Nutrition

Cheagan: the cheating vegan!

Happy Sunday lovely readers!

A few days ago I came across this article from the Independent online which says that veganism has grown by 360 percent in the UK with many world-class athletes leading the way: Novak Djokovic, David Haye & Venus Williams all choosing to go vegan. It's great to witness such radical changes in lifestyle, heath and body awareness in world class athletes who not only have very demanding lifestyles and need to be fully nourished to do what they do, but are also role models for many. It's also awesome to note the huge increase in the general population!

I have recently been experimenting with being a "cheagan" as Venus puts it :) a cheating vegan. When at home I only eat and cook vegan but when out I allow myself to have dairy if there are no alternatives (which sadly living in Malta is not as rare as I would like it to be). To be honest I thought it would be much harder than it is. Of course in the first few weeks I missed cheese at home but that passed quite quickly.

My decision to start this experimentation stemmed from more awareness and knowledge of the dairy and chicken farming industry in general. That is to say I do not necessarily think it is wrong to eat dairy or eggs as you are not killing the animal to do so, however the way that the industry treats these commercial cows and chickens is horrifying, and aside from the compassion I feel for these poor animals, I highly question the quality and life energy level of anything which has been so mistreated and produced and packaged for mass supermarket sales and consumption. 

For example did you know that commercial dairy cows are kept in a constant cycle of pregnancy to keep producing milk? Any mother who has been pregnant and breastfed knows that this is a physically demanding process to go through for one baby, let alone to be kept in this cycle for your whole life. This constant cycle of milk production in many cases causes severe mastitis (an inflammation of the udder) which causes the production of somatic cells which are released into the milk they produce. Legally in the UK there can be up to 400 million somatic cells in a litre of milk. Somatic cells as more commonly known as pus. Lovely. The cow is repeatedly put through all this trauma and continues to be pumped despite infections and weakness until they fall over and can't go on any more when they are then put down and sold as beef. 

Aside from this, now on the occasions when I do cheat and consume dairy/eggs I am very aware of the fact that within a few hours I begin to feel mucus congestion in my chest/throat starting. 

There are plenty of non-traditional sources of protein available to us: Dark, leafy green veggies, hemp, nuts & nut butters, quinoa, tofu, pulses, lentils, beans & chickpeas to name but a few and if world class athletes are thriving and training and winning on plant based diets, it means that us mere mortals can certainly nourish ourselves on a plant based diet too.

I apologise if this comes across as preaching, that is not my intention as I am really not one to preach my views on others, I would just like to spread more awareness around this industry and leave it up to you what you do with it :)

If you're interested to find out more there are plenty of documentaries around this issue, most recently I watched a great one called "Forks over Knives" which stars two ex-dairy farmers and cattle rearers who have now switched to a plant-based lifestyle. There are plenty more examples of dairy farmers themselves turning vegan - read more here

Should you wish to find out more about the dairy industry in a short, no holds barred video - here you go..

Warming Winter Parsnip & Ginger Soup Recipe

A delicious warming parsnip & ginger winter soup recipe for you. Sweet parsnips & fiery ginger: Souper easy & souper yummy, you're welcome!

Method

  • Heat a good glug of olive oil and the butter in a big saucepan over a medium-low heat and sautee the onion for approx 10minutes, until soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cumim & cayenne and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the parsnips and mix them in well before pouring in the stock. 
  • Season with salt & pepper and simmer the soup until the parsnips are very soft, approx. 15mins.
  • Once the parsnips are soft puree the soup with a stick blender until smooth.
  • Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning. Mix well and....

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4-5cm piece of ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 500g parsnips, peeled & cut into small cubes
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • salt & pepper

 

Voila, enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Veg Everyday 

Yummy Granola Bars Recipe

A recipe for DELICIOUS, healthy, and super easy to make granola bars. No added sugar, or any other nasties just lots of super whole foods!  A perfect on-the-go snack. Enjoy!

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients**

  • 1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium/large bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

**YOU have total freedom to be a little creative with this - don't like almonds? use walnuts, pecans or pistachios. Don't have dried apricots? Use raisins, dried cherries, dates or figs. You get the idea :-)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C. Line a large oven proof tray with a piece of baking paper so the bars are easier to lift out.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Place the rolled oats into a food processor (or blender on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still with lots of texture). Stir oats into the banana mixture.
  4. Chop (I used my magimix, but do not use a weak food procesor for the nuts) the almonds and apricots and stir these and the rest of the ingredients (seeds, coconut & cinnamon) into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. You're almost done! Spread mixture out onto the prepared tray. Press down until compacted and smooth out until even. 
  6. Bake for 23-27 minutes (I baked for 25 mins.) until firm and lightly golden along the edge. Once ready, bring the tray out and leave to cool for a few minutes then carefully  lift out the whole granola slab with the baking paper. Place granola slab on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
  7. Slice into bars once they are cool and enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment if you like them!

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows!

Carrot "pasta" with a zing: Easy peasy and Yummy!

After the last few weeks of over indulgence in just about everything I'm feeling rather heavy & dull so I will be starting a 3 day Cold Pressed Juicery Cleanse with the aim to energize my body back up and feel good again!

Before doing any cleanse it is important to prepare your body for a few days before, this means having a few early nights & avoiding meat, processed foods such as bread & pasta, gluten, dairy, processed sugar, saturated fats, alcohol & caffeine for at least 2 days before the cleanse. 

This time around, not eating traditional pasta forced me to come up with another option - Carrot "pasta" with a zing, it's super easy, delicious & very nutritious:

IMG_9354.JPG

Ingredients 

serves 2 hungry pre-cleansers

8 carrots

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons tamari sauce

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 small garlic cloves grated

a handful of parsely

a handful of seeds (I used pine nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds)

Chilli flakes optional!

Method:

Peel the carrots and then spiralize (or just grate) your carrots into a big bowl.

Mix the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, ginger & garlic together in a smaller bowl. 

Pour the sauce over the carrots and mix well.

Top with chopped parsley and seeds and chilli flakes if using.

 

Bon appetite!

P.S. If you like this, you may also like my Zoodle Pad Thai recipe :-)

 

Healthy Christmas Gift Guide!

Of course, we never want to be materialistic, but at this time of year, sometimes it is nice to give a gift. . . and if you're going to give a gift why not make it a healthy gift!

 

 

For the runner:

A pair of RUNDERWEAR, the lucky wonder pants for runners!

 

For the person who runs from the gym out for a drink:

A BIG, beautiful, warm & cozy wrap or cape to snuggle up in post exercise (and at any time of the day!). I love this Carla Grima wrap, which also ticks the box of being locally made and supporting a small Maltese business!  Zara also have some beautiful, big & cozy wraps. 

 

For the cook:

- Amelia Freer's book "Eat, Nourish, Glow", an easy-to-understand guide to nutrition with some great recipes.

-Ella Woodward's "Deliciously Ella" cookbook

- A spiralizer (so they can make my Zucchini Phad Thai ;-) )

- A nutribullet, I use mine to make my own almond milk every morning and it is SO simple and has absolutely no chemicals added unlike many store bought almond milks. Also great for making smoothies. 

- A bottle of exquisite olive oil such as Barbuto.

spiralizer.jpg
LahLah yoga malta

For the yogi in your life:

- a good quality yoga mat (available from LahLah Yoga for €30)

- treat your loved yogi to a membership for unlimited  yoga classes (LahLah Yoga has 1 month, 3 month & 6 month options available) email lisa@lahlahyoga.com for more details. 

- some beautiful yoga wear, I currently LOVE the upside, Teeki LuluLemon. If you're on a budget TK MAXX normally have some good bargains :-)

 

For someone who needs a bit of pampering:

- a massage or reiki session with Butterfly Therapies, every time I leave a session with Cat I am floating! Treat yourself or get a voucher for a friend.

- some wonderful, home-made, natural and sustainably made in Malta beauty products  from the Soap Cafe

-a luxurious scented candle (secret: although they can be considered a 'boring' gift, most girls love receiving a luxurious scented candle - it's the sort of thing you wouldn't splash out for on yourself but a great gift to receive!)

- a voucher for a private yoga consultation & class, for someone who would prefer to try yoga in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This is perfect for anyone, young or old, flexible or stiff so why not introduce or encourage someone you love to start a healthier lifestyle. 

 

Secret Santa Ideas:

- A beautiful, locally made Carla Grima headband €15

- A voucher for one LahLah Yoga Class €10

- A super duper personalised MAKK creation (price dependent on product!) supporting another small Maltese company too.

- A picture of a fun memory framed with a quote

- Not On The Highstreet has great gift inspiration too, and has a section just for secret santa/stocking fillers too!

Male Pampering:

-why not send him for an old fashioned shave and facial at Antonio's Barber Shop & Gentleman's Quarters

-the Soap Cafe also have a great old fashioned shaving kit. 

 

 

Although giving gifts is great and it is nice to buy thoughtful gifts for others, remember that there is so much more that one can give all throughout the year than a gift on one day a year. If we all gave more love throughout the year, the world would be a much happier, peaceful place :-)

Happy Christmas

xx

Best Banana Bread Ever!

If you've come to class on a day where I have happened to bake you will have smelt the sweet smells of this delicious banana bread - and if you're lucky enough to have arrived before it was all eaten and tried some you will know how moist & delicious it is! Not only is it so delicious, it is also super easy to make. WARNING, this is not sugar, dairy or gluten free :-) 

So without further ado here is the recipe:

2 large eggs

113g soft butter

200g brown sugar

1 tbs vanilla

150g wholemeal flour

1tsp baking powder

3 ripe bananas

1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I like walnuts or pecans usually)

140g greek yoghurt (or half a cup)

  • Preheat oven to 180c. Grease your loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the soft butter, and sugar. Add the eggs one and a time and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • Sprinkle the flour and baking soda over the butter mixture and stir to mix until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl mash your bananas up  and then fold in the mashed bananas, nuts (if using) and yoghurt into the cake mix.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool before devouring!

Enjoy! xx

Pistachio Dukka Recipe to make you go mmmm!

This delicious Persian combination of nuts, seeds & spices creates a warming, nourishing aroma perfect as we move into Autumn. Make sure to have some yummy bread (go on, it's ok to have bread every once in a while!) ready to dip and go mmmmmm!

LahLah Yoga's Pistachio Dukka LOVE

Ingredients:

  • 120g shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (I sometimes mix sunflower seeds in too. Optional!)
  • a sprig of mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Scatter the pistachio kernels on a baking tray & roast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until they start to turn golden. Remove & let them cool before roughly chopping them. Heart shape is optional, but food always tastes better with a bit of love.
  • In a small, dry pan over medium heat, warm the cumin and coriander seeds until they begin to release their aromas. Enjoy these aromas for a moment before transferring to a pestle & mortar. Crush them here until they are broken up but not too fine.
  • In the same pan lightly toast the sesame seeds.
  • Add the pistachios to the mortar and bash until they are well crushed in. Add the sesame seeds, chilli flakes, salt (and mint if using). You can leave your dukka like this (a bit chunky) and serve with a dish of olive oil - dip the bread in the oil and then into the dukka - or scatter over soups, pastas, grilled veggies and salads. OR for a more dip like consistency there's one more step:
  • Transfer this mixture into a strong blender (I use my NutriBullet with the milling blades) and blend for a few moments until you have more of a dukka powder. Put this powder into a bowl and add olive oil (a little at a time) and mix until you have your desired dip consistency. Viola! 

Feel free to leave a comment if you like it, or discover any variations I should try!

*This recipe is a LahLah adaption of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's from his book "River Cottage Veg Everyday!"

LahLah's Zoodle Pad Thai

Zoodle (zucchini noodle) Pad Thai

If you've never tried a zoodle pad thai then you are missing out because, oh boy is it good! It's also conveniently healthy too ;-) 

I couldn't find a recipe I was happy with online, so I have been experimenting and am finally happy with the results!

The ingredients & recipe might look long, but it really is super simple to make and a lot of the ingredients are cupboard ingredients that you may already have, or will need to buy once and they will be there each time you make this (I'm sure you'll make it more than once, it's that yummy & easy to make!).

LahLah's zoodle phad thai

Ingredients: (feeds two hungry yogis)

Store Cupboard Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3tbs fish sauce 
  • a handful of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • a pinch of rock salt
  • a few good splashes of sesame oil

Fresh Ingredients:

  • 4 x zucchini (you will also need a spiralizer. I use this one. If you don't have one you could grate the zucchini on a large hole grater. same same, but different!)
  • 1 x red pepper (or your preferred colour of pepper!)
  • 1/2 a turnip (optional)
  • 3 x spring onions
  • 2 x red chilli
  • a big handful of mange tout
  • a big handful of coriander 
  • 1 x lime
  • 2 x big garlic cloves (or 3 small)
  • a small piece of ginger
  • and any other veg you fancy - I would add beansprouts too but I can never find them in Malta!

Method

  • Finely chop your spring onions, red chilli and place to one side in a bowl together. Slice your mange tout into thirds and add to this bowl.  Roughly chop your corriander and set aside
  •  Make your dressing: crush (or very finely chop) your garlic, grate your ginger and add the tamarind paste, fish sauce and the juice from half the lime to this and mix. 
  • Crush the handful of peanuts and a pinch of dried chilli flakes and rock salt in a pestle & mortar until the peanuts become big crumbs. Set aside.
  •  Sprialize your zucchini to make your zoodles. I use this very simple spiralizer.
  •  Finely slice (julienne them if you want to be fancy) your pepper and 1/2 the turnip (if using). 
  • Heat a BIG frying pan or wok on high heat with a few splashes of sesame oil, when it's heated add the zoodles, pepper and turnip to the pan. Lightly coat all in the sesame oil and fry for a few minutes. Don't cook the veg too much, just so it is heated through -approx 4 minutes. 
  • Take the zoodle mix off the heat, mix in the spring onions, chilli & mange tout. Add your dressing and mix well. Plate your zoodles and then add some chopped coriander and a sprinkle of your peanut chilli crumbs to the top. Serve with a wedge of lime & extra chilli flakes if you like it hot!

The perfect blend of taste, crunch, spice, yumminess & health!

Enjoy & please feel free to comment if you like it or if you find any delicious variations!

xx

Souper Summer Soup!

Just because it's summer doesn't mean it has to be the end of soups till the cold starts creeping in again!

Here's a souper easy & light summer soup I've been making recently:

Pea & Pesto Soup

serves 2 hungry soupers

Pea & Pesto Soup

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml water
  • 375 grams frozen peas
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • a squeeze of lime juice
  • tablespoons fresh pesto (for this you will need a big bunch of basil, 2 cloves of garlic, some pinenuts, olive oil and optional parmesan cheese. If you are feeling lazy you can buy the ready made FRESH pesto too, but making it yourself is SO much better :-) ) 
  • chill flakes (optional)
  • soft ricotta cheese (optional)

Method

Heat a deep pan with some olive oil and add in the red onions to soften them.

Meanwhile fill a kettle and put it on to boil. When it's boiled, & the onions have softened (about 5 mins) measure the amount of water you need and add it into the pan with the onions.

Add the frozen peas, salt and lime juice to the pan and let everything bubble together for 7 minutes.

In the meantime, if you are making your fresh pesto gather all the ingredients (basil, garlic cloves, pinenuts, olive oil and parmesan (optional)) and whizz them all together in a blender & voila you have pesto! It's much nicer and SO easy to make your own then to buy the processed stuff!

Once the 7 minutes have passed, check that the peas are cooked through. If they are ready you can blitz the peas and their liquid together either in a blender or use a stick blender in the pan.

Ladel the souper soup into bowls, putting two table spoons of pesto on top of each portion. I like to also add some chilli flakes and a dollop of soft ricotta cheese into my soup but this is optional.

Bon Appetito! 

This recipe is the LahLah adaptation of a Nigella classic

3 DAY COLD PRESSED JUICE CLEANSE

What is it actually like to do a 3 day juice cleanse, having only 6 juices and 2 litres of water each day? Read on for my cold press cleansing experience and tips!

So when I decided to do a cleanse, my first reaction was EEK. It's not really a big thing in the grand scale of things, but it was my first cleanse and being a food lover I was a bit nervous to be honest!

I decided to do the cleanse to help bring me a bit more vitality, leaving behind the winter lethargy and low energy. Also to cleanse any toxic waste that has been building up in my system, but also to flood my system with nutrients and minerals to revitalise and energise. What better time to do a little spring cleaning of the body than around Spring equinox too :-)

I was selected as a lucky guinea pig to sample the new Cold Pressed Juicery Cleanse, to make sure they are good and suitable for YOU to be able to do soon!

PREP FOR THE CLEANSE: 

Rather than cold turkey my body into shock on Day 1, I tried to ease my way into the cleanse starting three days before by cutting out:

Meat (no problemo)

Coffee (no problemo)

Alcohol 

Processed foods (pasta, bread, gluten, dairy, processed sugar, saturated fats) (slight problemo, I LOVE bread & pasta)

And at the same time gradually reducing my amount of meals per day and gently increasing my intake of juice. I ate a lot of raw food - raw courgette pasta with different pestos and lots of fruit and nuts were mainly on the menu!

 
LahLah Cold Pressed Juicery Cleanse PREP
 

CLEANSE DAY 1:

I survived Day 1!

It has actually been OK! Made sure to drink lots of water along with a juice approximately every two hours. The almond milk was delicious, super thick and was especially filling, almost wish the cleanse was 6 x almond milks a day. hehe

I've felt hungry, but not so hungry I wanted to eat all the yogis on the mat in front of me (watch out yogis tomorrow!!). Been to the loo quite a few times so I think it's working ;-), muscles and body slightly achey but no huge side effects so far. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be ok!

I removed all tempting food from the fridge and any naughty biscuits I had lying around have been hidden away from view which has helped not having food right in front of me! 

LahLah Yoga Cold Pressed Juicery Cleanse

CLEANSE DAY 2:

Today I feel the cleanse really kicked in. I had a slight headache and felt slightly nauseous during the morning and felt my energy was really lacking all day.. I'm assured this means the cleanse is working well :-) 

I have tried to have a juice every two hours but it was a bit harder to keep to it today, and of course lots of water and hot water with lemon and ginger. 

I am going to have a very very early night and tried to sleep it all off.

 
Cold Press Juicery Cleanse
 

CLEANSE DAY 3:

I slept for 10 beautiful hours, and I have woken up feeling wonderful! My energy feels restored and I feel very light in all senses of the word. The headache and nausea has passed and I would almost consider doing an extra few days if I will feel like this!  Although I did not start the cleanse for weight-loss reasons, I have definitely lost weight (unfortunately I don't own a scale so cannot tell you exactly how much I lost, but I can really feel a difference. I feel more stream-lined ;-) not a bad side effect).

Co-incidently I did wake up with no voice today all of a sudden, I am not sure if this is directly related to the cleanse or not!

Again, I found it hard to stick to a juice precisely every two hours, but I have been ok regardless. Lots of water. I'm starting to think about what my first real food should be tomorrow, although I am also planning to exit the cleanse gently maybe starting with fresh fruit in the morning and a raw salad for lunch...easy does it! 

 
 

Enjoying my "lunch"!

DAY 4

I have woken up feeling great, very light again, in all senses of the word. Lots of energy, and feeling quite focused. My sore throat is clearing (very odd!), I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else gets a sore throat too! 

Although I can eat today, I am not dying to eat to be honest, I really thought I would be! I actually feel like I could keep going for a few more days quite easily, but alas I only have one juice left! I have had my morning hot water and lemon, and the last  juice and I have started slowly with half a banana. I will try to stick to raw foods today, tomorrow may be difficult as I am travelling long haul, but I'll do my best! Having done the cleanse and felt fine it has made me realise how much I generally eat un-necessarily. I will always have second helpings of something if it is delicious even when I am getting full, and this is so un necessary!! Hopefully I;ll manage to kick this habit!

All in all, I have surprisingly really enjoyed the cleanse, I was impressed by how easy it was once you get into the swing of it and would definitely like to continue doing regular, possibly seasonal cleanses now. 

CLEANSE TIPS

If you are planning to do a cleanse here are my recommendations (please note these are based on my personal experience and knowledge):

  • Make sure to prepare your body for the cleanse, not just diving head first into it on day 1. Start to gradually cut coffee, meat, alcohol, processed foods & sugars out and begin to up your juice intake while gently decreasing your food intake. This will really help to reduce any huge side effects and help you to get the best out of your cleanse.
  • Plan the cleanse over a few days where you will not be crazy busy and will have time to let your body rest too. My hardest day was day two and I definitely needed to rest and allow my body to replenish and regenerate. The body will have difficulty benefitting from the cleanse if you are stressed or hitting the gym hard daily.
  • Cleansing is not so much about what you are putting into your body, but more about what you are leaving out (processed, toxic foods we have become accustomed to such as white bread, pasta, biscuits, alcohol, caffeine, meats). While we are leaving out those nasties, we giving our digestive system a break to regenerate and the extra energy normally used to digest can be used to help heal the body (very simplified explanation, please forgive me!). At the same time, the juices we consume still provide our body with the protein, nutrients and minerals needed to keep us going. It is important to drink fresh, and 100% raw juices during a cleanse to give you body the maximum nutrients possible. 
  • Try to empty the fridge and hide anything that might tempt you to make the cleanse easier.
  • Try to cleanse with a friend or family member, it makes it much easier!
  • DRINK LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER...and expect to be peeing A LOT! And also expect to poo quite a lot!
  • REST! Make sure you get to bed early while on the cleanse, those precious extra hours of rest work wonders for the body.
  • If you feel you really need food, then LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and have some, but try to stick to raw veg and maybe a handful of raw nuts if possible.
  • On exiting the cleanse, try to ease the body back in gently i.e. don't have a fry up for breakfast on day 4! Try to eat raw food for as long as possible post cleanse, and try not to rush back into your coffee habit, or that glass of wine straight away.  Maybe think about how good you are feeling now after the cleanse and think what you could maybe cut back on in your normal diet to help keep you feeling this way!

The body is a miraculous healing machine,and when we abstain from the foods that interfere with the natural healing Physiology of our bodies, cleansing & detoxing can begin!

 

Cold Pressed Juicery Cleanses will be available shortly, for more info please see their website.If you decide to do a cleanse, I hope you enjoy it and please leave me a comment to let me know how it goes for you!

xx

*Please note, this blog is based on my personal experience of a juice cleanse, and it does not mean that yours will be similar should you decide to do one. Each and every one of us are beautifully different and will respond to a cleanse in a different way. I am already a vegetarian and try to eat a balanced, nutritious diet on most days of the week so I may have had less to cleanse than someone who eats meat daily and drinks lots of coffee etc. Do not attempt a cleanse if you a pregnant. If you have any other medical condition, or are unsure about starting a cleanse,  please consult a Doctor or Nutritionist.*

Balance is Key

Balance is key. In everything we do. 

Over the past week, this message has kept appearing to me in various different ways, and this post from Cold Pressed Juicery Malta says it so perfectly. 

Cold Pressed Juicery Malta LahLah Yoga

Be it through diet, exercise, work, fun or relationships, balance is ALWAYS key!

This past week, I have also been exploring the balance in my yoga practice, not only trying to find ease in balance poses, but more specifically the balance between stillness in movement, and the movement in stillness. 

Finding the stillness & peace of the mind during movement on the mat helps me to physically focus & balance in many of the challenging balancing poses . Finding the movement within stillness: the movement of the breath through the body, the movement of your muscles in a stretch, your heartbeat, and the movement of heat & energy through the body all help me to become truly present with myself. When we actually slow down enough to really feel and listen to our bodies, it can be magical :-)

Next time you venture onto your mat, I invite you to notice this difference and try to find this balance of stillness in movement & movement in stillness.

Happy Thursday! xx

Cold Pressed, what's the difference?!

You may have noticed I have recently been posting rather a lot about juices! I'm super happy to finally be able to tell you ALL about it!

I am involved in establishing cold pressed juices on our sunny little island of Malta! The brand is called Cold Pressed Juicery, and will be available from TOMORROW at Holland & Barrett Malta at their Sliema branch.

Since starting my yoga journey, I have become much more aware about what I put into my body, realising that anything we consume either works with the body to replenish, and nourish or works against the body, aggravating us. The difference with cold pressed juices is that they are made by being pressed between 12 metric tonnes of hydraulic pressure that produces 0 degrees heat, creating the smoothest, freshest tasting and most importantly, the most nutritionally dense juice that you have ever sipped. In the production of blended juices there is heat produced, which can essentially kill many of the vitamins and nutrients of the juice, and they are often watered down and contain ice all reducing the nutritional value of the juice. 

As life is already hectic enough, my vision is to create a simple & easy way (that tastes great too ) for everyone to replenish, nourish the body and to make sure you get your greens and keep the doctor away the natural way! Packed with a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and other plant nutrients, and produced only from local Maltese ingredients with no added water, ice, sugar or preservatives, Cold Pressed Juices is simply the best way of getting the ‘good stuff’.

Making small positive changes in your daily life is easy, drinking fresh Cold Pressed Juices will provide an instant nutrient and sustained energy hit. Give yourself 10 minutes a day to stretch and breathe (if you have more than 10 minutes you can even do one of my videos :-) ). Give your body the tools to heal and thrive, deal with stress or illness, sleep better, and feel more dynamic and energized with Cold Pressed Juices and LahLah Yoga.

I love seeing people transform their lives for the better, be it through nutrition, yoga or any other form of exercise and it makes me truly happy knowing that through Cold Pressed Juicery & LahLah Yoga I am helping people to create a healthier and active lifestyle. I encourage you to take health into your own hands, think about what you are putting into your body,  and experience what it feels like to be truly nourished and satiated.

This is all about Positively Life Changing and Feeeeeellllliing Goooooood! 

xx

P.S. If you have any questions about cold pressed, or would even like to place an order feel free to drop me a line (even if you just want to say hello)

Delicious Fennel, Orange & Quinoa Salad

When I was younger I used to think that fennel was dis-gus-ting, but thankfully my tastebuds have matured to appreciate this delicious vegetable! Yesterday I was even craving some fennel, and I had some beautiful home grown Maltese oranges (the best kind!) so I decided to experiment and make a salad. The result was surprising delicious so I am sharing the recipe here! 

Recipe serves two hungry people, or three dieters!

Ingredients:

1 Fennel bulb chopped

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 oranges chopped in segments

1 handful of fresh basil, torn or chopped

1 small handful of pistachios

1 small handful of sunflower seeds

1 small handful of pumpkin seeds

1 small handful of pinenuts

For the dressing:

grated lemon rind of half a lemon

grated orange rind of half an orange

juice of half a lemon

juice of half an orange

good glug of olive oil

salt & pepper

a sprinkle of dried chilli if you like chilli!

Method:

Mix the cooked quinoa, chopped fennel, orange segments, fresh basil, pistachio and seeds together in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing seasoning with salt, pepper & chilli to your tastes. Mix well and then pour this dressing over the whole salad, toss & enjoy!

EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZEY! Feel free to leave any comments as always :-)

LahLah xx

Winter Warming Weekday Veg Recipes

If you have been following my Advent Challenge, you will have seen Day 8 was a challenge to try to become a weekday vegetarian. Becoming a weekday vegetarian you would be cutting 70% if your meat intake, but still able to have that burger on the weekend! By cutting 70% of your meat this would greatly help to reduce your carbon footprint as meat causes huge emissions and also uses 100 times the water that veg does to produce. Apart from saving the world, you will also be much healthier, save money, and maybe even lose a bit of weight. Win win if you ask me :-)

So here are a few of my favourite veg recipes to get you inspired:

LahLah's Homemade Hummus and Kale Crisps

 

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Take as much fresh kale as you desire, chop it up into bite size pieces, place on a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle in rock salt and bake for 10 mins or until crispy. While the kale is crisping, make your hummus:

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • a big handful of parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves (1 if you're not that keen on garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon JP Hot Sauce 
  • Pine nuts
  • Olive Oil 
  • Salt & Pepper

Whizz all the ingredients together in a whizzer (yes, that is the technical term) and voila, healthy delicious hummus and kale crisps ready! YUMMY!

 

Baked Sweet Potato with ricotta, grated zucchini, avocado, basil, tomatoes and seeds.

This one is SO easy. Turn the oven on to 200 C, wash and dry your sweet potato and then prick it all over with a fork. Put it in the over for circa 40 mins or until the potato is soft. Then remove from the oven, cut it in half and add all your favourite goodies. I like to load mine up with ricotta, followed by tomato, and grated zucchini, torn basil, avocado and topped with some pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. YUM!

Sweet Leek and ricotta lasagne 

This is a Jamie Olivier recipe which I love! 

  • olive oil
  • 4 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 250 g spinach, washed and chopped
  • 350 g good-quality ricotta
  • 1 litre base tomato sauce
  • 1 packet lasagne sheets, wholewheat if you can find them
  • 125 g mozzarella ball
  • 75 g fresh Parmesan, grated
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Prehat your oven to 180ºC. Heat a large saucepan and add a splash of olive oil. Add the leeks and sliced red onions, and sweat, slowly, until soft – about 10 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and briefly cook until wilted down. Set aside to cool slightly, then drain off any excess liquid in the pan. 


Mix the ricotta into the leek and onion mixture and season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. 

Spoon a quarter of the base tomato sauce into the bottom of a 3-litre ovenproof dish. Cover with sheets of lasagne. Spread half the leek and ricotta mixture over the lasagne, then add a third of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat with more lasagne sheets, the remaining leek and ricotta mixture and then half the remaining tomato sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagne sheets, then spread the rest of the tomato sauce over the top. 

Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and dot over the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Place on a baking sheet and bake the lasagne for 45 minutes – it needs to be cooked through and golden brown on top.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/sweet-leek-ricotta-and-tomato-lasagne/

Spicy Carrot and Lentil soup

Here's a Nigella soup which is a real Winter-Warmer

  • teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes 
  • tablespoon olive oil 
  • 300 grams carrots (i used frozen baby carrots which worked fine, otherwise use fresh and coarsely grate them, skin on) 
  • 70 grams red lentils (split) 
  • 0.24 litres vegetable stock (hot) 
  • half a can of coconut milk

Dry fry cumin and chilli in a large saucepan over a low heat until the aromas are released. Scoop out half and set aside 

Add the oil, carrots, stock, lentils and milk to the saucepan then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened. 

Blitz the soup in a liquidiser or with a stick blender. 

Season and serve with a dollop of sour cream and the spices you set aside earlier. MMMMMMMM!

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/spicy-carrot-and-lentil-soup-2764

 

Please feel free to comment if you try any of the recipes, and let me know your take on any of them!

 

xx

 

LahLah Yoga Malta Christmas Present Guide

In an attempt to put my own Christmas shopping off for even longer, I have put together a yogi Christmas guide for you. The perfect gifts for that health conscious person in your life! 

  1. LahLah Yoga Class Pack or Monthly Membership. What could be better then the gift of yoga? The gift of health, of wellbeing and of fun! Perfect for anyone who already loves yoga, and perhaps also for that person who needs some yoga and balance in their life but just hasn't found it yet. Drop in classes start at €10, and class packs start at €45. Contact lisa@lahlahyoga.com for more info. 
  2. A good quality yoga mat is a great gift for any yogi or perhaps also that little Christmas treat for yourself! No more using communal mats, it's time to get serious! LahLah has great quality mats available from €30, contact lisa@lahlahyoga.com for more details. 
  3. A Nutribullet or similar! For anybody into juicing, this "juicer" is actually an extractor which completely breakdown ingredients to their most nutritious, unlike actual juicers which remove all the finer and a lot of nutrition. Also great to make your own almond milk, hurrah!
  4. Some awesome yoga pants! Some of my favourite are: Teeki, Altar Ego, Onzie. Sweaty Betty and Lululemon are more conservative favourites! 
  5. Warrior Pose : an inspiring read
  6. Some naturally delicious skincare such as Liz Earle (one of my personal favourites) and Dead Sea Spa Magik which can be found at Holland & Barrett in Malta.
  7. Some JP Hot Sauce, the ultimate, organic, locally made gift for that fiery person in your life! (I may be a little bit biased towards this product, but honestly it's AMAZING!). This can also be found at Holland & Barrett Malta as from 9th of December.

Although giving gifts is great, remember that there is so much more that one can give all throughout the year than a gift on one day a year. If we all gave more love throughout the year, the world would be a much happier place :-)

Happy gifting xx 

LahLah Advent Challenge Day 8:

Become a weekday vegetarian and save the world and yourself  Did you know that meat causes more emissions than all of transportation combined (that's cars, trains, planes, buses and boats) and beef production uses 100 times the water that veg does. 

Just by becoming a weekday vegetarian you would be cutting out 70% of your meat intake, but you can still have that hamburger or steak on the weekend! Your carbon footprint will reduce, you will save money, you will be healthier, most likely live longer, and maybe even lose some weight! What are you waiting for? 

Check out this TED talk by Graham Hill on becoming a weekday vegetarian for more on the subject 

http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian?language=en#t-72341