SPICED FRUIT STEW - COLADA MORADA (V+, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

Turn back the clock by about 6 years: It’s the morning of Halloween. I frantically run to the supermarket, get a family sized pack of miniature milk chocolate bars and - that evening - hand them out to unassuming children after they have politely rung our doorbell and chanted ‘trick-or-treat’.

Of course there are left-over chocolate bars. There always are. I eat 1-2 (honest ;)) and then take the rest into the office at the earliest opportunity, causing a handful of work colleagues to abandon their diets and yet strangly feel better for it; at least temptation is no longer within my four walls.

Fast forward: I become a mother. Then I learn more about nutrition. Then I question my actions...

colada morada 1
UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, ChF) and HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015.

I write this blog entry on my 4-year-old son’s first day of school (which is a few weeks ago by now). I had mixed emotions, to say the least, about him starting his formal education so young and would have preferred he spent another year or two climbing trees instead and letting his imagination run roit. But alas, the English education system didn’t allow for it.

My son must have picked up on my feelings as - before starting – he said he thought school was 'dumb' (I think he’d have loved to have used the ‘S....D’ word, but that isn’t permitted in our house – just for your info ;)). However, to my surprise, he whizzed into class today with a big smile on his face, barely able to contain his excitement. In fact, he was so quick he never did see my tears (Thank you God!).
UPDATED! SWEET POTATO PIE SMOOTHIE (V+, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures and recipe for this blog post were updated and improved in October, 2015.

This post is dedicated to all the breast cancer thrivers and survivors out there!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and there is no way I'm not using this blog to raise awareness about the C word!!! Because, shall I tell you a secret? I HATE Cancer. I LOATH it. I DESPISE it! I've never had it (Thank you God), but too many people I know have and it's ain't pretty.

I particularly dislike breast cancer; as a woman this illness evokes very strong sentiments in me and as someone who works in a predominantly female office (I'm an adoption social worker), I feel I'm constantly surrounded by it or the threat of it. That is because I am...

Just in the last 18 months three work colleagues of mine have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. Thank goodness they are alive and brave and strong and standing. And I admire their courage and determination to fight with all their might. All three of them seem to be doing amazingly well now, by the way :), but stats in the UK are depressing with more than 12,000 women and 80 men dying of the illness every year! :(

I know, it's not like me to write doom and gloom blog posts, so let's talk about the good news quickly, ok? The good news is that I so strongly believe that we each have the power to reduce our chances of getting cancer. Yup, you read that correctly. Big stuff eh?! So how can we take matters into our own hands and kick cancer to the curb? By eating the right food. Another big statement, I know. 
(ALMOST RAW) BEETROOT CRISPS/CHIPS (V+, P, NF, GF, GrF, ChF)

Today is a pretty special day. I mean a super special day. I mean a super duper special day because my little sister’s first single from her first album has been unleashed! (I mentioned my sister Sumera before, here and here, remember?) (WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!! HOOORRRAAAYYYY!!! YIIIHHAAAA). Oh man, our entire family – in London, Spain, Holland, Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, the Caribbean, the US - EVERYONE is oh so excited, proud and over the moon that all her hard work has resulted in the masterpiece that is WOLF. And this spot in cyberspace is MY opportunity to brag about Sumera because I am utterly and completely besotted with her work.

SUOMI 5 2 1beetcrisps
UPDATED! HOME-MADE ALMOND MILK (R, V+, GF, P, ChF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures for this blog post were updated September, 2015. 

Let me be open and clear: As I write this post, we are not a dairy-free household. (Ouf, glad that’s out in the open and no, I am not planning a Swiss fondue recipe for the blog any time soon, in case you were wondering). Although I personally don’t consume any dairy and would love it if my husband and my son didn’t either, the reality is, they do. To be frank, I am ok about it because I appreciate that they have to find their own path in their own sweet time. I see my role not to judge them but to offer as many (better) alternatives as I can. I’d also like to stress though that I have the utmost respect for families who take a more definite and decisive vegan approach. Fantastic, amazing, wonderful :), I may even be a tad jealous, but I also know it’s just not for us. 

Like I mentioned last week, we are really only just embarking on our plant-based journey and still have a long way to go. But it’s so exciting to be at the start of something so big; I love this moment right now, right here and all it has to offer in the form of new discoveries and the shape of awesome opportunities. Importantly though we’re making lots of big steps in the right direction, but ...

almondmilknewcol1

IMG 3527
DOROTHY'S NOURISHING QUINOA BOWL (V+, NF, GF,ChF)

“…and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder. For they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed to be as much surprised as they were.” ― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

I don’t know how you see me. I don’t know if you visualise me snacking on carrot sticks, or better yet, never snacking at all. If you imagine me meditating for hours on end, before gracefully drinking my green juice. Or if you think I float out of my daily (!) yoga class whilst reading a book about the power of Vitamin C. If so, please erase these images from your mind, as they are as true as Dorothy’s image of the Great Wizard of Oz. (Although, if truth be told, I am rather partial to a little green juice ;)).