Vegan “fast food” lunch review: Trader Joe’s veggie wrap

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After a very long hiatus, PLV is back! I took a break to refocus on my health, both mentally and physically and I’m happy to say I feel better than ever.

To celebrate my first day back in the blog world, I picked up one of my favorite “fast food” lunches while I was doing my weekly shopping at Trader Joe’s: the pre-made veggie wrap with hummus.

Like most people my age, I’m obsessed with TJ’s. The produce, the variety, the unique selection, the low prices… I love it all. And this wrap is no different! I’m not usually a fan of pre-made wraps because they’re soggy and mushy but this one holds up pretty well. Granted, it will never be the same as a fresh homemade sandwich but when you’re needing something grab-and-go, the veggie wrap is a great option.

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Rolled in lavash and stuffed with hummus, shredded carrots and broccoli/cabbage slaw, it’s delicious and best of all, it’s filling. One word of caution though: you really do have to LOVE hummus if you get this wrap because it is A LOT of hummus. I’m a hummus junkie so it’s perfect for me ūüôā

Here’s to being back on PLV and a lot of more yummy posts to come!

Jack-O Traveler: best vegan pumpkin beer for fall

Like most all people, I’m more than a little¬†obsessed with pumpkin at the moment. Give me pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cupcakes… I’ll take it all, in very large quantities preferably.

But if you really want to know the way to my heart this fall, I prefer my daily shot of October deliciousness to come in a bottle of Jack-O Traveler Shandy.

pump

Because whoever came up with the brilliant idea of pumpkin beer is definitely my long lost soul mate. I mean its pumpkin and beer. Two of my current favorite things. TOGETHER. In one yummy drink!

As a waitress at a bar with a ton of craft beers, I’ve had the chance to sample more than my share of pumpkin beers recently. And while I like them all, the Jack-O Traveler is by far my favorite as it has the strongest pumpkin flavor and ¬†is nice and light.¬†Not to mention, it is completely 100% vegan! So, for all of my beer lovers out there, definitely¬†give the Jack-O Shandy¬†a try.

It’s like a perfect fall afternoon in a bottle. Or two. Or three…

Savory vegan oatmeal

One of my favorite dinners when I’m cooking for one is a big bowl of oatmeal. And as a girl who will take salty over sweet any day, I came up with the perfect way to make a meal out of the popular breakfast food.

Just throw in some spices & veggies & whatever else you have up in the cupboard and voila! A tasty, healthy dinner. And the best part… it takes a max of 15 minutes to prepare. That sounds pretty darn good to me when I come dragging home from work in the evenings.
oats

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Quaker oats
1 cup water
dash of salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 cup shredded vegan cheese
Handful of spinach
Dash of Italian seasoning

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Saute mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes (if fresh). Sprinkle in Italian seasoning to taste. You can also use some fresh chopped basil or rosemary.

Once veggies have cooked, mix into oatmeal. Pour into a bowl, top with the shredded vegan cheese and enjoy your yummy, “cheesy”, savory oats!

Told you it was a cinch : )

Becoming vegan after my eating disorder

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Don’t restrict. Ever.

That’s basically the number one rule of eating disorder recovery. You eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Craving a mega size chocolate bar instead of spinach salad? Go for it. Half a pizza for breakfast? You bet.

The goal is to unlearn all your restrictive habits. To remind yourself that eating is necessary, and better yet, enjoyable! Recovery is all about finding balance and letting go of control.

But what if I want to be vegan now that I’ve started getting over my eating disorder?

I’ve read infinite articles, blog posts and commentaries on the controversy of becoming vegan after an anorexia. I know that most experts highly recommend NOT going vegan. I know that it’s risky because in a sense, it’s another form of restriction. I know there’s a chance it could trigger me back into my disordered ways.

I know all of that and yet, I still want to give it a chance. Maybe I’m really stubborn, maybe I like a challenge, or maybe I just want to prove I can do it.

Whatever the reasons, I’M GOING VEGAN.

For real this time. Like a true, kale-loving, falafel-eating, tree-hugging, yoga-doing vegan. (Please don’t be offended by the ridiculous amount of stereotypes I just used). Seriously guys, I’mma do this veganism thing. Because honestly, life with an eating disorder sucked and I need something new to get me excited about food. Something that makes me feel good about food. Something that heals my insides AND my outsides.

Something like becoming vegan!

Have any of you become vegan after suffering from an eating disorder? I’d love some motivation or tips : )

XO, Andie

Join me on a 30 day vegan challenge!

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I have to admit. I have not been too great at being vegan lately. I went home for spring break and my mom cooks such amazing (non vegan) food. It was delicious and wonderful but now I’m ready to get back to the lifestyle I love.

What better way to restart my plant-eating, animal-avoiding diet than by taking a 30 day vegan challenge! Starting tomorrow, I’m full out vegan for 30 days. I’ve been off and on for the past year so I want to give myself a chance to really see the benefits of veganism and read about why it’s wonderful and why I should continue it for the rest of my life.

If you’ve been wanting to try going vegan, take the challenge with me! I’ll be posting the different meals I eat each day, along with some (hopefully) delicious recipes : )

And if you already are a pretty little vegan, what are some of your favorite meals? I’m on the hunt for new yummy things to try. Here’s to a new start!

 

Lots of love,

Amanda

 

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PS. This is at Topsail Island. My boyfriend and I went the other weekend to celebrate our anniversary. I recommend it to any fellow North Carolinians… or anyone really. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Vegan whole wheat pizza crust recipe

One of my favorite things to do after a busy day is to get a little messy in the kitchen with my boyfriend. We LOVE cooking together. It makes it much more enjoyable and we’ve had a blast trying out all the recipes I find on Pinterest. The other day, we were craving our favorite pizza from Sticks and Stones. But neither of us felt like making the 40 minute drive to Greensboro plus the Oscars were coming on! So we found a no rise wheat pizza crust recipe (that was vegan for me of course). It is SOOOO easy and quick and let me tell you… it was absolutely delicious! We scarfed that whole thing down. The recipe is perfect for two people so grab your boyfriend or hubby or best friend, load up on some yummy toppings, and enjoy a hot slice of homemade pizza.

 

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Ingredients:

– 1 Tbsp yeast

– 1 cup warm water

– 2 Tbsp olive oil

– 2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

– sprinkle of salt

 

Mix all of the ingredients together*. Press onto a pizza stone or greased baking sheet and top with any ingredients you like. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees. Bon appetit!

 

*I adapted this recipe from here. The original recipe called for regular flour but since I used all whole wheat, you may need to add a little more than a cup of water to get the right consistency for the dough.

Top vegan blogs of 2013

I’m addicted to reading blogs. Is anyone else? I could easily spend hours and hours browsing recipes, blog posts, new pictures. Especially when those blogs are about other proud vegan women or yogis! Here are some of my top picks for vegan (or yoga related!) blogs for 2013. Add these to your “must-read” lists!

Allyson @ Manifest Vegan

AllysonKramer

Happy Go Lucky Vegan

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Averie @ Averie Cooks

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Caitlin @ The Vegan Chickpea

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Maple Spice

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What vegan blogs do you love?

Make 2013 a vegan year!

Confetti in Times Square in New York

The first week of a new year has always meant one big thing for me: New Year’s resolutions. I know everyone blows them off because no one really follows through with them. But to me, resolutions are a big deal. The start of 2013 is a new chance to start fresh. It’s a new opportunity to be an even better version of yourself. Like most of you, I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays. Not just the joy of being with my family but also the plates of cookies and lacking gym time. I have no regrets whatsoever though because it was a wonderful couple of weeks and I loved every moment (minus the last minute stressful Christmas shopping!).

BUT. Now it’s January of 2013 and it’s time to be a new woman. A better, stronger, healthier woman. And for that, I’m planning to make this year full of yoga, healthy eating, vegan goodies, and all-around happiness. Join me in making this new year the best year for each of us! Be on the lookout for some delicious vegan recipes coming up later this week along with a great new yoga sequence. : )

 

P.S. Read one of my favorite articles of 2012 from Zen Habits here on how to switch to a plant-based diet. Love the tips!

 

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Me & the boyfriend in Fell’s Point Baltimore during New Year’s!

Yoga pose of the week: hero pose

This week’s yoga pose is hero pose, or virasana. It’s absolutely perfect for meditation, especially at Hebron Falls in western NC where I am in the picture below : )

What does it work?

knees, hips, upper back

Benefits:

– Improves posture & circulation

– Loosens hips, knees, and thighs

– Strengthens arches of the feet

– Helps with digestion

– Great position for extended meditation

Variations:

– Place a towel under your ankles if it is too painful to sit on them.

– Feel free to put your hands in prayer position at heart’s center or above your head.

 

Do you all like hero pose? Do you use it for meditation?

 

Source: Yoga Journal

 

 

Roasted lime & cilantro cauliflower recipe

The one herb I have a huge weakness for is cilantro. That + cauliflower + lime juice = the yummiest side dish ever! Say hello to roasted lime & cilantro cauliflower.

 

Ingredients:

Cilantro & lime juice (use however many of each you like)

1 head of cauliflower

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Directions:

1. Chop up the head of cauliflower and toss with olive oil.

2. Add lime juice and cilantro to taste and toss again until everything is well mixed.

3. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle on a pinch of salt or pepper.

4. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

ENJOY!

Source: Image