What I Eat in a Week: Autumn 2017 Edition

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I get a ton of questions about what I eat. (Cue: “…but where do you get your protein?”) So, I figured it might be helpful to put together a post detailing what a typical week of plant-based meals looks like for me on a seasonal basis.

This post, as the title mentions, will focus on autumn. And as the picture promises, there will be pancakes!


Being plant-based to me is so much more than just a diet. It is truly a lifestyle about bettering not only my personal wellbeing, but the wellbeing of our planet.

There is a ton of mixed information floating around on the internet. Everybody seems to have a different opinion about what the *right* diet is. Paleo. Keto. High Carb. Low Carb. Fat free. Raw. Vegan. On and on it goes. How are you supposed to know what to do?

First and foremost, always ask yourself how the food you’re eating is actually making you feel. Then go from there. 

In no way am I claiming to be the “perfect picture of health” or say that this is the only way to eat or live. But this is what works for me, and it really does work. The key is finding what works for you and makes you *feel* alive and healthy. You deserve to live your fullest life! And that begins with the food you put in your body, because it is the fuel that propels you through life.

There are countless benefits to being plant-based, but for me personally I was able to:

  • Reverse eczema I have had since birth;
  • Double the thickness of my super fine hair;
  • Dramatically reduce cystic acne plaguing me for years ;
  • Heal an eating disorder;
  • Maintain a healthy weight;
  • Help manage symptoms of endometriosis;
  • And just feel really good overall.
  • I also rarely ever get sick. 

With all of these benefits, why would I eat any other way?

I was only able to do this by eating food that is plant-based, gluten-free, minimally processed, organic, and low-fat. I eat in abundance No, really. I eat like a cow. Just ask anybody that knows me! I do not count calories, but rather, I count nutrients.

I love eating from the earth, enjoying high vibrational, colorful, raw and cooked foods. I have been raw at various points in my life and I will say that I 100 percent feel the best when I eat this way — It’s just super expensive to eat 100 percent organic and raw at the same time. So, to counter this, I just try to eat as much raw food as I can.

These are the foods/additives I avoid to get the results I mentioned above:

  • Corn
  • All grains & gluten* (when I do eat gluten-free grains, I have quinoa or brown rice.)
  • Canola oil and oils in general (coconut or avocado oil when absolutely necessary; I usually just cook with water)
  • Citric acid
  • Preservatives
  • All soy products

*I found gluten & grains were the main contributors to my eczema and acne. 

I have been super inspired by the fall produce lately, so this post will revolve around autumn-inspired dishes.

I hope this meal plan inspires you on your own journey toward lasting health, happiness, and vitality. 

And as always, thanks for tuning in!


MONDAY

I always start my day out with a smoothie. I have been making them pretty much every day for the last five years for breakfast, so I have it down to a science. Also, I add meal powder to my smoothie for an extra nutrient boost, but this smoothie recipe can easily be made without it. (Just make as the recipe instructs, but omit the meal powder.) This smoothie is not only filling, but packed with nutrients and aids in detoxing heavy metals from the body.

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!

Lunch

Pineapple and a BluePrint

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Today I was feeling a lighter lunch packed with vitamins and minerals. So I had about 16 oz. fresh-squeezed organic orange juice (not pictured), a BluePrint juice and an entire pineapple for lunch.

Dinner

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

I do not have an exact recipe for this, since I kind of made it up as I went along, as I do with most of my cooking. But my husband loved it and I did, too!

This is what I did:

  1. Baked an acorn squash at 400 F for about 30-40 minutes. I (almost) never bake with oil, so I cut the acorn squash in half, filled two cake pans and placed the squash skin-side up. Filled the pans with water. This way, the acorn squash steams instead of fries in unnecessary oil.
  2. Once it was done, I scooped out the seeds. Then filled with black beans, quinoa that I steamed with cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Then topped with fresh garlic guacamole.

It may not sound like it goes together, but this was a super quick and tasty meal.


TUESDAY

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie

Lunch

Greens & Comfort Food

Veggie burger with jalapeño broccoli and guacamole was lunch today.

I don’t have a clever recipe title for this one. I was feeling something warm, quick and filling for lunch today. This is a lunch that I would consider “junk food” because I don’t generally eat processed food. However, I adore Hilary’s veggie burgers. So I had one of these with steamed  broccoli topped with freshly sliced jalapeño pepper and a side of guac. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

Dinner

Pumpkin Pasta

Tonight was a super simple dinner. I just used what was in my cupboard and leftover in the fridge, then whipped up a pumpkin pasta because it was a super busy day and I was too tired for real cooking, lol.

Here’s how I made it:

 

I boiled my brown rice pasta noodles, while “frying” (in water – no oil) some broccoli, couple spoonfuls of organic pumpkin from a can, fresh tomatoes, leftover carnival squash and tomato sauce. Once noodles were done, I set them aside.

Once it was cooked, I mixed it in with the noodles and topped with hot red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. It was super satisfying and the pumpkin and squash added a rich texture to the sauce, similar to what a roux does for a sauce.


WEDNESDAY

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie 

Lunch

Loaded Sweet Potato Salad

This is such a filling, tasty late-autumn lunch.

Here’s how I made it:

Make the salad: mixed greens, tomato, avocado, sweet onion, raw garlic, carrots + your dressing of choice. I usually mix raw honey with balsamic vinegar/or raw coconut vinegar (pictured above) with some spicy mustard as the dressing.

Then a baked a sweet potato at 450 in the oven for one hour. Then, I took it out, chopped it up and added half of it to my salad.

Mix it all up together and enjoy!

Dinner

!Vegan Sushi!

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YAAASSSSS, girl. This stuff is so easy, cheap, filling, and tasty. Honestly, it’s just as good as going to a sushi place. But way cheaper, organic and no surprise ingredients.

All you need is the ingredients you want inside your sushi (I used Japanese yam, carrots, brown rice and leftover salad) and wrap it with a sheet of nori.

I steamed the brown rice in my Zojirushi (this steamer cooks it perfectly), then flattened it out on the sheet of nori, put in my veggies, then rolled it all together with with a piece of saran wrap on a cutting board. Then, slice and enjoy!

This blog post by Minimalist Baker has a great How-To guide for making sushi without a mat.

Since I don’t eat soy, I use the Coconut Secret aminos, which is a perfect alternative. It tastes great.


THURSDAY

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie 

Lunch

Today was a day for a raw lunch. I did not want anything heavy and since it’s bad to eat cooked food after fruit (fermentation, maintaining an alkaline body and all that good stuff), I wanted to get in my raw fruits during lunchtime. So, I had 1 lb. of pineapple (just a container from Whole Foods) and a small fresh-pressed orange juice. Super filling and so refreshing.

Dinner

Lime-y Butternut Squash stuffed with Mashed Cauliflower 

I tried something new for dinner tonight and it is hubby-approved!

I steamed a butternut squash in the oven face down in a glass pan of filled 1/4 full with water for 40 minutes at 450 F. While it was cooking, I also steamed an entire head of cauliflower the same way.

I pulled the cauliflower out first and blended it until smooth in my food processor. Then I seasoned it with Celtic sea salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and lime juice.

After I pulled out the squash, I scooped out the seeds. Then, I filled the little basin of the squash with mashed cauliflower and squeezed fresh lime over the whole thing. I put more red pepper flakes over all of it for me, hubby got some leftover vegan cheese melted on his, from my girls night.

I wasn’t sure about the lime, but it honestly added just a tasty, unique flavor. Butternut squashes are not as sweet as acorn or carnival squashes, so it was more savory and the lime added the perfect amount of citrus-tart to the flavor. Also, this was an extremely filling meal. Perfect for a fall evening!


FRIDAY

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie 

Lunch

Pineapple & a BluePrint

I know – it’s the same picture as Monday but this was exactly what I ate for lunch, so the picture is an accurate representation. I LOVE pineapple! It tastes like candy and is so, so good for you.

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Dinner

Cheezy Pizza & Hot Sauce

Tonight we were craving pizza, so I made a gluten-free pizza topped with Miyoko’s cheese (smoked mozzarella flavor) and Follow Your Heart cheese (provolone flavor).

The gluten-free, vegan crust was store-bought from Whole Foods. So, that part was easy. Then, we layered it with greens, shaved carrots and broccoli, sweet onion, garlic, a Roma tomato, and added the cheese and sauce. Then, we popped it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 450 F.

I love all things spicy, so I topped my cooked pizza with Wildbrine Probiotic Spicy Kimchi Sriracha. I love this stuff so much and would recommend 10/10. We also sliced up an avocado and added that to the pizza too, for a truly decadent meal. I normally don’t eat this much fat in one sitting, but it was worth it for a treat.


SATURDAY

Breakfast

Jem’s Rise-n-Shine Smoothie 

Lunch

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Salad

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This salad is the one where you grab a huge bowl and stuff it with all the veggies in your fridge. Maybe I’m missing all the fresh fruits and veggies from summer, but I have been *craving* salad like crazy lately.

This salad was made with:

  • Spinach
  • Mixed power greens
  • Coleslaw mix (just chopped cabbage and carrots, really)
  • Carrots
  • Sweet onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Sprouts
  • Microgreens
  • Avocado
  • Celery

Dressing

This is a brief explanation of why I eat honey when I say I am vegan. Skip ahead if you don’t care/want to read:

*The only thing that would make me not “vegan” is the fact that I eat wild, raw honey. I do not believe in factory farmed honey. Not only is it cruel, it’s horrible for the environment. But the medicinal benefits of wild honey are astounding. So, I will only buy it in this form and when I know the bees are treated with compassion, and not killed or smoked out when they give their product. It is important to have respect and love for all living creatures.* 

Dinner

Loaded Japanese Yam

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Oh, Japanese yams. They are so freakin’ good. I adore them. They have a totally different flavor, texture and color than a regular sweet potato or yam, but they are just as sweet.

Tonight, I topped mine with Annie’s re-fried black beans with green chilies (I’m lazy), steamed brown rice, mango salsa, guacamole and hot sauce. It was amazing.


SUNDAY

Pancake Brunch

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Sunday breakfasts are almost always reserved for pancakes. My husband and I enjoy making this brunch together and we always get creative with our toppings and ingredients.

Sometimes I will make a berry consommé to drizzle over the pancakes, other times I will add pumpkin and cinnamon to the batter to give it a pumpkin pie flavor. It all depends on our mood. My husband likes fruit baked into his pancakes and often slices bananas, raspberries, and blueberries and puts them into the batter while they are cooking.

I unfortunately don’t really have a recipe, because like many of the things I cook, I test and taste as I go.

But these are the ingredients we use:

  • Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Mix (Gluten-free and grain-free; made with almond flour)
  • Applesauce to replace eggs – 1/2 cup applesauce = 1 egg
  • Coconut milk or water for liquid
  • Organic maple syrup

Dinner

Chickpea Pasta with Mashed Cauliflower & Greens

Dinner this eve was two of my favorite comfort foods, plus a side salad to get in my greens. In a perfect world, It’d be all pancakes and brunching, but alas, it is not. So veggies are a must.

I roasted an acorn squash in the oven, face down, seeds still in, in a tray of water at 450 until they were soft. I also cooked the cauliflower the exact same way, sliced up until it was soft.

I took the acorn squash out and prepared the cauliflower while the squash cooled.

To make mashed cauliflower, I ran it through my food processor (you could also mash by hand or use a blender) and added in 4 cloves of raw organic garlic (garlic is incredibly healing and one of nature’s “antibiotics”). I added pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper. Sometimes I’ll add some Miyoko’s cultured butter on top to melt if I want some extra fat, but I’ve been eating a bunch of avocado lately. 🙂

Anyways, once the cauliflower was done, I boiled my Banza chickpea noodles, added a jar of organic pasta sauce, scooped out the seeds of the squash and added the squash to the pasta. Then I mixed it all up and voilà! A creamy fall pasta and mashed cauliflower– done.

Then, I chopped up a simple salad (greens, sweet onion, tomato, shredded carrot) and enjoyed this super easy, tasty dinner with candlelight.


I hope you enjoyed this post and it offers you some inspiration to find easy and cheap ways to eat well! A little creativity and the right ingredients are all you need to whip up a holistic and delicious meal that can nourish you and your whole family.

I will write a post like this quarterly, so look for the next one focusing on winter eats. 🙂

 

Until next time,

xx

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2 comments on “What I Eat in a Week: Autumn 2017 Edition”

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