Dog Walks in Cornwall – Cadgwith to Kennack Sands

On the first proper day of half term, that didn’t involve driving for hours, Poppy and I headed out onto the coast path. Despite the previous day being ruled by Storm Brian, Sunday turned out to be a lovely day. I didn’t want to drive anywhere, so Poppy and I went for a walk from Cadgwith to Kennack Sands. We had previously done the first part of the walk, to the Serpentine Works at Poltesco, but I really wanted to get to the beach. After checking the tide times, we headed out.Cadgwith to Kennack Sands Cornish coast path Poppydog on the Cornish coast path

It’s not an easy walk, especially as the path was incredibly muddy and there were a few places where I needed to lean on rocks to get down. Poppy is really good on these kind of paths. She now waits for me and will stop walking ahead if we’re on a particularly slippy path. The views along the walk were spectacular, which was lucky because the weather the next few days was foggy and we couldn’t see a thing!

We headed down to the old serpentine works and had a look around. The ruins there are amazing and it’s a lovely place to walk around. Then we headed on to Kennack Sands. The rest of the walk included going through a mini golf course by some static caravans and along part of the road leading down to the sands. The beach was packed and both cafes were open. There was a fair bit of surfing going on and there are plenty of rock pools to explore, much to Poppy’s delight!

Serpentine Works Serpentine mill Kennack Sands Poppydog at Kennack Sands

This walk also ticks off another part of the coast path around the Lizard, which is good as I’d like to walk around the whole of the Lizard, bit by bit. After a walk along Kennack Sands, and a sit watching the waves, we headed back to Cadgwith. Poppy and I enjoyed an afternoon of vegging on the sofa, watching Gilmore Girls. Perfection!

The Walk: As its part of the South West Coast Path, it isn’t easy. There are times when the path is muddy and very thin, but then there are parts which are flat and open. If you’re leaning on things to help you get down, be careful not to lean on any gorse. It can draw blood!
Cost: Completely free.
Car Park: As we were staying in Cadgwith, we had a parking spot with the cottage. There is a car park in Cadgwith and there’s a car park at Kennack Sands, which you have to pay to use. There are a number of parking spots on the road down to Kennack Sands too.
Refreshments: There are two cafes at Kennack Sands, one of which selling Ann’s Pasties. I haven’t eaten from either but they were pretty busy when I was there.
Toilets: There are some public loos at Kennack Sands.

Eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet

Back in September, we decided that we were going to start following a whole food plant based diet. We made this decision, knowing that it’s better for our health, our wallets and the planet. I have not regretted our decision one bit and we are committed to this new lifestyle. I call it a lifestyle because it is not just about what we eat.

Going into this, we knew that we would have to spend more time thinking about what we eat, planning our menus to make sure we had something for every mealtime, including sweet treats, and it has to be easy to make. Before we got going, I knew that we would have to make a few meals in advance. We don’t have much time in the evenings, which has led us to eat cheap, processed, junk foods in the past. I noticed lots of people online would premake or prepare meals in advance. So this is what we do. How sustainable it is long term, I don’t know. But for now, every other Saturday, we’re cooking for most of the day. This is what we make.

Dinners

Chickpea stew

Chickpea stew – My sister’s recipe, and I’m not sure I’ve got it right. Chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, red pepper, onion, spinach & lots of spices to make it hot and spicy, especially paprika. I love paprika.

Planet Organic curry

Skin Glowing Curry – Planet Organic. Mine has a thicker sauce than the picture on the Planet Organic website and we don’t put in LoveRaw Immunity Blend, because we’re not near a Planet Organic. This is really nice and goes well with steamed kale.

Three Bean Chilli

Three Bean Chili – Forks Over Knives. This is amazing and we enjoy ours with a jacket potato and any veg we have. It is super hearty and I use any beans I can get my hands on.

Taquitos

Minimalist Baker’s Smashed Black Bean Taquitos. (Link takes you to a video of Easy vegan Life making them, as the recipe is from the Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cook book, which I can heartily recommend.) While I didn’t have the green chili ingredient that Dana uses, I just chopped up a few green jalapeno chilies and it is super tasty. This meal is really easy, and very tasty, especially if you make your own salsa and guacamole, like I did. It doesn’t take long either and goes well with fresh corn on the cob and sweet potato wedges dusted in paprika.

Weeknight stirfry

Everyday Stir fry – Keep it Vegan by Aine Carlin. We’ve been eating this for a while and it is delicious. It’s turned us into soy sauce addicts. If you’re interested in a vegan or whole food plant based diet, then Aine Carlin’s book is a great place to get started.

Vegan Roast

I saw a similar roast by @agirlvstheworld on Twitter and this worked really well. It took 45 minutes and was cooking away nicely Sunday evening, while I was making some of our lunches for the week ahead.

Lunches

Grated salad

This grated salad is another recipe I pinched from my sister. It consists of grated carrot, grated courgette, sauerkraut, chopped pepper, chopped tomatoes and salad, mixed together with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious and best eaten a while after the dressing has been added.

Warming Pasta

This might sound ridiculous, but I’d never made a tomato sauce before! It’s ridiculous because it’s so easy and this one is especially. Plus it’s delicious and has become a weekly lunch staple. This is Warming Pasta, which I make with cherry tomatoes, and you can find the recipe by Healthy Living James here.

Tuna melt

This chickpea tuna melt has to be eaten to be believed. The consistency is uncannily like tuna and the vegan cheese works really well in this. You can find the recipe here.

carrot soup

Another of Healthy Living James’ recipes, the carrot and coriander soup. This is delicious and easy to make, perfect for a late evening tea. I have soup every Thursday, as I get home late from the gym.

Breakfast

Granola

Most mornings I have chia seed porridge but on the weekends I like to have something different. This is some of Delicious Ella’s granola, with natural Coyo and as much fresh fruit as I can get!

Snacks

Minimalist Baker cookies

I refuse to live a life without treats. Being vegan or wholefood plant based shouldn’t change this, which is why I was really happy when Phil said he wanted to make these Almond Meal Chocolate Chip cookies by Minimalist Baker. They are easy to make and, if they make to the freezer, you can eat them frozen. Trust me, it works!

At the moment, cooking and eating this way is definitely helping me. While weight loss is not my goal, I’ve lost over half a stone. I’ve got more energy and it means I can get myself to my spinning class after a hectic day of work. We also have less waste going in the bin, both recycling and landfill, and our food bill has gone down. Pretty much a win win. Hoping to get some lovely autumn and winter recipes to try soon too. Gotta love the winter veg!

Taking some Time

Well that was quite an extended blog break! It was completely unplanned, but unfortunately, the life of a teacher can be very overwhelming at times. This year was my first year at a new school and I have had a very busy year rewriting the curriculum for every year group (I teach in a secondary school so that’s years 7-13), including two new specifications (GCSE and A Level) and supporting an NQT doing maternity cover. I ran out of steam about two weeks before the end of term and was unable to do anything constructive. I was exhausted and it has taken me a few weeks of the summer holidays to be able to do anything that requires any great deal of thought.  As the end of term drew closer and my work load didn’t demand my every waking moment, I started to really notice how tired I was and how much work I had done during the academic year. It made me realise that, in the hope that I won’t have to work quite as hard next year, I should be able to have more time for myself. Not only that, I need to make it a priority and find time for myself, away from work. Here’s what I plan to do:

Exercise

For most of my life, I have only equated exercise with weight loss. Why else would I exercise, if I wasn’t doing it to burn calories? (usually meaning I could then get take away?!) Well, back at the beginning of June, I joined our local gym. Poppy goes to daycare most days so doesn’t need a walk when I get home. This has been my only form of exercise, which isn’t enough any way and doesn’t give me real space from my day. However, doing a spinning or Pilates class really does. I can’t think about anything else, except what I am doing in that moment, and that makes it perfect for self-care. Both classes help with my hypermobility and I feel great after each class. I really need to remember this feeling when school starts.

Thames walk

Diet

While I have been cutting out lots of processed stuff, my diet isn’t as wholefood plant based as I would like. I keep reading about the benefits this kind of diet can have on your wellbeing but haven’t found a practical way of putting it into practice. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be doing batch cooking on weekends, to help us have healthy wholefood, plant based meals and snacks made from scratch to enjoy during the week. This way, we won’t be eating dinner really late, or relying on processed foods. I’m also hoping that it’ll help us eat more seasonally and cut down on our plastic usage. Keep an eye on my Instagram account for this, as I’ll be using it as a kind of food diary.

Chickpea stew Grated salad lunch

Stress Management

Anyone else feeling completely overwhelmed by the world? Me too. Never mind work being stressful, we are living in crazy times. Who would have thought that the threat of nuclear war would be the second scariest thing to happen this summer?! I know I worry too much, usually about things I can’t control. It affects my sleep and my whole outlook. To try and counteract this, I’ve starting using the Headspace app. Ten minutes of mindfulness every evening, as a break between work and bed is something that I think will help me switch off.

One of the great things about this time of year is the feeling that you can start over. I’m really looking forward to autumn and everything that it brings with it. I’m also looking forward to looking after myself more too. How about you? Are you making any September resolutions? Let me know!

T-Shirts and Tops: SS17

It seems like Spring has well and truly arrived. Even though there is still a bit of a chill in the air in the morning, the sun seems to have his hat on! This made me look at my wardrobe in despair. My wardrobe is designed with comfort and warmth in mind so when the temperature turns up, I’m left scratching my head! So some online shopping is in order and this is a little roundup of my favourite tops and t-shirts.

Tshirts_ss17

[Fat Face Hollie T-Shirt £25 || Fat Face Badge Raglan T-Shirt £29.50 || People Tree Equality Tee £32 || People Tree Vegan Tee £32 || Fat Face Natasha T-Shirt £24 || Hello DODO shop Get Lost T-Shirt £25]

Most weekends, I’m all about dressing in jeans and a top so these are my ideal selection. I already have the Equality tee from People Tree, which I generally wear over a white version of the Fat Face Hollie t-shirt. My only criticism of the People Tree tee’s are that the sleeves are too short, and this is mainly because I have issues with my upper arms being on show. I’m hoping (fingers crossed!) to get the Vegan Tee for my birthday because I think it’s awesome! I love the new(ish) basic t-shirt range from Fat Face. They are a life saver, mainly because they can be worn on their own when the weather gets hot, but they are also suitable for work, which is really awesome. I have certain outfits that I wear depending on how I’m feeling, and if I’m feeling tired or down, I’ll wear something ‘easy’ and this will either involve some stripes or one of these basic Fat Face tops. I’m also loving the slogan t-shirt fashion at the moment and can imagine myself wearing the Get Lost t-shirt while walking along the Cornish coast line…