Thrive Banana & Coconut Pie (Raw)

This is something that Mykey made me whilst I tidied the house. It made enough for me and him to have it as a post workout protein cake for a week. I apologise for American measurements. He kind of made it up as he went along and it came out great.

Crust:

  • 1 cup hemp protein powder
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger

Filling:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 pear
  • 1tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup macadamias, soaked
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Procedure

Make crust by putting all ingredients into food processor and processing until dough like. Remove and spread out onto a pie plate, pack down. Put all filling ingredients into food processor and process until creamy. Fill pie crust by evenly spreading out filling. Put in the freezer for about 60 minutes.

Don’t forget that because this is basically a raw dish, it’s very nutrient dense whilst lower in calories. Eat raw food and clean whole foods often to obtain maximum level of health.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

Simple Quinoa Salad

This is often a staple for me when I am out on the road driving all over the country, or if I have a busy day at work. As you can see from the picture below, I am eating this at my desk.

Ingredients:

A handful of quinoa

½ Courgette

A few strips of dulse

¼ Cucumber

A handful of sprouted beans

Basil

Soy Sauce

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Chop the courgette into half-moon shapes and place in a baking tray with a drizzle of coconut oil. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven for 20 minutes and then leave to cool on the side before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Heat up a small pan of water and cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions. (You can set this up whilst the courgette is baking.)
  • Chop up the cucumber and tomato and place in a bowl.
  • Mixed in cooled and drained quinoa and courgettes.
  • Sprinkle with dulse strips, basil, soy sauce, sea salt and black pepper.
  • Mix with a spoon to give the ingredients good distribution throughout the dish.

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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!

Quinoa, Bean and Pepper Salad

Here is a quick, easy and nutritious salad recipe that can be eaten on the go.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ of a bag of Quinoa (Tesco is by far the cheapest place to purchase Quinoa at £1.69 a bag.)
  • A whole yellow bell pepper.
  • A whole red onion.
  • A handful of pinto beans. (Pre- soaked or from a tin.)
  • All-purpose Caribbean seasoning.

 

Method

 

  • If you are using pre-soaked pinto beans, you will need to cook these in water on a high heat for approximately 30 minutes first. If you are using tinned pinto beans, drain excess liquid and put to one side.
  • Pour quinoa into another pan of water and cook on a high heat for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, deseed and chop the pepper and peel and chop the onion into small chunks. Place in a large bowl.
  • Add cooked pinto beans (or from a tin) into the bowl a long with the cooked quinoa.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle with Caribbean seasoning for acquired taste mixing again.

I’m lazy, so I just ate it out of the big bowl I mixed it in. You can serve with a fresh, crisp salad if you’re that way inclined.

 

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My lifestyle change story

When I was six years old, I was struck down by phenomena. It was caught late and I was really sick. I had a good couple of months off of school. It was so bad that it significantly reduced my lung capacity and left me suffering chronic chest infections every year around the beginning of autumn. As I grew older, I slowed my metabolism significantly with the introduction of alcohol from about the age of 15. By the time I was 24 my diet was mainly ready meals, fake meats and pasta based dishes and I was a good 4 stone over weight. Yet now at 27 I am running 5k races, lifting more weight than ever before and I’ve reached an optimal BMI, if you believe in such things.

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So how did I do it? Let’s rewind to January 2010. I had just started a relationship with the person who would become my ex-partner in 2012. She made me very happy, but I was still suffering from some pretty nasty depression. After taking anti-depressants for a while and not seeing any notable improvement, I decided that my diet needed to be looked at. I brought Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Diet book and followed it to the letter. I found that I was losing weight, I was less anxious and all the digestive stress that I had been experiencing dissipated. The Thrive Diet puts emphasis on vegan whole foods, raw foods and non-processed foods. It focuses on creating an alkaline environment in your blood, so that your body can function at it’s optimum state.

 

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So the diet started to make me feel better about myself, but it didn’t solve all of my problems. I’d still get really low in the evenings and in the mornings. I was working between 60 and 80 hours a week at the time, so didn’t think I could fit any exercise in. It seems however, that if you want it badly enough, you can fit anything into your daily routine. I started to go to the gym every other day for about 2 hours in the evening. I lost a lot more weight and got up to a reasonable standard of fitness, but what did I do? I let it all slip in the autumn of 2011 when I got one of my horrendous chest infections. I started eating rubbish food and exercising maybe once a week. Why? Well because my depression and anxiety took over every function of my life. I had a lot of time off sick from work and my friends suffered from me being in a state nearly all of the time. Now I look back on that time, perhaps subconsciously I knew that my partner was falling out of love with me and I couldn’t cope with it.

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I managed to get a grip again sometime around March 2012 and started to eat properly and go to the gym a few times a week. Then in May my partner left and my whole life turned to shit….again. I spent two months drunk every day. My depression literally ate me alive. I’m not really sure what clicked in me because I certainly wasn’t over it, but in August I picked myself up off of the floor. Those of you who came to Vegan Camp will remember me getting up at 6am every day and working out in the mud. That was the start of my journey.

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When I got back from camp, I decided things needed to change. I went back to following Thrive religiously. I started working out every single weekday morning and going to a class every single weekday evening. The weight started to fall off of me and the muscle started to become more defined. My personal trainer, Dave really helped me during this time. He had suffered a personal tragedy himself, but he was always there to listen to me and filter my anger and aggression into hitting personal best upon personal best.

 

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So here I am at 70.6kg and 25% body fat. I still have a little more body fat to lose to get the definition I truly desire, but I did it and you know what? In my adult life, this is one of two things that I’m extremely proud of. (The first being, buying my first flat at 23 and my 2nd flat at 25.)

I know you think you can’t do it, but you really can. I over came reduced lung capacity, depression and a rather serious breakup. I didn’t even have a chest infection in 2012 for the first time since I was 6. Here’s something to make you think: my fitness regime only takes up 8% of my day and I achieved this.

 

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Vegan Low Calorie, Low Fat Pancakes

Most people are under the impression that you can’t have pancakes that aren’t laden with eggs, milk and white processed flour. One of the first things I did when I went vegan in 2006, was to make pancakes. The floury and stodgy 900 calorie delights, smothered with golden syrup. If that’s what you want, I can give you the recipe right now:

Flour

Soya milk

Oil

That’s it. Whisk it up and fry in some olive oil. Then you can cover it in any sugary delight you like.

Personally I like my food to be full of nutrients and low in fat. If you’re like me, the below recipe adapted from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive book will be right up your street.

  1. 2 dates
  2. 128g blueberries
  3. 340ml non-dairy milk
  4. 240ml water
  5. 68g buckwheat flour
  6. 43g quinoa (cooked or sprouted)
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp baking soda

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor and either fry in olive oil for a couple of minutes on each side, or bake in a warm oven for 20 minutes.

For 2 pancakes that’s a total of 227 calories and 4 grams of fat. Enjoy!