Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Trying Meatless Mondays? 7 Ways to Go Meatless Every Day of the Week

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 10:49 AM PST

If you are on to Meatless Mondays, kudos to you for taking a step in the right direction. Undoubtedly, you've discovered it's not so terrible, and now that you've got some momentum, why not up the ante a little and ditch the meat more often?

While it might be a bit much to expect everyone to give up turkey, cold turkey, it doesn't mean a meatless meal or two on the other days of the week is out of the question. There are great vegan options for every time of day, all occasions, and any craving imaginable—even meat.

So, here are seven simple ways to go seven days as a part-time vegan.

 1. Fake it. Then, Everyone Is Happy.

Contrary to popular belief, giving up meat and dairy doesn't mean you have to give up all your favorites. There are great alternatives to nearly every beef-y buffet you've grown accustomed to: meatless burgers, cheese-less pizzas, mock meatloaf, and—for the brunch-lovers out there—egg-free omeletes. Not sure about them. Well, devote one meal a week to exploring what we are eating on the greener side of life. You may just dig it.

Recipe Suggestions:

Vegan Omelette: Looking for protein? This has more than the egg equivalent.

Veggie Burgers: 15 Recipes, Countless Benefits—Try a new one every week.

Lentil Loaf—A side of mashed potatoes, a little gravy, and you've got a classic.

 2. Forgot Milk? Go Nuts.

How many times have vegans of the world heard the initial gasp of I just couldn't live without cheese? Usually, this is the deal-stopper for lactose lovers. It still doesn't change the fact that milk and all those milky products just aren't quite living up to the hype they once carried. They taste great, but that's not to say that a nice cashew pepper jack can't get the job done just as well, maybe even better. A vegan variation means cheese isn't necessarily off the table.

Recipe Suggestions:

10 Vegan Cheeses That Will Knock Your Socks Off—A taste-testing party.

Vegan Baked Nut Cheese—Got crackers?

 3. Eat Your Vegetables. You're an Adult Now.

Maybe as children, our palettes were so unrefined as to need casseroles and cream sauces to cover up the fact that we were eating vegetables, but most people eventually reach a point where at least a few vegetables are enjoyable. Then, it's actually possible, palatable, and potentially pleasing to have a veggie-based—not just vegetarian, but vegetable—meal every day. They are faster to make and increase the likelihood of reaching the daily-recommended dosage. Mom will be so proud.

Recipe Suggestions:

20 Ways to Enjoy Kale, the King of Greens—Nutritious incarnate.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup—A big, warm bowl of goodness.

Vegan Eggplant Noodles—Quick, simple, and balanced.

4. One Word, So Many Possibilities: Sandwiches

Sandwiches are the ubiquitous lunchtime choice. They stack up clean and fit nicely into the little brown bags and briefcases. Up until the recent cluster of peanut allergies, there was even a recognized, viable vegan option in the PB&J. But, somewhere between the bottom piece and the top piece of bread, many of us seemed to have forgotten that anything can go between. It doesn't always have to be meat and/or cheese. There are a whole lot of fast and filling options out there.

Recipe Suggestions:

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad Sandwich—If you've just got have something familiar.

The Cracked Sandwich—For a simple, straight-up vegetable stacker.

The Vegan Gutbuster Sandwich—Need something substantial for lunch?

5. Travel Vicariously through Your Food

It's a big world out there, and a sizable chunk of it goes without meat for every meal, or every day, or ever at all. Why not see what they're up to? If Meatless Mondays are working out for you (which they must be if you are reading this), then World-y Wednesdays might just be a hit, too. Imagine trying a dish from a different country every week. Would it make any difference if that meal were meatless? Of course not, it's still providing you with that certain cultural élan you were after.

Recipe Suggestions:

African Groundnut Stew—Ever even heard of this? Sounds funky.

Flashworthy Alu Palak (Curried Comforting Potatoes with Spinach)—Ah, India.

5 Delicious and Surprisingly Meatless Recipes for Taco Tuesdays—Or, Wednesday.

6. Sweet, Fatty Redemption

Yep, meatless dessert is possible. Heck, even dairy-free if need be. Contrary to popular perception, it is downright easy and worthwhile to whip up a vegan dessert. Often, you don't even have to bother cooking them (and that doesn't mean a fruit cocktail). Plus, there is the added bonus of getting to pretend it's healthy. Sometimes, it even is. Regardless, there are vegan options far and wide that will put just the right ending to a beautiful meal.

Recipe Suggestions:

Raw Vegan Chocolate and Almond Fudge—Who needs an oven?

10 Scrumptious Cheesecakes That You Won't Believe Are Vegan—Try them all!

Simple Vegan Sugar Cookies—Easy. Familiar. Delicious.

7. Get Real. Go Full-on Crunchy.

Meatless Mondays? Articles citing vegan recipes for mid-week dining. You've probably even watched some documentaries about the modern-day food industry and the sorry state of factory farming. That might even be why you're here. Face it: If you've made this far in the article, you're becoming one of us. Strap on some sandals, get some patchouli, and embrace the veggie power. There is plenty of room at the table, so jump right on in to the crunchy, granola wave we've been riding.

Recipe Suggestions:

Peanut-Butter-Maple-Pecan and Coconut "Bacon" Granola—Crunch.

Cooking with Tofu + 10 Delicious Recipes—Not just for hippies anymore.

Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream—Ben & Jerry's…Grateful Dead…the munchies?

5 Things Healthy People Do Every Day Before Work

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 10:49 AM PST

Adding five things to your day usually means taking more time out of it, right?

Usually. But not in this case.

When the five additional tasks are tailored to give an efficient and healthy trajectory to your day, the result is actually the opposite: more time to do what you love, with less stress, a calmer mind and a body that feels damn good.

Here are your five action steps to feel less burned out and more accomplished when the day is over:

1. Drink warm lemon water.

Jump starting your day with hydration is always a good thing.

Warming it up and adding lemon activates digestion and sets you on the right track having made your first decision of the day in the direction of your health.

2. Move.

Stretch, go for run, do yoga, whatever your flavor. Giving your body some movement first thing in the morning is an energizing, stress-relieving and mind-clearing way to start your day.

3. Meditate (visualize, project, manifest, envision, etc.).

Set the tone of your day with a positive intention and you'll be surprised at how far that feeling carries you.

Whether it's reciting an affirmation or sitting in stillness for two minutes, you'll lift your mood and put a smile on your face. Guaranteed. Visualizing your awesome day ahead of you allows you to create your most ideal day before you even step out the door. Yes, please!

4. Schedule your to-dos.

Yeah, yeah, everyone has a to-do list, that's nothing new. Turning it into an actionable plan is the crucial factor. Here's how:

At the beginning of each week, take your running to-do list and assign each task to the day of the week when it's most likely to be accomplished. Then put them in order, starting with tasks you'll do before work, then on your lunch break, then after work. Start with the most important and go from there. You might find that some of them aren't urgent enough to add, so those can wait.

Adding a few doable tasks to each day takes the anxiety out of what seems to be a never-ending list. Checking off four things in a day feels more accomplished than hacking away four off a long list of 20 that just keeps building.

Planning each task you wish to complete makes your schedule more manageable, helps you remember and gives you someone to be accountable to — yourself! Anytime you can take out on-the-fly decision-making and potential anxiety, it's a good thing.

Allow me to contradict myself for a moment: flexibility is also a key factor here. If you find yourself with less time than expected, don't sweat it; just find a place to renegotiate where it might fit later in the week. OR, perhaps you didn't make time for it because it's not as important to you as you thought.

5. Eat breakfast (and pack a lunch!).

It's really a no brainer: a hungry person isn't as effective at work, nor is she that fun to talk to. Do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and at least start your day off at baseline — fed.

As for lunch: when you BYO to work you're doing three things for yourself: saving money, ensuring you're packing a healthy meal and keeping yourself from the starvation-induced impulsive 3 p.m. lunch, which for me can turn into a 30-minute debate on where to go and what to get. What a waste of time!

Now go on with your productive, healthy and happy self.

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