The 13TH

It’s Friday the 13th.. ah oh! Haha! Is there anybody here who believes in the myth? I don’t! Luckily, because I’ll be flying to the Netherlands today. I can’t wait! And to make this day a great day for everybody.. I present you a raw salad with 13 different vegetables. And if that isn’t healthy enough, the probiotic tahini-miso dressing is super good for your tummy. If you make sure that the dressing ingredients you use are all raw too, your salad will be a 100% raw. This makes a great healthy lunch, even when you’re on a detox. If you’re not into raw salads that much, you can of course cook some of the vegetables for a bit. It will still be very good for you. I like raw salads though, because they make you feel very full, but you still feel very energetic at the same time.

THE 13TH

serves: 1

handful of spinach
1 stalk of celery (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1/4 cucumber (sliced)
1/2 carrot (grated)
3 mini beetroots
1/3 bell pepper (sliced)
handful of sugar snaps
2 baby corns
1 big mushroom (sliced)
1/2 courgette (spiraled)
1 floret of broccoli (chopped)
handful of alfalfa

dressing:
1 tbs tahini
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs white miso
1 tbs agave nectar
1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/4 tsp harissa
salt/pepper to taste

-Put all the vegetables on a big plate or in a big bowl.
-Mix all the dressing ingredients. I liked to use an empty glass jar for this. I put everything in there and then I shake it until all well combined.

Do you like raw salads? So healthy! Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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This is my Jam

Maybe you made jam before. Or maybe your grandma or mother made it for you once. Lots of fruit and lots of sugar! Most jam I actually find way too sweet, so I almost never eat it. Whilst I was making cakes and chia puddings with chia seed, I thought I could make jam out if it too. Later I found out that it’s actually quite a thing at the moment. I created a super easy recipe for jam and if you use raw agave nectar (or you can leave it out) it will also be all raw. So healthy! What means you can even enjoy this jam when you’re on a detox. Eat it with toast, cake (maybe not when you’re on a detox, haha!), in your porridge or in your yogurt!

THIS IS MY JAM

Strawberry Jam –

300 gr strawberries
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the green bits off the strawberries and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth.
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.


Persimmon Jam –

2 big (very) ripe persimmons
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the leafs of the persimmons and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth (You can leave the peel on the persimmons).
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.

Will you make this jam? Where will you eat it with and which on is your favourite? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Hackney Fresh

When my friend and I walked back to the station after reviewing the Temple of Hackney we walked passed Hackney Fresh. We went inside, because it said vegan and organic. Then you just simply have to go in! It’s not a crazy big store (but also not small!), but they do have a lot of stuff. I got so excited looking at all the stuff. One of the first things I saw were vegan croissants! Real proper looking vegan croissants! Plain, almond and also some pain au chocolat. This is something what is still very hard to get your hands on. This is actually the first place I’ve been that sells croissants like this. I had to get them.. obviously! Even though I was so full from the dinner still. It’s nice to know that they’re made very locally, the baker lives above the shop. Can you go any more local? There are fresh croissants every morning (from 8:30).

Hackney Fresh is an independent family business, established in 2014. So it’s still quite new. They want to transform the way people think about fine provisions and sustainable food. They sell so many things. Several cheeses, meat substitutes, cereals, snacks (healthy and not so healthy..), croissants (!), buckets of peanut and cashew butter, a variety of plant-based milks, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, supplements, beauty products and even some very nice animal postcards. I got one with a sloth mum and baby. Because when I see a sloths I want it. At first you would say the whole store is vegan, but they actually do sell some animal products too. It’s a very very small section though. I think this is very unfortunate though, because I think as an all vegan store they would be even more attractive and very new as they’re a lot bigger as the Green Bay vegan supermarket. I think they’ll be the biggest 100% vegan store if they decide to go all vegan.

Hackney Fresh is not only a shop to get all your vegan groceries, but they also serve coffee, tea and fresh juice. So a perfect place to get a take away breakfast for example. It’s such a shame it’s not a little closer to me, because I’m sure I’d go here all the time. They actually remind me a lot of Portobello Wholefoods, where I go a lot too. I love to see places like this more as they’re super handy for if you don’t always have time to go to the Whole Foods Market and need some certain products you can’t get in the local supermarkets. I think we should definitely support places like this! They were so friendly here too btw. Lots of help and nice chats, so appreciated!

WHO? Hackney Fresh.
WHERE? 334 Mare St, Hackney, E8 1HA.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the many many vegan products + love the croissants.)

Did you already know Hackney Fresh? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Press

I was in Soho, on my way to a shop, to get something for my brother. When I was almost at the shop I saw a little juice bar, Press! I never knew there was a Press in this street. It’s not a street where you often go to, so I was lucky to walk passed it. I didn’t have breakfast yet, so I decided to pop in. I had a quick look at the menu and at first sight, I couldn’t spot any non vegan products in their breakfast bowls or in any of the things they offered. They turned out to be almost all vegan. Just apart from the milk in the coffee and some honey (in some juices) unfortunately. You can still request cow’s milk in your coffee here. Though the girl told me that it doesn’t happen that much anymore. I hope they will ditch the cow’s milk and the honey one day, so they can call themselves a 100% vegan juice bar. Would be amazing!

I actually wanted to try the Chia Bowl, but they run out of it unfortunately. So I went for an Acai Bowl. I love acai! I also saw they had a Golden Latte and I thought it was like a turmeric latte. So I ordered that one too, but it turned out to be coffee. Silly me, because it was clearly listed under ‘coffees’. The acai bowl was super nice. It had some lovely toppings too: blueberries, goji berries, granola and almonds. It was very cold, so definitely very perfect for a hot day. The taste was very good, with a great acai flavour. The colour was define really, a beautiful soft purple! I couldn’t drink the coffee, because I really really don’t like coffee. I also didn’t want to give it back, because I didn’t want them to throw it away. I gave it to the lady behind the till in the shop I went for my brother later on. She was so happy and that gave me a good feeling, so not a waste. Press gave me 3 things to try too. One of them was a pineapple juice, to boost your immune system and to hydrate. I found out there is honey in there unfortunately, so I can’t review this. I gave it to the girl sitting next to me at the moment (I’m giving lots of things away today!). They also gave me 2 shots: Detox and Ginger Fireball. The detox shot is with coconut water, lime, ginger, aloe vera activated charcoal (super hot at the moment!) and milk thistle. I’m very excited about this one, it’s very nice! The ginger fireball one contains ginger (50%!!), pineapple and lime. It’s burning good!

Press also offers juice and soup cleanses. For the juice cleanse, you can choose different packages (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and do it 1-5 days. Prices vary from £47-£235. They offer 2 soup cleanses (nourish and energise) and you can also do this 1-5 days. The prices vary from £38-£186. They even have a service that you can get it delivered to your house, every 15 or every 30 days. This means you can do regular cleanses, without any hassle of preparing. A cleanse is a perfect way to give your immune system a boost, to increase your energy and sleep + a lot more benefits. You can find more information about this on their website, where you can also place the orders in case you’re interested.

WHO? Press.
WHERE? 6 Denman St, Soho, W1D 7HX.
CUISINE? Juice Bar.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian, but almost all vegan)
OVERALL? 7 (Very good breakfast, nice cleanses, but a shame they do cow’s milk and honey.)

Did you already know the Press? Or would you like to go there now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! Especially when you tried one of their juice or soup cleanses! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Mascara / Chocolate

MASCARA
I discovered a great vegan mascara. Lash Vegas from Barry M. Until one day they decided to discontinue it! A disaster, because I had to find another vegan waterproof mascara which was not tested on animals. I did a lot of research, but there wasn’t one that even came close to the Barry M one. In the end I got a mascara from Lavera, but it was not waterproof and more than twice as expensive. Though I was desperate and needed something. A week after I bought that one, being very unhappy with it, Superdrug got some great news. It was going to sell ELF make up and it turned out they do a waterproof one. I ordered it with my fingers crossed. The package and the outside is really nice. Simple matte black with white letters. It looks very appealing to me. The mascara is not only waterproof, but also lengthening and volumizing and they promise thick, full and long looking lashes. It’s quickly drying, prevents clumps and it will last all day without smudging or flaking. This sounds amazing and I was very hopeful. The brush is quite a standard brush, but it works well. My lashes looked nice, it was quite easy to apply and I’m happy with the result. There are only 2 downsides: it only comes in small (handy for in your handbag though!) and for more than half an hour it stays a little sticky. Apart from that it stays on quite well during the day. So it’s not as good as my Barry M mascara, but I’m super happy with it as it comes close! I recently also bought the ELF primer and that makes your lashes even look more amazing + I find it’s less sticky. You can get them at most Superdrug stores now or you can order them online via Superdrug. Tip: register for the Health&Beauty card to get free delivery.

CHOCOLATE
At my work my employer one day gave me a chocolate from Ombar as it’s vegan, I like chocolate and they wanted to know I’m appreciated. It was the raw Ombar chocolate with coconut. I never had it before, but as I know Ombar and I know they do amazing chocolate, I was very excited. Also because of the fact it says coconut. Coconut makes me instantly interested! After eating the whole thing (I’m just not somebody who enjoys 1 bite and then saves the rest for alter) I was crazy about it. This is such good chocolate. It melts in your mouth and it’s very creamy, with a very perfectly chocolate taste. The best thing is that it’s all raw, it’s sweetened with coconut sugar and it has nothing bad in it. It’s very much guilt free. I won’t recommend eating it every day of course, but it’s definitely something you can have as a treat without feeling you put something nasty in your body. They do have more flavours btw, you can check out their website to take a look or you could go to the shop to try them all. They sell them in most health shops like Portobello Wholefoods and the Whole Foods Market.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you!

Great Skin

I almost feel a little bit like a hypocrite writing this, because I do not have what you call ‘great skin’! Since I was about 12-13 years old I started to have spots. Like a lot of kids who start their puberty. Most of the time they will disappear within a few years or at least before your twenties. Not my skin.. my skin kept being red and blemished. I had lots of blackheads and almost every day there was a new proper spot coming up and often a lot more than one! Poor me! It made me feel very self-aware and sometimes even insecure. When I became a vegetarian it got a little bit better, but it was still far from normal. Only since I became vegan I could notice a difference. My skin is still blemished, but only has some outbreaks now and then. Nowadays I don’t care that much about what my skin looks like. I’m still aware, but it just doesn’t bother me as much as it did before. I do have some tips for people who are struggling with a not so great skin. Hopefully it will help you. It definitely helped me loads!

Plant Based Diet
Like I just said, a plant-based diet helped me the most. I do not have huge outbreaks all over my face anymore, but just a spot here and there. Sometimes I even have some days where my skin is actually quite smooth (from a distance.. hehe..). When I have 1 or a few spots I know it’s because I have been eating g too much junk food and bread. As soon as I start to eat healthy.. fresh (raw) vegetables and fruit there is a big difference. When I did Banana Island my skin looked a lot better too. So I know how I can make it better, just sometimes I enjoy a piece of cheese or a slice of bread. If you want to look after your skin the best way possible look at your diet. I’d recommend eating as much raw as you can, but simply switching to a plant-based diet and eating more fruit and vegetables will also make a difference for sure. Sometimes your skin gets worse after swapping your junk to health foods, but be patient. This is just your body’s way to get rid of it. It can take up to a few weeks sometimes before you see a difference. Keep going! Always make sure to also drink a lot of water.

Skin Care
There are 239873 products on the market for a blemished skin. Some products are even made in a way that if you stop using them, it will come back (worse), just so you will keep buying the product. A lot of these products are full of chemicals and your skin absorbs chemicals within 26 seconds. I recommend only using natural products. You can even make the products yourself, from proper natural ingredients. There are a lot of recipes online and I sometimes make my own scrub and face mask. This way you’re sure of using something without any bad stuff. If this is not for you, you can get a lot of naturel products in store though. My favourite natural products are from Lush. Take a look at their website (or go to one of their stores) to see if there is something you like. I’m a big fan of the facial cleanser ‘Herbalism’ for example, but there a few others I like too. At the moment I’m cleaning my face with the Lush ‘Olive Branch’ and I’m using a little machine with a gentle brush, what cleans and scrubs my face. This works for me. As a moisturizer (I only use moisturizer in the evening) I use either coconut oil or this new cream I discovered recently, called iUVO Body Butter Cream. There is not much more you need to clean and moisture your skin naturally.

Make Up
I use make up almost every day. Not much, but I like to look groomed a little bit. Also I don’t like it when people stare at my spots and that tend to happen more often than you think. I do also like myself without make up though, but if I go outside I do mostly wear make up. I never wear more than mascara and a little bit of foundation. Sometimes only mascara or only foundation. It just gives my skin a bit of a glow and smooth outlook. And as I’m blonde, mascara gives my eyes a little bit more expression. When I’m at home or on some holidays too, I do not wear make up at all. It’s nice for your skin to have a bit of a breather.

No Touching
Now, this is a very important tip. One I personally struggle with the most, because I find it very hard not to touch my skin. Often I scratch, squeeze and generally touch my face. I’m trying to be strict with myself and I do try to keep my hands away from my face. What works for me is, every time I find myself touching my skin I tell myself ‘Stop it’! Easy like that. I literally tell myself! Sounds a little silly maybe, but it works for me. When I don’t touch my skin for a while it always looks so much better. The problem with touching your skin is that there is a chance to rub bacteria onto your skin, what results into spots. Also there is a lot of dirt on your skin from every day life, by touching your skin you spread the oils, together with make up and dirt, what will clog your pores. What also results in spots. Just stop touching it! That also means leaning your head into your hand. Try to make a rule for yourself to not touch your skin.

Do you (sometimes) have a bit of a troubled skin? What do you use for your face? Please comment below your favourite methods, products and tips! You can also show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Veggie Bowl

img_9302Some people find it hard to get a salad together. What vegetables do you use? What tastes nice combined with what? I actually think that all veggies can go together. This is why I like to make colourful salads. Eat the rainbow! It’s also important to make a salad filling. So what I always do is: I cut up lots of yummy, colourful (mostly) raw veggies, add beans, avocado and mix it up. Most of the time I like to eat salads like this for lunch. In fact, this is basically my lunch every day. I love it and I can really enjoy digging into a huge bowl of crunchy yummy tasting veggies, mixed up with a simple dressing. I just love vegetables. I know, I’m a lucky vegan! To just give you an idea of what my salads look like and to help you make your own, I’m giving you an example today. I hope you like it just as much as I do!

img_9310VEGGIE BOWL

Serves: 1

veggies
-1/2 cup black beans
-1 (big) handful lettuce (any)
-1 (big handful spinach
-1/4 cucumber (sliced)
-1/4 bell pepper (sliced)
-1 cup red cabbage (chopped)
-1 (large) tomato (chopped)
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-1 spring onion (chopped)
dressing
-1 tbs sesame seeds oil
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Mix all veggies in a bowl.
-Put the ingredients for the dressing in a shaker and shake well.
-Pour over the dressing and mix up well, until everything is nicely covered.

Are you just as lucky as me and do you love vegetables a lot? What do you normally have for lunch? Or are you going to try this recipe now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Yay for King’s Day!

As I’m Dutch myself, I’d like to give King’s Day some credit from over here. Everything in the Netherlands will be orange today! Today the Dutch people are celebrating the birthday of king Willem-Alexander. As we used to have a queen for very long (King Willem-Alexander is the 1st male monarch in 123 year!), it used to be Queen’s Day. The first Queen’s day was held on 31 of August 1885, in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. What means it’s a long going tradition. Later on, the date changed to 30th of April, the queens birthday. The next queen, Queen Beatrix, kept that date in honour of her mother and I’m sure part of the reason is also that her own birthday is on the 31 of January. Way too cold! Basically everybody in the Netherlands is celebrating this day. What means it’s probably the biggest birthday party in the world. People dress up, mainly in orange, but also in the colours of the flag: red, white and blue. As the lion represents the Netherlands, this is also a symbol you most probably will spot this day. But the most important rule seems to be: the crazier, the better! There are flea markets and activities everywhere, spread over the country, but especially Amsterdam is going totally crazy! Around 250.000-300.000 are traveling to Amsterdam, from all over the Netherlands and the rest of the world, to be part of it. Because for a long time the date used to be April the 30th, there are still a lot of tourists who come to Amsterdam, all dressed up, 3 days late! Poor them! Anyway,, I’ll not be in the Netherlands this time to celebrate, but especially for King’s Day I created 2 healthy (orange) recipes.. lunch and dinner if you like. Oh and if you are going: Enjoy!

RAWR

Can be eaten all raw (leave the bread out and use raw sesame oil). It might seems strange in combination with the strawberries, but I promise you it’s tasty.

Serves: 2

1 courgette
1 cucumber
2 carrots
6 strawberries
1 avocado (smashed)
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs sesame oil
salt/pepper (to taste)
fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp mixed seeds
2 pita breads

-Use a spiralizer for the courgette, cucumber and the carrots.
-Mix the avocado with the garlic, the lemon juice and sesame oil.
-Mix everything together and add salt/pepper.
-Shape the strawberries and the basil leaves into tulips and use them as decoration.
-Sprinkle the seeds over the salad and serve with warm pita bread.


KING’S MEAL

Super healthy and loaded with protein. Apart from eating this on King’s Day (to restore energy), this is a perfect meal for after a good work out.

Serves: 2

200 gr red lentil pasta (uncooked)
1 cup butter beans (cooked)
3 hands spinach
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 chili pepper (chopped)
3 tbs houmous
1 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the pasta as described on the pack.
-Put the olive oil, the onion, the garlic and the chilli pepper in a frying pan and fry them until the onion gets brown edges.
-Add the beans and the spinach. Switch off the heat, just before the spinach all slunk.
-Mix in the houmous and then carefully mix in the pasta.
-Add salt and pepper.

Are you in the Netherlands today to celebrate King’s Day? Are you going to make these recipes? I’d love to see some pictures (of the food and of today..)! You can show them to me by tagging me in the picture or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. I look forward to it! Thank you! X

Banana Island

So as some of you know, I’ve been on Banana Island for a week, from 20-26 of March. For the people who don’t know what Banana Island is, it’s not a real island. Being on Banana Islands means that you only eat bananas for a certain amount of days. I chose to do 7 days. This way your body can make real changes and it’s still very doable. You can eat bananas unlimited. Though, you have to try to at least eat about 20-25 bananas a day. To have some variety and extra vitamins and minerals, you can also eat a little bit of greens (spinach, celery, cucumber). I will first tell you about bananas and about the Banana Island, before I tell you how I experienced being on Banana Island. I will also tell you what I experienced and if anything changed. So here it goes.. 7 days, 140 bananas!

BANANAS:
Bananas have esseital vitamins and minerals. Let me explain why they are so important:
vitamin B6 – About 4 bananas give you the recommended amount of B6. So you’re good!
manganese – This helps with healing wounds (read: clear skin), healthy bones, activates enzymes (read: great metabolism).
vitamin C – It’s known to boosts your immunity to colds, but it also reduces inflammation and slows the aging of skin (read: clear glowing skin).
copper – It pairs with iron to help stimulate more red blood cells. Red bloods cells carry oxygen through the body (read: lots of energy).
fiber – It prevents heart disease and it’s especially great for a healthy bowel movement.
potassium – A very important one! It helps your muscles and nerves to work properly, it’s great for your metabolism and a healthy balance of fluids in your body. 

REASONS TO GO ON BANANA ISLAND: 
Healing – You’re giving your digestive system a break. As it only has to digest bananas, your system has an easy job to do. This way it uses less energy for digesting. The extra energy can go to other parts of your body.
Energy – For the same reason as described above, you will also experience more overall energy during the day.
Skin – You’re only eating raw and your body gets loaded with lots of important vitamins and minerals. Your skin will benefit a lot. You might notice your skin calms down (in case you have a troubled skin) and/or has an extra nice glow.
Hunger – You will learn the difference between emotional eating and hunger. If you just want to eat because of eating something and the only thing you can eat is bananas, you will less likely eat something. But if you’re really hungry, a banana will do.
Mind – Is quite similar to what I just described. You will be more mindful, because you will feel lighter (thanks to digesting faster), but also very important is that you will fight cravings. You will learns how to handle cravings: You admit you have a craving, you acknowledge it and then hopefully you can move on. This might be a struggle at first.
Weight – It’s very likely that you will loose weight. This will be mostly water weight. If you struggle with water retention, Banana Island will help you. Just note that if you will start eating lots of bad food again after you finished, you will easily gain weight again. To stay on the same weight or even lose more, keep eating healthy and exercise.
Senses – Your taste and smell senses can increase. You can experience better smell and taste. Especially your tastebuds will likely heal/improve.
Sleep – It improves sleep, because your body is able to make the right amount of sleep-hormones: melatonin and serotonin. These hormones are needed for our sleep/wake cycles. They often get disturbed by the things we eat or we do not eat.

SIDE EFFECTS*
Changing your diet and lifestyle can create a situation of temporary withdrawal. As Banana Island is a detox, you might experience side effects, like:
Headaches – A headache is one of the most common side effects of detoxing. It’s mostly a dull and prolonged feeling, but it is because your body is busy removing the buildup of toxins.
Fatigue – As your body is very busy cleansing, a lot of energy is used for only that. The more toxins in your body, the longer this takes. Though, if you eat enough bananas, you shouldn’t feel tired after day 3.
Feeling cold – Also very common, as your body is focusing on getting rid of toxins.
Shaky – Your body wants the bad things you consumed before. By not getting this your blood sugar drops and that is what making you shaky. Just make sure you eat a few extra bananas.
Trouble sleeping – Your body is disturbed by all the changes going on in your body. This might wake you up in the night more often.
Gas/Bloated –You body is getting rid of symptoms in all ways possible. Passing gas is a good sign, it means your intestines are busy clearing everything up. Don’t think it’s not effective if you don’t have this, as long as you have 1 (or more) good bowel movement a day it’s going well.
Cravings – Especially when you were a huge consumer of specific things like: sugar (!), coffee, alcohol and bad fats. You body will ask for there, because it was used to getting this. This side effect is probably the most difficult one. Stay strong!

*You are likely to experience this in the first 1-3 days. Some of the side effects are conflict with improvements. Don’t get discouraged, keep going! Of course if it’s getting really bad (fainting for example), you might want to consider eating a proper meal and maybe even stop all together. It’s very important that you make sure that you eat enough bananas. 

PPREPARATONS
To prepare  myself for Banana Island I did a few things. First, I (obviously) bought a lot of bananas. As I started on a Monday, I got my first batch of bananas on Friday. I got myself 50 bananas, to be sure I had enough for at least 2 days. On Sunday I got my second batch. I did it this way, so they have time to ripe, but not be too ripe.
Something else I did, is having a fruit day the day before (Sunday). This is not necessary, but I did it for 2 reasons. First, I had a lot of fruit I was not able to eat in the 7 coming and I didn’t want it to go bad. Second, I wanted to clear the way, so the effect of the bananas would work faster.

EXPECTATIONS
The reason I wanted to do Banana Island, is because this detox (as many other) is like a reset for your body. A lot of detox programs make you feel hungry, what is ok, but I liked this one because you will not be hungry at all. I especially like this detox because of the mental aspect. The difference you will experience between hunger and emotional eating. I’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately and it didn’t do my body any good. I was looking for ways to get out of that junk food circle, but every time I found myself back in that circle. So this is one of the reasons what made me go to Banana Island. I expect to learn a lot about myself and my body. I also really hope it will clear up my skin a bit. I’ve always had a bad skin since puberty and though it was way worse (before I went vegan), it can improve a lot! Though, my main reason for doing this, is because I’m more and more interested in raw food. This might be a step towards more raw food. I don’t think I will ever go fully raw and I always ate a decent amount of raws anyway, but I think I can do a lot better. I want to be a more healthy vegan. I expect to eat more than 20 bananas and I’m even slightly anxious I will eat an abnormal amount and double that or something.


BANANA JOURNAL

DAY 1 / Bananas: 20
I woke up feeling tired. I had about 7 hours of sleep, but I always have a lot of trouble waking up and getting out of bed. I had my first banana at 7:00 and I ate 7 bananas in total over the morning. At 12:30 I had another 2 bananas, but then I didn’t have any for a while. I had to go out around 15:00 for just a bit and when I came back at 15:30 I was all shaky. Just my arms and hands. I should have eaten a bit more by now I think and it also might be part of the detox effect. I had some more bananas and after an hour I was all back to normal. Still I didn’t seem to eat enough bananas and my stomach started to rumble at 18:00. I did eat 14 bananas by then. In the evening I had a whole organic cucumber, what was so refreshing and tasty. Love how something so simple was so delicious and it’s only day one. I also had 3 bananas with some spinach and water, blended into a smoothie. Was very yummy and a nice change after eating only bananas on its own. I didn’t have any real cravings today, I guess the fist day was quite easy.
Over the whole day I drunk 4 cups of tea and I drunk 2 litres of water.

DAY 2 / Bananas: 20
The second day and I woke up before my alarm (6:15), feeling very well rested. That doesn’t happen a lot. Walking to work I felt very energetic and light, what was a lovely feeling. When I got to work my employer gave me a compliment, that I looked well and energised.. ‘The bananas are doing you good’! It’s only the second day and even people around me see a difference already. Again I ate 7 bananas over the morning. In the afternoon I had a little nap. I didn’t feel tired, but to help my body detoxing and because I had a mild headache. It helped me to have less headache. Being shaky for an hour yesterday and the mild headaches are the only bad side effects I’m having now. Weird enough, having the side effects is kind of exciting, because it means my body is getting rid of toxins. Though, in the end of the afternoon, starting from about 16:00ish, I had a very dry mouth. When I got home around 19:00 I ate an organic cucumber and then the dry mouth was gone. To have the last 5 bananas, I made 2 smoothies with spinach and 1 with celery (I really liked this one). Also had a celery stalk on its own. Very yummy and refreshing. Normally I won’t eat them that often on its own. I like celery, but mostly I put them in my salad. I enjoyed eating it by itself a lot. I really like that about this detox, the appreciation for food. I also drunk almost 2L of water and 3 cups of tea.

DAY 3 / Bananas: 20
I felt less energy than yesterday morning, event hough I did sleep for 7 hours. It might be a side effect, but it could also be because I have to eat a few more bananas a day. I ate 7 bananas over the morning again and around lunchtime my stomach started to rumble. So this is also a sign I should actually eat more. The thing is that I’m not hungry. I eat bananas, but most of the time it’s because I have to at least eat 20 bananas in order to do this detox. What is very positive I think, because normally I’m always ‘hungry’. My body is learning about when I’m really hungry or when I just want to eat for the sake of eating. One of the main reasons I started this detox is because of this mental aspect. I felt very cold today too, overall, but especially my hands.. As this is day 3, the side effect must come to an end by tomorrow. What means I’m very excited about what is going to come next. When I left work (18:00) I only had 13 bananas, what meant I had to at least eat another 7. I decided to blend them, to make it easier. I blend them with some celery and made 1 big glass with a little bit of raw cacao powder too. It was very tasty and felt like such a treat. I divided it over the evening, but I was still very full in the end. I didn’t want to screw up though and make sure my digestive system kept working properly. I also made my boyfriend a burger for dinner, what is my favourite food. Surprisingly, though it was a little hard, I managed doing it and it actually went really well. I didn’t even have huge cravings. I also did really well drinking 3 litres of water, next to my 3 cups of tea. Hydration is very important in a detox!

DAY 4 / Banana: 20
My sleep was very deep, even though I only had 6,5 hours. I felt good in the morning, not highly energised good, but I felt good and content. I can feel I lost some weight, but the best thing is that I feel so happy and light. From around 14:00 today was the first time I was really thinking about having something else than bananas. I wouldn’t say it was a huge craving, but it was different from the other times I thought about different foods. I ate 2 stalks of celery, drunk a cup of tea and I felt better. I think day 4 as the middle day and with the side effects gone (headache free!), your body is changing the focus. I’m surprised I still didn’t have huge cravings, especially because I will have my period next week. Normally in this week (so the week before my period) I’m craving a lot of different things 24/7. I basically alway overeat this week, but thriving on bananas this week, makes me feel a thousand times better. When I got home after work (18:45), I had to eat 5 more bananas to reach 20, so I blended them with a little spinach and 1/4 of iceberg lettuce (I’m quite a fan of blending iceberg lettuce, it gives this little zing to a smoothie). I’m thinking about food quite a lot still. Not in a very annoying, can’t pull myself together kind of way. It’s not a craving for 1 specific thing though. Just I notice that I think about salads a lot. I only think about healthy food though, I have no interest in bad food at all. Again I drunk 3 litres of water today and 3 cups of tea.

DAY 5 / Bananas: 20
As it’s Friday today, I always sleep in a bit. What also means I started to eat later. It was ok though, because for breakfast I put 7 bananas in the blender, with a handful of spinach and water. Drinking this over the morning is a lot easier than eating the bananas on its own. Though my skin still had some breakouts in the last few days, I can see that it’s getting a little better. To be honest, this week (the week before my period) is always a good week for my skin, so I’m not sure if it’s just that or that it’s also thanks to the bananas. I think I have to be more patient to find out. Around 15:00 I thought about other food quite a lot again. To solve this I grabbed half an iceberg lettuce from the fridge and ate it like an apple (what level of vegan is this?!). It really helped and it was so delicious. In the evening I went to watch the movie Beauty&TheBeast (aHmazing btw.. best movie I’ve ever watched in the cinemas!!) and I always get popcorn.. I love popcorn! Today that obviously wasn’t possible, so I prepared a chocolate milkshake what contained 3 bananas and 1 tbs of raw cacao powder and I brought a banana on its own. My boyfriend didn’t easy dinner yet, so before we went to the cinema he quickly ate a pizza. He sat in front of me, eating one of my favourite foods. He wasn’t being mean btw, I told him to just eat. Nobody should change around me just because I decided I only want to eat bananas. As there was dairy cheese on the pizza I didn’t crave it at all. Though I think, even though the pizza smelled delicious, if it was vegan, I would still be ok. I feel very satisfied eating bananas. I’m very surprised I’m so ok with all this delicious food around me. Today, after the movie was finished I ate banana number 100! Was kind of a funny thought, knowing I ate 100 bananas in 5 days. I also drunk 2,5 litres of water and only 2 cups of tea.

DAY 6 / Bananas: 20
I was sleeping in until around 9:30 and didn’t start breakfast until 11:00. What wasn’t very clever as that means I have less time to eat 20 bananas. So I blended up 5 bananas with a handful of spinach and a glass of water and drunk it straight. Me and my boyfriend went to Portobello Road Market, but before we left I ate 3 bananas so I’ll not get hungry and tempted but all the yummy food there. We normally get a falafel wrap and eat it at Starbucks, but this time I didn’t get one, but only had a green tea. I was ok with it, though it’s a lot nicer if you can eat together. Eating 20 bananas while starting so late was easier than I thought. Because I was very hungry coming back from Portobello Market, so I blended 6 bananas with some celery and really enjoyed that. In the evening I was kind of craving a meal, so I ate quite a lot of celery and cucumber. Especially the combination of them both was very enjoyable. I can feel how my tastebuds are more sensitive as I could taste how salty the celery was in comparison with the fresh cucumber. Later in the evening I had serious cravings, to something savoury and saucy, like a proper meal. This is the first time I have cravings, maybe because I know it’s only 1 more day. I acknowledge that it was just a craving and created a healthy raw recipe I’ll enjoy on Monday. I also drunk a cup of tea and went to bed a little earlier than I planned to. I had only 2 cups of tea again today, but I did drink 2 litres of water.

DAY 7 / Bananas: 20
I woke up at 9:00 today, what meant that it was already 10:00, as last night the clock moved forward one hour. I slept very long and deep, 9 hours. I only woke up once at 6:00. So I started to eat my bananas a little later again. I guess that is what happens in the weekend. I made myself a banana/spinach smoothie and I got ready for the farmers market. It was lovely to see all the yummy colourful vegetables, it always makes me happy. Though I knew I had to wait for a salad until tomorrow. Later on in the Sainsbury’s, to get the rest of my groceries, it was also a little hard. I love grocery shopping, but everything what I bought was for the following week. I didn’t have huge cravings though, I’m just looking forward to a proper meal again. I made myself another big smoothie with bananas and celery (the one I bought at the farmers market), after eating 3 bananas on its own.
Though I did have bowel movements every day, today was the first time I had big bowel movements. I’m not sure why, but it’s a good sign. Tomorrow my body will be all ready to receive lovely fresh salads. I turned the last few bananas into a raw cacao soft serve. It was delicious. And swallowing that last bite, meant I ate 140 bananas in 7 days. Yesterday and today I was a bit bloated. My intestines must be working really hard to get a lot of toxins and waste out of my body. I’m wondering how it goes when I start to eat other things from tomorrow. I only had 1 cup of tea today, but I did drink 2 litres of water.


DAY 8
So this morning on the scale, it turned out I lost 1,5 kg this week. Quite good isn’t it? I could already feel it during the week, but what means a lot more to me is that I feel so light and have so much energy. I started the day with a big glass of luke warm water, with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This is how I start my day every morning, also when I was on Banana Island. I did some yoga and it went really well, it made me feel so good. Then I made myself a green smoothie with, guess what.. bananas! This shows you how much I love bananas. I did make the smoothie like I normally make it though, so not only with spinach and water. Yesterday I bought myself a little ripe papaya, to eat as the first thing after all these bananas. It was delicious. I love papayas! Then I also ate a very juicy and sweet tangerine. So enjoyable. At work I had some strawberries and then waited all the way until lunchtime. The moment I’ve been waiting for. I had a huge raw salad with spinach, chard, radish greens, radishes, baby corns, sugar snaps, avocado, ground coriander, smoked paprika and a little sesame seed oil. It was soo nice! I really love salads. Very satisfying after 7 days. Then in the afternoon I snacked on some blueberries, 1 apple and 2 pears. At dinner time I was really hungry and made myself some courgetti. I used a whole big courgette and I made very yummy raw sauce from: fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, fresh basil, celery, salt, thyme and a little ground coriander. It was very delicious! There was some sauce left, so in the evening, whilst watching my favourite show ‘The Big Bang Theory’, I cut up a cucumber and started dipping. Yumm! Going to make this more often. I also drunk over 2 litres of water again and 3 cups of tea. What a successful day! In the next few days I will keep eating more raw foods, but I will also introduce my body again to some cooked foods, like: beans, sweet potatoes and porridge. 

CONCLUSION
Thinking I would eat more than 20 bananas and even feeling anxious about eating double that amount, was quite an hilarious expectation, looking at the fact that I struggled to even eat 20 in the end of every day.
Now one of the questions I was asked most during this week on Banana Island was definitely: ‘Do/Will you still like bananas?’. Yes I do! I love bananas! I enjoyed eating bananas a lot and I’m still enjoying them now. I think bananas are just perfect food. They have so much goodness inside of them, they’re so tasty and you can make amazing food combinations with them. They’re really my personal Super Food!
So overall I found it a very nice experience and it helped me a lot with looking at food in a more healthy way. For all these reasons, I would definitely do it again. Maybe in the summer.. I hope more people will join me then!

DAY 14 / Back to normal
So last week I ate very healthy, apart from a little chocolate here and there (sorry, I’m allowed when on my period, hehe..). This morning I was the same weight as I was after Banana Island. I think if I wasn’t on my period, I would have lost a little weight maybe. It’s still a good sign, because it means that the weight I lost on Banana Island is still off. I can also see that my skin is better. It’s smoother and I have less break outs. Even though I was on my period, I didn’t have huge cravings. Normally I have cravings 24/7 and I can eat a lot, especially the week before and I’m hungry the whole time, but I felt so much better.
The day after Banana Island I had a raw day as you can read in DAY 8. I did this to slowly introduce my body to different food again. The day after that I introduced beans and the day after that, I had some porridge for breakfast. Though from about that day, my stomach was getting really upset. I was very bloated and my tummy (from my stomach to my lower intestines) was painful all day. I think that I ate something (maybe a vegetable) that was bad and I didn’t notice. Or maybe it was becuase introducing all these foods again, but I don’t this was the reason. I kept eating healthy and normal, but only from today I actually feel better. I don’t want you to be discouraged from trying Banana Island, because I think it was because I ate something wrong. I still have a lot of energy and overall I feel very good. I feel so much better than before I started Banana Island. It really helped me to get back on track. This week I will exercise more and get properly fit again. The lovely sun coming out more often, is really helping me with that!

Would you like to go to Banana Island too after reading this? You should! It was a very nice experience and I would (and will) do it again! If you have questions or you need some encouragement, don’t hesitate to CONTACT me! You can also do that in a comment below or via Instgram! Thank you! X

Snack balls / Indian tofu

img_7262SNACK BALLS 
I think a lot of people know Deliciously Ella. She is a famous blogger who also owns a few deli’s: Mae Deli, with her husband. Apart from her deli’s she has also introduced these snack balls. There are 3 flavours: ‘cacao&almond’, ‘hazelnut&raisin’ and ‘cashew&ginger’. I only tried the first 2 as I’m not a big fan of ginger inside cakes. Though I should maybe try that one too, because the other 2 are very yummy! I especially like the ‘cacao&almond’ flavour. I think that is also the most popular one in general. I get that, they’re very good. One thing I really like about them, is that you can get them in Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t have a lot of vegan snacks and now they have a tasty and healthy one. What also makes it very clever of them to sell them there. You actually see them everywhere now and they’re advertising for them a lot. So no excuses.. go try them!

img_2161INDIAN TOFU
You’re vegan, so you must eat only tofu. Well.. not only tofu, but I do eat tofu. I love tofu! One day when I was in Portobello Wholefoods (that can be a lot of days.. haha!) I was looking for a nice tofu. I always get the same one (smoked tofu), but when I saw the tofu from Clearspot, I thought let’s go for something else. The pack looks nice, doesn’t it? So I made a salad and wanted to fry the tofu for a bit, but it was quite wet and it became more like a scrambled tofu instead. I would have liked it a lot better if it was more firm. I also expected a lot more flavour actually. Maybe that is because of the picture in front of the img_2167pack. You expect some sort of rich curry sauce on it. I made a simple salad with it. I cut up some cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onions and a big hand full of lettuce. I also added some mayonnaise for the sauce I was missing. Normally I’m not even that much of a sauce-person. All together, the salad, the scrambled tofu and the bit of mayonnaise was really nice though. So I guess it’s tofu you really have to prepare in a dish (like in a curry) and it’s not that suitable to fry it with a salad. I do like that it’s organic and the overall basic flavour was good. So I like it, but I’m just not crazy about it.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X