At the Healthy Living Summit I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, speak about Realistic Achievable Wellness (RAW). Dawn is a vibrant speaker and offered inspiring advice on using a plant-based approach to lose weight, prevent disease, become healthier and add years to your life.
(I’m giving away a copy of her book…so keep reading and find out how to enter at the bottom of the post!)
The Flexitarian approach is a self-paced way to incorporate more veggies and less meat into your diet. It offers different options and levels for you to kick start your own healthy eating without giving up what you truly love or crave.
While I am 99% vegan (darn funnel cakes!) I realize this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. In no way do I condone eating meat, but in no way am I judgmental toward others who do, nor do I falsely believe that my diet is the absolute best plan for everyone out there. What I do believe is that eating more plants and eating less meat is a healthier choice for everyone.
Dawn offered many ideas for her Realistic Achievable Wellness and I am on board with this “realistic” and “achievable” plan.
Reportion: 25-25-50 Rule
This rule recommends sectioning your plate into 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates and 50% fruits and veggies. Filling up on low calorie, high nutrient foods like vegetables first will always help you to maintain a healthy body!
Reinvent Old Faves
Do you love tacos? Spaghetti? Lasagna? Burgers? What foods do you crave? Find ways to veganize your favorites and soon you will love eating veggie!
Refresh: Try New Things
While eating veganized versions of my old favorites is how I survived eating the first few weeks, I have sustained this lifestyle through the introduction of new and exciting foods. Yes, even tofu falls into that category, as well as sea vegetables, chia seeds and butternut squash, quinoa and almond butter! Try new things and they will likely have you hooked on this new plant-based diet.
And because eating vegan or vegetarian isn’t for everyone, dipping just your toes in this plant-based world may be for you. Try just one day a week, or even one meal a week. Use this opportunity to reinvent old favorites and try new things.
To start you off with your very first No Meat Monday I have a fun new recipe for you! We are going to rock the “reinvention” theme today with one of my long-standing favorite foods.
Vegan Caesar Salad
As soon as I was allowed to order off the menu for myself all I ever wanted was a Caesar Salad. I remember one summer my boss would order lunch for us and all she knew for me was this salad. I ate Caesar Salad for every lunch that year. In college I would buy the salad kits, mix it all together in the bag and eat it straight from there! Caesar Salads have always been my favorite, but since going vegan I have not had one. The creamy, tangy dressing and crunch of croutons satisfies my taste buds like nothing else, yet it has been at least two solid years since I have enjoyed a Caesar Salad!
Finally, here is a vegan alternative to the Classic Caesar Salad that I’m sure you will enjoy just as much as I did! This was my contribution to a Labor Day party and the crowd agreed this salad was delicious!
Vegan Caesar Dressing
Add cashews and 1/4 cup water into blender and let soak 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When cashews are fattened and soft, blend together with water. Add in hemp seed, reserving 1 tablespoon, and nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic cloves, soy milk, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil and blend. Add onion powder, white pepper and salt and blend once again.
Taste your dressing and add more salt and pepper to taste. You can also add additional soy milk or water to reach desired consistency. Stir in last 1 tablespoon of hemp seed but do not blend. The texture is reminiscent of the Parmesan cheese in the original Caesar dressing.
Serve dressing over a bed of romaine lettuce and croutons.
The best way I found to eat this delicious salad was wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, just like another old fave.
Caesar Salad Wrap
Take the NO MEAT MONDAY pledge. Sign your name below in the comments to get in on the fun. Even if you are already vegan or vegetarian, please share your name below so we know who is joining the NO MEAT MONDAY party!
You can look forward to fun No Meat recipes every Monday here on Vegan Faith and more inspiration to get you started on your new “Flexitarian” way of life!
And just for fun, I am giving away a copy of Dawn Jackson Blatner’s The Flexitarian Diet to one lucky reader. If you sign the pledge you will be entered! The contest ends Wednesday at 8am, so sign the pledge and enter to win now!