Mildred’s Vegan Restaurant

This is the first truly vegan and vegetarian restaurant I have ever been to in London and I have to say I was very impressed. They have four Locations across London – Camden, Soho, Kings Cross, Dalston. I went to the Kings Cross restaurant.

When you arrive they ask you if you’ve been there before and if not they check that you know that it is a vegetarian restaurant to avoid disappointment. I assume most people who attend would know in advance, as this is why they are here but you never know.

When we were seated we were asked if we had any allergies or intolerances and handed the menu. For a change almost everything was vegan and the few options that were not were clearly marked. It’s nice to go to a place where they assume the opposite to the norm. They assume you are vegan.

There is quite a large menu to choose from and the mains are all very large and filling. I didn’t get a starter and I don’t think I would have managed one if I had. I was very full by the end of the meal which is unusual for London.

I went for the chicken katsu curry as this is my favourite dish at Wagamama. I can’t say it tasted much like the one in Wagamama but it was very tasty. The texture and taste of the mock chicken was really good and it even looked the same as meat. As a meat eater it is an excellent alternative and I could quite easily eat this on a daily basis instead of chicken.

It is very reasonably priced at under £25 for main and alcoholic drink.

The only downside is that you cannot book in advance. When we arrived we were notified there would be a 20 minute wait so we decided to have a drink at the bar. This was not an issue for us but if in a rush this situation would not be ideal.

I very much like the idea of becoming vegan and I have read so much about the health benefits and understand the value it has on the planet but I honestly don’t know if I could do it on a permanent basis. I know it sounds lazy but I feel like it would involve a lot of reading ingredient labels and be quite inconvenient when socialising – restaurants and dinner parties. I would love it if I could eat like I did in Mildred’s every day but somehow I feel that wouldn’t be practical as I would have to spend hours in the kitchen ever evening. I am very interested in perhaps doing a 7 day trial, if you’ve done one or you are vegan let me know and drop me some advice.

Thanks!

 

Wood Roasted Mushroom and Ale Pie, Minted Mushy Peas & Fries:

135b896d-84d7-49a2-898c-73062de0f4cb

Chicken Katsu Curry:

a0b87a87-61da-41dd-a5b5-b97949458b6e

Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

Crazy about cashews

Cashew nuts are one of the most popular nuts that we incorporate into our diets on a daily basis. This can be through eating nut butter, consuming them raw, roasted or salted, naked bars, cashew milk or a tasty nut roast.

Nutritional value per 100g

  • Carbohydrates – 30g – 10%
  • Protein – 18g – 36%
  • Fat – 44g – 68%
  • Fiber – 3.3g – 13%
  • Calories – 553
  • Sodium – 12mg – 1%
  • Calcium – 4%
  • Iron – 37%
  • Vitamin C – 1%

Cashews contain the lowest amount of fiber out of all the nuts but make up for this in containing many minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Cashews are extremely high in fat so best to stick to the handful recommendation (found in my previous blog post ‘Are nuts good for you?‘.  You do have to be careful and watch your fat content but the good news is that most these fats are good ones – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. When these fats are eaten instead of saturated fats (and within moderation) they assist in the prevention and fight against heart disease, stroke and weight gain.

When thinking about eye health, carrots probably pop into your mind. I’m sure you will be as surprised as I am that actually cashews are equally as beneficial due to their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds basically work together to prevent cataracts and protect the eye from light damage and ultimately blindness.

By chance I found the most delicious dish that contains cashews whilst visiting a popular cafe in Fitztrovia, London:

Riding House Cafe

This quirky little cafe offering all home comforts is located in the heart of Fitztrovia, London. I found out about this place from Instagram, it has suddenly taken off in popularity and I can see all the influencers and bloggers alike taking posts in this restaurant. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about for myself so went ahead and booked a table for the following week.

Dining wise, there is no set theme, you could rock up wearing any attire and have whatever experience you are seeking. What I mean by that is that they offer, brunch, cocktails, beer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday roast, dessert and anything and everything in between.

It took me a very long time to decide what to do for with all these options to hand. The menu can be found here – Riding House Cafe Menu

rh3

There is just so much choice, even though I was tempted by the buttermilk pancakes I went for the healthy option and had Freekeh and Feta Salad along with a green smoothie.

I will start by saying the green smoothie did not go down to well at all. I don’t believe the ingredients below complimented each other at all. The spinach and kale completely over powered the rest of the ingredients making it taste very bitter and difficult to digest. Had there been slightly more apple and ginger I think it could have been a lot more pleasant. However, this drink is the definition of health so I braved it, and finished the lot. I did have to drink a lot of water after to wash it down though. I would NOT be ordering this again in a rush.

rh2

(even the shade of green isn’t appetizing)

It contained:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Mint

The cost was £5

Freekeh and Feta Salad:

I am so so so pleased I picked this! It is absolutely delicious and full of nutrients. I had no idea what freekeh is but as I was out I thought why not try something new. I knew it wouldn’t be unhealthy and its hard to go wrong with a salad so why not. This is the final result:

rh4

Inside it contains:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Feta cheese
  • Freekeh
  • Cashews

It is so healthy and filling and the flavors are amazing. So you have probably realized I’m more that just a bit obsessed with this dish so I went ahead and recreated it at home. I just purchased all the individual ingredients in the local supermarket and bought the freekeh from Holland and Barrett.

I boiled the freekeh in water with a bit of salt for about 15 minutes (taste it to check its soft enough, if still hard carry on boiling until soft). I then went ahead and chopped and prepped all other ingredients so that they were ready to mix into the freekeh.

rh

This is my final result:

rh1

Freekeh:

If you’re like me you probably have never heard of this grain and no nothing about it. Little did I know, but freekeh is the all new exciting and popular super grain that has outshone the famous quinoa. This grain as celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Oliver raving about it.

This grain is traditionally a middle eastern food. It is a fantastic base for getting the necessary protein and fiber into your diet. It contains three times more protein than brown rice and 2 times more fiber. So ditch the rice and jump of the freekeh craze. However, at over £5 per 500g it doesn’t come cheap.

If you enjoyed this, you can look at my other content within my nuts series:

Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

Kaia at The Ned

I think one of the most challenging things (when watching your weight) are the weekends.  When most people think of the weekend, it involves eating out, drinking alcohol, unwinding and letting go. When going to a fine dining restaurant, you don’t want to miss out by opting for the garden salad and be the party pooper. Finding a classy and sophisticated place to eat that meets your dietary requirements can be a challenge, even in London.

After hearing a lot of good things about The Ned and it being described as ‘Harrods food hall crossed with Vegas’ I was very interested to go and see for myself.

The Ned hotel itself is stunning, on arrival you are greeted by large pillars, stunning chequered floors and a live band. Located in Bank, it contains multiple restaurants to pick from including:

  • Cecconi’s
  • Millie’s Lounge
  • Zobler’s Deli & Diner
  • Kaia
  • Malibu Kitchen
  • Lutyens Grill

This is one of the number one destinations for instagrammers on the gram, so I had to pay it a visit. It is fairly new and a creation by the people behind the likes of Soho House.

I booked a table at Kaia based on the healthy options available. The images on the website looked very colourful and tempted me to give it at go, especially as health was the main promotion factor. https://www.thened.com/restaurants/kaia

The cuisine is Asian pacific with poke bowls being the main attraction. For those who do not no what a poke bowl is, it is a traditional Hawaiian dish in a bowl that contains raw fish. It is a healthy eating trend that has recently hit The States and been extremely popular. This is a very new thing for The UK. In Hawaii the cubed fish is often eaten over a bowl of sushi rice and vegetables.

There were three options of poke bowls, 2 with raw fish and one vegetarian. I opted for the vegetarian as I wanted to try something from the grill as well.

We had:

  • The rainbow poke bowl – this included papaya, avocado, and tamari glazed nuts
  • Chicken meat balls
  • Teriyaki salmon
  • Asparagus
  • Edamame beans

Menu found here – Kaia Menu

123456

The edamame beans has a lovely spicy sauce on them. Not that easy to eat though as they were very saucy and you are not provided with any wet wipes or water bowl to clean your hands. The asparagus was very standard, nothing special at all. I wouldn’t say 12 slices for £6 was worth it on this occasion. The salmon was delicious, melt in the mouth perfectly cooked and not too saucy. It also came with a very healthy portion of pickled ginger which is my absolute favourite, so very impressed with that. Cant comment on the chicken meat balls as I didn’t give them a try but they looked very good, healthy portion and sizzling on arrival. The poke bowls were of a large healthy size and the fruit and veg tasted very fresh and crisp.

poke bowl

To drink we had:

  • Guava Gimlet – Bombay Sapphire, toasted cardamon, guava cordial

Menu found here – Kaia Cocktails 

The cocktail was sweet, short and very strong. It didn’t have that strong nasty taste but I would say too many of these could be very dangerous. I am not suggesting this as a healthy option at all, this is just me enjoying myself 🙂 Ideally no alcohol and certainly no more than one. I have also been honest and realistic, I simply do what I do for confidence and happiness reasons and so one or two drinks now and again it absolutely fine.

I cannot say I was blown away by the seating arrangements. You have to sit opposite each other on a very long table with stools instead of chairs. There is no cloak room and you are encouraged to hang your belongings on a hook under the table. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere but I would say these seating arrangements bring it to the standard of a posh Wagamamas.

Kezia123456

Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

 

 

All Inclusive Holidays and your Diet

Whether you are an avid gym goer or not, most of us make a special effort before we go on holiday. We wait all year for those few weeks off we get and we want to look our best and at the same time thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

Now if you are the same as me, nice food (the naughty food) is part of thoroughly enjoying yourself but you need to be careful, especially in the all inclusive. In these hotels there is no need to think about what you have eaten or what you plan to eat and drink for that day as everything is unlimited.  You always see these typical tourists with plates piled so high that it is almost unimaginable that they could eat it all, unfortunately I have witnessed that it is indeed possible.

Buffet

I’m by no means suggesting that you shouldn’t eat anything tasty and off you plan whilst away but please do it within reason. You have worked so hard to achieve this holiday body and are probably feeling fantastic when on the beach and in all you holiday outfits so don’t ruin it now.

What I do:

I often miss breakfast everyday as I honestly cannot wake up on time and anyone who knows me well knows that I love my sleep and a nap. I don’t think it’s a proper holiday if I don’t get to have a daily nap.

First meal of the day is lunch – I usually have a healthy selection of the salads and any meats from the grill and any sauces available. I often finish with a nice plate full of fruits. Diet coke or water to drink.

For dinner I have the same as lunch (maybe a slice of bread if needed)

When I go on holiday I have alcohol in the evenings nearly every night (not ideal I know, but realistic) and for snacks I usually eat crisps (my guilty pleasure). What is a holiday if you don’t lie on the bed after a day of sunbathing eating Lays ey?

drink

Normally on the last day of the holiday I will go absolutely all out, because I’ve earned it. This involves no holding back and eating exactly what I want and like. You would have noticed from the rest of my blog I do not promote weekly cheat days or meals but this is ok once or twice a year.

Happy holidays

me

Instagram @keziakco

xxx

 

 

The Facts about Fruits

Most people believe that fruit is super healthy and if you eat as much as possible of it, you are bound to loose weight and are a super healthy individual. The truth is, it is both healthy and unhealthy and everything in moderation is alright. Fruit contains plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins that are really beneficial in any diet but most fruits contain a very high sugar content. Too much sugar, no matter where it comes from can seriously impact your weight, health and physical appearance.

index

If you are anything like me and love fruit it would be impossible to cut this out of your diet and also quite inadvisable. Despite the sugar content, you do not want to miss out on key nutrients and we all need a bit of natural sugar to keep us going. I would recommend that most fruit is consumed before 12 o clock when your digestive system and metabolism is most active. I would also recommend that if you follow the ‘5 a day’ rule, which is actually now ’10 a day’ that more than 50% of this is vegetables.

Please believe me when I say, you could be the healthiest person and not eat one bite of processed food but if you are eating too much fruit you can still gain weight!

There is a saying that if you eat certain fruits they burn calories. You cannot eat a piece of chocolate cake and then eat 5 grapefruits and hope that this will counteract the cake. The fruits below have certain enzyme qualities that speed up and assist the way we break down food. This allows your metabolism to work at its optimum rate. These fruits are best consumed after a large meal:

  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Berries
  • Papaya

Fruits that are best avoided or eaten least often due to very high sugar content are:

  • Cherries
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Mangos
  • Figs

This is only  based on sugar content and each one of these fruits do have their own qualities and benefits.

Bananas actually contain the most amount of sugar and are high in carbs but these provide a lot of healthy energy in the morning. I would not recommend having a banana in the evening and certainly no more than one per day. The trick to consume less sugar is to eat bananas before they are dark yellow, the yellower they are the more sugar they contain. This is why dried fruit contains so much sugar  – the riper the fruit the more sugar it contains, (stay away).

The facts broken down:

Apples – We have all heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and it is some what true. It reduces the risk of lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer, especially the red apples.

Bananas – contain  a lot of potassium which helps with good nerve and muscle function.

Blackberries and Blueberries – contain many antioxidants, these help prevent cancer, and studies have shown the blackberry extract to assist with curing lung cancers.

Peaches – Very high in vitamin A, this helps to boost our immune systems and fights off disease and infection.

Raspberries – These contain various acids that help protect you from contracting cervical cancer and consuming them regularly can help cure colon and esophageal cancers.

The list of benefits continues and you can find our more information in this artical I found on Canada Living – http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/article/the-top-25-healthy-fruits-blueberries-apples-cherries-bananas-and-21-more-healthy-picks

Please do not be fooled by juice bars, natural juices and dried fruit as these are extremely high in sugar and shout be completed removed from any healthy diet. This will protect your weight and your teeth.

Just remember everything should be consumed in moderation and this is just a guideline to make you more mindful when choosing your healthy snack.

Instagram @keziakco

xxx

 

Vegetarian Dinner

I believe in the importance of not eating meat every day of the week. Some people might find this tricky, but try not to eat it every lunch and dinner for the benefit of your health. Various studies have actually revealed the following results due to eating less meat:

  • Weight loss
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced chance of getting diabetes
  • Reduced change of getting cancer
  • Healthy skin
  • Smell better
  • Increases happiness
  • Increases energy

I personally couldn’t be a vegetarian as I enjoy meat, I would find it extremely difficult to get my daily allowance of protein and not to mention the cost of the foods I would need to buy to maintain my health. I think for most people they do not have the time and money to commit to this lifestyle and most of us enjoy a ‘cheeky Nandos’ now and again 😉

However, if you could cut out meat all together or simply reduce it here are some of negative points of consuming meat that you would be avoiding:

  • Meat puts a lot of strain on your colon and your brain contributing to things like Alzheimers disease.
  • Build up of unwanted hormones
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • E.coli and other bacterial infections
  • Shorter life span in comparison to a vegetarian

Below is my Wednesday vegetarian dinner, a combination of healthy vegetables, seeds and feta cheese, inspired by fitness expert Clean Eating Alice.

veggy

As the colours show, this dinner is filled with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need and it is extremely filling. The sweet potato is there as a healthy carb as I went to the gym today.

Ingredients:

  • Rocket
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Peppers
  • Tomatos
  • Asparagus
  • Feta
  • Sun flower seeds
  • Lemon juice

 

All of this mixed together in a bowl with salt and pepper to flavour.

Enjoy, stay healthy 🙂

Instagram @Keziakco

xxx

My Favourite Dinner

Tonight I had my favourite, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and avocado.

  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1 avodcado
  • 2 eggs scrambled (only one egg yolk)

This meal equates to

  • 37g of protein
  • 12g of carbs
  • 40g of fat (good fats)
  • 36% of daily vitamin C

This is quite honestly the quickest, simplest, and most satisfying dinner I can recommend. Prep time is about 5 minutes and then dinner is served.

dinner1

I used https://www.myfitnesspal.com to calculate this. I used to use this website daily to calculate my macros and make sure I’m on track for the day / week. I now pretty much know what I should and shouldn’t be eating the quantities to consume so I use the app a little less often now. I highly recommend it if you are just starting your healthy journey.

You’re probably thinking, that is a lot of fat, shouldn’t we stay away from fat? That is completely wrong, especially if you are on a low carb diet. I would recommend learning about your fats before you start meal planning as I am not suggesting you go away and enjoy cheese fondue every night. The types of fat we should be consuming is UNSATURATED fat and they come in two categories – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. This is because the body can break down these fats easily and they don’t sit there and contribute to our waist lines. I won’t go on and bore you as to how and why (being the Biology graduate that I am) but instead here is a list of fatty foods that we should be consuming within moderation:

  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Nut butters
  • Olives
  • Olives oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tofu
  • Seeds
  • Edamame
  • Chia seeds
  • Eggs
  • Lean grass feed beef and pork
  • Milk
  • Yogurt

The trick is to educate yourself on food and then you can’t be mislead by the advertising campaigns. The truth is too much of anything is unhealthy, just as nothing of something isn’t very healthy (with most things).

Instagram Keziakco xxx