About

In a nutshell I (Marta) in my blogs am all about eating well and eating food that improves one’s health, both short and long term. We want everyone in the world to feel like Pooh and not like poo…

β€œWhen you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

― A.A. Milne

[Update October 2014: Well I still write the blog and share things on facebook but now I live between Malaga, Spain and the UK. I am divorced from Andrew, the vegetarian coeliac it was my mission to keep fed and happy when he didn’t have a kitchen at his disposal to rustle up something delicious, but still have many vegetarian friends including him and this is still considered a useful resource by some so on it goes…]

This blog is compiled as the result of feeding two hungry people who like their food to be delicious and healthy. Noo is the cook (also the Gluten Free Vegetarian) and Marta is the writer (doing her best to eat less animal products and who loves good veggie food). We share Marta’s dishes too because many vegetarians or coeliacs travel with those who are not. We know some coeliacs and / or vegetarians don’t holiday abroad because they are worried about finding the right food so we wanted to share our reviews of places in Lanzarote plus others. We can actually eat out far better on the island of Lanzarote than we can in Bournemouth where we live in the UK, for all its veggie or gluten free biased eateries. Of course we had to add our everyday tips too and any finds or reviews others may find useful.

You are what you eat is our motto but we are not holier than thou and not interested in debates of how far do you go to be ethical or otherwise have some extremist deign you a bad person. Every little helps – helps you and the world at large. It’s about free choice, what your individual body needs or benefits from avoiding and helping you find something yummy to eat on holiday or at home. We incorporate into our ‘healthy’ eating, elements and experiences from raw food, specific carbohydrate, alkaline and macrobiotic diets.

Gluten free vegetarian with lactose intolerant wheat free wife

Gluten-free vegetarian with lacto-sensitive wheat-free wife on a beach in Mauritius – sadly that was not a great place to eat at all for us even without being celiac then.

Definitions of gluten free vegetarian / our diets in a nutshell:

Andrew (Noo) is…

Vegetarian (choice) = no meat, no fish, no seafood. Does eat eggs and cheese. Opts for lacto-free milk and makes own yoghurt based on UHT goat’s milk, fermenting for 24 hours to get rid of the lactose. Daily protein shake for vegans with spirulina powder.
Gluten free (celiac) = no wheat, rye, barley and will eat foods such as Quorn that come from a factory that handles gluten, otherwise without taking this risk of minor cross contamination it would be too hard to eat well. Does not eat oats unless gluten free as often contaminated.
Biggest loss = sticky toffee pudding

Marta is…

Dairy free generally (sensitive) = no cheese (migraine trigger) plus avoids cream, yoghurt or milk with the one exception of live goat’s milk yoghurt.
Wheat free (sensitive) = no wheat and bread is evil unless gluten free. When eating out used to occasionally have something made with a bit of wheat to make life easier but now can’t really tolerate it well and may end up with bloating or a headache.
Perfect Health Diet (choice + healing diet) = loves vegetarian food but has a body tuned to run on some animal or fish protein and subscribe strongly to the notion of eating real food (unprocessed and not GMO) along with choosing grass fed and proper free range protein sources.
Biggest loss = Polish doughnuts

Not how I expected my calamari but was delicious – my most important piece of Spanish vocabulary is to ensure my fish will not be served to me still with a head or tail!

Both are…

Soy free (unhealthy food) = except fermented soy in Miso or Tamari or gluten free Shoyu
Refined sugar free (unhealthy food) = it’s evil and addictive. Kicking the sugar habit was the turning point in being able to fight middle aged flab and food cravings πŸ™‚

About us, what we can’t or don’t want to eat and why

Andrew my husband has been a vegetarian for many years, which was always hard enough when eating out abroad, but in 2010 he was diagnosed with coeliac disease which means he cannot eat any wheat, rye or barley – nor derivatives often found as additives in many pre-packaged foods and sauces etc. Cross contamination is also an issue but he does not suffer too badly from the odd daliance with gluten particles from cross contamination luckily. Too much of the wrong stuff and he will feel as if he is dying.

Amongst the Spanish, vegetarians seem somewhat of a rarity and there is a lot of confusion. When at first you say you are vegetarian they assume you do eat fish – commonly known as a pescatarian. Then when we explain Andrew doesn’t eat meat or fish, they catapult him into vegan status and get in a real flap about what they might feed him with until we help matters by saying he does eat eggs and cheese. We found giving the chef the Spanish version of what coeliacs can eat and information on cross contamination coupled with the news he was a veggie on top, was met with a sorry can’t feed you here. It worked better to find potential items on the menu and ask about them, not getting too caught up about cross contamination.

I have read of a vegetarian that gave it up when diagnosed with coeliac disease and I can understand why completely but Andrew is never going to feel able to eat meat or fish as the idea absolutely disgusts him. There’s a point at which dietary intolerances coupled with being veggie would make for a very dismal meal prospect.

I’m still working out what my individual body needs to tick and if I don’t get enough protein, iron or carbs I really don’t feel right. I have tried and failed to be vegan, which I gave a shot given I can’t really do dairy anyway. To balance my estrogen levels and combat peri-menopausal symptoms I have found I need a daily handful of animal based protein but I also know other women who found raw vegan worked best for them. We are all individual in our requirements.

Tomato explosion in our small garden – can’t get more locally sourced than this and home grown tomatoes made the supermarket ones taste like washing up liquid (as I imagine it and still have recollection of taste of soap having tried it as a silly little girl)

I’m on a journey exploring the health benefits and healing food can bring. What I have found that is true is that macrobiotic food does make you feel great – I’d go so far as to say glowing with happiness from your very core. I also know two people who by eating an alkaline mainly wholefood diet literally cured themselves – one of ovarian cysts and the other of endometriosis. I’m preparing as I write this to go on a strict healing diet for endometriosis (her recipe book is fantastic by the way) so won’t be holidaying during the strict diet of three months. Diet is basically no red meat, no dairy except live goat’s yoghurt (have very rarely as not keen on furthering this industry for the reasons vegans are vegans but is healthier than soy alternatives), no soy, no wheat and no sugar – the last one is the really hard one to avoid. It allows organic oily fish and organic chicken (must have been allowed to roam the fields and not be kept in a shed and called ‘free range’) which I eat a small amount of as it is part to stop Polish sausage hallucinations (as I can’t face the protein shake Noo has) plus I have some tinned tuna on a jacket potato a couple of times a month.

If you read the very famous ‘China Study’ you can’t fail to be persuaded by the bonafide stats of how a vegan diet works against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and much more. I then read Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet book and wow – that really made me want to eat less animal products from more than the health perspective. In fact in parts it made me cry.Β  You don’t need to go veggie or vegan unless you want to and brilliant if you do, but the less animal products you eat the better for your health and the environment as well as animal kind, even if you start with meat free Mondays and work your way down from there. The more veggie stuff you eat and if it is as delicious and nutritionally balanced as my Andrew’s cooking, you won’t want for anything else. I just wish the choices were better when away from home and that I had less intolerances and that my body would run on less animal protein.

My biggest gripe is chefs not understanding the balance of nutrition and failing to provide enough protein in their veggie dishes. Andrew’s biggest gripe is that 9 out of 10 in the UK seem to do goat’s cheese as their veggie offering and that’s really very dull to eat every time you go out. Now risotto as the veggie celiac option is the dull option that makes him groan.

Contact me

If you have any questions or want to drop me a line please do so to martablog, then add the at sign followed by gmail.com. Note this stops my address being picked up by crawlers and spammed.

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m very happy to have found your website / blog. In an ideal world I would be vegan but struggle to give up occasional fish, plus eggs and cheese. I have a severe sugar addiction, desperately trying to kick this evil substance while still being able bake and eat delicious homemade cakes. It’s refreshing to read a ‘healthy’ blog by someone that doesn’t expect everyone to adhere to a strict regime. I’m actually not far from your UK home (I’m in the New Forest), so the local info is very useful. Thanks.

    • You are so welcome Karen. Definitely stick to raw honey and maple syrup in small amounts for the sweet fix as from what I have read they are the healthiest source. Agave is not the health food it pertains to be. Sugar really is evil. When I went cold turkey my whole relationship with food changed i.e. I stopped having mad cravings and stopped over eating. I recommend giving sugar up until you reach your ideal size as you mention being thinner in another post but do it gradually over a week or two. I combined giving up sugar with 2.5 hours of exercise a week and only having carby stuff at dinner time and no desserts or sweet treats or large portions – only then could I finally shift weight. I would like to be vegan but my body does not do well and we must listen to our bodies. Many vegetarians that find they feel something is lacking for them nutritionally go to paleo or better still the Perfect Health Diet (PHD) and most lose weight on those while eating really well. If eating fish and eggs could work for you. PHD actually recommends three not-cooked-to-death egg yolks a day because have amazing all round nutrition.

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