How do you like that Nut Cheese?

July 29, 2009

camden,food,review

The inSpiral Lounge in Camden is, officially, one of my favourite places to eat. Whenever I find myself in North London, by chance or design, I make a point of heading over to the Lock and grabbing a buffet box – which usually results in trying to cut broccoli with the side of a wooden fork while wandering around the markets, tomato dripping from chin. Classy.

A little while ago, I tagged along with Thom and Lia who were intent on a trip to the markets. The night before, I’d revealed my plan of turning vegan to Thom, and we’d had a very circular argument. ‘But, if you’re trying to build muscle, you need meat.’ ‘Well, you can get protein and iron from plant sources…’ ‘Yeah, but if you’re trying to build muscle, then you need meat.’ and so on. When we passed the inSpiral Lounge, I suggested they check it out.

camden,food,review

The food in the hot buffet looks and is fairly basic fare; lasagne, curry, polenta. You have the option of one hot main, with two rice/potato/wheat additions, then salad, and the prices are quite reasonable for the portions (considering London prices/portions.) We hung around at the counter for a while, looking lost, then proceeded to quiz the staff in depth about the food. Question one: What is it? Question two: So there’s cheese in the cauliflower cheese? Question three: You can make cheese from nuts? Question four: So, really, it’s cheese made from nuts? Although the buffet is advertised as vegetarian, we found most of the dishes were vegan (and gluten free), except for the cheese used on the spelt pizza (which isn’t a part of the buffet meal options). All the staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to go through with us in detail the contents of each dish. Yes, yes it’s cheese made from nuts. We ordered a bowl each, I with lasagne, Thom with cauliflower cheese, all with salad. Lia opted for solely salad and we had a chocolate brownie between us.

The Lounge is a very pleasant place to hang out, with huge windows giving a great view of the Lock, scattered cushions, ambient music and er, glowing rocks, but since it was summer, we decided to sit outside, where we could watch the murky river water flow past. Yum.

camden,food,review

This is Thom’s first time trying nut cheese. Tasty nut cheese. After one bite he began to rave about going vegetarian and maybe halfway through the meal he even considered going vegan for a week. (He did start with the vegetarian thing afterwards.) I think this face is the best possible review of a meal, but still. My pasta was tasty and filling, and it’s great to eat out and know that you’ve got the healthiest possible option available. There isn’t any other adjective worthy of the food than: good. Delicious, healthy, fresh. I really, really like the food there. (Just look at that face!)

Then, desert. They do a range of vegan cakes and cookies and the chocolate brownie looked to be the most chocolatey of all. The cookies only have chocolate chips, see, whereas the brownie has it all the way through…went my logic. However, upon taking an enormous bite of the potential brownie of chocolate joy, I was only to be disappointed when it didn’t live up to my chocolatey expectations. But then, what can? It was also quite stodgy, and didn’t taste of anything, let alone chocolate. Shame.
A couple of weeks later, I went again and had a cup of chocolate ice-cream. Their ice-cream claims to be dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free…so I’m not entirely sure what it’s actually made of. The first lick proved alright, but a few more mouthfuls and it began to take on a chalky quality and left a strange (and un-chocolatey) aftertaste. In comparison to the smoothness of dairy ice-cream, no dice. If not comparing it to dairy deserts, it still wasn’t all that enjoyable. Maybe other flavours have different qualities? (Or aftertastes…)

camden,food,review

I would, and frequently do, eat here again. And again. And then another time. If you’ve got the time, it’s a great place to chill out and relax in, with all the glowing stones, or if not, it’s quick and easy to grab a box of hot food and attempt to it conquer with wooden cutlery. Definitely an affordable, if not cheap, place to grab a vegan bite.

Check them out
They also do music and performances in the evenings. I haven’t had the change to go yet, but one day…

-Amelia

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Travelling Vegan: Brighton

July 24, 2009

Brighton,travel,fun

This weekend I jambled up to Brighton for a few days to hang out with James, do some juggling and see the sights. It was also my first extended period away from my cupboard full of seeds and fridge full of tofu so I wasn’t sure if I would manage to eat incredibly well while I was away (and yes, that was my first thought after deciding to go) but hey, I survived.

A couple of factors were pretty handy, the first being that James has no food in the house, so vegan or not, I would have needed to buy food if I wanted to eat. Also, he didn’t have to worry about cooking for me, because he doesn’t worry about cooking. The second factor is that James’ housemate Jack is vegan, and he made a tasty dinner the first night I was there, so we bonded about the awesomeness of kale and I discovered that chard looks like rhubarb.

Since I had to buy food anyway, as soon as I arrived (‘Hi, where’s the nearest supermaket? Nice to see you yeah, back in a sec!’) I dashed around the corner and panic bought salad, hummus, a potato and some beans. When I had calmed down appropriately enough to go to Sainsburys, I nabbed some tofu and chopped tomatoes. Bam. Salad and hummus sandwiches for lunch, tofu bolognaise for dinner. (I also went a bit mental and bought all the gear for tasty double chocolate cookies – flour, butter, sugar and chocolate. Foolish…but oh so good.) I’m pretty sure that only eating plant food is cheaper than if I’d craved cheese or meat, though the cookie ingredients did set me back a bit. And the Coppella apple juice. Sweet as sin, really. Delicious.

Easy enough so far. However, I hadn’t gone to Brighton just for the hell of it, I did some work while I was there as well. This work involves driving the length of the country to either perform with fire or teach kids to juggle, usually lasting all day or at least over one meal time. Buying vegan food on the road is inconvenient to say the least, so I made up some hummus and salad sandwiches – which totally failed to satiate me. Grr! Argh! Hunger! Vegan Jack bought some beans and crisps though, which we had in white baps. Good sandwich. He said he ate a lot of that sort of food when he was travelling, then proceeded to drink the beans. Delightful. But filling, yes. I nearly faltered in my resolve when we ended up at a village fayre, where all around was locally sourced meat and cheese and not a vegan option in sight – unless I wanted to buy a whole box full of veg. It was close…I had a spring roll and complained about being hungry for about three hours. Foolish self. Had I been more prepared, I would have knocked together a pasta salad and taken a couple of apples. Of course, not being at home made it all the harder to pre-prepare for a big day out.

I was always under the impression that Brighton was something of a Mecca for vegans, proved by my quick search of vegan cafes coming up with about seven places on the sea front that are completely meat free, as well as the usual ‘this pub does nut roast and is therefore veggie friendly, yeah?’ places. I made it an aim to check out Infinity Cafe and RedVeg and though time constraints curtailed my visit, we did get lunch from RedVeg; a proper fast food place serving falafel, veggie burgers and hotdogs, bean wraps and frrrries. I had falafel (I always seem to have falafel…) and James had a chilli burger. The falafel was good, if quite onion-y and, according to my incredibly carnivorous friend, the burger was passable too. If you’re lost in Brighton, afraid of all the brightly coloured omnivores, then RedVeg is a great little place to hide and munch on some chickpeas while reading all the walls and picking up some of the local scene mags lying around. You can find it on Gardner Street, in the hippy-frippery area. Next time, I’m going to hit up Infinity Cafe and also a veg*n pub we walked past everyday, which I believe is called the William IV.

Despite Jack’s vegan dinners and my salad sandwiches, I didn’t eat half enough over the four days and started feeling quite grumpy and tired towards the end. Before I went vegetarian, I used to intersperse days of eating junk with a day of not eating (because I was lazy, more than anything) and not feel any ill effects (probably because I was still digesting all the junk in my system!) but my body has now grown used to being well-fed every day and makes its demands heard.

Next time, I think it would be good to make a giant saucepan full of some pasta and tofu based dish which can be eaten over a couple of days, buy more snack fruits, and take my seeds with me for salads. I missed my seeds.

In a month or so I ought to be headed to Amsterdam, so we’ll see how I fare with a probable case of the munchies, no kitchen (no fridge, no seeds, no tofu) and a city full of waffle houses…mmm, waffles.

Anyone out there travelled vegan? How did you find it?

-Amelia

Vegan Brighton
-Being Vegan in Brighton.
Eating Out in vegan Brighton.


The Art of Procrastination

July 23, 2009

I’ve been procrastinating like mad for the past couple of weeks, especially having just discovered stumbleupon. Why waste time trying to write 9,000 words in three weeks when there are websites like this out there?

Sort your life out

A death star library?!

Banker finds God (No, he wasn’t behind the sofa.)

-I haven’t seen the film yet, so for now I’m drooling over theseHarry Potter Cakes, and these. (I like cake.) While this makes me giggle. Like a little girl.

Clouds made from ice-cream!

Would you let a stranger make you dinner?

You love his sneezes more than anyone else’s kisses

Beautiful garden lights in Jerusalem

I wanna be a hobbit.

You can buy happiness!

Steal this book! Very, inadvertently, funny.


David Belle is slick. If you haven’t seen District 13 (Banlieue 13) then DO. Now.

That is all,
-Amelia


Lounge on the Farm Review

July 16, 2009

festival
Having emerged from the Farm, picking straw out of my hair and ears still ringing, my first thought was – well, to have a bath – and then, to tell everyone I know how amazing Lounge was this year, and how I wish I was still sat beneath the stars, listening to Gong with my cup of tea.

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Cupboard of Beats

There was absolutely no faulting the music choice this year. Every band I aimed to see or stumbled upon were interesting, unique…and often in costume. The Ukelele Gangstas pimped it out, while Hotrods and Dragsters upped the ante with hula girls. Billy Childish had a WWI nurse play bass and Daevid Allen, well, I’m not sure if a wizard’s accoutrements count as a costume for him…Oh, the music? There also some normal looking bands who stood out solely according to their instrumental talent, yes. Jouis kicked off at the Furthur Tent with groovy sixties stylings and dapper suits. They switched singers until ‘the hippy’ as I’d dubbed him, previously only wandering around the stage with a tambourine and earning some slight mockery, took to the microphone and belted out an earthy, guttural, powerful sound – to my shame. We chatted to the sax player afterwards, and he pointed us in the direction of Jonquil – two lads, a keyboard and trumpet – whose music reminded us of Patrick Wolf, but less whiny. They generate a mellow, organic ambience wherein you can almost see the layers of sound filling the tent (or equivalent!).
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Jonquil

After the laid-back, self-deprecating, bands of the afternoon, we were somewhat unprepared for Gong. Not that I’m sure anything could prepare you for the rambling, overwhelming psychedelia that the progenitors of the Canterbury Sound produce; maybe a cup of mushy tea? We sat watching the stars go by as light, sound and pixies in their teapot taxies flowed around us. Definitely the perfect way to listen to music which often seems to lose its train of thought and ends up at quite a different station to the one you bought a ticket for…
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Furthur Lights

Boxing Octopus woke us up at the Furthur Tent on Saturday morning with their Pocket Full of Smiles and cheery funk. The ideal breakfast band, attested to not only by the number of people who emerged before noon to see them, but also the amount who then got up to dance. Later in the day, Syd Arthur were, as always, brilliant, packing out the Furthur field and pouring out their soul-filling psychedelia. Current torch-holders for the Canterbury Sound, they’ve moved on from Wilde Flowers and Soft Machine (well, it’s been forty years) but no without using their influence for good and emerging with mellow yet powerful tunes to sway to, dance to or completely lose yourself in. These guys are also part responsible for the Furthur Tent and creating the atmosphere which makes the Furthur field so unique.
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Light and sound at the Furthur Tent

The Aliens who, it was painstakingly explained to me, are comprised of the members of the Beta Band (to which I replied ‘Who?’) put on a good show in the Cowshed (‘The Aliens are in the Cowshed!) and I would not hesitate to see their brand of psychedelia again. (Honestly, I do listen to more than prog and psychedelia. Um…Roots Manuva! He was good for some mad, crazy dancing. Erm…Wolf People? No, that’s psychedelia again. Dammit.) Ah, the Burlesque. I could only stay for a brief moment at the Bandstand as I hurried towards the Golden Silvers but, gosh, there isn’t enough burlesque in the world. The audience stood transfixed as the Oh La La girls oh-so-tantalisingly-slowly sat astride their chairs with their legs in the air. Good clean family fun, oh yes.

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The Psychotic Reaction

An acoustic set from Syd Arthur was the laid-back alarm for Sunday, good for lying on the grass while wondering how to claw one’s sanity back after all that psychedelia…or just have a cup of a tea and a biscuit during. Your call. Mr. Scruff rocked the Hoedown for six hours in the afternoon, starting off with some chilled out vibes and heading towards grimier beats in the evening, perfect for dipping in and out of, like a hobnob in earl grey. However, the absolute total and complete stand-out acts of Sunday, if not the weekend, were Mr. Wolf, and Alessi’s Ark. Mr. Wolf is a sixteen year old beatoxing genius from Canterbury who filled the bar tent for his performance, and looked slightly shaken at all the attention. Only an ‘interlude’ on the programme this year, fingers crossed he’ll have a full set of his own next time. (Oh, and maybe some success and acknowledgement outside of Lounge too.)
festival,lotf,summer
Mr. Wolf

Alessi’s Ark is one girl, her guitar, an incredible voice, and the Ark. Her melody-led lyrical stylings are whimsical and sweet, but never sugary, and she was hardly phased when someone with trousers on their head and shoes on their hands wandered in, telling them the next song Dancing Feet was perfect for them. I spent my last pennies on her album, which came in a cd sized knitted bag!, and only just had enough left for dinner.

festival,lotf
Food

Talking of food, we ate well that weekend. All the food at Lounge on the Farm is locally sourced by local people. The Village Green, once again, did not disappoint. Everyday we stopped at Al’s Hogroast for a white bap filled with freshly roasted pork, crackling, a smearing of apple sauce and a dollop of stuffing…Sorry, went somewhere else for a minute there. Ahem.
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The Village Green
Merton Farm itself had a barbecue stall of very local meat – ‘Less than a mile from gate to plate!’ – and I decided to try rabbit pie, which was delicious. Vegetarians were equally well catered for with the Good Food Café on hand providing soups, sandwiches and beetroot brownies. I had a very filling couscous salad with chickpeas and pitta from some lovely ladies who admitted to never having done anything like it before, but very well they did do it. Desert-lovers were not forgotten; Ana’s Sweets provided Portuguese style pastries, and out-of-this world cheesecake. Caffeine addicts could get their fix at Volks Coffee or the Eco Coffee stall, and Strumpets with Crumpets sorted us out with tea and breakfast. The Tea Temple gave good brew, but unfortunately no home-made flapjacks this year (I spent my last pennies on one of them last year). Luckily, the Mole Hole Café had biscuits for ten pece, as well as messy strawberry cheesecake, chocolate brownies and infinite amounts of tea. And, as always, the Groovy Movie Picture Tent was completely reliable for chocolate fudge cake, yet more tea, and wonderfully strange films.
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More of the Village Green

This year’s top GMPT picks have to be Nina Paley’s Sita sings the Blues, which switches between a heartbroken New Yorker, gossiping Hindu gods, and Sita, singing the blues. The film is available for free at Ninapaley.com and is well worth the perusal. After Gong, the GMPT held an exclusive airing the BBC South East documentary about the Canterbury Sound; featuring interviews with Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers and Steve Hillage as well as Joel and Liam Magill or Syd Arthur. Highly informative and worth a watch, especially if you have no idea about the Sound to which I keep referring!

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Ghostly Moo Cow

This year’s Lounge was definitely the best so far, and between running around between bands and food and burlesque and fire shows and portaloos, we also managed a lot of lounging, although I never did find the petting zoo. Still, Lounge on the Farm is only getting better and if I could get a lifetime ticket, I would. In the meantime, The Farmhouse, a Canterbury music venue run by the same people, will just have to tide us over until next year.

Other people who thought it was as brilliant as I did:
Virtual Festival Review
Muso’s Guide

Places where furthur pictures can be found
Haphazard Collective’s Flickr
Welovefestivals


How to: Make Sock Poi

July 14, 2009

festival

Having finally emerged from Lounge on the Farm, pulling straw from my hair and ears still ringing, I have decided to further inform you all of how to have a really, really good festival experience. Naturally, my first thought on this subject concerned poi.

Poi is the art of swinging balls on string around your body, without smacking yourself in the face, stomach, arse or crotch. It all began with the Maori women, for whom poi was used in traditional dance. Now it’s more of a hippy travelling game, and you can’t move at any self-respecting festival for fear of walking into someone’s flying sock.

I made a pair recently, having left my old ones (now a little too short) in Bristol. The perfect opportunity to feverishly document my handiwork. And so:

how to,poi

You will need:

– A pair of long socks (readily available from any market stall or teen goth)
– A pair of scissors
– needle and thread
– rice

Firstly

Take the scissors in one hand, and a sock in the other. Cut the foot of the sock from the leg. As so-

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Secondly

Actually, the next couple of steps are interchangable. I leave that up to you…

Turn the legs of the socks inside out and sew across the foot end. A running stitch is fine.

how to,poi

Turn the socks the right way again.

Thirdly

Take the foot part of the sock and add rice. I usually fill each with about 4oz(100g) though I like my poi heavy. Don’t worry too much about the weight, but do make sure they’re fairy equally weighted.

poi,how to

Twist the top of the foot part and fold it back over the rice-filled part, so it resembles a little ball. You can also use hair elastics to tie off the top.

Fourthly, and finally

Put the balls of rice into the leg part of the sock. If they fall straight out of the bottom, return to step two.

poi,how to

The Finished Product

Ta-da!

poi,how to

On the left, you can see what it looks like if you forget to turn the sock the right way after turning it inside out. A bit silly.

Now you’ve filled your socks with rice, you can celebrate by making strange arm movements like this!

Lia,poi,festival,lotf
Lia swings the blues…poi

Further instruction in the mastery of Poi
How to make FIRE poi Oh yes.
How to make and play with poi. Very enthusiastic poi enthusiast!
The Three beat weave One of the first and easiest poi tricks, as well as the The butterfly.

Or if you just want the professionals to show you how it’s done: Fire shows and/or Circus Workshops

The best way to learn poi though, in my experience, is meet up with like minded fellows and hang out in parks and at festivals swapping tips and tricks. I learned in various parks in Berlin after meeting up with Ed, who’s been spinning poi for three years now and knows a thing or two, as well as having infinite patience! It does take a while to get the hang of, you’re swinging rice around your head in socks for Gods sake, it’s not normal!, but it’s well worth it when you start thinking…If I put one hand here, and spin it there, and do a little turn and Guys! guys! How did that look!? Also, spinning with fire is amazing.

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Go forth! And spin!


Turning Vegan

July 8, 2009

chocolate pudding,vegan,food,café

There are as many reasons for changing your diet, as there are changes to make. Giving up meat for environmental causes; eating more protein for muscle gain; cutting out carbohydrates to lose weight; getting more iron to combat anemia; more omega oils for extra brain power (I swear I was smarter the year I ate tuna sandwiches for lunch…); less saturated fat to lower cholesterol; creating a new dish every week to expand your culinary horizons…

A couple of months ago I decided to make the switch to vegetarian and throw in a vegan week. The reasoning behind my decision was that I have always eaten badly: microwave meals when I was younger, cheese and tuna toasties at university, or not eating at all. I wanted to eat more healthily. A couple of my friends and housemates actually used to cook, at least every other day. They could whip up spag bol or smoked salmon with minimum effort – and were occasionally horrified at my poor diet. If I became a vegetarian I knew I would have to look at my diet and what I was putting into my body, thus causing me to eat more healthily.

It did take me a long time to reach this point in my life where I wanted to make a change in my diet. When I was heating up triple cheesy crispy pancakes, or surviving on ham sandwiches, I knew my diet wasn’t the healthiest, but I was at university watching Em and Ed cook tasty, healthy meals for four years before I decided that I could do that too. While these guys were definitely catalysts, I didn’t make any change merely because they hinted that my food choices were going to give me, at the very least, a sugar hangover, if not Type Two diabetes. (I don’t know that I really ate that badly, but apparently Type Two diabetes is pretty prevalent in people with high sugar diets.) If I hadn’t wanted to do something about it for myself, and not solely just because other people were telling me it was the right or better thing to do, I wouldn’t have had the motivation to make any sort of change, let alone cutting out meat and then dairy.

Early on in my vegetarian time I read Becoming Vegan which is full of lists of which foods contain what essential nutrient and in what quantities, as well as in-depth analysis of the purpose of each nutrient in the diet. Needless to say it is quite anti-dairy as well as meat, so even during being vegetarian I didn’t make dairy the mainstay of my diet, though I had still had milk on my cereal and cheese on my jacket potato.
Learning all this before I became fully vegan, and living a sort of veg*n existence, meant that the change to meat and dairy free has been almost shockingly easy.

Previously, I didn’t even know that there was protein in beans. I remember the food wheels at school, with sections for meat, dairy, fruit and veg, grains, and snack foods. Protein and iron was found in meat, calcium was in dairy. Carbs were in grains, vitamins were in fruit and veg. Fat was in snack foods and sugar. Someone may have once mentioned that you could get iron from broccoli, but you couldn’t create a meal around vegetables. Right? (When I say previously, I mean, last year. I really never looked into food before this.) I thought that vegans had to eat incredible amounts of lettuce (why? I don’t know), take vitamin supplements and generally be very careful about what they ate, making sure they got enough of the vital nutrients. (Consider that I didn’t know there was protein in beans. Imagine how hard I thought life would be.) Reading books like Becoming Vegan and a multitude of vegan websites really informed me about all the other foods out there that provide just as much protein, iron and calcium as meat and dairy, often with a lot less fat. I’m not going to go into which foods contain what nutrients here, suffice to say, ‘vegan’ foods are not specialised and can be found down any aisle in Sainsburys. I have found some interesting foods which contain no milk: Ben And Jerry’s Sorbet, Starbursts sweets, Asda stir in Chickpea and Spinach Sauce, McVities Hobnobs (score!). Obviously, always check labels, but there’s a lot of food out there with no dairy and no meat that isn’t in the ‘FreeFrom’
aisle.

Cooking for myself every day does take some effort though. I have to go into the supermarket at least once a week, check labels if I fancy something new to see if it contains milk, and then when I get home preparing a nice evening meal takes at least forty-five minutes with the chopping, slicing, boiling and baking. You know what though? I love it. I’ve never cooked for myself, and for others, as much as I have done in the past couple of months. I’ve never had people compliment me on my food ever! (‘Wow, this toasty is well done.’ ‘Soup microwaved to perfection…how do you do it?’) Trying new foods, putting new flavours together (I cooked with ginger the other day, slightly overdid it, but yummy bean chilli), having friends over for dinner and chatting to other vegans for recipe ideas – I love it. I really enjoy putting all the parts together and coming out with something nutritious and delicious, and the surprise on some peoples’ faces when you tell them it’s vegan!

There have been a couple of difficult points, however. Just before I became vegan, and had been vegetarian for nearly two months, I noticed that I’d lost quite a substantial chunk of weight. I’ve always been at a healthy BMI (not due a healthy diet, just because I used to temper my days of eating crap with days of not eating at all. Yum.) and assumed that I would remain at my previous weight even if I made the switch to eating healthily. Turning vegetarian and eating filling meals killed my sugar cravings for a while though, so I was eating less biscuits, crisps, fizzy pop (particularly those with beef gelatin in, etc) as well as not getting any fat from meat sources, so the weight just dropped off. Since I’m fairly slim to start with, this scared me a little and I decided I needed to up my fat intake, so I strayed back to scoffing biscuits. The day before going vegan I remembered that my reasons for not eating meat were due to health, so I stopped with the biscuits, and went on the search for healthy fats. I started throwing avocado and sunflower seeds into my salads, hemp seeds into everything else (though they do make a bean chilli disconcertingly crunchy…) and drizzling hemp oil over salads and meals. Unfortunately, due to a coconut allergy, I usually avoid nuts, which are also a great source of fats, and haven’t yet managed to get hold of any spirulina (seaweed and superfood), since the best place to get it from is the internet, as health food shops usually sell it in pellet form, rather than powder. (Becoming Vegan, again, hugely helpful with its lists of healthy fatty foods.) It is totally possible to eat unhealthy fats as a vegan; I’ve been making cookies all week, in many forms. Double chocolate and cinnamon being the current favourite. Don’t ask a girl to give up all her vices at once, right?

Most of my friends are completely behind what I’m doing though I did have a bit of an argument with Thom about not eating meat one night. He argued that if a person were body-building, they needed a lot of protein, and the best way to get that was from meat. I explained about the protein content of other foods (there must be other people who don’t know beans contain protein. Beans are my staple food, you might have noticed.) and how you can derive all your protein from one source, (unlike fruit and veg say, where it’s best to get a range) so you could eat nine eggs if you wanted. Anyway, we didn’t resolve the argument that day.
The next day we went to Camden, and for lunch at the Inspiral Lounge (review to come) and after maybe two bites of his cauliflower (nut) cheese, Thom was exclaiming over the deliciousness of the food and suggesting that they go vegetarian for a while, maybe even vegan for a week. (He’s been vegetarian for a week now, though still craves chicken.)
There have been other people who don’t understand why (or how) someone could be vegan, and have even eaten tasty vegan food and not become the latest proselytizer!, who don’t see any reason behind giving up meat, and also see veganism as a ‘restrictive’ diet. I usually have about one conversation with these people about veganism and then leave it. I’m not trying to convert anyone, but it’s hard work when someone close to you sees what you’re doing as a negative action!

Turning vegan has done for me exactly what I hoped it would. I eat better now, pay more attention to my food and know what my body needs to survive. I can cook (!) and have made food which my friends have found not only edible, but tasty. For a while I pondered on the idea of ‘feeling healthier’, but have realised that lately I have been full of energy and madly productive! My skin is also clearer and I feel like my digestive system is working better than ever. (Another side effect of veg*nism: gas. Good for the body, not for your friends. Mmm.)

At first I only planned to be vegetarian for a month and a half, have a vegan week, go vegetarian again for a month or so, then return to eating meat occasionally, but having got this far, I think I’ll definitely avoid having ay meat or dairy in the house, though I may relax my rules a little when it comes to eating out. It’s definitely been a positive experience though, and one I would recommend to anyone looking to eat healthily, do their bit for the environment or just try something new.

For anyone wanting to learn more about veganism

The Vegan Society
The Vegetarian Resource Group -So much information.
Vegan recipes and news
WikiHow To Become Vegan

Some Vegan people

Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk
Grumpy Vegan
Veganachronism
Food Porn
More Food Porn

A few tips for Turning Vegan

-Research food nutrition using the resources above. There’s protein in beans! Who knew.

-Really want to do it. Otherwise you might end up feeling resentful and restricted.

-Don’t feel guilty or give-up if you inadvertently eat meat or dairy. In my first week of being veggie, I ate out and had roast beef…

-Check labels. It doesn’t take long, and milk powder can be found in the strangest of places. (Pesto, why?!)

-Enjoy it!


Procrastination

July 6, 2009

It’s Monday, so I was going to write an article on how to procrastinatinate effectively.

Instead I found almost evertything distracting…

Polka dots invade London’s Southbank…

Some people are not that bright…

Pretty and eco-friendly (no, not me)

I want to live here!!

Parkour is beautiful

Be proud of what you do

How I wish the inside of my mind was…

Star Wars Cakes. STAR WARS CAKES! Ahem.

I want one for a pet

You know when you get really drunk and always come back with a traffic cone?

Oh no, wait, I want to live here!


Uh, I like the lyrics.

Happy Procrastinating!

-Amelia