Is Veganism a fad? 🤔

It’s 01:32, my apple update is taking forever and I have to stay awake until it’s done so I’m sat here watching insta stories and one in particular caught my attention: a blogpost called ‘is veganism the new clean eating’.

It peaked my interest so I clicked to read it and enjoyed seeing an opinion from the flipside.


What I definitely agree with is that there is a collective of people who are jumping on the bandwagon for all the wrong reasons, especially with the rise of the celebrity vegan influencers, paid to promote certain products and/ or weight-loss via veganism.

If you are turning vegan to lose weight, please just STOP.

This is where toxic relationships with food begin. Its 2018 now, please let’s leave that behind.

I’ve said it before and will say it again, the only reason you’ll lose weight on turning vegan is because YOURE EATING LESS than you were before. The science is that simple.

Yeah, you’re feeling wonderful but isn’t that normal? You’re probably eating 10x better than you were before because you’re forcing yourself to eat more fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains.


Now, having said that, I don’t think it is a fad and my personal belief is that it’s actually a culture shift.

I remember when I started my blog (about 6 years ago now) protein bars weren’t even a thing. No one would buy them, except the hardcore gym junkies, and they tasted like sawdust, yet now… they are a mainstream item, found in every supermarket, corner store and even vending machines with a majority choosing them as snacks over the usual.

What we once thought was a ‘fad’, we now deem normal.


People who choose to eat Vegan aren’t all following the same diet, they are just choosing to be vegan because they feel that they can make a change in the world.

You can still eat Keto, Paleo, Low-Carb, High-Carb, Low-Fat, IIFYM and even ‘clean eat’ within the Vegan diet. You can also be a vegan and eat chips all the time so the range is vast ya know. It’s mostly about changing/ evolving for the better, to create less harm on animals and on the planet.

In the same way that people who feel they can’t be vegan, are turning to a veggie diet or changing some meals a day/ week. That’s cool too!

They ain’t changing their diets completely, or changing their daily calorie allowance, or not eating low-carb or keto, or whatever other diet they may prefer… They are just trying to make a teeny bit of difference, and that’s something wonderful.

A collective of humans who feel they can change the world.

SIGN ME UP.

(Although if you do love a heated discussion, just bring up Veganism)


Honestly though, do whatever works best for your health, body and mind and do it because YOU want to. Be inspired by others but don’t feel obliged, just do you. Every. Damn. Day.


**11 minutes of update left**


s/out to Hannah Lewin for the article and to Fit as Fudge who shared it 🤗

Photo screenshot taken from: #veganfoodie


For anyone interested in starting Veganuary, check my WEEK UNO and WEEK DEUX posts from last year, our TOP TIPS TO TACKLE VEGANUARY, or our range of VEGAN RECIPES.


Hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Do you agree/ disagree? What are your thoughts? Tweet or DM us.

 

Much love,

the muscle baker <3

GUEST POST // Eating Vegan in Amsterdam

Eating Vegan in Amsterdam, By Darian Galloway.

Amsterdam… what a beautiful city. Clean, amazing food, endless shopping and sightseeing a plenty! We follow Darian as she shows us what are the tastiest Vegan spots in Amsterdam!


VEGABOND

On my first day of arriving in Amsterdam, I visited a small cafe/shop called Vegabond, if you love quirky little cafes, then you will not want to leave this place. The first thing I noticed was the vintage decor, relaxed atmosphere and welcoming staff. They have a variety of vegan meals, snacks and desserts and they even have a shop inside where you can buy lots of goodies including: vegan foods, sweets, snacks, chocolate, gifts, cookery books, natural beauty products and vegan protein powders. I visited this cafe 3 times out of the 4 days I was staying in Amsterdam; I couldn’t get enough of the vegan treats!

If you are looking for a light lunch, with amazing desserts, I would definitely pop into Vegabond. Out of the 3 times I visited Vegabond, I ate a selection of different tasty foods including: Spelt sandwich made up of spelt bread with handmade cashew ‘ricotta’, pesto, cherry tomatoes and rucola, Fresh wrap with home-made hummus, sun-dried tomato, spinach and cucumber.


And (the best part) the dessert selection they had to choose from! I consumed many a doughnut, in strawberry, chocolate, oreo and caramelised apple flavours. Not to mention the amazing cake variety they had to choose from too; I tried Raw Snickers and Gluten-free brownie with hazelnuts… honestly I could not possibly pick my favourite as I loved them all.



MOAZ

Another place was Moaz, which had the best falafel pitta EVER! After spending a full day shopping and sightseeing, I definitely worked up an appetite… walking down the high streets I stumbled across this little vegetarian food shop on a street corner. It was booming with people enjoying the food and a lively busy crowd is always a good sign when deciding where to eat. So, I stepped inside, joined the queue and opted for the falafel pitta bread. (You could choose between the regular size or the small… of course I chose the regular… the bigger the better.)

You had the option of white or brown pitta, they filled it with falafel and hummus and then the control was in your hands, they handed you the pitta, where you could fill it with all sorts of sides such as: vegetables, salads, sauces, cous cous, and olives… oh and the best grilled peppers ever!

Of course my pitta bread was jam packed, if I am given the control to fill my plate, then the food has got to be over flowing. The service was quick, the staff were friendly, all customers were happy and I was definitely full. Honestly, this was one of the best falafels I have ever tasted.

I was really satisfied with the amount of food I had, but you had the option of adding a side of chips too. There were other options on the menu where you could choose from falafel salads, meal deals and smaller portion options for snacks or young children.

You could also choose from freshly squeezed juices, coffee or water. The prices were fair and you received a lot of food for the money paid.



ALBERT HEINZ

As we was staying in an Air BnB, we had our own little kitchen with cooking facilities and utensils. So in between meals or for breakfast before stepping out into the city again, I relied on snacks from the local supermarkets/shops and Albert Heinz was one of our favourites. As a vegan, finding a good selection of suitable food is hard but this is a great supermarket which has a huge selection of fresh food, meals, fresh juices, snacks, cereals and frozen goods. The prices were reasonable, staff were very friendly and helpful and not to mention…their falafel wraps were amazing, I consumed one every single day I stayed in Amsterdam.


SLA

On my last day staying in Haarlem, we had to leave our BNB at 12:00pm and the flight was not due until late afternoon. We decided to venture around Haarlem, visit the shops and locate some tasty vegan food. SLA caught my eye and was open on a Monday… I noticed on Monday’s quite a few food places are actually shut in, so be careful when planning your days out in Amsterdam.

There is a great selection of different foods on the menu, raw fresh vegan foods and there are non-vegan options too. I chose the white bean falafel bowl. My boyfriend chose their Moroccan Chickpea Soup, which they serve cold with freshly made delicious oat bread… do not knock cold soup until you try it, honestly it is so refreshing.



The food was fresh, tasty, wholesome and nutritious… I felt amazing after eating it. I finished the meal with a dessert (obviously). Dessert > Starter any day! I chose the raw cacao chia cake which really inspired me to create my own selection of raw desserts. Although the cake was small, it is definitely deceiving as it was so rich, you would not need a larger portion and that is coming from Miss Greedy Piggy over here.



VEGAN ICE-CREAM

I finished the trip with one last sweet treat… Near the airport there was a vegan ice cream van, they had a great selection of ice creams which included cookie dough, granola jam, honeycomb, chocolate mint, turmeric and chocolate. They served it in a tub or in a vegan ice cream cone and there were many toppings for the ice cream. You wouldn’t have ever guessed this ice cream was dairy free and it made me want to buy an ice cream maker and make a life-time supply of dairy free ice cream… serious heaven.


So to summarise, after consuming lots of amazing food in Amsterdam, I would definitely visit again and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves food, shopping, sightseeing and plenty of walking/bike rides to visit as soon as possible!


Muscle Bakery tip: Want to keep on a lower cal diet but still eat delicious food in Amsterdam? Stick to loads of leafy greens and veggies! Don’t miss out on dessert either, just skip on the bread and extras, have cake instead! Plus, Amsterdam is filled with lots of walking and cycling so you will no doubt burn it all off anyway 🙂


I am a 22 year old vegan foodie with a keen interest in baking (and maybe eating and force-feeding my treats to everyone)… sharing is caring! Instead of permanently driving those around me insane with my loved topic of conversation, I decided to create a blog to showcase all my recipes, food reviews and vegan lifestyle tips.

Ive always had an interest in fitness and healthy eating, starting my foodie mission by searching the net for healthy recipe ideas. Initially, with simple bakes such as flapjacks, overnight oats, etc.  But, once i adopted a vegan lifestyle, my interest peaked and changed my little world around! I began tailoring my baking around the new diet and was enjoying every minute. I still bake to cater all needs, interests and adapt the recipes where necessary, but my true passion lies within the Vegan lifestyle.

I create all kinds of plant-based meals, snacks and treats and no longer feel guilty for eating my body weight in cookies, cakes and all kinds of goodies! I always consciously try to use the healthiest ingredients which means no guilt, right?

My recipes are simple, easy to follow and fun to make as possible, so get in the kitchen bake someone happy and always leave room for dessert…

 

Blogpost created by Darian Galloway, the lady behind Darian Kay Bakes. if you have not checked her out… what are you waiting for?! You can find her on Instagram too!


We hope you enjoyed this post, get involved… tweet/ gram us @themusclebakery & @dkayxx and tell us your thoughts! And if you have any more recommendations, give us a shout 🙂


Photography by @illuminatus_photography.

Everyday, should be Pancake Day.

Pancake day is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day for us food fiends, a day where you are OFFICIALLY allowed to eat pancakes pretty much all day (not that we wouldn’t anyway).

Now, what is a pancake?

Quite simply, it’s a cake that you cook in a pan. What makes it so awesome? … IT’S A CAKE YOU COOK IN A PAN. DUH.

We trawled the internet to see what it had to say about pancakes and found this:

PANCAKE / Something you eat for breakfast. I had pancakes this morning.

However, not to be confused with:

PANCAKES / A life changing miracle of fluffy happiness man. So i had some pancakes today, it was so great, i gave my pants to a hobo.

 

Anyway, to celebrate such a phenomenal day we scoured our recipe archives and dug out our tastiest pancake creations AND made a new recipe (scroll to end for that one):


Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes_main

The pancakes are everything you want pancakes to be; soft, scrumptious, moist, tasty and filling. Top it with rich Vanilla Agave nectar and you have an absolute winner! Perfect for Vegans and Non-Vegans alike.


Easy Lemon Pancakes

Lemon Pancakes

This is our basic staple protein pancake recipe, easy to make with only a few key ingredients. No culinary skills required.


Spinach & Blueberry Pancakes

SpinachPancakes

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Try these Spinach pancakes topped with blueberries! Don’t be put off by their green colour, they are super delicious and extra nutritious. Eating pancakes and getting your greens in at the same time, whats not to love?


Simple Pancakes with Choc Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Simple Pancakes MAIN

Anyone looking for a Dairy-Free pancake option, look no further. These delicious pancakes with a rich choc sauce topping will hit the spot! (Sharing will be the only problem).


Chocolate Pancakes (Low-Carb)

LowCarbPancakes

Similar to our basic protein pancake recipe, except using ground almonds instead of oats making them perfect for those on lower carb diets. Have them simple or topped with your fave sauces or nut butters.


Protein Waffles (i.e. pancakes with abs)

Waffles Header

What happens when your pancakes go to the gym? They become waffles. (Just like these damn fine Strawberry Vanilla Waffles.)


Banoffee Pancakes

banoffeepancakes

Pancakes, Banana and Toffee rolled into one epic stack of pancake porn with a whopping protein content of almost 50g. *Gym buffs rejoice*


Cookie Protein Waffles (more pancakes with abs)

waffleoreo

These pancakes also went to the gym to get its pump on, and met sexy oreo there… and well… Oreo Cookie Protein Waffle was born…


Pancake Cake

PancakeCake

PANCAKE CAKE!!! Layers of chocolate pancake, with protein frosting with more protein frosting and then a protein choc drizzle. 50g protein per slice of 4… WADDUP!


AND OUR LATEST RECIPE:


Vegan Spinach & Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:
Handful Spinach Leaves
1 Cup Ground Oats
1 Banana
1.5 Cup Milk of Choice
1 Scoop Soy Protein Isolate (or sub with preferred protein powder)
1 Tbsp Maple Zero Syrup (or agave/ honey)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Method:
Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender ( we used a Nutri Bullet)  and set aside for about 5 minutes. You need to let it set so that the chia seeds get to work and soak up some of the moisture.

Note: If you like your pancakes thick and chunky, the recipe as above will make them like that, however if you prefer thinner ones, just add more water or milk.

Prepare a non-stick pan with a dab of coconut oil or coconut oil spray (We used the latter) and turn hob heat onto medium, which is approximately 4 (of 6) on ours.

Start by pouring a spoonful of batter with a tablespoon and cook for several minutes. Then, flip over gently using a spatula and let cook for another several minutes.

Then, drizzle your favourite sauce, fruit or even nut butter and enjoy these delicately moist and delicious pancakes!

Yields 2 servings.

Nutritional Info (per serving of two):

411 Cals | 8.3F | 61.4C | 22.6P

 


Or you could even go for the easy option and buy yourself some Protein Pancake Mix! Our favourite flavour is the Maple!


Note: Please make sure your pan is non-stick or else you are going to have a BAD TIME making pancakes! Read our How: To Pancakes for more help!

Hope this post gives you all some pancake inspo.

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations, you can find us on all social media platforms @themusclebakery.

Lots of love & Pancakes
The Muscle Baker <3

 

 

 

GUEST POST // Vegan Salmorejo

Vegan Salmorejo, By Veggie Gib.

Salmorejo is a classic dish from the Cordoba region of southern Spain. It is a cold soup (similar to gazpacho) although it is much thicker in consistency because it is made with bread. Many traditional Spanish dishes use bread because it was cheap and a good filler. Salmorejo has become quite popular and trendy and can be found in most tapas restaurants.

I must say this now though, purists please look away! This version differs from the traditional version in that it does not contain bread, making it gluten free, and it is high in protein because it is made with tofu, but it does not interfere with the flavour and thickens the soup in the same way bread would! I suggest using a high-powered blender (like the ones for making smoothies) to make it smooth, and not to make it too far in advance as the garlic flavour will get more intense as time goes on and can become overpowering.

Traditionally Salmorejo is served with diced serrano ham and boiled egg, or even tuna. However, I like to keep it vegan and using raw diced fruits and vegetables gives it interesting textures and contrasting flavours. In winter-time I like to use cucumber, apples and even kiwi. In the summer-time melon works wonderfully as it has crunch and sweetness.


salmorejo01salmorejo02


Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.


Ingredients:

  • 750g (about 6) ripe plum tomatoes
  • 250g extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Place the plum tomatoes in a bowl and cover with water from a recently boiled kettle and allow to soak for about 1 minute. This should be enough time to enable them to be easily peeled. Discard the water, peel the tomatoes and roughly chop them into a blender.
  2. Cut the tofu up and add to the tomatoes.
  3. Cut and peel a clove of garlic and add to the tomatoes.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar the olive oil and a good pinch of olive oil.
  5. Blend until smooth and then put through a fine sieve to remove any graininess from the tofu or seeds.
  6. Finely dice cucumber, apple, kiwi, melon or any other fruit / vegetable of your choice and serve.

Serves 4 tapas (or 2 main)

Nutritional information:
Overall: 768kcal | 49F | 34C | 44P
Per serving: 192kcal | 12F | 8.5C | 11P


Muscle Bakery tip: Want to make it even higher in protein? Add some Nutritional Yeast! High in protein, fiber and loaded with B Vitamins!


Veggie Gib

Food has always been a passion of mine, especially eating! Being naturally curious and having a sweet tooth I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and creating yummy treats for myself, family and friends. Going vegetarian made me explore a lot of different foods and ingredients and made me look at food from a different perspective. What is more I quickly learned that veggie food is far from bland or boring. I like to make food that is quick, easy and tasty and I like to adapt traditional recipes to vegetarian alternatives whenever I can. Now I like to share what I eat and my recipes and hopefully make people want to eat more veggie food.

 

Recipe created by Ivan Hernandez, the man behind Veggie Gib. if you have not checked him out… what are you waiting for?! You can find him on InstagramTwitter, Facebook and most importantly via his website. (His Instagram is a beautiful array of meals and sweets that will most certainly make your tummy rumble!)


We hope you enjoyed this recipe, get involved… tweet/ gram us @themusclebakery & @veggiegib and tell us your thoughts!


Veganuary Week Deux ✌🏼

Week Deux, still craving pizza, not missing meat, haven’t watched Earthling’s yet, the oven man farted in my kitchen and still eating loads Kale & Quinoa Salad. Check out Week Deux of Veganuary…

Wanna read our first week? Link here.

DAY 8: CRAVINGS 🙄

I was hoping I’d wake up today the most refreshed of all. It was after all, the 8th day of Veganuary and my body was (finally) getting to grips with the whole thing. Or so I thought?

However, the bathroom leak had returned and a 3am, 6am, 8am alarm (to check that we hadn’t flooded) meant I felt like death reincarnate.

The ‘Im going to get up early and be so productive’ mental plans were now ruined and I opted for slothing it out in the confines of my warm fluffy bed for an extra couple of hours. I lay drifting in and out of consciousness until the 7th alarm ‘OMG you are such a fatty’ went off. Best sign as any.

I swirl up my daily dose of Amazing Grass Lemongrass, pop on some running gear and head out into the world for a quick sweat on. Instantly I feel better, running is so therapeutical, so easy to get lost in thought; thoughts about brunch.

Best thing about a morning sweat sesh? The refuelling brunch part. The part that usually consists of creamy oats and peanut butter.

While inhaling my oats, an orchestra of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ ensue. How do people not like this? How can they not like oats. Honestly.

The rest of the day was pretty mundane. Prep invoices for Monday’s re-stocking. Wrap a few bars. Browse ASOS. Go for a massage. Crave pizza. Eat a crisps sandwich. You know. The usual.

I find myself craving foods, not because I particularly want to eat this or that, but because I miss the ‘full’ feeling or feeling of satiety. I understand that this must be a normal feeling, after all the body must still be getting used to the change.

A leftover Christmas chocolate in the form of a strawberry and cream Lindt ball stares at me from the back of the cupboard. It’s pink glistening wrapper, yearning to be touched.

NO!

Instead, I eat a Lenny and Larries cookie which has 4x more calories. Sigh. I see it. I’m gonna get fat by the end of this.

I go to bed hungry. And fat.


DAY 9: BUSY BEE 🐝 

Monday’s are always so overwhelming, the busiest day of the week for us, with approximately 500+ bars getting delivered across all stockists.

So, what does this mean? Less time for making food and/ or eating food cold. (Something I have become accustomed to over the past year.)

I attempt to re-create oats again, I had done them the day before so it was going to be a quick thing. A ‘piece of piss’ you could say. Unfortunately they didn’t turn out so well, I forgot they were on the hob heating up and then I forgot I had poured them in the bowl.

I eat it cold. Obvs.

I realise that Monday’s are not my thing. Or maybe multi-tasking? Maybe both? I’ll go with both.

I spend the rest of the day busy and simultaneously scheming up meals in my mind.

End up eating a quinoa and kale salad for the umpteenth time.

Monday. Goodnight.


DAY 10: FAT 🐷

I wake up feeling fat.

Not bloated.

Fat.

It dawns on me that MAYBE it’s not the change to veganism that is making me feel like this, but the overconsumption of Yorkshire puds, roast potatoes and Lindt balls during xmas that in fact have contributed to my demise.

I see a meme that says ‘it’s been 12 years, maybe am not bloated, just fat’ ~ I relate to it.

(Shoutout to memes though, it’s great knowing that no matter how shitty you feel… someone else has felt the same way too.)

Lunch comes along and I watch my bf consume a large pizza AND burger while I nibble on some leaves (because it’s the only Vegan thing on the menu). I drown my hunger sorrow’s in 3 baskets of freshly baked spelt bread.

Sorry wheat intolerance. Please forgive me, for I was hungry.

8:30pm arrives and i’ve consumed only 20g of 140g protein, I give up on life.

Damn you delicious bread.


DAY 11: REGRET 😪
The bloat continues, except now it’s a mixture of wheat poisoning and Xmas fat.

If momma thought me anything, it’s that when you’re feeling poorly, a good ol toast and a bottle of Lucozade fixes everything. Except my mum was no where to be seen and an avo toast + smoothie is the best I can rustle up. Earning those hipster points the best way I can.

I choose to not eat much all day, par some leftover Hazelnut cookies which I forgot I had made.

This tends to happen often due to the daily baking at MB HQ. Other people find loose change in their pockets, not me. I find cookies. Who’s the real winner huh?

For dinner I opted safe, but was also inspired, mainly due to hunger (after eating basic all day) and tried to re-create Wagamama’s Warm Chilli Salad coz it’s my fave. [Emphasis on tried].

I had a bottle of generic supermarket brand sweet chilli sauce, which I assumed wasn’t TOO spicy. Pan-fried Tofu in it, added more to the salad then an extra drizzle you know, in case I wanted to take a picture of it like the true insta hoe that I am.

‘Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.’

Do you know the quote, ‘Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.’ ?

Yeah.

My mouth resembled the fiery pits of hell, and so after several attempts of eating the chilli with a side of salad, I gave up.

I soothed my burning mouth with a high protein Yoghurt mix (Alpro Coconut Yog + Now Foods Vanilla Soy Protein) and I was well and truly DONE.


DAY 12: OVEN MAN 🙋🏽‍♂️
After several days sans oven, (it had suddenly died on me) the man finally came to fix it. I offer him some water as i see him sweat profusely while disecting my oven to pieces.

He became so enthralled in the fixing of my oven that he let one rip.

Yeah. He farted.

Awkward level – Infinite.

I pretended not to hear it, I think he did too, it took a few seconds of silence until he applogised.

‘Its alright’ i laughed.

‘Spinach wouldnt have done that,’ I think to myself.

HOLD UP.

My first veggie joke!

Ok ok. First *lame veggie joke.

I pay him £160, and tip him a Muscle Malt.


DAY 13: MUNDANE 💤

Fridays are usually fairly busy, making sure all bars are ready to roll out on the following Monday.

So, in true busy bee fashion the day was pretty mundane.

Except maybe, the part I had a BBQ tofu Burrito Bowl which was INSANELY good.

Ok and maybe the part I attempted to try a YouTube Hair Tutorial. (It was all fun and games until I was 2 hrs in, an hour late and nowhere near looking like Kendall Jenner.)

I realise that it’s the end if the week and i legit don’t miss meat. Like mentioned before, i miss the satiety feels but the thought of meat is now is slightly off-putting.

I celebrate with a glass of vodka, lime and sparkling water. (Because I’m trying to get my summer body back.)

Note to self: Pluck up the courage to watch Earthlings.


DAY 14: RUNNERS HIGH 🏆

All week I had been mentally preparing myself for today, for tackling a Round the Rock run. For any of you reading this who are not from Gibraltar, it means running the circumference of Gibraltar (an approximate 10+km’s).

I woke up, downed my powdered greens and waited patiently for them to settle. You see, I can’t run until I go to the ‘ladies room’ or else the run itself makes me wanna. Nothing I hate more than having to stop and walk because I’m bursting or having to barge into a restaurant/ bar ‘Can I use your toilet please?’ Embarrassing. So I wait.

Eventually i set off, found a good pace and in the same way as Brian Griffin in Family Guy, I get the incredible runners high. (Watch linked video to see what a runner’s high is because it is such an accurate depiction.) I beat my time from two weeks prior. I reward myself with a Lenny & Larries Snickerdoodle Cookie.

Lunch plans were at my sisters, and however supportive she is of me taking part in Veganuary the stress of cooking for the family got the better of her: ‘Bring something for yourself I don’t know what to make.’ Wagamama take away it is.

‘All the Edamame beans please.’

In usual post-lunch tradition, my sister (who must be a distant relative of Charlie from the chocolate factory) whips out trays upon trays of chocolates. Hey Twix. Hey Wispa. Hey Twirl. All my old homies staring at me, pleading me to unwrap them. But, I resist. I ain’t a quitter. I also happen to be REALLY stuffed from all of the 3 bowl’s of Edamame beans.

After resisting the chocolates, I got home craving something sweet. Does this happen to you? When you resist certain foods, you crave them? It does to me anyway. So, I made a giant pancake with loads of Choc Hazelnut butter and sliced strawberries. Honestly it was so good! Who said veganism is hard?

I immerse myself in sorting out accounts and emails. I tackle the longest email first: start typing and realise 3 paragraphs in that I haven’t even typed anything at all. Damn keyboard batteries have gone.

Technology.

Omg…

Are Apple products vegan?
I type this into the crystal ball that is the Google search bar…

I was NOT mentally prepared for the sudden wave of information that followed. To find out all the items that are in fact not Vegan.

Tampons, condoms, sugar, toothpaste… the list went on! This can’t be real surely?

Atleast I learn that Apple products are in fact Vegan. Thank f**k for that. Who cares about smelly teeth when you’re using your shiny 27inch 4K Retina iMac anyway? Pft. 


We hope you enjoyed our week two Veganuary. It has been slightly easier than week one, due to learning what foods we like and don’t like. Hope we are proving it is not as hard as you may believe it to be! You may feel that it is impossible to do it and give up *insert favourite animal based food here* (most people say cheese)  BUT, eating LESS also makes a positive change on our environment! Try it  😄


This text is based on the experiences of @themusclebaker.


Check out our Vegan Recipes for inspo.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ❤️

How to: Make Creamy Oats ✨ 

Apparently there are people out there who still manage to cook their oats wrong or refrain from eating porridge because they don’t like its taste or texture. WUUUUUUUT? 

These people (also known as stupid people) CLEARLY don’t know what they are missing out on! When done right they can be super creamy and delicious. Not to mention how filling they are, packed with all the right nutrients to keep you fuelled all day. Whether you choose to have them for breakfast, for tea or post-workout, you really can’t go wrong with a good bowl ‘o’ oats! 😋


Here is our how to:


HEAT UP MILK
Choose your favourite milk, you will need 200ml per serving. Pour it into a saucepan and bring to the boil.


ADD THE OATS
You can choose to buy sachets of Quaker Oats if you like, we saw some on offer and bought some but they are the same as regular rolled oats which are a lot cheaper. Make sure to go for a Gluten-Free option if you have an intolerance.

You will need 35g of oats. Add them in and reduce heat slightly, keep stirring for several minutes.


MAKE IT SPARKLE
You can add protein powder, we have been using Now Foods Non GMO Soy Protein and it works a treat! A similar substitution would be casein, if any of you can consume dairy this is the one we suggest. One scoop is enough. Maybe you don’t want to add protein, and add matcha powder, lucuma, maca instead… stir that in too and combine it with oats. Keep stirring several minutes until oats have soaked up the mixture and you have a thick and creamy (not clumpy) mix.


PIMP IT UP
Pour into a bowl and add your toppings. We do love nut butters on our oats so you’ll always see some on there when we make them. But, it is upto you (or your macros) what you’d like to add.


DONT FORGET THE SYRUP!
We adore the Zero syrups range by Bulkpowders because they are no calorie, sugar-free yet taste great! (Meaning we get to add loads of it tee hee) However, any syrup you prefer will taste great: agave, maple, coconut nectar, date nectar etc.



We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Don’t forget to tag us if you make them, we love to see. Find us on all social outlets @themusclebakery/ @themusclebaker 🙂


For 20% discount on Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY20 | 10% discount on iHerb using code: JCB887

All recipes created by The Muscle Bakery and subject to copyright.

Veganuary Week Uno 🌱

Let’s take part in Veganuary they said. It’ll be fun they said. No-one warned us about the cheese cravings, dangers of sudden fibre uptake and how easy it is to get fat. But, it aint all doom and gloom, have a read and find out what the experience has been like so far:

For those who don’t know what Veganuary is, we explained it in our previous blogpost: Top tips to tackle Veganuary.


DAY ONE: HANGOVER 💀

My first day as a vegan was quite uneventful, I skipped breakfast as usual (because bed minutes are worth more than breakfast minutes) and waking up on New Years Day still sporting the previous nights make-up (across face and pillow) to the realisation that it was now Veganuary and I couldn’t call up Mr Pizza Man for the usual fix was really tough. More so, with a hangover. But, I mustered up all my energy and rolled out of bed, first into the bathroom to turn myself from drug addict to relatively normal looking human and then into the kitchen to make some avo toast in true cliche Vegan style.

I hadn’t really given much thought to what being vegan implied, I just knew I didn’t want any other living being to suffer unnecessarily on my account, and no I have not watched Earthlings yet.

The hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza.

The rest of the day was spent opening the cupboards in a majorly uninspired fashion, the hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza. The night before the change, I spoke to my only vegan friend, and he advised me to throw out all non vegan products. I said I would, but I didn’t. Ingrained in my very being is my father’s voice saying “waste not, want not” or “starving children in Africa would fight over that plate”,every time I attempt to throw food away. So, when the temptation to whip out the cheese and crackers came along, I knew they had to go.

Sorry dad. Was there no one I could offload my brie on?

Humus and carrot sticks for dinner it is.

And with that, day one finito.

*Pats self on back*


DAY TWO: INSPIRED ✨

Woke up late (earning extra bed minutes) and in a huff decided to be pro-active in a bid to make up for those wasted hours. Chopped up all the veggies possible, laid them in a tray and popped them in oven to grill. +5pts to me.

Determined to stick to my plan, I spent a considerable amount of my lunch hour in the health shop along with most of my life savings; stocking up on organic fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses and vegan alternatives.

Then it hit me,Chocolate!

What the hell vegans? Why would you do this to yourselves, and more importantly, me.

Chocolate is my thing. I eat it every day.

Now, for any of you thinking about going vegan, let me tell you this; your chocolate will never taste the same again. Say goodbye to Green & Blacks Butterscotch bars *sad face*. This does not mean vegans cannot eat chocolate, we can, just not the deliciously smooth milk variety.

I’m a fan of all kinds of chocolate, so after a frantic Google search, I found that some of my favourites were in fact vegan. Lindt Excellence, as from 70% cocoa, awesome! It also helps if you (or in Lisanka’s case, your best friend) is a wizard in the ‘free from’ kitchen. *insert Hazelnut truffles here*

Anyhow, whilst on my splurge at the health shop, I discovered something much better than chocolate anyway, dried pineapple. My absolute favourite fruit ever. There are many versions of dried pineapple on the market, most of them heavily laced with preservatives and sugars. Sulfur dioxide is not something I want to be consuming thank you very much. I’ve become an additive snob along with my vegan-ism. Tropical Wholefoods ‘sun dried pineapple’ is 100% pineapple and is organic to boot. I may have eaten the whole bag in sheer excitement.

Lunch was a bit of everything. I went to the only vegetarian place I could think of close by and ordered enough food to feed a small country. Avocado and tomato salad, roast sweet potato and beetroot salad, 3 bean soup, falafel and humus. I must stress, I did not eat this all. The falafel and humus was enough and I saved the rest for later. I guess I tried to over compensate for the lack of obvious protein on my plate.

I spent most of my afternoon engrossed in vegan literature, i.e. Google, Pinterest and Instagram.

Inspired by the colourful offerings I held in the palm of my hand, I set to work on writing up an endless list of ‘to-do’ recipes. The first on my list? Bean burgers. What i ended up with? Lentil & Quinoa patties. Ah well, its only my second day, ill get this.

I know most vegans and vegetarians say this when they make a meat free alternative, but seriously, I did not miss the meat at all. My bean patty was divine and my mother agreed. Although, I’m going to be honest, I missed the slice (or two) of cheese.

For dessert? The remaining Hazelnut Truffles of course.


DAY 3: HELLO FIBRE 🙃

O.K, so none of these vegan blogs warned me about the side effects of upping your fibre intake dramatically. In hindsight I should have seen it coming. I won’t go into the technicalities, but I am under the mercy of my digestive system, and she’s not being very gracious.

To be safe, my breakfast choice was a Coconut Milk smoothie laced with flaxseed, oats and a generous dollop of Hazelnut butter. Somehow, it felt sensible to keep to liquids, or at least it seemed logical to me.

I’ve started slowly telling people that I am cutting out meat, dairy and any other animal products from my diet and for the most part everyone is surprisingly supportive. Vegans tend to get a bad reputation for being pushy, preachy, holier-than-thou know-it-alls, so the common response when you tell someone you’re vegan is a defensive one. I know, because I used to get that way.

I once tweeted something quite awful about a vegan, and how I wanted to slap her in the face with a steak. In jest, of course. It’s not that she was vegan, she was just an ass hole; an ass hole who happened to be a vegan.

I don’t want to be one of those people who sneers at your life choices at the dinner table, or aggressively pushes their beliefs on others.

Lunch was leftover bean patties paired with homemade sprout crispies; an idea that was inspired by one of many Vegan Insta-foodie accounts I have began to follow since starting Veganuary. My judgement clouded by excitement, but my fibre intake jeopardised. A decision I would come to regret.

I feel a constant need to eat and to be nourished, and as a result I’m eating copious amounts of nuts, nut butter, seeds and dried fruit, namely cashews, peanut butter and dried pineapple. I may be eating too much, but how can something so small be so calorific?

*sigh*

Dinner comes along and in usual post-workout fashion, am really tired, cranky and hungry. I only have enough macros left to eat protein and not much else and with that, for the first time since starting, i wish for some chicken. I give myself a few imaginary slaps and proceed to whip up some Satay Tofu. (Honestly… it was horrible, but i ate it anyway.)

Tomorrow will be better, surely.


DAY 4: BLOATED 💩

Not loving myself at the moment if I’m totally honest. I feel like a blow up doll. I’m swollen, uncomfortable and fat.

The thought of a lean scrambled egg breakfast was plaguing my mind. I banish the little yellow clouds of protein goodness from my thoughts and again opt for a liquid breakfast. Paired with a bowl of oats. Girl logic.

Getting ready for work was a chore, everything feels too tight and I was in no mood for the confines of hosiery. I look in the mirror and liken myself to a dairy cow who’s been pumped full of hormones. Even my face looks distorted. What’s happening to me?

Google will know.

“Is veganism making me fat and ugly?”

The short answer is yes, the long one is no.

There is a common misconception, that there are certain things one can do to “detoxify”

When you starve your body of all animal products, a lot of weird stuff happens. You might feel overly emotional and sensitive,experience unexplained aches and pains, tension headaches,flu-like symptoms bloating, constipation, diarrhea (or both), vomiting (or all three). You may start thinking your body is punishing you for deviating from what we all believe is our God given right, eating animals. I likened it to going cold turkey on Heroin, not that I’ve ever been a heroin addict, but if Eastenders taught me anything, it’s that addicts go through hell when they give up the goods.

Hang in there. It will get better, you will get better. Much better.

Your face wont always resemble a big hunk of celeriac (organic of course), I promise.

I will say this though, the withdrawal symptoms are real. It will happen to you. Just think of it as a good spring clean. The body is ridding itself of mercury, pesticides, bacteria and hormones along with a whole host of other nasties found in animal based foods.

Thankfully, i didn’t have to worry about lunch today. Wagamama had my back. All the Edamame beans please.

Note to self: Stop buying dried pineapple.


DAY 5: STILL BLOATED 💩💩

The ugly continues.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror… how is this bloat even normal? I look like I’m in my third trimester, ready to pop triplets and my partner has already begun mocking me. ‘Stop sticking your belly out.’ he says … I wasn’t even. I start to think of all the moments in my life i wasnt bloated and took for granted.

F**K you sprouts.

I proceed to rummage through all my clothes, finding all and any baggy items, telling myself, ‘Today, i will refrain from eating fiber. I can do this.’

Breakfast was again a liquid option. With toast, toast is always a good idea, and 100% vegan.

In a bid to avoid any extra fibre, I steered away from all the cans of neatly stacked beans which I had impulse bought in my pre- veganuary excitement. My next best bet for getting some high protein foods in my belly? Tofu. I remembered a chicken nugget recipe i used to make, so applied the same ingredients and methods to the tofu instead. Thankfully, it was a success and possibly the best Vegan recipe ive made so far. #VegansOfIG rejoice. Tofu nuggets was born.

I start feeling a little bit better come afternoon and the bloat subdued after several toilet visits. (Gotta thank the extra dosages of lemongrass tea for that).

Then much to my surprise, an asos delivery came a knocking at my door, inside? Some new training gear! I popped it straight on, and pranced around feeling as light as a pringle. What a contrast to this morning!

Eager to test out the new gear, i opened up my NTC app and set off for a run. I started running and couldnt stop. I felt alive. For the first time in all of Veganuary i was PUMPED! Was it being Vegan that had made me able to run for so long? Maybe it was, who knows. Either way, i was loving it.

 


DAY 6: OK, I GOT THIS 🙅🏼

Fresh from the previous days motivation i woke up feeling great, not only had it been a while since i was capable of running 10k but for the first time all week… no bloat! YASSSSS! Guess this Veganism is kinda alright!!? With a smile on my face, i swirl up my daily dosage of super greens and hot lemon water before seizing the day ahead.

It was a busy day prepping bars for the week ahead, and even when my oven broke and toilet started leaking… my positivity levels were still high. After all, what is a broken oven in the grand scheme of things? Im alive, i’m healthy and have a fluffy gown that warms me up at night. It could be worse.

 


DAY 7: HAPPY ONE WEEK! 🎉

I would love to say that I woke up this morning feeling rested and refreshed. The truth is I was kept up half the night by my upstairs neighbour. 1 am is as as good a time as any to grind cacao nibs in your antique heavyweight bronze pestle and mortar (So 2017).

I know because after half an hour of racking my brains I asked him what the hell that was.

“I’m making chocolate, darling, come up it’s fabulous. I’ve got cacao nibs on the grind.”

“No thanks, it’s late. I’m trying to sleep.”

“Save me some.Goodnight.”

If I wake up at 10 i’ll get a solid 8 hours.

6 hours later, a frantic mother charges in my room like a bull in a china shop, looking for her charger (why in my room I don’t know).

I’m up. I’m annoyed. Tea.

I love the ritual involved in making a pot of tea. i opted for my favourite: mint tea.

Soak some loose green tea leaves in about an inch of water in a tea pot. Drain after a couple of minutes, this reduces the bitterness in the tea. Add a bunch of fresh mint leaves and add just boiled water. Wait 3-5 minutes. Pour. Sit outside. Watch the ships go by. Relax.

After about 6 months, endless cancellations and several illness excuses, our attempt at a girl date was successful. I met Liz and we ventured up the Rock and onto the new suspension bridge. The day was still, the sun was warming. The apes were out in abundance.

On our way back down from our trek, Liz was telling a story about how she and her family had been chased by a pack of apes because her youngest brother had mimicked one and proclaimed “OOOH” in its face.

As she demonstrated what her little brother had done over a decade ago, an adolescent ape (who up until that point had been indifferent to our presence and totally engrossed in a fruit peelings), leapt from behind her and onto her back baring its teeth whilst grabbing her arm. Luckily, she’s well acquainted with a quick backhand, and she shook the ape off. It seemed like she’d done this before.

I thought animals were supposed to appreciate vegans?

Exhausted from our ordeal we head off for lunch. But first, a quick stop at the supermarket for some lettuce i needed.

Sixteen impulse buys and £50 later we made our way to Wagamamas for lunch. By the way, vegan bacon bits exist, as does “just add water” sausage mix (vegan of course) and Lotus biscuits are Vegan. You’re welcome.

Wagamama’s always delivers, those edamame beans are life. I have been tempted to hit it up everyday instead of cooking myself but, my bank account denies me this luxury. We engross ourselves in eating these little green pellets of protein goodness, sip on green tea and enjoy eachothers company.

One week Veganuary down, i celebrate by making a Veggie Paella and treat myself to a bag of crisps. Yolo.

Note to self: The stated amount of rice in mother’s recipe is correct. Do NOT add more rice. Repeat. DO NOT ADD MORE RICE.


We hope you enjoyed our week one Veganuary. It has been fun to do, (challenging somewhat) but exciting to try new recipes and foods and not as hard as you may believe it to be! You may feel that it is impossible to do it and give up *insert favourite animal based food here* (most people say cheese)  BUT, eating LESS also makes a positive change on our environment! Try it  😄


 

This text is based on the experiences of Elke Hurtado and Lisanka Trinidad. Written by them both. You can find Lisanka Trinidad and some of her blogposts on Just Weight and Tea.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ❤️

Our top tips to tackle Veganuary 🌿

This year we are planning to dive head first into mission: Veganuary. Our aim is to tackle it from our typical Muscle Bakery perspective; healthified, delicious, macro-friendly and (hopefully) higher in protein. It may be a little harder to achieve, but alas, not impossible! So, we hope to prove this and we would love for you to join us!


Now, what is Veganuary?


For the whole month of January, you consume a Vegan based diet ie. no animal derived products. Much like Movember, this is done to raise awareness. For most, a love of animals is the catalyst. Some people want to feel better about themselves and the impact they make on the world. Others would like to set themselves a challenge, combining Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see trying vegan as the healthiest start to the year. Whatever the reason, that is why Veganuary began.


But, what do i eat?


This is always the first question most people ask themselves, and although initially it may seem a bit daunting there is still so many foods you can enjoy, this coming from THE fussiest eater… if i can do it so can you! *pink promise*


Make a list


What I recommend to everyone who is trying to cut out foods whether it is due to intolerances or simply because they are trying to make changes and turn veggie/ vegan/ gluten-free etc is to make a list! If you start with your goals on a negative mindset and thinking of everything you CAN’T have… you will fail. Instead, make a list of ALL the foods you CAN have. You will be amazed at how much you can actually eat.

Once you have made your initial list, pair off foods that would work together as meals or snacks etc and compile it into another list. This is your potential ‘recipes’ that you can create along the way with the foods you’ve listed you CAN have.


Food Shopping


Our recommended shopping list:

CHOOSE MEAT-FREE
The burgers, sausages and mince by Morrisons Meat-Free range are all Vegan, however not all are free from wheat so be aware and double check ingredients. Quorn for example, is not ideal as most of their products contain some form of wheat and some contain egg too!


TRY SOME TOFU
You can buy fresh or packaged tofu from most supermarkets and for anyone looking to hit daily protein targets… Low in fat, moderate carbs and high in protein, this’ll be your best friend. It doesn’t taste of much, but that is what makes it great as you can flavour it as you most prefer. Pan-fry it with seasonings, use it to make tofu burgers or even whip up a dessert with it.

We’ve bought loads so keep an eye out for recipes (or failed recipes at that).


ALL DA GREENS
Kale, Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas, leafy salad, rocket, lambs lettuce… if its green its good for you! Leafy greens and fibrous green vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods available. High in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. Each one is packed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other phytochemicals and micronutrients. When eaten raw, you get the added benefit of live enzymes needed for improved digestion and nutrient absorption.

Not only that, they are great to add volume to your meals without affecting your overall calorie intake! More greens, less everything else.


PICK YOUR FAVE VEGGIES
Choose your favourite veggies and add them to your shopping list. Not everyone likes the same veggies so this is entirely up to you!

We always buy tomatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potato, squash and green peppers as they are really versatile, add flavour to a lot of meals, work well on their own, cooked or raw and have a range of benefits between them.

Top tip: if your budget is low or you don’t seem to eat all your veggies before they go off, buy them frozen! Our go-to frozen veggie buys are usually peas, mixed peppers and sweet potato wedges, but there is a huge selection you can choose from! 


NATURES SWEETIES
Fruit is natures sweeties, packed with all the goodness and bursting with flavours, they are great to eat as snacks or even to add to your savoury meals for a little something something. Our faves are usually any type of berries, pineapple which helps with digestion and of course banana’s and apples. Always got time for those.

The great thing about most types of fruit is that you can freeze them if you won’t eat them in time. Then, you can use them for smoothies or smoothie bowls.


WELCOME THE BEANS
Beans are an amazingly versatile ingredient to have! They work well in savoury and sweet recipes, are a great source of fibre and they provide an army of nutrients. Make yourself Burrito Bowls with Guacamole & black beans, use Canellini beans to make bean burgers or make yourself some cookie dough using chick peas! Only one thing, they are high in carbs and fibre, so be wary when consuming. Especially if you can’t tolerate too much fibre and want to avoid spending your days on the toilet.


SUPA FOODS
These are not essential (and if you are on a tight budget then keep on scrolling), however we do use these often so decided to list them anyway. Chia seeds, ground Flaxseeds, Nutritional Yeast, Kale powder, Lucuma powder and Amazing Grass Superfood blend. Think of these as add-ons to smoothies, oats, yoghurts etc. Nutritional yeast is great to add to savoury meals to give it ‘cheesy’ flavour and is great to top up the protein content, check this previous blogpost for more info on it.


CHOOSE YOUR GRAINS
Rice, Brown rice, Oats & Quinoa are a must, they are a great carb source but unlike beans are a lot lower in fibre! Pair them up with loads of your favourite veggies, in a stir-fry, as a salad… wherever your imagination takes you. If you like pasta, then by all means have that too! (Opt for wheat-free options if you are intolerant).

As for oats, you can use to make granola, warm oats with plant-based milk or grind some up to use as flour for pancakes and waffles!

Top tip: Buy ready made packs of rice or quinoa if you are don’t have much time to cook, they do make life a little easier sometimes.  


DONT HATE THE PROTEIN POWDERS
A lot of people turn their noses up at protein powders, as if by some divine reason they are exempt from needing protein. The fact of the matter is that your body needs a balanced intake of ALL macro nutrients, i.e. Fat, Carbs AND Protein. So, protein powder’s are a great way to get them in, when you are struggling to obtain them in your daily diet. However, it must be said that a lot of Vegan Protein Powders may taste a bit ‘chalky’ on their own.

Our favourites are Bulkpowder’s Choc Peanut Vegan Blend, Now Foods Vanilla Soy Protein and Sunwarrior Vanilla Blend.


SWEET SYRUPS
Honey is out of bounds for Veganuary, so grab some Agave nectar, Coconut Nectar or Coconut Sugar instead. Any health store will have a selection of nectar’s to choose from including Date syrup, brown rice syrup etc but our fave is always Agave.

If you are looking for a lower cal alternative, Bulkpowders have a ‘Zero’ range which taste A-mazing and are zero fats, carbs, sugars etc + Vegan friendly. Their Maple flavour is incredible and unlike Walden Farms products, these taste like real syrup!


DONT NEED NO COWS MILK
Cow’s milk is the easiest to avoid thanks to the amazing selection we have in supermarkets and locals nowadays! Best advice would be to try them all until you decide on which you prefer. I like Vanilla Soy in my coffee but almond or hazelnut for smoothies. The only problem is that they are a little more expensive than normal milk so maybe find a friend/partner who can split cartons with you to avoid extra spending.


BUTTER ME UP
Again, much like Non-Dairy milks, this is easy. Bread and butter needn’t be avoided, just swap your usual spread for some Vitalite Dairy-Free or Pure Olive or Soya Spread and use them just the same. In savoury meals, sweet treats, cakes and more. We made our Gingerbread Men using just that and they were delicious! As well as the above, our pantry always has Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Sesame Oil.

We love using coconut oil for pancakes, waffles, sweet treats and cookies. Sesame oil is the perfect accompaniment for stir-fry’s and olive oil is a must for salads or to drizzle on toast… mmmmm.


PROTEIN TREATS
Like mentioned earlier, just because you are choosing the Vegan lifestyle, doesn’t mean you need to avoid all protein! So, if you are not too great at gulping down protein shakes or find that you are not getting enough… this is your next best alternative. Easier to carry around and perfect to combat any sweet cravings.

Aside from MB bars (obviously) there are a few other bars out there which are pretty decent and have a good macro nutrient profile. Our current favourites are Trek bars, especially their Peanut Power flavour!


PASS THE BREAD
The good news? Bread is 100% Vegan. Bad news for people like me? It has wheat (sad times) however, these Quinoa & Chia wraps by BFree Foods are amazing AND also happen to be lower in carbs than your standard wholewheat wraps which is awesome.

Make sure to double check ingredients on certain packaged breads as a a few sliced breads and gluten-free breads use egg in their recipe.


CHEESE
Let me break it to you now, there is no cheese like real cheese and if you love cheese… you will miss this the mostest. Having said that, (THANKFULLY) VioLife brand do an amazing Vegan cheese alternative! A little bit expensive but that makes you use it wisely so not an entirely bad thing.

You can also attempt to make your own, there are various recipes out there which use tofu, cashews amongst other things.

OR, you could always sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on everything!


YOGHURT
I thought I would miss yoghurt the most as i eat this every day, but the alternatives out there are amazing. Alpro have the widest range of products, all of which are Soya based. Coconut Collab have a Coconut based range, however those are naturally higher in fat than Alpro range. My favourite flavour is the Alpro Soya & Coconut, i enjoy it with fruit, nut butters or even with an added scoop of protein when i need it and the best thing? It has friendly gut bacteria which will keep your tummy happy.


NUT BUTTERS
If there is one thing you can rejoice about… it is the fact that you may consume all the nuts and nut butter’s as you please! Well maybe not ALL… coz they are laden with fats and overconsumption may lead to weight gain (we will cover this another day). But for now, nut butters are an awesome way to top up your fats and protein not to mention the added fibre that they pack.

Our recommendation would be to eat it mindfully, measure out your servings rather than just ploughing through it with a spoon and try to opt for natural nut butters rather than ones with extra sugars.


SNACK ATTACK
If you are a snack fiend like me, these are some of our faves: Lenny & Larries Protein cookies, M&S Peasnap Crisps, Enjoy Life Mini Cookies, Vegan Chocs.

Most Dark chocolates are actually Vegan, just make sure to heck the ingredient label… for example some Lindt Dark Chocolates contain lactose or milk 👎🏼

Note: Lenny & Larries cookies contain wheat.


And LASTLY…


GET INSPIRED


Follow Instagram accounts or FB pages that will motivate and inspire you, who share recipes and tips that will spark positivity in you. Search the #Veganuary hashtag and join others who are also taking part, don’t be afraid to comment and ask them questions… they most likely want to join you too!

Some of our fave accounts are @thehungrywelshgirl, @veggiegib, @eatyogreens, @fitasfudge, @spamellab, @samanthahadidi & @burtonsbakes. All of which post Vegan recipes, some more regularly than others but worth checking out 🙂

You can also check out our current list of Vegan Recipes.


We hope this inspired you guys even if just a little!

If you are thinking of joining in on Veganuary, let us know! Try it for even just a week and see how it goes for you… think about it like this… if we ALL tried Veganuary for just a week… how many more animals would remain? Loads more that’s for sure!

We will be posting regular recipes and updates along the way, you can follow us on @themusclebakery or follow @themusclebaker directly (who is the one taking on the challenge). Don’t forget to tag us along the way too, use #VeganuaryWithMB and lets create our little online sharing community.


For anyone located in Gibraltar, head down to LPH Gibraltar for their daily Vegan specials!


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ❤️

GUEST POST // Vegan Rice & Tofu Stir-Fry

Vegan Tofu & Rice Stir-Fry Recipe, By Veggie Gib.

Making a high protein and nutritious stir fry without meat is not an impossibility, in fact it is quite easy! Mr Veggie Gib shows us how…

I like to use extra firm tofu (usually sold as ‘bio’ tofu) for stir fries because it is higher in protein (a good 15g/100g) and has less water so it doesn’t need to be pressed. All you do is pat the tofu dry, cut it up and shallow fry. The outside will go crispy whereas the inside will be soft, giving a nice contrast of textures, and it develops a nutty, almost popcorn-like flavour.

I don’t mind admitting I sometimes use shortcuts, in this case with the stir fry vegetables which I buy ready to use, but feel free to add any of your liking. Stir fries require some organisation because they are quite quick, so it pays to have a hot wok and all the other components ready beforehand.

20161120_145553_edit

 


Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.


Ingredients:
150g rice noodles, 5mm thick
250g extra firm tofu
1 tbsp coconut oil
150g stir fry vegetables (carrots, beansprouts, onion, pepper, Chinese leaf, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots)
20g (1 tbsp) peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
25g dried shiitake mushrooms (about 7 or 8), alternatively a packet of mixed dried mushrooms will do
100 ml of water

1. Put the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with about 100ml of hot water and allow to soak for about 15 minutes until soft.

2. Add the peanut butter, tamari soy sauce and rice vinegar into a small bowl and stir. It might look like it won’t mix but it will do so later on.

3. Place the noodles in a large bowl of warm water and let them soak. They only need to be soaked for about 8-10 minutes and should be ready for when they are needed at the end.

4. Pat the tofu dry with some kitchen paper and cut the tofu into bit size pieces and add the coconut oil in a hot wok. Once the oil is hot add the tofu and shallow fry until it has browned on all sides. This should only take about 5 minutes. Take the tofu out, place on kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil and put to one side.

6. Add the vegetables to the wok and stir fry.

7. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into strips and add to the wok.

8. Add about 4-5 tbsp of the shiitake mushroom liquid to the peanut butter / tamari soy sauce marinade and this should loosen up to the consistency of a thick sauce.

9. Add the noodles and peanut sauce to the wok and give a good stir.

10. Add the tofu pieces and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Info:
Calories:635 kcal
Fat: 17.1g
Carbs: 65.3g
Protein: 29.7g


Muscle Bakery tip: Want to make it lower cal and carbs? Sub the noodles for spiralised veggies or Bare Naked / Slim Noodles!


Veggie Gib

Food has always been a passion of mine, especially eating! Being naturally curious and having a sweet tooth I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and creating yummy treats for myself, family and friends. Going vegetarian made me explore a lot of different foods and ingredients and made me look at food from a different perspective. What is more I quickly learned that veggie food is far from bland or boring. I like to make food that is quick, easy and tasty and I like to adapt traditional recipes to vegetarian alternatives whenever I can. Now I like to share what I eat and my recipes and hopefully make people want to eat more veggie food.

 

Recipe created by Ivan Hernandez, the man behind Veggie Gib. if you have not checked him out… what are you waiting for?! You can find him on InstagramTwitter, Facebook and most importantly via his website. (His Instagram is a beautiful array of meals and sweets that will most certainly make your tummy rumble!)


We hope you enjoyed this recipe, get involved… tweet/ gram us @themusclebakery & @veggiegib and tell us your thoughts!


Everyday we wafflin’

I bought a new double waffle machine recently, you know… the one that makes those sexy looking American Diner style waffles. YAS.

So, in true Muscle Baker style, I didn’t let that red light die down till I was several recipes deep. (If you follow me on instagram @themusclebaker you may have noticed the few days of waffle obsession that followed suit.)


 

Now, making waffles isnt too different to making pancakes which means any pancake mix will work for waffles and vice versa! Just (for me personally) waffles are easier because the machine does all the work for you with a handy light which lets you know when they are done. Regardless, here is our top tips for wafflin’ successfully:

 

QUALITY WAFFLE MAKER // We ploughed through a gazillion options and reviews to check over quality/ price/ customer satisfaction before we bought ours. Don’t just choose a cheap one or even an expensive one because you think it will be good. Our recommendation is: JM Posner Double waffle maker.

SPRAY OIL // This is not essential but it does help a little, especially for Vegan waffles which don’t have eggs.. We use a coconut oil spray which is low in calories and doesn’t add much extra calories. There is also a butter flavour one which tastes lovely and vegan-friendly!

EASY WITH THE MIX // Before you start going crazy making waffles, experiment with the batter first. Check how many spoonful’s of batter it takes to make a full waffle without over-spill. Start small then go adding more batter for every next waffle until you reach perfect size. If your waffle spills it is quite hard to clean so you want to avoid that.

BE PATIENT // Don’t be tempted to put the heat too high in a bid to get the waffles done quicker. Start on a lower heat and wait for it to get to the right temperature, the first 2 waffles will always be the dummy ones anyway, the perfect temp will start once you’ve done a few. Note: some waffle machines don’t have temp options, it’s not necessary but is a nice extra to have. 

DON’T CHEAT THE LIGHT // The heat lights are there for a reason, so pay attention to it! All waffle machines generally are the same whereas there is a red and green light, both of which go on when you turn on machine and then the green light is the one that goes on and off to alert you. In short, when the green light is on don’t do anything.

 


As mentioned earlier, using any pancake batter will work for waffles, so if you are after a simple protein waffle recipe we recommend this one. However, if you are after a Vegan option or egg-less option, the following recipe is for you and works perfectly with casein or a vegan protein blend.

 

This is our latest go-to recipe:

VEGAN PROTEIN WAFFLES



Deliciously dense waffles, perfect for any day of the week.
Credit: The Muscle Bakery

Ingredients

1.5 Cup Coconut milk/ Almond milk 0.5 Cup Gluten-Free rolled oats 0.8 Cup Brown Rice Flour 1/8 Cup Arrowroot Flour 1 Scoop Bulkpowders Vegan Protein Blend* 1 Tsp Xanthan Gum 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract 2 Drops Stevia (or alternative) 1 Tsp Baking Soda 1 Tsp Cider Vinegar Spray oil of choice.

*This recipe will work just the same with casein too, textures will be different but will work perfectly nonetheless. We used Bulkpowders Strawberry flavour casein to test the recipe.

Directions

  1. Mix milk and vinegar together and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Heat up waffle machine as per instructions and like mentioned earlier, if you have never done waffles before add less batter rather than more. Add batter when green light goes off, then wait until green light goes off again to open waffle machine to remove waffle.
  4. Note: If you’re waffle has a temperature setting, start at a lower heat then build it up.

  5. Repeat until all batter is used up.
  6. Pile them up on a plate, add your favourite syrup and ENJOY!
  7. Nutritional Info (per serving of 4): 228 Cals | 2.6F | 39.7C | 8.8P

    Free from Gluten, Wheat, Sugar, Dairy, & Egg.


 


Need some waffle inspo? Here are some of our customers creations from our ‘Waffle Party’ event held 15th October at Strength Factory. Proceed with caution, extreme foodporn follows:

Vegan Choc Peanut waffles with Zero syrup, frozen raspberries and almond butter, Nadia’s simple and delicious creation.
Simple protein pancake recipe, smothered in zero chocolate mint syrup, choc mint oreos and a dollop of Nutella. OH MY.
Simple protein pancake sandwich with an apple pie theme! Apple pie filling and Toffee Nakd bites between 2 layers of waffle, topped with whipped cream, banana, caramel waldens syrup and a cheeky oreo.
Rita topped her simple protein pancake with frozen razzies, choc shot syrup and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. Who’s jealous?
Chocoholics look away! Simple protein pancake topped with zero syrup, crumbled twirls, Nutella and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. HOT DAMN.

 

 


No matter your dietary needs, everyone should be able to enjoy waffles! So if this recipe doesn’t tickle your fancy, have a browse on our ‘Pancakes and Waffles‘ recipes section and see if any other recipe suits you better!

Hope you enjoyed the tips and recipe, tag us if you put them to good use!

Find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery <3