Vegan Experience

Modern veganism  as a diet and lifestyle choice is growing in popularity all over the world and some (even if few) of my dearest friends are now vegans. As I love to explore healthier and more sustainable ways of living for myself, I decided to test the vegan lifestyle for a short period of time. While traveling and living with one of my best friends who is a vegan for more than three years, I explored cooking, buying and eating out vegan. First only planned for 4 weeks, it was so much fun that I decided to extend the experience back home in London and Berlin until the end of lent which added up my vegan journey to 10 weeks. Overall, I really enjoyed exploring vegan-friendly ingredients and materials and discovered some new to me. Trying new recipes and tasting new dishes is something I love anyway and it was great fun to do it with my friend. For inspiration on vegan food jump to the ‘What Vegans Eat‘ article, or check out my friend’s project Cómo Comer. So here’s what I learned in the 10 weeks. What is Vegan? To say it with the words of the Vegan Society, Veganism is “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” So, this excludes the consumption and use of...

What Vegans Eat

Since I started my vegan experience a little bit more than two months ago, the question most often asked was: What do vegans eat? Well, the answer is pretty simple: everything plant-based! And that’s actually a lot and can be very tasty. I don’t want bore anyone with a list of vegetable, fruits, nuts and other plant-based ingredients. So instead, here are some highlights of my favourite vegan breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks in the past 2 months. It’s a mix of home-made and eat out meals and of course there are many more great meals I have been eating but didn’t take photos of. Have a look at the cards, open the PDFs for links and feel free to ask for more insights on anything that catches your appetite. If you want even more beautiful vegan food inspiration, follow my friend’s vegan food project Cómo Comer on Instagram and Facebook! Be warned, you might get hungry though… Breakfast Download PDF with links to recipes here: Breakfast. Lunch Download PDF with links to recipes here: Lunch Dinner Download PDF with links to recipes here: Dinner Snacks  Download PDF with links to recipes here: Snacks Hungry? Please feel free to comment, share your recipes and ask if you have any questions, want to have any recipes or more inspiration. Want to know why vegan recipes? Read the main article ‘Vegan...

Favourite Podcast Episodes of 2016

  Podcasts continue to be one of the best ways to consume knowledge from the great minds in the world of strength and conditioning, self-improvment, and anything really. A decade ago, you would have travelled all over the world for the opportunity to hear from the best in the business and to soak up their wisdom, now you get to stream great ideas right into your ears wherever you are, for free. The only problem now is keeping up with all the excellent content that is being put out there, as the number of good podcasts proliferate. There is a podcast for everyone.. They say that you can tell a lot about a person from their podcast feed (has anyone said that yet?), and you can see mine above. 2016 was a great year for them and here are some of my  favourite episodes. Putting the list together proved tricky enough, and was subject to me actually remembering the episodes that I have listened to (which might explain the slight bias towards episodes from the latter part of the year). There are certainly great podcasts that I don’t get around to listening to, time being finite and all that. However, in no particular order, the below episodes have all been impactful on my thinking, and I highly recommend them.   Health, Movement & Self-Improvement 1)  The Joe Rogan Experience #752 Mark Sisson I say it’s in no particular order, yet this was probably my top episode of 2016, with Joe Rogan himself saying that it was one of the most informative and interesting podcasts he has ever done (which is a pretty sound endorsement...

Physical development of the young athlete: Doing it right Part 3

The first part of this series looked at the importance of providing the young developing body with lots of varied physical inputs, the pitfalls of sedentary living and early sports specialization. The second installment looked at gym training and how moving away from the conventional approach might serve us better in the long run. This third and final part will discuss nutrition; how our physical capacities are inextricably linked with what we eat. We understand that a good diet can reduce the likelihood of developing degenerative cardio-vascular diseases, but do we realize the effect our diets have on our movement? Less Grains, Please. The food we eat affects our organs, and our organs affect our movement. Paul Chek describes this connection in detail in this article: “Most people have little or no understanding of their organs in general, and because of their ignorance of what is inside them, they make diet and lifestyle choices that create stress on their organs and glands that disrupt almost every aspect of their body and mind” The practice of segmentalizing the body into separate pieces may be useful in terms of putting labels on body parts and teaching anatomy, but it has mostly served to diminish our appreciation for the oneness of the human body. Organs talk to and control muscles. Thus, Chek believes that you would be wise to look inward when dealing with chronic problems, describing how he has rehabilitated athletes with chronic muscloskeletal pain that could not be resolved until function was restored to the related glans and organs. The mechanism for this is explained as such: If an organ overheats...

Recipe: Cashew Protein Balls

    Snacks and treats are often where people deviate from an otherwise healthy diet and succumb to sugar-laden temptations. But not anymore with this recipe from our resident foodie, Connie, passed down by another great lover of good food, Jerry Flannery. The only risk with creating these balls of delight is that you may eat them all in one go, so I would advise coming up with a strategy in advance to avoid this. A lot of recipes for delicious treats are complicated with long and obscure ingredient lists. This, on the other hand, is simple and quick. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup (200g) pitted dates 1 cup (120g) vanilla protein powder 1 cup (200g) raw cashew nuts 10ml almond milk 1 1/2 cups (300g) dark chocolate Preparation: Blend the pitted dates. 2. Add the vanilla protein powder to the blended dates. Blend again.   3. Add the raw cashew nuts and blend it all up again until a firm dough is created.   4. In order to roll the balls add the almond milk. If the dough appears too moist, add a few linseeds and blend the dough again. Roll little balls and place them on a tray with parchment paper.   5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. (A good way to do this is to rest the bowl of chocolate in a pot of boiling water and stir as it melts).   6. Bath the balls in the melted chocolate and place them on the tray with parchment           7. Place the balls in the fridge for at least two hours. Keep...

Nutrition Template for Fat Loss

There is more to fat loss than nutrition. We know that. We need to accumulate plenty of low-intensity movement every day, we need to occasionally lift heavy things and move at high-intensities, we need to sleep well and we need effective stress management.  Pretty straightforward. But then we come to nutrition and there is consternation and confusion. Certainly, some aspects of nutrition are subject to debate.  Is consuming too much protein damaging? How much is too much? Can athletes thrive on high-fat diets? Is organic really worth the extra cost? There are lots of interesting opinion, and some more compelling than others. But today, I want to focus on what is not debatable and provide an effective nutrition template that will work for most people, most of the time. To begin with, if you are still buying into the low-fat dogma, that’s the first thing we need to address. Snap out of it! Haven’t you heard about Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Study in 1953 that got us all into this mess? If not here’s a two minute video from Fat Head that will fill you in. “It’s become part of the zeitgeist. Everybody knows saturated fat is bad for you. But when you start looking at the medical literature, and you root back through and find out where this whole idea came from, it’s bogus.” Michael Eades, M.D   If you want to learn more how everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong and why, read Nina Teicholz’s recently published book The Big Fat Surprise. Or the infamous Good Calories, Bad Calories that kicked off...