Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Change of Diet ~ Entering the World of Wheat Free and Limited Dairy....

*Image courtesy of logo-kid.com


Yes you read the title right!! For various personal reasons our Dr. has suggested that we try a Wheat Free Diet with limited dairy. Now if you know me (or have looked at the amount of recipes I  have under the pasta section!) you'll know that giving up wheat (albeit temporarily) is a b-i-g thing for me. Without doubt one of my favourite things in the world is a big bowl of Spicy Tomato Pasta and as for French Bread.... don't even get me started! However I am more than willing to give this a go so I thought if I'm going to do it I would share my experiences with you.

Now I know going Wheat Free isn't exactly a new thing and for many different reasons millions of people have jumped on the Gluten Free Band Wagon, I just didn't think I would ever be one but here I am! I'm not going to lie, when I initially started doing some research and looked for delicious wheat free recipes that were also limited in dairy it was overwhelming. My moods have been up and down over the past 5 days but I finally think I am getting there.... well to grips with it anyway. I still have a long road ahead and know I will have my cravings but today I am definitely feeling positive about things.

So what have I done? Well for starters, I haven't thrown out every item that has wheat in it. For now it's just been put to one side and instead today I replaced it with some gluten free alternatives. After doing some research I decided to try Corn Pasta rather than the Rice Pasta (which I have had in the past and really didn't like). I have also stocked up in Gluten Free Crackers (which I have yet to try) and lots of super crunchy Rice Crackers which I absolutely love anyway so no issues there. Since toast features heavily in my breakfast routine I've had to come up with some new ideas so today I made a giant batch of Granola* for us as well as some Granola Energy Bars courtesy of Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book Baking Chez Moi. I also have plenty of eggs in the fridge and this morning I had a delicious breakfast of Scrambled Eggs with Spring(Green) Onion, Tomatoes, Chilli and Coriander (Cilantro) with some Avocado on the side. It was delicious and I certainly didn't feel like I was missing out! A lot of Smoothies and Juices are going to be appearing so today I also stocked up with plenty of fruit (including frozen fruit for things that aren't quite in season yet), spinach and kale as well as Pomegranate Juice, Coconut Water and Almond Milk. I also bought some Coconut Yogurt which is another new item for me and yet to be tried (I'll let you know how I find all the new things!).

Monday, March 30, 2015

My Meat Free Week



Having just completed Meat Free Week I thought I would fill you in with my experience of the week I just had where I wasn't able to eat any meat, fish or seafood for 1 week....That's right 1 week, 7 days, 168 hours.... in reality a very short time. To all the vegetarians out there I apologise as what I'm about to say sounds pretty pathetic but this 7 short days actually felt relatively long and it turned out to be harder than I thought!

When I decided to accept the challenge I did it purely for myself...I wanted to see how I would feel going meatless for a week. Generally we eat meat free meals about twice a week and in all honesty I never thought anything of it. Eating meat 7 days a week is a big no-go for me... I simply find it to be too much. Cost aside (which would be far too much for my budget!) meat everyday is just overkill (sorry, no pun intended!).

For years I have been an advocate of buying better quality meat and simply eating less of it and I really do stand by that. There are many issues associated with our global meat consumption, notably the impact it has on the environment, animals (increased consumption has lead to inhumane farming practices for a start) and of course our own health. As posted on the Meat Free Week website "the U.N. has identified the livestock industry as one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems" so we really do need to stop and seriously think about how much meat we eat.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Meal Plan for Meat Free Week


Monday (March 23rd, 2015) is the start of Meat Free Week, a global campaign to create awareness of how much meat you eat and the impact that it has on our health as well as the animals and the environment. The challenge is to go meat free for a full week which includes ALL meat, fish and seafood.

Although we do eat quite a lot of meat I always try to have at least 2 nights a week where we eat vegetarian meals so I'm excited to have a full week of delicious vegetarian food (breakfast and lunch included), and no there isn't a nut roast in sight!

To make things easier for you if you are interested in taking part in Meat Free Week, I decided to share my weekly meal plan which is packed with delicious, nutritious recipes. All recipes have a link included so you can join me for the week or pick and chose as you like any recipes that appeal. For more meal ideas why not have a look at the recipes provided on the Meat Free Week website or alternatively check out Jamie Oliver's recipes dedicated to this fantastic campaign, or if you have a favourite vegetarian meal please feel free to share links in the comments section!

So what are you waiting for? Join me and hundreds of other people and go meat free for a week!

Monday March 23rd ~ 29th

                                  Monday  -        Slow Cooker Quinoa, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chilli
                                  Tuesday -         North African Squash & Chickpea Stew
                                  Wednesday -    Spicy Tomato & Mozzarella Gnocchi with Green Salad
                                  Thursday -       Grilled Halloumi with Quinoa & Beetroot Salad
                                  Friday -            Deliciously Dhal
                                  Saturday -        Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles with Tofu Brilliant Veggie Burger
                                  Sunday -          Vegetable Jalfrezi








Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cookbook Review ~ The Wellness Kitchen by Paulette Lambert


The start of a New Year is always the time when resolutions are made to eat better, exercise more and generally lead a healthier life so it was the perfect time for me to put The Wellness Kitchen: Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for a Healthier You by Paulette Lambert to the test.

The Wellness Kitchen is a cookbook designed to show you how you can transform your body with simple, easy steps and wholesome flavourful foods. Paulette Lambert is a registered dietitian with 32 years of experience that includes appearances on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and The Dr. Oz Show. It is not a diet book containing specific restrictions, fads or concepts that are “of the moment”. Rather this book is about presenting the reader with “the latest scientific knowledge regarding nutrition and health” and making healthy eating a very easy, accessible way of life that anyone can achieve.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is information about health, how to use the book for you in particular as well as general nutrition guidelines and a handy section on pantry basics and a 21-Day Food Plan for Health and Weight Loss. The third part is Caloric Meal Plans.

Part 2 of the book features the Recipes with chapters dedicated to Breakfast, Appetizers, Quick and Easy Main Dishes and A Little Sweet to name a few. With more than 100 recipes included there is plenty of choice that will tempt your taste buds and help to improve your health. With so many recipes to choose from it was hard to pick but in the end I tested 4 recipes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!


If you are looking for some fun last minute Valentine's Day projects then these Cookies, Cupcakes and Cake Pops are the ideal sweet treat! And of course I had to share some of my favourite cocktail recipes as well! Have a great day x

Drinks

Rhubarb Mojito (not pictured)


Sweet Treats





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