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.

Runyourbest.graphic
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 · 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 · 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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Current Nutrition Favorites

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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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Lifestyle · vegan

Start Your Day Off Right

We all have heard a million times how important it is to start your day off  “right”. I was never a morning person. Recently, I have made it a priority to wake up on time and develop good morning habits. Getting a positive start truly makes a difference!

Drink Water!

We hear this all of the time, but how many of us actually drink enough water in the morning? You have to remember that you haven’t had any water for at least 8 hours. Drinking an appropriate amount of water in the morning helps digestion and also gives us energy to tackle the day. Water can also reduce blemishes and dark under eye circles.

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Nourish Your Body

You must eat or drink something nutritious. If you don’t want a cooked meal or if your stomach is upset, then go for a fruit and vegetable smoothie. If you want something hot, oatmeal is always a good choice or even toast with your favorite toppings.

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Journal

I like to write in the morning to get my brain juices flowing. I try to write at least a page. I usually write down the dreams I had the night before or quotes I like. I also like to write about what I want to accomplish that day or that week.
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Listen to Music 

If I am more tired than usual in the morning I like to turn on some music. This makes me want to move more and it gives me more energy. It also allows me to concentrate on writing. I do this during the school year if I have homework.

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Get Moving 

Lounging on your bed in the morning will make it harder to accomplish things throughout the day. Being active in the morning promotes a full and satisfying day. You don’t have to do an intense workout. You can simply go on a walk or spend some time stretching.

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I hope you enjoyed my tips on starting your day off right!

Featured Picture source ~ blog.furnishedquarters.com. All other pictures in this post are mine!

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Lifestyle · vegan

Baked “Fries”

Who doesn’t love French Fries?!

I love fries, but I don’t love fatty and salty foods. Baked fries are a healthy alternative to traditional fries.

First, preheat your oven to 450°. Then, cut one Russet Potato into wedges. Place wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I don’t use a lot of oil when cooking, so I drizzled water over the potato wedges and then added seasoning. I used water because I wanted the wedges to be crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. I added garlic powder and cumin (I know it sounds weird). Just use whatever seasoning you like. Then you bake the wedges for 12 minutes on each side.

If you still want to use a little oil that’s fine, you just don’t need to drown the wedges in olive oil. These are great for when you’re craving junk food, but still want to have a semi-healthy meal.

Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyle · vegan

Vegan Chili

This is not the most summer friendly recipe, but if you want something filling and hearty then you need to make this chili.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pinto beans.
  • 1 cup of corn or 1 can.
  • 1 Onion (yellow or white).
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce or paste.
  • 1/2 an avocado.
  • 1 sweet potato.
  • Seasoning
    • 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin.
    • 1 tablespoon of chili powder.
    • Cilantro (optional).

Directions:

~Cook the beans according to the package, you can also add black beans if you want. Drain any excess liquid and add in the corn, tomato, and onion. Cook this mixture for about 15 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce/paste and seasoning mixture. If you want a thicker texture use tomato paste. Cook the chili for about 30 minutes. You can let it sit for a while if you want, I find the flavors absorb more that way.

~I also made some sweet potato “dippers”. For this, you just chop the sweet potato into wedges and bake for 12 minutes on each side (450 degrees). I just put salt on them, but you can use whatever seasonings you want. I also topped the dish with avocado slices.

If you have a favorite vegan chili recipe tell me about it in the comments!

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Lifestyle · vegan

Breakfast Smoothie + 200 Follows

I’ve probably posted a smoothie recipe already, but I wanted to post an updated one. Lately, I’ve been loving a smoothie in the morning before I workout. I don’t have a full size blender, I have a ninja single serve blender so keep that in mind when following this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • At least 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • I cup of spinach or 1 tbsp of Super Greens Powder
  • 1 tbsp of ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Splash of aloe vera juice
  • Splash of plant-based milk (I typically use soy or cashew)

This smoothie fills me up and aids in digestion. Also, the high fruit content is good for skin health and hydration. This smoothie gives me energy to start my day and it is full of nutrients. If you want to make this sweeter add a little bit of agave or maple syrup. If you want to turn this into a smoothie bowl, add more banana for a thicker texture.

I also wanted to thank everyone that reads my blog! I have reached 200 followers and 1,000 total likes. For some people, this might not seem like a lot. But, I am so grateful that people enjoy and get value from my content!

 

 

 

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