Welcome to Veganuary Month

After learning about the health benefits, my husband and I transitioned to a plant-based (vegan) lifestyle in 2016. We were further motivated to change our diet based on what we learned about animal agriculture and climate change.  

Established in 2014, Veganuary is a charitable non-profit organization from the UK. Their mission is to “encourage people worldwide to practice a vegan lifestyle for January and beyond.” 

Veganuary’s growth has been exponential, and I am excited about its goals, mission and growth.

How We Moved to the Plant-based Lifestyle

Starting this month, I will journal with a series of blog posts to share:

  • How our family adopted a plant-based lifestyle
  • How a vegan lifestyle blends with the Power of 5 Formula for Longevity and Remaining Youthful which provides helpful strategies about aging, longevity, remaining youthful, cooking, and healthy eating
  • Personal insights about my efforts

How the Power of 5 Test Kitchen Works

I prepare every recipe I post in the Power of 5 Test Kitchen. The recipes are most often vegetarian/vegan, however, you do not have to be vegan to enjoy! Each recipe has multiple options so you may tailor them to your particular eating habits while keeping healthy eating in mind.

Eating and Cooking for Your Health!

In the section below, you’ll see tips and ideas for healthy eating this year!

  • My recipe for healthy eating in 2022
  • Guidance as you add more plant-based foods to your eating lifestyle without sacrificing flavor
  • Options for adding more legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, spices, herbs, and fruits to your menu this month

To Healthy Cooking and Eating!


Visit Veganuary!
Don’t forget to follow me in the Power of 5 Test Kitchen and join in the happenings!
I am very proud of my Newly Published Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Caregiver Edition! — pick up a copy today. Full of recipes, helpful hints, and the tools you need to promote safe and meaningful engagement for those challenged with an illness. Your kitchen can be a place where fun and health flourish, no matter the challenges you face.
A second Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Full Edition, will come out in autumn of 2022 with more tested healthy Power of 5 recipes and even a section for healthy Power of 5 treats for dogs. Stay tuned!

The Power of 5 Recipe for a Plant-Based Life - Incorporate the 5 "S's"

A plant-based life is one that considers a whole host of delicious ingredients filled with more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds.


Healthy Foods to Eat (Sweets - the realm of healthy eating)

  • 3 Servings Legumes per day: Some examples are chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, tofu, hummus, and soybeans
  • 2 Servings Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and pomegranates
  • 2 Servings Fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin (yes, it's a fruit), avocados, lemons, limes, mangoes, and papaya (if you're adventurous) - both have great fiber, vitamins & minerals.
  • 1 Serving Nuts:* Walnuts, almonds, pistachio, peanuts * if you have a peanut allergy, be mindful of foods that may have peanuts; if you do, replace them with seeds.
  • 1 Serving Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, roasted beans, or roasted chickpeas are great as well as pretzels to add a nice crunch to salads. If there is a gluten intolerance, you can buy gluten-free pretzels which are actually very good!
  • 1 tbsp Flaxseeds and/or Chia Seeds: Both very nutritious, benefits heart health, blood sugar levels and digestion.
  • 2 Servings Vegetables: Some of my favorites include broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and bok choy.
  • 2 Servings Root and other vegetables: Carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet corn, zucchini, eggplants, and more.
  • 3 Servings Whole Grains & those that are actually seeds: Wild rice, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa (seed), amaranth (seed), bulgur wheat, couscous, buckwheat, and more.
  • Don't forget the Spices So many benefits to spices - turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, chili pepper, sage, thyme, cardamom, etc. Taste to see what you like and explore adding spices to your dishes to add flavor and health benefits!

Exercise (Sweat)

  • 30-90 Minutes Exercises of your choice, can be a combination Walking, swimming, spinning, and functional weight training. Invite a buddy, make it fun, and include strength and flexibility exercises.
  • Check with your Doctor to confirm the safety of your exercise plan

Relaxation & Meditation (reduce Stress)

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness/ Introspection

Engage with companions & group activities (Socialization)

  • Small and large group activities, affinity groups, and clubs.
  • Avoid Loneliness by have one connection per day.

Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night (Sleep)

  • Incorporate good sleep hygiene Environment - no electronics, cool and dark room to mention a few.

Remember to drink - stay hydrated!

  • 8 8oz Water, coffee, teas - green, black, white Skip the caffeine - go decaf - it will help with your sleep.


Melissa's Modifications:
In my recipes, you will see that there are areas where I provide suggestions and options  -- alongside each Ingredient or under this section Melissa's Modifications. 
The suggestions allow accommodations for flexibility and creativity for those who follow other lifestyle diets through cooking. As you all know, there are many eating choices: vegetarian (ovo, lacto), pescatarian (fish), gluten-free, pollotarian (chicken), flexitarian (anything goes), paleo, low-carb, etc...
There are many products available now that are plant-based replacements. For example Eggs (@JustEggs), Cheese (@VioLife,@fieldroast) and Meats (@BeyondBeef @ImpossibleFoods@fieldroast). I reference several plant-based replacement options in my recipes that I feel provide the same consistency and health benefits to a recipe. I do have some favorites! 
Explore your weekly eating menus and select heart-healthy, whole foods that are plant based this Veganuary. You will feel lighter, have more energy, and give back to mother earth. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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