All posts by Brenda

day 1

Before I start telling you about the first day of the challenge , I want to share a little something.   maybe a bit too much, but I think it’s important.

The night before the challenge begun, I totally over did it on the animal products.  I normally don’t eat like this but for some reason, my brain, or my stomach, or maybe they were both in cahoots, thought it was a good idea to pig out (no pun intended).
So, for my last meal, I had chocolate biscuits, half a block of milk chocolate (i usually eat dark so go figure), 3 slices of orange and almond cake, avocado and cheese toasties and a magnum almond. 

well, let’s just say that the churning in my stomach at bed time was not pleasant.  a few trips to the loo, a stench that would make a tip employee wince and a belly that looked 5 months pregnant was enough to tell me that I had chosen the wrong foods to eat.

this is important because: 
1.  having been preparing myself for the challenge for the last month, i have been staying away from dairy and eggs so I know for a fact that it was all the dairy that did this to me.

2.  listening to your body and how it feels after you consume food is important.  take note for next time.

3.  although my partner is not keen on my vegan quest, i bet he’ll love not having to deal with the constant aroma i was creating.

I don’t think this challenge will be that difficult but I could be wrong.  The main drive for me to do this is to eat clean, eat fresh and be creative.  So i’ve decided that instead of focusing on the things I can’t eat, I’ll focus on the things I can.  I’m not really into the bastardisation of food so products like not-bacon or meat-free meat are really not my thing.  I think that would be such a contradiction – eating food that is highly processed when you are meant to be eating clean.  doesn’t make sense. 

So let’s dive in to day 1.

I woke up feeling tired, bloated and full but ravenous.  all the feelings i feel when i’m hungover (which is not too often i might add).
a wise friend did say that this would happen after knowing the contents of my last supper.  wish i had thought of this before.
and i don’t know about you, but when i’m hungover, i’m like a bottomless pit.  Nothing satisfies my hunger, or let’s correct that, it’s not really hunger, it’s just a need to consume everything in sight.   
uh oh, not a good start.
for breakfast I had green tea porridge. yum, I love green tea and I love porridge so it made sense to combine the two.
I now know that it’s best not to have tea with your meals as it reduces the amount of iron that your body absorbs.  For that reason, I probably won’t do it too often as I need all the iron I can get.
Here’s the recipe for those that don’t have issues with iron absorption.

Green tea porridge
1/4 cup wholgrain oats
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp green tea powder
1 tsp stevia powder (optional)
pinch of sea salt
Mix in a saucepan until all ingredients are combined and to the consistency that you like.
Lunch was a salad with lots of spinach, seeds and pumpkin, with my favourite dressing of the moment – tahini and tamari.



Spinach and pumkin salad with tahini

2 cup spinach
1/4 cup carrot sticks
1/4 cup red capsicum
baked pumpkin (approx. 1.5 cups)
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tbs pepitas

Dressing

1 tbs unhulled tahini
2 tbs tamari
1 tbs water
cracked black pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients together and add more water if you like it thinner. Toss through vegetables and seeds until well coated and you’re good to go.

Unfortunately i ended up having to do a double shift at work so as I had not prepared for it, I ended up having to eat the food provided.  I think the vegan gods really want me to do this though because one of the choices was a vegan cous cous with baked vegetables and lentils (accidental I’m sure but a win for me).

One thing I can’t stress enough is the need to be prepared.  I always take some almonds or corn thins to work with me for that 3pm slump and today was no exception.  But sometimes, healthy snacks are not enough and you crave something a little bit more decadent :)

Here’s my recipe for some brownies that I tweaked and adapted from one I found on the happy herbivore.  It yields 12 brownies depending on how big you cut them.  they keep really well in a sealed container in the fridge and really satisfy the chocolate cravings.  Don’t be scared by the ingredients, you would never guess it had beans in it, I swear!!

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies

1 420g can of red beans (drained and rinsed)
2 bananas
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3 tbs sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except quinoa, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the quinoa and pour batter into the pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.  Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup quinoa, flour or almond meal.  
You could also add nuts for an extra protein hit, but i left them out this time.

So there is the first day, along with lots of green and chai tea, an apple with peanut butter, a handful of mixed raw nuts, some dates, and orange and 2 slices of spelt sourdough with banana and maple syrup (bottomless pit remember).  Way more food than I consume in a day and all very sugary.  It may just be the food hangover, it may be that I need to add more protein to each of my main meals so that they are more satisfying or that I need to drink more water.  Whatever it is, I’m slowly trying to figure it out.

This blog is not intended as a food diary, so for that reason, I’ll update the blog on a weekly basis, most probably sunday or more often if something super exciting occurs.  

I thought it was important to document the first day so that I could make a comparison with how the rest of the journey goes.
Hoping to have more recipes by sunday.


peas, love and mung beans

xxb






pre V-DAY jitters!!

so, i’ve been playing around with vegan recipes for the past month or so and i’ve decided to push myself a little further by taking a 12 week vegan challenge.

i should give a little background first.  
i love food. 
a lot.  
i know, everyone does, and what’s not to love?  it sustains us, makes us happy, it gives people a reason to get together and enjoy each other’s company.  and for some, it is used as a way to make others know we care without saying a word.
what i love the most about food is that you don’t have to have a lot of money to eat good food, you don’t have to have fancy tools or machines, or be particularly skilled, you just have to love food, have an imagination, and want to create.  the rest, like all things where love is concerned, fall into place.

but back to my challenge.  
there’s no one particular reason why i’m doing it.  people who know me know that i’m always trying weird and wonderful diets (and by diets i don’t mean diets to lose weight, i mean the real meaning of diet, which is the chosen foods consumed by an organism).  

i was a vegetarian on and off since high school until my early 20’s and for the past decade, i’ve eaten mainly an pescatarian diet, had periods where i maintained a vegetarian diet and most recently where i tried the paleo diet (that only lasted for 4 weeks, couldn’t live without grains).
what i’ve noticed about all the different diets i’ve tried is how i have felt within myself.  it’s really not rocket science that what you put into your body will affect the way you feel and perform.  research shows that diet is the major contributor to health, not just of the body but also the mind.
having said that, i’m not an expert and this is not a blog about what is healthy or better for you.  
i believe everyone is different and what works for one doesn’t work for another.  everyone is unique and that is what makes us all amazing beings :)

so, this blog is primarily to keep me focused. to diarise changes (if any) that occur to my body and mind and to share the recipes i come up with to keep me interested.  
i would really love any comments, recipes, ideas, encouragement, research articles, e.t.c., that any of you may have ( and yes, i have made a big assumption that anyone is actually reading this).
i hope that if you are not a fan of veganism, that you don’t submit any negativity, i think the world is too  full of that already.

peas, love and mung beans.

xxb