This month I’m skipping my Meal Plans and featuring other bloggers (and Facebook page managers) and sharing their Meal Plans. So far we have heard from Lisa of The Vegan Pact , Alison of Plant-Strong New England (a Facebook page), and Poppy of Poppy’s Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen! Today we are going to hear from Teresa. She’s a co-admin (with her friend Diane) for a Facebook community group called Healthier Living. This group focus’ on healthy tips for every area of your life. Healthier recipes, Healthier cleaning methods, and many more ideas for Healthier Living!
Join me in welcoming Teresa as she shares her story and Meal Plan.
In January 2009 my friend, Jennifer Taylor, sent me a recipe for “power smoothie.” I was immediately hooked on the vegan/plant strong lifestyle and have not looked back since.
I am very grateful for the convenience of having instant communication and connection via the Internet. Because of Facebook and e-mail, Jennifer has provided me and my family numerous recipes, tips, encouragement and recommendations of authors and various recipe books. She even allowed me to borrow the DVD, “Kitchen Rescue” by Rip Esselstyn…this was huge eye-opener. Coincidentally, or as I like to call a God intervention, our local Whole Foods hosted Rip as a guest while promoting (and viewing) “Forks Over Knives” (another huge eye-opener) and a book signing of his Engine 2, 28 day Challenge. This promotion was in conjunction with Whole Foods own 28 day challenge using Rip’s book and recipes. I was ready for this challenge and totally immersed myself into the “plant strong” way of life…no meat, no dairy, no oil.
I like to categorize the vegan/plant strong lifestyle as conscious eating, not a diet or dieting, and it’s much easier than most people think. Vegan is simply taking control and making choices of what you fuel your body with. Giving up my old “favorite foods” was exchanged for eating more consciously because I know it’s good for my body, soul and mind
I’d like to say that my daughters, ages 8 and 11 have embraced the vegan lifestyle as much as my husband and I have alas, I cannot. They aren’t yet huge fans and most of the time will not even try the delicious foods I cook. I have not given up. I feel they are learning by seeing how we eat. Perhaps this “teaching by doing” will help them embrace this lifestyle in their later years. What I have noticed is they are not eating as much of what some call the “Western Civilization Diet” and are more closely aligned with a vegetarian lifestyle most of the time. Baby steps for them, for sure.
Interestingly, my husband, who is an avid weight lifter, has taken on this new lifestyle with me and can, without a doubt, say he feels absolutely awful and out-of-sorts when he strays from the vegan/plant strong way of life. He says he can’t wait to detox and get back on the wagon which is a strong statement coming from someone who believed in the “meat at every meal” mantra.
This has been such an enjoyable learning curve. I am altogether better for this lifelong, lifestyle change and give all my thanks to Jennifer Taylor. Without Jenn, I truly believe I’d still be putting zero thought into eating and consuming whatever I want only to see the scale continually increase and my overall health gradually decrease.
Meal Plan (family of 4)
(all photos by Teresa)
Breakfast: Rips Big Bowl~ Engine 2
Lunch: Engine 2 Basics Open Faced Sandwich
Snack: Cucumber Tomato Salad ~ Food Network
Dinner: Pasta Primavera ~ Engine2
Dessert: Engine 2 Diet Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Breakfast: Power Smoothie ~ Taylor Made Wellness
This amazing smoothie is what got me started on my wellness journey. I was instantly hooked into being more healthy and more aware of what I was eating/drinking!! Let me introduce you to the Power Smoothie, recipe from my dear friend Jennifer Taylor from Taylor Made Wellness!!
~Thank you Jenn for this great recipe and great healthy tips/information! It’s 100% worth sharing:
Most of you have had a fruit smoothie and that is a great healthy way to start the day. Trouble is, the fruit digests quickly and people need a bit more substance to get them through the morning. Usually they add protein powder or something like that but green smoothies are a healthy way to get the protein in as well as some vegetables. Did you know that dark green leafy veggies are about 35% protein? Well they are!
The color of this smoothie throws some people. I suggest if you are one of those wimps, I mean people, that you put the smoothie in a colored cup with a lid so you don’t have to look at it. You won’t taste the greens at all, I promise. If you are making this for kids, the colored cup is a great idea. Unless you have kids who are into Ironman and then you can tell them that he drinks Green Smoothies and to watch the movie to see it.
Ok, here’s the recipe:
1 cup of water or soy milk or almond milk
1 clementine, peeled
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1 banana (it’s even better if you freeze the banana after you peel it, makes the smoothie creamier, but it doesn’t have to be frozen.)
1 cup frozen berries strawberries are great, if you are trying to fool kids use blueberries as it turns it purple.
1 TB ground flax seed otherwise known as flax meal
2 big handfuls of baby spinach (it’s important to use baby spinach.)
Add water or liquid, clementine, pineapple, flax, banana and spinach and blend until creamy. Then add the frozen fruit gradually if using a blender. If you are lucky enough to have a vita mix, you can throw it all in together.
**** If you are ready for a hardcore green smoothie, add 2 or 3 leaves of dark flat kale as well. Enjoy!
Lunch: Grilled Cheeze ~ Adapted from Everyday Happy Herbivore
Dinner: Raise the Roof Sweet Potato-Vegetable Lasagna ~ Engine 2
Dessert: Chocolate Mug Cake ~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
Breakfast: French Toast ~ Engine 2
Lunch: Lemon Basil Pasta ~Everyday Happy Herbivore
Snack: Starfruit, Clementine and Blueberries
Dinner: Veggie Pizza (whole wheat pizza crust, low sodium, fat free tomato and basil pasta sauce, baby spinach, tomato, orange bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper and nutritional yeast seasoning to top it off)
Dessert: Carrot Cake Cupcakes ~ The Happy Herbivore
Breakfast: Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes ~ Engine 2
Lunch: Rice Salad with Fennel, Orange and Chickpeas ~ Forks Over Knives Cookbook
Snack: Hannah’s Fruit Kabobs
Dinner: Red Red Stew ~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
Dessert: Banana Frosty ~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
Breakfast: French Toast Muffins ~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
Lunch: Garden Tomato and Basil Soup ~ Easy Family Recipes
Snack: Palm Trees: Kiwi, Banana and Clementine
Dinner: NOLA Gumbo~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
Dessert: Cinnamon Bun Smoothie ~ Everyday Happy Herbivore
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Stop by Teresa’s Healthier Living Page on Facebook and tell her Holly sent you!