23 grams of protein in a single serving! Not too shabby!

 

 

boca-watermarkBoca and Morningstar make vegetarian and vegan options but the products are labeled clearly to distinguish which diet you follow.  My favorite Boca products are their beefless crumbles, chick’n nuggets and they have the BEST spicy chick’n pattie.  Morningstar offers more vegetarian products than vegan options.  The morningstar-watermarkvegetarian options that we enjoy are the wings – buffalo and parmesan garlic flavors, chipotle black bean crumbles and corn dogs.  Our favorite vegan option, hands down, is the hickory BBQ riblets.  Most of these products are found in the frozen food section of a lot of grocery stores.

 

 

field-roast-watermarkField Roast provides exact replicas of breakfast sausages, frankfurters and burgers that are worthy of any backyard BBQ.  These are usually found in the natural section of the grocery store.

 

 

Bye y’all!

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