You might not have even considered this before. A vegan diet really is a new way of life, and it is hard to resist temptation if you’ve always been a meat eater. But those that have switched to the vegan diet report feeling more alert, happier within themselves, and love the meals they can make. More and more people now seem to be turning vegan. The reasons for that vary, one of which we’re going to explore in this article. So if you’ve never considered it before, here’s why we think you should switch to a vegan diet.

Vegan Diet

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The Issues With Meat

Meat is great for giving us the protein we need, and keeping our bodies filled up on something that isn’t necessarily unhealthy. But the way in which our meat gets to the stores is what puts a lot of people off actually eating it. The farming industry is absolutely horrible. Cows and chickens are kept in tight confined spaces in their hundred. They’re used each day to get the most out of them in terms of eggs and milk, and then eventually killed. Some meat is free range and grass fed, but this is rare. Most of the time they spend cooped up being violated. Cows in particular have it hard. They’re impregnated over and over again, until their bodies are so badly damaged they can’t be used any more. That will signal the end of their life. Whilst there are being some stops taken to improve the farming industry, it is still diabolical.

The Diet

So, if that has started to put you off a little, then welcome to a vegan way of life! The benefits of it are absolutely amazing, and despite popular belief, you won’t just be eating rabbit food. What you can actually eat is really varied, and restaurants at the minute are creating amazing dishes for vegans to eat. The menu for vegans used to be non existent, so it is nice to see some changes being made. For all the things you might lose from your diet by not eating meat or fish, you can get back in supplements. For example, there is vegan omega 3 that is produced from algae rather than fish. There’s plenty of other replacements out there as well that you can use for food. A lot of meat is replaced by lentils, mushrooms, and beans. Plus, there are plenty of recipes now on the internet that are showcasing some yummy meals. One we think you’ll love to start the day is poached egg on toast, with sliced avocado on the side. The egg and the avocado work so well together!

If you couple this diet with a healthy amount of exercise, and make sure you’re supplementing your protein, you’ll be on your way to an amazing body in no time. A lot of the people who are instagram famous for their fitness and diets are actually vegans. So if they can make it work, we know for sure that you can too.

ethannevelyn.com

Organic fruit and veg has outlived being merely yet another food trend and has, instead, engrained itself into the mainstream. This speaks volumes about the health benefits it can provide. Add to that the fact that it is also kinder to the environment and the only question left to answer is how do I go about growing my own?

Healthy Eating and Health Food Trends

We have become somewhat obsessed with the idea of healthy eating. Ever since the government introduced the 5-a-day campaign, back in 1994, we have seen health food trends come and sometimes go – veganism is the current hot gastro topic, for example.

Eating organic fruit and veg, however, seems to have transcended all other health food trends and whether you are vegetarian, vegan or an out and out carnivore, few would dispute the benefits.

The Benefits of Eating Organic Produce

The primary benefits from eating organic fruit and veg are that they contain far higher amounts of antioxidants than regular fruit and veg. A study conducted by Newcastle University in 2014 found that organic fruit and veg contained up to 69% more antioxidants and therefore is much more likely to help prevent diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Organic fruit and veg also tastes better and the reason for this is that they are not treated with pesticides and they don’t contain preservatives.

Better health is not the only reason to consider going organic. Organic farming methods use up less energy, less water and help to enrich soil.

How to Grow Your Own

Whether growing your own organic fruit and veg in pots, a patch in the garden or a polytunnel, the number one rule is to use organic soil and mulch. The second rule that will help you grow healthy and abundant crops is to weed regularly and to keep the soil clean, making sure things like fallen leaves aren’t lying on the surface – doing this will help prevent disease from spreading and leave your plants with all the nutrients they need to flourish.

The way in which you water your crops is also important and done properly will help prevent disease and maintain healthy plants. The best method is to use a water soaker that will deliver moisture straight to the roots of the plants.

Follow these simple guidelines and you be eating your own organic fruit and veg in no time at all.

Cutting down on coffee is on my agenda as I put my Best Boot Forward to improve my physical health.

My coffee addiction

I was brought up a house where coffee was drunk in copious amounts by my late Mum and I an just the same. I actually have no idea how many mugs of coffee I drink a day. That in itself suggests I am drinking way too much. I drink it when I am bored, in need of comfort and don’t like to get out of bed until the first coffee of the day is delivered by my very obliging husband.

Cutting down on coffee

I am encouraging my children to drink more healthy options than they sometimes so and it is only fair to lead the way a bit by showing change is possible.

I have found an alternative that I actually like thanks to Ricola.

Ricola

They don’t just blend their herbs into drops but also make them into herbal teas that are brilliantly warming and comforting for long, cold and damp days. Let’s fact it – we are getting plenty of those at the moment.

My husband does not like the tea or rather he says there is nothing wrong with it but he is happier to stick with coffee. He does not like change and never makes improvements for the sake of his health so this was no surprise. A girl has to try!

However, I really like the taste and particularly the Goodnight Tea. In fact and I cannot believe I am saying this, I much prefer it to coffee which means I can aim to cut out coffee as the weeks tick by.

Where to by Ricola Herb Teas

Ricola Herb Tea (£5.99, 200g – makes approx. 20 cups) contains our 13 herb blend, with peppermint as the dominant flavour note. It makes a refreshing alternative to regular tea.

Available from Holland & Barrett

Ricola Goodnight Tea (£5.99, 200g – makes approx.. 20 cups) contains a blend of orange blossom, rose, lemon balm, linden blossom, hops, red poppy and lavender, with a hint of honey for a relaxing and comforting evening brew. Available from Holland & Barrett

Do you have any great tips on cutting down on coffee?

Lucy At Home

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Twin Mummy and Daddy

A chocolate mince pie is a brand new idea for me but I tried it and even the children who normally hate mince pies were begging for me to make another batch.

Chocolate mince pie muffins

This delicious twist on the classic mince pie will have your guests reaching for more

 

Chocolate Mince Pie

 

Makes 10

Prepare 10 minutes

Cook 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 80g Tate & Lyle caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 130ml whole milk
  • 50g Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yogurt
  • 30g Country Life Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • ½ orange, zest
  • 125g mincemeat
  • 75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

 

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6; line a muffin tray with 10 cases. In a bowl, combine the flour, raising agents, salt and sugar. Add the egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter and citrus zests. Gently combine the mixture, taking care not to overmix or the muffins will be tough (a few lumps are fine).

 

2 Add in dollops of the mincemeat, about ½ tsp at a time, so it is broken up into little clumps. Stir in most of the chopped chocolate and gently fold everything together.

 

3 Divide between the muffin cases and top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Today I am sharing a Campari and gin cocktail with the rather intriguing name of Winter Aviation. It includes gin which I know so many of my readers have as a tipple combined with Campari which my brother-in-law adores and lovely cassis.

Campari and gin cocktail

 

Campari And Gin Cocktail

 

Serves one.

Ingredients

 

  • 40ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 10ml British Cassis
  • 5ml Campari
  • Cherry to garnish

Method

Shake the ingredients well over ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Do you have an unusual recipe for a Campari and gin cocktail?