Tag Archives: healthy-living

Healthy Tuesday: Animals Are My Friends, and I Don’t Eat My Friends

healthytuesday

I have been vegetarian since I was really young.   I started off omitting red meat, then slowly worked each type of meat out of my diet.  It was hard when I was younger.  My mom didn’t really like to cook in general, and I was really too young to cook for myself so I ate a lot of side dishes.  I wouldn’t totally call myself a carb-loading vegetarian, but it wasn’t a perfect diet either.  No one else in my family is vegetarian, in fact they all think I am a little crazy but they have embraced it now.

I honestly am not totally sure how I decided that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore.  I was never much of a fan of fish, and I would never eat veal.  In fact I still remember (sorry for throwing you under the bus mom) one night my mom made veal parmesan for dinner and actually took the time to mold my piece of veal into the shape of a chicken breast and tried to trick me into eating it, but I figured out as soon as I cut it open.  I suppose that is something I wouldn’t have done, but I get where she was coming from.  She was tired of chicken all the time and needed something new.  I mean really I am sure all of you parents out there have fibbed to your kid at one point, or realized that you as a child were tricked by your parents.

How about the time that my dad told me that an artichoke was a fish and I believed it and never tried it until I was in my 20’s.  I didn’t know he was joking, and he forgot he made the joke.  When I was a kid it made sense since he was eating the heart, I honestly thought it was like some weird living sea plant looking animal.  Sounds crazy now, but I didn’t even find out I could eat it until I was 22 at T.G.I Fridays when my friend wanted to order spinach artichoke dip and I told her I couldn’t eat it because I didn’t eat fish.  I can still see the look on her face when she heard me say that.  All those years I was missing out on just how amazing artichokes are.

anyway…..

Now that I am 31, I have a lot more control over my diet, and I am completely settled in my vegetarian lifestyle, I also know what things are vegetables and what things are meat (lol).  I can tell you now exactly why I eat plant-based and it is for a ton of reasons.  Firstly it is the most obvious reason, animal rights.  By now I am sure everyone is familiar with the horrors of factory farming and I really shouldn’t have to preach about it.  At this point you either care or you don’t, but I hope eventually everyone starts to care.  The animals that are suffering just so people can have a cheap fast food hamburger are astounding and heartbreaking.

In this month’s Healthy Tuesday articles I am going to break down the other two less obvious reasons that I am vegetarian into two parts.  This week I am going to cover the environmental reasons, next week I will be back with a his plate/her plate recipe, then on the 16th part two:  the health reasons of being a vegetarian and lastly I will finish off every month with a new smoothie or juice recipe.

The biggest reason for having a plant based diet is for the environment.  The meat industry has a huge impact on the environment that I choose to not be a part of, here is why:

 

Six  Environmental Reasons to Chose a Plant-Based Diet

  1. Our waterways are being polluted:  The waste, antibiotics, and pesticides from factory farms are running into our water supply.  A typical pig farm produces the same amount of waste that 50,000 humans do, but they don’t have the same sewer system to take care of it.

  2. Our Forests are being cut down at an alarming rate:  Since 1967 our forests have been destroyed at an estimated 1 acre every 5 seconds for cattle in order to keep a cheap supply of beef for our fast food restaurants.  At this rate some of our rainforests could be gone in as little as 30 years.

  3. We are using our land inefficiently: The amount of land needed to feed one person on a meat-based diet could feed 20 vegetarians.

  4. We are wasting our resources:  It requires 16 pounds of grains and 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.  Growing that amount of grain for human consumption could feed 16 people and only uses 250 gallons of water.

  5. We are wasting our energy:  It takes more than 10 times the fossil fuels to produce one calorie of animal protein versus the same amount of plant protein.

  6. We are destroying our oceans:  Commercial fishing nets catching everything in its path which destroys coral reefs, home to billions of different aquatic animals.

There are so many other environmental reasons for adopting a plant based diet, if these facts have sparked your interest start googling and you will see so many more.  Even changing one of your meat-based meals to a vegetarian meal can help make a difference! 

Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Tuesday article or recipe!

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His Plate/ Her Plate #5 – Taco Bowls

There is no secret about it Jake and I love a good taco night.  But the problem with taco night is you can gobble down a ton of tacos before you even realize it.  Having all the fixings laid out in bowls ready to pile into our tortillas makes us forget about portion control which can be a problem, especially on my end.

To change it up, but still enjoy our mexican food I decided to bake tortillas into my own little bowls.  I am sure you have all seen the as-seen-on-tv gadget that bakes up perfect bowls in a few minutes.  Thats all good, but i decided why should I buy another thing to cook only one item, so brain storming I went.  I have heard you can just flip over muffin tins and put the tortilla in there to get the shape, but the problem is I baked vegan brownie cupcakes at Jake’s house over the holidays and have been to lazy to take the tins home, so what else did I have that was oven safe?  MASON JARS!!

tacoshellI know, that doesn’t look like it is going to work, I was skeptical but you’ll see.  All I did was take the jar and flip it upside down on a cookie sheet, then sprayed each side of the tortilla lightly with coconut oil.  Drape the tortilla over the jar and bake it at 350 until its crispy, usually about 10 min or so.  This would probably work better if you heated the tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds to get it softer, but this was the first time I tried it and I wanted to start with as few steps as possible.

Now for the filling.  Jake’s go to protein is turkey and chicken.  The poor guy seems to eat it every day.  I always ask if he wants to change the turkey for beef but he always declines, so don’t think I am a one protein wonder.

IMG_0573Sorry to the vegetarians on my page, I know yuck… I cooked the turkey in no oil and seasoned it with different taco-eque seasonings.  Jake says I do a good job seasoning it, I have never tasted it I just go by color and I never measure.

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My filling is a little prettier.  I cut up zucchini, red onion, and every color bell pepper you can buy.  I usually have a huge bag of this mixture cut up in my fridge, and I pretty much just add it to whatever I am eating that day.  It’s super easy and keeps me eating my veggies.

I also made a natural spanish rice mixture from a box, and unfortunately had to buy guacamole because none of the avocados were ready at the store I was at but it worked out because it was getting late and I honestly didn’t really need another thing to make.

Now for the good stuff!  Check it out all piled together

meatbowllabeledJake’s is rice, black beans, turkey, salsa, cheese and jalapeños that he picked off right after the photo was done.

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Don’t worry my bowl isn’t nearly as bland as his!

veganbowl2labelMine starts with raw baby spinach, a little rice, black beans, my sautéed veggie mixture, salsa, and guacamole, then I piled on more jalapeños when I was done lol.

veganbowlI baked the tortillas just a smidge too long, but I also think they also needed to go a bit lower in my oven to be more centered since the jar was holding them up.  So if you cook them as I did maybe lower your rack before you put them in.  I liked them super crispy though so they were fine for me, plus these were whole wheat so they are a little darker than the standard wheat tortilla anyway

Let me know what you think and if you try it!  It was so easy and really good!

 

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His Plate / Her Plate #4 Teriyaki Meatballs with Stir-Fry

It’s been a bit since I have done a his plate / her plate blog post.  I got a little uncreative for a bit and just started making our easy go to meals.  The other day I was in the grocery store and I saw these pineapple teriyaki chicken meatballs in the meat department and I thought that would be a cool thing to base a recipe off of so I grabbed them.

meatballs-teriyakiv2

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Seemed healthy enough, plus the only calorie watching that Jake does is watching all the food go into his belly…. not fair right? Well I suppose its not that easy for him, he eats healthy but you know what I mean.

Anyway I figured I could make my own vegan soy-free meatballs and found a recipe online then I changed my mind and went to the salon and did a Brazilian Blowout on my hair instead (this girls gotta have frizz free hair for the summer!) So I did the next best thing, I took a Field Roast sausage, broke it into pieces, tried to roll it into balls (It didn’t really work too well) then I poured some teriyaki sauce over them and sauteed them.  Taste wise it was really good though!

veganrawmb_rtFor the stir fry I just took a ton of frozen veggies and threw them in a pan and cooked them until they weren’t frozen anymore.  Broccoli, snap peas, carrots, onions, corn, you name it it went in there.  Oh and some frozen pineapple chunks!  No oil, no sauce, no salt, no pepper just veggies… way healthier

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yes even my pans are pink!

Now here is the funniest part of the meal…. I was cooking the brown rice and I figured while I had everything simmering I would set up my light box and my lighting to shoot the food.  I didn’t realize how high I had the flame up for the rice and I burnt my rice while I was setting up to shoot it!  How much of a hipster fail is that!?!?

945564_10200817380852195_295174576_nand yes that went on instagram… of course, to many clichés to name.

Now for the finished product that I slaved over.

His Plate:

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closemeatball_rtHer Plate:

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closeveganmb_rtNot too shabby I’d say.  Our plates look almost identical and it really wasn’t too much of an extra effort to make both.  Of course it would just be easier if Jake would just be vegetarian, but then he wouldn’t be Jake, and as long as he doesn’t force me to eat meat, I will only force him to eat half of his vegetables lol.

 

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Sixteen Hours in the Gym This Week, and all I have to Show is this Blog Post.

This week, even though it has been a good one has been tough.  I probably worked out more this week than ever, 16 hours to be exact and was just 54 calories shy of burning 5,000 calories.  image

Yet I am still not losing weight.  Is my scale stuck?  Are my muscles bigger?  I have been talking to two trainers,  one that I am working out with, Alex and another that is vegan so she kind of gets my eating woes.  Alex wants me to eat more protein, the vegan trainer thinks I might just have to eat more in general.  I fell off the myfitnesspal wagon quickly.  It just drives me crazy I eat too many veggies to sit there and add it all in there.  Myfitnesspal is designed more for people that eat processed food, its so much easier to just scan everything, but my bell pepper doesn’t have a barcode.  First world problems I suppose.

I’m not letting it bug me… much.  I mean I am not going to say I don’t want to see results, but I’m not quitting either.  I feel like I am still seeing small changes in my body, but nothing huge.

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If there are any signs of my weight loss it is that so many of my workout pants don’t stay up when I run anymore.  It is kind of becoming expensive, and a pain to plan my outfits.  I have to make sure I wear the proper outfit for the workout that I am doing that day.  On one hand I get to keep up with all the spring/summer neon that is happening right now like with these Adidas pants that I just got but it is also killing my bank account.  Does anyone want to teach me how to sew in a drawstring to the inside of my pants?

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My quads look crazy

My food obsession of the moment right now is salads with carrot ginger dressing.  I am still trying to figure out the perfect recipe which is slowed by me not measuring or writing anything down lol.  But it’s super easy!  I make it in my Ninja in like less than 5 minutes!

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Basically it is

  • 1.5 carrots
  • about a 2-3 inch chunk of ginger
  • spoonful of miso paste
  • 1 tsp Olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

Obviously those can all be changed to taste, you don’t need to add salt because the miso paste is already salty.  But make sure your miso is non-GMO!image-2

YUM!

And Last but certainly not least, I am registered to run in MuckFest MS in Baltimore on June 29th!

MuckFestHeaderLogo_INTI did this last year and had a ton of fun! It is 5 miles with a ton of mud and crazy obstacles.  But the best part about it is that is raises money to help find a cure for MS.  If you have been a reader of my blog you would probably know that my mom has MS so this is definitely a cause close to my heart.  If you would like to help me raise money to reach my $200 goal.  All you have to do is click this link and it will put you on my personal page to donate!

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/KristinJackson

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I LOVE my Bike!!!

It happened, Brooklyn has taken me over and I think I am officially a hipster.  Let us count the ways that I have changed since leaving my roots in NJ

  • I work in a salon in Bushwick and worked in Williamsburg
  • I have a scooter
  • I have a “fixie” (almost)
  • I like my hair better when I don’t brush it
  • I am vegetarian
  • I juice
  • When I don’t juice myself I buy juice
  • I love instagram
  • I post food photos on instagram
  • I have an iPhone, iPad, and a MacBook Pro.. and an AppleTV lol

the list goes on and on….

Help me I am a hipster!

But you can’t totally take the Jersey out of me. I still love my animal print lol

But anyway.  This post is about my hipster bike.  I love it already.  Today my friend Julie and I went on a bike ride around Brooklyn.  We biked through Prospect Park and ended up in Cobble Hill for dinner.  It was so much fun and we are going to try to do it more often.  I have to admit, I was nervous that I wasn’t going to use my bike too much, but now I am in love with it and have used it pretty much everyday!

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37057_10200750350856487_790748023_nDidn’t get a photo of Julie during in daylight… woops.

Today I also ran outside for the first time this spring.  I originally planned on going to the gym to run on the treadmill.  In fact I walked all the way there, checked in walked into the locker room and realized I forgot my lock and had to go home and get it.    What a waste, so I changed my mind and went for a run outside.  I ran just under 3 miles.  2.9 to be exact and only because I got to the grocery store and wanted to to buy some food.  I even tried to run past the store to the end of the block and turn around but it still didn’t move me up to 3 miles.  darn.

21106_10200750024688333_443236274_nThe first row was my run and gym walk, and shopping, and doing some calisthenics when I found places to do them.  The second two rows are our bike riding adventures. 1,552 calories for the day!!!

941068_10200750167691908_975989572_nI really love this Moves app!  It’s so cool how it knows what I am doing, and I love the timeline of my day! Everyone should download it.  Plus it covers what my fitbit and my heart rate monitor can’t.  My fitbit doesn’t know anything other than walking, and my heart rate monitor while it can track my running, and calories and my heart rate (obviously) it can only count my calories not my bike mileage.  So maybe it seems like all these apps and gadgets are excessive, but really they all do different things so I like to use them all.  They aren’t necessary but they are fun.

So now my scooter is feeling left out, in fact the bitch got two tickets today while it was parked (don’t worry I can fight them, the cops must have been really bored today) Now you will probably see me around more on my bike, and hopefully this little added extra cardio will be the jumpstart I need to FINALLY get to my 50 pound loss mini goal!  So many April set backs really ruined that goal.  I am also starting back up with my trainer on Friday so that should help too…

Are there any other fun apps that I should have on my phone?

 

 

 

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New Bike, New App, and Bianca and I Hit the Club

The past few weeks I have been totally out of my element.  I came down with the worst  cold in the history of all colds.  I swear I have never been as sick as I was last week it was insane.  This week I have finally started feeling like myself again so I am finally getting back into the swing of things.

Right before I go sick, I bough a bike.  I know, I know, I have a scooter… what do I need a bike for?  I just figured it would be fun and a good way to burn some extra calories, at least while it is nice out and not super hot and humid.

562365_10200639455924183_603666179_nI LOVE it!  I just need the perfect Barbie sticker for it.  Yes it is a hipster bike,  it’s a fixie.  But right now I have it flipped to be a single speed because I am not ready for the whole fixed gear non-stop pedaling trend.  I just needed a super light bike that I could carry up and down my stairs to my third floor walk up apartment.  I kind of customized this bike a bit, changed the handle bars, added a pink chain and stuff, but it is by a brand called Zycle Fix.

I have ridden it to work all last week, and not only did I get there faster than on my scooter, I burned about 100 calories each way which is awesome.  My cute leopard print seat however is very minimal and it hurts my butt, but my butt will just have to get used to it because I like it too much to change it!

We all know how I like to track things and my friend Birdie introduced me to a new iPhone app called Moves.  It is pretty awesome.  As long as you have your phone on you it tracks everything you do.  It knows when you are walking, running, biking, driving whatever and it keeps track and even keeps like a timeline of the places you were.  Sure it drains my battery a bit, but what doesn’t.  I have pretty much had to carry my charger everywhere I go for a while now anyway.

922928_10200726628703448_1023390761_nObviously I had more steps than that but I wasn’t carrying it while I was running on the treadmill or while I was at work.  I still think the app is pretty cool the way it breaks everything down and can figure out what you are doing.

Bianca and I skip the Gym and hit the Club

On Saturday it was my friend Lauren and her boyfriend Lex’s birthday party.  I honestly wasn’t planning on going clubbing and was going to skip but then my friend Paulo messaged me and convinced me to go.  I am kind of glad that he did.  I honestly had a lot of fun and it was nice to do something different and I got to see a bunch of friends at the same time.

601876_10201183932259734_1876707248_nAt first I hated it, it was super goth and slow.  I know to most people that read this are like wait, its a goth club, of course it was.  Well there are different types, and that one is not my thing.  After a bit the DJ changed and the music got better and then I had a ton of fun and danced the night away.  Then I didn’t get to poor Jake’s house until like 4.30am and I slept until about 1.30 in the afternoon on Sunday, back to my old self for a day.

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Calamity didn’t know what to think about my make-up

62593_10200728685354863_704352706_nNot only is this song fun, its good to workout to.  But I got excited to hear this song being played.

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Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Protein Shake

I wrote this post a long time ago during girl scout cookie time, and I don’t know what happened but I never posted it!

I don’t know about you, but those little girl scout cookies get me every time.  The one good thing about living in Brooklyn and not having friends with kids is that I don’t really have access to them.  When I lived in NJ you could always find a troop of girl scouts sitting out side of a drug store, or a Walmart, or Target.  This year someone at Jake’s work was selling them so he got me my favorites, Thin Mints and Samoas.  The thing is they are full of crap ingredients.  Why have the girl scouts not caught on!  They are full of Hydrogenated oils, preservatives, trans fats, artificial flavors.  Just a ton of not good for you things, I really wish they would clean up their act.

Since they are only around for a short time, I figured I would make a shake inspired by my favorites, the Samoa.  The Samoa cookie is like a coconut macaroon, with chocolate on the bottom drizzled in caramel.  For my shake, I didn’t have caramel so I went with maple agave to get that sweet almost burnt sugar taste, it worked out pretty well.

samoaingredients-rtFor this shake you need:

  • 1 scoop of Vega chocolate protein powder, or your favorite
  • 1 cup of nut milk of your choice
  • 1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp Maple Agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 ice cubes

For my shake I used my home made cashew milk that is unflavored as well as unsweetened.  I really like cashew milk for these types of shakes because cashew milk has a really nice richness that makes your healthy shake feel a bit more decadent.  Coconut milk would work great as well, but I never have any when I want it.  I used sweetened coconut shreds in my recipe, mostly because it was what I had opened at the time, and since my nut milk is not sweetened and I used raw cacao I figured the little bit of added sugar wouldn’t make much of a difference.  Plus we are trying to make it taste like a cookie!

Just throw all these ingredients in a blender, and blend till it is smooth, add some extra coconut on the top to make it fancy and you are set, drink away!

samoashake2-rtSure it might not be a total replacement for the cookie but its still pretty good and calorie wise probably not that far off from a few cookies and you get so much more!  Give it a shot and see what you think.  Plus since girl scout season seems to be over, I am sure you are out of them anyway!

 

 

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