Easy, vegan lunch. Brown rice stir fry.

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I love using chopsticks. I find they allow me to take my time when I eat.

Hi everyone,

I am always looking to get in as many veggies in as I can. Eating a primarily plant-based vegan diet (labels freak me out!) means you need to get most of your calories from plants, nuts and seeds. I personally find that too many nuts and seeds can weigh me down, so I am always trying to get in as many fruits and vegetables as I can. I like vegetables more then fruit (my goal is to increase my fruit intake), in the meantime I eat massive portions of vegetables. Because vegetables have a much lower calorie count then fruit, my salads and stir-frys have become Epic. Aslo, I like to exercise almost daily, so I need to account for those lost calories in order to go about my day with energy. If you are new to a plant-based vegan lifestyle you may find you lose weight but you are starving!! You don’t need to feel this way. More fruit/veg calories my friend, more fruit/veg calories! Check out chronometer.com to see if you are on track. Its not all about weight loss, its about being fit, strong, healthy and full of life. I will talk more on the topic on Friday. The recipe below is a quick lunch I threw together on the fly and It lasted for 2 meals. Health is wealth xoxo Anna.

You will need:

  • 2 Tbsp of minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup of sweet white onion
  • 1 cup each chopped Carrots and celery
  • Green and of yellow beans (Handful or more)
  • Snow Peas (Handful or more).
  • 1/2 cup of baby corn
  • 1 Cup of brown rice (uncooked)

Major/Awesome cheat suggestion: If you don’t have time to chop veggies or you are finding it hard to get ahold of fresh produce. Buy a bag of frozen vegetables, an Asian mix is perfect for this recipe.

For the stir fry sauce mix the following in a bowl:

  • 2 Tbsp of tahini or peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp of water
  • 2  Tbsp of low sodium soya sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of hot sauce (your choice)

Quick and easy:

This recipe takes about 15 min to make. First step is to bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then add your rice. Reduce the heat to low and cover, let your rice cook while you stir fry your veggies. Take a large frying pan and heat 1 Tbsp of coconut, olive or vegetable oil on medium heat and then add in your garlic and onion. Once your onions are soft, you can add is your carrots and celery, a couple minutes later throw in the rest of your veggies. DO NOT OVERCOOK,  it won’t take long for the veggies to cook and you want the veggies to stay crisp and hold their nutrients. In a little bowl I like to stir together the ingredients for my sauce. I usually pour the sauce right into the pan and stir it into the veggies. Add extra hot sauce or minced garlic for more kick. Add your stir fry to your rice and enjoy! Use Quinoa instead of brown rice if you like more protein.

Vegan Substitutes for Everyday Cooking

Eating vegan does not equate to eating healthy. It actually can be even harder to eat healthy because there aren’t as many options readily available. Although meat and diary substitutes are out there, trust that a meat less hot dog or meat less burger can be just as chemical infested as a regular old meat hot dog.

During my vegan challenge I am really trying to stay true to one of my core values – eat real food. Following a vegan lifestyle can make cooking from scratch difficult because so many recipes and sauces have animal products and you don’t even realize. Alterations must be made. Sometimes it does seem easier to just grab a faux hot dog and call it a day. The best way to be successful in continuing to cook from scratch is to have a handy list of substitutes for your regular go to cooking items.

Here is a list of a few substitutes-

Chicken stock/Beef stock– Some sort of animal stock is the base for many recipes but here is the good news- vegetable stock taste just as good! Plus you can make it at home easily with celery, onions, carrots, garlic and few other other spices and herbs. We will post a recipe for a good vegetable stock soon.

Butter– Oil is the easiest substitute for butter in my life. I already have it in my pantry so it does not require me to buy a speciality vegan item of which the rest of my family will not eat. Oil subs in easily for baking purposes. For things like baked potatoes I to use hummus or home made salsa.

Milk – Cows milk has an abundance of substitutes; almond, rice, coconut and soy.

Cream– Coconut milk is a great substitute for cream to use in soups or cream based sauces.

Eggs– Soft tofu can be used to as an egg substitute in dishes like pad Thai or vegetable rice. Banana can be used instead of eggs for baking purpose. Kidney beans cooked and smushed (yes that’s a technical term) can be used instead of egg as a binding ingredient when making veggie burgers. Sweet potato is another vegetable that works as a binding agent. I recently made a lentil loaf for our Christmas dinner and used sweet potatoes as my binding ingredient.

Cheese- Soft tofu can be used when making dips rather than cheese. As far a cheese to add to a pizza or lasagne there are vegan cheeses you will be able to find in any grocery store, usually in the organic section. I like the Daiya brand.

Whipped cream– Coconut milk is a close second to whipped cream! Must be kept in the fridge for 24 hours before you whip.

Meat– Many subs for meat but I find tofu to be my favourite. If my husband is making a pork chop or chicken in a marinade I can easily sub in tofu and it really takes on the flavour. I always get organic when buying tofu and I try not to eat too often, because I try to keep my intake of soy products low.

30 day Plant-based Vegan Challenge! Lose 10 pounds and cleanse your mind and body!

Hello health and wellness seekers!

Happy New Year! The holiday season was super busy for Bekah and I. The kids had so much fun! We attended some pretty amazing dinners and gatherings with family and friends. We started off the holiday season really strong, indulging in plenty of vegan holiday options and substitutes; however we defiantly were not perfect. Slips up did occur. I want to resolve to better mix my social life and my personal life choices to prevent future slip ups.

With the season coming to an end, Bekah and I are ready to recommit to our plant-based vegan diet in order to become healthier and stronger in the New Year. We would love for others to join us, even if it is just for 30 beautiful days.

What does vegan mean?

No eggs? No cheese? No Meat? Yup! No Animal Products or By-products. Don’t freak out, this is a good thing and everything is going to be ok (especially for our animal friends). Be prepared to cleanse your body, cleanse you soul and lose weight.

Why Vegan?

Being a vegan is a hot button issue, I have experienced all kinds of different reactions while on the vegan train. I have been on a plant based diet for many years and for many different reasons, but the 100% vegan aspect has been a work in progress (especially while pregnant and breastfeeding).  This being said for the last year I have been committed to eating a mostly plant based diet and 80% vegan. I have never felt better, my athletic performance is better than ever, my energy is higher, my meditation practice is easier and I feel lighter (I actually am lighter!). These results are why I love following a vegan lifestyle. You just cant beat how great you feel mentally, spiritually and physically.

Number 1 reason people fail at being vegan?

They don’t eat enough! Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and nutrition yet low in calories so you have to eat a lot of them. The problem is most people focus on what they can’t eat and therefore don’t add in enough vegetables and fruit. A better approach is to focus on what you can eat and less on what you can’t eat. As you find ways to add fruit and vegetables to each meal you will be forced to reduce the intake of animal products and processed carbohydrates.

There are a lot of fears when it comes to this lifestyle. Here are the most common one that I hear.

Where will I get my protein

 I hear this question all the time. I have been in the fitness industry since 2001 and I have a ton of personal, client based and fitness culture experience when it comes to protein. Now let me share a secret of two with you which may blow your mind. First fruit and vegetables have protein in them! Secondly, you don’t need as much protein as you think. I learned this after 10 years of living a high protein and low carb diet. I was always carrying at 5-10 extra pounds. When I relaxed on the protein and upped my complex carb intake my body balanced out.

Too much of a commitment

 Nobody is perfect 100% of time. I am not a perfect plant based vegan all the time, but I am striving to become better and better every day. I do not think you need to be dogmatic in your own life; you are your own boss after all. So don’t go for perfection, go for progress. Live, learn and fine tune as you go. Chalk all your mistakes up to experience and do not look at them as failures. Remember no lifestyle change has to be forever, you should be always striving for optimal health and that might mean you need to tweak and adjust as you grow and change over time. It does not have to be all or nothing. Beyoncé and Jay-z recently tried on veganism for a challenge. Jay-Z blogged about  22 day commitment to a vegan diet and why he thought it was an important challenge to take on.  If you want to read more of Jay-z post I will place the link below.

It takes more time 

 People always ask me if it takes more time to eat a plant-based diet and I don’t lie…it does. I don’t eat prepackaged or processed foods, so I do make most of my meals from scratch. But, listen it is worth it. It may take a little extra effort but you can work it into schedule. I usually catch up on my “Real of Housewives” (yes, I watch and love them all: Atlanta, Jersey, Miami, OC, New York) while I chop raw vegetables for my EPIC salads, vegan pastas, soups and stir fry.

Make enough for 2 lunches.

 

Let’s do it!

We have lots of recipes in our Vegan Recipes section.  Remember when you eat a unprocessed, plant based vegan diet, you need to up your portions and eat big! Trust me, you will get hungry if you don’t double up on your fruit and vegetable portions.If you like to eat…buckle up because plant based people can eat!!!

Here are some of my go to meals:

Breakfast:

  • Greenie Baby: Handful of each: kale, celery, cucumber. 1 banana, 2 dates. 3 cups of water and 1 cup of ice.
  • Fruit plate. Choose 1 type of fruit or mix and match (eat citrus on its own). This fruit plate needs to be large! You need enough calories to keep you energized, try to get in at least 3-4 cups of fruit.
  • ALT: Avacado, lettuce and tomato sandwich. If you are a savoury, eggs and toast type of breakfast person this may be your best choice.

Lunch:

Dinner:

Vegan Resources

Easy: Read Skinny Bitch, this book is an easy read. There is a lot of information and although I think the diet uses too many fake meat substitutes, you will learn so much. The book covers all sorts from the harms of diet pop to the state of the poultry industry. You can order this book on Amazon.

Moderate: Read Crazy Sexy diet. This book is also an easy read, but the diet is more advanced than “Skinny Bitch”. The author Kris Carr is young and beautiful yet has been living with terminal cancer for 10 years now. Despite her incurable cancer she feels better than ever from a plant based vegan diet. You can also get this book on Amazon.

Advanced: Watch Earthlings. This movie will change the way you look at food and the treatment for animals forever. Warning it is very hard to watch.  Animals are earthlings just like us and the conditions of slaughter houses in North America are nothing short of disturbing and sickening. If you do eat meat please know where it comes from. Most cities have great farms that believe in the ethical treatment of animals and we encourage you to find a farm in your area that has these values and beliefs.

Remember at the end of this challenge you may choose to continue this lifestyle or you may just choose to cut down of your animal product consumption. At the very least do your research; you make sure you know where your food comes from. Turning a blind eye does not protect your well-being or the well-being of others.

Lastly enjoy the challenge and remember at health, wealth and baby we love you wherever you are on your journey xo

Jay-z post- http://lifeandtimes.com/22-days-challenge

What you will be eating on the Vegan Challenge!

Here is a little sample of the meals you will be chowing down in January! Eat Big!

3 easy tips: To stay on a plant based diet.

Carrots and cuddles.
Carrots and cuddles.

1-  Keep your kitchen stocked. You can’t eat fruits and veggies if you don’t have any. Seems so simple, but being unprepared is one of the number one reason why people fall off the health wagon. My veggie haul this week: Spinach, Romain, Kale, Cucumbers, Zuchinni, Sweet Peppers, Oranges, Bananas, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts. $70. I usually go back to the store at least twice to pick up for bananas.

Warning... obviously this picture is soooo dark, sorry.
Warning… obviously this picture is soooo dark, sorry.
I love to serve buffet style.  Leftovers always get eaten this way.
I love to serve buffet style. Leftovers always get eaten this way.

 

2- Don’t waste a thing! It may feel like a financial burden to eat a plant based diet, but you can make your produce go a long way. For example I keep all my stems: kale, carrot, celery and put them in my green smoothies. Also, at the end of the week go through your fridge and toss all your leftover veg, pasta, rice into a pot and make a soup, that way nothing gets wasted and you get an extra “freebie” meal. Check out this soup I made a couple weeks ago: http://healthwealthandbaby.com/2013/11/28/hot-and-healthy-soup-easy-vegan-and-toddler-approved/ […]

Kale stems! Woohoo!...Too much??
Kale stems! Woohoo!…Too much??

3- Add vegetables to everything! To get more vegetables into your meals add them to any regular dish. When I make rice or rice pasta I always lightly sauté a pan of vegetables and add them into the sauce or mix it into the rice. Remember cook enough food for more then one meal, saves time, planning and energy.

Add in garlic too if you like.
Add in garlic too if you like.

Moms with health tips! Probiotics, plant based benefits, ditching diet pop and more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-1S5lxa-Tk

10 benefits of a plant based diet.

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My fridge. Fruit: Oranges, grapes, mango, organic AJ, Organic green smoothie, mixed berries and Bananas ( not in fridge). Veggies: Cucumber, romaine, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, avocados, spinach, green onion, carrots, celery. Cost $75. Other, nut butters, almond milk, cow’s milk (the kids drink it). Vegan home-made muffins, rye bread, tortilla wraps (gluten free).

 

10 benefits I have experienced from a plant based diet:

1- More energy! Eating living plants energizer the body like no other. The digest quickly and are packed with nutrients, amino acids and vitamins and minerals. How can you not feel amazing?!

2- Weight loss! No portion control and no calorie counting! Plants are low calorie and satisfy your sweet and savoury tooth.

3- Hydration. Water packed foods such as fruit and vegetables are very hydrating. The body naturally detoxifies itself, keep this process going (aka flowing) by eating beautifully hydrating plant foods.

4- Better workouts. The carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables absorb quickly into the body and are immediately available as fuel for your workouts.

5- Anti-aging. Vitamin-c is one of the many antioxidants and vitamins packed into the plants that nurture the skin. Also the hydrating aspect leaves the skin supple, not thin and dehydrated.

6- Improved mental state. When you eat well every aspect of your life improves. The more healthy and energized you are the more positive energy you are able to give out to the world. On the flip side, when you eat saturated fats and processed foods you can feel lethargic and depressed.

7- Better digestion. Plants are full of fibre and water, they also digest much quicker then animal products. No yucky build-up in the colon or digestive track.

8- Its easy. What is more portable then fruit?! Fruit and vegetables do not need any preparation or planning they are the perfect grab and go snack or meal.

9- Setting a good example for the family. The leader goes first! Try and be the best example you can be 🙂 No pressure xo

10- Keeps you on track 365 days a year. A plant based diet is a lifestyle not a quick fix. Once you get in the practice of eating this way, you will find it becomes a natural way of life.

Want weight loss and fitness results that last? Do this!

Happy Monday friends,
I am entering week two of my “detox”. The reason I put detox in quotes is because the Drag and Drop Detox that my sister and I designed is not a quick fix. Each different aspect of the program is designed to be manageable long term and as a personal goal I intend to keep these habits long term. Since cutting back/giving up caffeine (my biggest vice),  I have had several times where I have ask myself “why I am doing this? I like coffee”. But the point is not to do and consume things simply because you like them. We need to look at things in regards of how they will make us feel long term. I like the taste of coffee, but to be honest it is bad for my skin and gives me heartburn during my almost daily spin class. All signs are pointing to coffee not working for me, but I so often forget make excuses and go back to it. I have been doing a lot of meditation and reflection on my need or instinct to consume things my body does not need and the answer is always deeper. AKA: Boredom, procrastination, maybe a little self sabotage? Lately, a few of my friends have mentioned doing the cabbage soup diet, no carb diet and the master cleanse detox. I understand the temptation of losing 10 pounds in 5 days, but I think we need to get really clear about what our ultimate goals are. What do we really want long term? How do we want to look and feel 1, 3, 5 years from now? Bringing my focus back to my long term goals has really helped not only stick to healthy habits, but embrace and enjoy them. Feeling optimal and full of life breathing energy is an amazing reward for a few sacrifices.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself not only when you are setting goals, but when you are trying to stick to them:

1- Is this nurturing to my body? When doing a so called “detox” or “cleanse, ask yourself it is nurturing your body or are you just jumping into a program for external results. Your body naturally knows how to detox itself, make sure that whatever you put into your body is helping your body’s natural detoxification process. For examples animal products live in the colon for sometime 2 weeks! Fruits and vegetables usually pass through within 24 hours. Before consuming something, ask yourself if it is strengthening your body or taking away from through the body. Try not to dehydrate, stress the digestive system or drain the body of minerals.

2- Is this nurturing my soul? Emotional health is the foundation of all aspects of health. What is the point of looking great on the outside of you feel bad on the inside? This is why meditation is an important aspect of your daily practice. Also make sure your goals are aligned with your emotional well-being. Do not set a goal to run a marathon if running hurts your knees, it will be too emotionally and physically draining. This does not mean our goals have to be easy, they will be hard and challenging. But they should align with your big picture, what do you want your ideal life to look like long term. Find the balance between being challenged and being compromised.

3- I am giving back to the universe? WHOA! Hippie Alert! I know this sounds super out there to some, but it is the Most Important question. A better planet starts inside of all of us. We all need to do our part to put out positive and giving energy. The healthier and happier you are, the more you will be able to create that same feeling in others. Be the positive change you would like to see in the world, you may not feel the results right away but being consistent and committed will create momentum and eventually a landslide of joy, health and wellness. xoxo Anna.

5 Minute Guided Meditation

Good Morning!

I created a 5 minute guided mediation for you guys. Hopefully this will help keep with the detox challenge!

Peace!!!

Happy Monday! Detox starts today!

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Good morning,
If you are joining us on the plant based detox for next 20 days be prepared to feel energized. As a tip I would like to suggest that you make sure you get in enough calories from fruit and vegetables and do not over do the fats. Too much fat will hinder the detox. Definitely eat fat but try not to go over 30-35%. This means you need large amounts I fruits and vegetables so you don’t get hungry and fall off. Keep us posted and ask us questions anytime xoxo Anna.