Eating Well & Being Well as a Lifestyle (plus reader recipe resources!)

09.01.11

Sesame Kale Salad by fresh 365

I’ve written a lot about food here- I adore cooking and baking and often share my veg friendly recipes, I’ve talked about growing up vegetarian & how my husband isn’t vegetarian, I’ve done a 30 Day Vegan experiment and talked about how you can plan a vegetarian or vegan challenge that you can stick with, and shared how I meal plan.

My problem is with consistency- after a couple of weeks I stop making being active and eating well a priority and I backslide. While I love eating healthy food & being active, I don’t consistently set aside time to prepare great healthy at home or to work out. Well, I’ve turned a corner lately, and wanted to share some of the things that have been working for me!

What I’ve been learning & loving about getting healthier:

- I’ll stick with working out daily when there’s a built in reward- beyond endorphins! When I’ve tried to make working out part of my daily routine in the past, it’s just been an item on my check list but for the past month I’ve been making it the highlight of my morning by bringing my iPad with me and watching episodes of TV shows I’m enjoying and reading blogs. It’s meant that I don’t comment on my favourite blogs as much, but it’s getting me working out so I think it’s a fair trade off.

- It’s easier to eat well if I focus on cooking more than on eating. When I’m focused on eating I spend time making sure that I don’t have things that are bad for me, which means my head is in a place of avoiding & self restraint. Not very exciting! When I focus on cooking great food for myself  and making time for that, I get to be focused on creating and possibility which is much more natural and is something I can look forward to every day.

- I’m more likely to stick with planning meals around eating simple, whole foods instead of around recipes I find online. Trying new recipes is a lot of fun, but because I’m trying to change how I eat & think about food, thinking about vegetables that I want to eat and finding simple ways to prepare them is much more sustainable from day to day.

Other changes that I’ve made over the past month include making sure I eat green, leafy veggies and fruits every day, getting at least 30 mins of cardio daily, giving up coffee & espresso in favor of green tea, reducing the sugar I take in, avoiding foods that are overly carby or starchy, and sticking exclusively with whole grains. The funny thing is that these are ideas that my marathon running, everything organic & vegetarian mom raised my sister and I with but I’m starting to see the value much more now than I did when I was younger.

I’m hoping that by adding daily work outs and overall healthier eating into my life that I can permanently lose some of the weight I’ve gained in the past two years, and that I can figure out a way to manage (or skip!) the energy dips & spikes I have during the day. I can dream, right? :)

Green beans with lemon & feta cheese by Two Peas & Their Pod 

The other day on twitter, I asked what your favourite vegetarian friendly resources were and I got some amazing responses that I couldn’t pass up sharing here. And for the record, I follow all of these lovely ladies and you should too!

Reader Recipe Resources

Do you have Veganomicon??
@Hello_Vanny

Sophie Dahl does lots of veggie recipes, and she has two books out [KR: onetwo] and an adorable kitchen. :) xx
@LittleMessyLA

I love VeganDad, great recipes, lots of variety and Canadian win/win/win.
@BuildingBeauty_

The latest whole living magazine has a huge recipe section on raw and vegan eating. Can’t wait to try! And I just made My New Roots chocolate shake. Amazing!
@ourcitylights

Any book by Sarah Kramer and of course isa chandra moskiwitz and blogs vegan stoner, your vegan mom & vegan breakfast. And if you go to findingvegan.com you can search recipes and it takes you to their blogs that how I find all mine
@misslarissabree

I think you know mine! @ohsheglows [blog] and @Mama_Pea ‘s [blog] sites are my fave :)?
@Lisasyarns

Anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is amazing. I love the recipes in Vegan with a Vengeance!
@Tiny_Nest

Not sure if anyone recommended her or not but the ‘urban housewife‘ has some great recipes. Also your ‘vegan mom‘ :)
@OreoFairy

Have you ever read @EatingBirdFood blog? [link!] She’s my favorite!
@McCatie

Check out @backtoherroots she has an amazing recipe for Mexican lentil stuffed shells
@threadedbyHL

I love browsing through TasteSpotting.com for recipe ideas!
@KWillll

hipsterfood.tumblr.com / chickpea-magazine.tumblr.com :D
@sewindie

I’ve been having so much fun exploring these resources and adding them to my “Fude” folder where I do all my recipe research, and I hope that they’re useful to you too! I would love to hear about any resources that you swear by, or tips for going from healthy choices to a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel through social media. .
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There are 14 responses already, join in!
  1. Great post!
    Thank you. :)

  2. Ooh, love all those resources! I really need the Mama Peas cookbook – it’s on hold for me at the library and I can’t wait to try it out. I’ve been focusing this year on a more plant based diet. Over the holidays something was making me feel nauseous and I’m pretty sure it was red meat! Since then I haven’t had any red meat (except for a little bit of sausage gravy, which immediately made me feel sick) and I’ve had very little white meat. So far, it’s been pretty easy and I feel good! I don’t think I can give it up completely, but I am working on cutting out 90% of animal products in my diet.
    Great post! Definitely starring this one for future reference! :)

    • I’m fascinated by how what our bodies need changes over time- it’s great that you’re being a detective and figuring out what works for you! I’ve heard such great things about Mama Peas cookbook in a short time that I can’t wait to check it out. If you find anything that you really adore make sure to let me know, I’d really appreciate it! :)

  3. I made 2 Oh She Glows recipes this weekend. Her food is easy and it rocks! :) For me, healthy living is all about planning and preparation! So that means spending time on the weekends cooking so I have yummy meals during the week. :) I think exercising while watching tv/movies on your iPad sounds awesome too!

    • Planning and preparation are so key- Sundays have become my lunch preparation day over the past few months and I love how donating some time in the kitchen means I get to enjoy great food all week. Plus it’s dedicated time for my addiction to Kitchen Nightmares and Gordon Ramsay- thank you Netflix! ;)

  4. I’ve been reading a few of these resources but I’m excited to check out the ones I’ve never seen. Thanks!

  5. Your resources sound great! You should also check out the website Choosing Raw. It’s not all raw food, but it is all vegan. Gena (the author of the site) is a real sweetheart, too.

    Ok, now you’re making me want an iPad so I can watch movies and tv shows while I exercise! I guess I’ll have to settle for my little iPod classic. Tiny, but still fun!

  6. Yay! Thanks so much for the recipe resources. I’m definitely always looking for more myself. I’m a vegetarian too and I’m always on the hunt for new, yummy things to make. :)

  7. That kale salad looks so yummy. Im trying to eat healthier but tis hard when everyone keeps posting yummy cupcake recipes!

    http://madnessanmusings.blogspot.com/2012/01/and-im-loving-minty-green.html

  8. I feel the same way about fitness plans; I respond better with incentives. I think I might have to plan rewards for myself after workouts or after a week of workouts. I like what you said about focusing on cooking. For me, cooking is my therapy and I try to nourish my body and brain with healthy foods.

    While I am not vegetarian, we mostly eat vegetarian at home (about 4-5 nights/week) and my favorite go to for recipes is 101cookbooks.com. I also got her cookbook, “Super Natural Everyday,” for Christmas and have been making dishes from it constantly.

    Good luck and keep up the great work!

  9. Thank you for all the recipe recommendations! I love finding new recipes to try out so I’ll be bookmarking these! :)

  10. Awesome post! I love that you brought up following a recipe/finding simple ways to prepare foods. I think this is what usually trips me up, trying to make elaborate things and then feeling burnt out some nights because I “don’t feel like cooking a big meal” ><;

  11. [...] Kyla Roma blogs about eating well as a lifestyle. [...]

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