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Vegan Perspective: Meal Ideas!

Hey Run To the Finish readers! My name is Heather, the author of For the Love of Kale. I’m so excited and honored clip_image002that Amanda asked me to be a part of this vegan challenge! (Excited to have you!)

My blog follows my vegan eats as a nutrition/journalism student, booty-kicking workouts and my positive outlook on life. It also covers topics including vegan nutrition, body image and self-love and activism. Ultimately, I want to continue creating a positive, fun community that inspires others to love themselves and their bodies by incorporating plant-based foods, kick-butt workouts and self-love into their daily lives!

People often ask how I manage to maintain my vegan lifestyle on campus – and it’s actually quite easy! Recently, my school has opened up a new “Farm to Table” station, which offers exclusive vegan options, at every meal so I’ve been really fortunate to benefit from that every day. However, for the past three years, that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve managed to eat all three meals out of my dorm room!

Here’s a peak into my daily eats:

Breakfast - At school:
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Vega chocolate protein pudding oats: I work out first thing every morning, so I like to make my post-workout breakfast high in protein and adequate in carbohydrate. My go-to obsession right now is combining 1 scoop Vega chocolate protein performance, 4 Tbsp. oats and ¾ cup almond milk. It makes the most delicious, pudding-like bowl of oats (hence the name!). I served it up with fruit and black coffee. It’s my fave and keeps me satisfied for hours!

Breakfast at home:
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Smoky Tofu Scramble:
When I have the luxury of kitchen appliances at my fingertips, I love to whip up a tofu scramble. (Note: ALWAYS CHOOSE ORGANIC TOFU! If tofu is not labeled organic, it most likely contains GMOs.) Pictured here is my smoky tofu scramble! So delicious and satisfying.

Lunch At school:
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Giant Salad:
I have a salad for lunch every day. Not because I’m weird (okay, maybe I’m weird) but because I genuinely crave salads. My salads are always three things: gigantic, packed with nutrients and super satisfying. Pictured above is a salad containing: kale, broccoli, baby carrots, smoked sun dried tomatoes, tempeh, nutritional yeast and Annie’s papaya poppyseed dressing. Also a slightly diseased-looking but insanely delicious ½ of a sweet potato.

*Note: Prep work is KEY! I go home every weekend. While I’m home, I prep a bunch of things to have on hand for the following week. In this case, the tempeh and sweet potato were pre-made so all I had to do was grab them out of the fridge!

Lunch At home:
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Superfood Salad with Tempeh Gomasio:
The same deal happens at home – I always have a salad! I love finding new ways to use the same ingredients. Take the tempeh, for example. Above, I used it in a savory way. Here, I’m using it in a sweet way. Both are meal-sized and delicious! Click here for the recipe!

Dinner: At school:
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As I mentioned above, I’ve recently been able to benefit from my school’s launch of “Farm to Table,” a station of exclusively vegan meals available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s pretty awesome! Pictured here is a sesame-pecan pattie with tomato compote, sautéed spinach with garlic and cumin and agave-glazed carrots. This was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten here on campus. The pattie was a total home run!

Snacks: My snacks vary on a daily basis but here are a few that have become staples of mine:

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Bars can be great and bars can be “meh,” depending on their nutritional profile and staying power. I love to eat Vega Sport bars (mocha is my favorite) and Vega Vibrancy bars (chocolate is my fave!), LUNA bars and KIND bars. LARABARs are also a favorite of mine but they don’t really tide be over, so I prefer to eat them with a salad for a meal.

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This is one of my favorite snacks to have to tide me over until lunch. I spread one slice of Ezekiel bread with Sunflower seed butter, top it with banana slices and sprinkle it with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Mmmm mmm good!
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This is my snack of choice while studying. The combination of fiber and protein from the hummus and veggies leaves me feeling satisfied and…well…it’s hummus! I love to serve it up with a cup of rooibos tea.

*In addition to meals and snacks, I make sure to take a Calcium + vitamin D supplement. We produce vitamin D from the sun (through our skin) but it isn’t always sunny out, right? While I’m not one to tout supplements left and right, I do find it beneficial for us to consume a calcium plus vitamin D supplement every day because of the limited amount of sun exposure we have. I recommend purchasing a 600 mg Calcium supplement with at least 200 IU vitamin D to ensure your calcium is getting efficiently absorbed and that you’re getting enough vitamin D for the day. Food-wise, we can supplement with almond milk, which typically offers 30% calcium and 25% vitamin D per 1 cup serving, and LUNA bars are also fortified with both nutrients. For more vegan, calcium-rich foods, click here!

I hope this has helped you see that transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is so rewarding (and yummy!). It also takes a lot of planning, but the pay-off is so worth it. I have so much energy and am so grateful every day of my life to be rockin’ the greatest lifestyle on the planet! For a complete round-up of vegan recipes, you can visit my recipage.

Stay lovely,
Heather

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Gratitude Journal Running_motivation
March 1
I am so grateful for enthusiastic people that make a challenge seem more fun than scary!

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