These vegan, Eat to Live friendly treats aren't really cookies. More like breakfast bars, but calling them cookies makes me love them more. They are Eat to Live Friendly, vegan, and delicious.
Eat to Live Friendly Pizza (no crust!)
Preheat oven to 350. Blend oats in a blender to create an oat flour. I leave mine a little chunky.Mash bananas in a mixing bowl, add peanut butter, and vanilla.Add in oats and mix until combined.Form cookies on your parchment paper covered cookie sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings
This pizza saved my Eat to Live 6 Week Challenge. I love pizza (who doesn't?), and I needed to find a pizza recipe that was Eat to Live friendly, and satisfied my craving. Well, this pizza did the trick!
Eat to Live Friendly Pizza (no crust!)
1. Slice tofu into four square slabs by cutting down the long edge2. Dip each slab in the nutritional yeast and make sure it is all coated.3. Sprinkle each slab with the Italian seasoning.4. Lay on a greased pan or parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.5. Remove from oven. Add a layer of tomato paste, sprinkle again with the Italian seasoning.6. Add toppings (anything you’d add on a normal pizza) and vegan cheese if you want. I don’t really love most of the affordable vegan cheeses, so I don’t usually add any.7. Return to oven for about 10 minutes to let your toppings cook.8. Allow to cool and then enjoy!
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings
I'm calling this My Everyday Oatmeal Breakfast because I could eat this every day and never get bored of it, and most days I do eat it!, especially when the weather is cold. It is filling, warming, and satisfying.
My Everyday Oatmeal Breakfast
Combine oats and water in a microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave for 5 minutes on medium power. If you don’t do this, your oatmeal will bubble out of your bowl and make a huge mess. You’re welcome. ;) Alternatively, you can cook it on your stove top or in big batches in your crock pot.Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and enjoy.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving
I love this stir fry sauce! It is vegan and if you’re doing the Eat to Live Challenge then you can substitute the soy sauce for tamari or liquid aminos. It goes well with just about any vegetable and makes tofu decadent. Best of all, it is versatile. If I feel like ginger or spice, I can add it or not and still end up with a delicious meal. If you don’t like tahini, use peanut butter. I’ve even added a little nutritional yeast and balsamic and put it on my salad. You can make big batches if you plan on using it often, but honestly, it takes about 3 minutes to throw together so I just make it as I need it.
Easy Tahini Stir Fry Sauce
Combine ingredients in a mason jar and shake them up.Pour onto your stir fry about five minutes before you are finished cooking.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
Since becoming vegan and doing the Eat to Live 6 week challenge, I have become OBSESSED with lentils! How did I ever live without this recipe in my life? I make it, or some variation on it, twice a week most weeks. Want the scoop on the variations? Sometimes I use white potatoes, tofu, chickpeas, or cauliflower instead of sweet potatoes. I also sometimes use split chickpeas (also called chana dal) instead of lentils.
Super Simple Lentils with Sweet Potato
Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook, covered, about 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to make sure you don’t completely run out of liquid and burn it (like I did).When lentils and sweet potato are cooked through you can serve with rice.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings
This is Part 3 of my three part series on my experience doing the Eat to Live Six Week Challenge. This challenge is outlined in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. In this part, I will give an overview of how Damian and I have decided to proceed after the 6 week challenge.
No one having completed this challenge, who experienced such an improvement to the quality of their life that I did would go back to eating the Standard American Diet. Damian and I both knew we wanted to continue with a slightly less stringent version of the Eat to Live Plan, but what did that mean?
Our Life Plan:
Mostly Whole Foods
I try to exclude as much processed food as I can, and I include all the whole foods I can.
No Animal Products
During Week 6, I discovered some informational and inspiring videos on YouTube made by whole food vegans. I started learning more about veganism and plant based eating, and the more I learned, the more I was inspired to give up animal products for good. So I did. Damian occasionally (like once a month) has sushi or some other treat, but I am 100% done with eating animal products.
A Salad a Day
The HUGE salad a day keeps me feeling good, and keeps me eating right because instead of salad for lunch I would probably have something quick and easy and highly processed. I also just love salad, so it works out.
Breakfast is Boring
I keep breakfast boring. I don’t want to think about it. I have oatmeal or in warmer weather I have cereal (the less processed the better).
Cheat Days are Okay
Occasional cheat days are ok. There are vegan options in my area for eating out when we are in a rush (any one try Taco Bell’s vegan menu? It’s not half bad!), and sometimes I just want chocolate cake or french fries.
I struggled with wanting more grains than the 1 cup. I decided that it is probably fine to enjoy a bit more than that. Most days I eat around 2 cups of grains or potato a day.
So that’s the plan! I can’t say that I am great at sticking to it all the time. I have not purposefully eaten any animal products since before the Six Week Challenge, but some days I don’t eat my salad, or I have a couple too many cheat days, but life isn’t about being perfect. So this is the plan I strive to follow, and I mostly do! And it has to be good for me because I feel amazing!
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for more information!
This is Part 2 of my three part series on my experience doing the Eat to Live Six Week Challenge. This challenge is outlined in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. In this part, I will give an overview of my experience during the six weeks.
I was so excited to start eating healthy (and hopefully to start feeling like a human again) that I started the challenge a day earlier than I originally proposed to Damian. We started February 28th, 2017. I was enthusiastic. Damian was skeptical, but supportive and 100% along for the ride.
This is what I ate that first day:
Breakfast: Strawberries and bananas sprinkled with ground flax seed, a coffee with almond milk creamer and unsweetened almond milk
Lunch: a huge bowl of veggie soup (barley, butternut squash, black beans, kale, cauliflower, diced tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms)
Dinner: A HUGE salad (spinach, iceberg, black beans, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and cucumber)
Dessert: Pear and half an ounce of cashews
It was a simple way of eating, and just right for the first day of the challenge. There is a learning curve with this new way of eating. It takes time to find recipes that you love, but these basic staples will keep you satisfied until you find them.
That first day went well, and I felt great. I was starving before I ate my lunch and a little lightheaded, but that was the most discomfort and hunger I felt all day. I ended the day encouraged.
Week 1 and 2 were by no means easy, however. I fought cravings, and in between meals I would become very hungry right before it was time to eat again. I dreamed of cheeseburgers, but I told myself, I could have one in 6 weeks, and that I’d eaten enough cheeseburgers in my life that six weeks without one wouldn’t kill me.
By the end of week 2, I was noticing a difference in my energy levels. I still wasn’t ready to jump out of bed in the morning and do 100 jumping jacks, but I had more energy for longer in the day. Before starting the Eat to Life Challenge, I’d crash around 2, and I would be only minimally productive the rest of the day. Now I was still feeling energetic until about 8 o’clock. At this point, Damian wasn’t feeling any better, but he wasn’t feel worse either. So we kept going.
Week 3 was a turning point because Week 3 was by far the hardest week. I was craving pizza (ie cheese) hard core. It might have been PMS, or it could have been my body screaming out in one last hurrah for its drug of choice, who knows? But Week 3 kicked my butt. I was researching new recipes constantly, searching for something to satisfy this craving. I knew if I couldn’t find something, I was going to struggle through the next three weeks instead of power through them. That is when I came up with the Eat to Live friendly pizza. I thank the universe for this moment of inspiration because I needed it! I pushed through Week 3, and in the end, I was hopeful that I could give up cheese at least for the next 3 weeks and perhaps beyond.
What? You say in outrage! Give up cheese forever!?!? That’s crazy! Believe me, I know how crazy it sounds. At one point, I would have laughed at the idea of giving up cheese, but that was before the Six Week Challenge. More than anything Week 3 taught me that I am highly addicted to cheese (among other foods that are not good for me in the least), and when you are addicted to something it can be difficult/impossible to regulate yourself around it. Once I beat the cheese craving, I decided I didn’t want to risk it coming back with such force again.
Week 4 and 5 were much easier. I got into a rhythm with meal prep. I began making 3 days worth of salads at a time and trying to cook enough for leftovers, but this is hard to do because we all love the food so much, we were devouring it. I still fought cravings, but it was nothing like the pizza craving I had squashed, so I managed. I continued to feel better, more energetic, and to lose weight. I began to do light exercises because I had the energy to do it, and I wanted to feel stronger. Damian was shedding weight like crazy, and feeling good too!
Week 5 was a special week because I began to develop an aversion to meat. DUring the first few weeks, I was longing imagine the cheeseburgers I would eat when my six weeks were over, but suddenly the idea of eating animal flesh disgusted me. In addition, I had developed a general guideline for eating that worked for me.
Breakfast: .25 cup of oatmeal, a banana, ground flax seed, unsweetened almond milk
Lunch: a HUGE salad with beans and/or legumes
Dinner: cooked veggies which usually included mushrooms and a cruciferous vegetable
Dessert: roasted chickpeas and a fruit (sometimes I’d make these cookies or a smoothie instead)
I also developed a bunch of recipes that I loved.
My Everyday Oatmeal Breakfast
Easy Tahini Stir Fry Sauce
Eat to Live Friendly Pizza
Super Simple Lentils and Sweet Potato
Oatmeal Banana Cookies
By the end of Week 6, I’d achieved what I’d sought out to do. I was no longer depressed. I was no longer exhausted, and I’d lost a little weight to boot. I lost 12.8 pounds and Damian lost 15.3. The difference in my energy level was the most noticeable change. It was like being handed back pieces of my life. Hours of my life that had previously wasted away were given back to me.
During Week 6, Damian and I began talking about our plans for the future. How would we proceed once the challenge was over? That’s what the next post is about!
This is Part 1 of my three part series on my experience doing the Eat to Live Six Week Challenge. This challenge is outlined in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. In this part, I will describe where I was at before I started the challenge, and I will explain why I decided to do the challenge.
I started 2017 saying that it would be a great year, my year, but it would not be the year I lost weight. I was trying to do a lot in 2017, and I didn’t want to add the behemoth goal of “lose weight” to my growing list of things to do.
Well, things change.
Halfway through February, it turned out that 2017 would be a challenging year. To explain why, you might want a little back story. In November of 2016, we happily welcomed Madeleine into our family. We love her to pieces, but she is not an easy baby. Drake and Devin were fairly happy as infants. They liked snuggles and were easily entertained. Maddie is a different breed of baby. She required a LOT of attention and constant and ever changing entertainment. To top it off, we moved into a smaller apartment in December, Drake stopped attending preschool because he refused to take the school bus, and Damian was in his last semester of his Associate degree while continuing to work full time.
I had three kids in a tiny apartment - one with Autism, one hitting the “terrible twos,” and one just a few months old. It was winter. We were stuck in the house, and I was essentially on my own. I didn’t have the time or energy to pursue any of my passions (like blogging), and I missed my husband!
I was depressed, and it wasn’t surprising. I was eating like crap and feeling like crap with frequent headaches, body aches, and zero energy. I felt heavy and sluggish. Things were bad, but I have struggled with depression in the past, and beat it back, so I knew it was possible to do it again.
We all know that in order to be a good mom, we need to be well. It is hard to nourish our children’s hearts and mind when we haven’t taken good care of our own.
But, what could I do? I knew I had to do something. Continuing the descent into depression was not an option. My family needed me well, so I had to get well. It is amazing the things we will do for others that we cannot always do for ourselves.
I struggled and I fought back. Everyday I tried to find a way to flip things around, to rekindle my joy, but there were no easy answers. I felt horrible, and the lack of energy meant halfway through the day I would crash. I’d feel tired after doing just about anything. I’d spend hours carrying Maddie around the apartment trying to keep her from screaming, and trying to keep the house clean and her brothers fed during her naps. The lack of energy was the biggest obstacle to my happiness because whenever I could get a break, I wouldn’t take care of myself, I’d collapse in a heap with a bag of chips and binge watch Gilmore Girls. (For some people, this would be considered self care. For me, it was not.)
I needed to get my energy up before I could pull myself out of depression. So, it was midway through February when I told Damian that I wanted to start eating better, and he was supportive. (It is the best to have a husband who supports me through my dreams. I am so grateful for him.) I didn’t know how to proceed. There is a lot of information out there about how to eat well. Most of it focuses on weight loss, but that was not my biggest priority. I wanted to lose weight, but it was more important that I regain my energy and eat food that was nourishing my body. I also needed something simple. I didn’t want to have to count calories or drastically restrict my calories.
In the past, I’d tried a number of different diets including Weight Watchers, the mediterranean diet, calorie restriction, vegetarianism, and even the Eat to Live Diet shortly after Drake was born. I remembered the Eat to Live plan making a lot of sense to me. It is (mostly) a whole foods, plant based diet. There were strict rules, but you didn’t have to restrict your calories and all the food on the allowed list were foods I knew would nourish my body.
The first time we tried Eat to Live, we only lasted three weeks or so. The main issue was that I didn’t know how to cook well enough to make the food good. I wasn’t an atrocious home chef, but I lacked experience especially with vegetables, and I didn’t have a food prep mindset. My inexperience with cooking did not mix well with my learning to be a new mom and my work ever changing work schedule.
Even though we failed to transition to the Eat to Live lifestyle, I began incorporating more vegetables into our meals over time, and trying foods I’d never tried before (swiss chard, brussel sprouts, beets). Over the next six months, I lost 15-20 pounds, and got pregnant with Devin. I more or less kept those pounds off, but my eating slowly began to falter, and it didn’t get any better while I was pregnant with Madeleine.
So, despite having failed in the past with Eat to Live, I still had good feelings about it. I reread Eat to Live this February, and once again it spoke to me. It was simple, no calorie counting, and I could eat as many fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes as I wanted. I wouldn’t have to be hungry. I’d also learned a lot more about cooking and meal prep since the first time we tried, and I was desperate to feel good again. This desperation would fuel me through the next six weeks.
Read about my experience during the first six weeks here.
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.