Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Then and Now.

The other day I started thinking about how drastically my eating has changed since my single years. And while getting married caused my eating habits to change a lot - because I actually had someone else to cook for - the real change came when I decided to go vegan a few months after Brett and I tied the knot. 

My reason for cutting out meat and dairy stemmed from stomach aches and pains after eating certain dairy foods (ahem, fro-yo). I started doing more research on the benefits of a plant-based diet and soon after that I decided to go vegan...cold-turkey. It's almost a year later I couldn't be happier with my decision! I feel great and don't have any more stomach aches (unless I eat a butt load of beans, but...)

I thought it would be fun to reminisce on what I used to eat compared to now. I find it funny the things I used to consider "healthy" only just a few years ago: low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free, blah, blah, blah. Man, how much I've changed!

Breakfast Then:
I've always eaten breakfast. In fact, breakfast is what gets me out of bed most mornings! 
(Anyone else?) 
The breakfast I ate a few years ago actually wasn't much different than now.
Oatmeal with a banana whipped into it was pretty standard.

Breakfast Now:
Oatmeal with lots of healthy fats and added fiber.
1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2 teaspoons chia seeds and a dollop of almond butter
All the added nutrients keep me full for hours.

Snacks Then:
Pretzels. I was addicted to them. Processed white flour. I think I chose them over healthier snacks because they were not very caloric.
Cereal. I was addicted to cereal too. Sugary goodness.

Snacks Now:
Green smoothies!
1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana and so so so much spinach!
I sometimes cross the line with the amount of spinach I add to my green smoothies.
If I do add too much, then I'll put in a couple drops of stevia to sweeten it up.
ALSO...did you know you can make almond milk with almond butter?
If I'm out of almond milk I just blend 1 cup of cold water with 
1/2 tablespoon of almond butter and there you go!


So many more nutrients in this snack!

For an afternoon snack I had one of my Coconut Cranberry Scones and some decaf coffee.
A few years ago scones would have been such an indulgence, and usually store bought scones are!
Now I bake my own scones with ingredients that I love and taste great together.
These scones may be my favorite recipes yet that I've created.
Check out the recipe (they're only 8 ingredients) and let me know what you think!

Lunch Then:
I used to be a same ol' same ol' kind of girl and would never vary my lunches. 
Carrots were my main form of vegetable throughout the day.
A typical lunch would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with pretzels, carrots and some kind of low-fat, sugar-free yogurt on the side
I had "fat-phobia" and never considered trying to eat nutrient dense foods.

Lunch Now:
Lunch is always different now and since going vegan the amount and variety of vegetables I eat throughout the day has sky-rocketed! I'm always buying a variety of veggies and cooking them in different ways.
This salad is to die for. I'll be posting the recipe soon so come back!
Curry Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas over Spinach with Sweet Tahini Dressing.

Dinner Then:
I loved to cook when I was single, but since it was just me I never made much for dinner.
I usually would end up eating another bowl of oatmeal, cereal or an egg sandwich.
Sometimes I would microwave some peas for veggies.
Quick, convenient and no variety.

Dinners Now:
I'm always trying out new recipes for dinner!
Some of my favorites have been African Peanut and Potato Stew, Moroccan Carrot and Raisin Couscous,  Curry Quinoa and the list goes on!
Veggies are always a part of dinner as well as some form of plant-based protein.
While this picture doesn't show any of that variety, it is what I ate for dinner today.
(I'm leaving for Ireland this afternoon so don't have much in the fridge!) 

This was an almond butter and jelly sandwich on ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread.
Such a great combination!
I also had an apple too.

Desserts Then:
I always tried to avoid eating desserts a couple years ago.
They always just seemed like a "bad" thing in my mind.

Desserts Now:
While I don't crave sweets very often, I do love a good dessert.
Since going vegan I've loved experimenting baking with wholesome ingredients so that I can get my sweet tooth fix while feeling good about what I'm putting in my body.
These cookies turned out amazing and again, I'll be sharing the recipe soon!
Date-Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies

How has your diet changed over the years?

What foods did you used to consider "healthy" that you see aren't very healthy now?

Check out Jenn's blog Peas and Crayons for other recipe ideas!

Eat Consciously,



  1. I am so glad I found your blog when going through Jenn's link ups. Yes, I completely agree- breakfast is the reason that I get out of bed in the morning! haha.. What a great idea to look at what you used to eat to what you eat now. My diet has changed a lot over the years, and now that I am in college I look for nutritious meals to fuel my body rather than the low fat/low calorie I always looked for in high school. I simply was uneducated about what eating healthy really meant and was not giving my body enough. Now, I love exploring in the kitchen and trying new recipes- it's fun! Being in college it can be hard to find the time, but meal prepping is my life saver so I do not fall into the ruts of grabbing the first thing I see. Happy Wednesday!

    1. Hey Gabi! Thanks so much for saying hi! And you're way ahead if the game trying to eat healthy in college. There was no variety in my diet back then and I ate so many pretzels and oatmeal packets! That's awesome you enjoy cooking and experimenting! I'd love to know of any recipes you love:) Happy Wednesday to you too! And stop by again soon!

  2. A couple years ago I had no idea what healthy foods were. My first two years of college was going into the cafeteria and grabbing what sounded or looked good, from french fries, fried fish, mac and cheese, and sometimes a salad or two I would eat just about anything. I have changed my outlook so much, now I choose grilled or baked options, salads have become a staple and so has seafood (which I barely touched before). I do indulge every once in awhile but I have found these healthy vegetables, fats, and less processed foods have made me feel so much better inside and out. I have to mention too those chocolate cookies look so good! I am looking forward to seeing the recipe!

    1. Sounds like we've both changed a lot! And it is amazing how the things we eat affect us so much. And I hope you come back for the recipe! that one won't be posted for a week or so cause I'm going out of the country, but I have some other recipes scheduled to post until then. Have a great day!

  3. It's so crazy to imagine what I used to eat just a few years ago! I was definitely part of the "low calorie = healthy" mindset. How things have changed! I never ate vegetables, barely ate fruit, and basically lived off of packaged food. While I'm not a vegan, I do try to eat some vegan meals! I gave up meat for Lent so that's been different too. I wish I cooked more, but it's only me and my mom at my house, and normally she doesn't want whatever I'm cooking!

    1. Thanks so much for saying hi Leigha! And your so ahead of the game! You fuel your body so well. And not eating meat or dairy definitely isnt the best thing for everyone, but it's interesting to see how our bodies react to different diets. Have you noticed any changes going meatless for lent? Enjoy your mom's cooking while you can!!

  4. That salad looks wonderful. I'll look out for your recipe.

    1. Thanks Anne! It's super easy and will be posted in the next couple days. Let me know what you think!

  5. Love this post! I just might have to borrow your before & after WIAW idea, it's fantastic. My before-and-after meals would be pretty similar to yours, though my before included sugar sugar sugar all day long! Still working on that one :) Happy I found your blog on the WIAW linkup, I'll be back for that cauliflower and chickpea recipe!

    1. You definitely should! I'd love to hear how others' views of healthy eating have changed throughout the years. And I hope you check back for the salad recipe. It seriously is so good!

  6. That curry roasted cauliflower recipe looks delightful! Although I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I'm on a plan that requires I go meatless all next week. I'll be back to your blog for some ideas!

    1. No need to be vegan to enjoy this salad! It's seriously an amazing combination. Let me know if you try it out and it you liked it:)

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    1. Thanks for commenting Jess! It's so good yo know others have "then and now" histories! And definitely come back for the salad's such an amazing combination!

  8. Loved this post! It's always fun to see how you're eating evolves over the years, especially how your definition of "healthy" changes! I notice you have an Oster blender, I do too! Do you ever use mason jars in place of the blender jar? It's like owning a magic bullet!

    1. I know isn't it!? And I never knew that about the mason jar!!! Our blender is getting pretty old, but you just made me like it now! Thanks for commenting Maria and I hope to hear from you again!

  9. Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread is hands down the best bread ever! I have three loaves in my freezer.

    1. Amen to that! Good thing you won't be running out anytime soon:)


Thanks for commenting! I always love hearing from my readers!