Monthly Archives: March 2015

Vegan Runner Visiting London – Excellent Time!

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I used to live in Soho – London back in my later teens. I was a real party goer then. I never exercised and never gave a second thought to Veganism, and I never thought about organic or ethical purchasing.

This was my first time travelling back to London as a Vegan and I must say that I was extremely surprised!

I was down in London visiting with an old friend who I had began to miss dearly and hadn’t seen him in a few years. I was so happy to find he was extremely excited to experience a bit of London Vegan style.

When I arrived into London Euston I was really hungry and we went into Planet Organic on Essex Road. My first reaction was how bustling it was there were loads of people in there all with baskets buying their delicious healthy and ethical goods. It was so awesome to see! I bought some items to make a nice big chunky salad when we got back to his and some milk. He was extremely keen to try almond and soya milk and so he decided he’d buy, almond milk, almond vanilla, soya milk, cashew milk and brown rice milk.

When we got to his place he made us a coffee each with the milk, and he was extremely impressed with it’s ability to make a nice roasted coffee really deep and nutty in taste… needless to say I know he will be buying a lot more of this stuff in future.

After relaxing a while we went to Angel Vue cinema to watch The Divergent Series – Insurgent. After this we went on to The Gate Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant. Our booking was for 9pm and we arrived five minutes early and shown right to our seats. The Gate was vibrant and lively with lots of smiling going on and friendly faces. My friend said how loud it was with lots of happy people enjoying themselves. This added to the great atmosphere.

We started with drinks, and a basket of bread with oil and vinegar and a bowl of olives. As usual you can’t go wrong with the bread in oil and vinegar. Mmmmmm yummy yum yum! The olives were nice too. The green ones were a little hard for my normal liking but the brown olives were very succulent. I asked my friend many many questions, getting him to update me on all I have missed in his life and how everything was going for him while occasionally nibbling away at our bread and trying to poke the slippery olives with the toothpicks. (you know how it goes!).

For starters I had Grilled Chipotle King ‘Prawn’ Served on a red quinoa salad, avocado, tomatillo and green chilli salsa finished with lime and kale crisps. This was really tasty and I’d highly recommend it to others. The ‘prawn’s flavorful, tender, juicy and chewy! My friend got Potato chat – New potatoes with crispy spinach, mint and tamarind chutney. His face lit up when he tried this. In fact he liked it that much that when I offered him to try some of mine he said “no thanks I don’t want to spoil how much I’m enjoying this one in case yours ins’t as nice!”.

Once again we nattered a while before our mains arrived. We both decided on the same thing for mains and ordered the Thai red curry. Aubergine, fried tofu, baby corn, mange tout and mushrooms in thai spiced creamy coconut sauce served with aromatic wild jasmine rice and pineapple and chili salsa. My friend liked the tofu but wasn’t massive on it but said, and I agree, what made that dish so delicious was the shitake mushrooms in the sauce. I agreed with him 100% those mushrooms were DELICIOSO! If yu are unsure about this choice my friend stays in Thailand a lot through the year and gets a lot of Thai curries so it must have been pretty good. 

The staff the entire time were very courteous. They weren’t pushy and allowed you time to relax, talk and order when you wanted. I hate it when you feel your being pushed out the door. Eating out is one of my favorite past times and I love deep convo over dinner and a few drinks there after. You can’t do that in clubs! and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. This restaurant has been going for 25 years now and we were interested in the building itself. An interesting piece of architecture with mosaic tiling on one wall and a circular sun roof on an indoor terrace. Just behind the bar is a very wide wall that comes out slightly and it looks like once there would have been a grand fire place there. The waiter told us that the building is very old and has had many renovations and extensions over time. He believed it used to be a school for some time and then for many years it’s always been used for selling food, ie restaurants.

We paid the bill and then off we went full, content, smiling and time to unwind at his place. Once we got there I made us some non alcoholic champagne with coconut water, sparkling water and fresh squeezed lime. Then we chatted for a few hours before separating for the evening into our rooms.

On Sunday I woke up at 7:30am refreshed and ready to go for a run. I had already planned a 7.5 mile where I would go from his place near Old St Station north up to Regen’ts Canal and then Eastward right up to Victoria park. I ran the whole perimeter of the park. It’s much bigger than you might think. You could easily get a decent normal training session just doing one circle of the park and nothing else. I was in my Salomon Speedcross 3s. Some people say they have problems with these on roads and they are for trails only but I haven’t had any issues on roads with them. Though at the park I ran on the dirt track trail circling the whole park 😉 The sun was shining and I remember smiling because it was just so beautiful to be in such a busy part of the world and see so many people getting out early on a Sunday morning, on their own or with friends, running on the canal and the park. It really lifted my spirit. We do all kind of really want the same thing in life… happiness.

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After getting back to my friends and changing we took a trip up Columbia Road east London where the flower markets are. DO NOT go down here unless you are willing to move VEEEEEERY slowly, enjoy the plants and flowers and absorb the smells. It was absolutely jam packed with people and very slow to get through. My friend asked if I was ok if it was annoying me. I just told him how beautiful everything was. So colorful and aromatic! Then we came to the end of the street.

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Next we headed to the famous Brick Lane which is sprawling with many markets of hand crafted goods and home made foods. We were specifically looking for a place called Tickled Tastebuds, 91 Brick Lane which was supposed to be in the Upmarket. We found this Vegan bakery on Happycow.net and looked forward to buying some savoury pies. After walking around in circles for an hour and half 7 times we gave up looking for it. The website said to check their Twitter for live info as to where they are. We checked and there was no info and they didn’t say they weren’t there. I do believe they didn’t go that day which isn’t good because they never told anyone. I have sent an email to ask them though as I have been known to  have things right under my nose before and not see them.

We decided to move on back to another Brick Lane market where we had seen several vegan stalls earlier. We decided to have some Ethiopian street food and we were not let down! It was absolutely delicious. Now unfortunately I have no idea what it was. The guy in front of us ordered something as we arrived and it looked so amazing we just asked if it was Vegan not veggie and they said “yes it’s Vegan”…. “OK We’ll both have whatever he’s just had”. We then bought a smoothie from another stall to drink with it.

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When queuing for the drinks I spotted a girl at a stand waving her hand in the corner of my eyes. When I turned she was looking right in my eyes and smiling and she said “I LOVE your hat”. I was wearing my VEGAN hat 😛 she then pointed to the cookies and sweet treats on her stall “All these are Vegan”. I called across using hand gestures to communicate properly “Thank you 🙂 I’ll be over after this food to come and get a few to try!”. After eating our amazing street food we went back to get some cookies. I got 2 normal cookies, a brownie and a chocolate mint cookie and they were so yummy! I ate 1 on the train home a few hours later and the rest when I got home. The girl was so nice. I asked politely if I may take a picture because I’d like to pop it on my blog and she said it was fine.

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So the end of my trip was approaching. We meandered around some of the streets for a while and stopped off at a Pret A Manger by St Pauls Cathedral for an orange infused latte with soya. This has now become one of my friends top choices for the future. Another point for our dear cows 🙂

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Then I got back to Euston and headed home. I put my chillout music on my iphone and relaxed back in my seat. I smiled and I thought what an amazing time I’d had. I really didn’t realise how much there was in London for Vegans. I was highly impressed and I thought about how anyone in England who is Vegan and likes City life seriously ought to be living in London.

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I’m looking forward to my next trip where I will be digging out other places for us to go. Until then I’ll cherish all these wonderful memories.

All my love
-ScottyRunner


The Secrets to Success – How Badly do you Want it?

Just watched this again this morning. I have seen this video several times. It’s a sportsman and motivational speaker called Eric Thomas. From humble beginnings to great success. This has helped inspire me and helped me to not give up working on what I wanted to do in life. These are the kind of videos that have encouraged me to work out my higher purpose.

Enjoy it 🙂


Running on New Turf

Hey everyone
I went for a run first time in 3 weeks yesterday. This run went very well and so we decided to go for another run today on new lands I haven’t covered before.

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We have moved to a new area on the edge of many trails; including the North Worcestershire Path, which is a long distance path running at 35 miles through the midlands. Sadly we saw a notice saying that this path had been closed just near Wast Hills Lane due to slipperiness and erosion. This sign had been attached to a tree since Spring 2014. I hope that this sign will be gone some time soon as I’d like to follow this path. We decided to head back and follow some different public foot paths as there are many to pick from.
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Obviously with the time of year there was a lot of mud, I love running through muddy fields I think it adds a whole new dimension to a run, a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge. Sadly Philips Merrell trail sneaks weren’t up for the mud and he found it very slippery. He did admit he liked the challenge though so I think next time he needs some sneaks he will be looking for something with a bit more grip in them. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

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It’s been a while since I have managed to get out in the country. I’m from the countryside originally I was brought up in a small valley on the edge of the Pennines. I forgot what the white fencing if for around farm land. I soon remembered when a bolt of electricity went through my hip and pushed me to the side haha! 😛 Needless to say we avoided any other fencing. They were obviously to keep these beauties out of harms way… I just hope to them it’s just a little annoyance rather than a shock like I got :O
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As always with new public footpaths and no maps it can take a while to learn which end of the fields the path continues on so we did a lot of running back and forward on this occasion, but that was welcomed over such lovely surrounds.

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This kind of surround is much better than running around the city center or just being stuck to the city canal towpaths. The canal paths are beautiful and I enjoyed much of my running there, but I prefer the more technical terrain.

Obviously I had to go out sporting my Vegan Runners top 😛 Nothing like shoving it in farmers faces. :O Although the farmers we came across were nice enough.

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Mucky 😀

It only ended up being 5 miles. I’m glad I didn’t do too much though having just returned to running and it being more technical terrain.

You always know when you have had a decent run when you get home and anything below the waist looks like this 😛 (although they do look a little cleaner than they were).

Good to ‘hopefully’ be back.
All my love
-ScottyRunner


Vegan Mexican Chili Pizza with ‘Cheesy’ Topping.

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OK so someone asked for the recipe to this one so here we go. This makes enough for a 12inch pizza 🙂

Pizza Base
1 tablespoon olive oil and some for oiling
150 g wholemeal self raising flour
teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
50 ml vegan yogurt (click here for my recipe for home made cultured yogurt)
Salt and pepper

Sauce
1 can chick peas rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
pinch salt and pepper

Cheesy topping
125ml soya milk
50ml olive oil
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cyder vinegar
1 big tablespoon vegan bouilon
2 medium boiled potatoes
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

Pizza base –

1. Preheat oven 180oC and oil your pizza try lightly with a brush.
2. Combine all the base ingredients together and knead for about 15 minutes.
3. Roll out to fit the pizza tray. We pushed any bits left hanging over into the mould of the pizza tray.
4. Place in pre heated oven for 5 minutes and remove and place on a rack to cool. While cooling, spread oil over the top of the pizza base with your brush. This stops the base getting soggy when you put veg and stuff on top because oil is hydrophobic (repels water).
6. NOTE at this point if you make a batch you can freeze the pizza bases and pull out when you need them in future.
7. Once cooled place pizza base back on the pizza tray ready to top.
8. Start mexican sauce

Mexican Sauce Topping

1. Mash up the chickpeas with the garlic, oil, chili powder, tomato puree and salt and pepper.
2. Add the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans and mix well.
3. Spread this over the top of your pizza base

“Cheesy” Topping

1. Heat soya milk but don’t let it boil.
2. Add potatoes and mash up together.
3. Combine all the other ingredients and mash up well.
4. Use a spoon to blob this mixture around the pizza top.
5. Throw some jalapenos on top at this point if you wish.
6. Place pizza back in oven for 18-22 mins.


Product Warning – Health Plus Acidophilus and other Probiotic Tablets/Capsules.

Hey everyone I’m just writing you a quick blog as a warning about this product in the image Health Plus – Acidiphilus probiotic capsules.
As you can see below these are still below their best before date up until January 2016.

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With probiotics you can normally tell if they are alive or not quite easily. All you need to do is put them into about 200 ml of milk or alternative milk and leave them somewhere with constant low heat (about 10oC-20oC is what I usually go for) for about 12-24 hours. By this point the milk should have thickened or at least started to. Sometimes it can take a little longer or be quicker depending on temperature. This means that the good bacteria is feeding on the milk and replicating itself, hence the thickening. It’s that bacteria that does your body good.

I tried 2 batches of this stuff and on both accounts the milk stayed exactly as it was. It was completely thin and watery. This means no good bacteria and no benefits at all from your tablets.

If you take probiotics in capsule or pill form I advise you to do this simple test and see if they are inert as it’s a common problem with tablet forms. There’s often no bacteria in there and if there is then it’s often dead. If you find you have this problem you can tell them the test you did and request a refund.

On the other hand if you still want the benefits of probiotics I can seriously recommend this technique I use here in my other blog.  How to Make a Continuous Supply of Cultured Vegan Soya Yogurt.

Lots of love
-ScottyRunner


Daily Dose of Positivity and Awesomeness

Simply as the title states. A Big whopping dose of inspirational quotes to ponder over and some absolutely stunning pictures of life and Earth 🙂

I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Lots of love to you all.
-ScottyRunner

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Dont let yourself down


How to Make a Continuous Supply of Cultured Vegan Soya Yogurt. Also Are Your Probiotic Tablets Inert?

Hi everyone,

So I thought I’d make a post today about making a continuous supply of cultured soya yogurt that is vegan. I had friends around for dinner last night and they were asking me about it. As we all know probiotics are excellent for the gut and digestion. I wanted to be getting a good supply of probiotics in my body. It can be one of those things easy to miss out of our diets and yet just as important as all the other elements to a healthy balanced diet. You can take tablets but during my practice to make this cultured yogurt I found several of the vegan probiotic tablets we had at home were inert. This means there didn’t appear to be any living bacteria in them at all! Please watch out for this. You can simply test them by putting one of your tablets in a little milk over night and if it’s thickening the next day then you have a good tablet. If not then you want to go get a refund!
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In this batch I’ll be using Alpro  Simply Plain Yogurt. Make sure it says “with live cultures” otherwise this wont work. This yogurt contains the beneficial bacteria S. thermophilus. I’ll be showing you how you can use just one tub of this yogurt and then make a continuous supply of it using only soya milk. This would likely work with other milks too though I have had great success with organic Soya milk.

This yogurt is great for all sorts of things. I recommend having it raw on cereals or with fruit and berries so you can put them little good guys in there to good use in your guts!. If you aren’t really eating anything that day that you could use some in, then you can always just simply eat 2 tablespoons a day on its own.

1. Take 400 ml of organic soya milk and add to a low to medium heat and heat up until it’s just bubbling but not boiling. This cleans the milk. Once heated leave to become only very slightly warm to one side.

2. Boil water and pour into a container like a jar, jug (with lid) or similar to what I used below. This is to clean the container. Then pour out the liquid and let dry upside down so nothing can get in it.

3. Pour the milk into the container.

4. Take 2 healthy tablespoons of yogurt and mix it into the slightly warmed mix and stir this well so it’s mixed in.

5. Place the receptacle in a place where there is a constant very low heat. Anything too hot will kill the bacteria we want. An airing cupboard or similar will work well. You can also wrap it in a teatowel. Leave this for 12-24 hours until it has thickened. It can take a little longer sometimes if it’s too cold because the bacteria becomes less active.
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6. Place in fridge and use within 5 days but keep at least 2 tablespoons for next batch!

NEXT BATCH! – I recommend on day 3-4 to start a new batch. You now do this with 2 tablespoons of your own made yogurt 😛 As you can see you can just keep maintaining this system. You may find your yogurt to be less sweet and a bit more sour. This is fine. One of the main ingredients of alpro yogurt is sugar whereas each time you make a batch there’s less refined sugars in there.
If your batch doesn’t work then try again. This is very easy to make but you might want to try a few times until you get it right. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run.

Always mix well before eating. Sometimes you’ll get clear liquid at the bottom. This is fine just mix well and it’s ready to eat.

Enjoy 😛

-ScottyRunner Xoxo