Just as I’ve been in the mindset of only keeping clothes that I love, I feel the same about the groceries I buy. I get pumped for the meals I eat because they taste delicious and make me feel good. I buy some staples each week, but as for the flavor of humus or variety of nut or type of veggie, for example, I try to switch it up to get variety in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals I am consuming. ALSO so I don’t get bored with what I’m eating. Changing or adding ingredients even just a little bit changes the taste of a smoothie, spice of a meal, or flavor of a snack big time – my key to staying motivated in fueling my body well.
My goal with eating is to eat mostly whole foods (foods that occur in nature) rather than processed foods. Maybe more importantly, though, is that I listen to my body; I eat foods that are satisfying to me and I pay close attention to my hunger cues. I’ve come to realize how important this is as my workouts change (i.e. right now I am training for a fall marathon, so as my training picks up, there are times when I eat way more than I usually do, and that’s okay). I’m definitely not perfect at trusting my body all the time, but to me, this is the most important “eating hack.” Your body knows what it needs and when it needs it. What you are eating & drinking and how you feel mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically is all connected.
I don’t love spending hours cooking in the kitchen; I’m more of a “throw it in the pan and add some spices” kinda person. But I can honestly say that even with this approach, because of the variety of foods I eat throughout the day, I truly love what I eat.
This summer, I’ve used these main whole food, simple ingredients to make a variety of beautiful dishes that are easy, I’ve genuinely loved and have left me feeling satisfied and energized. The way food should make you feel! Take a look at a sampling of what I generally eat – you may get some ideas about how to include more plant-based foods into your diet & lifestyle.
Rise & Shine
Apple Cider Vinegar + Squeezed Lemon + Grapefruit Juice + Water
(way easier than taking a straight up Apple Cider Vinegar shot first thing in the morning)
A smoothie in the morning is the ideal start to my day.
Dark greens (Kale, collard greens, spinach, etc.)
Protein powder (Plant-based, little to no sugar)
½ a banana
Frozen butternut squash or cauliflower
(At the minimum though, protein powder, ½ a banana, some greens and maybe some frozen veggies does the trick).
Avocado (with salt, pepper & balsamic vinegar is my fave)
Sweet potatoes (with salsa + humus or mustard!)
Brown rice or quinoa
I Gotta Dip
Dips are what make my meals taste different from one another, have so much flavor and what makes them more substantial.
Black Bean dip
*Nutritional yeast: one of my main sources of Vitamin B12, which can be hard to get as a vegan
Peppers of all colors
Onion, etc. etc. etc.
*My usual dinners include kale chips (+ nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste), roasted veggies + good qual carbs (brown rice / quinoa / sweet potato) + protein
Short & Sweet
Apples (+ cinnamon!)
Berries (I eat to reduce inflammation in my legs after running)
Frozen mango chunks
Plantains (microwave for 2 min. or fry on frying pan)
Dried, no sugar added mango
Dates (great for long runs)
Figs (great for long runs)
Oat to Joy
Steel cut oats or rolled oats
Cashew butter or Sunflower seed butter
Almond, cashew, coconut, oat
Popcorn (with nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor or cinnamon for a sweet flavor)
Seed Crackers (with hummus + nutritional yeast)
Brown rice cakes (with either hummus + nutritional yeast or a nut butter + raisins or banana)
But What About PROTEIN?!
Tempeh / tofu
Beans (red, kidney)
Nuts (pistachios, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts)
Nut butters (almond butter, cashew butter)
Hope this could be of help to all of you - let me know in the comments if I missed a must-have that you love!