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Sorry For The Hiatus!!

I’ve actually been quite busy over the last ((..checks how long it’s been..)) WOAH :O the last month and a half!!

Sorry about that!! No posts, though no new views, either, come to look at it..

Ohh well, thousands of views is not really why I write, anyways :) it’s a hobby ..that I don’t always have the time to do..

Over the last 6 weeks I had my hours boosted up even more for a little while whilst it was busy over the school holidays, but now they’re over, my hours have been cut riiiight down to a minimum of 6 a week :( . As well as that, I’ve had to take a week off, after having over-done it with cycling, squats and climbing in-and-out of my Dad’s lorry last week, ohh, and completing an “Treetop Challenge” at Howlett’s Wild Animal Park..

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On the zip-wire at the end of the challenge :)

Howlett’s Animal Park is working with the Aspinall Foundation – a charity that works to protect endangered species, they do conservation work and have a breeding program. All percentage of the ticket sales go towards supporting the Aspinall Foundation, so every time you visit you are helping the animals :) .

My Mum and Stepdad took me to the park as a late birthday present. I had my 20th birthday on the 14th August – not a teen anymore!! When we went to the park, I took fruit for my lunch and snacks, and they included a whole half of a watermelon!! I ate around the corner from the main tables, just so that I didn’t have to explain to people why I was eating so much ((which is silly, I know. Could have done this)), but I did get to give the melon rind to a park worker, who smiled and said that he’d give it to the honey badger :) . I got to share my lunch with a honey badger :D !!

Here are some pics from the day..

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As well as that, I have been trying to keep up with my squats, planning on going swimming again soon and really want to be on my bike more!! Next week I plan to be at Pat’s house, from Monday – Saturday-ish, so I’ll be cycling to-and-from work, and hopefully my boss will give me extra hours because I couldn’t work this week!! That’s an extra 8-ish miles a day on my work days, as Pat lives a bit further.

I’ve been eating loads of carbs :D !! For example..

WP_20130819_005Fruits of course – plus a few yummy avocados lately in my salads and sauces for my pasta. Ignore Pat’s Cherry Bakewell and lollipop underneath ;) they shouldn’t be in my fruit bowl!!

WP_20130827_001[1]A corn pasta meal with a gorgeously thick green sauce overtop that I made. I’ll start posting some high-carb cooked meal ideas on the blog soon, for anyone that is interested. I had this over a bag of pre-mixed salad leaves. Yum :)

WP_20130819_003I got this MASSIVE watermelon from a Morrissons supermarket. It costed almost £7 but it was soooo worth it!! Some of the best watermelon I have ever tasted. I need to get one of these again before the season ends completely!!

WP_20130906_015This was actually my dinner 2 nights ago :) it consisted of brown rice, butternut squash and a sauce made with the squash, some low-sodium bouillon and a handful of dill. It was so good and really satisfying :) I love carbs!!

I aim to eat as much raw produce as possible, but when I can’t get enough for any reason, or if what I have at home is not yet ripe, I’ll have a high-carb, low-protein and low-fat cooked meal in the evening, or for lunch as well as dinner, if I need to. I’ll make this up from either corn pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa and have it with whatever veggies I have on-hand, including greens whenever I can. I feel really great doing this and am the healthiest I have ever been :) . If you are interested on the benefits of eating high-carb and low-fat and protein, check out Cathy’s blog here, and maybe check out books The China Study, The Starch Solution and The 80/10/10 Diet.

Well, I’m off now to go shopping with my Dad. Off to buy more fruits, veggies and plan for next week :) .

See you then!! X

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Photography

 

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Finally Caught A Break!!

Woohoo!!

I finally feel like I’ve just caught a break in my life :)

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After loads of waiting, sitting around, not knowing WHAT to do with myself for months and months, I have a job. An alright job. That may turn more permanent, depending on how I do!!

I had 3 days of work at the Kent County Show, selling Strawberries & Cream, fruit salads, other fruit, smoothies, OJ and water. It was great!! So much fun and I honestly wish that I could do it full-time!! But alas, it was only the 3 days of the show. Hopefully the guy running the fruit stalls will call me again the next time he’s in the area, because I loved doing it and all the team were really friendly and great :) . But ahh well, for now I have other things to focus on..

..Like making a new StitchUp for a friend of my Mum’s:

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Like my new job!! So, what am I doing?? Well, I’m working at a tiny café at a country park, just a couple of miles from my home. I’m just selling ice creams, cold food and hot and cold drinks, as well as serving and cleaning up, so it could just be a summer thing, as they are much busier and need help in the summer. But hopefully it will turn into more than that. They have already increased my hours to 32 a week, from 20!! Though I don’t agree with what they sell ((me being vegan, and it being a traditional café)), it is a job, a job at last. Something that I have been waiting for ((again..)) for far too long. I no longer need to go crazy ;) woohoo!!

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I’ve been fuelling up on fruit – lots of it!! Loading up on carbs and as many summer fruits as we can afford!! I’ve been riding to and from work most days ((I started last Monday)), but not been cycling much more than that, so only about 5 miles a day right now, mainly due to the intense heat!!

Since I have been cycling more this year generally, I have felt happier and more alive and energetic. One problem though – I got low iron from increasing my activity so much :/ – I went to give blood last month and they told me that my iron was too low to give. Iron deficiency is the most common amongst mineral deficiencies, and, depending on absorption, shouldn’t be too hard to remedy. So what have I been doing to up my levels??

EATING WATERMELON!! Yup, half of a large watermelon ((a favourite breakfast for me)) is 30% of my iron requirements in one day :) who knew!!??

SONY DSC..hence why there are currently 5 in my bedroom!! Ohh, that and the fact that it’s watermelon season and I LOVE WATERMELON!!!!

So should have no problem with bumping up my iron again..

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This was in September last year – around the time that I found the high-carb lifestyle. It’s not a big melon at all, really!!

Unfortunately, I’ve been lacking in the photography department ((apart from of fruit, of course ;) )), as I’ve been more busy and it’s slipped my mind. Hopefully tomorrow ((my day off)) and over the summer I’ll snap some photos of outside, animals, people and this weather!! For now, this is the most recent photo I have, really:

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Oops, that’s another fruit pic – my current haul, actually :P . Well, here are a couple of snaps from Cornwall last year, as this weather is reminding me of that holiday right now….

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Maybe I’ll get around to making that WIAW post soon…. :)

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Crafts, Photography, Serious Stuff

 

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My OTHER Blog, Lots of Fruit, Jobs and 30BAD

Hey there :)

A lot has happened since my last post ((ohh no, she’s said that before and it was depressing..)), in lots of good ways ((woohoo!!))!!

It’s the middle of the summer here in the UK and in Kent we have had some really great weather. OK, apparently we’ve got a heat wave over here, but that’s so different to our usual kind of weather ((rain, sun, rain, sleet, sun, snow, rain.. – sometimes in the same day :P )) that people have been really enjoying it, going out to beaches and having BBQs and garden parties, running and cycling more, playing with kids outside, it’s really great to see :)

Sundae 4 Dinner

Also of course, it means it’s time for ICE CREAM!! Or “Nice Cream” in my case ;) , this one being a vanilla and “chocolate” ice cream sundae that I had for dinner ..on a Sunday :P

So, what else have I been up to?? Well, last week on Wednesday, I got a call-back for a 3-day job, helping to sell strawberries & cream and other fruits at the Kent County Show. I got it :) and then the next day I got another call from Cobtree Park Café, a tiny little outside café in a country park, only about 2 miles from me!! So I went there for an informal interview and was told the hours – only 15:00 – 18:00, but it’s certainly better than nothing!! I’m just selling drinks and ice creams, crisps, chocolates and cakes, so it’s probably only going to be a summer job, but I finally feel like I’ve caught a break, and that’s something :) .

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So, I started at the County Show on Friday at 08:00 and worked with a guy called Morris, or Mo, for short. We got on well and he was nice and got on with everyone else. In fact, he kept giving me bits of fruit to try, as we were prepping all day continuously, and on Saturday I came away with a cup full of watermelon and grapes, an overflowing pint of cherries and over a pot of strawberries!! Thanks, Mo!! It was really warm over the 3 days, and we were right in the corner, at the entrance to the food tent, so it got very hot and tiring after a while – especially on Saturday. I also helped out a girl called Lea and another guy called Jazz, making fruit smoothies and selling different fruits. By the end of each day I had bright red hands and very sticky clothes :P but it was all great fun and I wish that I could do it full-time!!

I started work at Cobtree yesterday ((Monday)) and found it very slow-paced compared to the show, but it’s not too bad. I don’t go in until 15:00 so that should mean that I have a lot of time to do things in the morning, but today I have been very unproductive.. I haven’t even done my squats, yet!!

As you may have read, I have a new blog, that I started up in April, called Simply LFRV ((Low-Fat, Raw Vegan)). I created it in hope that I could assist people who are interested in the lifestyle, inspiring them with recipes, my favourite LFRV and LFV, tips, fruit info and advice.. I’ll be posting another recipe on there tomorrow, a summery berry treat. You heard it here first ;) . Here’s a link to my new site: SimplyLFRV..

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To find out why I eat so much fruit and veg, and also, why I’m vegan, check out these links:

DurianRider

Freelea

If you’re interested in the low-fat vegan or low-fat raw vgan way of eating, and the whole lifestyle, check out 30BananasADay! ((30Bad!))

Hoping that this weather stays for a while. I’ve really been enjoying getting out there on my bike, seeing how many miles I can get in on TribeSports, of course selling ((and eating copious amounts of..)) fruit in the sunshine, going for long walks with Pat and sun-bathing in his back garden :P .

Right, that’s all I’ve got time to write today, as I need to get to work ((feels good to say that!!)) :) have a lovely day!!

:) Jade :)

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Recipes, Uncategorized

 

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Creamy Tandoori Comfort Soup

Well, it’s the end of June and we’ve had a handful of sunny days so far. Mostly, this month has just been very humid, with lots of big, thick clouds filling up the sky daily.

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It’s not been too bad. Quite nice to cycle and walk in actually – it’s been warm without the chance of getting burnt ;) it has its benefits. It’s great for spiders, and apparently, flowers, too!! :)

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On Wednesday, I spent most of the day inside, feeling quite drained after not sleeping the night before. The weather was making me feel drowsy and I fell asleep whilst reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix :P . But I kept waking, the first time, I got up and looked at my clock. It had only been about an hour. It continued all night, so I had a very sleepy day after that, giving up at about 09:00.

So, what to do on a day like this, feeling very tired, unwelcoming weather outside, in-between applying for work online and watching inspiring YouTube videos??

A lot of people ((especially my age)) might say “play games”; “watch some DVDs”; “listen to music”; or something along those lines :P . I didn’t feel like doing any of these things, so I made soup!! It’s a filling, comforting, doesn’t-taste-healthy-because-it’s-so-creamy soup and I am glad that I thought to write down what I did after tasting it!!

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You can make it as thick as you like, add more or less rice, add beans, use coconut milk for added creaminess, make it spicier, add extra veg, …. Making soups can be so versatile. You can change so many things, opt for one ingredient over another, change the texture, and make it exactly how YOU like it :) . This is one of those dishes.

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 ((Excuse the dragon ;) , and the scattered table!!)) It was difficult to show just how thick my soup is, here. You can see the rice in the first picture, so you can tell it’s going to be filling.

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That one should help :) it’s quite thick and sticking to the spatula well. Give this recipe a try if you fancy something comforting and creamy, if you crave curry, and on rainy days :) – they’re good for something!! As usual, it’s vegan, low-fat, healthy, and high-carb-approved!!

Creamy Tandoori Comfort Soup

2T Hemp Seeds / Sesame Seeds / Tahini ((I only had hemp on-hand, and it turned out great))

200ml - 300ml Orange Juice

1.5T Tandoori Spices / Curry Powder ((I used a mild curry powder))

1 large / 2 small Sweet Potatoes ((300g - 450g))

1 medium Potato of choice ((180g))

120g Wholegrain Basmati Rice

2 Vegetable Stock Cubes ((I use Kallo Organic Very Low Salt))

350ml - 600ml Milk of Choice* ((I used Almond Breeze Unsweetened))

1 – 2tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Begin by placing the hemp/sesame seeds, orange juice and curry powder into a blender/food processor and setting aside to blend later.

Cook your rice according to pack instructions, in a large pan, adding in the stock cubes and stirring to break them up a bit.

While the rice is cooking, roughly chop the sweet potato((es)) and potato into 2cm squares, and place them in a separate pan or a steamer basket. Cook for 10 minutes, or until easily-pierced with a knife.

Check the rice, and if it’s ready, remove from heat and set aside. Do not drain it!!

Once the potatoes are done, drain and allow to cool slightly, before adding to the blender/food processor and blitzing with the curry powder until smooth, adding in some of the milk of choice, if needed.

Pour this mixture into the rice pan and then add in the rest of the milk. Stir and taste, adding in lemon juice a little at a time, until satisfied with the taste.

Stir it all together and heat through gently for a couple of minutes if needed, before serving.

* – By milk of choice, I mean a dairy-free alternative, as this is a vegan blog :) . There are loads to choose from.. Rice milk will give you a slightly sweeter-tasting soup, oat milk will yield a slightly thicker soup than almond, but not as thick as coconut milk. Soy milk would be fine, and hemp milk might give you a slightly nuttier-tasting soup.

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Enjoy on a lazy day, in your favourite soup mug or bowl, listening to some of your favourite music or watching a good movie ;) .

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Recipes

 

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Holly Hill!!

Hey!! I’m sorry for my last post. I won’t be surprised if I have lost most of my subscribers :S

Yes, I have had struggles, and of course, still do. Who doesn’t?? It’s how you deal with problems and struggles, that matters. Thinking about them and letting yourself “stew” will only make matters worse. If it’s something that you can talk about, DO IT!! It may take time, but opening up with someone you trust can make so much difference.

Anyways, on with todays post :)

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This was a walk that Pat and I went on the other day, from his house, up a long road, that felt about 5x longer thanks to how steep it was!! We had to stop a few times to catch our breaths. These pictures are of the most fun part of our walk to Holly Hill, a very hill-y woodland a few miles away from Pat’s house….

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….By this point, we thought that we must be near the top of the big hill. That looks like it should be the top, right??….

Wrong ;) . It took another 15 minutes or so, getting steeper and steeper as we got higher!!

So the weather wasn’t great, as you can see, but ohh well, that didn’t really matter at all :) by the time we got near the top we were pretty warm and had to take off our jackets.

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We sat right near the top of this hill and the sun came out for a few minutes :) . We just watched the shadows moving across the fields below and enjoyed the quiet. We couldn’t hear the road below and it felt as if we were miles from anywhere :)

We’ll be going there again and again, and next time I’ll make sure to take my DSLR :) .

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It was quite hard to believe that this view could be so close to home :) but it’s definitely a view that won’t be forgotten soon!! I wish that I could paint this scene. It’s something that I have always wanted to do – just go out for a walk in the countryside and take some good paper and pencils or paints, and just do it. Maybe I’ll photograph it next time and paint from the photo when I get back home :) .

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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Photography

 

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A Personal Story To Look Back On..

Warning – This is a serious post and it took a lot to write it. This is more a personal story for me to look back on, than a post for everyone, so if you want to read it, do. But you have been warned.

Over the years, I have had a growing interest in health and well-being. Of course, a few years ago, I had a bad relationship with food, and was also diagnosed with moderate-to-severe depression. I have always had an issue with medications, pills, tablets of any kind, worrying that it wasn’t natural or good to put chemicals like that into my body. So, I researched and researched, looking for alternatives. I asked my G.P, who said that there was no other way but medication ((but what does he know..)). So, reluctantly, after putting up with the symptoms for months, I finally agreed to take the prescription. I took the tablets ((Prozac)) for a while and felt really tired, all of the time. Soon I even started to hear and see things that weren’t there – all the time.. I still don’t know if that was the medication, or my anxiety, but it scared me. I was feeling worse. I wanted out, now. My Dad talked me into taking the medication for a bit longer, just to see if I was adjusting, but it had already been over 5 months, and I felt terrible. I soon had to start going to work with my Dad, my anxiety growing so bad that I was afraid to be alone..

So, at month 7, I went back to my doctor after a day at college, and explained what had been going on ((with Pat beside me)). He was very confused, saying that nobody ever had so many side-effects from that particular medication, but agreed that I could gradually stop taking them. After a couple of weeks coming off them slowly, I felt a lot better than I had before. I wasn’t as tired, I could sleep most nights and I could stay at home on my own again without being terrified by my thoughts. But, the depression still lingered, and after a while, worsened again….

One day at college, only a few months before the end of the course, I was consumed with anxiety and feeling extremely emotional. Even a raised voice would scare me :/ which sounds pretty silly, now. I felt like I had crashed. I couldn’t concentrate on the project I was working on, nothing made any sense, the words had no meaning. It was pretty scary, and I got so worried that I walked out at the break. I walked down into town and got the soonest bus home, trying not to cry, looking behind me every 5 minutes, with a feeling that I was being followed.. Yup, I was extremely paranoid, too.

My depression and paranoia have caused many arguments with Pat in the past, and I can never thank him enough for being there for me. Slowly, every day, things get a little bit better. Obviously thee are a lot of bad times, but then I simply find something that I still enjoy, to put all my attention on, instead. Finding the high-carb low-fat vegan lifestyle has helped me immensely, as well as Pat’s constant support. I’m starting to yoga again, slowly, which is helping a lot, as I sleep better on the days that I do it, I don’t feel anxious and feel more in-control of my emotions and actions.

“Take it one day at a time”, most people say. But it is difficult, feeling this way every day. It’s taken a long time to get to this point. I know that I can do this. I will do this.

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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Serious Stuff

 

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British Summer Over Already??!!

So, it would seem that our summer has already been and gone!! Or so my Dad says ;)

We did have about 10 nice days in a row. Some time last month. Is that all we deserve?? Well, let’s hope not!! It’s pretty rare for the sky to be this blue and this clear over here..

Blue Sky!!

But now we have rain again. Rain and wind. Cold rain and wind. Why am I so frustrated by this?? Well, a few weeks ago, Pat and I started going to the lakes again, where we used to sit and hang out in our first 2 years, before college and everything else started. We’ve found a nice quiet spot on a “pond dipping” platform, where we can watch the ducks and swans, and dip our feet in the water without getting splash-attacks from playful dogs :P which aaaalways happens to us!!

Swan @ the lakes

The thing is, after a little while, we decided to get a picnic mat to sit on, so that we don’t have to sit on the dirt and lots of duck mess.. on the platform. We also wanted to do some yoga in the sunshine ((I’ve got Pat into yoga :D !!)). But, of course, now that we have the mat, we’ve had no more warm sunny days. I’m sure that we bought the mat on the last sunny day that we had!! Grr..

Clear day @ Leybourne Lakes

If you’re not in the UK, you may not be aware of the floods and storms we’ve been having over the past 2 weeks. People have had their driveways flooded, their garden fences collapsing in from the force of harsh winds, and even had their pathways blocked by fallen trees.

Me?? I’ve been spending a lot of time inside. When not doing my 100 squats every day, I’ve been bored into doing housework, watching bad movies and just trying to keep warm!! Just kidding, I actually like housework :P ((weird teen..)), but it has been very cold here!!

Pat has kept me company a lot :) we watched a film the other day, called Battle Royale.

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It’s quite a scary Japanese film about a high school class of students who are kidnapped and gassed, unknowingly thinking that they are just going on a fun school trip. When they wake, they all have metal rings around their necks, that can explode at the push of a button. Furthermore, they have to spend three days on an excluded island, where they must fight to the death, until only one remains. If they fail to kill each other, they will be blown up!! So, each and every one of them are being forced to fight for their own life. It’s a pretty grisly movie, to say the least!! If you’re interested in watching it, I hope that you’re not in school, or that you watch it with someone else!!

Of course, I’ve been up to more than just watching movies and swans ;P . I’ve also been cycling on the days that it hasn’t been pouring so hard that you can barely see a thing a bit, trying to average about 10 miles a day, over the month. I’ve cycled about 80 miles this month, but now have misplaced my Velo :( . I’ve been keeping up to date with fitness by getting inspired by TribeSports. It’s an awesome site, where you can challenge yourself and others to try new sports and test yourself to go further in your current routines. I love it!! If you check it out, follow me here and I’ll follow you right back!!

Right, that’s about it for now. To leave you, I’ll share with you a picture of my dinner the other day. I had an awesome steak and chips….

My Steak n Chips ;)

Portobello Mushrooms = Juicy Steak :P

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Serious Stuff

 

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