August 2015 Round Up

Mercedes Aspland
By Mercedes Aspland / September 3, 2015

You must be totally staggered at how early I am getting this out to you but I am back working properly this month and getting on top of things. As well as preparing this post I have been busy planning the way this blog is going to go and the regular features I will be writing. Be warned as I am getting more organised I am getting more to write about and so this is going to be a very long post. I am starting with the recipes pictured above, we begin at the top left hand corner and work in a zigzag:

  1. The first recipe got me very excited because I love Patatas Bravas and I know there are loads of recipes for it but this one from Orchard Street Kitchen is really great. The problem I have is that I am on a diet at the moment and roasted potatoes really are a no no. This means I keep looking at this recipe and imagine making but know I need to wait until I am a bit thinner, or I might just make a really tiny portion and have it with a low calorie salad, I am still working on that one (so much so it nearly delayed me writing this post).
  2. Tales of a Kitchen is easily one of my favourite blogs, you will always find innovative recipes on it that are different to what you get elsewhere and this Triple Layer Tahini Fudge is no exception. I have really started to get addicted to tahini in my salad dressings and so using it in a sweet way is just another way to get more of this great stuff.
  3. The next recipe is Tomato Toast with Macadamia Ricotta, Shiso & Black Lava Salt from Dolly & Oatmeal. I see so many toast recipes online and most of them are boring and just a rehash of something already done but this really struck me as original and it looks amazing too.
  4. As it is the summer (or was supposed to be) I thought I would include a great summer fruit recipe and I absolutely loved this Apricot Coconut Upside Down Cake with Cardamom and Maple from Amy Chaplin. This is a new blog to me but it looks great and there looks like there is another cookbook to add to my Amazon Wishlist. At least my birthday is soon!
  5. Did I already mention that I am a bit in love with tahini which is probably why I selected this Chipotle Tahini Harvest Bowl from Vegetarian Ventures because Tahini and chilli has to be one of the best combinations ever and I really do mean ever. This a simple but brilliant recipe that I am sure will become a regular.
  6. I am always looking for interesting and different breakfast ideas and I think this Quinoa Granola recipe from Naturally Ella fits the bill perfectly. I have only just got into the idea of quinoa porridge but I had not thought of making granola with it which probably says more about me than the recipe but despite that I love this recipe and will have to add it to my regulars.
  7. These Eggplant Meatballs with Za’atar and Kale Pesto from The First Mess is already on my to make list in the next week. I just need to pick a day when I am feeling like doing something that is a bit more involved. It is a beautiful recipe and one that I know will taste as good as it looks and I just love the original way to use kale.
  8. I am a massive fan of crumb bars, just checkout my Pinterest account if you don’t believe me and I think these Blueberry and Hemp Crumble Bars from Eating Bird Food are super yummy. Plus the extra bonus is that they are actually good for you so one of these as a little treat every now and again is great, make a batch and share them with friends which is definitely the way to go.
  9. Anyone for ice cream? I could definitely eat some of this Sugar Free Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream from A Dash of Compassion. I have never seen anyone make this flavour of ice cream and making it vegan and sugar free is such a bonus. This is a great recipe for anyone who is trying to keep their blood sugar under control and I am really impressed.
  10. A monthly roundup feels a bit lacking if I don’t include some sort of smoothie considering that is what I have for breakfast most days and this Peaches and Cream Smoothie Bowl with Toasted Oat Crumble from Scaling Back Blog is one I love. The funny thing is that it was the fig topping that really drew me in on this one. I have become a bit obsessed with figs in the last few months, they just fast so good I put them in my smoothies, muesli and salads, anywhere I can really and they work really well with this recipe too.
  11. If you want to give raw food a go then you will get some excellent recipes on Nouveau Raw and that includes this beautiful Caprese Herb and Tomato Tart which is sure to impress anyone. This is another new blog to me but I am really liking what I see and is well worth checking out.
  12. And Finally… I am finishing up with another raw offering from probably the best raw chef Emily Von Euw of This Ransom Vegan Life. I absolutely love all of her recipes and who would not love this Decadent Superfood Chocolate Cake.
So that is it for the recipes this month, not a bad bunch I’m sure you will agree. I now have loads of other bits for you, I have been reading like mad this month so be prepared:
  • I think the first thing I need to tell you about is my hair which has dominated me a bit recently. Back in June my hairdresser recommended I cut it short and I went for it and since then I have been looking at different haircuts and in August I got it cut even shorter and I love it even though it now takes me 10 times longer to style. Keep an eye out though as the hair dye is coming out in September and I think a slightly different style too!
  • Now for a little bit of inspiration to pick you up, make you feel happy and generally just some great advice:
    • This is easily one of my favourite posts – 40 Ways to Live, Laugh and Love Like a Child on Tiny Buddha. This is well worth a read as it just made me smile and that I do a lot of these thing already but it made me do more.
    • Read about Loneliness v Aloneness on Care2.com which I love as I have been single for a long time but don’t remember the last time I felt lonely. This also fits with another post on Tiny Buddha about Loving Your Life When Single.
    • After the sad news that Dr Wayne Dyer passed away at the end of the month I thought it would be fitting to share Wayne’s Last Words with you. It is almost impossible to not be inspired by Dr Wayne Dyer. RIP
    • Once A Year, Go Some Place You’ve Never Been Before is an inspirational post from McKel at Nutrition Stripped. I can tick that one off for this year!
    • I love the Peaceful Dumpling Blog and this post on Choosing Between Love and Passion is so inspiring and well worth a read.
    • Back to Tiny Buddha again – the best place I know for inspiration and this great post on Your Feelings Having Messages For You. This really is great advice and a lot of our problems are caused by burying how we feel.
    • I’m now going to go back to my hair, before I got it cut short I had developed hatred for it. Since I had it cut it always look good and I love it so much. then this month I read this article on How Your Feelings About Your Hair Can Make it Look Bad on MindBodyGreen and it made me realise that how I feel about myself and my hair are so closely linked that my haircut has totally changed my feelings about me and what I am capable of.
    • I am going to finish my inspiration section on an article about Giving Yourself Some Love on Clean Dirty Girl. This blog combines self-help and vegan recipes in a straight talking way and I love reading the weekly posts, you should check it out.
  • I have a few bits of interesting health advice that I have come across over the month and have a small list below:
    • The whole issue of eating sugar is a big thing at the moment and what we clarify as sugar (basically all fruit) is a debatable issue in my head but I did think this article from Carly Hicks on MindBodyGreen about Giving Up Sugar For 8 Weeks was worth a read.
    • Sticking to the sugar theme and following on from that really was a post on Hello Natural – Is Your Smoothie a Sugar Bomb? and this is the whole fruit issue and not going overboard on the fruit and keeping things in balance. I have definitely suffered from this and putting too much banana in my smoothie bowls, not a great way to start the day.
    • As you may know I have been on a diet for virtually the whole of August and started off with the 10 Day Detox Diet by Dr Mark Hyman which was a great way to get started. He has put together some tips to stop you overeating and believe me if you implement them all then losing weight is easy. In August I managed to lose 4kg or 9lbs and took 2.5in off my waist and hips which cannot be a bad thing. Let’s see where I get to in September!
    • Jenifer Wolkin wrote a couple of articles on Mindful this month, Meet Your Second Brain: The Gut and Mindful Eating for a Healthier Brain-Gut Connection both of which are well worth a read.
    • On the topic of gut health why not check out the Benefits of Kombucha, I think I will be making some after reading it.
    • Do you like chocolate? How about raw chocolate? This article on Raw Guru will give you 9 of the Best Benefits of Raw Chocolate.
  • I am now only about a month away from becoming a fully qualified Yoga Sports Coach and it has been a lot of hard work but have loved it. So on the topic of yoga and sport this article about a Champion Boxer using Yoga & Meditation is more evidence of the benefits of yoga to sport.
  • When I did my initial teacher training in yoga it included 2 weeks in Spain and as part of that we got about 30mins of Yoga Nidra every day so I loved this article on 10 Reasons to Love Yoga Nidra. One word of warning, be prepared to find it uncomfortable, even if you are used to practising it. There will be some days when your mind just does not want to lie there. Go through the emotion and stick with it though it is worth it.
  • These Two Sizzling Summer Yoga Reads on Yoganonymous are a bit different but both sound quite interesting. Yoga just gets everywhere.
  • Ok, this is actually another recipe but I wanted to put it separate, it is for Vegan Halloumi on One Vegan Arab. When I gave up dairy and went vegan this is one thing that I missed and actually still miss. I made this and trust me it is amazing and really dealt with my craving.
  • There is some great inspiration in these 10 New Fall Cookbooks on Food52. Ok, they are not all vegan but there are some that look really great. The one with food from Senegal jumped out at me.
  • One the subject of Cookbooks this article on Whether Cookbooks are Still Relevant on Vanilla and Bean got me thinking and although I sue the internet and Pinterest like made there is nothing quite like having a Cookbook and flicking through it. That said there was a time when I would have said that about regular books but now if it is not on my Kindle I have no desire to read it. It is highly likely that cookbooks will eventually go the same way except it will all be blog recipes that we use.
  • This is another recipe that just needs to have the butter subbed for a vegan alternative and it is vegan but it is for DIY Hobnobs. This one got me really excited. I love hobnobs, especially the dark chocolate ones. This is going on the list as the first thing to make when I am off my diet. It needs to be at a time when I can easily share them though otherwise I will eat them all in one sitting!
  • As a buddhist who does my best to practise in a modern way I found this article on Buddhism in the Internet Age really fascinating and a way in which the religion can move forward.
  • Keeping with Buddhism this new book  “Living as a River,” is an experiential exploration of the Buddhist teaching of non-self and one that I really want to read.
  • As someone who recently took up running I loved this article on Running Mantras. At the moment I am doing most of my running in the gym and so I can focus on the time to keep me going. Also from implementing some of my Yoga Sports Coach techniques I focus on breathing through my nose and the alignment of my body, that means the time just flies by. What gets you through your run?
  • There is so much more I could share with you but I am going to finish up with this Natural Hangover Cure discovered by scientists in Australia. It is amazingly just drinking 220ml of Korean Pear Juice before a night out!
I hope you have enjoyed this little trip around the internet and here is to a great month!
About the author

Mercedes Aspland

Mercedes is a Yoga Sports Coach with experiences working with athletes from many disciplines and experience levels. She is keen to spread the word of how valuable yoga is to sport. With additional qualifications in nutrition she also shares a number of recipes and nutritional advice to keep you fuelled while training.

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