Raising sponsorship

Hey

So some of you may know that I am running The Great South Run at the end of October. It is a 10 mile race and I have chosen to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I even have a Cancer Research vest to wear (proves I am taking it seriously). They are a charity close to my heart, and usually I run a Race for Life to raise sponsorship- this year I am doing the GSR instead.

I will be doing some sponsorship incentives (?) with work and things, and I wanted to do something on my blog as well.

With the help of some really generous companies I have put together a little giveaway which you can enter if you sponsor me.

Teapigs are launching their brand new website this week. You can follow them on Twitter (@teapigs) and also like their facebook page. I reviewed some of their teas last year and I love them!

They have kindly contributed some sets of Teapigs English Breakfast tea, Peppermint tea and a very very cool mug.

Natures Path make lots of flax based cereals and really delicious flavours- check out my review here.

They are generously contributing some hampers of their entire range of cereals. They are on facebook too.

I also love Rude Health cereals- I tried some of their cereals earlier in the year and loved them too.

They kindly contributed some Rude Health muesli and Granola.

I also love seedstacked bars (in my opinion much tastier and healthier than 9 bars)- see their products here.

Seedstacked kindly sent me some cases of their original bars for this giveaway. Check them out on facebook too.

And some baking/ fudge from me (winners get to choose what I send)- an example:

There will be 7 prizes open to UK residents only:

  • 3 x Nature’s Path Hamper
  • 3 x Teapigs set (English breakfast, Peppermint and mug)
  • 1 Rude Health Muesli +Rude Health Granola

All prizes also include some Seedstacked bars, and one lot of baked goods (e.g. peanut butter cookies/ white chocolate fudge/ vegan cookies of some sort).

I will also be having one prize for people in the rest of the world;

Some nice nakd cereal bars, some other things from the UK too (still getting these bits together) , and some home-made fudge too.

To enter, please sponsor me by clicking here (or use the button at the top of my blog). Please leave your name/ blog name (however I will know you), and then comment on this post to say you have done so. A small plea to say please do not mention my blog as I am asking people at work to donate and I keep my blog separate from my work. The minimum is £2 and I really really appreciate every penny that is raised.

To get an extra entry, please link to this page from your blog and comment on here to say you have done so.

The competition will be open until I have run the Great South Run, so I will close it at the end of October.

Then I will be taking names out of a hat and winners will be notified in the beginning of November.

I really appreciate any donations to this Cancer Research, so thank you in advance if you do choose to sponsor me- every penny counts.

WIAW- cook fest


Hey! Doing WIAW does seem to make the week go by so fast- I say it every week but how is Wednesday here already?

Thanks as always to Jenn for organising the party.

This week I chose Monday as my day.

Breakfast;

Chopped pear, Rude Health muesli, almond milk.

Lunch and morning snack;

Hummus and red pepper sandwich, nectarine, nakd bar.

Pre-cooking snack;

Half a massive bar of rawr orange chocolate.

Dinner;

Autumn chilli (carrots, butternut, pepper, kidney beans, chickpears etc) topped with nutritional yeast and food doctor seeds.

Post baking snack;

Pumpkin spice cake (adapted from Sweet Vegan) and some Teapigs Spiced winter red tea.

I was still on antibiotics, so no running for me that day- normally I would have a run after work on a Monday. Instead I got on with baking some pumpkin spice cake, and some lovely chilli.

Not sure what my favourite thing was from that day- I might choose the pumpkin cake and tea? That combination was amazing.

Thanks for the suggestions for pimp my porridge too- I have had loads of fab ideas and cannot wait to have a bit of variety for my breakfast.

Do you tend to eat the same things for the same meals, or are you good at getting in some variety over the week?

WIAW- body pumping

Hey all

It is that time of the week already! Thanks to Jenn for hosting the party as usual.

This week I chose Thursday, which meant I felt super organised!

Breakfast;

Chopped apple, rude health muesli and some almond milk. I got the almond milk from Ocado, but I have seen it in other shops (Holland and Barrett I think). Also you can like them on facebook and they tell you where to buy it from too. 😉

Lunch and snacks;

Lunch was a lovely hummus and roasted pepper sandwich, chopped pear and chopped nectarine. Nakd bar mid morning, and a mini eat natural bar after work.

Dinner:

Wholewheat pasta with peppers, courgette and green pesto. This would be nice with cheese but at the moment I am not having much cheese.

Post body pump snack (boy I needed this- that class is hard and I went up with the squats and back weights).

A slice of apple crumble bar, and alpro vanilla dessert. Yum.

Health (?) update- I took the antibiotics all weekend, but did not really make much difference, so I was off work Monday and Tuesday. I went back to the doctors Tuesday, and was given “the better ones” this time (same ones that I had twice before this year) and they are already working! So back to work today, but no run after work as I am not 100% yet. I am hoping I will be well enough for body pump tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Random question- those people that make their own almond milk- what do you use to strain it? I have been looking on Lakeland but can’t find anything that jumps out at me (cheese cloth? Muslin squares?). Cheers.

WIAW- back to school edition!

Hey peeps, how fast Wednesday has come around! Thanks to Jenn for hosting the party!

So this is my what I ate, for Monday (my first day back at work).

Breakfast was delicious – an alpro peach yoghurt (I decided to try these again as the last time I had them was a fair few years ago and I wasn’t keen, this time I love them!), with a pear, nectarine and some rude health muesli. Very summery 🙂

Snacks all ready! Cocoa mint nakd bar for morning break, and a clif z bar for before my run. I LOVE these kids clif bars, so chewy and yummy!

Lunch was delish- a salad with chopped apple, beetroot, peppers, spinach and sabra hummus, plus a sandwich thin with hummus and spinach.

For my post run Dinner I made some seedy bread- I added some food doctor seeds to my normal bread recipe.

And served it with veggie and cannelini bean bake, plus nutritional yeast flakes (still off the cheese). Don’t you just love the platter all over the plate haha!

Plus some cherries for dessert.

Later in the evening I had a little snack with some mint tea.

Dark chocolate alpro with some plain alpro mixed in (mainly because I wanted to see if I liked the plain stuff- I do), Lizi’s original granola and a spoonful of white chocolate wonderful. The pb granola combo was pretty amaze!

So back to school (work!) was pretty good, and made better by yummy food. Do you like to pack yourself something to look forward to? I was looking forward to my Clif kids bar all day!

Bye!

On a side note, the lovely Rachel from Rachel’s delicious journey is doing a sponsored walk and is raising money for a fantastic charity. She has also gathered together some amazing goodies for a giveaway, which you get entered into if you sponsor her. So check out her post all about it here, and let’s help her raise some money. 🙂

The holiday foodie post

Hey guys.

Often on holiday I have found it difficult to find veggie options, especially healthy veggie options. On past holidays to the USA my typical dinner would be either veggie burger, grilled cheese sandwich or pizza (I would sub a salad or fruit for the fries if possible) but this was hardly ideal. As Andy eats meat he often wants to try certain restaurants too.

Anyway, this holiday we used the wonder that is trip advisor to help us choose places to eat (we use it for hotels all the time), and also asked for recommendations for good local places, and we found some gems!

I could not decide how to do this post – e.g. by meals, by days, by places (or whether to do each place in a new post) but in the end I am going to do them in the order (ish) of where we went to. Apologies in advance as it is a long post! I will link to the places too if they have websites, so enjoy.

Key West

We went for lunch at “The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian place” link also here. It did serve fish, but it had marked on the menu which items were vegan. And they did sweet potato fries! I had a veggie and goats cheese wrap, and Andy had the veggie burger (on special with hummus in it)- we shared and his burger was amazing. Now he loves meat but even Andy said the veggie burger was delicious, and also much more filling than a regular one. Plus I had freshly brewed raspberry iced tea.

We were so full that day (we don’t normally have a real lunch on holiday) that we went to a dessert resturant for dinner. “Better than sex” was a little cheesy/ smutty (all the desserts have sort of kinky/suggestive names like peanut butter perversion) but the desserts were amazing! I had a cookie nookie pie (I did not even know you could get cookie pie)

and Andy had the Pb dessert with strawberry conserve (does this show how massive it actually was?)

– we shared, we took the leftovers back in a box but we could not finish them! But they were amazing.

One day we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner- my only option is normally a veggie burger, but there was a lovely salad on there, and they had Vita coco coconut water to drink! In that heat that is exactly what I ordered.

We also had lunch at panini panini (we shared a roasted veggie sandwich and a piece of key lime pie). Yum. They also served vegan cookies.

There were loads of other options too, so we could have eaten at other places had we stayed longer.

Miami beach

On our drive on the way up we stopped at the turtle hospital, and then there was an awful thunderstorm and bad traffic, so we got to our hotel later than we had planned (and it was raining). We also stopped off at a supermarket and I loaded up the bags with goodies to eat on our trip.

Because of the rain and traffic we got in late so shared a veggie pizza from Pizza Rustica, (close to our hotel) which had great reviews, and had a proper oven to make proper thin delicious pizzas.

On our main day in Miami we wandered around the beach, and went for lunch in Pauls, which looked like a nice cafe with french baguettes behind the counter. It was OK- I had a goats cheese bruchetta- I nearly went for the half sandwich option but I am glad I had the full sized one as it was not that big. It had way too much cheese on it though.

We had seen an amazing looking ice cream parlour, so we went for one after that. We usually share a small serving (after learning that our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs) but this had buy one, get one free. So Andy had chocolate peanut butter (which tasted like Dark chocolate dreams) and I had toasted coconut after the girl recommended it to me. Heaven in an ice cream! But I could not finish it and felt so bad throwing it away.

That evening we went for dinner at Juice and Java which was delicious (Andy saw it on the net and said to me “they even do quinoa- their menu looked like our kitchen so I thought you would like it”). We had a smoothie each (Andy was craving a smoothie  so this way we could taste two!)- I had a falafel wrap and Andy had some pasta I think. The shop sold all sorts of health food bars and things too, and it was all made fresh while we waited. Plus it was right by Miami Ink (I don’t watch it, but some of my friends do) so of course we had to have a photo! We took our food to the beach to eat- loving the summer weather.

I also got some coconut water and apple chips (which were just dried apple slices with either cinnamon or peach flavour, no oil or anything)

I took some nuun with me too, which I had on a few days as it was just so hot, but the coconut water was a nice change.

Orlando

My favourite place in Orlando has to be Sweet Tomatoes, which is the most amazing restuarant in my opinion! You get a plate and then walk along a 55foot salad bar, where you load up your plate with whatever you fancy (we went there 4 times, ahem, and mainly I went for- spinach, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, grated butternut squash, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, kidney beans, pickles, raisins, sunflower seeds), then you pay, sit down, and then you help yourself to fresh cooked soups, pizzas, pastas- they even had baked sweet potatoes! Plus they do amazing desserts, and fresh fruit. It is amazing.

We also went to Earl of Sandwich a couple of times. We were staying at Disney and there is one in the Downtown Disney part- they do a lovely sandwich with mozzerella, tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar, but also wraps and salads.

On the days we went to Seaworld I had the least amount of options. The only thing I found in the park was a vegetable wrap, which was literally a wrap with grated carrots, cabbage and courgette inside. No spread, no hummus, nothing. I shared one with Andy for lunch (plus some pineapple) and then we left for dinner. We went back the next day for the evening, and I had to have it again as that was all there was.  Come on Seaworld you can do better than that.

At Disney I had a lot more choice. We booked a “proper” meal each day (as opposed to the counter service places) and they were very good at accomodating or adapting items on the menu. At Magic Kingdom the Liberty Tree Tavern is fab– they have a veggie item on the menu (this time it was veggie pot pie) but I didn’t fancy it, so I asked for a salad minus the chicken- the salad is amazing with crunchy apples, pecans, cranberries, smoked cheese and salad veg. At Hollywood studios (MGM) we went to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, which had brilliant theme-ing (check out the link)- again they had a veggie option of mango glazed tofu with veggies and rice. I asked for a salad instead of the rice (I don’t mind rice, but I don’t like it really) but they could not do that, so Andy had my rice! The mango tofu was lovely. At Epcot the San Angel Inn serves proper mexican food (not tex mex)- they used to do a veggie option but this time they didn’t. However the waitress was lovely at speaking to the chef (I had asked if the refried beans were OK as sometimes they can contain animal fat)- she checked (they were fine) and also told me that the vegetable rice was not OK as it was made with chicken stock, so they adapted a chicken tortilla meal by giving it to me with refried beans and cheese. We had2 days there so we also went to Tutto Italia Restaurant, which serves lovely woodfired pizzas. Italian is always a good option anyway. One day we had lunch at Epcot – I can’t find the link but in The Land there is a food court and they do a lovely goats cheese and beetroot salad (red and yellow beetroot) with pecans which I love. We also had breakfast and there was soya yoghurt, soya milk and fruit, so a good option.

We also got to go to Wholefoods in Orlando, where I spent quite a bit of time and money!

Lots of peanut butter! The pouches came in handy when staying in Disney as the breakfast at the hotel was oatmeal made with water, no toppings or anything, so I used a pouch each day 🙂

Plus lots of Clif bars (we had a coupon for a dollar off the kids/crunch ones), but again these made handy snacks to share when out.

St Augustine

First I must give a shout out to where we stayed. It was a B&B called “At Journey’s End” and Tim, the host, was amazing. We had put on the form that I was vegetarian, and when we arrived he checked that eggs were OK, and said he had planned the menu around me. There were 8 guests, and each morning we ate breakfast together at 9am. There was fruit and granola to eat before “the main course”. The first day we had a coconut cake stuffed with oatmeal (amazing) and some mini spinach fritattas, and the second day we had some cornflake crusted french toast (normally I find french toast too rich but this was lovely) and some spicy potato thing. Anyway, Tim recommended to us a few places to eat, and I think we managed them all!

We went to The Floridian for dinner, which was a lovely place which serves local produce whenever possible. I had an amazing sweet potato and black bean burger (which I topped with roasted peppers mmmm), but they had so many delicious sounding things, the waitress even pointed out that the soup was vegan. We shared a slice of pecan pie which had coconut and chocolate in it too- amazing.

Andy was keen to try A1A, as it served locally brewed beers. In the end I had a salad without the chicken (and with a different dressing as it was meant to have bacon dressing) but the salad was lovely- goats cheese, dried cherries, apples and spiced pecans.

We went for lunch at The Bunnery Cafe and Bakery, having seen their cinnamon rolls in the window looking amazing! I had a pb and j sandwich (there were plenty of other veggie options but I fancied one!), and a totally tropical smoothie complete with umbrella!

By that point we had been walking around all morning (well, I think it was about 2.30 or something) so we were grateful to sit in the cool!

Their cookies looked fabulous, but we had no room 🙁

We also went to the Hyppo (another recommendation from Tim) which makes gourmet popsicles. So so delicious and refreshing. I had a strawberry peach, and Andy had pineapple coriander but it took me so long to choose.

Savannah

While wandering around in the heat of the day we came across Smooth (on Bull Street) and I was so excited to see that they actually made their smoothies fresh! So many places in the USA claim to sell smoothies, but they are those things that look like melted slush puppies full of syrup. While we were sharing our smoothie they cooked a batch of soft pretzels for samples- neither of us had ever had one before- I tried the one with cinnamon sugar, and Andy tried a salted one. They were amazing, so we went back. The owners remembered us the next day, and were lovely. I think I had another pb &j there, and we shared a pretzel! They were talking about expanding their menu to include a veggie plate, so worth a visit.

We had dinner one day at the Kayak Cafe. This looked a little strange as it is in the entrance to a gym, but it was busy and the food was lovely. I had a tofu burrito which was crammed with veggies- delish.

Another day we went to B and D burgers, which had the biggest menu ever! I could sub a veggie burger for any of the burger creations, so in the end I went for one with guacamole (so good) and of course sweet potato fries.

We had also heard good things about Leopolds Ice cream parlour– so we went there for dessert both days. We shared- the first day peanut butter and butter pecan (I had never tried that before but it made me reach my pecan limit) and peanut butter and coconut the other.

We went out for breakfast before we left (the other days it was a clif bar in our room) at Goose Feathers Cafe. I had some fresh cooked oatmeal with cinnamon and apple (took me ages to choose between that and the banana maple one), and I got a bite of Andy’s cinnamon roll which was amazing too! I noticed that they did baked sweet potato with pecans- how good does that sound??? Maybe not for breakfast though! Again, loads of choice.

Charleston

This was the one place that we found veggie food hard to find. After our days in Savannah (which I also thought would be hard but was fab) I was optimistic that we would find loads of nice healthy cafes, but no, it was meat,meat, BBQ sauce and more meat. Andy really wanted to go to Sticky Fingers and they did a salad that I could vegetarian-ize, so we went there one evening. It was a salad without the chicken and without the blue cheese,and it was OK (apples, flaked almonds, raisins and tinned mandarin segments- random), but not great for the price.

One day we went to Wholefoods and I used the salad bar to make an awesome salad. They had balsamic glazed tofu, chickpeas, some vegan quinoa veggie salad, sunflower seeds, plus loads of veggies. And a fruit salad (plus a top up of clif bars!). Andy was happy as he had a turkey sandwich (it looked small in the cabinet but was huge)- I think if we had been there longer we would have gone back as they did soups and chilli and pizza and things too. (Of course I also topped up the Clif bar supply that we had eaten on our holiday!)

We had seen The Hominy Grill on Man V Food (ahem, normally I love watching it but would not eat anything on that show) and the website showed it did a veggie sandwich, so we went there. We could choose our sides, so I went for sweet potato mash (Andy had some as it was very rich) and we also shared some pecan pie. And (the most exciting part) that was where we were given the boiled peanuts! Having seen lots of signs on the roadsides and not having a clue what they were, it was good to try.

On the last day we were wandering about trying to find something, and was considering a Starbucks when we found Taziki Cafe. The menu outside looked lovely, and it had several veggie options. I had a roasted tomato and basil sandwich which was huge (and came with crisps and fresh fruit salad) but it took me a while to decide as I actually had options!

Well done if you have read this far! I am hoping people might find it useful if they were travelling around any of the places I visited, plus food is a good blogger topic anyway!

So, how do you deal with special diet requests when you are on holiday? Do you have any places that you would love to go back to because of the food?  And most importantly, did I buy enough Clif bars? 😉