Category Archives: Vegan food

BENDERFITNESS COLLABORATION

http://www.benderfitness.

Happy Sunday to all. I have exciting news. I’m collaborating with Melissa Bender Fitness. I will be contributing one vegan recipe each week to be shared on her website. I love this because I admire all that she does. Her fitness website and YouTube channel are game changers. She’s completely authentic, real, and professional. Not only is she a fitness trainer, she’s a certified yoga teacher, a running coach and an Occupational Therapist. Her website has a wealth of knowledge and videos for any type of workout you are looking for. She’s my go to for yoga, workout videos, and professional advice and recipes for wellness. She has guided my journey and is one of my inspirations in life.  Benderfitness is the complete package and it’s all free. No fees needed. I suggest you check it out.

Happy Sunday. I look forward to sharing my vegan recipes. Some will be healthy and some will be vegan comfort food because I’m a firm believer that living a life of balance creates joy. We all need more joy going forward.
Namaste, Manga, and Happy Cooking.
With Gratitude,

Rose

 

 

Life’s Curveballs

Happy Wednesday to all. How’s 2020 going for all of you. I have committed to blogging and being consistent with my goals and happiness, and I’m on it in regards to my clean eating, budget food haul and meal prep. A little curveball has come my way in the form of an injured knee. It’s swollen and has been bothering me for weeks. That photo is from 2013 when I began this blog. It was days before I was in the Richard Simmons video and I got sick. I started my blog and had to rest for a few days before resuming it full force. Similar to reinventing my blog today. I start and all of a sudden my knee is giving me a hard time. 

I took today off from work to continue to apply rice; rest, ice, compression and elevation. I’m also going to buy new work shoes for now and order better ones online. Today the swelling doesn’t seem as bad as it was. This is a curveball in my plan for sure, but life throws you curveballs. It’s how you react to them. I’m listening to my body and my mindset is positive, I will heal. I do believe eating very little salt and sodium and tons of plants will help me in the process of healing and getting rid of inflammation.  The money I saved from my food budget is going to work shoes and one bill, even though I’m losing one day of work I’m still getting somewhat ahead. I’m proud to say today is my day three transitioning to eating a whole foods plant based lifestyle. I’m vegan for the animals and environment, and wfpb for my heath. This is not saying I’m against processed food and all the delicious vegan options out there, but for me those are rare and occasional treats. I love a good splurge meal but they have to be occasional treats. It’s too easy to slip. I’m eating very low salt, sugar and oil but I’m not 100% completely free of them. When I say very low that means almost none, but I won’t worry if some slips into my food. I’m trying to be healthy and balanced.

Happiness, health, wellness/weight loss and chasing goals takes a lot of work; but it also takes perseverance when things do not go your way. Those curveballs fly in the direction of your well thought out plans and goals. It’s ok if they do, just don’t let them knock you down or crush your dreams and goals. Remember, this month will build the foundation for the year. , that’s how I’m approaching January. Don’t give up when life throws you curveballs. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

For the time being I’m listening to my body and reading inspirational words while I cannot workout. I’m eating clean vegan, no salt, very little oils and sugar. Soon I will be healed and resuming my workout plans and goals. In the meantime I rest and show gratitude for my health even if my knee is temporarily injured.Today the swelling in my knee has gone down a bit, hoping I heal quickly so I can begin moving my body daily. One of the secrets to happiness for me is exercise. Have a wonderful mid week.
Love and light to all. Rose

 

How to eat vegan on a budget

Happy Monday to all. Let’s crush some goals so we worry less and spread joy more. We are happiness gurus today, not tomorrow or next week. For me it begins with two of my categories I need to work on, bills and my healthy vegan food budget. I’m getting healthy now, and my husband James is on board. To eat clean vegan doesn’t take a lot of cash. This week I’m doing it for $80.00.

These are two categories that are important in my life to be happy, getting on top of bills and debt and health. Beginning on Mondays I set the foundation for my week. I set my intentions for my day, and I honor those intentions. Here’s my food haul from last night. One more haul tonight and I’m done and then I decide which bills to tackle first, this plan is a proactive plan. To be happy you need to stop procrastinating, and find money somewhere to take care of issues. No more vegan junk means money to pay off things. I will reserve vegan junk for occasional splurges. Don’t get me wrong, I love vegan junk, only once in a while and definitely not daily. Eating clean vegan will help me on my path to weight loss/and vegan wellness.

If you want to eat clean on a budget I suggest you stick to fruits, vegetables frozen and fresh. I look around for deals first, and then I make my choices. I do the same with veggies and greens, and I buy a lot because this is the bulk of our meals. I look for seeds that may be on sale, I found chia seeds for $5.99. I buy only one bread, Ezekiel. One loaf should last a week. I have whole grain rice and a big container of oats at home, including oat flour, dark vegan chocolate chips for occasional homemade treats. At home I also have spices, nutritional yeast, and apple sauce. I have coconut oil and olive oil but we will rarely use oil. Applesauce is great for baking. We have nut butters, all natural with no salt or oil. Canned beans no salt, dry legumes like split peas and lentils. I do buy some condiments to help my hubby transition to clean vegan. Vegan mayo, vegan butter, and vegan sour cream. I will use sparingly.

Tonight at Trader Joe’s I’m finishing my haul. I will post in another blog what we are eating with this $80.00 vegan food budget. Oh, and there’s always coffee. I think it’s going to be easy to stick to this plan. After the holidays and all the salt I know eating this way will help me in three ways, losing weight, get rid of water retention from all the sodium, and save money to pay bills. It’s a win-win. Now doesn’t beginning your week this way make you happy?

One more thing, we are making a donation for Australia. I can take a little extra cash to show my support. It’s heartbreaking for all the people and animals. I can’t even look at the images, I just cry. If you can, donate a dollar or two. If we all did that imagine how much relief they can get. Part of being a happiness guru is being kind and giving. Love and light to all and prayers for our neighbors down under. Rose

WEIGH IN WEDNESDAY


It is Weigh In Wednesday and a few days before my Birthday, and a week before Christmas. I fell off the wagon the weeks after Thanksgiving, so I decided to start WW Green plan, which is the former weight watchers smart points plan revamped. For future reference WW is the former Weight Watchers, and they have three plans. The three plans are green, blue and purple. Green plan you count everything but most fruits and veggies, blue has free lean protein options added, and purple allows free grains and whole grain pasta. I’ve chosen green because it’s easier for me to be in control when I track everything, and tracking makes me less likely to binge and gain. I did that after Thanksgiving, my weight went up to 179 lbs.

Today I weighed in at 176 lbs, after being on green for one full week. My next weigh in day is Christmas, and I hope I can get through the holiday week with another loss. Going forward it’s all green for me, it just seems much easier to manage my life this way.

Speaking of life, in January 2020 I’m making some changes on this blog. I’m still going to be documenting my vegan weight loss and my fitness journey, and I plan to still be into philanthropy. I’m adding more categories though, things I feel are needed to better my life. I will post a blog how I got inspired to make this change. My blog will still be what it has been, but much more. I guess you can say it’s going to be a self development/lifestyle/wellness blog. I’m really enthusiastic about the change. At first I wanted to start a new blog and continue as us with this, but I decided to combine my ideas. I’m also planning a Youtube channel in the future.

All brand new for the new Roaring Twenties. In the meantime it’s Christmas, and I’m pulling myself out of a long melancholic mood and starting over by choosing joy. Happy Wednesday to all.
Let’s share sunshine and be happiness gurus together. Rose 

Chick Pea Salad Sandwiches

Happy Friday to all. I cannot believe it’s December 6, 2019. Time is truly flying by. I’m totally inspired for 2020 and my goal for the holidays is to try my best to lose but still enjoy some vegan holiday food. This time of year is the hardest time to try to get back on track,  but here I am. I convinced my hubby James to eat clean Whole Foods plant based in January. We will be eating clean vegan six days of the week with one day with vegan fun foods (within reason). As someone who had eating disorders this gives me the balanced and healthy lifestyle I’ve been striving for. I usually eat this way but my hubby does not as often. After the holidays we will be on the same page. Through the holiday season I will be posting some vegan fun holiday recipes as well as the healthy meals I eat most of the time.

Chick Pea Salad Sandwiches are a staple in my house, and so easy to make. We eat them on Food For Life Ezekiel Toast or whole grain crackers. They are delicious served in an avocado or over leafy greens. This is my version of the popular recipe.


You will need three cans of no salt Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed and mashed with a potato masher. I cup chopped celery, one large yellow onion chopped or a handful of scallions chopped. Two tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Two tablespoons of dill relish. Ground pepper. Paprika. Three tablespoons of vegan mayo. Mix all ingredients together and Pepper and add paprika to taste. You can switch up the vegan mayo with vegan yogurt and or mashed avocado. I am generous with my paprika. We like to build our sandwiches with leafy greens and big slices of beefsteak tomatoes. Sometimes we use roasted rep peppers, and add kalamata olives to the mixture.

You can really personalize these sandwiches. They are delicious on crackers with a bit of vegan cream cheese for a pate like appetizer. A wonderful meal and completely budget friendly. I’m on WW blue plan. I thought I could change to the purple plan but I feel blue works for me. I may change back. If you do WW and count points the garbanzo beans are free on blue and purple plans. Count the vegan mayo and the Ezekiel bread through the app. All the vegetables are free except the avocado. Crackers and vegan cream cheese must all be counted on the app.

Let me know if you try the sandwiches. Oh, fun fact, our cat Max was meowing like crazy when I made these sandwiches, apparently he thought I was making tuna sandwiches. Happy Plant Based Eating.

Happy Weekend to all. Love and light, Rose

 

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