Sunday, 6 July 2014

Hey, Remember Me??

Well hello, it's been a wee while since I last wrote.  A lot has changed, here's a quick run down:
  • I've moved to Sheffield
  • Started a new job
  • Started & completed my first module of a Politics, Philosophy & Economics degree with the OU
  • Started Level 2 of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
  • Started my own business (more to come another time)
  • Got engaged!!
  • Got a Westie called Milo
I think that about covers it so far......oh yes, I haven't been vegan since I moved to Sheffield.  This is something that keeps playing on my mind, and my stomach.  I think I found it so hard in Norfolk, lots of things had to give and this was one of them.  I'm not sure if I can get back to that 'label' any more.  I've read so much about nutrition and health recently.  My mind is a mess when it comes to these things, some books say eat high protein, low carb, some say high carb, low fat others say high fat and moderate protein.  They all contradict each other and all have scientific evidence to back them up.
I guess you can find 'science' to back up anything you say, if you word it well enough.

Any way, what do you eat?  I have decided I need to sort myself out food wise, the rest of my life seems to be falling into place (although 'falling' seems inappropriate when you consider the amount of hard work that has gone into it all!).  I do believe there is not a one size fits all answer in this respect, everyone is bio-individual and what works for one person may not work for another.

Anyway, I've just been checking out my favourite vegan blogs and came back to mine, here's to health whatever your label and I hope to start posting more regularly soon :)

Love Lana x

(This is Milo, he has a muddy beard here due to snuffling on the floor)


Monday, 19 August 2013

Long Time No Blog

Hi guys,

Sorry it's been a while since my last post and I haven't been commenting much either.  I'm hoping to remedy this soon.  I've decided realised I don't like living in Norfolk and so I'm currently trying to move to Sheffield as that's where I want to be.  It's stressful but I'm looking forward to making the change and will hopefully be ready to tell you what I've been eating again soon :)

I hope everyone is well and eating lots of lovely food!

Love Lana x

PS. Here's a pic I took outside Sheffield train station, they have some cool water features


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sunny Hunny & Wolferton

Hi guys, I hope you're all well.  My mum came down for the weekend so we all took the Friday off to make it an extra long one :)  We were so lucky with the weather, just take a look at these pictures I took in Hunstanton (I'm so lucky we only live 25 minutes from this place!):









We've booked a hotel there for my birthday in July which I'm very excited about :)  It's not far from where we are but it means we can spend the whole day and evening there, have a few drinks and not worry about having to drive home.  The hotel is right by the beach too :D

The next day we decided to go to Wolferton which is a beautiful little village about 15 mins away.  It has a wonderful old train station that was used by the Royal Family when they were visiting Sandringham (one of the Queen's residences).  The weather was a little cooler and a little greyer, we hedged our bets and took an umbrella but we were lucky again. We also got to speak to the lovely man that looks after the station, I wish I'd taken a picture of him to put on here.  He was really chatty and told us loads about the station and village :)

 





We had such a lovely weekend and I wish we could have had longer!  I do find it hard living away from my mum.  When I woke up Sunday morning I had a really sore shoulder and arm, I think as I'd been sleeping on the floor but I'm not certain.  It's Wednesday now and it's only just starting to get better.  I had to take time off work as I couldn't drive with it, it was so painful.  Painkillers weren't touching it at all and I couldn't get any relief.  I went to the doctors and he prescribed me Naproxen which took a whole day before it kicked in!!  I've been since 3pm without pills now so fingers crossed!! It has put me off my stride exercise-wise but I'm hoping if all is well tomorrow I can get a run or DVD in.

Also!  I've been reading Vegan Crunk's latest posts about the Real Food Cleanse which is essentially a 3 day vegan cleanse that involves eating only fruit and veggies, some beans and seeds.  It looks really do-able and I'm so up for it after my weekend of chips, Chinese food and vodka!  I will give that a go soon.  I also got the China Study Cookbook this weekend courtesy of my dear old mum!  So looking forward to making stuff from that :)  Plenty of food pics to come!

Enjoy the rest of your week :)

Lana x

Saturday, 1 June 2013

My UK Vegan Essentials

Today's post is about some of my vegan essentials, I'd recommend these for anyone transitioning to a vegan diet.  First up is milk.  Soy milk has been around for ages but I'm not a huge fan of the taste.  The unsweetened versions are ok but my favourite milk replacement is coconut milk.  I don't mean the thick, fat laden tinned stuff you use in curries (although that is nice too!).  For about the last year and a half I've been getting Koko (previously Kara) coconut milk.  I wish they would call it something else though as I always feel the need to distinguish between the fattier stuff and this.  Recently Tesco has brought our their own version and as it's about 10p cheaper I'm getting that now instead!  You can find both of these in the fridge section of the supermarket.  You can sometimes find them with the UHT milks too.


There are loads of other alternatives to milk so it's worth trying them until you find the one you like best.  I've definitely found mine.

My favourite butter is the Vitalite Dairy Free spread.  It's really good, tastes just like any other margarine.  It's great for toast, sandwiches, cooking and anything else you might like to slather butter on!  Ooh baked potatoes!  I used to buy Pure Soy or Pure Sunflower spread but they did have a different taste to them.  My MEB (meat-eating boyfriend) uses this now as well as he can't tell the difference and it just makes life that little bit easier to have one butter in the fridge instead of two ;)


A couple of meat replacements now.  Not for everyone but I like chips with sausage and burgers with sweet potato fries!  Linda McCartney sausages can always be found in my freezer, they're a perfect quick dinner option.  They make a mean sausage sarnie too.  The Linda McCartney sausage rolls are ridiculously good!  I was so surprised when I found out these were vegan.  They're usually about £1.50 for 6 so I recommend you treat yourself to some :)  The Chargrill Style Burger mix is great too.  My MEB likes to eat these and gives them the thumbs up which I always think is praise indeed.  You can either fry or grill them, I find them better when grilled but I chuck loads of fried onions on top.  Yum yum!



I usually get the Tesco Meat Free Mince and that is perfect for making chilli's, spaghetti bolognese, shepherds pie, burrito's, taco's etc.  It's great.  I would share a picture but it would seem it's been recalled recently....I can't find an answer as to why yet so not sure what is going on.  I will let you know when I find out though.  I think the Asda Meat Free Mince may have also been recalled as they didn't have any either.  That's also a great mince.....when you can get it.

The best chicken style pieces I have found are at Asda, I haven't found any other vegan ones other than at Holland and Barrett and they are very expensive.  The Asda ones taste better too.  I haven't got a pic of these as my local Asda doesn't sell them.  I need to take a trip to Wisbech and stock up on those bad boys!!  They're perfect for curries, fajita's and everything else chicken styled.

That's it for now, I'll do another post shortly on some other good UK Vegan finds.  I hope you find it helpful and please let me know if there are any good finds you can recommend!  Before I go, here's a little picture I took whilst at Hunstanton on Friday......I think I found where the sun went!  It was behind this tree!!























It was nice while it lasted :)

Lana x

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Vegan Clean Eating

Hi all!  Hope everyone is getting to enjoy the long weekend :)  I've been really good with the clean eating and exercise this week (at last!).  The first week I didn't do so well but I've eased myself into it and I'm loving it now.  I did find it hard not drinking last night though, I always have a few drinks on a Friday night and I just didn't know what to with myself.  I had sparkling water with fresh lime juice instead and that tided me over.  I've also been doing a Jillian Michaels DVD every day after work (apart from last night), it's been far too cold and rainy for running if you ask me!

Here's some amazing tea I found in the week:


Butter mint tea!  It's so nice, mint with vanilla.  I might try it cold in a smoothie.  It helps to have interesting drinks around when vodka's off the menu! 

For breakfasts I've mostly been making overnight oats or a smoothie.  To make the overnight oats I've been putting oats, sultanas, cocoa nibs, coconut milk and frozen fruit (mango is my fave at the moment) in a bowl before bed.  I stir it around, cover it in foil and put it in the fridge.  At breakfast time it's ready to be eaten!  Fast food!  :)  I first heard about overnight oats from Angela at Oh She Glows.


I also had to buy a new blender this week.  I did have the Philips HR202/50 that my mum got me for Christmas (as per my request!) but the bottom stopped connecting to the jug.  I found this out while pouring milk into it...grrr. Luckilly mum had kept the receipt and I got to take it back to Argos and they exchanged it without any hassle.  I paid £5 extra and got the Tefal Blendforce.  So far so good!  It cuts through stuff really well, feels more solid and looks pretty (I think anyway!) 

The first smoothie is banana, frozen mango, oats and coco milk.  The second is frozen berries, oats, cocoa powder and and coco milk. I also bought some maca powder today and had that in a smoothie, I'll mention that in my next post more.


I've been having a lot of salads for lunch and using stir fry veg to bulk them out.  It's so cheap, quick and easy, I love it.  I used baked butternut squash in the first one along with the stir fry veg, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, garlic oil  and balsamic vinegar.  It was SO GOOD!  Possibly the best salad I've ever had.  I put mixed beans in the salad on the right.  All variations on a theme really.


A couple of times in the last few weeks I've not had time to make lunch so had to stop at Sainsbury's on my way to work (it's handy as it's across the road).  I was really pleased to see a few new additions to their range.  I think I've had really similar stuff from Waitrose before.  This first one is the Moroccan Sweet Potato & Chickpea type thing.  It was really nice, the dressing makes it.  The first time I had I loved it but the second time around they seemed to have added loads of extra chilli's and it was a wee bit hot.  Not sure if I'll have it again now.


This second one is Mediterranean Vegetable and Orzo and is my fave I think.  I first had orzo last year and that was from Waitrose, it's pasta that looks like rice!  The sauce on this is delicious and the sun dried tomatoes are yummy :)


Here are a couple of dinners I've had.  Linda McCartney sausages with butternut squash and stir fry veg on the left.  The same sausages on the right (they're tasty....and on offer) with wholewheat noodles and homemade peanut sauce.  The peanut sauce was very nice!  I put a tablespoon of peanut butter in a pan with my skimmed coconut milk, some salt, pepper and a dash of agave.  I stirred it all in and as it boiled it the sauce thickened.  I've had it twice this week and I know it would make a good dipping sauce too.


Another dinner of scrambled curry tofu with veggies on rye bread.  I've been eating loads of fruit this week and below is a fruit salad with oranges, bananas, sultana's mixed berries and lime juice.  I've eaten quite a few oranges, I'm finding them great for that time after dinner and before bedtime when I usually get the munchies!


That's it for now, I'm going to do a post about some of my favourite UK Vegan products soon so keep an eye out for that.  Enjoy your weekend and have a good week all :)

Lana x




Sunday, 12 May 2013

Meals, Smoothies, Unicorns and Ditching Facebook

Hi all!  We had a bit of warm weather the other day, it was so nice!  Of course it's all gone now and it's grey and miserable outside again.  Hopefully we'll have some more sunshine again soon.

We got a new fridge freezer on Friday, it's great!  Nearly 2ft taller than our last one which was nearly as old as me :-/  We decided it was time to get a new one as the old one was freezing stuff in the fridge and it was a little on the small side.  We should hopefully save a bit on the electric now too as well be able to do a massive shop and stock up the freezer.  Woo hoo!  I really need to get out more...
Here are some of the meals I've had recently.  First is a tofu scramble with veggies and rye bread.  On the right is a salad I made using mixed beans, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber and milled flax and pumpkin seeds.  I had it with rye bread, oatcakes and little balsamic vinegar.


I went to Sandringham for a walk last week and I thought the flowers on this tree were really pretty.  I also thought I'd take a photo of the Queens seal printed on the gate cos I liked it :)  I love walking around there, we've only seen a bit of it so far, we'll have to investigate some more as it's really beautiful.  Especially now everything is coming into bloom.


When I went to Tesco recently I was really surprised to see a new, repackaged range of dairy free food.  They have loads now!  Even a soy cheese which I am still yet to try.  They have their own version of the coconut milk I like too and as it's cheaper I'll be getting that from now on.  They had soy yoghurts and chocolate puddings made from coconut milk too, I'll be trying them all I think! :)


Another couple of tasty dinners, chargrilled burgers made with Asda's burger mix served with baked sweet potato slices, baked courgette and lightly fried onions.  Next to it is my awesome Friday night dinner, burritos!  I used veggie mince, onions, peppers, mixed beans and some Old El Paso Taco seasoning to get the filling.  I put some into wraps and added in avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and loads of vegan mayo and ketchup...they were so good!  I had loads of the mince left over so had some for lunch the next day too.  Definitely having these again, they're a new favourite.

I've decided to eat clean and ditch alcohol for the next six weeks.  I've been calorie counting using the Calorie Count website and app and lost 2lb's in a week which I'm pleased with.  I have about 50lbs more to lose though!  So I'll be eating clean, counting calories and trying to exercise more.  I did a Jillian Michaels DVD last week and found it hard to walk for a few days after!!  I'm trying to get the courage up to do that again haha!  The calorie count app is great and it's all free. It gives you an analysis of your day too with pie charts and graphs, I'm in geek heaven! I need to get out and do some more running too so I'll try and do a couple with Andy this week.

For breakfast this morning I had tofu scramble with some taco seasoning, mushroom stir fry veg, peppers, cherry tomatoes and a white tortilla.  I know the tortilla isn't exactly 'clean eating' but I have a couple left and I'm not going to throw them away.  The whole breakfast was about 350 calories which is pretty good as there was A LOT of it!!  


I went for a 4 mile walk and burned about 450 calories.  When I got back I made myself a mighty fine smoothie!  I used frozen mango, strawberries, banana, blueberries, water, cocoa powder and dates.  It was really nice!  Will make one of those again, although I might leave the mango out as it made it a little flowery.  Still good though :)  In the pic I have my blender resting on my new Salter scales, they were £14.99 and I think they're fantastic.  They're so easy to use and extremely accurate, I'm using them to measure everything so I can track my calories more easily.  Definitely recommend them.


I've also decided to ditch facebook for the time being, my personal account at least.  What do you guys think about Facebook these days?  I've not shut it down I'm just not logging on.  I got fed up of seeing idiotic and racist comments from my so called 'friends', or more likely someone I worked with for 2 months, 8 years ago etc.  I'm still in love with instagram and the blogging thing though :)  It's more positive and constructive!

Anyway, I'll leave you with this picture that makes me laugh!  Have a great week :)

Lana x