How goes it my dears?
Today marks the first day of classes of my second semester at graduate school. Woooo (kind of). Break was awesome, but now it’s time to get back to work.
As I may have mentioned in the past, I’m not really that into “New Years Resolutions”, but I try and set goals whenever the occasion seems to arise to better myself. So far this year, I have two: 1) not to shampoo my hair everyday and 2) plan my weekly meals ahead of time. I’ve been doing smashingly for #1, but since I spent the last month traveling, I haven’t started #2 yet. I figured the start of classes was as good a time as any to start!
To keep up with that mentality, here are two links that a co-worker shared with me… and I plan to utilize it at least a few times. Here is the vegan option, and here is the carnivorous option.
Now, I must get to work; my papers will not read themselves. Cheers!
Once upon a time I was a vegetarian for 4 years. Looking back on it, it’s pretty surprising I fared as well as I did in the protein department considering I was nowhere near being well-versed in nutrition. The only thing going for me was that I really liked vegetables. In hopes to save you some struggles that I faced, here are easy ways to incorporate more protein into your vegan/vegetarian, or even just overall diet.
- Plants. Yes, they have protein! Every single one; in fact, they need it to survive in various ways. Eat as wide a variety as you can stomach, for some have amino acids and other nutrients that others may lack. Fun fact: avocado is a fruit relatively high in protein and can be used in a multitude of ways.
- Whole Grains. Their main claim to fame may be complex carbs, but they also have protein. That is, as long as you are not taking the processed route (which I know you aren’t!), so that means brown and whole wheat over white. Try amaranth, barley, quinoa and farro on for size, too.
- Nuts & Butters. Peanut butter is probably a no-brainer, but nuts on their own can sometimes be overlooked. Snacking on peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc is a great habit to get into. You can incorporate them into meals (stir fry, salads) as well as blending them into a creamy nut butter.
- Seeds. Same tune as nuts (they both happen to be a great source of amino acids, too) where they are overlooked but oh so delicious and beneficial. Try out quinoa & hemp (complete proteins), chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and the plethora of seeds that exist out there.
- Beans, Legumes, Lentils. The best part about these is that they won’t hurt your wallet but they are a nutritional powerhouse. Peas are also included in this category. I would recommend taking the fresh and dried route over canned, because you never really know what may be happening during the canning process. Plus, you get more bang for your buck when you buy a bag of beans. *Try saying that 10 times fast!*
- Miscellaneous. As always, there are supplements out there to aid you in the protein department, but I really think if you incorporate the above mentioned items into your diet regularly, you should be on the right track. If you really feel the urge though – or if you are highly active – brown rice protein is a good one that does not include whey, and there are a few powders out there that combine various plants high in protein.
Th-th-that’s all for me today, folks. I’ve got some econometrics homework calling my name and some other nonsense to do. Before that though, I think I will treat myself to some Thai food because I can 🙂 Peace, love, and all things pretty.
I came across a recipe the other day for Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding, and I thought it sounded like a great thing to try out. Healthy, fresh AND tasty? Count me in. I also added banana to my recipe; mostly because there was a banana that was getting a bit too ripe on my counter, and I hate to see food go bad.
Without further ado, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, more for topping
- 1 whole banana
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch sea salt
- 10 drops stevia (or honey/maple syrup)
- 1 cup dry chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cacao
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, more for topping
- handful blueberries
- In a blender, combine the water, hemp seeds, strawberries, banana, vanilla, sea salt and stevia.
- Blend for 30 seconds or until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. This will be your strawberry/banana hempseed milk.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry chia seeds with milk and stir! A good rule of thumb is 3 cups liquid: 1 cup chia, but I had more like 3 1/2 cups milk and it came out just fine.
- Fold in cacao, coconut and blueberries and let sit for 15 minutes. This will allow the chia seeds to soak up as much liquid as possible. You will notice the mixture start to thicken.
- Once seeds have expanded, scoop out some into a bowl, add the strawberries, coconut and other toppings you may desire and indulge!
I promise you dears, it’s super simple and not as weird and gross as it may sound. The texture may take a little getting used to, but this is way better than store bought puddings as far as health is concerned. You can also always add more sweeteners like maple syrup, honey or agave to the mixture. Play around with it and see how it goes — and don’t hesitate to share and ask questions!
Have a great rest of your day my sweets! If you are going to fall victim to this impending storm tonight/tomorrow, stay safe and warm. x’s and o’s