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Review: Sneakz Protein Powder


Review: Sneakz Protein Powder

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
I don’t consume protein powders all that often these days, now that I’m trying to base most of my day around whole foods. But I do believe protein powders have their place and can be helpful. I used to be a diehard protein powder fan, and I had protein smoothies after every run to help with quick muscle recovery.

But then I did the Health Made Simple plan and realized that I don’t need THAT much protein every day. I learned that a handful of walnuts or flax seeds is plenty for my level of activity. I’m not body building after all. However, there are days when I put in a REALLY hard effort (like a long run of 10 to 20 miles) or days that I know I’m not going to be eating well (like when traveling or just really, really busy). On those days, I still consume protein powder.

And it was on one of those days recently (pretty sure I was extra busy that day!) that I tried Sneakz Organic Chocolate Protein Powder in a smoothie with banana, spinach, and extra cocoa powder.

Sneakz sent me this powder to review months ago, right as I was starting my whole foods journey. So it took me awhile to try it. But I’ve had it a few times since then, like last weekend after a 7-mile treadmill run that left me feeling weak and sluggish all day. Pretty sure I overheated a bit on that run, and I was getting over a cold too. I figured I could use a protein boost that day!

Sneakz, when mixed with liquid, tastes like chocolate milk. But it’s made with a simple blend of whole organic foods, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, and beets (1/2 serving of veggies in every scoop). Plus, it has 14 grams of pea protein, probiotics, and 10 essential amino acids.

Sneakz does contain some organic cane sugar, which I think some protein powder fans would prefer. But I’m firmly in the stevia camp for my protein powders. Consuming sugar in my smoothie makes me feel like I’m having dessert for breakfast (and I’d rather save dessert for dessert time!). But the sugar does make it taste pretty great. This would be an awesome product to deliver protein and veggie nutrition to picky kids!

January 16, 2019 at 06:00AM

Sandwiches! Bagels! Tacos! Treats!


Sandwiches! Bagels! Tacos! Treats!

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
Last Tuesday, I made the best Air-fried Avocado Tacos! I made avocado fries in the air fryer and topped with cashew cream and veggies. And I made some Chipotle Lime Street Corn in the air fryer as well. Taco Tuesday!!

I’m sticking with whole foods almost all the time at home these days, and I’m saving my plant meat and junk food splurges for eating out. But sometimes, a girl needs some Beet Puffs. These Vegan Rob’s puffs are made with pretty wholesome ingredients (like whole grain sorghum flour), so as junk food goes, they’re not bad. And I had a healthy BLT with Tofu Bacon on sprouted grain. So I feel pretty good about this meal.

Here’s a totally whole foods-based Tofu Stir-fry I made last night for dinner with broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms over quinoa. I feel best when I’m eating this way.

But treats in moderation are a-okay! My friend Don of Lulu’s Food has gone back to selling his vegan baked goods at the Cooper-Young Farmers Market. He posted a mouth-watering menu of vegan croissants and savory buns, as well as cookies, baguettes, pita, and morning buns, on Instagram the night before this Saturday’s market. It opened at 9 am, and I was there by 9:15 am. And he was almost SOLD OUT!! All that was left were cinnamon morning buns and cookies. I opted for a Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Morning Bun (both AMAZING!!). Next week, I’m getting there right at 9 am!

And finally, here’s a Whole Wheat Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese from Otherlands coffee shop that I ate yesterday morning. I had to get some freelance writing done, and I work best outside my house. I enjoyed this with a soy latte. Good stuff. They use Dave’s Bagels (the best!).

January 15, 2019 at 06:00AM

What I Ate When I Was Sick


What I Ate When I Was Sick

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
I’m back with a special soup edition of "Stuff I Ate." Late last week, I came down with a cold. I rarely get sick, which I like to attribute to my daily fire cider shots. Who knows if that actually helps boost immunity? But I tell myself it does. It seems like everyone I know is either sick now or has been sick over the past few weeks, and I guess it was just my turn.

I felt it coming on last Thursday, the same day I had lunch plans at Global Café with a few co-workers. Global Café is in Crosstown Concourse, where I work, and they provide jobs to refugees and immigrants and give them a space to showcase their countries’ cuisines. I’m a huge fan of the Nepalese booth, where I typically opt for the amazing veggie chow mein. But since I was feeling a little funky, I went with the Thukpa Noodle Soup. This has a spicy, garlicky broth with noodles, veggies, jalapenos, red onion, and cilantro. So very good. I will probably always order this when I’m sick now.

By Friday, I was feeling AWFUL. Definitely the worst day of my cold. I’d planned to have leftover lentil sloppy joes for dinner that night, but that didn’t even sound good. What did sound good was No Chicken Noodle Soup and a Grilled Cheeze. So I dumped a can of Amy’s No Chicken on the stove and made a quick grilled cheeze with Daiya and Earth Balance. I always keep a few cans of Amy’s No Chicken in the pantry for emergencies. Doesn’t look appetizing but, trust me, it’s what you need when you need it. 
I was feeling a little better over the weekend but still very congested. Paul and I were signed up to run the MRTC Winter Off-Road Series Overton Park 3K on Sunday, and I managed to run despite feeling icky. A 3K is less than 2 miles, so I knew I could do it no matter how bad I felt. But afterward, I just wanted to sit on the couch and watch a movie and eat soup. We did stop for beers at Crosstown Brewing Co. first, but I eventually got my wish. Takeout Mandu Guk from Crazy Noodle and Birdbox on Netflix (I loved it!). The mandu guk has veggie dumplings, Korean rice cakes, veggies, and broth. Spiced up with a little sriracha.
I’m much better now, but I’m not feeling 100% yet. Still have lots of snot, and my nose is all raw from blowing it 50 million times. Plus, it’s cold AF outside, so soup is still calling me. Today for lunch, I got the Thai Green Curry Bowl from the cafe at Crosstown Arts, where I work. This isn’t soup, but it’s soupy so it counts. Brown rice, tempeh, squash, eggplant, kimchi, and enoki mushrooms in a coconut curry broth. Perfection. Washed down with an iced chai tea.

January 11, 2019 at 06:00AM

Some Breakfasts I Ate


Some Breakfasts I Ate

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

Here are some things I’ve eaten for breakfast lately. I’m still all up in my smoothie game on week days, a habit I started when I was doing the Health Made Simple meal plan back in October/November. Most days, I drink my smoothie while I’m getting ready for work.

But for part of last week and earlier this week, I was fighting off a cold and opted to skip my workouts in favor of extra sleep. That meant I had time to sit down to breakfast, but I still wanted to have smoothies for nutrition. So what’s a girl to do?

Smoothie Bowls

! Here’s one from yesterday with a base of banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach, topped with banana, walnuts, coconut, and chia.

Most of my week day smoothies are pretty simple — banana, water or almond milk, other frozen fruit, walnuts or flax seeds, spinach. But Megan included this Moon Juice Beauty Dust in my holiday gift, so I added that to a 

Berry Banana Green Smoothie

one day!

On weekends, I tend to have a heartier sit-down breakfast (typically on my couch while watching Netflix). I love bagels, but I’m trying to focus on whole foods. I found these Smart Bagel whole wheat bagel thins at Sprouts and love them. They’re certainly not as awesome as REAL bagels, but they’ll do. Very good with a

Tofu Scramble

! I spread a little Daiya cream cheese on this one because we had some leftover from the holidays.

And here’s a Whole Wheat Bagel with Berry Jam & Seitan Bacon. I’ve not been buying much plant meats lately (trying to save those for special occasions), but this Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon was leftover from Christmas breakfast.

This past weekend, I took a more whole foods-y route and made Tofu Bacon in the air fryer, served with more bagels (spread with BE-Hive garlic soy cheese, locally-ish made in Nashville).

And finally, here’s a

Breakfast Sandwich

! A fun weekend breakfast with tofu egg, Benevolent Bacon (again, leftover), and spinach. Not quite as satisfying as a sandwich on a fluffy

Dave’s Bagel

but still very tasty.

January 10, 2019 at 06:00AM

Stuff I Ate


Stuff I Ate

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a post of random meals, and I’ve got lots of photos in the back log. I’ll share a few tonight and more throughout the week.

Here’s a meal I ate just after Christmas. I had some leftover Crispy Tofu from Mulan, which I’d ordered on Christmas night. It’s a cornstarch-coated, deep-fried salt and pepper tofu dish with minimal veggies, so I upped the veggie game and mixed it with sauteed broccoli, squash, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Served over brown rice instead of the white rice it came with. I always try to healthify leftover Chinese takeout on day two.

A couple days after Christmas, my friend Susan and I took a trip out to IKEA. It’s not that far from Midtown, but it always feels like an adventure driving out east for a big IKEA day. It takes hours to work your way through the store, so we needed fuel. We grabbed the new IKEA Veggie Dogs at the concession booth in the front of the store. Y’all, these are 75 cents! The dog is made from veggies and tastes similar to the famous veggie balls. They’re topped with pickled cabbage and fried onions!
Mid-way through the store, we stopped in the cafe for IKEA Veggie Balls! Served with quinoa and steamed veggies. So good. We also bought bags of frozen balls to take home. 
I picked up this Munsbit Oat Smoothie in the IKEA food store. It had apple, pear, and ginger and was perfect for a post-run snack last week.
Here’s a bowl of Tofu Ramen I enjoyed for breakfast one morning over the holiday break.
And finally, this is the Green Salad at the cafe at Crosstown Arts. It may look like an ordinary salad, but this is thing of beauty. The homemade dressing that lightly coats the mixed greens, radish, green apple, and toasted pepitas is indescribably good. It’s a big side salad, so I love to order this when I bring a small lunch to work that warrants a side dish.

January 9, 2019 at 06:00AM

The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook


The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

Most vegan cookbooks these days are very tailored to one specific food genre or cooking method, which is awesome when you’re looking for a specific kind of recipe. But what if you don’t know what you want. That’s where

The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

comes in handy.

This book — collectively written by Emily von Euw, Kathy Hester, Linda and Alex Meyer, Marie Reginato, Celine Steen, and Amber St. Peter — contains 600 vegan recipes ranging from pasta to bowls to soups to sandwiches. Recipes are organized into Main Dishes, Slow Cooker/Instant Pot/Air Fryer, 30 Minutes or Less, Appetizers/Snacks/Sides, Soups/Salads, and Desserts.

There are only a few pictures, arranged in a spread in the middle of the book, so you’ll have to use your imagination on most. But the names are pretty descriptive — think Oreo-ish Tarts: Vanilla Whipped Coco Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crust or BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich with Slaw and Caramelized Onions.

I’ve only had a chance to try one recipe so far, but it was perfection. These

Air-Fried Tofu Rancheros

kept me satisfied for several meals throughout the holiday break.

The only thing that’s air-fried is the tofu, which is coated in taco spices before frying. And they have baking instructions too in case you don’t have an air fryer. The tortilla is toasted in the oven with vegan cheese and black beans. Once it comes out of the oven, it’s topped with raw, shredded zucchini, squash, and carrot, the air-fried tofu, and chopped tomato. I added hot sauce and extra salsa too.

Other recipes I have my eye on: Kimchi Tofu Scramble, Marinated Portobello Cashew Cheeseburgers with Herbs & Tomatoes, Mushroom Fajitas, Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta, Vegan Pretzel Bites, Vegan BLT Salad with Smoky Spicy Mayo, and a recipe titled A Smoothie for Emotional Strength (because who doesn’t need that????).

January 3, 2019 at 06:00AM

Winter Solstice Eats!


Winter Solstice Eats!

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
Hey everyone! I hope y’all had a great Solstice and Christmas! I definitely did. And I’ve got lots of delicious food photos to share from all the celebrations, so much so that I’m breaking them up into a few days. Tonight, I’ll focus on Solstice, which was Friday, Dec. 21. Tomorrow, I’ll share pics from our annual Vegan Drinks Holiday Wine Party, and on Friday, I’ll share pictures from my Christmas celebration with my parents.

As much as I detest winter, Solstice is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a bright spot in a bleak, gray season. And even though it’s officially the start of winter and the longest night of the year, it’s also the turning point when the nights begin to grow shorter and shorter until — boom — we find ourselves in spring and then glorious, glorious summer.

I like to enjoy winter-themed foods all day on Winter Solstice. I started my morning with a bootcamp class at the gym, followed by this Cocoa Mint Smoothie with banana, cocoa powder, fresh mint, spinach, and walnuts.

Friday was my last day at work for 11 days! Yay for holiday break! But of course that meant that Friday was insanely busy as I tried to wrap things up. So I packed an easy lunch to eat at my desk. In keeping with my winter theme, I wanted something white to symbolize the snow that never really happens in Memphis. I had Explore Cuisine Mung Bean & Edamame Fettucine with Victoria Vegan Alfredo and Steamed Broccoli & Mushrooms. Such an easy, quick meal to pack! And that while that VV alfredo sauce is totally a convenience food, it’s a pretty healthy one made from whole foods (mostly cashews!).
On Solstice night, I always light candles in every room to symbolize the return of the Sun. And I like to feast on seasonal foods. I made one of my Solstice standards — the Baked Spaghetti Squash from Cooking By the Seasons (an old vegetarian witchy cookbook). The squash is tossed with a homemade tomato sauce made by cooking down roma tomatoes with fresh herbs and garlic. I topped it with bits of garlic soy cheeze that I picked up at The BE-Hive in Nashville, plus garlic toast and a side salad.
After dinner, I had some wine and a Santa Baby Cupcake from Muddy’s Bake Shop (chocolate with peppermint frosting), but sadly, I failed to take a picture of dessert! 

December 27, 2018 at 02:35AM

Stuff I Ate


Stuff I Ate

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
As we head into the holiday weekend (YAY!), I’m really trying to find balance between healthy foods and indulgent meals. There’s no way I’m avoiding holiday sweets and vacation eats, but not every meal has to be indulgent. So I’m finding balance with big salads and bowls.

I’ve been eating a lot of Big Ass Salads lately, mostly with an easy tahini-acv dressing. Last week, I had this salad with a slice of Sprouted Grain Toast with Deviled Tofu Spread (leftover from my Vegan Corner guest segment on the Chris Vernon Show).

Here’s a super-delicious bowl I made this week — Peanut Coconut Tofu Bowls! This has air-fried tofu, sauteed broccoli, bell pepper, mushrooms, and onions, quinoa, and a bottled peanut coconut sauce.

Okay, here are a few not-as-healthy meals! I took Monday morning off work since I’d been in Nashville all weekend. I really enjoy having a day to get my chores done and get myself prepped for the week. So I slept in and enjoyed a bowl of Koyo Baked Ramen with Tofu & Veggies.

And here’s a sad one: As I’ve mentioned before, Fuel Cafe — where my friend Don bakes the best vegan pizza in town — is closing on Dec. 22. I’m so bummed about it! I met Susan and Pam there on Tuesday night for one last meal. I got the Brussels & Shiitake Pizza with cashew cream, brussels, smoked shiitakes (they taste like bacon), fresh dill, and fresh tarragon.

Happy Holidays, y’all!! I’ll back in soon with holiday food pics.

December 21, 2018 at 06:00AM

Vegan Weekend in Nashville


Vegan Weekend in Nashville

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
I spent last weekend in Nashville eating (and drinking) all the vegan things! Paul works in Nashville and wanted me to attend his work holiday party. So I headed over on Friday afternoon and stayed through Sunday night.

When I arrived on Friday, Paul was still at work. So I made a stop at Avo for a lovely, fancy dinner with myself. I had the Kale Caesar, Mac & Cheese, and a pale ale. Avo has the BEST kale caesar ever with homemade cashew parm, sundried tomatoes, fried chickpeas, and roasted garlic. The mac was gluten-free with made-in-house coconut cheese (and it was on their happy hour snack menu!).

After Paul got off work, we met his friend Collin (pictured) for a flight of beers at Growlers, our fave bar in Hendersonville (the Nashville suburb where Paul lives part-time).
Paul had to work for a few hours on Saturday before his party, so I slept in and then went for a 4-mile run on the Hendersonville Greenway. Yay! I’m running again!
After I showered, I drove into the city for lunch at The BE-Hive — a pop-up deli/vegan butcher. They have the BEST Mozzarella Sticks, made with their homemade coconut cheese.
I ate all of those, plus this gigantic Breakfast Burrito with their house-made seitan sausage, tots, tofu scramble, and vegan queso. Such a big ass lunch but so worth it.
Paul got off work at 5 pm that day, and we headed to our hotel — Loews — in downtown Nashville. The party was there, and we got a room so we could just head upstairs afterward. No driving needed. Good thing because we had a lot of cocktails at the open bar.
The party included one of those catered sit-down dinners. You know, the kind that typically are not vegan-friendly. Everyone around me was served chicken, and I wasn’t expecting to be able to eat. Honestly, I was still full from lunch, and I’d already found a Pizza Rev down the street for emergency vegan pizza if needed. But when the server tried to give me a chicken plate, Paul told her I was vegan. And she said, "no problem!" And then she came back with this — Quinoa Burger, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus and Carrots. AMAZING! It’s a new world we’re living in folks. Paul tried a bite and said it was much better than the chicken he was served!
The next morning, we met one of Paul’s co-workers for brunch at Graze, our favorite vegan brunch spot in Nashville. I got the Breakfast Bowl — a biscuit topped with tofu scramble, veggie sausage, tempeh bacon, and hollandaise. I added avocado!
Graze has $5 bloody marys on Sundays too, so I always have to get one of those!
Graze is located next door to Five Daughters Bakery, which has vegan doughnuts! YAY! I got a Chocolate Peppermint Doughnut to go (and enjoyed it later that afternoon).
Paul and I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, I’d planned to drive home. But I knew I needed to eat one more time before I hit the road. Unfortunately, after all the deliciousness of the weekend, I couldn’t imagine eating anything that wasn’t green. So I made a little salad from the Kroger salad bar! Just what I needed.

December 20, 2018 at 06:00AM

Vegan Crunk on Vegan Corner!


Vegan Crunk on Vegan Corner!

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
Last week, I was invited to be a guest on The Chris Vernon Show — a hugely popular, radio show on the Memphis Grizzlies (our NBA team). As you might expect, most of the show’s content is focused on basketball. But they just happen to have a weekly segment called Vegan Corner!

One of the show’s hosts, Alexis Morgan, is vegan, and she uses her Vegan Corner segment to highlight local vegan options and host vegan guests. She invited me on to talk about my blog and cookbook, Cookin’ Crunk. But I also used this as a chance to promote our cafe at Crosstown Arts, which is plant-based (and mostly vegan!).

Each week, the Vegan Corner guest is asked to bring a dish to share on-air. Last week, my friend Melissa was on the show, and she brought her famous spinach dip. It was a huge hit, so she was a tough act to follow!

I originally suggested I could bring my Tofu Deviled Eggs from Cookin’ Crunk, which are made with tofu "egg whites" and a tofu/white bean/black salt yellow filling. But at the last minute, I decided to also bring a selection of vegan pastries baked by Ali in our cafe at Crosstown Arts (where I work in communications).

On air, the hosts tried my tofu deviled eggs, plus Ali’s hummingbird cake (banana-pineapple cake with cultured cashew cream cheese frosting), chocolate-raspberry twist danish, berry crumble oat bar, and spiced pineapple hand pie. Everyone loved all of the pastries (especially the hummingbird cake, which they all rated a 10!). And most people liked my tofu deviled eggs, but host Chris Vernon doesn’t really like tofu. So I could tell it wasn’t his fave, but he was gracious about it! Alexis is the only one on the show who is vegan, so this is great exposure for the hosts (and all those NBA fans who listen!).

We also talked about Crosstown Arts’ larger mission to cultivate the creative community in Memphis and our programs and spaces. Such a cool opportunity!!

December 19, 2018 at 03:00AM

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