Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get your vegan groove on - Breakfast and Lunch

*vegan purists do not eat honey - yet that is not across the board - we eat honey, and always prefer local due to the amazing allergen benefits we receive*

Did you know that, normally, the average person only eats 4-5 different things for breakfast (same for lunch) and they just tend to cycle through them regularly?

So, switching your eating habits for those two meals can be pretty simple, when you think about it. Just move over to some new "normals" and start rotating. Make sure they are things you enjoy, practical for your lifestyle, and fit your budget.

My family keeps things simple for these two meals of the day.

First, we keep an arsenal of "toppings" which go great on breakfast foods, salads and even sandwiches: almond slivers, sunflowers seeds, soy beans, shredded coconut, dried fruits (we try really hard to find some without added sugar), wheat germs, flax seeds or milled flax, etc. We typically store them in mason jars (our natural peanut butter jars find perfect new life with this), so you can just pour/sprinkle them on things.

Our pantry includes several different types of cereals - whole grains with only natural sweeteners. We also keep plain oats and steel cut oats. I make lazy granola every week or two. When you make your own cearal concoction or oatmeal, YOU are adding your own sweetener (honey, agave nectar, mashed fruit, whatever). You can sprinkle on your own flavors (cinnamon or ground cocao - we buy 100% bars). You can choose a non-dairy "milk" product or eat things dry. You know what is going into your mouth!

Green smoothies or regular smoothies are a favorite for breakfast OR lunch (heck, we even do this for dinner on excruciatingly hot days). Can of pineapple, a few bananas, some frozen berries, handful of spinach leaves, and enough water to help it thin it out. Run the blender as long as it takes to make it smooth as silk. We're always jackin' around with our smoothie recipes to try new things. Try pineapple and some of the coconut - mmmmmmmmm.

We like muffins, pancakes with fruit and/or honey, toast with natural peanut butter and an all-fruit spread. Obviously, we are not gluten-free. However, there are many ways to work around it within these simple and basic parameters. Sometimes I will just make my own "trail mix" in a bowl and munch on it as I'm getting going. Simple, yet flavorful. Predictable, yet full of possibilities.

Same with lunch. We always have some kind of leafy greens on hand, sprouts, tomatoes, avocados, corn, beans (whole and refried beans), healthy dressings, carrots (baby or shredded), mushrooms, veggie shreds, mustard, pickles, salad peppers, salsa, pizza sauce, hummus, natural peanut butter, chips, pretzels, all fruit spread, all of the other toppings I mentioned above ... and anything else we may discover or think of that week. One day I'll put out whole grain tortillas. Some days bread. Another day just bowls. Everyone gets to build it how they want it.

On other days, we may spread some pizza sauce on a bagel or English muffin and melt veggie shreds on top. Taco salads, pita pockets, lettuce wraps ... really, you could come up with something different for weeks.

And we do!

Breakfast and lunch are vital. However, they should also be practical and easy or you are going to fall on your face. Keep that in mind. If you must eat out, still stay within this mindset. Totally doable!


Kerrie said...

Your BlogHer ad is currently for McDonalds. So, while I am reading and trying to see how much more toward vegan I can push my family, my 4-year-old is repeating, "I want to see McDonalds. I want McDonalds. I like McDonalds. Ironic.

Summer said...

So yum! See, I was feeling all unhealthy til I read this. Which is practically what we do too, with the addition of the local eggs and local cheese. Oh, and bought some local yogurt this week. Sooooo good with honey and strawberries and granola chunks.

Anonymous said...

This...almost feels doable! Thanks!! I want to write up a list of things I could try and paste it BIG on my fridge, to stare at when "I can't think of anything, I'll go with an old (unhealthy) standby" hits!