Monday, 30 April 2018

The vanishing spider

No I didn't get sucked up by a vacuum cleaner!

So where have I been?

Well the simple answer is crazy busy so here is a super brief round up of what I have been up to and  promise to try and be more active!

1. At the end of Jan and into Feb I spent a week in Benidorm - it was fab

2. Second week of Feb I started a secondment in work - it was supposed to be until end of March, but has been extended to April and now May and may continue to be extended as the job I am covering hasnt been advertised yet

3. Gym - I started with a personal trainer and I have been going every week  for the last 2 months - I have also tried to up my actual attendance at the gym to 3 times a week - I  mostly hit that target

4. Skating - yeah I still have the skating bug - and the derby bug - I know it surprises me too this enjoyment of a team sport where I end up sweaty and gross and having other sweaty and gross people touch me! April is exactly one year since I started skating and this is also the month where  I have passed all my minimum skills except for laps (see the personal trainer who is helping me get fitter why? because I want to pass my bloody laps!) this means I can now do scrims and stuff which is both brilliant and also terrifying.

5. More skating - I've also been trying to be more involved in skatey stuff - so I have volunteered to help out at games and scrims which is great as I get to watch and learn more about derby

6. Social stuff - I've been out a lot, mainly to see drag, to the cinema, to see the circus and just generally doing stuff - crazily I have been out 2 or 3 times a week

7. Even more skatey stuff - so myself and a bunch of other nearly  passed skaters have been allowed to join the actual main league sessions on a Sunday so instead of an hour we get to spend 4 hours there - learning with the big girls and watching them scrim - again very scary !

So yeah that's kinda what I have been up to

Oh and I forgot- got a new corn snake too :D

Friday, 9 February 2018

#Veganaury is over!

Well it's now nearly two weeks post veganuary so here are 10 things that round it up:

1. Eating vegan when you have time to prep your food on the weekends  is super easy, grabbing a quick snack to go when you forget your lunch is a bit more limited (options include a plain jacket potato with beans, a veggie box from the local noodle bar and if you are superlucky and live in a big city like me then you might have a vegan quick food place), eating out with family and friends if you dont like salad can also be tricky but more and more companies are providing vegan options on their menus - tasty vegan options too!

2. Eating vegan requires an initial outlay and you have to pay more for animal free product items like 'marge' but when you weigh this against the cost of buying meat its actually cheaper especially if you are buying seasonal fruit and veggies.

3. The things I thought I would miss like bacon sarnies and chicken curry I didn't  - no what I missed most was cheese - I dreamed of cheese, cheese on toast, cheese topped lasagna, cheese on a stick with pineapple...well you get the drift

4. The first time I eat dairy products after being off them I bloated up like a hot air balloon (this makes me sad)

5. Trying to eat vegan at an all inclusive hotel in Benidorm is pretty much impossible - like these guys say a soup is veggie and then your like hey there's some weird meat floating in it and they are like yup thats the beef! Like since when has beef been veggie in any form?

6. I know that I am not going to continue with the vegan diet BUT I am going to continue to eat vegan and veggie dishes 4-5 days a week

7. Following the vegan diet left my skin in amazing condition (after the first week of detox hell where I looked like a 13 year old with a severe zit problem!)

8. Lets talk poo! Vegan diet = less poo (I know it surprised me too with all those veggies and beans!!!)

9. Another surprising side effect duet the first week and a bit of detox was the horrendous headaches and tiredness - like I literally can't even lift my own head tiredness!I guess this partially came from the reduction in the amount of cake and chocolate (I like milk chocolate!) When this passed I had a lot of energy I mean a LOT we are talking hitting the gym 5 day a week levels of energy plus skating 4 times a week and taking the dog for several miles of walking (the dog didnt enjoy this so much hes a porker)

10. People are taking veganism seriously now like it's no longer seen as a fad - big supermarkets are stocking alternative products, there are vegan food shops opening and vegan restaurants and big chain restaurants are offering vegan food too.

Monday, 8 January 2018

#Veganuary 2018 - Week 1

So I am on day 8 of veganuary!

Here is what I have learnt over the last week:

1. People are super judgmental about food choices - the number of people who have asked me why I am doing this, waved cakes/chocolates under my nose or demanded to know what I am eating. Who knew that so many people would care about what I eat hey?

2. Eating vegan is easier than I thought - so far I have had risottos, soups, porridge, peanut butter on toast, stews, casseroles, chili plus a fake away of vegan burger, fries and onion rings (with vegan battered pineapple! nom). I also managed to get a take out lunch from a vegan stall at Cardiff central market which was totally delicious!

3. Smoothies are king - okay I dont eat loads of fruit and veg normally but I have been utilising my food processor to make some fantastic smothies - I have even had veggies in them and they are good!

4. My body is not equipped for cutting out all the processed crap I normally eat - after 3 days of the vegan diet I started getting super bad headaches and feeling exhausted - I am pretty sure this is due to my body being so used to having processed foods and sugars! Happily the headaches have cleared now!

5. Following from 4 I have had some serious bad skin days maybe it's all the crap escaping but I have been seriously zitty! Again this appears to be clearing up now thank god - teen skin is not something I want!

6. Chocolate - I have been craving it like full on crazy cravings and also sugar - sweets, icecream I want it all! I have been combating these by eating lots of fruit (and the occasional party ring - did you know party rings are vegan? me neither until I  found it on a handy list of vegan foods!)

7. DOMs I normally hit up a protein bar or shake after the gym - as I havent found a vegan version yet (read as I haven't actually looked other than in the usual shops which only have whey products) I have had some killer DOMs and by killer I mean I did a class on Wed and was still suffering DOMs on Sunday! I've started trying to eat more nuts and peanut butter after the gym which is supposed to be a good source of protein - so far so good

8.  Other vegans are super supportive - I have been posting on my social media photos of my food and smoothies and also asking questions and I have had lots of positive feedback and advice - it's like one big happy family

Monday, 1 January 2018

#Veganuary - Day 1

Today is the 1st of January and also the first day of veganuary.

Luckily I slept late this morning - so late in fact that I didn't get up until the afternoon which meant I missed breakfast which is good because I forgot to buy the dream oat milk to use with my porridge!

So I had  a late lunch around 2pmish instead  of some of the vegan sausage casserole I made. It was actually pretty good.

I got a super craving for chocolate biscuits but  none of the sweet items I have at home are vegan sadly! So for snacks I have had some grapes and a tangerine, some cashew and peanuts and some root vegetable crisps and tortilla crisps (not whole bags like a small bowl of them all mixed up - although I could have eaten them all but then I'd not have any for tomorrow haha)

I made a simple potato and leek soup today - again in the slow cooker.

1 leek washed, sliced and diced and lightly fried in rapeseed oil
about 10 salad potatoes  sliced and boiled
900 ml of vegetable stock (made with 2 x stock cubes)
1 tsp of lazy garlic

Everything chucked into the slow cooker on high for 2 hours, then I took my hand chopper/mixer thingy to it to make it less lumpy and more smooth - then the whole thing went back into the slowcooker to finish off on high for 4 hours.

Let it cool and then portioned it out ready to freeze - it made 4 portions plus enough left  over for tea whoop! 3 portions into the freezer and one out ready for lunch tomorrow

I also made some garlic croutons to go with it:

- 3 slices of white bread (I used the crusts as they make chunkier ones) chopped into approx 1-2cm squares

- I then poured around 50ml of rapeseed oil into a bowl and added in a tsp of lazy garlic plus some of the white vinegar juice it sits in and mixed the two together

- Then added in the bread pieces and mixed with a spoon so that every bit had a good covering of garlic and oil

- bread was then put on a baking tray in a single layer, a little bit of salt sprinkled on top and tray bunged in the oven on gas mark 4 for around 30 mins until crispy

- took them out and let them cool before putting them into a sealed tupperware container to keep ready to go in with the soup.

These should keep in the tub for about a week and are perfect to go on top of my soups and casseroles :)

I'm going to hit the shops tomorrow to buy some vegan spread as I want to make myself some banana and nut bread which will be perfect for snacks and for breakfast.

I also want to go to home bargains as I know they do vegan jelly beans there which I can use for any sugar cravings I get.

Day 1 has gone pretty well - hopefully tomorrow will be as easy