Vegan Snacking: 10 Snacks That Will Make You Forget Potato Chips

The Best Vegan and Plant-Based Nutrition Snacks on #vegan

I run a lot (like, a whole lot), so I’M ALWAYS HUNGRY. That said, when I first transitioned to a  plant-based diet, I struggled with staying full between meals. I had no problem creating delicious vegan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but I would often forget about the snacks that fall between. Not having vegan snacks readily available made it so much easier to resort back to my old ways:  i.e. binge eating pretzels with Nutella. For those who are considering switching to a plant-based diet (or who just need to switch up their vegan snacking routine!), here are my suggestions for super easy, super filling, and super delicious snacks.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Crisp Balls


Kale Chips


Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bites


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars


Cinnamon Kettle Corn


Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


Chubby Hubby Protein Bars


High Protein Banana Peanut Butter Snack


Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Miracle Cookies


Chocolate Covered Banana Almond Bites

What are your favorite vegan snacks?



p.s These snacks are so easy and delicious that they are an easy way to start incorporating healthy vegan food to your diet if you haven’t already!

Related Posts:

Running Hard, Getting Healthy, and Going (Almost) Vegan

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

The FAQs of a New Vegan


Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional: Staying Motivated Through Injury

How to Stay Motivated, Despite Injury #running #motivation #inspiration

Imagine this: You’ve spent the last couple months studying for a tough exam. You enter the classroom, fully prepared, pencil in hand, water bottle at the corner of your desk, a fresh piece of college ruled paper in front of you. The professor gives the okay, and you’re off! You set your pencil to the page, when suddenly, CRACK, the lead breaks. Now imagine you don’t have access to a pencil sharpener, and this the only writing utensil you are allowed to use. Imagine also that you are a type-A student, who believes that the outcome of this exam is everything. It’s life or death.

If you can imagine that, you can understand a bit how an athlete feels when she’s injured weeks before her big race. Of course, injury is party of the game, part of the journey, and something many if not all amateur and professional athletes face in one way or another.

A couple months ago, I had to stop running due to a leg injury. I was smack in the middle of marathon training. And although this won’t be my first full marathon, the race is undoubtably important to me. My confidence was shattered. But then, I did what I do best, I made a plan. I’m no running expert, but I know the frustration of injury and the joy and pride of tackling your goals not just in spite of the pain but maybe also because of it. So below is my plan to keeping your motivation and confidence up through a tough training patch. I hope it inspires at least one athlete to keep her head up

How to Stay Motivated, Despite Injury #running #motivation #inspiration

First of all, choose to view this “break” actively instead of passively. In other words, don’t think of your recovery time as a waste of time. Use it. Make the absolute most of it.

-Stay active. I understand that the thought of using an elliptical probably falls somewhere on the spectrum of watching grass grow and being stuck in the middle seat while flying coach. But staying active despite your injury is important. If you’re like me, as soon as you take exercise out of my routine, I become sluggish, start to eat poorly, and become less productive (due to a positive correlation between time on my couch and hours watching Netflix). Instead of thinking that your workouts are a poor second option to running, try to do something you’ve always been meaning to but maybe didn’t have a chance to before. For instance, I started going to yoga with friends. I’d been telling myself I wanted to do more yoga, and now I finally had the chance! It’s harder to feel depressed about not doing something, when you’re doing something else you love.

Eat&Run by Scott Jurek

-Read for inspiration. My suggestions: Born to Run, Eat & Run, Thrive, and Triathlete Magazine.

-Do more of what you love, and less of what you don’t. And I don’t mean just in terms of exercise. Remove stress where you can. I, for example, sometimes get a bit obsessive over cleaning my apartment. I suppose it’s because the end result is so satisfying and the process so straight-forward. Unlike, say, just about everything else in life. But I absolutely do not need to deep clean my apartment every day. Instead of spending that time doing something that, despite it’s clear result, feels like an obligation and an added stress, I try to do something I enjoy that isn’t necessarily required of me. Like sewing. Or even spending a few extra minutes petting my cat. When I do this, it always surprises me how much control I actually have over my stress.

How to Stay Motivated, Despite Injury #running #motivation #inspiration

-Find your balance. Physically and mentally, I mean. Were there things in your life that you were missing out on during your training? Did you skip meditation in the morning so you could get a run in before work? Did you pass up invitations to go out to the bar with friends because you wanted to be fresh for the next morning’s twelve miler? Was (and is?) your mind so cluttered with anxiety about training and the race that you forget friend’s birthdays or catch yourself worrying during Monday business meetings? Relax, and take this time to catch up, and maybe even start to schedule a new routine around the stuff you’ve been neglecting.

Vegan Diet

-Focus on nutrition. Now is finally your chance to start paying better attention to what you’re eating! If you’re aren’t burning 1500+ calories on long runs every weekend, you don’t have the same excuse to stuff your face with any and every carb that you can get your hands on. Focus on quality foods. Explore new ways to gain energy or focus. When I was recovering, I used the opportunity to switch to a plant-based diet. When I was in the heat of my training, I was concerned that a plant-based diet would not provide the energy and protein I needed. But having time to experiment with recipes and new foods during my recovery ensured that I had a solid nutrition plan settled for when I was able to pick up the training again.

How to Stay Motivated, Despite Injury #running #motivation #inspiration

-Remember your dreams and goals. Remember what you’re recovering for. Remember why you’re putting in the effort and time to get better and do better. And remember that injury and recovery is part of the game, just as much as crossing that finishline is.

Any other advise you would give a struggling or injured athlete? Or even a person who just needs some motivation to get started?



p.s. This post is dedicated you, Michelle. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!


Grandma's Marathon


 Related Posts:

Best Advice I Can Think of for New Triathletes

Running Hard, Getting Healthy, and Going (Almost) Vegan

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Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

The FAQs of a New Vegan

FAQs of a New Vegan. For example, "What about ice cream?" and "Why? As in why would you do that?" on

I’ve been following a plant-based diet (think: vegan + limited refined sugar and processed foods) for a couple weeks now, and there are a few things I’ve learned. First of all, I feel a whole lot better already. My energy is up. I don’t rely on caffeine like I used to. Netflix marathons do not have to simultaneously accompany a candy binge after which I feel like total crap but for some reason still want to lie on my couch, drinking beer, and thinking sad guilty thoughts about my body/heath/exercise habits.

Second of all, friends and family have a lot of questions. That’s fair! They are concerned about my health and well-being. I’m not (yet?) a jaded vegan who thinks everyone is judging their nutritional habits. That said, I want to shed some light on the answers to some of those common questions. Maybe I can just start referring inquirers to this blog post. 😉

The FAQs of a New Vegan. on

Why? As in, why would you do that?

Because I am young and by today’s standards healthy. That is to say, I don’t have a disease, I’m not overweight, and I have no broken bones. But I do have anxiety, allergies (to, like, every plant ever), trouble sleeping, adult acne, neck problems, fatigue, and a strong urge to binge eat candy the moment I get home from work and set eyes on my couch (why does candy taste best when you eat ten servings of it!? I have a feeling there is a vey logical scientific answer to that one…).

In other words, I don’t feel healthy.

I exercise regularly (see: Pittsburgh Marathon, Here I Come!) and don’t smoke, so I figured a factor to my feelings of crappiness probably had to do a large part to what I was eating (and also to stress, but that is hurdle to discuss at another time).

So there you have it. It’s really quite simple. I’m eating plant-based because I am trying to feel, and be, the best version of myself.

Make sure you are getting enough protein!

Very good advice. But good advice for anyone. Before I became vegetarian (about six months ago), I would eat on average three turkey sandwiches a week. I didn’t really care for red meat, and I didn’t really know how to cook meat at home either. I also wasn’t consuming plant protein like nuts or beans or using protein powder.

Today, I am more careful than ever about ensuring I eat enough protein. In fact, I am sure I eat more now than I did before I was vegetarian! My energy level has gone up, and I feel like I’m getting more from workouts.

Bottom line is: just because you aren’t a vegetarian, doesn’t mean you are getting enough protein. And just because you are, doesn’t mean you’re not!

Healthy Cookie Dough Brownies

Cookie Dough Brownies from Yes, these are vegan. And yes, they are delicious.

But what about ice cream? And cheese?!

There may be nothing better than fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. But truth be told, I stopped craving cheese after I stopped eating it for about a week. All I did was avoid it. Seriously, I just didn’t buy any cheese at the grocery store, and I didn’t order dishes with cheese in it

when I went out. What kept my self-control strong was the disappearance of that fuzzy feeling I got in my head after a cheesy pizza or the bloated stomach after a grilled panini that I scarfed down at my cubicle.

And as for ice cream, I switched to coconut ice cream. Which is as good as is sounds! Yum!

Why are refined sugars so bad for you?

First of all, sugar doesn’t contain: nutrients, protein, healthy fats, or enzymes. So, from my perspective (as in, not a scientist), sugar sounds like empty calories. Which actually doesn’t sound that bad. I mean, sugar is clearly not good for you…but does that mean it’s bad for you?

The cincher for me is that sugar is addictive. I have sugar. Then I want more sugar. And more sugar. And eventually nothing else (honey, maple syrup, fruit)  tastes all that great because it’s, well, not as sweet and delicious as sugar (and now I’m going to get all fancy and give you a scientific source for what seems to be an obvious observation).

Other research suggests that refined sugar can cause also weight gain and poor sleep. Bummer.

What are you going to eat when you travel abroad?

For me, eating is a huge part of exploring another culture. I tried gelato in every major Italian city I visited. I ate margherita pizza in Naples. Tasted octopus in Southern Italy. Enjoyed cheese filled sausages in Bavaria. And fish and chips in London. Eating is part of the adventure. Since I don’t travel often, I’ve decided not to follow a strict plan-based diet while, say, visiting my expatriate twin sister in Amsterdam. I’m going to try my best (she already has some great vegetarian restaurants in mind!), but let myself experience the food of that culture. I’ll just try to stick to one stroopwafel…instead of ten.

The FAQs of a New Vegan. on


Eating out is going to suck.

Actually, no, it really hasn’t. Combining appetizers with salads or soups makes for a good option when visiting a less vegan-friendly

restaurant, but if you live in a city, my bet is you can find some pretty decent vegetarian places as well. That said, I’ve come to an understanding that compromises will be made. Non-whole wheat pasta at an Italian restaurant, for example, or a bit of cream in some tomato soup.

And the truth is, eating a vegan, plant-based diet hasn’t diminished any joy I get from eating (out, in, or otherwise). In fact, I think I enjoy food a whole lot more. Imagine discovering food that tastes wonderful and that you can eat without abandon or guilt to your heart’s  content (literally!).

Because nobody ever felt shitty after binge eating homemade sweet potato fries.

Thoughts? Recommendations? I know you got ’em, and I want to hear ’em!




Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone, T. Colin Campbell, and Caldwell B. Esselstyn

The Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever

No Meat Athlete

The Kind Life

Wellness Mama

The China Study

T.Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Thrive Fitness by Brendan Brazier

Plant Based Diet Reading on miaprimcasa

Related Posts:

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

Running Hard, Getting Healthy, & Going (Almost) Vegan

Euro Brunch, Vegetarian Style

Vegetarian Pasta Dish in Just Ten Minutes

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

My Plant-Based Nutrition Plan on

I’ve been a vegetarian (actually more of a pescetarian, really) for five months already. I originally toyed with the idea of switching to vegan and cutting out all animal products all together. But I was skeptical. Would that really improve me health? Would I have less energy? How would I be able to eat out? And what about the stigma around the word “vegan” itself?

Plus, I really, really love cheese.

And ice cream.

And more cheese.

But then I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, which introduced me to the plant-based diet. A plant-based diet is a bit different from veganism. Besides not eating animal products (including dairy, eggs, and meat), people following a plant-based diet also limit their oil, refined sugar, and refined carb intake. And this is what appealed to me the most. I’ve always had this nagging feeling that sugar and refined carbs might be contributing to my sluggishness, worsening allergies, and poor, sensitive skin.

I’ll admit it; I’m not ready to dive cold turkey into a plant-based diet. I still love and cook with olive oil (having an Italian family and living in Florence for a bit makes the idea of cutting out olive oil earth-shattering), and I’m hesitant to give up fish.

So instead, I’m giving myself the following easy guidelines to follow:

1. No meat (duh).

2. No dairy (including cheese and milk). For my coffee, I’ve switched to agave nectar for sweetening and soy milk.

3. No refined sugar.

4. Eat whole foods (veggies, grains, you get the idea).

5. Eat processed whole foods (crackers, pita bread, and cereal) sparingly.

6. Avoid adding oil when cooking and limit oil consumption to coconut and olive oil when possible.

7. Eat fish, but sparingly and buy the highest quality possible (think: wild salmon over canned tuna).

8. Make more of my own training food: protein bars, gels, sports drinks. I have a feeling this is going to save me some money as well!

9. When I travel (to say, Amsterdam to visit my sister), I’ll try my best to eat according to the plant-based diet, but enjoy the local food to its fullest. So yes, I’m going to eat stroopwafels. Just maybe not ten of them….

10. Try new things. Cook with new veggies and beans. Continue to try new ethnic restaurants with a new perspective. Use my crock pot more often. Buy more cook books. Experiment with my own version of recipes. Fall in love with food- real, whole, and delicious food.

11. Share my adventures and recipes in plan-based nutrition with you all on MiaPrimaCasa!

What do you think about my plant-based nutrition plan? Any suggestions or recommendations?

Plant Based Diet Reading on miaprimcasa

My Plant-Based Education Reading List:

Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone, T. Colin Campbell, and Caldwell B. Esselstyn

The Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever

No Meat Athlete

The Kind Life

Related Posts:

Running Hard, Getting Healthy, & Going (Almost) Vegan