Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shopping... Some Love It... Me?, NOT!

Ahhh, shopping. Let me walk you through a typical shopping day for a regional Vegan. Often referred to as the Vegan march where you go from one side of the city to the other in search of Agave or some other impossible ingredient. Well add to that getting to the city.

Up at 5am to light the fire for hot water (yes, I know its 2009!)

One green monster smoothie in all its wonderful yumminess and then hit the shower and get ready. Which includes loading up the car with esky and of course the always forgotten recycle shopping bags.

Into the car, run back inside to grab a bottle of water, back to the car, run back inside to get a CD for the trip, back to the car – quick run to check the cow’s water – back to the car.

On the road at around 6:30- 7:00 (depending on the cow’s water!)

Cruise up the highway. Wave joyfully with one finger at the lovely man that insisted on sharing your small section of the highway as he finally passes you on a bend – there are so many of them, they must be in a support group or something. I know I only drive at 110k, but I was under the impression that's the maximum I am allowed to go. Silly me..

Arrive in the City at around 9:00am. Wave to the lovely man again as you meet at the lights. Wonder if he has read The Hare and the Tortoise. Think about winding the window down and suggesting it, but think better of it as he seems a little frazzled.

Ah, the traffic. And the traffic lights, those lovely lovely lights. Have they ever thought of playing mood music or maybe screening a movie as you wait, and wait, and wait?

Around 10ish, finally get to a shopping centre, park a hundred miles from the entrance and find a café that sells soya coffee. Sit and take a minute to work out a plan of attack.

Between 10 and 5 – go from shop to shop, slowly crossing things off your list, drive to another centre in the hope you will find ANYTHING on your list. Spend a good part of your life at the traffic lights again! Around lunchtime or somewhere between 12 and 3, try and find a vegan friendly café or anything will do. Settle for chips. Feel crap. Back to the dreaded shopping march. Give up on most of the items on your list.

Finally load everything in the car and hit the highway………. And then unload the car at night, when its dark… and cold… and ssooooooo tired..

Some news... I am moving.. To here www.veganminta.com. I still have a lot of setting up to do, but do pop in.

Caio!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yummy Greenness..

From the garden....



To the Kitchen.....












To my Lunch....












This yummy salad consisted of salad greens, kalamata olives, and steaming hot cashew/chickpea balls. Yummo! And I followed it up with some raw brownies.


mmm... delish!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Very Heavy Footprint

Sorry for the big long break, but I've been busy - more on that in another post. I've been catching up on reading everyone's blogs and this one is worth a big shout out. I've been on a bit of a mission since reading an article in the latest edition of Yoga Journal on being responsible for our own trash and this blog entry has really driven it home for me.

Oh She Glows

The photos were shocking and distressing. Angela has some great ideas for reducing our footprint on the planet and if I add some of the tips from the yoga article I should be able make a bit of a difference at least to my little corner of the world.

In the article by yogini Adi Carter, she writes that in order to be mindful of how much trash she generated, she challenged herself to carry with her all the trash she would normally throw away. She carried it in a shoulder bag.

So my list:

I'm already very water conscious - because of where we live, so I don't need many changes there.

  • Avoid single use paper products - this is going to be hard, because of my allergies. I find paper towels are really good for my really sore hands - but I'll find an alternative. Substitute hand towels for paper towels, hankies for tissues, cloth napkins for paper.
  • Try and buy bulk where possible, take own bags - reduce amount of purchases in plastic. This should be fairly easy as I make everything from scratch anyway. I just need to take my own bags to Pantry Man.
  • Take my own bags shopping. Refuse bags when offered. Take a big shopping bag or basket.
  • Buy clothes on Ebay or second hand shops. Not an easy one here. But I will persist.
  • Grow own vegies - doing that! Going to be doing that in a big way soon... hint hint..
Onwards and upwards! Together we will make our critters lives a little better.

Caio!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Quick Rant

This is a really quick vent. Firstly, background - how did a vegan end up with cows? We live in the wheatbelt area of Western Australia, which is funny because people only have sheep, cows and grow oats - no wheat. But anyways, we only had sheep. My hubby worked on a local bio-dynamic broadacre farm, and I naively believed that because they were organic that they would care for their animals. But apparently not! Money is money, and these people like that very much.

Short story long - hubby came home quite distressed as this man's cows were starving, and he wouldn't let hubby feed them. As hay is expensive. Eventually we decided to buy a group of cows off him to save their lives. It was very distressing. He made us pay full price, but did give us vendor terms. ie, he deducted it from our wages. We were pretty broke for a long while!

We bought 5 cows, and they were literally starving. One of the girls couldn't even stand up. Their ribs were sticking out and their hips looked all bony and painful. One of our neighbours sold us hay at a reduced rate to help us out. And those gorgeous girls survived and were incredibly healthy when a neighbour took them off our hands with the promise they would never be killed.

And my love affair with cows began!

Anyway the vent - he is doing it again! He was reported to the RSPCA and we saw an improvement for a long time. But I drove past last night and his cows are all looking hungry and bony again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worry Gives a Small Thing a Big Shadow

Hey,

I'm often asked about how I cope with so many allergies, and I guess its because I just adjust. I haven't yet found it impossible, just challenging sometimes. Mostly when I go out. To give a bit of an overview, I'm pretty much allergic to most foods, and various things in the environment. The main allergy is salicylates and amines. But also on the list is, dust, dust mite, bleach, pollens, grasses, wheat, petrochemicals, natural flavour enhancers, all food additives, pesticides, herbicides, alcohol and dairy products (but that doesn't concern me at all!). So this means my food choices are very limited - salicylates are found in just about all plants.

Salicylates are not only in food but also shampoos and conditioners, skin care products, makeup, perfumes, household cleaners etc etc.

So if you have found this blog because you are struggling with allergies, don't panic just yet - its challenging but your life isn't really over!

I was asked the other day by my local country pub what I can eat so that they can prepare me a meal occasionally. How sweet of them. I usually just order something and pick out what I can eat and my hubby eats what's left.

Hmmm - what do I eat... Well, here's a typical day -

Breakfast - Pear Smoothie, made with soy protein (yay, I'm not allergic to Soy - aint life grand!), soy milk, a pear, and a handful of oats. If my reactions are at a minimum, I'll add a bit of flaxseed. Did you know we cannot get Hemp Milk in Australia! Customs won't let it in! I so wish we could. Because I can't have almond milk, and I'd rather not have oat or rice milk because they are too high in carbs.

Lunch - Lentil soup made with sweet potato (the orange one - can't eat the white one), leeks (no onions), red lentils and garlic.

Dinner - Steamed veg (carrots, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, beans) and a chickpea or lentil patty. Sometimes tofu.

Snacks are usually fruit (pears or red delicious apples - these are the only real fruits that are low in salicylates) or an energy bar I make myself out of dried fruit and raw cashews (only nuts I can tolerate). On special occasions or when I'm out, I'll have a mineral water in a wine glass so that I can feel special.

Surprisingly I have a weight problem, but I think that could be because my diet is so limited and I don't exercise enough. I make all my food from scratch because I can't trust any packaged products. Even healthy vegan food can contain natural flavour enhancers.

Supplements I take - and I might add I am having some amazing success with these! I haven't had an emergency dash to hospital since I've been taking them - 5 months!

Vit C (3000mg) - yep a lot!
Vit B, B6 & B12
Magnesium
Zinc
Milk Thistle
Spirulina
Iron
SAMe
L-Carnitine
Potassium (sometimes, when I feel its low - feet swell up)

Now the toiletries - For soap, I use Melrose Castile Soap, I make my own shampoo and conditioners using Melrose rainwater shampoo and conditioner bases. I use an oil blend for moisturisers. Although I can tolerate Shiseido Benefience products - but these are expensive. For makeup I use Chanel although I hardly wear makeup at all these days. Only on special occasions because my face still can flare up even with the safe products.

For cleaning I just use very hot water and a cloth - and beg my hubby to please, please, please clean the bathroom for me! For washing my clothes I use Aware Sensitive from Planet Ark.

My house has no floor coverings, only painted boards and I vacuum and wash the floor with very hot water about three times a week.

I think I remembered everything. I hope this helps. I know when I first started on this journey, I so wished someone would just tell me what I could do, rather than what I couldn't!

Take care,

Caio!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Yoga

I'm not a good blogger. I love reading everyone else's. Theirs are much more interesting.

I've just joined a Yoga Challenge with Carrots and Cake to try and get re-motivated. Otherwise, not much more to talk about. I seem to living on steamed vegies, cashew cheese, and chickpea cutlets these days. Not very interesting.

I don't even paint these days. I need a serious kick up the butt.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs...

The challenges continue...

After an unsuccessful visit to yet another "specialist", I have come to the conclusion that I'm on my own with this one. I am seriously allergic to pretty much everything and the list continues to grow. Conventional medicine can't offer me any help except an Epipen when things get nasty. Nice..

So I need to come up with a diet plan that is vegan (naturally), wheat-free, sugar-free, salicylate-free, clean (as in no preservatives, flavour enhancers, or food additives of any description - natural or otherwise). And clean up my immediate environment - no chemicals, toxins, allergens.

Not impossible, just a little challenging. I've been taking 13 different vitamin and mineral supplements and I'm starting to feel a little better - less time on the couch, so that's a massive big plus.

I can do this!!! Just a little research and lots of tenacity and I will have a normal life.

Onwards and upwards!