Gingerbread cookies

As its Christmas time, cookies, cakes and all the treats you can imagine, become acceptable to eat at any time of the day! So, to overcome this, and to still feel as if I’m indulging, I have recreated one of my favourite treats in a healthy, nutritious and protein packed way!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil,
  • 40g of coconut sugar (this gives a delicious caramel flavour),
  • 1 egg (whisked),
  • 2 tablespoons of Black Strap Molasses,
  • 30g of vanilla pea protein (I used MissFitsNutrition),
  • 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger,
  • 25g of ground almonds,
  • Date hearts

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160C and grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Melt together the coconut oil, sugar and molasses until well combined.
  3. Add in the whisked egg, whisking until all the egg is mixed in.
  4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (except for the date hearts) until you have quite a sticky mix.
  5. Using a tablespoon, spoon out one tablespoon per cookie on to the baking tray and flatten with the back of a clean spoon!
  6. Place a date heart carefully in to the centre of each cookie and then pop in the oven for around 20 minutes!
  7. Most importantly, take out, leave to cool, eat and enjoy!

@_hannaheats

Hannah is a Blogger, Trainee Teacher, Taste-maker and Fitness enthusiast. You can see more of Hannah’s amazing recipes on her blog, Instagram and Twitter.

Over one month ago now, I was in a taxi on the way home from Paddington Station, having just got back to London from a trip home, and I decided to stop eating meat. In reality I’d had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach for a while that I needed to do something, and stop eating it, but the idea of labelling myself as veggie or vegan just seemed like such a massive deal that I didn’t really want to have anything to do with. I was scared for a number of reasons; what would I eat? I was so used to making a piece of meat the centre of my meal, I had no idea how I was going to completely change and stop eating meat. I’m not the sort of person to do something gradually, it’s not my personality, I’m in or I’m out, and I had decided I was out.

The reasons why I decided to stop eating meat are pretty simple in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat. I love eating meat. I love all meat. I have my steak rare, I like it as red as a firetruck, I am definitely not one of those people who could easily give it up. I pretty much had meat twice a day, every day. But my conscience started getting the better of me. Whilst I love meat, I also love the environment, and the older I get, the more I am actually thinking about the planet I live on. And one of the biggest contributors towards climate change (aka biggest emitor of CO2), is the rearing of livestock. The United Nations released a report back in 2006, outlining how the meat industry is a bigger contributor to green house gas emissions than the emissions from cars, buses, trains and planes all put together! I remember reading this report and being genuinely horrified, and thinking “I can’t do this anymore”. As the meat industry grows, so do the effects that it has on the environment, and I just realised in my mind I actually care more about the environment than I thought. Also, I am an animal lover, and whilst I do believe that in the UK a lot of farmers and agriculture treat their animals well, I also know that many animals that are farmed spend their lives in tiny cages, and are pumped with hormones and chemicals, and I just couldn’t ignore it any longer. This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip for anyone, I promise I am not trying to make anyone feel bad, I am just explaining my reasons. I used to tell myself I was ok eating meat because I would happily kill an animal were I hungry and desperate. This is very much still true, but the reality is, the way animals are farmed isn’t like that, and my little excuse didn’t cut it anymore for me or for my conscience, or really for the planet.

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So after this decision I made on a Sunday evening en route back to my little London flat, I decided I would just stop. I wasn’t prepared, but that next day I went to a Prêt-A-Manger after my gym session and got the only vegan/veggie option (a very delicious hummus wrap), and for dinner I made a way-too-hot vegan chilli, but since then, I have only had meat a hand full of times. Five weeks later, I am still doing quite well in my opinion. I didn’t eat a lot of dairy anyway, but I am still eating eggs and Greek style yoghurt. I use vegan protein powder (Missfits Nutrition and Neat Nutrition, both great brands). I count myself quite lucky that I live in London, where the health and fitness industry is thriving and where dietary requirements of all walks of life are catered for. Vegan and veggie restaurants are a plenty. I’m saving money because meat is so bleeding expensive (didn’t intend the pun but I am leaving it in there anyway), and it’s also forcing me to prepare my food at the weekends ready for the week ahead. Luckily a lot of vegan options involve making big dishes that can be put into tupperware and kept in the fridge. Best of all, I get to up my carb intake, and everyone loves carbs right?

I will say that for the first two weeks, my body was so uncomfortable. All the added fibre that I definitely wasn’t used to having didn’t go down all too well, and I am still in the process of sorting my stomach problems out, and going to see a nutritionist, but I am certain that I will be able to sort it all out and still not consume meat and whey. I don’t weigh myself, but I am pretty certain I have lost weight, which was never my intent, I have lost most sign of my abdominal muscles, but I put that more down to my stomach issues, and getting used to the new diet, as to be honest, 5 weeks isn’t long, when I have been eating meat for most of my life. I don’t lack energy, I am still as tired as ever (ha! kinda joking), and I have only craved meat a few times. When I did crave it, I had a burger, which was good, but certainly not the best thing I have ever tasted in my life, and coming from a meat lover like me, that means a lot! This is the mindset I am going to continue having. If I do want to eat meat, then I will, not everyday, and probably not every week, but when I feel like it I will!

A favourite vegan spot of mine 'Redemption' in Shoreditch

A favourite vegan spot of mine ‘Redemption’ in Shoreditch

If you’re interested in transitioning I would love to hear your thoughts. I have got a lot of recipe ideas from simply googling things, as well as Deliciously Ella’s books, which have some incredible recipes in them, and hopefully soon I can start sharing some of my own meat free recipes with you! I am not using any labels, I am not going to shout it from the roof top, I am just proud that I have made a change in my lifestyle for something bigger than myself. It’s not been to lose or gain weight, it’s not been to build a booty or get abs, I am doing this because I am actually becoming passionate about protecting the environment, and that feels very very cool. Does anyone have any good vegan/veggie blogs that they follow? Let me know!

Here are some interesting articles on the environmental side of things for anyone who is interested:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772#.WCc6fhKLSRs

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/03/eating-less-meat-curb-climate-change

http://www.skepticalscience.com/how-much-meat-contribute-to-gw.html

Libby from Libby’s Health Bites shares her incredible raw blueberry cheesecake!

Blueberry Raw-Food Cheesecake 
I decided to try and create a recipe for a raw cheesecake – filled with goodness and healthy fats from the nutty base and protein in the topping. You definitely can’t tell it’s “healthy” and you could adjust for any dairy-free alternatives in the topping!
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This recipe made two cakes, but I’m definitely going to make a big large one for a dinner party pudding later in the year.

Recipe:

Base “biscuit” layer:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 5 drops caramel stevia
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Top “cheese” layer:

  • 4 tblsp quark (or dairy free alternative)
  • 2 tblsp Greek yogurt (or dairy free alternative)
  • Squeeze lemon juice

To make, blend firstly the nuts until they are crumbs. Then add all the remaining base layer ingredients into the food processor. Keep blending until it forms a sticky crumb consistency.

Spoon out and place into a round mould (I lined with baking parchment too).

For the top layer just beat in a bowl the ingredients. Get creative and add any flavours you fancy. For example, a vanilla pod, pomegranate seeds, cacao or coffee.

Spoon on top of the base and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set, or freezer if you need in a hurry.

Finish with a few blueberries on top!

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For more amazing recipe’s check out Libby’s blog Libby’s Health Bites and her IG too @libbys_health_bites for some healthy treat inspo!

These pancakes are the ultimate kickstart to your weekend, boosted with protein and maca powder, you’re definitely going to be energised after these!

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Makes: 1 Serving

 

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One of the reasons I love to make these pancakes it because they are SO easy to make! Just whizz everything up in a blender, heat a small frying pan to a medium heat, when the pan is hot, add a smidgen of coconut oil to grease it. Pour a small amount of the mixture, enough to make a pancake that is half a cm thick and 5 cm in diameter (or just wing it like I do!). Heat the pancake on one side for a couple of minutes, my trick is to watch and when the small bubbles start to burst on top, I flip it with a spatula.

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If you want an EXTRA boost, then add half a teaspoon of matcha tea powder (my fave is EatCleanTea matcha)

Do this until you have used up all of the mixture, add the toppings that you’d like, take a pretty picture and make sure you tag me on Instragram (@hannahrosefit) so I can see!

Having lived in London for almost a whole year (the fastest year I have lived through for sure so far!) I have managed to try out a lot of foodie places, most of which offer options for those of us who are ‘health’ conscious. I get asked quite a lot about some of my favourite places to eat, or if there’s anywhere I would recommend, so I have decided to compile together my favourite 5 (so far) into a handy little blog post for anyone who lives/is visiting London and wants some recommendations, so in no particular order, let’s begin.

1. Granger & Co.

I actually took a friend here for brunch yesterday, I’ve been there before, but I had forgotten how much I really love this place! The décor is really unique, it’s contemporary, but not daft, and it’s just very easy to sit back and relax whilst you’re there. The menu is full and comprehensive, I have only ever been for brunch, and whatever you fancy, whether it’s an açai bowl or salmon and eggs, there is definitely something for everyone.

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Yesterday I had soft shell crab, chorizo, poached egg with kimchee rice and holy smokes it was one of the best brunches I have ever had! However, be warned, on the weekends they don’t take reservations, and if you turn up any time after 10.30am, you will in all likely have to queue, at least for a short amount of time (but I promise you it’s worth it!). There is more than one, and I have only been to the one near King’s Cross, but I can imagine the other ones are just as great.

https://grangerandco.com/

2. Ethos

I have actually done a full blog post on this place, but I wanted to mention it here, as it is so great. It’s a buffet restaurant that offers only vegetarian and vegan food. The food is delicious and many of the choices are unique, even if you’re a meat eater you will find something to love here, guaranteed. The scandi feel is fresh and different, and the staff are always so attentive and welcoming. It’s hidden away in a street just off Oxford Street, so it’s in prime position for a post shopping meal. They also do afternoon tea (which I believe you have to book). Well worth a visit!

www.ethosfoods.com

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3. Milk

I found out about this place from my housemate, it’s a bit more out of the way than some of the other places in this post, as it’s in Balham, but it is sooooo good! It was so good that I went on a Saturday for the first time, and took a friend there again the next day! Unfortunately, it’s so good that it’s beyond popular, and they also don’t take reservations, so unless you want to be standing in an extremely long line, I would probably avoid peak times (aka brunch time) on the weekend.

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Their menu is somewhat obscure, you know those menus where the ingredients sound intriguing and interesting, but not so foreign that you have no idea what they are/are reluctant to try? Milk has mastered this mysterious balance extremely well! The coffee here is also great, and if you’re an instagrammer/blogger/just like to take photos of your food, this place seems like it was designed to make your photos look incredible and totally insta-worthy, think an elegant mélange of cacti, unique crockery and white tiles.

http://www.milk.london/

4. Wild Food Café

All vegan, plant based, gluten free, dairy free etc. etc. etc., this is what you can expect from Wild Food Café in Neal’s Yard near Covent Garden. Whilst you may think all these mentions of ‘free’ would be recipe for bland unexciting food, this is certainly not to case here. Wild Food Café is one of my favourite places in London to take people, as it is just as much the experience of going there, as tasting the amazing food. The staff are all so chilled out and seem to really care about the food they’re providing, the décor has a hippy vibe and you just feel so relaxed sitting down and enjoying some good and interesting food.

http://wildfoodcafe.com/

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5. Mud Café

Mud is one of my favourite places, it’s right near where I live so I tend to take people visiting there all the time. The menu is different yet simple, and delicious! Their coffee is also pretty insane (I’m just waiting for them to start doing a matcha latte), the staff are mostly Australian and very nice. Mud itself is teeny tiny, and that is part of its charm, it’s not trying to be anything it’s not. The queue out the front door just tells you how good it is, and people will stand outside on the street on a Saturday or Sunday morning and wait to go in, because it’s worth it! I love the corn fritter stack, whilst my friend Orla always goes for the breakfast burger, team it with a coffee of choice and a juice and you’ve got the brunch of champions. P.S. The sweet potato fries are life!

http://mudtooting.co.uk/

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