Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Essential Eats: Vegetarian Tips + Recipes

  Hello everyone. Welcome to another long post where I talk about things you probably don't care about. But if you do care, and read this entire post, I sincerely thank you!
  I hope you all are having a lovely Spring Break. I am for sure. Since Sunday, I have been on a vacation with my sister Jaimi. We're currently at Disney World Magic Kingdom and will be going to Epcot tomorrow.
        A few weeks ago I had a chat with an Instagram follower on why I chose to stop eating meat. I am a Pescetarian meaning I eat seafood and meat on occasion (like Thanksgiving or Christmas). She was asking me what tips I had for dancers who wanted to stop eating meat. So of course, I gave her a few basic tips and said I would write a more detailed blog post on it. So that is what the plan is for today. I’ll also include some meal ideas at the end. In the future I'll do one on snack ideas. So let's get into it. 

1. Do your research
   Before you full decide to try out this lifestyle do some research. Visit an animal farm (or look up Slaughterhouse videos on Youtube). Look up recipes, talk to other people who have already committed to this diet. Don’t jump into something without knowing what to expect first. 
2. Make sure you know about food labeling, GMO and CAFOs 
  Lots of times fruits and veggies have been genetically modified so be sure to read the labels about where your food comes from and all. If a label says GMO, don’t eat it. 
Google CAFOs and you’ll find out how the stake you ate last night, came to land on your table. 
3. Start out slowly
   Don’t immediately cut out all meat from your diet. Slowly stop eating meat and replace it with something that has protein like fish or lentils.
4. Don’t become a “junk-food” vegetarian (yes, that’s a thing)
   Just because potato chips are “vegetarian” doesn’t mean it should be a staple of your new diet. Processed food is really bad for you and you shouldn’t be constantly eating it. Everything in moderation.
5. Try new fruits and veggies 
   Don’t ignore a new fruit or veggie just because you haven’t heard of it or if you didn’t like it in the past. Your tastebuds change every seven or so years so what you may have hated as a kid, you might like now. 
6. Choose wisely
  Eat by color, not by calorie. Eat what’s in season because out of season fruits and veggies won’t be as sweet and they will be twice as expensive. By local organic produce because it’s healthier and cost friendly You can even grow your own.
7. Don’t overdo it on the soy
  I love soy products because I’m lactose intolerant but there are many other options like Almond milk or coconut milk. There are so many substitutes for meat on the market, but start with fruits, veggies and whole grains. Veggie burgers, hot dogs and other soy based substitutes should supplement your diet, not be the foundation.
8. Remember that you can’t just live off of salads (I wish I could)
   I wish I could but it’s not a smart idea. You need substantial protein. Aside from fish, try making a fruit/veggie smoothie with whey protein powder it in. It’s a great pre or post-rehearsal drink.
9. It’s okay to be offended
   As sad as this sounds, 90,000 cows and calves are slaughtered every day, just in the U.S. and 14,000 chickens are killed in the United States every minute. I love animals and just the thought of this hurts me.
10. Look forward to more energy 
  It can take your body three days to digest meat. There is a lot of energy required to get a steak through your system. Now that you are eating a lighter, kinder diet, your energy levels will soar!

Meal ideas
Breakfast: Wilted spinach with garlic and scrambled egg whites - serves 1
  This is easily my newest favorite breakfast. My biology teacher taught it to me last semester. It’s really light which is good for my with all my stomach issues. It also has two good sources of vegetarian protein (spinach and egg) and it only takes five minutes to make. Here’s how you make it.
Drizzle of avocado oil
1 handful of spinach
1 clove garlic
1 large egg - whites only*

  Drizzle avocado on a small to medium sauce pan on low head. Add the spinach slowly while keep stirring it. Mince one clove garlic and add it to the spinach. You know it’s done when the spinach looks like wet leaves. Move to the side of the pan.
  In the same pan add a tiny bit more oil and add your egg whites. Quickly add the spinach to the egg mixture and move around the pan until the eggs are fully cooked (takes about a minute). This is especially good with toasted sourdough bread and orange juice.
  *You can use the egg yolk as a conditioning hair mask (recipe included at the end).

Lunch: Spring/Fall Salad - serves 1 
  This is my recreation of the a salad I get from a local cafe. I used to eat this at least twice a week last semester. I just love it!

(note: measurements aren’t exact).

1 handful Mixed greens
1 small handful Pine nuts
1 small handful Dried blueberries
1/2 apple - sliced
6 cherry tomatoes - sliced
1/4 onion - diced 
Seasoning of your choice
Balsamic vinegar and garlic oil - to taste
 Crumbled bleu cheese (optional)

  Add all ingredients into a large bowl and toss well. Enjoy!

Dinner - Selene’s Smoked Salmon - serves 1 - 4 
  This next recipe comes from my Love At First Bite cookbook. In high school I was big on vampire movies so this is a “vampire” themed cookbook. Nonetheless, the recipes in here are amazing. This particular recipe is more complicated than the others I’ve mentioned. It’s a great one for parties or when you have a lot of spare time. You can also grill it if you don't have time.

1 lemon - sliced
6 - 8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (3 - 4 lbs) salmon, cleaned and dressed
3 tbs butter
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

   Place lemon slices, sprigs of thyme, and sliced garlic in the cavity of the salmon. Place the salmon in a disposable aluminum pan that will fit into your smoker or grill.
  Melt the bitter in a saucepan and add the wine, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes. Pour the liquid over the salmon and over tightly with foil. Let sit.
  Prepare a 225F fire in the smoker or grill. Place 3 chucks of wood such as oak or apple on the fire. Place the pan of salmon in the smoker on on the indirect-heat side or the grill. Close the lid.
  Smoke for 1 hour. Then unwrap the foil and smoke for another hour. Goes really well with steamed white rice. Enjoy!

*Egg yolk hair mask
  This is a great conditioning mask to use with the leftover egg yolk from the breakfast recipe. 

1 egg yolk
1 tsp olive oil

  Beat until fully mixed. Slowly add to hair and massage well. Let sit for an hour and rinse off. You can shampoo your hair if you want but it’s not necessary. 

  I hope you all enjoyed this post. As always give this post a +1 on Google+ and let me know if you plan to try out any of these recipes. If you do, send them to me via social media which will be linked below. See you all next week!

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  1. Great post! I am not a vegetarian but I think that all of this is an amazing help post for anyone considering that lifestyle! x
    Love your blog, truly inspirational
    Chloe x

  2. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do know I need a healthier diet- so I'm starting to try things like this! Thanks for the information
    Elise |

    1. Of course. Even simple changes like eating red meat once a week, poultry once a week can do wonders. I do eat meat but I try to stay away from it the best I can.
      If I go out to eat, I always opt for a vegetarian dish. If I'm going to someone's house or a party and they serve meat, I'll eat it, like any gracious guest would.

  3. I'm not a vegetarian but I would definitely recommend this post to anyone who is thinking of being one! Xx

  4. Even though I've been veggie for a few years, I still got a lot of information from this post so thank you. The recepies look so delicious xxx

    1. You're a vegetarian too? Yay for plant-powered bloggers! If you know of any good recipes please send them to me via twitter @_ballerinaboss_.