I first tried vegan nut tacos with walnut ‘meat’ when I undertook My Vegan Challenge back in August 2015. Many of the recipes I followed at that time were from Marco Borges’ vegan plan which was made famous by Beyonce. When I made Borges’ walnut tacos I changed the recipe slightly by using Savoy Cabbage leaves to wrap my tacos – I much prefer this as I find romaine lettuce far too messy. Cabbage leaves are much more sturdy and easier to wrap. I really loved the idea of the walnut tacos and I especially loved the low carb addition of the cabbage leaves as opposed to a grain-based wrap. After having them a couple of times I began to feel like the walnut taco filling could be made even nicer with a different combination of ingredients.
I decided to try my own version of the vegan nut tacos by changing up the ingredients to create a different flavour for the filling. Instead of walnuts I used a combination of almonds and sunflower seeds, as these are much higher in protein than walnuts. When I’m cooking vegan or plant-based recipes I’m always conscious of the amount of protein they provide and I prefer my version of the tacos because of the elevated level as compared with the original recipe I used. I also prefer the flavour combinations of my version!
The best part about this low carb recipe is how truly easy and quick it is to make! And its totally filling too. A great lunch or dinner, particularly when you are stuck for time.
I first discovered Symprove when I went for food intolerance testing in 2015. Symprove was recommended to me by my dietician who informed me that it was a gluten and dairy free probiotic which was not yeast based and thus would suit my elimination diet.
After I posted the above blog about food intolerance and shared my success using Symprove, many people began asking me more about it. The lovely people at Symprove have kindly sent me what will be my third maintenance course and I am really looking forward to starting it. This blog post is dedicated to giving you a little bit more detail about Symprove. It is a probiotic I have had great success with.
Where did I get Symprove?
On the recommendation of my dietician, I went in search of Symprove. First stop was their website to read a bit more about it and to look for stockists. At the time, it was going to cost quite a bit extra to have it shipped to me so I was hoping to find a local chemist who would have it. I was disappointed however after ringing a couple of chemists who were supposed to be stockists – they informed me that they had discontinued it due to the short expiration on the packaging (4 months).
Luckily however, I found a chemist very close by who told me that whilst they don’t keep a stock of Symprove in store, they do order it in for any customers who specifically request it – yay! They would order it in for me in four-week batches and said that when I was on my third week I should give them a call to place the order for the following four weeks. In fact, the particular chemist I order my Symprove from often asked me how I was getting on with it and relayed to me that they have heard huge positive feedback from their customers about it and are constantly ordering it in for people now! Perhaps others will follow!
How Much Did It Cost?
Symprove is ideally to be taken as a 12 week course. They offer a deal whereby you get the final 4 weeks free once you have purchased the initial 8 weeks. Because Symprove has a relatively short sell-by date (4 months) to ensure the bacteria are at their strongest, they send you only 4 weeks at a time. Each week’s supply consists of one 500ml bottle. The cost for me was 95 euro for four weeks. The second four week batch would also cost 95 euro but the final batch would be free so essentially it cost 190 euro for the 12 week course – just over 16 euro per week. I have to say that at the time I felt this was really expensive compared to most probiotic supplements but because I was putting so much effort into my strict elimination diet, I decided to go the extra mile and pay for the recommended probiotic supplement too.
When I rang the chemist to order my maintenance course of Symprove a few months after finishing the first 12-week course, the cost of Symprove had gone up slightly, to 105 euro per four-week batch. Again the final four weeks would be free after I had purchased the initial eight. The chemist informed me that the price had increased due to the acquisition of a new supplier. Whilst this was going to be even more expensive, I already knew the benefits Symprove had had for me, having taken it before, so I went ahead and ordered my maintenance dose. For up-to-date pricing contact your local pharmacy or Meaghers’ Online Pharmacy.
Probiotic: Why Symprove?
Symprove is guaranteed gluten and dairy free which makes it ideal for people with Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance, as well as anyone with a food intolerance to gluten, wheat or dairy. It was initially recommended to me because I was trialling an elimination diet and could not have dairy, eggs or yeast. Symprove contains four unique strains of probiotic. Thankfully, there is some very promising research around Symprove. As stated on their website;
“In 2014, Dr Simon Gaisford, University College London, carried out an independent study on 8 leading probiotics. The study subjected the products to three challenge tests to assess if the bacteria arrived in a live state, survived stomach acid transit and thrived in the target area of the gut. Symprove was the ONLY product to pass all three tests.”
I figured that whilst it might be a bit more expensive than some of the other probiotics on the market – at least it had some solid research to back it up – unlike some other expensive probiotic supplements! Every millilitre of Symprove contains about 200 million live, active bacteria. Symprove’s Unique Delivery System (UDS™) ensures it doesn’t trigger digestion in the stomach. So the bacteria are able to “Arrive, Survive and Thrive” in the gut, as their slogan goes. Aside from scientific research, there are also numerous anecdotal accounts of the wonders Symprove has worked for a variety of people – myself included!
Symprove comes in 2 flavours, Original, and Mango and Passion Fruit. After reading about both flavours online from people who had tried them, it seemed the Original flavour wasn’t very palatable so I decided to go with the Mango and Passion Fruit flavour. Thankfully, Symprove is sugar-free and the Mango and Passion Fruit version utilises only natural flavours and a very small amount of sweetener. I would still be keen to try the original flavour in future to see how it compares, and thus avoid the sweetener entirely! I suppose because of the price I was always wary of ordering the original flavour incase I really didn’t like it!
How does one take Symprove?
I had to take Symprove first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. This was important because it meant that digestion wouldn’t be triggered and therefore more of the live bacteria could reach my gut. I also had to wait ten minutes after taking Symprove before I could eat or drink anything. Once a bottle was opened, it had to be kept in the fridge so I tended to go downstairs first thing in the morning when I woke up, take my shot of Symprove, go back upstairs and get ready for my day before coming downstairs again to have breakfast. I recieved two 60ml shot cups with each of my four-week batches of Symprove so I simply had to fill it to the top and swallow it in order to get my daily dose.
I hope this blog post has covered some of the basics around Symprove and has answered some of the questions you may have had about it. I intend to write another post going into more detail about my experience taking Symprove and how it effected me over the course of the 12 week programme. If you have any questions about Symprove which you would like me to address, please feel free to contact me either through my contact page here or on my social media accounts; Twitter @cleancoconut_Instagram @cleancoconut_insta or Facebook The Clean Coconut, or simply leave a comment under this post. If you’ve used Symprove yourself I’d love to hear from you about your experience too!
In the meantime, you may wish to visit the Symprove website where they have a comprehensive FAQ section and lots of detail about how their product might help you.
Proats, or Protein-Oats are amazing. In essence, making Proats involves combining some form of protein powder with oats, as the name suggests! I have been enjoying Proats for the best part of a year now and in that time I have perfected a fool-proof recipe for making them.I like having Proats at night if I have had a heavy weight training session in the evening. I also like them in the morning – particularly if it is cold, wet and miserable outside – they were a staple for me in January! I also like having them as a treat on the weekend with some extra yummy toppings! As well as that, they’re brilliant pre-workout for a boost of energy! So yeah, basically there is never a bad time to have Proats!
If you’re sick of your usual porridge then try out this version and enjoy a protein and fibre packed bowl of goodness! For some more inspiration on toppings follow me on Instagram or Facebook!
Proats: The Clean Coconut Recipe
This is my fail-safe, basic Proats Recipe that I always stick to. I always cook them on the hob, never in the microwave. This recipe will make a large bowl that will keep you full for ages! A bowl of these will provide about 32g of protein, 13g of good fats, 11g of fibre and just 20g of carbs. There are about 330 calories in a bowl*.
Serves: One (If you’re Greedy!)
1 Tablespoon Oats (I use gluten-free oats)
1 Cup/250ml of Almond Milk (Or milk of choice)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (Milled or whole – I much prefer whole though as the milled can give the Proats slightly more of a gel-like texture!)
1 Scoop of Protein Powder (Flavour of choice. I use whey or vegan rice protein)
1 Tablespoon Milled linseed
1/2 Tablespoon Goji Berries (Optional)
For even more added ‘bulk’ and nutrition without excess calories try adding in half a finely grated courgette/zucchini to turn your Proats into Zoats…I promise you won’t taste it!
Drop of Vanilla Extract (For Vanilla Proats)
Tablespoon of Cacao powder (For chocolate Proats!)
Drop of peppermint extract for mint Proats – especially good when combined with chocolate protein and cacao powder!
Place the oats in a pot and cover with the almond milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes (I get my toppings ready during this time!). If you are including the vanilla extract or zucchini/courgette add them while the oats are simmering.
Remove from heat. Add in the goji berries, chia seeds, ground linseed, protein powder. Stir well so that everything is mixed.
Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you fancy. Some of my favourite toppings are nuts, seeds, berries, nut-butter, greek yogurt, honey, bee pollen, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut and dark chocolate.
*Nutritional info is an approximation based on specific brands I have used and based upon use of almond milk and inclusion of goji berries in recipe. Toppings and use of zucchini or other bonus ingredients are not accounted for in nutritional info.
Protein Pancakes are not just for Pancake Tuesday!
Protein pancakes are one of my favourite choices for weekend brunch. One Sunday I was craving some protein pancakes but I didn’t seem to have the right ingredients for any of the recipes I’ve tried before. I decided to improvise and came up with this recipe which turned out great. These pancakes are packed with protein and are really filling. They are also totally gluten-free and dairy-free*. They turn out like thick American-style pancakes rather than thin crepes.
I love having protein pancakes as a treat on the weekend, especially if I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast Monday-Friday! They’re also great after a heavy gym session to aid recovery. The best part about these pancakes is that they are full of clean ingredients. They’re high in protein and fibre, as well as being gluten and sugar free. They never leave me feeling bloated like typical refined wheat-flour pancakes would.
You can use whatever toppings you like but I really love some berries and maple syrup on my pancakes and the odd time I will drizzle some melted dark chocolate over them too to make them extra yummy! These protein pancakes are definitely a great way to ‘cheat-clean’ on your healthy eating regime and I’ll be stacking my plate high with them this Pancake Tuesday!
Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes: The Recipe
Yields: About 4 good-sized pancakes – Serves 2
Protein Pancakes: The Ingredients
1 cup of wholegrain buckwheat flour
1 organic egg
1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder* (Whey or rice protein works best – *use vegan protein to make these dairy-free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons of milled chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder* (Optional – makes pancakes more ‘fluffy’).
Coconut oil for cooking
Dark Chocolate (Melted – I used one square of chocolate per person)
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix before adding the wet ingredients (except the coconut oil) and mixing. Blend together with a hand whisk.
Heat some coconut oil on a frying pan to a medium-high heat.
Ensuring the pan is well-oiled and has heated up, use a ladle to scoop out some pancake mixture and spread it out on the pan. Fry on each side for a few minutes until golden. Wait until you see the edges of the top side of the pancake are beginning to cook before flipping.
Top Pancakes with chopped strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup and some melted dark chocolate.
Approximate nutrition per serving (excluding toppings): 347 calories, 9.3g fat, 17.4g protein, 38.8g carbs – 10.2g of which is from fibre.
These macros do not include calories/fat from coconut oil used to fry the pancakes as I find the amount used can vary depending on the pan. Generally I will use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per pancake.