RECIPE: Green Goddess Breakfast Smoothie

RECIPE: Green Goddess Breakfast Smoothie

When I first went plant-based, I wanted to find a way to get a morning boost of nutrients. This is the original tastey recipe I always come back to. Sometimes I “bulk” it up with some blueberries, nectarines, peaches, basically anything! But, the below recipe is the most balanced flavour that I always come back to. You can also jazz it up with nuts, seeds and super powders (acai, spirulina, maca). Play around until you find one you love.

GREEN GODDESS SMOOTHIE:

INGREDIENTS:

1 Banana

half a pear

handful of spinach

handful of kale

quarter inch of ginger

quarter inch of celery

teaspoon of ground flaxseed

coconut water or cashew nut milk (enough to cover the ingredients)

METHOD:

Add everything to the blender and whizz. If you want a thicker, cooler smoothie, freeze the banana and pear before blending.

3 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight, You're Tired & Irritable

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3 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight, You're Tired & Irritable

We all want to feel good in our skin, bolt through life with energy and have a more consistent, good mood. So why does that seem so hard to achieve? We over-complicate, make excuses, and don’t just do the simple things.

If you can change your lifestyle by just altering these 3 simple habits, you’ll start to see the changes you want in your body and mind. By starting with these 3 things in your foundations, you’ll see a positive domino affect on the rest of your day. From there you can choose if you want to explore a more plant-based diet, take up more exercise or anything else. But without getting these 3 right, the rest is almost wasted because you won’t get the results you want.

1: SLEEP

We’ve been told time and time again, but do we listen? The body needs rest in order to repair. Everything from your hormones, metabolism and cell repair, starts here in sleep mode. Every body is different, but it is recommended that we get between 6.5-8 hours of sleep per night. You also need to sleep with “good habits”. I.e. Not going to bed super late, trying to wind your mind down, not looking at a phone or computer screen straight before bed. This might not be new information to you, but there is no denying that most of us ignore this basic step. Bad sleep will make you tired (of course), but will also throw your hormones out of whack, sending your appetite into disarray, and inevitably contribute to you gaining weight. So, make peace with getting some sleep.

2: BREAKFAST

Yep, another golden nugget (no pun intended, don’t eat those they’re really not good for you). Breakfast, whether you choose to go plant-based for it or go for the not-so-healthy, just have something. Having breakfast lets your body know that there is food around, and it doesn’t need to go into starvation mode. You’ll be levelling out your blood sugar levels, setting off you metabolism, and really laying out your day from here. By eating breakfast, your appetite and cravings will be more balanced and in tune throughout the day. What you do with that from there is up to you, but you will have made the first step right there. For me, breakfast is a go-to Green Goddess Smoothie. You can jazz it up, or keep it simple, but I find this is the perfect nutrient-boost in the morning.

3: CAFFEINE

I love coffee. I love the ritual of the coffee press or popping the Nespresso capsule into the machine and watching it smoothly pour into the cup. I love the energy boost. BUT, I’m in no sense of denial that coffee is not great for my skin, and it negatively affects my appetite; in that it suppresses it. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might think that’s a good thing. But you’re WRONG. When you’re hungry, your body is telling you it needs something. Food…fuel. If you’ve suppressed that cue, you’re not giving your body what it needs and it’ll start holding onto what its got. That’s reducing the process a lot, but that’s essentially what is happening at the core of it. Having caffeine later on in the day can also affect your sleep, which then sets the whole cycle off again. It goes without saying that caffeine is in tea, as well as coffee, but for me, coffee is king.

Naturally, you can find much more information, scientific and anecdotal about all of this all over the internet. I wanted to share a snippet with you here because from my (ongoing) journey, I can whole heartedly say that these 3 things really are the foundation for getting your body in the right place to do anything else.

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Let's Talk About Failure

Lately we've been talking about all the things that didn’t quite go all the way, or all the things that didn’t go quite how you expected. And it got me thinking about failure; where it gets us, and what it means. If it wasn’t forever, was it a failure?

Two “failures” that particularly stick in my mind this year have been two things that have changed my outlook for the future. One being the P&P cafe closing, and two being a relationship that didn’t go “The Whole Way”, if such a definition exists. 

P&P was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best. I met some incredible people, learnt SO much about myself and about food and business. I also learnt where my boundaries lie, and what I do and don’t want. I hope it makes people smile when they think of it, as it still does for me. The decision to not open in a new premises was hard, and one that has hurt a lot over the past few months, but I think it is the right one for now.

At the same time as that, last year I ended a relationship because I was scared; I’d never felt so intensely so quickly for someone, and it was a relationship that was different to any I’d had before. In the best kind of way, he was different to anyone I’d been with. He taught me to live in the present more, to “let go” a bit more, and he taught me what I want, though I didn't know it at the time. But because we were different in how we communicated, It meant I didn’t know how to put my insecurities aside. I felt like I didn’t know how to navigate the whole thing, and that terrified me. It didn’t occur to me that actually, sometimes you’re meant to let go and let it navigate you. Just because he didn’t communicate like me, didn’t mean he wasn’t communicating. I just needed to let time teach me. 

These two experiences showed me some of the best times of my life, and two of the places from which I continue to grow from. I never thought that I’d be talking about two of my failures as essentially two of my biggest successes. For me, something is a success if it teaches you, shakes your status quo, and if it brings good or happiness into the life of someone else.

My lesson from both these “failures”, if you were to look at them in the typical “not forever” sense  is that anything worth having, even for a short period of time, takes effort, dedication, desire and the risk of being hurt. And the reward is feeling like you’re home.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

The time has come for me to break the news that I've been putting off for a while. The 27th of January will be the last day that P&P will be operating from the little place we’ve called home for the past 17 month, 5 Park Street.

Due to reasons still unknown to us, the landlord has decided to end the terms of the lease.

As you, our ever encouraging, loyal customers know, P&P and Downdog & Crow have become so much more than a Yoga Studio and Little Vegan Cafe; out of nowhere, we had a little community of dreams and ideas. You’ve each helped us grow from tiny seeds of hope to destinations that people will repeatedly come to, leaving brighter than when they arrived.

I can’t begin to thank each one of you enough for all your kindness and support these past 17 months. From each customer, who became a friend, to my unwavering family, especially my mum who helped make my illegible recipes in the early days, and my dad who fixed all array of DIY issues; my friends who helped me cook or sampled new dishes, stayed up late into the night putting up decorations, researching business plans and going to garden centres for plants and helping at workshops; then there are those who travelled miles to come grab a cookie, became addicted to Almond Mylk Flat Whites, and batch ordered twixx bars. To my girls who worked Saturday shifts when we realised it was too busy for me to work alone, my members of staff over the weekends, who cooked and cleaned and smiled even through training and making 400 avocado toasts in 2 hours (that’s what it felt like at times), and sharing my love of hip hop. And we can’t forget friends who would just step up to a shift if there was an emergency, winging making a Turmeric Black & Gold Latte or raw vegan wrap without complaining that I’d never even shown them how to do it.

Undoubtedly, one of my biggest thanks goes to Suzanne, without whom I would have never had the courage to open up in the first place. With every Matcha, through every hard day either of us had, Suze never stopped believing in us and encouraging me to do more, and be better. We’ve laughed every day, cried some days, but mostly just been able to be true to ourselves.

They say the only certain thing in life is change, and though it can be scary, beautiful things can come from that. I didn’t know we would have this unforgettable, completely unpredictable journey that we’ve had at Plants & Pilates. And though I’m not entirely certain what will happen from here, I do know we can continue to create joy from the unexpected.

BALANCE; OUR NEW OPENING TIMES

BALANCE; OUR NEW OPENING TIMES

The Wellness industry is a tricky one; while promoting taking care of ourselves, it can be incredibly difficult to do so when trying to run a business that aims to look after others.

P&P has been one of my biggest joys in the past year, and there is not a thing I would change about what has been. However, after lots of soul searching, I've come to realise that while trying to be everything to everyone, I've not taken care of myself. 

Success, we are told too often, is putting in every single hour and ounce into our work. And when you love what you do, you happily will do that. However, at some point, continuing like that has taken its toll on me, my relationships, friendships and overall wellbeing.

For that reason, I've decided to run P&P as a "Weekend Spot"; from Friday through to Sunday, all of your favourite vegan delights, smoothies, teas, coffees, and sweet desserts will be served from our now bigger space in the courtyard of Garrett House.

With these condensed hours, we hope to be able to serve more love with each thing that we serve out to you. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and coffee catchups, post yoga, pre-yoga, or just in your active wear between popping to the shops. 

Wellness is about finding the balance in life; something that we are all striving for. Because life doesn't fit neatly into packets of "work", "relationships", "friendships" and "health". It all comes intertwined, messy, and we have to find our own way of enjoying and growing with the journey.

If there is anything that you would like to see from our proudly vegan eatery, please don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Love,

Naz & Lady

What Foods To Eat In Spring

Now that we are a few days into Spring, you might notice the weather changes affecting your mood and health. If you're feeling a little under the weather at the moment, fear not. Spring is a time of detox for the body. It's a time of shaking off the hibernation of winter and kickstarting again. The body is trying to ground itself, and as so the unpredictability of the weather can make us a bit more susceptible to bugs, colds and flus. 

The best cure for these is preventing them, by eating foods which are keeping to the time of year, namely - as far as possible - seasonal. 

Though this might seem a bit of a chore at first, it's actually pretty adaptable and easy to make your own.

The essential idea of macrobiotics is to incorporate food choices that are in keeping with the seasons. When the body is in balance with nature, it will be more balanced with in itself.

BASICS:

The organ that is most active in this cleansing month is the liver, so supporting this and the gallbladder is of most importance. Symptoms that your liver is out of balance include: fatigue, waking up in the night, stiff joints, irritability, hot flushes, and pain in the abdomen.

So, What foods should you enjoy most of in Spring, and what should you avoid to help balance the liver and align the body?

As ever, fried foods, processed foods and refined oils should be avoided.  These just cause extra work for the liver

DO EAT

- A lot of whole grains (brown rice, red rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, oats, spelt, freekeh, to name a few)

- A lot of veggies, including a lot of leafy greens (chard, spinach, kale, radishes, carrots, mushrooms)

- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas)

- Seaweed - any kind (wakame, nori, pulse). So incredibly rich in minerals and vitamins, and also wonderfully cleansing. 

Add sour flavours to your meals; lemon, lime, kraut. 

When in Winter you may have cooked things for longer, like soups and stews, Spring is a lighter time. Think blanching, steaming, raw, pressing and sprouting.  Add herbs as much as possible.

Try to eat no later than 7pm. Digestion is an incredible, and sometimes long process. If your body is still digesting when you go to bed, your sleep will be disrupted and the whole detoxing process will be offset.

Pop into the cafe to try our Spring salads Tuesday-Friday 8.30am-3.30pm and Saturday 9.30am-2pm.

 

Vegan Pancakes for Pancake Day

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NEWS: This Tuesday, 28th February, we will be serving our Buckwheat Pancakes from 8.30-12.30pm. If you fancy making your own, read on for the recipe!

If you don't eat flour, eggs, sugar, butter and milk, fear not, you don't have to miss out on Pancake Day. The internet is awash with lots of vegan-friendly, healthy pancake options, which actually taste better than the traditional highly unhealthy versions.

In truth, before I was vegan, I could never get traditional pancakes right. I know, they're hardly complex, but I never really liked the flavour and I could never do the flipping thing. Devastation.

Below is my own favourite pancake recipe. Delicious, soft in the middle, incredibly morish AND healthy!! I prefer thicker pancakes, but if you want these thinner, just add some more almond milk.

Buckwheat, Maple & Cinnamon Pancakes
(makes 3 pancakes)

Ingredients
- 2 handfuls of oats, blitzed in a processor
- 3 tablespoons of buckwheat flour (or buckwheath, blitzed in a processor)
- Half a teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 banana, mashed
- Quarter teaspoon of himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons of almond milk
- Half teaspoon of cinnamon
- Quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (and more to top)
- Optional strawberries, grapes, kiwi, bananas and nuts for topping
- Coconut oil (for heating the pan) 

Method:
1. In a large bowl, mash up the banana.
2. Stir in the buckwheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt,
cinnamon, vanilla essence, maple syrup and almond milk
3. Stir well. If too runny, add a bit more flour.
4. In a large frying pan, heat half a teaspoon of coconut oil per pancake.
5. Take a large spoonful of mixture and drop into the pan and form a round shape
6. Fry on each side for around 3 minutes, until bubbling and the sides hardening 7. Carefully turn over and fry for 1-2 minutes on the second side.
8. Top with anything you like, maple syrup is especially good for a gooey, caramel flavour. 

 

Why you should scrap the "New Year, New Me" Resolutions

It's always the way that, that little week after Christmas, we all tend to feel a little trodden on, having lived in excess for about a month. So we start saying "Right that's it, new year, new me".

What I've always hated about the whole "new year, new me" mantra is that it implies that you've failed. Almost like, let's scrap everything and start from scratch, you loser. It's this idea of perfection that drives us all into setting "big bold" resolutions, and feeling disappointed when they don't manifest and we don't burst into a glorious Phoenix. 

The thing about this journey we call life, is that it's a brick by brick thing. We build on each year with more than we had before...even if that is mostly a few pounds from Christmas. But seriously, it's all about getting more of what makes you happy. The thing about living in a place where, really, we have a lot more than a lot of other places, is we focus on all the bad things rather than the good things. I don't believe you need a new you. If you want more, ask what "more" means? Maybe just look for more inspiration to feed your positive energy.

What I do love about the new year is that feeling of hope and drive. Like we are ready to take on anything. I think you should scrap the very negative "New You" resolution, for just a more relaxed, positive start. Goals are amazing things; they drive us toward growth. But, when they stem from a place of feeling like you're not enough the way you are, they rarely lead to true growth.

 We are all guilty of being "too busy" for things that really matter and affect the day to day workings of our brain and body. I hope you will join me in fuelling your body with more of what makes it thrive and leaves you feeling happier and healthier. Because ultimately, if you feel good, that's going to reflect in everything you do.

Start small and see where you end up. Once you start seeing positive changes, it's easy to go on. When I say listen more, that means trying different things out. I've been guilty of wanting a "fix it" for feeling tired, puffy, foggy, but the truth is, it took a bit of effort to see a real difference. And, like all of us over December, excess drinking and eating has left me feeling sluggish. I've started small, by making sure that Green Goddess is made every morning without fail. That is what works for me. That might not be the same for you, but I encourage you to try. You never know how much this tiny change can alter the rest of your day.

We are open from 8.30am on Tuesday 3rd January 2017, with an array of exciting, healthy food and drinks to get you off to a good start.

 

<3

Nourish, energise and glow in 2017.

 

Christmas Event

Christmas Event

Everyone loves a party, and we are so excited to be throwing our first little Christmas event with the wonderful Downdog + Crow aka Downdog & Snow on the 8th of December. Spaces are limited, but we've released a new wave of tickets here (under 8th December), so be sure to grab yours before they're gone.

Starting at 6.30pm, there are going to be 3 fabulous classes (Pounding, Pilates & Barre) with a DJ, followed by some food by us, fizz, festive merriment and goody bags. Expect glitter, fairy lights, fire pits, great energy and lots of fun.

For any questions, please email hello@plantsandpilates.uk