|Wendy looking fit & fabulous on the beach!|
I started to research the implications of diet on hormonal regulation, and I found much scientific backing that suggested women who consume a diet low in animal fats, and high in vegetable fiber and protein had a much healthier hormonal regulation. That was when I started to gradually become a vegetarian. I instantly felt inspired. Then I started reading more books, such as Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. I also started to watch documentaries such as Food Inc., and Forks over Knives. It was my own research that pushed me into complete veganism.
I lost weight, my digestion is perfect, my energy is great, my skin is clear, and my PMS is rare and slight. I feel great…and CLEAN. That’s probably the best word to describe it. Even my “meat and potatoes” Marine husband loves my vegan cooking. My veganism began with my own health issues, but the more I learnt about factory farming, animal cruelty and other health issues that run rampant in America with our heavy animal protein diets, the more I know I made the right decision not only for myself, but for the environment.
Now that Tosca Reno has come out with her Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook, perhaps more athletes like myself, will open their eyes to the exciting lifestyle it can be.
Vegan Mexican Casserole
1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chiles
1 can organic black beans (low sodium)
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
A couple handfuls of vegan cheddar cheese (I don’t like vegan cheese but adding a little to a recipe like this makes it very creamy like you added sour cream without the flavor being over bearing)
100% whole-wheat tortillas
1 small jar salsa
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Rehydrate your TVP with one cup of boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Saute onion and peppers in a little olive oil until slightly tender. Add can of chopped tomatoes, black beans, and ¾ of the jar of salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add the 2 tablespoons of cumin (adjust per your taste). Add rehydrated TVP. Let simmer.
4. Pour the other ¼ jar of salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Put a layer of tortillas to fit the bottom of the pan on top of the salsa.
5. Add 1/3 of the bean mixture, a small amount of vegan cheese, and continue this process until the mixture is gone. Top with another small amount of cheese, and bake for 30 minutes.
It's simple and AMAZING! Enjoy!