How to Eat Vegan in Gran Canaria

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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

Eating chinese food in gran canaria all vegan

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

Watermelon is vegan

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

 

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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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts// Am I Vegan?

I was really put off making this post, because I know Veganism and dietary talk can set off the nastiest of debates. But changing my lifestyle, for the better, is a big factor of my life right now and so it’s something I would like to discuss.

In case you’re wondering what Veganism is, it is a plant based diet  with the elimination of meat and dairy; no beef, no eggs, no cheese or milk. Veganism promotes a lifestyle that is sustainable for the planet, that is better for your health and promotes the awareness of animal rights.

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For the majority, I’m not a big meat eater anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my steak nights when I can afford it but anything else I find sort of boring, only eating chicken breast to up my ‘protein’ intake. But I realised quickly I could find better sources of protein with lower fat content in mock-meat products such as Quorn, which although are not Vegan, they are a lot more beneficial to your overall health. Fruits and vegetables are also some of my favourite foods which make up the most of my diet anyway, especially when I realised how much cheaper it was to buy these products than processed microwavable foods.

So naturally, I was already on a plant-based diet but like most people, I felt vegetarianism and Veganism was extreme, a ridiculous concept that goes against what we are taught is a part of a balanced diet. That’s what I thought when I came across a Facebook post ridiculing this lifestyle, and seeing a huge backlash from the Vegan community. Actually, my first thought was how overly-dramatic, sarcastic and angry these Vegans were, from Freelee the Banana girl on YouTube, and the comments that criticised people who were transitioning slowly. For me, it gave Veganism a reputation that I didn’t want to be associated with, scared I would be  bullied out of the community for not being a “good enough” vegan because my health was my first priority. But I decided to research more, watching documentaries such as Cowspiracy  that taught me about our planet and the animals that inhabit it so I understand now that it is more than just our health, it’s the bigger picture.

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So am I vegan? Right now I am in my transition period. I am having to try a whole bunch of new foods like Tofu, soy products, lentils and beans and figure out a new meal plan and routine which is actually difficult.  I am worried about eating out, and eating over at friends houses because of the response I might get, but I also know that it just takes time and practice. I also know I will get things wrong, and thats okay because it’s a learning process that should be encouraged. But so far, I am really enjoying knowing that I am doing right by my body and the planet, and I can’t wait to see the results.

In the meantime, I will be updating my blog with Vegan related posts, such as meal ideas and my experience with possible weight-loss ( I have a holiday coming up after all!). Also if you have any Vegan related tips, its something I would really appreciate seeing because I’m learning so much everyday.

Need some Vegan Snack inspiration? Tasty Vegan  Snacks

Watch this video for more information! 101 reasons to Go Vegan

 

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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 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.