Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Vegan Chickpea Tuna and my experience with "Flexible Dieting"

Ah, back to school. Man, did I ever miss those 6am mornings and late nights studying.

...said no one ever.

Well, I actually am happy I'm back at school. I really love my program. I mean, school is school, so there is work to do, but being around my friends and learning interesting stuff to apply to my future career is kinda cool. And the crisp fall weather has been pretty sweet too!

These days I've been on a bit of a new "kick". I have been learning more about tracking macronutrients (as I discussed in a previous post), but now I've really gotten quite into it. I've been learning so much about how the body metabolizes macros in different ways. I was going about "losing weight" all wrong in the past. Not that losing weight is my goal anymore, thank goodness.

I want to get lean. I want to drop body fat and gain lean muscle. I feel like I always throw that out there, but lately it's actually started to happen! I always thought I had chunky legs, even when I lost some weight, but I finally am seeing some definition to my quads and booty. My back is totally shaping out, and when I'm a really good girl with water and consistent macros I can even see baby abs!

What I've been doing is using MyFitnessPal to track my macronutrient and caloric intake. Recently, I've really upped it and tried to remain pretty diligent. What's working for me right now is 50/25/25, with about 1600 calories. This means I have about 200G of carbs a day, 45G of fat and 100G of protein.

Of course I still eat whole, unprocessed foods. I do take Vega protein daily, and I am rest assured it's a very clean source of protein with no added junk like a lot of others have from flavouring, etc.

The reason I mention this is because a lot of people tracking macros, or following IIFYM, eat some junk and just write it off as fitting their macros for the day. This is called "flexible dieting", because the idea is you can still get lean by eating whatever fits your macronutrient intake for that day. I could go on about that, but if you want more information, please check out www.iifym.com or go to the BioLayne YouTube channel. That has helped me a lot. Of course I'm still learning this for myself!

Speaking of macros, I whipped up a great clean recipe for some mock "tuna" made of chickpeas. I added a wack ton of nooch, because it's the dream vegan ingredient - tastes cheesy, has a lot of protein...what more could you want?! I added no Veganaise (better than mayo, but it's still a processed food), and no salt (trying to avoid the bloat. So I used dulse instead of sea salt!). The tahini makes it just creamy enough, and the dill and veggies add a crisp and refreshing taste and texture.

I honestly don't remember how tuna tastes like, but this is kind of nostalgic. The texture is very similar. All I know is that it tastes amazeballs!

Chickpea Tuna

-2 cups cooked chickpeas
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-1/4 cup fresh dill, or 2 tbsp dried
-1/2 cup finely chopped celery
-1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
-2 tsp dulse flakes
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup tahini

Pulse chickpeas alone in food processor until some chunks remain. Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse or process for short bursts at a time, scraping the work bowl as needed. You may add 2 tbsp of water while you pulse to help the mixture form a tuna-like texture. Some chunks should remain.

Spread it on some whole grain bread, eat it with crackers, or do whatever you like to do with your tuna!

Approximate macros (per 1/2 cup serving):

202 calories
8.6 G total fat
24.2 G carbs
10G protein

Happy eating!


  1. I really enjoy your posts on instagram and not a vegan because of all the critics that claim I won't get the protein I need. I watched forks over knives and understand the truth. I really thank you and hope to continue with the inspiration to get on board. I want to drop 50 lbs and truly gain my respect and dignity. I will start today with the tracker I know that will help.

    1. Thank you for following! :) I appreciate your kind words. I'm really happy I have inspired you in any way.

      My biggest struggle was starting off. I think once you get over the initial bumps along the way and go through some trial and error, you'll feel awesome and definitely realize it's all worth it.

      The beauty of eating whole plant foods is that your weight will naturally regulate itself. No "dieting". Just abundance of awesome food!

      I wish you the best of luck. :)