Vegans Indulge Too!

Vegan Cupcake

Hi Everyone!

I, like everyone else, over-indulged! Shocker I know ūüėČ but believe it or not, I’m human too! Today I want to¬†share with you a few¬†of the foods & drinks I splurge on. They are all 100% vegan of course, but they are not whole foods in that they are all processed to some degree. Some of you may think, “Those are not so bad!” and yes, in comparison to some of the junk food out there with highly refined sugars, corn syrups, GMO soy and other additives, these “aren’t so bad.” I’m here to tell you though, once you have some time under your belt eating a diet that is mostly comprised of whole plant foods, the foods I’m listing truly do feel like indulgences! So here are my confessions…

1. Vegan Snacks: Vegan “”Cheese” Popcorn, Lentil Chips

earth-balance-popcornlentil-chips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. “Comfort Foods”: Organic Yellow Corn Grits (with Daiya Cheese), Gluten-Free Pizza (with Daiya Cheese), Sweet Potato Fries (I bake them!)

yellow-gritsdaiya-mozzarella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amys gluten free pizza

sweet-potato-fries-baked

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Alcohol: Tequila drinks (mainly tequila with soda and fresh lemon and lime), Golden Monkey beer.

don-juliogolden-monkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned… I find new vegan “semi-junk” foods to splurge on all the time! Just remember, if you cut out all the really horrible processed foods (I’m talking Fritos, Pop Tarts, Snickers, you get the idea) ALL TOGETHER, you will lose the cravings for these types of terrible-for-you-foods, and Lentil Chips will become your new standard for an indulgence, at which point you can count on seeing major positive changes to your body, your energy level, your happiness, and your whole life in general! Stick with the program and you will see!

For more detailed information on nutrition, including meal plans, recipes, and workout routines check out the SFV Club!

 

So… You Are Invited To A BBQ. Now What?!

Independence Day is just the kick-off to a BBQ-filled summer for many of us… which to me, means a super fun times with my friends and loved ones!

Have you ever experienced something like this? As you are being invited to a BBQ, the invitation ends with an uncomfortable, “Oh yeah, but you don’t eat meat!” Sometimes it even seems like the person feels badly about having even asked! But here’s the deal… A BBQ does not have to be synonymous with a meat-eating extravaganza! I look at BBQs as an opportunity to spend time with friends, meet new people, play volleyball (there is often a beach v-ball court around here in South Beach), have a few drinks, a lot of laughs, and share my vegan lifestyle simply by being present and being me!

So when I am invited to a BBQ, I get the details first because for me, a pig skewered over a fire pit is simply beyond the boundaries of what I am able to handle! (But for some of you who are vegan strictly for the health benefits, this might not be a problem!) Then, if I accept the invitation, I of course offer to bring some food, which is never turned down. And the friend usually realizes at that point that they are also planning on cooking up some veggies anyway!

black-bean-burgers-grillIf you enjoy preparing food, then please, have fun making your home-made vegan patties, potato salad, coleslaw, and whatever else you are craving! There are tons of awesome recipes out there to try!

Since I am not much of a cook however, I usually grab veggie burgers and vegan hot dogs to bring, as well as baby carrots, celery (I chop ahead of time) and hummus. My top vegan picks to bring  are:

РAmy’s California & Bistro Burgers (Great tasting, satisfying to meat-eaters and vegans alike, plus the California one is gluten free!
– Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle (love adding avocado to this one)
РLightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs (Perfect hot dog sub and Gluten Free as well!)
РVegenaise, Low Fat  (Texture and taste are both fantastic.)
– Daiya Cheese Slices (cheddar, provolone, and swiss options.)

Believe it or not both the faux meats and the veggies and hummus are almost always a hit at the party!

Now relax & have a blast!!!

And if anyone has links to recipes you have tried and love, feel free to post a comment to share!

Sexy Fit Vegan-Approved Pasta!

Are you ready for this?

MungBeanFettuchini

A low-carb, high-protein, high-fiber, organic, grain-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, vegan pasta that actually tastes great!!!

Organic Mung Bean Fettuccine

Brand: Explore Asian

It can be tricky to find locally so you may need to order it and stock up. You can find it on Amazon
among many other online health food stores.

Make sure to sign up for the FREE Sexy Fit Vegan Newsletter for a super easy to make healthy Mac’n Cheese recipe I created… YUMMY!!!

Top Cream Cheese Swap

Vegan Cream Cheese

Brand: Galaxy Nutritional Foods

Product: Vegan Cream Cheese Substitute, Chive & Garlic (my favorite), & Plain

I only get this every once in a while because it is still a processed food, but of the cream cheese substitutes, this is definitely one of the healthier (if not healthiest), has the best consistency, and tastes fantastic! The chive & garlic is my favorite, but the classic plain flavor is good as well. When I need a savory treat, I spread it on rice crackers… yum!! And when I have guests I serve it with whole grain or gluten-free bagels and get nothing but compliments.

Vegan Cream Cheese

Top Cheese Swaps

Brand: Daiya Foods

I highly recommend this brand for all your cheese needs. Not only are the products 100% vegan, they are also free of soy, gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts (except coconut), but they have their own factory to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. And as for the taste…. wow!!!

Products: Mozzarella Style Shreds and Pepperjack Style Shreds daiya-mozzarella

These are absolutely amazing tasting and they melt just like the real thing!

The mozzarella is perfect for making a delicious vegan pizza, and the pepperjack couldn’t be better for topping burritos and making quesadillas.

Havarti Style Wedge and Jack Style Wedge

I used these at a house party recently, on a platter with olives and crackers. The non-vegans had NO IDEA that the cheese was non-dairy. In fact I received compliments on the havarti wedge and it was gone in no time. They couldn’t believe it when I told them later that it was vegan. Go Daiya!!DF-Wedge-Havarti

Favorite Milk Swaps

Vegan Milk

Top Milk Substitutes:

Brand: Blue Diamond

Products: Almond-Coconut Milk Blend, Almond Milk, & Coconut Milk (all unsweetened)

almond-coconut-milkWhen it comes to store bought milk substitutes, I find that Blue Diamond has the best flavor  and consistency. It works great as a drink on its own, with cereal, in shakes, coffee or tea, and for cooking and baking. For cereal I like the almond-coconut blend, vanilla flavor best. When I cook vegan mac & cheese I use the regular almond milk. And when I make shakes its usually the coconut milk, vanilla or chocolate. I always get the unsweetened versions and simply add a dash of stevia if I need to sweeten it  so that it remains the low 45 calories per serving without any sugar!