Monthly Archives: January 2016

Veganuary: Hanging in there

It’s been ages since I last posted! I’ve been keeping up with veganuary despite three notable cheats so far over the 20 days :S

  1. One piece of toblerone. How cruel of husband to eat his Christmas bar of toblerone and then mine right next to me over the past 20 evenings…harsh. So I ate a piece after a very tiring day.
  2. Quavers- again husbands fault, who buys a six pack and then leaves them on the counter?
  3. Rhubarb and Custard Organic Yogurt- damn you yeo valley, just damn you for being so tasty.

Anyway I’m back on the wagon, although I think those teeny slips only count as a slouch towards the edge of the wagon, not full blown falling off. Everything else I have consumed over the past 20 days has been 100% vegan.

I don’t think there’s enough room in this post to go through all my meals and exercise so far over the past two weeks, but I can tell you I’ve been eating a lot of fake meat, pulses, nuts, peanut butter, vegetable stews, wraps, salads, Mexican food (beans, rice and avocado), couscous and vegetarian sushi- all of it has been proper lush, and I feel great!

Dinner montage:

 

 

But here are some of my highlights when it comes to tasty vegan treats:

The vegan options at Le Pain Quotidien

Last Thursday James and I got our visas approved at the US embassy in London, here we come San Francisco! To celebrate we had brunch at Le Pain Quotidien in London. I was so grateful for their great vegan options, there were LOADS.

I had a matcha green tea almond milk latte, followed by their vegan version of their mushrooms on toast (with mustard and soy cream instead of crème fraiche), finished with their vegan chocolate and pear cake- so easy and affordable, a great vegan option.

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Matcha Green Tea Latte with Almond Milk

Surprise amazing vegan chocolate

This orange chocolate from the Co-op is vegan despite having only 56% cocoa solids, which means you can basically enjoy a chocolate orange rather than end up with a bitter taste in your mouth.

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Hazelnut Milk

I like nut milks but will definitely be keeping this one on after veganuary. I love hazelnut milk, I cannot get enough. In my breakfast protein shake with some protein powder and a shot of espresso, or in tea (surprisingly amazing in lady grey).

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Coco Pops

Who knew?! Win! Combined with Hazelnut milk (double win). This goes down alongside frazzles, chocolate frosting and fry’s chocolate cream as surprisingly vegan.

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More amazing stuff you never knew was vegan!

So many tasty surprises in the supermarket…

 

 

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Veganuary End of Week 1!

So Veganuary Week 1 is almost over, it’s the end of Day 7!

woohoo

So, so far it’s been OK. I’ve been rumbled at work so have had to deal with the “are you mad?” and “what about protein?!” conversations, and they weren’t too bad. I’ve had a few moments staring at other people’s cheese in the fridge and left over Christmas chocolates, but not too many!

You know what has helped so far? A surprising treat, a present from hubby, a package of Marron Glace!

These are sugared chestnuts, containing just sugar and chestnuts. So delicious, a real treat to help get over the chocolate cravings.

Here’s end of week 1 stats

Day 5:

Fitness- 8 minute Tabata, 3.5 mile cycle x2 (to and from work)

Breakfast: Protein shake with hazelnut milk

Lunch: Roasted Veg Salad and Tortilla

Dinner: soy chicken and avocado wraps with homemade chipotle sweet potato fries and side salad

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Lunch!

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Dinner!

 

 

Day 6:

Fitness: None- rest day, ~4 miles of walking across the day

Breakfast: Cereal and almond milk

Lunch: Burrito with rice, black beans and veg at Nanna Mexico in the city

Dinner: Veggie burgers with sprouts, salad and sun dried tomatoes, beans on the side

 

Day 7:

Fitness: 8 minute Tabata, 4 mile jog

Breakfast: Protein shake with hazelnut milk

Lunch: Veggie burger leftovers!

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese with veggie mince, olives and spinach

Veganuary: Making those gains

So it’s day 4 of veganuary and today I’ve been learning all about protein. This morning after I cycled to work a package landed on my desk from the friendly amazon delivery man, it contained this…

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Garden of Life Raw Protein. It says it’s “Beyond Organic!!!!” BEYOND organic. I mean that’s some kind of off the scale vegan-y goodness right?

BEYOND ORGANIC MAN!!!

I bought it before Veganuary worried about my protein intake over the month having given up dairy and eggs. But today I wondered, is this stuff any good and will this actually be good for me to drink?

So I looked into it and here’s the basics I’ve found about protein.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, and there are nine amino acids the human body cannot create and needs to ingest, these are known as essential amino acids. Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids in useful proportions to the human body are called “complete proteins.” Meat, Dairy and eggs are complete proteins- but there are also loads of veggie ones that can be gained through really tasty foods- such as burritos and PB&J sarnies! Here’s a good compilation (you’ll notice Quinoa is number one, but I promise peanut butter sandwiches are on there!)

So if you eat the right amounts of these foods the protein you get is no different from meat. What are the right amounts? Well there’s some differing opinions on that, but most settle around 0.8g per kilo of body weight or 0.35g per pound. The NHS recommends around 50g a day for a healthy adult. An interactive DRI tool from USDA gives you an American measure, mine comes out at 46g so similar to the NHS recommendation.

So how does my shake shape up? Well it contains 17g of complete protein per 90 calorie serving, from a lot of the complete protein sources listed in the compilation above- rice, beans, chia & buckwheat. So at least it does what it says on the tin- and it tastes OK (the texture is like trying to swallow chalk, but it tastes OK).

Here’s my veganuary stats for today

Day 4:

Fitness: 8min (lazy style) Tabata, 2×3.5 mile cycle (to and from work)

Breakfast: Garden of Life protein shake made with hazelnut milk and water

Lunch: Salad with sprouts, capers, sun dried tomatoes, green beans, kidney beans and a white wheat wrap

Dinner: Leftover burritos with Avo, homemade salsa, salad, roast veg and sweet potato chips

Lunch!

Lunch!

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Dinner!

 

 

No Cheese For a Month?!

Veganuary-heartSo Christmas is over and 2016 has begun! We’ve had a fantastic Christmas down in Devon full of all sorts of lovely indulgent tuck- chocolate, cheese, yule log, pies and puds…nom nom nom and now is the new year and the time of year when you look down and realise your belly is a little bit larger than usual and you feel a little bit more sluggish and it might be time to make a change.

We don’t eat a ton of animal products, we’re both veggie and like to be quite healthy in what we eat so do’t eat a lot of dairy and eggs, but over the winter work has got busy and our consumption of easy treats- mainly chocolate and cheese- has gone up. We have a whole cupboard full of chocolate treats! This makes me feel a bit guilty, not only about the health implications, but also because of a lack of appreciation of products which animals don’t enjoy making for me to eat.

To take a break and appreciate these products a little more, and to kickstart a healthy year, I’m going Vegan for a month as part of Veganuary! At this point I’m not considering vegan long term but want to kick start a healthy appreciation of food without animal products to take into the rest of the year.

I’m also trying a new fitness regime which is to get back into cycling, running and yoga (all of which have been totally ignored for the last few months) and to include a Tabata workout 4 mornings a week for 8 minutes. If you’re not sure what a Tabata is see here:

So to hold myself to account, I’m going to write a couple of blogs about what I’ve been munching on and whether I have been jumping up and down like an idiot for 8 minutes on schooldays.

So far Veganuary has been easy enough-

 

Day 1:

Breakfast: oatmeal made with water and cinnamon

Lunch: Carrot and Coriander Soup

Dinner: Thai veggie moneybags/salad/hummus

Fitness: none!

 

Day 2:

Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with whole earth peanut butter

Lunch: Jacket potato and beans in a cafe (no butter)

Dinner: Mexican Enchiladas, topped with chilli seeds and guacamole (see pics below)

Fitness: Super sisters Tabata Workout 8 mins

Mashed Avocado and Chilli seeds

Mashed Avocado and Chilli seeds

 

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Veggies and Bean Enchiladas

Day 3:

Late Breakfast (it’s Sunday!): Porridge with Almond Milk, milled linseeds and strawberry compote (you can see I’m getting into this vegan thing now right?)

Snack: Pumpkin seeds and a glass of Innocent Smoothie

Early Dinner: Stir Fry with soy chicken, green beans, edamame beans, shredded veg, beansprouts, garlic, lime and soy sauce, served with Udon Noodles and topped with chilli seeds.

Fitness: Super sisters Tabata Workout 8 mins

Soy chicken and green beans cooked in garlic, lime and chilli

Soy chicken and green beans cooked in garlic, lime and chilli

My favourite noodles

My favourite noodles

Wish me luck, I hope I can get through the month without too many slips, but if I come out feeling happy, healthy and appreciative whatever happens Veganuary will have met it’s mark for me 🙂