Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Option to Leave Birmingham Vegan Area Support Groups.

I became vegan 10 months ago and only started to socialise over the last few months. There is a huge divide within the vegan community in the Birmingham area, and it’s really making me quite drained.

I am not here to take any sides with anyone, or any group. I am a vegan who loves not only animals but every person, regardless of what their beliefs, their actions, their behaviour or who they do or do not like etc. I love all life and I can not keep having my energy pulled down when I see so many other vegans fighting.

So with regret I have decided to pull myself from all Birmingham area Vegan groups.

I live in a world of love, care, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, peace, joy and happiness. That’s what I believe should be spread across the board and this includes to non vegans.

Over the last few months it has been suggested, who I should and shouldn’t speak to and support. I am good at switching off from these, but it’s taken it’s toll now, where I feel that I am in a corner. I am in a corner that I can’t get out of. I’m being asked to choose, and in doing so another party will condemn and judge me. Therefore I choose to step out.

I have met some wonderful people. Many of those people are directly involved with the things that are going on right now in this area. I have met people from both sides and they are absolutely wonderful people. I wish everyone the absolute best ever possible for their future. I hope one day a balance can be found and people can be reunited. We are so much better together rather than being separated, we can be so much stronger together. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes terrible things happen… but should the whole community go to war over it?

I shall continue to support any vegan business I know of based upon what I know of that company. It’s especially important to think about all the other small vegan business that some of the larger companies help out. Without that help they’d be without a job and no way to feed their families. Also in not supporting vegan business I can’t see how new vegans can come to us so easily. That’s one the key important things to get as many people to become vegan as possible and help save animals from getting hurt. (of course people are animals too). There are some named companies I will no longer use but overall I’ll support most business.

Know that I love you all and I’m sorry my choice has come to this. Though I couldn’t see any other way.

Peace and love
ScottyRunner

Advertisements

Eating Healthy is Just Like Trying to Quit Smoking!

photo 1

So I have decided that eating healthy is just as hard as quitting smoking.

I smoked regularly from age 13 until age 24 (I’m 27.5 now). Up until about the age of 22 I enjoyed it all the time and never thought twice about quitting…. well, I say I enjoyed it; I was in denial about it! I guess I refused to accept that I didn’t want to quit because I knew it would be tough. Plus back then didn’t really care about my health.

When I was 22 I wanted to quit every single day. I remember waking up and telling myself “this is the day, no more, I’m never going to smoke again”. At best I would last about 5 days, at worst a few hours and on average it would have been about a day or two each time. I found the longer I stopped for the more I smoked again when I took it back up.

I am finding a similar challenge with food. It’s so easy to keep tucking into whatever you want rather than what you know you should be eating. I find it particularly easy because of my almost constant athletic frame. I may look healthy but behind closed doors I do shift some absolute crap through my body. Most crap apart from animal based crap, alcohol and drugs (these things are long gone from my body now).

All in all I find myself being very sensible about the whole thing…. most the time. I do make most meals from scratch even unhealthy ones. Compared with most of what I see in other peoples shopping trolly’s we buy very good foods. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of room for improvement though. I read labels and avoid heavily poison processed foods. Then other times I gorge myself on unhealthy meals, for everything I eat that day. After I have done this I know I wont put on weight but I feel rotten. I can feel it clinging onto my body, and mentally I feel even worse. I start to think about all the great athletes of the world and perhaps what their diet is like. I think of my role models. I feel ashamed.

Sometimes when I am told “it’s ok in moderation, it’s just a treat”. How is this even possible? Since I quit smoking completely I would never just have the odd one or two and say “it’s fine it’s just a treat”. I know how bad it is for my body. Yet when it comes to food, cakes and sweets we have this idea that it’s fine just once or twice? This doesn’t seem to sit right with me.

Me and my husband recently tried going 80:10:10 (fruitarian, raw, Vegan) which is 80% of your calories in carbs, 10% in protein and 10% in fat. We had planned to do this for a month and managed 7 days as a detox. After this we slipped into old ways again. It’s now been about a week since we finished this detox. We keep talking about how we miss it.

We are in Turkey on holiday for 3 weeks soon and we are most likely going to eat a lot of fruit in the day and maybe one cooked meal in the evening. Once we return we have been discussing gradually making the change to 80:10:10 on a more permanent basis. There may be some slight modifications throughout the colder months though with an emphasis on hot soups and stews packed with veges.

Who knows where things will go but I need to make better choices RE my diet, and I must work out a way to sustain it properly. I am now starting to find myself in a situation where I was when trying to quit smoking. Every day trying to quit bad foods and diet habits and it’s driving me bonkers 😉

I’m hoping much like quitting smoking, and quitting drinking that with continuous persistence eventually the bad foods will just slip away and the desire to eat them will too. I think a fruitarian diet is perfect and with this upcoming holiday I can’t think of any easier way to eat. Almost everywhere can provide fruit 😉

Anyway rant over
Lots of peace and love
-ScottyRunner


Brief Update

Hey everybody,

I thought I’d better make a blog post to give you all an update of what’s going on right now. I have not got home broadband set up yet until 15th April 2015 and have found it hard getting on here using my iPhone as a personal hotspot for my PC.

So on 12th April I was meant to be doing a 40 miler at A Coventry Way. This is a hiking/running event with a laxed cut off of 15 hours. Which would mean that even walking it you’d pass if you did around 22 minute miles for the duration of the course.
As you are all aware though I have recently been injured and I haven’t recovered well enough yet to think about attempting this event.

The good news is that my injuries seem to be going again now. The week commencing 16h March I managed 31 weekly miles and the following week I did 24. Although my feet weren’t getting better they weren’t getting worse so I continued to run low miles. This week my feet seem to be getting better, but I’m going to keep with these low miles.

I am registered on the Great Birmingham Fun Run (8.5 miles) at Sutton Coldfield Park May 31st. So I’ll be getting in some training this month and then again in Turkey next month. I’m in Turkey 3 weeks from May 1st so I’ll start tapering when I’m about to come home on 22nd I think 😛

At this moment my main focus is on JW Ultra 12 September 2015. This is a 30 miler on the Canal from Stratford Upon Avon to Bournville so it’s right on my door step 🙂


Vegan Runner Visiting London – Excellent Time!

IMG_1429

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.

IMG_1413 IMG_1414 IMG_1415

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.

IMG_1416

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.

IMG_1421

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.

IMG_1424 IMG_1423 IMG_1422

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 🙂

IMG_1430

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.

IMG_1431

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.

s (1) Philip doing this thing.

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.
u (2)

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.

u (1) l (1)

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
o (2)

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.

l (1) g (1)

p

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.

d (1)

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.

11075242_1633174340246885_8993753737798066848_n

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.