I defy anyone to have anything other than positive things to say about this food…

We LOVE the Lotus. Chinese food is my all time favourite food…and an entire vegan chinese restaurant is quite simply heaven!

We popped in on Friday night….

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Who would have thought vegans would have such a choice? I mean…what do we eat?

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And, for me, the best meal I’ve had in many years….

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If you’ve never been to the Lotus, I suggest you take a wee daunder there. Whether you’re a vegan…vegetarian…or an omnivore keen to further your food horizons. You WILL NOT be left disappointed!

 

The times are changing….?

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Spotted this in our town tonight! Super impressed.  It’s a toty wee place and it has a fucking epic vegan billboard!!!

The future is vegan?? Well….more compassionate is a good start!

 

Whole foods and nothing but the whole foods.

So, the Whole Food Market is something I’m very familiar with from my US friends. But, you don’t hear a lot of people in the UK talking about this store.

Thankfully…those of us lucky enough to live in the general vicinity of Giffnock have the pleasure of being able to visit this gem of a store.

Now, before you enter you should know that you’ll need to remortgage your house if you’re planning on doing a full shop here. Also, as good as some of it is…and my gosh so much of it is so good…a lot of it is overpriced pompous pish!

The things I love about it….

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The loose aisle….

I love being able to buy my pulses, oats, grains, nuts and fruit loose. I adore using the little brown paper bags and buying only what I need. I love the absence of plastic bags and tubs. Unnecessary plastic! Plus, overall….it IS cheaper!

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Nuts…nuts….nuts….

Peanut butter on mass!!!! Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE peanut butter….and at wholefoods you can make your own, and bulk buy really good natural peanut butter!

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Salted broad beans!!!

I also love that you can refill your washing liquids and fabric conditioner….so you can reuse your bottles. Again, reducing your environmental impact. It’s not any more expensive than the mass produced supermarket brands either!

The utter pish part, for me…is their fruit and vegetables. Yeah, they’re organic but they’re no more locally sourced than any other veg. And…they’re silly expensive. So, I bypass the pretty displays of vegetables and fruit and go straight to my favourite areas.

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Behold…..2 bags of vegan goodies for a whopping £56!

I’ll continue to visit this shop to get the things I love….but will favour the good ol’ supermarket for my weekly shop! Unless I win the lottery (which considering I don’t do it, the odds aren’t in my favour!) if I win the jackpot, I’ll throw caution to the wind and do my full bi-weekly (I’m rich, it’s my duty!) shop in wholefoods. I may even splurge and buy myself 2 or 3 canvas bags for life! 🤣

On another note….we have our first house valuation next week. Exciting!

It wouldn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to work out what I made for dinner…

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My spicy peanut tofu was, as usual, amazing. But, the tofu I used tonight was BY FAR the nicest tofu I have ever made. It was actually chewy, rather than just soft. It has the same texture as paneer (from what I can remember), for those of you who can remember what non vegan food tastes like. I loved it and would highly recommend it.

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Go out and buy all the tofu!

Enjoy! 👌

Peely wally Saturdays….

Today I feel rough. We were at the festival yesterday and although I did partake in the most expensive pint of my life….I cannot blame drink or food for my woes. I just generally feel unwell.

Food is making me feel nauseous…head is thumping, I’m more tired than I’ve felt in a long time and I’m crabbit!!! 😷

So, when I feel ill….I look to unprocessed, plant based foods to give me a natural boost.

I started the day with a smoothie….hoping it would make me feel semi human.

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Strawberries, half a banana, 1tsp cacao powder, 2 tsp wheatgrass, chia seeds, 1 tbs peanut butter and some oat milk.

I couldn’t face actual food for breakfast, so waited until afternoon and made a new recipe. Deliciously Ella was the inspiration for the soup (really good plant based book. She’s not vegan, so you need to make some tweaks, but overall very good recipes.)

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Spicy lentil and carrot soup, with chestnut mushrooms and cannellini beans.

Tonight we had a roast dinner….vegan style!

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Roast potatoes and parsnip. Mash. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower with homemade ‘cheese’ sauce. A ‘sausage’ roll and some gravy.

Whoever said vegans can’t eat anything or that vegan food is boring has clearly never actually spoken to a real life vegan!

Early bed tonight in the hopes I wake up feeling better.

G’night…✌

 

Straws suck!

I’m sure some of you never even give little things like a straw a second thought! But….I do….and because I do, I’m going to blog in the hopes that maybe you’ll read it and feel inspired to make a small change.

Let’s take a wee look at straws in more detail.

Straws are made up from polypropylene, which is a form of petroleum; colourants (self explanatory); plasticizers (to make the straws flexible) and antioxidants.

A straw has an average lifespan of 20 minutes!!! Yes, you read that right….20 whole minutes of use, before being thrown in the bin! Isn’t that shocking?

I really really struggled to find data for the Uk specifically, but it doesn’t make these numbers any less horrific!

500 million straws are disposed of EVERY DAY in the USA alone! Let me put that into some perspective….end-to-end they would circle the earth TWO AND A HALF times!! 😲

So, what’s my point? Straws are plastic, so can be recycled, right? Well…yeah, that’s technically right, but the thing is….straws are very difficult to recycle due to their shape and size. Often they’re not recycled at the point of binning them because it’s just too much like hard work. Think of McDonalds…. (other fast food chains are available)….think of bars, little cocktail straws. They’re mostly just binned.

So, in terms of the environment, up to 43% of all plastics end up in land fill! And…shockingly…250’000 tonnes (hard to imagine, I know, so allow me to give you a wee visual….imagine 570 cram-packed boeing 747s!) of single use plastics end up in our oceans every year.

Inevitably, these plastics end up in the stomach’s of our marine life. One out of every three turtles have consumed marine plastic! 😫

So, what can you do? How the hell does one drink their coke zero from their take away cup without the straw??

Hmmm….let’s ponder it a second. 🤔

Ok, I’m going to go a bit way out here and suggest this….just hear me through….take the lid off (also single use plastic!) and sip it right out the top, using ye’r lips??

Or….if you’re a true mentalist like me, you could carry straws in your non leather handbag! 😂

 

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I’m not even kidding!

If you need more of a reason that all of the above….plastic surgeons say sooking through a straw gives you ‘smokers lips’….so, if you can’t make the change for cleaner air, land and oceans…do it for vanity!

Or…for me! 😋

Vegan supermarket find…

Many of you may already know about this, but I nearly hyperventilated in Farmfoods today when I found these by accident.

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Vegan sausages. No palm oil and not full of nasties. Only £1.49 for 8.

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Vegan burgers. Again, palm oil free. £1.49 for 8.

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Vegan mince and meatballs. Can’t remember the price. 

We don’t eat a lot of meat substitutes, well other than tofu. But, I bought some sausages and burgers for quick grab fillings for rolls….plus…baby B loves sausages and burgers.

So, in case any of you haven’t stumbled upon these, you can get yourself along to Farmfoods and grab a bargain!

I’m always happy to see s.f.v foods….and even more excited when they have the courage to label them vegan!

Tofooooo and painting.

Back to the painting today, but before I start I decided I needed some sustenance.

Liz opted for vegan cream cheese on bagels with seeds, avocado and marmite….but, as usual, I had to indulge my obsession and have tofu!

For some it’s cocaine or heroin….or alcohol. For me, it’s tofu!!!

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I quickly threw together spicy peanut tofu with bulgar wheat. It’s  a really simple recipe that I’ve adapted from The Buddhist Chef.

I’m now stappit (a guid Scottish word) and ready to tackle the last few jobs in the house.

Have fun, whatever you’re doing today.

🤘

The world is our lobster…

I was googling interesting facts about lobsters/shrimp, etc when I was struck by something horrific to me…

When you type ‘lobster’, ‘prawn’, ‘salmon’ or any other sea life creature into google, instead of images of these things in the wild you get a plethora of pictures of dead bodies, coated in butter or breadcrumbs on a plate. I literally had to change my search to ‘Salmon alive in the wild’ to get to see an actual fucking fish swimming in the water!

Worse for me…immediately after the death pictures, you get a host of nutritional information such as calories, fat, protein content. 😔

It would be exceptionally easy to forget that these creatures are actually living, breathing (of a fashion) sentient beings. It comes as no surprise to me that many kids have zero idea that the food on their plate (especially sea food) was ever actually alive! You shouldn’t need to influence your search by using the world ‘alive’ and ‘swimming’ or ‘in the wild’ to see a live being. It’s forgivable to believe sealife is only here to provide calories and healthy oils to us humans, if you use a search engine to educate yourself on them.

This lead me into deep thought. Many people hate the thought of eating meat…such as cows, pigs, chickens, lamb…but are okay with consuming seafood. I started wondering what the difference is….

Firstly, we all have our own unique reasoning for following a lifestyle. So, you may be vegetarian; contrary to popular belief vegetarians DO NOT eat the flesh of ANY creature, including fish….and definitely not the odd cheeseburger when they’re steaming!

Within vegetarianism you have sub divisions, such as ovo-lacto vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products (the most common form of vegetarianism); ovo-vegetarians who eat eggs but avoid dairy; and lacto-vegetarians, who have dairy but avoid eggs.

You may identify as pescitarian; a pesci refrains from eating any land animal products, but consumes seafood and biproducts of seafood freely.

Some people identify as plant based, now this is not black and white here….some plant based folk do not consume the flesh of animals, or dairy or eggs…but are okay with biproducts being in food, and wear/buy animal products etc. Others, follow a vegan lifestyle but use plant based because they’re not comfortable being labelled as vegan (because again, the vegan movement can be associated with mentalist, extrimeist, militant animal liberation).

So, why do we make our choices? What drives us to choose a path and follow it….and what drives us to deviate, or better, our choices?

For me, it boils down to education. I fully believe most of us do the best we can and when we know better, we do better. Now, clearly this isn’t the case for everyone, some people just don’t give a fuck about animal liberation, or welfare, or the planet. But, many of us do….and research shows people are becoming more informed about where their food is sourced and on a whole (especially in Scotland) compassionate choices are on the rise.

I became vegetarian over a decade ago. I became aware of the true horrors of factory farming, specific to chickens, cows and pigs. I made a decision to stop consuming meat. This was a really easy transistion. I genuinely didn’t comprehend the horrors associated with egg production or milk production. I quickly educated myself on eggs and made a decision to only eat eggs from my own chickens. I still didn’t educate myself on the dairy industry, but when I did….I stopped consuming dairy in any form…and that’s when my vegan journey began!

So, on that note….I thought I’d do a wee blog post on sealife. I have specifically chosen lobster (as this seems to be very popular on the menu right now), shrimp (a cheap and popular shellfish). We spend so much time fighting for land animals, but rarely do you see articles focussed entirely on sealife.

I was shocked at some of these facts. Let’s start with lobsters.

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A rare blue lobster.

Have you ever heard the expression…you are my lobster? I have seen it around a bit, but was ignorant to what it actually means. Lobsters mate for life. They chose a mate and grow old together. They are often seen in the wild holding hands with their partner (or their young). Now, this is a serious commitment as in the wild lobsters can live to be 100 years old! 😯 They do similar things to us…they have a very interesting mating ritual. Now, I don’t think many of us do this first bit, but you never know! The female pees into the home of the male over several days to intice him (I’d buy them a drink, but whatever works for you!). Once he’s interested they begin their courtship…the spend days enjoying some foreplay (lucky lobsters I hear you say!). They stroke each other with their legs and taste each other through them. Once they’re in the zone the female derobes, she sheds her outer hard shell and her little sperm pod. This leaves her very vulnerable, so her BAE stands over her to protect her whilst her new shell hardens, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Once this is done he holds her head in his claws and looks at her whilst he deposits his sperm in the tiny pouch under her tail. Now, doesn’t that sound romantic?? She can then carry this sperm, live, for TWO YEARS until she decides the time is right to fertilise her eggs. How’s that for an independant woman?

They carry their young for 9 months. They go on holiday, travelling more than 100 miles every year! They can be right or left handed.

Now the really interesting things….lobsters do not have a central nervous system (an argument lots of people use to justify eating them). This is absolutely true, they don’t, I cannot refute this. However, instead of the CNS they have bundles of nerve tissues spread throughout their body. They have approximately 100’000 neurons, compared to 100bn in humans (although I’m sure I’ve met some humans who rival a lobster). I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours if I didn’t present evidence based information, even if it doesn’t fully support my argument. So, with that, Scientists have proven that these neurons most definitely give them the ability to react to threatening stimuli, but they have not been able to determine whether or not they feel pain. And suffering….well, that’s almost impossible to measure in anything. Suffering is an entirely different question.

What they do know is that lobsters cannot go into shock, and as they react to threatening stimuli, they can ‘feel’ everything we do to them. Including when they’re boiled alive or dismembered alive. Now, note I said they feel it…we know this…how they perceive this, I don’t know for certain as there is no evidence to tell us.

Okay, enough of lobsters! Let’s take a wee look at shrimp.

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A shrimp varies slightly from a prawn. A prawn has pinchers on the first 3 of their 5 pairs of legs. Whereas shrimp only have two pairs that are claw like! And…to totally confuse you…a shrimp in the US is a prawn in Australia! 🦐

Anyway, I’ve taken a slightly different approach to the shrimp chat. I’ve decided, in addition to looking at the actual shrimp, to look at the people involved in the production of our packaged shrimp.

Greenpeace state that shrimp caught and processed in Thailand is often associated with human trafficking! It is believed that trafficked workers in Thailand are held captive and forced to work 16 hour days preparing shrimp. Children, so small they have to stand on stools, spend 16 hours a day with their hands plunged in icy water to prepare these snacks! Many of these workers are locked in filthy sheds and threatened with violence.

Don’t worry though, you only buy shrimp caught in UK waters? Well….sorry folks, but Greenpeace report that even UK caught shrimp can be processed in Thailand. Apparently it is a cost saving measure to send the shrimp to Thailand! 😨 How can that even be??

As well as the human element, the shrimp industry is a total environmental nightmare. In the wild…nets stretching 200 feet are dragged behind boats. As a consequence of this, larger fish and sea turtles are caught in these nets ‘by accident’. To put that into perspective, 200 million fish are dragged up with shrimp every year. A bycatch…threatening entire eco syetems. In terms of turtles, it’s estimated that, despite measures to prevent these endangered creatures being caught, 50’000 turtles per year are killed as a result of shrimp trawling. Now THAT is terrifying to me!!

Ok, so let’s look at shrimp farms. Given what we’ve heard above about wild caught shrimp the farms must be better right? Well, think again….

Shrimp farms are perhaps even worse! They are clearing ecologically sensitive mangroves to create shrimp factory farms. It’s estimated that 1/5th of mangroves have been lost since 1980. These farms are known to be a cesspool of antibiotics, fertiliser, banned pesticides and waste. 🤢 Very appetizing!!

They say farmed shrimp have a carbon footprint of…wait for it…ten times more than beef cows raised on cleared amazon rain forest.

So, if that’s not put you off…let’s take a wee look at the little creatures themselves.

They dance!! They dance to attract fish…and when their dance moves work, they venture inside the mouths of fish and remove bloodsucking parasites.

They are defenders of coral! They live on coral and dine on the mucus of the host. They protect the coral from predators. They’re little knights in pink armour!

They’re super loud!! Their snapping claws are louder than a gunshot or jet engine. Wow…now that’s loud!

They too are victums of bycatch. We only want certain species of shrimp for our plate, so for every 1lb of ‘wanted’ shrimp 4lbs of ‘unwanted’ shrimp is caught by accident.

I’m aware this is a long post, but I felt quite passionate about it. Don’t interpret this post as a I’m more vegan than you’ post, as it really isn’t intended like this. It’s simply a learning post….an interesting post.

Like I say, we all have our own reasons for following a lifestyle. This is not about judgement, it’s about sharing information.

If you read it and change some things, great…if not, I’m still happy you took the time to read it.

Just keep swimming….! 😉

I love tofu!

My name is Bobbie and I abso-fucking-lutely love tofu!!! Just got to get that out there!!

Today was a quiet day. It started with our usual smoothie….plus an extra two smoothies, as B was smoothie mad today! She couldn’t get enough!! Our favourite is strawberry, blueberry, oatly chocolate, wheatgrass, oats and chia seeds. That being said…B made a gorgeous wee concoction of banana, strawberry, pineapple juice and wheatgrass today and it was devine. She definitely has a flare for flavour combos. I hope she’ll make great cocktails when she’s older! 🤣

Dinner was something new, thanks to The Buddhist Chef. Crispy tofu in a sweet and spicy sauce. We served it with rice noodles, but it would go beautifully with wholewheat rice too.

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This has immediately catapulted into one of my top five meals!!! This will be served a lot in our house. I honestly think omnivores would like this too – tofu often puts people off, but this was exceptional. The texture was just right.

As you may or may not know, depending how well you know me, I have a few pets. I currently have three dogs and two cats.

How to feed my pets is a topic that really irks me. I am not at all comfortable with being a hypocrite…and I am on this front. I don’t consume, use or purchase animal products….I do not believe on ending a life….but, I buy dog food for my dogs. I buy the flesh (and fuck knows what else actually) of other animals to keep my animals alive. 🤔 This is something I’m not comfortable with. But…I had these pets before I was vegan (or even veggie with Luka). And, they rely on me to provide for them.

For dogs…who are scavengers by nature…it would be entirely possible for them to survive off of a vegan diet. But, cats…who are object carnivores…could not survive without taurine in their diet, which is found in organ meat. 🤢

My dogs are all geriatric, and being perfectly honest I cannot afford the vegan dry foods on the market…but…I also hate buying dog meat, as I know logically this has to be the lowest of the low in terms of welfare.

So…for now…I compromise. I feed my dogs a small amount of meat processed food and add fresh fruit and veg (and wheatgrass) to their meal. I do this for several reasons; to reduce the amount of animal products I have to buy  for them; to use up waste products and reduce the amount going to the landfill (Bette will also get a rabbit in our new home to aid this); and to improve the health content of the meal by adding fresh produce. Because fresh produce is ALWAYS best!!

I think that’s a fair compromise. Sure, it may not be vegan enough for the militant vegans…but, I follow the path that makes ME feel content. If I can lay my head down at night and sleep feeling comfortable with my decision, then that’s what counts to me.

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The dugs definitely think it’s a good idea!

Perhaps us vegans should only have vegan pets. I’ve actually heard this being banded about. But…for me, I love dogs and cats and my life wouldn’t be complete without them in it. So, I’ll need to continue to find a way that works to allow us to cohabit and enjoy each other’s company.

If you’re content walking a rabbit round the park, knowing that he fits in to your vegan life…fabulous for you, but I’d feel like a bampot and I’d miss my dugs!

The motto of my story….don’t try to mould yourself into someone elses standards, make your own. Do what’s right for you…whilst always striving to do as little harm as possible.

Peace out. ✌

What can you eat…??

Now this is the question that makes me laugh the most….

Let’s make this super simple….I don’t eat dairy, meat, eggs or honey. I, of course, don’t eat anything that contains any animal products…and so the problem begins if you’re buying pre made or pre packaged foods. But…over a quick exchange, the above would suffice!

People still don’t get it…..

So….what can I eat….

Let’s see what I can think of, off the top of my head. This list will be in no way exhaustive!

I can eat….apples, bananas, pears, grapes, oranges, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, mango, kiwi, passion fruit, blueberries, lychees, cherries, lemons, limes, dragonfruit, jackfruit, avocado, tomatoes, beetroot, onions, carrots, celery, squash, turnip, cabbage, kale, spinach, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, marrow, aubergine, okra, sugarsnap peas, parsnips, sweet potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, mange tout, lettuce, cucumber, radish (well actually that would kill me….), runner beans…and many many more!!

On the fruit and vegetable front…unless a tomato or carrot is suddenly laid by a chicken, or smothered in beef dripping (btw it would surprise you what they coat fruit and veg in….beeswax, for example) I can eat them….in their pure form, or cooked by a method suitable for vegans!

I can eat a whole host of other stuff. So to name a few….butter beans, broad beans,  blackeyed beans, kidney beans, baked beans, chickpeas, haricot beans, lentils, barley, bulgar wheat, spelt, rice, pasta, cous cous, bread (yup, most bread is vegan), bagels (some brands), potato scones (not all), wraps, bourbon biscuits, oreos, tea biscuits (again some…usually cheap), pumpkin seeds, linseed, chia seeds, hemp, cacao, wheatgrass, cashew nuts, monkey nuts, pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, raisins, oatcakes, crisps, popcorn…etc!

Again, in their raw state I can eat all of these things, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!!! You can brutalize any of these foods by adding animal products, but there is NO NEED to do that!!

This list is in no way complete…but it’s an idea of what we can eat. I’ve not even touched on substitutes…like…tofu, seitan, tempeh, soy meat, tofurky, vegan cheese, cashew cheeses, vegetable pate, vegan mayonnaise….or ‘milks’…you have cow or goat, I have…coconut, almond, soya, oat, hazelnut, pea, hemp, etc.

I think it’s fair to say that vegans can and have a wide and varied diet. The things we have in our basket compared to most omnivores are far more diverse and out of the ordinary.

So….never feel us vegans are deprived….because honestly, we probably eat a wider selection of food stuffs than anyone. And…honestly….we hardly ever miss the flesh and bodily secretions of other animals! 🤢

So…I ask you….what do you eat?? And is it as varied as ‘us’?

🤘