Superfood Siobhan

Healthy Plant Based recipes that make you look and feel great

Spirulina has been in the media a lot recently. This green cyanobacteria aka algae grows in the ocean and gets its energy from sunlight. It's been used by people over the world for many years as a nutrient rich source of energy as it is packed full of goodness. Some people say that spirulina is the answer to world hunger, as it is rich in protein but doesn't take up a lot of land to grow and isn't expensive like animal proteins. NASA has also said that Spirulina is a good they want to take on future space missions because it is nutrient dense and light, and its even something they want to cultivate on long term missions.

But why eat it? It's very popular among vegetarians and vegans because it's high in protein (60-70%) and iron and contains essential fatty acids such as Omega 3's. It helps to boost cognitive function, increase energy levels, boost the immune system and help people lose weight healthily. Spirulina is also thought to lower cholesterol and help with diabetes.

Furthermore, it's been shown to help people with digestive problems such as IBS or Crones!

The only downside people have found with spirulina is that is a grassy tasting green powder. How do you make it tasty so you actually want to consume it?

You can add spirulina to all of your snacks and baking, such a cacao bliss balls, brownies, etc. You can also add spirulina to a banana and date smoothie to make it green, add it to banana icecream or add it to a chia pudding. How about trying these cacao fig and walnut bliss balls but using spirulina instead of protein powder?

Another alternative is to take spirulina tablets instead of taking the powder! I like these from Organic Burst, they're small and easy to swallow and they don't have a bad aftertaste at all. Just take them with a glass of water! I like to take the tablets as a way to boost me up especially during times of stress like exams when I might be feeling a little run down.

Image from the Organic Burst website of the best spirulina tablets in my opinion


Whilst I believe that a healthy diet is the best way to achieve optimum health and energy, I think spirulina is a really worthwhile supplement to take and I would definitely recommend it over a lot of other health supplements on the market which are filled with unnecessary fillers and preservatives.



Some healthy snacks I've had before, things like this come from the health food shop but you can also stick to easy things like fruit which are sold everywhere!

One of the initial shocks of the switch to a healthy diet is realising you can't just grab something easy to eat from a shop in town like you used to, you have to actively search for somewhere that does suitable food. And unfortunately that food tends to be VERY expensive.

If you're a student or on a budget, you can't afford to be getting gourmet quinoa salads from a vegan cafe for lunch everyday, you need to figure out a cheaper option, which is where packed lunches come in.

I'm a big fan of a packed lunch, whether it's on a conference/trip with school, long car journey or holiday or just a day of lessons, it makes my life easier to know I have something with me that I can definitely eat and it won't make me feel bad afterwards because of ingredients I wasn't aware of.

Packed lunch ideas

The humble sandwich. It doesn't have to be a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich in white bread rolls (which I had in my lunchbox everyday for about 10 years as a child) you can try hummus, tomato and lettuce, avocado and salad, grilled veggies and hummus, so many options!

Stirfries. Leftover from dinner works great, just make double what you usually do and throw it in a lunchbox for later. I love brown rice with stirfried veggies for lunch!

Pasta. Homemade basil walnut pesto and roasted butternut squash is my fave combo. But what about a pasta salad? Just throw in some chopped onion, tomato, cucumber, celery and whatever else you fancy, make a dressing with some olive oil and vinegar, some salt and pepper and done! A tomato and basil pasta sauce is tasty too.

Wraps, Same as a sandwich, fill it up with yummy stuff, falafel with salad and hummus? Roasted veggies and hummus? Your pick.

Veggies and crackers/ricecakes with hummus. Simple and tasty and fun to snack on. I like cucumber, radishes, raw cauliflower, raw capsicum pepper, carrot sticks etc to dip into my hummus and then either rice cakes or buckwheat crispbreads to spread hummus on.

Snacks for your lunchbox

Rather than just eating a big lunch, it's nice to have some extra snacks to tide you over a long day and keep you energised and alert. I like making my own little pots of trail mix with dried fruit and nuts, taking fresh fruit like bananas, oranges, apples or pears, some sort of homebaking or bliss balls, or savoury things like veggies and hummus, pitta bread and hummus etc.

Stay hydrated

A big bottle of water is a must. If you want to liven it up, maybe add some fruit- lemon, strawberries, etc, to add some flavour. You could also bring some herbal tea bags with you, I always have some green tea bags!

Many people comment on my Instagram posts with things like "How you afford to eat so healthy?" "Isn't being vegan expensive?" "I wish I could afford food like this" etc etc.

Whilst I do like to treat myself with raw chocolate and coconut yoghurt, these aren't at all necessary. Living on a plant based diet doesn't mean eating every superfood in the health food store, it just means buying basics like rice, oats, potatoes, fruits and vegetables and using them as your meal base.

Buy in bulk and not for convenience
This is probably the most important tip. Don't buy little pre portioned packets of rice or oats or carrot sticks already cut up for you. Save money and buy big kg bags of rice that'll feed for you months and buy your veggies whole, not prepared for you. You'll save a lot of money by cooking your food from scratch.

Shop in season
If it is winter where you live, don't buy tropical fruit imported from the other side of the world. Shop local and shop seasonal. In winter eat lots of broccoli and cauliflower, in summer eat lots of salad. Stick away from imported foods as much as possible like baby sweetcorn from Asia or green beans from Africa and eat what grows in your country. Learn to love the staple foods of where you live!

Buy frozen
Frozen food isn't so bad! Stock up on frozen raspberries and blueberries for breakfast, frozen mixed stirfry veggies and frozen mixed veggies for soups. They're cheap, last for ages and are a good standby if you have nothing fresh.

Be prepared
Always take a lunchbox and snacks with you. And a bottle of water. Don't rely on expensive cafes or tuck shops, bring your food to classes with you. Bring your own snacks to the movies, use a reusable water bottle. All that eating out adds up!

Buy supermarket own brand
Rather than buying the branded oats, tinned tomatoes, beans, lentils, rice etc, go for supermarket own brand. It's usually a lot cheaper and you can get it in bigger packets too. Really all that's different is the packaging!

Plan meals ahead of time
Rather than going food shopping and just grabbing things and throwing them into your trolley, make a plan of the lunches and dinners for the week before you go, so you only buy what you need and don't have things lurking in the cupboard for ages. If you know you're making curry, get a can of coconut milk, otherwise you don't have to!

It seems pretty uncommon eating vegan and yet not eating HCLF. Everyone seems to rave about it and I didn't really know what it was like or what it was about. Pictures of banana icecream towering out of glasses, images of huge bowls of fruit for lunch, monomeals... What is it like?

So I set myself a challenge, eat high carb low fat for a week and experience what everyone else loves. Will I feel so much more energetic? Or will I be hungry all the time? Will I lose weight? Gain weight? Will my skin flare up like in the infamous detox period? A LOT of questions.

So what actually is HCLF?

Well, Mindfully Bliss calls it "a diet or as I like to call it, a lifestyle, where one consumes mostly carbs such as fruits and veggies, and low amounts of fats (sugars, salts, oils, etc)"

My Vegan Belly says a HCLF vegan is someone "that primarily eats carbs (from fruit!) The diet is made up of raw fruits, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, cooked carbs (rice quinoa, potatoes, corn), and beans, with a few nuts and seeds. 80/10/10 means that 80% of the diet is made up of carbohydrates, 10% fat, and 10% protein."

So my challenge started, one week HCLF. 

What do you eat for breakfast? Well some people say oats are okay, some people say they are not as they are a lot higher in fat than fruit. So some days as much fruit as possible, others banana icecream, smoothies etc. I had mostly fruit based breakfasts, no nuts or seeds or nut butters which I found strange! I do really enjoy banana icecream though so it didn't feel like it was deprivation.

Lunch/dinner? Lots of carbs, of course! Some people go down the fruit monomeal route, I stuck with savoury food. I had lots of big salads, lots of rice, quinoa, potatoes, etc. Also, pasta! I tried making a low fat pasta sauce which was strange to me as I am used to cooking the onion and garlic in oil and sprinkling some nuts on top, etc but it was very tasty and I didn't feel I was missing out.

Snacks? Lots of fruit! Bananas, apples, oranges, dates, dried figs- you name it, I ate it! Certainly very healthy but I found that I craved something a bit some substantial sometimes and dried fruit without nut butter didn't seem right!

Overall thoughts

It definitely does help digestion, there is no denying that. You get bloated after a large fibre filled meal but it digests quickly and you do feel a lot lighter in your stomach. Also it means that food passes through quicker, which is good for those who suffer from constipation.

Energy wise? I'm ordinarily pretty energetic so it's hard to tell the difference in energy levels between a healthy vegan diet and a healthy high carb low fat vegan diet. Definitely not a negative impact anyway! I think you would notice a bigger difference going from a already quite unhealthy diet to hclf however.

Would I stick to it? Probably not. Why? Well as someone who ALSO can't eat gluten, life would start to get pretty difficult when I eat out. I think also not eating very much fat would make life very difficult for me as it would restrict my choices even further. Also, I do love nuts, avocado, etc and I couldn't see myself cutting them out to make sure it fitted into the 10% macro ratio.

So what have I learnt?

Banana icecream for breakfast more often because it keeps me full for ages and gives me lots of energy.

Less nuts and more fruit as snacks because the sugar hit helps keep you going

That it's not going to be that bad at all at uni when I'm going to be eating big portions of rice and pasta and nothing that fancy to liven it up, this week was cheap and tasty!








So I'm finally gotten around to buying a tripod and making a youtube channel and I'm excited to get to work over the summer and make videos of me cooking my favourite dishes as well as sharing things such as what's in my cupboards, market/food hauls and what I eat in a day. I can't wait to get started on it after my exams!

In the meantime, I filmed a little intro video to say hi to you all yesterday and it's on my channel, have a watch, let me know what you thought and subscribe so you'll be the first to see my next video :)

CHECK IT OUT HERE





Long time no post, sorry guys! Here is the long awaited recipe for my raw mango cheesecake. It's deliciously creamy and sweet but also good for you! Loved by vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike, it's a winner for sure.


Makes one large cheesecake, about 12 slices.


You will need:


1 cup raw almonds
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup fresh dates

2 cups soaked cashews
2 sliced frozen bananas
2 tbsps coconut oil
4 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener of your choice

3 cups frozen mango

To make the base, combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor until it makes a chunky and moist dough. Using a metal cake tin with a removable bottom, place cling film/kitchen wrap along the bottom of the tin to help the cheesecake be easier to remove when it is frozen. Spoon in the base mixture and press down with your hands to pack it in. Place in freezer.

Secondly, combine the next 4 ingredients, blending until it forms a creamy mousse like texture. Pour 2/3 of this over the base, and leave 1/3 of the cream mixture in the food processor. Spread the first 2/3 of the white cream evenly over the base and place in the freezer to solidify and set for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the mango to the food processor and process until it forms a vibrant yellow and creamy mixture, then once the white layer is set, spread the yellow mango layer on.
Return to the freezer until set, then defrost before eating and enjoy!
I've been working on swapping to eco friendly and fairtrade products. Why, you may ask? Well, I think the conditions in sweatshops are appalling and I want to help make a small change by buying products from brands that pay their workers a fair wage. Why else? Because I don't want to purchase products that contribute to climate change, deforestation or chemical pollution.

Vegans see themselves on the same level as other animals. We all inhabit earth and we are all interconnected, we can't be selfish and act like the planet is disposable! If everyone tries to make a shift to buying eco friendly and fairtrade products, we can show the big companies that we don't support their unethical practices and make changes. We may be small individually, but together we can make a big difference!

Lets start off with my big organic cotton bath towel. I was very excited when I opened it, it's very soft and it's absolutely huge. I can cocoon my whole body in it! It's super absorbent too (just throw it in the washing machine before you first use it so you don't get covered in bits of fluff!) It's made from undyed and unbleached cotton so its not full of chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. If you have eczema or allergies, trying natural fibres for your clothing, towel and bedding is really recommended. Plus buying organic cotton means better conditions for the workers, as they're not exposed to all the nasty pesticides and chemicals that most workers are.


I also tried a pair of their organic cotton socks. These socks are seriously so soft, they feel lovely. They're thin enough to be worn as dress socks for a male, but also warm enough to be a pair of everyday socks. Super lightweight and comfortable, they're a great addition to your sock draw! Great for those with sensitive skin. I'm planning to stock up on some of their sports socks soon!