Spanish Ladies

So, I have not posted for a while. I shall now divulge the reason. Pretend you didn’t already guess from the title of this post.
I’VE BEEN IN SPAIN!

Let me tell you now, Spain is amazing. Truly, utterly amazing! I loved it. I soaked up the sun like a sponge along with the culture, which my friend and I embraced wholeheartedly. We had siesta’s and everything! And ate dinner past ten pm! It was fabulous.

The most difficult thing to be honest was maintaining my vegan diet. Spanish food is decidedly un-vegan. If it doesn’t have meat, there’s fish, and if not fish, there is undoubtedly cheese. And sometimes they don’t seem happy about taking the cheese out on request. I was met with many blank looks when I asked! Oh well though, I got by, and I didn’t digress from my veganism once, about which I am very proud!

A question I get asked a lot is how I get enough energy from my food. (I have a somewhat manic lifestyle). It’s a question I don’t really understand however, as to my way of thinking I get natural energy from everything I eat! And of COURSE I’m going to ultimately feel better after a bowl of quinoa, hoummous and avocado, than after a cheeseburger and chips.

For example, the day I travelled to Spain, I had a cup of nettle tea and a bowl of granola with almond milk, and it saw me through without a hitch! I just took some raw cashews to snack on, and I was raring to go!

So good for you!

So good for you!

Cashews have an insane amount of health benefits; such a superfood. From fighting cancer to maintaining a healthy heart, I have a lot of love for them. They’re also lower in fat than most nuts, which is a plus, and what they do have is considered good fat.
I have to say, I am a fan of Tapas in general! Lots of vegetables 🙂 In particular I loved the Spinach and Chickpea stew option, and the roasted vegetables in olive oil. They were a staple to my trip, and I’m planning on recreating the stew! I also had fried aubergine cakes which were DELICIOUS!

It’s difficult to maintain health sometimes on holiday, but this trip wasn’t a problem for me (apart from a little too much tinto de verano!) as I went running every other morning and kept to my mostly plant based diet.

Mostly for breakfast it was delicious fresh fruit and fresh passion fruit juice, which was a treat. Then tapas at around 4 pm, followed by dinner whenever we felt like it.

My friend is definitely NOT vegan, but actually the best vegan meal I ate there was at a steakhouse she made me go into! I had a cous-cous dish with roasted veg and a beautiful honey sauce that was to die for! Steaming hot and so wonderful! Another dish I must recreate.

In my next post a recipe will follow, actually, as well as some others I picked up, and lots of pictures!

Over x

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Breakfast out of Bed

I believe in breakfast. In secondary school when all my friends were trying out the ‘oh my god I have to diet even though I’m not even fat because that’s what the girls in Mean Girls do!’ thing, and they were skipping breakfast, I was not impressed.

Firstly, I was skeptical of the motivation behind it as, let’s be fair, they always got hungry a few hours into the day and bought a bacon roll or something before having their lunch.

Secondly, it’s called breakfast, people. BreakFast. As in, the Breaking of a Fast. i.e. Sleep.

You don’t eat whilst you’re sleeping, generally, and so it is neccessary in the mornings to refuel your body in order to tackle the day ahead with any degree of va-va-voom.

BREAKFAST IS IMPORTANT.

When I was having my problems with eating I would, I admit, skip breakfast. But this only allows me to say now with authority that breakfast should not be skipped. It left me feeling listless, like the day ahead was a struggle and an uphill slog. My body was screaming at me to give it what it needed to cope with all the stress of exams and auditions I was throwing at it, but I was silly enough to block my ears.

So yes. I believe in breakfast.

The reason I’m writing this really is that this last week I have had the BEST breakfasts! I’ve literally woken up looking forward to eating it!

First off, I made myself a big batch of cashew hazelnut milk with honey, cinnamon and vanilla, which was GOOD. Then, I discovered that millet could be used as porridge.

WHA?

I had a whole big bag of millet sitting gathering figurative dust in my cupboard! So I looked at a few different variations and decided to lose my millet-porridge virginity with this one: http://www.thevegancookiefairy.com/2013/04/fig-cinnamon-orange-millet-porridge.html

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Heaven.

It is so good. SO good. I cooked up a whole batch of it and then stored it in my fridge, but the first day I had it was an epiphany! I had a bowl of it and then did a zumba class. I was so energized and bright-eyed and felt so happy after a long, draining week of feeling blah! The orange gives the dish a tangy lift (I used all the juice) and I am a massive fan of ginger! along with the figs, which made me nostalgic as they used to be my ‘sweetie’ of choice when I was a little tyke, it was just the perfect breakfast.

And it got better every day!

The millet absorbed more and more of those delicious flavours, and by day 5 of my supply I was adding pomegranite kernels and wearing a ridiculous grin on my face all day, every day.

With the milk I had made using this wonderful recipe: http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-cinnamon-vanilla-cashew-milk (Added some hazelnuts because I didn’t have quite enough cashews!) it really was just a divine way to start the day.

Go and try it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fig

To make myself feel better totally about eating breakfast again after my spell without it, I did some research. Research that gave me a kick up the ass, to be frank! not eating first thing in the morning does not help you lose weight. On the contrary, your metabolism will slow down throughout the day as a result. Also, there’s been a study from the University of Alabama showing that those people who ate a breakfast that was rich in fats burned more fat through the day than those who ate one that was high in carbs! Obviously, we’re talking healthy fats here like avacado. This doesn’t mean you can eat a whole tub of pringles at 8:00, or whatever.

Well, you could, but…yuck!

So yeahhh guys! Breakfast! Woo! Fuller for longer, stable blood-sugar levels, less prone to snackage and a better metabolism; what’s not to love?!

x

Recent Culinary Exploits

Oh dear. My contribution to this blog has been rather lack-lustre lately! I started it at a rather fragile time, I suppose, and there’s been a lot going on.

HOWEVER

I am feeling good, getting all geared up to go to Bikram Yoga in a couple of hours, and about to share with you my new favourite thing:

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This raw ‘mayo’ blend is SO delicious and super healthy! I nabbed the recipe from an amazing blog called ‘This Rawsome Vegan Life’ – http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/04/potato-salad-with-cilantro-dill.html – and just adore it. On salad, with crudite’s, on crackers, this tastes good with everything, and it’s so easy to make. I’m in love! And good thing to because I’m done falling in love with people for a while after Army Boy fiasco.

Yeesh.

But anyway, to make this jar of yummy good stuff simply blend 1/2 cup cashews, 2 tbsps mustard, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 2 garlic cloves, juice from 2 lemons and as much water as you need or want. I used hardly any and I also added in a little grated ginger because I love it with chilli.

Do your thing, right? 🙂

In other news:

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Yum.

Can’t remember how I made these, but they had dark  chocolate and almonds in and they. were. awesome.

I am in the process of creating a gluten-free cookbook type thing for one of the older women at work who is singularly lovely and struggling to keep to the diet that’s best for her health – pictures to come…I got all creative! Nearly done.

For now, I must go, but more to come soon concerning a three-day-a-week raw food plan and why being nutritionally minded can be a virtue and a vice and everything in between.

Over. Bikram awaits.

xx