Monday, July 22, 2013

Power Vegan!

Have you ever thought, "Man, I wish there was a vegan book with plant-based nutrition info, exercise routines, tips for eating affordably and curing your ailments, and recipes."? Oh, and maybe you want a little coaching in there too — you know, someone to kick you in the butt when you try to make excuses for why you can't eat healthily.

That book is real! It's called Power Vegan by nutrition specialist and fitness trainer Rea Frey. This book literally contains just about everything you need to know about a maintaining a healthy vegan diet. It's for new vegans. It's for veteran vegans. And it's for the veg-curious. Often, these sorts of books are tailored to one group or the other, but everyone can get something out of this.

Like a good trainer, Frey is encouraging without being preachy. She includes chapters on power foods (with sections on sprouting and eating raw), eating vegan for life (including answers to all those common excuses for why you don't think you can eat healthily), curing ailments (foods and exercises to help with dry hair or nagging aches), workouts (with planned workout circuits and pictures demonstrating the moves), and recipes for healthy (but not over-the-top-healthy) meals (she uses oil! thank god).

After reading a few chapters, I could tell that Frey is heavily influenced by Brenden Brazier, vegan Ironman triathlete and maker of Vega. I'm a huge Brazier fan, so Frey's philosophy (especially on pre- and post-workout foods) is something I can get down with. She recommended Brazier's date bites as the best pre-workout fuel, and that's what I've already been eating before runs since I read Brazier's Thrive in January.

This is Rea Frey! Look at those HOT arms!!!

Her workout routines are great! I made a workout plan for my off-running days this week using her core and arm exercises.

But you're really here for the food pics, right? So of course, I tried a couple of recipes!

For starters, I made the Chopped Salad with Dijon Dressing.

This is a simple veggie salad with celery, bell pepper, cucumber, romaine, carrot, tomato, red cabbage, onion, cilantro, and a homemade dressing of oil, Dijon, and lemon. Simple, yes. But I actually learned something when making this salad! Frey recommends throwing large chunks of veggies in a food processor and pulsing for a few seconds to chop. Can you believe I've never thought of chopping salad veggies this way? It seems so obvious now.

I also made her Black Bean Quesadillas.

Love, love, love these. They're made with a mix of cooked, raw, and comfort ingredients — the perfect combo. Cooked black beans, a raw corn and tomato salad, and shredded Daiya cheese are tucked into a gluten-free Food for Life tortilla. And it's topped with mashed avocado and lime juice. They made me feel healthy, but I still got some of my beloved Daiya cheese in there.

She also includes a number of smoothie recipes that call for "1 scoop of hemp, pea, or rice protein," so I'll be trying these with Vega powder soon. Love finding new ways to use my Vega powder!

And there are meal plans. God, I love a meal plan. Maybe it's my childhood love of following directions ... which is totally weird because I hate rules. But I love directions!

Anyway, Power Vegan is a great all-around vegan bible for anyone looking to boost their fitness level or just eat a healthier plant-based diet.


Dana said...

That sounds really awesome! I am looking to re-vamp my diet, so I will have to check it out

Sheridan & Drew said...

K, putting my bday request in now. I need this book in my life! hahah!