“What I Ate Today” by Brenda Carey


Brenda Carey is the indefatigable editor-in-chief of Vegan Health and Fitness. Here’s what she eats all day while she’s building an international vegan fitness magazine.

Brenda Carey

First of all, everything is 100% organic. You may also be interested to know that I do not take any supplements at all.  I’ve been vegan and eating this way for 24 years now and have vibrant energy, great health (I never, ever get sick), I recover quickly from vigorous exercise and have no trouble building/maintaining my muscle tone. I am still getting stronger and faster every day (and I will be 44 in June)!  

Large fruit smoothie – Today I’m using bananas, frozen cherries, frozen blueberries, pineapple, a handful of greens, a block of silken tofu, cinnamon, cacao powder, and fresh mint leaves.

strawberry green smoothie

Large water or water mix. I may just drink a big container of plain water, sometimes with a squeeze of lemon juice. If I had a tough workout the day before and I sweated a lot, I will mix the water with 1/2 coconut water and a pinch of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt — I’ve got to replace those electrolytes— once the electrolytes are good, my body comes back to life from feeling groggy!

If I’m on deadline I will also have a cup of caffeinated tea such as Earl Grey, Jasmine Green or Chai.  If I’m not on deadline, it will be a caffeine-free herbal tea. I try to limit caffeine most of the time. I drink a lot of dandelion root, milk thistle, chamomile, holy basil, mint, ginger and other herbal teas throughout the day. I add a little soy milk.

An orange or a couple tangerines or a pear and 2-3 dates or a couple handfuls or raisins.  Another cup of tea with soy milk.

Gigantic salad (mixing bowl size) with a variety of greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, shredded cabbage and shredded carrots (I shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor once a week), mung bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, clover sprouts, sprouted chickpeas, sprouted lentils, kelp noodles, 5-6 garlic stuffed olives, topped with Bragg Hawaiian salad dressing, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, a sprinkle of dried dulse, dried kelp, dried oregano, and dried basil.  

Afternoon Snacks:
If I’m on deadline I may have 1/4 of a bar of organic, dark chocolate in the afternoon. The caffeine and yummy flavor keeps me going during long hours.  Of course, I always have more tea (there is a very good reason why 4 pm is tea time— it’s really needed at that time of day). I always eat an apple (or two or three), a banana (or two or three).  I also love to snack on melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.

gala apple

Sometimes I eat gently cooked stuff like sprouted quinoa with smoked tempeh, onions, garlic, miso, and lots of greens.  It all goes in one pan and cooks in 20 minutes or less. I also really love cooked red lentils (they get mushy real fast and you can add a lot of spices and eat it as a soup or over brown rice).   I often toss my warm food on top of a bed of raw greens or I wrap richer concoctions (like pureed chickpeas with tahini and spices or a tofu scramble) in a big collard green leaf like a burrito.   I try to eat raw or gently warmed food mostly, but I do dabble in using seitan with barbecue sauce and lots of tofu dishes mixed in with my raw stuff for fun and flavor.

cabbage salad

I try to make sure I get fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and Puerh tea in my diet.  I also make sure I get sea vegetables like kelp and dulse (the powdered kind you can sprinkle on everything is great; kelp noodles and dried seaweed chips are fun too).  Finally, I make sure that I get lots of colorful veggies, so I seek out beets, yams, squash, purple cabbage, and other bright things that catch my eye in the produce department. I get real creative with my cooking, but I always try to use onions and/or garlic because the sulfuric compounds keep away so many illnesses.  I also use a lot of basil (both fresh and dried) and other dried herbs like oregano, thyme, cumin, dill, etc. for their medicinal benefits.

After Dinner Snacks:
I work late almost every night and I get hungry, but I don’t like to eat a bunch of heavy food after dinner.  So, I usually have another smoothie and/or snack on fruit until bedtime.  I also love rice cakes.

Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD


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