About Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Being vegan eventually opened her eyes on the issues of animal welfare, environmental protection, human rights and feminism. Alina hopes that her blog will help its readers on their path to making this world a better place.

Tropical Banana-Orange Granola Recipe – Sweetened with Whole Foods, with Oil-Free and Gluten-Free Options

Healthy vegan granola recipe

Even though health-minded, “all-natural” people are sometimes called “crunchy” or “granola”, I’ll admit that I’ve never made my own granola at home before until recently. I just thought that it was too much of a hassle, or I’d always miss an important ingredient in my pantry if I came across an interesting-looking recipe. Then the other day I decided to give it a try with this tropical granola recipe – and I was pleasantly surprised with how great it came out! I’m calling this “tropical granola” because of its bright (but not overbearing) orange flavor that comes from fresh orange juice and orange zest. Add in dried pineapple, apricot chunks and optional shredded coconut, and you just might feel the rays of warm tropical sunshine on your face – who wouldn’t love that on a cold December day? 😉 Slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch while boosting … Read the rest of the post

Life with a Newborn: 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Early Parenthood Challenges

If there’s one thing I wish I’d fully realized before my daughter Juliana was born, it’s how much her birth would divide my life into “before” and “after”. And that the “after” would bring on a turmoil of feelings and experiences that I’ve never had before. Parents-to-be hear plenty of cliché’d talk about ‘love at first sight’ and ‘you’ll never sleep again’, but there are some things that get way less coverage in conversations with experienced parents. While it’s true that we can never fully prepare ourselves for what’s to come after our babies are born, it’s at least good to be aware of the changes – especially the fact that not all of these changes are going to be enjoyable. Good news: this too shall pass. In my experience with Juliana, the first month was the toughest – not because of every hiccup and bump in the road we … Read the rest of the post

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip & Blueberry Pancakes Recipe – Plus, Baby Juliana is Here!

Hi all! Sorry for keeping silent here on the blog for the past few weeks: our baby daughter Juliana Mary was born on October 1st, and as you may suspect, our lives have changed forever! I’m still going through a major adjustment period, getting used to accomplishing  way less of my usual tasks during the day and sleeping in 2 or 3-hour increments at night. But everything fades when I look at her sweet little face! One of these days I’ll try to get my courage to write Juliana’s birth story, but in the meantime, I’ve got a fun breakfast recipe for you today – easy vegan chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes. These pancakes have been my go-to recipe for our leisurely weekend breakfasts in the weeks before Juliana’s arrival. It helps that they are oil-free (unless you count the oil/fat in the chocolate chips), delicious, and supereasy to make! … Read the rest of the post

Berry-Chocolate Green Smoothie Recipe, a.k.a. My Favorite Vegan Pregnancy Smoothie

Vegan pregnancy breakfast smoothie

Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for a vegan breakfast smoothie that’s been a lifesaver for me during the past few weeks of my pregnancy. You certainly don’t have to be pregnant to drink it, but it makes a lot of sense to have it every now and then if/when you’re pregnant because of all the nutrition packed in it. Okay, I’ll admit that it may look like the most appetizing thing ever, but hey, some great things in life sometimes come in less than perfectly looking packages 🙂 For almost all of my pregnancy, my go-to breakfast during the week has been oatmeal of some sort – overnight oats, steel-cut oatmeal, or these microwaveable packets of oats in maple-brown sugar flavor that I had a craving for early on. However, around 7 months into my pregnancy oatmeal started giving me heartburn, and I knew that I … Read the rest of the post

My Vegan Baby Shower: Mission Possible! The Menu, the Recipes, Plus the Food Prep Schedule

A couple weekends ago I hosted my vegan baby shower. At 7.5 months pregnant, it was no easy task, but in the end everything turned out wonderful! Today I’m sharing how I managed to put together a delicious vegan spread for this party that was enjoyed both by vegans and non-vegans, plus the food prep schedule I used to make it all happen. To be honest, the idea of a baby shower has stressed me even more during this pregnancy than the thought of eventually going into labor! There were a few reasons for this: I’ve never entertained more than a handful of people at once at my home, wasn’t sure what to do with the menu and cooking (of course I wanted all the food to be vegan, plus it had to be delicious to impress even the non-vegan guests), plus the party entertainment aspect was completely foreign to … Read the rest of the post

Working Out During Pregnancy: Full-Body Workouts for Each Trimester

Working out during pregnancy remains a subject of controversy: it seems like people either believe that it’s important to stay active and maintain strength during these nine months, or that pregnancy requires avoiding physical exertion as much as possible. I lean towards the first group of thinkers as I’m seeing great benefits of staying active into my third trimester: I hardly have any aches or pains, my energy levels are pretty high most days, plus it’s encouraging to see that my body is still capable of kicking some a$$ at the gym despite feeling like it’s not completely mine anymore 🙂 Today I’m sharing my typical workouts that I’ve been doing during my first, second and third trimester. I approached this pregnancy being quite strong after a year of lifting heavy (I had a few injuries during that year though, so I scaled the weights back before I learned that … Read the rest of the post

Working Out and Lifting Weights During Pregnancy: 5 Things to Keep In Mind

When I announced my current pregnancy to my parents back in March, the first thing they said was, ‘You should stop going to the gym now!’ I’m not kidding 🙂 The myth that pregnant women should avoid working out while pregnant runs deep in our society – it’s even deeper in Russia where my parents live. Thankfully, more and more women are witnessing great benefits of staying active for as long as they can while pregnant. More energy, less aches and pains, feeling stronger, having a better body image – what’s not to like? (Please note that I’m talking about low-risk pregnancies here. If your pregnancy is taking a more complicated path, or if working out just doesn’t feel good to you – please take it easy. No judgement here!) When I found out that I was pregnant, I did lots of research about working out during pregnancy to make … Read the rest of the post

Our Travel Adventures in Victoria, BC: Vegan Restaurants, Chocolate Treats, and Pickle Boat Rides

A few weekends ago, Rob and I spent a lovely weekend in Victoria, British Columbia. We don’t have an opportunity to take a longer vacation before our baby arrives in October, so going away to a new place for a weekend whenever we can has been a nice alternative. We haven’t been to Victoria yet since we moved to the Pacific Northwest three years ago, so this was a perfect time for us to finally take a trip there. Beautiful downtown marina area in Victoria, BC To our surprise, Victoria turned out to be bigger and more beautiful than we expected! Plus, we found the area very vegan-friendly, which is always nice to discover about a place you’re visiting for the first time. We booked an overnight trip via Victoria Clipper Vacations, which included two-way tickets on a ferry boat from downtown Seattle to Victoria (it was a great experience … Read the rest of the post

Summertime Cookout Special: Vegan Hot Dogs with Currywurst Ketchup Sauce

Ever since I moved to the United States eleven years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the ways of celebrating various national holidays around here. The 4th of July, like other summer holidays, are particularly appealing because of their laid-back vibe of family gatherings, cookouts, watching fireworks, etc. Rob and I usually spend this day together, and while there’s no need to cook up a storm just for the two of us, we still try to indulge in the traditional American cookout fare like hot dogs and hamburgers. Our recent 4th of July cookout extravaganza: vegan hot dogs with Currywurst Ketchup Sauce, served with a side of my Easy Vegan Potato Salad I’m glad that when we went vegan, we didn’t miss a beat finding plant-based alternatives to these American staples that are usually made from meat. Of course, there are a lot of recipes for vegan burgers and hot dogs … Read the rest of the post

In Defense of What The Health: an Open Letter to Progressive Vegans

In defense of What The Health documentary: why progressive vegans shouldn't dismiss this movie because of some flaws.

If you’re interested in veganism and/or plant-based diets, you’ve probably heard about the new documentary called What The Health. It’s created by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn – the same people who had previously authored Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. While this documentary was officially released a few months ago, recently it’s been one of the top things discussed in the vegan community after it was added to Netflix. (Please note: in case you haven’t seen What the Health or Cowspiracy, my post below contains some spoilers.) While Cowspiracy focuses on the environmental impact of animal agriculture and points at plant-based diets as the possible solution, What The Health investigates the connection between the standard American diet and poor health. Once again, plant-based diets are portrayed as the remedy. I’ve been loosely following the online discussions about this new documentary, and interestingly, it seems like people who have watched What The … Read the rest of the post