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Monday, 3 November 2014

Finding The Time

Hey guys,

Hope you are all doing well.

I thought I would do a bit of an update post to let you know what is going on with me.

When I started this blog, I was a Vegan. I had done a 30 day challenge via PETA and stayed vegan for 3 and a half months. At the start it was great. I bought lots of ingredients, spent time cooking and baking and really enjoyed it. By month 2, I became lazy and ate anything easy and carby and put on weight.
I could feel myself being heavier and I hated it. I needed to get back to me and feel good about myself. I did feel that I was lacking something. I decided to introduce tuna back into my diet after I had a craving and ate it. Then, eggs came along. So, I can no longer call myself a vegan as I eat fish and eggs, but still no meat and dairy (6 months strong now!)

For me, this works. I hate it when people ask me why I do one and not the other. I don't judge what you eat, so don't judge what I chose to eat! Anyway, I have started eating well again and trying to exercise when I have time and will continue to do this. I am a girl, and of course I get the occasional need to have a munch. If I do that, well, sod it. I will be happy. I just know I need to work harder to get rid of it.

So, one new thing I have tried is juicing. Ok, I don't juice myself because luckily there is a juice stand a 1 minute walk from my house so I go there. I tried a green juice and really hated it. It contained celery, apple, cucumber, fennel and some other bits and I really did not enjoy it.
 
My new favourite juice however is beetroot, apple and lemon. Delicious and full of energy!
 
 
It seems that when I have time, I am able to do so much more and things become easier. I had some time off of work and I spent so much of that free time in the kitchen.
For example, I made a butternut squash risotto one night, was delicios. It took a long time though. I really like to add spice to everything for some reason, so quite a bit was added to this.
 
 
I also made quinoa and banana pancakes one morning. They are honestly the most delicious things you will ever taste. On top I like to have either Maple syrup or peanut butter. Delicious!!
 
I had a dinner to go to and I was on desert duty so I made a vegan friendly chocolate mousse. (I like to keep things fully vegan when I can.) Made with coconut cream and raw cacoa (and some other bits) you really cannot go wrong. Rich and delicious!
 

Like I said earlier, I do not own a juicer, but I do have a great blender and food processor. It is quite sad that I am 26 and get so excited when I have the time to make things and use both at the same time. This is what I did the other day. I wanted to make a smoothie for breakfast, so I made a blueberry and banana smoothie on Soya milk and added some Chia seeds and also BodyByVi powder. Whilst that was spinning, I made my famous health bite balls. All my friends love them and they are delicious and healthy at the same time. Also vegan friendly.


It is great to be back and writing again.

If anyone would like any recipes for anything, please do not hesitate to contact me via the page or by email. Blogdoll21@gmail.com

Thanks guys!

LaLa xx




 



Monday, 13 October 2014

We Should Be Dancing, Yeah!

Hey guys!

I am very sorry I haven't written in a while. My other blog was nominated for a Cosmo Blog Award so I was busy working on that, though unfortunately, I did not win. Oh well, you win some you lose some!

Anyway, I went off track a bit with my eating and exercise habits but now I am back and am really going to focus on myself!

I decided I need to try different sports to see which I enjoy and what makes me happy. As we all know, when you don't enjoy exercising, you chose not to do it, so you stay home and eat instead. Well, that is what happens to me!

So, lucky for me, I have this gorgeous friend called Keren (who is fucking awesome, always with red lipstick and hoop earrings on and a cool swag) who runs a hip hop dance class so last night, I went along. I am so glad I did as not only was it awesome, but I sweat shit loads!

When I arrived at Pure Studios, Keren took me for a tour. There are two Pure Studios in Tel Aviv, (where I live) and this one is specifically focused on dance classes. As we toured the studio I saw a contempory dance class going on and in another studio was yoga, and in another was ballet. I genuinely felt like I was walking through the school in Fame!

Keren opened her class which was a full class. All girls and one guy. She started us off with a warm up to 'Notorious BIG - Get Money' and I was excited to shake my booty.

After the warm up, we learnt a routine to Jlo feat Iggy Azalia - Booty. This was full on kicks, punches, booty shaking, boob popping and twerking. Couldn't think of anything more fun to be honest.

 
At one point, we went down and had to twerk, my legs and ass are feeling it today!


All the girls in the class really made an effort and if they didn't understand, Keren made sure to go over it for them. Like in every class, you had the 'look in the mirror posers' and the uncoordinated ones, but everyone had a lot of fun with it.

After the dancing, we needed to stretch out and warm down. Keren put on some old school Garage music, obviously I was in my element.


All in all, I had a great time, learnt a new dance routine, exercised, sweat loads and mainly, had a lot of fun!!

Until next time dolls!!

Lala xx

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Wrap of Goodness!


Hey lovelies,

Excuse my absence. A lot has been going on. As I live in Israel, it has been stressful with the current situation going on. The last month I have majorly slacked! I have put on weight and I am so upset with myself.

I guess being vegan is not as easy as I thought. I became such a card fiend! But no more. I have bought myself and amazing food processor to make some yummy dishes like soups and smoothies!

I have also bought weights to keep at home for the days I cannot make the gym so I can do some exercise before bed. I am back in the game! Willpower back on!

I guess you are looking at the above picture thinking it looks like a slug. Trust me, tasted much better than it looks!
I made delicious wraps! The wrap itself is rice paper and the inside ingredients were peppers, avocado, tomato and cucumber. The sauce on top is a satay sauce I made on my own and it was delicious!!

I recommend everyone to try this at home as it was an easy, filling and delicious and healthy dinner!

Enjoy!

Lala xx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Sweet Potato Brownies!


 

 
Hey guys,

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I spent my weekend cleaning, baking and beaching. Was wonderful!

So let me tell you about what I baked. I always like to try new things and I had come about a recipe for Sweet Potato Brownies. When I think of brownies, it’s either those delicious chocolate, fudgey, gooey, stuck together blocks of wonderfulness, or the type you get in Amsterdam.

As a Vegan, I find it difficult sometimes to get a sweet tooth kick. As dairy is not allowed, when you fancy a chocolate bar, it is difficult to find an alternative. So I need to bake my own things that I can pick at during the week if I feel like this. So here come the brownies. At first, I thought, “sweet potato in a desert, really?” You will all probably think that too, but let me tell you, maybe we should taste before judging.

The recipe is really easy to make and they came out tasting delicious. My roommate couldn’t get enough last night when I told her to try one. She wanted more and more. If you like sweet potatoes (I love me sweet mash potato) and dates, you will love this. It is gluten free, dairy free and sugar free (apart from a bit in your maple syrup.
 


Please let me know if you make them and how they turn out!!

Have a great week!

LaLa x

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Just Milk It!



I am sure to most of you reading, like me, you were brought up drinking milk. May it have been with your morning cereal or cup of tea or by itself with a cookie, it was the norm.  Well now, at the age of 26, I have given up drinking milk or having it with my cereal or in my tea.

Giving it up started when I started my 30 day Vegan challenge (which is no longer a challenge but my daily life) and I do not think I could go back to having milk. This is actually dairy in general. Trust me when I tell you I miss dairy, I really do, it is no lie! But here I am, the girl who loved a good bar of chocolate, tea with Cravendale milk and a good piece of cheddar cheese (I loved toasted cheese sandwiches more than anything) now telling you that after doing my research and reading up about the effects of dairy, I think I would rather not have that tasty melted cheese toastie or chocolate bar.

So I want to share some of the things I have learnt. Once again, I want to make you all aware that I will never preach or judge, just share and help teach what I have learnt which has helped my life, to maybe help yours.

So where does milk come from? Well let’s start with that most basic question. Cows, is the answer. Do you know why cows produce milk? Just like humans, cows only produce milk when they give birth, to nourish their infants. So when a woman has a baby, she produces breast milk to feed her baby and that makes a 300 percent weight gain in just 12 months. When a baby is anything from 12-24 months, the mother will stop breast feeding. Her milk dries up and the baby will never drink that breast milk again. The difference though, is that cow’s milk by design grows a 90 pound calf into a 2,000 pound calf within the course of 2 years. Wow, sounds more fattening than humans milk! Oh wait, that is because it is! So after two years, this mummy cow’s milk too is dried up.

In order to force the cows to continue giving milk, factory farms typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are taken from their mothers within a day of being born. Male calves are usually taken to be raised for the veal you have on your plate and the females are destined for a life like their mothers.

Watch a sad mother cow when her baby is taken from her..


or how about the veal calf taken away and beaten!


After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.

Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” (this drug is banned basically everywhere in the world apart from the US and UK and is known to cause cancer.) According to the industry’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.

A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.

 

Watch this video if you can stomach it. If you can stomach drinking the milk, maybe you should learn to stomach watching this video, to learn how and from where you get your milk.


We are the only species on the planet that drinks milk as adults and also there are 51,000 mammals on the earth and we are the only ones to drink a different animal’s milk. We could literally be putting bear milk or zebra milk on our cereal and we wouldn’t know the difference. So why cow’s? Because it is the animal that produces the largest quantity of milk and is more easily housed than an elephant means more money for the farmers. So, it all comes down to money. But of course! The dairy industry is a multi-billion dollar industry based on amazing advertising and the addictive taste of milk and cheese.

A funny thing I found was when I think back, I always remember teachers or parents or friends saying ‘you should drink your milk so you get strong bones!’
This actually could not be more untrue. It is a known fact that although American and British women consume tremendous amounts of calcium, their rates of osteoporosis are amongst the highest in the world. A study showed that 40 million women in America have osteoporosis where as in Africa, only 250,000 have bone disease. Within 40 tribes in Kenya and Tanzania, only one – the Maasai tribe, has members suffering with Osteoporosis. As it happens, they are a cattle owning, milk drinking tribe.

Dairy products have also been linked to other problems such as acne, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, Fibromyalgia, IBS, headaches, heartburn, allergies, breast and prostate cancer – just to name a few. I had slight ADD as a kid and as an adult I have fibromyalgia and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome.) Could dairy have been a part of it whilst growing up?

I have learnt that milk is also not a reliable source of minerals. You get much higher amounts of magnesium and calcium from fruit and vegetables. Other foods that can give you the required amounts of calcium you need can be cabbage, seaweed, chickpeas, broccoli, red beans, soybeans, kale, grains, tofu and nuts.

I can tell you straight up that I feel a lot better for not drinking or eating anything dairy. My skin is a lot better and I feel better within myself, for health reasons and also knowing that I do not participate in the killing and pain of animals. Plus, I am loving the types of milk I can have like Almond or hazelnut milk, soya milk and coconut milk! Delicious!!

I would love to hear if any of you have any views on this. Please email me at blogdoll21@gmail.com or leave a comment below!

LaLa x



Sunday, 22 June 2014

From AM to PM!


Hey guys,

 So as hard as it is, I have been really trying to keep healthy. Truth of the matter is, I really need to push myself to go to the gym more. It is just getting so hot here in Tel Aviv now that all I want to do after work is lie on my bed in the air conditioning and read a magazine!

Someone at work travelled to our UK office and bought me back a back of my FAVOURITE chocolates. Fudge, Chomp, Crunchie and Dairy Milk Caramel, forgetting I was now a vegan. It is things like that, that make it so difficult to keep on this vegan journey but then I think of the cows and I re gain the faith. But, don’t think I am not still staring at that bar of crunchie, because I am!

Apart from that, I have been finding new fun recipes and trying to find exotic fruits to keep my taste buds alive.

So, for breakfast the other day I cut up a few different fruits to have for breakfast. It was so delicious and because there was so much, I was full until lunch time. I added kiwi, mango, melon, peach and nectarine. Full to the top of the bowl and filling. Delicious!
 

For dinner this same day, I made the most DIVINE gnocchi. The sauce on top was one I found online. It included peppers, soya cream and carrots. You have to blacken the peppers in a pain in olive oil, boil the carrots and when they have cooled down, you blend them with soya cream. I added some salt, pepper and chili to the blend and then mixed it with the gnocchi, added some basil and voila – just beaut!!


Will be back soon with more news and recipes!

Lala xx

 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Vegan Cheesecake :)


Hey guys,

I wrote in my last post that I was going to make a Vegan cheesecake. Well, this is exactly what I did.

Before I moved out of home in London and to Tel Aviv, I could just about make pasta. Now I am learning how to cook and bake, I actually find it quite enjoyable. I like being in the kitchen. I put a good playlist on and I do my thing.

So I found a recipe on ‘The Vegan Stoners’ website and decided to try it out. Let me tell you, I am loving the vegan stoner. I genuinely think he gets stoned and cooks. His pictures are great too, they make me giggle.

I get the recipe and I start going with it. Soaking cashews, blending them, fridge, freezer etc etc. How nice it is not to have to put it in the oven.

I tell you, it was actually quite easy to make. The only annoying thing is that you need to kind of be around during the day you make it as it all in all takes about 8 and a half hours. It says leave in the freezer for 5 hours, I left it all night.

Also, as I am not in America and could not get the graham cracker, I went for a gluten free, dairy free, egg free (basically vegan) biscuits with vanilla flavouring and crushed them up as my base soaked down with margerine and was delicious. As you will see from my pictures, the two cakes do actually not look so edible and nice, when in reality they were delicious. My friends could not believe that a cake made with cashews and syrup etc could taste that nice.

The recipe is for strawberry cheesecake so I did make one with strawberries and I made one with chocolate spread (one made with soya milk with hazlenuts – basically tastes like Nutella) and peanut butter on top so I would have something for my sweet tooth.
 

If you want to try it, here is the link to the recipe. http://theveganstoner.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/strawberry-cheesecake.html#comment-form
 
If you do make it, please let me know how it turns out!
Enjoy,
LaLa xx
 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Not So Chedderlicious!

Hey guys,
So let me tell you, this whole vegan thing can on occasions, be real hard. Especially when it's the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which it was last week. The festival itself which obviously includes eating, is basically related around cheese. Cheesecake, mac and cheese, quiche, literally anything involving cheese is what you eat. So the day comes where I haven't eaten cheese for about  a month and I decide I want 'pizza toast.' So I go to my fridge to find the sliced vegan cheese I bought a while back. Looking at the packet I am wondering whether I should really eat it or not. I mean, it looks like plastic sheets of yellow shit to be honest but my craving kicks in so I decide it's time to try it. 

I open the pack and tear a bit of the cheese off to taste and GAG. People who know me know that I have an awful gag reflex. The smell of something bad can make me gag like you have never heard! So anyway I gag. HARDCORE GAGGING!! Not only does it look like yellow plastic grossness but it tastes worse than that. I am actually appalled about the taste going on in my mouth; I eat a whole spoonful of peanut butter to reignite my taste buds of something wonderful. 
 


Moral of the story is, if something looks gross, it is probably bound to taste worse. Oh well, time to make cheesecake. (Vegan of course!)

Follow me on Instagram too.. lalavak

Have a good weekend :)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Introduction!

Hey everyone,

So I decided to write this blog after 1) my love of writing and 2) to document what it is like for your average curvy food loving girl to drastically change diet from a slob to healthy eating. I have done the Dukan Diet, A shake diet, healthy eating, exercising, this that and the other. I have tried it all!

To those of you who know me, hello :)
To those who don't, my name is Lala and I am a 26 year old girl from North London now living in Tel Aviv. I swapped a cold big city for a sunny smaller one that has a beach. I live here with two friends in a cute appartment in central Tel Aviv and you could say, my life has changed quite a bit. When living in London, I just about knew how to make scrambled eggs and a bowl of pasta! Now, I am quite the domestic goddess if I do say so myself! I used to be quite the party girl and some would say I am quite the nutter but in reality, now my life has changed a bit I am a tad more chilled out.


So right now I am on a 30 day vegan challenge. My journey started a few weeks ago when I was on the PETA website. (http://www.peta.org/) As an animal lover, I like to see what is being done for the good of animals by an organisation as big and powerful as PETA. Whilst browsing I saw a button for 'try the 30 day vegan challenge!' I clicked on it to read up about it a little bit and that was when I saw the slaughter video. A video by well known musician and vegetarian, Paul McCartney. Ok, here goes nothing, let's watch the video. In my head I am now thinking - "why lord, why did I watch this?!" Genuinely I have never felt more ill. The video shows the truth about what goes on in animal slaughter houses. The beating and the punching to cows. The way they are kept tightly locked and inflated with steroids to make them grow so their meat is chunkier. I actually stopped eating red meat a few years ago as I genuinely wasn't keen on the taste but now watching what they put into them makes you never want to eat a steak again. Basically the burgers you eat at McDonalds are just shit. It's not even 100% pure cow meat going into the burgers. It's probably 20% actual meat and the rest is carcus grinded up and minced and the fat from the meat along with steroids. No wonder I grew up a fatty. They don't tell you what shit is in them. However they are cheap and taste good with the bun and the pickles and I would demolish a Big Mac! Never again though!!
Anyway, further along in the video you are shown the chickens. This was probably the toughest part for me and tears streamed down my face. I adore chicken. A good chicken salad or grilled chicken with sweet potato mash ummmm I could devour it. Not after watching that video. Ever seen how the chicken on your plate is handled before it's killed? No, didn't think so, because neither had I. So I will break it down for you. About 40 chickens are kept in one tiny cage. They have wings but they cannot fly. They have beaks which are snapped off. Honestly, the brutality of it was appalling to my stomach. If the chicken was fed nicely, was able to run around and flap it's wings then fine, maybe I wouldn't be so bothered, but no. They are also fed steroids, kept in cages, abused, skinned alive and tortured and in some slaughter houses punched and beaten, all before they are killed. At least have some sort of humanity in you to feed it and then kill it before skinning it and chopping it up. I tell you now, if I ever did decide to eat chicken again, it would only be organic!
If you are at all interested in watching the documentary, here it is - Glass Walls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTifP6idBPs

Let me also tell you, it doesn't matter if you are kosher, halal or an alien, the animals may be 'killed' in a certain way to make it ok for the certain religion to eat it, but it is still kept the same. This was made clear to me after watching a video from a slaughter house owned by Jews. I am Jewish myself so grew up eating kosher meat. Jews might as well eat bacon which isn't 'kosher' as it makes no sense. They tell you the animals are killed and cut in a certain way with some Rabbi dude looking over to make sure it's 'kosher' but where was said Rabbi dude when they were growing the animals and feeding them steroids to make them larger?? So now I have noticed that it's basically kosher shmosher - all because one 'trained' watcher says it's ok?! Bullcrap! You wanna eat any type of meat? Do it. But these rules about kosher or halal or whatever don't mean anything if the way the animal is treated before hand is the exact same as other slaughter houses!
Ok, so anyway, I watched this video and decided I would do the challenge. There have been many obstacles along the way - like the time at work where we had karaoke night with beer and pizza. Wow the pizza looked delicious but I couldn't have it. As a vegan, you cannot have anything animal based. So that includes anything dairy. So no cheese, milk, yoghurts, chocolate etc. No eggs or egg based produce so no scrambled eggs on a Saturday morning and no cakes. Not even honey! Oh and no sweets because they have gelatine - animal fat. Ok so basically I can't eat shit - or so I thought.

Throughout this challenge or shall I say journey, I have learnt so much about food. What foods apart from dairy have calcium. What foods apart from red meat have iron. What foods beside chicken have protein. It's amazing what you can learn and the recipes you can make that still keep you satisfied and taste delicious. I will post about the obstacles I face, the good and the bad and my life changing along the way.
I have also learnt a lot more about what my body likes and dislikes. I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) so have also learnt what foods really do not agree with me and which do. I have seen the change in my skin too. I read that not eating meat or dairy does great things for your skin and for me, this has been so true. People have even told me that I look 'glowing' which is a great compliment and I feel it in myself too!
I hope those reading who aren't vegan or vegetarian are not offended by anything I write, that isn't what I am here to do and I hope those who are, can also enjoy and value what I write and maybe send over some tips or idea or recipes or even their stories to help me along this journey!

Lots of love..
Lala xx