That's right - I'm living cheaply again! Get ready for lots of photos of potatoes. Can't wait, I know.
But living cheaply never means you have to sacrifice your health. Sometimes, I even eat better on my minimal budget! When I have a bit of extra money I'll buy things like organic flaxseed, cinnamon or chia seeds that lasts FOREVER and can jazz up (and "health" up) my, otherwise boring food.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. It fuels you up, puts you in a great mood and, if you manage to eat it before leaving the house, you'll immediately feel a bit "together" and ready to face the day.
My top choice is some kind of epic fruit smoothie, but, as my budget minimises I'm deciding to opt for good old fashioned oats most mornings!
As my divine bestie, Christy, witnessed - I had a phenomenal bowl of porridge in the Lake District during our holiday that blew my mind. Being the crazy, annoying, inconvenient vegan that I am, sometimes food choices are tricky. When we stayed in a beautiful BNB in Cartmel, I had to just go for the porridge with fresh fruit (no yogurt, please!) and our host was so worried my meal would be boring.
Amazing, right? I assure you it was not boring.
Christy and I both instantly vowed to commit to porridge more often. Why does it have such a bad rep?
I bought a giant bag of organic steel-cut oats from Sainsburys and it has lasted for weeks! Some mornings I use Soy Milk, some mornings just water and it is always delicious!
Here are some of my cheap and easy porridge recipes - You will see a lot of ingredients repeat....What can I say? I'm cheap.
Vegan Overnight Oats
This discovery has changed my life. Not only do I get to pre-prepare my breakfast the night before (so I feel organised) but I get to use jars! I love using jars! This is easy to change up too; you can add whatever fruits or flavours to suit you.
1/2 cup of oats
1 cup organic soy or almond milk
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana roughly mashed up
Combine all ingredients into a jar, shake shake shake and then place in the fridge ready for the morning. It becomes a lovely, sweet, thick consistency - perfect for on the go breakfast! You can tip it out to have in a bowl or take it with you. Also in the morning you can add more fruit if you like!
1/2 cup of oats
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon shredded Coconut
I said cheap, right? It's almost too simple. This is a cooked porridge. Bring your oats and soy milk to the boil, stirring often so it doesn't stick to your saucepan. Reduce heat and bring it to your desired consistency using more soy milk (or water if you prefer).
Transfer to a pretty bowl, sprinkle on your cinnamon and coconut! Enjoy. CHEAP!
Super Berry Porridge
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water or soy milk (I used water for this one)
1/2 cup (or more) of frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon flaxseed
Fresh rasberries to top if you've got 'em
Having a bag of frozen blueberries in my freezer has become a fantastic, cheap and easy way to get some fruit in the morning. I highly recommend it.
Cook your oats and bring them to the thickness you like and add in the frozen blueberries just before you take the oats off the heat. Stir through and your porridge will almost look berry flavoured! Let that sit for a bit so the berries thaw out.
Transfer to a bowl and top with your flaxseed and fresh rasberries. Mmmmm. Or, if you have no raspberries - it may look like my sadder version below. Still delicious.
Sweet Banana Porridge
1/2 cup oats
1 cup soy milk
1 banana, sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flaxseed
Drizzle of Agave or Maple syrup!
Cook your oats and then add all the toppings! Done in minutes....try not to devour it too quickly.
Super Date and Chia Porridge
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water or dairy-free milk
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon flaxseed
1/2 banana, chopped
3 dates, chopped
Cook your oats and top it off with your scrumptious fruit and seeds :) Good morning!
Charlotte is (obviously) beautiful, fun, kind, creative and all-around-amazing. We met at work not long after I arrived in Manchester and connected immediately over our love of all things creative, the arts, good movies and: good old healthy living.
Charlotte isn't vegan or vegetarian, but has a really interesting story about growing up vegetarian and is passionate about fresh local produce, eating healthily and living life to the full! We have been working together on some creative ventures recently and, through our time together, we have talked quite a bit about my vegan lifestyle. It's very freeing to find someone who isn't vegan but genuinely interested in talking about it. In that way - we learn new things from each other before running out to catch the 10:30pm screening of "The Purge". As you do. (It was awful, don't go.)
The Challenge....and Contributions....
I am so excited to announce that Charlotte is going to be embarking on a full vegan month for August!
One entire month - 100% vegan.
She announced this yesterday over a yummy breakfast together and I could not be more excited.
The best news is: Charlotte is going to keep us updated on her month of Vegan power, right here on oopsimavegan. There will definitely be an introductory post and conclusion when August is over to let us know if she loved it, hated it, felt healthier, felt awful. Hopefully there will even be snippets in between! If my instincts are right: expect some awesome meal photos :)
Charlotte is already a very healthy gal, therefore I'm confident she won't experience too many detox symptoms or uncomfortable digestion because of increased fibre or anything. If someone goes from McDonalds, white bread and zero fruit into a vegan diet overnight, I would be worried about their digestion playing up and a serious detox time, but I don't think that will happen to Charlotte. She is also a phenomenal chef, creative and looks at restrictions as opportunities, not deprivations, so I have no doubt she will be whipping up phenomenal plant meals and I can't wait to see them.
There will definitely be (at LEAST) one evening when I have Charlotte over for dinner and we can have a big feast, so look out for photos of that too. I've been wanting to tackle a Mushroom Wellington for a while now, probably because I live in England!
The tips I have for anyone trying out veganism would be the following! (None of which Charlotte needs to hear. She's all over this like a rash!)
- Eat MORE than you're used to. Fruits and Vegetables are lower in calories, so eat enough to be satisfied.
- Try to go for as many whole foods as possible and stay away from excess vegan "junk food".
- Bake at least once so you can see how easy and fun vegan baking is.
- Listen to your body, but recognise what "cravings" are. Most cravings can be satisfied with something sweet, so try yummy fresh dates or strawberries with some dark chocolate! Yum.
- YouTube and research thriving vegans and let yourself be inspiried. Alicia Silverstone is an obvious favourite.
- Share the experience with friends if you can. Throw dinner parties that are based on simple, delicious foods in their pure state. Dinner parties will never be stressful again and people are always shocked they are leaving not feeling ill.
- Don't ever feel deprived. You honestly don't have to be. If you're out with friends and they're all eating dessert you always have a choice. You can get a soy hot chocolate, you can ask if they have vegan options or you can be happy and content with not eating dessert. Or, of course, you can just cave and eat some if you really, really want to. But remember it's not about saying "I can't eat anything", it's about "I don't want this right now".
- Embrace this as a "lifestyle", not just a diet. Open your eyes to how beautiful the world is, let yourself see veganism as something more than "not eating cheese" and allow yourself to feel the wanky "peace" that so many vegans and vegetarians experience. I'm not remotely spiritual, but, hey, it happened to me.
Till next time, folks! Can't wait to hear from Charlotte.
Also - here is a link to Charlotte's own blog where she talks about her creative work, posts awesome pictures and more! http://iamcharlotteemily.tumblr.com/
I was always a total foodie. What can I say? I love food that tastes good. Eating it. Cooking it. Baking it!
Do you think veganism changed this? AS IF! It only made it more interesting and adventurous.
At the moment my best friend from Australia, Christy, is here visiting and we are spending our days exploring new cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and trying not to spend too much money in the sales. Manchester has some seriously good shops and we have both been trying to exercise restraint.
Here is a brief, very self-indulgent chronicling of the amazing last few days I've had showing Christy around Manchester. Really I want to show that being vegan doesn't mean missing out on anything! Every time we sit down to eat, I get to eat a divine meal.
There is a magical place in Manchester and it is called "Teacup". Some may think it's strange that I'm posting about it because it really isn't very vegan-friendly. Upon entering, you are faced with about twenty devilish cakes on the counter, that scream your name. They also scream DAIRY! Once you get over the disappointment of seeing none with a "vegan" in front, you shrug your shoulders, look at the main menu and it's sneakily amazing. I think this is a great example of somewhere that is "accidentally vegan friendly". On their main menu they have a few amazing porridge options, which I just asked to be made with Soy milk and they smiled genuinely saying that was fine. You can also get a few of the "on toast" options (beans, peanut butter etc) and their tea/coffee menu is incredible! Overall, when you chuck in the lovely ambiance and the free wi-fi; I'm a pretty happy vegan diner.
After our first lunch, we hit the shops, tried on thousands of dresses, saw millions of "it's useless but I just really want it" items and drank lost of delicious coffee. I wanted the useless lunch box.
Second day breakfast? All vegan, all delcious! At this wonderful place in Manchester called "Gorilla" that I think liked us. They gave us some free bread that had been placed on a chopping board on display. We were eying it off immediately.
Manchester is really beautiful on a sunny day. Day three saw lots of walking, a "light lunch" that involved numerous courses (you can see below), more walking and then topped off with dinner and a movie. Anyone who is keen: go and see "Before Midnight". It is utterly divine.
Oh! Look! Pretty flowers! Love you Manchester.
Because she's a superhero, Christy also has her own fashion blog that is amazing. It brings me deep joy. You can see many an amazing outfit and read how clever and witty she is: www.fivedollarsforthememory.tumblr.com
And to finish - I'lll say check out "Dough" in the Northern Quater. It has vegan pizza. Yes. I'm serious. Below is their "Fungi" pizza which has dairy-free cheese on it. Personally, I would have been happy without the cheese - the pizza was amazing regardless. And who needs a distraction from mushrooms?
Special shout out to the Tea Hive in Chorlton which is RIDICULOUSLY vegan friendly and Oklahoma, again in the Northern Quater. Here is my amazing lunch from there today - Sweet Potato stuffed with roasted veggies and home-made hummus.
A new Chic Vegan article that I really enjoyed writing! Always helps when you tell a real story, right?
You can read the full article by clicking HERE.
It was definitely a night to remember.
I am currently rehearsing with some fantastic people for a play in Manchester and the other night we solved all the worlds’ problems.
I’m serious. We are geniuses disguised as unemployed artists.
We had the most intellectual Religious debate I have ever heard. We discussed abortion, homosexuality, the end of the world, the existence of 3D printers that can actually print 3D printers! Yes, seriously.
We reduced all mankind down to basic instincts of sex, survival and…. well things are a bit murky around that point….
Because we may have all been severely intoxicated.
I never get intoxicated. And I mean NEVER. Even the fact that I say, “intoxicated” gives me away.
The odd glass of red wine when I go out for an Italian is lovely, but I can count the number of times I’ve been “smashed” on one hand.
Last night was a “smashed” night. The setting – a pub in Manchester; there were four of us left by the end and we were having far too much fun to even think about calling it a night.
After we made our zombie apocalypse plan (which involves a boat, by the way) we began yelling about how messed up the world is and how badly us humans have messed up.
Oh no, danger zone. When people talk passionately about how much trouble our planet is in and I’m watching them eat a Chicken McNugget, I have trouble keeping quiet.
Read the rest of the article here: http://chicvegan.com/wow-veganism-is-deep-s/
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