Category: News

Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!


Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces


1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt


1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil


Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!


Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like


Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!


Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste


Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x


Hello everyone!

Tomorrow, 22/10/16, starts the weekend of London Vegfest where I will be doing a cookery demo!

Here is a little synopsis on me and the demo I will be doing. If you are interested to know a bit more about buckwheat, my favourite pseudo cereal, do come along to Kensington, Olympia, tomorrow at 5pm.

Until then a teaser of one of the dishes I will be preparing


See you then and there!

Eli x

Hello everyone,

It has been more than three months now that I have been working in a beautiful neighbourhood of London, in Richmond, in Bhuti. The newly opened spa features so many amazing aspects, like fully organic treatments, massages, yoga classes, pilates, workshops, events, a beautiful members’ lounge, and, my baby, the vegan tea room. We call it the tea room for consciously deciding not to serve coffee there, for health reasons. The whole tea room is very health oriented, as we put the menu together with our nutritionist Cicely Brown, therefore nutritious and delicious food is what we aim to do there day to day.

Now, the service will be upgraded. As the tea room often gets busy closer to the end of the day when we close at 5pm, I have decided make a start with restaurant dinner service. Together with Samantha Trinder, the owner of Bhuti, we decided to call it the Supper Club. It will entail at least a 3-course meal service, with some extra touches to make it special.

For the first Supper Club, I decided to do a fully raw menu, and hopefully include foods one would not normally have, not even in a raw vegan restaurant. The full description of the event can be found here. I have purposefully kept the level of detail of the menu quite short, to keep a little suspense. The full details will be revealed on the night after the reception.

The date is set to Thursday, 19th of May, and there is space for 20 people to sign up for that. If you do not manage this time, there will be the next time. Keep your eye out and I will give a shout when the new one is on the go. Should it be very successful, it may become a fortnightly event. If this is of interest to you, do sign up and I look forward to seeing you at the first Supper Club in Bhuti!

Excitedly yours,

Eli x

A recent study published at the beginning of this month that there is apparently a sixth basic taste besides the already known sweet, savoury, salty, bitter, and umami – the taste of fat ie oleogustus. Not the nice kind of fat that attracts humans to food that’s high in fat (and sugar and salt) – triglycerides, but a rather more unpleasant flavour.
They say ‘these experiments provide definitive evidence that long chain fatty acids elicit a unique, perceptible sensation at concentrations relevant to our food supply’. The two experiments they did clearly show how there is a separate taste which does not categorise under the known senses. Read an overview article about the study here.

Pretty exciting if you ask me! 🙂

Eli x

Recently there was an article on NaturalNews website named: U.S. dairy industry petitions FDA to approve aspartame as hidden, unlabeled additive in milk, yoghurt, eggnog and cream

Not to mention that the FDA has declared war on raw milk and even helped fund and coordinate armed government raids against raw milk farmers and distributors, the International Dairy Food Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have filed a petition to change the definition of ‘milk’ so they could include artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose which are mostly used in sugary drinks, without having to mark them down on the label.

They say that it is for the best interest of the consumers for they would make wrong conclusions from the label, instead it is for the best to keep them ignorant about it. 

The dangerous part, in my opinion, is that aspartame is actually quite risky for people with the genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) who should naturally avoid any contact with aspartame and so far it has been compulsory to mark it down on the label if it does contain it as an allergen. The American food industries and government seem to have the idea that the less people know – the better, for everybody. However wouldn’t you as a consumer have the right to know what is it that you’re actually consuming??

There’s a very nice paragraph in the article:

The bigger question is this: If an industry is pushing to hide aspartame in its products, what else is it already hiding?

How about the pus content of its dairy products? How about its inhumane treatment of animals who are subjected to torture conditions and pumped full of genetically engineered hormones? How about the fact that homogenization and pasteurization turn a whole food into a dietary nightmare that promotes obesity, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease?

Which is entirely true – about one fourth of regular store-milk is pus. Delicious? Plus, it is very difficult to get raw milk – apparently impossible in the US for they’re seen as terrorists there. From nutritional point of view I must agree with many that raw milk would actually benefit for the health for at least it has all the enzymes in it that your body utilises, but there is nothing good about store-bought milk or other dairy products. 

And the IDFA and NMPF would be using the sweeteners in any dairy product making it truly difficult to know what it is that one is actually consuming.

As the author of the article says, he quit consuming such products for the sake of health as well as not supporting such industry that is categorically against anything that would make the consumer more aware and know their choices in the market (just like with the GMO news).

The article is very nice and I do encourage you to read it fully:

Oils and fats

Hello my dear nutrition-interested readers. I figured that I should possibly post something new here and conveniently read an article about olive oil and its healthiness so here comes a bit longer post regarding different oils, fats and their necessities/benefits etc.

Lipids are one of the three macronutrients which your body needs alongside with carbohydrates and protein, but unlike the last two, it provides energy ‘worth’ of 9kcal per 1 gram. Usually everything we eat contains some fat, and it is necessary for our body for different functions, for example to make available for usage the fat-soluble vitamins consumed, source of energy, part of the cell signalling and more. Lipids are also the ‘ingredients’ that give food the aroma (so when you walk past a bakery that you find smells delicious, it’s the fat in it that actually appeals to your senses ;))

Typically about 1/3 of the calories consumed come from fats even though suggestions stay within 20-35% range. It is very easy to consume a lot more of it than actually necessary when red meat is often found on the food platter, take-aways are considered convenient and snacks are usually highly caloric like deep fried or highly creamy (like ice-cream and alike sweets). Because our body utilises mostly carbohydrates as source of energy, I suggest beign careful with the amount of fat in the foods. Appreciating Dr Douglas Graham’s work in the nutrition field regarding raw veganism, I have to say I do try to keep my fat intake under 15 grams, which is fairly easy as long as nuts and seeds are kept to a reasonable limit.

!A bit about chemistry!
There are different kinds of lipid, for example triglycerides (makes up about 95% of the fats in foods), phospholipids (that allow water and fat to mix), sterols (eg vitamin D), fatty acids and others. I guess what most people generally know is something about fatty acids. They can exist on their own but they’re also part of triglycerides and phospholipids. Fatty acids can be either saturated or unsaturated. The level of saturation depends on the C-C double bond in the fatty acid. Saturated one contains all the hydrogen atoms it can ie there’s no double bond whereas unsaturated ones have one or more anywhere along the carbon chain. When we speak of Omega-3, -6 or -9 acids, then it means that the first C-C double bond is as many carbons away from the methyl/omega end of the chain as the number shows. The location of the double bond changes some of the fatty acid’s characteristics. So does the length of the carbon chain and the number of double bonds, as well as their shape. 

People often worry about the trans-fats, which (as I recently put two-and-two together) means the double bond is with trans-orientation, meaning the carbons are on the opposite side of the C-C double bond (also known as the E-orientation (from entgegen – opposite in German)). That means the chain looks like saturated one but with one double bond in between somewhere. For cis fatty acids have the kink(s) in them, they take physically more space and don’t pack together as tightly causing the melting temperatures to lower in comparison. The trans fatty acids do not occur naturally in nature with a few exceptions like conjugated linoleic acid in dairy products and therefore these fatty acids are more foreign to our body than cis fatty acids. However, because from the aspect of production, it is best to have fats as solids and that’s why fatty acids are often (partially) hydrogenated (means added hydrogens – less double bonds) – it converts cis to trans making it harder (think of stick margarine for example) and more shelf-stable (because double bonds are susceptible to oxygenation and mainly cause products to go off).

Some people might think trans-fats are better than saturated fats, however, trans fats have been associated with cardiovascular diseases therefore they might be even worse than saturated fats. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature – meat, cheese, full-fat dairy, palm and coconut oils. The hearthealthiest option would possibly be soft margarine which would indicate that it has not been hydrogenated, has naturally occurring cis fatty acids and no cholesterol as it comes from plant sources. ( )

Essential fatty acids are only Omega 3 and Omega 6 as your body cannot synthesise them on its own because our body is lacking the enzyme of desaturating beyond omega-9 carbon counting. Most people consume a lot more Omega 6 compared to omega 3 whereas the rate should be lessened a lot.
Omega 3 is part of cell membranes, it mediates inflammation and regulates blood-clotting and contraction/relaxation of arterial walls. It consists of 3 different acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. Human organism can convert ALA to EPA and DHA though the rate and speed differs between males and females .Good sources of omega 3 is of course fish but as it contains heavy metals and is of animal origin, perhaps better sources for ALA are flaxseed, canola, green leafy veggies, walnuts, brazil nuts, soybean, kiwi, chia and seaweed. Seaweed is otherwise a superfood as well, if I do say so myself, as it contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals in addition to high levels of omega 3 (of which including DHA).
Omega 6 helps to lower LDL cholesterol and protect against heart diseases. Its intake is usually adequate if not too high (compared to omega 3) as you get loads of it from vegetable/plant/nut oils, seeds, nuts, avocados, poultry, eggs.

Therefore I’d like to share this chart with you that shows different oils/fats and their fatty acid content:


One could come to a conclusion that the healthiest oils are flaxseed and canola oils, as well as olive oil which has been hyped quite a lot in the past decade or so. And so I come to the main point: why is olive oil good?

Olive oil contains polyphenols which red wine also contains and is said to be healthy in small amounts for that reason – it is said they reduce cholesterol amount in blood and blood pressure which can cause heart diseases. Otherwise olive oil would be as healthy as canola oil – good radio of omega 6 and omega 3, low in saturated fat which can have various health benefits, mostly associated with cardiovascular health. So when you buy olive oil, you would like to buy the extra virgin olive oil which is as purely and locally produced as possible to ensure you have the polyphenols still in the oil that would be beneficial.
BUT! Do bear in mind that it is an oil and should be consumed in moderation. Additionally, the double bonds are easily broken with heat so it’s best to add the oil after the cooking process for ‘garnishing’ to make sure, it can still give you something else but calories. 🙂
Here’s the full article:


For I’m already speaking of fats, I’d like to say a bit coconut. Coconut is a quite healthy drupe, but it contains a lot of saturated fat. One cup of raw shredded coconut contains on average:

Potassium 285 mg
Phosphorus 90 mg
Calcium 11 mg
Magnesium 26 mg
Iron 1.94 mg
Sodium 16 mg
Manganese 1.2 mg
Zinc 0.88 mg
Copper 0.348 mg
8.1 mcg

– the list is quite impressive! But the same amount also contains 27g of fat of which 24 is saturated (which in total fat is about 44% of RDA, but is over 100% for saturated fat). It is high in fibre as well giving respectively 7g, 29% RDA.
Therefore coconut is good, but in moderation. More so for the coconut meat itself than just coconut oil. But coconut oil is brilliant in raw cooking for making pastes/creams more solid because coconut oil, just like cocoa butter both melt under 40 degrees.
Plus coconut is widely used for other purposes besides food, it’s used for treating hair, as skin lotion, for avoiding stretching marks during pregnancy and many other purposes. So it is an amazing plant giving us such drupes 🙂 Consume, but in moderation!

There, I reckon that’s about all I wanted to say about oils and fats. I do apologise for the lengthy discussion!

Eli x

Katie Ferraro (Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco Graduate School of Nursing and the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences) – teaching materials on Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

GMO news!!!

Daily Mail published an article on the 24th about a toxic gene being discovered in GMO crops!!!

  • EU watchdog reveals approval for GM foods fails to identify poisonous gene
  • 54 of the 86 GM plants approved contain the dangerous gene
  • Gene found in food for farm animals producing meat, milk and eggs
  • Biotech supporters argue there is no evidence that GM foods are harmful

The crops they were discovered in is mostly used for animal feed but nevertheless – you are what you eat – the plant carrying the viral gene is fed to the animal which then humans consume – it carries on and makes the way to human organism in the end affecting it in one way or another. They claim that it has not been proven to be toxic for neither animals nor humans, but thinking back, they have fed the animals with GMO feed for at least 25 years – can we really say we are healthier now than we were back then? I would rather say human kind is on the downslide of healthiness and cannot withhold myself from making the connection. 

From the article I can but conclude that corporations only wish to make money and therefore deny all that suppresses them from doing so.

  • Full article here!


GMO – genetically modified organism is an organism which’s DNA has been altered by genetic engeneering techniques. It has been done with fish, mammals, plants, yeast, bacteria and insects so far but the most relevant to us is probably what they do to the plants – our food (directly or indirectly) ( It is quite a hot topic nowadays. There are different opinions about GMO, it was first mostly welcomed warmly as it was seen as a way to beat famine, another green revolution because you could modify a plant to be more nutritious, have a better taste, be resistant to diseases, have longer shelf-life etc etc. Ie make it a lot better. Or so it would seem.

The truth is, when modifying a plant’s genes, we could never know what effects it has on the whole system when we aim to change just a wee part of it. Our knowledge about genetics, take for example our own genetics is still so much unfamiliar area to us that it’s swimming in the vast deep – we barely know what we’re doing. Thus GMO can also be seen as playing God and changing nature the way it’s not meant to be changed. We cannot be sure if GMO is healthy at all even if it has increased nutritional value per piece. Genetic engeneering has been known to us for only 40 years. Looking at alternative sciences, how many hundreds of years have they been around and the major discoveries being done now, we are not even merely grasping the idea of genetics, yet we play with such powerful tools without having a clue of its long-term consequences. 

Genetically modified crops are mostly grown in Americas – USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil. The most genetically modified plants are maize (corn), soybeans, sugarbeet (and cotton). 

Most of the modified foods are grown for animal feed. In European Union Food and feed must carry a label which refers to the presence of GMOs. However, these labelling requirements do not apply to food/feed which contains, consists of, or is produced from GMOs in a proportion no higher than 0.9 % of the food/feed ingredients considered individually and if this presence is adventitious or technically unavoidable.’ In EU there are other regulations as well because as you read the lables – there aren’t many that say it contains GM stuff, therefore I reckon that either companies are just not doing it and disobeying the law, or that there is actually nearly no GM organisms used in food producing here. ( the US, however, GM is very much allowed in the human products and companies are not obliged to mark it down anywhere if item contains GM or not. 
Why I chose to write here about the matters of GMO is because there were two articles published recently regarding taking action to reducing amounts of GM in our foods.

1) Poland is the eighth country in the EU to ban Monzanto maize which is a type of GM corn (full article here:… ) 
As a result of bans on cultivation of genetically modified crops, that were introduced by the government today, from January 28 2013, planting GMO crops will not be allowed. Many environmental organizations as well as farmers and scientists can see it as a success, pointing out that it is not yet the final step to eliminate GMOs from the environment and from our food.’

2) In New Mexico, US,  they are trying to legislate mandatory GM labelling and even though there are many problems with the Prop 37, the action has resulted in raising awareness about these matters. (Full article:… )
‘The New Mexico bill, which was introduced by State Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), goes into debate this year and will likely be hit (in a similar manner to Prop 37) with a ton of corporate-backed roadblocks. Nevertheless, it’s statistically what the consumers want. Over 90 percent of United States citizens have repeatedly voiced their support of GMO labeling legislation. And that’s using very conservative figures; many show 96% or higher.’
So far Maryland, North Dakota, Montana, Burlington, Vermont, Boulder, Colorado and San Fransisco are the only towns and states who have taken action against GM organisms in human everyday food.  (

But, changes are made step by step with the citizens’ initiation, mostly. Therefore – what a better way to make the world a better place than to start raising awareness of such matters amongst your friends, for example 🙂
In any event, I wanted to let you know that such articles exist and I hope this wee post has been informative.
Keeping you posted in 2013 as well,


‘Vitamin’ D

As I have recently been asked or have had a conversation about vitamin D, I figured a relevant post here would be appropriate. 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts in our bodies as hormone (hence the ‘vitamin’ in the title) as it has been proven to prevent many diseases including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

I am currently just finishing my (too) long-term reading of the ‘China Study’ by T. Colin Campbell and it has a separate appendix for Vitamin D. So I quote:

‘How mush is enough? If you know how much sunshine causes a slight redness of your skin, then one-fourth of this amount, provided two to three times per week, is more than adequate to meet our witamin D needs and to store some in our liver and body fat. If your skin becomes slightly red after about thirty minutes in the sun, then ten minutes, three times per week will be enough exposure to get plenty of vitamin D.’

In Scotland, the NHS has stated that 10-15 minutes might not be sufficient due to our geographical location in relation to the sun’s angle to us

Even the Vegan society has written:

‘The effective light wavelength – ultra-violet B (UVB, 290-315 nanometers in wavelength) – is not present in winter sunlight between October and March in countries above latitude 52 degrees north, which includes most of Britain. Winter time supplies of vitamin D depend on the previous summers exposure creating adequate stores in the liver, or on dietary sources.’

Therefore I suggest yous go out to sunlight when there is any as you still might be able to sythesise some vitamin D out of the sunlight, or eat fortifides foods or take vitamin supplements, which, I have to say, I still do not quite approve of due to my understandings that diet should be good enough to provide all the necessary nutrients without taking supplements, but taking vitamins is still a lot better than any drug on the market. A year ago or so I bought the Vitashine D3 vitamin supplement ( when they came to the market as I read about the benefits of D3 vitamin compared to D2, as this was the first-ever vegan D3 vitamin (all other D3 ones known so far were from animal sources or human produced as D3 is actually the kind of vitamin D that you produce in your body when in contact with the sunlight and is more natual in that sense) on the market. I have to say I am otherwise ill very rarely and have no chronical diseases and due to my otherwise healthy lifestyle and diet, I could not see the difference, but I guess when people are more affected by the amounts of vitamin D and hence sunlight by getting depressed etc, this would be the best option. And by that I mean getting D3 supplements. Or just try to consume vitamin D forified foods (should be in most of the butters/margarines on the market, but keep yer eyes open and read the nutritional information chart on products!).

And thus I think this should be quite an adequate amount of information you would need about vitamin D. I hope it was of any help to you to answer some questions you might have had about it.

Take care and enjoy the wee sunshine we get (here in the north)!

Also, happy Hogmanay and see yous next year!

Eli x