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:

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Chicken Katsu Curry:

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Instagram – @keziakco

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Chia Bites

Just a quick one this week 🙂

From my previous blog post on snacks I mentioned that I normally have banana slice to fulfill my sugar craving. I was getting a bit bored of it so found this recipe for chia bites. They are so tasty – enjoy 😉

chia 2

Chia seeds are very low in calories but hold a huge amount of nutrients within them. They come from South America and actually the word ‘chia’ means strength, so perfect for a strong body.

1 ounce or 28g of these tiny seeds contains the following nutrition:

  • 11g Fiber
  • 4g Protein
  • 9g Fat
  • 18% RDA Calcium
  • 30% RDA Manganese
  • 27% RDA Phosphorus
  • 137 calories in total

Almost all the carbohydrates in the chia seeds are fiber and due to their high protein content are perfect for weight loss. They also have the ability to make you feel fuller for longer. This is due to the fiber that swells in your belly giving you this full feeling.

In my opinion chia seeds don’t actually taste of anything so therefore they are very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can add them into baking, soups, salads smoothies, you name it!

These tiny seeds contain loads of antioxidants that maximize health and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

A lot of goodness for a tiny seed!

Chia Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup or 340g of oats
  • 1/4 cup or 85g of cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup or 170g chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup or 85g coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup or 170g almond butter

Method:

  1.  Mix oats, cacao powder, chia seeds, coconut flakes, honey, vanilla essence and cinnamon in a bowl
  2. Heat the almond butter until soft and add to the mixture
  3. Roll the mixture into balls (add more honey if not sticking)
  4. Place on a tray with grease proof paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes
  5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container

Final Result:

chia 3

 

Instagram @keziakco

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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

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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

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Daily Protein

When I first started my ‘new lifestyle’ or as people like to call it ‘diet’, I found it very difficult eating the correct quantity of protein. This was due to making many common mistakes, many of which are listed below:

  • Consuming too many carbs and too many of the wrong carbs
  • Not eating enough and eating the wrong things
  • Not doing any food prep so having to buy food on the go
  • When I was hungry I would choose easy instead of healthy

I ate a huge amount of bread. Bread is easy to eat for meals and snacks and its very tasty. You don’t have to wait for it to cook and takes minimal preparation. Due to my thyroid issues I now eat non/minimal break (maximum once a week). It just isn’t necessary in my opinion and something that is very easy to cut out and you will notice  the difference in how you feel and look.

Preparing your food in advance is a great help, as when you get really hungry or need a snack, you have a healthy meal ready and waiting. This is particularly important at work or on the go, especially during that 3 o clock slump we all get. It can also save you a lot of money when you plan in advance.

In order to manage my daily protein I checked my macros on MyFitnessPal and you protein intake should be a minimum 20% of your diet. This doesn’t seem like a lot but can be challenging especially when finding snacks that don’t take you over your sugar limit. Great snacks to eat filled with protein are:

  • Billtong
  • Nuts
  • Protein shake
  • Protein bars
  • M&S packet of ready to eat chicken/ ham
  • Greek yogurt
  • Boiled egg
  • Edamame peas
  • Chia pudding

protein

These are some different protein filled snacks I have tried and my review:

  • Maxi Nutrition Pro Max Milk – you can purchase this from Maxi Nutrition

It contains 30 g of protein which is very high for a snack product so excellent for boosting protein content. It tastes very sweet but a nice flavour to it, similar to a strawberry milkshake. It contains 16.5 g of sugar which is very high for a snack item. I would recommend this for taste and protein but its far to high in sugar. I would consider this snack to be more of a treat item, certainly not for daily consumption.

It contains 20g of protein, still very reasonable for a snack item. It tastes nice but does take some getting used to. It is rather chewy and has a chocolate but synthetic flavour. If you enjoy the taste it can be consumed daily as there are only 3.3 g of sugar in these. Almost guilt free 😉

This has 9 g of protein and contains 13.5 g of sugar. Despite it being labelled a protein bar  this is far from guilt free. This is a one off treat item and should be treated the same as having a biscuit. It tastes like any regular chocolate covered flapjack, very good!

  • Chocolate Caramel Protein Bar GEN P – you can purchase from Maxi Nutrition

Similar to the above, it only contains 10 g of protein. It tastes very sweet and synthetic – similar to a Mars Bar (not that I’m complaining). It contains 11 g of sugar so watch out for this one as well.

Always read all the ingredients when purchasing ‘healthy’ products as their marketing is out there to fool us.

My go to health bars are now Grenade Carb Killa bars. As the name suggests, they are high in protein and low in carbs.

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Lots of tasty flavours, over 23 g of protein per bar and as little as 1.4 g of sugar. Not only do they taste like regular chocolate bars but they are also extremely feeling and cut out cravings. I definitely recommend!

Instagram – keziakco

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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

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From Fat to Fit in 15 Days

Following on from yesterday’s blog post, I just want to show you what is achievable when you put your mind to it. In 15 days I was able to loose some weight but most importantly change my body image, size and appearance within this short time.

Please see images below:

Photo 1 06/08/2016: Drinking alcohol frequently, eating everything I enjoy (you name it), and no/minimal exercise.

kezia1

As you can see, my body is squishy and undefined. You can see the bumpy skin on my belly which is simply fat squished up. This prevents you from having smooth tight skin. I am also very bloated from water retention due to intake of excess salt. I don’t have must waist definition and my posture isn’t fantastic either.

Photo 2 20/08/2016: 5 days a week exercise, drinking 2 litres of water a day, no/ minimal carbs consumed, no/minimal alcohol consumed and lots of sleep.

kezia2

 

This image is by no means the picture of perfection but shows a significant difference and excellent work in progress for 15 days. There is a lot more waist definition giving my body a proper hour glass shape. My skin is smooth, no water retention and wrinkly bumpy skin. No proper definition as of yet but this is work in progress and very early on in the weight-loss journey.

I hope this is some fitspiration for you all!

Instagram – @Keziakco

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Motivation

Motivation is key when starting your fitness journey. In my opinion no one can loose weight or achieve that beach body if they are not really motivated to do so. This doesn’t mean flicking through a magazine and wishing and hoping that one day you will look like that fitness model. It means finding that inner strength to make a huge change in your life and follow it through day in and day out.

I believe you have to really want it in order to achieve it and most people who try and fail simply think they want it. I don’t believe that these people want it that much if they give up. If your child was in a burning building would you think ‘oh I might get burnt, better not go and rescue him’? No you would not, you would run in there and risk everything, probably get burnt on the way, but you want to save him so badly you would risk everything to do so, no matter what. This is quite a dramatic example but I feel you need to have a similar mindset to achieve, and I think this is the same with anything in life.

motivation

At the start of my weightloss journey, motivation was harder than it is today. This is because at the start you don’t have any results to motivate you. You are simply believing and hoping that you or someone else will notice a difference after all the hard work you have put in.

I used to diet here and there, eventually giving up or having too many cheat meals to see any difference and so lost motivation on many occasions. What really pushed me was looking at a very unflattering photo of myself whilst on holiday. I was in Madrid, 42 degrees, in a beautiful rooftop hotel pool with stunning scenery. My friend took a photo of me and I was quite appalled by what I saw.  When I saw that I was larger than I had ever been before I was not happy at all, I knew I had to make a change and most importantly I knew that I would do whatever it takes.

motivation 1

It is important to realise what might be unacceptable for you may be someone else’s goal. We all have different shapes, sizes, metabolisms and standards for ourselves and it is really important to celebrate each step along your journey to fitness.

Once you start to see results it can almost be addictive. One of my most motivational moments was at work. I used to get a coffee in Costa every morning from the same lady and one day she came over to my table to ask what on earth it was that I was doing as she could not believe how much weight I had lost. This really inspired me to carry on and I felt a great accomplishment with my efforts made.

They say that:

  • Stage 1: You notice some results
  • Stage 2: Your close friends and family notice some results
  • Stage 3: Random people who see you every day start to notice

Reaching stage three is a fantastic feeling! So don’t give up!

I also am a strong believer in the saying ‘do something for 3 months and it becomes a habit’. This is true in any routine you have, work, gym, a new class, studying, etc. If you do the same thing over and over again for three months, you no longer find it a strain. That’s not to say you will be skipping to the gym but it won’t be as dire as you may have thought before. This is also true for you muscles and metabolism. If you are burning and working your body and becoming fitter and leaner you are less likely to bounce back into that sluggish, squishy person you once were. Practise makes perfect.

I hope this was a bit of thinspiration for you all.

Stay motivated!

Instagram @keziakco

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Dining at Ethos

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By recommendation, I went to this lovely little eatery in the centre of Fitzrovia. As you can see from the photograph, it was so delicious that I didn’t have time to take a picture until half way through the food.

This is a delightful vegetarian, pay by weight restaurant. As you enter you are seated by waiters and then you go and select your food, buffet style. There is loads to choose from and you just fill up your plate accordingly. I don’t know about you, but I get a bit over excited by lots of choice so I went all out and took a bit of everything.

All the food tasted very fresh and flavoursome. I particularly enjoyed the halloumi cheese bites (not too many of these as you need to be careful of your fat intake). My entire plate of fresh meat-free food cost under £20 and included a fresh, natural and no added sugar water melon juice drink.

On leaving I felt full, satisfied and guilt free. I definitely recommend a visit and you can check them out here http://www.ethosfoods.com You simply cannot go wrong!

Insta Keziakco

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