Guest Blog Post – The 90% Raw Vegan – The Vegan Police do NOT exist!

Guest Blog Post by Tuladhana

There. That got your attention! This post is mainly my own journey but just see it from a vegan point of view and the sentiment is still the same.

I went vegan for the animals 27 years ago and there were mistakes made: purposefully and by another’s hand. Does that make me any less vegan? If you look at Donald Watson’s legacy, The Vegan Society  and read their definition of ‘veganism’..it clearly states as’ far as possible and practicable’, Now, personally I feel that this is on one hand a great ideal. You do what you can, when you can, every little helps right? But in recent times I sadly see people choosing for their stomachs over the vegan options. Although there are NO Vegan Police ….your conscience does exist. It is about doing the VERY best you can.

I’ve been there. I am an artist and a crafter and I had ALWAYS wanted to try felting. So I made that decision. I bought some ethical merino and had fun for a year. But then my conscience overrode my desire to do this. It was still exploitation of those sheep! So what did I do? I simply found an alternative. This is what you do with vegan products or raw. You find something alternative. Note that I do not say IDENTICAL but ALTERNATIVE. This is a classic rookie mistake. Vegan cheese does not taste like dairy cheese but once you change your mindset to appreciating that vegan cheese or Gary in it’s own right, you relax.

The major battle with going raw or vegan is with your MIND not your stomach. Mr Tummy STILL craves things that your mind sends messages about. Being vegan has never been so easy nowadays. Being raw vegan is harder I can tell you. Every day I look at the non-raw items in my cupboard and decide whether THIS will be the day I use them. But this is the point. Being vegan is something we must revisit on a daily basis when transitioning-it is not an all or nothing scenario in the beginning. Every action will have a butterfly effect just as every non-action will too..something to help you make those decisions.

I slipped on my raw 2 days ago..I know, I know, I never claimed to be 100% raw vegan but I DID eat junk food and there is a world of difference to choosing a simple pasta dish or sweets/crisps/alcohol. I felt like the badger’s behind the next day and that was warning enough. I simply started again. There is a wonderful quote attributed to the Buddha which I will leave you with:

‘Every Morning we are born again. It is what we do today that matters most’.

Peace, Love, Vegan – Tuladhana

 

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Naga Curry

Guest recipe post by Michael Caleigh

I am a big fan of spicy food and always find that dishes are not spicy enough for me.

I went to a local Indian restaurant and asked what they could make for me and they suggested a Naga Curry. I was delighted and thought to myself where this delicious dish had been all my life.

My next challenge was to find a recipe online that resembled to the dish I had eaten and found the following recipe. I changed a few things as the one I had eaten was without cilantro and had no scotch bonnet.

INGREDIENTS for 2 people

1) 1/2 kg of preferred precooked vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, etc.)

2) 1 medium red onion thinly sliced

3) 4 garlic cloves peeled

4) 2″ piece of cinnamon bark

5) 12 naga chilies

6) 1 tbsp of cumin seeds

7) 1 tbsp of malt vinegar

8) 1 tsp sea salt

9) 1 tsp black pepper seeds

10) 1/2 tbsp of coriander seeds

11) 1 tsp turmeric powder

12) 1 tsp methi powder

13) 1 tsp paprika

14) 1 tsp garam masala (added at end of cooking)

15) 1″ of fresh green ginger

16) 1 tbsp of a good hot curry powder

17) 1tbsp cayenne pepper

18) 3 tbsp of vegetable oil

19) 3 cardamom pods

20) 3 cloves

21) 2 tsp mango chutney

22) 1 bay leaf

23) 1tsp mustard seeds

24) 2 tsp tomato puree

25) 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Dry fry cumin seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, black pepper seeds, cinnamon bark, seeds from cardamom pods and mustard seeds. Heat 2-3 minutes until seeds begin to pop.

Allow to cool and grind to a fine powder.

Put garlic cloves,naga chilies,green ginger and a 1 tbsp of water into a blender and grind to a paste,add malt vinegar.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large solid pan and fry onions till soft, add paste and tomato puree stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add curry powder,cayenne pepper,turmeric,paprika, methi, and rest of oil and a little water if needed and stir fry for 2-3 minutes

Add chopped tomatoes,salt ( mango chutney if using ) bay leaf and bring sauce to the boil,then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and put on a lid, Stir curry sauce occasionally to prevent sticking.

Cook till oil start to separate from sauce.

Once sauce is cooked add cooked vegetables and cook for a further 2-3 minutes till heated through. Sprinkle on garam masala and stir into sauce.

Serve with rice and/or naan.

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Guest Blog Post – The 90% Raw Vegan – Adding a little rawness

Guest Blog Post by Tuladhana

I am approximately 8 weeks into this lifestyle and it has been relatively easy. But this week I have reached the equivalent of the 7 year itch..literally. Yesterday I was feeling bored and out of sorts, and so ‘treated’ myself to a cola drink, a bag of highly flavoured savoury snacks, a vegan meatball and pasta dish and my fave Elvis Juice by Brew Dog. Big Mistake. I have just spent most of the night dehydrated and incredibly itchy all over. It is said that once you eliminate products from your diet, then have them suddenly, you react stronger than before..I can certainly verify this from personal experience.

Why did I struggle this week? Well, analysing what happened I can say that mentally I craved complex carbs and an old dieting habit. I eat plenty of raw fruit and veg but my mind still tells ‘Mr Tummy’ that a) I need heavy starch to get energy/calories and b) I DESERVE these for being so god for last 7 weeks. Oh dear. If you are a classic yo-yo dieter like me you will recognise this pattern: ‘treating’ yourself with the wrong kind of foods. But the good news is that it is simply CONDITIONING. Ok, I know, changing your thinking can be too hard, soul destroying etc. but in the end, I know that it is worth it.

I also realise that for the past 7 weeks, most of the raw food reading I have done has been on creating sexy food dishes that emulate the ‘normal’ vegan ones. This is EXACTLY how I did with going vegan…and I was bitterly disappointed. AGAIN, it’s just the way our minds work! So, last night I started reading a book by F. Patenaude – ‘The Raw Secrets’. It is pretty much covering what I am going through but offering the solutions.

Today I am wiping my karmic slate clean. The Brew Dog stash is being hidden, I have a batch of forlorn fruit salad in the fridge and once I am fully awake(I am doing this at 5:30am!), I am going foraging in my garden for green,leafy veg and salad items. Breakfast will be a bowel busting(probably spot on…) fruit smoothie with some superfood supplements (maca is my current fave) and lunch a monster green salad with various ornately prepared veg to ‘keep it interesting’. Dinner is soaking(shiitake mushrooms and cashews) and these will be blended with chilli flakes and mixed into courgette noodles.

There are no vegan police, there are also no raw food police. I have chosen ‘90%’ to allow for this and who knows? 5 years done the line I may go 100% but mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned..and ..isn’t life just FANTASTIC when you look at the REASONS why you do something? Over and out.

Peace, Love, Vegan. Tuladhana x

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Guest Blog Post – The 90% Raw Vegan..my journey so far.’What is a typical day?’

Guest Blog Post by Tuladhana

When you are Vegan people are always asking ‘but what on earth do you eat?’. I usually list the gruesome dead things I DON’T eat and then say ‘everything but these’ (snigger..sneaky eh?!) Raw food is just as inclusive but you just have to be more inventive. I have tried to emulate my fave cooked dishes(usually ending up with me doing my best Eeyore impression, looking forlornly at this inedible mystery in my bowl) but as a rule I just love to eat food it their pure forms. So I will go through a typical food day for me:

Breakfast: when I ate cooked food 24/7 I would wake up  ‘Hank Marvin’, willing to sell my right kidney for a Vegan sausage sandwich but some days I actually have to REMEMBER to eat food(actually the changed psychologically of meal and relationships to food will be discussed in a later post…*carrot dangle *). But on an average day I usually eat a nice fresh fruit salad with soaked nuts and seeds(soaking releases enzymes and make them digest better) or a nice fresh hemp and banana smoothie. Eating fruit is supposed to be the best food to eat in the mornings so they are digested alone and don’t get mooshed up with other food, and therefore fermenting(who wants a brewery in their Buddha Belly??). Occasionally I will just have a fresh juice such as carrot, apple and ginger or a wheatgrass shot.(Btw, did you know that some people use wheatgrass as enemas? Right, on to lunch (hee, hee!)

Lunch: When I am working doing my craft fairs, there is NOTHING I like more than a huge, stonking salad. My idea of salad does NOT include Cos or Iceberg Salad(IMO, these 2 should be stranded on a desert island with no top 5 record to keep them amused!). I love mixed baby leaves, spinach, rocket etc. and mix it up with fresh sprouts. No, not the smelly woof woof kind but those gnarly, weird alien  embryo things that most people have no clue about.THESE are the ULTIMATE living foods. When you sprout beans, lentils, seeds and the like, they release enzymes, their ‘lifeforce’ into the shoot and guess who gets the benefit of THAT? Yup, us lucky bunnies!. But back to lunch. Baby plum tomatoes, red peppers(no green for me as not ripe and not good for us), raw shredded veg, soaked seeds and a homemade raw relish.

Dinner: Usually my fave meal of the day and traditionally I would fill a small wheelbarrow sized bowl with wholemeal pasta, Vegan meatballs, sauce and perhaps an evening smackerel later? Nowadays, my bowl is half full and often I don’t finish it! Currently my love is nori samosas. Nori is roasted or unroasted seaweed sheets, you know, the ones wrapped around sushi. It is easy getting the unroasted so I make do with roasted. I cut each sheet into 4 squares and fill with shiitake and cashew mix. Simply chop up some shiitake mushrooms, add a handful of soaked cashews, blend, put a blob in one corner of square, moisten edges well and make a ‘samosa’. You can eat right away but I like to dehydrate for around 3 hours to crisp up. Trust me: these are the cat’s whiskers.

Now, although I DO eat like this on occasion, some days I become a ‘grazer’ which amuses my friends. Comments such as ‘you are always eating’ are sadly commonplace and people wonder why some of us have a hard relationship with food? Grazing (eating little and often) REALLY suits me and keeps your energy levels up.

Even if you do not intend to put more raw into your diet,this following advice it the best I can give you: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Don’t eat just because the clock says so, eat for hunger. Eating raw has mimimised food cravings and eating when NOT hungry. It is only when I have cooked that it returns..food for thought.

Peace, Love, Vegan – Tuladhana x

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