Lo Mein [Gluten Free, Vegan]

Two weeks until the last marathon of the year. This means its time to clean up my diet, and put only good things in. This also means it is time to start introducing a few extra carbs! Here’s a way to do both, while satiating a chinese take-out craving [something that doesn’t come gluten-free in my city].

Low Mein [Gluten Free, Vegan]

All Veggie servings are approximate as  you can just use what you have/need to use up for this recipe. I just kept adding until my pan was too full! This recipe takes about 20 minutes start to finish and reheats well.

Makes 4-6 servings

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400g Rice noodles

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp canola oil

3 cups stir-fry mix (Mine had broccoli, carrots, sugar peas…all pre-chopped)

1 cup bean sprouts, chopped

1.5 cup baby bokchoy, chopped

1 can drained water chestnuts

1 can drained mini corn

2 cups broth (I used vegetable)

2 tbsp corn starch

Sauce

3 tbsp tamari + extra according to taste

1 tbsp minced ginger (I used ginger paste)

2 tbsp raw cane sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and onion and cook until onions are translucent. While onions are cooking, make rice noodles. Cover noodles in a bowl with boiling water + 1 cup broth, drain once noodles are slightly firmer than al dente. Whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Once onions are translucent, add stir fry mix and cover with lid. Cook until crisp but tender, aprox 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables, including water chestnuts, as well as the final cup of broth. Add sauce. Allow vegetable to soften, aprox. 2 minutes.

Drain vegetables, reserving the sauce. Add sauce back to pan along with rice noodles and corn starch which has been dissolved in a small amount of water. Allow rice noodles to finish softening. Once noodles are soft, toss in vegetable mixture. Heat until sauce has reduced slightly, aprox. 1 minute.

Once removed from heat, drizzle with sesame oil and serve. If you desire more flavour, drizzle with extra tamari.

To reheat, add a few tbsp warm water to a pan with serving, or put in microwave with a cup of water beside dish to retain moisture.

NOTE: If you would like to add some protein, chopped firm tofu, scrambled eggs, or chicken would be best added with onions at the beginning. I prefer to keep it vegan.

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Week One

NOTE: I APOLOGIZE FOR THE BORING, NO PHOTO POST-MY COMPUTER WON’T LOAD MY PHOTOS FOR WHATEVER REASON!

I am officially one week into my refined carb/sugar free challenge. Overall, it has been great and I have felt great. I had one minor pitfall, but I am back on track. To make up for the pitfall-Im going to do all of June rather than only  until June 29th. I’ve been keeping notes on my phone so I could give you guys the play-by-play on how it is going. I have also been tracking what I am eating on an app on my phone just for curiosity sake to see how my macro-nutrient consumption effects how I feel.

Day One: I was travelling back home from a trip to my parent’s house for my Dad’s 50th birthday. I only ate a little water melon before leaving, so I was starving once I had driven about an hour and a half. I was suprised at how easy it was to find a salad bar in small town saskatchewan for lunch. I picked up a huge salad with chicken and eggs + strawberries + orange juice. On the next leg of my journey I picked up a sugar free coconut water at a gas station and indulged in the strawberries since I didn’t touch them before. I drank 3 bottles of water on the trip. At home I made a big salad for dinner with bacon, chicken, egg, and black soy beans (couldn’t find regular black beans at the grocery store for some reason). I topped the salad with a ‘homemade vegan ranch’….turned out more like a creamy dill sauce. A mango for dessert. I also juiced a cucumber, beet, carrot, ginger and spinach for a snack with a banana later. I felt SUPER full essentially all day. Macro Nutrients: Fats 71g, Carbs 187g, Protein 77g

Day 2: Worked a 12 hour day shift. Felt exhausted pretty much the entire day. Ate one halls candy by accident-didn’t even realize what I was doing until it was gone. Craved chips mid afternoon, craved protein like CRAZY in the evening. Once home from work, the hubbie brought me home a bison burger in a lettuce wrap with tomato, onion, dill pickle and mustard. I also realize I am WAY underhydrated- only drank 1.5L all day-chug some water with the burger and am feeling much more satisfied. Maco Nutrients: Fats 75g, Carbs 167g, Protein 100g

Day 3: Worked another 12 hour day shift. Craving protein MAJORLY all day. Ate another lettuce burger for dinner. More energy today than the last two. Macro Nutrients: Fats 73g, Carbs 163g, Protein 91g

Day 4: Yet again, 12 hour day shift. Super tired from work today. Meet husband for dinner out and completely give into temptation- ate fries and a gluten free bun burger…oh and dairy-cheese dip. I really went off the deep end. After tracking my nutrients I realize I only ate 800 calories throughout the day, no wonder I fell. Need to keep up my nutrition through the day so I go get these little binge moments. Macro Nutrients: Fats 102g, Carbs 233g, Protein 87g

Day 5: Worked a 12 hour night shift. Felt generally okay, a little bloated, perhaps from the carbs. Skin is going crazy today. Made a delicious banana chocolate icecream with frozen banana, dates, cococa powder all blended up in the blender. Good through most of the night- craved salty carbs. Ate a few bananas through the night and felt better. Macro Nutrients: Fats 30g, Carbs 206g, Protein 44g

Day 6: Came off the night shift tired (all nighter, duh.) Made a burger at home (I don’t know why all I want to eat is burgers this week!) and roasted a potato. Potato tasted WAY TOO SWEET so I only ate a few bites. When I woke up from sleeping all day all I wanted to eat was mango. Went to costco and bought two cases of different varieties. Ate 4 mangos for dinner with a TON of water, feeling very satisfied. Realizing I was eating too few carbs maybe? More carbs, less fat maybe? We’ll see how that works out. Macro Nutrients: Fats 70g, Carbs 230g, Protein 61g

Day 7: Slept a LONG TIME. (7 hours yesterday in the day + 10 hours at night) Woke up feeling VERY refreshed. I am a little dehydrated. Guzzle a litre of water and eat 3 mangos throughout the morning….On to week two.

Buh-Bye Sugar!

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Due a general interest in increasing my energy, mood and health, I have decided to challenge myself to one month free of refined sugar or carbs. If you remeber from last summer- I began seeing a naturopath. Part of my journey to health involved cutting out refined sugar and carbs (as well as about 15 allergens and caffiene) for 6 weeks….but slowly over the year all the sugar snuck it’s way back in. I have been indulging in soda WAY more than appropriate (having a soda stream dosen’t help), as well as other ‘junk’. Being summer, it’s the easiest season to eat healthy…so why not! I’ll be travelling this week, so I am planning to start my plan May 29 and go until June 19. Wish me luck!

As I learned last year around this time, success is all in the planning. I know that cravings will come and I need to be prepared for both salty and sweet snacks. I also will need to amp up protein and fat to keep me satifsfied. I will try to share my meal-planning in case any of you want to follow along!=) I work shift work, so if I can do it…all of you 9-5er’s certainly can as well!=) FYI: I usually plan leftovers for lunches, hence no lunch categorie. For the 12 hour work days- I also bring leftovers for one meal plus eggs for another and tons of fruit and veg typically.

Breakfasts:

Omelettes (2-3 eggs + salt + pepper + almond milk + spinach + onion + mushroom + pepper + tomato)

Egg Cupcakes (bake shredded yam hash + sausage + eggs in cupcake tins in oven)

Monkey Salad (cashews + coconut chips + banana)

Fruit

Coffee and Vegan Creamer (Coconut Milk + dates + vanilla)

Snacks:

Monkey Salad

Fruit

Boiled Eggs with Salt

Dill Pickles

Turkey Wraps (Turkey + avocado + spinach)

Dinners:
May 29: Travelling, 7km run- Cobb Salad (bacon, egg, rotisserie chicken, tomato, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, black beans + vegan ranch)
May 30: 12 hr Day Shift
May 31: 12 hr Day Shift

June 1: 12 hr Day Shift

June 2: 12 hr Night Shift, Yoga- Baked Salmon (lemon, salt, pepper) + Kale/Mushrooms/Onion + Yam with coconut oil

June 3: 8km Run(last 4 race pace)- Yam Hash, Eggs, Sautee Kale or Spinach

June 4: 4km Run- Salad + Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken + Guacamole

June 5: 16km Run- Creamy Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Happy Eating!