Hello, beautiful people! How are ya? I’m writing to you from mi casa before I get ready for work. Today has been filled with studying and catching up on all of your gorgeous emails!
Last night was fun! Matty and I went to our friends’ house to watch the lastest episode of Modern Family. We also practiced our crow poses and played virtual driving video games. I crashed into a lot of things, including rocks and guard rails. It was fun! This is why Spring break totally rocks – fun times with friends!
This morning, I was so confused when my alarm went off. “It couldn’t possibly by 7:30 a.m!” was my initial thought but the cell phone clock never lies, now does it? I was tempted to stay in bed but then I told myself, “Heather, you’ve never regretted a workout!” and mosied on downstairs. I completed 25 minutes of resistance intervals on the stationary bike, alternating every two minutes, which made it fly by! The small cardio sesh was followed up with the Tone It Up Booty, Lower ABS & Love Handles workout. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite lower body workouts!
I was so indecisive when I was figuring out what to eat for breakfast! I first thought of french toast but then I didn’t feel like making it. I then thought of my banana bread oats but then I realized I didn’t have walnuts, which are a key ingredient. So, I settled down to something different but still delicious!
I had a small bowl of protein pudding (1 scoop protein powder and water to taste), a Trader Joe’s apple cranberry bran muffin with some Earth Balance and a few strawberries that were lingering in the fridge. It definitely did the trick!
After a few hours of studying, I got to making lunch. This time I knew exactly what I wanted: pizza toast! I’ve blogged about pizza toast before but this time, I pumped it up with some veggies.
Oh my heavens. So simple but so good! I simply toasted a slice of Ezekiel bread and topped it with my mom’s homemade marinara sauce, sauteed spinach and mushrooms and nutritional yeast. It was literally finger-lickin’ good – it’s true, I licked my fingers and maybe definitely the plate.
Said pizza toast was enjoyed with a big ol’ salad! My dressing of choice was a combination of mashed avocado and Whole Foods’ sesame dressing. It rocked.
Interview with Christy Morgan, Vegan Superstar Chef!
Remember that time I made that divine mac n kale salad and fresh and delicious quinoa dish from The Blissful Chef herself? Yeah, me too. That was a gooood day. Well, allow me to formally introduce you to Christy Morgan! She is a brilliant chef, kind soul and dedicated vegan – just a few reasons why you should pick up Bissful Bites and cook up a storm. I recently interviewed Christy about how she became vegan and her journey to becoming a bonafide chef with a successful foodie-filled life! Read on, lovelies!
Me: When and why did you decide to become vegan?
Christy Morgan: I went vegetarian after college as an experiment. One of my best friends was vegetarian and I never cooked meat at home because I thought touching bloody meat was gross. After moving to Los Angeles, a friend showed me the Meet Your Meat video on PETA and we went vegan overnight. I started teaching myself how to cook and attending potlucks with other vegans. I loved feeding people so I moved back to Austin to go to The Natural Epicurean and found my true passion: sharing with others the benefits of a plant-based diet and teaching them how to cook delicious food.
Me: Was your transition to veganism easy?
CM: Nine years ago there wasn’t many vegan restaurants and Whole Foods was not a household name yet. So I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I was determined to succeed at this new lifestyle. It wasn’t until I was enrolled in culinary school that it became easier, learning knife techniques and how to nourish myself properly. These days it’s super easy to be vegan with more restaurants and natural food stores available. But the best advice I can give to someone making the transition is to get in the kitchen and start making more meals at home. If you cook your own food being vegan is a breeze. There are so many wonderful vegan cookbooks and blogs so you have no excuse
Me: What was the best and the worst thing about writing a cookbook?
CM: The best part about writing a cookbook was the opportunity to share my philosophy and way of eating with the world. It was a lot of work but it’s the fun kind of work. I feel blessed that I can do what I love and help people all at the same time. The only bad thing about writing a cookbook is the time you have to wait after it’s finished to when it’s actually published for the world to see. Sometimes it takes a few months and sometimes you wait up to a year. That time is excruciating!
Me: What is your favorite dish that you’ve ever made?
CM: I always get asked this sort of question. It’s really hard for me to pinpoint one dish because I love food too much! In Blissful Bites, I include an icon for “chef fave” in every chapter so you can see my favorites recipes. If I had to choose a favorite meal time I would say breakfast. I adore breakfast foods like pancakes, french toast, tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, fresh squeezed juice. Growing up we would often have breakfast for dinner because I loved it so much.
Me: What is your favorite vegan dessert?
CM: At home and in my cookbook I make desserts that are made with whole grain flours and natural sweeteners. That’s really how I prefer my desserts. The usual vegan dessert is way too sugary and sweet for me. I love dessert so much it’s really hard to choose a favorite. I love chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, chocolate pie, brownies, and tiramisu the most.
Me: How has veganism changed your life?
CM: Wow that is a lengthy question because it has changed my life in such a profound way. It has showed me what it means to live a compassionate life, it has helped me learn how to nourish my mind, body, and spirit, and given me the opportunity to help others live out their compassion and find health and well-being. Being vegan has connected me to so many wonderful people who inspire me everyday. I hope that others find the same joy and bliss that I have discovered being vegan.
Me: What is your favorite quote?
CM: Blissful Bites is full of inspirational quotes! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the recipe section starts with a quote from Julia Child, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” To me she’s saying get in the kitchen no matter how daunting it seems!
Me: Anything else you’d like to add?
CM: I love this recipe for springtime. Fresh lemon is paired with asparagus and fresh oregano for a delightful and light side dish. Since it cooks so quickly, your oven won’t need to be on for long.
Lemon-Roasted Asparagus (gluten-free, soy-free, less than 45 minutes)
Makes 3 to 5 servings
1 pound fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed
2 tablespoons lemon, sliced very thin, seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, making sure to completely coat all the asparagus spears with oil. Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally to toss, until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 12 minutes.
…and we got a FREE recipe? Seriously?! Love this woman. I know what I’m making for dinner. Don’t forget to follow Christy Morgan on Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest , particularly if you enjoy mouth-watering vegan delicacies!
Kelly Olexa, CEO of FitFluential Inc. , was featured on Forbes.com ! She’s kind of a rock star. Chris Perry, Chevrolet’s VP of Global Marketing, chose Kelly to be a team captain for Chevrolet’s Road Trip to Austin initiative because he said he believes in Kelly and the entire FitFluential team! How cool is that?!