19 November 2017

THE VEGAN CHALLENGE WEEK 2


Dorset Cereals American Road Trip Muesli with Oatly - Not a huge fan of this combo, the oat milk I forgot to shake before pouring and it was just like slightly cloudy, watery yellow liquid (piss water basically) which put me right off it. I tasted it (pre shaken) and it was actually alright but the fact it looks like toilet water has put me off drinking it again, so it's back to the drawing board with milk substitutes. I've heard a lot of good things about almond milk so I think that will be my next port of call.


Houmous, Cucumber & Cauldron Falafel Sandwich with Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Cob - Houmous and falafels are two of my favourite foods so this was destined to be an amazing sandwich. It had everything, the crunch, the softness, the flavour. Best sandwich I've had in aaaages!

I've found sandwiches are pretty easy to veganise and are actually nicer.


Tesco Mediterranean Cous Cous with Cauldron Falafels & Violife Cheese - This is a meal I love anyway so this was pretty simple to veganise. The Violife Cheese is kind of like a thick McDonald's cheese slice and it pretty difficult to grate but I just about managed it. It tastes kind of nothingy though, I can't pin point the exact flavour but it doesn't taste much like normal cheese. I made Ben try it and he spat it out...lame. That being said it was nice on the cous cous but on its own it's not the nicest.


Hippeas and Houmous - Snacking has been mainly houmous and various crisps. This is the best combination ever. Game changer this one, plus I finally found the big bags of Hippeas (which are fucking amazing). Bit awkward to dip but I've eaten 3 tubs of houmous with them today, mainly because the expiration date was today also but mostly because it's amazing.

This week, again, I have eaten a bunch more than a days worth of vegan meals. The only awkward thing so far have been things like topping a vegan meal with different cheese for just me or buying 2 different types of milk and them all not fitting in the bloody crappy fridge we have. Just little annoyances but food wise has been okay and I think in total, this week the meals I've eaten have been mostly vegan. I need to swap out some other bits like the Quorn pieces for the vegan ones or supermarket brand because they appear to be mostly vegan and work out cheaper anyway. I'm still not sure if I could do this full time but for the most part it's going alright!

18 November 2017

TODDLEBIKE2 REVIEW


If you read my blog, you'll probably know that Lily is tiny, which means finding anything that has anything to do with size pretty difficult. We have had a couple of different ride ons and pre balance bikes which have either been too big or too heavy for Lily despite her being within the targeted age range. We were recently sent this lovely little Toddlebike2* to put through it's paces and it became a firm favourite almost immediately! We have been testing it out for about a month now and not only has it taught Lily the word "bike" it has provided a lot of fun for not just her, but her entire toy box, who have all been given a ride too.

It's light enough for her to pick up and move about herself, she can actually reach the floor which is the issue we had been having previously and there hasn't been a day that's gone by where she hasn't toddled about on this little bike since!

It's super lightweight at only 0.8kg meaning little ones can easily pick it up and move it about, Lily has attempted many dare devil tricks with hers and is unbelievably chuffed that she can carry it to wherever she wishes.


Suitable from about 18-36months or whenever your child can walk and stands at 34cm high and has 4 wheels meaning even the littler ones can have a go without being so high off the ground they topple off. This has been the main thing we have loved about the Toddlebike2 is that it's low enough for Lily to actually touch the floor properly and light enough for her to get it moving, all whilst still being sturdy. She's a small 21 month old standing at only 74cm high herself and I just wish we had known about these little bikes last Christmas!

She has also entered the stage where she absolutely hates the pushchair after approximately 5.9 seconds of being in it she will exorcist turn and scream AT us. Family walks are normally cut short because she is either screaming or one of us is near death from lugging a 21lbs toddler around. Eloise has recently started learning to ride a proper bike again which leaves Lily toddling along after her desperately wanting to hop on and have a go, so this little bike has been fantastic for her to join in the bike riding fun. It is also small and light enough to chuck on the previously mentioned pushchair when the little ones decide they want to play with a stick or other random object they find...Or in Lily's case, to look at sheep haha!



The Toddlebike2 comes with a little tag explaining the stages at which children start to get to grips with riding it which has been incredibly helpful and accurate. Lily started out by pushing it around which progressed to sitting at the front of the bike on the frame rather than the seat and using each foot separately to move forwards in a walk like fashion. As she became more confident, this walking gait became much faster until finally, she started seating herself further back on the seat itself. I think she found this position difficult at first because she is still rather little for a toddler not long off 2 years old. She still wears 9-12 clothing to give you an idea of just how little she is. The video below gives you a little more of an insight into the progression from fit sit to getting the hang of it.


Lily hasn't got the steering quite down yet but as the bike is so light she will pause, stand up over it and lift it back on track easily. Getting on it she finds easy but needs a little help getting off sometimes because she isn't quite tall enough to swing her leg over the back easily yet but other than that she's adjusted well and I've seen an improvement in her balance since she's been using it daily!

Lily has well and truly put it through it's paces and has ridden it over various terrain including grass, patios, fields, tarmac, a wooden train (yep), down hills, up hills, wood chip, laminate flooring, carpet, and lino. All were a success although grass riding was testing but she just about managed it!

The motion of the feet and legs when riding the Toddlebike2 encourages and develops the action children need to progress onto a regular bike and great for helping little muscles develop.


They are available in Pinky Pink, Racing Red and Midnight Blue for £23.95 with free shipping and a 3 year guarantee! Click here to order yours.


*This was gifted to me for review purposes. All opinions are as always, my own. 

14 November 2017

WHAT MY TODDLER ATE TUESDAY [14/11/17]


BREAKFAST

// Peach Fromage Frais
// Pan Fried Cinnamon Banana Coins
// Brioche Banana French Toast

Lily bloody loves banana so I thought I'd jazz it up with some cinnamon for her. Of course she didn't like it and mainly prodded it with utter disgust. The brioche is also a firm favourite at the moment and she at least tried this, sort of...

To make the Brioche Banana French Toast I mashed some banana on a plate, mixed in some cinnamon and a splash of milk and placed the sliced brioche in it and coated it evenly. I added some coconut oil spray into a frying pan and then fried the brioche for a few minutes on either side over a medium heat. Simple, and makes you feel like one of those Pinterest Mums when in reality, all you did was throw some cinnamon at a banana. 


LUNCH

// Cottage Cheese
// Kiddylicious Veggie Straws
// Cheesestring
// Cheese & Apple Mini Tortilla Pizzas

This lunch was a hit because of the cheesestring, every kid likes a cheesestring, cheesestring = win. The cheese and apple pizzas were eaten by Eloise but not Lily which has got to be a first and the cottage cheese and veggie straws are guaranteed to be eaten.


DINNER

// McDonald's Fries
// Chicken McNugget
// 1/4 Veggie Burger
// Ketchup

This is Lily's first official McDonald's meal. She has pinched the odd bit here and there but after the Fireworks Display the other week we got back at 9pm so a quick, minimal effort meal was needed and I got major Mum points for this one.

Lily has got to be the only child I have ever come across who will not touch a McDonald's chicken nugget. To absolute fuckery was she going to eat that! The veggies burger she loved and I gave her a bit of my bun too which she had a good go at. The fries were her favourite though and she pinched much more than is on her plate.

Catch up with last weeks post here.



13 November 2017

THE VEGAN CHALLENGE // WEEK 1

BREAKFAST 


Tesco Crumpets with Vitalite Spread - Super easy breakfast that you won't even guess was vegan. Ben thought the spread "tasted like shit" but both me and Eloise (who is the fussiest fuss that ever did fuss) liked it. Plus he automatically turns his nose up at anything vegetarian or vegan yet will happily eat it if I don't tell him. Yeh Ben, take that.

LUNCH


Tesco Value Tortilla Chips with Houmous - This has been my go to lunch for about 2 weeks anyway so this was super easy. I really love these little pots of houmous that Tesco sell, they are the prefect size for snacks too. They sell this Mediterranean selection and also a spicy trio which has Jalapeno, Harrissa and Peri Peri flavours which are nice too! I could eat this combo all day everyday! Plus the tortilla chips are 46p a packet so you cant really go wrong can you.

DINNER


Linda McCartney Vegetarian Country Pie, Tesco Sage and Onion Stuffing, Roast Potatoes and Sweetcorn - This roast Ben said, and I quote "this is the best roast you've ever made". I also did roast sweet potatoes too and they were bloody amazing, game changers they are and if you haven't tried that already then I definitely recommend it! Eloise loved the pie too and everyone ate most of it! Couldn't be more of a win if I tried.

SNACKS


Snacks included:

Paprika Pringles - Pringles automatically enter the awesome food category. I believe other flavours are vegan too but these were just the ones I picked up!

Oreos - Yep, Oreos are vegan. 

Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate - I have Orange and Almond and Sea Salt flavour both of which are vegan and also amazing.

Alpro Dessert Moments - These were kind of crap, it's like a watery version of a chocolate pudding. It also didn't taste much like hazelnuts and was a bit of a let down and I will be buying the regular Alpro Desserts my Grandad used to buy which are amazing. 

Quinoa Chips - These were a hit with the girls and were mostly stolen by them. I also got the Hummus chips which are the perfect shape for dipping!

Walkers Ready Salted - These are my favourite crisps ever and I can quite easily eat a 6 pack to myself. Most ready salted crisps are vegan as are a bunch of other flavours.

I will point out that those are more than one days worth of snacks although I could easily eat all of them in one day though. 

After setting myself the goal of going vegan for one day a week in my November Goals post, I asked on twitter if I should share my meals weekly, or as a round up at the end of the month and you guys chose weekly so here I am! All in all, I haven't found it that hard so far. The random sneaky milk in pretty much everything is the worst though and so frustrating when the product doesn't even need milk yet they just ram it in there anyway. Also things may also look vegan, but they aren't, as I found out with some Tesco Chicken Gravy earlier this week. The ingredients all look vegan on the packaging but talking to Tesco it's apparently not suitable for vegans although they couldn't tell me why...Useful. 

The thing I'm finding hardest is cutting milk products out, I don't eat meat often at all anyway and was vegetarian for 3/4 of my life before moving in with Ben so meat is not something I miss much if I'm honest. I have a lot of anxiety around meat products anyway and cannot be near raw meat so it's something I have avoided anyway I guess but milk is another story. I wish they made vegan cottage cheese!

On the whole I'm finding it easier than I thought. I've found I have eaten a lot more than a days worth of vegan meals and I've actually been really enjoying it! I've switched up my buttery spreads for Vitalite which is lovely, I've got some Oatly milk which Lily had on her cornflakes this morning and even she liked it. I've been swapping most of my chocolate intake from milk to dark and I've not really missed it. I find I eat less of dark chocolate anyway so that's a bonus! 

If you have any vegan food suggestions or recipes, please throw them my way!

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