Recently, I was asked two very important questions:
- What I eat in a day…
- And how I cope with living with a bf who is not vegan.
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, but figured people just wouldn’t be that interested by what I eat, but I was wrong! And thinking about it now, it should be pretty darn useful, so here goes nothing.
The Crunchy Writer’s Morning
I normally wake up at 6:30, shower and get ready, then…
- pour myself a cup of black coffee
- and toast a slice of whole grain bread and top it with 1 tbsp of vegan butter, pumpkin butter, or apple butter.
From there, I’ll relax and then go for a walk and that’s usually 4.5k steps in before 10 AM.
I normally don’t get hungry later in the morning, so I skip that snack and save those calories for dinnertime.
The Crunchy Writer’s Afternoon
This is my “make some quick food” part of the day. I cook dinner basically every night and I’m busy during the day, getting my work done and all, so I tend to either…
- heat up leftovers from the night before
- or make something quick, like miso soup with tofu, mashed potatoes without the dairy and pair that with some vegan bacon, or make some tomato bisque with some crackers.
At around 3 I get a little snacky so I tend to go for…
- an orange
- a banana with some pumpkin butter or apple butter
- a homemade mango pop (blend up 1/2 a mango with a tiny bit of water, chop the other half into small cubes, then divide mixture evenly into 2-3 pop molds and freeze until set)
- tea without any creamer, milk, sugar, or anything really
- a slice of whole grain toast with 1 tbsp of peanut butter
- or some granola
The Crunchy Writer’s Evening
Dinner is when cooking goes up a notch. This is when the day is winding down, the bf gets home, and my work is done, so it’s time to make a nice meal and chill out.
My night goes one of two ways:
I either make two separate meals, or make one with an added bit of non-vegan items.
Two Dinner Nights…
For instance, if he wants chicken and mash, I make the mash the classic way with butter and milk, some garlic salt and black pepper. Then I take frozen, breaded chicken and pop that in the broiler so it cooks fast and gets crispy for him. Super simple. Add some broccoli on the side for some health benefits at least, and that’s his dinner.
Meanwhile, because the chicken takes care of itself super quickly, and the mash is also quick, I make sure to set a 5 minute timer to check on everything regularly while I work on my own food.
Sometimes, if I have too many veggies to get through, and I know it’s just not going to happen in time, I make vegetable soup with spices and vegetable stock (I always have 1-2 boxes of the organic kind on hand).
So the recipe will vary depending on what veggies I have. It could be black bean soup, or tomato soup, barley soup with kidney beans and veggie sausage, or red peppers with potatoes. Sometimes carrots with potatoes and mushrooms.
Other times, I’ll make something a little more hearty, like whole grain pasta with vegan butter, homemade tomato sauce and vegan cheese on top.
Some of my favorite things to make are…
- brown rice cooked in veggie stock with kidney beans, cilantro and black pepper (stupidly easy, very tasty)
- “buttered,” grilled corn with meatless chicken tenders (add a drizzle of lime juice to the corn for some kick)
- a vegan spin on bangers and mash
- zucchini pasta with meatless meatballs and homemade tomato sauce
- burrito bowls with lettuce, vegan cheese, refried beans, diced tomatoes, avocado and beans
- vegan mini pizza with a homemade tomato sauce, vegan cheese and mushrooms
- sticky tofu with a soy sauce and orange glaze, sprinkled with sesame seeds and chives, paired with 1/4 cup white rice
One Dinner Nights…
If I only have the time and energy to make one meal for both of us, it’s a vegan meal that I know he’ll love, and maybe I’ll tweak it a little in a way that’s not a hassle for me to prepare.
A lot of the time I don’t even tell him it’s vegan until he asks, and then he’s floored. I don’t think I’ve ever made any vegan food that he hasn’t liked, with the exception of one veggie wrap that was just far too “meta vegan” for him to handle.
And I wasn’t even a vegan at the time I made it. HA!
Some of the things he’s a fan of are:
- fried brown rice with peas and mushrooms (use coconut oil). I add an egg in his after I’m done serving my portion
- southwestern “buttered” corn that’s a little charred, cooking in a skillet, and topped with cilantro and lime juice. I serve it with chicken for him, and either kidney beans or veggie chicken tenders for me
- roasted potatoes with vegan cheese and bacon, topped with chives and a pinch of salt and pepper
- white rice with miso soup
- sushi (I make myself a cucumber roll, I make him a salmon roll or a Philly)
- crispy tofu with white rice (fully vegan)
- vegetable chili (he’s Texan, so I have to add ground beef to his portion for sure)
- salad with tomatoes, lettuce, beans, croutons and vegan cheese and dressing
- steamed broccoli with roasted potatoes
- stuffed mushrooms (filling is vegan ricotta with spinach)
- barley salad with tomatoes and quinoa (I go easy on the quinoa, he calls it “bird seed”)
Evening snacking is usually…
- whatever fruit is on hand, like grapefruit, oranges, apples (green), strawberries or bananas
- a bowl of nice cream
- a bag of vegan peanut butter pretzels from 7-11 (yes, they have vegan snacks, and yet this is a particular treat I only eat sporadically)
- hummus with pretzels
- ricotta (vegan, duh) with carrots
* The snack is usually a reward for convincing my bf to go on a walk with me, my second walk of the day. That’s another 4.5k steps. I aim for 10k minimum every single day of the week. I also do 3 lb. weights for arm toning daily (8 reps of 50 per arm) and cardio twice a week (Get Moving Exercise from FitBit Trainer). I used to kickbox, but it’s been years. Now I mainly just try to get high calorie and fat burning in.
Of course, remember to drink a ton of water (I usually have water within arm’s reach), get as much sleep as you can, and always listen to your body. I don’t eat unless I know I’m hungry. My stomach will announce it’s hunger to me! And when it’s had enough food, it lets me know. I eat slowly, focus on every meal I have, so I try not to eat with the TV on ( I slip on this whenever the bf is around), and take it easy. It takes a while for your brain to catch up with the full feeling in your tummy. Give it time.
Some food items I always have on hand for meals include:
- brown and white rice
- kidney beans
- frozen veggies (corn, broccoli, spinach and peas)
- fresh veggies like mushrooms, red and green peppers, tomatoes and potatoes
- frozen fruit for smoothies (peaches, strawberries, blackberries, mangoes)
- and fresh fruit (bananas, oranges, kiwi)
- I try to go through one bag of vegan “meat” every two weeks. It’s not about swapping meat for faux meat. You should be making most meals entirely out of grains and vegetables, and using faux meat sparingly.
I hope this helps everyone! It is totally possible to get exercise, eat right, and feed your carnivore partner. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your body to keep harmony at home. An amazing partner will cheer you on, help you curb temptation by limiting his own intake of meat and horrible snacking, and comment on how inspirational you really are.
Best of luck!