Celebrity trainer Jorge Cruise‘s new book Tiny and Full will be released just in time for the holidays and promises you a smaller waist by only changing one meal a day.
The premise is simple: follow a vegan diet for breakfast. Then, go back to incorporating animal-based foods for lunch and dinner, while still keeping a heavy emphasis on plant-based foods.
“When I say vegan,” Cruise told Diets In Review exclusively, “I mean in the truest, most natural form of vegan. A whole food (minimally processed), plant-based diet. Potato chips and Coke are technically vegan, but I encourage the healthiest, most natural form of vegan possible with whole, plant-based foods.”
Why just breakfast? you may be asking. There are two main reasons.
“There are numerous studies showing that determination and drive are almost always strongest in the morning hours when you are fresh,” explains Cruise. “This is because willpower is like a muscle — it’s strongest when it has been given good rest and restoration.” Focusing on breakfast, when your resolve is highest, gives you the best odds for success.
Just one meal is all it takes, though. Cruise makes it clear he is not an advocate for becoming a full time vegan.
“For most of us, it’s a lifestyle change that is just too hard to maintain,” said Cruise. “There are more people who have quit being vegan than there are those who are actual vegans. I intentionally created Tiny and Full as a part-time vegan program to help you get the benefits of the vegan diet but avoid the negatives.”
Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages! What am I referring to? The tiny goji berry, which is one of nature’s most nutritionally complete foods.
Never heard of it? Goji berries are referred to as “red diamonds” in their native Himalayan China and Tibet. The bite-size super foods contain 18 different amino acids, aka the building blocks for protein, including 8 of the 9 essential food-based amines that our body cannot produce on their own. This makes them especially crucial for vegetarians and vegans who are not eating complete animal proteins like eggs, fish, and meat products.
Goji berries are sold around the world and are usually packaged as dried berries. (They kind of look like pink raisins.) You can find them in most health food stores and increasingly in regular grocery stores too. The berries are pretty sweet in taste, but they’re also pretty complex tasting overall because of all the nutrients and minerals they deliver.
History of Goji Berries
Goji berries have always played an integral part in Chinese medicinal practices since ancient times, dating back as far as 5,000 years! They are still prescribed for their eye, liver, and kidney-supporting properties and they are also believed to boost “chi”, or invigorating life energy, in those who eat them. There are many well-documented claims that daily consumption of goji berries played a key role in unbelievable longevity: one man even claimed to have lived 252 years! (I’m not convinced of his math, but still!)
Super Food Superpowers
Here’s a cheat sheet on the benefits you can expect from go-go-goji berries:
Laura Theodore wants to show you how simple it is to introduce plant-based choices into your everyday diet. Gearing up for season 3 of her cooking show, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on the Create Channel, Laura is a high-energy host who even appeared on The Talk with Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.
Recently, we spoke to this busy chef/host/singer, about her food blog and allll those other irons she’s got in the fire.
Why did you start your food blog? I was inspired to create my cookbooks, blog, television show and radio podcast to make delicious, plant-based recipes available to anyone looking to prepare tasty vegan meals in their own home. My mission is to make recipes available to dedicated vegans, and omnivores alike – with a jazzylicious twist, of course!
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I focus on the plant-based approach by incorporating whole foods like veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains into my recipes and daily menu plan. I strive to stay away from overly processed foods as much as possible, while using vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans) grains and some nuts and seeds as the base ingredients for my recipes.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I have been interested in healthy eating for over 20 years. For me, plant-based cooking is like singing jazz: making creative and spicy improvisations with a delicious twist! As a jazz singer, I love scatting a new phrase to enhance a classic song, so when I cook, I savor the process of improvising new, healthy versions of traditional recipes, depending on what’s in my kitchen or available at the local market.
What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen? I love reduced-sodium tamari! Sounds so simple, but it really adds taste and depth to so many recipes. Tamari helps to produce a rich “meaty” flavor and it has a more complex flavor profile than ordinary soy sauce. The reduced-sodium version has about 25 percent less sodium than regular tamari. I always buy tamari that has been made with GMO-free soybeans, is MSG-free, and contains no artificial preservatives. Reduced-sodium tamari is great used as a flavor enhancer in sauces, casseroles, pasta dishes, vegan gravies, steamed vegetables dishes, and in soups. It adds great flavor to both sweet and savory marinades for tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, or squash.
My favorite place is over the Kitchen Aid, covered in flour/powdered sugar/batter in yoga pants or a favorite pair of too fancy shoes while trying to keep the kitchen from looking like a bakery exploded. ~Abby The Frosted Vegan
People, I have five words for you: Cinnamon. Raisin. Loaded. Almond. Butter. This is just one of the many recipes that has me adoring The Frosted Vegan this week.
In the past, if you’ve avoided vegan websites because you thought they were all about 101 ways to cook tofu, think again. Abby has been in the kitchen helping her Dad and Grandma since she was old enough to reach the countertop. Her blog is loaded with delicious recipes, vibrant photos and stories about the inspiration behind each dish.
Recently we asked Abby to tell us a bit more about The Frosted Vegan.
Why did you start your food blog? I have always wanted to start a food blog, but I finally decided to take the plunge last year after I moved away from my hometown and I wanted to share dessert recipes with my dad. I honestly wish I’d started sooner, but already so thankful for the community I’ve become a part of, food bloggers are pretty awesome people.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I eat a primarily vegan/plant-based diet, occasionally eating cheese or dairy in baked goods, but I try to stick to whole foods as much as possible. I believe in indulging in moderation and that nothing should be “off limits”, if you want it, have it! I connect more with how I feel after I eat something, if I feel bad after, I probably won’t eat much of it again.
The first thing you notice when you visit Como Come Cami is the text. Unless you’re lucky enough to be bilingual you might not understand at first but don’t panic, just scroll. Scroll down the page and you’ll find the Spanish text has been translated to English so you won’t miss a thing. Born in Argentina, Como Come Cami founder, Camila Jurado started traveling when she was 10 years old. She’s lived in Honduras and Buenos Aries but she graduated from a college in Savannah, Georgia. I’d love to know if her Spanish accent took on a southern twang.
Camila created her vegetarian-inspired blog to connect with other vegans and share the creative recipes she’s gathered from her travels. More about Camila and Como Come Cami:
Why did you start your food blog? I always liked cooking but became more passionate about healthy foods and ingredients once I became a vegetarian. I started this site with the idea of sharing healthy recipes and travel with a vegetarian approach. I love traveling, discovering new ingredients, buying vintage plates, reading cookbooks and taking photos.