Wednesday, 31 October 2012

done and dusted! now on to the next thing......

It's been a while, way more than 12 it has.
The 12 week plant based/vegan diet challenge has come to a close.  A couple of weeks ago in fact.  But it's been a busy, busy time so I apologise for my tardiness, and I will also add that now that the challenge is over, I probably won't be posting as often.

So what have I made of this challenge?  First and foremost I have to say that it has made me more aware of what I put into my mouth.  I always thought I had a pretty good diet, and mostly I did.  But eliminating animal products and having to make most of your meals means that you become a little more knowledgeable of all the stuff that's added to our foods.  Some ingredients I can't even pronounce, yet I was eating them on a daily basis!!
If anything, this way of eating has taught me to be mindful, to be patient, to eat slowly, to eat cleanly and to be present.
All that from food, really?

It's also made me experiment with foods, try different approaches to eating and preparing them, and it has made me realise that saying you're going to do something can only go as far as you want it to go. 

Like my gluten free October challenge.  I wasn't very strict in the first two weeks, in fact, I sucked really bad at it.  Once I put my mind and made a wholehearted promise to myself that I would stick to it, I did.  However, it wasn't easy at first, and I had to disguise it in the way of making it a Raw Vegan Challenge rather than calling it what it was.  Sometimes life is just like that I guess.  But whatever gets you through and gets you to that goal is what matters, as long as you don't sacrifice yourself or others for it though!!

So Gluten-Free October, disguised as Raw Vegan has gone really well.  I've been gluten-free for 14 days now and I feel great!  No bloating, no excessive amounts of wind (*cringe), and generally feeling pretty awesome.  Maybe it coincides with the raw food, although I will admit, I find raw vegan living pretty tough.  And I'll be 100% honest with you, I have slipped at times.  There have been times, when I was feeling rather emotional, that I reached out for my frying pan and made myself some vegan chilli.  I just needed a little bit of Mexican to cheer me up.  A little fiesta never hurt anyone right?

This dish is super quick, no joke, 20 minutes tops.  This is what I make when I'm feeling tired, or time poor and I need something feeling and super tasty.  My family can it it too so that's a bonus.

Serves 2



1 400g can red kidney beans
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoky paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 cup zucchini diced
1/2 cup capsicum diced
1/4 cup celery diced
1/2 cup carrot diced
1 TBS fresh coriander chopped
salt and pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, heat your coconut oil and add your onion, garlic and spices.  Cook until translucent.  Add your tomatoes and vegetables, cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Putting the lid on will speed up the process and prevent it from drying out.
Once veges are cooked, add your beans and cook uncovered for 3 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.  Turn of your heat and stir in coriander and seasoning if needed.
Whilst you wait for your veges to cook, make your......



2 avocados
1/8 cup red onion diced
1/8 cup red capsicum diced
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Use a stick blender and process your avocado with lemon juice and seasoning.  Tasting as you go.  Alternatively, you can mash the avocado.  Whatever tickles your fancy :)
Add the rest of the ingredients to the avocado mixture and voila!



1 tomato diced
1 cup cucumber cubes
juice of half a lemon 
salt and pepper to taste


Mix all your ingredients together

Cos lettuce leaves to serve.

Now place your chilli mix into your lettuce and top with guacamole and salsa.

What I love the most about doing the raw thing, is the desserts. Now it's no secret that I'm a big sweet tooth, it's my crux.  That's why I'm doing No-sugar-Vember.  OMG, so scary!! Today is my last day of being able to eat sugar so I'm treating myself by doing the raw vegan workshop because I know that there will be some delicious raw vegan treats to try.  Although raw vegans don't use refined sugars, they do still use plenty of dried fruit which in all intents and purposes, is just sugar.  Sorry to say.
But let's not get down about it, we still have a few hours left until November hits, so with that in mind, let me introduce you to some pretty tasty little snacks that you can keep in your freezer and sneak out any time the sweet fairy pops in. 

Teenie tiny choc berry tarts

This recipe is a mixture of recipes put together to make these delicious little treats.

As you can see, they are still a little bit frozen as I just couldn't wait to dig in.

You can make as many as you like but I got about 8 using the same quantities for the chocolate mousse and coco berry gelato from a previous post.

Fruit and Nut Crust


1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw brazil nuts
6 medjool dates
6 dried apricots
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence


Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.  Should be crumbly and hold together when pressed.  If you need too add more dates/apricots if too dry, or some more nuts/coconut if too wet.

Now you just have to assemble them.

I used a muffin tray and pressed in the crust, filled it with chocolate mousse and topped it with the gelato.  Throw it in the freezer for a couple of hours.  This will make them easy to pop out of the tray.  Once frozen, I pop them all out and placed them in an airtight container back in the freezer.  I take mine out of the freezer about 30 minutes before I want to eat them.

If you have left over crust, roll them up into little balls and roll them in some dried coconut, or sesame seeds, or raw cacao powder and make some Protein Power Balls.

I store mine in the freezer also, and just take out a few to have on hand when I'm out and about.
They're also good as a pre-workout snack and the kids love them too.
You can experiment by adding some almond butter instead of coconut oil.
You may want to try adding chia seeds to them also.
The only boundary is your imagination really :)

One other dessert I'd like to share with you is a pudding I absolutely love and could eat everyday, no joke.

Chocolate Chia Pudding
Serves 1


1 banana
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1/8 cup coconut cream
1 TBS chia seeds
1 TBS raw cacao powder
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
1 tsp fruit and nut crust (optional)


Place all ingredients in a blender except for cacao nibs and crust.  Blend until thick and creamy.
Pour into a cup or bowl of your choice, and top with cacao nibs and fruit and nut crust.
Place in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to thicken.

If I'm feeling extra crazy, I substitute the coconut water for coconut milk and 1 TBS of coconut cream.  It makes it super thick and creamy.  YUMMINESS on another level!

People who can't comprehend vegan/plant based diets always ask me what I eat.
Here's a snapshot of some of my meals whilst I've been on the raw tip.

So there you have it kids, a month in the raw.  It hasn't been easy, a few slip ups here and there but all in all, I think it was awesome.  The above and middle picture is actually a cauliflower 'rice'.  So good, just throw some raw cauliflower in your food processor with a tsp of salt and 1 tsp of garlic powder and pulse until you get the rice consistency.  So easy and  you can use it like rice.  LOVES IT!
And I just can't live without my nori rolls.  The best thing ever, and you can add whatever fillings you love the most.

And now one final thing.  Throughout the whole raw thing, I have been getting a lot of compliments on my skin.  Not sure if it's the raw thing, or the fact that I've now been vegan for over 3 months.  I always give a new thing the 3 month check so I'm thinking it could be a combo of the two.

Lesson learnt:  Keep it simple and clean, eat raw mostly, be gentle with yourself, don't sweat the small stuff. 

Peas, love and mungbeans


1 comment:

  1. i've loved following your vegan journey. I nominated you for a liebster award! Come check it out!