Us girls (sorry fellas, this is not quite tailored to you) have the joy of receiving Mother Nature’s monthly “gift” on a regular, much-dreaded basis. My gift got dropped off a couple of days ago (I apologize for the potential TMI), and I’m feeling the brunt of it. We’re talking bloaty, swollen, and tired. Wooo! The one part of nature I wish I could do away with.
So, I’ve been getting my sleep and exercising regularly to keep the crampies away – success! One thing that I’ve noticed really helps are herbal teas with cinnamon, licorice, and ginger (Yogi Tea brand‘s detox tea is great for this!). They help to de-puff and de-bloat, making you and your jeans a little happier. Hallelujah for herbs!
Also, healthy fats (such as those from avocados and nuts) really help to ward off mood swings, fatigue, and cramps. A little extra sleep never hurt, either 🙂
Don’t be tempted to reach for the pain reliever – your body doesn’t need chemicals messing with it. Instead, reach for herbs, your workout clothes, and use your opportunity to have some extra avocado on your salad. Work with nature to keep it from interfering in your life – don’t fight back with sissy pills!
Anywho, onto food! I’ve been super busy and oddly fatigued (hmm, Mother Nature, did you have something to do with that?), so you will be seeing 4 meals – 1 brekkie, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners. Hooray!
Wednesday night, I had some leftover quinoa (but not enough for the whole fam), so I decided to experiment and make my own burgers. They turned out delish, and were super healthy to boot! Loaded with protein-packed quinoa and lentils, these suckers filled me right up and kept me full through the night. The fam didn’t think they were too shabby, either 🙂
- 1.5 cups cooked lentils
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- sea salt + pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste or ketchup (I roll with tomato paste)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until no whole lentils are left.
- Using your hands, shape into burger-like patties and place on a lightly EVOO’d baking sheet.
- Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, carefully flipping burgers every 10 minutes and spraying a little EVOO on the sheet (or drizzle a tiny bit).
- Once they are browned, allow them to firm up for about half an hour and then reheat in a skillet with some EVOO over medium heat, flipping every 2 minutes until warmed thoroughly and crispy.
- Serve alone or on a bun with some baby spinach, tomato, some vegan mayo, ketchup, and enjoy! 🙂
THE TAO OF BREAKFAST:
Now, onto breakfast! After my butt-kicking workout, it was exactly what I needed. This breakfast was delicious, A. Because it had a plum, and I LOVE plums! and B. Because it had almond butter in it. Period. Actually, almond buttah should probably get the prime “A” spot, just because nothing beats almond buttah. Nothing.
If you’re skeptical as to what kind of crazy person would put almond butter (or any nut butter for that matter) on her breakfast, think again. Healthy fats first thing in the morning are exactly what your body needs to burn fat throughout the day, speed up your metabolism, and keep you full (EDIT: You can read more about healthy fats here). Don’t believe me? Check out this site. This lady is the greatest. She hit the importance of breakfast right on the nose; so well, in fact, I’ll have to quote her:
YOU AND BREAKFAST!
“Ever skip breakfast, secretly hoping you’ll fit into your jeans better if you do?
It’s a natural thought. Less food in your belly means more room in your waistband, right? Think again. New research shows that skirting the ritual of a morning meal can totally sabotage your waistline by setting you up for minimal calorie burn and a bigger appetite throughout the day.
How many days within the past week did you eat breakfast? Here are some fun facts for you:
Over 90% of people agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and 75% believe eating breakfast will give them more energy, but fewer than 50% fit it in seven days a week. What is the deal?(Source: Cynthia Sass, Registered Dietitian)
Eating breakfast every day is vital for a number of reasons. Breakfast skippers are four and a half times more likely to be overweight, and studies show that people who eat breakfast naturally eat fewer calories all day. Plus not only does our body need fuel but so does our brain.
Many people say they are just not hungry first thing in the morning or they just have not time. I will never understand how someone is not hungry in the morning! If this is you, it is a big clue that you have a slower metabolism and I am here to help. If you struggle with breakfast barriers, here are my suggestions for knocking them down.
- Step one: Try to stop eating late at night.
- If you’re not hungry in the am: re-train your body. Start by eating or drinking something small, like a handful size serving of nuts or a piece of fruit.
- After about a week, add something else, like your choice of milk or a smoothie.
- The following week, add a third item, like a banana.
- Within a month’s time, strive for a balanced breakfast that contains four parts:
- A whole grain (oatmeal, whole grain cereal or whole grain bread)
- A lean protein (nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheese, an egg or egg whites, organic skim, soy, rice, or almond milk)
- Produce (veggies in your omelet/egg sandwich, a smoothie, or fruit in your oatmeal)
- A healthy fat (nuts or seeds, natural nut butter, avocado or extra virgin olive oil).
If you really are still struggling with the idea of a full meal at this point, you can split it up into two smaller meals. Eat half at home before you leave, then one to two hours later, enjoy the other half.
In no time you will not only feel more energized but you will have created a faster metabolism. If you start the day off right, you will most likely make better choices throughout. Give it a try!“
Not convinced? Try it out for two weeks and see if there’s a difference. I guarantee you’ll feel a million times better – how do I know this? Because I’m living proof. As someone who used to eat only fruit for breakfast (and not until I was starving), I’ve felt my vitality go from zero to hero in a matter of days. Morning workouts are easier, especially with the promise of a nourishing breakfast awaiting me, as well as having more energy throughout the day. Now, doesn’t that sound dandy?
That’s all for tonight, more pictures and recipes in the morning! It’s time for me to go read some VegNews 🙂