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New Offering: A Vegan Toolkit

It’s a big leap to go from considering eating a plant-based diet to actually making those changes in your kitchen. I get it. But it is so incredibly worth it, and I’ve seen people gain so much happiness from it, that I want to help you make the changes happen.

That’s why I’m now offering a Plant-Based Toolkit to help make your transition easier.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 5 vegan dinner recipes you will love to get you started
  • Stock the kitchen shopping list
  • Vegan lunch ideas
  • Recommendations for what to order at restaurants
  • Cookbook recommendations
  • Required reading & movies (surround yourself in the lifestyle!)
  • Recommendations for who to follow on social media
  • Common Q & A (supplements? protein? etc.)
  • Access to me! I’ll be here to help.

Most recent Vegan Eating blog posts:

I want to read your diary!

If you are sick and tired of waking up each day determined that today is going to be different–today is the day you’re going to eat virtuously ALL DAY–only to sabotage the great start with a pantry raid before dinnertime….this is for you.

If you are willing to track what you consume for 5 days, I will review your food diary and mark it up with my red pen, full of suggestions for how you can reclaim your diet! You need not eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet to participate, though my suggestions will possibly lead you in that direction.

I am certified to guide you toward a more nutritious lifestyle, but I am not a nutritionist. This food diary does not have to include exact measurements. I want you to get past thinking about needing guidance, and actually ask for help; I’m betting the idea of having to weigh your snacks may hold you back from taking the next step. No measuring here–just a log of what goes in your mouth and approximately how much, and I’ll help you see what you can do to improve your waistline and pack a more nutrient-dense punch.

I know you have questions. Contact me to learn more.

Jump Start Your Plant-Based Life!

Stumped about where to start your new plant-powered lifestyle? I suggest starting one meal at a time. Find a recipe that looks delicious and only slightly ambitious, go out and explore one or two new-to-you ingredients, and then go home and get cooking. Do that once a week for a while, and before you know it, you’ll have a stocked pantry and some basics for your meal-making rotation.

To help you out on your journey, I post our family’s weekly dinner menu on Instagram. We shop on Saturdays to have what we need for a week of delicious dinners. The more ambitious or time-consuming ones we save for the weekend. Sometimes we roll a recipe over into the next week. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s a guide, and it might just inspire you to make your kitchen your favorite restaurant–like ours is to us!

Strength training for beginners… & thinking about going veg?

It’s so cliché, but this is the perfect time of year to think about making a big change. Sometimes we just need a flip of the calendar to switch us into a new gear! If you know you need to lift heavy things once in a while but have no idea what to do with a set of dumbbells, I’m offering a 6-week workshop this January just for you. It won’t be easy, but it will be basic. We’ll take the time to correct form and make sure you’ll know how to venture into the free-weights area of your gym by February.

And if you already do plenty of exercise but need a little tweak to your diet to make a change, try going meat- and dairy-free. Or at least eat less of them. You think you can’t live without cheese, but guess what, not only can you live, but you’ll live longer. And much happier. There are so many (SO MANY) reasons to let go of those animal products, and your weight is only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t be fooled by the meat and dairy lobbies that try to brainwash you into thinking you need animal protein to be healthy. Educate yourself about the benefits of a plant-based diet. I’m not saying it’s all or nothing. But trust me: eat more plants.

If you follow me on Instagram (@karenthefitnessgirl) you’ll even find a weekly menu, complete with recipe sources, that shares what our family is eating…posted in time for you to hit the grocery store before the week begins!

Reading This Might Change Your Life

I’ve been feeling antsy lately. More like amped up. I feel the need to go deeper with my clients—which will be no easy task since for many we’re already treating our sessions like therapy. But I’m screaming inside and can’t contain it any longer; the evidence is just too great, and so I’m going to have to talk more about the plant-based diet. Maybe even nudge a bit.

The results I see in my gym are astounding. My core-focused strength training program is undoubtedly successful—lives are changing with the exercise component alone. But the cholesterol might still be high. The blood pressure. The fat around the middle. I say I don’t judge you for eating animal products, and I don’t, but hear me now: If you truly mean what you say when you tell me you want to see change, you need to switch to a plant-based diet. I am convinced that you will see the results you want, and your overall health will improve.

Why plant-based as opposed to vegan?

I’ve never been a proponent of all-or-nothing choices. Deprivation doesn’t work because it causes pain (read: diets don’t work because they include deprivation). So “vegan” is extreme and not really necessary unless you decide it’s right for you. (Remember, vegan equals no honey, no leather, not even some wines.) Plant-based to me means that I eat a mostly vegan diet, but that I’m not a drag to have over for dinner (I won’t refuse to eat your birthday cake just because there’s butter and eggs in it).

But where will you get your protein?

If I had a dime for every time I’m asked that freakin’ question… So here’s the hard truth: you’ve been brainwashed by the agriculture and dairy industries to believe that you need mega amounts of protein to be healthy/have energy/be full. How is it then, that a protein shake is used by both the bodybuilder looking to gain weight and the middle-aged mom trying to lose weight? I know, right? Think about it. This might blow your mind, but there is protein in plants. I do not eat meat or dairy and I have so much energy I can’t even contain it.

The problem is, you’ve been planning your meals around a “protein” for so long, thinking about planning a plant-based meal is intimidating, even overwhelming. My suggestion is to dip your toe in and go slow. Maybe one or two nights a week you experiment with a plant-based meal. See how you feel, how you sleep. How your stomach doesn’t feel so heavy—or worse, reject your meal. Maybe you could pack your lunch and snacks a couple of days, too. Meanwhile, you can look into some new cookbooks, perhaps find a few new items for your pantry. Just test the water—you absolutely do not need to dive right in.

I will share our planned meals week to week to give you ideas. I’ll offer snack suggestions if you’d like, and will be glad to help you locate the weird ingredient you’ve never encountered in a recipe before. Slowly but surely, I almost guarantee you’ll fall in love with your new lifestyle—because that’s what this really is, a change in lifestyle. I always tell people, far from having less to choose from when we cook, we have more. So much more. Our plates are colorful (as you know if you follow me on Instagram), and so incredibly full of flavor. And the best thing is we stay inspired. We feel so good and love our food so much, we can’t wait to dig into the season’s latest offerings. I won’t lie—it takes some effort—but if it makes you feel amazing and leads to a greater enjoyment of life, isn’t it worth a try?

In our house, my husband is the chef. On Saturdays he flips through cookbooks and chooses our meals for the week, writing up a shopping list as he goes. He leaves two nights open for dining out or being spontaneous. Sometimes he bases his choices on leftover sauces or veggies, and sometimes he just feels like trying something brand new. Bowls are great for weeknights. It takes time to find a rhythm when you’re serious about this new lifestyle, but we did it, and you certainly can, too.

Here is the menu Mike planned for this week (clearly we’re way into our new Minimalist Baker cookbook!):

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/sweet-potato-chickpea-buddha-bowl/

Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/smoky-tempeh-burrito-bowls/

Plantain & Black Bean Tacos

http://minimalistbaker.com/spicy-plantain-black-bean-tacos/

Mediterranean Bowl

http://minimalistbaker.com/the-ultimate-mediterranean-bowl/

Roasted Butternut Alfredo

http://www.theppk.com/2012/10/roasted-butternut-alfredo/

 

View all Vegan Eating blog posts
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@plantsandplanks_atl





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