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

 

What I Eat in a Day: WSLF Vegan!

Breakfast

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This isn’t exactly Whole Starch as Bran Flakes are a processed cereal, although considering all the other sugary cereals available, this comes a lot closer to a “healthy breakfast”. Since I really struggle to enjoy eating oats, I opt for a Bran flakes topped with banana and a drizzle of Soya Light milk. This satiates me fairly well.

 

Lunch

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Most days I either have university or work and despite their being a decent range of vegan options in the dining areas, they’re not oil free or WSLF for that matter. So I have started to bring in my own lunches consisted of baby potatoes, sriracha sauce and a salad.  Usually I would top the potatoes with sweetcorn but as they are considered a starchy vegetable, I’m trying to further my weight loss by sticking to the guidelines of a 50-50 ratio to starch and vegetables.

 

Dinner

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Today I made this delicious Teryaki rice dish. My whole starch consisted of wholegrain rice, which come in  frozen microwavable packs, so they’re super quick to make. They’re also oil free! I then topped with cooked broccoli, sliced peppers and spring onions with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce and chilli flakes. Super easy dinner.

 

WSLF Progress:

It appears I have lost a rough 3lb since I have started eating this way which is amazing considering I do not feel as though I am restricting myself in any way: I still occasionally drink alcohol and eat at restaurants, all the while  not once stepping foot in the gym. My bloating is also a lot less profound as it was eating a fruit based diet and I find myself satiated for longer without crazy energy spikes and drops. I will continue to update my progress throughout the next coming months.

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

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!

We get it. We envy your Instagram posts of 6 pack abs, perky bum and ever-so forced enthusiasm for eating fruit and veggies all day every day. But some of us don’t quiet have the energy to make our health a 24/7 dedicated commitment, even when I try to, there’s nothing more tempting than wine and cake with the girls (AKA my Wednesday night). It is all about balance and remaining committed inside and out of the kitchen, and I’ve learned a few motivating tips to make me feel ready to take on the world, or the treadmill.

  1. Keep a diary/ To-do:
    When I attempt to organise my life in my head, it can quickly lead me to feeling swamped. Keeping a diary where I can write down everything I want to accomplish that day, from day-to-day activities and workout goals, allows me to see clearly and feels more like an accomplishment when I am able to cross them off.
  2. Make a Gym Wardrobe:
    It sounds vain and petty to some but having something you look forward to wear is a pretty good motivator to get you out of bed in the morning. This applies just as much to the gym as it does in everyday life. New look have a nice range right now, such as this set here.
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  3. Stop using the scales:
    They do not give you a measurement of your fat content, of your muscle mass or over your overall health and wellbeing. The scales weigh exactly how much your body is in total and that can include the food your body is trying to digest straight after dinner. You’re total body weight fluctuates constantly, you are human so start looking in the mirror more and note changes using measuring tape to see inches drop off.
  4. It’s a life change:
    So start taking it more seriously. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, do some floor work while binge watching “Making a Murderer”, the simplest of things add up. I recently invested in the FitBit Flex which tracks my steps and activity, which allows me to keep a level of motivation and track my personal goals more closely
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  5. Just DO IT:
    When it’s dark outside and you’ve just come back from a long day know that it is only your mentality thats holding you back from your ultimate goal. Put on your gym clothes and go, don’t stop to think about it. When you’re there its very unlikely you will want to turn around and go back home. Even if it’s a small workout, you’ll feel great knowing you have done more than what you initially thought.
  6. Knowledge is power:
    Know that it is unlikely you will look like a Victorias Secret model, and that this is  not an achievable goal if you eat next to nothing and workout like a machine. This is an attitude that will tire you out quickly and can put a strain on your body. Take it at your own pace and motivation will be continuous.

Let me know you’re workout tips that I can  also incorporate into my non-instagram worthy life.