My Day On A Plate: Dentist & Food Blogger, Michelle Chen
Michelle Chen is a dentist, food blogger & recipe developer. She is vegan by choice and loves creating and sharing plant-based recipes that are delicious and simple so anyone can make them! She also has a HUGE sweet tooth, which Michelle believes is ironic as her profession is dentistry. However, her mantra is that life is about balance and as long as you are taking care of your oral health, a little sugar won’t hurt.
After she made the shift to a 100% plant-based diet, Michelle felt peace with her plate, became stronger, more energised and inspired. In saying so, she is a strong believer in listening to your body and doing what works best for you. Regardless of whether you are vegan, vegetarian or omnivore, Michelle hopes to inspire people to consume more plants and live a healthy lifestyle.
Michelle's Day On A Plate...
I am currently in a transition holiday period between graduation and working, so what I do during my holidays varies drastically from when I had a set routine during university. So let’s go back a month and I’ll show you guys a typical day at uni.
I like to get a good sweat in before breakfast because it gives me such an endorphin hit and is just such an amazing way to feel like you’ve accomplished something great even before the day really begins. I always train on empty stomach – I’ve been doing this ever since I started competitive running training in middle school (I no longer compete now) just because it worked best for me. Nowadays, I typically would wake up at 5:15am and then head straight to the gym to do a 30-45 minute fitness class. I currently don’t have any fitness goals, I mainly just want to keep fit & healthy whilst I focus on my career. The type of fitness class varies day to day depending on what is available at the gym. I aim to do a minimum of 2 HIIT sessions & 2 strength sessions a week.
Breakfast would typically be a smoothie bowl or cereal of some sort, depending on how much time I have. If I have time, smoothie bowls containing protein powder are always the go-to. I love putting lots of different colourful toppings on my bowls because it makes it even more fun to eat. If I’m short on time, I love just the simple combination of Weetbix and rice milk. There’s just something so yummy about the sweetness of rice milk and soggy Weetbix (yes, I’m one of those people). I also love sprinkling a handful of crushed walnuts over my cereal for extra crunch. One more thing, I always eat one brazil nut every morning after breakfast because they provide such a good amount of selenium, which is an essential mineral important for cognitive function, fertility and the immune system.
COFFEE TIME! I always order a giant 600ml Bonsoy latte from my university café. Not all soy milks are made equal, Bonsoy is superior and just tastes sooo good in my opinion. I keep this coffee in a giant keep cup and sip on it throughout the day.
My lunch at university is always a re-heated meal out of a tupperware container. I typically cook a big batch of veggie pasta or stew of some sort on the weekend, then portion it into containers out to take to uni. Lunch is quite rushed as we don’t get much time to sit down and eat in between seeing patients (especially if we run late), so I’m not too picky. As long as the food is nourishing and fills me up, I’m happy to eat the same meal every weekday for sake of convenience and saving money. Here is a Laksa noodle stir-fry that is so easy to mass-prep and take on the go.
A very typical dinner would be a big buddha bowl composed of vegetables, a protein, carbohydrate source and healthy fats, topped with lots of nutritional yeast (basically a vegan parmesan cheese, but without the saturated fat and one tablespoon contains 2x RDA of vitamin B12). My favourite vegetable is broccoli and I literally eat it everyday! My favourite plant-based proteins include tofu and tempeh so they are a major part of my diet too. Bread, is also my other obsession, I absolutely love it – especially soft bread rolls served with avocado and caramelised onion jam. If you haven’t tried this combo, you NEED to. This is a very typical dinner plate that is nourishing and very delicious.
This is a very big part of my day. I have such a huge sweet tooth and a day is incomplete without dessert. I am constantly creating sweet treats so my fridge & freezer are stocked with them. These make the best handy snacks if I’m feeling peckish, but I find that enjoy them the most at night after dinner when my body craves something sweet. If I’m feeling ultra decadent, I love making a loaded sundae using vegan icecream, treats and fruit!
Recipe: 7-Ingredient Choc Protein Peanut Slice (vegan, no-bake, oil-free)
Makes: 12 slices
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 2 scoops (80g) vegan caramel protein powder
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- Line a square tin with non-stick baking paper
- In a food processor, add in the oats, coconut and protein powder and blend until the oats are fine
- Then add in the peanut butter & maple syrup and blend until the entire mixture clumps together. If you feel that its still dry, you can add a few dashes of water to help it stick together more.
- Transfer the base mixture evenly into the lined pan.
- Melt the chocolate and pour it over the base. Sprinkle with the roast peanuts.
- Set the slice in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes before slicing
These slices are absolutely delicious, high in fibre, protein and just a little bit naughty too ;)
You can learn more about Michelle Chen on her Instagram.
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