One of my hobbies is eating enough but not too much. That sounds so silly, but think about it: I spent years (YEARS!) eating not-enough calories. I compulsively exercised. I restricted entire food groups. I hated my body. I was in a constant state of hangry. As I started to recover from this restrictive state I spent probably-years more in the opposite mindset- so desperately wanting to recover that I stuffed myself, so out of tune with my hunger signals that I couldn’t even tell when I was full anymore until it was too late.
For a good long while now, I have been great at fueling my body, and I don’t say this lightly. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but today, my body tells me how to eat, and mostly I listen.
One great example of my progress in this realm is around my workouts. In what seems like a completely different life, I used to try to restrict my food both before and after my workouts. “WHY LACY WHY?!” my glycogen window screamed as it slammed shut. My workouts were exhausting. I still didn’t have the body I wanted.
These days, I keep it simple by trying to eat a small amount of a non-processed-sugar carbohydrate rich thing before I work out (too much and I can get nauseous), and a protein thing after. There are more specifics to these rules that some people abide by, but as long as I stick to these basic guidelines, I am usually good.
These bites are straight up DELICIOUS. The salted almonds and dates make a perfect caramel taste- something that I have sincerely missed since going refined sugar-free! Also for me, they are the perfect for pre-workout fuel, as they are carbohydrate rich and have a small amount of protein (from Vega One’s all in one nutritional shake) and fat to encourage the slow and sustained release of those carbs. I hope you enjoy!
|Salted Caramel Pre-workout Bites|| |
- ½ cup dates
- 1 cup roasted and salted almonds
- 1 scoop Vega French Vanilla Protein Powder (I am sure not everyone has this, but I encourage you to keep your protein as non-processed as possible and Stevia sweetened. The dates in the recipe already have the perfect amount of carbohydrate!)
- 2 Tablespoons cold coffee (for that tiny extra push of caffeine)
- 1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil (enough to get the mixture just moist enough to stick together when you ball it up)
- Food process your dates. If your dates are dry, I suggest you soak them for about 10 minutes. Really, fresh and moist dates are best!
- Once your dates are processed into a paste, add in your almonds and your protein powder
- At this point, your mixture is probably a bit dry. Add in your coffee and coconut oil slowly. stop when your mixture is just moist enough to stick together.
- Rub a bit of coconut oil on your Tablespoon scoop, for easy removal of your pre-workout bites
- Scoop balls of your mixture up with your Tablespoon and pack them with your hands. Use a spoon to remove the mix from your tablespoon, and form into tight balls if they lose shape coming out of the measuring spoon.
- Eat right before your workout and watch yourself crush it!
Friends! Let’s talk about protein. VEGANS CAN GET ENOUGH PROTEIN. That debate is tired, and not what I’m going to discuss. I am going to talk about individual protein needs.
I am a Crossfit-er. Have I mentioned that? Probably. Although I definitely do not talk about Crossfit as much as I once did, it comes up a fair amount in my day to day, and I am happy to tell people all about why I like it, or how great my trainers are. Crossfit folk LOVE protein. No joke, they want to lay in bed and snuggle it up. I literally never thought about protein before starting Crossfit, and now here I am making a protein pudding. That should tell you something.
Last summer I did a food challenge that was very focused on getting protein and keeping carbohydrates low. I documented it in intensely boring, possibly disordered detail, and was constantly analyzing how I felt. At the end of the 30 days, I was happy with my accomplishment, I had some good results in terms of digestion, and my skin was super clear. But with my carbohydrate level so low, I got– what’s the word?– Oh. Right. I got ANGRY. Like really, very irritable.
After all the documentation and meal planning and discussion of that month I was seriously over it. I finished my protein powder and didn’t buy more. I swung the other way and flirted with low protein, high carbohydrate veganism, and got grumpy with that, too.
Then, miracle of miracles, I had a realization. When I restrict any macronutrient, it is ridiculous. There is no medical reason for me to eat low carbohydrate OR low protein. I am great at realizing when my body needs more of one or the other, and I don’t need a food diary or a template to tell me a damn thing. BOOM. Problem solved.
Protein powder has come back into my life. I am incredibly picky about which powder I use, because do I want chemical synthetic sweeteners or animal products or any other BS in my smoothie? No, no I do not. Do I want some raw vegan powder that tastes like butt and chalk? No, I don’t want that either.
In my mind, literally the only protein powder worth hollering at is Vega. It is made of sprouted ancient grains, it has probiotics, its stevia sweetened, it has BCAA’s (the building blocks of muscle, or as I like to call them, the awesome little dudes that fight soreness) and it tastes excellent. When I’m lifting a lot of weights, my body absolutely CRAVES it. This pudding uses it as a base, and adds peanut butter, almond milk, and chia seeds. Because the protein powder is perfect tasting on it’s own, you don’t need another sweetener. It is PERFECT post work out, especially when chilled. Eat it up!
|Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pudding|| |
- 2 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ¼ Cup Chia Seeds
- 1 Scoop Vega Sport Chocolate Protein Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
- Soak Chia Seeds in almond milk for 30 minutes-24 hours. The longer the better! When you add seeds to the milk shake them up. Let them sit for about 15 minutes and shake again. Repeat until they seem to be evenly distributing on their own. (You don't want them all chilling on the bottom of the jar! They wont soak as well)
- Pour Chia Seed mixture and all other ingredients into a high speed blender (Seriously, you need a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. This pudding is very light and fluffy and won't be nearly as awesome in a regular blender.)
- Blend on high for 30 seconds-1 minute, until pudding looks like, well, pudding.
- Chill in fridge for a few hours- overnight. Garnish with peanuts or sliced strawberries if you wish!
I love seeing what other people eat. It’s incredibly pleasurable to see someone’s day all laid out in food and hear their thought processes and associations around their meals. It took me a long LONG time to be able to love looking at my own food, But today I am so happy about my choices. To me, they feel balanced, intuitive, delicious, and made with pure love. I am so lucky to have transcended my eating disorder to arrive at this place with food. I never take it for granted for a second.
I want to share my food with you. Not to brag, not to make you think you should somehow be eating what I am eating, but just to give you a little slice of my life. I am sure this wasn’t every morsel that went into my mouth this day, but it is a documentation of the things I wanted to share.
Breakfast on this day started with pie.
I have never done this before! I am totally a green smoothie type of babe, but as I was pulling out my kale and my bananas I kept nibbling at my leftover strawberry apple crisp. I wanted it, but somehow felt that I shouldn’t have it.
“Why don’t you feel like you should have it?” I asked myself.
“Because it is dessert” I answered.
“But there’s nothing in it that is unhealthy, nothing in it that would be bad to start a day with”
I looked deeply at my pie, and I realized that any time I am thinking I “should” or “should not” eat something based purely on what it is (not how it will make me feel) than that’s leftover eating disorder voice. Fuck that voice! I ate my pie.
After a session with a client and a walk to the grocery store I had worked up quite a lunch appetite. What followed was a gigantic salad (romaine, cauliflower, red cabbage, snap peas, cucumber, smoked tofu, nutritional yeast, baba ghanoug, salsa and a crumble of Tastymakes salt and vinegar crackers and tortilla chips.) My special dudefriend happened to be making a green smoothie, and tossed me the leftovers like the sweetheart he is. It was INCREDIBLE and when I said “WHY IS THIS SO GOOD?!” he smiled and said “the secret ingredient is coffee!”. Go figure.
Another client meeting and some hours later I was starting to feel cranky. This is almost always a reliable sign that I am hungry, and since it was not quite dinner time I made myself some homemade almond milk, a scoop of Tropical Tango Vega Energizing Smoothie, and a half a banana blender mix. It hit the spot.
In the past, I have been an “eat-the-exact-same-thing-every-day” type of person. These days, I have been working on tuning into my body more and trying to hear what it tells me I want to eat. I usually work out before dinner, and my body ROARS for food, so preparing a supper ends up being super delightful and intuitive. On this day however, I had taken a rest day. I knew I was hungry, but it wasn’t in that NOW NOW NOW type of way that makes choosing super simple. I honestly meditated for a moment before I chose this strange combo of foods for my meal.
It included red cabbage, avocado, sauerkraut, salsa, nutritional yeast, and Beyond Meat. Do you know about THIS COUPON?! It is for a FREE package of Beyond Meat and is good until May 31. I want to be honest: I don’t know how I feel about my consumption of this product! It has a great nutritional profile in terms of macronutrient ratios (IE tons of protein) but it is much more processed than anything else I enjoy. Truthfully, its delicious and for me, digests quite well. DAMNIT BEYOND MEAT. your tempting processed ways seduced me. also your free-ness.
No day is complete without 85% chocolate dipped in homemade peanut butter. Divine brand is local to me and my absolute favorite.
SO that’s it! I came, I saw, I ate, I conquered. It was a very delicious day.