As a disclaimer, I admire any individual who is able to commit to a sustainable and mindful way of eating. I became interested in veganism because I wanted to explore the effects it would have on my digestive system. My curiosity naturally led me my favorite health websites such as Well + Good and Mind Body Green, where I browsed articles for further research. I began to ask those around me about their experiences, to which someone thoughtfully gifted me the Thrive Energy Cookbook for inspiration. In all honesty, the initial thought of not eating meat felt outlandish. I grew up in a Filipino-Italian household, where meat was a staple in every dish! Then, I realized eating meat was simply a habit. The more I paid attention to veganism, I noticed that this way of eating was more popular and accessible than I thought. Vegan fast food? Check out Chloe’s in the city. Their creations are out of this world! Need to pick up a few staple items? Head to Whole Foods. They have a whole section dedicated to vegans. I like to frequent that aisle on my lunch breaks. Even marketers in the food industry have caught on, often labeling food as “vegan” or “gluten-free”, in hopes that these popular buzzwords will get you to purchase. We are surrounded!
To jumpstart my veganism journey, I began to meal prep from the Thrive Energy Cookbook. I wanted to commit to one vegan meal per day. Given that it’s winter, I decided to experiment with soups and stews. My personal favorites from the cookbook include the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (see recipe below) and Roasted Sweet Potato, Carrot and Ginger Soup. Aside from it’s warming affect, soups are soothing to the digestive system and nutrient dense. Let’s just say my skin was glowing after eating a soup with carrots in it for 5 days straight! I even noticed that my energy levels were more consistent throughout the day - no signs of the itis. Even better, I didn’t feel bloated after my meal. During casual conversation, people would always ask me, “well what about protein, don’t you need that?”. There is actually protein present in foods other than animal sources, including peas, tempeh, chickpeas, tofu, quinoa and hemp seeds. You can absolutely build a satisfying meal that doesn’t require a pack of chicken thighs or a slab of steak.
Currently, I have a few go-to staples that help me achieve my goals as a part-time vegan. Have you ever heard of hemp hearts? They are the shells of hemp seeds, which are subtly nutty in flavor, pack a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving and are rich in nutrients such as omega 3 & 6. They are the perfect addition to any quinoa bowl, yogurt or smoothie. I’ve been sprinkling them into my quinoa bowl for protein purposes. Speaking of quinoa, that’s also a great item to have on hand because it’s packed with protein and filling. If you’re feeling daring, jackfruit a fruit and considered all star ingredient in the vegan world that is often used to mimic foods with particular textures and flavors. I recently had jackfruit that was prepared to be like pulled pork. Not quite the same, but still delicious and added flavor dimension with a nice kick to my quinoa bowls. Lastly, I have an unexplainable obsession with vegan cheese. As much as I LOVE real cheese, the dairy upsets my stomach. Damn you, lactose intolerance! I’ve had “provolone” and “cheddar” vegan cheeses that are actually really delicious. I’ll even make myself a faux cheese and cracker platter, with a glass of wine for a tummy-ache free after work wine down meal.
While I have no plans to go full vegan, I enjoy the creativity that comes along with exploring new recipes. Be sure to follow my Instagram @badnbeauj_ for all of my meal prep experiments on my stories!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
With summer BBQ season in full swing, not everything on the barbie needs to be slathered in heavy sauces or grease. Also, let it be known that barbecuing is not just for men - bad bitches can BBQ too! My dad is an awesome chef and has taught me how to grill burgers, salmon and veggies to perfection. We recently made amazing cornish hens on the BBQ. It’s simple, delicious and nutritious.
Things You’ll Need
2 Cornish Hens (1 hen feeds 2 people)
Rack in pan
How To Do It
side dish pairing suggestion
my mom's garlic roasted cauliflower recipe
I have a slight obsession with supercharging my coffee in the AM. Caffeine is just not enough! I've been boosting my morning bullet proof coffee with Sdara Skincare Marine Collagen ($25) to help repair and restore muscle, bone and tissue. It's a wonderful supplement for skincare junkies looking for youthful skin from the inside out. In case you missed it, bulletproof coffee is made with MCT Oil and Ghee to help stabilize the caffeine and deliver a dose of healthy fats. This marine collagen peptide blend is highly absorbable, giving it a silky texture perfect for bulletproof coffee blending.
bulletproof collagen coffee
2 shots espresso
8 oz. almond milk (or any non-dairy milk of choice)
1 scoop Sdara Skincare Marine Collagen
2 tbsp MCT Oil
1 tsp ghee
dash of cinnamon
Palmini Pasta is what I like to call “faux pasta”. As someone who is half Italian, it does seem a little out of the ordinary to eat “faux pasta”, as opposed to a heaping plate of carbs. While I do in fact love a big plate of pasta every now and then, an overload on carbs will not help me to achieve the body I so desire. So, what’s a girl to do? Consider Palmini Vegetable “pasta”. It’s made from Heart of Palms, gluten/sugar free and is only 15-20 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving.
Simply put, Palmini is delicious in taste and works well with a variety of sauces to achieve a filling low-carb meal. Since you don’t need to cook it, Palmini is a great option for a quick weekday meal. I recently paired this with Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce and Frozen Turkey Meatballs, along with a few slices of fresh mozzarella.
Although each can is only 2 servings, it’s not a lot per serving, so I consumed the entire can. Still low in calories and carbs! I do have to say it’s a bit of a splurge as it ranges between $7-$9 a bottle. Get it on Amazon prime for $7.99. I would recommend saving this can for a rainy day, for a single meal, when you’re in no mood to cook!
I often make this delicious shake after a light to moderate workout to restore collagen and protein to the body. While the collagen powder helps to ensure the health of the skin, hair, joints, tendons and bones, it also has 10 grams of protein per serving. Combined with the almond butter, this shake contains 20 grams of protein! Just add a scoop of Keto Cocoa powder to add a hint of chocolatey goodness. Plus, a dose of healthy fats.
Net Carbs: 8.3 grams/Protein 20.2 grams/Fat 26.6 grams
1 CUP ALMOND MILK
1 SCOOP KETO COCOA MILK CHOCOLATE POWDER
1 SCOOP COLLAGEN
1 TBSP. ALMOND BUTTER
1 SCOOP GIANT SPORTS PURE COLLAGEN PEPTIDE POWDER
1/8 CUP BANANA
Yes, edamame spaghetti is a thing. Explore Cuisine's edamame spaghetti has an incredible 24 grams of protein, 7 net carbs, 3.5 grams of fat and 13 grams of dietary fiber per serving. I was blown away by its pasta like texture, taste and overall full, but not bloated feeling it gave me. Pair this with a pesto for a fresh, ready in a flash meal.
Makes 1 cup for 4 servings
2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt to taste
1/8 tsp pepper to taste
Squeeze of fresh lemon
A flavorful meal prepped approved dish!
Serving Size: 4
2 (8 oz.) BONELESS/SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS
1 CUP COCONUT MILK
2 TBSP SOY SAUCE
1 STEVIA PACKET
1 TSP GROUND CUMIN
` TSP GROUND CORIANDER
PINCH GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
2 TBSP COCONUT OIL
CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO
Satisfy cravings with my two favorite keto-approved recipes!
Late Night Cocoa
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Keto Cocoa
2 tbsp MCT Oil
1 tsp ghee
Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan and heat until it boils. Quickly transfer liquid to a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Pour into a cup and top with a dash of whip cream. (Serving Size: 1)
1.5 net carbs/4 grams protein/40.7 fat/379 kcal
Deliciously Dairy-Free Caesar Salad
1 cup mixed greens - chopped
1 tbsp Daiya Creamy Caesar Dressing
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 sliced avocado
Mix all ingredients together & enjoy! (Serving Size: 1)
4.5 net carbs/8.6 grams protein/26.5 grams fat/292 kcal
Here's my favorite keto approved recipe that won't have you missing regular old mashed potatoes.
2 BAGS PRE-CUT CAULIFLOWER RICE (8 CUPS CAULIFLOWER RICE)
2 TBSP GHEE
1/4 CUP GREEK YOGURT
2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 TSP SALT
2 TSP MINCED GARLIC
Weeknights should be reserved for a good meal, accompanied by a glass of vino or a stellar cocktail. After all, no one likes to start their night of Netflix binging on an empty stomach. With my inner 'plan ahead' attitude, it's no wonder I love using the crockpot to make meals in advance. A rather nostalgic inducing dish, this easy beef Piccadillo recipe reminds me of my childhood, as my mom frequently made this for our family.
pairs well with guacamole, sour cream, cheese