Greens, Greens, Greens, Eat Your Greens!
Greens supplement powders have been on the market for some time now. With our lives getting busier and busier, it seems like we are always on-the-go (especially us city-goers). Supplements have become more prevalent because we need something quick and fast to gain the nutrients that we want without having to eat a large salad, for example. “Which supplements are the best?” is an ever-changing question for me. With more in-depth information on nutrition and new data coming out each year around how proper nutrition can increase your overall health and longevity, you may find that there is so much information out there to absorb and a lot of products that are basically all offering the same thing, while looking just a little bit different.
Why Should I Take a Greens Supplement?
Some of you may be wondering, “why should I take a greens supplement?” My answer: “Well, you don’t have to. You may not need it.” If you eat plenty of various green vegetables and leafy greens, you are probably getting all the nutrients you need. However, everyone’s bodies are different. You may find that your body is not absorbing certain nutrients that are abundant in leafy greens like vitamins C, E, K, and B9, in addition to some powerful antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene. Greens supplements are also a great source of fiber, can improve cardiovascular health, and boost your immunity. Greens supplements provide you with a quick but nutrient packed dose of greens without having to eat 6 heads of lettuce, 1 sprig of collard greens, 2 sprigs of leafy kale, and a handful of sunflower sprouts. If you are always on-the-go, a greens supplement may be just what you need for your busy lifestyle.
Collin, What Greens Supplement Is Your Favorite?
To be honest with you, I have tried a plethora of greens supplements and protein powders that contain added greens. I’m always looking for ways to add vegetables into my diet. Just check out my Sweet Potato – Carrot – Greens Pancakes. What I came across was that many of these greens supplements contained way to much fiber in them. I have a very sensitive digestive system while also suffering from IBS. So I have to maintain a proper balance of fiber and starchy foods that provide some substance for my system. So far, the one supplement that did not cause my gut to go into shock was Naked Greens by Naked Nutrition. Truth be told, I would have never found out about this goldmine of a product, if it wasn’t for Naked Nutrition reaching out to me.
What is Naked Nutrition?
Naked Nutrition is REAL food, REAL ingredients, FROM the earth. Naked Nutrition is a performance supplement company that provides the purest ingredients to fuel your workout.
After reading this, I was hooked. If you know me, you obviously know why.
My First Week on Naked Greens:
Earlier this month, I was asked to try out Naked Nutrition’s brand new Naked Greens Powder. After researching more about the company, I was so amazed at the quality of their product and the trust that quickly grabbed me solely from reading their website. I could not wait to get my hands on their product and try it out for myself. My first product to try was their Naked Greens which arrived on my doorstep a little over two weeks ago. I decided to add Naked Greens consistently for one week and see how my body reacted. Now, a little over a week later, I am so thrilled to say that Naked Greens is a game-changer! With its simple and sleek packaging and blend of an assortment of leafy green vegetables, Naked Greens is now one of my favorite greens supplement products on the market. I say this purely because this is the first greens supplement that does not “wreck” my digestive system.
Naked Greens mixes well in water and other beverages like almond milk and oat milk. It’s ingredients are all organically sourced and the taste is great. If you are sensitive to the taste of greens powders, not to worry. While it is a greens powder, the leafy greens taste is more of a subtle taste taste compared to some of its competitors. Having a more subdued taste made it great when adding it to my favorite almond milk from Trader Joes. I would forget that I added the greens powder. By far, my favorite way to drink Naked Greens is adding it to my protein powder. It adds a boost of nutrition post-workout. You can dress up this greens powder by adding it to you favorite beverage (for me, that’s almond milk and/or my protein powder), or even blend with your favorite fruits and superfoods. Later this week, I want to add it to a homemade salad dressing or even soups to add an extra punch of nutrients.
Find out more ways to add Naked Greens into your food by clicking here.
Most importantly, why I love Naked Greens is because it is incredibly nutrient-dense. My readers know how much I value and preach high-net gain foods. Naked Greens passes the test. Naked Greens contains six different organic vegetables and grasses along with an organic prebiotic, organic adaptogens, organic ginseng, and probiotics. The goal of Naked Greens is to provide its customers with 2 servings of vegetables and grasses that detox the body, aid in healthy gut flora, boost the immune system, and reduce stress.
The Naked Difference:
— Organic Greens Blend with Organic Broccoli, Organic Alfalfa Grass, Organic Kale, Organic Spinach, Organic Spirulina, and Organic Wheat Grass
— Organic Prebiotic, Organic Ashwagandha, Organic Panax Ginseng, and Probiotics.
— No Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors
— Only 10 Ingredients
— GMO Free
— Soy Free and Gluten Free
— Dairy Free
Specific Benefits of Naked Nutrition’s Naked Greens Powder that Blew Me Away!
— Ashwagandha – a medicinal herb (a small shrub with yellow flowers) that has been used for over 3,000 years to help naturally relieves stress and anxiety. How? It’s an adaptogen. Simply, an adaptogen helps your body manage stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body (aka the stress hormone). When cortisol levels are high it can cause negative affects on the body, such as storing fat in the abdomen. Ultimately, lowering stress helps lower anxiety. Ashwagandha can also improve thyroid health and sleep.
— Panax Ginseng – aka Korean Ginseng, is a root. It’s loaded with health benefits such as reducing the effects of testosterone related hair-loss, lowers stress levels, increases libido in woman, and may help cure erectile disfunction in men. Because studies have shown that ginseng reduces inflammation in the body ginseng can help heal skin irritations (ex: acne) and can help improve arthritis. Ginseng also aids in your energy level and focus AND it acts as an immune booster!
As always, please consult your health care provider before adding a new supplement into your diet.
All that to say, there are so many products out there. Do your research, as always. If you want a good place to start, one small step forward to creating a healthier you, try a greens supplement, see how your body does. You can’t go wrong with Naked Greens.
Whether or not you were looking for a new greens supplement to add to your diet or you wanted to expand your knowledge on the health benefits of adding more greens into your diet. I’m glad you stopped by. I even learned a lot while writing this.
I want to thank Naked Nutrition for not just creating an amazing product but for their pursuit in providing the highest quality ingredients and for their transparency as a company. Their mission statement below could not be more true:
I admire their work and look forward to building my relationship with them.
Be Happy. Be Healthy.
I have always been an advocate of understanding and knowing about healthy fats. When I first started on my vegan journey, I did not know a lot of about fats, which ones were healthy, which ones were not, or even how much of my diet should consume fats. Healthy Fats are so good for you. However, some are not healthy to consume or even cook with. Certain oils have a , which means it’s the temperature they can withstand before the heat changes the oils components But, there has been several controversies over what oils are healthy to eat AND cook with. Well, I’m here to help your ease your worries. I recently received information regarding the healthiest oils to eat with and cook with.
“Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. When you cook with oil that’s been heated past its smoke point, you do more than impart a burnt flavour to foods. Beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals found in many unrefined oils are destroyed when the oil is overheated. Overheating also creates harmful free radicals.”
“The smoke point of cooking oils varies widely. In general, the more refined an oil, the higher its smoke point, because refining removes impurities and free fatty acids that can cause the oil to smoke.”
Fats to ONLY Eat Raw and Unprocessed:
(These oils are unsafe for cooking)
Fats That Are The Safest For Cooking:
These oils are the best for frying baking, broiling, and roasting. These fats in organic form is always better. Butter is also safe for baking.
Fats That Are Safer For Cooking:
These oils are best for quick stir-frys and light sautéing. They are best and have the highest nutritional value when they are cold extracted and expeller-pressed.
Fats That Are Unsafe for Human Consumption:
These oils are often from genetically modified seed; they contain high levels of pesticides; and are heated and extracted with toxic chemicals. Partially Hydrogenated Oils are also known as Trans Fats. A simple google search will tell you that Trans Fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol. They also lower HDL cholesterol (which is the good cholesterol). High LDL cholesterol in conjunction with low levels of HDL cholesterol can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries. This can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you’re like me, you’re a little nervous to go back into normal society (once we are back to normal, which might take some time). Why? Because social distancing and thoroughly cleansing everything in our homes has most likely weakened our immune systems. Not to fret, our immune systems will bounce back. Here are some easy and helpful actions to take to help naturally boost your immune system:
1. Sleep – getting enough sleep will strengthen your immune system. As you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Some of these cytokines help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you are under stress. Being sleep deprived will decrease the amount of cytokine proteins that are released, ultimately weakening your immunity. Lack of sleep can also increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. What?!?! I know! I didn’t know this until I started researching sleep. On average, an adult should have 7 -8 good hours of sleep. Personally, I need 10 hours of sleep. I wake up often in the middle of the night, so 10 hours makes up for the time that I have to go back to bed and enter back into my Non-REM cycle. REM sleep stands for Rapid Eye Movement. According to Web MD, your body goes through a cycle of REM sleep and Non-REM sleep constantly while you are sleeping. There are basically three stages. 1. Your eyes are closed but it is easy to wake you up. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes. 2. A light sleep. This is the phase when your heart rate starts to slow down and your body temperature drops. Your body is preparing itself for deep sleep. 3. Deep Sleep. It’s harder to wake someone out of deep sleep. It is during this sleep where your body goes into repair mode. Your body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. But wait for it, you are in Non-REM (or your deepest sleep) only about 20% of your night’s sleep. Crazy! Then, there is REM Sleep. REM sleep is the majority of your sleep at night. It happens 90 minutes after you have fallen asleep, usually. REM sleep happens in stages as you sleep. Each stage lasts longer and longer (starting at the 10 minute mark and the final one may last up to an hour). Your heart rate and breath quickens during this stage. It’s also where you have the most dreams because your brain is extremely active during REM sleep. Plus you have all that oxygen from your quickened breath.
2. Healthy Balance of Exercise – Exercise, especially high intensity exercise, taxes your body and depletes your immune system every time you workout. This is natural and ultimately makes you a stronger and healthier person. However, during a pandemic, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and recovery in. Don’t continually tax your body too much or you might find yourself with a sore throat and no energy for two weeks (this happened to me during quarantine). Don’t worry, the gains you made will come back. Focus on your recovery, make sure you eat ample amounts of protein to sustain your muscle composition, and have a higher amounts of protein in your diet than carbohydrates.
3. Whole Plant Foods – Nutrient dense plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with powerful antioxidants that can help you fight harmful pathogens (bacteria, virus or other microorganisms that cause disease). Antioxidants help decrease inflammation in the body by fighting off free radicals in the body. These free radicals can cause a lot of inflammation when they build up in your body at high levels. So it’s important that our bodies have the tools to fight these compounds off. I recently found out that, chronic inflammation in the body is linked to cases of certain cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. In addition, plant foods help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. A plentiful and robust gut flora can improve your immunity and can help prevent harmful pathogens entering the body through the digestive track.
4. Eat Healthy Fats – There are some healthy fats that the body does not produce, so we must consume foods that contain these essential oils, i.e. omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Healthy fats such as those containing omega 3’s and 6’s help your body fight off pathogens by decreasing inflammation in the body. Low inflammation is natural due to stress and injury. However, as we now know, high levels of inflammation can suppress the immune system. So add in those avocados, nuts, and flaxseed oils to your diet.
5. Limit Added Refined Sugars – Refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup etc.) break down your immune system. How? It “deactivates” the immune system cells that fight off bacteria. This affect lasts a few hours after drinking a couple of sugary drinks (i.e. soda, monster, etc.) or having sweets like cake, pie, candy, and tarts.
If you’re like me, you are a bit anxious about going back into the “real world” now that restaurants, retail, and other stores are opening up after the Covid 19 Pandemic. So, I’ve been researching and finding out ways to support my immune system, given that it’s been compromised having been quarantined inside for two months. Some of these supplements I have been taking on a regular basis or occasionally, whenever I feel under-the-weather, for years. Others, I more recently discovered their health benefits. Pick and choose a handful if you like. I hope these help you build up your immune system and feel a little more confident in the process of returning to normal.
When I first started implementing a plant-based diet, I wanted some role models. Who doesn’t love a good role model, right? When I went full-on vegan in 2012, the only vegan athletes/influencers I knew of were Brendan Brazier and Robert Cheeke. Since 2012, Instagram was born. It’s because of instagram, that I started to find incredible vegan athletes, body builders, influencers, and nutrition gurus to lean on for information and advice. So here are my Top 7 Favorite Vegan Fitness Influencers on Instagram. While there are so many vegan nutrition and fitness advocates out there, when I first started my vegan fitness journey, these were the individuals that I looked up to, gained information from and respected. While I have only met Brendan in person, I hope I can meet all of these incredible humans one day to thank them. Go follow them and give them some love!
Top 7 Favorite Vegan Fitness Influencers on Instagram:
What is veganism? Are there different categories of being vegan? What’s the difference between vegan and vegetarian? I’m sure one, if not all, of these questions have crossed your mind at one point. I get these questions a lot when talking with people about my vegan diet. In my own vegan journey, I have come across many forms of being vegan and vegetarian. I have also explored different categories of vegan. What I have listed below, is definitely not all of the categories for vegan and vegetarian diets. But it’s a good majority of them. So, to help, here is my breakdown of the different types of vegan diets, the difference between vegan and vegetarian, and what you can actually eat under these diets. Before moving forward, I must tell you that I am not a dietician. I do not know the life-long effects of these diets on the body (except for my own choice of being a gluten-free vegan), so reading and incorporating these diets into your lifestyle is at your own discretion and risk. Now let’s get started.
Vegetarians are individuals that elect to not eat any animal meats (or muscle tissues of an animal). These include: chicken breasts, rotisserie chicken, fish, pork, beef, etc.). Vegetarians do, however, eat products produced from an animal, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. This kind types of vegetarians can also be called ‘Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians.’ ‘Lacto’ meaning dairy and ‘Ovo’ meaning eggs. I like to call this diet the “basic vegetarian diet.”
Vegetarian can be broken down even further. The different types of vegetarianism are:
Lacto-Vegetarians do consume dairy but not eggs (or any products that are made with eggs like mayonnaise, certain breads or pastas, or cookies and other desserts).
Ovo-Vegetarians do consume eggs (or products made with eggs), but do not consume dairy (or products made with dairy). These vegetarians also stay away from milk proteins (i.e. Casein).
Pescetarians choose to eat fish and no other animals. Only fish. Some Pescetarians choose to only eat fish because it provides them with essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (i.e. salmon).
Pollotarians only eat chicken and other poultry (ex: turkey). Dairy and eggs are included in this diet. However, red meats are not apart of a pollotarian diet.
*Growing up, I was brought up as a “Pollo-Pesce-Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian.” I only ate chicken, turkey and fish (mainly tuna and salmon), eggs, and dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.). I ate this way because this is how my parents ate. My parents cannot digest “red meats,” we like to call them. This is the reason why I tell most people that my journey to becoming vegan was much simpler than most because I was already a type of vegetarian.
It doesn’t stop there. There are many different categories of vegan. I myself have dabbled in several different categories of veganism on my own journey, such as plant-based vegan and raw vegan, in which I describe below.
A vegan diet consists of eating NO animal meats or any products that come from an animal. This includes, but is not limited to, meats, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, or even honey. This is the basic form of vegan. The is made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Ethical Vegans are those who are concerned with the ethical well-being of animals. So, their dietary choices and material good purchases respect this ideal. Ethical Vegans do not eat animals or products that come from an animal, but this goes even further to electing not purchase or use any products that are made from an animal. For example: leather, wool, and silk; or cosmetic products or even furniture that is made with a material that comes from an animal. This could even go as far as not wanting to attend certain events that use animals for entertainment purposes, like circus’ and theatrical productions.
Plant-based Vegans eat produce that is not processed and directly from mother earth. I like to describe the plant-based diet as eating foods that are in their purest form. Ultimately, this diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and other foods that come directly from the ground or a plant.
Raw vegans only eat plant-based foods that are raw or not cooked over 118 degrees fahrenheit. For my first few years as a vegan, I was mainly a raw plant-based vegan. I would soak my nuts and make my own nut milks and cheeses, and I would sprout my grains and legumes. Basically, you are eating food in its purest form. In this pure and uncooked form, foods are in their most nutrient-dense form (the full amount of their vitamin and mineral intake). When you cook food above 118 degrees, you end up cooking out some vital nutrients from the food. A raw plant-based diet, in my opinion, is the most nutrient dense of all the vegan and vegetarian diets.
Fruitarians are those who eat only fruits or foods that have fallen from a tree, i.e. nuts and seeds. I came across a lot of Fruitarians when I was researching vegan diets when I first started. I don’t know much about the health benefits of this diet, but I found it very interesting. I’ve read about individuals who have cured their acne by adopting a fruitarian diet (with little to no fats). This was mind-blowing to me.
I am living proof of this diet! It is possible. It’s was much harder when I first started 9 years ago. But now with so many people adopting the vegan lifestyle, there are so many more products that cater to those who are sensitive or allergic to gluten and so many more restaurants that cater to those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. First off, what is gluten? The Celiac Disease Foundation describes gluten as such, “Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheat-berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.” Not to worry though, there are many gluten substitutes that are absolutely delicious.
Unfortunately, most vegan meat substitutes contain gluten, particularly seitan and tempeh. But, there are a lot more gluten-free meat substitute options coming out in stores now a days, including gluten-free tempeh. Just make sure you read the ingredients label carefully.
There are plenty more categories of vegan. Trust me. But, the categories I have described above are the one’s I’m most familiar with and have come across most often. They say different types of veganism come and go, but I have a feeling these will always be the core categories.
I was recently asked, “What are the best alternatives to honey to aid in healing a sore throat?” This question took me by surprise because I forgot that honey is used a lot as a remedy when having a cold. While some forms of honey have antibacterial properties, I know some vegans do not wish to keep honey in their diet. That is perfectly okay. As a vegan, I choose to eat honey for it’s antibacterial properties (Manuka Honey) and to help with my seasonal allergies (local honey and bee pollen). For those of you who are looking for other alternatives to honey, I’ve got you covered.
1. Salt Water – A warm salt water gargle rinse is naturally cleansing (kills bacteria in the mouth/throat) and breaks down secretions in the throat. Make a salt water solution by adding one tablespoon of salt in a tall glass of warm water. Gargle a salt water solution morning and night until your sore throat symptoms subside. If your throat get’s worse, call an advice nurse or go to your doctor and/or local walk-in clinic.
2. Chamomile Tea – This one was new for me. Chamomile Tea is anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that breathing in the steam from chamomile tea can help aid in cold-like symptoms and relieve a sore throat. Who would have thought?
3. Peppermint – We all love peppermint as the most popular way to freshen your breath. We also love it in the winter in the form of Peppermint Mochas and Peppermint Bark at Starbucks. But did you know that diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats?
4. Thieves – this amazing blend of essential oils (Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary) naturally kills germs! You can also make hand sanitizer by blending it with some alcohol and lemon. I recommend the thieves essential oil from Young Living. This is what I use on a regular basis. I love it!
5. Baking Soda Gargle – Adding baking soda to a salt water rinse can help kill bacteria and prevent yeast and fungi from growing. Recommended application: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt to a cup of warm water.
6. Marshmallow Root – It contains a mucus-like substance called Mucilage that coats and soothes the throat. Consult your doctor before consuming marshmallow root.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar – Germs cannot live in the acidity of vinegar, which makes vinegar a natural disinfectant. If you have a sore throat due to cold or cough, mix one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon salt. Mix and dissolve in a glass of warm water and gargle gradually until solution is gone.
8. Garlic – Garlic also has natural antibacterial properties. You may have heard of friends or family taking a teaspoon of garlic every day and rarely getting sick. That’s because whole garlic contains an amino acid called alliin. When the garlic clove is chopped or crushed, an enzyme, alliinase, is released. These compounds are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Taking a garlic supplement regularly can help increase your immune system to fight off contracting the common cold virus (or even the flu). Garlic has many antimicrobial properties as well. I personally have several friends who take a teaspoon of garlic a day and they RARELY get sick. They swear by it.
9. Licorice Root – Licorice was new to me as well. Apparently, it has similar properties to Aspirin, which is wild! Either gargle or steep licorice root and experience some throat relief. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before consuming licorice root.
10. Lemon Water – I’ve always known drinking lemon water was good as a cleansing agent to clean your system of any toxins or impurities. But it can also be used to aid in alleviating a cold. Lemons contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that can help aid in reducing sore throat pain. It also increases the amount of saliva you produce which will help moisten your mucous membranes.
Many people ask me what my favorite vegan restaurants are or where I can easily eat out. When I went to answer them, I realized that my answers varied depending on which city I was in. I truly believe California has the best vegan food. For me, veganism started on the west coast. Growing up in Orange County, I was able to find my favorite restaurants that I loved and cherished, even to this very day. It’s also, where I have seen the most growth and expansion in vegan culture and vegan dining. Just google “vegan restaurants” and you will see a plethora of amazing restaurants to choose from. But here are some of my true favorites.
Many people ask me what my favorite vegan restaurants are or where I can easily eat out. When I went to answer them, I realized that my answers varied depending on which city I was in. I recently moved to New York City last year. Every city is different in terms of what they offer for vegans and vegetarians. New York was no exception. They had some restaurants that I was familiar with, and others that are unique to New York. So, here is my part 2 of my 3 part series. Part 2: My Top 7 Favorite Vegan Restaurants in New York City.
All the the restaurants above, I love and return to regularly. They are a mix of fine dining and casual quick and go.
There are still so many more restaurants I want to try out in the city. My friends have also mentioned these two as delightful and delicious places to eat:
6. Beyond Sushi
7. Lady Bird
Many people ask me what my favorite vegan restaurants are or where I can easily eat out. When I went to answer them, my answers varied depending on which city I was in. I spent 8 years living in the amazing city of Chicago. Every city is different in terms of what they offer for vegans and vegetarians. So here is my part 1 of 3 series.
All of the above restaurants I love and went back to regularly during my time in Chicago. The food is delicious, unique, and the atmosphere is special to each restaurant. You will not be disappointed dropping by any of these amazing restaurants.
Eating clean and plant-based is not as confusing as you might think. It actually can be very simple. All you have to do is follow my 1 simple rule “Eat the Rainbow.” I use this phrase every day when I’m making a salad. All you have to do to make a nutrient-dense salad is pull all of the colorful fruits and vegetables out of your refrigerator and onto your counter. Find a bowl and combine all of those ingredients together. Piece of cake. Here is a recipe to one of my salads that I used following this rule. As you can see below, I don’t give you any “measurables” for this salad. Why? There’s really no need to when making a salad. You can put as much or as little of each ingredient I put down below as you want. In addition, sometimes, measuring ingredients puts a negative connotation in your mind around food. I used to count calories and really think about portion size a lot. Now, I don’t. I listen to my body and keep my eating habits clean and plant-based. I eat to fuel my body (to give me energy and to help me recover). I make as small or as big of a salad as I want based off of the size bowl I want to use, and then I get creative and build a beautiful and satisfying masterpiece that I am excited to eat. (Again, you can use as much or as little portions of these ingredients as you want. But, if you want measurements to go by, I use about a handful of each ingredient. I might use two or three handfuls of baby kale for this salad). Remember, the possibilities of making a scrumptious and delicious salad are endless. You can make it as small and simple or large and thrilling (with all of the “goodies” as I like to call it) as you want.
*Organic Red Bell Pepper
*Optional: Add a Hi-Protein Veggie Patty from TJ’s
*Dressing: I used The Green Goddess Dressing from Trader Joe’s. But you can use your favorite dressing of choice.
Put all ingredients together in a bowl. Dress with your favorite salad dressing. Toss. Enjoy!
I love running! Since our world has been put on quarantine, I have recently gotten back into running. Over many years, I have gained tips and tricks on how to build your strength as a runner. So here are my “5 Easy Ways To Build Your Strength For Runners.”
It’s Audition Season!!!! And we all know what that means… sometimes 3 -4 auditions in a day. When do you have time to eat? Well, if you are vegan and gluten-free like me, it can be hard to keep your calorie intake up during a long day of auditioning and taking class (while not being able to go home to make food). I always have food on me (whether I have a backpack or a satchel with me). Quick snacks that are high calorie are my go-to and higher calorie foods help me meet my daily caloric needs. Let’s face it, eating out all the time is expensive!!!! So having food with you is not only healthy for you, but it also helps your wallet. So here are my Top 10 “Grab and Go” Healthy Snacks for Performers.
If you love banana bread , like I do, you’ll love this Banana Bread Energy Bar Recipe. It tastes just like the real thing!!!
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Leave some of the walnuts for later. Form into rectangular bars or into balls (power balls!). Chop the walnuts you set aside and place in a bowl. Roll the bars in the walnuts. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for later. Energy bars will last 3 months in the freezer.
Satisfy your Peanut Butter cravings with this Peanut Butter Energy Bars.
Process everything in a blender. Then form into rectangular bars or balls. Eat immediately and Enjoy! Or, wrap in saran wrap and place in the freezer for later. Bars will last 3 months in the freezer.
Wondering how to have a quick and easy vegan meal when you are out on contract? Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of regional work and living out of hotels on contracts. As some of you may know, there’s only so much you can do with a refrigerator and a microwave to create a delicious vegan meal. I recently completed a contract up at The Fireside Theater doing “The Little Mermaid.” While I don’t like to eat a large meal before a show, I would usually have a macro bar an hour before our half hour call. Then, I would have a larger meal after my show. My go-to/post show meal was always a simple veggie burger taco.
This is a very simple recipe… but it’s great on a budget and living in a hotel room. Quick & Easy.
I love BBQ Jackfruit! This is one of my favorite recipes: BBQ Jackfruit Veggie Bowls.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed eggplant
1 cup steamed asparagus
1 cup caramelized onion
1/2 package of BBQ Jackfruit (I get the one from Whole Foods)
I played around with this recipe while I was down in Florida on contract. The result was delicious! Enjoy these Vegan and Gluten-free Zucchini Meatballs.
3 large zucchini (grated)
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 flax egg (2 tbsp ground flaxseed & 2 tbsp water)
1 cup daiya cheese (mozzarella)
1 tbsp dried oregano
I love Trader Joe’s Dried Persimmons! So, naturally, I wanted to make a salad with dried persimmons as the highlight. Here is my Persimmon Apple Salad:
1 large handful of spinach
1/4 cup dulse
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted brussels sprouts
1/2 apple, chopped
4 dried persimmon pieces, chopped
2 tbsp raw cashews
Persimmon Broccoli Quiona Bowl – Vegan & Gluten-free & Delicious!
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup Trader Joe’s Broccoli Carrot Slaw Mix
1/2 cup diced persimmon
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
1 /4 cup daiya cheese (mozzarella)
3 huge tbsp organic Thompson raisins
2 tbsp apple vinegarette
1 /2 cup apple juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Vegan & Gluten-free Raspberry Pancakes with Raw Almond Butter
2 soaked dates
1 cup raspberries
1 cup organic applesauce
1/2 cup gluten free flour (try quinoa flour or trader joe’s gluten free flour)
1/2 cup teff flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pre-heat a non-stick skillet under medium heat. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until batter is smooth. With an ice-cream scoop or 1/4 cup, ladle batter onto skillet. Should be able to make 4 – 5 pancakes in one skillet. Cook pancake on one side for about 5 minutes until golden brown on the bottom, then flip the pancakes and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side. Depending on how hot your pan is, you may need to lower the heat and/or the pancakes may cook faster. The idea is to cook the pancakes at a low temperature, preserving as much nutrients as possible. Transfer cooked pancakes to a serving plate. Top with raw almond butter. Enjoy!
Makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings.
Happy Thanksgiving! Have you ever had a vegan thanksgiving before? You should try it. Here are some recipes for your vegan version of Cornbread and Apple Pie. (inspiration from the Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine)
Here’s a more traditional recipe that I came up with:
1 cup coarse or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup starch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp ground flaxseed (flax meal) with 5 tbsp water
2 cups organic applesauce
1/4 cup 100% pure grade A maple syrup
**this is not my original recipe. Please go to Vegan Health and Fitness for the original recipe and for other delicious recipes as well.**
1 cup dates
3 cups oat flour (I used quinoa flour – – you could also try buckwheat flour)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
**2 tbsp water
5 medium sized pears
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
Jackfruit Tacos are my go-to quick and easy meal. Takes less than 10 minutes.
2 Corn Tortillas
Whole Foods BBQ Jackfruit (packaged)
Trader Joes’ Beet Hummus
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup portobello mushroom (cubed)
1/2 cup asparagus (chopped)
1 cup brussel sprouts (quartered)
Balsamic Pumpkin Glaze:
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp raw agave
2 tbsp canned organic pumpkin
I love Pumpkin and I love Chai. So, of course, I put them together in my Vegan Pumpkin Chai Pancakes.
1 cup quinoa flour
1 oz can of organic pumpkin
1 scoop Vega One Vanilla Chai
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
As I am reading this article by Robert Cheeke on “How to Build Muscle on A Plant Based Diet”, I feel called to share my story about becoming vegan. As I may have mentioned before, I have been a vegan for 4 going on 5 years now. At the start of my veganism I weighed 115 lbs. I grew up not eating red meat. The only meat I ate was chicken, fish, and turkey. And I’ve never been much of a dairy person, so the only dairy I liked was non-fat plain greek yogurt. Originally I went vegetarian when I was 16 years old during sophomore year of high school. At the start of my vegetarianism I weighted 125 lbs at a height of 5’10”. I was vegetarian for about 2 years and then was suffering from some digestive health issues and got down to weighing about 110 labs. I went to a holistic doctor and personal trainer who told me I had to go back on eating meat and dairy (butter… which I hate!). He basically told me my knowledge of what a healthy diet is was a lie. So I went back on eating meat (but I only liked canned chicken), I tried eating butter (but I hated the taste so I didn’t eat it) . . . but I was still suffering from my digestive health issues. So my mom told me to try going off gluten even though I was tested for gluten intolerance and it came out negative. So I did and after a month 90% of my symptoms were gone. Going into my freshman year of college when I was 18 years old, I decided to stop eating meat and dairy all together. And then I became vegan. So many people ask me if going vegan was hard. It wasn’t because the only things I took out of my diet at the time of turning vegan were chicken and yogurt. So my story, I guess, is simpler than most people. Once getting out of the college dorms and doing more research on a plant-based diet (reading books by Brendan Brazier and Robert Cheeke), I was able to gain 30 lbs in a year and a half. I went from weighing 115lbs at a height of 5’10” to now weighing 150 lbs at a height of 5’11”. And since, I’ve been on a plant-baed/gluten free diet 100% of my digestive health problems are gone. Veganism was initially a moral life choice, but it also soon became more than that: it’s the diet that my body functions most efficiently on. Our bodies are all different. What works for someone may not necessarily work for you. It’s all about trial and
error and seeing what does. If you’re reading this today, I pray that my story helps you.
Robert Cheeke’s Article: Click Here
I was fortunate enough to go to NYC for my spring break in March. I was a little concerned about what I was going to eat given my dietary restriction. But let me tell you, I was incredibly surprised at how many healthy food restaurants, on-the-go places, and grocery markets their were!! I was in heaven!!! So here are a few of my favorites: Peacefood Cafe (gluten free cafe), The Organic Grill, DF Mavens (vegan ice cream, raw juices, smoothies, etc), Westerly Natural Market (similar to a Mother’s Market in California or a very small Whole Foods), V-life (a hole in the wall vegan place), Chop’d (SO GOOD!!!), and theirs a healthy smoothie, salad, breakfast stand in the middle of the food court in NYC’s Grand Central Station (I got a green smoothie there three mornings in a row!).
Here is another delicious recipe from the Vega Team (myvega.com)! I just had to share. These pancakes taste like a dessert! You’ll feel like it’s dessert time rather than breakfast time… ha ha.
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I used amaranth flour)
1/2 cup Vega Sport Performance Protein, Vanilla (I used MRM Veggie Protein, Vanilla)
1/3 cup ground raw walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp dried ground ginger (or fresh)
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients (flour, Vega Protein Powder, ground walnuts, baking soda, spices).
2. In a separate bowl, mix together all of your wet ingredients (almond milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla).
3. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix just until fully combined.
4. Start making your pancakes in a heated pan (medium heat). Melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil and start to make your pancakes. Or you can use coconut oil spray.
Here’s another delicious recipe from the Vega Team at myvega.com
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses (I didn’t have molasses at home so I used 2 tbsp of dark pure maple syrup)
1 cup gluten free flour (I used amaranth flour)
1 scoop Vega Sports Protein, Vanilla (or you can use any vegan plant-based vanilla protein powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger (I used 1 tsp fresh grated ginger)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Optional Toppings: sliced banana, chopped nuts, maple or agave syrup
1. Whisk together non-dairy milk, applesauce, and molasses. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients.
3. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, mix until just combined. Add more non-dairy milk if the batter appears too thick. (I didn’t need to).
4. Melt coconut oil over a non-stick pan over medium heat, or use a griddle.
5. Add a quarter cup of the batter into the pan. Flip once bubbles have formed and popped (approx. 2 min each side)
6. Top with fresh fruits, nuts, or syrup. Enjoy!
I recently found this website on the Vega Website. It’s absolutely delicious!! You can find more delicious vegan recipes on the vega website: http://myvega.com
This is a versatile and hearty salad that makes a great addition to a potluck, as the filling in kale wraps, or as a stand-alone dish.
Full of Moroccan spices and flavor, the dressing for this salad includes turmeric and ginger, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as tahini (made from sesame seeds), which contains iron. Parsley, rich in vitamin C, helps with absorption of iron as well as being a source of antioxidant support. Let your senses be carried away by the flavors, and your body will thank you for the nutrient rich feast!
1/2 cup dried apricots and golden raisins (I used organic apricots and organic raisins)
1 cup warm water
1/3 – 1 cup room-temperature water
3 Tbsp Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tahini
1 cup minced parsley
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
3 cups raw zucchini, diced
3 cups cooked whole grains (choose from quinoa, barley, wild rice or wheat berries) (I used red quinoa)
1 cup of prepared dressing
1 cup minced parsley
1. Soften the dried fruit for at least 30 minutes in the warm water (strain off the water when ready).
2. Dice the zucchini and mine the parsley, and add to a large mixing bowl with cooked grains.
3. For dressing , combine in a high power blender or food processor: 1/3 cup room temperature water, soaked dried fruit, Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil, vinegar, tahini, and spices. Blend until the texture is a smooth consistency. Add up to 2./3 cup remaining warm water if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Tip: The dressing will be thick, almost like a paste. This will help bind the grains and support the hearty texture of this salad. You can save the leftover dressing for dipping vegetables, add to sandwiches, use as salad dressing, etc.
4. Garnish with additional fresh parsley before serving.
5. Keeps well in the fridge for 3 -4 days.
Love veggie pizza? Try this recipe…
Vegan Buckwheat Sweet Potato Veggie Pizza
1 cup grated sweet potato
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp dried basil
1 sliced tomato
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 carrot, grated
Procedure: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a large non-stick cookie sheet with coconut oil spray.
Crust Procedure: In a food processor, add grated sweet potato, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, coconut oil, and basil. Combine all ingredients till mixture becomes dough-like. Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and roll dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick.
Tomato Sauce: Add the tomato sauce and spread over the top of the pizza. Add the sliced tomatoes
Toppings: Add the rest of the toppings to the pizza.
Cook the pizza for 45 – 60 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the crust to be.
I always try to add more greens and vegetables into my diet as possible. But I know what your thinking . . . sweet potato, carrots, green? In a pancake? YUCK!!!
HOWEVER, there are SOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! In these delicious pancakes, you hardly taste the carrots and spinach at all. All you taste is delicious sweet potato and cinnamon.
1 cup grated sweet potato (uncooked/raw)
2 cups homemade cashew milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup spinach (tightly packed)
1 large grated carrot
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Toppings of choice: raw almond butter (or any other raw nut butter), fruit, dates, etc.
Servings: Makes 4 servings
Procedure: Heat a non-stick pan on medium/low. In a food processor process all ingredients. Spray griddle with a non stick spray (I recommend Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray). Using an ice cream scooper, spoon mixture onto the pan making about 4 pancakes in the pan. Cook until edges are set, about 2 – 5 minutes (depending on your burners. All burners are different). Flip and cook until done. Top pancakes with nut butter of choice (I used raw almond butter), or toppings of choice (I put bananas and pears on mine). Enjoy!!!
Do you have the hardest time getting your kids to eat their vegetables? Or perhaps you dislike eating vegetables? Either way, I have some great tricks to sneak vegetables into meals so that your kids (and you) will never know they’re there. Ready?
1. SMOOTHIES: Add spinach and kale to your breakfast smoothies in the morning. The sugars from the fruit will mask the taste of the greens. Try also adding bell peppers (bell peppers are very sweet). They go great with strawberry banana smoothies (red bell pepper), mango smoothies (orange bell pepper), and banana smoothies (yellow bell peppers).
2. PANCAKES: Have you ever tried adding greens and vegetables to pancakes? (I know . . . it sounds crazy, but I do it ALL THE TIME). Adding spinach and kale to chocolate pancakes is a great way to add in greens to your diet (as well as protein). The chocolate masks the taste of the greens perfectly. And when blending the batter in a blender or food processor, the greens are broken up and the batter is smooth. Also, try adding carrots and bell peppers to sweet potato pancakes.
3. SAUCES: Another great way to incorporate more veggies is to add pureed carrots, bell peppers, and greens into sauces such as marinara sauces and pestos.
4: HUMMUS: I love adding vegetables into my homemade hummus. Depending on what type of hummus you want, play with recipes that include sweet potatoes, carrots, edamame, spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, bell peppers, etc. My favorites are:
– Sweet Potato Hummus (with pureed carrots)
– Spinach Edamame Hummus
– Red Bell Pepper Hummus (with pureed carrots)
3. JUICER: If you have a juicer, juice vegetables of your choice (i.e. spinach, kale, parsley, beets, carrots, bell peppers, etc) and use the vegetable juice as your liquid base for smoothies, sauces, salad dressings, and dips.
Being a vegan, I get asked the same question all the time: “Where do you get your protein?” Well here are some of the few plant-based sources that contain protein as well as other powerful antioxidants and nutrients:
Here’s a recipe I made up. It’s delicious and provides you with sustainable energy for the rest of the day.
Banana Protein Green Tea Pancakes
1 scoop Vega One Sports Protein – Vanilla
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup quinoa flour
1 ¾ cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
6 green tea bags
Procedure: Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Pre-heat a pan (lightly sprayed with coconut oil spray) over medium heat. Use an ice cream scooper transfer batter into pan to create pancakes. Let pancakes cook on one side for about 5 min or until golden, then flip over and cook for another 5 min or until golden brown.
Transfer to a serving plate and top with raw almond butter and your favorite fruit. Enjoy!
As a vegan, many people ask me where I get my calcium from. It’s quite simple:
One cup of cooked broccoli provides 45-62 milligrams of calcium with an absorption rate of 50-60 percent.
2. Collard Greens, Kale, and Spinach
One cup of collard greens contains 266 milligrams of calcium. Kale and Spinach are also very rich in calcium. Try collard greens, kale, and spinach in fruit smoothies or add them into your favorite desserts (what did I say desserts?!?! yes I did!) Kale can be a surprise, nutritious, hidden ingredient in brownies, muffins and ice-cream.
3. White Beans and Navy Beans
White Beans have 161 milligrams per cup; navy beans, 126 mg. However, the absorption rate for beans is substantially lower than broccoli, which means at 17 percent, for white beans, 38 mg are actually absorbed. But nonetheless, the body still absorbs some calcium from them not to mention all of their protein.
4. Dried Figs
A serving of 10 dried figs delivers 140-269 milligrams of calcium. No matter what food dishes you include these delicious figs in (cereals, salads, desserts, etc) your body will absorb 10-20 percent of its daily calcium requirement.
5. Butternut Squash
Baked butternut squash dishes contain 84 milligrams of calcium per cup. Try my Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe right below this post to get your calcium fix.
Want to know a fast way to make an incredibly delicious and creamy soup in just 10 minutes and without all the cream? Try this simple recipe:
CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Serves 6. 1 serving = 1 cup soup.
4 cups homemade cashew milk
1 large cooked and peeled butternut squash
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Half and core the butternut squash and place face down on a sprayed baking sheet. Cook the squash in the oven for 1 hour or until the skin easily falls off. Once cooked, take the squash out of the oven, take the skin off, and let cool. In a high speed blender add cashew milk and butternut squash. Blend until smooth and serve.
If you’ve never made homemade Cashew Milk before, here’s a recipe that I created.
2 cups soaked raw cashews
4 tbsp raw agave
7 cups filtered water
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.
Clean Eating 101. Learn how to eat clean and what clean eating really means. Brendan Brazier (Vegan ironman triathlete and formulator of Vega) will take you through how to eat clean and transform your body from the inside out.
Brendan also has three books out and a fourth book on the way. Brendan’s first book is THRIVE: a Vegan Nutrition Guide, his second book is THRIVE FITNESS, and his third book is THRIVE FOODS. Lastly his fourth and most recent book is the THRIVE ENERGY COOKBOOK. I currently have all three of his books and they are my bibles. The knowledge, recipes, and meal plans within the books are so helpful. I highly recommend them.
I created this pancake recipe a few days ago and it turned out really good. If you love bananas I have a feeling you are going to really like these pancakes. Based on the Thrive basics and fundamentals explained in, Vegan Ironman Triathlete and formulator of Vega, Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive, this recipe is very nutritious and very easy to make.
2 ripe bananas
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2 tbsp Vega One Nutritional Shake – Natural Flavor
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Makes 2 large servings
Blend ingredients in a food processor. Once combined, heat a pan over medium heat and cook pancakes for 5 min each side. (It may take longer for the pancakes to cook because they are cooking at a lower temperature. Be patient, it’s so worth the wait).
I’m not a chocolate lover, but I LOVE these pancakes. They are not too rich like eating a chocolate bar, but they are nutty with just the right amount of that chocolate taste to satisfy your chocolate fix. These pancakes are from Brendan Brazier’s book “Thrive: the Vegan Nutrition Guide for Optimal Performance in Sports and Life.” ”Designed with kids in mind, these pancakes are popular for weekday breakfasts. Unlike traditional breakfasts that most children eat, these pancakes are packed with high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals” – Brendan Brazier. So if you have kids, I have no doubt that they will love these pancakes and will be begging for more.
Here is the recipe:
2 fresh or soaked dates
1 cup Popped Amaranth
1 cup homemade Chocolate Hemp Milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp protein
1/4 cup roasted carob powder
1/4 cup unsweetened carob chips (I used cocoa nibs. Those will work too).
makes 2 large servings.
Pancake Procedure: In a food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Lightly oil a pan with coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in pancake batter to desired pancake size and cook for about 5 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear. Flip and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
Several people ask me what I eat for Thanksgiving. ”Do you buy a Tofurkey?” ”What exactly do you eat?” ”It seems really hard to be a vegan.” But the truth is… it’s super easy to be a vegan and to make food that you can eat. All you need to do is think ahead. Have a lot of recipe books and websites on hand, and have the patience and the discipline to prep and make your vegan dishes.
Funny thing, being vegan, I have never had a Tofurkey for Thanksgiving. I know! Weird huh? But I’m not a fan of eating a lot of the imitation meat: tofu, seitan, tempeh. If I do eat fake meat, it’s always usually tempeh and I only eat it when I got out to dinner at a vegan restaurant such as Native Foods or The Veggie Grill. I don’t buy tempeh at the grocery store. So tempeh is always a treat for me whenever I go out to dinner. At home, I like to eat foods that are in it’s purest form and either raw or cooked at a very low temperature.
For Thanksgiving this year, I made my first ever, Raw Harvest Pumpkin Pie. I’ve never made a dessert that I can eat on Thanksgiving before so I’m very excited to have this pie tonight and to have my family try it. My sister liked it when she was helping me cook and doing taste testers, so that’s a very good sign. Here is the recipe.
And the pie turned out so good!!! Here are some pictures:
I also made a Vegan Cornbread. Before I was vegan I remember my mom making me cornbread all the time. It was one of my favorite meals accompanied with butternut squash soup. I was browsing on the internet and Facebook one day and I found this recipe for Vegan Cornbread and I had to make it. Here’s the link to the recipe: