Sunday, December 27, 2015

Vegan for the Holidays

vegan holiday recipes

I used to deprive myself of one thing: NUTRITION

When I was a "vegan" back in high school for 2 years, I carbed it up, and stuck to processed "fake" products. I remember one time I was trying to get out of class so I went to donate blood on campus. I found out I was iron deficient so they turned me away. That was a wakeup call, but I didn't know what to do. After a ton of trial and error, 12 years as a vegetarian, weight gain in college, weight loss my 5th year of college, then a 21 day whole foods, vegan cleanse, I had an epiphany.

I was literally starving myself from what my body NEEDED. I was not eating what vegetarians should be...VEGGIES! That 21 day cleanse was the reboot I needed to cleanse my palate, start fresh, and figure out what I could teach my body to love--real food. 

This holiday season, I'm so happy to say that I had no trouble at ALL finding meals to eat. I was a little nervous with all the events I attended since there are no other vegans in the family, but surprisingly, there are a TON of options out there. Yes, I brought my own asian stir fry to one of my dinners, and an Amy's non-dairy burrito to another, but the sides are where it's at!

Here are just a few of the dishes I consumed over this break. Mind you, I did indulge a little with a pumpkin vegan donut (whole foods) and 1 vegan cinnamon roll from Trader Joe's, but I basically kept it clean. I've weened myself off sweets so I never crave them (thanks to my daily chocolate superfoods), and I'd rather have carbs any day. I'm happy to say that starting January 1st, I'll be going full vegan when it comes to my diet, even though I basically have been for months, and I'm very confident in this decision :)

Meals (left to right):

-Vegan stir fry with rice noodles, pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe's, tofu, bok choy, and soyaki sauce

vegan breakfast

-Vegan cinnamon roll from Trader Joe's, with black coffee, mocha almond milk, topped with Soy Whipped topping

-Chocolate vegan superfoods smoothie with 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk, ice, 1 tbsp almond butter, handful of spinach, blended and topped with coconut flakes

-Berry Salad

-Cold Brew and Pumpkin donut

-Whole Wheat bagel with Avocado 

vegan salad

-Raw Spinach salad with pomegranate seeds and Fig Balsamic Dressing (this is my new FAVE from Whole Foods)

-Salad Bar on Xmas eve with veggies and avocado

Vegan Meatballs

-Homemade Vegan Rigatoni (Whole Foods) with homemade tomato sauce and Italian Vegan Meatballs topped with Nooch

See? It's not just wheat germ and leaves  ;) Have questions about the workout program I'll be starting January 4th? Vegan Meal Prep? Joining me for extra accountability come 2016? Check out my other blog posts or, shoot me an email at LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com :)

#WhatVegansEat #BetheChange #VegetarianToVegan

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