I've made so far: The chocolate chip pancakes. Amazing tasting, speedy and a great breakfast. Breakfast nachos! Better than expected and took all of 5 minutes. Sausage Biscuit, a more time intensive meal but I found the end result great. I actually used the leftovers to make things other than sausage biscuits such as a reasonably sized sausage sub for lunch as well. The biscuits were so good that I ate a couple on their own!

No oven? No problem! This berry tasty treats go into the freezer where the cashew, strawberry and coconut oil filling will solidify into a cool and creamy treat.

Get the recipe for Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Bites


Rich and delicious, this vegan carrot cake is filled and topped with a thick layer of dairy-free cream cheese frosting for extra creaminess in every bite.

Get the recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with "Cream Cheese" Frosting


I just read through this whole exchange and I understand both (all three, rather) sides of the point. As someone who has trudged my way through binge eating disorder-turned-bulemia-turned binge again, a few short years ago, my goal was reduced to the smallest nutshell of wanting freedom with food–not freedom from it. I have been through layer after layer of motives, belief systems regarding food and exercise, victory and despair. I currently find myself in a place of peace. On the way, I was the person who could not forgive herself for her poor decisions, learning the hard way that my unforgiveness only compounded those choices and led to further destructive behavior. I think folks who identify with that mindset are the author’s intended audience. As far as Mandy’s point about tough love, I had many points at which I would have given many things to have had someone in my life offer some accountability. If I got it, I certainly did not recognize it. I married a beautiful man who had no grid for my struggles. He wrestled competitively for most of his life, a crazy high metabolism and no problems with eating whatever he wanted. His weight has not fluctuated more than 5 pounds in the 11 years I’ve known him and he has no ailments outside of a bum knee from an old injury. He does not go work out and never thinks twice about what he eats despite having a sizeable sweet tooth. His version of tough love was to tell me to put up with the trigger foods because my choices were my own. I had to climb a steep mountain to keep foods in the house that I considered triggers. There is a great chance that I would be much slimmer now if I had been feeding only myself and had total jurisdiction over the pantry’s contents. However, if not for that scenario, I may not have been nudged into deeper freedom. I found myself with an opportunity to take advantage of a rigorous situation: how do I get myself to make good choices in an environment over which I did not have total control? I learned that there is an idealism in me which is strong enough to override impulses and bad habits. I don’t even know how to articulate what it was, but the notion was implemented with the question, “would I be happier if I did eat “x” or if I did not eat “x?” Sometimes the answer has been yes, sometimes it’s been no. I had to repeatedly search deep within myself to discover what is really important to me. Asking myself this question turned a new page in my life. It isn’t my focal point anymore, but from time to time I find myself asking it again. I transitioned into a different stage where my internal dialog became “You are a grown-a!$ woman and can make a decision you’re willing to stand by,” haha. This question has not been limited to regarding my food choices, either. I have had to find my own unorthodox inspiration to pursue joy in my life. Along these lines, I learned some other things about myself. It turns out movement, not merely exercise, is something I cherish, so I make it a priority in my day. I discovered that the only reason I was so concerned with my body image was because other people made it their business to criticize me (I went through a season of heavy criticism at a sensitive age. Not all had to do with my body, but much of it did). Once I moved past being so self-conscious, I didn’t mind being a little chubby. In fact, I like my curves and they do not get in my way! Something I never expected began to occur as soon as my attitude settled into contentment. Every couple of weeks I think to weigh myself. And you know what? I am a few ounces less each time! I know that this rate of progress is not for everybody, but for me it is golden. It simply confirms that if in my mind I am free, the rest really does take care of itself. My greatest motivator is, has been and will always be joy. It doesn’t matter if there are chips, kale, cookies or quinoa in the kitchen; what matters is that neither healthy nor unhealthy food control me. Also, I have learned that it is wise to be okay whether or not those around me are.

There are no tricks to these tasty dairy- and egg-free cupcakes. Be sure to use refrigerated soy or almond milk instead of the shelf-stable kind (there are fewer additives, which can greatly affect texture and taste).

Get the recipe for Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes


Not only do these energy bites look amazing, but they also taste amazing! All that needs to be done is mixing the ingredients and throwing them in the fridge to set. No butter or sugar added, this is a great snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Enjoy one or two between meals throughout your day to keep you energized and away from that 2 o’clock crash.
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Silken tofu is incredibly soft and creamy, often used in dairy-free desserts, just like in this tasty recipe with cocoa and maple syrup. It's healthier than your typical pudding so you can enjoy it for breakfast, too!

Get this recipe for Cocoa Silken Pudding


Zucchini adds moisture and a bit of sneaky nutrition in this classic quick bread, while chopped pecans add a crunchy twist. Make a double batch and stick a loaf in the freezer for when a craving strikes.

Get the recipe for Zucchini Bread with Pecans


If you’re looking for an alternative to cream and sugar-based ice creams, a can of coconut milk perked up with espresso beans is just the ticket. The healthy fats in coconut butter (similar to peanut butter, but made with coconut flakes instead of nuts) rounds things out.

Get the recipe for Vegan Vanilla Faux Ice Cream


Silken tofu is incredibly soft and creamy, often used in dairy-free desserts, just like in this tasty recipe with cocoa and maple syrup. It's healthier than your typical pudding so you can enjoy it for breakfast, too!

Get this recipe for Cocoa Silken Pudding


Although they look like chocolate truffles, these vegan, low-fat, low-sugar gems are packed with dried fruits and nuts. They're perfect to take along with you as a post-workout protein kick, or if you need an energy boost throughout the day.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson's Chocolate Almond Energy Gems


As someone who has managed a 55-pound weight loss for 16 years, Alexander knows her stuff. At the beginning of the book, she gives you options: Do you want to count calories or not? The author details a simple diet plan either way (based on your gender, age and activity level), shows you how to put together a weekly meal plan, and covers the importance of exercise.
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