Sunday Brunch at Ethos Restaurant

After a week of events, networking and good food, the weekend ended on a high! I was invited to attend a special brunch at Ethos restaurant in Oxford Circus, organised in collaboration with More than Carrots, to have a taste of their new brunch menu.

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Ethos restaurant – London (Credit: www.ethosfoods.com)

Before I go into the story and the wonderful menu, I want to take a little paragraph or two to talk about my food philosophy.

I have always loved cooking with fresh fruit and veggies. The more I learned about nutrition and the food industry, the more my choices changed. I gave up meat and dairy this year and chose to remain ovo-pescatarian until I feel ready to transition fully to veganism.

Food is to be enjoyed, to nourish ouR bodies and make us thrive. Turning food into something negative doesn’t sit well with me. That is why I don’t give advice about a vegan lifestyle, but I choose to show how wonderful plant-based food is – how varied, how delicious and how versatile. It is my passion to create healthy foods, regardless of whether I call myself a vegan, pescatarian or vegetarian.

The brunch&learn event I attended at Ethos was a beautiful example of people coming together because they were curious about vegetarian and vegan food (regardless of their current diet or lifestyle). And they were welcomed and taught about great ingredients and ways of cooking, without being judged or told HOW to live or WHAT to eat.

I think that is the right way to help people make positive changes, changes they are happy to maintain long-term.

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Right, that being said, let’s go back to Ethos. Ethos is a self-service restaurant located in the heart of central London, moments from Oxford Circus. They specialise in meat-free food that tastes as good as it is for you. And they operate a Pay by Weight System which means two wonderful things:

  1. You get to taste everything that you fancy from the buffet.
  2. You will probably be more aware of portion-size – the secret to maintaining a healthy & balanced life.

But let’s talk about the actual food now!

Here’s a sneak peak of the menu:

Portobello Hash

Portobello mushroom, fried egg, potato hash, pistachio pesto, balsamic glaze

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Banana Bread French Toast

Banana bread coated in eggs and cinnamon with strawberry jam, orange yogurt, fresh strawberries and mint.

Watermelon Caprese

Mozzarella, watermelon, avocado, apricot glaze, olive oil

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Sweet Potato & Kale Scramble

Kale, sweet potato, tofu, red onion, coconut oil, turmeric, cumin

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Wow, it was so delicious! My favourite was indeed the tofu scramble option (an old favourite of mine), but I was very inspired by the portobello hash and the watermelon caprese – which can easily be turned into vegan versions by replacing the cheese with a vegan one, and opting for a no-egg option when it comes to the hash brown.

Ok, the banana bread was also heavenly! haha. Sorry guys, this isn’t a critic’s review, it was honestly great food, cooked to perfection, at a beautiful venue.

Oh, did I mention we also got to pile up a plate with the most gorgeous hot and cold foods from the buffet? Yep, that happened too. Here’s what you can find regularly if you go check it out:

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So, if you are looking for a meat-eater-friendly place that doesn’t actually do meat, this one’s for you. Plenty to choose from, you won’t even miss the meat AND you get to try some gorgeous vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Now let me tell you about More than Carrots – what a cool name, right? Well, the long-short of it is this: If you want to start eating less meat, they can help.

They offer facts about the impact of eating less meat + nutrition, ideas for delicious meals and tips for great restaurants in your area. Best part? You can purchase their starter kit with all the info you need to start eating more fruit and veg.

I hope you guys found this little tale of where to find good food and support useful. I will probably check out new places and brands soon and report back.

Enjoy your food wherever you are in your journey!

 

Make Meat a Treat, I Dare You!

WHY EAT LESS MEAT

Some of you would’ve noticed on my Instagram account (@mariasnaturalkitchen) that I have a clear preference for plantbased meals. I love fruit and vegetables, I am fascinated by spices and herbs and clean eating is a way of life for me. If you want to eat less meat, continue reading this post.

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I’m not perfect though, chocolate is my Achilles’ heel (isn’t everyone’s?). I will succumb to naughty chocolate treats every now and again. I also have this philosophy  that if the healthiest option available isn’t vegan (but meat-free), I will go for that instead.

But it’s all about balance, right?

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My decision to include an abundance of whole foods in my diet was not purely health-conscious, I genuinely love the taste of veggies. But I soon began to notice the difference in my energy levels,  skin complexion, digestion and ability to maintain a healthy weight. It was very hard to go back afterwards…

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However, I recently became more aware of the environmental impact my lifestyle has. And this has made me even more passionate about it! Let me hit you with some facts now, courtesy of my new favorite website www.wearedonation.com/DoActions

70% of agricultural land is used up by livestock, providing grazing land and feedcrop.

Roughly 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock and their products,1 that’s more than is produced by transport.

1 beef steak emits more CO2 than driving for an hour and leaving all the lights on at home.

Now, I’m not saying to stop eating meat. BUT even changing from carbon-intensive lamb and beef to less carbon-intensive pork and chicken means a 18% reduction.

Not to mention the health benefits.

Health Benefits

Limit Cancer Risk: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.

Reduce Heart Disease: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that if you replace saturated fat-rich foods (meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds), you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease by 19%.

Fight Diabetes: Research suggests that higher if you eat a lot of red and processed meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Curb Obesity: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.

Live Longer: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.

Improve Your Diet: Consume beans or peas for  higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.

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To celebrate earth day, I pledged to eat at least 10 plant-based meals per week from now on. 

Make your pledge too, here: www.wearedonation.com/DoActions/veg-out/

And don’t forget to be more, chase less.

Maria