Monday, January 7, 2013

Typical Food Day for a Healthy Vegan

The question that people ask me the most often, “what do you eat?”  It is almost as though people cannot imagine what anyone would eat once you eliminate meat, eggs and dairy.  However I still remember having those same thoughts when we made the transition so I realize that people genuinely have no idea.  To help anyone who is new to this lifestyle here are my go-to meals in the typical day.  The picture above is of cucumber bites with macadamia nut cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto.


Breakfast is one of four things at our house. Generally it is a green smoothie, green juice, oatmeal or leftovers.

Green smoothies are the most common thing we have for breakfast. Since Dan and I have different calorie requirements I start the blender with the ingredients that we both use for example:  raw kale, frozen banana (for creamy texture), frozen fruit (this could be mango, raspberries, peaches, wild blueberries, frozen seedless grapes, pineapple, etc), cinnamon (to help our bodies process the natural sugar in the fruit), and a small handful (may a ¼ cup) of walnuts and a little water (to help the blender process). Then I blend this and pour my serving leaving at least two thirds in the blender for Dan. To the blender which now contains only Dan’s portion I add two more handfuls of walnuts and stevia and blend again. Dan gets the remainder of the smoothie.  Once I realized that I could make both our smoothies at one time kitchen time became much easier in the morning.  I hope this helps you too.

If I make green juice this is my entire breakfast but becomes Dan’s supplement to his smoothie. This typically looks something like this:  raw kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger. Sometimes I add a green apple or carrot for Dan but I prefer my juice to be less sweet.

If we have oatmeal it might be savory, if I am only making it for me since Dan prefers sweet oatmeal.  For Dan it is usually something like this oatmeal with apple, cranberries, cinnamon, stevia, raw pumpkin seeeds, raw sliced almonds and hemp seeds.

After our breakfast I will make us both mugs of herbal tea. We don’t drink green tea or coffee right after having the kale because these both inhibit the body’s ability to absorb the iron from the kale.  For men this isn’t a big deal since they shouldn’t need iron unless something is wrong like internal bleeding.  But women of child bearing age need to be aware of this.  On a side note did you realize that men’s vitamins don’t contain iron, because they don’t need it?  Also iron in meat does not function in the body like plant-based iron. The iron is meat is absorbed whether the body needs it or not and plant-based iron is only absorbed if you need it.  Isn’t it interesting that men think they “need” meat yet it contains something that they don’t need which can be harmful?

Back to the tea our favorite herbal tea is one called “Herbal Christmas” which we buy from the Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company in Timonium. It contains hibiscus, orange peel and cinnamon. To this tea I add fresh citrus (usually orange but lemon and lime are good too), and sometimes dried goji berries for the extra nutrition.  For those of you who aren't local I understand that they have a website if you want to order some of this blend.  We also like "Heavenly Hibiscus" and this one isn't just stocked at Christmas time.


Our mid-day meal tends to vary quite a bit but in the cold weather it is typically a bowl of soup that I made previously in the pressure cooker for us to have later.  As you know I love my intentional leftovers.  Our favorite soup is the curried red lentil and tomato soup which I now add rehydrated dried mushrooms to for added nutrition.  Dan has his soup over quinoa and sometimes I do too. But at least half the time I have just soup with no whole grain. I have difficulty with my weight when I eat too many whole grains which I believe is due to the extra calories not some underlying allergy. Since discovering that I have trouble with grain I try to eat whole grain less than once per day.  Keeping control of the grains that I eat has made it easier to keep off the 14 pounds I lost with the juice fast.

If it were hot outside we tend to have salad for lunch.  I also make a lot of veggie dishes like cold roasted peppers, with grilled onions, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar and cilantro in the summer.  Another summer favorite is artichoke salad with lemon, parsley, and red onion. Both of those veggie dishes are good alone or on top of a green salad. 


What we have for dinner also tends to vary also but not as much as you would think.  We may have soup and salad which is always good.  There could be pasta for Dan and kelp noodles for me like we had Friday (see prior post). Another favorite is a huge salad for dinner (see two posts back).  If we are rushed or I don’t feel like cooking we might also have a green smoothie for dinner.

If the weather were warmer we would be more like to have a raw dinner (salad, green smoothie, or zucchini spaghetti). In the winter hot food just seems to work better.


Every day without fail we have two things for snacks:  roasted seaweed and Brazil nuts.  You have heard me talk about Brazil nuts many times but the roasted seaweed snacks I have mentioned but not as much.  After reading that most westerners are low in iodine (which is found in abundance in sea vegetables) Dan and I started eating a package of roasted seaweed everyday and now we both like it. Okay so I really like it and Dan thinks it is okay but at least he eats it. 

Since it is winter we also snack on things like fresh citrus.  There is grapefruit for me and oranges for Dan.  Remember that grapefruit interacts with many medications.  If you or someone you love is on any prescription medication talk to your pharmacist before adding grapefruit to your life. This applies to the whole fruit and the juice.  You can’t be too careful!

In the summer our snacks might be frozen grapes or fresh fruit.

I hope this give you some idea of what we usually eat. There are many other things that we eat, like vegan pizza. But the ideas above are the day-to-day foods that have become our go to items.

Happy Thoughts:
  1. Sunday we had the most amazing day.  It started with lunch at Zaytinya which is the Jose Andres’ Middle Eastern Restaurant. This was delicious and will get its own post because it deserves it.  I can’t wait to share that experience with you.
  2. Also on Sunday we saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC and that was very funny.  We were very fortunate to get front row seats on the last day.  Both Dan and I enjoyed the play.
  3. After the play we went to Jaleo (Jose’s tapas restaurant) and had dinner. It was definitely a Jose food day and it was delicious!  The liquid olives were wonderful so I had two. I will explain more about that later. I decided it is time for me to get back into molecular gastronomy which means making liquid olives is on my to-do list.  *happy dance* I am excited to get back into this.  I am such a big kid.

Signing out:

Sorry this post didn’t go up at midnight as I had planned. When we got home from DC I was tired and had a headache from being dehydrated so I went to bed early instead of finishing this.  I wanted it to be somewhat coherent when it posted.  When I have a headache I am not usually functioning well.  

My plan is to get another post ready today to go up at midnight.  I am trying to get back into the groove of daily blogging. One thing I know is that I need to figure out how to make the process quicker.  You guys have given me a few suggestions that involve recycling favorite posts. If you have any other suggestions please let me know.

I hope you have a fabulous week and I will chat with you again soon.  Ciao for now.


  1. it really is one of the most frequently asked questions, isn't it? and sooooooo difficult to answer - there's so much to choose from!!! loved this post, I hope lots of potential vegans read it and feel inspired:)

    1. Christine,

      Thank you for letting me know it isn't just me who gets that question. I am always tempted to be bad and say "food" but that wouldn't be helpful. ;-) There are so many things to choose from when you eat this way. In fact I think that my diet is more varied since we went vegan which people always find unbelievable. In this post I wanted to cover our go-to stuff. My life is hectic just like everyone else so I wanted to show that eating this way doesn't have to be complicated unless that is what you want. Thanks for letting me know that post turned out well. :-)

      Hope you are having a terrific Monday,

  2. You two eat so healthy!! That's how I've been eating on my 30-day Thrive Forward cleanse, but I typically eat more grains and junk. :-)

    1. Hi Bianca,

      Your comment made me smile. We try to eat healthy but trust me there are times the junk creeps in. Last night we were at Jaleo for dinner and I indulged in two liquid olives and a gin and tonic made with barrel aged gin which was amazing. However we try to eat healthy most days. When you have cancer staring you in the face it is much easier to find motivation. I am just hoping other people will get motivated without cancer so that they don't have to deal with it. The stats re: cancer in this country are frightening.

      I hope that you cleanse is going well and that you are enjoying it. :-)

      Have a great week!

  3. I still need to try Jose Andres's place here in LA. It's expensive, so it just hasn't happened yet. We are doing green smoothies this week for the first time in a while. I just got a new blender (old one died late last summer), so we are very excited!

    A thought for making blogging quicker is making each entry about a separate topic. This one pretty much was, but I know you often like to tackle a few different things at once, which obviously takes more time to write.

    1. Brigid,

      Yes Jose isn't cheap I agree but he will blow your mind. The liquid olives were mind altering and I have been to the Mini Bar so I know the magic he can weave. I can't wait to try my hand at his red lentil patties that we had at Zaytinya. The should have been served with preserved lemon yogurt which I can easily make with cashew cream at home. Can't you just envision the taste of them? I am such a kid when it comes to Jose, he is amazing to me. ;-)

      Sorry about your old blender but I am glad that you got a new one.

      Thanks for the idea. I think I either write too much or include too many photos. Maybe I just over think and do too many edits. Not sure but I really need to figure it out. LOL

      Hope you have a marvelous week,

  4. This was a fabulous post! I've been trying to work on the individual pieces of starting to eat better, but it's really difficult to put into a sustainable day-by-day program. I'm going to end up going over this post several times, I know. I hadn't thought to put cinnamon in our smoothies.

    On Sunday we went to the National Portrait Museum in DC. It was a great museum, but what I really loved was the cafe. It's an atrium in the middle of the museum, with a beautiful, unique roof and a couple of floor fountains, and the cafe has a nice salad bar with lots of fresh (looking, at least) ingredients. They were advertising a farm-to-table event for next weekent, so they may use local ingredients. I would love to live close enough to visit that atrium regularly just to sit there with a cup of was so relaxing.

    I know the photos must be time-consuming, but they are lovely and very inspiring/helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

    1. Thanks Statch!

      I am so glad that you found this useful. Thank you so much for letting me know. Cinnamon is very nice in smoothies as well as being healthy. Dan's favorite green smoothie is: raw kale, frozen banana, frozen cherries, cocoa powder, cinnamon, stevia, walnuts and water. If you like chocolate give it a try.

      That is so funny that we were within a 1/4 mile or less of each other. Zaytinya and Jaleo are both within a block of the National Portrait Gallery and the Shakespeare theatre is close too. Thanks for the tip on the Museum I have been in a long time and need to go back.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.


  5. Great post! I agree with recycling- you have some amazing content here, I think it would be great to recover some of it.
    If you're looking for time saving blogging tips I'd say think about short sweet posts- I love the attention and care that go into your post don't get me wrong- but you could always chop them up into multiples? eg this could have been 3...
    The other thing to think about is you don't HAVE to blog daily- do what works for you, personally I've found blogging weekly makes me much happier and gives me time for the rest of my commitments. I tend to get ahead when I have some down time (in front of the tv or on the train) and schedule blogs ahead of time...
    I'm so glad you're posting again :) x

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thanks for stopping by and providing wonderful suggestions. Weekly blogging was not something that I even considered so I appreciate that idea immensely! Also I am curious how would you have chopped this into 3 posts? I would love to hear your thoughts on that. Since you also blog I know you understand how long it takes. While they are quick to read producing them takes much more time.

      thank you again, :-)

  6. Hi there!
    I have been checking your blog periodically and decided to check again today. I am glad to see you are back blogging! I missed reading your posts. :) The food looks tasty as usual. I am no longer actively blogging at Yummy Vegetarian Delights. My husband and I have a website: and a YouTube channel: . I will visit your blog more regularly now that you are back. I'm so glad you and your husband are doing well. God bless! :)

    1. Good morning Angel,

      Happy New Year! Thanks for the warm welcome back and for letting me know where you are on the web now. I have a busy day today but will try to stop by very soon to check out your new digs. Love the name of site the natural lifestyle show is a fantastic name. :-) Thank you also for your well wishes regarding our health. We are still doing our best to stay ahead of the cancer.

      hope to chat with you again soon,


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