Ping Pong vegan menu

Anyone for Dim Sum? I love that more and more chain restaurants are now offering a vegan menu and this was a new discovery for me this week. Ping Pong specialises in Dim Sum and sharing platters all with an asian flavour, of course.

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Vegetable Spring rolls and Mushroom and Spinach Dumplings

If you’re hungry, don’t be fooled by thinking these are small portions, you will be more than satisfied. We started off with  sharing the spring rolls, trying both the tofu and truffle and mixed vegetable varieties. Both equally as delicious.

The spinach and mushroom dumplings were also out of this world. Complete melt in your mouth goodness.

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Braised Chilli Aubergine Rice Pot

We shared the braised chilli aubergine rice pot and the enormous cashew nut rice bowl with bean curd. Both were outstanding.

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Cashew Nut Rice Bowl with Bean Curd

Don’t forget to also try the iced lychee tea. A total triumph.  Unlike Joey from Friends (outdated 90s/00s’ reference here) , if you actually like to share food, this is the perfect place for you. All tied up in a great atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff to boot.

Find out more here:

https://www.pingpongdimsum.com

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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2017: In Review

I’m aware I’ve been very quiet on here of late but hopefully that’s about to change as I really want to get back into the LVB blog life again.

To ease myself in and remind me of what a pretty good year I’ve had, here are some of my highlights from 2017.

Moving back to Shire

2017 saw me moving into my own place in the town where I grew up. Something I never thought I would do but I now know in my heart it was right thing. Being back in the countryside, near my friends and family is where I’m meant to be right now.

London marathon

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My second marathon and it was a toughy. In hindsight, I definitely over trained for this one, rocking up to the line with 3 20 milers, a 21 and a 22 under my belt. By the time April had swung round I had most definitely lost my running mojo. Still, the atmosphere pulled me round and the celebratory Wagamama with my friends was nearly worth it.

Lake District and Lakeland Trails

One of my favourite races last year, the Coniston Half Marathon made me fall back in love with running. It was a challenging and hilly course but so beautiful and spending the weekend with friends made it all the more wonderful.

Northampton Half Marathon

Sometimes, not often for me, you get those races where everything falls in to place. Having been ill the night before, my hopes of a sub 2 hour were left by the wayside but my friends who also happened to be Northampton Half pacers had other ideas. Running with my Run Club was so special and I enjoyed every moment. I finally got that elusive sub 2 finish to top off the day. Oh and that’s me in the middle of my gorgeous friends who also smashed it that day!

Florida

One of my favourite places in the world, I was lucky to tag on to a family holiday and visit Indian Shores in Florida again this year. Running on the beach everyday was a definite highlight and it was great to see how many more vegan options/places.

So many events, races and activities planned for 2018 so stayed tuned.

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LVB’s Favourite Vegan Energy Gels and Fuel

As  you may know, I’m currently training for my 2nd marathon and I’ve therefore been experimenting with nutrition and fuelling whilst on my long runs for extra energy and that much needed boost when the going starts getting tough.  Here are some of my favourite ways to fuel up.

Clif Bloks

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From the genius that brought us the amazing and vegan friendly Clif Bars, these energy chews are easy to consume on the go as they basically melt in your mouth and they taste just like sweets. I love the Strawberry flavour.

SIS Science in Sport

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Probably my favourite gel as the slightly watery consistency makes them super palatable and easy on the stomach. They come in tons of flavours but my favourites are the Blackcurrant and Coffee.

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I tend to go for the Salted Caramel flavour towards the end of a really long run as a final sugary boost.  Not for everyone as the consistency is rather thick but definitely for those of you with a sweet tooth (like me),

Hi-5

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High5 energy gels are no trouble to open (very important whilst running along), also light on your stomach and surprisingly tasty. Try the Raspberry variety.

Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake

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A late discovery for me but a great one.  This mint cake tastes just like the inside fondant of an After Eight. It’s perfect for when you are tired of gels and want something a little more substantial.

So those are some of my favourite products to fuel me for my longer runs but it really is a question of trying what’s right for you.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

 

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5 Vegan Easter gifts

Easter is around the corner and every year the vegan offering of Easter eggs and gifts gets more extensive. Here’s my pick of some of my favourites:

 KamAlive Chocolates £3.99

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The first of our veganised creme egg alternates. This egg has a thick and rich 80% raw chocolate shell filled with a smooth cashew cream.

CocoCaravan 4 Boxes £21

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These hand made vegan easter eggs are made with smooth dark chocolate and filled caramel. Each box contains 8 caramel filled easter eggs. Perfect to share with the family…or not.

Moo Free Bunnycomb Egg £4.99 (approx) 

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It’s great to see this brand becoming more widely available as it’s now being stocked in major supermarkets. Bunnycomb is definitely my favourite variety. This dairy free chocolate egg has been infused with pieces of vegan friendly honeycomb toffee. Delish!

Consider It Giant Dream Egg £20

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The second of our vegan friendly creme eggs comes from one of my all time favourite chocolate brands, Consider It. A smaller version is available but really why bother?

Montezuma Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies £4.99 and Dark Chocolate Button Egg £9.99

Montezuema continues to impress with it’s delicious vegan offering. I’m loving their chocolate button filled egg and cheeky dark chocolate bunnies.

Have I missed out your favourite? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London Marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

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Trek Protein Energy Chunks Review

My review of the new Trek Protein Energy Chunks, from the company that have brought us our favourite afternoon slump pick me up, Nakd bars. These Trek energy chunks are great for pre and post exercise. Each bag contains 12g of protein and wholefood ingredients to give you a sustained energy boost that won’t cause a sugar spike! They currently come in 3 flavours.

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Toffee Triumph 

img_6670The Toffee flavour really is a trumph. Tastes like a treat as it has a rather buttery flavour. Made with dates, cashews, soya protein crunches (that give all these chunks that lovely crunch), raisins and oats.

Cocoa Peanut

img_6671This Cocoa and Peanut combination is great. I would say more peanut than cocoa but that’s no bad thing. The main ingredients are dates, peanuts , cocoa and peanut butter.

Cranberry Kick

img_6674Also a really lovely taste. These seem a little sweeter than the other varieties with a nice hint of fruit. Dates, soya crunchies, apple juice concentrate , almonds and cranberries are included in this yummy snack.

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Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

I am running the London marathon this year for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Protein Bars

As I’ve been upping my workouts recently, I’ve found myself increasingly hungry and often after a long run, I want to refuel quickly so have been turning to some of these bars.

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Nakd Berry Cheeky Not strictly a protein bar, but I wanted to include a lighter option that’s great for an afternoon snack. The added oats means they keep you fuller for longer too.

Trek Cocoa Chaos Definitely one of my favourites and most eaten of all the protein bars. I love that the bar can be split into 3 chunks, so I tend to eat them separately. Great before a run in the morning.

Clif Bar Coconut and Almond Butter I had to sneak this one in despite the fact these are only available online and I actually purchased these when I was in Florida last year. I love them so much that I’ve been eeking them out to make them last longer. My absolutely favourite protein bar ever, the coconut and almond butter tastes indulgent and delicious.

Cliff Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter High in calories but also so tasty. I usually pick one of these up after a long run when I need to get some calories in me quickly.

9Bar Superseeds Almond and Raspberry I actually love to sprinkle this bar over porridge especially as a bit of extra fuel and nutrition pre long run day.

I would love to know what are your favourite bars and pre and post workout snacks.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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5 Vegan Supermarket Yoghurts

Yoghurts are underrated in my book. A great healthy pudding, the perfect breakfast accompaniment to granola or muesli and makes a wonderful creamy smoothie. Here are 5 of my favourites.

Koko

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Probably my favourite vegan yoghurt right now, these are super creamy and satisfying. Available in Coconut & Lemon and Strawberry varieties and I love them both. Stockists include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado.

Alpro Go On 

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Alpro’s latest offering are these thicker and more substantial yoghurt pots that are high in protein and high in taste. Available in Mango (my fave), Blackcurrant or Passionfruit. Just delicious. Find them in Tesco and Waitrose.

Provamel Soya-Coconut

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For a lower sugar alternative, this Soya-Coconut yoghurt from Provamel is great, A lovely natural taste and wonderful for desserts or to use in baking. Available in Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

The Coconut Collaborative

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If soya is not your thing, try these coconut yoghurts that come in Blueberry, Mango & Passionfruit, Limited Edition Strawberry and Natural. Available in Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and Ocado.

Tesco Free From Natural Soya Yoghurt 

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Great over granola and berries for a delicious breakfast or try it in a smoothie for a more filling and creamy option.

If you want to check out 5 Vegan Falafels, you can find my post here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

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5 Supermarket Falafel (vegan)

Vegans and Falafel go together like peas and carrots or Sunny and Cher or indeed, Kylie and Jason, so here’s my pick of some of the best readily available in our British supermarkets.

Tesco Sweet Potato Falafel £1.50

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Great Food Mediterranean Falafel £2.40

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Stockists include Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Costco.

Biona Organic Falafel Balls £3.49

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Stockists include Ocado, Planet Organic and Amazon.

Fry’s Quinoa and Cilantro Falafel Burgers £2.77

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Stockists include Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Morrisons and Whole Foods.

Sainsbury’s Falafel £2.30

img-thingI would love to know your favourite falafel choices. Have you tried any or all of these? Check out my top 5 supermarket veggie burgers post here

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Where to get a Vegan Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza and right now, it’s never been easier to get your carb fix.  Here’s a few places to go in the UK if you fancy a vegan pizza. Let me know your favourite vegan pizza place.

Zizzi

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With 140 restaurants across the UK and a recently added vegan menu, this is definitely one to check out. They have 3 vegan pizzas to choose from as well as a ton of toppings. The vegan ‘mozzarella’ is made with coconut oil. If you’re not completely full, they even have a vegan dessert calzone on offer.

Pizza Express

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An oldie but a goodie, the Pianta vegan pizza from Pizza Express has artichoke , spinach, mushroom and rocket and it’s delicious. Additionally, all of their pizzas are made by hand so can be ordered without cheese.

Ask

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Ask is another chain of restaurants that have recently added a vegan menu. Top your vegan pizza base with grilled aubergines, caramelised onions and roasted peppers amongst other great options. I’m also happy to see a vegan kids menu.

Pizza Hut

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“Vegan Pizza” | avry | CC by-SA 2.0

The Pan Dough, All American Thin Dough and Flatbread Dough are all vegan friendly as well as the tomato or bbq sauce.  They, of course, have an abundance of toppings to choose from and don’t forget to go mad at the salad bar too – where even the bacon bits are vegan (I know)!

Papa John’s

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If you’re feeling a little more lazy and want to order in, all of Papa John’s pizza bases are vegan so just ask them to remove the cheese (I promise, you won’t miss it). The garlic dip is also suitable for vegans. Yum!

Vbites Frozen Pizza

Looking for a quick and convenient option? Choose from Meatless Feast which is topped with Cheezly, vegan ‘ham’, spicy ‘beef’ ; and ‘pepperoni’ pieces or the Cheezly and Tomato. You can find these on Ocado and in Holland and Barrett amongst other stockists.

So here are just a few easy to find options on your high street or to be delivered to your door. More vegan friendly options seem to be popping up all the time so keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training – Week 6

Distance clocked this week: 34 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week as I’ve been trying to up my speed a little and have been enjoying the challenge.  I’m also happy to report that even after a long day in London on Saturday at Meet the Experts (see below), I managed to squeeze in a little 3 miler in the dark when I got home.

Long run: 15.5 miles. This was one of those great runs when mentally and physically I was in a great place and everything came together. I followed a route from a  few weeks ago that I had previously really enjoyed but unfortunately, the road was closed to I ended up turning round half way instead. I was planing on doing 14 miles, but was enjoying it so much and felt really strong, so I decided to add on another mile and in the end actually finished at 15.5.

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Nutrition: Post long run I decided to try my own version of a protein shake – oat milk, peanut butter and cocoa powder. It went down very well indeed. For the rest of the week, I concentrated on greens and beans making sure I had one form or another every day.

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Wholemeal pasta with greens, beans and Violife cheese

What am I listening to? Another rediscovery of mine is the No Meat Athlete podcast. A great mix of interviews, motivation and tips for vegan athletes.

Cross Training: Strength training focusing on core and arms. Body Balance class was also great for stretching and focusing on balance and flexibility.

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Lessons Learnt : I attended the Meet the Experts event in London for those running the London marathon which included speakers talking about nutrition, pacing and other top tips for training and to use on the day.  This week, I’ve focused more on my pace and it’s something I want to do more of going forward.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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