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  Unlike Joey from Friends (outdated 90s/00s’ reference here) , if you actually like to share food, this is the perfect place for you.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.

 

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 14

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Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Had some great runs with the club, getting out into the fields and off road for some beautiful views. My shorter runs on my own were tougher this week due to general tiredness.

Long run: 19 miles. A long run with my club and it was an absolutely glorious day. We took it easy and had a thoroughly lovely time. Even though I had 21 miles planned, I was happy with the 19 as the majority of it was on trails which meant that some of the terrain was quite tough. Muddy puddles included.

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Nutrition: A good week for nutrition by reducing my sugar intake.

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What am I listening to? Book podcasts. Back in reading mode, I’ve been listening to The Readers and the Penguin podcast. Also, excitedly working on my London Marathon playlist.

Cross Training: I added in an extra gym session this week focusing on strength exercises and really enjoyed it. Would like to add in more classes especially as tapering is imminent.

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Lessons Learnt: It’s ok to be a bit more relaxed with my training schedule and not worry too much about ticking off the exact mileage as long as I’m progressing. I skipped a run the day after my long run as I listened to my body which was telling me to rest.

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 13

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Distance clocked this week: 24 miles. 2 runs. A bit of a fail of a week as I had a cold so after my long run, I only managed one more short one which was a big struggle for me.

Long run: 21 miles. What a tough run. It was a mental struggle for me this week as physically I actually felt fine. The first 10 miles were pretty enjoyable taking in a waterside view but after yet another route confusion,  the wind seemed to arrive with vengeance and I just wanted to get home. Still, I always feel so accomplished afterwards and it’s great preparation for the sure to be metal aspects of the marathon.

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Nutrition: I definitely noticed a lack of appetite this week due to illness (very unusual for me) so I just tried to drinks lots of smoothies and eat loads of veg to ward away my cold.

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What am I listening to? More Desert Island discs – if you haven’t  checked out the Bruce Springsteen episode, it’s definitely worth a listen. What a legend.

Cross Training: No cross training for me due to my cold unless you count sleeping.

Lessons Learnt: If you’re not well, don’t feel guilty about not being able to follow your plan. Take the time to recover properly first and come back stronger.

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – week 12

Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. I’ve felt a little lacklustre this week but have still had some good runs. I’m definitely enjoying the more social aspect when I run with others.

Long run: 18 miles. A truly lovely run. I ran 14 miles with 2 of my run club friends which was just a delight. We had a beautiful route too taking in some great countryside views which I did not capture on camera so please enjoy this photo of a muddy path instead.

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Nutrition: I’ve kept is simple this week with wraps for lunch and chilli’s , salads and rice and beans for dinner. Also, rediscovering my love for quinoa. It’s meant I’ve had lots of energy for my morning runs.

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What am I listening to? I may be a few years behind, considering this show started in the 1940s, but I am absolutely loving Desert Island Discs which are available as a podcast. Kirsty Young interviews various celebrity guests including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards and Tom Hanks, who choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island. They’re all about 35 minutes long so they’re perfect entertainment for my week day runs.

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Cross Training: I’ve been adding in some at home workouts using weights and focusing on arms and core and also went back to Spin class which I find is great for strengthening my hamstrings.

Lessons Learnt: Running with friends really does help pass the time and taking in beautiful routes makes me appreciate living where I do.

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5 Vegan Egg Substitutes

One of the questions I get asked the most, is how do I make the most amazing vegan cakes they’ve ever tasted (or something like that) without eggs. Well, turns out there’s quite a few easy substitutes that work just as well as and taste even better. Here’s just 5.

Cornstarch

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This is actually my favourite easy swap as it’s so easy. For each egg in the recipe, use 1 Tsp mixed with 2 Tbs of plant based milk (I tend to use unsweetened soya or almond).

Flaxseed

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A really simple and cheap alternative is Flaxseed. Just use a Tablespoon of flaxseed and mix with 2-3 Tablespoons of water and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Great for making fluffy pancakes. You can get the milled variety here.

Apple sauce

apple-sauce-544676_1920Often used in cookie recipes, this is also a great natural sweetener too. Either simply stew and mash an apple or  get from the supermarket where it’s readily available. A good tip is to go for the apple puree available in the baby food section where the sauce will be lower in sugar.

Egg Substitute

Including the much hyped Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, which is great for making scrambled eggs and the Orgran Egg replacer , which works well for baking.

Chia Seeds

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Lastly, the versatile and nutritious option is chia seeds. Very similar to using flaxseed, just mix 1 Tablespoon chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and set aside for 5 minutes. Wonderful for cakes or use in a smoothie for added health benefits.

What is your favourite vegan egg alternative and what do you use it for? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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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.

 

 

LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 11

Distance clocked this week: 39 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week. My hamstring was feeling quite tight at the beginning of the week but I eventually got my groove back with some short and speedier runs.

Long run: 20 miles. Something different for this week’s long run as I took part in the MK Festival of Running and chose to do the 20 miler. It was a great atmosphere as the event also included a 5k, 10k and Half Marathon options. The run itself wasn’t the most exciting route but mostly flat and enjoyable. I found a lovely running buddy the whole way round which meant the time flew by.

IMG_6950Nutrition: Still trying to keep it clean with healthy meal choices and attempting to curb my super sweet tooth with better options such as dates, fruit and nuts. My new fave lunch has got to be this multigrain wrap with hummus, veg and olives (a tip from the great vegan ultra runner, Scott Jurek).

IMG_6914What am I listening to? Another week, another new podcast discovery. I’m loving Ted Radio Hour from the people who bring us those amazing Ted Talks. Check it out here.

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Cross Training: Not as much as I’d like this week, but a few gym sessions and some at home workouts focusing on my core and stretching out my problem areas.

IMG_6993Lessons Learnt: Unfortunately, I experienced quite a few stitches on my 20 mile run. I’m not sure if these were due to nutrition choices or going out a little faster than normal to begin with so I’ll keep experimenting on my next long runs.

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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LVB Marathon Training Diary – Week 9

Distance clocked this week: 43 miles. 6 runs. A bit of a mixed bag this week. Some good runs including some speedy recovery runs but also some not so great runs (thanks Storm Doris).

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Long run: 20 miles. I know! A little early on the plan for a 20 miler but I managed it. Another route error for me. Course took me round some back roads and main roads which meant a little less picturesque route than usual. The last 4 miles were tough but I listened to some tunes and got it done. img_6658

Nutrition: I took a High5 Zero tablet and added to water after about 10 miles.  Washing my Lucozade gel down with it probably wasn’t the best decision but not sure if it was the gel or the combination that made me feel less than sprightly. Meals this week have been the usual veg and been snacking on nuts and raisins mainly. Also, highly recommend corn cakes with almond butter.

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What am I listening to?  This week’s podcast discoveries were the Ali on the Run show and the wonderful Run Selfie Repeat.

Cross Training: I added in an extra strength training session and also had a Spin class, something that I incorporated a lot of last year when I was training for my first marathon and seemed to really help my hamstring so let’s hope it has the same affect.

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Lessons Learnt : See above re. gel/electrolyte sports drink combination. Think I’ll stick to water for now.

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

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

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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