There have been so many articles recently about why soy is your body’s new archenemy. People are rapidly switching over to homemade almond milk, instead of soy milk. When I drafted this recipe in my head, I was so excited to cook it and then I thought to myself, “Oh no, what if people get turned off because it has soy?”
Then, I splashed cold water on my face and said, “Be you! You love tofu, share a healthy tofu recipe!”
Can soy negatively impact your body? Sure, if you eat it all day every day – kind of like with red meat. If you eat a filet mignon for breakfast, lunch and dinner, chances are, you’ll get sick. If you eat it occasionally, though, it’s “harmless.”
Prior to making this recipe, I hadn’t eaten tofu in 3 months. How often do I eat beef? Unless it’s to test a recipe, mostly never.
The truth is, is that, with everything, the key to eating healthy (while living your life and maintaing your sanity) is moderation and eating for your own individual body’s needs. I keep seeing comments on my Instagram where followers ask, “Do you ever have a cheat day?”
I don’t necessarily have cheat days, because every day I cheat a little! I thought I’d take today’s blog post to talk about a typical weekday’s worth of food intake. I also drink plenty of water and I have two coffees. Keep in mind, however, 4/5 days of the “work week,” I’m tasting recipes all day, so I’m eating bites here and there (and admittedly, sometimes I finish the whole plate!):
- Breakfast: Around 9/9:30am: Almost every day, I have a green smoothie, made with blueberries, banana, ice, spinach (or kale) and a vegan vanilla-flavored protein powder. Every once in a while, I add in almond butter or chia seeds – probably every third smoothie.
- Snack: Around 10:45/11:15am: I usually have a piece or two of fruit – usually a peach and some raspberries or an apple and some almond butter.
- Lunch: Around 12:30/1pm: For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know I often have a collard green wrap with turkey, sprouts, carrots, zucchini noodles, onions, cucumbers and hummus or mustard. On the side, I usually have some almonds or avocado with lemon juice.
- Snack: Around 3-4pm: Another piece of fruit or something very simple (like avocado on toast), just to get me through the rest of the day. Usually in the latter part of the day, I’m cooking, so my “snacks” are bites of recipe testing.
- Snack: Around 7pm: Usually once Lu gets home, we’ll have some popcorn or carrots and celery with hummus. We have a little snack and talk about our day.
- Dinner: Around 8pm: I either enjoy recipe testing leftovers, make something newly Inspiralized or have something different. My dinners are different every night, but easy classic favorites are my Bikini Bolognese or a simple Chicken Pomodoro Zucchini Pasta. If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll make roasted potatoes with salmon and a veggie, like broccoli or asparagus. Other nights, I’ll make a big salad with chicken or quinoa. I love shrimp zucchini pasta, also. Sometimes, I’ll experiment with an upcoming blog recipe or pack in some seasonal veggies, like a stuffed acorn squash in the late fall. Dinner is when I’m the most creative!
- Dessert: This is usually where my “cheat” comes in, but I don’t really think of it as a cheat, because none of the foods I eat are processed – they’re all whole, clean foods. I’ll have an banana with almond butter (if I didn’t earlier in the day) or if I’m in the mood for something sweet, I’ll have some dark chocolate covered goji berries. If I’m in the mood for something extra savory, I’ll have some corn chips with salsa or something like that.
Most importantly, I’m not overstuffed and I’m never starving. If I ever have a hankering for something, I have it. If I want chocolate Teddy Grahams, I’ll have a handful. Have there been moments where I polish off a whole box? Of course! Who hasn’t? I recover by focusing on hydration and being healthier for the rest of the day or the next day.
You can’t take back today, but you can take control of tomorrow. If you focus on the recovery instead of saying “ugh, I already ate like @#$! today, I’m going to just give up,” you’ll never be able to fully sustain a healthy, consistent lifestyle. There have been days when I’ve eaten crap (for lack of a better word) all day and then stopped myself, chugged a glass of water, hit the gym (hard), and had a nutritious, plant-based dinner and I’ve woken up feeling rejuvenated. I’ve thanked myself for treating my body well towards the end, which makes for an easy transition into the next day, instead of having a food hangover.
Now, go make this savory, delicious, Asian-inspired bowl of carrot rice – and don’t think twice about soy. Remember, all in moderation – say no to deprivation. And, if you don’t eat soy due to allergies or lifestyle limitations (ie you’re legume-free), replace the tofu with shrimp and the soy sauce with coconut aminos, if you prefer.Otherwise, this bowl is healthy, packed with immunity boosters like ginger and carrots.
And, hey, if all else fails: tuh-may-toh, tuh-mah-toh, ya know?
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? What do you think of my opinion on healthy eating?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Honey Ginger Tofu and Carrot Rice with Bok Choy
- 1 large carrot peeled, Blade C
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 bunches baby bok choy about 10oz, stiff bottom trimmed off
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the tofu:
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey or omit, if strict vegan
- 2 teaspoons shredded ginger or very finely minced
- 7 oz extra firm tofu moisture squeezed out, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the soy sauce, ginger and honey together in a bowl until combined. Place the cubed tofu in the bowl with the dressing and set aside. Let stand for 5 minutes and then place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, flip over and bake another 10 minutes.
- After you flip the tofu over, place the carrot noodles in a food processor and pulse until rice-like. In a large skillet over medium heat, add in the coconut oil. Once oil heats, add in the garlic and ginger. Let cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant and then add in the carrot rice. Season with salt and pepper and cover and cook for 5 minutes or until carrot softens to a rice-like consistency.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Brush the bok choy with the sesame oil and place onto the heated grill pan. Cook for 2 minutes, flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes or until bok choy is heated and cooked through.
- Place the finished bok choy in a bowl and top with carrot rice, then tofu.