Tag Archives: Healthy

Vegan June anyone?

20 May

My eating in the past month has been proper shocking.  Scrap that since I went away in February.  I generally eat pretty healthy meals but snack terribly on biscuits and chocolate.

In an attempt to get back to a healthier me and to try and reduce my diary consumption (the impacts of it on the planet are pretty bad) I thought I would try a month of living vegan.  At the same time I thought I would also try and go back to a sugar light way of living.  As I won’t be able to eat a lot of the normal store bought junk of chocolate and biscuits with trying vegan I figure it might be easier to bring the two together.

I am going to be consulting with a couple of food blogs:

  • Scandi Food (who has recently turned vegan herself and was the inspiration for my earlier sugar free ways)
  • A First Mess

Too be honest I don’t think I would ever be a full-time vegan I just love gelato and cheese too much.  So this isn’t a shift to that but I think we can all do with the occasional challenge and giving the planet a bit of a break some times.

Any advice on favourite vegan meals or other resources would be gratefully appreciated.  This week is for preparing and eating the eggs that are left in the fridge (waste is worse).  If you want to join in that would be great too.  Even if it is for a week?  I haven’t been able to convince my sugar-free buddy yet but maybe I still can.

Sugar Free Week 1

8 Jan

Sorry I have been a bit scarce on here.  I have uni assignments to do so (unfortunately) those take precedent.

I thought I would share with you my experience of my first whole week sugar free.

Along with giving up sugar I have been trying to eat healthier and a slightly reduced calorie diet as I am heading to summer and bikini in a month and winter has not been kind to my waist.  Despite the reduced calories I haven’t felt as hungry inbetween meals and only had lighter snacks inbetween and no after dinner snacks.  I have been recording my calories, protein, fat and sugar intake.  Something that has really surprised me is how much protein I eat.  To all those who worry vegetarians don’t get enough protein, really you don’t have to worry – I have been eating around 50 g every day and one day even had about 70 g of protein!  And I haven’t even had any eggs this week.

Anyway back to the point.

I’ve found I haven’t really had any “actual” cravings.  Perhaps it was the total gorge on sweets and sugariness over Christmas and in the run up to new year that has made my body totally not want anything.  I admit that I had cravings for chocolate which was easily solved with some of my homemade “nutella”.  Easy as taking some hazelnut butter and mixing in some unsweetened cocoa powder.  A scraping on a rice cake or two fixes the problem easily.  I have had two instances of what I call “situational” craving.  One was walking past the poison counter (the baked goods section) at Marks and Spencers.  My favourite “treat” (which was basically every time I went to the store) was to get a chocolate chip cookie.  A quick glimpse made me think of it but renaming the area the poison section has made me feel stronger.  We also went to the movies and I had to ignore my usual pick ‘n mix bag.  By the time the movie started though I was fine (the bag has normally been stuffed into my mouth by this time anyway).  It made me realise when I return to my new normal that having a treat will need to involve more mindfulness.

I have made a few “miss steps” (some purposeful):

  • day one I had a side salad at our local coffee shop which came with salad dressing.  I am just telling myself it was the full fat variety as that has less added sugar.
  • this week I still bought bread from the supermarket which had sugar in (the one was shop “baked” rolls which didn’t have a list of ingredients but I will assume sugar went in).  I have bought ingredients to try to make my own this week.
  • I still like my shop bought veggie burgers and sausages.  They just make life easy.  The variety I buy are Redwoods and have added sugar but the total per 100g is still around 1.2g of sugar so I figure they are fine.
  • According to Sarah Wilson’s ebook wine doesn’t contain fructose so I had small glass on Saturday night with the Housemate for dinner.  I think I should still try to avoid it during the first few weeks though.
  • Stock cubes: they put sugar in!  Low salt version strangely doesn’t have salt added so now using those.
  • I had some coconut water but then it is a fruit … not a nut (dope).

What I have eaten:

  • breakfast: oats with oat milk.  I thought I would have a problem with it not being sweet enough but my palate adjusted to sugar free within about two days.  It is a bit bland though and need to make a trip to the healthfood store for some more interesting combinations.
  • green soup: just throw a bunch of green veggies (broccoli, peas, zucchini, spinach) into a pot, boil lightly and blend
  • spelt, tomato and cannellini bean stew based on Martha’s soup recipe.
  • roast tomato soup: 2 kgs of tomatoes quartered and roasted with a whole bulb of garlic and onion. Once cooked squeeze garlic out its wrapping” and blitz all ingredients together with a bit of extra water and a stock cube.  Season as desired.
  • warm butternut quinoa salad: cooked cup of quinoa, small butternut cubed and roasted, cannellini beans, pumpkin seeds, peas and fried onion caramelised (without adding sugar off course).

I also made some zucchini muffins as a snack.  I am still working on the recipe so will share when it is better.

New food obsession

4 Dec

I have to admit that I find it hard eating fruit in winter.  It is cold outside and fruit is cold.  I just want warm comfort food.  A couple weeks ago I came across this roasted apple recipe from Joy the Baker.  I  kind of make a lazy version which is basically a wee bit of lemon juice and some cinnamon with a few sprays of spray ‘n cook.  I also like it with the skin on.  And it is so versatile.

  1. Eat as is out the dish
  2. Sprinkle with nuts and oats and some yoghurt
  3. Put in your porridge, and
  4. (Perhaps my favourite) on a banana pancake

Any other ideas?

 

Kinda-Nutella Cookies

9 Oct

I made these kinda-nutella cookies for my last day of work, on my last day of work.  I took that simple 4 ingredient nutella biscuit (flour, nutella, sugar and an egg), similar to the peanut butter ones I made before, and complicated it.  Kind of counterintuitive but I wanted something slightly healthier but still chocolatey.

Firstly, have you ever had hazelnut butter.  It is amazing.  I know nutella is made with it but it really tastes almost like it but without the chocolate bit.  And really it is so good I am not sure you even need the cocoa bit.  I am definitely going to experiment a bit more with it.  So anyway… I didn’t want to use nutella because it is full of junk so basically stirred some cocoa powder into the nut butter.  So if you just want a healthier version of nutella there you go.  If you insist on a bit of extra sweetness I would add some agave or maple syrup.

These were pretty darn delicious and I easy to make in the morning before I went to work.  So a definite winner.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup hazelnut butter (the pure stuff) – I used one jar of the Meridian brand
  • not quite 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup self-raising white flour
  • 3/4 spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup fruit sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line trays with grease paper
  2. Combine hazelnut butter and cocoa until well combined
  3. Add in the flour and sugar
  4. Add beaten egg
  5. At this point I decided it was a little dry and so added the maple syrup.  If you have added more hazelnut butter you probably won’t need this.
  6. Roll into teaspoon size balls and flatten with a fork.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  8. Let cool and eat.

Made 33

Week in salad

11 Sep

Okay so this week I was going to be really healthy and have a different salad for supper everyday of the week.  That didn’t really happen – I made two.  So a bit of false advertising with the title but it sounded better.

By salad I do not mean something with lettuce and tomato and cucumber.  I don’t understand lettuce.  Also I decided to do this when Autumn has officially come to London so I wanted warm salads.

Here are the two I made this week.

Basically roast the butternut and pepper, cook couscous according to packet instructions and combine all bits together.

Toast the bread in the oven.  Fry the veggies in a pan and add the bread.

I like easy salads.

Next week I will try harder.