Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie


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How Do I Get Enough Protein on a Plant-Based Diet?

How Do I Get Enough Protein?

The big secret here is that vegetables have protein too. Most of us have heard that nuts, legumes, beans and rice contain protein. Well, so does kale!

Here is a screen shot from nutritiondata.com illustrating that one cup of chopped up kale contains two grams of protein.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 5.33.16 PM

One cup of kale makes a pretty small salad. Most of us should be striving to eat more vegetables. If you eat a hearty big salad with or for your dinner you can rack up quite a bit of protein in the salad alone. Let’s say your salad is three cups of chopped up kale. It would look about this size:

Alicia Marie Wellness Blog

 

The kale alone in that salad makes up six grams of protein..but really, who is just going to eat kale, right? Let’s add a medium sized carrot. That’s one gram of protein. If you throw in half of a sweet red pepper that’s another gram of protein.

So far that’s eight grams of protein…but let’s make it wild. I love avocado in my salad. If you throw in half an avocado—that’s two more grams of protein. I like nuts in my salad too so dump in a quarter of a cup of pecans. That adds another two and a half more grams of protein.

Already your salad alone is now a total of 12.5 grams of protein. Is your mind blown?

I like anyone get tired of salads sometimes, adding nutritional yeast to your salad is a great way to spice things up. It has a cheesy, nutty flavor and can be used on anything just like cheese. A serving of Nutritional yeast is one tablespoon at only 20 calories with three grams of protein, B-vitamins and folic acid.

Voila! Your salad is 15.5 grams of protein. If you take anything away from this—remember even vegetables have protein.  l

Avocado Lemon Kale Salad

Delicious & Simple Avocado Kale Salad. Simply mix up avocado, lemon juice, montreal seasoning, and sliced apple with kale.  https://aliciamariere.wordpress.com/

Ingredients

4 Cups of Kale

1 Avocado

1 Apple

Lemon Juice from Fresh Lemond

Steak Seasoning

 

Directions

1. Mash up an avocado and mix into kale. (I found it easiest to use my hands.)

2. Cut up an apple and mix into the avocado and kale.

3. Sprinkle montreal steak seasoning over kale.

4. Squeeze lemon juice over kale and mix salad again.

 

Seriously delicious and so simple! Enjoy 🙂

Alicia Marie Health Blog


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Smoky Mushroom Vegetable Mash-up

An unexpected feast is the best start to the evening. Shane and I followed our usual grocery shopping routine and meandered around the market grabbing whatever looked appealing to cook for the next few dinners. I am one of the few who love brussel sprouts so I grabbed a heaping of those while Shane on his recent mushroom kick selected quite the variety of mushrooms.

Mushrooms are typically what I pick out of my food. I’ve never been a huge fan. Since Shane has been cooking with them he has convinced me to sample several of his recipe concoctions. He has turned me. Cooking mushrooms and caramelizing onions are Shane’s specialty. He is much more patient than I am so he is able to create the most perfect texture and derive the finest flavors.

After returning from the store, Shane and I unbagged our groceries with no specific recipe or dinner plan in mind. We combined forces and voila! A delicious surprise.

I suggest cooking the recipe below with rice or noodles for a more hearty meal.

Alicia Marie's Vegan Health Blog

Ingredients

Brussel Sprouts
Chanterelle Mushrooms

Matsutake Mushrooms
Shitake Mushrooms
Carrots
Onion
Celery
Sundried Tomatoes
Wild African Smoke (or preferred smokey flavor, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, etc.)<
Olive Oil

Alicia Marie Nutrition Blog

Smoky Mushroom Vegetable Mash-up Recipe

  1. Steam brussel sprouts half way full water in bowl for 7 minutes.
  2. After the brussel sprouts are finished steaming, pour the bowl of brussel sprouts and water into a strainer and set aside.
  3. 1 Table spoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut up carrots, celery, onions and mushrooms.
  5. Pour 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil onto a pan and start stir frying carrots, onion, celery for fifteen minutes on low heat.
  6. Add shitake mushrooms, matsutake mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, ¼ cup water, wild African smoke and mix and continue stir frying on low heat until tender (about fifteen to twenty minutes).
  7. Pour the stir-fried vegetables and brussel sprouts into a bowl and serve.

 


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Avocado Chickpea [Eggless Salad] Sandwich

My morning started out with a needle to my hip joint. Perhaps it was silly to think that I wouldn’t need any sort of injection before getting an MRI, but I was pretty shocked when I found out I would need two!
Alicia Marie Health Blog

I injured myself over-training for the cross country team back in college. Then I re-injured myself training for my half marathon last June. To recover from hurting my hip the first time, I worked on strength and cross training with fabulous results. I was able to build up my mileage to 9.5 miles and run frequently before I hurt it again (same mistake, building on those miles too quickly under the self-inflicted pressure of racing.)

Unfortunately this time around recovery is not so easy. I am experiencing a difficult time running more than three to four miles a couple times a week without feeling my hip start to go. I can recognize the symptoms pretty quickly when it starts to get weak. I’ve been doing the stair climber, squats with weights, exercises learned in physical therapy, p90x here and there, pilates and more. Nothing seems to help for very long and it’s making me nervous. I’m hoping this MRI will give me some [encouraging] answers.

One of my newer strategies is to focus on building muscle. I am a total cardio junkie, but for my hip to heal, I am going to try replacing some of my cardio days with strengthening work.

I am eating all kinds of plant-based proteins, spoiling myself with delicious, hearty recovery meals and getting back into the smoothie-grind!

One of my very favorite dishes is this amazing, super tasty Avocado Chickpea Sandwich. I was sold by the preparation time of 10 minutes and leftovers for at least a couple of days. Very inexpensive too!

Eggless Salad Sandwich Alicia Marie Health Blog

Here’s the best part: it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (healthy fats that are good your skin and brain–always a good thing!) and it tastes just like an egg salad sandwich (it’s true–I blind taste-tested my father.)

Avocado Chickpea Sandwich

  • Your Choice of Bread
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • ½ Can of Chickpeas
  • 2 Tbs. Minced Green Onion
  • ½ C. Chopped Celery
  • ½ Tbs. Minced Dill
  • ½ Tbs. of Salt
  • 2 Tsp. of Pepper (I used garlic pepper—maybe add some garlic powder if you don’t have garlic pepper)

Directions:

Cut up your veggies and set aside.

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slice up your avocado and place the slices into a medium sized bowl. Drain your chickpeas and then pour  ½ a can into your bowl with sliced avocado. Mash your bowl of avocado and chickpeas with a potato masher, fork or spoon until all of the chickpeas are successfully smooshed within the mashed avocado. (I switched off between a spoon and a potato masher. One didn’t necessarily seem to work better than the other.) Mix your veggies, salt and pepper into the bowl of avocado and chickpeas.

 

 

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slather your avocado-chickpea mix onto your choice of bread. Place spinach on top of the bread with the avocado-chickpea mix.

**I used my all-time favorite gluten free white sandwich bread by the Fancy Free Bakery. I attached the link, but often I find that their website is down so feel free to contact me for any details about the bakery.

A fun fact about avocados snipped from FitDay.com:

“Avocados contain the highest amount of beta-sitosterol amongst fruits. This is a plant-based fat that plays a vital role in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. It blocks absorption of LDL cholesterol from the intestines. This helps to improve the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol, which promotes cardiovascular health.”

Did you know that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in our heart’s arteries and makes you prone to heart attacks?

A plant-based diet prevents plaque from building in our arteries. It makes it easy to stay lean. And it enhances performance as demonstrated by professional athletes such as Scott Jurek and Rip Esselstyn.

I have provided a short interview below in the chance that you may be interested.

Interview with Rip Esselstyn

Happy eating and reading!

Alicia Marie Health Blog

 


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Wake Up It’s Fall

I return to my blog the first week of Autumn after almost half a year’s passing. I became consumed in interviews and adjusting to my new job at the headquarters of a prestigious local nonprofit. Prior to this I was working for the government. Biggg mistake. I was treated poorly and it damaged my self-esteem more than I could fully comprehend at the time.

My current position is a much better fit. The work can be high stress and the commute is horrible, but I have learned more than I could have imagined possible in such a short amount of time. I coordinated a team volunteer event within my first two months, co-facilitated a large meeting, went on my first mini business trip, covered for my manager while she was travelling–the list goes on!

Alicia Marie Nutrition Blog

Last week we were lucky enough to have Arianna Huffington present at one of our speaking events. Of all the inspiring wisdom she shared that day, this particularly resonated with me:

“Taking care of yourself is not an indulgence. It is a necessity.”

This was a wakeup call. And it most definitely was not a coincidence. I have been so moody, sleep deprived and down on myself for the last two weeks. The first seven days I called it hormones. After that, I knew something needed to change. Everything pointed me back to blogging.

I miss connecting with people from all different walks of life around the world, cooking and baking, photography, taste testing, reading about nutrition (just received “Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek in the mail!), sharing the vegan love, inspiring people to get outside and run—everything.

With that, I built myself a light box, found some recipes for inspiration and renovation and started cooking!

I experienced doubts building my light box. It certainly didn’t turn out as perfect as Angela Liddon’s light box in her how-to demonstration, but it serves its purpose. I can always revamp it in the future 🙂

Light Box Alicia Marie Nutrition Blog

I love how delicious that salad looks with the bright colors illuminated. I have to be honest. It tasted like shit. I literally threw in any colorful fruit or vegetable I could find to test out the power of my lightbox…no consideration to taste whatsoever (haha!)

I showed my mother a picture of my lightbox this past weekend and talked to her about really dedicating my time to blogging. She was so encouraging. It really made me feel like sometimes “mom knows best.”

I talked about how I wanted all of my pictures to be perfect, just like Angela Liddon’s gorgeous recipes on her Oh She Glows blog. I wanted to write everything ahead of time, etc., etc. The pep talk from my mom went something like this “People like to hear about failure and people like to watch you grow. It gives you more human qualities and its gives people something to relate to. Don’t worry about everything looking perfect right now—just keep blogging.”

Aww! It really inspired me to continue doing what I love most—writing and throwing myself into nutrition education, connecting with other foodies without the fear of living up to some unrealistic standard that I set for myself.

Another good point from mom, “I truly believe every woman needs her own kitchen.” And that I so agree with. It is so hard to make space for my photography and cooking when borrowing a kitchen. All I can do is work with what I’ve got and do the best I can. So that is the plan!

I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned over the past several months. It has been quite the journey and I look forward to sharing it with you again. Sneak peek to my upcoming reci-post! Any guesses?

Chickpea Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich Alicia Marie Nutrition Blog

So happy to be back!! Happy first week of Autumn 🙂

Alicia Marie Health Blog


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Eating Yummy on your “I’m Broke” Budget Part. 1.

Now that I am back from vacation and it is Fall the most inspiring season for baking and cooking, I plan on making some more yummy creations.

However, I am keeping it simple until my budget is less depleted from spoiling myself. Steamed veggies and rice are a favorite of mine. If I am ever having tummy troubles, hoping to get back on track and eat more healthy, or do a mild detox for a week or so, this is something I love to cook.

I grab whatever veggies I want to steam from Whole Foods. This time I grabbed a container of pre-cut veggies for about $7.00. The organic brown microwaveable rice was on sale for $3.69. That will last me three servings totaling about $3.50 per meal.And after all that is said and done I will have tons of rice left over for future cooking creations. This is IDEAL for your college budget or your I’m out of college, still broke and can’t get a job budget.

It is the easiest thing you’ll ever do. Fill a pot with water about an inch and a half high. Place your steamer inside the pot. The water should not come up over the steamer at all or your veggies will get soggy. Cover the pot with a lid for a few minutes and cook on medium high for 7-10 minutes. They are finished when the broccoli is bright green! You can test the veggie with a fork. It should be tender but it should not crumble into mush in your mouth. (That would be gross.) Add a tiny smidgen of earth balance butter and soy sauce if you like! I did 🙂

Rice & Steamed Veggies with Avocado

Yummy! You can do the same thing with quinoa. See below.

Healthy Quinoa & Steamed Veggies. Fitness eating on a budget!

XOXO

Image


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Falling in love with soup

It is difficult not to love fall. Even as I prepare to leave for my trip in paradise tomorrow, I can’t help but wonder if I will be missing the very best part of the season. The temperature during the day is still warm in the northwest-high 70’s, while the mornings are starting to become nippy. I can visualize one of my favorite running trails with the heavy fog setting in across the valley and that golden autumn sun shining overhead. There is nothing quite like an autumn sun.

Some of my best fall memories are from high school football games. I loved being in the stands with my best friends surrounded by a strong, fierce and fun loving community of highly spirited classmates. Overlooking the football field was a neat crescent row of tall cedar trees casting sharp black silhouettes against the flawlessly clear blue sky. Breathing that beauty in with good company and a big win at the end of the night was like nothing else I have experienced.

After a pretty illustration, I can sadly almost always fit my stomach into the equation in one way or another. This brings me to soup.

Simple and sweet. Or in this case, spicy!

Soup is a your diet’s saving grace when you get the evening munchies. While comforting, it is also nutritious, low calorie, easily digestible, and soothing for those chilly fall days.

Spicy Roasted Tomato Red Pepper Soup

For Roasting

3 roma tomatos

2 tomatoes

1 red pepper

½ tsp himilayan salt

1/4tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. chili flakes

For Sauteing 

Zulu African Mix 1/8 tsp

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup basil (or omit and add 1 cup of fresh basil to food processor)

½ yellow onion

1 large carrot

Food Processor

1 ½ cup hemp milk

¼ cup tomato basil sauce

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tsp. paprkia

Side: Gluten Free Rosemary Walnut Bread & Tea!

Spicy Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

Directions:

Slice up the tomatos and red pepper. Lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil over the tomatos and red pepper. Sprinkle with Himalayan salt, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper. Bake at 350 for about fifteen minutes.

While your red veggies are roasting, cut up your carrot and half an onion. Cut up your 2 cloves of garlic into small pieces, but do not mince unless desired. Heat up a frying pan and add three tablespoons of water. Begin sauteing the carrot, onion, basil and garlic. Sprinkle with zulu african spice mix. Saute for about twenty minutes.

Add hemp milk, tomato sauce, brown sugar and paprika to food processor. When finished roasting and sauteeing, add ingredients to hemp milk and tomato sauce in the food processor. Mix until smooth.

Empty ingredients into a pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

*To substitute the zulu african spice mix, trying adding liquid smoke.

Enjoy!!! 🙂

Complements of yours truly and my main man, Shane.


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The New Year Cliche: Resolutions

The holidays have moved on with the exception of New Years and I have been less than strict with my vegan diet. I have caved into my tiny grocery budget and settled for vegetarian sausages that contain milk and other products that existed in my fridge previous to my vegan adventure. I have also enjoyed more than a few completely non-vegan Christmas cookies.

And thus I have gained a few pounds and I have not felt as ripe and energetic as when I committed more fully to a vegan diet. I listed some of the challenges I faced that led me to caving into non-vegan foods. These fall-backs have become lessons and I have developed some easy solutions to help me commit more fully  to a vegan diet.

1. My boyfriend is a full blown carnivore and so is his kitchen.

Solution: I brought my own soy milk to his house once. I will commit to bringing my own vegan snacks. I accept that this is completely nerdy and I know he loves me anyways. The positive side of bringing my own food is that I know it will be healthy, it is fun to bake together and I really enjoy cooking for him. As I have said in previous posts, there is something deeply satisfying about cooking for people you love.

2.  Sometimes I absentmindedly leave my vegan packed lunch on the counter before work.

Solution: Leave myself a note. Do not settle for non-vegan food at Starbucks–buy the expensive bistro and cut out the non-vegan products. Use the ridiculous high price as motivation to remember my lunch next time! I could also utilize my fridge at work—put in some staple foods and condiments that are vegan. The next time I buy a bagel I will not be tempted to get cream cheese if I have peanut butter or vegan cream cheese in my work fridge!

3. Holiday deserts are not vegan. Ever.

Solution: I remind myself of how much better I feel when I eat vegan and I think about all of the issues that have motivated me to take on this diet. Also, I have terrible digestion problems including acid reflex that return when I start eating more cookies and animal products. Getting creative and baking my own desserts is fun, but not always realistic when the season brings chaos and a busy schedule. Preparing meals ahead of time is key. Finding some recipes before the holiday seasons hits could be helpful and save time too.

4. It’s ridiculously hard to eat-out vegan where I live.

Solution: Make more dinners. Who does not like to curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket and a homemade meal that you can feel good about? Also, do my research ahead of time. I like to look up menus online so that I know what my options are. Worst case scenario I can eat a snack before dinner and settle for a salad at dinner. This solution probably would not work for everyone—do you have any ideas to face this problem?

5.  Life gets busy.

Solution: Prepare meals ahead of time. I like to make smoothies ahead of time as well as vegan protein bars. They are quick snacks for any one on the go!