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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