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Good Morning Fitness Junkies!

I know that this 22 Days of Vegan started last month with Jay-Z stating on his blog that he was going to go vegan for 22 days. Jay-Z had shared some really good reasons for his change and I must admit his blog led me to the 22 Days Nutrition blog.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to the challenge in December because of the holiday’s and I was gearing up for my surgery. However I knew I was interested and I wanted to share the 22 Days of Vegan with each of you. I am electing to do this because I want to see if there will truly be a difference in me going completely plant based and to be honest it won’t hurt. 2014 is my year of restoration and new beginnings, so I am embracing this challenge with a renewed mind, body and soul.

I hope that each of you are able to join me for the next 22 days and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family.

With Love,

Dawn

Day 1: 22 Days Vegan Challenge

Meal Plan and Recipes Courtesy of Gena Hamshaw, C.N.N. of Choosing Raw

Breakfast: Vanilla chia pudding with 1 cup fresh berries

Lunch: Crunchy red cabbage and green apple sesame slaw with 1 cup steamed, cubed sweet potato (or 1 small sweet potato, baked)

Afternoon snack: 1/4 cup hemp hummus with fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, romaine leaves, bell pepper, etc.)

Dinner: Black bean and quinoa salad with quick cumin dressing

Dessert: Dark chocolate

Recipes:

Vanilla Chia Pudding
Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

  1. Blend up the almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
  2. Pour liquid mixture over the chia seeds and stir till seeds are evenly mixed in. Stir again five minutes later, and five minutes after that. Let sit for an hour at least, or simply let it sit in the fridge overnight. Serve, topped with fresh fruit of choice.
  3. Pudding will keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Crunchy Red Cabbage and Green Apple Sesame Slaw
Serves 2

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 3 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large granny smith apple, shredded
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Method:

  1. Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Dress the shredded vegetables and hemp seeds with dressing; you can use as much as you like, but make sure you coat everything well (a half cup will probably suffice). Serve.
  3. Slaw will keep in the fridge overnight.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Quick Cumin Dressing
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • Dash salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced neatly
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced neatly
  • 1 can BPA free, organic black beans
  • 10-15 basil leaves, chopped into a chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Rinse quinoa through a sieve till the water runs clear. Transfer it to a small or medium sized pot and add two cups of vegetable broth or water and dash of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot so that the lid is on, but there’s a small gap where water can escape. Simmer till quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid and is fluffy (about 15-20 minutes).
  2. Transfer cooked quinoa to a mixing bowl. Add chopped vegetables, black beans, and herbs.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients. Add the dressing to the salad, and serve. (If you don’t feel that you need all the dressing, just add as much as you’d like to.)
  4. Salad will keep for three days in the fridge.

– See more at: http://www.22daysnutrition.com/blog/2013/12/04/join-us-for-22-days-of-vegan-meals/#sthash.ULa95qHU.dpuf