Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hump Day

 Happy hump day! 

 Hope your week is going well and you are feeling healthy, happy, and present in each moment. Whether I am doing the dishes, walking the dog, or folding laundry, I try to be present in each moment and observe my thoughts and feelings. It grounds me to the moment and slows my mind down. Memories are good to have, and planning the future is inevitable, but thinking about both of these things takes us away from what is really important: the present moment. Try it, and be amazed!

If you are just now tuning in, you can take a moment and read my story to discover how I got started on my vegan path and what motivates me to live a cruelty-free, compassionate lifestyle. Since the protein question is ever-present, I answered some frequently asked questions with this post, and a part 2 is coming soon! I tried to draw the connection between pets we love and animals we cause suffering to here, and de-bunk the myth that the Bible tells us to eat meat here. If all this animal-love is making you crazy and you just came for some recipes, you can check out my top favorite recipes here. Last but not least, green smoothies are the most amazing drinks ever! In this post I explained why I love them so much, and why you should too!

 Okay! So today I started my morning off with some delicious fuel because I knew I would be sitting in a lecture/class all day again today. Breakfast was a microwave banana oat cake. I got the recipe from here and it turned out great!
I didnt take a picture but the recipe is quick and easy:

 1 banana
 1/2 cup oats
 1/4 cup brown sugar
 1 tsp cinnamon
 splash of water or almond mild (I use almond milk)

 Mash the banana, put the sugar, oats and cinnamon in, and microwave for 2-3 minutes.  If you want it to really set, put it in the microwave for 3 minutes like I did. Slide it onto a plate, and enjoy with a fork or eat it like a cookie. I spread peanut butter on top of mine for some added protein and *healthy fat*.

 After sitting in lecture all day I came home feeling drained and blah. My quads are still sore from my eight mile run, but 9 miles is this weekend so I need to work some of that lactic acid out, so I mixed up a green smoothie: almond milk, banana, frozen strawberries, and romaine lettuce. Truthfully I put almost the entire head of romaine lettuce in there because my body has been craving more vegetables. The finished product:

Delicious. If you can get past the color, (and come on, we're all adults) you should try it. Tastes like a strawberry banana milkshake! (thanks to the strawberries and bananas and vanilla flavored almond milk, I'm guessing). Couldn't think up a tastier shake. My favorite milkshakes were always ones that involved strawberries anyways.

 After a nutritious, energizing shake I was all set for the gym! This is a picture of me right before my first half marathon

and it serves as my inspiration picture to prove that I've done it before and I can do it again! This weekend is 9 miles, so wish me luck!

 After the gym, dinner was "mock tuna salad", or "tempeh dip", whichever you prefer. Some people are turned off by the words "fake", "mock", and "imitation", so we can call it what it is, which is tempeh, or you can call it what my mom calls it, which is mock tuna salad. It's still hands down the tastiest thing I've ever eaten!

The first time my mom ever made it for The Boyfriend and I was this past christmas in California. The whole family plus The Boyfriend were seated/standing around the kitchen table playing an intense game of bananagrams. Mom set the bowl of mock tuna salad down in the middle of the table, turned around to refill something for herself, and when she turned back to us, the food was gone. Vanished in less than 2 minutes. Poor mom! The Boyfriend and I have been making it ever since, so I have to share.

Mock Tuna Salad

 8 oz tempeh
Old Bay seasoning
 1/2 cup of celery, finely chopped
 1/4 cup minced white onion, or a few stalks of green onion
 squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder

 The ingredients:

 The vegan mayonnaise we buy is called Nayonaise, but there are a few different choices at the grocery store.

 Tempeh is a great source of protein, along with being delicious and nutritious. In our quest to eat more whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and eliminate processed foods, we have switched from mainstream soy products and tofu to tempeh. Read: It is soy, but unlike GMO (genetically modified) processed soy foods (like "fake" meat and cheese) it is the least processed soy product available.
This is the front of the package:

and this is the back:

I don't know if you can read the package info, but it has 22 grams of protein per serving!

Put the tempeh in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water, put the tempeh on the cutting board, and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Mash up into little pieces:

 Then add your dill, celery, onions, mayo, mustard, etc all the other ingredients. Mix together like so:

I think it's the dill that makes it so delicious. It perhaps its the egg-free mayonnaise. Neither one of us can eat regular mayonnaise anymore, it tastes like rotten eggs :(  And mayonnaise is pretty sketch regardless.... If you want to be scared, read the ingredients.. yikes!

We spread ours on triscuit crackers, but you can use any crackers, or spread on bread for a sandwich.

 Oddly enough, and to be my surprise and delight, my most favorite vegan/author/speaker/role model was on TV on the show The View From The Bay making this recipe (except she used chickpeas instead of tempeh and called it Better Than Tuna Salad)
Check it out here: the best video.  Watch the third video on this page. I tried to find it on YouTube or The View's site, but couldn't. So, scroll to the 3rd video and press play. She is so awesome!

 I love how the TV hosts are so surprised that it tastes good. One even says, "This is better than actual tuna salad"

I was saddened, as I'm sure Colleen was, how one of the hosts mentioned, "I'm not sure I could give up meat because I love it so much. How can I incorporate healthy eating into my diet without feeling deprived?"   I certainly do not feel deprived, and I wish she wouldn't link "feeling deprived" to vegan eating. As everyone can see, I eat in abundance and never even crave foods such as meat or french fries. My body gets what it needs, and as a result I am able to think clearer, move more efficiently, and live healthier.

  I think Colleen is amazing because she is so understanding and compassionate. She has a list of podcasts that you can listen to for free, while you're cleaning or baking or even relaxing, and she talks about everything from"how to talk to hunters", "vegan gifts to give" "How do you get your protein?" and "How "free" is cage free?" and countless other podcasts which are all informative, kind, and easy to listen to. Her main focus, as I would like mine to be, is about compassion. To listen to her podcasts, click here.  I would like to talk more abut this subject as well as how great Colleen's message is, but this post is already long and I will save it for another one.  Good night!


Andrea said...

Hi Michele!

SO glad you stopped by my blog and introduced yourself! No joke, your blog is exactly what I need right now. :D I'm in the early stages of attempting to adopt a vegan diet and my goal is to eventually get to a consistently high raw vegan diet. At the moment I'm still battling out my love of warm food and cheese, but we're getting steps! :) I love how your blog gives it to you straight about why veganism is a good choice, the changes you feel since becoming vegan, and is very practical for a beginner like me. I also really loved your post on Christianity and Veganism because that is something I have often wondered about. I will definitely keep reading! Two questions: Where do you buy your Daiya cheese and what was in the green smoothie you posted in the previous post? It was so bright and vibrant looking!

Also, I live it Charlotte which I see you do too! I live Uptown, so I'm literally mins from the Healthy Home Market on South Blvd. Which HHM do you live near?

Andrea said...

Yay! I'm so excited we connected too! I'm from Illinois, but have lived in Charlotte for 3 years now. My family relocated to Alabama so that's why I write about going there from time to time! :)

You live right near my sister! She lives practically right behind Carolina Place. Unfortunately, I don't belong to the Y. I usually work out in my apartment complex,the fitness center at my job, or go running. Looks like you're a runner so we need to get together and run and/or do lunch soon! Thanks for all the info; I'm going to pick up some of that cheese this weekend and I pass Berrybrook Farms ALL the time and just said to myself the other day I need to check it out one day. That's now on my list for this weekend too! Having the Amazing Grass Superfood powder in the mornings has already made me feel more alert so I look forward to seeing what you think of the wheat grass.

Also, I added you to my blog roll, as well! ;)