Remember when we had snack time at school?

Heyyy Healthy People!!!

I hope everyone had an awesome Thursday! I wanted to blog about SNACKS. Remember when it was so much fun to hang out during snack time in our grade school years? Pass the snacks, trade your mom’s cookies for someone’s mom’s other type of cookies. HA.

Well tonight I wanted to blog about VEGAN snacks since that’s what I have been eating and I think it would be great even if you don’t want to become a vegan to eat vegan option from time to time. Or maybe a way to transition into a more vegan focused lifestyle. Have you seen Forks Over Knives? You can rent it on Netflix and it’s a MUST see.

Here’s a few:

ANDDD for all of you non-vegan’s I hope your face isn’t like this:

1.) Veggies and Hummus…mhmm (I like to add fresh chopped up Garlic to my hummus)

2.) SOY Yogurt!!! Check it out: I get the vanilla and love to add frozen raspberries to it, SOOO good!

VEGAN!

3.) Handful of pretzels

4.) OREOS?? WHO knew these were Vegan?? Pretty cool/full of sugar so eat in moderation!

5.) Edamame!

6.) Vegan Trail Mix (Just look at the ingredients or buy at a specified vegan section, a lot have yogurt bits and chocolate etc…)\

7.) Rice Cakes…you can spread Natural PB on them or add garlic powder!

8.) Nuts and Sunflower Seeds

9.) Granola Bars or Protein Bars (just double check the ingredients, no eggs, dairy, butter etc etc etc)

10.) Organic Applesauce

11.) Banana Chips

12.) Any fruit Obviously!

13.) Or veggies mhmmm

14.) Smoothie!

15.) Veggies with  goddess dressing

16.) Dried fruit such as dates, mangos, raisins (beware a lot of these have added sugars)

17.) Popcorn! You can top it with nutritional yeast! (make sure it’s air popped, everything else has butter on it!)

18.) Banana or organic apple with Peanut Butter

So these are just a few options but you can get fun and creative with vegan cheeses and dressings and stuff! The whole idea is to not go hungry and have everything be tasty and satisfying!

As this week finishes I have exactly one more week of classes in my undergraduate career. Seems crazy to me how fast time has flown by! I look forward to moving back down to Florida and Working at my new job at Athletic Edge in Bradenton, FL. But I will miss JMU more than I can probably even imagine at this point. So blessed and thankful for all of these experiences and opportunities.

Have you been keeping up with this week’s fitness challenge?

Don’t forget to head over to my FITfloridian Facebook page and like it!!!

Enjoy your day tomorrow.

Happy eating and exercising!!!

XOXO,

Jess

ZUMBA Playlist!!! Slash rock out and dance with your hairbrush music…

Hey Healthy People!!!

My life is sakdjfsjkdf–> or at least there really isn’t a word to describe how it feels! I have less than two weeks left of my college career left and I’m doing my best to cherish these last moments but could it possibly be any busier? Nope.

Me writing my 35 page paper all I can think about is:

I cannot wait to have my booty on the beach with Luke Bryan music blasting and all the time in the world to relax and work on my tan 🙂

I have SO many things on my mind that I’d like to post about…thanks to soem readers for your great ideas (Sam, Katie, Lauren, Jess..etc etc)! I really appreciate it.

But wait! You know what today is? The 17th!…MY VEGAN MONTH CHALLENGE WAS over on the 12th…and I didn’t even know. So I’ll be posting about this soon because who knew I would actually want to keep the challenge going???

 

 

Tonight’s Zumba Class was SO much fun. I needed it to release some stress with all of the school work and demand of the next couple of days. Moooove your booty!

The Playlist:

1.) Shake Senora Remix by Pitbull Ft. T-Pain, Sean Paul and Ludacris

2.) Call Me Maybe? by Carly Rae Jepsen (thanks to a few friends for choreographing this in my living room Friday night…this was popular!)

3.) Que Te Pica by Notch (fast feet ohhhh yeahhh)

4.) We Found Love by Rihanna Ft. Calvin Harris (hammer up, in out in, step right/left walk walk walk 3skis, shoulders—athletic part…aka died this song and the next…these are choreogrpahed based on STRIDE which is a blend oh hip/hop and athletic conditioning/plyo moves that I learned at a Fitness Expo.)

5.) Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada (you will be soooo sweaty here, water break after!)

6.) Pegate by Grupo Treo (one of my faves–jersey shore anyone?)

7.) Shawty Got Moves by Get Cool (Sexual…)

8.) Pa’arriba by Descemer Bueno (new one, kumbia rhythm…might of did improv choreo on this one…woops! 😉

9.) Rain Over Me by Pitbull Ft. Marc Anthony (show me attttitude)

10.) Rompe Remix [edited] by Daddy Yankee (cardio, knees galore)

11.) Fuego by Kumbia Kings (everyone sings the chorus and I LOVE it ❤ )

12.) Mueve La Booty by Raul Acosta y Oro Solido (move your booooty)

13.) La fiesta Ya Se Encendio (merengue)

14.)  Bon, Bon by Pitbull (How low can you go?)

15.) Jai Ho! by A.R. Rahman and the Pussy Cat Dolls (clearly a classic)

16.) Boyfriend by Justin Bieber (this song is sexy and Justin is an adult now right…?? haha jk)

17.) Come Away to the Water by Maroon 5 (Coold down/hunger games discussion)

How’s the fitness challenge of the week coming? Click here if you need a reminder!

I hope you all have a fantastic day tomorrow…reminder…not sure how you could forget but it’s WINESDAY! Celebrate Wednesday Wine Night, it’s a tradition 😉

 

Happy Eating and Exercising!

xoxo,

Jess

“It’s Tricky” Meat vs. Veganism…video #2

Hey Healthy People!

Okay. So I played around with the imovie applicaiton on my computer and added some cool effects to my next video blog about meat and veganism/vegetarianism.  This is just a stream of consciousness concerning a few of the ideas floating around my mind as I research and educate myself on diet and nutrition. I hope you enjoy it!

I hope you laughed at least once. The focus here is incorporating healthier choices into your everyday lifestyle. Try eating more veggies and fruits. You will feel remarkable!!!

Let this not be us:

BUT RATHER: Make healthy choices. You will feel great and it just might secretly influence others around you. “It’s Tricky” how that works 😉

XOXO,

J

FITNESS CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: Workout for 30 min at least each business day of the week. Can YOU do it??? “Feel sore or feel sorry”!!!!

Breakfast > All other meals.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and therefore breakfast foods can be consumed at any point throughout the day… Breakfast for dinner anyone?  In the morning however, it is also substantially one of the most important meals because you are essentially breaking the fast. Waking up your metabolism and preparing for the day. If you skip breakfast you are more likely to have cravings and eat unhealthy throughout the day.

So this whole vegan thing is realllllly changing me. I’ve read a few books on it, watched a few documentaries and as my personal experience can confirm it is definitely challenging. But is it worth it? Almost two weeks into the process and I would say…yes.

I know in the beginning of the experiment I was almost pained by the difficulties of becoming a vegan.  I was naive in assuming it wouldn’t be that large of a change between being a vegetarian to a vegan (I mean we already both ate lots of tofu)… I even posted how ridiculous it is to confine yourself to something so restrictive.  But after educating myself on a lot of different issues I find myself leaning towards the vegan lifestyle completely. I mean we as humans are the only species that drinks another animals milk? weird huh.

 

Well anyways here are my top ten VEGAN Breakfast foods:

 

1.) Irish Style Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with berries and agave syrup

2.) Cereal (I prefer Hearty Bran) with Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I love unsweeted vanilla almond milk)

3.) Amy’s Brand Tofu Scramble-doesn’t taste like eggs but it’s good!

4.) Breakfast Burrito sans eggs, WW tortilla with black beans and veggies.

5.) Green Power Smoothie with Soy Protein instead of designer whey

6.) Vegan Pancakes: Apparently (Haven’t tried this yet) You can replace each egg with 1 T ground flaxseeds and 2 T water, and sub soymilk with a little bit of cider vinegar for the buttermilk.  Instead of all white flour I recommend subbing half for whole wheat and always topping with some fruit!

7.) Fruit Salad! All your favorite fruits. Sprinkle some Truvia (stevia naural sweetener) if you need some extra sweetness.

8.) Frozen Vegan Waffles! I like the Van’s Lite or Blueberry Kinds

9.) Soy Yogurt (check the labels, some have milk products, I prefer Silk in Raspberry)

10.) Vegan Breakfast Bar (when you’re on the go!)

 

So now that you have a few breakfast options, maybe think about incorporating more Vegan meals into your everyday routine. You too might find some benefits in veganism, one bite at a time.

 

 

 

Happpy eating!!!

xoxo,

J

P.S. Monday starts a new fitness challenge of the week, make sure you are keeping up with this week’s parking as far away as possible from any place you drive to! (ie grocery store)

I think I’m going to start eating…meat?

MEAT!!!!!!!!! Okay WHOA. You probably read that and were very confused as I am still currently in the process of experimenting with veganism and haven’t eaten meat in 18+ years…yikes.

 

YOU probably look like this:

Well I’ve only been doing this no-animal products whatsoever food plan for 3 days now and it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t feel that it is actually healthy for you. There is only carbs, sugar, nuts, soy, fruits and veggies.  I agree that a lot of the recipes are healthy for you and therefore you should incorporate them into your diet but to restrict yourself so heavily seems foolish (not to say that if that is your lifestyle you are wrong, I just simply do not agree with all of the health benefits). Red meat I don’t think I could ever do.

That includes as my outfit….gross.

 

Especially considering all of the research about how detrimental it is to your body. But. Could I do chicken? turkey? I think I could. So I propose my next experiment, once this one is over is to start incorporating poultry and fish into my diet. I think our bodies do need this type of food.  Maybe not necessarily this but to not eat any egg or milk product is extremely difficult. Veganism is leading me to have all these crazy food cravings and I just don’t feel…satisfied.

 

I think it is harder for our bodies to digest and break down the proteins and calories found in fish and poultry, eggs, etc…and thus we feel fuller longer.

 

The experience of not eating meat for so long and then beginning to work some white meat into my diet will be extremely interesting (at least for me) because at this point my body isn’t used to digesting it. And from what I hear…it isn’t a nice process.

 

So that will be “the meaty diaries”…coming soon.

 

Happy eating. Hope you all already planned when you are fitting in tomorrow’s workout!!! Stay active, be fit, and feeeeel FABULOUS!

 

xoxo,

J

 

Grocery Shopping Vegan Style Day Two

I find grocery shopping somewhat therapeutic. It may be the secret motherly instinct I have…or I could just really be weird, but there is something about strolling up and down the aisles checking out the fresh fruits and veggies, and thinking about the meals you will be able to cook that week.

VEGAN SHOPPING = totally different.

 

You have to literally examine each ingredient in the item. It took me over an hour searching through the aisles. Luckily I had somewhat of a plan before going into the healthy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, section at the grocery store…but it didn’t help that much. I was so confused. I would find something that I would assume is 100% vegan and it was UNTIL the last shrivel of an ingredient “may contain fragments of egg whites.” Welllllllll…..

 

 

So it was very frustrating not gonna lie…buuuut I did get to find a few new things I liked such as frozen gluten free, wheat free blueberry waffles! I also realized how expensive it is to buy these products. For half the amount of groceries I usually get it was nearly equivalent in price =( womp womp.

 

I usually always check the nutrition information but with this new change I am really paying attention to it. One trend I have noticed is that there is a high amount of sugar in a lot of these products. I feel like maybe this is a mechanism to add flavor or taste…but for people assuming this food is “healthy” and eating it solely for that purpose, they’re in for a rude awakening. The packaged products can be almost as bad for you as the non-vegan ones.

 

So these are most of the groceries I left with:

 

Had to get the soy protein powder for my favorite post-workout/breakfast shakes! Not really that excited to try the vegan jerky…but that should be interesting at least!

 

Couldn’t forget the essential vitamin you have to take on the Vegan plan:

It's pretty cool, you just put it under your tongue and it dissolves...cherry flavored?

 

Anyways I am now having much more respect for the little difference I originally thought existed between Vegans and Vegetarians. I’ve always had a challenge with the constraints of vegetarianism / pescatarianism but veganism is absolutely the most difficult.

 

Look forward to future recipes and experiments in the kitchen!!

 

xoxo,

J

 

There’s a first time for everything: Day 1

Day numero uno. My last couple hours of spring break are spent in Florida before I am back on a plane to Virginia for the last time of my undergraduate career. Today (monday) I fly back to JMU…definitely will miss Florida but looking forward to the last 8 weeks and then Graduation cinco de mayo!

Traveling is already difficult sometimes to stick to healthy choices and for some reason I thought it would be a bright idea for me to start this whole vegan thing today…

Morning Breakfast was a Power Green Smoothie. I’ve posted about this smoothie before. Some people find it absolutely disgusting that you could put spinach in a smoothie….

This is the face I usually get:

But in all honesty it is a great way to pack in some veggies and iron and you can barely taste it at all. In fact, I prefer this smoothie compared to the sugary ones you find elsewhere. My friend Chris joked that this must SEVERELY affect ones bowel movements… but it does not.  If it does, it is merely attempting to regulate them if they were not on the right ehhh “track” lets say. Although his jokes were extremely funny about this smoothie (and everything else in life…my cheeks hurt from giggling so much), I think if he would have tried it he would have been surprised by its good taste. BUT as I was double checking all the ingredients…there was MILK in the freaking protein powder. The french vanilla powder which makes the smoothie creamy and tasty…was not VEGAN. FAIL. So I tried the smoothie without the powder, and decided it was definitely not as good. But downed it anyways.

Step One.

Step Two.

At the Airport I was on a hungry hunt to find vegan food.

HA.

Anyways after a while I found some trail mix and veggies and hummus…..

But I couldn't eat the pita =( womp womp

I landed in Dulles around 4:30 pm and was definitely ready to eat on the way back. I road tripped it back with one of my group fitness friends, Jackie.  What a wonderful person. You know you are blessed when whatever state you are in you have great friends!

By the end of the day I was like:

I would love to have some fro-yo. We always want what we can’t have.

I am glad day one is over.

Veganism is harder than I expected.  Happy eating!

xoxo,

J

You always want what you can’t have…?

Every single time I read the list of ingredients and it looks good until “contains milk”…this is how I react.

When I find something that tastes good and is VEGAN:

;

Hallelujah!

My problem right now is that I literally don’t have any time yet to cook and experiment in the kitchen. AND EVERYTHING that I originally thought would be healthy and vegan has some sort of animal product hidden in the label.

I have to go teach Zumba now but I will be back later for a detailed diary of yesterday’s first day of veganism (while traveling…)

xoxo,

J

P.S. Challenge of the week: ALWAYS USE THE STAIRS. Not one elevator or escalator. Can YOU do it?</strong

The Eve of Veganism

Tomorrow I become a full on vegan for a month. The 12th to the 12th. The reason I am doing this challenge is in part because of the comments by a few readers who have some experience with veganism as well as just a cleanse for myself. Sometimes it is good to change up what we eat every now and then, at least in my opinion, to give our body a sort of detox from what it is constantly consuming.  So this weekend was a tad bit dramatic but included all of the foods I was going to go without.  Erego, the last supper (s).

Two Sushi Rolls for my Goodbye Dinner

 

 

Sushi might be one of my absolute favorite foods so I will be sad to see it go but I am really looking forward to noticing any changes in my body and energy. Tonight I had a sister FROYO date with my mini me.

Sydney ❤

 

 

My friends have had a lot to say or rather “laugh” at with this whole plant based diet I believe in. From jokes about how my future kids are going to go crazy when they hit their teens and rebel by eating McDonald’s hamburgers…to how I am out of my mind, our bodies NEED meat. I am a firm believer that healthy food is what fosters a healthy soul.  And what we eat greatly effects our susceptibility to illness, fatigue, diseases etc. For the most part I am really laughing too…I mean they all have great points that I can only fight to a certain degree.  And I understand that because I haven’t had red meat since I was four years old it is much easier for me to convert to what is deemed such a radical dietary change.

 

Essentially, this process is going to be an exciting month. I run the Shamrock Half Marathon next Sunday in Virginia Beach and for the first time in any race I will not be starting it off with a Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar.  This diet will take time to be thoughtful about and experiment within the kitchen and it will encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone when eating out. I plan on buying a cookbook as soon as I’m back in Virginia. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

 

Bring it on plant based foods!

xoxo,

J