Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie

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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)


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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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!



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Ignorance is Bliss because Cheese is Da** Good

And so is ice cream, eggs, butter…the list goes on. And of course animal products are found in all of those foods and in just about everything else as well. One of the most difficult aspects of transitioning to a plant-based diet is cravings. Maybe even more than challenging though, it is just annoying.

Baking is one of the ways that I deal with cravings and frustrations towards my empty fridge.  (It really would not have to be an empty fridge if I was not a broke college graduate saving every penny I earn for graduate school. Lots of great vegan choices—I am just limited to a strict budget and a small fridge.) I have been experimenting with some vegan baking and am pleasantly impressed with the results. I made an oatmeal pumpkin protein cookie the other evening. It is so low in fat and sugar—I hesitate to call it cookie! I added ingredients with copious amounts of vitamins too. It has a great taste, but could be a little sweeter. The protein content was also a bit lower than I anticipated—about 3.6 grams per serving. I like to have an abundant amount of protein in my breakfast. It gives me more energy during the day. I am going to play with the recipe and make the cookie higher in protein and more delicious before I post the recipe.

I went to the reputable vegan and gluten-free bakery The Flying Apron Cafe this morning to try and satisfy my desire for a yummy baked good. Although the customer service was great, the music was cute 50’s tunes, and the pastries looked delicious, the scone I chose was not spectacular. On the one hand, it sucks that this little cafe may not be the perfect outlet for my cravings, but on the other hand I am confident that I can become a master at baking. My oatmeal pumpkin cookies beat that scone by far!

On a related, but different note. I conjured up a list of advice for dealing with diet transitions (not limited to veganism.)

  1. Get Creative. Experimenting with baking and cooking is fun and rewarding when you find that stellar mix of top notch ingredients. It is also a sneaky way to distract yourself when you get the munchies after not finding a meal that is satisfying. Tip: Certainly taste test, but don’t go over board. Allow yourself one serving and freeze or store the rest for later.
  2. Open Your Mind. There are so many healthy natural foods and recipes available at your disposal that you have not even tried yet! Remember the day you first tried Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, French food—different styles and tastes—some of which utilize the same foods but in such different ways that they yield extremely different and delicious tasting results! And much of Indian and Thai food is vegetarian (or can be easily made vegetarian.) There are so many options for your diet; you just have to be willing to look for them.
  3. Flaunt it. With your new and improved palette, cooking and baking skills, you can model your new found recipes and creations during the holidays, dates, potlucks, etc. And at a compassionate level, filling the bellies of people you love can feel deeply gratifying.

What have you done to adjust to a new diet or lifestyle? Always happy to learn from you too!