Vegan food at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is very vegan- friendly for a mainstream chain of restaurants…

I’ve had to reconsider the types of places I go to when I want to eat out given my requirements, and sometimes it’s been a struggle, but now that it’s the ‘in’ thing to be more health conscious, it’s becoming more commonplace to see healthier options at restaurants.

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed Le Quotidien springing up in various parts of London – and I’m very happy about that. Initially, in my bad old days I was all about the deliciously sugary pastries, cakes and other baked goods the chain has to offer, but for the health-conscious individual the menu isn’t too shabby at all.

I recently stopped in one after work to do some blogging and I enjoyed the following:

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I had one of the vegan dishes, the chilli sin carne. This is a very wholesome and filling dish, packed with protein and not an animal derived ingredient in sight!

The menu describes it as ‘vegan bean chilli with fresh guacamole, soya sour cream, diced tomatoes and spring onions’. 

The only downside to this sin carne is that there isn’t the barest hint of detectable chilli in it. Unless my taste buds are broken, there’s no heat in this dish whatsoever. I think this would be disappointing for someone looking for a punchy, fiery meal. That being said, it’s still flavoursome and satisfying and very filling. I’d recommend it if you’re feeling particularly hungry but you don’t want what you have at home.

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Organic hummus with olives and some crusty bread

In addition to the chili, I also ordered organic hummus which comes topped with olives and a side of bread. This hummus is unlike any other I’ve tried in that it’s chunky, not smooth and is not too salty like a lot of ready made versions available in stores. It’s delicious and it’s something I order most times when visiting Le Pain Quotidien.

Look out for more reviews in the future of various dishes from Le Pain Quotidien.

Until later,

V

Introducing…

This isn’t just a ‘diet’. This isn’t just a phase of fitness obsession. This is about having a better quality of life for the rest of my life.

My name is Vee.

I was recently told that I was borderline type 2 diabetic in connection with a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). To help reverse my pre-diabetic state and avoid diabetes altogether I was advised to lose weight (about 10kgs/22lbs/1 and a half stone) and change my diet. I was encouraged by my doctor to join a local diabetes prevention group where I would be coached on the lifestyle changes I’d have to make in order to become healthier and reverse my prediabetes. To be honest, I wasn’t keen on the idea given my lifestyle and schedule, and I felt a little apprehensive about attending a group with strangers … so I determined I would lose the weight and change my diet on my own.

Thus begins a journey of self-discovery where I had to reconfigure my relationship with food and force myself to review my weight gain over the last ten years or so (I’d been in a bit of denial about that). A lot of googling workouts for weight loss, gyms, and diets to reverse pre-diabetes went on. I looked up information on the glycemic index, glycemic loading, carbs and sugar intake etc…. and to be honest, I was in a bit of a panic with all that information coming in. I kind of felt a bit overwhelmed. But somehow, I managed to figure things out and a major overhaul of my eating habits took place, along with implementing a more active lifestyle.

I took up training with a personal trainer once a week and started working out at home the rest of the time. After six months of doing this, I discovered I’d managed to lose about a stone in weight. I had another blood test and was told that my pre-diabetes had successfully been reversed. Of course, I was very pleased about this and quite proud that I’d pretty much managed to do this on my own, however, given my PCOS, I’ll always be more prone to becoming diabetic if I allow my eating and weight gain to get out of control. I still have a way to go yet until I reach my goal weight. So I’ve had to understand and accept that this lifestyle change has to become a permanent one. This isn’t just a ‘diet’. This isn’t just a phase of fitness obsession. This is about having a better quality of life for the rest of my life.

With all that being said, and me being me, I know that I’m susceptible to falling off the wagon from time to time and being rather lazy. So, this blog is a way of me maintaining some accountability for the way that I eat and the amount I spend on food (I previously used to spend an obscene amount on food from places like Pret A Manger, Leon, Wasabi, Itsu etc and I do like eating out at restaurants). This new way of living means I have to take the time to cook for myself more often and be inventive with it (I’m extremely fussy about the enjoyment of what I eat – if it doesn’t taste good, I’m just not eating it). While I do still eat out a lot, I’m more mindful of the choices I make and I have definitely cut down on the frequency of visits to those places.

I hope to share with you some healthy, (and very tasty) meals that I’ve adapted from things I’ve seen online or made up in my own experimentation in the kitchen with whatever I find in the fridge and cupboards. I’m not a fancy or complicated cook, but I do take flavour very seriously. These meals are what have helped me to lose fat, and have a better handle on my blood sugar levels. I’d also like to share and review the food products I’ve discovered for good snacking and treats between meals, that won’t have too much of an impact on blood sugar levels or weight loss and that I really enjoy.

I’m by no means a nutritionist or dietician, and I have no medical or health related degrees/qualifications, but the changes I’ve made have brought me to where I am now with my health, so maybe if you give it a try, it might work for you 😊.

I won’t blog about my workouts here – that’s something I’m still working on becoming a more permanent fixture in my life – I’m not always as consistent as I ought to be.  I really don’t enjoy working out haha … maybe at a later date, I’d be more willing to share that part of my life so that I can encourage others.

My other interests will probably creep in as this blog develops… but for now, we’ll just see how this goes.