Meatless Challenge Completed

There are many Vegetarian varieties or classifications if you would like to call them: Semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, vegan and the newest, flexitarian. Whatever you want to call it, choose to eat or not – I hope it nourishes you to thrive.

A lot has happened since my last blog post (to all my readers, I do apologize for the lack of updates) but where to start? First off I am happy to report that I completed my 40-day meatless challenge. As you know I have been having thoughts of adopting a semi-meatless lifestyle since challenging myself – with my own exceptions, of course. I had cravings for a simple free range egg and believed it would be the first source of animal protein I would consume. But to this day I have not had the urge to consume one. Maybe it was because I knew I was not allowed to have one, that I wanted it more. Who knows?

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Within my 40-day challenge I lost 8lbs and a total of 16 ½ inches. Near the end of the challenge is when I finally started to introduce some physical activity into my regime. The sun started to come out in the morning, the cherry blossoms bloomed – spring had sprung and I was eager to be outside. I enjoyed morning hikes and bike rides with my husband and began to run outdoors. I am amazed at how much energy I have when I go for runs that I can now run rather and faster than I could before. Running a half-marathon could be crossed off my bucket list sooner than I think!

My label as of today, if you want to put a label on it is ‘undecided.’ I may or may not choose to consume animal protein but I do believe quality is more important than quantity. I learned that my body does not need a lot of protein and there are many plant-based sources. During my challenge there were a few ‘lazy days’ where I did not feel like preparing or cooking anything. I went to Choices and picked up some meatless burgers and tempeh. It was my first time eating “fake meat.” It was not disgusting to my surprise and it satisfied my hunger pangs but the whole time I was thinking ‘what am I consuming?’ – A lot of soy, even if it is fermented. Soy is another debate that I will leave for another post. After this meal I decided that I would rather introduce high quality animal protein then to fuel my body with artificial foods.

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IMG_20130228_121332For my husbands 30th birthday and to celebrate completing my challenge we both indulged in an amazing day full of smiles, laughs and good quality food. For breakfast I tried a recipe for Oreo Cookie Pancakes – a mixture of almond milk, coconut flour, cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut sugar & vanilla powder. But the best part must have been the coconut flake frosting in between the pancakes. Awhile ago I had made coconut butter using organic coconut flakes. I had a bit left over so whipped it up with some almond milk and vanilla powder – it was light and fluffy just like whipped cream. It was delicious (at least to me it was). Husband thought it could be a little sweeter so his was served with some pure maple syrup. Lunch was a beautiful Beet Salad and dinner was Wild Atlantic Salmon. It was a perfect day to celebrate turning 30 and eating fresh nourishing food.
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And what’s a birthday without cake? I came across a recipe (from simplebites.net) that incorporated beets and chocolate and decided that I would turn it into a cake. I made a few substitutions to try to make it a little healthier and halved the recipe since I made mini cakes. Below is what I used to make the cake. The result was my husband thought it could be a little sweeter but I thought it had just enough sweetness. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Chocolate Beet Cake

Ingredients20130401_223800
3 medium beets, cooked, cooled and grated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a pan and dust it lightly with cocoa. Grate beets allowing them to drain of any excess moisture in a colander.

Whisk together the melted butter, coconut oil and maple syrup until everything is well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Sift together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, coconut sugar and salt. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, but do not over mix.
Fold the beets into the batter until distributed, then scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread around until it is even.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool, in the pan on a wire rack, for a good 20 minutes.

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