Vegan Breakfast Bites

Avoiding dairy, wheat, and meat sometimes makes for a depressing breakfast. As I am moving towards a more plant based diet, this is a major struggle. Popular breakfast choices like pancakes, bacon, sausage, toast, eggs, and yogurt are off limits. I know there are a lot of recipes outs there, but have trouble finding replacements for some of my favorites that I truly enjoy. Workdays are especially difficult as I don’t have time to prepare a kale and sweet potato hash. This is when I was happy to find Protein Energy balls. This is something I make a batch of and eat 4-6 for each morning. They stop me from dipping to the guidance office for candy, give me energy, and keep me full well into my planning/lunch break. These are two recipes I use:

  1. “Chocolatey” Version

Ingredients: chia seeds, flaxseeds, oats, cashews, almond butter, honey/agave nectar/maple syrup, coco powder, orange zest.

2. “Vanilla-y” verson

Ingredients: same as above except no coco power, and add banana, and vanilla extract.

Directions: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse until crumbly yet mushy consistency is reached. Scoop spoonfuls out and roll into balls. Refrigerant until time of desired consumption.

energy-bites

Notes/Variations:

  • I will sometimes add dried fruit like cranberries, but have lately refrained because they typically have added sugar.
  • I know that honey is not vegan. You can choose whichever natural syrupy sweetener suites you best.
  • For the “vanilla-y” version I sometimes used lemon zest instead of orange zest.
  • Adding cinnamon and/chili powder to the “Chocolatey” ones adds a nice kick.
  • I usually use 2 of either chia seeds, flaxseeds, or oats. I rarely have all 3 stocked at the same time.  Omitting the oats will make these paleo friendly.
  • You could absolutely substitute other nuts such as walnuts or almonds instead of the cashews.
  • I’ve recipes that roll with in coconut.  I wish I liked coconut like that, it seems like such as great idea. Fell free to do this if you enjoy the taste of coconut flakes.
  • The banana in the vanilla-y ones can make the ball very mushy as it warms up. I would freeze these for a little bit and eat quicker so it doesn’t get too messy.

I hope you find this useful and enjoy!

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Two Way Dinners

So as you may have noticed in my previous post my diet is a little vegan, mixed with a little paleo. I basically try to eat a plant based paleo diet. It is very difficult for me at times, but I do it because I feel it is the healthiest option. That being said my son and husband don’t always see it the same way. I am trying to be healthy and lose weight. They don’t have the same goals or ideals, so I don’t force my choices on them. As the main cook in the house I have to adjust to be agreeable with everyone’s dietary choices. My son is 2 and a picky eater. I have to find a balance of creating meals with foods that are good for him and he likes, not including junk. My husband is a BIG man, he does not eat “rabbit food” as I’ve been told I eat by colleagues. Having a healthy family is very important for me, but it takes compromise. I usually end up cooking two versions of meals. One to fit my dietary needs and restrictions and one that my family will actually eat. My goals for my family are less fast food and processed foods, as well as more fruits and especially vegetables. I will fry foods for them from time to time, usually a weekend meal. They still eat grains like bread, rice and pasta, but they are whole grain. They also typically eat meat with every meal, while I restrict my meat to once a day, usually dinner. Here are a few of my “2 way dinners”.

Hamburger Helper

I make a homemade hamburger helper with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, and a sauce from real milk and cheese, not whatever powdery substance comes in the box. I got the recipe from Pinterest, and honestly its just as easy and quick as the boxed version. My version is made with squash or zucchini noodles made with a vegetti, a vegan cheese sauce, and ground turkey. I mix some of the vegan cheese sauce with my sons because he rarely eats the vegetables that are put on his plate so I hide it whenever I can.  With this dinner a include a vegetable side like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or salad. I never tell my husband that its homemade, but he looks up and asks “is this real hamburger helper?” I say, “of course”. He follows up with “did you make it from the box?”, and I say “no, is it nasty?”, He says “no, but I can tell its different.” He continues to eat, and I shrug my shoulders and say “your the only husband in the world that complains about scratch made meals.”

hamburger helper
There’s vs Mine

Tacos/Tex Mex

Whenever I make tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas, my version ends up being some type of taco bowl or salad. I change the base to keep things varied, like it might be a salad with whatever fillings they had topping lettuce minus the sour cream and cheese. I may do a burrito bowl substituting quinoa for rice or a may roast some sweet potatoes.

sweet potatoe taco bowl
Sweet Potato enchilada skillet bowl

Asian Nights

I tried making potstickers once and my husband loved them. I knew I couldn’t take them away from our Asian night dinner line up. So I typically eat a meatball made from the chicken or turkey filling inside the potstickers. I make a sauce from soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. They dip the potstickers in a drizzle it on top my meatballs. We both have stir fried vegetables, I usually have a bigger serving. They have fried brown rice.

Another meal in the Asian dinner lineup are various Chinese dishes like orange, sesame, sweet and sour chicken, and Mongolian beef. I fry theirs in a cornstarch and egg batter with stir fried vegetables,and fried brown rice. I bake my chunks of meat in the oven and top with the same sauce with vegetables and no rice.

asian meatballs
Asian Meatball Bowl

So with just a few tweaks and some compromise, everybody can get what they want and need out of dinner. I had adapted some of our favorite restaurant and packaged meals to be healthier and still had my more drastic dietary changes. That’s what we call, in education, differentiation. Does anybody else tailor meals for their families or I am just a push over? Also, message me if you would like any of the featured recipes in detail.

 

Return of the Healthy, Nappy, Nerdy, Mommy!

Its been a while since my last post, a month to be exact. It all snowballed from one busy, lousy, tiresome, week. But I am back now to give the people what they want, or maybe what they don’t want. This is an overall update about what’s been happening and what is to come for this healthy, nappy, nerdy, mommy.

Healthy

I pretty much been doing the same song and dance. I’m still trying to get back into the groove of healthy eating and consistent exercise. My biggest weight loss since having my son had been 51 pounds, and I’m still 15 pounds from that not to mention my goals of losing another 20 after that, so I’m at 40 pounds I want to lose. I already mentioned in my previous post 7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan that I am exploring veganism as a healthier option. I’m not hard core with it. I typically eat meat with dinner and try to be vegan for the rest of the day. I am also incorporating some “paleoism”. There is just so much information out their about what is the healthiest diet to have. And when I say diet I am referring to an overall lifestyle not how you eat for a couple weeks to lose some weight then gain it right back. I researched some about eating for your blood type, which interestingly enough is pretty much paleo for me being that wheat, dairy, and beans would be no, no’s for my type O blood. But there were some other things like mushrooms for example that I’m just not giving up. But it was also a little scary because it went along with my food allergies. As far as exercise, I’ve tried a free week of Cross Fit and I’m hooked. During the summer I’ll go to the free community day on Saturday until the school year starts and I have the funds to become a member. Bottom line, the workout at home thing does not work for me. I need a gym or facility to attend in order to hold myself accountable. For the rest of the summer, though, I am not stepping on a scale or entering my calories into anybody’s calorie counting app. I am just going to eat clean and get some kind of physical activity everyday and see where that gets me.

Nappy

The summer time is always good for my hair. I have more time and therefore keep up with my regimen better. I’ve pretty much been able to keep up with my washes every week, to 2 weeks depending on if I have a protective style or not. I love the summer because I can do wash and go’s. I don’t have to wake up early for work (until summer school) and the weather is nice and warm so it fine if its still wet. This past week I went to the beach with my parents and have my mom put some corn rows (NOT BOXER BRAIDS, but that’s a whole post of its own) with added hair. I have taken them out to wear a couple days wavy until I wash this weekend.  It is my hope to get some crochets at some point. I’m not sure if a want twist, braids, or curls, but I know a want to lob (long bob). Until then I will continue with my own regimen.

Nerdy

We finished “Hunter x Hunter” which I really enjoyed. The anime was completely different in the end than it was in the beginning. Each season was like a different anime with the same characters. I do feel like it was ended very quickly and I hope that the last episode I saw wasn’t the last episode they will ever make, but I will give my complete review in another post.

Now in anime we have began the one that seemingly started it all “Dragon Ball”. I cannot watch an episode of an anime without my husband saying “they got that from Dragon Ball Z” or “that was so Goku”. I am starting from the beginning of “Dragon Ball” to get all the back story before watching (according to my husband) that greatest “Dragon Ball Z”. And I must say that I do see parallels between Goku and many anime heroes of today.

In a 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom I included some things that I was looking forward to, a lot of them occurring this summer. One event was seeing “X-Men: Apocalypse”. I’m just going to ask that we all take a moment of silence for this movie…….(and begin rant) I had such high hopes, I could have been so great. I saw it a few weeks ago and since it was such a disappointment for me and its been a while I’m just going to say what I have to say now and leave it at that. This was supposed to be the best X-men movie to date. Apocalypse is their main big villain. First, the actors in the film were horrible and the characters were weak. Everybody in that last fight was just getting their ass beat until out of nowhere Jean Gray said “oh yeah I can use the phoenix force” and obliterated him. They did not build on any of the characters they added, except for Magneto, who’s character has been giving plenty of background. We get it, he gets angry, and want to destroy humans for how they mistreat mutants. Storm was the biggest disappointment for me, because she’s my favorite and she didn’t do anything. If they do another movie like this they may as well give the X-men the Disney so they can work with Marvel and the Avengers, but no way Alexandra Shipp’s Storm would be able to stand with Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Maybe I just set my hopes too high, but though it was just not the greatest. (rant ended)

The most anticipated event of our nerdy lives is fast approaching, Otakon! And we have to make big plans because after this year it will be moving from Baltimore to DC due to increased attendance. This year I have been battling whether or not I want to dabble in some cosplay. It wouldn’t be anything elaborate, but just a little to get into the spirit. Although some of my party has threatened to leave me if I hold them back with photos. Last year I truly experienced it because the first year I was 8 weeks pregnant and just slept in every panel and searched for food every chance I got. One day we will attend comic-con in San Diego, but for us this is as big as it gets right now. All year I’ve been loading up on my anime, outside of Naruto so I can be prepared. I need to practice an anime theme song to sing in the karaoke lounge. Look forward to pictures and an entire page dedicated to highlighting Otakon 2016.

Mommy

The terrible two’s are in full affect. And potty training is driving me crazy. But I am determined to make sure I set the foundation for a well behaved child and get him out of these damn diapers before the summer is over. We are taking the pull ups away. Right now he still wears them at daycare, but I’m only letting him do that for two weeks. After this next 3 day weekend (no summer school on Friday) I am letting his daycare teacher know he is wearing underwear and sending him with plenty of clothes and underwear to change into. I have created some charts. One is the reward positive behavior. There are categories of potty training, eating, and following directions. He earned stickers and different levels of prizes. I also have a behavior correction chart. This is more or less for my husband and I. He thinks I am to tough and I think he is too lenient. The chart takes the question out of it. When he misbehaves he moves to another color, the lower colors have punishments. I will provide a full detailed post outlining this plan.

That in a nutshell is what been happening in my life. The remainder of the summer holds many experiences; still juggling working summer school and trying to enjoy myself before the start of another school year and accomplish all the goals I set for myself and my family. Is anybody else having some similar experiences, or I am just alone in my crazy world?