For many people, the New Year is about setting healthy intentions including improved nutrition habits. I have been a vegetarian for over a decade and an intentional vegan for about half of that time. Despite enjoying a plant-based diet, I have found that not all of my vegan food choices have been truly healthy (especially snacks). As part of Vega’s #OneChange challenge, I am focusing on tidying up my habit of being an unmindful “Serial Snacker”. As well, I am sharing an exciting new Vega One giveaway (below).
While snacking between meals is considered a healthy, common practice, the choices we make can greatly effect our energy, mood, immune capacity, performance and more. To make a conscious effort to maximize the wellness benefits of my snacks, I am going to try to consistently integrate more keys choices:
- make it myself – prepare cookies, crackers, dried fruit/nut packages, juices, and smoothies in advance so always on hand
- prepare snacks full of whole, nutritiet-dense foods
- incorporate raw food elements frequently
- always carry my own snacks instead of succumbing to cravings
- reduce salt and processed sweetners in snacks and main meals to reduce these ‘processed’ cravings and appreciate the natural flavour of whole foods
Here are some of my ‘go to’ recipes for powering up snacks and keeping my diet clean between meals:
Green Boost Smoothie: in a Vitamix blend = 1 scoop Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake, 2 fresh kale leaves (or handful of raw spinach), tsp of hemp hearts, tsp of flax seeds or chia, tsp of bee pollen granules, 1 frozen banana, half cup of frozen mango, slice of fresh ginger (about tsp worth), filtered water or chilled rooibos tea (just enough to blend while keeping the mixture thick).
Raw Orange Nut Cookies: blend in a food processor = 1 cup of raw walnuts (presoak in water overnight, then dry), 3 or 4 medjool dates (pitted), zest of 1 organic orange, 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut, 3 dried figs (or 1/4 cup of raisins), cinnamon and nutmeg (to your taste), 1/4 tsp of vanilla, pinch of sea salt … blend until you can form into balls (avoid over blending or oils will separate from walnuts) … roll into 2 inch balls, then lightly flatten … refrigerate to help them firm up and hold shape.
Coconut Energy Balls: blend by hand or food processor = 1 cup of soft date paste (you can also use medjool dates), 2 tbsp of raw carob powder, 2 tbsp of hemp hearts … combine until well blended (mixture will feel sticky) … roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in fine, unsweetened coconut until coated well … store in refrigerator … the mixture can act as a simple base where additional ingredients can be added including chopped raw nuts and superfoods like spirulina powder.
To allow new habits and patterns to take hold, many experts say it takes at least 21 days for solid adaptations to fully set in. I look forward to exploring other recipes and tips over these coming weeks and months. If you are looking to make significant changes to your nutrition habits, consider targeting one aspect of your diet first and focus on making just One Change. Vega can help you narrow in on one dietary habit and, with tips and recipes, inspire you to make this change and turn it into a long term healthy pattern. Click to visit Vega’s One Change challenge.
Vega One Change Giveaway
As part of the Vega One Change challenge, I am excited to be giving away to 1 lucky winner 1 Tub of Vega One and 1 box of sachets (Approx. Value $105). To enter to win this great prize, leave a comment to the question below. For an additional entry, leave a comment on my Facebook entry post.
Entry Question: What nutrition changes have inspired you for 2014?
- giveaway begins Jan 15, 2014 and ends Jan 22, 2014
- no substitution for prize / can not be redeemed for cash value
- for full giveaway details, please click here