A food diary

One of the best things about my food revolution is all the new types of food I’ve discovered, and new ways of preparing foods I thought were pretty dull before.  The same could be achieved with a ‘normal’ diet, but I just don’t think most people have the inclination or give themselves the time to really explore what’s available to them, either in the form of an untried vegetable or fruit, or simply a reworking of an old favourite dish.

One thing I rely on heavily at the moment is salads.  They’re quick, easy, tasty, and you can throw in practically anything you want.  It has been pretty hot out here in Budapest (despite this week being a bit of a washout!), and salads are perfect hot weather food.  I try to keep away from boring-looking salads, which is fairly easy to do given the range of vegetables and fruits I use now, as I don’t want to fall into the same trap I was in before of eating the same old thing time after time because it’s easy or too convenient.  That’s just laziness.  Yes, it’s good to have things to fall back on when time is a problem, but it’s important to me to really make the most of my newly found food freedom.  I try to use ingredients I haven’t before, and pick up produce at the market that I haven’t seen before, then search online for a way to use them.  The foods in this diary may not portray that, as I’m in Budapest, and most of the local supermarkets and grocers only stock the regulars.  I also didn’t go to the large farmers market last weekend or this, so had to rely on what I could get locally.  That said, each meal this week has been fresh and colourful, and left me feeling the same way.

It’s been good to do this diary.  It’s helped me focus more on making sure I’m listening to my body and what it needs, and also to appreciate each meal more for their individual merits.  Preparing my own food means I enjoy and appreciate it more while I eat it.  I take the time to create my own meals based on my own needs and preferences, and that time is relaxing and allows me to think about the day I’ve had, or the day I’m about to have.

So, on to the diary itself.  I didn’t take pictures of every meal, but many of the things I tried this week are from foodgawker.com or blogs I’ve found through a quick google search, so you can follow the links (in black) for those to see more images and get the recipes.

MONDAY

Breakfast – Oat muesli with mixed nuts, dried fruit, banana, pear, cacao nibs, with maca and lucuma powders, and rice milk.

I haven’t drunk animal milk for a long time now, since even before I went vegan, and felt the benefits very soon after I stopped.  It’s odd that we’re the only species to drink the milk of another species after we’re weaned off breast milk, and picturing a human suckling from the teat of a cow or goat is just too weird to think about picking up a carton at the supermarket.  Each to their own I guess!  Rice milk is similar to skimmed milk which I drank before, and has a really nice fresh taste to it that goes really well with most things.

Lucuma powder is a great source of carbs, minerals and fibre, and comes from the lucuma fruit harvested from evergreen trees in Peru.  It adds a fruity sweetness to the muesli which is very nice indeed.  Maca powder also comes from Peru, but from the maca root vegetable.  It has a malty taste and is also a great source of fibre, carbohydrates and minerals.

Cacao nibs are an early offshoot of the chocolate production process, and are a great source of nutrients as they come direct from the cocoa tree and haven’t been tampered with too much.  They are slightly bitter-tasting, but lend a nice bit of crunch and chocolate flavour to foods.

Image

Lunch – Spinach, alfalfa, mixed seeds, dried cranberries, carrot, tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad, with a side of pesto courgette with rocket, lime juice and pumpkin oil.

I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t photograph this one, as it was delicious.  Pesto courgette is a firm favourite of mine now, and is really easy to make – literally thin strips of courgette covered in pesto!  Chuck in a bunch of other tasty wholesome stuff and enjoy!  This is where I first discovered it.

Dinner – I didn’t have any.  This is fairly common as I don’t get home until about 7 and I’m not usually that hungry.  Sometimes I’ll make too large a lunch, so I’ll save some for afternoon tea break and finish it off then, which tops me up for the rest of the day.

TUESDAY

Breakfast – Chia and oat pudding, with lime juice, dried cranberries, banana, carob syrup and maca.

I’ve had chia pudding before, and it’s great.  It really fills you up for the morning, and you can put anything in with it.  The picture below is a previous incarnation, but like I say, you can put anything you like in there and it’ll most likely be delicious.

Carob is a decent source of riboflavin, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese, but most of its calorie content comes from sugars, so I tend to just put a little syrup in for flavour.

chiapudding

Lunch – Spinach, watercress, rocket, pepper, mixed seeds, red onion, cucumber, tomato, ground mixed pepper, with a tahini, lemon juice and pumpkin oil dressing.

Pretty standard stuff really.  It took me a while to find spinach out here, but now it’s a staple part of my diet again.  I find that, mixed with the bitter rocket and hot watercress, the cool spinach balances out the salad, letting the other flavours come through.  The tahini and lemon juice mix is a great base for the dressing, and mixed with a little oil is tangy and light, but coats everything really well.  Pumpkin oil has a really great taste, and is well worth trying to get hold of.

Dinner – Wasn’t really that hungry again, so just blended some frozen strawberries and added it to the left over chia pudding.

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast – Spinach, alfalfa, cucumber, broccoli stem, red pepper, ginger, lime, celery, pineapple, and apple juice with avocado, maca powder, spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella, and pro-biotic supplements blended in.

I used to have a juice every morning, but now I have a nutrient-laden beast like this whenever I feel I need it!  The avocado is blended in with the supplements to create a really nice smooth texture, and the fruits give it a naturally sweet taste, with the rest of the ingredients stopping it from becoming too sugary.

LunchRed cabbage and apple salad with tahini and ginger dressing.

I made this last night, to give the salt a good amount of time to soften the cabbage.  I haven’t always been a fan of raw cabbage, but this salad was absolutely delicious!  I’ve been working tahini into my diet more and more, and the taste it lends to this meal is incredible.  I halved the recipe, and still had enough leftovers for 3 more meals!

It was also pretty filling, meaning I ate some at lunch leaving the rest for afternoon break.

Dinner – Banana, cocoa and rice milk smoothie.

Wednesday is midweek climbing night, and as I was still fairly satisfied from the red cabbage salad, I just had a quick smoothie to get some energy for scaling the walls at Spider Club, Budapest.

THURSDAY

Breakfast – Muesli with mixed nuts, dried fruit, sliced banana and maca.

Self-explanatory!

Lunch – Red cabbage and apple salad, with Cauliflower tabbouleh salad, with avocado.

More leftover cabbage salad!  It’s still just as delicious as ever though so I don’t mind 🙂  This time it’s accompanied by this cauliflower salad.  The author of the original recipe used this to cut down on her wheat intake, but as that’s not really something I take in much anymore, I was using this as a way to get more calcium in my diet.  Cauliflower has it, along with many other goodies.  I used some more of the tahini and ginger dressing as before, and it all went really well together.  As before, there was enough of this for lunch and afternoon snacking that I didn’t have dinner.

Red cabbage and apple salad, with cauliflower tabbouleh salad.

FRIDAY

Breakfast – Apple, spinach, alfalfa, pineapple, red pepper, lime, banana, maca, celery juice.

This was a bit too sweet for me.  I think that was probably because of the maca powder, as normally this would be ok.

LunchBroccoli salad with avocado dressing.

This is prepared in a similar way to the cauliflower salad from yesterday: you put the broccoli in the food processor and use that as the base for the salad, adding whatever else you need.  I forgot to make a note of what I used, but I know there were mixed seeds and nuts, pepper, tomatoes, blueberries, cacao nibs, probably some dried cranberries and other fruit as well, with mashed avocado mixed into everything.  I should have used more avocado, as it wasn’t as mushy as I would have liked!  You can never have enough avocado in my opinion!

My HipstaPrint 987411973-7

Dinner – Left over red cabbage salad.

Yum!  This never gets boring!

SATURDAY

Breakfast – Spinach, lime, ginger, mint and cucumber juice.

Something light and fresh to get the day started.  Nice and cooling on a hot summery morning 🙂

Apple, spinach, alfalfa, pineapple, red pepper, lime, banana, maca, celery juice

Lunch – Broccoli, cauliflower, basil, spinach, spring onion, pepper, carrot, tomato, alfalfa, cranberries, cherries, mixed seeds, and bee pollen, with a tahini, orange juice and pumpkin oil dressing.

Using up bits and bobs leftover from other recipes has become a much bigger part of my food regime, with the obvious aim of reducing food waste by as much as possible.  The statistics for food waste around the world is just disgusting, so to do my part, however seemingly small, is important.

Bee pollen is considered vegan by some, and not by others.  It is collected when the bees enter a hive and a little of the pollen they have gathered is brushed off into a collection area.  I wasn’t aware of the debate when I bought it, I’d only heard of the supposed health benefits.  Since then I’ve read research and articles claiming cases for and against any benefits offered by it.  It tastes nice, and adds colour and flavour to salads, but once this packet is used up I doubt I’ll be buying any more.  It’s important to keep an open mind when starting out on the more ‘alternative’ lifestyle diets, as there are a lot of unsubstantiated claims that float about.

Broccoli, cauliflower, basil, spinach, spring onion, pepper, carrot, tomato, alfalfa, cranberries, cherries, mixed seeds, with a tahini, orange juice and pumpkin oil dressing.

Supper – Banana ice cream with carob syrup and cashews.

Take a frozen banana, put it in a blender, blend it – instant ice cream 😀  Try this with a handful of frozen strawberries as well as banana… nice!  You can do this with pretty much anything, but the banana is a good base.

Banana ice cream with carob syrup and cashews.

SUNDAY

Breakfast – Didn’t have any.  I can’t remember why this was, but I think I just got up late and wasn’t hungry.

Lunch – Soba noodles with chinese greens, green onions, pepper, mixed sprouts, carrot, broccoli, red onion, and a ginger, sesame oil and tamari dressing. .

Soba noodles are great.  Along with quinoa, they’re a nice hot little holiday from a mostly raw diet!  They only take 4 minutes to cook and are just as nice cold, too.  They’re gluten-free and taste delicious.

Soba noodles with ginger, sesame oil and tamari dressing. Chinese greens, green onions, pepper, mixed sprouts, carrot, broccoli, red onion.

Dinner – Nori rolls with sweet potato, carrot, cucumber, celery and green onion.

Sushi and sashimi was something I used to enjoy enormously, but this is just as nice, easier to make, healthier, and a lot cheaper!  I had these with some tamari for dipping, which made them taste even better, although tamari is somewhat addictive, so I try to use it sparingly!  I had these little bad boys ready in about ten minutes and snacked on them whilst watching Netflix.  Nice relaxing end to the week 🙂Sushi

So that’s the end of my food diary for this week.  I hope it’s been interesting enough to keep you reading to the end, and that it’s given you some ideas of your own, and some resources for finding new recipes and approaches to eating.

I’m going to the shops now.. It’s a nice day out and I feel a fruit salad coming on!

This entry was published on June 9, 2013 at 11:26 am. It’s filed under Food Diary, Raw, vegan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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