Lifestyle · vegan

Running Your Best

To some, running is hell. It is the workout that everyone dreads. I felt that way several years ago. But now running has become a regular part of my routine. My running journey has taught me several things. One thing I have learned is that it’s hard to run your best each time. Some days it’s hard to pick up your legs and other days running a half marathon seems like a piece of cake. I want to share advice that helps you run great each time (I’ve also included a helpful graphic).

One of the most important things is fueling your body. For me, following a vegan lifestyle has been the best for my energy levels (and the animals). Plant-based diets are great for cardio workouts. Inflammation levels decrease and your heart health increases. Whatever eating plan you follow, just make sure that on the days you run you are eating more fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and plant sources of protein.

Building a base and wearing the right gear. Running takes patience and it is important to stay consistent with your workout routine. Building a base makes running so much easier and strengthens your muscles overall.  It is also important to wear the right gear. Dress for the weather and also invest in good running shoes. You don’t need tons of Nike gear, but your shoes should be the most expensive part of your running routine. Choose a pair that will last a while and that suits your running needs.

Staying calm and focused. Being calm when you run will improve your breathing and allow you to run longer. Also, focusing on your form will distract you from your sometimes labored breathing and tired legs.

Running at the right time. In my opinion, it is best to run in the early morning or at night. One of the reasons is because it is cooler and you will be less likely to get dehydrated. I also like to run in the evening or morning because it is a good way to either wind down or start the day off right.

My last pieces of advice are: stretch, hydrate, and refuel. You don’t have to do these things in order, but it is super important to grab some water and then stretch. I like to do a quick 10 minute yoga video to loosen my muscles. I will also grab a snack. I like having a banana with some peanut butter or a small smoothie after I run.

I wanted to include this graphic from Aaptiv. Aaptiv is an audio fitness app. It provides workouts and is like having a personal trainer in your ear buds. If you are new to running, I strongly suggest checking this app out. Next month, they are launching new 5k trainings so that will be super helpful to your running routine.

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www.aaptiv.com

I hope this post was helpful! Running is a great way to stay healthy and it always relieves my stress. If you have any other running tips, please leave them in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Check out these posts:

Current Nutrition Favorites

Fruit: Vegan Advice

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Lifestyle

Full Circle

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might think I am a very moody person. Sometimes I try to be motivational, other times I talk about sad experiences. My life is hectic and I have ups and downs (which is normal).

But, I have come to this point in my life where I feel like everything is working out like it’s supposed to be. Trust me, my life is not perfect. I don’t know how to describe it, other than saying that my life has come full circle. As full circle as the life of a 21 year old can be. This doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. I would not necessarily consider myself a wise person. Recently, I’ve just been having this overwhelming feeling that everything is interconnected and that the positives and negatives are meant to happen.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives. We don’t stop to think about everything around us. We don’t notice the small flowers in sidewalk cracks. We don’t pay attention to the beggars on the street corners. Humans are all ego sometimes. But, sometimes there are magical moments where it all makes sense. Moments where an overwhelming feeling of gratitude surrounds us. These moments come and go so quickly. They happen to us because we need to be reminded to slow down, to breathe, and to enjoy life.

Thanks for reading!

Sorry I haven’t been posting regularly. My school and work responsibilities come first.

Coming to an End

Summer Love

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Lifestyle · vegan

A Weekend of Good Eats: Wichita

Kansas isn’t necessarily the most vegan friendly place, but there are some hidden gems. We also have really great grocery stores and farmer’s markets, so if you are in Kansas and can’t find vegan options hit those places up. Anyway, I wanted to share some standout dishes I had last weekend while I was in Wichita.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is great for both herbivores and omnivores. This restaurant has many vegetarian options that can be made vegan and the ingredients are farm fresh. The day I went, they actually had a vegan soup as the special (spinach gazpacho).  The sandwich I ordered was called the Lulu and it had edamame, guacamole, hummus, tomato, and spinach (I think, I can’t quite remember). The bread was wheat toast (no butter). This restaurant was affordable, quiet, satisfying, and had more than one vegan option.

College Hill Deli and Catering 

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This restaurant offers simple Mediterranean dishes. There were many vegetarian options that could’ve be made vegan easily. The hummus was so good! I ordered the falafel sandwich and sweet potato fries. Overall, this was a solid Mediterranean restaurant.

Tuta’s Teriyaki 

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Tuta’s Teriyaki is a very small restaurant offering Thai and Chinese food. I ordered vegetarian pad thai. They use rice noodles instead of egg noodles. I also made sure that there wasn’t fish oil. Not all vegetable pad thai is vegan. The picture doesn’t do this meal justice. It was so yummy and filling!

At My Sister’s House…

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I am so thankful that my family supports my vegan lifestyle. My sister bought tons of fruit for me so I decided to make smoothie bowls. This one has bananas, mangoes, cherries, kale, chia seeds, and vegan protein powder. I topped it with bananas, agave, and mixed nuts.

I ate more last weekend, I just didn’t take a picture of everything. I hope this gives you some vegan inspiration. Thanks for reading!

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Fajitas ~ Vegan Style

Vegan Chili

Lifestyle · vegan

Do I have an Eating Disorder?

For the most part, I have always had a healthy relationship with food. My mother had anorexia in her 20s, so she always warned me against unhealthy eating behaviors. When I was a child, I was under the impression that I was fat and I occasionally got teased for it. That being said, I just ignored the haters and continued to eat the same way. Now looking back at my childhood photos, I was actually normal-sized. Either I thought I was fat and other kids latched onto my insecurities, or someone told me I was and I then believed them. I had some insecurities about my weight like most young girls (this is an idea for another post), but I didn’t excessively think about it.

Fast forward many years, and now I follow a vegan lifestyle and I have been for about 7 months. I started eating plant-based because I was tired of feeling like crap (physically). Then, I made the connection. I realized how viewing animals as products negatively impacts society. I also learned how terrible consuming meat is for the environment. I have another post about the benefits of veganism that I will link at the end.

I don’t know how it started, but I started restricting unintentionally and I also cut out most fats. I was following a HCLF vegan diet. There is nothing wrong with this, but I turned it into a control issue. I was becoming afraid of certain foods and I wasn’t enjoying cooking like I had before. I was becoming a slave to my food. I snapped out of it pretty quickly though. My acne flared up and my hair became very dry and brittle (no, it wasn’t a detox) and this is what caused me to take a look at how I was eating. I started tracking my nutrients and calories to make sure I was adequately eating. I reintroduced healthy fats (nuts, avocados, seeds, etc) into my diet as well. I wasn’t any healthier on this restrictive diet and my body was giving me warning signs. I don’t know if I would consider this experience an eating disorder, but for about two months I definitely had negative feelings about food and was developing restrictive behavior.

I get upset when people associate eating disorders with veganism. But, I also wanted to share my story because I feel it can help others in the vegan community struggling with restrictive behavior. There are so many vegan diets and I think we should all try to find the one that suits our bodies and lifestyle best. Some people thrive on a raw vegan diet and others do best with a whole foods vegan diet. For me, I try to find balance and I listen to my body. I am not suggesting a high fat diet, but I incorporate healthy fats into my mostly high carb and non-processed diet. Some days I want healthy salads and smoothies and other days I want vegan pizza. Please do not obsess about your food! If you are an active person and eating a plant-based diet, you are healthier than most and one tablespoon of olive oil every now and again isn’t going to ruin your health.

Thanks for reading!

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Benefits of Veganism

Lifestyle

Coming to an End

Well, my summer is over. I am excited to be back at school, but I am going to miss my summer break. I had a perfect summer. I traveled and I relaxed. I reflected and I spent time with meaningful people. It could not have been better!

 

I made a video compilation of my summer, check it out here ⇒ https://youtu.be/fLFI82xTRjU

 

Thanks for reading/watching!

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Other posts to check out ~

The Sunflower State

Chasing Sunsets

Savannah Travel Guide

Lifestyle · vegan

Fruit: Vegan Advice

Welcome back to my second post in my vegan advice series! I am addressing fruit today. I cringe when I hear “diet experts” say that you should only eat fruit in moderation. Or that certain fruits are unhealthy because of their glycemic index. As a vegan, these statements just make me laugh. I eat tons of fruit as do a lot of people and I have never had negative experiences from it. If anything eating large amounts of fruit has my improved energy, skin, and health in general.

I know that not everyone agrees with veganism or a plant-based diet, but eating more fruits and vegetables is not a detriment to one’s health.

Here are some of the facts/benefits of high fruit consumption!

  • Most fruits are naturally low in fat and sodium.
  • Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Dietary fiber from fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Also, helps the stomach feel full for longer.
  • Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce risk for heart disease.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.

Source ~https://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruits-nutrients-health

I hope this post was useful. Thanks for reading!

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Vegan Advice: Dorm Rooms

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Lifestyle

Over It

This phrase is common among millennials. “I am over it” or “So over it”. While this has a negative connotation sometimes, I feel it can be positive in certain ways. Moving on from things that don’t suit your life can be extremely beneficial to your mental health.  Sometimes it’s just easier to say that you are over it.

Enjoy my week in pictures! All photos in this post were taken by me.

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I was taking a walk and taking pictures when I thought about this.

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Literally everything used to bother me. I would get upset about the dumbest things.

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I don’t know when it started, but I eventually just kept saying “I’m over it”.

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I eventually said it enough and so I started to believe it.

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I’m “over it” truly. Small inconveniences don’t bother me. I don’t make assumptions about people’s behavior and I don’t stress over events that haven’t happened. I’m not saying that I am completely unphased by anything that happens to me. But by telling myself to “let it go” or “get over it”, I am taking a step in a peaceful direction.

Thanks for reading!

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Vegan Advice: Dorm Rooms

Many people think “going vegan” is hard and I have noticed that a common reason/excuse is college. As a vegan and a college student, I feel I can offer some advice for other vegans in college or people in college wanting to eat more plant-based. I also made a youtube video of some advice and a grocery haul so please check that out also⇒https://youtu.be/hCk-GMHoy8k.

Buy a crate for packaged and dry goods

Most dorms don’t have a full kitchen or if they do, you are not allowed to keep your food in the cabinets for long periods of time. I suggest getting a crate or box to put food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Snacks, legumes, rice, bananas, bread, and potatoes could all be kept in your room.

Stick to affordable, but nutritionally dense food

Rice, quinoa, legumes, bananas, potatoes, and peanut butter are all affordable foods and healthy for the most part. I also suggest buying most of your fruit and vegetables frozen to save money. Frozen fruits and veggies are packaged at peak freshness so you know that you’re getting all of the nutrients that food can offer.

Use mason jars as containers

Instead of having bulky packages lying around, store things in mason jars or other small containers. Saving space is extremely important because dorm rooms are small and on the plus side you can reduce waste by using mason jars.

Label and use containers

This is an obvious one, but label your food. Put your name and the date on the foods you put in the refrigerator. Also, you might want to be a V on your food so people are aware of your dietary restrictions.

Use the community refrigerator or share a mini fridge with your roommate

This goes along with the previous tip. Utilize the community refrigerator that most dorms have or share a mini fridge with your roommate. You don’t need to purchase a lot of cold foods, but plant-based milks, greens, and leftovers should be put in the refrigerator.

Think about investing in a ninja blender or any small blender

I use my blender every day. It allows me to make quick breakfast smoothies and it doesn’t take up too much space.

Use reusable bags

Using reusable bags when shopping not only reduces plastic waste it is also more convenient and you won’t take up space storing old grocery bags.

Don’t get a meal plan

Seriously please don’t waste your money on meal plans. You won’t have that many options other than salads and you will be more tempted to eat animal products. You’ll save money by just shopping for your own groceries.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, if you have anything else to add please leave it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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NOSTALGIA 

Lifestyle · vegan

Current Nutrition Favorites

I’ve always prioritized my health. Lately, I have valued healthy living even more.

I want to share some of my nutrition favorites. Keep in mind that I am vegan and my dietary needs might be different than yours. Do what you think is best based on your diet/lifestyle.

Zinc

Because I eat only plant foods, it is sometimes harder to obtain metals such as Zinc. I started taking zinc because I was experiencing breakouts on the face even though there were no changes in my skincare routine or nutrition. If you are suffering from non-hormonal breakouts on the face; it could be an indication of low Zinc, Vitamin A, or Vitamin K. Some other vegan sources of zinc are flax seeds, kidney beans, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is also good for hair growth.

Spirulina

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I love making smoothies, but I don’t always love massive amounts of spinach in my smoothies. Spirulina is a green powder derived from algae. It is a good source of many nutrients like B-vitamins, protein, and iron. Spirulina also improves energy and digestion. The powder doesn’t have a taste when blended in drinks. I usually only do a half serving because I find that I don’t need a full serving (2 teaspoons).

Track (app)

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You might be wondering how I knew I needed more Zinc. I downloaded an app called Track and you put in your meals and it gives you a breakdown of the nutrients, calories, percentages of macros, and activity. This is a great app, especially for others eating plant-based. If you feel you might be deficient in something, I recommend this app. If you are consistently deficient, then I recommend going to your family doctor and getting a blood test. This app also helps me maintain a low-fat vegan diet (mostly whole foods), which is when I feel the best.

I hope you enjoyed these nutrition favorites! If you have any, please leave them in the comments!

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Check these posts out!

Baked “Fries”

Vegan Chili

Summer Love