Showing posts with label What I Eat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What I Eat. Show all posts

25 April 2017

What I've Been Eating Lately: Tabl, Homemade Sushi, Honeymoon Planning and 5:2

It's been a while since I've written a sit-down-and-chat post. I guess with things like YouTube and Instagram it's quite easy to just ramble about things you've been up to lately, but with blogging readers expect posts to be more direct and themed. I've been eating a lot recently, undergoing some diet changes, experimenting with new products and working with Tabl to create some beautiful Spring dishes that will make the new season an absolute joy. In light of this, I wanted to share a few thoughts on what I've been eating recently and give some insight into the life behind the restaurant reviews. Hint - I'm always hungry!

Spring Cleaning with Tabl
I've been cleaning up my diet this month (more on that below) and cleaning up my cooking too with new products from Tabl - the online site that connects foodie with suppliers. I've started with the delicious smoothie above which using Alchemy's Beauty Elixir, frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, banana and oat milk. Whizz it up for a health-boosting afternoon snack as I did or form into a smoothie bowl for a fabulous (and very stylish) breakfast. 

I also topped my smoothie with Nutural World's Sesame and Date Paste which sadly was too savoury for my taste and would work better with a quinoa and veggie dish in my view. 

Honeymoon Planning
The wedding is getting ever closer and we have around 250 days to go now. Stress is high, planning is in full swing and my diet is in absolute tatters (again, more on that later), so to avoid getting cabin fever too I've moved my planning base outside of home and been taking advantage of London's best cafes! One I wanted to highlight was the Corner House in Hammersmith. It's miles away from where I live but after a beautiful yoga class seemed to call to me from across the road. 

While scouring SkyScanner et al for the best flight deals to Asia I enjoyed a delicious quinoa salad with goats cheese, squash, beetroot and leaves alongside a perfect flat white. It was the cheapest 'main' on the menu and an absolute bargain for the area so I seriously recommend.

I also recently visited Tossed in Brunswick Square for a meeting but sadly their roasted veggie and halloumi salad (at over 500 calories!) was really disappointing. Hardly any cheese, a scattering of oily vegetables and mostly leaves - I will not be ordering that again! The red onions were nice though.

Some thoughts on 5:2
I've been being elusive about a change in diet throughout this post and I guess we have come to that point. As previously stated, my wedding day is approaching and I want to be in the best shape of my life. That said, I have always advocated that being 'one of those brides' who lose a shit-tonne of weight for the big day, starve themselves half to death and feel fucking miserable. No thanks. 

I've been happily weight lifting for a few months now and feel stronger that ever (hello 30kg squats, 10kg dumbbell curls and half-my-body-weight assisted pull ups). Throughout this period, however, I have unconsciously been eating quite a high-fat and high-carb dieting, often neglecting my protein intake as I don't eat meat and eat fish around 2-3 times a week. So while I have gained a great deal of muscle mass (yay) I have also gained a noticeable amount of fat (nay) around my waist, stomach and hips. In many ways it defeats the point of weight lifting as my muscles are hidden under a layer of fat. 

So, to help shift the fat in a manageable way while maintaining 3 weight lifting sessions a week I have decided to give 5:2, or intermittent fasting, a go. I've had several friends who have undertaken this 'diet' and found they lost weight, felt livelier and it helped 'reset' their thinking on food after eating high-carb and high-fat for a prolonged period. I'm three weeks in, have lost 1.5 kilos, gained 0.5 kilos back and have improved my cardio training too through HIIT. Generally, I found week 1 easy and week 2 quite difficult and actually caved on an avocado toast when I got home at 12am on one of my 5:2 days.

I've decided to follow the 5:2 principles for six weeks as a starter to see how I feel and what the visual impact is. My abs have been visible twice since starting and I nearly cried. My first dress fitting is in October so I want to feel healthy, happy and in shape by then as a goal. It's a while away so I have room to fail occasionally but hopefully upping my cardio and following the 5:2 principles will ultimately help me reach my goal. 

Please note: you should only undertake drastic diet changes under the advice of a doctor. I am not a registered health professional and my choices should not be followed blindly. Please be sensible. 

Cooking New Dishes
I've also, weirdly, been quite stuck in a rut recently with my cooking. I prepare three meals a day for Alex and I, seven days a week. I also work nine hours a day, go to the gym at least 3 days a week and have a social life to maintain. Oh did I mention I also run a blog too? Because of this hectic schedule, I've really got myself stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking, bashing out the same salads/stews/curries/stir fries every week. 

As part of the Tabl spring clean, I've been pushing myself to try new dishes at least once a week and have been pretty successful so far! Alex and I made our own salmon, pepper and avocado sushi; healthy aubergine parmigiana with quinoa; and salmon en croute with salty samphire; and roasted pepper tacos with avocado. All delicious, all new to me and all some-what healthy. Can you see my high-carb/high-fat notions coming through here?  
I hope you enjoyed this rather random post about all the fun foods I've been eating recently. For up-to-date foodie notes, follow me on Instagram or Twitter where I'm always chatting about the latest food I've cooked/eaten. Until next time - x

21 October 2016

What I've Been Eating Lately

I've been reviewing a bit, eating a lot and drinking too much coffee recently so today I will share an update of what I've been indulging in over the last few weeks. From road trips in Scotland to taste-testing new menus at famed London restaurants, it's really been a busy few weeks. 
Grilled Scottish Muffins with Duck Eggs
In September, we took a road trip up to the Highlands of Scotland. This stunning place is so close to my heart as this is where I took my first holiday at the bonny age of 2! Our lovely friend Heather lives up here with her family in a wonderful country house; it's surrounded by fields, a lake and a brook with the closest town a good 10-minute drive away.

During our stay, Heather's duck Rosemary provided us with daily eggs to enjoy for breakfast. The hostess with the mostest cooked these up on the Aga with grilled Scottish muffins and plenty of salt. Alongside a cuppa, there's no better way to start the day, I assure you. 
Scrambled Eggs with Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado
Upon returning to London I craved a health-kick. I recently finished the Results With Lucy Wobble to Model plan but remembered this delicious brekkie. The addition of avocado gave me lots of healthy fats to keep me going all day. It just needed a warmed pitta bread to be perfect.
Team Lunch at Cinnamon Soho
Newly reopened Cinnamon Soho has a brand new menu that we went to taste test in September. We began with breakfast parathas of keema (lamb - obviously I didn't eat this one), Bollyflower Cheese (with cauliflower) and fried egg, before moving onto curries with naan and rice. I chose the spicy Paneer 65 with garlic naan breads and a basil lemonade. Lovely. 
Fish and Chips at Poppies, Spitalfields Market
Um, yeah. For payday Alex and I headed to Poppies in Spitalfields Market. Originally we were going to go to nearby Pizza Union or opt for a curry at Sheba, but instead went for Poppies. This famed fish and chip shop is a real London institution and alongside Sutton & Sons, provides that much-loved British dish that every tourist wants.

We went for chips cooked in olive oil (rather than ground nut) with rings of calamari, fried cod, curry sauce and plenty of mushy peas. It ain't fancy but it's damned good. Add a couple of pints and you've got an absolute winner. 
Coffee and Doughnuts at Crosstown, Brick Lane
After a tough session at the gym (I promise this happened) we trekked to Crosstown on Brick Lane. Their sourdough doughnuts are absolutely amazing. Light, bouncy, not too sweet and packed full of flavours you just want to drown in, these doughnuts are an absolute must-try.

We got a Flat White each (yep, I've gone hipster). I chose the salted caramel with banana cream doughnut and Alex went for the PB&J. He was jealous of mine (because it was infinitely better) but they both looked very pretty over on the old Instagram.
A Real Sunday Roast at Home, with Wine. Duh.

I love a Sunday roast, but since becoming vegetarian it's been a bit of a nightmare. We've gone out for a roast a few times and there's often nothing I can eat. Nut roasts are a no (allergy) and very few places offer fish which is a shame. So we decided to enjoy a roast at home. I roasted up potatoes and parsnips, bought two salmon en croute from Lidl (no shame) and made my own Yorkshire Puddings with plenty of Hemp Oil - trust me it works!

Bisto gravy and a cheap red wine. Yum. 
Green Juice from The Detox Kitchen

Yeah you can't keep eating and eating without starting to pay the consequences. On Monday (after the Sunday roast) I sipped on a Green & Lean juice from The Detox Kitchen in Fitzrovia. It's overpriced but tasty. 

Finally, Mrs 'I Wish I Was French' made ratatouille. Of course it's not the traditional recipe but I really gave it a go with layers of courgette, aubergine and red pepper drowned in a smoky tomato sauce.
This has been the running theme of the last two months - coffee. Too much of it, too often. Beany Green, Barbour & Parlou and Nescafe Azeera are my best friends right now.

26 February 2016

My Favourite Vegan Snacks

Finding healthy vegan snacks that are also delicious can be a little bit of a challenge. Throw into the mix a nut allergy and an aversion to the incredibly high prices that speciality vegan food often has and the challenge gets even greater! So today, I am sharing my favourite relatively cheaper, delicious and healthy vegan snacks that are getting me through the day.

Since transitioning to a vegan diet I have found my cravings for savoury snacks have absolutely shot up! I have always been a big lover of chocolate, sweets and sugar but since moving my diet towards a more plant-based system I am definitely a bigger fan of savoury goodies. 

Earlier this month I featured the lovely Snack Garden veggie crisps from Hungary. These are definitely at the top of my vegan snacks list as I really cannot get enough of them. The veggie snacks are some of the most interesting things I have seen available on the market recently. The vegetables are actual veggies that you can recognise - such as rounds of carrots or whole green beans - vacuum fried and seasoned to perfection. Yum!

Another savoury 'crisp' I am a little obsessed with is Burts new Lentil Waves. Made from lentils rather than potatoes, the crisps have a lighter texture and are easier on the stomach. Each pack is 99 calories and 1.3 grams of saturated fat. I love the lightly salted flavour best but the Thai sweet chilli is also a yummy vegan option.

If you prefer to opt for more natural snacks then you really cannot go wrong with hummus and veggie sticks. I make my own hummus by chucking 1/2 a tin of chickpeas into a blender with a little water, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder and seasoning. It's really delicious and works great in a packed lunch with carrots, cucumber and red pepper. 

For a 'greener' choice I would recommend kale chips. If bought from the store these can be unbelievably expensive, but brands like Inspiral do offer a variety of flavours. I also tried broccoli chips from Whole Foods the other day which were surprisingly tasty! To make your own just shred your kale into bitesize chunks and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for up to 15 minutes and enjoy.

Okay, I couldn't completely ditch chocolate and sweet treats, but I have made my choices much healthier. My favourite vegan chocolate recipe is simply coconut oil, maple syrup and raw cacao powder blended together and then frozen. You can make these into shapes or simply set as a bar. I love adding frozen blueberries on top for even more goodness.

If you would prefer to buy your sweet treats then there are plenty of brands out there to choose from. Dark chocolate form Green & Black's is vegan (above 70% - but always double check) and I love the flavours available from Daisy and Dom, Ombar and Conscious. The Ombar Acai mini chocolate bar is absolutely delicious and their Coco Mylk option is a great alternative to milk chocolate if you want that really creamy finish.  

Fresh fruit is an obvious snack option but I would always recommend looking for seasonal produce. Alex and I have always eaten clementines throughout the year but they are always better during the winter months. When the weather heats up I love snacking on pineapple, mango and fresh berries. The nutrients and vitamins in these vibrant fruits are a healthy afternoon pick-me-up that will beat any coffee habit. Alternatively, Snack Garden also offer freeze dried fruit crisps that are absolutely delicious. 

Keeping with the fruit theme, banana ice cream is an absolute revelation. The fact I can make vegan ice cream in basically no time at all that is sugar free and completely customisable is amazing. I have banana ice cream after supper sometimes or even for breakfast if I have time. My favourite blend is with raw cacao powder and topped with frozen berries, chia seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

If cakes are more your thing then I would recommend trying out Deliciously Ella's sweet potato brownies. We make ours into a round cake then cut it up with frozen raspberries on top. We keep the cake in the fridge then serve it with vanilla whipped coconut cream. DREAMY! I also love buying vegan, sugar free and gluten free cupcakes from our local organic store in Finsbury Park. Their selection is really amazing and the range of produce in the store is absolutely mind blowing! 

I hope you found this round-up helpful! Let me know what your favourite vegan snacks are in the comments below.

8 July 2015

VIDEO: What I Ate Wednesday, Episode 1

My first foodie vlog! Today I talk about what I ate this Wednesday, a really popular tag on YouTube and one of my favourite videos to watch. Enjoy!
P.S For my blog viewers, I totally forgot dinner! I got really drunk and ate Dominos pizza - don't judge!

What the full video here:

1 July 2015

What I Eat In A Day

One of my post popular posts on this blog is my Deskside Lunches piece. As an update to this today I am sharing with you what I eat in an average day. Some of my favourite videos to watch and blog posts to read is 'What I Eat Wednesday's', so perhaps I could make that a feature on here? Let me know what you think?

As you can probably imagine I try to eat as healthy as possible in a normal day, but of course I’m not perfect. Today when I am writing this post I am hungover as hell and have eaten a slice of apple pie, a rocky road, a dark chocolate and pumpkin seed cake, a chicken wrap, three coffees and a plum. Like seriously, give yourself a break if you’ve eaten foods you’d prefer not to today. It’s OK! I believe you should always do what feels right for you, and today eaten a shit load of cake felt right for me!

Onto my food menu:

During the week breakfast is always the same for me: homemade granola with milk (normally whole dairy milk) and chopped banana. Occasionally I will add fresh berries if we have them or a squeeze of honey if I fancy something sweet. I will also drink a green tea or cappuccino from my Tassimo machine.

The base for my lunch is always leaves – most often this is spinach but I also love baby kale, baby leaf mixed salad, rocket and massaged kale. To this I always add avocado (half, chopped into cubes), 1 carrot (chopped) and a 1/5 of a cucumber (chopped). That’s the very very basic salad. Then I will add protein: normally this is turkey but occasionally it will be feta, chicken or egg. Finally I add carbs; this changes quite a bit. Sometimes I opt for quinoa and make a big batch at the start of the week, but other days I’ll roast sweet potato and squash, use leftovers from dinner or make a big batch of hummus as add a tablespoon to my lunch box.
I am a serial snacker and it’s something I’m trying to kick. I read in Amelia Freer’s wonderful book that snacking is actually really bad for our digestive systems. We are not supposed to have them in full-whack all day while we shovel more food in than we need. Healthy or non-healthy, snacks are not a required part of our diet and something I would love to phase out. Here is a list of some of my favourite snacks:

  • Two clementine or one large orange
  • Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples
  • Plums and peaches (when in season)
  • Kale chips
  • Popcorn (usually from Propercorn which is sold at work)
  • Raisins or dried cherries
  • Seed and dried fruit mixes
  • Hummus and vegetable sticks
  • Banana and oat cookies
  • Home made granola bars
  • Raw cacao and seed bliss balls
  • Or…. Chocolate. 
This varies hugely day to day, but is more often than not plant based with additional protein. My dinners can range from a vegan black bean chilli with brown rice, through to sticky pork ribs with stir fried Chinese greens. I love cooking simple meals with plenty of flavours and textures. These are not restaurant dishes by any stretch of the imagination, but I like enjoying what I eat! I do experiment, but not outside of my comfort zone. For example, my boyfriend can eat rice with ANYTHING, but I can’t imagine eating rice with crispy fish, or having pasta with soy sauce, or mayo with an omelette.

I do repeat my favourite dishes, which is not something I used to do, and mostly look to creating ‘bowls’ now. I discovered the macro bowl on Pinterest and since then I have loved creating bowls that are packed with nutritious ingredients. These will always have a ‘grain’ base such as rice or quinoa, which is then surrounded with protein, veggies, sauces and greens. Here are a few of my favourite:

  • Tropical Bowl: Pineapple or mango, jerk chicken, rice, guacamole, sweetcorn, bitter leaves
  • Curry Bowl: Rice base with tandoori salmon pieces, carrot pancakes, peas with mint and chilli, onion chutney
  • Mexican Bowl: Chile d’Arbol chicken, rice, guacamole, sweetcorn, black beans in chilli sauce, sour cream or yogurt dressing
  • Chinese Bowl: Soy and ginger pork, rice or quinoa, edamame, raw spring onion and cucumber, steamed pak choi and choi sum and sesame seeds
  • Morrocan Bowl: Quinoa, hummus, roasted carrots, beetroots, squash and red pepper, tzatziki, spinach
A few of my other staple dishes are fresher takes on the classics. For example I love courgetti/ zoodles and will often replace the wheat-base noodles or pasta with courgettes. An absolutely favourite dish in my house is cougetti with basil pesto, mixed seeds and fresh peas. Roasted in the oven with a little Parmesan, this dish is insanely good. We also love a big pot supper such as a curry, stew, soup, casserole or ragu.  These are easy to make and easily paired with greens, carbs or other proteins.

I hope this article was informative! If you would like me to do a ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ please let me know. I could also look at doing this as a video – branching out I know.