Vegan Chocolate Protein Milkshake

Protein Boost: Vegan Chocolate Milkshake

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I just am not a fan of protein powders. Even when people tell me, “you can’t even taste it!” It’s like… yeah, yeah I can. Probably doesn’t help that I sit there and try to pinpoint the protein taste, but anyways… I just am not into them. So I’ve been relying heavily on smoothie ingredients that are loaded with protein on their own to avoid the dreaded powder. For me, my go-to has been cashews. Just 1/4 cup of raw cashews has 7 grams! Loaded.

This is a smoothie, but I mean… I’m calling it a milkshake. It is so creamy and indulgent. It is loaded with protein, healthy fats, energy (from the date), and all that good stuff. It’s basically dessert, in the best way.

It’s a simple recipe, but I think you’ll appreciate it. Especially if you are an expecting plant-based mama who is looking for easy ways to sneak in more protein! Or you know, not expecting but just want something decadent and delicious chockfull of good ingredients.
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Pregnant Vegan Meals - First Trimester

What I’ve Been Eating Lately [Vegan Pregnancy – First Trimester]

Hey there friends – I’ve been compiling all the things I ate over my first trimester, and now I can finally share with you! So warning, there is A LOT after the cut. Not going to lie though – a lot of what I ate is not on here because it was way too boring and just not interesting (plus I kept forgetting to take photos – rather, did not have the energy or drive to!) I had a rough couple weeks (7-9 were ughhh) and I ate a whole lot of carbs. Think: bread, dry cereal, pasta with butter, crackers, potatoes, frozen waffles, etc. But in between and towards the end, I did get to eat some good stuff and that’s what you’ll find below. Plus… so many oranges. All I want is orange juice and oranges. It’s wild. xx

Oh, and as always, follow along on Instagram for plant-based food inspiration!

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Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Balls Vegan

Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Balls

Happy Monday, friends! How are you? I’m feeling so good lately – more energy, less nausea. Joe and I also bought tickets for alt-j at one of our very favorite outdoor venues this summer. I’ll be 33 weeks pregnant – oof. But alt-j is one of my favorites, and I’ve never seen them! I gotta do everything before this little lady comes… and this will be a summer night to remember, I’m sure of it. I bought tickets toward the back and on an end (who knows how much I’ll have to get up and down at that point – lol!) The best part is the venue is right on the water, so if I need to take a breather, there’s that. Yay – I cannot wait!

Excitement aside, for now. Ha!

So like I was saying, thankfully I’ve had more energy lately. But… pregnancy is still exhausting, to put it lightly. I always heard people say it, but you really don’t understand until you are going through it. Some days, I feel like I got hit with a sedative. Even making breakfast in the morning will have me a bit winded and ready to sit back down. So, I’ve been trying to make breakfast in batches – quick and easy on the weekend to have during the week. It’s easier to grab something pre-made when I am rushing around to get to work (especially since I’ve been sleeping in more!)

These peanut butter cookie energy balls have been a go-to for me. Aside from tasting like dessert, they are made with dates. Dates are known for boosting energy levels. That’s because the carbs in dates are mostly simple sugars. Simple sugars are easily and quickly converted into glucose for cells to use as energy (according to NaturalLifeEnergy.com!) Paired with some oats, walnuts, and peanut butter… these babies are a protein and nutrient powerhouse.
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Vegan Cereal Options

15 Vegan Options for the Cereal Lover

Hiyaaa friends :)

I recently found a vegan version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch – one of my faaaavorite cereals as a kid. I could have screamed in the aisle. It actually made my day. I know that cereal in general is not the best nutritionally, but sometimes you just need a bowl of cereal before bed. I’ve been eating more of it now, too – during pregnancy, you just want carbs. Or, at least I do. Plus… you can’t take the cereal out of the cereal kid.

When I first went vegan, cereal was one of those things that I was completely bummed about – all the good cereal is not vegan, right? Thankfully, I’ve found out through the years that organic and natural companies are putting a spin on old favorites, minus the cruelty. There are actually a ton of vegan cereal options, and I want to share some of my favorites with you. So anyone else who loves nothing more than a bowl of Frosted Flakes – this one goes out to you.

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Plant-Based Diet: What I Ate

Plant-Based Life: What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Hey there friends – another round-up of what I’ve been noshing on. Sorry there aren’t too many – it’s been busy over here and I’ve been forgetful. But hey – there’s some ideas! Enjoy. xx

Oh, and as always, follow along on Instagram for plant-based food inspiration!

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Nourishing Vegan Acai Bowl

Nourishing Acai Bowl

Now that I [finally] realized Trader Joe’s carries acai packs, I’ve been on a kick. They are much more inexpensive here than I have seen anywhere else. While I love grabbing a bowl at my favorite local spot, it’s much more budget-friendly to make your own gorgeous acai bowl. I like mine extra sweet piled with a few favorite toppings.
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Plant-Based Diet: What I Ate

Plant-Based Life: What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Inspiration overload right here. Another round-up of all the belly-filling, nutritious bowls of food that I have been eating. And you know… vegan donuts. Have you noticed a trend yet? Basically… throw a bunch of veggies, grains, and whatever-else-is-in-the-fridge into a bowl and call it a meal. Works for me!

Also – I have been sharing my meal photos much more now that I finally created a separate Instagram account for the blog! If you haven’t already, please please follow along… lots of plant-based foodie love. My handle is @thefriendlyfig. xx
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Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pudding

I am so loving this recipe right now. I have been making it for a few weeks now and figured it is the perfect time to share with Thanksgiving around the corner! Any other pumpkin pie fans? I’ve always loved mine with some Cool Whip on top. But looking back now, oof. Cool Whip is disgustingly terrible for your insides. Plus, pumpkin pie is definitely a treat with all that really goes into the standard recipe – so much sugar!! But since it is the season and I’ve been craving it like crazy, my goal was to make a sugar-free, healthier alternative. I say sugar-free because this version is made with dates as opposed to processed sugars. Aaaaand it is the perfect substitute for me. I fix my craving without feeling like crap afterwards!

Plus… the filling is always the best part, right? Screw the crust – vegan pumpkin pie pudding.
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Plant-Based Diet: What I Ate

Plant-Based Life: What I’ve Been Eating Lately

I really dig this new format of sharing what I am eating – compiling over the course of a month rather than a structured day. It’s easier for me, and there is a ton to see for you guys :)

Aside from our honeymoon (splurge splurge splurge), I have been really paying attention to my diet lately. I am looking to make some small changes here and there (I kinda always am trying to see what works best for my and how I feel). My mom and I were discussing our eating habits at length recently and we both think it’s time to cut back on the oil we cook with. We’re Italian, so you can imagine how much olive oil we cook with now – literally, it’s on everything. I am also a huge coconut oil advocate – and I’ll still use it to a certain extent… like on my popcorn! – but I do want to also watch my intake and cut back… just to see if I notice any changes or difference in weight/health/etc. We’ll see! I’ll report back if there is anything significant to report. I feel like this oil thing may be harder than when I adopted a vegan diet and gave up cheese!

I also kinda fell off the no-sugar wagon – well, fell off but not as bad as before! For example, I never use sugar in my coffee anymore (huge win for me). I’m also not into the flavor shots anymore, either. Now that the wedding had come and gone and we’re back from the honeymoon, I am ready to commit again and watch my intake. If I do have sweets, it will be something that is totally worth it on the weekend.

I haven’t made up my mind about dates yet – they are loaded with sugar, but… natural sugar? Not sure how I feel yet. Maybe if I am dying for a sweet and losing my mind, I’ll have a date. But… maybe not! I guess we’ll see how I feel. I won’t kill myself over it ;)

Anyways, now that I have rambled on and on about my diet changes as of lately, let’s get to what I have actually been eating. Lots of good stuff (as always!) to inspire.
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