5 vegan YouTube channels I’m loving right now

In my last update, I said this time around trying to go vegan I was a lot more prepared than last time. YouTube has very much been my friend through this process and helped me with so many recipes, tips, advice and been a bit of moral support when I’ve been tempted by a chicken sandwich (which happened but more on that another time). So, I thought I’d share my five YouTube channels that I’ve been loving.

  1. That Vegan Mom

Natasha aka That Vegan Mom has by far been the most inspirational YouTuber for me. She’s a little bit younger than me, has a son the same age as mine and she’s so effortlessly incorporated veganism into their lives. Her son is also vegan and is truly thriving. He has a great and varied diet, full of healthy fats, protein, fruits and veg – the same as a meat eating child, just without the meat. She isn’t preachy, shows the ‘naughty’ days when you opt for convenience (we all do it). And the food she makes isn’t Instagram ready every time, making her food far more attainable. I urge you to check her out!

2. JessBeautician

Jess has a bit of everything on her channel but her recipes is what made me subscribe. They are so simple and she shows you breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and a snack in a little 10 minute video. Her superfood toast is so good and everything I’ve tried tastes really fresh and homemade. Not much work involved either if you have a food processor.

3. Vegan Fitness TV

Quite new to YouTube, I started watching them when they only had a handful of subscribers. Again, they are another set of parents that have vegan kids and show you how easy it is to feed your family a vegan diet on a budget. They are also into fitness having done PT training so when they are giving specific nutrition and exercise advice they have the science to back it up. They show some of their workouts too which is so interesting because they can get some serious results from just 10 minutes a day! They have a free ebook on their blog which is pretty good too.

4. Tess Begg

If you’re into a bit of food porn then certainly check out Tess. Her food is always beautifully presented and looks amazing. It’s quite rare she puts a full recipe as she has an ebook to sell but she quite often puts what she’s shoving in the blender on the screen. She takes you through some of her workouts too which I’ve done in the gym and they are a killer.

5. NaturallyStefanie

You can probably see a bit of a pattern forming here. If you’re vegan and making gains, I’ll watch it. I’ve only just started watching Stefanie but I’m enjoying what I’m seeing so far. How can a vegan girl of that size squat that much?! I watch Ashley Nocero too, she isn’t vegan but her workouts are unbeatable I’d say.

The five I’ve mentioned are just the ones I really enjoy and what I like most is none of them get caught up in the vegan drama that’s all over YouTube that, quite frankly, turn people off veganism. Let’s not fight amongst ourselves we have some love to spread!

If you’ve got some YouTube channels that are your go-to for inspiration then do drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Thanks for coming over to have a read and see you soon, C x.

 

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Butternut squash, chickpea and spinach curry – vegan

Picture credit – a glug of oil

As I try different recipes as a new found vegan, some good, some not so good. This one though, my favourite curry – and who says we just eat salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 400g can of chickpeas
  • Couple of handfuls of torn up spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 300ml water
  • 1.5 cubes of kallo vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon alpro soya yoghurt – coconut

Method

Put the oil in a pan with the butternut squash, cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the onion, garlic and spices and cook for another 5 minutes. If it starts to catch, throw in a bit of water. 

Add in the water and stock cubes and cover until the butternut squash in tender.

Add your chickpeas and spinach and give it a good stir. I found mine was a bit watery so I took a hand blender and blended a little bit which made a pretty good sauce. Take off the heat and stir in the yoghurt. 

Serve it with the rice of your choice and bon appetite! 

Picture credit to a glug of oil, here’s mine – tastes 100x better than it looks. I’m working on presentation.

Vegan pitta pizza

 This might sound a bit odd to many and whenever I say it out loud I get the same reaction ‘how can you not like pizza?!’ 

Well, there are many reasons I don’t like pizza. I don’t like that it’s so bready and makes me feel bloated, I don’t like the layer of grease on the top from the cheese, I don’t like the processed meat toppings that adds an extra layer of grease to it and I don’t like that kids are eating it so much. I don’t think fizzy drinks are the big issue, it’s pizza. There should be a pizza tax introduced… But I digress. 

I went for lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we went to a pizza place. She assured me it’s none of things I’ve listed above and besides being vegan means I can’t have cheese on it. So I ordered the vegan one (yes there was a vegan one on the menu) not really expecting to enjoy it. But I did, very much. The base was so thin and no grease in sight. Hmm… I thought, could I make this at home. No, but I did come up with a quick alternative.

Vegan pitta pizza

What you’ll need:

  • One whole wheat pitta bread
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato purée 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • 1 slice of onion (in the rings)
  • 1 slice of violife vegan cheese
  • 1 handful of baby spinach

Method

Preheat your oven at 200’c. Trim the top of the pitta off so you’re left with just the thicker bottom. If you pop it under the grill for 30 seconds it’s easier to divide.

Take your hummus and add the tomato purée, nutritional yeast, basil, salt and pepper to a dish and mix until combined. 

Using the back of a spoon spread the hummus mixture onto the pitta. Slice the bell pepper into strips and place on the pitta as well as the onion. Tear the slice of cheese so you have enough pieces to distribute on the top. 

Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. The base should have a bit of crunch and the cheese will look a bit melty (not like dairy cheese though). 

Tear up the spinach and put on top of the pizza. Eat it and enjoy it!

You can turn this into a full meal by adding some salad or maybe some sweet potato fries. Less calories and cruelty than a traditional pizza.

Hope you enjoy this recipe, C x

Life update – 6 months since my last blog post

It has been a while so I thought a quick life update was necessary. The last six months has been all ups and downs. One up is that I’ve managed to shift that second stone. The down is that I’ve only managed to shift that second stone. I should have lost double what I have so far and I only have myself to blame.

Veganuary was quite successful in that I made it the 30 days and I lost about 8lbs in the process. I didn’t stay vegan though. I think the main reasons for this though is that I didn’t prep properly. I ate too many carbs like bread and pasta and not enough plant based protein. I couldn’t lift as heavy and felt quite tired all the time.

After veganuary I started researching veganism at length, the food people put on their blogs, Instagram and YouTube looked amazing. The YouTubers I follow also seem so positive and enthusiastic about veganism and don’t berate others for their lifestyle choices. It also seemed to be a little easier to follow. Raw till 4 will never be something I could or would follow. Seems far to difficult and the science doesn’t seem to add up in my opinion.

Hitting a plateau again, I looked at the vegan diet again and thought this time with planning, I could make it work for me and my training goals. 

So, on 1st July I decided to follow a plant based diet again. And this time, I think I’ve cracked it. After the first week I’d lost 3lb and managed my heaviest deadlift. After the second week I lost another 2lb and got a squat pb. By week 3 I was starting to really enjoy it. We’re coming up to the end of the month and I have some awesome recipes in my book and I’m feeling great about my health, the good I’m doing for the planet and the number of animals lives I’ve saved.

I’ll start posting some recipes again along with my workout plans and latest weight check in from next week.

Thanks for coming back and having a read of my life, C x

Veganuary week 1

It’s been a week since I decided to stop eating meat, dairy, etc for Veganuary and I have to say it’s been easier than I thought.

I don’t feel like my energy levels have dipped, I don’t feel like I’ve deprived myself of anything and overall I feel pretty good.

Things I’ve noticed:

  • My skin has really cleared up – I’m prone to breakouts and this week is a good skin week.
  • I’ve felt full after a meal but it hasn’t lasted – my portion sizes have been adequate for that meal but I’ve found I feel hungry again soon after finishing
  • I eat A LOT of beans – and we all know what happens with that right?!
  • My diet is quite carb heavy – which is at odds to what I’m used to
  • It takes me a little longer to recover from weights – I’d say an extra day of doms on top of what I’m used to
  • Unless you’re going whole foods, nothing is vegan – it seems everything in the vege aisle has milk or egg in it

The great thing about switching to plant based is that it’s difficult to have a bad diet day. No one cursed themselves for eating too many carrots. Virtually everything bad for you has some kind of animal derivative in it so I simply cannot have it. It definitely makes you more aware of what you’re consuming.

Also, at today’s weigh-in I lost 3.4lb – which is very encouraging!

Good Luck on your own journeys and thanks for reading, C x

Say no to New Year’s resolutions

I don’t really get New Year’s resolutions. I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person that has nailed their resolutions or made it past the first 31 days of the year.

So I’ve decided to set myself a few mini goals that last no more than a month at a time. If they go well, I’ll carry it forward for another month and so on.

Challenge #1 – Veganuary

I’ve been looking into reducing the amount of meat I consume and saw something from PETA about going vegan for a month. The reason they do this is to highlight the plight and suffering of animals that we go on to eat.

The slaughter of animals to supply food to humans, I’ll be honest, doesn’t really bother me that much. I know that may sound a bit cold but I’ve watched a lot of PETA and co documentaries and it hasn’t ever really had much of an effect on me – I grew up in the countryside so farming and stuff was pretty commonplace. BUT, what did strike a chord with me was the effect commercial farming has on the environment including deforestation, methane from animals that is doing more for greenhouse gases than driving cars is and farming practices that leads to pollution of water systems. That sort of thing does piss me off. We recycle in my house, I drive as economical a car as I can afford, I’m a bit militant about the heating, lighting and water usage in my home. So, I feel as if I’m doing my bit from an at home pov. It’s not enough though. So, for January I will be going vegan. If you don’t know what that involves it’s basically, if it came from something with a face I can’t have it.

I’ll try and post any good recipes I come up with, status on how I’m feeling, how it changes my workouts, any changes in my weight loss, etc.

Happy New Year everyone and if you do decide to set some New Year goals, make them realistic and break it into small manageable chunks – make 2016 your best!!

Thanks for reading, C x

Self sabotage

Step away from the cake!

Why is it when everything is on the up do you make every attempt to fail?

If you haven’t read any of my posts before, I’m Carla, I’m pushing 30, the mother of an awesome insomniac toddler, working full time, studying for a degree and embarking on a personal transformation. It’s all been going so well but I seem to be trying to sabotage myself at every turn.

I’ve been reading up on self sabotage so I could almost self diagnose that this is what I’m doing. I’ve never been overly resistant to change, when change happens it’s normally circumstances beyond my control so there is nothing I can do about it and you just have to go with it – like it or not. This change that I’m making is all about me though, I am the master of my destiny, no one can force me to do this and I am solely accountable for my actions.

And herein lies the problem. Is it a fear of the unknown that is causing me to derail myself? Is it a fear of failure? If I’m destined to fail then why bother? Or, do I have just have an incredibly low will power? I’m not sure.. One thing is for sure though, I’m not happy with what I’ve done or am doing to myself.

So, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way so we can focus on the good stuff. I have been eating bad things. Believe it or not, I don’t really like cake. But this week, I’ve been eating cake – a lot of cake. I don’t go out and buy this cake, my partner does for the children at the weekend and there is always too much, so then I feel compelled to eat it. My partner has been bringing loads of junk into the house lately, I’m not sure if he’s out of the habit of buying it even though I’m not supposed to have it. He’s also put on as much as I’ve lost since I started working out. This has to stop.

I’ve also been drinking quite a bit more than usual. And I don’t say that like it’s become a problem, just that I’ve been on a few weekends out with friends that’s involved heavy drinking. This has resulted in missed Sunday training sessions because of a terrible hangover. This kind of thing has also caused a bit of tension in our home due to my not being around so much to have family time.

Now the bad and selfish behaviour is out of the way, what’s been good that we can focus our energy on? Well, I’ve broken 1 stone lost! Such a big milestone for me and I couldn’t be happier to have finally got there. I can now leg press 200kg, for reps not just for one. We are now just 0.2 lbs away from breaking into the 16s.

And so, we renewed energy, focus and determination I start next week on a positive note and break the cycle of my self sabotage. Any tips for sticking to the diet greatly appreciated though.

Thanks for reading, C x