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.

Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe it’s 2020, a new decade. So much has happened the past decade and I can’t what to see what’s in store for this decade, and year.

So, on a bad note, I have not lost weight as I had wanted to. But at least I did not gain weight. I feel like this is my maintenance weight when I workout (unstructured) and eat how I want to normally. If I were to be strict on my diet and my workout, it’d be a lot different. On a good note, I am happy to start off the new decade with new changes and goals! Here they are.

First Goal – Transition into a more plant based diet

Mi novio and I will be transitioning into a more plant-based diet. The end goal is to be vegan. For now, we won’t buy any more meat products and finish any that we have at home. We don’t like wasting food. However, we do want to do a full vegan challenge next month in February. I will be testing my blood right before the challenge and right after it. I want to see how my cholesterol and everything changes when switching to a vegan diet. I will also be taking my blood pressure too. We will post before and after pictures too to see if there are any changes.

We are still being flexible as we want to see how the food is and if we can maintain it.  At least now is the time to be vegan since there are so many more vegan options out there and that it’s becoming more popular and acceptable in society. For now, we do want to be vegan. However, if we are with our Asian families (who believe that you have to eat meat to be healthy), we might eat small amounts of meat. However, we do plan on eating mostly plant based foods, hoping that it isn’t cooked with any animal products (oyster sauce, chicken broth, etc.). One way to combat it is to bring a vegan entree that we can eat. But we will see how it goes. The other thing is when we are on vacation, how that will work out. Some places might not have that many vegan options. The point is that we will eat vegan for the most part and will not go out of our way to eat meat products. For sure during our challenge, we will be full vegan and see how it goes.

The reason we are transition is that we same a Netflix documentary called The Game Changers. If you test the blood of a vegan person and of a meat eater, you can see how cloudy the blood of a meat eater is. Imagine that going through your blood vessels, seeing how it could clog your arteries. They claim that going vegan will give you more energy and that it will be especially helpful when doing sports and physical activity. I do believe that. Mi novio is doing it because he wants more energy and is hoping it will improve his basketball. I am doing it for more of the health benefits and I don’t need meat in my life. I had periods of time in my life that I ate vegetarian but it wasn’t sustainable since my parents did not support that diet.

Back to the documentary. I don’t believe that meat is evil, that it is terrible for the body. That is what the documentary is trying to do. However, I do see the benefits of eat less meat and going towards more of a plant based diet. After the challenge, we may decide to be flexitarian, eat vegan for the most part and eat very few meat/meat products when with our families or on vacation (depending on what food is available). Or we will maintain our vegan lifestyle. We will see.

Mi novio has done a lot of research to see what nutrients, food, etc. we need and what we can eat if we were to go out to eat to inform himself. I already know as a nutritionist. We will have to stick to a meal plan so that we can be healthy and not be deficient in anything.

Second Goal – Fitness

My 2nd goal is to become stronger and lose weight. I am going to have more structure to my workouts. Before, I was just randomly doing weight machines with no specific goal in mine. Now, it will be more structured. I will be doing a pull-push-legs/abs type of thing. I will be doing cardio 3-4 times a week. This will help build strength and I hope to be able to do a pull-up this year. I will also be stretching after every workout so that I can be more flexible. Here is the plan.

Sunday – legs/abs + cardio

Monday – Push

Tuesday – Pull + Cardio

Wednesday – Legs/abs

Thursday – Push + cardio

Friday – Pull + cardio

Saturday – Rest

The cardio will be randomly spread out throughout the week depending on how I feel and how busy I am. I will be doing Pilates core workouts to work on my abs and do a 15-20 minute night yoga video at least 3 x a week. `This should help relieve some stress, muscle tension, and help me relax before going to bed.

I do have other goals in regards to my professional life, my personal life (such as organization skills, etc), and working on improvement relationships I have in my life with my family, novio, and friends. However, I feel that once I reach my goal of losing weight, it will give me the confidence to be able to improve everything else in my life as it will improve my self-esteem and confidence.

That’s it for now.

Do you have any new goals for the new year/decade?

If yes, what are they? If not, why not? 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Muffins with Chocolate ChipsMy perfect morning is this:

  • Early morning run &
  • Eating a muffin along with drinking a cup of coffee

I  feel more productive that way. Early morning runs keep me energized and I just love eating sweets after a run. I guess it is because I use up all of my stored glycogen from running and during the night while I am sleeping! I need the glucose in my blood for my brain to work!  That is why these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Muffins with Chocolate Chips are perfect. They have all the carbohydrates (glucose) I need to refuel my body after a good run. Plus, they are delicious.

Wait, did I mention that these muffins are vegan too? Well, I guess I just did! Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used vanilla soymilk)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • chocolate chips (can use vegan ones if you want to make them vegan. You can use as much as you want)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter and sugar. Mix in the bananas.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds with the milk. Then, add it to the sugar/banana mixture.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the brown rice flour and baking powder.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients INTO the wet ingredients, slowly mixing.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into muffin tins. If you are making mini muffins, bake for 10-15 minutes. If you are making regular size muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Take them out, let them cool for a little bit, and enjoy!

I hope you guys enjoy these muffins! They are quite simple to make. I eat them as part of breakfast or as a snack.

Are you a morning person?

– I am. I wake up early to workout.

Do you like muffins?

Muffins are my favorite!

Vegan Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes

Welcome. I hope the smell of these awesome cupcakes don’t distract you. It looks like a brownie cupcake, right?

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These cupcakes are delicious! I made them the past weekend and no one can tell that it uses healthier ingredients.

My brother said that these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made while his friend ate 3 of them. Whoops. There’s no butter, dairy, eggs, etc. Guess what. I used whole wheat pastry flour! Oh, the added fiber makes it a bit more filling.

Here’s the recipe to these amazing cupcakes. Shhh. Don’t say that they’re vegan.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oil

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add in all the wet ingredients. Mix.
  4. Pour into cupcake liners. Fill about 3/4 way full.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. For me, it was done at 17 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

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On another note, my classes went well for the most part. Wish me luck on that. There’s a class I’m waitlisted for. Also, I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I’m so happy to be part of the the SweatPink Team.

What do you think of vegan desserts?

Do you like making healthier version of desserts?