Uncovering The Truth About Soy

Since soy is a controversial topic, I thought it would be perfect for this week’s blog post. One of my friends told me that soy was basically the devil. And you know my vegan ass eats soy, so I wanted to know just how bad it is. I’m sure you’ve heard that if men even blink at a block of tofu, they will grow boobs bigger than mine. And some women think they won’t be able to conceive if they eat soy. Some people praise the plant-based protein, while others run from it. So, is soy even safe to consume? 

Realistically, soy can be both good and bad. Over the years they have been processed and genetically modified in ways that can be potentially dangerous to the body. These genetically modified versions were called “roundup ready”, which were designed to withstand the use of herbicides while increasing yields. The United States produces the most amount of soybeans in the world and 97% isn’t even used for human consumption. The majority of GMO soy is fed to animals, however it might be a good idea to stick to organic soy products if you try to avoid GMOs. 

Man Boobies 

One of the reasons why soy is such a hot topic is because it contains estrogen like chemicals called isoflavones. However, it’s important to remember that isoflavones aren’t estrogen. Men are afraid that soy consumption can increase estrogen levels and decrease testosterone levels, leading to man boobs and a squeaky voice. 

The rumors stem from two case studies involving one 19- year old man who reported enlarged breasts and the other 60- year old experienced erectile dysfunction. One test subject was actually consuming 3 quarts of soy milk per day, which is a lot for one person. But one study used even higher amounts of isoflavones and proved soy wasn’t a problem for most men and had zero effect on male reproduction. 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a large percentage of men will develop man boobs at some point in their life. This statistic doesn’t surprise me knowing the fact that ¾ of the us population is overweight. And say maybe you are overweight or obese, your testosterone levels are going to be lower compared to someone at a healthy weight. I don’t think we should demonize soy because you blame your insecurities on phytoestrogens. 

Breast cancer 

High amounts of estrogen in the body have been linked to higher risks of breast cancer. The rumors that soy also increases these risks come from people mistaking isoflavones with estrogen. Although isoflavones have estrogen like characteristics, they also act as antiestrogens, blocking estrogen from binding together. This could in theory, prevent the risks of breast cancer. This preventative effect depends on the quality of soy, the age at which a person starts consuming soy, and other factors. 

Some studies have shown that soy can help reduce breast cancer, however the bulk of the research involving humans show that consuming soy does not have a negative impact on health. Another reason for the confusion can be blamed on studies that used animals as test subjects. Humans and animals metabolize isoflavones differently. The test subjects were also injected with extremely high doses instead of being absorbed and digested naturally in the body. comparison to someone eating a diet moderate in soy, that is an extremely high dose. 

Infertility

People became concerned about isoflavones when they observed sheep who ate large amounts of red clover had issues with reproduction. Red clover contains phytoestrogens that are also in soy. Remember, animals and humans metabolize phytoestrogens differently. According to one study, men who eat soy foods may have lower sperm concentration. However, the study involved only 99 men and most men who had lower concentrations were overweight. It’s likely that the extra fat these subjects had increased estrogen levels, which causes a decrease in sperm concentration. One theory is that obesity caused the men to be more sensitive to the phytoestrogens found in soy. In Asian countries, diets high in soy are very common and have not been shown to affect fertility. The bulk of clinical studies do not suggest that isoflavones negatively impacts reproduction. In fact, one study showed that consuming soy can be beneficial to women going through infertility treatment. 

We can take away from all the information that soy is safe to consume in moderation. Soy actually has so many benefits like it’s cancer fighting properties, omega 3s to lower the risk of heart disease, and full of vitamins. The pros absolutely outweigh the false claims about this plant-based food. There’s nothing wrong with a little mock meat or protein powder on occasion, but it might be best to stick to quality sources of soy in your diet like tofu, tempeh, and edamame. 

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Heather

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References: 

Phytoestrogens-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25160742/

Soy-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188409/

Soy and man boobs-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378106/

Case studies unfavorable to soy and the (enlarge breast and erectile dysfunction-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18558591/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21353476/

Case study showing high doses of soy doesn’t affect most men-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15231450/

Soy and breast cancer-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981011/#__sec5title

Estrogen and breast cancer-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4775086/

Soy and infertility-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2721724/

https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20080723/soy-foods-sperm-concentration-link

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Medical-memo-Soy-and-sperm

https://www.acam.org/blogpost/1092863/185750/Soy-and-Fertility-in-Men

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19524224/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28844822/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20484551/

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The Problem With Cheat Meals



I can’t help but cringe when I see 10,000 calories a day challenges and “cheat day meals” on YouTube. Most people can’t even eat half that much in a day. Do you think people can financially afford to consume that much food? Their audience sees this glamorized version of eating in excess. All the brightly colored packaging and money spent on these videos make it look even more enticing. So what happens if someone with an unhealthy relationship with food comes across this video? They might feel a little less guilty about their overindulgences and continue over eating. 

Someone else might have fitness goals, but think that cheat meals should be a part of their diet. They might stop seeing progress because they have a cheat meal every day. And the amount of calories that milkshake and fries exceeds your caloric deficit. It’s one thing if you can eat a small cheat treat or meal seldomly. But let’s face it, you can’t always just have one. Let’s think about what a cheat meal really is. Usually something highly processed, full of sugar or salt, and provides almost zero nutrition. You could say a cheat meal really means cheating yourself from reaching your health goals. 

Humans are not pets, we do not need treats. And to be quite honest, your health does not care about what tastes good. It’s truly a first world problem when we have people killing themselves by overindulging on food. Food is meant to be consumed as fuel to give your body energy, not for entertainment. If you are depriving yourself so much that you are craving everything junk then, you’re not getting the proper nutrition from your diet. Cravings usually mean the body is deficient in some micronutrient. Staying hydrated and eating whole foods can ensure that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive. 

You also can’t do something long term successfully if don’t enjoy it. Not including foods that you like in your diet will be restricting and feel like a punishment. I think associating all tasty food with cheat meals is where a lot of people go wrong. You can make healthy food delicious if you know what you like. Not many people get excited about plain broccoli or beans. It’s when you add the seasonings and flavors that make them appeal to the taste buds. You don’t need cheat meals if you’re doing it right. 


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5 Ways To Rekindle Your Fitness Motivation

Excuses aren’t going to stop you if you want something bad enough. As many reasons as there are to stay home, be a couch potato, and eat like shit, you have to look at the bigger picture. Don’t sacrifice your progress for a few days of self indulgence. 

Sure, you could be doing a million other things besides get that workout in. But how are you going to feel if you make those excuses versus if you suck it up and do the work? 

When you let your excuses get the win, you might start feeling guilty and make a random appearance at the gym. However, we all know motivation leaves just as quickly as it starts. And if those excuses keep winning, it’s high time to rekindle that motivation. 

You’re definitely not alone here. I get discouraged and frustrated when appointments, travel, and stress overcomes my motivation. So, I wanted to share some tips that help me get back in the swing of things when I start to back track. 

Back To The Basics

Personally, I ask myself a few questions when I’m falling off the fitness train. How is my nutrition? Am I staying hydrated? How many hours of sleep am I getting? I usually don’t have all those components in check when I feel like I’m burning out. Maybe try tracking your calories and see if your eating more or less than you think. Take a week to practice yoga and stretch and focus on getting quality nutrition. The weight room will always be there, so prioritize taking care of your health first. 

Reset Your Why

Your fitness goals have changed if you’ve been on your health journey for a while. You might have had success with weight loss in the past, but gained some weight back. Either way, it might be time to rethink what you’re trying to achieve and why. Your motivation and reason behind your goals might be different from the start of your journey to now. Your initial goal might have been to lose a few pounds for aesthetic purposes. But maybe you’re starting to like how you feel and your new goal is to gain more energy and strength. Your training program might also have to change to match your goals. 

Give Yourself Gym Access

Sometimes you’re stuck at the airport or at the office. And your busy schedule makes it hard to not only find time, but find a gym. You can bring a heavy resistance band and a yoga mat with you to get in some movement. Practicing yoga or doing some body weight exercises are also great ways to keep active during those hectic times.It might not be your regularly scheduled workout routine, but you can at least maintain the work you’ve built. Use the space and equipment that’s available to you. I know I would be sweating if I had a set of stairs around! 

Spice Up Your Routine

Boredom is a huge reason why people don’t stick to their routine. I like to focus on progressive overload, but doing the same workouts every week can feel monotonous. I like to change up my exercises every 4 weeks. Dumbbells are my weapon of choice, however I throw in barbell and bodyweight exercises to keep my muscles guessing. If you do a lot of cardio, add some resistance training. And if you lift, you should definitely be doing yoga. 

Too Busy? Make Time 

Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Make dinner. Go to sleep. Repeat. It probably seems like you can’t fit any more time in your schedule. But wait. You’re telling me that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, but you have time for an hour of social media? I know some of you might rely on social media to make your income. But if you’re willing to invest your time in your business, you should be doing the same for your health. What good are you to your company if you’re not healthy? You’ll never find time to take care of yourself. The object is to make time. Squeeze in some stretches in the morning. Take a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood when you get home (before you even walk in the door). Make healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so you’re less likely to stop for fast food. If you have time to browse on Instagram and go to McDonald’s, you have time to exercise and eat right. . 

How will you get back into your fitness routine? 

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Heather

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The Problem With Fat Acceptance

The fat acceptance movement has gotten way out of hand, so we’re going to have a conversation about that. No one should be mocked, bullied, or ridiculed for the way they look. Looks don’t last forever, so always choose health over aesthetics. You aren’t defined by your appearance. You can be obese and beautiful, but you can’t be obese and healthy. And yes, everyone deserves to love themselves, but love is simply a word if you don’t take action. If you’re obese, but keep saying you love and accept the way you are, you’re choosing self-harm over self love. Giving into your food addictions and laziness is not self love. Sometimes the best thing to do is tell yourself “no”. Loving yourself doesn’t mean giving into everything you want because you feel like you deserve it. Too much of anything is bad whether it’s drinking too much vodka or eating too many potato chips. No one looks at an alcoholic and says “they must really love themselves”. Ultimate self love is practicing habits that are going to improve the quality of your life. Sure, we only live once and we should enjoy the ride. But how long will the ride last if you don’t perform maintenance on the roller coaster? If you want to live a long, healthy life, you’ve got to take care of the vessel you’re in. 

Fat acceptance has created this excuse to be lazy because you’re beautiful just the way you are. Fuck that. You’re not going to be beautiful when you can’t get out of bed or walk down the hallway. Everyone’s beautiful in their own right, but you cannot be fat and healthy. Obviously, women come in more sizes than a 2 and we should celebrate our individuality. But celebrating obesity is irresponsible. There’s a reason why you don’t see 80 year old obese people walking around. Obesity comes with a myriad of health issues like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and heart disease that will end your life sooner than you’re ready. Over 300,000 preventable, obese related deaths happen every year. Meanwhile, we have fat acceptance supporters making it normal to binge and ignore the link between too much fat in your body and the health risks that come with it. Fat acceptance should be accepting the state you’re in and taking the proper steps to change.

What does fat acceptance mean to you? 

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Heather

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3 Ingredient Vegan Meals

Going plant-based doesn’t have to break the bank. And these 3-ingredient meals are my testament. My favorite meals are the easiest and quickest to make.

There’s been so many times that I finished my workout only to realize I had to wait at least 30 minutes to cook my fuel.

But these 5 recipes take very little thought and preparation, so meal prepping isn’t even necessary. Since we’re only using 3 ingredients, they are all budget friendly, so these are perfect for students!

1 Granola Yogurt

non dairy yogurt + granola + berries

Yes, they really are all as easy as they sound. But this is the easiest breakfast you’ll ever make. Open a can of non dairy yogurt, add half a cup of your favorite granola and a ½ cup of berries. Boom! Nothing better than getting in your protein and antioxidants first thing in the morning.

2 Rice & Beans

beans + rice + avocado

Beans are kinda my thing. But if I’m being honest, I undercook or overcook my rice, so I just grabbed some microwaveable rice to save myself some trouble. I also used a can of Bush’s chili beans, which are quick to make.


3 Pita Pizza

pita + pizza sauce + nutritional yeast

Much to my surprise, some pizza crusts aren’t even vegan. But why make a pizza with pizza crust when you can use pita bread? Especially when you can have more protein and healthier whole grains! I actually made this stovetop and just added pasta sauce and nutritional yeast. Of course, you can add all the veggies you want.


4 Baked Chickpea Potato

chickpeas + potato + corn

I know this one looks the least exciting, but it’s still tasty. And if you haven’t had chickpeas, don’t knock them until you try ‘em. They are packed full of protein, fiber and vitamins. I used to love the potato bowls from KFC and this meal reminds me of them. Of course it’s not the same, but who doesn’t love a good corn and potato combo? And yes I cheated and threw in some green onions.

5 Sweet Quinoa

quinoa + sweet potato + kale

You really can make a high protein meal with quinoa, especially if you added in some black beans! But since were using 3 ingredients I thought that adding a green would be more nutritious and it’s what I had left. People don’t realize how much protein and nutrients are in kale. If you have limited ingredients to use, make sure one of those is a leafy green.

I’d love to know in the comments what your favorite quick meal is!

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Heather

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5 Unhealthy Habits I Kicked To Get Fit

I didn’t think I would be able to quit a lot of things. Besides, we’re all creatures of habit, right? Actually, adapting is kind of our thing. The problem is our love for instant gratification.

Most of the time we know that something is bad for us. But we rather put off the beneficial habits for unhealthy habits we can enjoy that very second. My bad habits started to feel like a never ending cycle. Some habits I was able to quit cold turkey and for others it was gradual. It’s okay to slowly wean off a bad habit. You’ll get to a certain point when it feels natural to let that habit go.

We all have unique characteristics, which means different habits to break might require different strategies. And I wanted to share with you unhealthy habits I kicked to get fit.

Smoking

Yep, I was a smoker. I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes a day for 5 years. It was a social thing and stress reliever for me. Smoking was so habitual that it became ingrained into my identity. As you can imagine, there was a culmination of reasons why I needed to quit.

Most habits good and bad will come with a price tag. But smoking was costing my lungs and my wallet. I realized enough was enough! It’s amazing that I quit successfully living with two chainsmokers. But I really didn’t want to smoke any more. Smoking dictated everything I did and I knew I was addicted.

I got into fitness and noticed the quality of my breathing was so poor that I had a hard time getting through my warmup. I just wasn’t feeling my best. My hair was breaking, my breath always smelled, I never felt like I could get a full deep breath. Gum disease also runs in my family and I was showing all the signs. My dad used to dip, but after the dentist told him he had gingivitis, he quit. I’ve seen first hand what tobacco can do. Cigarettes also trash up the planet, which isn’t cute either. I decided to quit cold turkey a week before my breast augmentation and I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 3 years. Now I can’t stand the smell and I legitimately don’t know how I smoked like that.

Negative Self Talk

Everyone has insecurities and things they don’t like about themselves. They say we are our own worst critics. Maybe it’s because we’re with ourselves 24/7, so it’s easy to pick ourselves apart. But some of us take it to another level.

It went from the occasional self-deprecating humor to standing in front of the mirror and being really unhappy with the person looking back at me. I would tell myself pretty gnarly things like “you’re not good, pretty or smart enough.”

The constant practice of self-talk can and will result in you believing every single word. After I figured out how much I was hurting myself, there was a change in my self-talk. Now, I focus on my strengths and know I am more than good enough and worthy. Do I still have bad days? Yep. But this self-love thing is a journey and no one is perfect. We’re all just trying to do the best we can.

Being A Night Owl

My sleeping patterns have always been imbalanced. I would spend hours laying in bed before drifting off. And sometimes I would just give up and distract myself with YouTube or find something to do.

I would sleep in until the very last minute. I was (and really still am) the girl who rather get 30 minutes of extra sleep than get up to do her hair. Of course, I would be zombified all day, running on coffee and energy drinks. And as soon as the moon started glistening, my inner werewolf came alive. My mood, appetite, and energy all suffered and I knew it was time to try something different. For once in my life, I longed for a morning that wasn’t rushed and a brain that wasn’t shrouded in fog.

One thing I realized was that my evenings weren’t eventful at all. In fact, I was working from home and didn’t get in any regular physical activity. I knew that being sedentary was probably keeping me restless at night. I started out with bodyweight workouts and ran 3-4 times a week. This alone, made it so much easier to fall asleep. My little body was exhausted and ready for rest by the end of the night. I also created a night time routine that signals my brain it’s time to wind down so I can wake up in much better spirits.

Eating Junk

I was blessed with a lightning speed metabolism. My teens and early adulthood was spent eating whatever the hell I wanted. But when I turned 23, I noticed I was gaining fat in my lower belly. The first thing I did was track my calories and came to the conclusion that I had way too many fats and sugar in my diet. Instead of reaching for the extra bag of Doritos, I started grabbing the peanut butter crackers.

I tried avoiding temptations like buying foods I knew I didn’t need. And I quickly realized how much money I had been spending on junk food. Again extra money I’d be spending that I don’t necessarily have to be throwing on Oreos every week. Once I got the message that “food is fuel” through my head, the cravings for junk vanished. Now I look for more nutrient dense foods that give me natural energy. But if I want a treat, I don’t deny myself, girl.

Soda

I was the girl who always ordered a Dr Pepper with every meal. My mom always kept soda in the house. So when I left the nest, soda was something I always drank and never really thought about. But do you know how much sugar and calories are in one can of soda? A 12 oz. can of Coke contains 150 calories, 39 grams of carbs, and 39 grams of sugar. When I took the time to read and dissect the label, I was shook to my core. Especially since I wasn’t just having one soda a day.

I knew the excess sugary carbs weren’t going to get me to my fitness goals any faster. So, I started drinking flavored water like Sparkling Ice and Clear American instead of soda. I also started drinking more regular water and overtime soda lost its taste. Now I focus on getting my calories from whole foods instead of liquids. I can’t remember the last time I had soda. I haven’t cut out caffeine completely because I can’t quite live without tea yet.

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Heather

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How To Stop Binge Eating At Night

I think we can all agree that binging is a very situational experience. And for me, it would happen mostly before bed. It’s a lot easier to distract yourself from overeating during the day with work and responsibilities. And then night falls and you’re at your house surrounded by kitchen pantries and cabinets of goodies calling out your name. Trust, me I’ve been there. I know how frustrating it is to undo all the hard work of staying on track all day. I’ve learned how sometimes being alone with yourself can be dangerously boring. But I’ve learned some tips that’s helped me stop binge eating at night.

Most of the time I would start eating after my roommates went to sleep and I wasn’t being entertained anymore. I would zombie walk into the kitchen and grab all the snacks I could carry back to my room. To top it all off, the nights of overeating would be compensated by trying to burn off more calories and restrict myself even more the next day. Ah, the vicious cycle of binging and purging. It makes me so sad to think that I felt the need to punish myself for trying to fill a void.

But I lived to tell the tale and I have a much better relationship with food and most importantly, myself. I’ve learned to give my body what it needs rather than what it wants & listen to my body’s cues. By slowly replacing unhealthy habits, I’ve come through the other side to share everything that I learned. So here are some tips that prevent me from taking my nightly trip to binge city.

1. Eat Enough Calories During The Day

You might be so busy during the day that you’re not taking the time to eat enough calories. Specifically, protein. Eating a protein rich diet can help fill you up for longer. And when you’re loading up on too many carbs and not enough protein, you might not feel as satisfied. Figure out how much of each macronutrient you’re eating by tracking your caloric intake. At one point, my diet consisted of refined carbs and sugary snacks, which slowed me down and made me hungrier later. Now I meal prep every few days, especially when I know I’ve got a lot going on. I tend to eat what I have already made and what’s in front of me. Meal prepping for the day or week is a great way to prevent binges later.

2. Don’t Eat While You Watch TV

We tend to binge at night more because we’re bored. Checking social media and watching t.v. can lead to mindless munching, especially when it becomes habitual. I know that when I went to the movies, I always had to have some popcorn and M&Ms. Something about the salty and sweetness is ultra satisfying (try saying that 10 times fast). I also used to binge watch and eat after work. I’d put on Breaking Bad and get lost in a sugar coma. But I changed things up because watching that many hours of Netflix is it’s own unhealthy habit. Dinner comes before my (much shorter) Netflix time and afterwards I have a snack. This is my new ritual to signify the end of my day and food intake. You could also do something else like stretch or meal prep while you watch your show. If you have to multitask, as least make sure it’s healthy.

3. Make Your Diet More Interesting

You might be trying to stick to a super clean diet that doesn’t allow you any treats or foods you like. I know when I first got into cooking healthy for myself, my meals consisted of chicken, rice, and asparagus. So exciting right? Needless to say, I would end up eating a few too many desserts and fatty snacks because I wasn’t allowing myself any flavor I actually enjoyed. Going plant-based has opened up doors to the recipe world by forcing me to find meals I enjoy eating that are easy to make. I started by searching Pinterest and Google for recipes that looked awesome and bookmarked them so I could try new recipes every day (including dessert). It’s important to treat yourself every once in a while so you don’t binge on the sweets later. Bottom line, being healthy is about balance. Try incorporating food that you love with food that is nutritious!

4. Intermittent Fasting

I’m definitely not perfect, but I have been practicing intermittent fasting and have noticed a huge difference in how I go about my evenings. Before I would snack up until I was about to crawl into bed. But now, I have a cut off time. The point of intermittent fasting is to allow yourself an 8 hour window (or whatever amount of time) where you consume your calories for the day. This definitely helps me take my mind off food because after 8 or 9 o’clock, I don’t have to worry about it. It’s also helped me stay way more productive in the evenings. However, I don’t recommend intermittent fasting if your going through or recovering from an eating disorder. Please speak with a physiologist or other mental health professionals first.

5. Keep Yourself Busy

If you are the type of girl who overeats when you’re alone or bored, it might be beneficial for you to spend your evenings doing something to keep you busy. I started replacing my nightly binges with exercise. Just be careful not to develop an unhealthy relationship with exercise like I did. Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it. Now I keep myself busy by working on my business and staying physically active (the healthy way). Instead of focusing on the fact I’m not eating, I’m more focused on my new healthy habits. Picking up a new hobby that takes up some time in the evenings like reading a book or practicing yoga can help distract you from binge eating at night.

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Heather

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Easy Tofu Scramble For Beginners

I know tofu isn’t for everyone, but I also know more people should give it a try. Tofu is a great way to get in protein without the cholesterol. And there are tons of ways to prepare it! The most typical ways to make tofu is by baking or sautéing. But you can also make an easy tofu scramble! I found this awesome recipe by Jessica Gavin that inspired me to try this recipe.

I started making this breakfast when I got tired of oatmeal. I’ve found that breakfast is the most challenging meal to get excited for when you’re plant-based. It seems like you’re limited to a smoothie or a big bowl of oats. And I’m sure you are in the same boat as me growing up with bacon, pancakes, eggs, and more bacon. This is when we have to put on our thinking caps and come up with something a little more exciting.

I’ve heard you can add in turmeric for yellow coloring and black salt for an eggy taste. But I kept it really simple since it was my first time making scrambled tofu. I’ve also heard you should use medium or soft tofu, but I used firm tofu and I didn’t have any issues with the consistency. I feel that anything softer than firm would become too mushy for me. I’d love to know if you give this a try and what you think!

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil
8 ounces firm tofu
1 red Bell pepper
1-4 red or yellow onion
1 handful spinach
Salsa


Directions:

Pat tofu dry and place it on a towel with something on top like a heavy pot, for 10-15 minutes

While the tofu is drying, add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook for at least 5 minutes.

Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam for 3 minutes.

Next, grab your tofu and crumble it with a fork. Add it to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until tofu is slightly browned

Add salsa on top and serve with fruit or breakfast potatoes!

More vegan recipes:

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4 Tips For Going Vegan For The Busy Gal

4 Tips For Going Vegan

I have been plant-based for ten months and I have learned so much. I’ve noticed an improvement in my mood energy and have even successfully built muscle along the way. Unfortunately, there is a lot of miss information when it comes to a plant-based diet. Some people claim that a vegan diet is a miracle diet and on the other side of the spectrum there’s people saying that you will shrivel up and die. I’m here to shed some light on the situation and give you 4 tips for going vegan.

 

I am not trying to convert you into this diet or lifestyle. I simply want to open your mind up about a pretty controversial topic. Maybe you’re not ready to be 100% plant-based, but you’re curious about incorporating more plant foods to your diet. These are some tidbits of advice that’s helped me feel and look my best on a plant-based diet.

 

 

Mindset

Obviously a vegan diet doesn’t include meat and dairy products. But focusing on what you can’t have is going to make your diet feel that much more restrictive. If you’ve had conversations with any meat eater they will most likely say that vegan food is bland, nasty and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not a lot of people prefer the taste of plain chicken, they usually spice it up with lemon pepper and garlic powder. And the same goes for beans and lentils. It’s all about the flavor! Eating a plant-based diet also doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you don’t buy your groceries from Whole Foods and you stick to whole plant foods. I also wanted to warn you against vegans who say it’s all or nothing. Do not listen to that approach. Incorporating more fruits and veggies to your diet is beneficial for everyone.

You might not be able to eat meat and dairy, but there is so much more to food other than meat. This diet is meant for you to eat in abundance of healthy food to nourish your body and mind. Going plant-based has allowed my mind to open up about trying different foods I wouldn’t normally eat. Slowly replacing and adding plant-based options like almond milk or soy milk. For me it’s hard to look at a vegan diet as restrictive. We might not drink dairy but we have rice milk, coconut milk, almondmilk etc.

 

Do The Research

I think the most important step is to do the research. Figuring out why you want to go vegan will help you shift your focus on the gains and positives instead of what you can’t have. I had no idea that my choices as a consumer affected the planet. Once I learned exactly how meat and dairy products are made in process and how these foods contribute to high blood pressure, cancer, and other preventable diseases, it was an easier switch. Also educating yourself about nutrition and what you should be eating on the daily is going to help you thrive long-term on a plant-based diet.

 

Stock Up On The Essentials

And there is no need to clean up the kitchen of non-vegan foods, unless you have a family member or friend who will use them. One of the reasons you might be going plant base is to create less waste in the world so there’s no need to throw away anything. But you can start stocking up your pantry and fridge with whole plant foods. Next time you’re at the store buying more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains and less animal products. Spices and seasonings are also a must but you don’t have to get too crazy. A few essential seasonings that I like to use our pink salt black pepper garlic powder onion powder and cayenne pepper.

 

Start Slow

Some people can go cold turkey and give up meat and dairy. But others need to transition into this new way of eating. Either way, you’re going to slip up. I’ve bought bread with honey in it and instant oats that contain eggs and trust me I’ve made many more mistakes. And it wasn’t the end of the world. I think it’s great to take your time, try different recipes, and educate yourself because there is a lot to learn.

 

 

Here’s some recipes that I really enjoy and maybe you will as well! 

 

 

 

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5 Vegan Pre Workout Meal Ideas

 Why Do You Need A Pre Workout Meal?

 

Everyone could use a little pre workout. And I’m not talking about supplements. You can get all the energy and strength from food. And if you’re plant-based, maybe you’re wondering what to eat. This post is dedicated to showing you some vegan pre workout meal ideas.

 

If you want to get the most out of your workout, nutrition is key. You know that moment towards the end of your workout when you feel like you can’t go on? That could be because your fatiguing the shit out of your muscles. But it could also be because you didn’t give your body enough nutrients to convert to energy. A nutritious pre workout snack or meal can help increase your energy & recovery during exercise.

 

You want to focus on protein and carbs when you pick your pre workout snack. That’s right, don’t avoid carbs (ever), especially before exercise. Carbohydrates help to fuel muscles, which give you a little boost of strength and protein helps to repair them. However, you don’t want to over do it on the protein. Protein takes a lot of energy to digest, and we want our food to digest before we start our workout.

 

High fat foods can cause gastrointestinal issues if you eat them shortly before a workout. So you may want to avoid fatty foods, but always listen to your body. I can get away with eating some almonds or pistachios before exercise and it doesn’t bother me. But this might not be the case for you.

 

Generally, the best time to consume your pre workout meal is 1-3 hours before training. I typically workout in the mornings, so I usually eat something full of carbs the night before. I’ll also have a small snack before my actual workout like oatmeal with raisins. But I wanted to share some breakfast and dinner ideas because everyone has different schedules.

 

vegan pre workout meal ideas

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great source of clean carbohydrates! Whole grains help to keep your blood sugar levels stable during exercise. Adding in nuts will increase the protein content and fruit will break down faster for energy.

 

Bananas

Besides being tasty, bananas help to increase glycogen stores to be used as energy later in your workout. Bananas are also a good source of potassium, which is important because you lose electrolytes through sweat. You could eat a peanut butter banana sandwich an hour or two before exercise or just eat one by itself 30 minuted before training!

 

vegan pre workout meal ideas

Rice cakes

Rice cakes have a low glycemic index, which means the carbs release slower in the body. This is a perfect pre workout snack before lifting! Throw a tablespoon of peanut butter for some slow digesting protein or a few slices of fruit on top. You can also load it up with salsa with avocado if your stomach can handle it!

 

Sweet potato

We all have a sweet tooth! But when you start building muscle, you might choose to cut out sugary foods. This is great, but you might start binging on sweets if you feel too restrictive. Fortunately, there are nutritious sweet options like sweet potatoes. Full of carbs and naturally sweet… just like me. In all seriousness, they are also a great source of potassium!

 

vegan pre workout meal ideas

Brown rice

Brown rice is another clean source of carbs that digest slow to keep you energized throughout your workout. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which is your body’s favorite energy source. You can make a veggie rice bowl with black beans or tofu 2 hours before exercise.

 

 

What is your favorite pre workout snack?

 

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 Peace & Love,

Heather

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