Day 8: Tempeh Lettuce Wraps (Recipe)

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This is a super easy recipe, and tastes great whether you use more or less of any of the ingredients.  This is one recipe I’ve made for many non-vegans and many gluten-eaters and everyone has just loved it!

For a gluten-free version of  the instant noodles, I usually use instant soba noodles (you can usually find them in the refrigerated section of specialty grocery stores)

See the original recipe here.

Day 4: What Do Food Cravings Really Mean?

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When you eat like me – vegan and gluten free – it is difficult to find things you can eat when going out to eat.  That’s why it is so important to be prepared – part of my morning routine includes preparing all my meals and snacks for the day!

But, like many people, I do have a full-time, stressful and demanding job and often get busy!  In those unfortunate times, I don’t have a chance to prepare meals ahead of time – or heaven forbid – even make it to the grocery store.  It’s life, and it happens to all of us.  But I do notice that after a couple days, if I haven’t had a chance to prep my meals, those cravings begin to take over, and it’s A LOT harder to resist those cookies in the breakroom at work, or to hold off on ordering a plate of french fries to share at happy hour.

Believe it or not, what you are craving is most likely your brain is trying to tell you that you’re missing an important nutrient, and to please fix it!

Here are just a couple explanations for why you might be craving  certain foods – and healthy suggestions of foods to restore those nutrients:

Pasta, white bread, pastries: Most likely a chromium deficiency

Grab a quick salad with any of the following: romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, grapes, or apples.  A sweet potato with cinnamon is also a healthy fix!

Crisps:  It could be a chloride deficiency, or an essential fatty acids deficiency

Chomp on some celery, olives, tomatoes, kelp or himalayan sea salt to increase your chloride intake.  To increase your Omega-3’s (EPA and DHA) find some flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts to name a few.

Popcorn/Salty Foods: Most likely stress hormone fluctuations

Do some breathing exercises, mediation, or eat some leafy greens.  Head outside for a quick 15-20 minute walk – any type of exercise can help this!

Chocolate: Most likely a magnesium deficiency

Grab a handful of trail mix (I make my own) containing some raw cacao nibs or powder, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Other options include beans, broccoli, kale and whole grains.

Coffee: Besides the possible caffeine addiction, it could be a sulphur, iron, NaCl (salt) or phosphorus deficiency

Pinto beans, legumes, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and cranberries are all great options to restore many of these deficiencies.  Also reach for any cruciferous veggie (kale, cabbage, etc), asparagus, spinach, seaweed, garlic, onions, or apple cider vinegar.  If it is truly an iron deficiency, foods with vitamin c will help iron absorption.

Thanks to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for these great tips!

Vegan and Gluten Free for 13 months!

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This week marks 13 months that I have been living vegan and gluten free. While it’s been difficult at times (especially in the cold Minnesota winter!), it’s definitely been a very eye-opening experience. I was a vegetarian for 3 years before deciding to take the dairy out of my diet, and by learning and reading more about gluten, I removed that around the same time as well. I will elaborate more on each of those changes in upcoming posts, for now, it’s time to celebrate this accomplishment!

Through these past 13 months, I’ve come to notice the incredible effect that food has on mood, health and my general lifestyle. I’ve learned that to be the best person I can be for myself, for my family and friends, and for my job, eating right and exercising (especially yoga!) is something that has to come first and foremost. Not because it’s selfish, but because I respect and love myself for who I am. After 13 months, I want to shout it from the rooftops, “I love me! I am fabulous!” And my life’s goal is to spread that word through inspiring others making healthy life choices – I want others to join me on that fabulous rooftop!