Friday, January 31, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 25

We're heading into the weekend, and I'm nearly done with Health Made Simple — the four-week meal plan from No Meat Athlete! I have plans to deviate from the plan quite a bit over the weekend (for Imbolc and Super Bowl) so I should probably just consider myself done. But I'll be back on Monday with a weekend recap anyway!

Until then, here's what I ate on Thursday, Day 25. The morning started as so many others do — a Larabar, a run (5 miles), and a bowl of post-run white rice. I'm usually eating that pre-run Larabar in the bathroom while getting ready because I'm classy and I have no shame.

Breakfast was another Sid's Superfood Shake (banana, hemp/flax/chia seed, wheatgrass, spirulina, dulse, Complement protein powder). And morning snack was a fruit bowl.

For lunch, I had my leftover BBQ Bella with Tahini Chickpea Slaw sandwich-style on whole wheat toast with a side of Air-fried Fries.

Afternoon snack was crackers with maple peanut butter (forgot to take a pic!), and dinner was my very favorite recipe on the plan so far — Butternut Squash Mac!!! 

I've made a lot of squash mac in my day, but this Health Made Simple version is the very best. It calls for roasted onions, shallot, and garlic to be mixed in with the roasted squash and blended cashews, and that really makes a difference. I remember loving this when I did Health Made Simple the last time (back in Oct 2018). I'm so glad I have this recipe to come back to again and again!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 24

Another great day on the No Meat Athlete Health Made Simple meal plan! On the last Wednesday of each month, I host a Crosstown Run Crew meet-up after work, and we always run 3 miles. I had 5 miles on the training plan, so I decided to do 2 miles before work and the rest after. I snacked on a couple dates pre-run and then headed out for an easy couple miles. After my run, I had a banana. Then, a little later, I had this Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie with Complement Protein powder (my bi-monthly protein powder shipment finally arrived!).

Morning snack was Whole Wheat Crackers with Sriracha Hummus.

And then lunch was a yummy leftovers plate from RP Tracks the night before. I had pita, hummus, veggies, and vegan ranch left, and I added the leftover baked falafel from a dinner last week. Love snacky plates!

My afternoon snack was a fruit bowl.

But since I was running 3 miles with Run Crew, I also had a Blueberry Muffin Larabar in the office before heading downstairs to meet the other runners.

We meet at 5:30 pm on the Crosstown Concourse plaza (join us on the last Wednesday each month if you're local!), run 3 miles through Crosstown, and end at a bar for post-run beers (or whatever you drink). This month, we met after at Next Door. I ordered a Wiseacre beer and some of their famous Kale Chips! These are NOT the healthiest kale chips because they're fried in oil, but they're soooooo tasty. Definitely a treat! This plan is mostly oil-free.

When I got home, it was pretty late, but luckily, I had my dinner already prepared. BBQ Portabella, Tahini Slaw (with added chickpeas for protein), and Air-fried Fries. I would have added bread to make this a proper sandwich, but I go to bed so early, and I wanted to eat a little lighter before bed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 23

Tuesday morning on the Health Made Simple whole foods-based meal plan started with — you guessed it! — a Larabar, a run (7 miles this time), and a bowl of post-run white rice.

And that was followed by Tuesday's meal plan breakfast of Sid's Superfood Shake, named for Sid Garza Hillman (who, along with No Meat Athlete's Matt Frazier, developed the Health Made Simple plan). I didn't have all the superfoods needed to make this (I was out of maca and have never owned chlorella), but I used what I had. This has banana, hemp seed, chia seed, dulse flakes, wheatgrass powder, spirulina powder (subbed for the chlorella), plus I added flax seed and chocolate protein powder (not in the recipe).

I was feeling great and full of whole foods when I got to work. But about 30 minutes after I arrived, I was surprised with VEGAN DONUTS! My co-worker Lily, owner of Darling Donuts, brought some into the office. I will ALWAYS make exception to my healthy eating goals for donuts! I had half a chocolate PB and half a cherry sprinkle.

I wasn't at all hungry for my morning snack, but I had a yoga class at 11 am, and I was worried that I might need some real fuel (not just donuts), so I ate my snack anyway — Veggies & Cashew-Hemp Italian Dressing.

Lunch was leftover No-Chicken Noodle Soup (no pic, sorry!). And afternoon snack was a fruit bowl (pineapple, strawberry, blueberry). Enjoyed with a rare afternoon cup of coffee.

For dinner, I met up with my Memphis Vegan Drinks buds for beer and food at RP Tracks. I had considered getting the BBQ Tofu Nachos, but since I'd already gone donut crazy, I figured I'd go with a healthier option — Chipotle Hummus Platter (plus a side of vegan ranch for dipping my veggies!), enjoyed with a 22-oz Meddlesome Brewing Co. Broadhammer Brown Ale.

I'm all about that balance, y'all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 22

Mondays are workout rest days for me, so I slept in and enjoyed a big ole plate of the Easy & Awesome Tofu Scramble from the No Meat Athlete Health Made Simple plan (the 4-week whole foods, plant-based meal plan I'm doing for January). Side of Whole Wheat Toast with Sriracha Hummus on the side.

Morning snack at my desk was Trail Mix, scored from the bulk bins at The Truck Patch (a health food store in my hometown). This had raw almonds, cashews, seeds, vegan dark chocolate chips, and cranberries.

For lunch, I had the leftover Veggie Pizza from Sunday night (enjoyed cold!) with a side salad. The salad was tossed with oil-free Tahini Dressing from the plan (tahini, lemon, garlic, spices).

Afternoon snack was fruit (blueberries, mandarins, and grapes). And then I headed home for a quick dinner of No-Chicken Noodle Soup (with lentils, whole wheat pasta, carrots, celery, onion, and chicken-free broth). This soup was so warm and comforting, definitely a good recipe to make again when I have a cold.

I always have a salad with dinner. Sometimes, I snack on that salad while I'm cooking. But I'd prepped this soup on Sunday evening so all I had to do was warm it in the microwave, so I had my salad with dinner (oil-free hemp cashew Italian dressing on top!). After dinner, I attended Sit & Sound, a singing bowl/tuning fork meditation at Oothoon's (the mystical shop in Crosstown). After the meditation, we were served a lovely herbal tea, a perfect ending to a nice day.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athlete's, Days 19-21

Weekend recap! Last weekend was the third full weekend on Health Made Simple, the whole foods-based meal plan from No Meat Athlete. I'm doing the Athlete Plan (there's also a Basic Plan, a Weight Loss Plan, a Minimalist Plan, and a Variety Plan).

Friday morning always starts with bootcamp class at my gym, so I had a Larabar and some hot tea and then headed to class. Afterward, I refueled with a banana on the drive home. A bit later, I had my coffee and a Mango Jalapeno Smoothie with mango, banana, lime, spinach, walnuts, jalapeno, and vanilla protein powder.

Morning snack with Baby Carrots & Bell Pepper Slices with Cashew Ranch, my very favorite homemade oil-free dressing.

Lunch was leftover Hawaiian Red Beans & Rice (pictured in Thursday's post) with grilled pineapple and pickled onions. And in the afternoon, I snacked on fresh fruit.

Dinner on Friday was a carb-heavy and satisfying bowl of Pasta with Chickpeas & Broccolini! Tender broccolini is sauteed with onions and chickpeas in a white wine sauce. Really yummy! And great for fuel for Saturday's planned long run.

On Saturday, I woke up early (6 am!) and enjoyed a plain bagel with sriracha hummus before my 17-mile training run. During my run, I snacked on GU gels (chocolate mint) and GU chews (strawberry), as well as a sesame tamari rice ball (from the No Meat Athlete Cookbook). Post-run, I had some tart cherry juice blended with banana and spinach for quick post-run carbs. Then, I had a big bowl of leftover pasta from Friday night's dinner.

But the real treat came on Saturday night! I drove over to Arkansas for dinner with my parents. My mom made a big ole meal of Southern dishes. Definitely not on the meal plan but so worth it. She made Vegan Dumplins, Mac & Tomatoes, Fried Okra, Fried Potatoes, and Greens. The greens were actually some my Granny had put up in the deep freezer before she passed, so it was extra special to eat Granny's greens.

For dessert, we had Strawberry Shortcake! Granny had also put up lots of strawberries, so my mom used some to make a strawberry topping for little mini yellow cakes (you can't see the cake because it's buried in berries). We used the vegan Reddi Whip on top!

On Sunday morning, I typically do an hour or so recovery run, but this Sunday, I had a 2 pm 5K race so I slept in (YAY!) and had this delicious Tofu Scramble from the Health Made Simple plan with a LuLu's Smoked Carrot Cashew Bun (scored from the CY Farmers Market on Saturday — I stopped by there on my long run!). 

I didn't want to have a real lunch because my food wouldn't have time to digest before my race, so I had a big bowl of Steamed Potatoes around noon. Steamed white potatoes make excellent running fuel. Yay carbs!

Then it was time for my run! The Memphis Runners Track Club Winter Off-Road Series 5K was waaaaay out in Collierville at WC Johnson Park. That's about a 40-minute drive from my house.

It had rained a lot over the past week, so the trails were pretty muddy. But I love running in mud!

Had a great race and made pretty good time considering that it was a trail race. I packed a smoothie (banana, apple, coconut nectar, Complement protein powder, PB2) in the car for post-race carbs, so I enjoyed that on the drive home.

Later in the evening, I figured I'd earned a beer, so I tried this Regular Beer from Duclaw Brewing Co. Really good. Tasted like a solid, regular-ass beer.

Sunday night on Health Made Simple was pizza night! They suggested using whole wheat pita or bread for the crust, but I found frozen whole wheat pizza dough at a health food store in my hometown. So I used that! They also suggested using homemade cashew cheese for a more wholesome pie, but storebought vegan cheese was an option, so I treated myself. This is topped with Violife mozzarella, spinach, olives, and bell peppers. I had a big salad with chickpeas and cashew ranch on the side!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 18

Thursday morning started with a 6-mile run (with the last two miles at tempo pace!), so I fueled with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar at 5:15 am and then headed out the door at 5:45 am. Afterward, I had my usual post-run white rice for carbs, followed by coffee and a Mixed Fruit Smoothie (banana, blueberry, raspberry, chocolate protein powder).

Morning snack was Baked Corn Chips (heated in the air fryer) with cauliflower queso by Good Foods and salsa. A friend brought the queso to the vegan potluck on Sunday and sent me home with what was left. It's all whole foods-based (mostly cauliflower) and really yummy!

Lunch was another Baked Falafel Wrap (with hummus, tomato, avocado, and olives) and baked Purple Sweet Potato Fries (with ketchup!).

In the afternoon, I had a bowl of fruit (mandarins, blueberries, kiwis) and some dark chocolate.

And for dinner, I had a really fantastic bowl of Hawaiian Red Beans & Rice from the Health Made Simple plan. This has kidney beans (prepped in my Instant Pot), brown rice (also made in the Instant Pot), red cabbage, and spinach, and it's topped with grilled pineapple and pickled onions. Really satisfying. This recipe made extra, so I froze some for a quick meal later in the winter!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Day 17

It's hard to believe I'm more than halfway through the 4-week Health Made Simple whole foods, plant-based meal plan! I'm fueling my runs and workouts with whole plant foods and I'm feeling great.

Wednesday morning, I woke up at 4:45 am for a 6-mile run. I had some Earl Gray tea and a Cashew Cookie Larabar pre-run, and then after my run, I had some white rice with soy sauce and sesame seeds for carb re-fueling. Then I had my coffee, followed by a Mango Jalapeno Protein Smoothie (mango, lime, jalapeno, banana, walnuts, spinach, and vanilla Sprouts brand protein powder).

Morning snack was a bowl of fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry) with flax seed.

Lunch was another Buffalo Tofu Wrap (baked tofu, buffalo cashew ranch, celery, tomato, and pickled onion) with roasted purple sweet potato (topped with nooch and salsa).

And afternoon snack was Celery with Peanut Butter.

For dinner, I had another wrap! This one (actually, I had two cause I was extra hungry) is stuffed with oil-free Baked Falafel (made with soaked chickpeas, parsley, onion, and spiced), avocado, tomato, lettuce, hummus, and pickled onion. I'm loving all the wraps on this plan! My current fave wraps (though they're a little small) are La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Protein Wraps. I'd love these more if they didn't have all the added protein, but for WW wraps, they're super great. They don't break when you stuff 'em extra full.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Health Made Simple for Athletes, Days 15-16

Our offices at Crosstown Arts were closed for MLK Day on Monday, so I slept in (Mondays are also workout rest days for me) and made pancakes!! These Whole Grain Pancakes on the Health Made Simple meal plan are made with no white flour (just oat and chickpea flour). I added strawberries to the batter and topped with additional berries.

Morning snack was an apple (chopped and covered with ground flax seed). And lunch was a bowl of Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry over brown rice. When I made this for Sunday's vegan potluck, I saved a serving for the next day's lunch.

In the afternoon, I treated myself to my first-ever manicure (!!!) at Gloss Nail Bar. I had a glass of wine there. Later in the afternoon, I prepped a snack to take along on my grocery trip. I had these Bell Peppers with Tahini Dressing in the car.

Dinner on Monday was a hearty, warming bowl of Black Bean Tortilla Soup made with toasted corn tortillas, tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Plus, avocado and lime juice on top!

Since it was a holiday, I treated myself to an Old Fashioned cocktail for a night cap, made with Memphis-made Blue Note bourbon.

On Tuesday morning, I was supposed to do an 8-mile run, but for the first time in weeks, the temps dipped down into the 20s. And I just wasn't ready for all that. I knew it'd be warmer in the afternoon, so I moved my workout to the evening. That meant sleeping in and then having this Mixed Fruit Smoothie (just banana, blueberries, cranberries, and mandarin orange — no nuts, greens, or protein) before heading off to work.

Morning snack at my desk was Whole Wheat Crackers with Peanut Butter. I went to yoga at the YMCA in my building at 11 am, so this was nice fuel.

Lunch was leftover tortilla soup, and in the afternoon, I snacked on a bowl of apples and mandarin oranges, plus a Simple Truth Date Bar right before my run at 5ish (it was about 10 degrees warmer then, good choice!). After my run, I refueled with some tart cherry juice, and then got to work on dinner. 

This Buffalo Tofu Ranch Wrap is probably one of my favorite recipes on Health Made Simple! It has baked tofu, cashew ranch (with hot sauce mixed in), celery, tomato, lettuce, and pickled onion on a whole wheat wrap. On the side, I baked a Purple Sweet Potato (locally grown!) and topped it with nooch and salsa.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

No Meat Meet-Up Vegan Potluck #4

I'm interrupting my usual Health Made Simple meal plan recap for a post about this Sunday's amazing No Meat Meet-Up Vegan Potluck at Crosstown Arts!

It was Day 14 on my 4-week whole foods, plant-based meal plan, and I stuck to those parameters throughout the day, but once it was time for the monthly potluck (they're always at 3 pm), I let myself eat all the things. I tend to overeat at potlucks, so I really focused on just trying a small bite of each thing. And I think I did pretty well considering the massive amount of food there. We had about 40 people show up (some were couples, so not quite 40 dishes but definitely 20-something different options!).

I brought the Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry that I was supposed to eat on my Health Made Simple plan. It's made without oil and has lite coconut milk, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and Indian spices. Served over brown rice.

Steven brought some delicious Tofu Pad Thai.

Two people brought Vegan Queso — one was storebought (and made with cauliflower!) and the other was homemade. Both very good!

Shay made her famous Vegan Pizza!

James and Clarita blew us all away with their vegan meaty Million Dollar Spaghetti! They used the new vegan beef from Simple Truth Organic, and it was very, very meaty. Would have fooled any meat eater!

Jen & Simon brought some fantastic Kimchi Fried Rice using homemade kimchi (made by our friend Stephanie). 

Someone brought Roasted Veggies, a welcome addition to my plate of dips and carbs!

There was an amazing Vegan Challah Bread!! So soft and sweet. 

There was Bhel Puri!! My favorite Indian snack!

And a man who arrived later brought this mind-blowing, veggie-filled African Stew. We had a lot of late-comers, and I was so full by the time they arrived. But I still tried small bites of everything. I did fail to get pics of many of the late dishes though. There was a great enchilada casserole, Daiya cheesecake, raw crackers with guac, pasta salad, and more!

My very favorite thing were my friend/co-worker Lily's Vegan Donuts from her vegan donut company, Darling Donuts! I had half of a cherry coconut donut and half of a (not pictured) maple stick donut.

Here's my first plate! And yes, there was a second plate, but it was much smaller.

What a great potluck!! If you're local, the next one should be Sunday, February 16 at 3 pm at the cafe at Crosstown Arts. Bring a dish to share and let's eat!