How are those New Year resolutions going? Are you managing to fit in the exercise/healthy meals/time with the family that you promised yourself? As someone who constantly says ‘I don’t have time…’ I was struck by this comment from the Wall Street Journal that a wise friend posted on social media on New Year’s Day:
“Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’, try saying ‘It’s not a priority’ and see how that feels. Often that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. ‘I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to’. But other things are harder. Try it: ‘I’m not going to edit your resume, sweetie, because it’s not a priority’. ‘I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority’. If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice.”
So I’ve resolved to think a little more about priorities and a little less about not having time to exercise and eat healthily (or do many of the other things on my ever-present ‘to-do’ list). Public Health England just published a timely reminder about the state of middle-aged England – claiming that eight in 10 people aged 40 to 60 are overweight, drink too much or get too little exercise. So that’s just about everyone, then. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38402655 Unsurprisingly, PHE asked people to turn over a new leaf in 2017 and prioritise their health. They cite ‘the sandwich generation of people caring for children and ageing parents’ but not taking enough time to look after themselves’ – which sounds all too familiar to us at Kale & Cocoa. PHE have also launched a basic – but revealing – quiz, which is worth doing. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you
In an effort to start the year healthily, I’ve signed up to Veganuary (Vegan + January, geddit?) which sounded more interesting than the dry January many of my friends and colleagues adhere to. Getting through January without the occasional glass of wine to lift the spirits always sounds so miserable but I applaud those who do it. Veganuary www.veganuary.com offers recipes, simple hacks and encouragement to going meat- and dairy-free for a month. So far, it’s proving more difficult than I’d imagined but I’m going to stick with it as much as I can and will report in at the end of the month. (And if, like me, you’re struggling to change habits, do have a read of the Guardian article we posted on our Facebook page a few days ago about how understanding what kind of person you are helps to stick to new habits).
This week’s recipe has to be a vegan one – but this dessert is so delicious and comforting that it will chase the January blues away. I know that tapioca sounds like a disgusting school dinner but it is delicious I promise. It’s gluten free and supercheap – I bought a big bag from Asda for a quid. This recipe also makes use of brain-friendly coconut milk, a little maple syrup (no refined sugar) and fresh tropical mango to remind us of warmer days.
TAPIOCA PUDDING WITH MANGO AND LIME (serves 4)
- 400g (1 tin) coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 80g tapioca pearls
- 1 small mango (or a tub of ready prepped mango chunks)
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 tbs maple syrup
Pour the coconut milk into a bowl, fill the can with water to rinse it out and add to the bowl as well (so you have 800ml of liquid). Stir in the vanilla and tapioca. Leave to soak for about four hours.
Blitz the mango flesh and lime juice in a food processor and chill.
Pour the tapioca mixture into a saucepan, add maple syrup and simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently (it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan). It’s cooked when it’s thick and sticky and the pearls aren’t ‘chalky’ in the centre. Decant – individual bowls or ramekins look nice – and leave to cool. Swirl in the mango puree or just pour on top of the tapioca in a layer.