Thursday, 10 September 2009

Avocado baby!

I was reading some children's books in the library for my uni course and found one called 'Avocado Baby' by John Burningham. It was about a new baby born to a 'weak' family, who hoped it would be strong not weak like them! It refused all food apart from avocados, and then it was really strong and able to fend off his siblings' bullies!! Thought this was quite thought provoking considering children are brought up to believe babies must have (cows) milk! Eating avocados does not make you violent though!

I forgot to say I also made an awesome lentil and onion pate the other day using puy lentils, brown lentils, 1/2 a red onion, lemon juice and hemp oil! Colour was amazing and you could call it hot in taste as well from the onion. hmhmhmhmh .....

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Keeping It Simple

well, not much to report at the moment... I am back at uni now and haven't had much time for experimenting in the kitchen : (

It came out at lunch time in conversation with my new uni friends today that I was a raw vegan. They were all interested and said they bet I had loads of energy! This is true of course, only I still keep going to bed too late so have been a bit tired this week. Induction week at uni is surprisingly tiring as well: even though we don't seem to be doing much yet, it is all the new information to take in and getting used to the campus, etc. It will be easier next week when we are settled and ready for the work to really start.

I am going to increase my focus on two things:

One: start increasing the focus of my own diet to how to keep it quick and simple (while remaining tasty and nutritious of course!)

Two: to try and get more of these yummy raw simplicities slipped into my family's diet and see what happens... the first thing I will do is start putting out some raw nibbles for them before dinner (they are quite partial to crisps, dip, nuts etc.) starting with sprouted sunflower seeds and perhaps some raw humous if I want to spoil them. It is time to stop thinking about myself so much and start thinking of others!! They do genuinely enjoy some of it in snack form so hopefully I can get some loved-up raw goodness inside them!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Raw Vegan in Vienna - Days 4 and 5 and reflection on the trip

Well, I am back home now and this is my first chance to blog - basically it was much more of the same on day 4 and for the day of the journey home: green salad, parsley, avocado, sprouts, sweetcorn on the cob and bananas! Living off sprouts, veg and avocados is pretty cheap and speedy as well, both of which I am going to need now I am a full-time student again!!

It is amazing just how many bakery places there are in Vienna! Like our Greggs in Britain, but many more companies. You can't get very far without running into one, especially on the underground. It is the same in Frankfurt from what I remember when I was there a few years ago. I don't understand how people can live off bread as a staple part of their diet! Not to mention all the ham and cheese.

I was organized going out there but it did not occur to me until I was at the airport that I didn't have much in the fridge for when I got home last night! But there was enough to rustle up a coleslaw ... yum. (However no greens so still no juice this morning!! Tomorrow I will definitely have one!!) I was hardly tired when I got home either even after getting to bed at 2am on Sunday morning. I have noted consistent energy before and the more I stick with raw the better this gets - it is amazing. Again, now my uni course has started I am going to need the ability to have an hour or so less sleep when necessary!

My dad asked me today whether I was weighing myself because I look "very thin' apparently! I don't see this as a problem: my energy levels are fantastic and I am no more hungry than I used to get between meals, in fact less so. Also, I thought today before lunch that I can't remember the last time I had that very embarrassing growling stomach I always used to get before lunch, even after a mid-morning snack. I can't remember if I used to feel this hunger last time I got this thin living off cooked veg, white rice and chicken. Probably. Anyway, I would like to put some weight on, but remain feeling as light and energetic as I do now. Clothes are a bit of a problem at the moment as many are too big now but I don't want to buy loads of stuff I am going to put weight on. I also think that the weight of raw vegans can't really be compared to that of cooked foodies; the BMI thing just doesn't apply as this is based on a conventional diet. I don't believe in BMI even for cooked foodies actually, especially for women, because of their boobs! If you are tall and thin with small boobs it will say you are underweight, and if you are short and thin with big boobs it will probably say you are overweight!! I think counting calories is also flawed but I won't go into that now!

All in all I am very happy to be back in my kitchen after best part of a fortnight away - makes me realise how lucky I am to have it!

Right I gotta go and flip my bread in the dehydrator and go to bed!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Photos from Seren Retreat

My first wheat grass juice and hemp milk; me washing up; picking rocket from the garden; picking blackberries; the mud!!

Raw Vegan in Vienna - Day Three

Yesterday I saw some more of the City's sights that I didn't see on my last visit, including going up the Danube Tower. Also watched My Sister's Keeper in German at the cinema (with a little help from my friend to fill me in when I didn't understand!)The weather wasn't so good yesterday but looks much better today for my final day.

On the food front ... salad for breakfast, followed by usual breakfast with banana, salad for lunch with avocado, and I picked up some garlic and lemons whilst out and had carrot sticks with a lentil humous/pate, using a few tsps of avocado instead of oil - again another benefit of being out here is that I have no oil and fats in their natural form are arguably better than concentrated in the oil.

My friend has also introduced me to raw sweetcorn! I didn't know you could eat it straight from the cob and it came off really easily - I was expecting it to be really hard like dried sweetcorn for some reason! So I enjoyed some of that last night.

I have been eating much more fruit out here, including grapes, watermelon and I had 2 bananas yesterday and a few blueberries. I am feeling OK on this though. In the supermarket yesterday I didn't buy any cooked porridge oats either, yay. So only cooked thing I have had is a few raisins my friend has lying around - damn, I just can't resist those when I get a craving for them.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Raw Vegan in Vienna - Day Two

Had a great day today - it is so hot here! We took our bikinis and beach towels to a beautiful town called Podersdorf a few hours away where there is a lake, which is a bit like a beach. Just in one afternoon it was like the summer holiday I never had this year!

This morning we went to get some vegetables - I got a huge bunch of parsley, 3 huge lettuces for 2 euros and some tomatoes from a market stand in town and a few other bits from a supermarket. I am so glad I found the parsley, it is great. So I had a huge salad for brunch using one of the avocados I brought with me, followed by a bit of buckwheat and sunflower seeds. I took more of this with some hemp seeds and a banana to the beach and a few carrot sticks. I was a bit hungry at times but it passed and by the time we got home I was ready to eat another huge green salad with my mung beans, (which sprouted today) but wasn't starving at all.

I also had something I haven't had before for dinner: courgette, very finey grated with a cheese grater, with an avocado and tomato sauce hand blended together - inspired by the "spagetti bolognaise" we had on the retreat. I might have some oats, buckwheat and more banana later. Also got some herbal tea which makes you feel fuller.

I have been craving green veg juice for the last couple of days as I haven't been able to have any since last Wednesday I think! With the salads I have effectively been having the green juice I normally have but with all the fibre! It is not the same though.

Tips so far for raw vegan travellers:

- bring some ripe avocadoes with you as if you are able to buy any they are unlikely to be ripe yet. I have bought two huge ones, one of which will hopefully be ripe tomorrow.

- bring dried beans and seeds with you. If you can get hold of avocadoes then this with sprouts makes a complete protein, so I have been told.

So another problem free day for food in a city. It is good for me to eat really simply as well after a weekend of quite a lot of treats like cake with loads of dried fruits and nuts, and dehydrated food.

I just hope I don't run out of beans/seeds... I am thinking of getting some porridge oats to be able to cook as a back up but resisted buying them this morning - maybe tomorrow I will but will see what mood I am in! I want to see if I can get through the whole holiday with no cooked food!

Right now I think I will eat those oat groats and have a cup of tea. Am craving a bowl of something warm and stodgy (like cooked porridge!) which is a bit annoying. I will kick this craving eventually!! Will write more tomorrow.

Raw Vegan in Vienna - Day One

Normal breakfast before the flight. You can take food on aeroplanes now so I had a salad. I arrived and was greeted with a big plate of watermelon by my friend which was just what I needed! Then I had some avocado, greens and buckwheat salad which I'd brought with me for dinner as we couldn't be bothered to go shopping for veg! Then I soaked all my beans, etc. I have brought with me for the 4 days and it was off to Starbucks for a lovely mineral water. So Day One was a success.

Seren Retreat on The Gower

Wow, where do I start with all that happened at the weekend?! I didn't get a chance to blog all weekend as there was so much work to do! And when I got back it was a super quick turn around before I flew to Vienna, which is where I am now.

In summary it was a great experience for me to see how much planning and hard work needs to go into leading this sort of retreat!

The location was fantastic - a yoga retreat in The Gower - and the energy in the place was so calming. There was a huge vegetable garden where we got fresh vegetables for our juicing session and lettuce for the salads. We also had a long walk down to the beach through beautiful woodland with a stream until we got to the stunning Three Cliffs Bay where we paddled in the water - it was very very cold but worth it! You can see some pictures of the retreat and the bay on the website below. I also took part in some Kundalini Yoga classes which were great. I would love to find out more about this.

I will put a few of my own photos on when I can. I am also going to try and do daily entries of being a raw vegan in Vienna and how I get on!