I'm not going to lie...it's an exciting time! I've scored an Acting job that I'm excited about, "Vilda Magazine" launches soon and I'm going home to Australia for Christmas. Woo!
Dream life also means I'm rehearsals most days. :)
The challenge: I'm broke (nothing new there), I'm super busy, but I actually care about my health and will not eat crap.
It's easy to feed yourself if you're broke and care zilch about what goes in your mouth (hello university days!) but now - I know how it feels to be full of energy, vibrant and at my best. I ain't kissing that goodbye without a fight! The good news is, I don't have to.
With some well planned meals, a love of carbohydrates and some good, old-fashioned staples, you can eat well, often, LOTS and feel truly amazing.
Here are a few days worth of my meals to give you an idea of what I feast on!
Cheap as chips.
Yep - you know it's porridge. Essentially I always have porridge in my house. I'll make it just with water or almond milk. A carton of good Almond milk here is less than two pounds. A box of porridge is about a pound. Hardly breaking the bank! I always put cinnamon in and fruit if possible :)
Or I'll make a banana smoothie with literally just bananas, cinnamon and water. Trust me - it rocks. Don't be afraid of putting in a lot of bananas. They're nothing at 100 calories each and a pound for 5! I always need a big breakfast to get me going - especially when busy and God-knows-when-lunch-will-be!
A few reasons why taking a healthy and cool-looking lunch to rehearsal makes me feel like a superhero:
1) It tells the world I'm organised (even though I'm not)
2) Shows I enjoy healthy-eating and do it proudly (don't be ashamed of your fruit!)
3) When I'm jumping up and down in rehearsal, not tired or sick, hopefully I make SOMEONE ponder the link?
4) I get to use cute containers
5) LESS MONEY!!!
I know it sounds stupid, but honestly, as an Actor, you really do have to treat your body like a temple. Rehearsals are draining, costumes are tight and days are LONG..... I LOVE this job, but it is that: a JOB. And like any other job you have to take it seriously. There are so many reasons to look after yourself if you want to be in this industry and I want to show you can FEAST on delicious food, still get into your costume and not get sick for show week. WIN WIN WIN.
Below - two lunches that are kinda similar! Both have spinach, avocado and some nuts goin' on. The first is atop some super organic Soba noodles I bought and the second has sweet potato!
When I can be at home and relax - dinner is my favourite meal of the day. Sit, unwind, cook. Also - after my time on the 80-10-10 Diet, which I LOVED, I have learnt not be scared of calories or carbohydrates, so when I've had a huge day at rehearsals and am eating fresh and "clean" I let myself FEAST at dinner time! Yum...
Sweet potatoes are staples in my diet. They're cheap and nutritious. My favourite meal these days is to cook up a heap and make some hummus. Homemade hummus can be a fun taste adventure or you can literally do it in ten minutes in your blender (just cooked chick-peas, tahini, lemon juice, water and cumin. Add oil if you like, but I honestly don't think it needs it!)
Another great, cheap meal is to do a Buddha Bowl. Again, this can have as many or as few ingredients as you like/can afford. My cheapest version will literally be brown rice, chickpeas and some vegetables tossed in!
I do believe that the simplest meals are the healthiest; fewer ingredients, great taste, less for the body to do and certainly easiest on the digestive system. I eat more now than I ever have and am the smallest I've ever been. Dare yourself to sit down to a giant plate of something simple :)
Eat till your full and know you're giving your body so much yummy fuel!
Both of these options also allow for LEFTOVERS. An important part of any broke-person's life.
Have a good week everyone!
Next week: performances. Let's see how many Dates and Bananas I get through.....
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
You can make change if you wanna!
Cleaning bed sheets actually IS worth the effort.
Mum was right.
You get what you give.
Try to feel amazing, beautiful and positive every day....that's what you'll get back.
Food is much more fun when you sit down and make "a meal of it".
Enjoy your food :)
Don't be defined by what other people think is "normal".
If I did, I wouldn't even be vegan.
Be proud of being a bit different; eating your salad while everyone else has takeaway or drinking a smoothie on the bus.
Negativity makes more noise than positivity.
Don't listen to that one bad comment, focus on all the good.
Don't question why things make you happy. Just enjoy them.
*cough! Soy Mochas!*
Especially when looking at a menu....
Question everything and then go with your gut.
Eat until you are satisfied. If you love and trust the food you are eating - it's a no brainer.
Good food only makes you feel good.
It's so easy to get into a routine.
Make it count.
Make time for yourself.
You will be the best version of you for everyone else. And that's what's important.
"Food that loves you back"
If you are a fan of "eating clean" and devouring good, wholesome, nutritious food, it can be nearly impossible to eat out.
Often you have to make a bit of a compromise; whether it's gluten, refined carbohydrates, lots of deep-fried things (or even dairy!) to eat out with friends and just relax in a nice restaurant.
How amazing would it be to have a veggie restaurant that offered truly healthy, wholesome and organic food? What if it even had a stunning interior and decor? What if there was even vegan wine?
Good news for Londoners - welcome to veggie foodie heaven: "tibits". Both a relaxed restaurant and quick lunch-spot you can take-away from, with gorgeous seating and a relaxed atmosphere, you can look no further for a delicious and surprisingly inexpensive dining experience.
With some very cool-looking neighbours in Heddon Street's food court - "tibits" effotlessly stands out from the crowd. Even just loitering on the cobbles I could see their Organic message, smart decor and, most importantly, bustling customers.
When I arrived, to what looked like a busy lunch service, all staff gave a warm welcome and were calm and efficient while serving people at the counter and moving around rotating dishes. I met the General Manager, Luis and he gave me a lovely introduction to how the service worked and a tour of the "food boat".
The food boat that I want in my living room.....
Luis sat me at a lovely high table and showed me the drinks menu, which boasts everything from organic vegan wines, to fresh coffee and lovely fruit and vegetable juices. I promptly decided on their "Tuity Fruity" juice after a recommendation and there were no regrets.
Tibits operates kind of like a first class buffet. You take a plate around the "food boat" and load up with as many divine goodies as you like. They boast a wide range of salads, pasta dishes, bread rolls, whole foods (to build your own salad), dressings, plus hot options including curries, rice, onion rings, falafel and.....yes....there are desserts.
Tibits is not a vegan restaurant, but catered for vegans exceptionally well. They are 100% vegetarian, mostly Organic and all the vegan options were incredible. I appreciated the effort that had gone into every single dish, especially the desserts (one of which was Vegan Mocha Cream!)
Every dish is marked for dietary restrictions: if you are vegan, have a gluten intolerance or soya allergy, you know exactly what you can have. Even eggs were noted in their cool logos and the bread rolls catered for all! The labels also included fun tag lines like "Power Salad!" or "Concentration Booster!", which I adored.
I made myself a mountain of food to devour and, as I have always maintained, the best thing about eating whole foods, is that you can eat a mountain of them and still feel amazing. Eating at tibits I could tell it was genuinely healthy and see the love that had gone into everything. The bread was lovely and soft, the sauces were rich, the flavours were perfect and....I must give a shout out to the Dried Bean Salad. Oh my gosh!
How good does that look? Not hard to vow that if I lived in London, I'd be eating my lunch here pretty much every day! Excuse me tibits - please open a restaurant in Manchester? Please...
The menu rotates to keep regulars happy and promote a variety of vegetarian food. Luis spoke to me about their main message being to promote healthy, organic food and make Vegetarianism seen as more of a cuisine, rather than some strange diet plan. I loved the idea of this message and could see it clearly looking around at the cliental. There were no cliche vegan dreadlocks in sight (and I love dreadlocks); every diner looked more like a typical London-busy-and-important type, grabbing a chic lunch between meetings.
Cruising the food boat for dessert made me feel like a giddy child. Only a small section is dedicated to sweet treats, which I liked as it stays in theme with their healthy food message.
There were bowls of fruit (including Figs!) with lovely jars of nuts for you to help yourself. Vegan-wise I had the divine choice of VEGAN PANNA COTTA...yes....plus the aforementioned "Mocha Cream" and...finally....Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I can feel your jealousy...look...don't hate the messenger....just get your hands on some Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding...that's all I'm saying. It reminded me of eating Sara Lee cakes when I was a kid, but a healthy version made of dates that tastes so much better! It was thick, gooey and super sweet.
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