Pre-Summer Body Image Triggers in this Social Media Ad Age and Our Upcoming Series

It’s that time of the year again! We’re right in the beginning of bikini and swim trunk season and as you know if you’ve read this blog and listened to our podcast before, I never leave you hanging during a time in which so many of us struggle with body image issues. That time of year when many of us feel nervous about pool parties, that week at the beach, or the season of shedding all those extra winter layers of clothing that seem to feel safe somehow.

If you’re new, we have a massive source of support and inspiration in our Bikini Revolution Series. Find all the posts here or listen to episodes 29-32 in our podcast. This series was all about the truest source of empowerment. It was about enjoying one of the most fun moments of the year, in which we seem to be able to disconnect and spend time outside, take time off of work, sit in cute terrace cafés, and take relaxing dips in the ocean or pool, no matter what we look like or how big or small our bodies are.

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Crunchy Lentil Dip Wraps

A couple of weeks ago we talked about easy meal ideas you could whip up when you’re tired of eating beans. Legumes are such an important pillar of eating a vegan diet, but sometimes we’re craving a little variety when it comes to cooking them. Since in my opinion there is nothing as satisfying and fun as handheld food, I thought today I’d take you along the process of cooking lentils from scratch all the way to flavoring them and transforming them into the most delicious dip that you could eat with veggies, or turn into these scrumptious crunchy veggie wraps.

I also love any recipe you can batch cook during the weekend and just assemble throughout the week. These wraps are perfect for exactly that reason, as you can quickly make the dip on Saturday or Sunday, keep lots of crunchy vegetables and avocado on hand, heat up some tortillas on busy weekdays and create the most delicious wraps in just minutes.

This recipe is also filled with yummy umami in the form of that roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, and it’s so tasty and satisfying. I hope you love it!

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Mini Q & A!: Feeling Sleepy, Tired, or Simply not Feeling your Best after Going Vegan

This week we have another mini Q&A episode for you. As we’ve done previously, this is meant as a quick resource to answer one or two of the questions you send our way, to hopefully give you some inspiration, motivation and to guide you to the experts in the fields you might need help with. In a way, we’re clearing the clutter and giving you a much simpler take on the situations we go through, whether it’s with improving our relationship with food and our bodies, or going vegan, cooking delicious vegan meals or making more vegan choices.

Today I answer two listener questions regarding that initial transition to eating a vegan diet, and how sometimes we don’t feel our best and we’re not sure what to tweak or how to fill our plates. As usual, I give you our take on some of these issues, and I guide you to some of the very responsible pros and resources that can help you in regards to vegan nutrition. As I’ve said many times before, sometimes the problem relies not on the diet itself, but on our own way of approaching this change, it usually relies on something that isn’t often talked about in vegan circles, the role that too much restriction and a focus on “eating perfectly” can play, and how it can do much more harm than good.

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Easy Meal ideas for When You're Tired of Eating Beans

When I had my first veggie bowl as a vegan I remember thinking “I could eat like this forever, I could never grow tired of eating beans”. I was eating one of my go-to’s, a bowl with brown rice (sometimes millet or quinoa), black beans sautéed with peppers, onions, paprika and tomatoes, pico de gallo salsa and a dollop of guacamole to top everything up. This is still a regular meal for lunch at our house, and I love black beans dearly, but the idea that I could eat beans at every single meal forever and always and never grow tired of them, well, that was an apple of a different color.

Legumes are such an important staple in vegan meals and a fantastic protein source when eating enough of them. For most of us that means 3 servings per day, or a serving at every meal as I like to say. As we get older, or when we’re going through specific life stages, 4 is a great number to strive for. Legumes doesn’t mean beans alone though, peanut butter, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, veggie meats and many other meals made with legumes count, which means you don’t have to have a bean burrito for breakfast, unless you love the idea of course!

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Mini Q & A!: Thoughts on Whole Foods vs Processed Foods, and Vegan Companies Owned by Non-Vegan Ones

We haven’t had a Q&A episode in such a long time! Our last one was to celebrate our 100th episode in The Brownble Podcast (part 1 and part 2), and since you’ve sent me so many questions I’d thought I’d settle down in front of the mic and answer them as best as I can, sharing any additional resources that might help you on your journey.

Since I love having Q&A’s that are as fluid, casual and friendly as a fun conversation with a friend, today we won’t be having the traditional written version of this episode, but I invite you to grab a cup of coffee, get comfy on the couch and listen in.

I’ll be answering a very popular question I see come up again and again in vegan circles: Should we be buying vegan products from brands that aren’t vegan, or from companies that have been bought by non-vegan companies? I’ll also discuss a question one of our darling Sams sent our way, which is related to whole foods vs. processed foods, and some of the specific vegan dietary trends or philosophies that restrict veganism further than excluding meat dairy and eggs.

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The Magical Powers of an Artist’s Date

A little over 12 years ago, right before Carlos and I were married, we were walking around Union Square In New York City and I of course asked him to go do something while I surrounded myself with books in Barnes and Noble for a few hours (as many as he’d be able to leave me there unattended… fortunately there was also a Guitar Center nearby!).

As I walked around the bookstore looking through my favorite sections, staff picks, cookbooks, and pondered whether or not I could get away with buying yet another journal, I saw a book, resting out of place on a table on top of the travel section. Someone who I will eternally be grateful to, had perhaps decided not to buy it after all and set it aside as they were passing by. Then I come along, holding more books than I can actually fit in my suitcase when I go back home, and the title just catches my eye: “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” (ok… curious..)… and at the top of the book a line that read “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self” (ok… I’m in, what’s this all about?).

At the time I was in the midst of a creative project and was feeling so stuck, it felt like one of those little signs from the universe. It’s funny, a part of me wanted to break out of that rut I was in, but the part of me that grabbed the book actually loved the idea of immersing myself in a “course” because it meant procrastinating the actual work. The joke was on me, I soon realized I was reading a book that was all about the traps we set for ourselves and how to come out of them. It’s about our old belief systems when it comes to what we can and can’t do, and putting our pants on to do the work we’re meant to do.

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Chipotle Breakfast Sausages

The magic of vegan cooking is you can now enter the world of making so many delicious goodies at home from start to finish.

I know vegan sausages are sold everywhere these days, and I certainly love their convenience, but when I serve these sausages to people and tell them I make the sausages in my very own kitchen, something really cool happens. Their eyes do this weird thing that says "wait...really?". It's that moment of noticing that first, they've never slowed down to think of how one actually begins to make a sausage (whether vegan or not), and then, they start wondering what the actual "meat" component is (the answer in this case: seitan!).

Today I'll teach you how to make this version of my homemade sausages, which uses chipotle chilies in adobo, and lots of delicious spices to make these extra flavorful. I recommend making a ton, freezing them, and taking them out as you wish to eat them, sautéing them right before serving. You can make these for brunch, but also for lunch or dinner. They're so hearty and satisfying, perfect as a high protein vegan meal, and full of flavor.

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Celebrating the Little Victories

As I’m sitting in our new extra fluffy terrace chairs (which Vega believes were bought for her to choose and then you could have what’s left over), I wanted us to have a little talk about little victories and how often we’re oblivious to the small little things that scream “progress” but seem to fall on deaf ears. In last week’s episode and post we talked about little magic lessons bread and cheese making has taught me when it comes to making any new changes in our lifestyle. We talked about patience and the waiting game, how you can’t rush what can’t be rushed. We talked about the importance of repetition, planning, breathing room, and this all left me thinking that so often when we’re on this journey to change some of our habits, and especially when it comes to our relationship with food and our bodies, we expect a mountain to be climbed with no notice paid to the little rocks we managed to step over along the way.

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