Lebanese Lentils and Roasted Cauliflower

I was in the mood for cooking when I got up today and before even having breakfast I baked a banana bread to have during the week.  I was going to blog the recipe but I made such a delicious lunch I am going to share that recipe instead.  I will share the banana bread recipe later in the week as it is already late and I don’t want to spend too much time blogging.

banana bread in tinBreakfast was a lovely smoothie made with just 3 ingredients: bananas, frozen blackberries and coconut water.  This quantity made enough for me and Harvey.
blackberries and coconut water

This is definitely one of my favourites smoothies.  Bananas and blackberries seem to go so well together and I always feel good after consuming it.

blackberry banana smothie

This book is fantastic. Definitely one of my favourite recipe books.  I like the style of it, the photos, the matt paper and the most important thing is that the recipes all really work.  It is well worth getting.  It’s not vegan but it is plant based and many of the recipes are vegan or can easily be adapted to make them vegan.  The My New Roots instagram site is really good to.My New Roots cookbookSo thanks to My new Roots for today’s delicious lunch.  I made it exactly as the recipe said but instead of ghee I used coconut oil and instead of kaniwa I used quinoa.  Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe, it was very simple to make, as long as you have plenty of saucepans!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lebanese Lentils and Kaniwa

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 head cauliflower
knob of ghee/coconut oil, melted
Flaky sea salt
1/2 cup kaniwa or quinoa
Fine sea salt
1 cup green lentils (or brown seemed to work fine as I had to use a combination)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3 small onions (about 350 g) sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp raw honey

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.  Line a baking sheet with baking parchment
  2. Cut the cauliflower head in to slices.  Toss in the oil and salt and lay on the baking sheet.  Roast for 20-30 minutes until the edges become brown.
  3. Rinse and drain the kaniwa/quinoa.  Put it in a small saucepan, add just under 1 cup of water and fine sea salt and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender – about 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse and drain the lentils.  Put them in another small saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil and then simmer until tender – about 20 minutes.  About 5 minutes before they finish cooking, add a few pinches of flaky sea salt.
  5. Heat some oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, stick, fennel seeds and black pepper.  Cook until fragrant – 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring often until lightly caramelised, about 15 minutes.  Add the cooked kaniwa/quinoa and lentils, stir to combine and reheat if necessary.  Remove the cinnamon stick.
  6. Whisk the olive oil, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, mint, parsley, fine sea salt and honey together in a small jug.  Pour over the lentils and kaniwa/quinoa.

Give it a go as it really was completely delicious and both Harvey and I had to have seconds.

cauliflower slices cauliflower baking parchment premium organic quinoa I used a mixture of lentils because I didn’t have enough of just green and it worked very well.brown and green lentils lentils in seive roasted cauliflower slices It is hard to believe that lentils and cauliflower can taste so good but they do!lebanese lentils and roast cauli

We had a reasonable length dog walk over the road in the woods this afternoon and when we came back we had some banana bread and these delicious bliss balls.  I will have these again.

Laura's Idea Supper was a make it up as you go along affair, with brown rice udon noodles and any veggies that needed using up.  Seasoned simply with garlic, za’tar and soy sauce.stir fry udon Served with spinach wilted in lime juice.spinach and lime juice

So not a bad days eating.  Lots of plant foods but too much oil due to the frying and lentil dressing so I need to cut down the fat.  But I enjoyed everything we ate today and since it was essentially all good stuff, I am not beating myself up about a bit of oil.

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Dog Walking

This has been one of my worst weeks ever, with too many sad events and too much bad news.

We had to say good bye to our lovely Dylan.  He has been ill for a while and he deteriorated very quickly in the last week.  I had no idea that this would have been his last walk which was in the woods over the road, a couple of weeks ago.

3 dogs in woodsIt was freezing cold but he always liked a paddle in the water.Dylan in water 3 dogs for walking

He was such a lovely dog.  He was kind and gentle.  None of us can recall ever hearing him growl.  He barked at the gate but never growled.  He loved going out for walks and it was hard not being able to take him out much in the last month.

He enjoyed his last trip to the beach when we took him to Ramsgate 3 weeks ago.

Ramsgate 10-1 22

Dylan would always leap to his feet to welcome you home or even to greet you as you walked around the house.  He has left a big gap in our family.  We were lucky to have loved him and been loved in return for 10 years and we wish it had been longer.  But he was too ill so we had to say good-bye which was heartbreaking.  It is so hard to think he won’t come trotting through the door again, with his tail wagging and being all pleased to see us.IMG_0974 He won’t come on any more walks with us.woods 28-4 7Or enjoy being with us all.Bs and Ws dogs and water M and D drinking Harvey and dogs at Bodiam

Dylan in bed

D H and MMilton will really miss him as they spent all their time together, 24 hours a day.dogs in bed by rad

A couple of years ago, Harvey won first prize at a dog show in Tenterden with Milton and Dylan.  He was so proud of them both.dog show 2 I was proud of him as he had to show them on his own and he did brilliantly.dylan at dog show dog show 1 dog show Dylan SissinghurstBoth of my kind hearted children love our dogs and their hearts have been broken this week and that has been hard to bear.L, H, M and D

M H and D HemsteadM H and D in car M D and H with view dylan close up with tongue Dylan's head Dylan's eyes dogs in the sea M and D under stairs Dylan by back door 3 boys, 1 stick D and M at Sissinghurst dogs in water over road dogs at Camber

Dylan, you were a wonderful dog and we will all miss you very much.  Thank you for protecting us and loving us as you did.  Thank you for all the lovely walks we did together and for being such an attentive brother to Milton.  Bye bye xxxxDylan in sunshine

I have been eating really badly lately and not exercising enough which is making me fatter and unhealthier, not thinner and healthy.  I woke up with a hangover after a night with my lovely local ladies friends, playing cards, chatting and obviously drinking too much.  I was determined to eat well and basically I did.

 

I chopped up carrots, butternut squash and red onion, added salt and pepper, a little oil and roasted them in the oven for nearly an hour.veggies in roasting tray 30-1-16 While they were cooking, I made a smoothie from 2 ruby grapefruits and 2 bananas.grapefruits and bananas Plus tea, lots of tea.tea and smoothie 30-1-16 I ate the veggies with tenderstem broccoli.
lunch 30-1-16 2 They were really good and very filling.lunch 30-1-16 I then had a delightful afternoon which was much needed.  dog walking A lovely long dog walk at Penshurst place.3 dogs and shadows Milton has been lonely without Dylan and really enjoyed the time spent with other dogs.3 dogs It certainly was a beautiful afternoon.tree and blue sky 2 tree and blue sky So was the company.  After a lovely walk we had tea/coffee.  We had to sit outside because dogs weren’t allowed inside and Billy is only a puppy and we didn’t want to leave him in the car.  We had so much to chat about but got cold so ……….Sally, Lucy and Billy we decamped to a nearby pub, The Spotted Dog.  It was a lovely traditional country pub and we enjoyed a beer before heading home.The Spotted Dog I had a tub of tofu that needed using up and a new vegan cookbook to try out.keep it vegan and tofu I marinated the tofu and made it in to a scramble.  It was very easy.  The marinade was made from 4 tbsp miso paste, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp tamari, and 2 tbsp sesame oil.  I pressed the water out of the tofu, chopped it in to small pieces and marinated it for an hour before frying it with an onion.tofu marinade I served the tofu scramble on mixed salad leaves in a wholemeal wrap.  We had 2 each.  It was ok.  Not amazing but ok but as a quick and easy meal to prepare, I would do it again.tofu scramble

 

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Weekly Mash Up

This has been a very hectic, busy and stressful week with far too many things going on for me to deal with.  But somehow I did it but it meant I didn’t manage to blog and I didn’t eat the healthiest food either.  I managed to stick to vegan eating but it wasn’t all healthy.

It was so cold last weekend and at the beginning of the week that the water in the fountains at Trafalgar Square froze.T.Sq 8 Well, partially.  The actual fountains continued to run.T Sq 7 T Sq 6 T Sq 4 T Sq 3 T Sq 2 T Sq 1 I had a few smoothies for breakfast last week, which are so easy to make and they transport well to work as I tend to use frozen fruit.smoothie and mittens I had too many soy milk lattes and popcorn.  I really must cut them out.latte and popcorn The nearest eaterie to the office is Pure so I went there a few times this week as I was too busy to walk any further away.  I did really badly with making 10,000 steps a day and only achieved target once!Hummus Be Joking Jan 2016 The ‘Hummus Be Joking’ and Spinach and dal soup were the highlight.Hummus be joking I did have one of these !  A cupcake from Ms Cupcake which is London’s first entirely vegan bakery.  They sell the cakes in Wholefoods and I went to buy one for Lara but then ended up having one myself too.  This was a banana choc chip and it was fabulous.  Oh look, I just happened to photograph it next to a picture of the very gorgeous Idris Elba !Ms Cupcake and Idris If it wasn’t a smoothie I had porridge from Pure with Golden Syrup (the delicious wickedness) and banana on top.Pure Porridge 21-1-16 On Thursday it was Lara’s birthday.  We had cocktails first in Browns Covent Garden which were very good.  When James and Harvey arrived we went to Dishoom for dinner.  It was hard to not have their lovely breads or amazing black dal but I had to resist as they contain dairy.  I had some foods I had not had in Dishoom previously and I loved it all.  To start with I had okra fries and vegetable samosas.  As a main I had ‘Gunpowder Potatoes’ which are cooked in their skins over a smoky grill, and then tossed with herbs and aromatic seeds, a bowl of greens (broccoli, snow peas and spinach cooked with chili and lime) and ‘Chole Bhatura’ which was spiced chickpeas.  You have to ask for some of these dishes to be cooked to be dairy free and Dishoom were very helpful.Dishoom 21-1-16 Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter.Dishoom 24-1-16 On Saturday I had a good lunch at Wahaca in Wimbledon with 2 of my sisters.  Wahaca do seem to add meat or cheese to everything but they were very helpful about leaving it out or serving it on the side, when I asked them.  So I was able to eat some fresh and interesting salads with rice and beans and an excellent roasted sweet potato dish.Wahaca 23-1-16 Today for lunch I made a stir fry with broccoli, onions, spring onions, mushrooms, peppers, buckwheat soba noodles and tofu.stir fry veg 24-1-16 Yummylunch 24-1 Apart from the noodles which went mushy so I won’t have them again.lunch 24-1-16

I over ate this week and under exercised so I must do better this week.

 

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Baby It’s Cold Outside

Gosh it’s cold outside today!  It feels really freezing cold here in my little corner of England.  Not ultra cold by global standards perhaps but I am really struggling to stay warm tonight.  I will be heading to my cosy bed when I have posted this as it may be the only way I can warm up.

Breakfast was a bowl of citrus goodness.citrus bowl 2 2 pink grapefruit and 2 oranges, which packs in a lot of vitamins which are needed at this time of year to help boost immunity.citrus bowl 1 At lunch time I spent some of my Christmas money on some new clothes (a sweater and a long sleeved top for work) and then popped in to Pure for a takeout.  I have not had this before and it was very tasty.Smoked tofu pho bowl I was feeling hungry so I had a bread stick with it as it is very light.Pure Pho 2 Pretty good and it felt really healthy and nutritious.Pure Pho 1 For supper I made a smoothie with some kale from the garden, 4 bananas and some frozen raspberries, with a glug of almond milk.smoothie 19-1-16 Topped with some coconut.  It was good but not enough as I was still hungry.smoothie and coconut So I had some dates with almonds, cashews and walnuts.  Not many and served in a small bowl, rather than bringing out the whole bag, so I don’t overeat as they are high in fat and I really want to be losing weight.dates and nuts by candle

I am really pleased how I did today with my eating but I haven’t managed to walk my steps – 8,200 so far.  I will try and do a walk tomorrow lunch time to get the exercise increased.

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Pancakes And An 18th Birthday Party

What a lovely weekend I have had. Saturday morning began with pancakes.  I used a vegan recipe from The Happy Herbivore.The Happy Herbovire cookbook

Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup wholewheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp fine salt
1 cup non dairy milk
2 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl
Combine non dairy milk and maple syrup
Pour wet mixture in to dry and stir until well mixed
Let rest for 10 minutes
Heat a non stick frying pan over a low heat
Spray pan or add fat, melt and ladle in 1/4 cup of batter per pancake (should make 8 small or 4 large)
Cook on one side until bubbles form, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes

pancake ingredients

I added blueberries to the batter before cooking as I love squidgy soft blueberries.  I served the pancakes with more blueberries, banana and maple syrup.  A delicious start to the day.

blueberry pancakes with bananasA walk in the woods with 3 canine companions today because we had Oscar visiting us.
3 dogs in woods A short walk on Saturday so we could take Dylan who is not able to do long walks anymore but he does love going out.Dylan in water 3 dogs for walking I was in Tunbridge Wells at lunch time so I had lunch in Basil.  A very light lunch as I was quite full from the pancakes; kale salad with a peanut dressing and a beetroot and rocket salad.kale and green salad It was a really modest portion so no wonder I was hungry by the evening!Basil saladHarvey and I had a fun evening celebrating Holly’s 18th birthday party.  It was lovely to see so many dear people and good friends.  Michelle brought Charlotte along who I have not seen since she was a young child.
Michelle, Charlotte and Justin It was a real treat to sit next to my God-daughter, Maddie, for supper.Maddies, Gini and John Happy birthday Holly.  The speeches were perfect as they made us laugh and cry which I think is the desired result.  Well done Sally and Troy; well done for a lovely party and well done for Holly, she is such a treasure.Troy, Holly and Sally

Today was a very BORING day as I spent nearly all day producing a tax return.  Dull, dull, dull.  The highlights were Harvey making pancakes for breakfast, a longer dog walk with the fitter dogs and a roaring fire which I enjoyed snoozing in front of for a while this afternoon.

Supper was an experiment.  We had baked sweet potato which I mashed with a vegan cheese which was ok.  An Ottolenghi tomato and pomegranate salad which was very good.  Some buffalo cauliflower bites which were disappointing.  They did not have the promised crispy outside so I will try again with another recipe.  The flavour was good.  Plus some green leaves.dinner 17-12-15

I also had some nuts and dates and an apple, plus a glass of red wine.  So in review, this was a pretty good weekend of eating.  I remained vegan, managed a walk every day and ate plenty of fruits and vegetables so I am rather pleased with my efforts, particularly since I was out a lot on Saturday.  I hope you all enjoyed your weekends.

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Vegan Junk Food

Vegan Food is not always healthy!  Breakfast was though; I made a smoothie with bananas, blackberries and a splash of almond milk.

banana and blackberries Really delicious.smoothie 16-1-16 I ate way too much of this today.Bombay Mix 3 I shouldn’t have bought such a big bag.Bombay Mix 2 Bombay Mix 1 It was gorgeous in the woods today.woods in sunshine Water levels are up.  This stream often disappears but at the moment the water is nearly touching the bottom of the bridge.water under bridge

Blue skies, sunshine and crisp, fresh air – makes you feel good and helps get those 10,000 steps in.dogs in woods waterfalls in woodsI snacked on an apple mid afternoon.  I had missed lunch but was full up from all that Bombay Mix.  I ate more than half that large bag !!
apple and white bowl Burger and chips for supper.  I cut the potatoes using my mezzaluna, seasoned them with salt and pepper and added a small amount of sunflower oil.raw chips To go with our chips we had an almond and walnut burger, with vegan mayo, mustard, mixed leaves and salad, in a wholewheat bun with ketchup.  This would not be my choice of a meal but Harvey really liked it and at least it was all vegan.  I felt too tired today to manage to prepare 2 different meals so we both had the same.burger and chips vegan walnut and almond burger

At least it was vegan and I did a lovely walk.

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Belfast

I have just spent 2 days in Belfast!  I did spend most of that time in the office but managed to see a little of the city centre.

This is Belfast Welcome to Belfast I left home on Wednesday and caught an early flight to Belfast.  I arrived before my colleague so I had a soya milk latte and bag of popcorn at the airport for breakfast while I waited.popcorn and latte The office is on the edge of the City with nowhere nearby to grab any food so I had lunch in the office canteen.  A really good vegetable soup with wholemeal bread.  Today for lunch I just had 2 large servings of the soup.Lunch 13-1-16 2 But back to yesterday, I had a large mixed salad with my soup which was very reasonable.lunch 13-1-16 Before heading out for supper in the evening, I checked in to my room at the Radisson BluRB room 2 It was a bit bland and corporate but very comfortable.RB room 1Having checked in, we set off in to central Belfast, armed with a map and directions to the oldest pub in Ireland.Radisson Blue We found it!  The Crown Liquor Saloon is actually owned by the National Trust and the outside and the inside are stunning.  My little camera does not do it justice but we really enjoyed gawping at the decor and trying to capture the essence of the place, as well as enjoying a Guinness.The Crown Belfast 10 Look at the inside !!!!The Crown Belfast 8 It has booths :-) .  I do love sitting in a booth.The Crown Belfast 7 Cheers :-) Guinness The Crown Belfast 6 The Crown Belfast 5 The Crown Belfast 4 The Crown Belfast 3 The Crown Belfast 2 Having enjoyed a Guinness we set off for a vegetarian restaurant called Home.The Crown Belfast 1 We walked past the Europa Hotel, which is unfortunately famous for being the most bombed hotel in the world; it has been bombed 28 times!Europa Hotel We found Home and went inside.  The front half of the building is like a coffee shop and is used during the day and the other half is a restaurant.Home deli I had an Irish whisky with a splash of water.  Absolutely perfect.  I could have enjoyed several of those but stuck to one.Irish whisky They had a vegan menu – yippee.Home vegan I had the Vietnamese style salad as a starter and it was so good I wished I had ordered it as a main.Vietnamese salad The cauliflower and chick pea curry was good too.cauliflower chickpea curry Instead of rice I had it with mashed potatoes which were excellent.  Super soft and no lumps.mash and sweet potato fries We walked back to the hotel past this extraordinary building – City Hall.  Isn’t that stunning?Belfast City Hall 2 We enjoyed our evening in Belfast but were astonished at how quiet it is.  There were very few bars or restaurants and most were closed and the streets were deserted.  Apparently it livens up during the weekend.Belfast City Hall 1 Today began with a hotel breakfast of fruit and grapefruit  juice.fruit 14-1-16 Then toast with tomatoes and potato and toast and marmalade.  Plus tea.  Everywhere seems to offer dairy free alternatives to milk which is excellent.breakfast 14-1-16 Off to the office.Belfast office This was the view from my desk; across the City and to the snow capped hills in the distance.P1050610 I had 2 portions of vegetable soup for lunch and at the airport a bag of Taytos and a flapjack.  You have to check the back of crisp packets; salt and vinegar had whey and another flavour had egg white!  Who would have thought.Tayto flapjack It was good to get home and I had a bowl of gnocchi with pesto and cherry tomatoes.aer lingus

I enjoyed my visit to Belfast.  The highlight was the Crown pub and I would love to go there again.  I did well with food on Wednesday but did not make such good food choices today as I ate some poor quality food.  I am working from home tomorrow so I can eat ultra healthily.

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20,000 Steps

I walked 20,000 + steps today.  It was relatively easy actually as I did 3 different walks.  The first was early as I had to take the dogs out.  It is easier at home as I can shoo them out in to the garden which I can not do in Ramsgate so I have to take them for a walk but being up and out early is really pleasant.Ramsgate 10-1 24 I like the early morning peace and quiet.Ramsgate 10 - 1 23 Ramsgate 10-1 22 Hopefully Lara and Harvey won’t lie in bed for too long as I wanted to do a decent walk.Ramsgate 10-1 21They didn’t :-).  When Lara and Harvey were up we took the dogs for a run along the sandy beach at Ramsgate.  I do love the view from the front door, over the marina.Ramsgate 10-1 20 Ramsgate 10-1 19 It was a gloomy and overcast day but the colours in the sea, marina and sky were quite intense.Ramsgate 10-1 18 We dropped Dylan back at the house as he is too poorly to manage a long walk and went back to the beach area to walk round to Broadstairs.  We stopped first at the Belgian Cafe for a coffee.Belgian Cafe 10-1 3 Or a hot chocolate.Belgian Cafe 10-1 2 Belgian Cafe 10-1 1 Off to Broadstairs we went.Ramsgate 10-1 17 Ramsgate 10-1 16 It is an easy walk along the promenade.Ramsgate 10-1 15 The bracing sea air makes me feel so alive.  I absolutely love it.Ramsgate 10-1 14 Unfortunately it was high tide and our path was cut off so we headed back to Ramsgate.Ramsgate 10-1 13 Ramsgate 10-1 12 I can watch the waves smashing up against the wall for ages; I find it so relaxing.Ramsgate 10-1 11 Ramsgate 10-1 10 It’s official, Harvey is now taller than both of us.Ramsgate 10-1 9 Ramsgate 10-1 8 We took Milton back to the house and came back to the marina for an early lunch as none of us had eaten any breakfast.Ramsgate 10-1 7 We went to the Royal Harbour Brasserie for lunch which is at the end of one of the sea walls which protect the marina.  It looks shabby from outside but inside it’s much better!Ramsgate 10-1 6 Superb views from our table.Ramsgate 10-1 5 Ramsgate 10-1 4 Ramsgate Brasserie 10-1 I had a cauliflower and chickpea curry with mini poppadoms, rice and a chapati.  It was good but I was hungry and could have eaten more.Ramsgate 10-1 3 I have stopped doing holiday lets from the house and am hoping I have a long term tenant moving in this week so this may well be my last visit to Ramsgate for a while.Ramsgate 16-1 2 The walking was lovely, and so was the company.Ramsgate 10-1 1 I will miss this view.Ramsgate 10-1 We came home after lunch as the house is now ready for its tenants.  I had a fancy for something sweet so I made a banana loaf.The Happy Herbivore While it cooked I had a tub of humous and 2 packets of oat cakes and an apple.humous oat cakes Then 3 slices of banana bread.  I find that is the draw back to exercise – it makes me really hungry.banana bread After all the afternoon munching, I was not very hungry by the evening so I had a very light supper of some oven roasted veggies and pan wilted spinach.supper 10-1-16 Harvey had 3 Quorn sausage rolls with his which he really likes so that was an easy supper.Quorn sausage rolls

I think I will sleep well tonight:

20,263 steps
13.56 km walked
3259 calories burned
38 flights of steps climbed
128 minutes spent walking

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Sissinghurst and Ramsgate

I had a very pleasant Saturday lined up today.  I had the morning to myself, part of which I spent cooking to get meals prepared for tonight and Monday night, a dog walk with a dear friend and an evening in Ramsgate with both Lara and Harvey.

Lentils!lentils I made 2 lentil ‘shepherd’s pies’ which created a lot of washing up but it did mean I had Saturday night supper and monday night supper sorted.washing up The larger dish was packed up to take to Ramsgate and the other left in the fridge.  I love the large pyrex dishes I have with plastic lids as you can bake in them, travel with them and freeze them!shepherd's pie and shreds shepherd's pie close up 9-1-16 Breakfast/lunch was a large pink juice made with 4 ruby grapefruit and a bunch of black grapes.  That was all I had until supper time but I wasn’t hungry so that was easy.grapes and grapefruit juice 9-1-16 I met Lucy for a walk around Sissinghurst Castle gardens.  I will be returning to see the International Garden Photographer Of The Year exhibition.Siss walk 5 Siss walk 4 It was overcast but not raining and still managed to look lovely.Siss walk 3 The scenery around Sissinghurst is so pretty.Siss walk 2 Siss walk 1 The coffee shop was shut, to our initial disappointment.  But the sign on the door directed us to the plant shop and a temporary coffee shop had opened up in the old dairy.  It was really cosy with its wood burning stove and we decided we preferred it.Siss dairy 3 Siss dairy 2 I had a soya milk latte and resisted all baked goods.Siss dairy 1In the late afternoon we had a horrendous drive to Ramsgate in extremely blustery conditions and had to contend with closed roads and poorly signposted diversions but we got there in the end.  We popped round to the Queen Charlotte where I had a beer and a packet of crisps and some nuts (forgot camera hence no photos) while the shepherd’s pie heated through in the oven.  Served with broccoli and a good glass of red, I was very pleased I had made supper earlier in the day.  We snuggled up on the sofa with supper on a tray and watched a film.  The storms at sea on the tv were an equal match for the gale blowing outside!
shepherd's pie and broccoli

I managed 12,249 steps today and am hoping the storm dies down so we can do some decent walking tomorrow.

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Carbs Are Not The Enemy

I hear far too often that people think they are being healthy and are really interested in nutrition and so they don’t eat carbs.  People think they are being really healthy by not eating bread, potatoes and pasta.  Some even think fruit is bad for you and will make you fat. Hmmm, I doubt anyone has got fat from eating too much fruit!  We are designed to eat plants, including fruits and they are packed full of the nutrients our bodies are designed to eat, digest and utilise.

Think about this very simply.  The staple foods in Africa and Asia are carbs and the vast majority of the populations in those continents are not overweight at all.  I am not talking about the underfed but those who can eat sufficiently.  That is not just due to genetics because the populations who live in cities and adopt Western style diets get fat!  They tend to eschew the carbs of their rural compatriots and instead eat meat and carbs cooked with fat such as crisps and chips, which will make you fat.  This is an excellent book to read if you want to understand more about how carbs do not make you fat and how they are actually healthy.

china study book

I have done a lot of research and believe carbs in themselves do not make you fat and are actually healthy.   It is true that there is a lot of conflicting advice out there and there are some who are qualified and practising nutritionists who follow a Paleo diet which excludes cereal grains, legumes, refined sugar and potatoes.  There are also many qualified Doctors and nutritionists who recommend a plant based diet for optimum health. So too does at least one of the mainstream diets people follow in the UK.  Slimming World allocates points and you have a daily limit.  You can eat a protein based diet or a carb based diet with unlimited amounts of carbs.  Because carbs do not make you fat and unless you have an intolerance/allergy, they are good for you.

This is the diet plan from a documentary.  The documentary is worth watching and the book worth reading.

knives over forks book This book is excellent and explains why we need to eat whole foods.  Cut out the processed crap and stop mucking about with food and eat whole foods for health.whole book This is really difficult to adhere to but it does make perfect sense to me.  Eat plants.  Fullstop.  You get everything you need and everything you are designed to eat from plants.  Plant foods contain carbs/fats/proteins in the proportions our bodies are designed to eat ie 80/10/10.801010 book So, I did my best to eat just plants today.  It is difficult but when I stick to it I lose weight and feel great.

I really fancied some citrus fruit for breakfast.orange citrus I blended the orange and clementines together with 3 frozen bananas to make a soft serve nice-cream.  I love the flavour of oranges and bananas together and as long as you have a really good blender, it comes out completely smooth.  breakfast 8-jan-16 I topped it with some Goji berries and cacao nibs.smoothie 8-1-16 I ended up eating lunch very late, partly because I badly burned the first batch of rice I was making!  So while I cooked another lot I ate some of this which is really good.  Mainly dried figs, with some almonds, anise and cumin.fig and almonds Finally the rice was cooked and so was the tray of oven roasted veggies.  I roasted them without adding any oil or salt.  Yes, oil and salt make them taste better but I am on a diet!  I seasoned them with soy sauce and green Tabasco and ate 2 bowls.veg and rice I needed nothing else until a late supper of some fruit.  I bought 2 punnetts of blueberries by mistake.  They are expensive so I rarely buy them but I wanted some this week.  These were £4 but tasted really good.Waitrose blueberries These were cheaper at £2.50 (slightly smaller pack) but quite tasteless so the more expensive ones were the preference.Ocado blueberries I ate the cheaper Ocado blueberries with a mango and some grapes.  And then finished the fig and almond wheelgrapes, mango blueberries

So people, if you think you can’t eat carbs, think again.  Fruits and vegetables are the best foods you can eat.  If you find you get bloated and feel gassy and uncomfortable when you eat carbs, try food combining properly.

If you eat meat, fish and eggs, eat them with vegetables only, not starchy carbs.  Meat takes several hours to digest and requires acid provided by the stomach.  Carbs are digested by enzymes in the mouth (which is why you have to chew thoroughly) and small intestines so keep them separate to avoid bloating.

Ideally ( in my vegan opinion), don’t eat animal proteins at all and instead eat rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, pulses, beans and legumes with vegetables.

Eat fruits on their own or with vegetables.  Don’t eat fruits after a meal.

Whatever you eat, don’t cook it in or cover it in fat.

Read up on the health benefits of carbs and if you think they don’t agree with you, try food combining.  Apart from the health benefits, the other significant benefit is that they are cheap :-)

 

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