The Fit Vegan Challenge: Week 13


nora tobin volleyball

An easy to follow, (no fasting allowed) plan for attaining a fabulous body,
inside and out.



  1. Make one meal each day a healthy, vegan one.
  2. Incorporate the “calorie burner of the week” into your fitness regime.


organic strawberries



A few benefits of plant-based foods:

  • Speed Weight Loss
    “A plant-based diet revs your metabolism, causing you to burn calories up to 16% faster that you would on a non plant-based diet for at least the first 3 hours after meals.” – New York Times Bestselling author, Kathy Freston
  • Boost Energy & Brighten Complexion
    The wide array of antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients in plants provide an array of benefits including overall increased energy and the repairing and protecting of cells to reveal glowing, clear skin. – USDA
  • Contribute to a Lifetime of Optimum Health
    Those who eat generous amounts of plant-based foods are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke. cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers. – USDA (


Vegan Meal of the Week:

Make lunch or dinner a DELICIOUS, healthy vegan meal (unrefined grains, beans, legumes, veggies, fruit, non GMO tofu, tempeh). No meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Each week I’ll provide one vegan meal option and one substitution or healthy addition to incorporate into your daily menu to help you feel satisfied and never deprived.

These raw vegan banana cocoa bites make an excellent snack or guilt-free dessert.



Combine (in food processor):

  • 1 c dates
  • 1 c walnuts, almonds
  • ¼ c raw cocoa

Spread the mixture evenly in a glass pan.

Combine (in bowl):

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • 4 Tbsp agave
  • 1/2c raw cocoa

Spread this mixture on top of the first layer in the glass pan.


Place it in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.



Substitution of the Week:

Instead of this week’s substitution, we are actually going to make an addition. Time to add a daily tablespoon of the super food chia seeds! Check out the many benefits below.

(This information comes from The Lean by New York Times best-selling author Kathy Freston.)

chia seeds


  • Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and a good source of protein.
  • Along with a good amount of fiber (fiber fills the belly, cuts cravings, cleans you out!), the seeds have a good amount of calcium, manganese, thiamine, and phosphorus— vitamins and minerals you might be lacking in your regular diet.
  • Chia seeds absorb seven times their weight in water, thereby making you feel full with smaller amounts of food and leaving no room for the fattening stuff.
  • To get the greatest health benefits, consume chia seeds in their whole state. Sprinkle on your oatmeal, in a smoothie, on a salad, add to a glass of water.

As with any nuts or seeds, chias are calorie dense, so stick to around a tablespoon.


Calorie Burner of the Week:

This ballet move sculpts the inner thighs as well as tones the gluteus minimus (side of butt) for lean legs like a dancer.





How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Lower your body down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  2. Bring arms overhead and shoulders down and back. Pause, then slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.
  3. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.


Green Reason of the Week:


green reason
Shifting toward a plant-based diet keeps makes a major, positive impact on the environment.

“Coal and cars are blamed, but agriculture is also a major contributor to global warming: by some estimates, it accounts for roughly a third of emissions globally. The industrialized, meat-heavy food system of the United States takes a heavy toll on the atmosphere; it takes an enormous amount of fossil fuel to run farm equipment and harvest the mountains of corn that fatten livestock. And most fertilizers contain nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 298 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a century.”

–Mark Hertsgaard, New York Times


Motivation of the Week:


One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.

-Sheila Murray Bethel


For more recipes, fitness tips, and workouts visit and follow me on Twitter @NoraTobin.

Click here for previous Fit Vegan Challenge posts.



Nora Tobin grew up in the High Sierra’s on Lake Tahoe, where she spent most of her childhood outdoors- hiking, snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding, rock climbing, and white water rafting.

Nora is a GNC Brand Ambassador and a weekly contributor to SHAPE. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and currently working towards certification as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist.

Nora is the creator of a unique fitness program that incorporates yoga, weight training, stand up paddle, beach boot camps, hiking, running, sports specific training, as well as nutrition information and meal plans, for ages ranging from 5 to 70. She is writing a fitness book currently slated for publication that will serve as a manual for a knockout body, peaceful mind, and better planet. Nora has competed on the AVP, CBVA, Corona Wide Open, and GAV beach volleyball tours.


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