Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five sexy ways to incorporate chickpeas into your diet! BOOM Chickywowow!




Before we get started on the BIG FIVE, lets just discuss chickpeas shall we?
I decided to write this article because I have recently tried to eat a healthier diet and this essentially revolves around a lot less bread and a lot more clean living. Chickpeas have my heart because they fill me right up and they are so god damn sexy they can be made into a plethora of gastronomic delights! Rich in fibre, protein and iron they really are a vegans best friend!


So down to the dirty business, how can they become part of your diet?


1. Who moose? Hummus you moose!


OH MY hummus is the cream of the gods! Full of delicious, tangy tongue dancing garlic and tahini, this delicious dip can make boring food dance all over your mouth! Basic ingredients are Chickpeas (of course!), lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini (or good quality peanut butter) and olive oil. Don’t feel restricted though, you can add all sorts to make your hummus sing even higher if you fancy a change! Blend a batch and just TRY and stop yourself getting all crumby with oatcakes and your freshly made dip to hand!


2. Crush the little guys!


Don’t feel bad, vegans feel bad about enough without feeling bad about eating these lick-able legumes! Chuck some garlic, olive oil salt and pepper on top of a few chickpeas and crush them with the end of a rolling pin or a fork. A quick spreadable treat if you want some extra protein in your sarnie!


3. Add them to like, everything!


I have actually been asked by a friend before what to do with chickpeas. My answer was of course - everything! I quite literally chuck my little bald mates into everything and anything I can. Salads, soups and stews, everything can find a home for a chickpea. They don’t suck up flavour as such but they do create extra texture and a give little something more for your sauce or dressing to caress on the plate.


4. Roast them!


Yes that’s right, they do love a good roasting (told you they were sexy!). There are tons of chickpea roasting recipes out there to give these softies that extra crunch! Try them roasted with Mexican spices or even sweet roasted if you fancy something different! For gods sake follow the cooking times though, they are sexy but they are not worth losing a tooth over!


5. Bump and Grind!


OK so you've rejected all my plans to force you to consume this wonderful legume as it is, but I have an evil plan, to grind them! Chickpea flour is awesome and you can make flat breads from it! Oh no, flat breads…. but you need to dip flat breads in something….and so my evil plan is unveiled! Combine number 1. and flat breads made with 5. for a double chickpea whammy! BOOM! Chickpea explosion going on all up in yo mouth!


So there you have it, five simple ways to bring chickpeas into your diet. Go on, give a chickpea a home and enjoy this new legume based form of sexual experimentation, your taste buds will thank you for it!






Friday, February 28, 2014

Seven amazing VEGAN crowd-funded projects you should support!




Hooves vegan desert shoes

What? - Vegan footwear brand

Why support them? - I think the pitch is well presented and the shoes look fab because they look great, hard wearing and very trendy. The more good looking vegan shoes the better!

Twitter -  @HoovesLtd





The Lone Vegan speaks to 200 Cattle Ranchers

What? - Vegan needing help to make important presentation!

Why support them? - We should all be helping each other. This extremely brave lady will be standing in front of a full crowd of cowboys to talk about the effects of farming on the environment. Not only that, she is singing to! She’s braver than anyone I know.

Twitter - @CarynHartglass




Proatmeal

What? - Vegan super protein powder

Why support them? - Kudos to the video alone. Super cheesy, super fun and super cool :) it only took the rubbish flame effect to make me giggle! The more vegan protein products the better, I also think that the facts listed in the pitch really back it up. It is not going to be limited to just a vegan product I think - people are starting to realise that plant based is better for performance all round.

Twitter - @eatproatmeal

Made in Hackney Local Food Kitchen

What? - Eco kitchen in Hackney that teach health and environmental benefits of healthy plant based foods “You can’t have healthy people without having a healthy planet”

Why support them? - If you watch the video you will be sold. These super people seem to be helping everyone! Incredible educational tool, can’t big these guys up enough!

Twitter - @Made_In_Hackney




Sochi Strays

What? - Woman on a mission to help stop the street dogs in Russia being exterminated

Why support them? - I first heard about this problem a few weeks ago when walking some shelter dogs at the local rescue home. They had taken in a few of these Sochi Dogs after being contacted by a rescue group in Russia. Basically the dogs used to be accepted and looked after, now they are being exterminated because of one unfortunate incident. Read up on it, it’s pretty heartbreaking and another example of animals suffering in the masses because of people saving face. We need to support those over there trying to save these poor pups.



Twitter - Couldn't find one



Buy a Book Save a Cat

What? - Raising money for homeless cats

Why support them? - Cute little idea, couldn't resist as I love cats so much!

Twitter - Couldn't find one

Breaking the brand of Rhino horn use in Vietnam

What? - Advertising campaign to target those who actually buy rhino horn

Why support them? - Because it is a brave attempt to educate those who use this product. The plan is well thought out and I think it’s intelligent enough to make an impact. These guys have done their research!

Twitter - Couldn't find one

What happens to the one’s you love if something happens to you?

What? - Sanctuary for animals who have no where to go when their owners die

Why support them? - This is close to my heart as my grandma died at christmas and the next day I ended up with her cat in my house. She had written everything out in her will apart from where to send her beloved Barney. It caused us all a lot of upset because - where do you put someones best friend? None of us had appropriate homes/ situations for him. It ended well but, people need to think about this while they are still alive. If you had a young child you would know where they would end up, think the same about your little fur babies.






Monday, February 24, 2014

I can't contemplate

So

My Grandma died on Christmas Eve just gone. I wasn't particularly close with her but I still had massive memories of her big personality. Even if it was a lot of 'how did you get so fat' occurring when I went to see her. She still left a huge imprint on my life.
The problem I have is, the fact that I seem to be immune to that thing everyone says 'happens' when life changing stuff goes on. When people say 'oh such and such happens' and then they become a stronger/better/thinner/fitter person.

Someone asked me the other day why I became vegan and I said it was because I read a leaflet about bullfighting when I was 11 and kept waking up in sweats with a palpitating heart absolutely beside myself at the fact people could treat those animals that way. Their huge blood covered eyes where stuck in my mind. I was overwhelmed with sadness. And so I became vegetarian until I was 17 when I researched the meat industries, saw the connection and became vegan.

Apparently even when I was knee high to a grasshopper I was super sensitive. I used to walk around the flea market with my Mum, ask for something, see the sadness in her eye as she said no and then I would feel an awful pain in my heart. And I said to her, that I felt bad because I knew she had no money and I shouldn't ask for things.

It is almost like I was born with my soul exposed. Like my very being came out and stayed out when I was born. I'm not saying I can't be selfish. I still struggle to share with my boyfriend because I was always sharing with my two sisters growing up. (I still struggle to hand over half of my chocolate). (Actually if I am honest I probably don't share it. It's chocolate, and it's mine).

So anyway, before Grandma died, I still struggled with the idea of death anyway. Feared people no longer being around and simply couldn't connect with the fact it happens. I know people that say 'we all die eventually' and 'when it's my time, it's my time'. What the fuck is wired so differently in their heads to mine?! I know they don't want to die but, where does that acceptance come from.

So when Grandma died I was thrust into this place of 'getting on with it'. And when I tell people I am struggling to accept it, they nod and say grief does that to you. But the thing is I have it with everything. I cannot physically contemplate the fact that people treat animals like shit. People always say I need to be brave and watch horrible animal suffering videos etc etc but I don't. I will pass them on and I know they need to be made but, they stay with me forever if I watch them.

Again I can hear myself and know everyone says well yes that's the point etc etc. But, when does that thing happen where I become a stronger person? A lot of bad stuff has happened to me but no coming out of the other side is occurring. Not to say I am wallowing in darkness, I simply become more and more like a trembling toy dog every day. Not a good look.

I don't accept that people die. I can't accept that people treat animals in such a horrific way. I cannot contemplate the fact that a chicken in a supermarket was A. Alive not long a go and people are munching on it and B. It had a horrible life.

In no way can I connect with people who abuse animals. I literally do not know what is in their brains that is so different to mine. There must be an awful lot missing.

Therefore, do I want that bit of me that makes me 'accept' these things? Do those abusers have an extra bit that makes them accept it?

I remain unsure of my soul, my heart and my brain.

But in the meantime I shout as loud as I can and hope I can grow.

Grandma did teach me to love nature, stroke spiders and bee's. And she adored cats. She hated me being fat. And I can't accept that she's gone.

And I can't accept that people abuse animals.
And I can't accept that people die.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Stoptober- If you're loaded.

I have wanted to quit smoking for a while.
Its a dirty industry.
My body
my skin
my future
all affected by the little ugly stick. As well as this, smoking and animal testing are best friends. I'm a Vegan so that's so not cool.
I remember when I first started six years ago. My friends were like "lets just do it". We could still smoke inside back then. There was something so cool about a cigarette and a snakebite in rock city. When we ran out we'd pay 50p to the Nigerian lady in the toilets for a cigarette to share between us. I am making myself sound SO old now! You see none of us had been that cool at school, looking back I can see this was our version of taking control over 'fitting in'.
The thing is I have a much more addictive personality than my friends.
One friend smokes about 20 a day now but until she moved out was able to only smoke outside of her parents house. One friend has a fag and a can of coke when she's stressed about once a month. Another friend is able (I am not suggesting this is a skill!) to smoke socially.
I have looked into quitting smoking a few times but have never really taken the plunge.
I am ashamed to admit that the main scare for quitting has been superficial. Before I started smoking I watched a friends mum die slowly of lung cancer. I remember her being helped along into the living room a few days before she died, a grey skeleton in a nightie.
And as weird as it might sound I have tried to think about this in the past, tried to scare myself with the images I have seen, hoping it will stop me smoking.
 I have served people at work before with the little neck holes.
 I have spoken to people on the phone who sound like a longstanding Eastenders cast member because of smoking. I have often sat staring at the statistics relating to smoking.
 If I smoke my whole life I have a 50% chance of dying from a smoking related illness. 
Guess what none of these things have slapped me in the face long enough to make me want to quit. I enjoy smoking, I would even go as far as to say I love smoking. Especially sat on the beach with a lovely cold drink watching the waves. Lovely times.
The science behind it suggests I don't love smoking at all. It is the reward section of my brain
blah blah bleugh bleeeeeghhhh.
And all that on paper bullshit. 
I have been in denial a bit, I admit that! I was like yeaaaah i'll just stop before i'm 30. I'm 27 now and I have reached that quarter life crisis section were you realize all those people telling you to 'enjoy it' because it 'goes so fast' were right. And it never occurred to me that after 30 is 40 then 50. This sounds strange but if you are my age you may understand what I mean. I suppose you could say its the realization of how short life is. This is cheesy but, its true. That sentence- also cheesy.
So what prompted me to attempt quitting?
I am starting to look old. 
You know how I noticed? By sitting around with my friends and having my picture taken with them and realizing the fags have been slowly destroying my face without my consent. This is the denial bit. I can push everything else to the back of my mind because I can't see it. But I can see my face. In the mirror, in every photo, in the disappointed look on my boyfriends face when I take my make-up off at night, or when he sees my pillow like face in the morning. It is right there. And the most frightening crinkles? Those little lines around my mouth. When I purse it up in the mirror, pucker it up like a bum, I have those lines.
I have to stop smoking before my mouth permanently looks like a bum.
I wanted to write this because I am angry. I am so disappointed and angry at the stop smoking support available. I am SICK of seeing the signs and adverts telling me there is 'so much support out there' for people who want to quit smoking.
BULLSHIT.
I went to see my GP and asked about some tablets I had heard were very helpful for those quitting smoking- "Well, there are leaflets in reception about quitting and if you want those tablets you'll need to go and read about them yourself"
I went to see another doctor and asked about quitting smoking-
"Well, we don't really help you with that the pharmacy has a program to help you where you will start off with patches and so on then work up to the tablets"

Wicked. 

OK then so how about this Stoptober malarky. Apparently thousands of people like me are stopping smoking this October with support
blah blah.
I go on the website and it tells me I am heavily addicted.
Good to know.
I then ask where my local support group is.
AN HOUR AWAY
And that's with good traffic.
OK lets order this helpful pack then.
Let me tell you what this patronizing little pack gave me.
Let me tell you how INSPIRING this little twatty 'support pack' was.
I got-
A little crappy cardboard circle with gaps telling me what my body is doing while I quit.
 Does this circle have any nicotine I can lick while I crawl up the walls with a craving???
How about a little flick through calender giving me...wait for it..... kids doodle games if I have a craving.
 I am NOT joking.
 It says "in a craving emergency, try the word search on the reverse"
Was this pack ONLY made for all those 5 year old smokers out there???????????????????
What
the
FUCKKK
And the last patronizing little nugget- a fridge magnet where I write why I have quit.
 I can tell you one thing for sure.
ITS NOT BECAUSE OF THE HELP OF THIS FUCKING PACK!!! 
I can tell you a none smoker designed this piece of shit!!
The cover has lettuce tree's on it for fucks sake!
So why is it all so shit. 
Well I will tell you why.
All the industries are related. No one really wants us to quit smoking do they? Otherwise wouldn't we be able to get nicotine replacement therapy on the NHS for free? I mean if it causes such a high percentage of illness and death in the population which in turn costs the NHS billions of pounds, why would there not be more help out there? It's because everything is related.
 E Cigarettes are usually made by a division of a larger cigarette manufacturer. Nicotine does not get rid of the addiction. Nicotine replacements are expensive. Many people say short term it might cost you more but long term you save. Now my smoking costs around 7 pounds a week. I buy a big pouch of shag tobacco, some filter tips and some rizler. I smoke teenie tiny prison rollies. Are you telling me £40 quids worth of equipment for a few days is worth it? When it may not even work? Its a load of crap.
 And its not fair either. I am sorry to bring this up, but how is it fair people on benefits get free help? Statistically those on the lowest incomes are the most likely to smoke. But they are also the least likely to quit.
I am just so furious that people frown at me for smoking, they see all the adverts and signs and think wow there is so much help why wouldn't you quit. 
Because no one wants to fucking help.
They want you to spend 6 million pounds on nicotine replacements that aren't even curing the addiction.
So by all means quit smoking, if you have a nearby support group embrace it (although it'll probably be like an Ann Summers party with nicotine replacements).
I am going to try abstinence.
 Russel Brand states that abstinence is the only real way to quit drugs.
 If studies show quitting nicotine can be harder than quitting heroin, abstinence should work to with fags to.
If you do manage to quit I applaud you, because people don't realize what we're up against.
If all else fails win the lottery. Then you can buy shares in the cigarette company and smoke the cigarettes they probably make for the rich and famous that don't do you any harm at all.

X

(please note at the time of writing this article the writer may have been under the influence of extreme nicotine withdrawals and angry fagless rage)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Keep it simple, keep it safe


Keep it simple, keep it safe

I get tired of people dissing veg. I get tired of being called a salad muncher/rabbit/veggie shagger.

You know why i get tired of it? Because YOU the disser have a problem with it, not me.
 Now i LOVE vegetables i <3 them with a passion.
 If i have a bit of a beige day through no fault of my own (chips, bread, bread, chips, crisps, chips, bread) i usually just crave the hell out of some colour in my food almost immediately. I embrace vegetables and plants. And i HATE the people that slag them off because they are so bloody ignorant to the fact that without them, they wouldn't have most of the frickin food they eat!!
 HELLO?? That big slab of Dairy Milk your greasy old mouth is round, do you think cocoa beans are invented by people? And the milk in the Dairy Milk, what do you think the cows eat exactly to grow to produce that milk (that milk which is not yours to harvest FYI). And you know that sugary bun you have your burger in? Flour was involved ya know! Flour doesn't come from the air, its ground down grains which yes came from PLANTS!!! (i am aware said buns are probably definitely made from plasticine)
Its similar to food snobbery, sheepy socially constructed snobbery actually. I made a dandelion fritter once and the scoffs from people i knew where loud guys. LOUD. Euuughhhh you ate a dandelion, they are weeds. You know what? If they appeared in a new niche section in bloody Tesco you'd be the first to be serving them at your next retarded dinner party 'al dente' with roux. Its a fucking joke. None of know why the hell we are here, none of know what the plan is so we just fuddle along and do our best. But for some reason people decide that this over inflated ego stuck to the front of them like an angry third nipple is the way to go.

Why exactly do you think YOU know best??
 When you ask me "what the hell do you eat then?" do you not remember that there's other shit on your plate apart from that steamed dead body with some shitty sauce on it? You know the green bits? Or even those beige crispy things, they once grew you know?
This is really bad but, i even get annoyed when i cook for people a full vegan meal and they go "i didnt even miss the meat". I just want to slap them round the face with a limp celery stick and say DUHHHHHHH.
Obviously my little vegan ego is delighted at the praise, but its so so dumb to be so small minded.
Some of the best vegan meals i have had are super super basic.

Starter- 

Home grown garden salad- Chop and eat
Chives
Tomato
Peashoots
Cucumber
Courgette
Little Gem
(lemon juice likes to be squozed on top!)

Main-

Grilled Vegetables with Chickpeas- chop, mix, grill and eat
Peppers
Chilli
Garlic
Mushroom
Onion
Courgette
Chickpeas
(lemon juice also enjoys being squozed on top)

Pudding-

Papaya with Lime juice- slice in half and cover in lime juice and eat

Its pretty simple really. People freak out if other crap is not involved as well "so what DO you cook your roast potatoes in?" "If they aren't cooking with the meat do they go in a tray on their own?"

AGgggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I just think that people so readily follow what they are told to do and how to do it and where to buy it that they have the tiniest minds. That makes me so so sad.
It doesn't help when rich middle aged's travel abroad and come back 'enlightened' at 'going back to basic's' throwing out ethnic faux paux's like god know's what. "We even ate rice with our hand's, we learnt so much from them, they are amazing people". Hammering up the several 'ethnic souveneirs' they managed to stuff into there mulberry luggage around there 3874893 bedroom house. Giggling at how 'the local's' had never seen a chocolate bar before, despite working for 1p a day to harvest the cocoa.

People are funny aren't they in a gurny kind of way. They only see success in something if everyone else does. I noticed a recent diet fad that Victoria Beckham was on was actually just a Raw Vegan diet. But they had renamed it the phase 3 cave woman diet or some shit (completely fabricated fyi i cant remember the name!). You know why, because if anyone saw the word Vegan anywhere they wouldn't even bother. Vegan = smelly dirty footed VW owning lettuce licker. Not slim, sexy fashionable person of interest.

I suppose in my rant what i am trying to say is, i am not braggy about my morals, not at all, but i am so so happy that my mind is open enough to realise that something doesn't need to come wrapped in 3 months supply of cling film and in a 'tray' to be edible. Nor do i need to pay 65 pounds for a banana from an organic stall just to let people know i 'eat organic'. IE i am fashionable. I don't need any badge on to pop me in a box and direct how i need to live my life or what i need to think. I am just open and challenge my own generalizing. I appreciate i have generalized a LOT of people in this article but, i would also happily challenge that too!


Have a good day, eat simple :D

xx




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Are you Vegan Enough?

I have a daily distress.

Am i Vegan Enough?

I have mentioned before the people that scare me, that put all the rules and regulations around veganism. They still scare the bee hee jesus out of me, they do, but i wonder if that is me feeling as though i am not secure in my own veganism?
You see, some day's i feel happy with what i do, some days i don't feel its enough. That begs the question well, who are you doing it for? Have you ever asked yourself who you are doing it for? The animals? Your health? The planet? All of these?

When i was a little bean, i had sudden nightmare's about bullfighting (at the age of eleven this was probably not a fun pastime). Previous to this i had probably taunted animals a bit, been ever so curious, and had no one guiding me very well on how interest and curiosity should involve kindness. I dont think i was particularly animal friendly. Now i am of course not suggesting that i was violent to anything, but i certainly was a bit of an annoying kid, the cats avoided me fo sho. Then i became 11 and at 11 and a half i took the ethical decision not to eat meat any more. Back in the day this was quite hard for my mum to take, "oooh not you an all" (as my sister had previously been veggie before pregnancy). The only understanding i have of this reaction is lack of knowledge and ignorance. I know if i have my own bean, i will glow with pride if they show ethical awareness spawned from their own mind! I then reached 17, put the hormones aside, did some research and realised all the industries are interlinked and so, veganism was really the only way to go.

I try and leave myself open to learn continually, and love a good debate. But i still have this underlying fear that someone is going to find me out, like i don't meat all the criteria. This doesnt mean that i am sneakily eating a bit of cathedral city on the sly! But i constantly worry that my decisions are different to other people's decisions and therefore, i am some sort of fraud.

The moment you are proud of cutting down on all the faux vegan items you consume, someone is telling you that being RAW is really the only right lifestyle, you try RAW and someone's saying that you aren't attending enough rally's.

This is all brain fart i KNOW. But its a daily splurge that i believe is not a healthy feeling. I admire those that follow personal choice and the mantra 'be the best vegan you can be'. So why can i not just slot right into that space! Its good to question yourself it is, to check in with yourself, to learn and to absorb and improve and make mistakes and learn.

I think that, my answer to the question is no, i don't think i am vegan enough. However, i hope that my reasons for my answer change. I hope that rather than it being based on insecurity and no self assurance, it will be a no i am not vegan enough because i am always trying to learn and better myself.

People assume Vegans are just sat on their high horse casting their moral lighting forks down on others around them, not true. I'm proud i have an ethical awareness though, and i admit that i feel 100% of meat eaters are in an ethical coma.

Do you ever question if you are Vegan enough?


XXX

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

'Sorry, she's Vegan...'

                      'Sorry, she's Vegan...'


Sigh. Another day another rant, alas, better out than in! Or is it? 'You made your vegan bed, you should lie in it!'. Mmmmm lettuce leaf sheets

I'm getting a bit sick of friends and family making excuses for shhhhh the V word. In fact i am a bit sick of it being mentioned or received like a terminal illness bomb.

Have you ever been in a restaurant with family members and happily been verbally wrestling with the waiter over what 'dairy free' means when your lovely wrinkly pipes up? 'Sorry, she's Vegan'. Have you ever been sat ordering a meal and had the whole table staring at you ordering your weird dairy free alternative?
 You see my boyfriend and i are both vegan and my boyfriends family still find it very hard (despite trying their very hardest not too show it!) that their 'normal' son is Vegan. I remember when Greg told his mum he was Vegan, well, crimson rage doesn't even come close. You could HEAR the steam fizzing out of her ears, and all her hopes and dreams for him shriveling up, 'oooh what will become of yoouuu!'. All of his side of friends and family seem to think i 'Converted him' You know over to 'The dark side'....

  His family are a mostly lovely, middle class, uptight, none deep talking family. And it suits them, but we, we do not suit them. Quite simply, they, like ALOT of people feel uncomfortable with the Vegan thang.
And i think honestly, it is because it gives them a mirror unto themselves. Ever found that some people when hearing you are Vegan tell you how they only eat white meat? Or tell you how they love vegetables but they just couldn't give up cheese (that old chestnut). I know for a mum any kind of hardship for her son is difficult, especially one she feels he has chosen for himself. But i think that all people who get a bit fidgety around Vegans have a deep seated feeling they are being judged, like we think they are all bastards for not being Vegan. This is simply not true, i am incredibly open minded, i like to appreciate all soul's and learn from everything and everyone. I would only ever challenge those that present themselves for the challenging (actively foxhunting etc). Otherwise i wouldn't just walk up to someone eating a hunk of cowbum and start telling them off. This does not help the Vegan cause. But neither does backing down to their justifications. I am afraid you CANNOT justify eating meat, its that simple really. I have said before i listen to all perspectives, so that my perspective is not blind, but my morals will never change and i simply will not try and make someone feel better about their own meat eating habits because my moral's have made them feel attacked. This is not my problem, it has drawn attention to yours. Its a difficult balance and one we are always learning, on the one hand i don't like to hurt people, but i also feel that, you have to pop that ignorant ego sometimes to help the cause.

So i suppose my weird squiggly point is, for me, being Vegan is normal and eating meat is something that horrify's me and i simply cannot comprehend why anyone could do it. So fidget when your vegan mate orders, she is used to this, she is comfortable with it. But perhaps think about why YOU are uncomfortable with it.


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