Friday, 29 May 2015

Liquid Fast Day!

Liquids seem to suit my digestive system, and i used to have smoothies and juices for most meals except dinner. I am not sure why i stopped really - but i became more bloated and i am now back on the liquid wagon. I do miss solid foods, and am not against having solid snacks and dinners. I just feel i need a few days of pure liquids to detox right now

This morning i was in a rush! I got up a little later than i had planned, so quickly did a few core exercises and rushed to go prep my breakfast and lunch to take to work with me. 

Breakfast was a hydrating and cleansing green smoothie. With shock horror - coconut water. Haha. I love the stuff. When cleansing, you want to increase the water. So in juices and smoothies you want to choose fruits and veggies with a high water content.

Cleansing green smoothie

2 Stalks celery
1/4 cucumber
1/4 rhubarb
2 handfuls spinach
200ml coconut water

Lunchhh was delicious. It is unusual that i have fresh berries around as i normally buy frozen for cost / convenience. But my mum has been staying with me for a few days and went shopping - Result :) 

A stable for most my smoothies is Bananas. They work as a blending agent but also help you to carb up. Grapes have a high water content and lovely natural sweetness so they needed to join the gang.

Strawberry, Banana & Grape Smoothie

1 Large Banana
5-10 strawberries
1 handful red grapes
100ml coconut water
100ml almond milk

I am unsure what to have for dinner tonight. And pudding! ( or i will make a big mother of a smoothie and have a dinner / pudding smoothie all in one). That sounds like a plan.

Maybeee i will make miso soup, and then a small cocoa & chia smoothie. 
Far too many options. Whoever said vegans have nothing to eat!?

I have a long day at work today so i better get busy. 


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Carrot & Apple Juice, Berry Smoothie & Sprouted Quinoa Pizza

The aim today was to start a liquid fast. Purely for the fact that i feel my body needs some rest and a little detoxing as i have become quite bloated recently and feel a little sluggish. I need to get my energy back and kick-start my body again.

I had liquid meals for breakfast and Lunch, but remembered that i had some quinoa sprouting which needed to be used today otherwise i would have had to just through it away. Which i wasn't okay with doing! So i made myself a non liquid dinner tonight, which was a really tasty pizza. Full on liquid fast starts tomorrow!

Breakfast was Carrot & Apple Juice. I love the taste of carrot juice, it has to be one of the faves. To properly detox, you are meant to cut all fiber out from the diet. Hence why i am liquid fasting, rather than juicing as i still want to keep my fiber. However, when it comes to juices such as carrot & apple, the pulp isn't that great to drink. I do have an actual juicer machine, but it is at the back of a cupboard and a nightmare to clean. I ended up blending the ingredients, and then putting it through a sieve, so only the juice came through.

Carrot & Apple Juice 

2 Carrots 
2 apples
50ml coconut water
1tsp ginger
1tsp turmeric 

For Lunch i made a fruity & creamy smoothie. It was immense. I now stick to using coconut water as a base for most of my drinks.

Beautiful Creamy Berry Smoothie

2  Large Bananas
1 cup of mixed strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
200ml Coconut water
1tsp vanilla essence
( i wanted to add some mixed spice too but i didn't have any )

Now THIS is a pizza. Pizza is something i would not normally even imagine eating, but a friend on instagram uploaded a picture of a pizza using a Quiona base. So i thought i would give it a go. Unfortunately i had started to soak my quinoa long before i decided to liquid fast, but, i have to say it was worth the fast fail!

I couldn't believe how crunchy and tasty the base was. I will deffo be making this again in the future :)

Sprouted Quinoa Pizza

150g Quinoa - soak for 8-24 hours
2tsp Cider Vinegar
2 tsp mixed herbs

Tomato pasata
veggies of your choice - i used mushrooms, olives, sweetcorn, tomatoes, spinach & nutritional yeast

Soak your quinoa in water for 8-24 hours. Drain, and blend with cider vinegar, salt, pepper and herbs. It will for a thick white looking paste / dough. Place the mixture onto a lined baking tray, and shape into a large circle. You want it to be about 1cm thick. 

Cook in the oven for 10-15 mins, then carefully flip over and cook the other side for 5-10 mins. Put the tomato pasata, and the toppings onto your pizza and cook for a further 5-10mins.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Edamame Bean Spaghetti, Cinnamon apple oats & Fresh Fruit salads

I thought i would post some of my meals. Below is my breakfast. I always start my day with a green tea and occasionally have a coffee afterwards. I had a long cycle so felt i needed a little extra pazazz yesterday. I have a real thing for oats now too, but only raw :). They are full of great carbs, protein and a little bit of healthy fats. Great to start the day with. I had 1 cup of oats, 1 chopped apple, almond milk and topped it off with some yummy cinnamon.

A few weeks a go i was up in London to get my hair done. Even though i am actually a qualified hairdresser myself, getting my own professionally done have never been a huge priority of mine. But i decided it was about time i went and got it sorted, rather than doing it myself! I have had dark hair for ages, and i wanted to lift the colour a little ready for summer. 1/2 head of highlights and 3 hours later, my hair was sun kissed and just as i imagined. Result.

I popped into the Wholefoods Market on the way back, and found these Edamame bean spaghetti packets! I used to love pasta, but very very rarely eat actual pasta these days. I only do if i am at someone elses house for dinner. Edamame beans are soya beans, so full of protein and fiber. The spaghetti is purely beans and water, nothing else. And you can soak them in water for 8 hours instead of boiling them if you prefer. The process to form edamame beans into spaghetti shapes happens just over the allowed 'raw' temperature. So depending how strict you are on your raw foods, you could soak and have these on a raw diet.

Taste wise they are great. I love courgette and carrot noodles, but they really lack the texture of spaghetti. These bean spaghetti shapes mimic real pasta perfectly and if you didn't know it was beans, you would never guess. I mixed my spaghetti with some veggies, cashews, toasted sesame oil and seeds.

Annddddddddd a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit. I love fruit. All fruit. Especially bananas :) I seem to munch handfuls of raisins throughout the day too because i am greedy. There are far worse things to snack on though!

I am trying to decide if tomorrow i should start a 3 or 5 day detox. i will do 3 days, and then see how i go. A liquid detox is basically, just liquids. You can juice detox, where you cut out all fiber too, ie pulp in smoothies. But i think a liquid detox will suffice for now. I will be just having smoothies, juices, lots of water, green tea and possibly make some veggie soup or broth for dinners if i am craving something a little warmer.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Mini RAW Carrot Cakes [ with a coconut cream frosting ]

Wow it was a beautiful day today. I drove down to The New Forest to visit my parents and sister this weekend. Today was so sunny that I sat outside on their balcony and sunbathed most of the morning. It was Lush. My sister and I went of a 4 mile run across the open forest and i was pretty pleased that at the end, Laura was totally out of breath and i could have carried on for miles, still. I don't think i have ever been fitter than her before. I remember the last time i drove down, possibly only a month or so ago, i couldn't even keep up. I am amazed how my fitness has improved and extremely proud at myself for sticking to a routine. 

Now onto these incredible little treats. They taste soo bad for you but are ridiculously healthy!  Before going vegan, i loved carrot cake. I have previously tried one raw carrot cake before, using an online recipe, but honestly i wasn't keen. I thought I would give it another go, making up my own recipe and adding in various ingredients by taste to create the perfect raw carrot cakes :) And they were perfect. So tasty and completely satisfied my craving!

Now, i realised the key to these cakes was reducing the moisture in the carrots. Ideally, you should use the left over carrot pulp from a juicer. Or, grate you carrot, and try to squeeze out as much juice as possible using a cheese cloth, or sieve. If the carrot contains too much moisture, the mixture will not hold or stay in shape. Another good tip is to not to over blend the mixture. If you blend the mixture too smooth, more water will be released for the ingredients and form a wetter mix.

Mini Raw Carrot Cakes

  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 3 or 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup soft dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Mix all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed, but not smooth. ( over mixing will result in a mixture that is too wet)
Place the mixture into cup cake moulds, ideally silicone, or shape into small round cakes. Place and keep in the fridge. 

Coconut Cream Frosting

160ml can coconut cream
1tbsp Lemon juice
1tbsp Agave Syrup

Whip the coconut cream with an electric whisk. The coconut cream will thicken slightly. Fold in the lemon juice and Agave syrup.
Place the frosting in the fridge to set. ( this will take approx 2 hours). 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Cauliflower couscous, Raw sprouted falafel & Paprika vegetables

Soundtrack of the day - Little talks, Julia sheer & John D

 I have really got into raw foods at the moment, and I have begun experimenting new ways of creating foods as otherwise I would stick to courgette noodles and carrot sticks every day!

I have begun sprouting raw chickpeas, quinoa, bulgar wheat and beans to create various dishes. I absolutely love chickpeas and everything made with them ie Hummus & Falafel. But tinned chickpeas are cooked. Sprouted grains are soaked, and left to sprout for up to 3 days so that they are edible in a raw form. But what is the point? Well.. sprouting, or germinating seeds and grains breaks down the complex nutritional matrix of the raw foods, making them easier to digest whilst boosting the nutritional content of the food, ie minerals, vitamins and enzymes. When food is cooked above 46'C , some of those enzymes and minerals are destroyed. Therefore eating raw whole foods has many health benefits to the body and is a great way to naturally fuel yourself.

I will create a post with more detailed info on sprouting, and link to this page in the next few days. The basic process is to soak, drain and leave to sprout for a certain time period depending on the grain or seed. 

After sprouting various grains, I decided to have a go at creating a raw sprouted falafel recipe. As raw foods can be heated up to 46'C, the use of a food dehydrator or a very low oven temperature can be used to help dry food out.

Obviously the taste and texture of raw sprouted food is totally different to cooked. So when I say this is falafel, don't expect it to taste like a cooked falafel. It tastes fantastic though. Once I began creating I couldn't stop, and out popped the idea of a cauliflower cous cous and spiced veggies.

Raw food  is simple, technically, to make but does require a lot of prep time. It is best to make batches that will last a few days, otherwise you will spend your whole life in the kitchen!  

Cauliflower Cous Cous
1/2 cauliflower
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
1 large handful fresh sage leaves
1 stem of rosemary
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
2 handfuls seedless raisins
Process the cauliflower in a blender until fluffy, and resembles a couscous texture. Add the fresh herb leaves, rosemary, lemon juice, salt and oil. Pulse in the blender for 30 seconds.
Place in a bowl, with the raisins and mix with a fork, whilst 'fluffing'.
Raw Sprouted Falafel
1 Cup Sprouted chickpeas
2/3 cup Sprouted bulgar wheat
1/3 cup Sprouted butter beans
1/4 cup soaked almonds
Blend above ingredients in a food processor until well mixed, but still a chunky texture.
1 garlic clove
1 shallot onion
1 tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 
1tbsp Nutritional yeast flakes
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful mint leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp. tamari
3 tsp Lemon juice
Pulse in food processor until well combined.
take spoonfuls of the mixture and create falafel balls. IF the mixture is too wet to create balls, just spoon and shape into portions. Place either on baking paper and into a dehydrator, or onto a baking tray if using an oven.
Dehydrate on 46'C for 4-6 hours, or dry on a very low temperature oven.
Paprika Vegetables
1/2 Broccoli florets
1 yellow bell pepper - sliced
1 Carrot - sliced
2tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 tbsp. Paprika
2tbsp Cold-pressed olive oil
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all the veggies are coated.
Place on a dehydrator sheet and dry at 46'C for 1.5 hours, or on a low oven temp.

Raw Vegan Curry [ With Cauliflower Rice ]

I am back! I haven't posted for a few weeks now. Honestly for a few reasons. First of all because I became slightly obsessed with exercising for a while. I have an extremely addictive personality and sometimes I get so focussed, and crazy into something that I cant stop until I burn out. Not that being focussed is bad by any means, but having such a black and white mentality doesn't do any favours. Luckily I have rained myself back in a little. I have eased off the 'crazyness' and am going a little more steady.
I freaked out about being so open in blogging. Keeping my life locked up inside is a great skill of mine, and so sharing it with the world seemed strange. But I need to let loose and get it out there. I have also just been really, really busy recently. When I think of the actual days of paid work I do, (3 a week) Its clear I have loads of free time. Yet I wake up at 6.30 every morning, go to bed about midnight and don't seem to ever stop. I love being busy. I think I on purposely have started to fill my days with endless activities to keep my mind occupied.
SOOO I have plenty to update. Food wise,  I have quite a few recipes which I will be uploading in the next couple of weeks. Mainly raw ones - I have taken a huge step now into raw foods and my creativity for new meal ideas is on overload right now.
Non food wise, I have also been a busy bee. I have competed in a pageant, built up some  body muscles, had a birthday and eaten out at a good few vegan restaurants. Again all to be blogged about shortly.
I have realised that you never know what is going to happen in life. That you cant plan, or predict or trust what the future will bring. If a year ago I could see what my life was like now, I wouldn't believe it. Life has changed so much. Both in good and bad ways. I like the person I have become, and I love the person who helped me become it. I have learnt to start to love myself for who I am, and gain confidence, and actually just live each day as it comes for myself.  I have made some incredible friends, lost a few incredible ones, and felt helpless in trying to help some others. Life isn't fair. There are some awful, nasty people out there but all you can do is be the best you can and fight your corner with every ounce of strength in your mind and body.  And in order to do that you need to fuel your body with clean, powerful, nutritious foods.
Talking of foooood! I invented a delicious raw curry tonight with Cauliflower rice. I am not a huge curry fan and wasn't too sure how it would turn out, but it was so good and exceeded my expectations.

Raw Vegan Curry with Cauliflower Rice
125g Chestnut mushrooms
1/2 carrot - grated
1 small garlic clove
1 shallot onion - sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper - sliced
1 stick celery - chopped
1 handful fresh mint leaves
4 plum tomatoes
3 tsp cold pressed olive oil
1tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste

1/2 Cauliflower
To make the curry, add all ingredients to a blender, or magimix. If your blender is not high powered, start by mixing the tougher veggies first, ie celery, carrot, pepper, and then add the rest.
Blend for 5 mins until resembles a curry consistency.
Adjust the cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
The rice is so simple to make. Simply cut the cauliflower into medium sized chunks and then blend for 1 min until fluffy.