This morning as I sit down at the computer the rain is pouring down. It has been all night. I’m not looking forward to my walk to work soon.
In fact, I’m thinking of ALL the things I’m not looking forward to.
Or I was. Before I plugged myself into my big podcasting headphones and loaded up my current fav workout playlist.
As much as it’s important to acknowledge your emotions, life is much more fun if you (I!) avoid the “unnecessary wallow.”
You know the wallow right?
It’s when you let your focus dwell on everything you don’t feel fab about. Generally your slumped over posture mirrors your lazy thoughts.
And the actions / inactions to follow are accordingly unsatisfactory.
Todays show is a (long overdue) Month In Review show. We’ll get to the
Simple Swaps To Make Your Plant Based Meals Even More Nutritious
as mentioned in the title soon and I’ll also chat a little exercise plus I’ll share what’s been rockin this past month and what’s been a tad more struggle street. Above all, my intention is to make this content applicable to YOU and creating and keeping a fit, healthy plant strong body.
Alright, let’s get rolling with How To Drag Yourself Out Of A Slump. The approach I recommend is a combination of:
First, Daily actions / Keystone habits that are pro-active. Designed to keep you on track.
PLUS, the more reactive actions to turn to when you find yourself wallowing off track.
So those daily actions are things like:
One: 7-8 hours SLEEP.
Two: Plan and then consume NUTRITIOUS MEALS consisting of fibrous veg + plant based protein + good fat and plenty of water.
Three: Incorporate at least 20-30 minutes of PHYSICAL ACTIVITY daily. Even better 45-60 minutes.
Four: PLAN your day to come the night before.
Five: Consciously practice GRATITUDE daily.
I go into more detail back in show 170: Keystone Habits (daily and weekly most effective actions):
When I share my daily non-negotiable actions I’m often told how disciplined I am. I don’t see it that way. These habits keep me sane! I’d be an incredibly moody little creature without them. So I commit to them as a slightly selfish form of self preservation.
And yet – from time to time – I find myself slumping into an unnecessary wallow! So those more reactive actions are things like:
- Music. It’s obvious and a cliche because it really does work.
- Movement. Even just 60 seconds of something or a walk around the block.
- Reconnect with your Goal or Vision.
- If your daily gratitudes aren’t enough how about reciting the gratitude alphabet? It’s exactly as it sounds. Find something to be grateful for for every letter.
- Acknowledge wallowing in an unnecessary slump is completely within your control and utterly UN-fun. This is perhaps most powerful for me. When rational Kate gets a chance to reason with emotional Kate I realise how much harder I’m making today than I need to.
- Take one small step.
- Build on that one small step.
It’s amazing how little it takes to get momentum back working for you rather than the reverse, wallowing in stuck and miserable.
Let’s move onto FOOD:
In this wintery weather I’m loving a hearty lentil shepherds pie based off a recipe from team BOSH. It’s actually my first foray into lentils. How good are lentils? So cheap and easy and chocka full of fibre, protein and iron.
I think anything goes with this sort of recipe. I’ve added extra veg. Reduced the oil. Protein pimped it with seeds. And swapped regular spud for sweet potato.
Actually these are 4 modifications I often make to recipes. I link to the original BOSH recipe here. Let’s dig a little deeper with those Simple Swaps To Make Your Plant Based Meals Even More Nutritious.
One: Add extra veg.
I’ll share the examples I’m going with currently for the 3 meals I make on mass most commonly for dinner right now.
Shepherds pie: To this lentil, tomato, onion and carrot base I add 2 cups of minced fresh mushrooms. Also 1/2 a packet of dried mushrooms.
Tempeh mince: To this tempeh, onion, mushroom, nut and sun-dried tomato base I add 1 large zucchini. Zuc’s are one of my favs to smuggle into many recipes. 1/2 a small zucchini is also unnoticeable in your morning smoothie. Grated it adds a bit more substance to a light weight salad.
Smokey eggplant curry: I simply double the existing veg. In this case: eggplant, onion, carrot, zucchini, capsicum and cauliflower.
Two: Reduce the oil.
I’m not hating on oil, I’m just very aware that it has a super high caloric density combined with a low nutrient density. I find it very easy to eat plenty of whole food fats like nuts, seeds and avocado (rather than processed oils) so these are the foods I prioritise.
Shepherds pie: Instead of sautéing onion and garlic in oil I find the water I rehydrate my dried mushrooms in works fab.
Tempeh mince: I use just water for the stir-fry component of this flavour packed meal. For less flavourful meals veggie stock works well. To be super creative I’ve even seen people stir-fry in a mix of blended cucumber and water!
Smokey eggplant curry: I use full fat canned coconut milk however by doubling the veg and getting extra serves out of my one can of coconut milk I’m essentially also 1/2’ing the oil / fat. My general strategy is to squeeze as much other lower caloric density high nutritional value fibrous veg type stuff into most recipes while also reducing the oil / fat.
To dig a little deeper with oils verses fats, Certified Nutritional Practitioner Derek Simnett from Simnett Nutrition has an awesome YouTube Channel. In fact his channel is my recommendation this month. I link to his channel and particularly his video How & Why I Cook OIL FREE! here. As Derek explains, Yes fats are important. We need them. However there’s nothing we need from oil that we cannot instead get from whole food fats.
Also, check out podcast E540: Fight Fat With Fat PLUS Vegan Fat Upgrades. I think I’m a little more chill with my oil than Derek. I still use a teaspoon of coconut oil to make kale and brussel crisps however that might change if I invest in a dry frier which seem to be all the go right now. I also add a tablespoon of avocado or macadamia oil to a weeks worth of dairy free pesto however that’s about it.
I find it much more fun demolishing 3 avocados and 500+ grams of mixed nuts and goodness knows how many grams of seeds a week. Talking of which…
Three: Protein pimp it with seeds.
Seeds are one of those glorious foods I basically ignored as a vego and certainly ignored as a meat eater. In fact sesame seeds were just annoying things that sometimes dared to ruin the crispy top of glorious loafs of fresh bread! I genuine thought seeds were bird food. Now I eat around 6 tablespoons of sorted seeds daily.
Shepherds pie: Just before grilling the top of my baked lentil shepherds pie for 10 minutes I scatter a generous tablespoon each of hemp and pumpkin seeds.
Tempeh mince: This meal doesn’t need any protein pimping! However just for the deliciousness I’ll often follow it with a little “dessert” of almond milk + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 1/2 scoop Prana salted caramel protein powder all blended in the Nutribullet. (for thickness let the chia seeds sit in 100-200ml of your fav plant milk for at least 10 minutes before adding protein powder and blending)
Smokey eggplant curry: On serving I top the curry with my current fav go 2 combo, a tablespoon each of hemp and pumpkin seeds.
Four: Swap a processed carb for a whole carb.
One of the limitless truely joyful things about plant based eating is how many whole carbs I now enjoy. I eat so much more fruit and starchy veg than I used to. They’ve replaced animal products and they’ve also replaced the processed crap-o-la. Again in this scenario it’s more about focusing on the nutrient value you can add to a meal and the higher nutrient value is generally going to be in the whole foods.
Shepherds pie: In this case I swap a regular spud which I genuinely think is a waste to have mashed (I like my spuds crispy!) for sweet potato. To be clear I’m not saying white potatoes are bad or even sweet potatoes are better, it’s just a matter of diversity and that’s why I made this swap.
Tempeh mince: I’ll swap a taco shell for cos lettuce leaf shells.
Smokey eggplant curry: I’ll serve my curry over zoodles or cauli-rice.
Let’s move on to EXERCISE and chat: Looking For The Catch.
If the term “looking for the catch” is new to you, basically it’s a strategy you can do either to your advantage or to your detriment.
The negative way to look for the catch is to look at all the reasons why someone else has it easier than you. To cultivate excuses.
- So in relation to exercise, perhaps they’re younger or naturally more athletic?
- Maybe they have more free time or more money for expensive gym memberships or coaches.
- Maybe they just seem to naturally enjoy exercise more?
- Perhaps genetically you think they get fast, easier, better results than you?
The more effective way to look for the catch is to hunt down all the things that this person does or even better thinks that ARE applicable to you and can be worked into your lifestyle. Here are some of the actions and thoughts I’ve noticed those people who get faster, easier, better results just tend to do:
- Prioritise a non-negotiable training plan and always make up a rare missed session.
- Work in incidental exercise wherever possible in addition to rather that at the expensive of structured workouts.
- Focus within each structured exercise session and work at a high intensity rather than just go through the motions.
- Cultivate a general attitude of gratitude for their ability to even be able to exercise.
Who’s inspiring me this month? It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my mum’s vegan journey so here’s the latest! Although mum doesn’t generally use the “V” word, she’s been #plantstrong for almost 6 months now. I’m so incredibly proud of her and inspired too because honestly, if mum chose to “look for the catch” to her detriment she could find a heap of excuses to focus on. For example:
- Mum lives with dad who is arguably (and we do!!) as staunchly in opposition to a vegan lifestyle as his extreme-vegan-animal-rights-activist-health-freak daughter is devoted to a vegan lifestyle – dash that, I’m hell bent on creating A Vegan World!
- Mum has a couple of extra decades indoctrinated into the Carnist way of thinking. To learn more about Carnism I recommend my chat with social psychologist powerhouse Dr Melanie Joy (who coined the term) back in show E552: Dr Melanie Joy, Carnism and Creating Effective Communication Between Vegans and Non-vegans.
- Mum is incredibly less selfish and more aware of not causing hassle / discomfort / awkwardness to others than I am.
- Mum is an amazing cook and the super vast majority of the amazing recipes with which she demonstrates her generosity, love and skill have up until 6 months ago been based around animal products.
I’m sharing these details in case you can relate? Perhaps you’re vegan curious or just tentatively dipping a toe in the plant based waters yet fearful of some of the obstacles my mum has hurdled? Mum are you listening and picturing yourself hurdling?!
For everyone I’ve chatted to, this is one decision that always appears harder before you commit. It also tends to be one decision that on making you wish you’d committed to earlier.
For extra support I’m running my 3 Day Easy Vegan Plan again live this month. So July 1, 2 and 3. The 3 Day Easy Vegan Plan is always available for FREE download via strognbodygreenplanet.com however it’s fun to do it live from time to time as well. In fact the “Theme” this month is FUN!
I was inspired my my upcoming chat with “artist / producer / writer / (and) curious soul with a penchant for vegan food” Megan Sadd in E614: 30 Minute Vegan Dinners You’re Going to Crave. To quote Megan “We encourage everyone to have more fun because happier people are kinder people. The world needs more kind people!” I could not agree more and I have some cool ideas for the live 3 Day Easy Vegan Plan which begins just a day or so after this podcast goes live.
If you’re late to the party, as always everything mentioned will be linked in the show notes. I hope you can join me.
Finally, UN-fun-ly my struggle-street this month. I’m grateful that I search to hunt down a genuine struggle-street most months. This month was the exception. I’m usually pretty good at “choosing my mood” in fact I’m armed with my own “How To Drag Yourself Out Of A Slump” actions right?
I have a serious weak point though. My eyes. My eyes don’t work so well and these past few weeks an operation I had 40 years ago (as a baby) flared up. It might need a little operation and as much as the ophthalmologist emphasised “might” and “little” I’ve been FREAKING OUT!
I was focusing on everything about this situation that is not within my control.
Actually reading through my notes for last weeks blog / solo podcast brought home to me the ineffectiveness of my eye-obsessing thoughts. I’m doing much better now at refining my focus to only what is within my control and I’m sharing this incase it’s applicable to anything that might be struggle-street for you right now?
I want to end on a happy note so let’s also get actionable. Some Simple Swaps To Make Your Plant Based Meals Even More Nutritious are certainly within your control. To recap my top 4 swaps are:
One: Add extra veg.
Two: Reduce the oil.
Three: Protein pimp it with seeds.
Four: Swap a processed carb for a whole carb.
That’s it for today in Healthification. Thank you so very much for trusting me with your time and attention today. It means a lot.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan, running LIVE again this month! It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, non genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated vegan chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked “Simple Swaps To Make Your Plant Based Meals Even More Nutritious” you’ll also like: 6 Step System To Becoming Vegan and Living A Healthy Vegan Lifestyle Long Term
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