Thursday, October 29, 2015

My 3 Day Cleanse Results

3 Day Refresh

Results are in! I just finished a cleanse called the 3 Day Refresh and it went very well! :)

 I announced this on my snapchat this morning (dream4tmrw), but I lost 3 pounds and 4 inches in 3 days!! YAY!!


 I've done my fair share of cleanses, but day 3 was super tough for me...I honestly think shorter cleanses are harder than long ones because the first 3 days your body is in shock and is like WHAT ARE YOU DOING, firing hunger pains and hanger...but trust me it gets way easier.


3 Day Refresh Results


Have you ever done a cleanse?? What was your experience like? If you follow me on my Like page on Facebook (Fb.com/LaurenMcHughFitness), you know that I've done my fair share of them, including a 21 day one this past Spring.

I love a good challenge, so here are my top 3 tips on HOW TO SURVIVE A CLEANSE:

1. Stock up on all the water. It is your best friend. On my 21 day cleanse, I could only have distilled water. I went through it like a dehydrated camel, so I was constantly going back to the store. Stock up on that life saving liquid, your headaches will magically disappear and you'll be much fuller!

2. Clean out the pantry! Nothing ever good came from cookies in the cabinet while you are super hangry, which naturally happens when you're cleansing. Get it OUT! Destroy it, throw it away, junk food is not your friend, especially when you are cleansing your body of it! Plus, you're more likely to stay on track :)

3. Have a Plan of Attack. Don't plan girls nights when you can only sip herbal tea and be boring. Pack cleanse approved snacks/tons of water when you're running errands (avoid food stores...make sure to prep in advance), and have alarms on your phone when you next have that shake or juice or carrots, whatever! 

I hope this was helpful :)

The holiday season is coming up, and I know I don't want to be back to bloated and unhappy for the next few months! January is this huge BOOM New Years resolution month, but really I think it's super important to have a resolution for yourself EVERY month of the year...bikini season or not, it's about your HEALTH! 

Investing in my health has been the BEST decision I've ever made...no more debilitating allergies, no more digestive issues, no more getting sick ALL the time, no more feeling behind in all physical activities...I'm still on my journey but learning everyday. And DAMN I've come a long freakin way the past few years <3

 If you're even remotely curious about what I do, or you want to make your health a priority and just don't know where to start, reach out to me! I promise I'm a real person, with real goals, on a real journey :) And Remember...You are BEAUTIFUL!! 

Email: LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com :)




Monday, October 19, 2015

My 12 Year Vegeversary

Plant Based Diet



I can't believe I'm celebrating almost 12 years of being a vegetarian! That's about half my life! Two of those years I was a vegan, but I did it the unhealthy way (all the carbs and junk I could get ahold of....plus a not so great mindset in high school). 

Sometimes it's still difficult...going out to dinner, traveling, cooking with an omnivore boyfriend...but like everything in life, if something is important to you, it's a priority, you make it work. Yes, I have had to make sacrifices, yes I still struggle with not consuming dairy (and I believe in balance so I do eat cheese every now and then), but mostly I don't really think about it.

More recently I've been doing research on a whole foods, plant-based, oil free diet and I saw amazing results in how I felt, looked, and even spoke to others. 21 days of doing this and I was a completely different person. But then temptation came when there were family events, then Disneyland, my birthday, and my strict lifestyle became more lax.

Since I've dealt with eating, self-esteem, body image, and other issues in the past, I have found the best way to FEEL my best is a vegan diet. I really don't like labels because I think we are confined to them, but there are many varieties. I made a blog breaking down some of them, with a video on what I have found works best for me. Click here to view.

I know that on social media, we can get so caught up in categorizing, hash tagging, and putting each other into strict confines on who we are. When I get comments telling me I'm not a vegan, or a vegetarian, or plant based, it gets to me because I make it SO clear that I'm not trying to be in one category--I flip flop. I'm mainly plant based, but I'm human. We live in a world where meat is still rampant, where milk is consumed like crazy, and where I will probably get negative comments every single time I post about it. This is why I surround myself with like-minded people! If you're reading this, you're probably one of them! :)

I LOVE hearing about people raising their kids vegan. I LOVE looking at amazing vegan recipes. I LOVE hearing about people making the transition from omnivore to herbivore. I LOVE sharing my story with others in hopes that it will inspire them to take action. I LOVE my veggie goodness, my almond milk, my spinach, my vegan protein bars, my superfood vegan shake, my almond butter, my veggie burgers, my quinoa, my cleanses, and the fact that loving this and sticking to this is MY choice.

Vegan Lifestyle


It's funny that you can still get ridiculed for doing something you're so incredibly passionate about. I don't ask about your protein intake. I don't ask about how you get your veggies in everyday. I don't ask if you eat fast food. I am in charge of me, and you are in charge of you <3

I am proud of myself for sticking to something for this long and having zero regrets. Even if I have to order a side of potatoes at breakfast because there are only animal products on the menu, I will. Even if I have to bake a plant-based lasagna and bring it to a holiday dinner so I can eat something, I will. Even if I have to meal prep in order to travel, I will.

Everyone is passionate about some aspect of their lifestyle, whether that is working out, body building, farming, going to church, meditating, running a support group, doing hot yoga, not wearing shoes to class...

I mean I went to UC Santa Cruz, I've seen it all ;)

Some people are raised vegetarian or vegan, which I think is absolutely amazing. I made my own decision at 13 and have never strayed. And yes, I am very proud of that. Keep doing you, and never forget to LOVE YOURSELF!! <3

#PlantPower

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Easy Vegan Mac N "Cheese"

Vegan Mac n Cheese

I am admittedly a cheese addict. I used to be all about that fake crap you get at Safeway and have no idea what's in it. I've been skeptical about making vegan mac n cheese because all the recipes sound so WEIRD! How can VEGGIES taste like CHEESE?! They're not really supposed to, but it's very similar and a great way to stop your cheese cravings in a healthy way too :)
#plantstrong

Here's what You Need:
- 10 ounces dried Whole Grain Macaroni (You can probably sub zoodles here too!)
- 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes (it was about 1/2 a white potato for me)
- 1/4 cup peeled and diced carrots (I used baby ones)
- 1/3 cup chopped onion (I used a sweet onion)
- 3/4 cup water from the boiled veggies
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Pinch cayenne
- Pinch paprika
- Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs (optional)

(The ingredients you might not have heard of like nutritional yeast and coconut milk you can purchase from Whole Foods in the bins, along with the cashews!)

Instructions:
1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Set Aside.

vegan macaroni recipe

2. Boil water in a medium sized pot. Put the potatoes, carrots, and onion in it. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies are soft enough to blend.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked veggies to a blender. I used a nutri bullet (much easier with less clean up!). Add 3/4 cup of the cooking water into the nturibullet along with all of your other ingredients!
4. Blend until smooth. Doesn't this look yummy?!

vegan cheese

5. Mix the noodles with the sauce and preheat oven to 350 (this is an added delicious bonus, or you can just eat them this way!). 

Easy Vegan Recipe


6. Place the mac n cheese in a baking dish and sprinkle the top with whole wheat bread crumbs. Bake it for about 15 minutes or until the stop starts to brown.

Mac n Cheese Recipe


**This is a super quick recipe, and absolutely delicious! Kid, boyfriend, and omnivore approved! :)

What Vegans Eat

Enjoy!! :) If you're a vegan on a fitness journey (or just need help getting started), shoot me an email and let's talk goals!! I love meeting like-minded plant-based foodies on social media! <3

LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com






Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Engine 2 Mushroom Stroganoff

Engine 2 Recipe

You know, I've never been a fan of mushrooms. They always creeped me out! But I have been trying more oil free recipes, and wanting to get outside my comfort zone when it comes to veggies!

I decided to go with this Engine 2 Mushroom Stroganoff. I found it on Engine2Diet.com under the Dinner recipes. I modified it a little bit, so here are the ingredients you will need :)

Ingredients:

-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
-8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour
-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (calls for soy but I love almond)
-1 container Zoodles (I get mine precut at Whole Foods!)

Instructions:

First, prep all your veggies! It really doesn't take that long. In total this recipe took about 30 minutes, and it was supposed to yield 4 servings, but it was more like 3 since my boyfriend enjoyed it too! :)

Zoodle Recipe

First up: cook those zoodles! For my fave recipe, click here or simply spray a pan with coconut oil spray (unless you can find an oil-free way to make them...in that case I'd love to know too!) and just cook them evenly for a few minutes. 

Next up, let's make the Mushroom Stroganoff!

Get a large non-stick pan and cook the onion on high heat for about 3 minutes. You don't need oil, onions have their own juices! After about 3 minutes, add the garlic and shrooms! Once the mushrooms begin to release their juices (trust me this happens pretty quickly!), sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Stir non-stop until it's mixed in. I would recommend using a whisk because the flour kept getting stuck to the tongs!

Engine 2 Mushroom Stroganoff

Next add the vinegar and almond milk. I accidentally used vanilla--just get the normal unsweetened almond milk or else you'll have a little tang of vanilla (not too bad though!).

Keep stirring the mixture until it thickens. You can add thyme but I didn't have it. 

Oil Free Vegan Recipe



Serve over your beautiful zoodles. Ta da! No carb-heavy pasta--just veggies on veggies! :)

Does this look good to you? It's super simple and very healthy! 
Let me know if you try it. You can find more recipes on my Pinterest, Instagram: @LaurenMcHugh_14, and my Fb: www.Facebook.com/LaurenMcHughFitness

Stay Plant Strong! <3


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Transformation Tuesday

Before and After

Have you ever looked back through old photos and thought to yourself, "Wow I look younger NOW than I did THEN?!" 

That is one of many feelings I get when I look at this picture. On the left, I was in high school during a very dark time in my life. Sure, a lot of us go through that "goth" phase where we hate everyone and everything but it was much deeper for me. I was completely lost. A lot of the negative I was feeling on the inside reflected on the outside. To this day I still love wearing black, I love eyeliner (but now I do it a little less raccoon-like), I still love metal and hardcore music, but that girl behind the mask has been freed. I no longer have to stomp around in trench boots to prove to the world that I'm angry and they should all know it.


I was dealing with a lot of internal pain, and ate my feelings with carbs since I was a pretend vegan for two years back then. And I say pretend because I literally just ate carbs and Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's--for the animals though! ;)

Now, I begin each morning with meditation, affirmations, thinking about what I'm grateful for (we all have something), and acknowledge that I am in control of how I react.  


Turbo Kick


"Do no harm, but take no shit." I used to be so quick to judge, so angry in all my interactions with people, but I let people walk all over me. I was reading Yoga Girl the other day and she said this quote. I love it because it's something I abide by. I won't go out of my way to judge someone, to be overcome with jealousy, to feel down on myself when I get a negative remark, but I also stand up for what I believe in, I'm open about my past, present, and future, and I'll sometimes look back on my past and smile at how incredibly far I've come. 

I hope you keep your high school rebel, but take on a more happy approach in life. The first step for me was going out of state to college which made me truly appreciate what I had at home 💕
 Be grateful for what you do have.

If no one told you today, you're beautiful and have the potential to do whatever sets your soul on fire in life!! 


I'll leave you all with this...

I Love Me

(I love Me)

Gonna love myself, no, I don't need anybody else


(Hey)


Gonna love myself, no, I don't need anybody else

(I love Me)

Can't help myself, no, I don't need anybody else

Anytime, day or night

(I Love Me)

Even though there are some obvious double meanings for some of the lyrics, more of these songs need to be out there!! Empowering yourself, embracing who you are, LOVING YOURSELF. It's not selfish to put yourself first, and to be confident in who you've grown into. It's selfless.

In order to help & serve others and project positivity onto them, you have to work on yourself. First and foremost, love yourself. <3


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