What Motivates You?

What motivates you to live healthfully?

For me, it’s many things.

> My career as Dietitian – got to walk the talk, am I right?!

> The goods vibes I get from treating my body right. Hiking with my love is my favorite!

Sunday AM Hike

> A long-standing, deep fascination with preventative health and wellness. I am always pursuing MY “optimal health.”

> And then lately for me it’s the olds. You may be wondering, “Katie what are these ‘olds’ you speak of?” They are the Residents I work with as Clinical Dietitian in skilled nursing facilities. Many of them live there long-term dealing with debilitating diseases and conditions. Many of these diseases and conditions are consequences of their lifestyle. Poor diet. Lack of exercise. Uncontrolled chronic diseases. They serve as a continuous reminder for me to play an active role in my health and wellness.

While my motivation does dip now and again, those are my reasons to get back on track. I am also motivated and inspired by many things I read, watch, and eat. Below are my current favorites.


  • How Not to Die – Michael Greger, MD

My current read. I am LOVING this book. It discusses ways to prevent, treat, and reverse the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. through lifestyle medication, such as diet.

  • What to Eat – Marion Nestle, PhD
  • Michael Pollan books


  • Earthlings – addresses Speciesism towards animals. Narrated by actor, Joaquin Phoenix. The hubs decided to become vegetarian after watching this documentary.
  • Vegucated – follows 3 people who are challenged to try veganism for 6 weeks.
  • Forks over Knives – promotes plant-based eating as lifestyle medication for chronic disease prevention and treatment.
  • Cowspiracy – addresses animal agricultural as a negative environmental impact.

YouTube Channels:

  • Montana Danna – LA chick posting daily videos featuring 12 week fitness challenges and vegan eating.
  • Lauren Toyota – Canadian, vegan lifestyle videos. Also does Hot for Food channel with BF John, new recipe videos weekly.


  • Dirty Dozen – Dr. Greger’s advice on foods to eat daily “to not die.”
  • Daily Dozen – The Environmental Working Group’s advice on which produce to buy organic versus conventional. Very handy while grocery shopping – don’t be dumb like me, and leave your phone the car!

And of course the gorgeous food.

I am continually motivated by gorgeous, tasty plant-based food. Here are some of my latest creations.

Green Smoothie
Sunday’s Post-Hike Green Smoothie

Recipe: Blend 3 frozen bananas, 2 cups spinach, 1 Tb ground flax seed, handful of ice, and 1 cup water. Daily Greens √ √

Saturday's Lunch - Curry Quinoa & Lentils
Saturday’s Lunch – Curried Quinoa & Lentil Bowl

Recipe: Bring 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup lentils, ~4 cups of water, 1 Tb cumin, 1 Tb coriander, 1 Tb turmeric, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp mustard, and 1/2 tsp ginger to a boil. Simmer for ~15 minutes. Mix in 1 cup peas and top with chopped tomato. Makes 4 servings. Daily turmeric √ Vegetables √

Vegan Cobb Salad @ The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory now has several vegan options including this Vegan Cobb Salad. I was shocked! And it was killer! Yes, I did skip dessert and yes, it was slightly sad for me. You know I love the Cheesecake Factory.

Random Pancakes
Random Pancakes

Admittedly, an old stack – but too gorgeous not to share!

Recipe: 1/2 cup of Wheat Montana’s Whole Grain Pancake Mix with Flax and subbed 1/2 banana and a little soy milk for the milk, eggs, and oil. Topped with other 1/2 of banana and maple syrup. SO good.

What are your sources of motivation How do you stay on tray? Share in the comments below!

Okay, now off to make some banana ice cream. I am craving something sweet tonight!

~Katie J.

Let’s Talk Protein

When I tell friends/family/colleagues that I no longer consume animal products, they have questions.

What?! Why?! How?!

After the initial shock and rightfully so…

[6-9 months, and I was eating 4-6 eggs whites at breakfast, 4-6 ounces of meat at lunch and dinner, and snacking on greek yogurt and protein powder/bars through out the day.]

Then their interest perks, and they ask…

Where do you get your protein? Do you get enough protein?

Very valid, common questions to ask a vegetarian or vegan.

Protein is in nearly all plant foods. Fruit. Vegetables. Grains. Nuts/Seeds. Legumes. Each day, I eat a variety of foods to ensure I consume adequate protein and essential amino acids for my body.

My favorite plant-based protein sources are:

  • whole grain bread/tortillas 4-6 grams/slice or wrap
  • quick oats 10 grams/cup
  • peanut butter 3.5 grams/tablespoon
  • soy milk 7 grams/cup
  • beans (pinto, black, garbanzo) ~15 grams/cup
  • nuts/seeds (chia, flax, hemp) ~2-3 grams/tablespoon

But do I get enough protein? Yes. 

The average, healthy adult needs at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (Divide body weight in pounds by 2.2 to get body weight in kilograms). Being younger or older, an athlete, and pregnant as well as having certain diseases and conditions does impact your need for protein.

So at a minimum, my body needs 47 grams of protein/day. Which is not a difficult amount to consume.

Last week as an experiment, I tracked all my meals in MyFitnessPal (mojo425). And guess what? I easily ate 70 grams of protein or 15% of my total calories that day. All plant-based.

Here’s the proof.

IMG_0461 IMG_0462

If you are interested in learning more about plant-based eating and protein sources check out Rebel Dietitian and No Meat Athlete. Both Dana and Matt are Registered Dietitians with fantastic websites that are loaded with valuable information and resources.

This great protein chart is by Dana, the Rebel Dietitian.


Also, always feel free to leave me a question in the comments. I am happy to chat more with you. Coming from a diet very heavy in meat, eggs, and dairy I have learned a few tricks in my journey to plant-based eating.

Have a great week!

~Katie J.