Spontaneity

So much in life is planned, organised, scheduled.  It has to be and I get that.  But I do enjoy days that happily evolve from an open and clear page in the diary to a pleasant variety of events.

I woke up early and drank the 1 litre of water I plan to start each day with.  I also went swimming as I was up early and so was in the pool by 7:30am which is a great way to start the day.1 litre water Back at home I tried to recreate the apricot and mango smoothie I enjoyed so much yesterday.mango apricot blender A large one for me and a smaller one for Harvey as he had munched his way through some carrots with humous so didn’t need as much.  I think it is the texture of this I like so much and the colour.  Just fabulous.mango and apricots and smoothies I was still hungry so I had a small papaya too.papaya in white bowl We then very happily accepted an invitation up the road so Harvey could have a swim and I could chat to David and Annette.F garden We sat in their stunning garden which is one of the finalists for the Kent Life garden of the year competition.  I do hope they win as it really is glorious and an absolute pleasure to sit in.coffee with Fettes Lunch was a very simple salad; green leaves and mange tout from the garden with celery, cucumber, and tomatoes.  Instead of a dressing I added some sultanas and goldenberries as I am trying very hard to reduce my fat intake.salad with 2 dried fruits Some of the high carb, low fat eaters I follow on Instagram eat huge bowls of green leaves with dates and I wondered how that helped as I have become accustomed to an oily dressing.salad and dried fruit Adding some dried fruit works very well actually.Goldenberries We had a visit from Aunty Marion and Edward this afternoon and enjoyed a walk together over the road in the woods.  I always enjoy seeing my Aunty and it’s quite a treat to have her all to myself.

Supper was a very quick and easy meal of oven roasted sweet potato fries (no oil or salt) and dry pan fried brown rice with vegetables.Stir fry and fries

I have had many chores this evening and as I sat at my computer, I munched my way through loads of cherries so I may well turn in to one of the Witches of Eastwick!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fruit Haul

A lot of fruit was bought and consumed by The Little Fella and myself today.  I started this bright and sunny Saturday with a punnett of red grapes, which we munched on our way up to Sevenoaks.

breakfast 27-6 Isn’t fruit amazing in the summer?  It is so sweet and juicy.grapes 27-6 After Harvey’s appointment at the hospital he was hungry and we had spotted a cafe on the way in to town that appealed to us both;Music Cafe 7 oaks The Zed Music Cafe.  It was quite busy when we arrived but three tables full of people left almost as soon as we sat down!  Harvey enjoyed his toasted sandwich and soya  milkshake and I had a soya milk latte.  Very friendly staff and my only complaint was a very small menu. i.e. a very limited choice but when I explained we were not eating dairy, they were very helpful.The Zed Music Cafe Next stop was the little market on the high street because I had spotted this fruit and veggie stall and wanted to check it out.fruit stall in 7oaks It was great.  Not organic and certainly not local either but such fresh looking produce and the fruit was actually ripe and, as we discovered later, full of flavour, unlike a lot of the plant foods we buy in the supermarket.  The prices were reasonable so we bought masses.  Literally as much as we could carry.  H choosing fruit Next stop was Paddock Wood which I always think feels like stepping back in time.PW high St This department store, which does have fantastically courteous and helpful staff, really reminds me of a department store I used to go to as a child called ‘Shinners’.  They have a small number of a large range of things and the prices aren’t bad.  They had what we needed which was great.Barsleys Homecraft DIY Some of the things we bought at the Sevenoaks market are 2 boxes of these honey mangoes.honey mango crate A bag of apricots.apricots 27-6 a 10kg box of cherries – this box is MASSIVE.10 kilo box of cherries I had not eaten anything all day apart from grapes so I made a smoothie from 10 of the apricots and 2 mangoes.10 apricots peeling a honey mango These mangoes are at the peak of their ripeness.  They are just perfect and the stone is quite small so you got a lot of mango for your money.  At £5 a box they were good value anyway.honey mango This smoothie was sensational.  I wish you could all try it as it was so good.mango and apricot smoothie It literally contained only apricots and mangoes and was the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and the consistency was amazing.  I loved every single mouthful of that one.apricot and mango smoothie I couldn’t resist trying one of these nectarines and that was spot on too – not too ripe and soft but not hard either and full of juice and flavour.nectarine 27-6 I spent a very happy couple of hours in the veggie patch in the late afternoon sunshine.veggie patch Mangetout.  I always hear “mangetout mange tout Rodney” in my head when I think of mange tout :-)mange tout 27-6 Mizuna.mizuna 27-6 Spinach.spinach 27-6 My sisters bought me 5 roses for my birthday 2 years ago and this one is looking amazing; it smells wonderful too.rose from sisters Eye spy with my little eye …… the raspberry canes Kath gave me when she emigrated home to NZ are ripening up and full of fruit.raspberries 27-6 This was the only disappointment of the day.  At first I thought it was soil but no, the broad beans are badly infested with some kind of fly which is disappointing.  I chopped down the worst one and saved as many beans as I could which I gave Harvey in his stir fry.  I was eating raw all day and the one bean I tried was bitter so I think they are better cooked so they couldn’t be added to my salad.infested broad beans For supper I carefully washed all the green leaves I picked: spinach, mizuna and rocket plus I added some watercress I bought at the market.  So lush and fresh.green leaves in bowl 27-6 Topped with celery, red cabbage, carrot, tomatoes and mashed avocado which did the job of a dressing.  No added oil, salt, pepper or any other seasonings.supper 27-6-15 I then actually did pit all these cherries to make cherry and banana nice cream.  All these cherries shared between us plus 3 frozen bananas each made a fantastic pudding.cherries in bowl Served with some coconut and coconut sugar.cherry nice cream 2 This was so good that someone ( I won’t name names though) actually licked the bowl.cherry nice cream

So, one very well fed lady is feeling good after an all raw plant food diet today.  I enjoyed pottering about in the shops with the Little Fella today as it is a long time since we have had a day like that together.  The fruit haul was a real result and we are both enjoying getting through it all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Living On A Yo-Yo

I feel like I am living in a Yo-Yo; up and down, up and down.  Another very demanding and challenging week is behind me but it did have some real highs and I am going to forget the stressy bad bits and focus on the happy bits.

One of my favourite days of the year is to go to Ascot on Ladies Day and this year was a particularly good fun day.  I went by train this year so I could enjoy some bubbles.  I usually drive but I needed a fun day out and I certainly had one of those.Ascot by train They have changed a few things at Ascot, including our usual place to eat.  Instead of a help yourself buffet, we now have table service in the seafood restaurant.  Similar menu and the same unbelievable prices though !Windsor Grey By Jove treated us all to a bottle of pink bubbles to kick the day off with – cheers.Pink Bolly I went for the vegetarian option.  There was nothing vegan so I had this blue cheese and jerusalem artichoke risotto with courgette and leeks plus we had bread on the side.  This was quite a modest portion but it tasted fantastic.Ascot risotto After lunch we went to watch the Queen arrive by horse drawn carriage.  I would never make a paparazzi so you will have to trust me when I say that is her in the blue!The Queen at Ascot 2015 We tend to watch the first race outside and then have a bit of a wander.    This is inside the main grandstand.Inside the Grandstand Ascot flowery horse Lara was working at Ascot on Thursday and she popped out to meet us with a couple of her work colleagues.Lara and Fay Behave By Jove!Lara and BJ Ascot View over the winners parade ground.parade ring Time for a Pimms I  think.Pimms at Ascot I am very lucky and get to go in the Royal Enclosure which is a lot less crowded than the public stands as this photo clearly shows but I suspect wherever you stand or sit you would have a wonderful day.Ascot stands 2 This was perfect weather for a day at the races as it was sunny and warm but not too hot.Ascot stands A missed photo opportunity of the Queen.  As we were going up the escalators, the Queen and her party walked along this corridor and that is the back of her blue dress disappearing in to the doorway.  By the time I found my camera, she was through the doorway.Queen going on to doorway We were on our way up to the box Lara’s company hired for the day and this is the view they had.  view from box After a busy day at the races it was time for some more bubbles and then a beer as champagne makes you thirsty :-)beer at Ascot The very gawjus Mr and Mrs By Jove

Helen and BJ And the very gawjus Becky and Andrew.Becky and Andrew Time for a picnic out of the back of the car which was such a lovely way to finish the day.  Lots of racegoers bring a picnic to have when they arrive and another one before heading home to give the traffic a chance to subside.  Besides being great fun, it is a practical thing to do so I recommend it if you go next year and haven’t been before – have a picnic before leaving.Becky and BJ Thank you Helen for providing such a lovely picnic.Helen and Andrew bro Goodnight folks.Ascot statues Hopefully see you all next year.mowing at Acot Yesterday I went up to London to have lunch with my lovely God-daughter, Maddie, her Mum and her GrandmaMaddie and Inge We went to Brasserie Blanc in Covent Garden.  They had food I could eat which was fantastic and this pasta dish was lovely.  BB pasta The sorbet was good too.BB sorbet This is my lovely friend Gini;  we were at school together and at one point lived on the same road so we have known each other for a very long time which is marvellous.me and Gini This was a good place for lunch but here’s a tip; the central area of the restaurant was very warm.  We were lucky to be at an end and not in the large glass rooved central area which may have been uncomfortable on a warm day.  We also got lucky because our table had a view over the indoor market in Covent Garden.  It was just perfect.view over Covent Garden It was such a lovely lunch and I really enjoyed seeing you all.  Thank you Gini for a lovely lunch.lovely Mddie I went from lunch in London to supper at Marion and Colin’s which was a very jolly evening and lovely to see my local friends.

Today was Father’s Day in the UK.  Lara and I had coffee with my Dad in the morning and we then took James out for lunch at the Three Chimneys .  I had a very well flavoured summer vegetable broth to start with and then a broad bean and vegetable dish which came with parmesan and the vegetables on the side came in butter and with cauliflower cheese.  There were not any vegan options so I confess I had a vegetarian lunch and I did eat it all and with relish.  It was delicious.three Chimneys I forget what this was called but it was absolutely delicious.  It was actually a starter and was meant to be served with an egg but I asked them to not serve the egg.broad bean lunch

So I have drunk way more than I usually do, been far more sociable than I have for a long time and eaten out a lot which is no good for the diet.  The week ahead is also looking very sociable which is such a challenge when you are dieting but then again, a girl does have to have some fun.  I needed some fun events this week and am so happy those friends were there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking and Gardening

Cooking and Gardening pretty much sums up my day today.  Oh and loads of boring paperwork but it had to be done and it does feel good to be more up to date.  Plus sewing (mainly repairs to the boy’s torn clothes), ironing and so many other chores that at 21:55 on a Sunday night I have not actually relaxed yet today :-(

Yesterday was very stressful due to a failure in the heating system and a flood in Ramsgate.  I have had a decorator there all week and went yesterday, anticipating a pleasant(ish) day, reviewing the paint work and some general tidying and cleaning.  Unfortunately I arrived to find water pouring through the ceiling in to a bedroom via the light fitting.  A local plumber came out to assess and do an emergency fix.   I currently have a house with a dripping ceiling (better then pouring but not resolved), no water (I know, how is it still dripping but it is), no heating and no electricity, a very sodden carpet and a room that needs decorating.  After all that I fell off the healthy eating cliff and ate cake, biscuits, bread and loathed myself some more.

So this morning I had a word with myself and kept busy to stop stressing about Ramsgate.

I made some Granola which had no added fat.  It was from the China Sudy Cookbook and tasted fabulous.

These are the raw ingredients

raw granola

and one and a half hours later, here is the finished product!  It was good on its own cooked granolabut even better eaten with some coconut yogurt and blueberries.Granila, Co Yo and blueberries I changed the recipe quite a bit as I didn’t have several of the ingredients so this is the recipe as I made it, rather then the recipe in the China Study Cookbook.

Granola (no added fat)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 a cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 of a cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup rasins

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140 °C
  2. Place water, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, raisins and coconut in a large bowl
  4. Add the wet mixture from the saucepan and mix well together
  5. Spread the mixture out on to 2 baking sheets, spreading as thin as possible
  6. Bake and stir every 15 minutes, until dry and crunchy which takes about 1 1/2 hours
  7. Let cool, try to not keep nibbling and store in an airtight container.  It should keep up to 3 weeks.

Having just read the recipe properly, you should not have added the raisins until cooking was finished!  Luckily mine didn’t burn and they taste good.

Granola fat free For lunch I made ‘Burrito bowls’ i.e. I made something similar to the Burrito Bowl I buy about once a week from Chipotle. 4 burrito bowl bowls I stir fried some brown Basmati rice with chopped kale because you can never eat too much kale, right?brown rice and kale Chopped some cherry tomatoes and spring onions and seasoned with freshly ground peppertoms and spring onions Guacamole made with lime juice and coriander on the sideguacamole and coriander Fried onions, red and yellow peppers.fried onions and peppers A tin of black beans, heated gently with some water added, 2 garlic cloves, paprika and chipotle, simmered until the water evaporated.Chipotle black beans YUM YUM YUMBurrito Bowl 2 I love this meal.  It is so easy to prepare and everyone always likes it.Burrito Bowl

It was a dull and overcast day which was actually helpful as I had quite a bit of gardening to do.  There’s the spinach, green and purple climbing beans and broad beans.

spinach and beans Mange Tout.mange totu broad beans Mizuna which has gone crazy and is dwarfing the neighbouring celery.Mizuna celery Sadly it’s been munched so it wont last long so I need to chmp my through as much as I can :-(Mizuna The courgettes are doing ok.courgettes The oregano had a good prune which created space to plant radishes in the same bed as the garlic and spring onions.oregano triffid radish seeds In the greenhouse the tomatoes are doing well and the cucumbers are beginning to get going.toms and cucs Little tomatoes are already growing :-)  Well, they are on the yellow tomato plants my vegetable growing neighbours up the road gave me.toms 2015 I was late, as usual, so the 2 varieties I have sown and the peppers are behind but hopefully they will catch up.toms and peppers I was late with the lettuces so they are still very small and I had very poor germination rates from the sweetcorn which is disappointing but overall, given everything else that occupies my time, I am pleased with my efforts.garden Jne 2015The raspberries and blueberries in the fruit cage are looking very promising but not much action on the blackcurrants.
fruit cage 2015 I snapped piccies of some of the beautiful flowers in my garden and thought about how many beautiful things there are out there.flowers 14 flowers 13 The scent from rose that clambers over the apple tree is quite heavenly.flowers 11 flowers 10 flowers 9 flowers 8 flowers 7 flower 6 flower 5 flower 4 flower 3 flower 2 flower 1

After taking the dogs for a walk we had hot dogs and ice cream for supper.  We really did.  Vegan tofu hot dogs in a wholemeal roll with mustard, ketchup and vegan cheese followed by raspberry and mango sorbet.  I was not really keen on the hot dogs but Harvey was.  I have no desire to eat meat free versions of meat and am very happy with plants but Harvey likes it and as he is being so supportive we had a supper for him.

I hope you all had a happy weekend and I really hope the plumber can get to the bottom of the problems that have caused me and my visitors so much aggravation over the past month or so in Ramsgate.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

3 Simple Vegan Meals

Weigh Day Friday and I lost 2 pounds this week which is great.  It gets me to a total of 27 pounds lost year to date.  I have been yo-yoing up and down recently so it was good to have lost an extra pound so I am now at my lightest weight this year to date.

One significant thing about this week’s 2 pound loss is it gets me back to where I was in March 2012 as it means I am back to having lost 4 stone since my all time heaviest.  It is so frustrating to think about all that weight I have lost but regained.  However, I have lost it again and hopefully this time next week I will have lost more again.

I called this post “3 simple vegan meals” but I actually had 4 today!  1 was really a snack but even so, I guess the 2 apples I had for breakfast would count as a meal.  I photographed 2 but was still hungry so I had a third.

apples It is such a huge pleasure for me to be able to pick veggies from the garden to eat and the recent sunshine has brought on the mizuna and spinach a treat.mizuna and spinachBaked Sweet Potato, Salad and Tahini Dressing

Ingredients (seves 1)

1 sweet potato
large pile of veggies you want to eat raw (I used mizuna, spinach, 2 tomatoes and cucumber)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Method

Turn the oven to 180 °C
Score a line round the potato, just cutting through the skin
Bake potato until soft which takes about 45 minutes
Prepare salad
Combine tahini, oil, lemon juice and season to taste
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve with the potato

This takes about an hour from thinking about it to eating it but only about 10 minutes actual preparation time so is perfect when you are busy, as I was with work.
sweet potato salad Mid afternoon I was peckish and fancied a snack so I made Papaya Nice-Cream

Papaya Nice-Cream

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 3 frozen bananas (freeze bananas when the skins are brown and spotty.  Peel them, place in a tupperware container or plastic bag and freeze)
  • 1 papaya
  • Sprinkles (optional) such as dessicated coconut, cacao nibs or fresh fruit

Method

  1. Deseed, peel and chop the papaya in to chunks
  2. Chop the banana in to chunks
  3. Place fruit in blender and blitz until smooth (in a Vita Mix this only takes about a minute)

bananas papaya banana and papaya I added a heaped tbsp each of coconut and cacao nibspapaya nice cream and toppings This is so divine I could eat bowl fulls of it and I can eat it guilt free as it is just fruit (and sprinkles) :-).  Papaya Nice-Cream is probably my favourite Nice-Cream as it has such a delicate but lovely flavour and the consistency is so smooth.papaya nice cream For supper we had pasta and bolognaise sauce with a vegan cheese.quorn pasta Harvey’s wasn’t vegan as I added quorn to his which contains egg white but it was at least vegetarian and he loved it.pasta quorn

Pasta with a Kale and Tomato Sauce 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 huge handfuls of kale, chopped
  • 1 tin of tomatoes or equivalent amount of passata
  • salt to taste
  • pasta of choice
  • vegan cheese, fresh basil and pepper to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (I use a frying pan rather than a saucepan as it is easier to reduce the sauce)
  2. fry the onion gently for about 5 minutes until nearly soft
  3. add the red pepper and cook for 5 minutes
  4. add the kale, turn up the heat and let the kale go crispy
  5. add the tomatoes, add salt if required, stir and leave to simmer
  6. cook pasta according to packet instructions
  7. place pasta in a large bowl, pour over the kale sauce, top with cheese and torn fresh basil and plenty of black pepper

pasta kale sauce A delicious vegan supper, made whilst being in awe of the torrential down pour and thunder storm raging in the garden.  And made whilst feeling so sorry for the 2 huge dogs hiding under the table!pasta and kale sauce

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Impulsive Portuguese Lunch

I was very hungry this morning and my fruit salad (3 small oranges and some blueberries) was not quite enough.

orange and blueberries A soy milk latte and bag of popcorn kept me going until lunch time.pop corn and latteI went out for lunch with my colleague Owen.  He recommended a Portuguese restaurant, Canela at Seven Dials.  The staff were very friendly and helpful and we went with their suggestions for what to eat and looked at their salads on the counter.
canela 7 I had a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.canella 6 Some mixed nuts.canella 4 A delicious salad made with spinach leaves, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato and a honey and cinnamon dressing.  This was really good.canella 3 Roasted aubergine dip with “rustic bread” and some roasted peppers.  It was all delicious.canella 2 I managed about an hour of gardening when I got home; watering the garden and planting out cauliflower and lettuce seedlings.  It was very pleasant out there.

I had a very simple supper of a wholemeal wrap, humous, tomato and lettuce leaves.humius salad wrap It wasn’t quite enough so I also had a large bowl of Shreddies with Hemp seed milk,  coconut yogurt and coconut sugar.Shreddies

That was a fantastic lunch!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Food and Savage Beauty

Overall, this was an amazing day :-).  I ate no animal products, lots of plant foods, saw some of my favourite people and went to a fabulous exhibition.

The day began with sunshine and a fridge clear out in preparation for my weekly food delivery.  I often juice the left over fruits and veggies to make space for the fresh ones: pink grapefruit, oranges, green grapes, carrots and celery were prepared for juicing.juice ingredients 7-6-15 2 glasses of sunshine juice made the perfect start to the day.glasses of sunshine I spent a couple of happy hours in the garden.  I was in the veggie patch, weeding and planting out spinach and bean seedlings.  I then hopped on a train to London; this is Victoria Station.Victoria Station 1 I met my lovely Lara and we had a pleaseant stroll through London, admiring the gorgeous residential streets we walked through as we walked through Sloane Square and towards South Kensington.

Eaton MewsI have never seen an electric car charging before.
electric car charger Flower Bench Ixworth Place Our destination was Tanya’s Cafe in Ixworth Place.  All their ingredients are organic, and everything is free from gluten, dairy, wheat and refined sugar.  Plus everything is raw so you get a big dose of nutritious food.Experinece Raw I have been wanting to go here for months and was very excited but I confess I was disappointed.  It was all ok but nothing special and I think I make better food at home.

I started with a green juice called ‘My Alkalizer’ which was made with kale, spinach, lemon apple and cucumber.   alzalizer We shared some nibbles to start with; BBQ spiced activated seeds and nuts, carrot crudités with chickpea free humousTanya's humous and ‘cheesey’ kale crisps.cheezy kale As a main I had a Pad Thai saladPad Thai salad Hello Lara!Lara in Tanya's CafeFor dessert I had a chocolate and walnut slice.  I did only have one slice but they served 2 portions on a sharing board.  This was really good but the rest of the food was just average and I prefer my own food and juices.chocolate walnut cake The coffee was ok.  So thanks for an alright meal but I don’t think I will be back.sipping my way to awesomeness Our next destination was the V&A which is next to this magnificent building which houses the Natural History museum.   We went to the Alexander McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition which was fabulous.  We all loved it and I recommend you go and see it.NHM 1 Afterwards we wandered along, chatting and looking for a bar or pub to have a drink in.London Streets London is such a beautiful city to wander around.walking in London How I would love to live in one of these!white pillars We had a glass of wine and then wandered back to the car park where Michelle had parked.beautiful tree Parking in London is not cheap!Sloane Sq car park Amazing cars in this car park near Sloane Square.Large green car

So this was a great day.  I didn’t need any supper and hopefully the gardening and walking have burnt off the glass of wine and the raw chocolate dessert.  The best thing today was the exhibition which was BRILLIANT!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beside The Seaside With Grayson Perry

I have had a lovely day today.  My day involved only a small amount of work, lots of sunshine, a trip to Margate and a day out with Rebecca.

I started this gloriously sunny day with a large green smoothie featuring 6 very ripe bananas, swiss chard from the garden, frozen blueberries, an avocado, blue green algae and hemp milk.  I shared this amount with Harvey.breakfast ingredients 6-615 Well it was meant to be green but it looked grey! 2 grey smoothies Some coconut sprinkled on top helped make it look a bit more appetising and Harvey and I both enjoyed it.grey smoothies I went to Ramsgate to go through some work we are having done.  Matt is staying at the house and is busy painting the shabby bits – it will look great when he has finished.Ramsgate house fronts Rebecca came to see me in Thanet today which made me very happy.  She came on the train to Ramsgate and after watching Murray lose the French Open (disappointed !!!) we strolled over to the Marina and had lunch in Miles Bar where we had a window seat over looking the marina.  We  had the same meal actually; chunky chips, a side salad and we shared some olives.  Mine was washed down with a very quaffable bottle of Sol lager.lunch at Miles bar Ramsgate Marina 1 The sea was a lovely colour today and as always, we enjoyed watching the boats pottering about in the marina.Ramsgate Marina 6-6-15 After lunch we headed to Margate.Lido Our destination was the Turner art gallery.JMW Turner and Margate We went to see the Grayson Perry exhibition and I was completely fascinated by his work.Provincial Punk Rebecca was a great person to go with because she knew lots about his work and had even met him before!  This was an excellent exhibition, which mainly featured ceramics, etchings and textiles.  I was stunned by his versatility of mediums and styles and loved some of his techniques, in particular the collages of cuttings from print glued on to a sketchbook and then water-colour applied and blended in with the collage.  I also really liked the etchings.  It really was worth a visit.Grayson Perry writing The large space on the ground floor hosted a large cymbal arrangement – as you do.cymbals display outside the Turner We had a cuppa before heading home – fresh lemon and ginger with a little honey. tea at Turner This beach was quiet Margate beachand so was this but Margate Main Beach was full of people enjoying the warmth and sunshine.footprints in the sand Thank you for visiting Rebecca, I had a really lovely day which was very much needed.RC in Margate I should have been hungry when I got home as I didn’t eat much today but 2 apples did the trick for supper so I left it at that.2 apples

I have another wonderful day to look forward to tomorrow too :-)

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Going

This has been a very tough week for so many reasons.  I have noticed that when I am tired it is harder to eat healthily and I am tired at the moment.  There is a lot going on in my life, not all of which is positive, and I am working 6 days most weeks so there is not much time to relax.  I have made some bad food choices recently but they have been occasional rather than the usual plummet to the depths.  Consequently I was happy to be weighed today and to see I had only put on 1 pound in the last 2 weeks.  I keep going up a pound one week and down a pound the next at the moment but that is so much better than usual where I might put on half a stone and then give up.  So I was inspired today to keep going with my whole foods and plant based diet with no cheats.  Year to date weight loss is 25 pounds.

I played tennis today and it was incredibly hot and muggy so I was very thirsty when I came home.  I made a green smoothie with 4 frozen bananas, hemp milk, spinach and swiss chard plus 1 tsp ‘Supreme Greens’.  I think this made a perfect post workout meal.IMG_9881 I had 2 glasses of lovely green smoothie.green smoothie 5-6-15 I was incredibly busy at work today so just made a simple lunch with these Piada I bought in Waitrose.  The ingredient list is minimal, unlike most wraps which are full of rubbish.  I bought the Violife (vegan version of Cheddar cheese) in the local health food shop, Vegetare.Piada and vegan cheese I heated a wrap in a large non stick pan and laid some Violife and fresh tomato on top.  When the wrap was warmed through, I wrapped the bread around the filling and enjoyed it very much.  I had a second one and added some Dijon mustard to it which was a good enhancement.tomato and vegan cheese Last week Harvey chose some Quorn in the supermarket.  He wanted something that looked like meat and chose this because Mo Farah eats it apparently!    I am very happy to eat food that doesn’t resemble meat at all but Harvey is doing so well with our nearly vegan kitchen that I was happy to oblige him.Quorn I made a bolognaise sauce to have with wholewheat tagliatelle and naturally packed it full of vegetables.  I fried up some onions, red pepper, celery and sweetcorn.  I noticed, when I was checking ingredients that Quorn contains egg white so I didn’t want to eat it.  I put half the vegetable mix in to a saucepan with a tin of tomatoes and half the packet of Quorn and simmered it for 10 minutes.  Harvey really enjoyed it.

I added a large Portobello mushroom and tomatoes to the frying pan with the other half of the fried veggies in it and simmered it for 10 minutes.veggies 5-6-15Plus a green chilli from the chilli plant.
chilli plant It was very tasty indeed.  I served it with some fresh coriander and basil. Yummy.  Harvey enjoyed his bolognaise too.vegan tagliatelle

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Beachside Walk and a Charitable Bake

The weather has been so changeable this weekend but we have made the most of it and spent many a happy hour outside.

After working in our house in Ramsgate all morning, Harvey and I set off in to town for lunch.IMG_9796 IMG_9798 We had a pizza and then set off to walk along the beach to Broadstairs.flowers on beach It was a sunny but not particularly warm day so perfect for walking in as not too hot and not too cold.IMG_9803 IMG_9806 IMG_9807When the tide is out, as it was on Saturday afternoon, we could walk along the beach which is so enjoyable.
IMG_9810 IMG_9811 There are so many places to stop and look at and as we were not in a rush, we took our time.IMG_9814 Beach reflection There is Broadstairs in the distance.Broadstairs Broadstairs jetty ladder on beach in Broadstairs Love this little driftwood sculpture.drftwood boat We had tea and cake sitting outside The Old Curiosity shop; these charming buildings were our view.lovely buildings in BroadstairsWe walked through the alleyway opposite as I had never been through there before.
Harvey with large shell in wall anchor in wall Time to head back to Ramsgate and we hoped the rain would hold off until we were back.Broadstairs under a cloudy sky IMG_9835 IMG_9837 Harvey onbeach IMG_9844 beach huts IMG_9850 IMG_9851 IMG_9852 Is this a dog fish?  Does anyone know?  It looks a bit like a shark.looks like a shark 2 of these were on the beach.dead fish rockpool Ramsgate The clouds did become blacker but then rolled away so we were safe from a drenching.IMG_9859 IMG_9867 By the time we got back to Ramsgate the sun was shining and the sky was blue again.  Ramsgate 30-5-15 2 It was a beautiful walk.  I always enjoy a stroll along the beach and this was a good length walk with plenty to look at along the way.  The company was tip top too,Ramsgate 30-5-15 1 Today we did some baking.  Our near neighbours, David and Annette, were opening their gardens for charity – Heart of Kent Hospice – which you can find more about here

I offered to bake a contribution for the cake stall.  I had seen a yummy sounding/looking concoction on eatgood4life.com

She made ‘Peanut Butter and Chocolate Blondies’ which looked amazing.  Look at the original recipe http://www.eatgood4life.com/peanut-butter-and-chocolate-blondies/oatie ingredients Banana and Peanut Butter Oaties

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups oats
6 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used a tub of pureed apple and prune baby food)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup chocolate chips + 2 tbsp (I used very dark chocolate to keep the recipe vegan)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

the original recipe also called for 14 vegan peanut butter cups but I didn’t have any so went without them or any alternative.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 °C and line a 9 x 13 baking tray with baking parchment paper
In a food processor, add the rolled oats and pulse until they are pulverised
Place in a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.
Add the bananas, apple sauce, peanut butter and maple syrup to the food processor and pulse until it is liquefied.
Add this mixture to the oat mixture and combine.
Add 1 cup of the chocolate chips (and the peanut butter cups if you are using them).
Spread the batter in to the prepared baking tin – the mixture will be thick and put the 2 tbsp chocolate chips on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool

uncooked oaties My oven doesn’t cook very evenly!  The recipe on the blog I linked to above made a chocolate sauce to drizzle over the top.  Mine didn’t turn out too well so we went with what we had.cooked aoties They were quite dense so only small pieces were required.oaties 3 They may not be sweet enough for people used to eating conventional sweet cakes and biscuits but if you are used to a healthier, low sugar diet, they are sweet enough and very enjoyable.oaties 1 They all sold!  I had a wonderful day, helping out at the tea stall for a couple of hours and then chatting to people who visited the garden.  I enjoyed seeing everyone and in particular, Rebecca and Beryl who I hadn’t seen for many months and who are both missed very much.Banana and peanut butter oaties

Well done to Annette and David who both worked very hard, working their beautiful garden and preparing for the day.  And well done to everyone who volunteered to help run the event and to all the visitors who braved the inclement weather and turned up.  Over £1,000 was raised from Little Nut Hall alone which was a great result.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments