Practical Tips for Busy People to Eat More Whole Foods (EP 26: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

Christin McKamey is the owner of, a site dedicated to whole food, plant-based recipes with a strong focus on the world of produce.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

Christin creates delicious veggie-focused plant-based recipes (with many oil-free and gluten-free options), as well as offering tips and tools to help others live and maintain a plant-powered lifestyle.

She has a Plant-Based Nutrition certification from e-Cornell, a certification from the Forks Over Knives Rouxbe Cooking School, and has also attended Vegan Fusion plant-based cooking classes. Christin lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband and cat, Chloe.

Here is a summary of what was discussed in this podcast episode:

  • Batch Cooking Tips– things I do to ensure success for the week. Note: I don’t always do this, but when I do, I do find I make healthier choices.
    • Grocery shopping on Saturday, prepping a couple hours on Sunday
    • Things I do during prepping:
      • Wash, dry and chop vegetables; place in airtight, sealed containers.
      • Chop veggies that are versatile in many dishes, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions.
      • Soak nuts and seeds if required.
      • Marinate tempeh or tofu.
      • Make a couple of versatile dips or dressings that will last in the refrigerator for a few days.
      • Freeze grains- portion into 1 or 2 cup portions and freeze in freezer bags or containers.
    • Decide a few ways you can make multiple dishes with the same ingredients. I love making what I call multi-way bowls (see more info below), soups, salads, tacos, chili, etc. You can also do a stir-fry or a salad bar.


  • Time Saving Techniques
    • Always read recipes once or twice to make sure you have everything before going to the grocery store. Some recipes might be missing an ingredient in the ingredients list that is listed in the directions instead.
    • Plan your route at the grocery store. Once you create your shopping list, put things in order of where they are located in the store.
    • Stock your kitchen with simple bulk ingredients to use in a pinch, such as all types of grains, dried beans, pasta, spaghetti sauce, frozen and canned vegetables.  Think of a few meals you can make for dinner throughout the week and how you can use some of those same ingredients in other recipes.
    • Add veggies to everything! I try to make sure every meal I have, has at least 2 (and most of the time many more) veggies. Onions, peppers, and mushrooms are very versatile.
    • Don’t like veggies? Try a new vegetable every week (or month).
    • Batch cooking can save a ton of time! Chop veggies or prepare grains in advance. Make variations of salads with different toppings, etc. Freeze scraps of veggies and make homemade veggie broth. Pick one day for grocery shopping, another for prepping. Setting aside 90 minutes-2 hours per week is all you need to save yourself tons of time during the week.
    • Make double or triple the amount the recipe calls for. You can enjoy it for at least a couple meals, or have a healthy lunch the next day. Pack away your lunch immediately after dinner and you’ll be all set.
    • Experiment with one-pot meal recipes. It makes life a lot easier when you only have one pan to wash. These types of dishes also tend to freeze and reheat well. You can even label with cooking instructions to make it easier for you or your family to reheat.
    • Easy smoothie prep: add fruit, veggies, etc. to a blender and put in the fridge the night before. In the morning, all you have to do is take out the blender, add liquid, and blend.
    • Serve your dinner in large glass containers (instead of serving bowls) so you can go straight from the table to the fridge. Less dishes.

And lastly, she has included 2 PDF’s to share…

  1. Time-Saving Techniques- tips for saving time and making healthy choices in your kitchen.
  2. Multi-Way Bowl– an easy option for meal ideas, and so versatile! Start with a grain. Add a protein if you want (lentils, tofu, seitan, beans, etc.). Add vegetables. And then top with a sauce. Add some toppings (nuts, seeds, etc.) Enjoy!



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10 Tips for Transitioning That Will Save Your Relationships (EP 25: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

 If going vegan has put a strain on your current relationships or you want to avoid ruining your relationships as you transition to a vegan lifestyle these ten power tips are sure to help. 


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

Going vegan and obtaining the support of friends and family is a common struggle for many who make the choice to live a vegan lifestyle. On last week’s episode Stephanie shared her story of going vegan and broke down the 5 stages that family and friends go through. 

Today Stephanie is giving 10 tips for transitioning that will save your relationships. If going vegan has put a strain on your current relationships or you want to avoid ruining your relationships as you transition to a vegan lifestyle  these ten power tips are sure to help. 

Stephanie discuss these tips in depth in this episode: 

  1. Define your boundaries.  Once Stephanie committed to veganism, she decided she was no longer going to or cook meat. 
  2. Talk about going vegan and answer questions.  Stephanie decided to use a lot of I-statements to demonstrate that she was taking responsibility for her own choices. Often times talking about veganism can challenge the way people see themselves as ethical, whole, compassionate human beings. So she plans ahead for these moments when she will be asked questions.
  3. Have a sense of humor. Because Stephanie is able to laugh at herself she believes that really rebunks that stereotype of the angry, raging vegan. And thus laughing about these things becomes easier for my family and for my relationships. Most vegans will be the victims of malicious jokes, Stepahnie says, but generally the people in our lives are really just poking fun.
  4. Get educated about nutrition for yourself and your kids. And this is the right spot for you. This program was the foundation for Stepahnie’s nutritional metamorphosis for my family. There are tons of great cookbooks and resources out there. Getting educated about nutrition is not only good for you. It’s good for your kids. And it’s good for that mom guilt too. When Stephanie knows that what she’s putting in front of her kids is nutritionally sound, then she knows that without a shadow of a doubt that mom guilt can not creep in. And if it does, she can challenge it at every level.
  5. Keep it simple. Especially if you’re cooking for a family. When Stephanie’s family got curious, she  started with breakfast smoothies. Now everyone gets a smoothie for breakfast. 
  6. Stop preparing two completely different meals. You are not a restaurant.  When Stephanie went vegan she started preparing one dish and it was always a vegan main dish. She was okay with them adding animal protein to the side themselves. but she stopped saying she was going to prepare what everybody’s dish was. She wasn’t a short order cook. 
  7. Veganize your favorite dishes. Stephanie suggests exploring new dishes with familiar flavors. One of her families favorites? Stir-frys, and mexican food. 
  8. Honor other people’s gestures and be flexible without compromising your values. Stephanie says to be appreciative of the steps that people take that might help you feel included and comfortable. Make a really big deal out of it. The one gesture Stephanie does that has never failed her? Telling her friends and family how much she loves to cook and offering to bring whatever they’d like her too. 
  9. Connect with other vegan families. Stephanie has a a great Facebook community in her local area that has meetups and suggest finding on in your local area to connect with others who are like-minded and whose beliefs are similar. 
  10. Promote vegan role models, especially if you have kids. Stephanie sees the importance to introduce her children to people that they can look up to in all aspects of their lives. 

We hope these 10 tips are useful for you and your family. We encourage you to take an honest account of where you are in your own journey and where your loved ones might be in theirs. Accept where you’re powerless and challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening because that’s really where your power is in your own response to what’s going on around you. Use these tips as you transition to navigate the tough terrain of relationships with family and friends. 



Vegan Life Coach Academy


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Going Vegan: When Your Family or Friends Aren’t on Board (EP 24: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

Based on a recent survey we did with our listeners, going vegan without the support of your family or friends is a struggle that a lot of people share.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

Based on a recent survey we did with our listeners, going vegan without the support of your family or friends is a struggle that a lot of people share.

My story is exceptional in that I knew when I was just 7 years old that eating animals was a hard “No.” It didn’t matter to me one bit that nobody I knew was vegetarian. At 15 I fully understood the suffering of all farm animals and went fully vegan and knew my purpose in life was to save animals. My compassion for animals ran so deep that ridicule was not a deterrence. (My family followed in my footsteps and went vegetarian and then vegan as well!)

Stephanie however, represents our listeners to a much higher level. In this episode, Stephanie shares her personal story, discussing what went down each of the 4 times she attempted to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle. It took 4 attempts before it stuck, and she has dissected the reasons why, all of which are likely to resonate with others in similar positions.

In short, here are the reasons:

Attempt #1: Stephanie’s family was quick to remind her that she was raised by farmers, and that her family’s background in farming was how she was afforded a comfortable upbringing. Family guilt!

Attempt #2: Stephanie’s Insecurity as a new mom, being told by others that her children would not thrive on a plant-based diet, led her to succumb to “mom-guilt!”

Attempt #3: Stephanie’s overall lack of self-confidence caused her to give into what was comfortable and safe. She wasn’t confident in her choices, and wasn’t able to counter the criticism and ridicule from others from a place of compassion and education. 

Attempt #4 (Success!): Here are the self-realizations as to WHY Stephanie was successful…

  1. Stephanie realized that her relationships are equally important as her life choices. She concluded that other’s thoughts and feelings about her choices are not important, BUT her relationships ARE important. This is a distinction that takes a lot of self-awareness and self-confidence!
  2. Stephanie realized that she was the one changing the rules, so she was required to fuel her own progress with empathy toward the people in her life, giving up the idea of perfection in relationships. There were going to be tough conversations, and she was able to be assertive instead of aggressive.
  3. She was able to embrace a vegan lifestyle with the consideration of being the caretaker of her three kiddos. She was able to set boundaries and not succumb to handle her “mom guilt.” She had to step back and explore her conflicting feelings with, as we say in VLCA, approach her thoughts with curiosity and compassion. From that place she has been able to navigate the changing dynamics within her family.
  4. Stephanie made the transition solely about herself. She went vegan in “stealth mode,” didn’t make a big announcement until she had established her vegan lifestyle with confidence.

Once she felt good about her own journey, Stephanie started sharing her new lifestyle with her family and friends.

In doing so, she noticed that most of the time, people she told went through 5 stages. The stages, which she describes in depth in the episode are:

  1. Defiance 
  2. Resistance 
  3. Curiosity 
  4. Acceptance
  5. Embracing

On our next episode, we’ll be sharing 10 powerful tips for going vegan without ruining your relationships in the process.


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Scale Obsession: How to Let Go Without Letting Yourself Go (EP 23: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

According to Harvard Health, for most dieters, preventing the pounds from coming back, after working so hard to lose them, is the biggest challenge. On average, people regain two-thirds of the weight that they’ve lost within two years.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

One way people try to prevent gaining (or regaining) weight is through daily weigh-ins.

On one hand, this idea makes logical sense. When the number on the scale starts to increase, you know it’s time to tighten up the diet and/or hit the gym more. We hear clients say, “I’ve got to catch myself before my weight gets out of control.”

For some people, keeping a high level of awareness on small  changes in their weight can be motivating… But at what mental and emotional cost? True health isn’t just about the number on the scale… It includes mental and emotional health too.

First off, one problem is that daily fluctuations in weight is normal and to be expected due to differences in water retention from one day to the next. People often interpret a one-pound weight gain as FAT gain, and freak out. The scale doesn’t differentiate the weight of bone, fluid, muscle and fat.

The number on the scale all too often dictates a person’s mood. So what is a normal variation in weight, can literally ruin someone’s day for no logical reason.

At Vegan Life Coach Academy we talk about “finding your why.”

Next time you get on the scale we challenge you to ask yourself, “Why?”

Your answer is going to come from one of two places:

  1. FEAR. Fear of not being _____ enough. (Fill in the blank (e.g. skinny, pretty, etc.)
  2. LOVE. Loving and respecting yourself and your body so much that you make conscious and mindful choices about what you put in your body and how you move your body. (Hint: If you self-sabotage you’re not embodying true self-love.)

In this episode we explore why your obsession with the scale is causing more harm than good. Why daily weigh-ins are setting you up to stay stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage. Why constantly worrying about your weight is likely a reflection of low self-worth and shame.

What if you could focus on eating and training out of love and respect for yourself and your body? I’ll tell you! You will eat healthy, whole foods and workout the right amount so that the pounds will take care of themselves. 

No scale necessary!

We finish up with a challenge… Ditch your scale for an entire month and binge listen to the Vegan Life Coach Podcast!


Episode 17: Busyness   |   5-Day Quick and Simple Whole Foods & Fitness Challenge  |   Vegan Life Coach Academy


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Boundaries Part 2 (The Vegan Life Coach Podcast Episode 22)

If you haven’t listened to episode 21, part 1 of our 2-part series on boundaries, check it out HERE first!


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us didn’t necessarily learn growing up. We may have picked up a few pointers here or there, but in reality, it can be very challenging and feel really uncomfortable when we first begin setting those boundaries. 

I have a few steps that will help get you started.

Step #1

First, look to your emotions to help you name your limits. Two really good indicators of boundary violations are discomfort and resentment. If you are feeling uncomfortable, you can likely point to a boundary being violated from the outside. 

If you are feeling resentment, that is often an indicator that you have pushed yourself beyond your limit to avoid feelings of guilt, or you are giving in to someone imposing their expectations or views on you. You are responding by violating our own limits.

Step #2

Pay attention to your feelings and become clear about your own limits, both internally and externally. You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. 

Identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. Consider what you can tolerate and accept, and identify what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. Those feelings coupled with your understanding of your values help us identify what our limits are.

Take a moment to think of some examples of where your limits might be. For example, you may find that you are uncomfortable when your best friend asks you for money.  This might be a mental and emotional limit that you are wanting to set with your friends and family. You do not lend money because everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to money, and it is something that tends to cause a lot of conflict, so that is your particular limit.  

Another might be that you become stressed when your children have a lot of the neighborhood kids over. Maybe this is your line. Your children can play with the neighborhood kids in the yard or the garage but not in the house. This is an example of setting a physical boundary. 

Maybe your partner expects you to take on the bulk of the responsibility for the household; however, this is something that you find impossible to do successfully.  It is okay to set the boundaries for those areas that you are willing to take responsibility for and no more.

Step #3

The next step is to give yourself permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them. When setting new boundaries, emotional pitfalls can cause us to wonder why we deserve to have boundaries in the first place. Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls. 

It can feel strange when we start to set boundaries because we aren’t used to creating these limits. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member. For example, many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” This can cause some self doubt… So much so that we might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.  

It’s important to keep going back to why you set the boundaries in the first place. Creating that line and holding to it creates a healthier you and healthier relationships in the long run.

Boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, ask yourself some questions…

What’s changed from when I set this limit? Consider the situation. “What I am doing or [what is] the other person doing?” or “What about this situation is making me resentful or uncomfortable or stressed?” 

Then, examine your options: “What am I going to do about the situation?” “What do I have control over?”

You might also consider the roles you play, and commit to putting yourself as the leading role in your life. It is not only okay, but also necessary to put yourself first and to consider your needs just as important as the needs of others.  

Prioritize self-care. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish… It is necessary for a healthy life. Putting yourself first also gives you the energy, peace of mind, and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them. When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.

Step #4

If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, seek some support, whether that means finding a support group, church, or seeking counseling, coaching or time with good friends. 

About 13 years ago, I went through a divorce. It was painful and devastating as most divorces are. But when I came out of the emotional haze, I started really analyzing what went wrong. 

It came down to boundaries…. I didn’t have any, and my ex didn’t meet a boundary he couldn’t violate. I knew it was imperative that I build them.  First of all, I didn’t have them in my marriage, and I didn’t have them anywhere. 

Secondly, I had to form a new relationship with this person…We had children and he wasn’t going away. Finding support was the key.  I found a church that had a support group based on forming boundaries and the book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.  

The support group was a game changer, not only for my relationship with my ex husband but for my relationships with others. I don’t think this would have been possible without the education and support that I took hold of during that time.  I can tell you now that my ex husband and I have a great relationship.  One in which my children never have to choose between their parents, and one in which I can honestly say that he and I are friends.

Step #5

It’s not enough to create boundaries; we actually have to follow through. Even though we know intellectually that people aren’t mind readers, we still expect others to know what hurts us, or makes us uncomfortable or stressed. Since they don’t know, it’s important to assertively communicate this when a boundary is crossed. Most of the time, it is just about being direct and communicating respectfully with the other person (or yourself) so that you can work it out together.

I want to point out that there is a world of difference between being assertive and being aggressive. To hold firm to healthy boundaries it’s vital to communicate those before you feel the need to become aggressive with another individual. 

Being Assertive puts forth your needs and views confidently and directly. Being assertive is simply standing up for yourself while still considering that others have different views than your own and that yours are equally important. It is becoming your own best advocate.  

Aggressive behaviors can sometimes look like you’re living the life of a Neanderthal, where the biggest club is equal to the loudest voice. I’ve noticed in my own work that sometimes aggressiveness is mistaken for strength, when in fact, aggressiveness really notes a lack of control and a lack of respect for boundaries.  

Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. So, if this is something new to you, I suggest starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries. Build upon your success. Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support.

If you aren’t used to setting these limits with people, it can be difficult at first. Your inner people pleaser will be screaming at the top of her lungs! That’s okay. Let her scream, and start with something small. 

Maybe you will want to start with your partner and block off an hour of time on the weekends where you do something completely for yourself and by yourself while he or she takes the responsibilities of the kids. 

Maybe it is less threatening to start with a co-worker who is often teasing you about your healthy food choices or your vegan food choices, and you simply have a conversation with that person about not appreciating the teasing and why. 

Maybe it is with your children and the amount of money you are spending on their impulse buys at the grocery store, and setting the limit before you go that you are only buying the things that are on your list and if they request something extra, you will say, “No.”

As you build confidence in this, that inner people-pleaser will stop screaming, and you can start on the bigger boundaries where you anticipate a little more push back from those around you.

– Stephanie Hamilton Aguilar, Vegan Life Coach Academy, Master Mindset Coach


Episode 21   |   Vegan Life Coach Academy


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Finding Your “Why” with Vegan Bodybuilder Roger Smith (Vegan Life Coach Podcast Episode 20)

Pro-bodybuilder, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker Roger Smith has 19 years as a vegan under his belt. Roger’s mission is to uplift, embrace and promote Veganism, particularly within the Latin American community.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

In this special episode, Roger and I had a blast discussing a wide range of powerful topics related to veganism and fitness. 

Roger’s positive outlook on life, his passion for being a voice for the voiceless, and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of people is inspiring.

One of the ways he helps people make the transition to a healthy vegan lifestyle is by encouraging them to connect with their “why.” 

Getting clear on his “why” is how Roger was able to go vegan overnight himself, and how he has been able to achieve his pro bodybuilding card after winning the third bodybuilding show he had ever competed in.

Get ready for a jam-packed episode with information and motivation to help you step into your power, align your actions with your values, and achieve not only a healthy, fit body, but also a happy and meaningful life.


Roger Smith’s Website and Links


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Store Bought Veggie Burgers

store bought Veggie Burgers

Wondering what store bought veggie burgers are healthy and which should be considered vegan junk food?

The First Question to Ask Yourself Is…

“Is this veggie burger vegan?” Some store bought veggie burgers are vegetarian, but contain animal bi-products such as egg whites. With that in mind, know that all the frozen veggie burgers I mention in this post are vegan.

Then What?

The second criteria can be taste. If a veggie burger doesn’t taste good, it really doesn’t matter how healthy or junky it is! That being said, all the veggie burger brands I will mention in this post are ones I find tasty.

The next criteria is how healthy the veggie burger is. Does it follow the vegan dietary guidelines I recommend?

The last criteria is how similar it is in taste and texture to meat. Since I haven’t eaten animal protein since the age of 7 (30 years ago) I’m not the best person to judge. However, I had friends help me give the vegan burgers in this post a “realistic rating.”

I split veggie burgers into two main categories… Those that I can feel good about eating on a regular basis, and those I consider “treats” and should only be eaten on occasion. Here are my top three picks for each category.

Burgers I  Recommend Suitable for Regular Consumption

These patties, though processed, are primarily made of whole foods. They are absolutely delicious, but must be looked at as their own unique food items, not to be compared to the taste and texture of a beef patty. My top picks include:

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger Dr. Preagers California Store Bought Veggie Burger

These store bought veggie burgers are great because they are made from whole food ingredients, are low in calories, low in fat, and high in fiber. I also enjoy Dr. Praeger’s Bombay Veggie Burgers. Keep in mind they really have no similarity taste or texture-wise from animal-based burgers (which for some of  us is a good thing, while others may find this disappointing.

Sunshine Store Bought Veggie BurgerSunshine Burgers

This vegan burger can be thought of as a hearty meal, as it is higher in calories and fat than the many others because it’s base is sunflower seeds. I also like the Southwest style burger from Sunshine Burgers. Sunshine burgers are great for cutting up and adding to a salad as well.
Hilary's store bought veggie burger


Hilary’s makes several great versions of their veggie burger (original, root vegetable, adzuki bean, etc.). You can feel good about eating these as part of you’re go-to foods list. The base for these store bought veggie burgers is millet and quinoa. They need to be cooked in the way specified in the directions, or else they can come out on the dry side. Hilary’s burgers are great alone or on a salad.

Store Bought Veggie Burgers for Special Occasions

These vegan burgers are ones that look, taste, and feel most like beef burgers. They may be something you want to use for barbecues or when trying to appease a meat-eater or your own craving for meat if you are at a point where you still have those cravings.

The down side is that they are more processed and contain less healthy ingredients. So while you are doing right by the animals by not supporting their horrific life and death, you are not doing your body a favor by eating them. That being said, we are all entitled to treat ourselves to some vegan foods that are not the best for us every now and then. I know I do! As long as you are keeping your regular diet clean and exercising there’s no reason for guilt 😉 

Beyond Meat’s The Beyond BurgerThe Beyond Burger Vegan

This veggie burger is probably the closest to “the real thing” on the market today. I therefore recommend this one if you want to show others how they could begin to transition to a vegan diet without feeling deprived. In fact the beets they use to give the patty a red-meat appearance have led some in the media to remark that the burger “bleeds” beet blood. (This is NOT an attractive feature to me though!)

The Beyond Burger, primarily made up of isolated pea protein, is similar to beef burgers in number of calories, grams of protein. The Beyond Burger has more iron and less saturated fat than meat burgers, but be aware that the veggie burger is high in sodium and contains some saturated fat (coconut oil). Of course, as for all plant foods, it has zero cholesterol (whereas beef patties have about 80 mg).Store Bought Beefless Burger by Gardein

Gardein Beefless Burger

Gardein prides itself on how realistic their meat substitutes are. Their veggie burger is no exception. This may be one of the least healthy options on the market today. It’s main ingredients are soy protein isolate and vital wheat gluten. Super tasty though!

amys bistro store bought veggie burger

Amy’s Bistro Burger

This veggie burger has been around the longest out of these top three “treat” burgers. Since Amy’s the brand has been around for such a long time, it could be easier to find at your local grocery stores then the others. It’s also gluten free and the option with the highest amount of whole food ingredients out of the three. It’s delicious too!

 I hope this guide helps you make the right store-bought veggie burger for the right occasions!

How Do You Get Protein On a Vegan Diet?

If you haven’t gotten it already, be prepared to hear, “How do you get protein on a vegan diet?” when you inform someone that you are vegan or making the transition.

It’s a reasonable question (many people still do not know the answer) and its helpful to have an “elevator pitch” of sorts prepared in response.

So check this out… I‘m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant exclusive diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”

The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… Being vegan, how do you get protein?” My answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are harmful to our health (not to mention animals and the environment), I am full of energy and look and feel my best!”

The point of this silly little story is that it’s important not only to learn about plant-based nutrition for yourself, but also to help spread the word and let other people know how you get protein from plants. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and ultimately save people’s (and animal’s) lives!

What’s the problem with high protein diets?

Think about this… How many people do you know personally who have died specifically from a lack of protein? For most Americans, the number is ZERO! 

Now think… How many people do you know who have died from heart disease, stroke, or complications from obesity? Probably dozens right?! These diseases are linked to excess animal protein.

One of the main reasons diets high in animal protein can be detrimental is that high protein diets are generally low in fiber.

Some benefits of fiber include:Protein on a Vegan Diet

  • Blood sugar control
  • Heart health
  • Stroke prevention
  • Weight loss and management
  • Skin health
  • Diverticulitis prevention
  • Hemorrhoid prevention
  • IBS relief
  • Gallstones and kidney stone prevention

What is the recommended protein intake for overall health?

I teach clients how to eat intuitively out of love and respect for themselves, animals, and the Planet, which means we don’t count calories or track macros in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

That being said, it can be helpful to have a general idea about protein intake at the beginning, when you’re working on getting into a food routine that is in line with your values and your goals.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of protein in grams can be calculated using the following equation:

Body weight (lbs.) x .36

Using the formula, a 140 pound person requires 50.4 grams of protein per day to be healthy.

If you’re wanting to gain lean muscle however (I’m NOT talking to the level of bodybuilding here), you may want to intermittently up that number. The following equation may work:

Body weight (lbs.) x .5

In this case, a 140 lb person should consume 70 grams of protein per day.

That all being said, every BODY is different. Some people build lean muscle quicker and easier than others. Some people need more protein than others to feel their best. This is why we focus on intuitive eating in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

How do you meet your protein requirements on a vegan diet?

It’s easier than you may think to take in plenty of protein on plants alone! Here comes you’re proof…

Let’s take a look at a day’s sample vegan meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal (1 C cooked oatmeal, 1 C flax milk, 1 TBSP hemp seeds, 7 walnuts
  • Snack Post-Workout: Powerootz Nutritional Superfood Shake (12 oz unsweetened nut milk, 1 serving nutritional powder)
  • Midday: Salad (1 C spinach, ½ a tomato, ½ C garbanzo beans, ½ C lentils, ½ an avocado, 3 TBSP unhulled sesame seeds
  • Dinner: Sushi Restaurant (1 C edamame, 1 vegetable roll with brown rice)

Can you guess how many grams of protein this sample vegan meal plan contains?

85 grams of plant protein! And just FYI, this menu provides 110% RDA of iron, 100% RDA of calcium, and 161% RDA of fiber… Not bad eh?

How do you get “complete protein” on a vegan diet?

One myth is that you need to eat all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) at the same meal. You don’t! As long as you get all 9 essential amino acids over the course of the day you’re good to go. This chart references what plants, when combined, give you complete protein:

complete protein from plants infographic

Basically, and this is what I tell all my clients, as long as you’re eating a wide variety of plant foods (vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains) you will be getting your requirement for all 9 essential amino acids on a daily basis. (Read more about vegan nutrition as a whole if you want to know more about creating a balanced vegan diet plan.)

What are some quick and convenient ways to supplement extra protein?

If you want to get extra protein so that you can build more lean muscle, but you don’t think you can do it with whole foods alone every day, a high quality plant-based protein powder can be used to supplement.

Powerootz Superfood Nutritional Shake is honestly the only protein powder I actually enjoy. When Lisa Hunt, the founder, sent me out samples over a year ago I fell in love immediately. I’m super picky with any sort of powders but she truly got the formula right with her products. My absolute favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Bliss, but the Vanilla and Cacao Mania (both of which are also raw) are also great. 

I am now affiliated with Powerootz, so if you place an order, be sure to use the code “ELLA” at checkout for 10% off!

There are vegan protein bars, like the 22 Days Protein Bar and Cliff Builder Bars, some of which are more whole foods based than others so make sure you read the ingredients carefully for added junk.

Image result for master amino acid patternThere’s also a product I started to use just recently that has made a noticeable difference in my performance while working out. I’m always skeptical with all types of supplements, but after doing the research, and listening to the doctor who formulated it speak, I am convinced it’s the “real deal.”

The product is called “MAP® (Master Amino Acid Profile). These tablets are composed of a unique pattern of amino acids in a highly purified, free, crystalline form that’s absorbed quickly (23 min) and effectively. This supplement contains zero inactive ingredients and is great for optimizing muscle endurance, mass, strength, and improve/speed muscle recovery. I am not affiliated with this product, but like I said, I believe in it so I’m sharing it with you. MAP is available on Amazon among other online retailers.

Personal Note

In case you haven’t read my bio, I’d like to share that I’ve been vegan for 24 of my 39 years, and vegetarian for 32 years (since I was 7). This means I’ve built my physique on plant protein. I consider myself a walking vegan muscle experiment and the results are proof that you DO NOT need animal protein to build a muscular, strong body.

In 2007 I competed in the FAME World Championships and took 1st place in the bikini division, 2nd in the fitness model and fitness categories. Competing is definitely not “my thing” but I’m so glad I went through with a competition to show the world that a vegan diet plan is the way to go for a strong, lean, healthy body!


So there you have it… pretty much everything you need to know to put together a vegan meal plan with plenty of protein! 

Also, I invite you to receive dozens of free training videos that will help you on your journey… Simply click HERE for access.

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancake Recipe

This vegan protein pancake recipe comes from the founder of Powerootz… My favorite brand of nutritional shakes!

In addition to making a fantastic shake, the founder of Powerootz, Lisa Hunt, is simply an incredible person, with so much positive energy that she generously offers the world. I had a client request my favorite protein pancake recipe a few weeks ago, and when I realized I didn’t really have one, I got in touch with Lisa who immediately sent me this recipe. Now it’s time to share it with all of you!

I can’t forget to mention that Lisa is giving my readers 20% off of Powerootz products. My favorite is the Peanut Butter Bliss Superfood Nutritional Shake, but the Chocolate Peanut Butter Madness is also incredible as well as her new Vibrant Vanilla shake that’s also raw. All you have to do to get the discount is enter the code “ELLA” at checkout. Every client I’ve ever recommended this too has told me it’s by far the best protein/nutritional shake they’ve ever had so I’m not the only one who’s a huge fan! Enjoy!!!

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Makes about 4-5 small pancakes.

IngredientsProtein Pancake Recipe

  • 1 scoop of Powerootz Superfood Nutritional Shake (Peanut Butter Bliss or Chocolate Peanut Butter Madness)
  • 1 scoop + 1 Tbsp of Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
  • Pinch of Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (make sure to put this in last after the other ingredients are stirred up)


  • Whisk together the Powerootz Superfood Nutritonal Shake, flour, maple syrup, baking soda, non-dairy milk, and sea salt.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar.
  • Cook on griddle or fying pan.
  • Add toppings of choice.


  • Making small pancakes works best.

Vegan Protein Pancakes

Mom’s Grits Extravaganza


I love southern comfort food… even in the hot summer months!

It is always challenging to take a favorite comfort food and make it delicious, healthy, and vegan. This easy vegan recipe takes a classic, grits, and gives you a dish that you can feel good about eating. It is yummy, creamy, and extremely satisfying!

 Grits Extravaganza

  • 1/4 cup organic yellow stone ground grits (polenta)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (low or no sodium)
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper of choice, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cooked vegan sausage crumbles
  • 2  sun dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheese shreds of choice
  • dash hot sauce (optional)
  • sea salt to taste
  • black ground pepper to taste
Cook grits according to package directions, using the vegetable broth instead of water.
Saute the vegan sausage crumbles, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms in a little olive oil and add to cooked grits.
Add the sun dried tomatoes, earth balance, vegan cheese, hot sauce, pepper and salt to taste. Stir over low heat until cheese has melted.