My Foods Journey
I have been asked by quite a few people to share what I eat on a daily basis, so I thought it was about time to share a post with you about it. But first, I thought I would share my background with you, so you know why I choose to live my life and eat the way I do currently. I was not always the healthiest when it came to choosing foods.
I grew up eating the standard American diet. Although my Mother tried to get me to eat healthy things like lots of veggies, I didn't always choose to eat them. What I mean to say is I ate them when I was at home when she served them (I wasn't a very picky child), but when I got older and I was given the choice I often bought fast food. Taco Bell, Wendy's and Pizza Hut were visited often after school activities. I would munch on a bag of chips between school and sports, and not think twice about eating multiple candy bars or drinking sodas. Although I was an athlete in high school I thought it was ok to eat poorly because I worked out a lot. I began to gain a bit of weight however during my Junior year and my clothes were not fitting so I decided that maybe it was time to do something about it and eat healthier. I ate a bit healthier my Senior year of high school trying to add in more veggies and cutting out soda, but I had a ways to go when it came to eating healthy. I fell into the low fat anything is good mind set and did not read food labels at that point. After a while though I started reading labels and realizing that real food is better than low fat food with fake ingredients.
When I started college I became a vegetarian and had eliminated most refined sugars and grains from my diet. The difference was remarkable and I lost about 20 lbs. I stuck with this way of eating and it got me through competitive running in my early 20s. I was running faster than ever and I knew my healthier diet was the reason. I ate this way for a long time, but then when I was 27 I began to question consuming dairy and eggs and decided to try a vegan and raw diet. I felt really good when I began eating this way. I had increased energy, slept better, and my skin had never been clearer. Eliminating the dairy got rid of my gas and bloating problem, and food seemed to digest better. I ate only raw food for 2 years after that, but it was last year that I began to not feel as radiant as I once did when I started the raw diet.
Energy is important to me and I discovered that my body needed some cooked food in order to function better. So, I have added back in cooked foods but my diet remains vegan. I eat a large amount of salads and raw foods, but for dinner many times I enjoy things like baked sweet potatoes or chickpeas. I used to think that everything had to be extreme, like all or none with the raw foods, but I feel better not being so rigid and like I enjoy life better not being that way. Any amount of raw foods in your diet is beneficial in my opinion. I still remain a vegan after 3 years though not just because I feel better without dairy and eggs but because I do care about animals and the way they are treated. When you hear about some of the horrendous things that are done to animals in our food industries it makes you completely lose your appetite for eating anything animal based.
So what do I eat in a day? Well, it usually starts out with either a bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds and flax, a little cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric or chia porridge (which can be as simple as chia seeds soaked in coconut water, or more elaborate like the Matcha Almond Chia Porridge with Pomegranate pictured below. If it is my day off, I also enjoy a good smoothie bowl!
After work I always have a bowl of fruit for a snack. Just whatever happens to be around. But berries and peaches are my favorite when they are in season. For dinner, I usually have a big salad like this Roasted Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad or if I want something warm then something like this Spicy Veggie Lentil Soup with a green salad on the side.
As far as dessert goes, I have some every day. How could I not? I am after all making recipes to share with you and tasting them as I go along. But I do practice moderation most of the time and just have a piece of something. Unless it is really good and it is the weekend and in that case I go back for more. I save the elaborate ones like cakes for once or twice a week, but on a daily basis my two favorites are simpler small things. Like flavored nut butter drizzled over bananas (like the Raw Strawberries and Cream Nut Butter pictured below). Or something small like Raw Fudgy Matcha Mint Brownies, or Raw Dark Chocolate Glazed Coconut Almond Doughnuts. I eat whatever I happen to be making or is around for dessert, so never the same thing every day.
As far as random snacks go, like if I am going to be gone a long time and need to grab one quick, I like something like my Raw Raspberry Lemon Doughnut Holes or Raw Green Kingdom Energy Bites. I keep things like this in the freezer so they are ready to go when I need them.
Eating these foods, I never feel like I am lacking, since I really enjoy them. I always felt like I was being a little deprived of something back before I became vegan and hadn't yet discovered how delicious natural foods free of preservatives and animal products can be, but I never do now. Back when I thought I had to eat fat free yogurt and ice cream to be healthy. Now I know that I can enjoy coconut yogurt and raw ice cream I make myself and still feel good. Things like baked yam fries are WAY tastier than deep fried french fries in my opinion and avocado is better spread on things than dairy butter. When you eat the things your body craves then you are satisfied. At least that is how I feel. These healthy foods are the foods I crave.