Here’s the thing.
I’m guessing that what I bring to the plant-based eating world is different than what you’re used to getting. Most plant-based bloggers and authors are really nice, gentle people who write pleasant things, paint rosy pictures with their words, have matching sheets on their bed, and always wear underwear.
Then you have me.
I swear, I apologize on behalf of preachy vegans, and I have unpopular stuff to say (like superfoods are overrated, eat cake if you really feel like eating cake, and gluten isn’t causing the apocalypse). I have zero problems calling out my Asian girlfriend for geeking out on the computer, and I adhere to a strict only when 100% necessary underwear policy.
I don’t know where things went wrong with me; all I know is that somewhere along the line I got sick of pleasantries, so I started writing fuckeries.
A couple of years ago when I started exploring the world of plant-based offerings, and the people making these offerings, I noticed some patterns that I couldn’t get with.
They were overly polite to the point of boring, or preachy to the point of eye rolling.
Being polite is cool, but let us not forget that Martha Stewart ended up in the slammer. And my stance on preachy vegans is pretty obvious.
I wondered why there was no humor that went along with helping people eat better.
If you can make someone laugh, doesn’t that make their journey to healthy eating that much easier?
I got fed up with reading healthy eating advice that was totally unrealistic.
What happens when I accidentally eat a donut? Am I kicked out of the clean eating club and have to start over at the back of the line?
And lastly, why did all of the healthy eating bloggers and authors out there seem so squeaky clean perfect and take themselves so seriously?
Did these people really never have a cheat day, or is it that they would never blog or write about their cheat day? I’m guessing it’s the latter.
Then there’s the fact that I don’t trust people who never swear. And swearing is the equivalent of death in most blogging circles.
So I made authenticity my motto and unintentionally filled a void in the plant-based eating space while doing so.
Whether I’m writing an email to my best friend, a card to my sister, a comment on Facebook, or an email to over 7,600 people (the current number of people who get my Saturday emails), in my mind, it’s all the same.
I don’t change the way I communicate based on who’s reading my words. I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay. Because the people who get me, really get me.
I would rather be authentic and send my emails out to three people than to be a washed down version of myself and send my emails out to a million people.
This path might prompt more hate mail, my unsubscribes might be higher than most people in my industry, and mainstream exposure is pretty much out of the question.
But if it means I get to continue sharing my underwear status with you, hashing out the embarrassing stories of my life, and giving you practical, level-headed advice about eating better, then bring it the fuck on.
I’d rather have that than matching sheets on my bed, any day of the week.
Are you ready for some realistic, level-headed healthy eating advice? Okay, let’s work this out.
Eating consistently healthy can be a bitch, especially if you’re busy. Which, who the hell isn’t busy? Everyone is juggling at least 15 different things, a couple of which are probably kids and a job.
This makes the juggling act really damn hard because who wants to drop their kids on their head? If I had kids I might, which is why I’m not having kids. But that’s not the point.
The point is, you’re busy, and I’m willing to bet that for every stretch of time that you eat really healthy, there’s an equal stretch of time that you eat like crap.
You might go a week, or maybe two with being diligent about cooking in advance, planning out healthy meals and being on top of the healthy eating game. But then something happens.
You have a stressful day, you get into a fight with your partner, your kid is acting like an asshole, your boss is being extra douchey, or you got a really bad haircut.
It’s like you were sailing along on your baby blue Schwinn, all energized, happy and healthy, and all of a sudden the bully from down the street shoved a stick directly into your spokes and you went flying off your damn bike.
It’s times like these that you wake up to find yourself amongst empty pizza boxes and Twix wrappers. There’s part of a baguette stuck to the side of your face, and a few mac and cheese noodles in your hair. To top it off your breath smells like ice cream and pizza, which in theory doesn’t sound too bad, but in reality is smelly enough to offend even your cat.
You shake off your food coma and you’re ready to get back into the kale eating game. You go through another stretch of eating healthy, and then BAM, the fucking bully does it again.
The most common reason why people find themselves going back and forth between eating healthy and eating like crap, is lack of preparation.
When you’re hungry, and stressed, and doing a really damn good job just to get out of bed and deal with life, and there’s nothing healthy at arm’s reach to whip up in 10 minutes or less, all bets are off.
It’s convenience food city.
And you’re okay with that because in that moment, eating leafy greens isn’t your priority, getting calories into your mouth so that your tummy stops rumbling is the only thing that’s important to you.
The fix for this is to make sure you do your weekly batch cooking.
Yeah, no shit.
But what if you didn’t get around to it this week? Are you destined to eat instant noodles, Taco Bell, pizza, and cereal all week long? Put down the fortune cookie, I have a better plan.
All you have to do is stock up on some key ingredients and you can get through the week without having ice cream, pizza breath. Here’s how.
Go to the grocery store and buy the following ingredients:
- Organic corn tortillas
- Sprouted bread
- Almond butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Canned refried black beans (make sure they don’t have lard)
- Hummus (choose the one with the fewest ingredients)
- Canned garbanzo beans
- Whole wheat couscous
- A couple of avocados
- Red onion
- Collard greens
From this list alone, along with a few staple items that you already have in your kitchen, you can make the following items in a hot second.
- Green smoothies
- Hummus, tomato, kale soft tacos with sunflower seeds
- Garbanzo mash (add to salads, in sandwiches and in corn tortillas)
- Bean, couscous and veggie soft tacos
- Couscous breakfast bowls (recipe below)
- Bean and veggie bowl
- Almond butter and berry sandwich
- Salad with veggies, hummus, sunflower seeds and lemon juice
- Veggie sandwich with sautéed tofu and avocado mayo
- Steamed collard greens over couscous and topped with sautéed mushrooms
- Salad with sautéed tofu and hummus
- Celery with almond butter
This list should last you into the weekend. Even if you have to eat convenience foods a couple times, it’s better than chalking up the whole week as a healthy food fail and eating like you don’t give a shit until your next batch cooking day.
I might not wear underwear or have matching sheets, but I want you to give a shit. Because eating like you give a shit is sexy. Period.
Here’s a hearty breakfast recipe that takes 10 minutes to whip up. Don’t think about it, just do it.
Whole Food Plant Based Couscous Breakfast Bowl
Cooked whole wheat couscous
Non-dairy milk (unsweetened)
Raw sunflower seeds
Raw pumpkin seeds
Pinch of cinnamon
Small drizzle of 100% pure maple syrup
I’m not giving you measurements, because who am I to say how hungry you are? That said, here’s what you need to know about the couscous part.
If you cook just one cup of couscous, you’ll have enough for at least four breakfast bowls. Cooking couscous is super easy. Here’s how.
- Bring 2 cups of water (475ml) to a boil in a small pot.
- Add 1 cup of whole wheat couscous (180g), stir, turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, fluff with a fork, and bam, ready to go.
After the couscous cools, put it into a container and store in your fridge. When you’re ready to make your breakfast bowl, do the following:
- Place as much couscous as you’re hungry for into a small pot, and add enough non-dairy milk until a consistency that you like is reached.
- Heat the couscous and milk and pour it into a bowl.
- Top with strawberries, banana, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut, cinnamon powder, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I hope you have a happy week. May it be filled with being authentic, even amongst people who don’t get you.