Lifestyle

Staying healthy when you're travelling on a budget!

 

I have been fortunate enough to travelled quite a bit in my life, I also live in a different country from my family, which automatically means I frequently visit airports and find myself on long train journeys.

I hate plane food, I really struggle to find good food options on the road and normally, if there is something fresh, it’s outrageously overpriced. Train stations are slowly getting better but we still have a way to go! When you are out of your normal rhythm and away from your kitchen, it can be really easy to let your good habits slide and just go for what is convenient. The problem is, you don’t want to go for something easy but suffer afterwards because it’s made you feel bloated or lethargic. You want to enjoy your time away and feel great!

This week my friend asked me if I had any tips on how I travel to keep my food philosophy wherever I go. And I thought this would be a great one for all you beautiful people who are off on trips in these next few months.

So I hope you find these little tips helpful:

 

I always take nutrient dense snacks in a jar. Don’t forget that you can’t take any liquids or pastes with you on flights, which rules out quite a lot, it’s not just your water that will get taken. I like to fill a jar with mixed nuts, goji berries and sultanas to snack on when I need an energy boost. I literally take a jar to last me the whole time I’m away, so I need to exercise some self-control and not eat the whole thing on the way to the airport!

 

Super Boost Powders: I have a powder that I like to add to smoothies which is a mix of Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Cacao, Maca, Chlorella and Barley Grass. It’s a really intense flavour but I often add it to a smoothie or a juice to get that extra hit of minerals and vitamins. It’s great to take Chia seeds or other nutrient dense super-foods with you to add to a meal to up the health kick!

 

Oats for breakfasts is such a great way to fill your body with energy and save some money, all you need is a kettle to boil the water, pour it over the oats and you are away! Chop up half a banana, throw in a few nuts and you have a power breakfast that will keep you full till lunchtime.

 

Teabags: I have a number of teas that are my absolute favourite. I love the “Woman’s Energy” Yogi Tea in the morning, I always have PUKKA’s Love tea at night which is a fusion of chamomile, lavender and rose, I love green tea with ginger and orange. Having tea bags in your handbag is always helpful because you can give your body a little cleanse whenever you like, all you have to do is pick up a hot water…

 

Make your own energy bars and balls for the journey. I made a whole box of my “Love your body” bars when my husband and I flew to Turkey last year and they were a lifesaver, as our plane was delayed and we spent the whole night in Istanbul airport and went probably 16 hours without access to any fresh food. So just be prepared!

 

If you are in a part of the world where these foods are easy to get a hold of, buy some whole food crackers or chia bread, your favourite nut butter, some fresh fruits to keep in your bag, a hummus and some fresh veggie sticks. These are all great ways to keep your nutrients up, stay full of energy and they can all be bought on a budget.

 

Drink lots of water. And remember it’s always cheaper to buy bigger… in a lot of supermarkets you will find 2 litre bottles in the drinks isle for almost the same price as a 500ml bottle at the front of the shop. Buy the big one, stay hydrated.

I guess the number one tip for staying healthy when you are travelling is just to get super organised and to stay disciplined. If you are travelling on a budget that will help with the self-control as you are limited to what you will be buying anyway. Just remember it’s not about deprivation, I love living this way and I never feel like I am missing out. I know that certain foods leave me feeling terrible, so I choose foods that leave me feeling great from the inside out. 

When you make these choices from a place of loving your body and wanting to place value on it so you can live life to your full potential, you will find making healthy food possible when you are taken out of your normal rhythm a lot easier.

I hope this helps you as you travel.

Happy Monday xxx

Where do vegans get their protein from... and other questions

I think it comes from a place of genuine concern, but I often get asked where I get specific nutrients from when people find out I only eat plants… especially because my lifestyle is so active and I like to work out on a daily basis.

When I was young and in school, I remember learning about what a “balanced diet” looked like. We had a picture of a plate and it was divided up into the three sections, Carbohydrates, (consisting of bread and pasta), Fats (oils, butter and cheese) and Proteins (Meat and eggs). Sadly a lot of people still think this way, so I have written this little introduction to key nutrients that we need for peak performance, why we need them and where to find them.

IRON: This nutrient helps to maintain the health of our red blood cells, this is important as they deliver ‘oxygen rich’ red blood cells all around the body. It also builds blood proteins for food digestion, metabolism and circulation. Iron is lost when we sweat, so it’s super important for those who are physically active to keep their iron levels topped up, especially as it increases physical stamina and boosts your energy.

TIP: Eat lots of leafy greens like spinach and kale. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source. Eating foods rich in vitamin C like oranges help your body to absorb iron more efficiently.

CALCIUM: We all know that Calcium helps us to build strong bones. Normally we say this to get kids to drink their milk… Plants can take in calcium from the soil and convert it into an organic form of calcium that the human body can efficiently make use of. Vitamin D maximizes calcium absorption so it is actually proven that regular exposure to daylight helps with Bone maintenance.

TIP: Good sources of calcium include dark leafy greens, broccoli, and sesame seeds.

PROTIEN: This is the big one, protein works to keep your skin, bones, muscles and organs healthy. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Your body needs them to break down food. Amino acids that your body can’t make by itself are called “essential amino acids.” You have to get these from the food you eat. We have so many amazing sources of these essential amino acids in a plant based diet.

TIP: Vegan options for protein include nuts, chickpeas, lentils, peanut butter, grains and seeds.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS: help improve heart health and brain function. It gets the name “essential” because your body cannot produce it. And omega 3 is relatively rare in the plant world BUT we do have some excellent sources. It’s particularily important to those with an active lifestyle because it helps to reduce inflammation caused by movement and plays an role in metabolizing fats, meaning your endurance improves.

TIP: Flaxseeds are a great source, as well as the infamous Chia seeds. I always add chia or flax seeds to my smoothies or sprinkle them on porridge or salads or vegetables. Just gives you the extra hit of minerals.

Of course this is also a topic that could be researched for days and there always going to be different opinions and arguments for what the BEST way to get the nutrients as a vegan. This is how I go about it and it works for me… I read THRIVE: The Vegan Nutrition Guide for optimal performance in sport and life, and The CHINA STUDY: a comprehensive study of nutrition and they have always helped me to feel great. A good balance is the key, even if, like me, you are 100% vegan with your diet.

Hope that sheds some light on the topic, have a great day!

 

The Ultimate Weekend Banana Pancakes

 

This is my go to recipe when I want to make some thing a little bit special for the long, relaxing mornings on the weekend. This one also fills me with fuel for a full day. It’s the perfect (slightly indulgent) breakfast for those with an active lifestyle, or if you have a chilled day and just want something delicious…. that’s fine too. Lazy mornings with pancakes in bed = perfect start to a Saturday. These are also nut free, vegan, gluten free! 

So here it is: This makes 6 - 8 pancakes (perfect for 2)

YOU WILL NEED:

2 large ripe bananas,

1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour

1 tsp of Maple syrup

2 tsp Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder (I use Sunwarrior as it’s all natural and super delicious)

1 pinch Baking Powder (This is optional as it is a chemical product… so it’s up to you, this just makes your pancakes super fluffy but you don’t NEED it. If you’re gluten free: check the package because some can contain gluten)

1 tsp coconut oil (for cooking)

 METHOD

Start by cutting the banana up and putting it in the blender with the maple syrup until it’s nice an smooth:

 

Then add all your dry ingredients to the blender and give it a wizz. If you don’t have a blender you can do all this by hand… it just takes a little longer.

Put your pan on a medium heat and add the spoonful of coconut oil to the pan, you don’t want it to be too hot because these can burn quite quickly. and you want golden brown pancakes… not black! Spoon the mixture into the pan. The size is up to you… but I find 10cm across works really nicely. 

 

After about 3 minutes or so they should be ready to flip, but you’ll know because they’ll come away from the pan really easily. One you’ve flipped them, let the other side cook then put them on a plate, ready to add the toppings!

 

Here you can get creative: these work with so many different combinations… The picture at the top has peanut butter between each layer, and crushed frozen raspberries all over, then topped with coconut. This is one of my favourites as I love the whole PB&J thing. I also love topping them with blueberry, banana and almonds…

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Have a lovely weekend everyone!