dairy free, gluten free, nutrition, Vegan

Vegan and Gluten Free Superfood Pancakes

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I came up with a great, healthy pancake recipe that I just had to share. Its so easy, so delicious and so healthy. And with pancake day right around the corner there’s now no excuse for us plant based eaters not to get involved in all of the fun too!

If you’re anything like me you will of always associated pancakes with being pretty unhealthy. Traditional pancakes are often made of some sort of processed gluten containing flour, eggs and cows milk and they are then usually cooked in a processed vegetable oil. None of this is what the body needs or wants and will usually leave you feeling sluggish, full and tired due to the amount of energy your digestive system will need to break down these types of ingredients.

So, not only will this blog post give you the recipe for these awesome vegan and gluten free pancakes but I’m also going to go into a little detail as to why they are so good for you. But first things first, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa flakes
  • 1 tbsp. of tahini (or any nut butter)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of brown rice milk
  • 1/2 tsp. of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. of coconut oil for frying
  • Top with anything you fancy, I went with fresh banana, pure maple syrup, cinnamon and goji berries

Mix the buckwheat flour, quinoa flakes and milk together until smooth. The mixture should resemble a smoothie in consistency, its best to add the milk a bit at a time so the mixture is just right. Once you are happy with the mixture add in the tahini and again mix this in thoroughly. Now add the bicarb and give it a good stir, as this will make the pancakes nice and fluffy. Now add in the blueberries and stir one last time. The mixture is now ready to hit the pan.

Get your frying pan hot and add the coconut oil, once the oil has melted add a large spoonful of the pancake mixture. Once bubbles start to appear on the top check the underneath is golden brown and give it a flip. Continue to do this until you have used all of your mixture and have a lovely stack of 3 or 4 American style pancakes that are golden brown on both sides. Now add your toppings and enjoy while still warm.

So, now for the nutrition side of things. I hear you asking ‘What’s so good about these pancakes?’. Well I’m about to tell you…

  • Buckwheat is often thought of as a grain but it is actually a fruit seed. However, it is often eaten in a similar way to grains. It is gluten free and high in protein, making it a great choice for health foodies. As well as being high in protein it is also full of other beneficial minerals and vitamins.
  • Quinoa is a natural gluten free, high protein grain and because of this is a staple food for most vegans. Similarly to buckwheat it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is particularly important for vegans as it is a great source of Iron.
  • Tahini is ground sesame seeds, you want to use unhulled tahini as this is when the whole seed has been used ensuring the nutritional content is kept in tact. It is a terrific source of calcium, which is super important for vegans. It is also loaded with other vitamins and minerals, including lots of your B vitamins.
  • Blueberries have had a good reputation for a long time and its not surprising. These little berries are loaded with vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and an array of antioxidants. These high levels of antioxidants neutralise free radicals within the body which we know are connected to disease and aging of the body.
  • Coconut oil has been given a bad name in the past for its high saturated fat content. However, it is now becoming a popular food due to its endless health benefits. Its important to point out that the saturated fat found in coconut oil differs from that found in other foods like cheese or steak. The saturated fat found in coconut oil is Medium Chain Triglycerides, these fatty acids are metabolised differently by the body. Coconut oil is high in Lauric Acid which helps kill off viruses, fungus and bacteria, making it an essential food for anyone wanting to improve their digestion, boost their entire immune system or fight an infection.

As you can see, these aren’t just any pancakes. These are superfood pancakes!

To make these pancakes even more super think of adding toppings like: goji berries, hemp seeds, bee pollen, cacao nibs or cinnamon.

Leah xo

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anxiety, autoimmne, diet, dietary, health, juicing, lupus, plant based, raw food, Vegan

High on Health and Greens

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I don’t even know where to start with this post but I can tell you now it’s being written from a much happier and healthier place than my last.

Anyone close to me will know the major struggles I’ve had in recent months trying to get a handle on my anxiety and panic attacks, to be in an anxiety state can become quite a dark place and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Getting in control of my anxiety has been incredibly difficult and there have been so many people who have helped me to do it. I started to realise the stress regarding my health had manifested in my body as anxiety, causing me to even get anxious at going to the supermarket. Yes, the supermarket! It’s a crazy thing your mind when it’s left to its own devices and when your anxiety is caused by something that could be there for your entire life, its pretty scary. Anyway, my intention isn’t to depress you with my over worked mind, it’s to say that you really can recover and mend from things… We are never broken for too long – something I’ve realised to be so very true. My anxiety has massively reduced recently and some of it may be down to the insanely amazing news I received last week…

As you are aware my blog is about my lifestyle choices that I make in order to control my Lupus. Well, last week for the first time since March 2013 my Lupus antibodies test (Anti-dsDNA) has come back within the normal range. Receiving this news is like all my dreams coming true in one tiny moment.. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve screamed, I really can’t explain how free I feel. Free of the worry. I simply feel like the luckiest person in the world. The blood tests aren’t clear cut, and these antibodies can come and go over time but right now I’m learning to live in the moment and enjoy the health I have today, as the future isn’t certain for anybody (easier said than done when you’re a compulsive worrier but I’m learning to change the way my mind operates). Right now as I write this I just feel super grateful and lucky.

Since last Christmas but also before this I have made pretty drastic health changes and at times I’m not going to lie I’ve questioned if I’ve been doing the right thing… I’ve had my fair share of critics, I’ve still at times felt unwell and I felt I was sacrificing a lot just to be on this healthy lifestyle and sometimes i’d even start to think like the critics! Despite the negative days where I’d let the negative thinking get the better of me, I honestly knew this was the way forward and I really never did give up. I never blamed people who weren’t convinced by my new found diet, I realise its pretty out there but why do we view eating as close to nature as possible as an odd or even wrong thing to do? It’s crazy the way society has changed. However, My recent blood tests confirm everything.. Food and lifestyle changes really are at the route of disease and medicine. I have never put so much time and effort into researching and learning about a particular subject before, I’ve read countless books, watched endless documentaries and I really have ended up falling in love with a plant based lifestyle and my recent blood test results are the icing on the cake or the Spirulina in my green shake? (slightly more appropriate).

Don’t get me wrong it’s been a work in progress, however, I did go cold turkey at Christmas last year (December 2013) when I became a fully fledged vegan/plant eater. However, I had cut out alcohol before this and I was already on the juicing bandwagon. So my lifestyle has been in change for well over a year now and I am still learning as we speak! For instance, I’ve been learning all about gut health in recent months and now I include homemade coconut kefir to my diet to build up the probiotics in my gut. After all, 70% of the immune system starts in the gut! Sorry, I’m getting away from the point…

People keep asking me if I’m now going to treat myself in light of new recent news, well…. I want to make a vow now to never stop drinking green juices and smoothies, avoiding animal products at all costs, taking appropriate supplements daily and excluding as many chemicals/pesticides as possible by eating organic when I can. However, in celebration I will be treating myself to some red wine over Christmas, we all have to live a little, right? But my limit of 1 or 2 drinks will most definitely be in place. I guess what I’m saying is I see a treat differently now than I use to, I now would never class eating a Cadburys chocolate bar as a treat, however I do see eating raw chocolate as a treat (it’s delicious and nutritious). I guess most of us define treats as things that are awfully bad for us but why is that a treat? Your body definitely doesn’t think so.

Over the past week the love I have felt from people has been overwhelming and I just can’t thank them more, you really have all warmed my heart and I’ve enjoyed the endless hugs and tears. Also, a massive thank you to everyone who has stood by me and supported me over the last 20 months, you are incredible – my family, my mum and sister especially, my best friend (you are my rock), my friends, my consultant and my work colleagues.

Now I couldn’t possibly write this post without thanking the most important individuals. The ones who have taught me, the ones who have shaped me and the ones that gave me hope that I could reverse my Lupus diagnosis… (Bare with me, the list is pretty extensive):

– Joe Cross (Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Documentary and The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet book – He literally changed my life)
– Jason Vales Juicing Documentary
– Dr Joel Fuhrman (any of his books are great but Super Immunity is my favourite and his website)
– The China Study by T.Colin Campbell (one of the first books I read, extremely important read)
– Vegucated
– Kris Carr – Crazy Sexy Diet book (amazing woman who cured her own cancer)
– The ph Miracle by Robert O. Young
– The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum (Incredible book and quite a recent find for me)
– Dr Mark Hyman (Read his blog and watch his many YouTube videos – this man is amazing!)
– Deliciously Ella for her inspiring plant based recipes
– Control The Crazy by Vinny Guadagnino (my favourite book for anxiety – easy to read and totally relatable)
– Forks Over Knives Documentary (life changing and massively empowering)
– Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 days Documentary (clearly shows the power food can have on disease)
– Hungry For Change Documentary
– Food Matters Documentary
– Mind Body Green Website (my all time favourite website for anything and everything health related)
– GMO OMG Documentary (probably more appropriate for people in America but still a worth while watch so you can see the impact humans are having on food and nature)

I think that’s near enough everyone, although I worry I’m forgetting some. But aside from them I really want to thank the herbalist I saw quite soon after my diagnosis who got me into the habit of drinking a pint of water every morning with apple cider vinegar in it, I would never of known to do this without you! He also taught me the importance of having an alkaline body, you opened my eyes massively. I would also like to thank the nutritionist I saw relatively recently who examined my diet and encouraged me to add more omega 3’s and taught me how to make kefir! Life changing! And one last thank you to my mums colleague/friend who made me see it was time to make a change to finally get a grip on my anxiety.

And breathe. I hope I managed to thank everyone.

On that note, I wish everyone happiness and health this Christmas! Don’t forget to eat your greens and be merry!

Leah xo

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autoimmne, dairy free, diet, dietary, health, juicing, lupus, plant based, raw food, Vegan

The Perfect Red Smoothie

What a week it’s been.

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And yes, that is the most beautiful beetroot ever.

If you know me, you’ll know there’s nothing more I hate than doctors, medicine and anything else related to that field. It may actually be a phobia… surely that exists, right?! However, this week has consisted of 3 doctors visits and an optician visit. Not fun.

Actually, it’s so much more than just not being fun, it’s brought me tons of anxiety. The worst! Well, with feeling pretty low and having poorly eyes (that are now hopefully on the mend thanks to my wonderful optician) I have been trying to up my juicing and raw food intake to make me as healthy as possible. I may be full of a cold and have eye problems but it doesn’t make me any less determined to eat as healthy as possible. At the end of the day, I have an auto immune problem and I’m (unfortunately!) on immune suppressants, imagine where I would be without my healthy eating? My prediction is that I’d be much more poorly.

On the upside, at one of my doctors visits, they checked my vitamin levels, as early last year I was told I was folate deficient and it turns out my iron and folate are back within normal range – thanks fruits and veggies! This makes me even more certain that being a plant based eater is the healthiest way to be! I don’t take any supplements apart from a vitamin D supplement (which I believe everyone should take) and a B12 supplement (highly important if you are vegan or vegetarian) so all of my nutrients come from what I eat. People presume being vegan you will be low in iron and other vital minerals but I can now prove them all wrong! My doctor also told me many months ago that I needed to take a multi vitamin because of my restricted diet (I obviously ignored this silly advice and trusted in the foods I was eating) and I’m happy to say I was right! Hip hip hooray! Remember GPs get very little, if any, nutrition training.

Iron is super important and one of the most common deficiencies, are you feeling tired? No energy? Well, here are some great natural plant based sources of iron:

– spinach and other dark leafy greens
– sun dried tomatoes
– tahini or sesame seeds (I can eat it by the spoonful!)
– goji berries
– dates
– quinoa
– chickpeas (eat your humous!)
– dried apricots and dried peaches
– super foods – Spirulina and bee pollen are great sources!

Men need lower amounts of iron per day than women so if you are a woman it’s probably wise to check you are getting enough. People believe the richest sources of iron is meat but then why are many meat eaters iron deficient? I say start upping your green juices and start spoon feeding yourself humous! Oh and have dried fruit for dessert! Don’t forget plant based iron sources are also loaded with other important vitamins and minerals, making them far more superior than meat.

Oh and one last thing, always consume your iron with foods that contain vitamin c as it helps absorption. Another reason green juices are so fantastic, also I make homemade humous and put lots of lemon juice in (jam packed with vitamin c!).

So, now you’ve heard me moan about my week and show off about my healthy vitamin levels (apologises for that!), this week while testing out new ways of supercharging my diet I came up with what can only be described as the yummiest smoothie ever. I do realise I’m slightly blowing my own trumpet here but seriously I’ve made it 3 times in 5 days and I’ve fallen more in love each time. Don’t judge it by its ingredients as I realise they sound a little thrown together, especially if you are new to juicing or plant based eating but trust me on this one – give it a go.

The Perfect Red Recipe:
– 1 beetroot (thoroughly clean the outside and chop the little tail thingy off)
– 1 courgette
– 2 carrots
– 2 handfuls of spinach (hello Iron!)
– 1 lime (if organic, juice the skin too)
– 1 apple OR 1 orange (both work really well)
– 1 stalk of celery
– half an avocado

Right, so you have all of your ingredients at the ready, all you need to do is juice all of your ingredients except the avocado. Once it’s all juiced and lovely and red, you want to pour the juice into the blender with the avocado and some ice and blend for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a pint sized glass or bottle and enjoy.

If you want to add an extra nutrition kick add a small teaspoon of spirulina into the blender before blending.

So healthy and so delicious. I think it tastes like a sweet!

The reasons why you need this smoothie in your life:

– Beetroot helps fight inflammation, helps ward off the growth of cancer cells, helps lower blood pressure and helps break down toxins in the body (Bascially it’s a superfood!).

– Celery reduces inflammation, soothes the nervous system thanks to the magnesium content, alkalising on the body therefore reducing problems of acidity in the body.

– Courgette is full of Vitamin C (Your immune system will thank you!)

– Carrots contain vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1 and B6. They are also rich in minerals such as biotin, potassium, calcium and so on. They are so healing and fantastic for the skin.

– Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which protect the body from free radicals, a great anti inflammatory food, high vitamin C contain, high in iron and folate and a great plant source of protein!

– Orange/lime are both high in vitamin C and are great additions to support a healthy immune system. They are great at detoxing the body and very alkalising on your system.

– Avocado is high in healthy fats and protein. Proven to benefit the heart, the skin and individuals suffering from diabetes.

Enjoy,

Leah xo

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autoimmne, dairy free, diet, dietary, health, juicing, lupus, plant based, raw food, Vegan

The Perfect Carrot Juice

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I am juice crazy at the moment and gearing up to my 5 day juice detox starting tomorrow! I have been watching Joe Cross on repeat, studying his website, stocking up on organic produce and creating some awesome juice recipes to follow. Whenever I decide to go juice only, I aim to up my juice intake the week before and I’m so glad I did as I made the most perfect carrot juice earlier in the week. It was that nice it actually felt like a treat, yet with every mouthful I remembered how many nutrients I was consuming! This is why I just love juicing. I mean, lets face it, you might enjoy eating that ice cream but what about the feeling after? Doesn’t feel so good now does it…

Well, juicing never let’s you down. There’s no catch, there’s no hidden ingredients, there’s no nasty side affects. It is just pure, real, natural and 100% dependable.

Green juice is important (as I’ve previously said) but I think it’s equally important to ensure you juice a variety of vegetables trying to include lots of colours. Eat the rainbow people! Carrots are super sweet so they make a great juicing vegetable, they also taste amazing and produce a wonderful colour. Not forgetting they are jam packed with nutrients!

Carrots are loaded with vitamins – Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1 and B6. They are also rich in minerals such as biotin, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Lastly, the number of phytonutrients in carrots are endless – Lutein, lycopene, alpha, beta and gamma carotenes and so on. Just imagine how healthy a glass of carrot juice is?! All these vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients help heal the body, help fight illness whether it be a cold or a more serious disease. What I’m trying to say is… No matter who you are or what your health situation is – Go and make this juice! Your body will thank you.

The recipe:

– 4 Large Carrots
– 1 Large Apple
– 2 Celery Stalks
– 1 Lemon

Juice all the above ingredients, pour in a glass over ice and drink up. It’s that simple!

I highly recommend using all organic ingredients so you don’t ingest any nasty chemicals or pesticides. However, if you can’t get hold of organic, at least make sure you use an unwaxed lemon. I just the whole lemon including the skin, however, not all juicers can handle the skin of a lemon so please check your juicer instructions! I not so long ago made one of my juicers smoke uncontrollably due to a lemon skin, so trust me on this one, its always best to check. I think most fast juicers require the skin to be removed prior to juicing.

I think most people presume you juice because you want to lose weight but there are so many more reasons to juice! I often get asked why I go on juicing only days when I already follow a plant based, vegan lifestyle. My main reason is to up my micronutrient consumption, to consume only raw nutrients, to rest my digestive system and allow my body to get on with other more important tasks – repairing, regenerating and healing!

Digestion takes up to 70% of the body’s energy, removing this task for a few days allows your body to focus on more important things and essentially heal the body. Micronutrients are so important if you want your body to operate in its optimal state, these micronutrients are found in all natural plant foods and it is even better if you intake these micronutrients in its natural form (without cooking). So, juicing just makes sense, right?

I haven’t even mentioned that juice detoxing rids the body of caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat, refined sugar and any other processed junk! If you consume any of the products mentioned above, a juice detox is essential. Otherwise you will become sluggish, fatigued and more than likely poorly whether its catching every bug you come in contact with, increased blood pressure, skin problems, increased blood sugar levels or something more serious. I personally don’t consume any of these things, however like Joe Cross I do suffer from an autoimmune disease (Lupus) so juicing is my saviour! As I have a compromised immune system due to my illness it’s essential I give my body exactly what it needs to stay in tip top condition. That means plants, fruits and vegetables are my best friends! And resting my digestion every so often is so important in order for my body to rebalance and repair.

Go switch your juicer on, grab some veggies and fruit and juice!

Leah xo

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animal protein, diet, health, plant based, plant protein, raw food, Vegan

Plant Protein Does Exist You Know…

Being a plant based foodie or vegan often makes people question your diet, I don’t mind people asking me questions, I actually enjoy sharing the knowledge I’ve learnt but when people are close minded to the idea of veganism, that’s when I get a little irritated. I’ve had people ask me “So what do you eat, beans on toast every night?”, I’m sure you can picture the expression on my face after this little gem of a question. However, people are coming round to the idea that food really is important and I think plant based eating has become a bit of a ‘cool’ thing to do over the past year or so. I even watched an episode of Orange Is The New Black the other night and a kale, almond milk and date smoothie was mentioned… right then and there I knew the programme was for me!

Seriously though, plant based, organic food is getting a good rep within the media and of course from people like Deliciously Ella (My idol!), Natasha Corrett aka Honestly Healthy, Calgary Avansino, Hemsley Hemsley sisters (They even eat meat too!) and not forgetting my two juicing gods – Joe Cross and Jason Vale. All these people have helped me see that living a vegan diet is not only amazing for your body but that you really do enjoy everything that you eat. It may be hard for people to understand this but when we eat our taste buds actually are pretty happy!

One of the main questions I get asked is.. “How do vegans get any protein?” and to be fair it’s a valid question. We have been led to believe that protein mainly comes from meat and animal produce such as eggs. Which is technically true but these are not the best sources of protein. Protein from meat takes your body a long time to digest, which in turn puts your digestive system under massive amounts of strain often resulting in you feeling sluggish after that big steak! We aren’t even mentioning that meat is acidic, fatty, processed, filled with chemicals and generally not great for the human body!

Nowadays, people sip on protein shakes like they are drinking water. Yuk! These shakes are far from healthy, they are man made and full of chemicals. Protein in high levels isn’t at all healthy for your body, it puts the kidneys under far too much stress, can lead to dehydration and leaching of calcium from your bones. There was an article recently in an English Newspaper – The Telegraph, which stated diets high in animal protein were just as unhealthy as someone who smoked 20 cigarettes a day. The article went on to say protein from plants, vegetables and nuts were far healthier. Take a look for yourself: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10676877/High-protein-diet-as-bad-for-health-as-smoking.html

Protein is essential to the human body, this cannot be argued, every cell and organ in your body requires it. Protein is something your body cannot store and therefore we need to ingest it daily. It is recommend that a woman intakes 46 grams of protein each day and a man intakes 56 grams each day. This really isn’t all that much and the amount is easily achievable from plants. Here are some great plant protein sources:

– Quinoa (Pronounced Keen-wa). It is a grain from Peru and is loaded with protein and many other health benefits. 100g of Quinoa gives you a whopping 14g protein. It is also a complete protein as it contains all essential amino acids. Along with being high in protein it is high in anti inflammatory phytonutrients, it has a low GI index as opposed to white rice or potatoes, it is high in fibre and the list goes on.

– Buckwheat – It is not actually a grain but is often eaten like one, it is actually a plant and despite its name it contains zero wheat. In 100g of buckwheat you get 13g of protein. One of my favourite things to buy is organic buckwheat pasta, it tastes amazing and is made from 100% buckwheat, so while you are eating a bowl full of pasta you are getting a good protein hit! Buckwheat is also good for diabetics, for lowering blood pressure and for drawing out excess fluid in the body.

– Avocados – imagine a world without avocados?! No, I can’t either. In 100g of avocado you will get 2g of protein. Along with providing easily digestible protein, avocados give you healthy fats, carotenoids, omega-3, vitamin E and C, zinc, selenium and so on. They really are wonderful. They can be added to smoothies, salads, to make pasta dressings, replacement for butter, to make into dips, to make raw chocolate mousse. The possibilities are endless.

– Beans – There are so many different types of beans and pulses, my favourites are chickpeas (Hello humous!) and black beans. 100g of black beans contains 22g of protein and 100g of chickpeas contains 19g of protein. So, literally a spoonful of humous will give you a great amount of protein without you even realising it! You can make humous, make a mixed bean salad, a lentil or bean curry, bean soup, bean burgers, bean chilli and there are even recipes using black beans in desserts. Deliciously Ella’s cacao and black bean cookies are a must!

– Nuts – I could talk about nuts forever, I love love love them! I literally carry a little bag of nuts with me wherever I go. In just 100g of almonds there is 21g of protein. If you make almond milk just think of all that delicious, nutritious protein you’re giving to your body. Cashews are also high in protein, in 100g of cashews you get 18g of protein. Nuts are wonderful and can be added to your morning granola, eaten as a snack, made into a milk, made into a pasta sauce, used in raw desserts, made into nut betters and so on.

– Seeds – Hemp seeds are just little seeds sent from heaven! They are so good for you. In just 30g you will get 11g of protein. A simple way to eat them is by simply blending them into your smoothies or better yet, make hemp milk! Other seeds with high levels of protein are chia seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. So, if you needed an excuse to make chia pudding, here it is!

– Green leafy vegetables – I couldn’t live without greens, they really do provide the body with everything it needs. I cannot go a day without greens in my life! 1 little cup of spinach provides 5g of protein! Isn’t that amazing? And it’s so easy for your body to digest. 1 cup of broccoli provides 3g of protein. Just imagine if you had 1 green juice or smoothie a day, it would be full of natural plant based protein. Yum! Keep munching on your greens to get lots of healthy protein and just remember to switch it up and get a good variety in your body.

– Spirulina – This is a food supplement and can be taken in either tablet form or as a powder. It is 100% natural and is one hell of a superfood! It contains an endless list of vitamins and minerals but it also is a complete protein and in 100g there is nearly 60g of protein! Yes, you heard me.. 60g of protein! I add 1 heaped tea spoon to every smoothie or juice I have.

That’s my little take on plant based protein. Just remember plant protein isn’t limited to just what’s mentioned here, there are other sources too, these are just my personal favourites.

Leah xo

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dairy free, health, plant based, raw food, Vegan

Milk your nuts!

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If you are new to the vegan world, the title of this blog may have struck you as a little odd but trust me it makes perfect sense. Milk doesn’t just have to be for people that consume animal products. In my opinion the milk you can get from nuts and seeds is even more delicious! If you have heard of almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, cashew milk and other varieties but feel its too much effort to make yourself, this blog will prove you wrong. It really is so quick and simple. I promise.

First of all, some may ask, why can’t you just buy the milk alternatives supplied in the supermarket? And heres my answer.. The milks you can buy in a supermarket are often loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Yuk! Just take a look at the ingredients list on the carton. These chemicals can play havoc in the human body. Also, by making these milks at home you are getting much more goodness, nutrition and let’s face it yummier milk!

Why not just have cows milk? Cows milk is such a common product in England. Lets face it, most people ingest it daily. I know I use to! But there are some serious reasons why humans should avoid it at all costs.

Cows milk today is now loaded with antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals. All these substances are now being linked to so many conditions and diseases. Poor cows are pumped with hormones and steroids to make them plump and to most importantly produce more milk. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be consuming hormones, steroids and antibiotics in my cup of tea.

Cows milk is also pasteurised (unless you drink raw cows milk – which is rarely done today). The pasteurisation process destroys vitamins and enzymes present in the milk. This is significant as the enzymes are what help your body to digest the milk. Therefore, putting extra strain on your digestive system.

Lastly, cows milk is acid forming once ingested into the body. Consuming acid forming products on a daily basis will alter the bodies pH. Disease lives inside an acidic body and disease can not survive inside an alkaline body. Its important to remember that! Consuming more alkaline foods is essential to the bodies health. Alkaline foods are things like leafy greens, lemons, almonds, avocados, water, green tea and the list goes on. Acid foods are things like alcohol, processed foods, animal products, red meat, chocolate and a whole host of other nasties! Unfortunately, in today’s society acid forming foods are the staple of many people’s diets.

Right, that’s enough information for you. Now here’s the fun bit.. Milk your nuts!

I’m going to do a simple almond milk recipe but you can literally use the same process for most nuts and seeds. Almond is just my personal favourite and its alkaline – bonus!

What you need:
– High speed blender
– Filtered water
– Almonds (or another nut or seed)
– A large jug
– A milk bag (or a muslin cloth) – you can get a milk bag off Amazon.
– Vanilla pod (optional)
– A natural sweetener (optional)

What to do:
– Soak your almonds in filtered water the night before you want to make the milk. I use roughly 2 small cups of almonds. Place the nuts in a glass jug and cover with filtered water. Leave for at least 4 hours but preferably over night.

– When the nuts have soaked, drain them and place in a high speed blender. Now add 3 times the amount of filtered water to the amount of nuts. 3 mugs of water should be just right. However, more water can be added at the end if a weaker milk is desired.

– Vanilla and sweetener can be now added but I prefer my milk plain.

– Blend for a couple of minutes until the milk is creamy and frothy (Yum!)

– When the milk is blended you are ready to strain. Place the milk bag inside and around the edge a glass jug and pour the milk through. The bag will collect the almond bits to produce a smooth, thin milk. Just like cows milk! But better of course.

– Squeeze the bag tight to ensure all the liquid is removed. Your milk is now ready to drink or store in the fridge.

It really is that simple. Quicker than nipping to the shop for a pint of milk!

Enjoy!

Leah xo

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plant based, raw food, Vegan

The Perfect Green Juice

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If you’re are anything like me, you’ll have your good and bad days when it comes to juice making. I’ve learned (through much experimenting) that juicing is an unpredictable business. The trick is to write down all of your ingredients, so if the juice turns out great you’ll know what to do next time! Some would say this is a pretty simple rule to follow, however when reality takes over and juicing isn’t a leisurely past time but part of your day to day routine, organisation flys straight out of the window. This is when I find disaster juices are created and you end up gulping back a juice that tastes more like a medicine. Yuk! Does this matter? You are still flooding your body with nutrients, right? Of course it matters! If you are going to fall in love with juicing and make it a life long habit, it has to please the taste buds! Trust me when I say… Green juice really can be enjoyable.

The recipe for this green juice is just so delicious and it’s cram packed with goodness. I honestly believe it will please both experienced juicers and those who have just unpacked their juicer for the first time! A pint of this juice and your body will be thanking you for providing it with an abundance of vitamins and minerals, leaving you feeling super healthy. I also have a quick tip for turning this juice into a smoothie if you’re looking for something more filling (that’s breakfast sorted then!). 

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe, my beautiful sister passed this one on to me and I haven’t looked back. It’s such a staple recipe and can be adapted in a number of ways to suit your taste or to simply suit what’s left in the fridge! 

Right, lets juice!

The Perfect Green Juice (for 1 person):

– 2 apples (No apples? Pineapple would be great too)

– half of a lemon 

– 1 stalk of celery

– half a cucumber

– handful of spinach (No spinach? Pak choi or rainbow chard would be perfect)

– 2 leaves of kale 

– small slice of ginger

– small slice of tumeric (optional)

All you need to do is juice all of the above ingredients. I would recommend juicing your kale and spinach first and then the other ingredients afterwards. This just makes sure all the kale and spinach goodness ends up in your glass and doesn’t hide in the juicer! Cucumber and celery are great at flushing the juicer through! 

To turn this juice into a heavenly smoothie, simply juice all ingredients, pour into a high speed blender along with one ripe avocado and some ice. Blend it all together until smooth. The avocado will make it so creamy! Its like magic. Don’t forget adding avocado will give your body a hit of healthy fats and protein! Yum. 

Enjoy the juice and remember if you are new to juicing and find the above recipe a bit too strong, simply add more fruit until your taste buds have had time to adapt to your new juicing life!

Leah xo

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diet, dietary, health, plant based, raw food, Vegan

Pudding recipe? Chia pudding of course!

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No greens in the fridge to make your favourite smoothie? This little recipe will solve all of your breakfast dilemmas! Its quick, easy, impossible to get wrong and can be made the night before and left in the fridge ready for breakfast time! Simples.

This particular recipe is cashew milk and strawberry chia pudding, topped with homemade cinnamon granola, coconut, bee pollen and fresh blueberries. These are my all time favourite toppings but of course different combinations work really well too. You can also use any nut or seed milk… Almond or hemp milk are also personal favourites but I think cashew milk adds extra creaminess. 

The recipe:

– 3 tablespoons of organic chia seeds

– 1 cup of cashew milk

– 1 large handful of frozen strawberries

– 1 teaspoon of organic 100% pure maple syrup

– any toppings you desire – coconut, goji berries, granola, nuts, seeds, fresh banana, fresh berries, cacao nibs, bee pollen or anything else that floats your boat!

Simply blend a cup of cashew milk with the maple syrup and frozen strawberries. Frozen work best as I find them sweeter, always choose organic too, if not fresh will do. When this is blended into a lovely pink milk, pour over 3 table spoons of chia seeds (I use a mason jar for this). Simply stir the seeds into the liquid for a few minutes so its all combined. The seeds will immediately start to soak up the liquid. Now place in the fridge for at least an hour or over night. When you are ready to eat top it will anything and everything you fancy! Multiple toppings work best as it adds lovely texture. 

Here are some excellent reasons why we should eat chia:

– More calcium than milk! Hear that none vegans?

– More vitamin C than oranges!

– More iron than spinach! 

– Fibre,  fibre and more fibre! Most people in today’s world just simply aren’t getting enough fibre and this is terrible news for your digestive system. Which in turn means your immune system will suffer. Remember: Look at the body as a whole system! 

–  Chia is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids! 

– More omega 3 than salmon! Who said we need to eat fish?!

These are just a few general chia seed facts, it does much more than what’s listed above. All I can say is… Give it a try, it really is one of natures super foods! Enjoy.

Leah xo

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diet, dietary, health, lupus, plant based, raw food, Vegan

Why I turned to greens…

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My transition to a vegan/plant based diet wasn’t your everyday ‘I need to get healthy’ kind of story. Although, I very much did need to get healthy! It was a tad more serious than that for me and maybe one of the reasons I’ve fallen head over heels in love with this lifestyle, something that I cannot ever see changing.

I fell ill in March 2013 and was finally diagnosed late last year with an autoimmune condition called Lupus or SLE. Life was a bit of a struggle but as I started to research my illness, I came across so many changes I could implement myself and these little changes snowballed into me becoming a fully fledged vegan, plant based, lover of raw food fanatic!

Now don’t get me wrong, it all takes time, I didn’t get better over night and I still have my good and bad days but those good and days are worlds apart from the ones I experienced in 2013.

Your body is a wonderful, amazing powerhouse and I honestly believe if we feed ourselves with fresh, organic nutrients on a daily basis we will all be much healthier! And trust me, there becomes a point when you don’t want to put anything else in your body… It craves the good stuff!

If you are interested in health, juicing, food, being vegan, living a plant based lifestyle then I think you just may enjoy this blog. I’m going to post delicious recipes, tips and general nuggets of information to make you fall in love with your greens! The information I plan to share will be about fab products I use, books I read, documentaries I watch and most importantly… What all our fruits and veggies are good for! Leah xo

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