5 Tips From a Vegan Dietetics Student

Four years ago landing at Purdue University in Indiana, I didn’t know what to expect.  I had lectures about the incredible GMOs and dairy products, and labs visiting meat processing factories.  I learned the hard way how to stay true to myself.  Nothing could bring me more joy than providing fitness classes, newspaper articles, and my own series of vegan food demonstrations.  Today, I know so much more about myself, the dietetics profession, and the stereotype that I am associated with.  Hopefully, you can dodge a few bullets with some advice from my experiences.

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1. Don’t Tell Them You’re “Vegan”. Well, at least not right away.  It is much more accepted to say “I feel good eating plant-based” or “I just don’t like meat and milk gives me gas!”  The word “vegan” instantly gives people that “oh… you’re one of those weirdos” kind of vibe.  And, trust me, you’re only saving yourself. Once they find out you’re vegan, then you get the, “oh, so do you eat ___” and “wait, can you eat __” questions.. which, at this point, are beyond irritating.

2. Haters Gonna Hate. If your “friends” are mad at you for not going out with them, they are not your friends.

IMG_20150207_171122 I learned this one the hard way.  But when I did make this realization, I can’t believe the incredible friends that came along!  I have so much fun spending true quality time with my friends, being nerdy, and doing what I love most like run, cook, dance, yoga, and eat 😉 ! I don’t plan on becoming an alcoholic…that doesn’t mean I didn’t have one to many mimosas at PQ’s bridal shower…but still…I love my liver. Also, there are definitely disbelievers out there. And it is really fun to prove them wrong. Snapchat--750773866263956008

3. Share BOMB food with your friends.  Everybody wants delish healthy food these days.  Share your vegan favorites with as many people as possible.  Try these brownies, they are easy, healthy, and beyond ooey gooey and amazing.  You gotta try them on your friends. Black Bean Brownies S/O Anna Lawler

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4. At the end of the day, you know you’re going to save the world.  IMG_20150307_200447Just check out what the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says: veganevidence

5. Blog! Now that I am a senior, I almost forgot why I started this blog in the first place.  If only I had a penny for every time I was asked, “what do you eat!?” and “where do you get your protein!?”  This blog was made for an easy one-liner answer, “check the blog.”  And what a fantastic tool it has been.  I can’t wait to take the time to make a professional, beautiful website in the future like my current inspiration Nutrition Stripped

If I can make it through, so can you!  Put yourself out there, and be sure to do what makes you happiest.  If you have any questions or comments please comment below or email me at k.reines1@gmail.com.  Enjoying every minute! xx

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Kale Quinoa Marinara

Staying in the elegant Purdue Pride home of the McKinney’s, I had the honor to make my kappa sistah Caroline a delicious dinner, dietetics student approved!

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Kale Quinoa Marinara
Serves 2-3.
Takes 15 minutes
Here’s what you’re going to need:

8oz quinoa (I used an 8oz bag of Simply Balanced rainbow quinoa)
1 bunch curly kale
1 avocado
4 tomatoes
1 cup sun dried tomatoes (I used a 3.5 oz bag of Bella Sun Luci Halves)
4-5 garlic cloves (depending on size and preference)
2-3 tbs Italian seasoning (we didn’t have Italian so I used dried basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, and cilantro)
2/3 of a medium-large onion
9 pitted dates

Steps
1. Rinse quinoa.  Boil 1 3/4 – 2 cups of water to make quinoa. Once water is brought to a boil, pour in rinsed quinoa and turn down heat to medium. Let quinoa soak in all the water as it cooks. Takes about 10 minutes.
2. While that’s cooking, soak your sun dried tomatoes and dates by saturating them in warm water for about 5-10 minutes.
3. Put 3 of the 4 tomatoes in a high speed blender, chop the 4th tomato to add to the top of the dish later.  Add garlic, seasoning, onion, and by this time dates and sun dried tomatoes should be softened and ready to add to blender (do not add soaking water). Blend until smooth, unless you like it chunky!
4. Rinse, de-stem, and chop kale well.  Place chopped kale in a large bowl. By now, quinoa should be done cooking.  Put warm quinoa into bowl with kale. Pour fresh tomato marinara into bowl and mix well with chopped tomato and diced avocado.
5. Reap the benefits!!

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Kale is soo high in calcium, iron, protein, folic acid, vitamin K and even more vitamins and minerals! Quinoa is also very high in iron and is one of the two (soy is the other) plant sources of a complete protein amino acid ratio. Meaning, not only does quinoa have all of the essential amino acids, it has them in the ratio that the body needs and uses.  The vitamin C in the tomatoes helps the iron get absorbed quickly and easily, and the healthy plant based cholesterol free vitamin E rich avocado’s monounsaturated fat, helps the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamin K. A fat free diet can lead to deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E, and K, because they are fat-soluble. Unlike B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium that are water soluble. A little bit of fat and vitamin C with your salad can help to absorb fat soluble vitamins and iron!

This was the perfect post work out quick, satisfying, mouth watering meal! Eat clean, wake up lean! L&L ! 😉
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Raw Vegan Biscuits and Gravy! (fat and gluten free!)

Ohh biscuits and gravy!  I thought you said bananas and datey!!

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Sunday mornin’ soul food baby.  Sweet, smooth, juicy, and hearty.  This will fill you up, and you actually will not be in a coma!! Haha, carb up and seize the day!

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The Biscuits:

  • cinnamon
  • bananas (sliced)
  • apples (mandolin thin)
  1. Thinly slice your fruit
  2. Using a straight cylinder coffee mug, get a layer of cinnamon on the bottom so the apple doesn’t stick.  then alternate layers of apples and layers of banana slices.  Once the mug is about 1/3 – 1/2 way full, press layers down firmly.  Run a knife around the outside of your biscuit in the mug and flip the mug forcefully into your hand or a small plate to get the biscuit out.
  3. Repeat and place biscuits on plate as desired.

The Gravy:

  • raisins (a few handfuls)
  • oranges (2-3)
  • dried apricots (like 6)
  • coconut date rolls (or dates – 5)
  1. Using a high speed blender or food processor, blend until smooth.  Add more orange sections to make it thinner, add more dried fruit to make it thicker.
  2. Pour / spoon over biscuits.
  3. Garnish with fruit and whatever else sounds good!
  4. Happy Sunday!!

Confessions of a Vegan Girly Girl

As a sorority sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a 3 year Jergans tanning lotion junkie, bashful bra stuffer, and $$$ spender of all things high heels, chiffon, and trendy, I have had a pretty crazy change of priorities.

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No matter how many products you use or what your skin feels like right now, I hope you know how beautiful and incredible you truly are.  We don’t give ourselves enough credit.  May your opinion of yourself be the highest of all your opinions.  Your truest, best version of yourself is always better than a sub-par replica of someone else.

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You bring something unique that this planet needs.  Embrace everyday to it’s fullest potential, and show the world what you’re made of.  Perceptions from others will always change, but your perception of yourself won’t- and you will be living with yourself for a very long time.

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   You are not discount material, so treat yourself right, you expensive piece of heaven you!! Let your hair down ladies, let’s see you shine ❤

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1. Shower Minimally

In trying to meet my vitamin D needs in the dead of winter, it is essential that I keep as many oils on my skin as possible.  When I do shower- it’s always under 10 minutes and never too hot.  Hot water really dries out my skin and strips my oils.  It’s funny- I never shower, but I really don’t smell.  Working out at the gym, sweaty people walk by and you either smell this intense urea / ammonia BO (caused from excess amino acids leaching out through the skin, causing intense body odor- sounds bogus but so true- study ammonia pathways and how it is excreted!) or you smell the strong deodorants, which have been shown in many studies and articles to contain that ammonium stuff that may be a very preventable cause of breast cancer.  In staying hydrated and eating a mindful, delicious, high carbohydrate diet, my skin naturally seems softer and I find myself sweating out the grapefruits and oranges I ate for breakfast 😀 yumm.. citrus!

2. Toss The Deodorant

Haha, hippie freak much?  Yes, and proud of it.  Like I said, deodorant = disease.  I am happy to admit I do use a natural deodorant that the compassionateclimber made.  I just put it in an old BAN deodorant container and use it just the same.  I’m not sure of the recipe he used, but this recipe from wellnessmama looks good:

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. UPDATE: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…

2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (If you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda)

3. Mix well

4. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. 5. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.

6. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use, though it may melt in the summer!

This recipe from crunchybetty also looks good, and easier too.

 3. Cut Back On The Hair Care

I used to have an itchy dry scalp.  Washing my hair less (I wash my hair 2-3 times a week), keeping the natural oils, helps a lot.  Of course I still workout and get sweaty- can’t tell.  In fact, my bestie Caroline curled my hair on Friday, it’s Monday night, and I got compliments on my beautiful curly hair all day long!  WTF hahaha.  Gotta love minimal living.  Caroline’s like you’re hair’s still curled?!  My friend Elizabeth is like, “It looks so good!!”  Yup. Not washing it.  Not to mention the more I wash and straighten/ curl my hair the more dead and drab it becomes with more and more dead ends, which means more frequent trims, which means more $$$ flying out of my poor college student pocket!  Kale no!

4. Makeup is Unnecessary

Sigh I’ll admit.  I still like to wear make-up.  It’s a practice I’m working on though.  I only wear it a few days a week, like definitely on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s when I teach (because my classes are events and should be treated as such) Or when I need to look super professional.  I have noticed it is kind of unnecessary though.  Like I used to rely heavily on the foundation to cover up redness or bumpiness.  My skin is really pretty smooth and uniform these days, seriously can’t complain.  I recently bought some natural vegan mascara from Sunspot that I feel better about using occasionally, and am looking for more natural products to help ease my transition.  I know Karyn’s Raw has an amazing line in Chicago that I would like to look further into.

5. Coconut Oil Is The Wonder Product

Face, hair, lips, and legs, I put this stuff everywhere!  Chea on these frigid days I will definitely put a little on my face after I shower.  Coconut oil is perfect on my ends when I straighten my hair too- or if you’re looking for an all over deep conditioning treatment!  Lost your lip gloss- again?!  Slather on some coconut oil! Leaves a beautiful non-sticky shine and moisturizes like heaven!  Post-shaving, this stuff brings incredible smooth moisture and soft skin.  Not to mention- coconut oil is the perfect massage oil and naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial yummy smelling lubricant.  Have fun ladies!  Keep that coconut oil close by!

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5 Tips: Create The Best Version Of Yourself

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Infinite Waters has a deep understanding of enlightenment.  I invite you to check out his videos and read this article I wrote with his inspiration in mind.

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Rethink your existence. Everything you do is a choice. Realize that you are free. We were brought up to do, to provide, go to school, go to work and to make money. Guess what? We’re human beings not human doings. At this time in your life, realize every second you spend in a day is 100 percent your choice. You choose to wake up to go to 7:30 a.m. class. Nobody is forcing you. So quit complaining! If it doesn’t serve you, let it go. I am looking forward to using what I learn in my classes in my future. If you really don’t want to go to class, I suggest you seriously reconsider what you are doing with your life, open your heart and listen to your passions. Once you realize you are free, you can embrace happiness and practice becoming the best version of yourself.

Be yourself. It all starts with self-love. There will always be people with opinions who think you are this type of person or that type of person. What you do have the power to change is your opinion of your self. When we embrace who we are, full throttle, is when we really start to live to be the best versions of ourselves. There is something within you that nobody else has to offer. Be yourself and grace the world with your presence .

Love is greater than fear.  Fear means False Evidence Appearing Real. I can think of too many things I do out of fear: fear of the future, fear of consequences, fear of disapproval, fear of judgment, fear of disappointment… the list goes on. I’m practicing turning this around, as I begin to do more things out of love.  My list looks something like this: love of dancing, love of yoga, love of friends, love of learning, love of trying new things, love of a good challenge. Everyone has a different list of what they love or what brings them joy. We are all beautiful and unique so, let what brings you love guide you to find the best version of your self.

Cure your “disease to please.” We don’t have to act small to get people to like us. In your attempt to please your parents, teachers, or even your friends, have you lost who you really are? In college, it is easy to fall into the party scene. Friends want you to go out with them. Don’t forget who you are in your journey to providing the most positive contribution possible to this planet.  The only person you have to please is yourself.  Letting go of relationships that no longer serve you may open doors to relationships that do serve you.

There is no such thing as a mistake.  Okay, hold up. Yes, there’s definitely such a thing, but it’s really all about how you look at it. Some people look for ways to make more mistakes so that they can learn and become wise. Others, like me, will misplace her keys and a week later, lose them again. What is huge about this is, not letting it get to you. Why worry?  Why stress? There is nothing I can do in the meantime besides think, look, and keep moving forward. Complaining, crying or freaking out is not constructive.  Like I said, I’m still working on this one, but in striving to become the best version of myself, I practice noticing when stress pours over me and laughing at it  as I try to let it go and move on.

I also suggest eating plant foods. Feeding your body the medicine nature grows for us is fundamentally beneficial for your own well-being. Maybe you think my suggestions are bogus or too spiritual. But, in my journey, I have noticed as I embrace what I love, opportunities fall into my lap. So much serendipity. At the CoRec, I get to share my passions for dancing, yoga and even the amazing and delicious raw vegan cuisine in the demo kitchen! If that wasn’t enough, you’re reading my article as the health fitness columnist for this newspaper and my little diary of a blog www.lifeisrawesome.wordpress.com, that only my mom read, now has over 100 followers!

Every day is the best day ever.  Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just how I look at it .

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Motivation: WATCH THESE VIDEOS

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In my HK 422 “Basic Concepts in Exercise Program Design” class, we are learning about the importance of motivation in exercise prescription.  The first thing you are supposed to do with a client is ask them why they are seeing you.  If there answer is “I want to lose weight” that isn’t good enough.  We, the fitness professionals, have to get down and deep.  “Why do you want to lose weight?” If they say, “To get healthy”, “Why?”.  The client has to change themselves, and they won’t be able to change without a little challenge.  Motivation gives us drive, desire, and resolve to complete the steps required to reach the goal.

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My professor had us send him a motivational video we liked.  He chose different ones for the class to observe and rank why they liked them and why they were effective.  Here they are in the order I put them in:

  1. We Are Free
  2. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules
  3. Nike “Rise and Shine” Advertisement
  4. Success = Breathing
  5. Laser Focus
  6. Famous Failures
  7. Kid President
  8. Eric Thomas

I honestly loved them all, it was hard to decide.  All college students must watch Laser Focus and Success=Breathing.  Those pushed my “party girl” and “no sleep” buttons!  The Kid President is great!  I just put him lower because I’ve seen him before- a little overplayed maybe.  I also really liked Famous Failures.  And I would love to show Eric Thomas to a friend who I think would relate to him, but I just didn’t feel it.

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They are all good!  Everybody ranked them differently.  The classes top 3 were:

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules
  2. Success = Breathing
  3. Nike “Rise and Shine”

It is clear that everybody has a different trigger- what motivated me didn’t necessarily motivate the girl next to me.  People need to be stimulated deeper.  We, the fitness professionals, need to find that trigger!

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I like the We Are Free video best because it really connected with the way I feel trapped sometimes.  I get so busy that I forget that I am free.  Watching that video made me a happier person because I realized everything I am busy doing I am choosing to do, and I am on a beautiful journey every day to create the best version of myself ❤ A goal that I am already accomplishing!

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Apple Orange Ginger Roll

After practicing this weekend for my:

RAW VEGAN JAPANESE DEMO

WEDNESDAY – JANUARY 29, 2014 – 7-8PM

COREC DEMO KITCHEN

MISO SOUP – GINGER CITRUS NOODLES – SUSHI – GREEN TEA NICE CREAM

SIGN UP AT MEMBER SERVICES OR CALL 765-494-3110

At the demo I won’t be making the sushi I made out of the slim pickings at the Kappa Kappa Gamma house hold.. although I did happen to have enough for a divine, high carb, raw vegan, fat free, gourmet, treat!  Heck, maybe I will make it! 😉  Inspired by Megan Elizabeth and Beyond Sushi NYC, I came up with this:

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I just so happen to LOVE apple, ginger, and carrot together- it’s my favorite kind of fresh pressed juice!  And such a great refreshing tang from the orange!! MMMMmmm!!!

The “Rice”:applegingricee

  • about 5 cups roughly chopped cauliflower florets (with a few broccoli florets in there too)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • a thimble sized piece of ginger minced

I recommend using a food processor like Megan Elizabeth to get a snowy, rice consistency, my Vitamix turned it to mush!  If using a Vitamix, be sure not to over-blend.  Blend until you get a rice-like consistency.  Try using chopped jicama and almonds like this great looking video

The Fillings:appleginglay1appleginglay33

  • “rice”
  • apple slices
  • orange sections
  • grated carrot
  • thinly sliced cucumber
  • green onion
  • cilantro

What do you have sitting around in the fridge?  Throw it in your nori!  I adore beet and sweet potato rolls… heck- anything can be made delicious with this! Use your imagination! 

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The Topping:

  • thinly sliced apple
  • thinly sliced ginger

I got a mandolin at Wal-Mart for $15 a while ago and it has been such a life savor!  I used it to thinly slice the apple and ginger but I’m sure thin slices with a knife would look just as fantastic! 

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Top 5 Finals Fitness Tips

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Don’t even think about gaining the finals 5 pounds!  These 5 finals fitness tips will keep you moving and stress free for the challenges ahead.  You will stay focused, fit, and fresh for whatever college course tries to crush your cool.

  1. Every Hour Power: With every hour of studying, set an alarm to take a break.  This alarm should be set hourly, and heed to its call!  Every hour, get up, go outside, and briskly walk around the building you’re in.  Or, walk up a few flights of stairs.  Knowing that you have these breaks will not only keep you more focused in between breaks, but it will also help to increase your physical activity during long days of sedentary studying.
  2. Nature Calls Challenge: Staying hydrated is very important!  With staying hydrated, comes frequent bathroom breaks.  With frequent bathroom breaks, comes an opportunity for fitness!  After every flush of the toilet, try to do 25 squats.  Chest up, core engaged, legs a little further than shoulder width apart, weight in the heels, try to get low enough to get under a 90 degree angle in the knees.  Squats are a great allover workout, working the largest muscle groups of the legs and glutes as well as the core for balance.  When you get sick of squats, try push-ups instead!
  3. The Cardio Cram:  Bring your notes to the gym and set them in front of you as you cycle or walk on the treadmill.  This is a fantastic way to focus.  Increasing heart rate and blood flow will help engage your thoughts for effective remember and recall.  Reading over notes can be really boring and tedious.  Multi-tasking will increase your physical activity and teach you a thing or two for your finals.
  4. Fruit For The Win: The brain and nervous system run exclusively on glucose.  Study hard, carb up!!  Snacking on fruit is a great way to keep you satisfied so you can focus, giving your brain the sugars it needs, and the fiber and high water content to make you feel full naturally while cleansing the body and keeping you hydrated!  Always have an apple or a banana in your backpack!
  5. Flexibility Focus:  Try reading your books while doing static stretches on the floor.  Sit in a split and stretch while you read.  Relaxing into your muscles with long, deep breaths.  Stretching while studying helps to calm you down, warm up your muscles, and increase your flexibility.

The stress of finals can mix up our priorities.  It is important to remember, without good health, how can we focus on finals/ LIVE!?  Don’t let finals take control of your health and happiness.