Let’s talk about fats baby! Let’s talk about you & me!

Fat gets a really bad rep in the media. Low fat this and low fat that. A  healthy vegan diet is naturally low in fat. We must strive to remember however that fats help in the transportation of certain vitamins around the body, improve skin and hair, insulate and protect your internal organs and especially the fatty acids, help with nervous function and therefore brain power.

If you eat junk food that is laden with fat and do very little exercise, of course you’re going to put on weight. You can also be at risk of heart disease and cancer. However if you eat a small amount of healthy fat each day, you can improve your health, lose/maintain weight and look great.

So what are the fats to avoid?

Chinese takeways or any takeaways for that matter are often deep fried in vegetable oils or lard. An average takeaway can have up to 20 grams of fat. That’s a woman’s entirely RDA. Having a takeaway isn’t forbidden, but it’s probably better to make it more of a rare thing than a regular thing.

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100 grams of crisps (a couple of bags)  contains over 30 grams of fat. Don’t even think about going for the low fat versions either. Cut them out altogether. They are nutritionally void, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or stay fit.

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Fast food burgers and chips are again absolutely full of fat and especially trans and saturated fat which are really bad for your heart and circulatory system.

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Cakes and sweets are also loaded with unnecessary fat that you don’t need.

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What are good sources of fat then?

Linseed and flaxseed. I put half a teaspoon in a smoothie or on porridge everyday and it doesn’t taste of anything.

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Now this might surprise you, but leafy green vegetables. They don’t provide huge amounts, but they do have enough Omega 3’s to keep you going. I love kale and spinach and I’ll eat it for both lunch and dinner if I can.

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Avocados are quite calorific and that’s because they are full of good fats. As long as you don’t eat like 5 a day, you’ll be fine. I generally have about 3 a week and normally in salad, although I do like making guacamole out of them.

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Nuts and especially almonds and hazelnuts. They are at their best when they are unsalted and eaten as a snack instead of a bag of crisps.   hazelnutsimages

Good luck guys and make healthy choices.

 

 

 

Butter bean, aubergine and paprika stew

I found this recipe whilst in my local Tesco recently and instantly believed I could veganise it. It even has a top tip for a veggie version. This is a low-calorie, but filling dish. Each serving is only 92 calories, however if you are looking for more calories, the recipe suggests to serve with toast. I just had a double portion because I was hungry!

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Ingredients:

A whole aubergine, chopped into half moons.

1 onion, chopped.

1 garlic clove chopped.

2 tsp. rosemary

1.5 tsp. paprika

1x400g tin of peeled cherry tomatoes. (Tesco actually sell these in their Finest range and they were worth the extra few pennies.)

2x 400g tin of butter beans, drained.

230g red peppers, sliced and chopped.

Method:

Place the peppers and aubergine in a roasting tin, drizzle some oil on top and cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

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In the mean time, fry the onion is a small amount of oil until soft. Then add the herbs, spices, butter beans and tomatoes and leave to simmer on a low heat. (This will allow the flavours to mix together properly.)

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When the peppers and aubergine are cooked, mix in with the butter beans etc. and cook through for about five minutes.

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Abokado

I was having a rough time one evening so I decided to go and stay with Mykey in Catford and drop him off to work the next day in Farringdon. Of course as always he was a great help in lifting my mood and keeping me company.

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When I went to drop him off at work the next day, I was left with an hour to burn before I could catch the train home and decided to have a look around for somewhere to eat. I stumbled across a small Japanese café that appeared to have a few things I could eat. I was amazed when I walked through the door to find a treasure trove of not only vegan but seriously healthy options for me to have for breakfast. I stood there for a good ten minutes before I finally decided on a falafel wrap (not very Japanese I know), sea weed salad and a soya latte. All of this cost me under a fiver! What a result!?

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I told Mykey about Abokado and every day that week he sent me pictures of all the yummy food he was having whilst I was at work. Nice of him wasn’t it?

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I have since discovered that Abokado have 13 establishments throughout London and have a dedication to providing healthy food for all. Most vegan meals tend to be less than 400 calories and are certainly filling. The website also has extensive nutritional information and everything which is vegan is marked with a VE.

Pros

  • Healthy
  • Cheap
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff

Cons

  • Only available in London currently
  • Not an entirely vegan chain
  • Not really any bagel or cake options for vegans

Check them out! 8/10

http://abokado.com/

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Where do you get your protein and calcium? *Sigh*

The animal agribusiness giants have certainly been successful in their plans to indoctrinate the general public from the mid-20th century onwards. Nearly everyone I speak to including some vegans, believe that it is hard to get protein and calcium from non-animal sources. This is due to a massive advertising campaign by the meat and dairy industries in newspapers, on television and now on the internet.

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The funny thing about the image above is that Hugh Jackman employed Brendan Brazier, a well known vegan ultra-marathon champion and nutrition expert to help him slim down the fat and bulk up the muscle for roles such as Wolverine in X-Men and Charlie Kenton in Real Steel. Brendan only promotes a high raw, vegan wholefood diet. Interesting?

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Then you have all the vegan bodybuilders and sports people who have more muscle than the average non-vegan Joe could ever dream of. How do you explain that?

It’s easy really. Protein and calcium can be found in a variety of foods. If you have a varied and healthy diet, there is no reason you won’t be meeting your daily recommended intake whatsoever. Calcium deficiency is quite rare in the wealthy nations of Europe and America and protein deficiency does not even have a medical term anywhere in the world because it’s practically impossible. Everything has some protein in, even potatoes.

There is evidence to suggest that over consumption of meat and dairy can lead to bowel cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and even early onset dementia. Also there is a positive correlation between the consumption of dairy products and the incidence of osteoporosis in countries that consume it as a staple part of their diets. (Books such as The China Study and Diet For A New America go into to more detail, but I wanted to keep the health implications of animal product consumption brief.) Sadly this isn’t common knowledge because of the influence animal agribusiness has on all forms of media and the government. (Remember learning about protein at school?)

Let’s look at some protein rich foods to start with:

Beans & Legumes

Beans

Beansprouts

Sprouts

Tofu

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Wholegrains

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Nuts & Seeds

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Hummus

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Now let’s look at some calcium rich foods:

Kale

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Oranges

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Soya Milk

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Oats

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Spinach

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Dried figs

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The above protein and calcium rich foods are just some examples of vegan food that contains both of these important building blocks. There is a huge variety across the board to suit all tastes.

Here is a tasty brunch that is rich in protein and calcium. Spinach, carrot and onion salad, raw orange peppers, soy yoghurt and mint dressing, baked beans and scrambled tofu.

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So there you have it!

Sprouting is EPIC!

Yes that’s right. Whether it’s sprouting biceps or a beard….. Oh no wait a second. This is a food post and I’m supposed to be talking about sprouting beans and seeds. *Whoops*

A little while ago I brought a sprouting tray and I never really knew what to do with it. I asked my Facebook friends and got some sound advice, so I got to work. I covered both trays in chic peas, quinoa and other random beans and stuff I had in my end of the world food supply cupboard. Then I sprinkled with a little bit of cold water every day for four days.

The sprouts started to appear and I was over the moon. I even did a little celebratory dance know as, “the bum dance.” Maybe one day I’ll blog about that too.

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Anyway, I decided to eat make some part raw food with this deliciousness.

Enter spring greens, soy sauce roasted broccoli, b12 fortified nutritional yeast, raw carrots and a big load of sprouted beans and seeds. Very tasty and full of vitamins and minerals. GET SOME!

 

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Raw Banana Ice Cream

Since Swedish Glace was brought out by Unilever last year, I’ve been searching for another ultimate treat. In case you don’t know, Unilever still tests chemicals and cosmetics on animals so I won’t support them, which is a shame because SG is delicious and available everywhere. Of course there is always the Booja Booja raw ice cream which is super tasty, but mega expensive. You can pay up to £8 a tub for that stuff and I’m not a wealthy person so I needed to come up with an alternative.

So here’s what I did: I got a whole bunch of bananas, peeled and chopped them and froze them for 24 hours. In the meantime I stewed a whole punnet of plums in water with cinnamon. This created a 100% fruit jam with no added sugar.

Then I threw the bananas into my food processor and pulse blended them, (turn the blades high and then off in bursts) until they looked like this:

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Then you know, I munched my amazing new ice cream creation with the plum jam.

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Do it and do it now. You won’t regret it and it tastes like soft scoop ice cream. 🙂

Green Goddess Smoothie

This is a very simple smoothie recipe that I eat on an almost daily basis. It is full of protein, b12, iron, vitamin c and potassium. I use it as a pre and post workout food. You can also add and subtract ingredients as you see fit without altering the flavour too much. (Be careful about nutrition though.)

Ingredients:

2 bananas

A handful of fresh baby leaf spinach

A sprinkle of spirulina

A sprinkle of barley grass powder

A scoop of raw hemp protein powder

A large glass of non-dairy milk such as hazelnut milk or you can use water.

(When I’m skint, I make it with just bananas, hemp protein and water.)

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Method:

Blend until smooth.

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The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a high powered, super expensive blender. I have a five year old Kenwood and it does just fine. It’s approximately 300 calories a serving so you can also have it as a full meal and I often do that too.

 

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Mango & Coconut Energy Bombs

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Ingredients:

  • A whole mango, peeled and de-seeded.
  • A large handful of dessicated coconut (or fresh, chopped coconut if you want to make this raw.)
  • 5 tablespoons of cooked quinoa (or sprouted if you want to make it raw.)
  • A teaspoon of sesame seeds.
  • A teaspoon of hemp oil.
  • A teaspoon of milled flaxseed.

Method:

  • If you have cooked your quinoa (20 mins in boiling water), let this cool first.
  • Place all ingredients into a high powered food processor and blend until a relatively smooth, but not liquid consistency has been achieved.
  • Pour into cupcake holders to serve.

This recipe makes four energy bombs. I tend to eat one straight away and freeze the rest. They will last for several days in the freezer.

I use this snack as a pre workout boost because it’s full of protein, complex and non-complex carbohydrates and plenty of other nutrients. This will keep me fuelled up and on form for at least an hour of heavy cardio and weight lifting. They can also be used as a post workout snack, as the flax, hemp and quinoa contain all 9 essential amino acids and therefore will help with muscle repair and recovery.