Meatless Monday: Turning Over a New Leaf
Something came over me this past week. After dealing with a couple months of, how should I say it...a less-than-ideal mindset and sub-par motivation, following my first bikini show I did back in late June, I finally felt a fog lift. Maybe we can thank the start of a new season? Whatever the reason, I felt something change.
If you've been following my posts, or even just reading my weekly Meatless Monday posts on here, you've probably noticed I've been indulging...a lot.
I'd read about the post-show binge urges that are all-too common among competitors, but I had no idea how hard the mixture of emotions would be. I've spent 50% of my time since June LOVING the extra food I get to eat, basically living in a constant state of YOLO/Treat yo self...and the other 50%, feeling totally guilty, hating seeing my definition fade away and feeling my clothes get tighter.
While I'm all for treating yourself, and while I know that in order to put on the muscle gains I want, I have to eat a lot, this weekend, I finally found the balance I've been looking for. And for the first time since my show, I finally felt ready to stop indulging in all the junk my body was craving, and a renewed excitement to start eating clean again (80% of the time, rather than the 60% or so I've been hovering around.)
I'm still ALL for treating yourself, so don't expect the "fun" recipes to go away any time soon (not till February when I start cutting down for my next show), but I'm definitely excited to get back to a less-processed, more-whole foods menu.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chickpea "Cereal"
Speaking of binging urges, the worst of those for me personally revolve around two things: cereal, and chips and dip. I am an absolute animal around both. While I've indulged in these urges all summer, I'm finally ready to clean up my diet and kick these habits...however, I'm also unwilling to deprive myself of my favorite things in life. Enter: this high protein chickpea cereal. I saw this idea on Instagram originally and cannot believe I've never given it a shot until now. Roast chickpeas, douse in cinnamon and sugar, drown in plant-milk, and bam--cereal needs met, sans guilt. Genius.
Mushroom Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
Did you expect a post of kale salads and smoothies when I said I was ready to turn over a new leaf in my clean eating? Come on now guys--you don't have to just turn to salads when you decide to start eating healthier. While a traditional gravy or mac and cheese wouldn't exactly have a place in a clean diet, that's one of the best perks of veganism: you can still have all the flavor of classic, traditionally-bad-for-you comfort foods, with none of the guilt. I'll be whipping up some baked tofu and cauliflower mash this week and smothering it in this mushroom gravy (a must for my Thanksgiving spread, but good enough it needs to be made more than once a year.)
High-Protein Vegan Mac and Cheese
I could talk protein all day-it's easily the most hot-button topic there is in the vegan world-but that's another post/rant for another time. For now I'll just say, you can't build muscle without it, and thankfully, it's perfectly easy to load up on protein as a vegan. The Fit Vegan Chef is one of my favorite sites and vegan sources of inspiration out there, and if you've never tried her recipes before, I highly recommend you give this high protein vegan mac and cheese a go. I've made it my business to try a LOT of vegan macs out there and this is easily my favorite.
Sweet and Sour Chickpeas
This one actually isn't a newbie for me--in fact it's an old standby, but it's so good it deserves re-sharing. A lot of "Chinese-takeout-inspired" type dishes require odd ingredients or complex cooking steps and I just ain't about that lately. This one is quick as can be and only uses ingredients you probably already have. You can also modify with your choice of veggie add-ins, such as cauliflower and bok choi, which I plan to toss in.
I'm not much of a recipe follower at all, but especially not with a dish like curry. My usual approach is to just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, taste as I go (I'm realizing lately I'm not nearly as Type A as I claim to be...) and adjust accordingly, but if that gives you mad anxiety and you're the type to need a recipe, this is a great guideline for the curry I'll be making this week. Also, if you couldn't tell from this week's recipe roundup....chickpeas are bae. If you're wondering how to get some good vegan protein, clearly, they're one of my go-tos!Enjoy, and Happy Meatless Monday y'all!
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