Nutrition of Mental Health

You are what you eat.

The nutrients (and chemicals) from your food are the building blocks that your body must use to carry out your body functions. If you don’t give your body the right fuel, how could it possibly function properly?

This infograph explains the many ways in which your guy is connected to your brain. Continue reading

5 Tips to Thrive During Your First Vegan Week

Deciding to transition to a plant based diet is a big (exciting) decision. You’re probably about to change your diet and eating habits in pretty significant ways. These changes will positively impact your health and wallet.

At first, any change can seem difficult or overwhelming. Be patient and enjoy all the new experiences and tastes!

It’s important to be openminded. If you spend all your time thinking about how much you miss cheese or view your new diet as a punishment, you probably won’t be the happiest vegan on the block. Life advice – bad attitudes never help a situation.

With the tips below and the other RESOURCES and MEALS posted on Flavors of Living you realize eating healthy (plant based or not) .

1. Crowd out animal products.

Rather than focusing food you’re removing from your diet, focus on all the new foods you’ll be adding. Last year, I had no idea how to use a chia seed and was intimidated by tofu. Now, I eat them daily and in a variety of ways.

Don’t  run out and buy a bunch of things you’ve never tried before. One day at a time! Changing to a plant-based diet can be overwhelming. So, start simple. Chances are, you already have a good amount of ingredients to get you started and can buy the rest at any grocery store. Take it one step at a time and enjoy your new diet.

To begin, make a list of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and other animal free ingredients like and of those you would like to try. Next to those, list several ways you would like them prepared. Think about which items might pair well together. Tomatoes, onions, and pasta or HUMMUS, cucumbers, red peppers and PITA BREAD for example. Loaded baked potatoes and smoothies are a great way to combine your favorite fruits and vegetables. Continue reading

Welcome

Welcome to Flavors of Living!

I’ve been sharing my health journey (with lots of yoga, delicious vegan foods, and a healthy dose of self care) casually on social media for a year now. Over that time, I’ve started to hear from more and more individuals with questions or positive feedback about something I had shared.

Driven by the desire to reach more people, to better provide resources and recipes, and to show that healthy living can be easy and affordable, I created Flavors of Living (the blog!).

Flavors of Living will feature easy recipes to help you feel your best, affordable meals for busy lives, and ways to lead a healthy, compassionate lifestyle.  

To get started –

Check out some of my favorite recipes- Nut Butter Wrap IdeasTofu Scramble Tacos, and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Check out beginner cook/vegan resources- Cooking Without RecipesGrocery ListVegan Resources, and Recipe Resources

Check out healthy lifestyle posts- 15 Simple Acts of Self Care6 Reasons to Stay Hydrated

I welcome and encourage your feedback! Flavors of Living will change based on feedback in order to meet the community’s needs and desires. I wish you much health and happiness on your wellness adventure and look forward to sharing this small piece of it with you.

Cooking Without Recipes

                Knowing how to cook and create in the kitchen (without spending hours or your whole paycheck) is a huge step towards empowering yourself to live a healthy life. 

Whether you’re looking to transition to a plant-based diet or trying to eat healthier, learning how to cook (without a recipe) is a good place to start.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the standard American diet is literally killing us, people still have endless reasons about why they don’t eat a healthy diet. Though there are many variations of them, these excuses are usually centered around three issues –

  1. Not having the time.
  2. Not having enough money.
  3. Not enjoying the taste.

Some of these excuses simply don’t have merit. By saving you time and money (while increasing how much you enjoy your food), learning to cook without a recipe helps solve all three of the root excuses as to why you can’t eat healthy.

If you’ve ever felt frustrated that things aren’t going smoothly in the kitchen and like you’re spending too much time making meals, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there! Like most people, when I began trying to eat healthier, I was relying on recipes for most meals (especially for dinners or entertaining).

Every meal took a few trips to the grocery store, required so many dishes, and took forever. But, I felt like I would end up with an inedible mess if I didn’t consult the recipe every 90 seconds. Relying on the directions so heavily was exhausting and made cooking a chore. Even though I was cooking more and more, I still felt so unsure of myself in the kitchen.

After one too many frustrating 8pm dinners, I stopped searching Pinterest for my meal planning and started with what I knew (the basics..). As I began to gain some confidence at the stove, I started experimenting with my meals. I was the chef and I knew what I liked to eat better than anyone so, why not make it just how I liked it?

Continue reading

Nut Butter Wrap Ideas

Peanut butter wraps are one of my go-to snacks (or meals if I add some fruit on the side). They’re loaded with protein, plus they really satisfying.

These wraps are a perfect answer to “what can I take for lunch?” and a great way to transition into a plant based diet.

Basic formula = Tortilla + Peanut Butter + Limitless toppings

General Tips

  • I love Crazy Richard’s/Krema’s smooth peanut butter. It’s only about $0.65 more than Jif. To avoid salt, sugar, hydrogenated and palm oils, it’s worth it. It’s super smooth and has 8 grams of protein per serving, which makes it a delicious way to get some protein in.
  • Ground flax and chia seeds are a great  way to add protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Avoid a big mess and leave an inch before the edge.
  • Sprouted wheat tortillas are the way to go. They are super healthy and contain more protein and fewer carbohydrates. I love the Food for Life products. (Bonus – they help if you have a mild sensitivity to gluten!)

Continue reading

Roasted Root Vegetables

This dish couldn’t be simpler and more versatile. You can use whatever potatoes (or any root vegetables really!), spices, and oils you have on hand.

It takes about 10 mins of prep (from washing to potato to doing the dishes). Then you just pop it in the oven and do whatever else needs to get done! After 45 minutes or so, a healthy real dish is ready (plus it’s vegan and gluten free to boot!).

This dish naturally makes a great side. But with a few simple adjustments it can easily be served as an appetizer or entree (just add a big salad or serve yourself a plate full and you’re all set). Continue reading

Recipe Resources

Food is so important to me. Cooking for others is one way I show I care. Creating new flavors in the kitchen is one way I express my creativity. Eating healthy, whole, plant-based meals is one way I respect myself and my world.

Because of that, I really leaned into cooking when transitioning to a plant based diet. I found some awesome websites, books, and real kitchen inspirations. Every recipe doesn’t turn out how you envisioned but that’s part of the process. It’s all about learning so just get started.

I’ve included some below for your references. Check them out and get cooking!

                                                                         Follow me on Instagram for the latest updates and show me what you’re up to by using #flavorsofliving


Thug Kitchen

‘eat like you give a f*ck’

I started cooking from this blog well before I transitioned to a plant based diet (I may have been eating chicken when I first tried it..) I was hooked. The recipes are that good. Plus, the hilarious, raunchy language pulls you in.

I have both cookbooks (The Official Cookbook and Party Grub from TK). Both have been well worth the investment. Since I’m always drawing inspiration from TK, its nice to have the books to keep notes and adaptations in.

The Official Cookbook is awesome for beginner cooks or vegans. There’s a whole section on how to stock your pantry, what different cooking terms mean, and more great info. Continue reading