What I Eat in a Week / 5 Year Vegan Anniversary!

Tuesday, March second marked my five year anniversary with veganism. Living a vegan lifestyle has been one of the most influential and important decisions of my life in so many ways, and yet, the most common question I still get is: “What do you eat?”

This post is for anyone who wants to incorporate more vegan meals into their life. It’s for the vegetarian/vegan curious, and simply for anyone wondering how I meal prep, or who may need new ideas and suggestions. I made sure to keep it real. I only made things in our regular rotation, and I included all snacks, drinks, takeout, and treats. I want to emphasize that I do not count calories or macros so this post is not about that. It’s about eating intuitively, and living an abundant vegan lifestyle.

Saturday, 2/28

I always start the day with one 20oz Yeti of coffee. I will not include my coffee of the day each day. You can just assume I had it. Note that currently we drink coffees from: https://cxffeeblack.com, https://ravensbrewcoffee.com, and https://jackiesjava.com. I always use plain or vanilla https://www.nutpods.com as my creamer – it’s delicious and sugar free.

Gujimane Cxffee / Nutpods French Vanilla Creamer

Breakfast:

Bagel Sandwich: Alvarado Street Organic Sprouted Wheat Bagels, Just Egg, Follow Your Heart Pepper jack Cheese, Beyond Meat Spicy Sausage Patties, dr. Praeger’s Southwest Hash Browns / Two Mandarins and a Banana

Lunch:

32oz Chocolate Smoothie: Unsweetened Almond Milk, Frozen Bananas, Cacao Powder, Hemp Seeds, and https://www.earthbalancenatural.com Coconut Peanut Butter

Dinner:

Potato Taquitos, Rice, Beans, Soyrizo Street Tacos, Fries and Chips, Salsa and Guacamole from: https://www.cocinamariposa.com

Dessert:

Cookies from: https://wholesomebakery.com and Coconut Bliss Mint Chip Galactica Ice Cream

I get all of our groceries from our local COOP. However, I did want to make sure all the direct links were here (if I did not already list them) for you to browse, or purchase if you do not have close access. Thrive Market is also a great option!

Alvarado Street Bakery: https://www.alvaradostreetbakery.com/index

Just Egg: https://www.ju.st

Follow Your Heart: https://followyourheart.com

Beyond Meat: https://www.beyondmeat.com

dr. Praeger’s: https://drpraegers.com

Coconut Bliss: https://coconutbliss.com

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Sunday, 3/1

Breakfast:

Oatmeal, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Flax Seed Meal, Cinnamon, topped with Granola from https://www.cascadianfarm.com

Snack:

https://www.larabar.com Protein Bar, Apple Cobbler

Lunch / Dinner:

Pizza from https://www.mountainmikespizza.com and Peach Green Tea Lemonade from Starbucks

Dessert: Cookies listed above from Wholesome Bakery.

CBD Sparkling Water:

Beauty Bubbles from https://www.dramapothecary.com with Lemon

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Monday, 3/2

Breakfast:

Chocolate Smoothie My Recipe:

1.5 C Coconut Water

3 Frozen Bananas

2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal

1/4 Cup Oats

1 Tbsp Cacao Powder

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

Snack:

Bagel and https://miyokos.com Plain Cream Cheese

Lunch:

Jasmine Rice and Yellow Curry with Vegetables and Tofu from https://siamorchidthaicuisine.getrestaurantops.com

Dinner:

Vegan Ramen from https://rightfoods.com

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Tuesday, 3/3

Breakfast:

32oz Green Smoothie

My Recipe:

1.5 C Coconut Water

1 C Frozen Mango and/or Pineapple

1/2 Lemon Squeezed

1 C Spinach

2 Bananas

2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

1/4 C Oats

Lunch:

Beans and Rice with chips from: https://www.fronterafoods.com and salsa from Oaxaca Mama

Dinner:

Pan Fried Extra Firm Tofu, Grilled Onions, and Chili Garlic Sauce over White Rice

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Wednesday 3/4

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I work in the shop taking client appointments. I prep breakfast, lunch, and snacks for those days, so they will all be the same. Dinners will vary. I also got some special desserts I will share with you!

Meal Prep

Breakfast: Green Smoothie (Same recipe as above but not pictured since I make them the morning of.)

Snack: 2 Apples and 1 Mandarin.

Lunch: Green Salad with Romaine, Bell Pepper, Cucumber, and Tomatoes topped with Baked Popcorn Tofu from our local COOP tossed in Frank’s Wing Sauce. With Follow Your Heart Ranch Dressing.

Snack: https://www.kite-hill.com Greek Yogurt topped with Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Apple Granola.

Dinner:

Pesto Pasta and Garlic Bread

Pesto Recipe: https://bakerbynature.com/super-healthy-spinach-basil-pesto-vegan-dairy-free-gluten-free/

Garlic Bread: 1 Loaf https://www.cafebrioarcata.com French Bread, Garlic, Olive Oil, and https://www.earthbalancenatural.com Soy Free Buttery Sticks

Dessert: Almond Tea Cake, Brownies, Seven Layer Bars, and Almond Tea Cake from Wholesome Bakery! I put in a huge order from their website after discovering the cookies at our local COOP. Obviously these will last a while!

https://wholesomebakery.com
https://wholesomebakery.com

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Thursday, 3/5

Meal Prep listed above, desserts listed above.

Dinner:

https://www.gardein.com Pan Fried and lightly seasoned Chick’n Scallopini, Broiled Brussel Sprouts tossed in Olive Oil and Salt / Pepper and Baked Potatoes

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Friday, 3/6

Meal Prep listed above, desserts listed above.

Dinner:

Kale Salad with Home Made Croutons

Kale Salad Recipe: https://www.veggiesdontbite.com/5-day-raw-food-reset-with-shopping-list/

Croutons: I chop Brio bread into medium-sized squares and pan fry them in olive oil with salt and garlic powder.

Drinks:

Polar Brand Seltzer Water, Lime

Monthly Resource Collection: February 2021

Books:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Emily Nagoski, PHD, Amelia Nagoski, DMA

Burnout takes a deep dive into the psychology and societal structures that lead to the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that keep women from living their most fulfilling lives, while offering practical solutions to break the cycle. Emily and Amelia Nagoski use science and personal experience to demonstrate that fighting the patriarchy on a daily basis (whether it be through the recognition of systematic inequality or simple, yet daily experiences of sexism, or intersecting isms) is exhausting within itself. But, women become even more exhausted when we speak out about these experiences or refuse to conform and are gaslit by society at large (and many times by actual people in our lives) and told that what we are experiencing isn’t real, that structural inequality is over, and that we are the problem. This leads to burnout, or an inability to process stress, rage, or general discontent as we are expected to run households and businesses while denying our reality.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero

In the Country We Love is a beautifully written memoir detailing the experiences of Diane Guerrero, an American born citizen, whose undocumented parents and older brother are taken from their homes, placed in immigration detention centers, and deported to Colombia when she is just fourteen years old. Left with family friends, Guerrero details her life as a young adult making her way in the world amidst family separation, severe emotional trauma, and a childhood complicated and shaped by the inequality of the American immigration system.

Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson

In her book Caste, Isabel Wilkerson examines the Indian caste system, the caste system during Nazi Germany, and the current American caste system: race. Using historical context and a wealth of examples Wilkerson explains the striking similarities between the caste systems, and what we can do to break free from these constraints that harm us all.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, Ijeoma Oluo

In my opinion, this entire book is so impactful I cannot synthesize it down to a couple concise sentences. Instead of trying, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

White male identity is in a very dark place. White men have been told that they should be fulfilled, happy, successful, and powerful, and they are not. They are missing something vital – an intrinsic sense of self that is not tied to how much power or success they can hold over others – and that hole is eating away at them. I can only imagine how desolately lonely it must feel to only be able to relate to other human beings through conquer and competition. The love, admiration, belonging, and fulfillment they have been promised will never come – it cannot exist for you when your success is tied to the subjugation of those around you. These white men are filled with anger, sadness, and fear over what they do not have, what they believe has been stolen from them. And they look at where they are now, and they cannot imagine anything different. As miserable as they are, they are convinced that no other option exists for them. It is either this, or death: ours or theirs.”

Ijeoma Oluo, Mediocre

Notable Podcasts Episodes:

Unfuck Your Brain, “Episode 151, Maximalism.” 9/17/20

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unf-ck-your-brain/id1229434818?i=1000491537148

Must Read Articles:

Goodell, J. (2020, December). How Climate Change Is Ushering in a New Pandemic Era. Rolling Stone, https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/climate-change-risks-infectious-diseases-covid-19-ebola-dengue-1098923/amp/

Illustration by Jason Holley for Rolling Stone

“A warming world is expanding the range of deadly diseases and risking an explosion of new zoonotic pathogens from the likes of bats, mosquitos, and ticks.”

My Morning and Evening Routine

I struggle with anything outside of my routine. And that’s exactly why I have one.

I originally developed several routine habits as a way to save myself time, be more efficient, accomplish more tasks, and try to etch some space out for myself amidst the chaotic life of a new small business owner. Practical. I think that we are all continuously overloaded with information and tasks, and these routines helped organize my life to make it slightly more liveable. However, after four years of implementing these strategies I’ve discovered the real benefit of having these routines: grounding.

Much less practical. Way more “woo woo.”

When you are grounded you feel calm, centered, balanced and strong. You’re less stressed and tense and more capable of introspection while simultaneously feeling like you’re part of something larger. For me, that “something larger” is nature, the universe, and other living beings. It’s difficult to stay grounded with constant demands and distractions on our time, things pulling us in a million directions at once, but I think there are many ways you can reconnect with your “something larger” in order to become more solid. The more balanced I am, the more capable and calm I feel when change and chaos come my way. And they inevitably always do.

I come back to my routine and feel safe. Your version of grounding can include any practice that is consistent and helps you feel connected to your version of “something larger.” Which, in turn, helps you to learn more about who you are. And you don’t need to be some meditation master. All you need is some commitment to put yourself first and an understanding that it won’t always be perfect, and that’s okay.

Here is my detailed AM / PM ritual! I hope it will help some of you with ideas on how to begin implementing time for grounding in your own life. I also want to mention that establishing this WAS NOT easy. It took at least a year of waking up early before I started to actually enjoy it, working out used to be a chore, and I got A LOT of pushback from my husband. He didn’t understand why I was forcing myself to do (what appeared to him as) even more things. He still thinks I do too much, but now I know that prioritizing me was the best choice I could make. It helps me to be more balanced and calm, and instead of feeling like I never get time for myself, I now usually feel fairly satisfied in that department. What may look like more work to other people can look like accomplishment, time for yourself, and peace of mind to you. Trust yourself.

AM:

-Wake up at 5am. Or whatever time necessary to have at least 3.5 hours of time before I have to begin my day or head to work.

-Set my phone to “do not disturb,” set it aside and put my Apple Watch on. I do not mirror my phone on my watch and only have workout apps, podcasts, music, and audiobooks. It’s also set to DND and is on silent.

-Put cozy pajamas on, pour myself some coffee with dairy free creamer (no sugar) and set a timer on my watch for 30 minutes.

-Read a book for 30 minutes. A physical book, simply for enjoyment. I like to do this in a cozy chair in the living room. Sometimes I light candles, sometimes I turn on the fireplace. Make it cozy! It’s early, so hopefully you can find somewhere quiet.

-Once that timer goes off I put my book away and set another timer for 15 minutes.

-I sit quietly for these 15 minutes with no distractions. Sometimes I practice breathing exercises, sometimes I mentally recite my meditation mantras, and sometimes I’m so scatterbrained that I just sit there and try to relax. The main thing is that I spend 15 minutes alone with myself. Sometimes I do this in the cozy chair, sometimes on a yoga mat, and sometimes in my mediation corner in my office. Again, I think it’s important to carve out some physical space for yourself.

-Once that timer goes off, I get up, grab my headphones and either put on a podcast or audiobook while I clean one part of the house. I generally do not spend more than 30 minutes per day cleaning, but this way I free up Saturdays and Sundays with no big chores. Ie: bathroom Wednesday, kitchen Thursday, dusting Friday. Make sure to assign chores to specific days ahead of time to reduce decision fatigue and time wasted.

-After doing my daily chore, I pull up my daily workout. I am fortunate enough to have a personal trainer who logs all of my workouts into a convenient app so I know what to do each day. I think it’s INCREDIBLY useful to plan out your week in advance as well, so you can eliminate daily decision fatigue. That topic is another blog altogether, but keep in mind you are much more likely to stick with your routine the fewer decisions you have to make in the moment. Set yourself up ahead of time. You don’t need a personal trainer to pre-plan your workouts for that week.) I workout for 45 minutes to one hour maximum. I also listen to music, or a podcast or audiobook during this time.

-After my workout, I get ready. I do not spend more than 45 mins to one hour showering and doing hair and makeup. I’ve decided at this point in my life, other things are more important to me. I listen to a podcast or audiobook while I get ready.

-Before I leave the house I feed the pets while making my morning breakfast smoothie (ingredients prepped and ready to go), and packing my lunch and snacks for the day (also prepped and ready to go). Then I’m out the door for about the next 10-11 hours.

PM:

My evening routine is much shorter, and fairly new. After a long work day I do not want to do anything except eat and sleep. But I knew that establishing something to let the chaos of the day go, so I can move more seamlessly into a relaxing evening is important. So at the beginning of this year (yep just a month ago) I finally committed to an evening routine. The key: make it short and simple.

-As soon as I walk through the door after work I put my work laundry in the washing machine and start it.

-I then make myself a cup of tea while washing my lunch and breakfast dishes.

-I give my husband a kiss, turn my phone on DND and silent and leave it in my work bag, then take my tea to enjoy while I change into pajamas, wash my face, and complete my skincare routine. This probably takes around five minutes.

-After my skin is taken care of, I go into my office, close the door and finish my tea while I write down three things I am grateful for and three good things that happened to me that day. This takes another five minutes.

-After that, I feel much more ready to cook dinner (which I hopefully prepped) and spend time with my husband until bed time.

-Depending on the day, I will usually check my phone for a minute or two right before I go to sleep in case someone texted me, but aside from that I try to keep my phone in another room and/or on DND and silent so I am separated from its distractions.

Photo: Amanda Lankila Photography https://instagram.com/amandalankilaphotography?igshid=calt99ozzq5s