Eating Vegan in Gran Canaria

Hola Amigos,

Alongside the beauty and lifestyle content I write, one of the main purposes of this blog is to make veganism as accessible, convenient and enjoyable as possible. Here in the UK, I have definitely taken for granted just how many vegan options are available on a budget that I forgot to account for what it would be like, as a vegan, outside of the country. This was only realised once I had travelled to Gran Canaria where fresh produce was both limited and expensive which proved challenging. However, if you are thinking of travelling there sometime soon, please do not let this put you off as I have compiled (in this post!) a list of tips and meal ideas that will hopefully provide some insight to eating vegan abroad.

 

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Canarian Potatoes

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If it hasn’t already been mentioned elsewhere, Canarian Potatoes are your best option for a local delicacy that is both vegan and very accessible. These are boiled salted potatoes covered in mojo sauce, which consists of pepper, vinegar and spices. These can be found in all sorts of restaurants which means, as long as these are scattered around the island, you can never go hungry. These can be made further budget friendly by buying the sauce (around €2) and potatoes (€1.30 per KG) separately to cook at your accommodation.

Where to find: 19 Holes (Maspalomas), Roca Verde Restaurant (Playa Del Ingles)

Great World – Chinese Restraunt in Playa Del Ingles

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Gran Canaria is not a vegan/vegetarian-friendly country. In fact, trying to explain dietary restrictions is almost pointless, if not impossible to be completely understood. Because of this, eating out should be thought over carefully. Using the HappyCow website, I thankfully discovered Great World which offers some fantastic Chinese Vegan options which follow closely to the Whole-Foods diet. My personal favourite was this vegetable chow-mein style dish, and this came with both a sweet and spicy sauce for dipping (which I believe is courtesy with most main dishes). I had to come back twice because it really was delicious.

Side note: For two people with two mains, a side of rice, 2 beers and a vegetable spring roll, this came to €21 euros.

 

Eating on Excursions

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For this post I can only really speak for my one excursion, which was a dolphin tour in the Puerto Rico area of Gran Canaria. Here, we were promised an all inclusive buffet and free drinks. This was somewhat mis sold as there really wasn’t much selection to be called a ‘buffet’ as we were handed plates with spanish omelate and salad. Snacks included watermelon, bananas and apples. Although this may not be what you want to hear, considering the prices of these products outside of the boat, I ensured it was me who was eating said salad and fruit. Take advantage of eating a full meal beforehand.

Eating In

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Starches were the main consistency of every meal because not only are they some of the cheapest products worldwide, but they are the most satisfying in ensuring you stay fuller for longer. Side effect: Great diet food also!

Breakfast: Jumbo Oats (€1-2) with Soya Milk and Banana. There are a tonne of banana plantations in Gran Canaria and I found, contrary to bananas in the UK, the bananas were much sweeter. These are optional of course but definitely helped transform an otherwise plain breakfast.

Lunch/Dinner: When I wasn’t making my own version of Canarian potatoes, I was making the most of the Pasta based dishes. One night it was purely tomato pasta, which although sounds boring, was such a nice treat. On another night, I found a soya-based bolognese (€2) which was added to pasta with an additional side of broccoli (€2.30) for a vitamin boost.

 

 If you have any questions regarding eating in Gran Canaria, I am more than happy to help.  Safe travels.

Love,

lea-x

 

I’m no longer Vegan?

Hello Bloggers, It’s been a while.

I have something to admit, I’m changing my diet. When I first turned to veganism, I adopted a more fruit based diet (I’m talking grapes for breakfast and watermelon for days)  which was heavily influenced by the promises of weight-loss by Freeleethebananagirl. Even though I will be changing my diet, I have a lot to be thankful for; my energy levels soared, my immunity to colds, virus’s and general illnesses had dramatically raised, and i did wake up looking pretty bomb. However, a year on this fruit-based diet and despite the exercise I had done, I just wasn’t losing any of 2015’s Christmas weight. Furthermore, I felt constantly hungry and to curb that, I felt the constant need to eat, which makes sense as to why I have put on so much weight which feels foreign to my frame.

I can’t completely blame this diet though, I was also eating a lot of (Vegan) pizzas, burritos, cakes and cheeses, which is completely natural coming to an entirely new lifestyle where there is much to be discovered. It was my birthday a few days ago and i ordered this monster chocolate black forest from Clemies Vegan cakes. Now that it has been demolished, I’m ready to change!

Recently I found WSLF (Whole Starch Low Fat) advocated by Mr & Mrs Vegan on Youtube. Similar to Mcdougals plan, the general  outline consists of fuelling your body with whole, natural starches which will keep you satiated for a longer time due to the fact they are complex carbohydrates. Half of your plate (Or really, unlimited) should be full of nutritious vegetables, legumes, beans, with only (limited) portions of fruit throughout the day. This way of eating, no processed foods, oils, refined sugars are key to not only losing weight, but plays key into meeting all your nutritional needs. While I can’t really provide the best scientific knowledge in my own words, I can point in the direction of their Facebook Page which is filled with success stories and their Youtube videos which provide more information, backed up by science, if that is what you are looking for.

 

They do recommend WSLF as a 30 day challenge, and as it is Veganuary there is no better way to get introduced to quick weight-loss for those new years resolutions. I personally will not be using WSLF as a “diet fad” but a foundation for my diet this year mainly because it is much more convenient to me in terms of budget and my satiation levels. I’m currently on day 2 so it’s still early days for me to comment on any  bodily changes. I will update this page at a later date to check in my progress.

 

love,

lea-x

A Vegan Subscription Box!? Review

Aloha buddies!

I have a serious appreciation for subscription snack-boxes. Getting food in the mail is as much excitement as my life gets sometimes which is why when I came across a Vegan subscription box service called Earlybird, I felt compelled to throw away yet more of my money on food  to support cruelty-free industries and to get more yummy goodness in my tummy.

Before I move on, Earlybird are not solely a Vegan company, upon online registering you can select you’re dietary preferences ( “Vegan”, “Vegetarian”, “Can eat anything”) as well as having the choice to eliminate gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts and soya. This versatility is great for  anybody, but especially for people like me who are vegan but also have a nut allergy, because theres literally no fuss of having to hunt foods down in the supermarket or feel like I’m hassling staff in restaurants. I choose my dietary preferences and my snack surprise will arrive when expected. Also, all snacks are without refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavours or colours and nutritionist approved, which means you know the food you’re eating is great for you as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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I don’t know why, but I always feel a little happier when I see my name embellished on things, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I don’t think i’m the only one. Anyway, what I mean to say is that it’s a really nice touch, especially when the colour scheme is on point.

The first thing I noticed was heaps of dry fruit, which are my staple, but my eyes in particular wandered to Not an Aussi (dried Kiwi crisps)  and Cho-kale-et chips (Cacao, cinnamon and kale). Dried kiwi is rare to come by in the dried fruit section of supermarket and I had been hearing a lot about the benefits of cacao powder, so having these in my box we’re fantastic for allowing me to try new food. They tasted really delicious, although the Cacao took a little while to adapt my tastebuds to because it has a really sharp taste that can’t  really be compared to anything. Regardless it had an interesting detoxing effect on my body, if thats worth anything to you.

I do love my dry fruit but I found one major downfall to these fruit boxes: I hate coconut. I found that the Earlybird box incorporates a lot of coconut in their snack boxes, for example the coco- Cranberry (Cocounut bites). I did try the bites, and they have a great soft but crumbly texture for those who like the sound of that, but personally  it really isn’t my favourite and so I ended up wasting half of each snack box eating around it.

The second box contained my staples of dried fruit  again as well as  Shmokin’Peas, which remind me of my Graze box favourite BBQ Smokehouse Crunch, which were delicious, apart from the coconut of course. I also really appreciated seeing a  new food I hadn’t previously tried which was the Berry chia pud and I was really excited to try this. However, the one thing that was missing from this box was instructions on how to make the pudding and had to revisit the website to find the instructions, which I feel was a little unnecessary  for Snacks-on-the-go. This isn’t a deal breaker by no means, but I do hope Earlybird include instructions in physical copy just for ease of use. As for the taste, it turns out I also didn’t like it, probably because of the coconut flavouring, but the purple colour was beautiful and I really appreciate having tried a variety of new foods!

I also can not complain with having a new tea to try every week, which is unique to this snack subscription box. It was so beautifully packaged and of high quality, there are no complaints.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed trying out Earlybird snack boxes and having the ability to really make the boxes fit my dietary preferences, more so than you can do with other boxes such as Graze. The ever-changing colour schemes of each box was a beautiful feature of   personalisation and knowing they could be recycled was a reminder that not only was i doing my body good but the environment too.  I do wish snack boxes contained a little less coconut as well as instructions and a full list of ingredients in the box (instead of just online) but that is something I feel will be rectified in the near future. If you wish to try this box, I have a code and you can get your first box half price: Leann-1699

 

I hope you enjoyed this review!

lea-x

 

 

 

 

 

My Vegan Easter Feast!

Good evening, bloggers!

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful easter filled with chocolate and sugar – all the naughties that restrain us from having our ideal body. I just wanted to post a few snippets of what my easter entailed, especially now that I follow a plant-based diet to show, contrary to many beliefs, just how easy it was.

You can substitute  your average easter eggs for vegan chocolate, yes there are Vegan chocolate easter eggs too but I didn’t really want much chocolate this year, partly because being plant-based does not automatically mean they are healthy and I’m still aiming for weight loss! Instead my boyfriend decided to surprise me by joining my vegan adventure. We spent the day  day baking these delicious  chocolate orange  and strawberry cupcakes, I think they turned out great as you can see from my Instagram.  ( If you’re not following me, you totally should if you want to see my healthy  low fat meal plans/ daily life!)

 

Matthew decided on this recipe himself, creating what he calls a Moroccan-style pie, which was basically just Sweet potato and spicy vegetable mix under a layer of puff pastry. He followed this with a side of Broccoli and Edamame spiced with chilli flakes, garlic pepper and a slice of lime, but of course he add to add layers upon layers of cheese. I’ve been trying to wean him off it, but it’s just not happening. I’m just happy that it’s non-dairy, which who knew could taste so freaking amazing?

 

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As for a little beauty-related to keep things sweet, I just want to show you my current favourite nail polish and design. I’m incredibly lazy, so anything with a 60 seconds setting time is a must have. I especially like this pastel blue shade “Breakfast in Bed” which is very typical of Easter Sunday, don’t you think?

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I also just added a slight white design to add a little jazz but like I said , I’m lazy and not particularly skilled so this design is only on my left hand. I haven’t attempted the right because I refuse to make such an effort with little pay off, kudos to you if you can!

How did you spend Easter this year?

Best of Easter wishes!

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What I eat: Tasty Vegan/ Healthy snacks

For a while now, the majority of my diet  has been plant based purely because fruit and vegetables are some of my favourite foods. But I’ve recently taken interest in Veganism and the benefits that come from eating an entirely plant-based diet, which sounds extreme to many (Including my previous self) due to the strict nature of eating no meat and dairy.  Whilst I can’t say that I am truly a vegan yet, I do believe it’s beneficial to both the environment and our health to cut down in these areas and opt for healthier alternatives, believe me when I say there are so many out there, especially when it comes to snacks.

Vegetable crisps

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These vegetable crisps  might sound odd right off the bat, but they have become a staple junk food in my kitchen. The mixture of Beetroot, parsnip and Sweet potato create an interesting dynamic of tastes, basically they taste great and are a healthier alternative to your average big pack of crisps. These are available in Aldi, Tesco and  ASDA for around £2

The Food Doctor: Multigrain crisps 12767959_10208849060643479_1801369970_o

If you like that kind of bite to melt in your mouth sort of texture that Quavers or Skips offer, then these  great alternative as pack of crisps. You can substitute nacho’s or Doritos for these guys  (if you enjoy dipping sauces as your snack) as a very easy way of getting more nutrition into your day. Natural, nutritious,and low  fat is a winner for a vegan lifestyle. Available at Tesco for around £2

Humous

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Humous is a great way of packing in some healthy fat if you’re not a fan of avocados ( I don’t see the fascination!). I like to dip carrot sticks in, but I’m sure you can use celery or add it into meals and salads too so it’s very versatile as a flavouring agent. Be careful to read the ingredients though if you are a vegan, as some can contain dairy. Available at Tesco for £1

Gallo Organic Rice Cakes

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I love this brand.  These rice cakes come a variety of flavours and are so versatile as a snack. Eat them alone or top with Tomato’s, humous or practically anything you like and enjoy entirely guilt free. Honestly, 3/4 of this pack has been eaten by my boyfriend, so that says enough. Currently available at ASDA for £1

Fruit
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This is the obvious one that should be left unsaid, but fruit is an essential. I usually opt for Mango, Passion fruit and blueberries but Aldi was offering great prices for Kiwis ( 45p?) so I felt the need to switch up a little.  Thats the best thing about fruit, there’s so much of it.  Tasty Snack idea: Try making a vegan replica of ice-cream by wrapping a banana in tin foil and placing in the freezer overnight. Or baking in the oven with cinnamon. Guilt free sweet treats!

What healthy/ vegan snacks do you recommend?

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We’ve all been there, we’re on a diet or a “lifestyle change” eating our daily fruit and veggies when a monster of a craving takes a visit. Sometimes its just too hard to resist and even when we go weeks without taking a bite of junk food, the repressed cravings take over and you tell yourself its ok for just one day to eat all the crap you can find. Sound familiar?

For me, this is an all so regular appearence and so I’ve taken a different approach that has been super sucessful for me, that helps me avoid binge eating and allows me to eat the things I want whilst still losing weight!

My Chocolate Rule

This may be a little TMI for some of you, but it’s that awful time of the month and yesterday I couldn’t shift off my craving for chocolate. Despite my love for milk chocolate, I decided that if I was going to allow myself to have some, I would opt for a slightly healthier alternative that I don’t perticularily enjoy, in this case dark chocolate, which would curb my cravings without me wanting to eat over the allowence I had given myself ( 2-3 squares). I have also excessively sealed up the packaging before hiding it away so that it would be difficult to “cave in” too quickly, but this is an optional step if your willpower is stronger than mine.

Delicious and nutritious?  Incorperate chocolate with fruits and nuts. Remember as always to eat in moderation!

My Eating out Rule

There are some instances in which you may have to eat out, such as a social event. But if you have the option, make an effort to find a place that sources a menu of fresh, healthy foods that wont tempt you into getting a burger. But like anybody, I understand that sometimes this may mean more money. So if you are eating out, my best tip would be to see where you can cut back on, you can do this by:

  • Asking for your food without sauces/ creams – Is that sour cream and Guacamole really that necessary?
  • Asking for a side salad instead of chips, and eating that before you begin on your main so that you feel a little more satisfied before you demolish your high fat meal.
  • Asking for water with ice and a slice, not coca cola or alcohol. This will help to fill you up, lower your calorie intake and save you a bit of money.
  • Eating until you are satsified, not bloated. Even if this means eating half of your king-size burrito.
  • Opting for no dessert, or at least, sharing the dessert.

You have time? If eating out isn’t compulsary, then buy foods in and recreate your favourite dish at home. You’ll be spending less money for the same food that can last you a week. You can even make this a date night.

Remember: To celebrate every little bit of success – You’ve done what you couldn’t do a week ago!

It’s okay to have a bad day.

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It’s okay to have a day where you have just fallen off the “bandwagon”, we’re human, we have cravings and we don’t always do right by our bodies. That is okay. Just pick yourself up tomorrow and start again, but if this is a regular occurance, perhaps you should look at your diet to see where you may be going wrong. You shouldn’t ever feel hungry or like you are missing out if you are eating right – and that doesn’t mean eating salad or excercising all day, every day!  Talk to a nutritionist or a fitness instructor about coming up with a  personalised health and fitness plan that fits with your goals. In the meantime, try to do things to rectify it, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or going to a gym class: just one step towards a healthier you.

Do you have any healthy eating tips? Let me know in the comments below!