Celebrating my 1 Year Vegeversary!
On September 10th, I celebrated my one year since going vegetarian! (I transitioned to vegan and plant-based this past January) With school quickly taking over my life, I didn’t even have the chance to make myself a fancy vegan dinner to celebrate! But, Steve did grill up some quick BBQ portobello burgers for us on our mini George Foreman grill. It was really delicious – and simple!
Entering my second-to-last year in college, the classes are harder than ever and I’m quickly realizing the order of my priorities. Last semester, Steve and I tried to cook extravagant meals often, maybe every other to every two days; and the cooking and cleaning really got in the way of my study time. But I never wanted to stray to unhealthy eating or back to the standard american diet (SAD) that I followed pre-vegeterian/vegan. Though my cooking habits got in the way of school at times, I’m thankful that I stuck with my new-found vegan lifestyle throughout college stresses.
I’m only realizing now, 1 year after going vegetarian and about 8 months of a vegan lifestyle, that my meals don’t all need to be extravagant, fancy or time-consuming. — As I type, I’m finishing up a baked potato topped with canned fat-free refried beans. SUPER easy and filling! I follow about 40 blogs, mostly vegan-related, and see so many delicious (yet time-consuming) recipes every day! Usually, I’m reading these posts while on the shuttle at school waiting to go to class, on break at work, the few minutes before I fall asleep, or the few minutes I have trying to wake myself up in the morning. So that gives you an idea of about how much free time I’m getting. Yes, I do still have a life and go out with friends or on dates with Steve, but my priority is and needs to be school. (Don’t get sick of my repetitiveness because typing it, reinforces it in my brain).
After all these months though, my favorite authors and bloggers seem to be pretty consistent to those of 1 year ago. I love: Happy Herbivore, Engine 2 Diet and Forks Over Knives. Their blog posts fill up my blog reader every day, their books and cookbooks line my shelves and their documentaries stay in my Netflix favorites — these “websites,” blogs, books, cookbooks, movies, PEOPLE have given me endless support! And they probably don’t even know it ;) Conveniently, the three have like-wise ideas, opinions and suggestions – plant-based, low-fat healthy eating! I’ve tried many recipes from several different authors, bloggers and restaurants, but nothing has helped me feel as good as a plant-strong, oil-free meal does!
My favorite meals for this college semester are: baked potatoes (topped with literally anything), freezable Lasagna Rolls, Bean Enchiladas, BBQ Portobello Burgers (an idea that Rip Esselstyn always suggests) and rice with beans or steamed veggies. All these meals are totally filling, easy to make, last several days and were inspired by my favorite people!
I’m a work in progress, so I don’t eat perfectly 100% of the time, but when I stick to plant-based and oil-free, I truly reap the benefits, as well as feel the consequences in my body when I stray. I work at Whole Foods Market, so it’s really easy for me to buy a box of vegan chocolate chip cookies and a carton of unsweetened almond milk after a shift, but Steve and I will devour that box in less than 2 days. (You can be an unhealthy vegan!?) So yes, sometimes, I do opt. for that unhealthy choice, but often, I’ve been craving the more healthy desserts; like 2-minute chocolate mug cake, roasted pears topped with cinnamon, orange slices, banana soft-serve or peanut butter topped sweet potatoes! — If you can’t tell, I love my sweets! But sweets can be nutritious and filling too; They don’t need to be empty-calorie, processed, junk foods!
I find myself often craving the recipes found in the 3-Day Reboot and 10-Day Cleanse I did. The recipes were so simple, quick and fulfilling! I’m looking through the pages now, and I’m already thinking of what I can make next week! You can buy the cleanse PDF and check out my testimonial here.
All in all, this year went by fast, but the memories of all the savory and sweet plant-based meals I enjoyed, did not! I can’t suggest these sources enough:
- Happy Herbivore – She is down to earth and really cares about her followers, ask her anything and she’ll answer it!
- Reboot & Cleanse Immersion – Mushroom Barley, Roasted Pears, and Peanut Butter Quinoa are recipes I just couldn’t live without!
- Engine 2 Diet – I can’t get enough of the “Saving Time with Char” posts, because ideas like baking a 5lb bag of potatoes, then reheating for daily lunches are invaluable to me!
- Forks Over Knives – The documentary that really started it all for me.
- Also, WFM 365 brand is the BEST when it comes to saving money and time in my kitchen.
So congratulations to me for loving and thriving this past year, being meat-free! Until January when Steve and I celebrate our first year as Plant-Based, Plant-Strong, low-fat, and healthy people! So much for the vegan challenge that was only supposed to last 30 days ;) Wish us luck and congrats, also thank you to all that knowingly and unknowingly supported me in the greatest change I could ever make to my life! Now: back to my organic chemistry studying.