Being vegetarian requires a lot of discipline! Just ask my fabulous friend, Lauren [ she's on the left ^^^ ], who knows first hand all about the lifestyle. I have known her for years & I don’t think I have ever seen the girl eat something bad [ well...besides champagne! ]. Lauren is one of the kindest people I know, adores her dog, Mabel [ who she nicknamed "the most popular girl in the world" ], & is the queen of throwing the best parties [ check out her latest party below ].
+ Tell us about yourself.
I am a ten year strict vegetarian- I say strict, as I am very proud that over the past years I have stayed true to the vegetarian lifestyle. I have had no meat, chicken, or fish at all. When I eat at home it’s all organic. I grew up having a vegetable & salad with every meal my mother cooked. I think it made my transition from eating meat a lot easier. We always had a garden in our back yard & my mom taught me healthy balanced eating from the time I was a little girl. Milk, eggs, & cheese are very minimal in my diet. Once or twice a month maximum.
+ How did you become a vegetarian?
I became a vegetarian over night. My co-worker [ who was a veg ] suggest I try it, she thought it would be easy for me as I already ate mostly vegetables. I wanted the challenge and from the day on I stuck with it. Since then, I have had more energy & been sick much less. Now, after doing research on the inhumane treatment of animals and watching numerous documentaries, I am very happy with my lifestyle choice.
+ Why vegetarian?
I am a creature of habit. I have been eating the same thing for years. Boring…but it works for me! I do my best to give my body what it needs- I would say I am fairly disciplined. This has kept me from ever becoming a binge eater.
+ What’s a normal day of eating?
I would say I eat five small meals a day. Quinoa & hummus are an everyday thing. I go to Jimbo’s or Whole Foods everyday for the most part. When I eat at home I eat dinner by six pm at the latest. When I wake up in the morning I am very hungry. I start off with a cup of coffee. Most days it’s a corn cake [ a delicious alternative to a rice cake ] with Sun Butter [ an alternative to peanut butter ] with flax seeds on top. I am not a huge fan of fruit, but maybe some apple slices too.
For a snack, a few hours later I will have a Lara bar to give me energy. Most days’ lunch is a quinoa salad, spring rolls [ not fried ], miso, or cabbage soup. If I play tennis, or do a kettle bell workout I will have some pretzels with hummus after. Dinner is usually a great salad, healthy vegetable stir-‐fry, and tofu with brown rice, raw vegetable wrap or vegetarian sushi. I am not a huge sweet person but if I did want something sweet it would be a natural fruit popsicle.
+ Favorite vegetarian products?
Amy’s Kitchen, anything by Bragg’s [ which is liquid aminos], GT Dave’s Kombucha, MaraNatha [ sunflower butter, almond butter ] Kookie Karma, Nasoya [ it's hummus w/ no preservatives ].
+ Best part of the lifestyle?
The best part of being a vegetarian is I know everything I put in my body is beneficial to my health. I have more natural energy & my body has literally changed for the better.
+ Quick Skinny Tip?
Lots of water with a splash of all-natural cranberry juice. Sliced cucumber with some lemon before lunch & dinner works well too!
+ Cocktail of choice?
I am a champagne girl- it’s definitely a guilty pleasure. But lots of water with it too.
+ Share an easy vegetarian recipe with us!
Kale Salad with Beans, Quinoa, and Hummus
4 cups stemmed kale leaves, washed & dried
2 teaspoons EVOO
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
A pinch of Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup of your favorite hummus
Slice the kale into thin strips & place in a large bowl; add in the olive oil and lemon juice. With your hands, massage the kale until the leaves start to soften and wilt, about two to three minutes. Taste & season with salt and pepper. Toss the beans and cooked quinoa with the massaged kale, plate the salad, & add hummus on top of each serving.
[ Photos taken by Lauren with Instagram ]