Combat dehydration & muscle cramping with Vegan supplementation

It’s 2 am and you wake up screaming because your muscles are cramping up in your calf. Toes curled and writing in pain you wait for the moment to pass.

Sound familiar?

While this sometimes night time occurrence may be on and off again and tolerable, muscle cramping during training sessions can be debilitating.

If you’re suffering from muscle cramping during exercise under 60 minutes in duration, are drinking at least a gallon of water per day AND are making sure that you’re replenishing your salt electrolytes then there are only a few other options left for you to stop the pain of cramps, which I’ve outlined below.

Supplements that treat dehydration

ELECTROLYTES: Magnesium, potassium, sodium.

You can opt to take these supplements at night or during the day. Magnesium can be taken in tablet form alone OR with a Zinc blend called “ZMA” at night.

Read more about ZMA HERE. 

What to avoid

Your enemy (at least temporarily) will be coffee, tea, soda, and alcoholic drinks. These are all forms of diuretics, which means they can dehydrate you more because they all pull water from your body. If you are suffering from serious dehydration, yo might need IV fluids or even a hospital visit.

No laughing matter.

Ensure that you are getting all the liquid you need throughout the day and intra workout as well as making sure you stretch and foam roll!

Give yourself the gift of foam rolling on the daily, listen to this physical therapy article with tips

Try these stretches for leg cramps from Verywellfit

No amount of hope or supplementation alone will help you get past the cramping which is going to hinder your ability to go hard during your training sessions.

Train hard, eat well, rest up, hydrate.

xx

S

VEGAN PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE


Soy free, gluten free, dairy free, cruelty free….GUILT FREE (sort of)…seasonal FUN pumpkin cheesecake. Unfortunately, this recipe is about 8 years old and I couldn’t find an image of it…haven’t made it in quite some time SO please enjoy the image from Fat Free Vegan…this is about as close as a picture I could find.

You’ll need a 9-inch spring form pan for this recipe.

Crust:
1 cup superfine sorghum flour
½ cup arrowroot powder
½ cup pecans, finely ground
1 to 2 teaspoons Sasha’s homemade pumpkin spice (link below)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil (room temp)
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Filling:
½ cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup raw sprouted/soaked cashews
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon  lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons Sasha’s homemade PUMPKIN SPICE

Cook quinoa & rinse in a fine mesh strainer under running water for a minute. Then place quinoa and  2 cups of water into a small pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.

CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line  spring form pan with parchment paper.

In  mixing bowl whisk together the sorghum flour, arrowroot, ground pecans, pumpkin spice, and sea salt. Add coconut oil and cut in with your fingers or a pastry cutter. Then add water and maple syrup. Quickly mix dough with a fork. Form into a ball. Press dough evenly into bottom of spring form pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

To make the filling, place the pumpkin, cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, and spices into a high powered blender. Then add the cooked quinoa and blend again until ultra smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust.

Let cheesecake set at room temp for 1 hour,  cover and transfer to the fridge at least 3 hours or overnight.

Client Spotlight – The Vegan Converts & Making a baby with Gio & Casey Weeks – baby Luca now too!!

A beautiful, fit family who conceived by incorporating veganism!

Sometimes clients become friends, but in this case an “old” friend of mine – Giovanna – became a client. Giovanna and I met in elementary school in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada over 25 years ago. We actually went to different schools but both attended Catachism (click it if you don’t know it) where we met and eventually ended up at the same school. Giovanna has always had a light shining SO brightly within her….but she never had that Knight in shining armour that deserved her until…..Casey. Wow, what can I say. From the minute I first saw an image of these two together with their gorgeous smiles on display, I knew it was love. Casey seemed to be such a positive and loving force in Gio’s life.I’m so thankful that the two of you met and made a family -the world needs more true love like yours.

Happily settled in Houston, Texas, these two and their two pooches just added one more to their tribe; baby girl Luca – sorry folks, I didn’t get an image I could use here….and Luca was just born this past weekend of April 14/15. Congrats to the two of you. All my love and so much more and thanks SO much for taking the Vegan in 60 mentorship program on, I really hope it did help you with your little one.

So much love.

xx

S

How did the two of you meet?

Casey was a spin instructor at a studio and I had a huge crush on him and went to all his classes till he noticed me J

Did you plan on having a family early on in meeting and did age play a factor in this?

We both wanted kids one day but at the time didn’t think about it until I went to the doctor about a year after dating and she told me I had to see a fertility doctor.

How long were you trying for a baby before you went vegan and can you share any part of your personal story with our readers about WHY you decided to a make the change?

I had been doing fertility treatments for over a year. 4 Iuis and 2 IVF cycles and after getting pregnant on the last try but losing it right away I needed a break. Casey ended up watching some documentaries on Netflix that really opened our eyes to going vegan. I took about a 3month break and we went very strict vegan and I felt so great. I was working out again and not thinking about treatments and we really did feel healthier. I didn’t think it would has any effect on fertility at first just wanted to get healthier after all the hormones that were in me.

What have been the best and worst parts of trying to conceive – hee hee?

The worst was all the treatments for sure, not having control. The hormones they inject in you. The weight you gain with all of it. The stress of it. The best was when we took a break and just relax and were able to just do it the old fashion way and it worked! We could enjoy each other finally again and with being vegan I even lost weight so I felt better about myself too.

Once you became pregnant did you decide to go back to a carni lifestyle?

I have been back and forth, only because the first 3 months I was very sick and some things I could not keep down. We still try very hard though but as soon as the baby is born we are committed to going back to vegan again. I just know I felt amazing and even though I love this little baby, it has been a hard pregnancy. So I am so excited to be going back and I know Casey is too.

We know this has to be our lifestyle now, not a back and forth.

Is there anything you have learned in the process of becoming pregnant that you didn’t know veganism could impact positively?

I actually think that if I stay strict vegan I would have had less “problems” and that a lot of it was in my head. I know how healthy I felt before I was pregnant and I really think my body fixed itself becoming vegan. It made me a happier and less stressed person to, I really believe that. So now that I will be a parent I want to get back to that frame of mind and I know veganism with help me.

What is the best advice you have for couples having trouble conceiving?

Even though I hated hearing this so much, letting go and not stressing about it really is the key. Being a healthy, happy person is more important and I think that will help you so much more than stressing about what you need to do to actually conceive. Your partner and you should love just being with each other and not make it a chore to have a baby.

What was your fave and least fave vegan meal of all time?

I thought actually that quick oats for breakfast would have been my least fav but I really loved it. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like. I really enjoyed all the vegan items we ate. Well…my first attempt at a falafel was probably my least…but if someone else makes them I love them.

Would you raise your child vegan – why/why not?

Casey and I have talked about this just a bit. We will teach them about being vegan but I think we will let them ultimately make the choice in the end.

Please let us know your best vegan recommendations for your best meals in Texas or abroad!

Ripe Cuisine is great! they are a food truck right now but opening a restaurant. Also Local foods is doing a good job of vegan items as well.

If there is anything lingering in your mind about this whole process, please feel free to share it now!

Thanks so much for all your support on this!

Tips for keeping training exciting

Who doesn’t selfie between sets?

Motivate my workout! When you train day in, day out with no end in sight, it can get overwhelmingly – blah.

Without a show date, high school reunion or vacation booked we can easily lose our drive for keeping the gains train going. Have a look through these simple tips for keeping the fitness flame alive for you all here.

Momma didn’t raise no quitter!

Add some “Flix” to your kicks.

Cardio can really beat your brains especially when it’s always indoors and monotonous. If you have the data or wifi, try watching a new series or a movie in pieces while you pedal, step or jog.

Sign up for classes in advance

Commit to be fit! Using apps like Mindbody for yoga, pilates or group fitness classes allow you to sign in before the class goes on, often several days in advance. Book your fitness like you do your haircuts and mani pedis, it’s a necessity.

Create mini goals

An additional 5 lbs, another 1/2 mile, getting down half a pant size. All great mini “now” goals to keep you pushing the envelope on a daily basis.

Get outside

If you’re not a competitive bodybuilder you don’t need to get all of your training in at the gym. If you live by mountains, hike and ski. If you live by lakes, swim and paddle. There are so many fun ways to get your fitness on without the clanging of metal on metal.

Revive your radio

Playing the same old tunes every session can get super repetitive. Now that the world doesn’t run on HMV it’s much easier to sample new music all the time. Cool streaming stations like Spotify even allow us to “discover” music they think we will like.

For something new, check out this personalized playlist on Spotify HERE. 

Fitness is a blessing, remember that many do not have the ability to train as freely as you do. Use it to elevate your mood, your heart rate and your outlook on life.

Keep on trucking.

XX – S

Client Spotlight – The Vegan Runner with Tess J.

Introducing the witty, funny, one-of-a-kind athlete in my life – Tess Jones.

Tess is a mom of one VERY darling little girl as well as a step-mom and wife. She’s such an inspiration for working moms out there who want to keep a life of their own and be an outstanding parent – ain’t gonna lie, she makes it look kinda easy but she might have something to say about that.

I met Tess in 2017 online, helped her out with a meal plan for her non-competitive time as well as helping her with endurance nutrition. I also had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with her and her little nugget helping prepare meals for her busy life. She’s got health and wellness as a priority in her home which is SO refreshing. You’re amazing Tess.

If you’re in Pittsburgh looking to run throughout this beautiful city check out this running link HERE from Fitt Pittsburgh. Also, if you’re in the hood AND in need of some help with your gear, please head over to Fleet Feet and see Tess for the best of the best service.

Thanks for being an inspiration for vegans, runners and moms, Tess.

xx

 

How long have you been running?

My Dad has been a runner his whole life and started me when I was 13. I am now 32 and have been running ever since!

When did you discover that running was your “thing”?

I realized I was good at running in high school as I was winning a lot of local 5K races. Once I started training, I realized I could be a solid runner. I went to college and competed on my Division III Cross Country team.

Why did you decide to go vegan?

I have always been mostly plant based as it just made me feel better. I had a lot of stomach issues when I ate dairy and meat so doing a lot of trial and error to find what worked for me was helpful. Eliminating animal products made me feel better overall.

 Do you notice a difference in your abilities running as a vegan?

It honestly took a while for me to adjust. I had an eating disorder in high school and in college, so going vegan really made my family worried that I was restricting again. I initially lost a lot of weight and was really tired all the time. It took me a while to figure out the right combination of Macros and supplements to make sure I was fueling myself properly so that I could keep up the mileage. Once I did, I was able to be a good runner and a vegan athlete.

What is a typical day of training for you?

It really depends if I am in marathon training mode or I am in an off season. I usually run 5 days a week and do 1 day of strength training and one off day. Usually a day of speed work, a day of long distance and then moderate distance the rest of the time.  

What are your favourite pre and post workout foods?

I love a good banana and toast pre-long run. The carbs are great for longer distances. I love a smoothie post-run, it is cold and feels so good and is easy to digest!

When did you decide you needed nutritional coaching for optimizing your training, and why?

Veganism is wonderful, but hard to navigate sometimes. There is so much information out there and I wanted to be sure I was getting enough nutrients. As I said, with having had an Eating Disorder, it is easy for me to go back to my restrictive tendencies. I really had to focus on getting the proper coaching and guidance.

What is the biggest hurdle you feel you face in your day to day life that running helps you to overcome?

I think running is my best therapist! I really can unwind and relax and just be me. I have a 5 month old daughter so having the time and space all to myself is really helpful for my overall health and wellness.

What are some of your favourite places to run and why?

I love running throughout the city; Pittsburgh is a beautiful place to run! So many trails that are just absolutely breathtaking. I love being out with nature!

If you could give three pieces of solid advice to those considering taking on running, what would it be?

Like anything else, start slow and ease in. Don’t try to start off running 8 miles if you have never ran before. Know that it might  not be fun to start, but the benefits are endless and it can truly be a lifetime sport if you do it safely.

Is there anything that you are personally passionate about that you would like to share with FML clients, friends, readers?  

Having a plant diet is doable while being an athlete! You just have to plan, be smart and work hard!

The Fit, Vegan Foodies guide to Maui

Hike Views on the Lahaina Trail – Photo By Jeff Williams – JJW Photography

 

If you’re heading to Hawaii there is no better island than Maui. I might be biased because I’ve only been there and Oahu a few times.

This year, we took 14 days to explore the island and chill out. I was supposed to be mid-prep for a June show and was stressing out over how to balance hard work and play – then I pushed off competing until winter (has it even left us yet?) so I could relax more about my food.

We are lucky to have a close friend with a condo in Kihei (thanks Mark & Vanessa) so we scored a great ground level, ocean view 2 bedroom unit right on S. Kihei road at The Maui Banyan.

Fully equipped kitchen & outdoor BBQ facilities – YES. As well as 2 pools, 2 hot tubs and the sound of the ocean to put you to sleep – pinch me.

Though I wasn’t on prep for a show I still wanted to make sure that I stayed (mostly) on track so, as usual I found a gym to train at while away as well. The Maui Powerhouse is the only gym I would go to on this part of the island. It was biking/driving distance away from us and amazing. There are more details & links below.

Have a great time on the island ~ do your best to enjoy all the fresh food & drinks. Practice Aloha!

Here we go!

First stop ~ Fork & Salad

Refreshing, light & full of options. They have tofu as an adder so you can create pretty much whatever you like. This place is owned by the people at Three’s (see below).

Second stop – Maui Powerhouse Gym

SUCH a great gym. I cannot say enough about this spot. We trained all but 1 day while here, every morning and it was perfect. Kind of sad to be leaving this one behind because there wasn’t too much fighting over equipment and the ownership is great. Good location with lots of parking and right next to Fork & Salad as well as a coffee shop and a bunch of other infrastructure.

How to eat like a Vegan on Maui

If you want to eat, you’re going to need to stop by these places to at least try something out. As a vegan it can be tough to eat anywhere on the island if you’re not in the know.

I hit up Vegan on Maui on Facebook to ask the group for ideas before I left as the last trip to the island a few years back wasn’t as successful.

Kihei: 

Three’s 

They have tofu first of all, so this will make it easier on you to add some protein to dishes and modify. I had the Kale salad, sans cheese. Jeff had a rice/curry dish and added tofu as well. WIN. The space is nice, we sat outside and their Lime & Coconut drink is TDF (to die for).

Hawaiian Moons

Most of our trip we prepared our own meals at the condo. This is the BEST place for all things vegan and healthy. This is NOT the best place for saving cash on foodstuffs so beware. They also have a food bar where they make smoothies, açai bowls, pitaya bowls, sandwiches and salads etc… expensive but nutritious and clean.

Freds

Ugh, this place is THE WORST but I’m mentioning it because they did accommodate us UNLIKE upstairs at Moose McGillicuddy’s where the staff is aloof and the menu options are next to none. 

We shared vegetarian fajitas and the beach view which was really the only reason we went back here – we were there in 2014 and disliked it then as well.

Rice & refried beans are NOT cruelty free but they do have black beans and white riced which are. Found out after that the vegetables were cooked in butter (not oil) and felt ILL – I’m not sure they have a non-butter option.

Other: 

Mentioned by my non-vegan folks: Tiki Bar {Pizza} – my parents noted that the menu said vegan options available but weren’t sure exactly what the options were.

Lahaina: 

Baya Bowls

Great little Food Truck located just a couple of blocks off of Front Street. They appear on Yelp as well as google searches.

Captain Jacks

We only had a couple of drinks on the lanai and people watched from this spot BUT the waitress did let us know that all of the sauces were vegan & that they had Beyond Burgers.

Kaanapali: 

A’a Roots

This was a suggestion from the Vegan on Maui FB group (closed group). It was sort of worth the drive from Kihei (under 20 miles) but, it was pretty outrageously priced (as is everything in Hawaii). Service was quick and they had a lot of “to go” options as well. Lots of Raw vegan, juices, desserts etc…

Kula:

O’o Farm

This was a return trip for us this year. They added tofu to their luncheon menu which was not the case a few years back. Imagine traveling up country into the clouds, eating unripened coffee fruit, touring beautiful gardens and foraging for your own lunch with the  rest of the guests!!

It’s a great way to spend a few hours & to support a sustainable practice. The owners are from Quebec City and Montreal (didn’t know that before) and they also own a restaurant in Lahaina as well as a Luau which is always packed. It’s the “Feast at Lele” and was booked for weeks in advance. Call ahead to pick the luau you really want to attend.

Paia:

Mana Foods

Grocery store with a hot/cold food buffet section. Very hippie, very organic, very GMO free…lots of choices. Not entirely vegan but you cannot find any crappy food here. It’s a great pit stop on the way to Ho’okipa beach to see the turtles sunning themselves and catch some surf.

Cafe Mambo

Meh. They had tofu & lettuce and it wasn’t over the top priced or entirely disgusting however, the service was aloof at best. I’d rather pack a picnic lunch from Mana and skip the crowded streets of Paia all together.

Activities: 

Kihei/Wailea/Anywhere: 

Luau ~ we went to the Grand Luau in Wailea and were almost tricked into it because the name had changed! I think this one is “ok” and hosted by the Waldorf Astoria. I really wish I would’ve gotten to the Feast at Lele (see above). They had about 4 vegan options there which was ok….but it’s a lot of salads at best. Vegetarians & pescatarians would do better here.

Boogie Boarding ~ nearly free if your room comes equipped with one! We picked up a used board at a garage sale in Lahaina as well. Stores sell these things everywhere but they’re a bit over the top (sensing a theme here??). Most beaches are naturally equipped with shore break however, the lifeguards will advise when it’s not safe to swim. Places like Big Beach in Makena State Park have neck breaking shore break that have killed – be careful.

Surfing ~ again, you can rent or get lessons. I’ve surfed in Kaanapali and Kihei where there are rentals and lessons abounding. Best times are early morning but the water is FULL of people – be prepared that at smaller breaks there are beginners and a lot of traffic.

Walks ~ sidewalks in Maui are all in great repair. You can walk the beaches (which have lava rock pouring out to sea), sidewalks and ocean front paths in front of most hotels and resorts.

Beaches ~ no limits here. Makena State Park has a tonne – even nude ones! Imagine the shoreline as your oyster, bring a typical “Tommy Bahama Beach Chair & Umbrella” and hunker down pretty much anywhere for the day. There are many pullouts along the highways that allow for picnics, surfing, boogey boarding etc…even camping!

Bike ~There are a lot of cool places to ride bikes by the seaside and bike paths are plentiful. There are sweet Electra cruisers and more!

Snorkel ~ with $10 per day rentals on all the gear you need you must snorkel and see all the beautiful fish. Just be sure you do not wear too much of your sunblock (opt for a shirt) which damages reefs/fish habitat. We rented from Boss Frogs in Kihei. Also, be sure to check for shark closures – real & can throw a wrench in your day if you pull up to a beach that’s closed.

Hike ~ We completed one HOT hike between Kihei and Lahaina The Lahaina Pali Trail with a goal for reaching the wind turbines and the views. The return trip is about 10 miles. We drove to the trailhead on Lahaina-side and did 50% of the hike to the Turbines and back. Great views – bring good shoes!

Lahaina: 

Walk ~ Front street is the typical spot to walk and look in all the shops. There are a few other side streets you could hit for Shave Ice, surfboard rentals and even Harley bikes!

Art~ Peter Lik & more have claimed a storefront here now. Hawaii has been taken over by photo prints placed on metal. It’s kind of nauseating after a while and Front street is definitely a tourist trap for Cruise goers let out on their usual 2 hours from the ship (sad sad sad)….I’d really do it once and forget about it. There is also glass blowing and if you head to the big Banyan Tree, you might see some handcrafted pieces by the artists themselves.

Food trucks ~ Vegan, tacos, fish and more. You need to try some of this and get away from the VERY over priced commercial mess of front street OR go enjoy the views from Cheeseburger in Paradise…just skip the meat!

Paia:

Walk ~ the crowded streets looking at overpriced nicknacks.

Ho’okipa Beach ~ beautiful turtles, washrooms, showers, big surf. It’s a great place to catch some rays and relax next to some seriously big waves at times.

Roadtrips: 

Road to Hana – First of all if you’re going to do this one you need to download Shaka Guides . 

This $7 app will take you all the way around the trip pointing out everything you’ll want to know and allowing you to skip things you don’t want to see. We chose to do the road in a full circle and I think that you should too.

To be honest, there are some great sites but we were moving in a car so I didn’t get many shots at all hence these poorly uploaded blurry images of what could be water AND some power lines.

If you’ve ever seen massive waterfalls in other countries/places you might be underwhelmed. Being from Vancouver, not one of the sites was epic – sorry to ruin your day. Also, IMHO, spending 8 hours on this trip is kind of a waste. If you’re around at a particularly dry time, you will not see much water at all. Plan to check up on this.

Black sand beaches are just that. Black sand. They are a limited edition so its a good idea to see them before they are gone however, do not be expecting to have your boobs knocked off by them. Sorry. You can see them at the Waianapanapa State Park.

7 pools is a TOTAL BUST. Do NOT do this, honestly. Unless you are going to go up to the Haleakala Crater for sunrise or sunset, then you can use the $25 admission twice – within a 72 hour period.

My FAVE stop was Coconut Glen’s on the Road to Hana. VEGAN ice cream stop with wild chickens, kittens and really groovy, colourful decor. Totally off plan, totally worth it at just past the halfway mark! Bring cash on this journey because there are a lot of food stops that are cash only. Fruit stands, banana bread stands, coconut water etc….don’t miss out because you relied on plastic!



Hana~ Meh, we were here on a Sunday and there was literally nothing to see ~ sorry I cannot be help. There is a red sand beach that can be hunted down but we didn’t do it. If you’ve got bank, fly into the Hana airport from Kapalui and stay the night at the Travaasa Hotel for a night or two.

Kaupo ~ Desert land appears and so do the cliffs! There is one token stop at an old shop here. The Kaupo Store. If you cannot afford to take a chopper around the island (I’ve done it once with Blue Hawaiian and it’s worth EVERY penny) you can see some cool Lava Tubes & cliffs here for FREE.

Maui Winery ~ stop here. Do a tasting or three and play a round of cornhole under some seriously huge trees. Such a nice treat at the end of a long drive. We did one flight of wine and enjoyed the grounds. There are washrooms here as well – you’ll need them!

O’o Farm ~ I cannot brag more than I have already. Enjoy this place & learn about coffee roasting in their roastary. BYO bottle of wine to have with lunch as well as some warmer clothes in case the clouds roll in – which they do. You will need reservations so call ahead!

Wrapping it up

There are SO many more things that I have done on this island but just cannot remember so, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I’ll do my best to answer them all.

My greatest joy this trip (almost) was finally committing to playing the Ukulele ~ got my very own!

Happy (cruelty free) travels.

xx

S

Photography by Jeff Williams ~ check out his instagram page/work here: @PIXBURGHER

Low carb, high protein Vegan Curry with Naan

With just a few ingredients around the house (some vegan staples for sure) you can whip up a quick, healthy and protein rich meal that won’t break the bank or your summer bod goals.

25 minute meal done up right. Nutrition information for the curry dish is noted.

Vegans need protein too ~ keep your nutrition tight with a plan of attack and always have options available to you in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas

3 cups chopped kale
1/2 large yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1/2 inch garlic
1 cup shelled peas
1/3 can regular coconut milk
1 cube boullion 2 cups hot water
Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
Curry – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
1 block extra firm tofu pressed
Salt to taste
“Naan”
Vegan Parm – I used THIS ONE
Olive oil
Garlic salt
(light dusting of each)
Method: 
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in large saucepan.
Add chopped onion, garlic and ginger on medium low heat.
Add chickpeas with 1/2 aquafaba & cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile – in lightly greased pan fry cubed tofu until browned on all sides.
Add hot water and bullion, turn up to medium, cook and reduce water for 3-4 minutes.
Add 3 pinches of sea salt, peas & kale then stir in coconut milk cook for 2 more minutes.
Finally, add panfried tofu and mix.
To create “naan”:
Set oven to 400 degrees. “Butter” tortillas with oil lightly, sprinkle with garlic salt & vegan parmesan. Bake for 5-7 minutes then change to 525 degree broil for 2 minutes or until tortillas start to bubble/brown slightly.
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 285
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g 13 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 3191 mg 133 %
Potassium 540 mg 15 %
Total Carbohydrate 32 g 11 %
Dietary Fiber 10 g 39 %
Sugars 8 g
Protein 20 g 40 %
Vitamin A 156 %
Vitamin C 181 %
Calcium 24 %
Iron 25 %

Does Vegan pet food have all the ingredients my animal needs? Guest blog post.

Vegan pet food – a winning solution for dogs, cats and the planet!

If you are a vegan yourself and are a guardian to a dog or a cat, you might have considered a plant-based pet diet for your companion animal. You may have looked it up online and found a lot of conflicting information, and are not sure where to go from here. Internet is full of stories of how cats and dogs get sick from eating lettuce and carrots, and these stories may have deterred you from giving vegan pet food a chance. Do not let these stories fool you: diet consisting of lettuce is a far cry from a well-balanced, complete vegan pet diet. Dogs and cats do benefit from a plant-based diet as much as humans do, as long as their food is properly balanced and nutritionally complete.

Does vegan pet food have all the ingredients my animal needs?

According to Dr. Armaiti May, a practicing veterinarian, animals have requirements for nutrients, but not necessarily ingredients. There is no reason why diets comprised entirely of plants, minerals, and synthetically-derived ingredients cannot meet the necessary palatability, bioavailability, and nutritional requirements of animals. Vegan pet food industry has come a long way to develop formulas that are healthy, balanced and meet the nutritional standards of the pet food industry. For example, our vegan products meet the required standard for protein (30%), sourced from peas, sunflower seeds, soy and maize.

If a required nutrient is not available from plant sources, laboratory created version is used instead of it. For example, you may have heard of ‘taurine’ – an essential amino-acid, necessary for proper cardiovascular function and eyesight in cats. Since taurine does not exist in plants, ‘vegan taurine’ was created in the lab — a synthesized version, which has exactly the same properties as taurine in meat. (Interestingly, most commercial meat-based formulas use the exact same synthetic taurine in their formulations, because the natural taurine is baked off during the production due to high temperature and pressure.) Our 100% vegan pet products contain all the nutrients, minerals and amino acids required by stringent nutritional standards for pet food.

What to expect during and after transitioning?

If you decide to transition your animal to a plant-based diet, the next step is to choose the right product. Sample packs are available to help you decide which product works best for your animal (and your wallet). Does your animal require hypoallergenic or non-GMO food? Would you like to cook meals at home or buy a manufactured kibble? Do you prefer wet or dry food? These are important questions to consider when choosing a vegan pet food product.

You have chosen a product, purchased a sample pack, and are now ready to start introducing the new food. Transitioning period takes about 2 weeks, during which the new vegan food is slowly introduced by mixing it with the old food. The proportion of the new food is slowly increased, until the animal is fed only vegan food. Gradual transition is very important to avoid stomach issues, and also to ensure that the animal has the time to get used to the new taste. While the vast majority of animals adopt a plant-based diet very smoothly, a small number will need extra time and help. If your dog or cat does not like the taste of the novel food right away, add some nutritional yeast to the new food, then gradually reduce the amount of added yeast to zero. Nutritional yeast makes the food taste like cheese, a flavor that animals used to the meat-based diet enjoy.

Once the transition process is complete, you will start seeing the benefits of a plant-based diet in your cat or dog. Our customers report relief from food allergies, less gasiness, improvement in skin coat and breath, and increase in the overall energy level. This is because meat products like chicken and beef are common allergens, causing a host of issues in animals. Not to mention that the ‘meat’ found in commercial pet foods contains byproducts like diseased animal parts, beaks, and bones – waste products deemed unfit for human consumption — and even euthanized and sick dogs and cats. Bacterial contamination is also a concern, as are degenerative diseases like cancer and arthritis. The healthy vegan diet you are feeding your animal now no longer has all this stuff, and you’ll know you have done the right thing for your pet and for the planet.

Thousands of people have successfully transitioned their cats and dogs to a vegan diet, and watch them thrive. Give it a try – you’ll be amazed how easy and good it is!

Here at Vecado Plant-Based Pet Foods we take nutrition of your pet and your concerns very seriously. We guide our customers all the way through the transition, and are here to support you any day of the week. We have lots of experience with transitions and know how to resolve common roadblocks. All of our products are 100% plant-based, sourced from all-vegan suppliers in the USA and Italy.

Exclusively for Sasha’s customers, Vecado is offering a starter pack for dogs and a starter pack for cats at a discounted rate. These packs contain samples of different products we carry, so your dog or cat can try all of them and choose the one he or she likes. To purchase a pack, please follow these links:

Starter pack for dogs

Starter pack for cats

– add your pack to the cart and apply discount SASHAWILLIAMS at checkout.

Our goal is to enable you to live your values, by providing your dog and cat with vegan pet food that is healthy and has no negative consequences on other animals or the planet.

Sincerely,

Vecado Plant-Based Pet Foods

Client Spotlight – Couples Who Go Vegan – Norm & Michelle

I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle at a Bodybuilding competition in Vancouver, BC, Canada a few years ago. It was her first show and she was SO nervous…just a sweetheart. We bonded that day and have been long distance friends ever since. I was super honoured to have Michelle and her husband Norm join my Vegan in 60 program and I’m super delighted with their results in both body and mind.

If you’re curious about what going vegan looks like, these two have some sage words here for newbies…..any time is the right time to go whole food plant based.

Love you both & thanks again….P.S. – I love this snap of you two…you might hate me for it but your fur baby is there and you’re tubbin’ in the snow which is one of my favourite pastimes (before moving to Pittsburgh).

You both rose to the challenge of trying out converting to veganism over 10 weeks, what made you dive into this challenge as carni’s?

We dove into this vegan challenge because it was exactly that a challenge. To be honest it was not something either of us would have considered trying ….until You said challenge….who doesn’t like a Little challenge.

What have you learned about veganism that has struck you as the most impactful? Ie: it’s health benefits, cost, animal rights issues etc…

 What has stuck with us so far are the health benefits. We both had wondered how going vegan would impact our health. So far it’s been great i really notice a difference when I removed dairy products from my diet. Michelle says now she is very aware of where our food comes from now and eating this way is pretty cheap.

Do you find that your working together on this initiative has brought you closer or created more stress at home?

Well it definitely has not added any stress ….has had is working together in searching and planning out our meals …snacks and as team Thiessen we hold each other accountable.

How do you tackle the questions asked of you by family, friends & others who may want to know a bit more about your new nutritional goals?

Family and friends have been supportive.  They ask questions and we fill them in on what we have found out. Most are interested in trying to be more plant based …not going vegan but being more responsible. It would seem our friends will make healthier choices after hearing our choices when we are out for dinner or such . Also creates interesting conversations.

What is the hardest part of being a new vegan?

Stress of finding new things to eat ….find recipes…choosing the options…shopping for the food…preparing the meals ….being new to veganism we don’t have easy go to dishes …yet.  Of course its stressful Try ing to fill our protein macro and keeping down our carb macros.

What is the easiest part of being a new vegan?

Making a vegan dish usually has lots of left overs. You get to grab healthy foods .

Are there any changes (physically) that  you have experienced that are super amazing that you want to share?

Ok some changes I’ve noticed is the bowel movements…2 to 3 times a day . Waking up alert and ready not needing a coffee to clear the morning cobwebs. No bloating( once I’ve adjusted to the beans).

What is your favourite vegan food so far?

For taste Mexican is our favorite . Seitan for the protein. I like to slice up my seitan and fry it in hot sauce.  Mmm mmm.

 Do you think you will go back to eating animal products, if so, why?

Yes I believe we will be going back to eating animal products . Our meal will no longer revolve around the meat. Things like cheese and honey are greatly missed . BUT we will be very mindful where we are purchasing our animal products from …the farm to table idea. With all the new ideas and recipes we have learned it will be way easier to keep our plant based diet most of the time. As Michelle has mentioned some cooked meat has effected her negatively as she has cooked it . I’m pretty sure that meat will be removed lol. By doing this challenge our eyes have been opened to a lot of different aspects of veganism….some we agree with and support others not so much but that’s ok we have a great base of knowledge now and will be more aware moving forward .

Michelle may want to add more as our time goes on.
Norm and Michelle Thiessen

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – Training the Vegan Man – With Greg H.

 

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – Training the Vegan Man – With Greg H.

Greg is a cheery, happy-go-lucky client I met a Vegan event here in Pittsburgh. He is tall, slim and looking to add some mass to his frame. While it’s a lot harder to make gains on a slender frame (naturally) than it is on a medium build, Greg gets to enjoy a lot of healthy, whole foods. I mean a lot, no big time calorie restriction for his body type.

Thanks Greg for participating in this interview!

After understanding a bit more about “generally” eating vegan and eating vegan with a goal (for gains)…what can you say about the differences to you personally where it comes to meal prepping at home?

I’ve been vegan for 7 years now, so eating vegan isn’t an issue for me. I have become more aware of how I spend my time since I have to put time into meal prepping and training on top of work, social matters, and leisure time. Meal prepping has helped with my time management and organizational skills, and has given me an excuse to get more creative in the kitchen.

How does going out to eat meals look now as compared to before your gains goals?

Well, I do not eat out as much since it is easier (and cheaper) to cook for myself. When I do go out with friends or family, I have grown accustomed to gauging portion sizes. It is becoming more and more like an odd super power.

As a vegan who eats mostly whole foods, do you find getting enough protein a challenge?

I do not! I know that there are still people who believe in the myth that vegans do not get enough protein, but that’s all it is: a myth. I have found myself having to cut back on how much protein I consume on a few occasions.

What is your favourite type of protein?

Seitan is my favorite, especially when I fry it up with Korean barbecue sauce and some mushrooms. I usually reward myself with some good seitan at the end of the week.

Do you feel challenged as a man when it comes to cooking/meal prepping?

As a man, I don’t. I love to cook, and meal prepping has made me more efficient in the kitchen.

What meal is your fave/least fave?

My favorite meal must be my protein shake! I use 1 and ½ scoops of chocolate mocha MRM Veggie Elite – Performance Protein, almond milk, flax seeds, a banana, and some peanut butter. It’s like drinking a milkshake, and it’s amazing.

My least favorite is a salad. I have never been a salad fan – they are too boring for me. I have to really stack it up with veggies, seeds, fruit, and a bit of dressing for me to enjoy it, but I am too lazy most of the time to go all out!

 How do you fit in your training with a full time job?

I get up early to train before work, but if I need to catch up on sleep, I will work out as soon as I get home from work.

 When do you do your meal prep?

I meal prep Sunday nights while I make dinner, and I also prep either Wednesday or Thursday night, depending on how much I prepped Sunday night.

 If you could make one thing happen in your life that would liberate you to pursue your fitness goals 100% what would that be?

Work from home! I would love to work out in the morning, get ready, and not have to rush to work. The time I spend driving to and from work is more than enough time to complete a full work out.

 Do you have any advice for Vegan men looking to make gains?

The biggest piece of advice I can give, is to be patient. Noticeable gains do not happen overnight, so you need to stay positive, dedicated, eat right, and bust your ass every day, and you will notice a difference soon enough.

There are people out there who will tell you that you cannot pack on muscle on a vegan diet, but don’t listen to them because you can, and you will!

 What is your meal prep tip for guys with no clue where to start?

Start small. Pick two or three meals that fit your meal plan that don’t use many ingredients. Make a list before you go grocery shopping, and on Sunday night, get everything cut up, portioned, and into containers.

To save more time, buy frozen vegetables when you can: they’re already cut up and ready to be cooked.