My Vegan (plant-based) Meal Staples and Status on New Year Goals

It’s already been two (almost three) weeks into the new year and time is already flying by so fast! I can’t believe it. Does it always get like this as we get older? I’m only a quarter of a century old.

Anyway, I wanted to give an update on my vegan (or should I say plant-based) meals and how my fitness goals are going. I guess I should go with my fitness goals since that is easier to talk about.

The good thing is that I am following my push, pull, leg/ab and cardio routine. I feel like it’s helping me get stronger than the other routine I’ve been following (which is no routine, just doing random machines). For my yoga 3 times a week, I haven’t been following as much. I have done it twice so far, so it’s not a total fail yet. The other problem is that I have a hard time trying to stretch after every workout. I just get so busy but I do have to make time to stretch. I can feel how tight my my muscles are. I know how important stretching is.

I tried spinning for the first time on Sunday with my friends. I did not know how hard spinning was, omg. I loved the music our instructor chose. However, I think either my muscles are weak and tight or the bike wasn’t positioned correctly for my height. My knees hurt during most of the class and they are still hurting today. I feel so old. I am hoping it will go away, I am trying to avoid any exercises that are too impact for the knees, like running. I may  have to skip leg day on Wednesday or just do body weight exercises for legs. I’m sad but I don’t want to injure my knees any more.

Regarding my plant-based diet, mi novio and I have been trying to come up with eating out options for vegan meals if it ever get to that point. We also have thought of some meals we can cook and eat at home.

Eat Out Vegan Options

  • Loving Hut
  • Burger Patch
  • Pizza Bell
  • Chipotle- sofrita bowl
  • Carl’s Jr Beyond Burger w/ no cheese, no mayo
  • Panda Express – chow mein/rice, eggplant tofu

I think that is enough options for us for now. We plan on eating in most of the time.

So, when it comes to plant-based staples for eating in, here is what worked for us so far.

  • Tofu/tempeh stirfry with Healthy Noodles or rice and teriyaki sauce (we use the frozen stirfry veggies from costco)
  • General’s Tofu
  • Vegan Burgers (mainly the beyond meat)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Nuts/Fruits
  • Soymilk

We are trying to finish off our meat-products we have at home so all of our meals haven’t been plant-based yet. But this is what we had and liked so far. I will post a more extensive list after our plant-based challenge next month.

We are excited to see what happens to our body next month when we switch to a fully plant-based diet. Hopefully clear skin, more energy, better blood work, lower blood pressure, and just overall better health.

In my next post, I will talk about vegan/plant based health and staples everyone eating a plant-based diet should have in their refrigerator/pantry.

It’s been a long time…

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve lasted posted. I really needed a break. I couldn’t think of topics to write about and I have been extremely busy. There has been a lot of change for me the past half year and it’s just been crazy.

For one thing, I needed to take a break from some social media. I haven’t been on Instagram, Snapchat, etc. for a while now. I still used Facebook but that was just to be able to communicate with friends and family. I want to live and enjoy life. Not live life behind a camera. Plus, it kind of sucks that no matter how hard I try, I tend to compare myself to others on social media. Taking a break has made me realize that I shouldn’t compare my life to others and I should just be happy and live my life. Everyone usually only posts the “good” parts of their life, not the not so fun day to day stuff.

I also started taking guitar lessons a few months ago since I thought it’d be cool to learn something new and plus I love music. It’s so different from playing the cello and violin, which I’m used to. I also have a new boyfriend, which has been going great. We workout together and do everything together. It’s nice to be with someone that has the same goals as you.

We’ve been to many places together already. We went to Disneyland, we started to going to a lot of brewfests, EDC Las Vegas, and to Belfair, Washington during the 4th of July weekend. It’s been fun being able to travel and do things with each other.

I have gained weight because of all of these vacations though, which sucks. That’s the price for eating too good during vacations.  Before Disneyland (which was at the end of March), I weighed under 130 lbs, the lowest I had been in over three years. Now, I’m close to 140 lbs. I want to get back under 130 lbs. My goal weight is 120 – 125 lbs.

It’s not impossible to lose 15 pounds but it is always hard when you don’t have that much weight to lose to begin with. The good thing is that my bf and I are on the same page with losing weight, which helps. We both like working out and trying to eat healthy, but we also love eating good food (which doesn’t help sometimes either). But since we both gained weight because of the vacations, we are working together to lose the weight we gained.

I’ll be posting about my weight loss journey here. 🙂 For the most part, I do look the same but I don’t feel as well as I should. Of course, I want to lose weight the healthy way. I’ll post my plan on the next post. I just wanted pop in and say hi.

What have you guys been up to?

Do you guys need social media break sometimes? 

What is “healthy eating”?

I have no idea where to begin on what is “healthy eating”. I have a bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition and it still boggles my mind. Now, I probably should clarify and say I don’t understand what “healthy eating tips” are, or how they came about in the first place.

Well, before I get more into this unorganized post with a lot of ranting, here is my definition of healthy eating: “Eating food that nourishes the mind, body, and soul“. Yes, eating healthy means to eat food that provides all the nutrients for your body. Yes, that means eating your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, etc. However, there is another aspect of eating: eating food that nourishes your soul. That means that if you want to eat that scoop of ice cream, go right ahead. DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT.

People put so much shame on eating that greasy burger or pizza. “I’ll gain 10 pounds by just looking at it.” “That burger will make me fat”. You know what? Don’t! If your body is craving it, eat it. Just don’t eat it every single damn day. It’s about finding the right balance of healthy eating and eating foods that you enjoy. It’s like they always say, everything in moderation! It won’t kill you if you eat burgers and fries every once in a while.

I get that some people have the all or nothing approach. They have to eat only “healthy foods” if they want to eat “healthy”. There’s no way they’re eating a piece of chocolate because after that, they won’t be able to stop. However, the question is whether or not you enjoy that type of eating. I like having a piece of chocolate every once in a while. I like eating pizza, burgers, fries, and ice cream. I just don’t eat it every day. You have to find the right balance.

The reason why I’m posting this is because it’s January, it’s a New Year, and people will fall into the diet trap. Keto, Whole30, whatever diet is the trend that year. If eating like that makes you healthy and feel good, sure. Do you like the food? Go for it. But, if you’re suffering through it and you’re not enjoying it, why torture yourself? 

I get it. People want to be healthier, maybe even lose weight. But remember, enjoy your food. Don’t be so hard on yourself. As long as you’re eating healthy, it’s okay to eat the other foods every once in a while. 

So, what is your definition of healthy eating?

What’s your favorite food? 

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Well, it’s that time of year again! With all the food, traveling, parties, and everything fun that comes with the holidays, it can be difficult to keep up with eating healthy and exercising.  Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy during the holiday season!

  1. Make time for physical activity. Whether it’s taking a family walk around the park or fitting in a half hour workout in the morning before preparing for that Thanksgiving dinner, it’s always good to get some physical activity in! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you don’t have to hit the gym to get in a workout. The important thing is to make exercise a priority, regardless of what it is, or you may forget it altogether.
  2. HYDRATE. Drinking water is so important. Your body needs water! It can be really difficult to drink water when there are other drinks available, such as alcohol, soda, juice, etc. It’s also hard when you’re traveling, as you may have less access to water when you’re on the road. Travel with a water bottle! Remember to empty the water  before going through TSA. You can always refill your water bottle at a water fountain after passing through TSA.
  3. Have good hygiene! This is something that is sometimes overlooked but nothing ruins the holidays than getting sick. It makes the holidays much less enjoyable, especially if you miss out on a party just because you weren’t feeling well. Wash your hands, have hand sanitizer with you, bundle up appropriately, etc.
  4. Indulge but don’t indulge too much. This means watch your portions of the delicious food you’re eating. Enjoy the food. There’s always a lot of food during the holidays. People bring in cookies, candy, etc to the office and there’s plenty of food at parties. However, it’s not a free-for-all to eat huge portions of everything. If anything, choose specific foods you want to indulge in, such as your grandma’s favorite pecan pie or that delicious pot roast that your aunt makes for Christmas every year. You don’t eat this stuff normally and it’s okay to indulge and enjoy the occasion! Everything in moderation is the key.
  5. Eat slower and enjoy your food! This will make sure you don’t choke on your food. Choking hazard joke aside, savor your food and enjoy it. It takes a while for your stomach to register that you’re eating and starting to get full. Giving this more time to set in can prevent you from eating more than you intend to.  Plus, you really get to enjoy the flavors of the meal you have and you get to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while since you’re eating slowly and enjoying time with them.

At the end, just enjoy the holidays and try not to stress about eating. After all, the most important thing is that you are spending time with your family and friends. Go ahead and indulge!

How do you stay healthy during the holidays? 

What’s your favorite holiday treat? 

Simple Ways to Start Eating Healthy

What is healthy eating? There are articles online, blogs, magazines, and even posts from people you follow on social media. Some say you have to eat organic, non-GMO (genetically modified organism) foods. It has to be “grass-fed” beef or even local.

You know what? That apple you’re eating does not have to be organic. That beef you’re eating does not have to be grass-fed. And you know what? Bananas are already genetically modified. You can think of genetically modified organism  as selective breeding. It’s called choosing certain characteristics of an organism and breeding it together.  Let’s take that banana for example. They used to be small, weird shaped, and had hard seeds in them. Now, they have much smaller seeds, easy to hold, and very tasty!

Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked. My point is, you can go ahead and eat the regular apple that’s not organic. You can eat that GMO banana. It’s hard for some people to eat healthy and seeing these labels such as “organic” and “non-GMO” can steer people away from eating healthy, especially since these products also tend to cost more than regular food.

To start eating healthy, here are some tips:

  1. Start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.  For example, instead of snacking on chips and soda, try snacking on grapes, apples, carrots, red bell peppers, nuts, or roasted seasoned chickpeas.
    • Pro tip if you have children: Have your children pick a new fruit and vegetable to try each week. They are more likely to eat it when they choose it.
  2. Meatless Mondays!
  3. Start making half of your grains whole grains (if you haven’t been eating whole grain). For example, if you have regular toast as part of your breakfast, you can use whole wheat bread for your sandwich or use brown rice instead of white rice for lunch.
  4. Use smaller plates/bowls to reduce portion sizes without feeling like you’re eating less.
  5. Bring lunch to work everyday (this also saves money!). One easy way is to cook an extra portion when you cook dinner and bring the leftovers for lunch.
  6. Make a meal plan for the week. This advice is something I am hesitant to give since I like to eat something different everyday. However, having a plan can help you save money and reduce food waste. You know what you’ll be eating so you won’t be buying extra groceries and you won’t be wasting extra food if it doesn’t get eaten.
  7. Eat until you are 80% full. The Japanese call it “hara hachi bu”. There will be a separate post about this since I feel like this is important!

As you can see, you don’t have to go on a “Whole 30 Diet” or go to any extremes to eat healthy. Small things you do everyday will add up.

I hope this post steers you in the right direction into eating healthy.

What type of nutrition posts would you guys want to read about?