Category Archives: Food and drink

Learning how to eat Vegan in NZ: Junk Food Edition

As you may, or may not know, November is World Vegan Month. As a vegetarian of almost 4 years, I already eat plenty of healthy vegan meals on a regular basis, but more recently I began to feel the the time was right to start making more of a conscious effort to eat vegan. I conveniently decided this in the last week of October, and I thought it would be awesome to go officially vegan on the first day of World Vegan Month! (1st Nov), and here I am, 21 days in and still happy with my decision.

I couldn’t tell you why, but for some reason I feel lighter and happier. The first week, I found myself walking to work and smiling like an idiot, for no real reason other than I finally feel like I’m walking to the beat of my own drum, but I digress.

Although I already ate healthy vegan meals for the most part, I knew that the things I would struggle with were snacks and treat foods. There’s a good chance that if I’m heading for the junk food that my willpower is already waning, and I will have consumed said item before I think to read the ingredients list, get disappointed with myself and then reach for another to ease my sorrow… Oh feelings, why do you taste so delicious?

Online searches mostly turned up sweets that I’d never heard of, and it was likely most of these weren’t items I could buy in New Zealand. There seem to be soo many incredible options available overseas!?… Almond milk ice cream? pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls?!! are you kidding me! The junk food envy was strong, and I was determined. I’m very serious about my sweet tooth you see…

I put a post in my local vegetarian facebook group looking for a good starting point, then chose a local supermarket to investigate. I’m thinking this might become a bit of a series as I get my “vegan feet”. The result of my first mission is below! I also made a short video, available here.

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Later Rockstars,

V

 

Plant based anxiety and a new year of university nerves

So I probably won’t be posting anything for the next couple of weeks as I will be in the middle of nowhere looking at rocks so that I can finish my degree at the end of the year!

I am booked to go do some of my practical assignments on a farm where the food is being provided, and I have promptly provided my details on the provided form, noting that don’t eat meat or dairy so I am curious to see how this will go… SURELY I am not the first to get difficult about the food situation?! As always I have thought ahead and started stashing snacks in my suitcase, though I’m not sure the dried peaches will make it to the trip…

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I was a quite nervous about what the food would be, the questions which would follow and the disgusted looks and snickers at my potentially ‘boiled to mush’, thawed and reheated vege options… but after a little thought, I have decided that if it all goes to custard, at least I’ll have some snacks to tide me over, and it’s two weeks tops. Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise me with a lovingly cooked vege meal!? Fingers crossed…

After reading through our workbook, I doubt I will have much time to worry about food anyway. I guess that comes with the territory when you are receiving the same credits for a two-week course as you would for a full semester… you can probably expect a hefty workload! I think the pre-course nerves really set in when I was checking over the list of necessities to bring and I see “Torch – for working out in the field after 8pm”… AFTER 8pm. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of hard work and digging deep to get the work done, but when I see we may be out all night and still have notes, and the following reports, etc. to write up when we get back? Good lord…

It’ll be fine…

I think…

Maybe pray for me just in case…

Later Rockstars!

V

My two right feet

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Two Right Feet.”

A year ago, I would have said that it was in everybody’s best interest that I have my morning coffee before I leave the house, or try to operate heavy (or light!) machinery. On the odd day that I missed this opportunity, this notion was reinforced when I realised I had left my delicious leftover dinner at home so I had no lunch, my shirt was backwards and there was an important early morning meeting that I didn’t know about… you get the gist.

But over the holiday break as I set my action plan for 2015 into play I realised it was not in fact the lack of beverage that was the problem, it was the 10 minutes I took first thing in the AM to stand in the kitchen, sip at this steaming hot goodness and think about the day ahead. I now wake up a few minutes earlier than usual (4.30am), and visualise the day ahead, achieving the goals I have set myself. Over the break I created what I call my “dreams” book, where my holiday self has told present self EXACTLY how it is going to be, and where this slow and steady race will get me… ‘prompts’ if you will. See my post Bring on 2015! for a rough idea of what this looks like! I keep this book by my bag so I look at it before I leave the house for the gym, while I nibble at a light pre-gym snack.

I still love my morning coffee, strong as they come, and daily. However I don’t usually get around to it until I get to work in the morning… a good 3-4 hours into my day!

Later Rockstars!

V

The quest for a tasty AND affordable non-dairy protein powder – Nuzest review

Soo I realise that protein powder is not absolutely essential to a muscle-building diet, but I miss the convenience sometimes!

I’ve tried a couple of soy powders but I’ve never really been a huge soy fan, and have read some nasty things lately about soy isolate powders which were deal breakers for me, and got incredibly excited when I found Nuzest Clean Lean Protein powder, made mostly from pea protein. I have tried a couple of the flavours so far with varying results…

Rich Chocolate:

Sadly, not all chocolate protein powders are made equal, and I never really took to this one. I can get past the chalky texture that is characteristic of pea protein powder, but something about the sweetness combined with that pea protein aftertaste was a bit much for me, even when mixed at half strength.

Yesterday I tried to use up a bit of it by making protein balls (or bombs as they ended up, as I got a bit impatient and just slapped each spoonful on greaseproof paper like a savage), these were slightly better but still not quite there yet… I’m going to leave this on a the shelf a bit and think about the best way to drink it

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Creamy Cappuccino:

The first go with just Vitasoy oat and almond milk was pretty good but there was room for improvement…

After adding:

  • Banana
  • Vitasoy oat and almond milk
  • A generous extra spoonful of instant coffee powder (Maccona)
  • Copious amounts of ice

…Bingo! a creamy iced coffee for breakfast… soo delicious! and I think the banana helped with the chalky texture also!

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You know what else I love to see? a total of 5 ingredients in the whole product, all of which I recognise… and with 24g of protein per serve, I would definitely recommend it… (in my amateur opinion!)

Later Rockstars!

Vee

Plant based diets and negativity

If you eat some sort of plant based diet, whether it be vegetarian or vegan, it’s likely you’ve come up against criticism of the negative variety. Particularly if you are part of the bodybuilding and athletic circles, where nutrition is debated daily, and elitist ego’s are plentiful…

I am in no way trying to bring down those who have worked incredibly hard for their physiques. I myself am vegetarian, although I eat very little egg or dairy (only on the odd occasion), and I like my weights heavy. Although I am definitely more toned than I have ever been, I am no female Thor, so I can appreciate how hard these guys and gals work!

What is surprising is the level of unhelpful criticism I have received from vegan athletes in the past, when trying to obtain more information about egg and dairy free options! It seems that to some, if you are not already vegan, then you are not worth their time! Each to their own in my opinion, and they of course are entitled to their own views.

However, I thought it might be more productive to create a more positive and welcoming place for people to learn about plant based diets and fitness without all the negative natter. It is something I definitely would have liked to find when I first decided to give up meat (not that I was eating a lot of it anyway once I made the decision). But for anyone who may be interested, you can find a bunch of positive, supportive vege eaters in our new facebook group! All welcome!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/plantbased.food.fitness.living/

Later Rockstars!

Vee

Eco-thirst!

I’ve always promised myself I would get round to get some of these for myself, and luckily (sort of) I lost the ball off my tongue stud which felt far too weird and naked… so I decided to head to the shops for another saw these in the window! I’m a real magpie for coloured glass so it was a double win… now I just need to find a more sustainable way to freeze my leftovers… 😀

glass jars