Plant Based vs Vegan

Plant Based vs Vegan

IMG_5998Hello friends! Recently I’ve been searching around, finding new people on Instagram and new blogs, etc. And I’ve started to see the term “plant based” come up more than “vegan”. I started to ponder this observation and started to compare the two terms. First off, they are not the same thing. This is a mistake I always made when I say the two phrases. When you’re vegan, you are plant based, right? Right, but you’re only half true. “Vegan” is a life style, “plant based” is a diet.

Being a vegan doesn’t just mean you eat vegan, you ARE vegan. That means you buy vegan clothes and other products throughout your daily life. Once I learned this, I started to take a step back from the whole “Vegan” vibe. I may eat vegan, but I am certainly not a VEGAN. So, I am not plant based, or on a vegan diet. While I respect vegans and understand animal cruelty, I also don’t own vegan mattresses and walk around wearing vegan t-shirts.

Honestly, taking away the whole vegan term out just lifts this weight off my shoulders. When I would tell people I was trying to be vegan, they would judge me whenever I had animal products. “I thought you were vegan?!” By saying I’m plant based, I feel more free. Yes, I eat everything vegans eat but I have a little more freedom when it comes to cravings and binging:) My foundation diet consists of fruits and vegetables but occasionally having some meats. This post is short but it is really just to share the difference between the two terms. The fact that being vegan was a lifestyle went completely over my head, it is not just a diet. Educate yourself and make educated decisions!

– Emma

 

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What I’ve Learned From 4 Months of Being “Veganish”

What I’ve Learned From 4 Months of Being “Veganish”

Yup, still using that “ish” behind vegan because I just can’t cross the bridge yet. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that it is a difficult time to change right now. My dad would be carnivorous if I let him! When he cooks dinner, there is always a staple meat. Trying not to be rude and start a family feud, I take a small portion and pair it with a much larger portion of veggies/starch. But not being fully vegan isn’t the point of this post. I have been eating clean and only having a small amount of meat 2 times a week for about 4 months now, and I feel amazing. I have cut out all dairy and processed foods. The point of this post is to share what I’ve learned, and the habits I now have that have come so naturally. It’s a slow journey (seriously) but I feel my body changing and turning into something great, it’s a feeling I have never felt before.

I’m not one of those vegan freaks that is all natural and blah blah, the kind of label people put on most vegans. The tree huggers. Yes, being veganish has made me mindful of the environment and the foods we put in our bodies, but I’m not crazy about being 100% organic or anything. I try and live a simple life and do what I want. That’s probably what this whole journey has taught me, I can do whatever the hell I want when I’m vegan. Everything is raw and pure. You start looking at the quality of food rather than the quantity. At first, I tried counting calories, and that quickly went out the window. My mind went straight to looking at food as just a number, and that’s not a good mindset. This might just be me, but I’ve learned that when I don’t count calories, I end up eating LESS then if I had counted. I can’t really explain the feeling, but there is nothing like waking up and spending 15 minutes putting together fruits and natural foods and then sitting down and enjoying it care-free. Most people hear the word “vegan” and think of people who don’t shave their arm pits and go to extreme levels when it comes to not eating meat. At least this is what I thought when I was younger 🙂 but I couldn’t be more wrong.

What most people don’t understand is that everyday is an indulgence when you’re vegan. I never crave cookies or processed sweets anymore. It’s not even that I forced myself to cut them out to begin with, everything just naturally went out of my eating routine. Fruit is so sweet and refreshing and I don’t see how any packaged cookie with fake sugars can be better. I even noticed the other day that I haven’t had bread in like 3 months. BREAD, something that isn’t even that bad yet I just naturally don’t feel like eating it anymore. That is what people don’t get, we are not trying to restrict ourselves! Once you take out all the packaged things and animal products, you’re body rejects it the next time you try and at it. I tried a Complete Cookie the other day because I was #hangry and needed a quick fix. They are vegan, and have 16g of protein. After about 3 bites I couldn’t eat anymore of it though. It was so sugary and I could tell my stomach was already upset with it. So, I threw it out. Even though vegan, it was still processed and had added sugars. People tell me ALL the time “fruits have so much sugar”. Yeah, they have a crap ton but that doesn’t mean I’m going to eat a slice of cake instead just because it had less grams of sugar! Quality, my friends, not quantity.

These feelings and opinions I’ve built can really only be fully understood if you’re actually vegan. Like I said, the feeling’s hard to explain. You just become so in tune with your body. I’m sure you’ve heard of vegan people always saying “listen to your body”. I used to read this and be like uhhh I have no idea what my body is telling me. I thought it was stupid. Now, ,4 months later, I totally understand what all those crazy vegans were talking about! Like the Complete Cookie, my body didn’t like it, so I listened, and removed it. You start learning what foods work well with your body and what foods make you bloated and upset. Overall, I love being vegan(ish). And hopefully one day I can get rid of that ish. But for now, I’m taking it day by day, enjoying raw foods and loving every minute of it! That’s all for my rant 🙂 See ya next time.

~ Emma

My Philosophy 

My Philosophy 

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Hello the very few people that read this! This post is kind of for me to clarify things but also to share my thoughts about living a clean lifestyle. If I said I’ve eaten healthy for the majority of my life, I would be completely lying. As humans, we have a tendency to believe we are doing something good but in reality, we just do it in small portions and we really aren’t doing anything at all. I thought I was a healthy person, I ate in moderation and occasionally binged. I worked out regularly, taking off and having no motivation for weeks at a time. This was my definition of “healthy”. This is good right? Ha, no. Over my sophomore year in high school, I started to gain weight like I never had before. Granted, I started taking birth control and also started dating my boyfriend who eats like a maniac so when he ate, I ate. Even though those factors obviously contributed, I was still running and trying to eat “healthy”. I became very upset with myself and just kind of accepted that I was supposed to gain weight.

I now look back on those years (it was only 2 years ago!) and think how much of an idiot I was. I was so concentrated on getting to my dream body that I didn’t pay attention to the crucial, long steps it takes to get there. I was the girl who googled “flat tummy in a week” or “how to get a thigh gap”. Who knew 2 years later I would almost have those things without ever going on some crazy diet or trying some new weight loss trick. I stayed constant, I pushed myself in moderation. I know how it feels, you start something, you’re so excited about it and try it out, then 3 weeks later you see no results so you move onto the next possible solution. You could try ANY diet/workout plan and none will give you results in 3 weeks. The upside of that is ALL of those plans will give you results if you stick to them!

Trust the process. This is a phrase I tell myself a lot. Yes it’s kind of cliche but I’m telling you, trust the process. 2 years ago I would look at these fitness girls saying that phrase and I’d be like easy for you to say, I’ve tried to trust it and I still don’t see results. Well, now that I am starting to see results and feel them, I totally get that they mean! It is easy to trust the process! Do NOT give up! Your body is a precious thing, it takes time to change. When you workout and think to yourself, ok, this is literally doing nothing for me. Trust me, it is! In a month you will be thanking yourself for not giving up. The thing I find people doing nowadays is wanting a quick solution, an easy fix. The truth is, that is totally impossible. We have become impatient to “trusting the process” and letting our body naturally and gradually change. Those quick fixes aren’t permanent, they are temporary because you don’t learn anything from them.

So, my philosophy, what I have learned and what I believe in. I want people to read this and learn. I want girls who are in the place I was in 2 years ago and believe that they are not in a definite hole. My first philosophy is about working out and how long you have to do it for. Now, I absolutely love working out and I HATED it when I started. Working out is a beautiful thing. You are moving your body in the fresh air, building muscle, losing fat, creating a happy heart. What’s not to love about that? Uhhh all the burpees and sprints I have to do!?!? Trust me I used to hate those too! Now I love burpees:) I push myself when working out, everybody should, but I don’t push myself so hard that I create false expectations. I push myself just enough so that my next workout I remember I pushed and remember I can get through my workout without giving up. It’s all about habits. I highly recommend reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

Lastly, eating healthy. Get this out if your head: eating salads and small portions of in healthy foods and occasionally snacking and eating an entire pack of milanos but still think you’ve eaten healthy because it was just one time is NOT healthy. Again, it’s about habits. If you always grab a doughnut after seeing that Krispy Kreme box, or “just have one” cookie, you are creating bad habits. The simplest things can creat the biggest habits. The good thing about that is the simplest things can create good habits. Deciding not to grab that donut, or not to have that cookie, those choices creat habits too. That being said, I don’t force myself to eat healthy, I genuinely want to. This all come with time so stick to it and you will start to feel a difference!!

– Emma

The World of Smoothie Bowls

The World of Smoothie Bowls

bowl 2Hello! This is so cool this is my first post! Ok ok act cool Emma, stop freaking out 🙂

Since smoothie bowls are a big part of my life, I thought that it was only fair to make them the topic of my first blog post. If you know me personally, you know this girl loves her smoothie bowls (and fruit in general). I am constantly posting my creations on snapchat and insta! Unless I am traveling or super busy, I have a smoothie bowl every day. I NEED THEM. haha. But seriously, I do. Ever since I changed my diet to mostly fruits I no longer crave processed foods. Believe me, a year ago you would have seen me pounding some Chips Ahoy! or Milanos like a savage if I had cravings. But now, I simply just eat fruit! It is amazing what a change like that can do to your body.

Even though I have had a bowl almost everyday for about 4 months now, I still get so excited to eat them! Now, if you had a bowl of broccoli or a chicken breast everyday, wouldn’t you get bored of it? Well not with fruits! I am a high school student so I don’t really have the time or money to experiment with exotic fruits and all these weird powders to put into smoothies. My staple fruits that I always have in the fridge/freezer are: Bananas, Strawberries, and Blueberries. I also have Sambazon acai packets that I occasionally use. Those three fruits are the main ingredients to almost all of my smoothie bowls. Now, recently, I have branched out a little and gotten things like blackberries (my obsession right now) and pitaya cubes. And recently I’ve seen frozen cauliflower in smoothies?!? Might have to try that one out. But still, I probably use 2 out of those 3 every time I make a bowl. When posting my creations on the snap, I always get asked how I make them or how I get that creamy consistency. So, I figured I’d right some smoothie bowl rules before you enter into the world completely unprepared.

  1. BANANAS: I don’t think I’ve made a bowl that hasn’t had banana in it. The trick is to FREEZE your bananas. This is how you get that creamy texture, I cannot stress that enough, it is really major key. I typically use 1 1/2 to 2 frozen bananas in my smoothie bowls.
  2. While you’re at it, just go ahead and FREEZE ALL YOUR FRUITS. Leave some in the fridge to top with and blend but freeze the majority. My heart stops every time I see a soupy looking smoothie bowl where the toppings are sinking through the top. It’s like their shouting “help us we are drowning!” This used to be me (gasp!) but I have now become more experienced! By freezing all your fruits you kind of create an ice cream texture once its all blended. So its creamy, but thick enough to hold toppings. Just watch out for brain freezes!
  3. MILK: blending only frozen fruits won’t really work so you need to put some type of liquid in there. People use all kinds like coconut water to yogurt. Personally, I like just adding a splash of almond milk. It really doesn’t take much and you can always add more. Remember: more milk = more soupy 😦
  4. PEANUT BUTTER: aha, now we are getting to the good stuff. Although highly fattening, peanut butter is my life and it should be everyone’s life. I use wayyyyy more than the serving size when putting it in my bowls but you gotta live a little. Typically, I put about 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter in the blender. If I’m making one where pb is a key ingredient then obviously I’ll use more. Also, you have to take another spoonful and just eat it from the spoon while making your smoothie, take it like an initiation to the smoothie bowl world. Peanut butter really just adds more creaminess and a little bit of taste.
  5. BLEND: I don’t blend in steps, I just put everything in and let it do it’s thing. I have a Ninja blender, Vitamix is a good one too. I will blend on low for about 10 seconds and then grab a spatula and scarp the sides down to the bottom so everything gets mixed in. I do this a couple of times actually, blending for a couple of seconds and then stirring everything.
  6. EAT: Tada! You made a smoothie bowl! Welcome to the club. Top your bowl with whatever you like. I typically use the fruits I used in my bowl but whatever floats your boat. Oh! I’ve been using rawnola recently and it is so good! I’ll do a recipe soon! Now take a pic of that bowl before you poke that peanut butter covered spoon in it. Haha I literally sprint up the stairs to my picture spot after I make mine. Take your time eating and savor every bite, because every bowl is different! Enjoy!

– Emma