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Tuesday 27 June 2017

What I ate and Quinoa Edamame Salad recipe

So here's what I ate one day last week, including calorie breakdown and a recipe for the quinoa salad!

I started with a cup of the Califia Farms Almond cold brew coffee. It was actually the unsweetened one I had that day, but forgot to take a pic so here's a pic of the sweetened one. I added some agave to the unsweetened one.

I've mentioned before, I don't really eat breakfast that often during the week. So my coffee and a couple of litres of water was all I had in the morning. It was like 32°C that day! SO HOT. It was too hot to even go for a lunchtime walk so I had to go to the gym early and walk on the treadmill instead.

Lunch was (I know, I'm predictable) tofu scramble. I added some veggies (courgette and red peppers) into this one though. Served on some seeded toast with ketchup. (If you want to see my recipe for my go to scramble, check out this video.)

At dinner time I put on some quinoa to cook, because it was really hot, I didn't want to have to turn on the oven when I got home from the gym. I turned it into this yummy salad which I had with a couple of vegan Quorn fillets, that I just cooked in the microwave and then rubbed with some spices. Recipe for the salad is at the end of the post.

For dessert I had this Tesco Toffee vegan cornetto (so good!)

For snacks throughout the day, I had some of the M&S pea snacks and a Nakd strawberry crunch bar that I forgot to take a pic of!

And here's my MFP breakdown for the day; just under on calorie goal (I aim for 1400 during the week) and slightly over on protein (I aim for 70g a day).

And for anyone interested in the salad, it's so easy and if you're doing slimming world, it would be syn free! So here is the recipe:

100g (dry) Quinoa
100g Frozen Soya Beans
150g Sweetcorn
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar
handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered or one regular tomato, chopped (I used about 85g)
1/2 a red or orange pepper

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and, if necessary drain off any excess water when cooked.

Defrost the soya beans by running under hot water then refresh with cold water. Mix all the ingredients together and taste for seasoning. I added some black pepper but some sriracha is a nice addition too if you like a bit of spice.

And that's it.

Hope you're having an awesome day
Sal xXx

Ps: hey, have you seen my latest vlog and subscribed to my youtube channel yet? No? Whaddya mean no? It's HERE!

Friday 9 June 2017

What I ate in a day & weigh in

First things first, down 1 lb this week! Considering last weekend was my birthday and a lot of prosecco and cake was consumed, I'm happy with that!

So here's what I ate on Wednesday (as per my last food diary, I didn't eat breakfast, just had water and tea - I'm just not finding myself that hungry in the morning and am preferring having a couple of bigger meals instead!)

Brunch and I'm getting predictable aren't I! Tofu scramble but this time I added veggies.

Dinner - easy comfort food of sausages and noochy mash and green veg

When cooking dinner I had a glass of this, aka my new favourite thing! (If you have a decent sized Sainsbury's near you, you should go look for it now!)

I also had some strawberries, because British Strawberries are in season right now and if you get the really red ones, they are usually amazing! But it's such a short window of opportunity before the good ones are all gone again. These were good though, they didn't need anything on them.

Later on I had a tesco toffee chocolate free from cone thing, but forgot to take a photo, duh! Sorry.

So here's the breakdown of the day. I was a bit low on calories, (I wouldn't normally finish that low) even after eating a tesco cornetto. I think it was because I didn't have any snacks as it was a busy day ! Also, I was not that hungry. I made up for it yesterday with Nando's though :)

Have an awesome weekend!
Sal xXx

Wednesday 7 June 2017

What I ate in a day - vegan weightloss diary

Lately I've been trying a form of intermittent fasting; really I was just cutting calories a bit to compensate for a big weekend that was upcoming, but interestingly, I have found that skipping breakfast really works for me.

I am not normally hungry until about 11.30 anyway and I find when I just have a coffee and lots of water in the morning, I snack way less!

I eat two bigger meals and any snacks I want later in the day and find I'm not so obsessed thinking about food all day. So here's what I ate yesterday:

I had a latte made with almond milk in our Nespresso machine around 9am, when I started work and drank a litre of water over the course of the morning.

I went for a 2.5 mile walk at lunchtime (I spied the sun pop out of the rain for a bit so took my chance!) When I got back I had my current obsession: tofu scramble. If I'm working from home, and I have Tofoo brand tofu in the fridge, I'm having this for lunch! (I showed how I make this in my last video, if you are interested; I will link to that at the end of the post!)

For a snack I had a handful of dried apple slices

And a packet of these salted caramel pecks. I got these in a vegan tuck box and immediately went and ordered a box of 10, because they are FREAKING DELICIOUS! OMG. So good.

After the gym, I made potato nachos and they were so effing good!

This was basically some oven baked potato slices topped with the following all sauteed together: 1/2 a small red onion, a chunk of courgette, a 1/4 of a red pepper, a couple of sliced mushrooms, 1/2 a small tin of kidney beans and about 50g of sweetcorn (what was left in the tin). I also added 50g of Sainsbury's meat free frozen mince, some fajita spice, a bit of salt and 80ml of passata.

I added M&S chunky guacamole, Oatly Oat Fraiche and some jarred salsa on top. This was gooey perfection. And it look that pretty ^^ for around 4 seconds :)

So that was what I ate yesterday; I was a little low on calories, because I ate dinner late and it filled me up so much, I couldn't eat any more!

Let me know if you want me to start adding in full calories and nutrition breakdown to these posts and I shall do it! But in summary, my fat was a bit high and protein a bit low, but I still got in 60g of protein which is a good amount. I was also below on sodium for once! Something I've been trying to be more mindful of.

Tonight I'm off to try on my wedding dress - eek! I ordered it in February, so I'll be interested to see if it's too big or not.

Sal xXx

Ps: my last WIAIAD vid as promised: 

Friday 12 May 2017

Pure Loser - Results

At the beginning of April I signed up for a 6 week course through my gym (Pure Gym) called Pure Loser. It's basically 6 sessions where you discuss nutrition and exercise and try to form some healthy habits.

If you're looking for information about whether this will work for you, I should say that I think it will depend a lot on how many people sign up for the course and how good your trainer is. The information provided by Pure Gym is pretty standard stuff, but it's the advice from the trainer that made it worth it for me.

I was lucky in that my trainer was really good and I was the only one that signed up for it! So I got 6* sessions of 1-2-1 time for £20, you can't beat that really!  (*I was sick for 2 weeks and so I missed a session.)

We started by talking through my goals, current routine and diet habits. It helped that I was already tracking food in MyFitnessPal and wear a Fitbit, as he could look through these on my phone and get an idea of goals to set me.

We worked out I was doing an average of 6500 steps a day (some days over 12000, some days more like 1000!) so we agreed a goal of 7500 a day and to try to make that consistent. We upped my protein goal a bit, with the idea that eating more protein keeps you fuller and hopefully means snacking less.

We worked out what my bad habits were (coming home and heading straight for the fridge, eating dinner in bed watching TV...) and tried to come up with ways around those.

Also, we worked out in the gym and this was great because it was way more challenging than my solo sessions. When I would have normally given up, it was great to have someone telling me I could do a bit more.

The best habit I think I've picked up is walking. I try to go out for a walk every day now either after work or at lunchtime so I can hit my step goal. In addition to a few sessions a week at the gym.

Monday was my last session and I had lost 4.1 kilos (google tells me that's about 9 lbs) - in 5 weeks? I'm pretty bloody happy with that. (Since January, I'm down just over a stone).

My bad back - has never been better. The exercise is helping that immensely. I couldn't even walk for more than about 10 minutes before Christmas, without my back killing me and now I'm walking for around and hour a day with no pain! I've also just restarted Couch 2 5k on the treadmill at the gym.

I feel a lot more relaxed with food too. I am trying to pick things with more protein in and be mindful of what I'm eating. I'm still tracking with MyFitnessPal and sticking to my calorie goal as much as possible, but not worrying if I go a bit over at the weekend.

Was it worth it? YES! for me, absolutely. I''m going to continue on working with my trainer as I have found having him there really valuable and motivating. I'm looking forward to challenging myself even more in the gym and dropping some more pounds.

Mostly this has done what I've been trying to do for over a year - kick started my motivation! Seeing myself in my wedding dress was not the motivation I needed - because I already like how I look in it. Also, the wedding is only 5 months away and I am not going to be anywhere near goal by then. I am not planning to stop after the wedding though - this is an ongoing thing for me and as I said, I already feel great in my dress. But if I have lost a bit of weight by then, I think I'll just feel even better!

So that's about it for this update. I'm going to carry on eating well, going to the gym and next week I'll up my step goal again to 10,000.

How are you doing?

Have a great weekend. :)
Sal xXx

Tuesday 25 April 2017

A change of name and an update

I haven't changed the url (yet) but you might have noticed the name of the blog has changed, to be in line with my instagram account.

This is because I'm no longer doing Slimming World. I did a vlog and this is the video which explains it a bit more.

Basically I'm currently over half way through the Pure Loser course at my local PureGym (more on that when I'm done) and am tracking food on myfitnesspal along with trying to meet certain goals every day, relating to protein intake, steps and water intake.

Although I'm not following SW anymore, I do still cook a lot of food that is/would be SW friendly, so when I publish recipes, I'll continue to denote if there are syns in them, if that is helpful for anyone who is does follow the plan.

I also want to stress that I didn't quit it because it's a bad diet! It's actually a good plan and it works for a lot of people. Just not for me; I'm having more consistent losses now than I was on SW and so for now I'm sticking with what I'm doing. Never say never, I might go back to SW one day but not for the foreseeable future.

So how is everyone getting along?

In the last 3 weeks I've lost almost 3 kg or about 6 lbs, I'm pretty happy with that! And I've been going out for walks and getting my step count up, which I have been loving. I've rejoined the gym and was doing well until I got tonsillitis 2 weeks ago which knocked me on my arse and I'm still not totally recovered. But I'm still doing well with food.

Eating more protein has been brilliant for me; I find myself not wanting to snack anywhere near as much as before and thinking way more about what I'm eating/making better food choices, even at the weekend which is always the danger zone for me.

So anyway, that's it for now. I'm going to try and get into vlogging and blogging more regularly so please follow me on youtube HERE and my instagram is @vegansaladdodger.

Sal xXx

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Recipe: Baked Tofu Bowl With Miso-Tahini Sauce

So I didn't gain! I actually lost half a pound, which I was pretty pleased with.

In my last post I mentioned eating more mindfully to try and hit things like my protein, calcium, iron etc goals and so I've been tracking in Cronometer.

I must admit I've been going over syns as sort of an experiment and I'm not expecting a loss this week as I was not tracking or on plan at the weekend (we were celebrating!).

Anyway what I am leading up to it's that it's been super interesting seeing where I'm short on nutrient goals and where I'm winning.

I always hit my protein goal and stay under my fat goal, but I was finding myself low on the Omega 3 (I do supplement that anyway as I have dry skin and creaky knees!), Iron is a bit low (again I supplement as I have a history of iron deficiency/anaemia. I was finding calcium a bit low but not too bad, but am keeping an eye on that to make sure I'm getting enough. The one thing I am always getting almost zero of is Vitamin D! So although my soy milk is fortified, I'm obviously not having anywhere near enough to cover that. So may have to look into a supplement. I'm not an expert on nutrition, so I'm going by what Cronometer tells me mostly but have upped the suggested protein goal a bit.

Last night I made this yummy bowl for dinner that is packed full of protein, has a tonne of calcium thanks to the tofu and also, the nooch in the sauce is almost your RDA of B12 (my fortified soy milk made up the rest and I do supplement B12, as it's advised by RDs that everyone do this, not just vegans!)

The sauce from this recipe is inspired by a couple of recipes from Isa Chandra, who has a tonne of awesome recipes on her website: HERE.

Baked Tofu Bowl With Miso-Tahini Sauce
Serves: 1
Syns: 3

Ingredients (the purple ingredients have syns, the rest are free foods):
1/2 a pack of Cauldron original tofu
Chinese 5 Spice Powder
Soy Sauce
Cooked basmati rice (mine was about 50g or 1/4 cup dry, but use as much as you like)
1/2 a cup of frozen edamame/soy beans, thawed
Stir fry veggies of choice - I used:
1 tsp tahini 
2 tsp white miso
1 tbsp (scant) nutritional yeast (with B12)
Sriracha (technically has syns but the amount used is so small it is negligable)
Hot Water

Cut the tofu into pieces, the size/shape is your choice. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with 5 spice powder and spray with frylight. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Flip, sprinkle the other side with 5 spice, spray with frylight and bake for another 15 minutes. When you remove from the oven, splash some soy sauce over them to season.

While the tofu is cooking, cook your rice and stir fry the veggies (you could do the edamame along with the other veg, but I wanted them separate) until soft. About 30 seconds before you take off the heat, splash some soy sauce over the veg and stir through.

To make the sauce, mix together the tahini, miso, nooch and a squirt of sriracha to taste (optional). Then add hot water a tbsp at a time and mix until you have the consistency you like.

Arrange everything in a bowl and drizzle the sauce over. I added a sprinkling of black sesame seeds as well but you can leave those off if you don't want the extra syns.

And here is the nutritional info from Cronometer for this dish (the protein is actually not quite that high, but they didn't have Cauldron brand listed, so I went with the nearest one).

Sal xXx

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Food Diary

I didn't weigh last week, I'll be honest, I chickened out as I knew it'd be a gain cuz we've been eating crap!

The likely gain coming my way this Thursday doesn't bother me so much, but I'm really trying to be more mindful of eating to feel better.

- A pink grapefruit
- Alpro Go On Passionfruit (1.5 syns)
- Coffee with 200ml Alpro Hazelnut milk (1/2 HEA)

- Golden delicious apple

- Vegan quorn pieces, onions and red peppers, cooked with some spices in Frylight
- Romaine lettuce and cucumber
- Follow Your Heart Blue Cheese dressing - 2 tbsp (7 syns, totally worth it but 1 tablespoon was probably enough!)
- tsp sesame seeds (1 syn)

- Linda McCartney Red Onion Sausages
- Roasted veg, SW chips and roasted veg (sprouts, mushrooms, cauliflower and a bit of alpro go on mixed with srirach to dip (not enough to syn it).

- I roasted some edamame beans, seasoned with a bit of salt and some nutritional yeast (0.5 syns). No I'm not synning the beans, I know I probably should as they're technically a tweak but I'm not gonna. If SW allow a pack of ham or chicken pieces to be a free snack, then I'm keeping my edamames free!!
- 300ml Alpro light soya milk (other 1/2 HEA) throughout the day for cups of tea.
- Pepsi Max Cherry with lunch (I'm using up the cans I have then trying to cut out fizzy drinks!)
- About 2/3 litres of water
- Proper corn popcorn (3 syns)

I ended the day on 13 syns and forgot to have my HEB! I had planned to have walnuts but forgot to eat them.

As I mentioned earlier, I am trying to eat a bit better to feel better - I have issues with stomach acid (reflux) and iron deficiency that rear their ugly heads when I eat like crap. So... just to satisfy my curiosity, I plugged everything into Cronometer to check I'm getting enough calcium, iron... etc and I'm a bit low on a few things!

Calories - I only ate about 1200; although I didn't find I was really hungry all day, I did get hungry and now I know why! I probably should have eaten some fruit to bump this up a bit so am going to try to make a conscious effort to do that.

Selenium - I have ordered some brazil nuts to get this in.

Vitamin D - I was way low! I probably will need to supplement that.

Others.. I hit my protein, iron, omega 3 and calcium goals - I do supplement Iron and Omega 3 (see below) though.

I did hit most of my RDAs and met my protein, fibre and carb goals. I did go way over my sodium goal though so I will need to look at that.

* I do take a few supplements:

  • B12 (once or twice a week as one tablets is about 4000 x your RDA and I've never had a deficiency! My soymilk is fortified with B12 and so is my beloved Nooch, but it is recommended that everyone supplement B12 by RDs!)
  • Vegan Omega 3
  • Iron + Vit C (I went slightly over my RDA for Iron today, but I do supplement to ensure I get enough because I have a long history of iron deficiency from even before I was vegetarian!)
  • Pro Biotic (Lactobaccillus Acidophilus) to help digestion
  • Starflower oil - high strength

What are you eating today?

Sal xXx