A Walk On Reigate Hill

Today is the first day of Spring and as if in celebration it was sunny – yippee.  I always like to see the sun but especially on a day when we planned to be outside for 3-4 hours walking.  I was meeting one of my dearest friends, Jeremy, and his family for a walk on Reigate Hill as that is half way between our houses.

Before we set off though we had a hearty breakfast.

strawberries in white pot I am avoiding all citrus fruits (unfortunately as I love them) in case they are contributing to my spotty and dry skin but Harvey is happy he gets all the blood oranges.  The season is over so these may be the last until next year.blood orange and fruits I made a huge smoothie out of 2 frozen bananas, 2 large handfuls of spinach, some almond milk, 1 tbsp chia and flax seeds and some sprouts.trio of sprouts I put some of each type of sprout in the blender.sprouts in blender Topped with a kiwi fruit, some cacao nibs and a strawberry.seeds and smoothie I do confess I have enjoyed the flavour of many other smoothies I have made more than this one but this was so green and so good for you I enjoyed every mouthful.spinach and nana ice cream We then set off for Reigate Hill and Gatton Park, a National Trust owned area of the North Downs, just off junction 8 of the M25.  Unfortunately it was really cloudy when we arrived and threatened rain but in the end the Spring sunshine prevailed.Reigate Hill cloudy We walked over to the fort and enjoyed the views from both sides of the hill.  This is looking South towards the South Downs with the South coast beyond.H on Reigate Hill This is one of 13 forts built in the 1890s to protect London from the threat of invasion from the French.exploring the fort No threat of invasion today but it provided an interesting place to run around in.JT fam and H Reigate Hill fort masts There is a warmth back to the sun which was very enjoyable and made me realise I am way behind with preparing for the garden this year.  I need to buy my seeds.JT fam and me I need new boots!cracked walking boot This is the view looking North and although it is harder to see in the photo than it was when we stood there, you can see London in the distance.  We could easily make out the Gherkin and The Shard and over to the West, Wembley.London in distanceAfter a long walk (in terms of time taken rather then distance covered) we came back to the car park area where there was a very impressive little cafe, called the Urban Kitchen.  For a small and rather remote cafe they had an excellent range of food and drinks.  I ordered a soy latte and a vegetables soup but I was tempted with a smoothie.
Urban Kitchen Unfortunately the butternut squash soup tasted rather unpleasant so I was unable to eat it.  It is very rare that I can not eat something and I was clearly unlucky with my choice because everyone else’s lunch was really good.soup and latte Instead I had 2 Bounce balls which were the only vegan offering available.  I really like bounce balls so was quite happy with that.  I was particularly happy to have had my first meal outside for 2015 and with such lovely company.

I did have 2 dates and about 8 almonds when I got home which kept me going until supper time.Macadamia Bounce

For dinner I made something I was expecting to be ordinary if not even dull but it was so delicious I am sharing the recipe as I certainly want to make it again.

We had celeriac and potato mash with a ‘cheesy’ vegetable casserole (vegan).  Harvey had the same meal with Swedish meatballs too as he is not willing to give up meat and I believe it should be a personal choice.  But I do insist he eats lots of fruits and veggies so he tends to eat the same as me plus some meat on the side.  That keeps us both happy.cheesey veg and celeriac mash Cheesey Vegetable Casserole (vegan)

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium sized onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 sticks of celery, chopped
Half a punnett of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
Half a savoy cabbage, finely sliced
Similar quantity of runner beans
300 ml passata
200 ml water
1 tsp Marmite
1 level tsp oregano
1 level tsp fennel seeds
salt and pepper
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes


1. Heat oil in large casserole dish
2. Gently fry the onions, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes
3. Add the mushrooms and savoy cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes
4. Add the passata, water, Marmite, oregano, fennel seeds, salt and pepper and simmer very gently, covered, for about half an hour.
5. Serve with 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled on top of each portion to add a ‘cheesey’ flavour.

I served this with a celeriac and potato mash which is made with about 2/3 potato and 1/3 celeriac.  I boiled the celeriac and potato together, strained them and seasoned them with salt and pepper and then mashed them with some margarine.

The flavours of the casserole seemed almost meaty and the nutritional yeast flakes adds a cheesey flavour.  I loved every single bite of this and am really pleased there is some leftover for tomorrow.
vegan cheesey veg

What a lovely day.  We really enjoyed spending time with Jeremy, Helen, Roddy and Jay, we enjoyed visiting somewhere new, the Spring sunshine was a bonus and everything I ate was top quality and tasty.  I hope the rest of Spring 2015 measures up to this perfect start.


About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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