October 5, 2011

Weekly Tidbits: Quick Breakfasts Turned Vegan

Unfortunately I started this blog the week before I went on a two week business trip/vacation.  So while I indulged in unexpected foods (that I didn't have the forethought to thoroughly document), the blog itself took an immediate break before really getting off the ground.  I am, however, happy to say that I'm back, focused and with a dozen foodie topics to catch up on!

Now, as I mentioned in my last post, I shifted my lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to a full-fledged non-ethically driven vegan diet.  When I say non-ethically, I mean that I'm not bemoaning the manufacturing process of refined sugar (bone char) nor shedding tears of the plight of enslaved honeybees (although I do support and buy my honey from local beekeepers who practice sustainable, organic beekeeping).  And after a full month of eating (almost completely) vegan, I've realized that while I prefer this diet, I'm going to continue to call myself a regular vegetarian who simply predominantly eats vegan.

When you clean up your diet for health reasons, it's the overall healthier trend that has the long term impact.  When I eat out, it isn't always possible or enjoyable to parse down the ingredients of each item on the menu.  So as long as a minute dairy or egg consumption is atypical and relegated to special occasions, I think I'll still live for 200 years.  Just kidding.  105 years.

So what have I been up to day to day?  I almost always make my own meals and rarely eat out.  Over the past few years, I developed a rotation of lunches and breakfasts that were both easy and delicious.

Chobani Greek Yogurt Plain + fresh berries + agave nectar
Biochem Whey Vanilla Protein Shake + flaxseed + frozen berries
Lara Bar (on the go convenience!)
Nature's Path Optimum Slim cereal + almonds + flaxseed + fat free milk

Now when I decided to take this crash course in being vegan, I definitely could have stuck to my lunches, but my breakfasts would need a tune up.  And that tune up came in the form of oatmeal - both filling and nutritious with tasty add-ins.

My favorite oatmeals are the Better Oats single-serve packets.  They are made from organic whole grains with a delicious sprinkling of whole flaxseeds.  Now I don't own a microwave, which the packaging seems to demand, but I've found a way around it.  I pop the dry oatmeal into a round tupperware dish with a cover.  I add 3/4 cup of hot water directly into the bowl, and then slap on the cover to let it sit and absorb for 5-10 minutes.  During this time, I finish doing my hair or making my lunch for the day.

I found that of the Better Oats flavors, I prefer the less-sweet versions.  When I picked them up originally, I just wanted a plain instant oatmeal - no preservatives or sugary flavors.  So I typically stick to the Raw Pure and Simple Bare and the Raw Pure and Simple Chai Spice for when I want a little extra flavor (both salty and sweet).  The Oat Revolutions don't appear to be vegan for the most part, but the Abundance Apple and Cinnamon is also delicious without being overly sweet.

Naked oats with raspberries, chopped apples, almond slivers, cinnamon and local sustainable honey.

I add chopped banana, chopped apple, a little cinnamon, sliced almonds or some extra flax into the oatmeal and paired with a disposable spoon, I can chow down on my way to work!

On-the-go oatmeal.

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