Month: January 2014

Day 56: Dried Mangoes

Dried mangoes! I have found a place that sells dried mangoes. They contain no fat, limited protein and limited dietary fibre and they have about as much sugar as a bottle of coke. The only place that seems to stock them in store in Daiso, a Japanese multi-purpose store that sells almost everything for $2.80, including 100grams of dried mangoes from the Phillipines.

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My bedtime snack.

Their taste is exactly like dried mangoes. The texture is weird. The skin feels almost, hairy? Get past that and it’s just like eating dried apricots. The smell from the bag was not promising though. Smells like unhealthiness.

Cunning plan: next time there is a party, put dried mangoes and dried apricots in a bowl and mix them all up. Because stuff maturity, my veganism is going to be fun! Well, for me anyways 😛

Everyone seems to agree these are great for boosting energy levels during times of energy draining difficulty such as waking/getting up in the morning or after reaching your desk at work. I really shouldn’t be eating these at 10pm.

Overall verdict is that they definitely do not beat the real thing – raw, unprocessed, unchanged in any way mangoes are still the best thing to ever happen to taste buds. Dried mangoes do not seem to be in any way healthy in itself, but can count as a ‘healthier alternative’ to boosting energy levels and a vegan option when required. I would very much like to use these to make a mango cheesecake one day.

A lot of people have described how to make these yourself. It’s actually pretty easy, but of course, it requires a food processor or blender. To make them you take off the skin and remove pip, blend/process the middle part until smooth, then lay it out onto a baking tray and bake till yummy. Cut into pieces as desired. I just keep looking at the pictures and thinking, “what a waste of a perfectly good mango”, as a silent inner tear is shed.

I wonder if my housemates would appreciate a so long, and thanks for all the food mango cheesecake as thanks for being some pretty awesome housemates and for all the times I’ve “borrowed” from their spices…

To maintaining a vigilant stance on being a cliche prankster, to showing appreciation where due, but mostly, to mangoes,

Summer Tay.

P.S. in case you were wondering, the nutritional value of the dried apricots per 100g:
Fat:                  0.0g
Protein:            0.7g
Dietary fibre:    2.0g
Carbs:            90.5g
-Sugars:         80.9g

Yeah.

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Day 55: When At War

A war has begun. For the last couple of weeks 3 factions have come to an unspoken disagreement, causing a severe war which has festered and grown. The war has had it’s consequences. Once clean areas are now covered in dirtyness. Hunger has been allowed to permeate once well nourished areas. Items required for daily survival are disappearing  A silent tension has risen and no-one wishes to be the broker of peace, no-one wishes to wash the dishes and end this passive-aggressive stand-still.

I mean seriously, I used half the dishes, they (a couple) used the other half, between us if one of us intends to actually eat a proper meal at home then one of us is going to have to wash up items that others have used.  I just don’t want it to be me.

So what have I been eating then? Well, did you know that raw beans taste fantastic? If you buy them in a container (aka packaged) then all you need to do is rinse them there-in, then eat. They taste good, they make you feel good, and they have very pleasant crunch. Some friends got me into this ages ago when they told me they are kind of like eating chips. This can also be done with Snow Peas, but they have a sweeter taste, and feel more like a dessert to some.

I have also been eating plain wholemeal bread bought freshly made from the bakery, sweetened dried cranberries, rice biscuits from Aldi, eating soy ice cream with a measuring spoon from the bucket (what, I’m the only one that eats it. Shh don’t judge me) and a lot of meals out. There really isn’t much you can do when you don’t have so much as a clean plate or butter knife, but I feel that a massive pig-out on raw beans was probably a good thing anyways… I eventually cleaned the dishes. The mood here has increased considerably, my sacrifice was worth it. I finally got a clean knife and cup to make juice again! 😀 Due to the lack of cooking, food prep and food eating utensils available for use I have been slack with the grocery buying of late. I should probably go buy groceries again tomorrow. Been so long, I don’t know if I still know how…do we even have grocery stores anymore? Do people still go to them, or is that an outdated custom now? Will I need to order them to be delivered to my home and will I need to download an app for this for my phone?

I’ve realised whilst writing this that raw unpeeled carrot, celery with pre-made vegan dip (provided you don’t mind your own double dipping) and soy yoghurt (provided you don’t mind eating it from the tub like a drink) probably would have made great additions to the anti-washing up diet.

Well, now you know my secret indulgences when faced with a strong desire to not wash up. So here is my question to you: if you were in my lazy shoes and had 0 clean utencils of any kind (toasters, microwaves, stoves and those sorts of items are not counted), what would you snack on or eat as your meals until the dishes magically clean themselves?

To having a happy household,

Summer Tay.

Day 54: Cotton Wool

Good things to know:  Cotton is not sheep based.

 It contains no animal product whatsoever. I knew it came from a tree, but I also thought it was sheep, hence the name cotton wool.

Getting less ignorant every day.

Summer Tay.

P.S. A follow up google search revealed that, thankfully, I am not the only fully grown adult to have learned this recently.

Day 53: Future Plans / Restaurant Ridiculousness

Today was yet another sushi train day. The options are reasonable: some weird pumpkin and carrot thing that tasted good, some random thing that we think was grilled eggplant, vegetable goyza thingies minus the goyza sauce because alcohol, and then the tiniest slice of ginger which I was trying for the very first and last time tonight. The face I made had my friend falling off of her seat (at least one of us found it humourous). The only other options I remember in the pre-made vegetable area were inari (a fried tofu stuffed with rice), the standard avo in rice, cucumber in rice, and some weird thing that freaked me the hey out. It looks like it’s vegetables wrapped in a thin white sheet of rice, but first the eyes think it looks like a tiny, white, bumpy man part / evil alien egg about to pop (depending which one of us you ask). I literally jumped back when I saw it.

UGLYvegetarian_Suhshi_HVS

Do you see it? Do you see what I mean?

We came up with the perfect plan. After we move in together, we will purchase a sushi making kit. Once we have mastered the art there-of, we are buying a fully functioning moving model train set. Much sushi will be made, then placed on plates that will then be balanced on the train. Then we sit in the middle of the train set and grab whichever sushi we feel like eating as watch low budget Japanese horror films (the best kind). Ok that last bit about the horror movies I came up with by myself – but it is going to happen. Huzzah home made sushi train!

SUSHItrainforthelounge_HVS
It will look a little something like this, but in the lounge room. If successful further tracks might be built to have the train reach the kitchen (a sensible next step) followed by the bedrooms and maybe the bath tub and then, if we have one, the balcony (gotta make the neighbourhood jealous).

In semi-related news, I came up with a new name (and a theme) for my/our/the vegan pizza store. PJ Pizzas. Can be spelt Pjzzas. You can set it up like a regular pizza restaurant, but the catch is everyone has to come in PJs or bedtime attire including restaurant staff. Appropriate ones. If you don’t have any, or don’t have any on because you’re a walk in or something like that, then you can rent/buy a onesie from the restaurant to wear over your clothes. The restaurant will have an assortment of styles and sizes for the young and the older – dinosaurs, chickens, even Pikachus and Stitches if we can. Point is, no PJ = no pizza. Feel free to steal this idea if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant of any kind, just remember me if/when your restaurant become super famous and they ask you where you got the PJ idea. You got it from me 😀

In completely other news La Brana was (presumably) lactose intolerant. In case you missed the news this morning, La Brana is the 7000 year old guy found in La Brana region of Spain. His DNA was perfectly preserved and has been tested. He also was very dark skinned yet had peircing blue eyes – making him one of the first of human kind to have mixed african and european features. He ate meat, wore fur, and died with his hunting utensils around him. He died at 30 years old. It has been added to my to-do list to research the average life span and the common diet and lifestyle of cultures back in the day, before modern medicine and modern science told us things and kept us alive. Back when all we had was food and lifestyle to determine our lifespan and the only knowledge and culture we knew was our own, grown from those directly around us. This idea is either really boring, or really brilliant (or really done before by ever other “genius” who has just gone vegan/health conscious and is researching it). Will let you know how that goes. Eventually.

To eating pizza in pikachu pjs in the middle of a public place,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you were interested in seeing more of the model train set shown above, you can view the full article here.

P.S.S. If you happened to be at sushi train tonight and noticed 2 girls singing and seat dancing to Spice Girls Wannabe followed by Britney Spears Hit Me One More Time, that totally was not my friend and I.  We definitely did not go on a nostalgia trip of our 90’s childhoods in a busy sushi restaurant. You are thinking of some other people.

Day 52: Carnivore Quiz

Some say humans are carnivores. That we evolved to eat meat. If we did, then we would have the bodies of a carnivore. The speed, the internal organs, the jaw, and the ability (and desire only) to eat raw meat. We are the only species that eats meat cooked. We are physically incapable of eating raw meat – not without getting extremely sick, if not dieing. That after so many centuries of eating meat we still haven’t evolved into a raw meat eating species I personally feel proves that not only have we not evolved into a carnivorous species, but that we also never will. If you’re a believer in evolution (like me) you might say this means that eating meat would not be an evolutionary step forward for humanity, hence the not doing so. We just weren’t meant to eat it. We just like to, some of us. 

On my search for more fors and againsts I found a few comparison tables, the most informative I hope will appear below. If not I’ll add it as a link as I mutter expletives about a certain blog hosting site.

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In my surfing of the web I also came upon a rather adorable video, narrated by a very intelligent pig. He will explain how to tell if you are a carnivore. Anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered with graphs may prefer this version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05zhL1YUd8Q&NR=1

Next time someone comes at you with the “we are meant to eat meat -it’s healthy, it’s natural, we evolved to eat meat”, show them these and explain how not healthy meat is, how as a species we have not devolved to eat meat, and how clearly not healthy it is for our bodies based on these things and so much more evidence being out there.

Really, if you choose to eat meat, fine. I’ll leave your diet alone if you leave mine alone. If you start the topic though, and you start with your carnivore logic, then you’ll get a lesson or two. If you really want to talk about the healthiness of veganism and carnivore diets, learn about it first. Don’t enter the conversation ignorant and then maybe you won’t feel so “judged” when I give you the facts I have that justify my diet. Or maybe, just maybe, your research will lead you to change your mind too and give up the meats and things. Of course if you’d rather stay ignorant, then fine, just don’t enter a serious conversation about diets and health if you are going to deliberately choose to remain ignorant. Oh yeah, and, hearing from someone who heard from someone that  some vegans lack fiber does not constitute being knowledgeable on the topic.

It’s amazing how quickly other people become experts in your health when you become vegan.

Well, that is my rant. So many more things I want to say, but it just comes out negative. Like why do people think that because we take note of our vitamin and mineral intake (and take supplements) that we are less healthy? Everyone should be doing that, it’s just more common among vegans and vegetarians, because we actually give more of a damn about it. And why act like we are preachy lecturery meanies when we try to tell you that your red meat is going to give you a heart attack? We’re trying to help. Heart attacks are not fun, and I know how to have you not go through one. Sigh.

Everyone treats me like different person now, yet I feel kinda the same, but it makes me wonder if I have changed, even though this decision seems like a natural one that I should take. Apparently I have already smashed through the amount of time several people thought I would last on the no meat no dairy issue (the 1 slip-up not being counted). The longest anyone has on it is 3 months. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys! I am so going to be better than that. This started out as just a health thing, but it’s become so much more. In case it hasn’t become obvious, I’m officially adding animal ethics to my reasons for doing this (hoorah!).

Ok now my rant is over. Thanks for reading!

Summer Tay.

Day 51: Soya Milkshake Consequences

Soya is evil.

I have had 3 soy milkshakes in 2 days then hit red. Cravings for chicken are now being replaced for things that look like chicken (vegan subs). It seems to be working.  All I want now is freshly juiced oj and someone else to make it for me. Its 1.30am. Everyone is asleep. Plus they are not my minions (damn them).

Now I kinda want a tall glass if soy milk and try to get some sleep. Damn you cravings. This time there will be no caving in. No more soy! Until this is over…

To sleeplessness,

Summer Tay.

Day 50: A Brief For And Against

Been looking at the arguments for and against veganism, as well as the vegetarian and raw vegan diets since they come up so often in searches. I would like to go into them in more depth one day, but I feel I have still not read enough on even one reason to be ready to write about it. Add to that I’d like to be fully prepared for all reasons pro and con before posting about any one of them. I have however found a youtube video that has different people of differing views combat a few of the reasons for and against the vegan diet. The video appears fairly amatuer, but it gets it’s point across. If you are considering the ethical, moral, health and environmental issues surrounding the meat industry and the vegan lifestyle, then this video is for you. Fair warning, there will be blood.

 

The woman in the video. “I used to love Boca Burgers [vegan patties], until I found out they were made from mushrooms…I threw them away”.

*Second warning, I do get a little coarse from here out*

Sometimes I think mandatory school excursions should include places like animal farms, dairy farms, agricultural areas, et cetera. If you wouldn’t feel comfy letting your 13 year old watch and listen as a small group of adults slowly kill an animal in a sadistic way, then maybe you shouldn’t feel comfy that they do that in the first place. Let the children learn where their food comes from and how it is made. Their shock and horror would end it all.

The sound of a pig squealing in pain then gargling to death on its own blood rings in my ears.

Summer Tay.

Day 49: An Apple A Day

Today I read the most straight to the point, effective and pretty to look at guide to foods that prevent fat. It came from the Australian edition of mans magazine m2. Today I also learnt that magazines can be informative, and can have a legitimate column without blatantly trying to sell something or make you feel inadequate (got white girl lips, try lip enhancer lip gloss. What do you mean your home isn’t big enough for a 12 person wooden dining table and chairs? But then how do you host monthly soirees?!?).

To avoid plagarism, i’ll only point out the top 3 I found the most interesting + 1 I found fairly random.

1. Apples. The catalyst that began the trojan war. In older times to throw one at a greek woman was to profess your love for her. For her to eat it was to accept your profession and give you her maidenhood hand in marriage, as well as decrease her appetite which will make her less likely to go old McDonalds Farm and ask for some greasy foods. Apples will have this affect on you males too.

Apples contains a fibre called pectin which is  a natural appettie suppresant. If you know anyone that uses appetite supression as their excuse to smoke, give them an apple asap. Just don’t throw it at them or you may be in for an interesting time.
Apples are also high in natural sugar which means it enrgises you. If you know anyone that uses waking up in the morning as their excuse for a morning coffee, give them a juiced apple, asap.

2. Calcium based products. Ok so the magazine states low fat dairy products as a fat fighting food. The reason why is because of calcium. If you do not get sufficient calcium from your diet, your body releases a hormone called calcitrion. Calcitrion creates calcium from your bones, which then stores itself inside your at at a higher rate than dietary created calcium. This is the difference between your body storing fat and burning it.

What I got from this is to have my cake and eat it too, then drink a tall glass of calcium enriched soy + banana smoothie too.

If you want to know more about how calcium affects your body (weight) then I could recommend this book. I read part of it today for this blog and am considering reading all of it.

3. Cayenne Pepper. Cayenne lowers your blood sugar and increases metabolism. It is also a good acidity regulator. If you eat a lot of acidic food and/or are diabetic then this pepper has got your back like as if your name was Tony Stark.

I look forward to making apple pie with some of this chucked in. Diabetics would be able to enjoy this cake/sweet without stress or guilt. Children and adults alike always love apple pie. And it’s easily made vegan and gluten free. It’s the perfect sweet. I think I know what I’ll be trying to make next 😀

4. Asparagus. Hear me out. Asparagus breaks down Oxalic Acid. Oxalic acid has thus far eluded itself from to having a good purpose in the human body, despite it’s insistance in being there to some degree. What it does do is cause fat to hug your cells in a glue-like fashion and not let go. Not cool. Asparagus rides in like a knight in shining armour, defeating the vile and useless Oxalic and giving your body a higher waste removal effectiveness and lower fat storage. I have also learnt that asparagus wrapped in meat, especially bacon, is a thing. People do this. *shudders*.

I’m not sure how big a difference this will be to your fat and waste levels. Trying to research this particular claim and it appears not many people have thought to scientifically study the affects of Asparagus and this Oxalic. Still, asparagus. Seems such an out there thing to suggest. I rarely if i’ve ever heard asparagus mentioned in “top super foods” or “how to lose weight” or any of those things. Neither has anyone ever said to me anything like “asparagus is my favourite vegetable” or “I love cooking with asparagus,it is one of the things I always have in my kitchen”. Yet here it is. In this list. Possibly soon my kitchen and for the first time ever my food.

That is all for explained away top fat fighting foods. The others included in the double page feature were oatmeal, citrus fruits, olives, nuts, tomatoes, cinnamon, lean protein foods, fatty fish (hmmm), beans, flax seeds & oil, turmeric, leafy greens, carrots and garlic. The magazine also included a feature on the upcoming documentary Blackfish (released in the USA and giving them a head start on the picketing of the Seaworld theme park) set to be released in Australia in early February. I keep hearing about this documentary from everywhere. I should watch it. In the cinema. In a black and white tux. Yeah 🙂

I have no excuse for buying a mans magazine (or any for that matter) except it had interesting sounding stories and Orlando Bloom on the cover and he looked extra dapper with his matching black rose pin and tie today. So dapper.

To throwing large, hard items in the name of consentual copulation,

Summer Tay.

Day 48: Sizzlers and Sexy Sharks

Something weird happened today. It started with my friends telling me off about my vegan diet, telling me I am not doing it properly and need to start counting carbs and eating more legumes and things, and of course to also start eating meat and dairy, for my health. I got frustrated and left for the day and when I came back, 2 x 8 patties in a box were in the freezer. Just for me. I’m so confused! And happy! Today was a weird day.

For the kazillionth time (maybe overstating the amount of times just a squidgeon) this month I went out for lunch. Yet another birthday to celebrate with foods of restaurant quality. Todays restaurant: Sizzler. Massive salad with sundried tomato and some weird herb mix that constituted 1/4 of the green leafy portion of the salad along with the usual salady ingredients. It was good, I strongly recommend using sundried tomato in your salads. Potato “skins”. I will learn how to make these one day then hide thr recipe in my vault. My vault that I shall buy the moment I come up with a recipe that makes potato the way Sizzler makes potato. Here the recipe shall reside so that noone will learn that i know how for if they ever knew, I’d never know peace again. Tomato and basil pasta sauce was good, but I sispect the pasta isn’t that vegan and won’t be eating it again. That and it tasted like crap. The soups looked good, but by the time I was done wioth everything I didn’t have the room in my tummy to ask if the soup – or the apple crumble – was vegan. But if the apple crumble is then I am mixing it with their cocoa mix-in and having choc-apple crumble. mMMmm, their pumpkin soup looked so good.

All in all I currently approve of Sizzler.

On a completely different but previously mentioned note, I would like to remind everyone that there is a short time left before the final decision is made in regards to the future of the reef. Non-renewable energy companies and their corporate, lobbyist and government friends want to dredge the Great Barrier Reef from Abbot Point, then dump what they dredge into other sections of the reef. The process will kill the reef and everything in it as well as the tourism around it. The impact on the safety of resident sin the area is yet to be determined, but I assume a massive reef has existed from the tip to almost the end of upper Australia (also known as Queensland) for a reason. Tidal waves perhaps?

If anyone would like to see this official World Heritage area continue to be protected from the coal industry and those who would seek to profit from dredging (read: removing from existance) this beautiful place, or would like to get to visit it yourselves, or simply if anyone would like to shut me up on the topic, please sign the petition to save the Great Barrier Reef.

Link: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/great-barrier-reef–3/thank-the-reef-authority/protect-the-great-barrier-reef#.Ut4bK3gGbis.facebook

Under the petition it shows the number of signatures still needed to make the reef safe: 637 currently. Lets see if together we can make that number 0 😀

To everyone that has already signed it from previous posts about this issue, thank you so much, it means a lot to me. To everyone who hasn’t, hint hint, nudge nudge, yes yes? Pretty please with sugar on top? I’ll love you? I’ll be your best friend?? I’ll give you candy? Please sign my link.

To giving out all my love and candy nom noms to all my new bestie peeps,

Summer Tay.

ImageI found this. I couldn’t resist. :D!

But really, this what you’ll be saving. Who wouldn’t want to save this:
ImageThe decision will be made Friday.

Day 47: Dead Cow Skin For The Win! (A Horror Story)

The other week I was offered a job interview for a leather handbag assistant store manager position. I’d applied for it long ago, about 6 months perhaps, and had since as you know become vegan in diet and slowly in lifestyle too. But was I vegan enough to turn down an opportunity to make a stable living with benefits?

The interview was set for over a week later at 7.30 in the am. In. The. Morning. It lasted 1hour and 40 minutes and consisted of her expressing how amazing she is whilst down-talking my achievements the entire time.

She had been looking for an assistant for 6 months, hadn’t found anyone who could “hack the busy pace like she could”. She claims is so busy she doesn’t see her own children or husband. She also claims that HR departments have no idea what they are doing (the HR department call her specifically to insist she give me an interview). She hired someone once before and they lasted a day. She gave me confidential information about the store and about store employees.

She has been the first and only time that I have met someone new and the first thing I did (when I got a word in) was discuss how I am vegan and how wonderful that is. Her face. Was brilliant. I knew I wasn’t getting that job. She knew I wasn’t getting that job. She didn’t know I knew I wasn’t getting that job. She didn’t even know I didn’t want it. I just wanted to see how long such a busy and important person could spend with a lowly commoner such as me just to tell me she is so busy and I am so lame. I spent the whole interview coming up elaborate stories of ineptness to see if she would end the interview there, or even, god forbid, figure me out.

I suspect that she is still unaware the interview was a joke for me the entire time.

But here is a question, if you would feel comfy to answer: if you were offered a role, or even an interview for a role, that goes against your morals or ethics in some way, would you sell your soul, turn away, or take it and try to change them from the inside?

1hr and 40mins to explain how busy she is. What a weirdo.

Summer Tay.

P.s.  I’d have taken it and used knowledge gained to try to stop them. If she wasn’t such a screwball.

P.s.s. I’d probably have gotten fired quickly.