Juice it Baby, no Blend it!

“Should I juice, blend or eat my fruit and vegetables”

This seems to be quite a debate these days. As always at sortofameatlessmind, we like to use a little common sense instead of getting weighed down in “scientific studies” and the like.

Don’t get us wrong, certain studies can be really informative but they often contradict each other, leaving you eating grass and not much else.

Only a few years ago, we were told that eating too many eggs was bad for health, as the yolks are very high in cholesterol.

And now? Well it turns out the more cholesterol you eat, the less your body produces it.

So eat loads of egg yolks then?

No, keep it between 2-6 per week. (read more about eggs here)

The NHS informs us that there is no consumption on the number of eggs we should eat, and that high blood pressure is linked to saturated fats. (NHS, eggs and nutrition)

All we’re trying to get at is that guidelines are always changing, so if you’re in good health eat sensibly, and if you have a underlying medical condition. Then seek advice.

Okay back to blending, or juicing!

As a human being you defiantly have the ability to tell what’s good for you and what’s not, in most cases.

Yes? 

No matter whether you blend or juice your fruit and vegetables, it’s still much better than stuffing a cake in your mouth, or eating a 7am sausage roll at the train station (yes, people do!)

Personally, I don’t have much time to spare before work. So I just chuck my fruit and veg in a smoothie maker the night before, and then it’s ready to gulp down before I make a dash for the train.  And by using a green veg -like kale or spinach – it helps to balance the high levels of natural sugar from the fruit.

(warning, if using beetroot be careful of the carpet and your work attire)

So after much deliberation, we think that while juicing may give you the nutrients quicker than blending, the fact is that you’ve chosen to consume fruit and veg, rather than that 7am sausage roll. And that’s a good start in our book.

If you agree or disagree we us, we’d love to hear your thoughts. 

This smoothie was voted the best at sortofameatlessmind:

Beetroot, Spinach and Pineapple Smoothie

  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 orange (half squeezed, half into blender)
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • handful of spinach
  • coconut water
  • ginger (to taste)

beetroot smoothie

                                                                                                           

Just throw it all in, waz it up (sorry Mr Oliver), and slurp!

Coconut Water: Expensive but Beaut!

Vita CocoI’ve always enjoyed coconut water. So-much-so that about 10 years ago, me and a friend decided that we needed a huge jug to sup at our leisure. So, off we went to a wholesaler to buy a dirty sack of coconuts, probably about 25 or so.

After we’d lugged the sack home, our next challenge was to open them one by one and extract the water. To do this we borrowed a blunt screwdriver and a hammer from my Dad’s shed – and hammered our way through the lot – ending up with a jug of coconut water with brown hairy bits in, and sore hands.

Thankfully, this will never happen again now that the world has gone crazy over the healthy little drink, and it is readily available in the supermarket fridge. It’s pretty expensive though, and my favorite is Vita Coco, which comes in at around £1.60 ish for a 330ml carton or £3.50 ish for a 1 litre .

Vita Coco uses 100% coconut water, as do Biona, Chi and Harmless Harvest. So, watch out because there are many cheaper brands that tamper with the water to create new flavors, or supplement the natural water for other ingredients, such as sugar, additives ect.

Also, now you can get whole coconuts full of fresh water delivered to your door – check out a website called cocoface for more information. So, what are the benefits? If, you cut through all the rubbish such as celebrity endorsements, Vita Coco – which I have right in front of me now – has:

per 100g

  • 18 kcal
  • 0g of fat
  • 0g protein
  • 5g of sugar
  • 195 mg of potassium

The sugar content is quite high, but it’s all natural and unless you drink gallons on a daily basis, you’ll be fine (everything in moderation). The high levels of potassium are great for keeping the heart, brain and muscles ticking over too. Like I said at the beginning it can seem quite expensive, but I’d much rather drink coconut water than flood my body with fizzy drinks, and it’s nice to have an alternative to H20 every now and then.

Is my mind still meatless?

The answer to the title of this post is; sort of!

Which is fitting, considering the name of this blog.

I’ve been eating meat about twice a week, and the rest of the time I’ve been living the pescatarian way of life. I’ve made two amazing dishes since my last post; vegetarian meatballs, made primarily from rolled oats & mushrooms; also a potato, egg and mushroom curry.

I haven’t posted any of them on here because my smartphone died (which is how I upload my photos) and I’ve been living with a 99p replacement I bought from the EE store, while I wait for mine to be fixed.

No photos, no recipe is my motto!

But don’t worry, I’ll definitely be eating more food in the future, so I’ll post those recipes then.

Although I started this blog to record my 30 day pescatarian challenge, I’m now going to use it for all things related to food, health and fitness:

  • Meat or no meat?
  • Gym or no gym?
  • What the hell is Tofu made from?
  • Why don’t Brannigans sell their crisps in multi-packs?

These are the types of mind-boggling questions I’ll be looking into. I bet you can’t wait, ay?

I also signed up for the Great South Run, and instantly got struck down with the flu.

Sign or no sign?

 

 

 

 

 

Day 31

The day is here.

I thought I’d be ready to gorge on meat all day, but to be honest I don’t really care too much. I might eat meat today or tomorrow or Monday or Tuesday, might not.

I did weigh 14 stone 12 pounds, and now I’m down to 14 stone 2 pounds – and all I’ve really done is cut out meat. I’ve still been eating chocolate and rubbish like that from time to time, and also been out for a few runs.

Before this pescatarian challenge I was suffering with really bad indigestion, and this has completely cleared up over the past 3 weeks, which is great.

In your face Indi!

The most important thing i’ll take away from this experience is my perception of meat as a food source. If I fancy some meat in the future, then I’ll have it; but I won’t be using it as the basis for every meal as I did before. I heard someone say the other day; I think it was my sister, that if we had to individually slaughter the animals we eat, how many people would still eat it?

I know I sure as hell wouldn’t!

This morning, I watched a short talk on TED by Matt Cutts; it’s called Try something new for 30 days! 

It’s a great watch, and just shows that if you want to change something in your life, then just do it for 30 days initially – no tv for 30 days, no alcohol for 30 days, no chocolate for 30 days or whatever  – then if it changes your life for the better, great continue; if it doesn’t, then just go back to how it was before.

Simple!

It worked with me and meat, I loved the challenge, and it was great having to put some thought into my meals. Yes, it was difficult at times, for instance trying come up with a meal on impulse; but that will all change as my knowledge of vegetarian cooking increases.

Perhaps I’ll do a no bread for 30 days challenge next. Don’t worry, I wont bore you with that – or maybe I will.

Anyway, I made baked beans in the slow cooker – just chuck the ingredients in overnight and you have a lovely homemade treat to wake up to in the morning. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, so out I went to get some new batteries for the fire alarm (can’t be too careful, health and safety nation) and as I was sleeping soundly in bed the beans were bubbling away to perfection.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll think hard before I buy a tin of beans again. It’s just as easy to make a big batch of these; which will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks or freezer for a few months.

 

Homemade Baked Beans

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   20140810_220414

  • 2 onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml of stock (any kind)
  • 2 x 410g tins of either; cannellini, butter or haricot beans in water (drained)
  • meat eaters add either streaky bacon or chorizo
  • non meat eaters add paprika or anything you feel will give smokiness (I did this)

Method

  1. fry the onion, bacon or substitute for 5 – 10 mins until the onions are soft.
  2. Stir in the sugar, tomatoes and stock. Season to taste at this point, and simmer for 5 mins
  3. tip it all in the slow cooker and stir in the beans.
  4. cover with the lid and cook on low overnight for up to 9 – 10 hours.

I had it with toast and a fried egg, just what you need on a Sunday morning. You can also experiment with other ingredients, maybe add some fresh chilli or replace a tin of tomatoes with barbecue sauce – the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy.

 

Day 29

It’s the penultimate day of this pescatarian challenge. I still don’t feel like I need the meat, but last night I had a strange dream. I was at a breakfast buffet, and all that they had to eat was animal produce.

I was gliding around the different stations with my tray, but there was nothing for me to eat. Even the scrambled eggs had bits of bacon or something mixed in.

I remember thinking;  I know i’ll have a glass of milk, only to be told by the dinner lady that the milk was a special blend – mixed with pigs ears.

I hate pigs ears!

In the end I went with a spaghetti carbonara and tried to pick out the pancetta. This took ages, and by the time I’d completed the task, it was time for me to leave my fabricated buffet – I’d eaten nothing – and as a result I awoke in the real world absolutely starving!

I then went to make some scrambled eggs, and needless to say I left out the pigs ears.

Anyway, in the last few days I haven’t made much worth shouting about. One thing I do want to share is this vegetarian chilli I found on BBC Food recipes. Obviously the amount of chilli powder should be tweaked to your liking (I used fresh chilli), but this is really nice and the first chilli I’ve made without mince or a mince substitute.

Yes, there is a lot of ingredients – but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Vegetarian Chilli                                                                                                                                                                                                  vegetarianchilli_6544_16x9

  • 75g of green lentils
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • chilli powder or fresh chilli (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 300 ml of vegetable stock
  • 100g of frozen peas
  • 175g of mushrooms
  • 1 courgette (chopped)
  • 1 can of kidney beans

Method

  1. Soak the lentils in water for 30 mins, or buy already soaked  lentils.
  2. fry the onion, garlic, chilli and cumin in the oil until onions are soft
  3. Add the peppers, carrots, lentils and cook for 5 mins. Then add tomatoes, puree, stock, peas, and simmer for 30 mins or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Add the courgettes, mushrooms, the drained kidney beans and simmer for 10 mins.
  5. grate some cheese on top if you want.

 

Season. Done. Serve with whatever the hell you like.

 

 

 

Day 21

Four days have passed since my last post, partly because I’ve been busy, partly because I’ve been addicted to  Game of Thrones!

As I write this, all I can think about is eating a big slab of meat. This is the first time I’ve had a massive craving since I started this pescatarian challenge.

I had a vegetarian club sandwich at Capers for lunch, usually I have the club sandwich, which is  crammed with chicken and bacon. I honestly think I prefer the vegetarian club – which had goats cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and humus. And once again, I’d never have ordered it off the menu if I was a meaty!

Anyway, the food I’ve re-introduced to my diet is  Nut luncheon. I say re-introduced because I used to have it when I was  living at nuttolene2 home. It’s a meat-free savory loaf made from peanuts. It can be grilled or eaten cold, and it’s really nice in sandwiches, or as I had the other day – with scrambled eggs.

I think it’s an acquired taste. I remember on many occasions friends would say:

“what you got in your sandwiches, ay?”

“nut loaf'” I’d reply

“Lets have a try!”

After gnawing on a piece of my lunch, one of two things would happen:

  1. the nut loaf would be spat in the bin
  2. the nut loaf would be swallowed, and ‘that’s weird’ would be uttered.

I can’t remember anyone saying “that’s a beaut!”

But is is, honestly!

So go on, give it a try.

 

Day 17

Went to buy some stuff for a sandwich on my lunch break; didn’t fancy cheese or Quorn slices.                                                                                   004352

Well that’s me screwed I thought.

So, after completing a few laps of Tescos – and with time running out –  I admitted defeat and went to the holy grail of vegetarian food – the Quorn Isle!

Sure enough, I found something to pop into a sandwich. Staring back at me were; meat free turkey slices and meat free beef slices and meat free chicken slices and meat free bacon slices.

I chose the meat free turkey slices, don’t know why they’ve got the work turkey in them, if you’re not eating meat then why would you want a mock-meat-product; just call them meat free slices, although it doesn’t sound as appealing.

The slices are really low in fat and high in protein. They taste okay, but very, very dry – so you’ll need a nice wedge of salad on top.

Should have gone with the cheese!

 

Anyway, it got me thinking about the range of ‘slices’ available – below is what I’ve found:

  • Meat free chicken tikka
  •  Chorizo style slices
  • Meat free garlic sausage
  • Meat free peppered beef slices
  • Pepperoni style slices
  • Meat free roast chicken fillets
  • Wafer thin style chicken, ham, turkey and beef

Loads to choose from. The pepperoni and chorizo style slices are really nice, and would be perfect for homemade pizzas; I’m going to try as many of them as I can before this pescatarian challenge is over.