Category Archives: Vegan food

NOVEMBER ALREADY

Happy November, is it really November already? Today is also World Vegan Day. Let me start out this post by saying going vegan is my most proud thing I’ve done, I’m living my most authentic life. Happy World Vegan.

Are you team Thanksgiving or are you the type to fast track to Christmas? I’m a little of both, we love the whole time from October to January, it’s so festive. The weather here is a little cooler which adds to the ambience.

The Holiday season is not the easiest time to make a weight loss journey a success, but I’m going to get through it working out daily and with weight loss. Yesterday was Halloween, so I enjoyed a little treat within reason. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago when I began blogging on the regular again that I would be balanced in my approach. No more craziness and unhealthy ways to lose. That’s disordered eating and not part of my plan.

I began my day with avocado toast, topped with nuts, cherry tomatoes and Siracha sauce. In the past if I knew I was having a vegan splurge I would have skipped all meals, but not anymore. I know how important nutrition is, so no skipping for this gal.

My splurge was a lettuce and tomato sub, topped with Tofurky, vegan provolone and potato chips. I chose to drink sparkling water and I had a bit of dark chocolate. A lot of people would say that’s not a splurge, but for me it is. I’m eating cleaner whole plant based foods with minimum sodium, and the vegan turkey and cheese is high in sodium which makes it a occasional treat for me. We had a great Halloween and I don’t feel like my Journey has been derailed. I’m in this for the long haul.

My next splurge will be Thanksgiving. Tonight I work late and after work I will do my #benderfitness workout. The late night workouts are really working out for my schedule. I didn’t meal plan enough which makes my weekend a challenge but I will get through it. I realized I really love the convenience of vegan protein bars with my coffee. I’m a complete zombie when I awaken. Maybe I should make protein balls to have with my coffee. Well I’m off for the day, coffee is calling and I’m going to have quiet time before work with some kitty cuddles. Perhaps a sneak peak at the Hallmark Channel. 

Happy November, let’s crush some goals during this holiday season, and do it with gratitude.
Love and light, Rose

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM

Happy Wednesday to all. I am here to say I have not missed a workout since I started brand new last week, and my food is on point. Last night my hubby James and I went to a movie and when we got home he decided he was taking a rest day. It was tempting to blow off one workout, but I declined and followed through with my commitment. That’s the theme of this new journey, following through with commitments.

I took before photos last week and I’m thinking about when I should take my next round of photos to chart progress. I’m thinking three months. That would be the end of January. What do you think? Do you feel three months can show progress?

Tomorrow is Halloween and I’m having a vegan cheat meal, a Tofurky sub and some potato chips. It’s my first cheat meal in two weeks, but I’m not going to call it a cheat meal any longer; it’s a splurge. I’m using my extra WW points so I’m not going off track, it’s just not completely clean vegan and that’s ok with me. I’m going to enjoy my vegan sub and chips, and have a little dark chocolate too.

I’m living life happy as I lose weight and get fit. It’s all about achieving a healthy mind, body and spirit. To get that you need balance. I will post a photo of my sub on Halloween. I’m eating fun foods and spending the day with my hubby, but I’m not skipping my Thursday workout. Back to the importance of commitments and building a solid routine, keeping that momentum going strong.

Do you love Halloween? We love the time between September and January, it really is festive. We hung orange lights and everything at home is illuminated. Yesterday our building had trick or treaters, it was so cute to leave out candy and see the smiles on the kiddies faces!!  No matter what you are going through, making others smile is definitely healing.

Off to work for the day, my food is packed for tonight I’m doing my Wednesday #benderfitness workout after I get home. No more excuses. Please give me your thoughts about the next time I should take full body photos to chart my progress. Have a wonderful Halloween Eve.
With Gratitude, Rose

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

Today is weigh in Monday and week two of my #benderfitness workouts. I weighed in at 176  and lost 1 lb. I’m focusing on clean eating (vegan) and also balanced eating. What does balanced eating mean? For me it’s eating a 80/20 diet or 90/20. In other words the bulk of my meals are Whole Foods plant-based, using minimal oils and lower salts and sugars, always counting my WW points. It’s my WW points that help me stay balanced when I eat something that’s more processed or a treat. I’m getting my vegan nutrition in and I don’t feel deprived. It’s truly balanced eating and I feel great after my week one. Focusing also on my workouts is important too, I’m refusing to be a slave to the scale. I lost one true pound, I didn’t cut water or skip meals yesterday like I have in the past to get a better number on the scale. I am in it to win it and not taking shortcuts to get there.

Lots to do today, so that’s it for now. It’s my day off but also the first day of my second week of Melissa Bender Fitness workouts. I started my day with a vegan Vega protein bar and one cup of delicious coffee with my Silk vegan creamer, lots of water and fruit.

I hope you are having a Happy Monday and chasing all of your goals no matter what happens. Last week felt like the lowest week we experienced in a long time but I didn’t quit. I’m committed and I’m climbing over all obstacles that come my way. Happy Motivational Monday to all. Love and Light, Rose

 

 

TRADER JOE’S INSPIRED SOUP

I love Trader Joe’s, I really love it there. When we lived in West Hollywood CA I used to walk to two local Trader Joe’s, one on the Sunset Strip and the other on Santa Monica Blvd. the management and staff were always just wonderful, like family. When our cat Stormy passed away in 2013 the kind staff gave us a dragon plant, which means life and living. Very healing indeed. That’s Trader Joe’s, the staff ended up being my friends and it was hard to say goodbye when we moved. 

We don’t get to The Trader Joe’s here in the Woodlands TX as often as I like, but after shopping there on my day off I realized that needs to change. The staff is equally kind, and when I wrote a kind email asking if they could offer vegan creamer at the coffee station I received a personal text from the manager. He was so cool, and Monday I noticed they offered coconut creamer at the coffee station. I’m very grateful to our local Trader Joe’s, it must be their culture to be so wonderful. They even play great music.

I also love Trader Joe’s because I get inspired to create when I’m there. This weeks creation is Vegan vegetable soup with red lentil pasta. It was so easy and healthy. Here’s my newest soup. It was extra delicious after my Wednesday workout and cardio. 

You will need Trader Joe’s Mirepoix Mix,

8 chopped garlic gloves,

1 TBS olive oil,

3 cartons low sodium vegetable broth,

3 cans no salt diced tomatoes,

1 bag mixed cabbage,

1/2 bag fresh green beans,

1 bag frozen sweet corn,

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables,

1/2 bag mushrooms,

1 full bag red lentil pasta,

salt, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning.


Step one,  bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook red lentil pasta for six minutes. Drain and set aside. Sauté mirepoix mix (diced celery, onions, carrots) in olive oil for 5 minutes, add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add 3 cartons vegetable broth, cabbage, green beans, frozen corn, frozen mixed vegetables, mushrooms, canned tomatoes and pasta and season to taste. Cook on low for one hour and 15 minutes. You can add any vegetable you like, it was so delicious and hearty. We served it with whole grain rosemary sourdough bread we found at HEB. We love HEB too, a wonderful place to grocery shop with equally kind staff. I made sure I counted my points, and I really enjoyed the bread and soup with zero guilt. Sometimes recipes do not need to be complicated to be delicious and of course healthy.

If you live near a Trader Joe’s I recommend you go and see what food inspires you. Happy cooking, eating and health to you and yours. Love and Light,

Rose 

 

 

WEIGH IN AND WELLNESS

Happy first day of October. I hope everyone is getting some apple cider and enjoying the brand new season. I love Autumn, even though here it’s still very hot and humid. There’s lots of positivity and change coming my way, I feel it deep in my soul. I always say Change comes on slow and then runs you over. We will see in the following weeks and months where change will take us. For now I’m healing from my kidney infection and focusing back on my goals. Remember to always drink enough water even the day before weigh in. I thought it was a good idea to cut water and fast the  day before my weigh in days. I dehydrated myself and it’s probably one of the reasons I got a kidney infection. Lesson learned, there are no short cuts to true weight loss, wellness, health and fitness. 

I mentioned last time I posted I am staying on WW ( formally weight watchers). My diet has not been clean and even though I’m losing weight I do not feel well. I decided to clean up my act for 30 days. I’m always going to be vegan, but I don’t always eat whole food and plant based. I’m going to eat clean vegan for 30 days. Perfect, on Halloween I can enjoy my favorite vegan fun foods. I’m also cutting out my vegan mayo and vegan butters, replacing with Whole Foods like avocado, nut and seed butters. The goal is to feel better, so I can focus on fitness and wellness. I’m so happy and proud that vegan alternatives are so readily available, and I’m a fan; but for me I need to try to eat those items in moderation. I will be experimenting with cooking and recipes. A few of my vegan cookies from the bake sale are wfpb. 

Late breakfast today. I had to help my hubby James get ready for his flight to D.C. I’m having toasted Ezekiel bread with pure nut butter and bananas.

If you are vegan I would love you to join me on this 30 day challenge. My weight is still 173 lbs. I didn’t make my goal to make it in the 160’s by the end of September, so my goal is now for the end of October. I can do this. 

Love and Light for today I’m out! 

Rose

 

I REJOINED WW ONLINE( after two week break)

Before I get into my post I wanted to address Tropical Storm Imelda. We are in Houston and we are safe. I pray for all of those around me affected by another devastating storm. I’m so grateful to the rescuers, the businesses and churches opening their doors for shelter.  Thinking about my friends at Henry’s Home and Horse Sanctuary. A big shout out to Mattress Mack. I would love to meet him someday. He always ways opens his door to those in need. 

I was doing so well with my food, I was down 13 lbs since joining WW online. Two weeks ago I believed I could go it without WW so I let go of my membership. In that two weeks life happened, it always does. One comfort food meal turned into another and all of a sudden I was out of control. I could feel my fear of food and my eating disorder issues creep back into my psyche. It took a pasta and vegan key lime pie binge, and the sickness I felt after to send me back to WW online. I rejoined at 2 am. 

I woke up with peace with food. I felt my support was there. I started tracking my day and I made healthy choices. I feel back in control despite the fact I went up 6 lbs in two weeks. Better to catch it now and begin the process of losing and getting fit before I gain even more weight. Healing in mind, body, and spirit and giving back. Those are my goals on this blog. I made a delicious tofu scramble with spinach and veggies, no oil. I split my whole grain Dave’s bagel with my husband. I ate, I’m satisfied and I have zero guilt. That’s worth every penny of my monthly WW fee if $19.99. Love and Light to all and  stay safe if you are in Houston. Rose

 

VEGGIE CHILI RECIPE

It’s been raining non stop here. We are definitely on our clean eating lifestyle but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our favorite fall favorites. My hubby James requested Veggie Chili. Here’s my rainy day vegan veggie chili recipe. I had one bowl. It was absolutely delicious. We pair it with a big green salad. It’s high fiber, high protein and definitely comfort food. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Love and Light. Rose 

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil.

1 large onion, diced.

1 large green pepper, diced.

1 large red pepper, diced.

5 cloves garlic, diced.

2 large cans diced tomatoes, no salt.

1 large can tomato sauce (hunts)

3 large cans red kidney beans, low sodium.

1 can corn, no salt.

1 package faux grounds. I like gardein or lightlife.

2 packets chili spices

salt and pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat, sauté onions, peppers until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add vegan grounds and mix with vegetables. Add 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1 can hunts tomato sauce, 3 cans kidney beans, corn, and stir. Fold in two packets of chili spices, and add a dash of salt and pepper. Mix and cook on medium/low for 45 minutes. Serve with avocado and vegan sour cream. It’s so yummy!🎃

 

44 Day Challenge

Did you know it’s 44 days until Halloween arrives? This really begins the Autumn/Holiday season for many. My hubby James and I always have our little tradition. We eat burgers ( now vegan)  and carve pumpkins and drink cider, all watching scary movies. It’s a tradition we honored since our Pittsburgh days. This year we will not let that tradition slide by.

Today I’m starting a 44 day challenge. I’m going to try to show up here daily and share what I’m doing. I’m going to take it Day by day because I may change things up, but my plan is to focus on nutrition, fitness and goals. To show up daily despite my work schedule. I’ve lost 23 lbs but in my opinion I’ve been not working as hard as I can. I watched a video with Tao-Porchon Lynch and she really inspired me. So today begins my challenge. It’s 44 days until Halloween. Let’s do this!! 

No cheat days until Halloween. No pasta. Only whole grain foods in moderation. A little dark chocolate is ok. I’m really going to try to not eat my goodies at our bake sale, just the vegan healthy cookies but in moderation. No refined junk of any kind. I’m going to eat clean vegan. 

Daily Yoga Sun Salutations, and some other workouts. I’m using Melissa Bender Fitness, and my cardio will be walking, running etc. I plan to move 60 minutes a day plus ten sun salutations daily. Legs up a wall before bed. I don’t care if my workout before or after work, if I have time to sit and watch tv I have time to without. 1 hour plus ten sun salutations. Like that Pizza Guy on YouTube says, that’s the rules. Everybody knows the rules, everybody being me. 

The other things I will be adding will be addressed in future posts. What I’m reading, writing, who I’m watching for inspiration. Fun classes I may take, plus tools for self development. Products I use to help me heal and make me feel well again. I’m not sick but my body can be my temple again. Lots of personal goals I’m going to tackle. No procrastination. Today is the day. As I type this we found out an old friend in Pittsburgh PA lost his battle with Lung Cancer. He was only 38. Life is short. Do what you dream of doing today. RIP Chris Pierce. Thank you for your kindness.

RIP Chris

 

WHAT I EAT ( weight loss and vegan)

Happy Tuesday to all. Here I am, day three of posting each and every day. This week I stayed the same, but I think I’m killing it in the weight loss game. I use the WW app to track what I eat, and as a vegan I try to be careful how much starchy foods I eat. I don’t limit them all together, I just keep all of my portions in check. It’s all about good nutrition and portion control for me. 

Food, it’s something we have to learn to have a healthy relationship with, and I’m definitely starting to achieve balance. Monday’s are my vegan cheat day, on that day I eat vegan comfort foods like pasta or a veggie burger. Tuesday’s through Sunday I eat Whole Foods/plant based; basically cleaner vegan. I do limit my oils, salt and sugar but I do not eliminate them completely. I have really cut down though, my olive oil bottle lasts a very long time now. I always drink 16 oz of water when I wake up, and about 6 oz of coconut water. I immediately eat a banana as I wait for my coffee to brew. Breakfast is usually something quick, overnight oats or a vegan protein bar and coffee with silk soy creamer and a bit of raw sugar or blackstrap molasses. I’m a zombie until after a drink my java. My eating plan is pretty much 80/20. Mostly clean with a little wiggle room. It keeps me from over obsessing about food. I try to get around 60 grams of protein daily through plant based options. 

Here are some photos of what I eat for breakfast and dinner. Vegan pancakes are a day off treat. I usually only eat twice a day on work days with my schedule. Lots of fresh fruits, greens, veggies, and some frozen as well. Pasta only on occasional Mondays. I make a lot of high protein bean soups, like split pea and lentil soups. I admit I eating vegan protein bars for breakfast when I feel rushed is not the healthiest but it works for me.  Ezekiel bread, hummus, baked tofu with veggies, legumes, so many delicious and healthy vegan options. Here’s pics of some of my go to get healthy meals. I will post recipes soon. What are your staples? Happy Eating and losing weight!

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Vegan Bean Chili

Vegan faux meat balls with homemade marinara and veggies

Pancakes with bananas, oat flour and soy milk. Dark Chocolate Chip version.

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

Soda alternative

Natures Candy

Staple main dish salad

Vegan tomato basil cream sauce fettuccine

Cheat day treat, I add vegan mayo

Vegan tomato bolognese with red wine

Baked tofu and kale or spinach with veggies. Italian seasoning with a bit of olive oil

Vegan tomato bolognese penne pasta.

Vegan banana pancakes with berries

Avocado chocolate mousse from Melissa Bender Fitness adapted by Chocolate Covered Katie

Meal prep berries with lemon juice

Trader Joe’s steamed lentil and veggie salad

EASY VEGAN ALFREDO

It’s Tuesday and I’m late to updating my weight loss. I’m down another 2 lbs, weighing in at 171 lbs. That’s 13 lbs since I joined WW online and 18 total weight loss. I was 159 lbs when I moved to Houston from Los Angeles in June 2017. I’m almost there. My first weight goal is 159 lbs. My ultimate weight loss goal is to weigh in around 140 lbs.

Soon I will also be sharing my fitness journey and my volunteering journey. I plan to try on new routines to help me get to all of my goals. Waitressing has taken up most of my time, and  some new time management skills are needed.  I am a work in progress for sure, but I keep on keeping on despite life’s stresses. I am losing weight again and I’m living my authentic life as a vegan, for that I’m immensely proud. 

I love to experiment with vegan cheat meals on my day off after weigh in, of course always counting my portions. I was craving Alfredo and my vegan Fettuccine  Alfredo hit the spot. It’s an easy recipe and just as creamy as Alfredo made with dairy. Here’s the recipe below, even vegans need cheat meals. 

Easy Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb Fettuccine

2 Tbs olive oil, 1Tbs earth balance vegan butter

1 cup vegan creamer non sweetened or unsweetened soy milk

1 cup vegan Parmesan cheese, I used GoVeggie

4 cloves garlic

handful of fresh chopped basil, parsley

salt and pepper

Half of a fresh squeezed lemon juice

Cook Pasta  according to directions. I bring my water to a rolling boil and cook Fettuccine for 12 minutes. 

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. 

In a large pot sauté garlic in olive oil and earth balance for 3 minutes.

Salt and pepper.

Add unsweetened vegan creamer or unsweetened soy milk, bring to a boil, cooking for two minutes.

Add reserved pasta water, fresh lemon juice and vegan cheese. Bring to a boil and stir until lumps disappear.

Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and fresh basil.

Continue stirring until smooth.

Stir in cooked pasta, mixing well.

Garnish with fresh or dried parsley and additional vegan Parmesan cheese. 

You can add broccoli, or any vegetable you prefer. A little crushed red pepper would be delicious, or a can of diced tomatoes would be a wonderful addition. We loved it and I will make it again. My first attempt was a fail, I accidentally used vegan creamer with sugar. My second attempt was a major hit!!  I hope you love this as much as we did. 

Manga, 

Love and Light 

Rose