Tag Archives: food

I can feel it in my body, I can feel it in my soul..

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There’s nothing like the feeling of your body absorbing nutrients from a healthy, well-balanced meal.

Last night I prepared some cacao-golden milk before bed (coconut milk, coconut oil, turmeric, black pepper, cacao powder, honey, cinnamon). 

There was some leftover and rather than be greedy (which I am far too often guilty of), I poured it over some gluten-free oats and chia seeds. Then mixed in some nuts I experimented in a dehydrator I’ve been kindly loaned (almond, walnut, hazelnut, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, leftover pulp from freshly juiced fruit and veg, cinnamon, honey). Tossed in cacao nibs and a couple of dates, then heated this morning with coconut oil, 1/2 a banana and handful of blueberries.
Didn’t take a photo in time and I’m sure it looks gross to most, but my oh my was it absolutely delicious. 

I did an intense Forrest yoga workshop last night, 2 sweaty hardcore hours in 30°c heat and only followed by a bit of fruit and coconut water to refuel (along with the cacao-golden milk).

So this morning my body is welcoming every single beautifully nourishing ingredient.

I’m so grateful for all the amazing things in my life – my health, the abundance of food provided naturally by pachamama, the gorgeous soul tribe who help me along my healing/growing path.

I’m truly blessed.

So yeah – random breakfast, full of goodness to set me up for a great day. In the words of that wonderful native American Indian song – I can feel it in my body, I can feel it in my soul! Heyaho!

Happy Sunday y’all!

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Healing Garlic, Ginger and Butterbean Soup

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It’s mid December! Which means it’s cold outside (cue cosy jumpers, hoodies and scarves), party season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. Plenty to get excited about!

But with that excitement usually comes extra strain on our bodies and minds; lack of sunlight, indulgence in naughty foods and alcohol and excess stress over pulling together the perfect Christmas can all take its toll on us physically.

So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, this nourishing soup is the perfect pick-me-up.

Garlic boasts amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties, while ginger stimulates immune function and helps fight infection, as well as reduces nausea. Together they pack a mighty nutritional punch, and combined with onion (also a natural antiviral decongestant) these benefits are boosted even further.

On top of that, butterbeans are a fabulous source of B-vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, fibre and protein. And along with cashews, which are packed with eye, heart and blood healthy vitamins and minerals, they help give the soup a warming, creamy consistency.

Even more to get excited about, this dish is so easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic

3 carrots

1 tin butterbeans, rinsed and drained 

2 red onions

4-6 inches ginger

3 spring onions (plus extra to garnish)

Handful cashew nuts

1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

Pinch of paprika

500ml vegetable stock

50ml almond milk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°c.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a baking tray and add the carrot and whole garlic cloves. I left the skin on the garlic for added nutrients, but these can be removed before blending if you prefer. 

Coat well in oil, 1/2 tbsp oregano, paprika and a little salt and black pepper, then roast for 20-30 min until soft, shuffling and turning half way.

Meanwhile season the butterbeans with 1 tbsp dried oregano and black pepper. Roughly chop the red onion, ginger and spring onions. 

Sautée the red onions and ginger for 3-4 min, then add the butterbeans for another 5 mins. Finally add the spring onions, carrot and garlic for the last 2 min.

Stir in vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover and then reduce to simmer for about 5 mins.

Add to blender (I used an immersion blender) along with almond milk and pulse until soft and creamy.

Serve and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Enjoy, and embrace the healing feeling and delicious flavours, while those antibodies get hard at work fighting your physical corner!

Stoptober: 31 Days Sugar-Free

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This year I decided to participate in ‘Stoptober’, opting to quit sugar for the entire month. So I thought I’d share my experience, plus a few handy ‘alternative’ products that quite frankly, I probably couldn’t have survived without.

To clarify, by ‘no sugar’, I mean cutting out the refined stuff, or anything where the top 3 ingredients are sugar (or products which are clearly laden, though may not make it clear on the pack).

So, things like biscuits, sweets, chocolate, most cereals, baked beans, yogurts, store bought sauces, cordial and fizzy drinks, cereal bars, cakes etc.

To be honest, most of these things I’ve generally avoided for a long time anyway (I haven’t had fizzy drinks or cordial for years, and since I switched to a plant based diet I only ever make my own sauces), but chocolate admittedly is my weakness, as can be cereal (if I’m bored at night I can put away 3 bowls without blinking). So to say it was a challenge is still somewhat an understatement.

In our western culture, we’re introduced to sugar from almost day 0. And quickly we become addicted to it, going through childhood with fists full of candy, throwing tantrums if we can’t get our fix. Then progressing into later life, as adults we find solace in chocolate bars and cakes (I know this is the main thing that gets most of my work colleagues through their day in the office, besides gossip). And if we try to resist, the temptation is more often than not too much, despite the huge sense of guilt that usually accompanies even just one Miniature Hero.

Now, many studies have emerged showing not only how detrimental the white powder is to our health (leading to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer), but also how highly addictive a substance it is (it stimulates the same pleasure receptors in the brain as cocaine!!).

Personally I’ve known this for a long time, never being able to have just one bite of anything that’s laced with it. And who knows how many times I’ve woken the next morning with a ‘sugar hangover’, belly feeling like it took a powder beating, hardly room left for real food yet feeling like I’m starving.

So when I quit, I found that the ‘hunger’ I often feel, despite having had substantial meals throughout the day, isn’t hunger at all but just a sugar craving.

Here’s what happened when I quit:

  • I stopped waking up feeling groggy/ inexplicably hungry. 
  • I lost weight, particularly that stubborn belly fat.
  • My cravings reduced.
  • I had more energy throughout the day, due to replacing it with more natural/sensible energy sources.
  • I was generally happier.

Of course, these things didn’t all happen at once, but did precede one another. 

The main change for me I noticed really was in the mornings; I was no longer dragging myself out of bed, subconsciously looking for my fix. Instead I had lots more energy, and really looked forward to my breakfast.

Here are some of the (delicious) alternatives that helped get me through:

  • Fruit (fresh, frozen, dried)
  • Maple syrup
  • Xylitol
  • Raw Bran Flakes
  • Pancakes
  • Home made popcorn
  • Raw cacao
  • ‘Plamil’ sugar free dark chocolate
  • ‘Pulsin’ raw brownie bars
  • Smoothies

These two together with soy milk are actual Love in a bowl 😍

Buckwheat pancakes – click for recipe

Cinnamon & maple syrup popcorn- click for recipe

Admittedly, once October was over I did succumb to 3 bars of cooking chocolate in one week (ugh, gluttony). But I’m trying my best not to fall back into that pattern again. And avoiding the sweets aisle in the supermarket is actually easier than it was before! 

I’d recommend anybody give detoxing from sugar a try- there are so many alternatives out there that help us maintain our energy levels without spiking then dropping our blood sugars (which only leads to further cravings). Like any drug, it’s a vicious circle and we all know addiction to any substance isn’t the ideal. 

Why not give it a try? 🙂

Peace and love, Warriors 

Healthy Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Popcorn 

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I’ve always loved popcorn, but couldn’t continue to justify pumping my body full of store bought, sugar – laden versions any more. 
When I first made it at home myself, I actually couldn’t believe how easy it is! Not only that, a 1kg bag cost less than £2.00… what a bargain!

And surprisingly, the corn is full of whole grains, fibre and antioxidants. Boom! (or should I say Pop!?)

Cheap, healthy and delicious.. can it really be? Well try the recipe for yourself and find out!

2-3 servings:

2 handfuls popcorn kernels 

1 tbsp coconut oil/ EVOO

For the topping:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon 

2-3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp xylitol (optional)

Method: 

Heat the oil for popping in a large saucepan. Add 2 kernels and place lid on top. Once the kernels have popped, the oil is hot enough and you can add the rest of the popcorn.

Replace the lid and wait until all the kernels have popped (or until there are 4-5 seconds between pops). Remove from heat and transfer to suitable bowl.

While the popcorn is cooling, melt the rest of the coconut oil in a saucepan and add maple syrup and xylitol (if using). Keep stirring until well combined, then add cinnamon and stir quickly.

A sticky mixture will form. Before it dries, pour over the popcorn and mix it all up, ensuring even coverage.

Sit back with your favourite film and enjoy (guilt free)!

Rice Krispie & Oat Energy Bars

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Since going vegan, I actually can’t get enough of puffed brown rice. I use it for so much, like when I want that naughty sensation of eating cereal and cold milk covered with sugar, I fill a bowl with puffed brown rice, almond milk and xylitol (a plant based sugar subsititute which ironically even has oral health benefits)… snap, crackle and pop.
Or I make something like these Krispy, nutty oat bars. They’re packed full of fibre and protein, and the chia seeds give them an extra energy bursting nutritional kick – great for before or after a workout. Plus they take just a few minutes to whip up.

Ingredients:

140g almond butter (or any nut butter, though almond seems to taste best as it isn’t overpowering like peanut can be)

3-4 tbsp maple/date syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 banana

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup puffed brown rice

Method:

Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and syrup gently in a saucepan. Blend together with the banana, chia seeds and cinnamon. 

Mix oats and rice well until sticky. Transfer the lot to a baking tray lined with parchment and freeze for about an hour.

The beauty of these babies is that you can take them straight out of the freezer and they’ll be edible within a couple of minutes. Hope you’ll try and enjoy 🙂
You can also of course mix n match- try opting just for just rice krispies and setting them deeper in the pan- leaves them nice and chunky with lots of bite.

Move over s’mores…it’s BBQ Oreo time

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BBQ #6 this year and #6 being vegan… and aside from Linda McCartney sausages and veggie patties, this time I discovered a real gem; WARM OREOS.
That’s right, whack a bunch of Oreos on the BBQ for a few minutes, wait for the biscuit to warm (it smells like cake), the cream to melt and you have yourself a delicious, naughty vegan treat that gives s’mores a run for their money. Just wow.

They are so exciting and moreish, especially on a restricted diet. Just try not to eat the whole lot (we got through 3 packs).

For the second batch I got crazy and added some dark chocolate on top😍

No meat, no dairy, no sex

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So. I made the decision to practice celibacy about two or more years ago. Back then it was a loose insight in my mind, projected and ideal but not quite accepted. With a crazy sex life having basically come to a halt, I didn’t need to actively abstain.

Then over time it developed as an actual truth, and as much as I’ve resisted, I’ve also learned to accept it.

I had to make a mistake or two to learn some lessons, but recent occurrences seem to indicate I learned well. It’s been an extremely difficult.. should I say,  frustrating  week, and temptation has been rife. But I didn’t succumb and I know I’ve made the right decision(s).

I mean I’m sure I have, but as a replacement distraction I’m stuck with constant thoughts of food instead.. not necessarily a new struggle, but it is now far heightened by the need to fill some kind of comfort gap. Mostly by bourbon biscuits and Oreos since they’re some of the naughtiest treats I can have as a vegan.

Anyway, I believe the preservation of sexual energy far outweighs the wastage of it on something that isn’t an emotional connection. Saving it for a special person and moment, a sacred act shared between the two of you who understands one another is just perfect.

No need to jump straight into each others pants, as temporarily exciting as that can be. I’m no prude, in fact this decision is kind of killing me inside, but I know it’s the right one and has been there for a long time. It’s just been a while since I’ve been ready for the next test.

Now I’m taking another step along the path of self discovery. And I am genuinely excited to be on the way :)🙏

Being Vegan Week 6: Is this level of excitement normal?

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For the past few weeks, I’ve literally been unable to stop thinking about food.

And it isn’t because I’m hungry… it’s because everything I’ve eaten has been so daym delicious, I’m always thinking about what’s coming next.

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Clearly I need to take some self control (yet again, even as a vegan it seems I can’t control my cravings for food… any food), but I just can’t help it.. and now more than ever, knowing that what I’m eating is not only helping preserve the planet (albeit it on a small scale), but is actually good me for, leaves me constantly searching for new recipes.

Since becoming vegan, literally most of my spare time has been devoted to the kitchen (or supermarket). And all the new tastes and flavours dancing over my tongue, and making me feel fantastic afterward (and not sluggish or ugh) are really making this an enjoyable feat.

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From sauces to ice creams to seasonings and dressings, I can’t get enough.

Today alone, I’ve enjoyed:

Banana, almond, coconut and chia smoothie for breakfast.

Almond butter rice krispie squares for mid morning snack.

Carob bar as an afternoon snack (first time trying, I’m not disappointed).

Brocolli with garlic, ginger and spring onion sauce and sesame brown rice for dinner.

Peanut butter cookies for dessert.

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And being unable to stop thinking about more food, despite my tummy already being satisfied, I couldn’t help but indulge in some blueberry and raspberry buckwheat pancakes. Now it’s safe to say I’m VERY full (2 tbps apple cider vinegar with warm water aiding my digestion).

Unfortunately I’ve not taken the time to photograph much of this, as it’s been more of a cook it – eat it style, trying to perfect recipes etc. Plus experimental cooking doesn’t usually make for very appealing food snaps (I’ll add recipes soon enough).

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But over the past few weeks I’ve also enjoyed some gorgeous meals and treats, such as pad tai noodles, courgetti noodles and sundried tomato pesto, roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad, turmeric quinoa coconut curry, falafal, chickpea flour wraps, mushroom burgers, black bean burgers, sweet oat and rice krispie squares, raw chocolate brownies, gooey black bean chocolate brownies, mixed berry crumble, mint choc chip ice cream… not to mention all the amazing stuff I tried in Amsterdam last week!

Yup, I actually made it through 3 days in Dam as a vegan… not one churro, waffle or piece of cheese passed my lips.

Instead, I got to enjoy vegan cheese sticks, samosas, rice wraps, blueberry cheese cake, chocolate cake and ice cream, raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes, houmous salad wraps… most of which I did photograph..

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Turns out Amsterdam is a hot bed of vegan eateries (compared to my small town in the UK anyway). And the food is AMAZING!!

I’m truly grateful to be vegan right now. Sure it takes some effort and preparation, but if you plan ahead and always make sure there’s at least one healthy snack on hand, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.

Embracing new flavours and ingredients, reworking my taste buds and retraining my body to enjoy vegan alternatives, has left me lighter (I don’t weigh myself but I’ve definitely lost weight), more energetic and generally happier. I’m also creating a whole new self.. I’ve begun a journey that I just know will take me to places I never imagined before,  in whatever form that may be.

And I cannot wait! Nor can I wait for breakfast tomorrow!! I’m thinking hemp seed and fruit smoothie, and possibly more buckwheat pancakes.

Nommm blessings and goodnight!

Skewers are a BBQ-loving Vegan’s best friend

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My fourth BBQ in 3 weeks of turning vegan. And I’ve realised how much of a life saver 4 simple metal skewers have been.

Just simply marinating some chopped vegetables in the morning, transporting them in the same container, poking the skewer through them when you’re ready to cook, and whacking them on the grill, has proven deliciously helpful.

I went to a treetop climbing/zip line adventure in the woods today to celebrate my birthday with friends. We decided late the night before to have a BBQ, leaving me no time to prepare.. “F***, I’m vegan, cooking on a BBQ for dinner! ”

Then there’s always a nice side dish to go with whatever the main may be. My favourite veg so far has been courgette, red onion, pepper, mushrooms and baby plum tomatoes. They can be nice and crispy or just warm and tender, with a hint of smoky charred BBQy loveliness.

Because there’s nothing quite like cooking and eating outdoors, and the alluring smell of the coal heating up, drifting through the warm spring/summer air… and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue to be an enjoyable experience, whether vegan or vegetarian.

For these I have no recipe… I literally poured Nandos garlic sauce over and let it baste. Super quick, tasty and vegan.

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Adding some colour

There’s nothing like a good independent documentary to get you riled on a Tuesday evening. Happy ChooseDay

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Today has been another one of those days.

Witnessing the reactions and repercussions of choices made.

So on becoming vegan, I’ve sort of rewritten my future. Just to give one recent example, I’ve been to three BBQ’s in the past two weeks. With my new dietary requirements, I’m now in a position where I need to prepare and bring my own food (with enough to share, of course). This has been somewhat of a ‘deal’ at all three BBQ’s, not unsurprisingly.

I’ve found being a vegan at a BBQ (at these particular gatherings) was like how being the sober person in a nightclub can sometimes feel; like nobody really knows why you’re there; and they’re certainly not interested in sharing your sinless concoction.

Anyhow, had I not decided to turn vegan the past two weeks, and had shown up with my standard spicy chicken skewers, much of these experiences had played out slightly differently.

Then tonight I watched the documentary,  Cowspiracy. And wow. Just wow when the universe flows so perfectly. (Although we try our best not to doubt ourselves), when one feels the confirmation, the knowing that the choices you’ve made are the right ones, it feels amazing.

Just to sum up Cowspiracy – basically animal agriculture (that’s everything meat-industry related, including rearing and feeding animals) is the biggest cause of deforestation. Erm, we are destroying Mother Earth by choosing to eat animals.

Not only that, but this information is purposefully kept from the public. You don’t even see animal agriculture listed as one of the biggest issues on ‘environmentalist’ websites such as Greenpeace. When it is in fact, having the biggest impact on our planet.

And… we’re destroying land for the purposes of raising animals to sell for food for richer people… in countries where other humans are starving.

The logic. I cannot comprehend.

So yeah, I’m embracing being vegan. I’ve also had a lot of number synchronicities lately, including the 33’s telling me my path is true.

 

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Had the tastiest vegan dinner so far today

Even if I do have to be the awkward twat at BBQ’s and weddings (also got two of those coming up, I’ve had to again be an inconvenience and change my dietary requirements.. 🙈), it’s all worth it.

I can live in peace knowing I’m not contributing to the constant suffering of animals or the rapid destruction of the planet.

And then it’s make some waves… who knows what amazing changes will come about? But they’re bound to happen, all the same.

Peace and love everybody