We all know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and non-processed, preservative free foods are key to a healthy lifestyle. As mothers, and ultimately the captains of our ships called ‘Family,’ it’s important that we take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But often times we’re left wondering ‘how?’
In the new book Power Vegan: Plant Fueled Nutrition for Maximum Health and Fitness, certified personal trainer, nutrition specialist, vegan and new mother Rea Frey discusses the benefits having a plant-based diet and how even small changes in our eating can have a big impact on our overall health.
I was really excited to read Ms. Frey’s book and talk with her because, while I’m not a vegan, I love everything included in a vegan diet. As active as my husband and I are (running, basketball, golf, weight lifting and most recently the Insanity workouts) we are always looking for healthy, protein packed meals and snacks that don’t have a lot of processed sugars. I thought this book could be something I would refer to for years and years to come. And I was right.
Small changes, big results
A vegan for 15 years, Frey said she wrote the book to educate people on the vegan lifestyle and how you can still be active, strong, healthy and a plant-eater. “I think we all have a stereotype of plant eaters as pale, weak and thin.I’m trying to change that. As a woman, I’ve found that I can still maintain muscle mass [on a vegan diet]. And in my experience and with clients, we’re able to slash diseases, health risks, allergies, all kinds of things just by shifting what we eat.”
A vegan diet is one that does not include any meat, fish or dairy products and instead rely on seeds, nuts, beans, and grains to provide protein along with fruit and vegetables. “A lot of people think [a vegan diet] is limiting but I actually find it limitless,” said Frey. “You can eat the color of the rainbow. You can eat every kind of fruit, veggie, nut, seed [and] grain that’s out there. The food is easier to digest. You’re eating the way you were intended to eat—food without an ingredient list, which is great.”
While Frey feels that a vegan diet is best for her and her family, she understands that not everyone wants to give up meat and dairy (myself included!) and that is what I really loved about her book. She doesn’t pressure you into becoming a full-on vegan but instead gives advice and information on how incorporating aspects of a vegan diet can help you improve your overall health.
“The book is about looking at what you can add into your diet,” explained Frey. “Look at what you typically eat: Do you only eat one or two vegetables? The same proteins? Do you eat seeds or nuts or legumes? What you can add into your diet and where you can make healthier swaps? Look what you can incorporate into your life that doesn’t have a massive ingredient list. Cutting out the processed foods and bringing in the fresh foods. You don’t have to cut out the meat or dairy to add fresh, healthy foods into your life.”
This 15 chapter book includes information on the how-to’s and benefits of a vegan lifestyle as well as other health and wellness information, exercises, recipes, and meal plans. My favorite chapter of the book is Chapter 12: Overcoming Any Obstacle For A Healthy Life. In this chapter, Frey addresses the obstacles or excuses we come up with as to why we don’t eat healthier and take better care of ourselves—from cost to willpower, lack of cooking skills to time, and everything in between – and then gives advice on how to overcome each obstacle from a nutrition and fitness standpoint.
I also loved workouts and the recipes she includes in the book. Who doesn’t love a healthier cookie or healthy pancakes (Rea’s favorite by the way—recipe below.)
Overall, I think this is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to add healthier aspects into their diet and who want to understand the impact that food has on our bodies. Ms. Frey’s writing style is easy going and straightforward. You don’t get the feeling that she is judging you from behind her pen because you’re not a vegan or trumping up any fact or statistic to prove her point, and I think that’s important in a health and fitness book. This is defintely a staple on my book shelf from here on out.
Chocolate Chip Blueberry Pancakes Recipe
Chocolate Chip Blueberry Pancakes Recipe Ingredients
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 c nondairy milk
- 1 flax or chia egg (mix 2 tbsps ground flax or chia seeds with 3 tbsps water and refrigerate for a few minutes)
- ½ c mashed banana
- 1 c buckwheat or oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 heaping tbsps cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ c blueberries (optional)
- ½ c walnuts (optional)
- ½ c vegan chocolate chips (optional)
- Agave nectar or raw honey, for topping
Chocolate Chip Blueberry Pancakes Recipe Directions
- Combine the vinegar and milk in a bowl. Let it curdle like buttermilk.
- Add the flax/chia egg and mashed banana to the ‘buttermilk’. Whisk together until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and cinnamon.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir.
- Fold in the blueberries, walnuts and chocolate chips, if using. Mix until there are very few lumps.
- Cook on a medium heat skillet or griddle rubbed lightly with coconut oil.
- Makes 6 pancakes.
Power Vegan in stores in May
Power Vegan will be in bookstores nationwide on May 14. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
To learn more about Rea Frey, check out her website, www.reafrey.com or her blog MyVeggieBaby.
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This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Power Vegan who provided products for review and giveaway.