Eating Compassionately

Compassion Begins On Your Plate!

➡️What losing over a hundred pounds looks like on Instagram vs. ➡️what losing over a hundred pounds looks like in reality.

This is a major vulnerability post for me, friends. In honor of Earth day, I am posting to remind you that going vegan is not only the best thing you can do to save the planet, but also yourself. I rarely took pictures of me at my heaviest. It was one of the hardest times of my life. The picture of me sitting is when I already started losing a little weight a year into me working at Whole Foods Market when I was on a trip to Chicago opening a store. At my absolute heaviest, I was in an abusive marriage and so lost. It took me going vegan to get my groove back after it all. Seriously. I started feeling happier and more positive. I felt like I wanted to move my body more and my back pain was feeling relief. There were days at my heaviest I didn’t even want to move because my feet killed me and my back made me feel immobile. The lethargy went away going vegan. I started going to the gym, and eating a lot of chia for energy, and never felt better in my life.

After I lost weight, I wanted to show it off and look my best. What I didn’t post was the stretch marks, and the stomach pouch I still had, and the ups and downs along the way. You always see me post myself wearing high waisted leggings or jeans holding in my stomach, or a tank top that is loose in the tummy and flatters me just right. Reality is that I often take a million photos and try multiple poses before I post one. Never get caught up in appearances. The main thing to take away from me going vegan is that it literally improved my quality of life from a drastic standpoint.

My point is, veganism saved my life and my health. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s a better quality of life for everyone, from a personal level, to how animals are treated, to how many Earthly resources are saved for everyone by eating plant based. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, for the planet, and for your health. 💚🌱✨💗

Beer-Battered Chick’n Fried Tofu

Compassion begins on your plate! 💚🌱 I am sharing this delicious, indulgent chicken fried tofu recipe just in time for Super Bowl Sunday! This tofu has the texture of chicken and is full of flavor. Enjoy the flavors of a juicy chicken, beer battered and seasoned to perfection, while refraining from harming any living being. ✌🏼

Ingredients

Beer Batter:

2 cups flour

12 oz of lager beer (I used Stella Artois)

1 vegan egg (2 tbsp Follow Your Heart egg powder and 1/2 cup iced cold water, whisked)

2/3 tsp salt

1/2 tsp basil

1/3 tsp oregano

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp mustard seed

4 tsp paprika

3 tsp garlic salt

3 tsp white pepper

Seasoned Flour:

1 cup flour

1 cup traditional bread crumbs

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp white pepper

The “Chicken”:

Organic canola oil (enough for 4 inches of oil in large pan)

24oz traditional or medium tofu

1 cup vegan chicken broth

1 cup flour

Preparation

You will need to freeze your tofu twice to attain a chicken-like texture.

Place tofu package in freezer for 6 hrs (or overnight) and thaw for 4 hrs. Repeat.

Once your tofu is thawed, you will need to drain it of moisture using either a tofu press or two cutting boards. I personally do not own a press, so I press my tofu on a cutting board with paper towels and a big glass pan.

Once the tofu is drained, it should be easily broken apart to reveal chicken-like tofu pieces. Did your tofu fall into bits? No worries! We will prepare this like popcorn chicken.

Place drained tofu pieces into bowl.

Pour chicken-style vegan broth as a tofu marinade. Let soak for 5 mins.

Drain tofu of excess broth.

Dip each piece in plain flour and set aside.

Mix seasoned flour ingredients and set aside.

Mix beer batter ingredients and set aside.

Fill 4 inches of oil into the bottom of a wok or large pan.

Heat frying oil to 350 degrees.

Now, this next part gets a little messy. Commit to the fact they will turn out perfect and charge on through any flour messes along the way.

You are going to take your pieces of marinaded tofu and dip them in the beer batter, coating it completely.

Roll the outside of the tofu in the seasoned flour mixture making sure the outside is coated with breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve done all the bigger pieces of tofu, make sure to dip all the smaller ones as well. They will turn out like popcorn chicken.

Drop tofu into the oil in small batches, turning each side until darkened like fried chicken.

Once cooked evenly, set aside on paper towel or a rack, draining any excess oil from the finished pieces.

Let cool for at least 5 mins before eating.

Serve like a finger food with your favorite dipping sauces, like Organicville Vegan Ranch, or serve it atop some vegan waffles for a southern feel.

Enjoy!

Vegan No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Compassion begins on your plate! These rich, no-bake peanut butter chocolate bars will satisfy even the most mouth watering sweet tooth while being vegan and gluten-free diet friendly.

You only need Four Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2 cups peanut butter (I prefer 365 brand, organic & unsweetened)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Topping

  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips (I prefer the Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Combine filling ingredients in large bowl, until it becomes difficult to stir.

Line a large pan with parchment paper.

Press peanut butter “dough” into large pan, ensuring it is evenly spread, and set aside.

Melt vegan chocolate chips in pan using the double boiler method. I personally boil water in a medium pan, and place a smaller pan over it to melt the ingredients. Stir in cup of peanut butter as chips begin to melt.

Pour melted chocolate mixture over peanut butter dough spread in pan. Make sure melted chocolate is spread evenly.

Cover and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Remove pan, and cut chocolate and peanut butter layers into bars. (Store in the refrigerator.) And enjoy! 💚🌱✨

Vegan Breakfast Burrito

Compassion Begins on Your Plate! 💚🌱

It is no secret that I love Tofu Scramble and enjoy serving it up in a variety of ways. Get ready for some of the most delicious tofu eggs wrapped in burrito perfection that you will ever taste.

You will need: 1 package organic, sprouted extra firm tofu

1 package of your favorite tortillas

1 tbsp garlic granules*

2 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp basil

1 organic avocado

2 organic russet potatoes

1/2 organic white onion

1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 package of washed organic spinach

1 package Field Roast Breakfast Sausage

Wildbrine Kimchi Probiotic

Sriracha or your favorite Salsa*

Celtic Sea Salt*

Ground black pepper*

*Proportions to taste.

Hash browns: Grate potatoes into hash brown consistency.

Push water out of potatoes in a strainer over your sink. I then usually mix about 1/4 cup of gluten free all purpose flour with the potatoes before frying, but can be skipped.

Fry in pan with a little olive oil until crispy, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage: Fry sausages in pan over medium heat with a little olive oil until preferred browning. I personally prefer a strip of black on mine and cook it a little longer. Slice into small, chewable bites.

Tofu “Eggs”: Slice tofu package.

Pour “tofu guts” into a medium saucepan. Crumble extra firm tofu and place in the pan, turning on medium heat.

Add turmeric, garlic granules, basil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to pan.

Stir as needed.

Once “tofu guts” water has started to cook away, add a dollop of salsa to the scramble mix.

Slice onion. Add to separate sauce pan with a little water. Cook over medium heat until onions start to caramelize. Then add to Tofu Eggs pan.

Cut avocado in half. Spoon out green avocado onto a cutting board. Cut into slices.

Putting it all together: Warm Tortilla in pan on low-medium heat so it’s easier to work with.

Lay out warmed Tortilla.

Slather on some salsa or Sriracha (I personally do a light layer with my spicy Sriracha).

Make sure you leave an edge around the following ingredients for the perfect burrito roll: Add fresh spinach.

Add a spoonful of hash browns and Tofu Eggs.

Top with avocado slices and pieces of sausage.

Pinch ends of tortilla, pick up bottom, place over and tuck under ingredients, finishing rolling the burrito with remaining slack of tortilla.

Place in warm pan to seal bottom.

And, voila! You have mastered the Vegan Breakfast Burrito. Roll a few in foil and save in your freezer for a quick breakfast to heat up on the run.

Earth Day: Compassion Begins On Your Plate

Compassion begins on your plate!! 💚🌱✨ I’ve always been a bit of a bleeding heart. I was 14 years old when I decided weight loss wasn’t worth eating animals. My entire family was on the Atkins diet, and saw short term successes (but long term health problems, cancers and death). I was repulsed by seeing family members eat flesh for every meal. I went vegetarian without really knowing how to be a healthy one. As a Midwest girl with limited nutrition knowledge, I just decided to eat anything that didn’t have eyes. This included tons of bread, pasta, and cheese. 18 years old wasn’t even my heaviest. I was heaviest in my mid twenties working in the insurance industry. I finally had a moment where I felt like I woke up. I found myself staring down a road I didn’t want to be on, and drastically changed my life.

Working at Whole Foods and learning about The Whole Foods Diet, and finding veganism was the answer I needed all along. It was not only the most compassionate choice for the animals, and the planet, but it was the most compassionate choice for myself and my health. I finally found the answer to all the questions I had about our nutrition, while still limiting our harm, and impacting the planet positively. The energy this diet gave me impacted my physical activities as well.

We are all so hard on ourselves sometimes, myself included. We are all imperfectly perfect. As I learned more, my mind evolved, my behaviors and diet evolved, and then my body followed. It wasn’t a perfect process. It took time. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. It’s as simple as making a decision on what you are making for dinner tonight, or to take that walk you are thinking about. May your life and actions be a celebration of the Earth, every day.

Anything You Can Eat, I Can Eat Vegan

Veganism is kind of like the mainstream belief in the normality of the “food chain hierarchy”, but in reverse. How did the animal get this nutrient ? What did the animal eat? If the animal got it from another animal, what did that animal eat? There in lies the answer to any nutrition inquiry.

The design of the Earth and our bodies is so intelligent, our nutrients we need just naturally occur in growing plants, and natural elements. Scarcity during changing seasons and weather conditions is the reason our early ancestors hunted animals. In this day and age, a large variety of plants is at our fingertips within a moment’s notice. Killing is unnecessary. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, the environment, your health, and the future of the human race.

28 Day Plant Based Challenge

Compassion begins on your plate!!! Tomorrow starts Day 1 of the 28 day challenge. Tonight, get really clear on your goals for the month of February. With this full moon, it’s the perfect time to manifest some healthy achievements for yourself. Whether you are going vegan for 28 days, or are already vegan and refining your diet more, write down your goals tonight.

Me? I will be going oil free. Now I don’t mean I won’t be eating avocados or nuts with natural oils. The right kind of oil can be great for your brain. What I won’t be doing is frying my food, or ordering tempura veggies (which I love). This also means I’ll be grabbing oil free hummus and avoiding vegan cheeses with added oil. Luckily, brands like Kite Hill and Engine2 don’t use oil!

Also, I have a planned cheat day to help keep me on track. We have two veg festivals in my area per year, and one of them falls during the challenge. To keep me on track, that’ll be my one allotted oil cheat day as I try all the new vegan things in my area.

Be compassionate with yourself through this process and do your best! That’s all we can do, and that’s what helps us avoid feelings of guilt as we work towards transformation. Have a happy healthy day, and don’t forget, write down your goals tonight!! Tomorrow is Day 1. What will you do with it?